Support Abel and Kawa

A MEETING TO UPDATE THE PUBLIC about Kawa and how the county is planning to move forward is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Mayor Billy Kenoi’s executive assistant Karen Tashima, who is currently heading the Kawa project, said that the main goal is to have the community say they want to work together with the county to manage the property. Tashima said that concerned individuals have called to ask about the direction of the project. “There is a story going around that the county is making Kawa into a park, but that’s not what we are going to do,” Tashima said. She added that various kupuna expressed that they don’t want Kawa to become another beach park. In an effort to support the community’s desires and address concerns raised by members of the public, the talk-story meeting is open to all. The individuals who expressed concerns directly to the county about Kawa were contacted and encouraged to attend, said Tashima.
      Currently, the public is allowed to access the beach at Kawa on foot from Hwy 11 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week. However, as visitors are guests on county property, they are asked to follow a few basic rules: no camping, no alcohol and no littering or polluting. In the interest of sanitation, the county is providing the use of two portable lua at the main entrance. Tashima said, “There is a 24-hour police patrol,” to ensure that all visitors comply.
To inform the public about the natural resources present at Kawa, representatives of the Department of Land and Natural Resources will give a short presentation and answer questions. Tashima noted that Kawa has “one of the largest estuaries in the state and is home to a lot of native birds.”
Tashima said that some fishermen and kupuna have expressed difficulty in having to walk or carry equipment between the highway and the beach and that “eventually there may be the possibility of moving the gate further down the leveled road to allow easier access. However, it will be limited.”
Regarding handmade signs posted outside the main entrance to Kawa along Hwy 11, Tashima said that police had called the county to notify them about the signs, and when police returned after 6 p.m. to check on the situation, the signs had already been removed.