Editorials for Friday — July 18, 2003

• Local weather signs

• Beach access

Local weather signs

Determining the exact meaning of the place name Kaua‘i will probably never be accomplished.

The ancient name of the Garden Island most likely was linked to the abundance of the Island, as early Polynesian settlers found out when they arrived over a millennium ago.

This timeless reputation is being reinforced by current weather patterns, for Kaua‘i is receiving enough rain to stay out of drought conditions, while Maui, the Big Island and other islands in Hawai‘i are suffering from lack of rain.

The weather phenomenon also points out that Kaua‘i’s weather is often independent of that of the other islands in the main Hawaiian chain, with some theories showing an overall weather pattern from Ka‘u on the south tip of the Big Island up through Ka‘ena Point, the west tip of O‘ahu. This may be why Kaua‘i is known to be more hurricane prone, as shown in how Hurricane ‘Iwa in 1982 and Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992 skipped past the Big Island and O‘ahu and slid up the channel separating Ni‘ihau and Kaua‘i.

We should all be thankful for the abundant rain the Garden Island receives, and that another hurricane hasn’t come close to Kaua‘i in over a decade.

Beach access

The County Council is moving ahead with plans aimed at determining how to best spend almost $250,000 mandated to be taken from county property taxes to help protect beach and mountain access for the public.

Additional funding for this effort is apparently on its way to other projects within the county budget, while access to some beaches between Kilauea and Anahola is being limited.

The council is asking for the public’s input on how to best plan a budget for enhancing a public access improvement plan. Anyone with ideas on this subject, or who has a report on being hindered in accessing public mountain or beach lands is encouraged to appear before the council, or to submit a letter on the subject.

The constitution of Hawai‘i gives Hawai‘i’s people the right of free access to beaches and public mountain areas. This right isn’t found in all states, in fact many mainland beaches have long lists of restrictions, access is hard to find in places, and some beaches even charge a summertime fee for access, or have the right to keep unwanted beachgoers away from select beaches.

This freedom of access recalls the days of old Hawai‘i, and is a right that Kaua‘i’s people need to protect.


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