Letter for Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Coco Palms deserves support, not negative reporting

It is very clear that the author of the Coco Palm story is no friend of the resort. He has not sung with the Hawaiian choir or watched the torch-light ceremony in the glory days of Coco Palms. He has never seen the pageantry of the wedding scene in “Blue Hawaii,” with Elvis Presley singing in the lagoon surrounded by beautiful people and thousands of flowers.

Presley’s aura is dismissed by the article writer as diminished to his mansion in Graceland. Yet every night in Waikiki, Presley look-a-likes sing his songs and wow audiences from all over the world. He is still big-time in Hawaii.

There is much in the article about money and the precarious financial status of Greene/Waters. A specter of 24 federal bankruptcy cases is raised. This is boogie-man talk. Clearly this is fake news intended to propagandize the reader into realms of concern for financial stability of the project.

This is not anything to be worried about. The developers have paid $3,000,000 for demolition. They have paid $125,000 yearly in property taxes for the land. They are seeking financing, but are held up by the county failing to approve their building permits, which have been held in limbo by the county for most of this year. You can’t get financing without those approvals. This being said, there is overseas interest in financing the entire project.

For some reason beaches is a subject of detraction in the article. Wailua Beach was once the most popular beaches on Kauai. It has nearly a mile of sandy shore. There are no reef rocks to step on in the water. It means there is no wana, puhi paka, or coral to tear your feet to shreds. At most times of year the waves are excellent for surfing both board and body.

What does a star rating have to do with why the hotel should be built? Are we coming up with a new planning rule: Only five-star hotels are allowed on Kauai? Hotels are rated once established, and I will attest that I have stayed in many five-star hotels and they do not justify such a rating.

For 25 years you have had an uhane, ghost, in Wailua. The county and private parties have talked about buying the land and turning it into a park or cultural center. It would cost multi-millions to do so. This county has more important things to spend taxpayer money on.

Hey brothers and sisters, pa‘a ko waha. Lets get behind the development of Coco Palms. County, do your job, get the permits issued. TGI stop printing opala about Coco Palms. Be maika‘i loa. Say something good about the project.

William J. Fernandez, Kapaa

  1. larry December 13, 2017 4:29 am Reply

    So I guess you are ok with clogging the island roads with yet More vehicles????

  2. ruthann jones December 13, 2017 5:17 am Reply

    ‘say something good about the project’? O.K., here goes….the termite ridden junk heap will fall to the ground eventually.

  3. Steven McMacken December 13, 2017 5:39 am Reply

    Say something good about the project? That’s easy. Well, the obvious thing is . . . no, that’s not it . . . but there is . . . . darn, that’s not it, either . . . . how about . . . or, maybe . . . nope, nope and nope. Gee, William, I can’t think of ONE good thing that the rebuilding of Coco Palms would do for the island. It’s the wrong project in the wrong place and DEFINITELY at the wrong time. About all a new resort in this location would do is give Kauaians a giant headache. You’re beating a long-dead horse, my friend. It needs to be buried.

  4. Cecil B Hanson December 13, 2017 5:58 am Reply

    Shaka brah! Your letter reflects the sentiment of thousands and thousands not only in Hawaii but the mainland and Japan as well.

  5. John Kaneholani December 13, 2017 6:57 am Reply

    Thank you Mr. Fernandez for being truthful and compassionate about Coco Palms. Thank you again.

  6. Craig Millett December 13, 2017 8:34 am Reply

    Mr. Fernandez,
    That was then, this is now. You might just as well put a hotel on Rice Street. This location’s day is gone forever. Enjoy your memories and let go of the idea of recreating them. Also you would be well advised to
    remember that climate change will put the entire site under the ocean.

  7. Debra Kekaualua December 13, 2017 11:58 am Reply

    The more WE say NO, the more that purple people eater, u.s. voter citizens say GO! All for dem, none for you!

  8. Marilyn VanOs December 13, 2017 2:31 pm Reply

    I appreciate how sweet it is to reminisce about Coco Palms. It sounds like it was magical. It existed in more innocent and kinder times. The spirit of aloha was in full force. Kauai was an out of the way place few people visited. Highways were nearly empty of traffic. You could walk across Kuhio Hwy anywhere along the beach without worrying about blocking traffic or being run over by bumper to bumper tourists and people heading home from work. None of the other hotels on the island today seem to have the same special caring that existed at Coco Palms. Where will the owners find the same kind of employees that worked there 40 years ago? I know a couple of those people. They are kapuna who smile when they talk of how it used to be. But I donʻt hear any young people who are anxiously waiting for Coco Palms to open so they can be a part of the staff hired by an off-island business. I question if ownerst will most likely have local residents working full time so they can make a decent living and share the aloha only lifelong Kauai locals understand. Thereʻs a whole lot of “Haoli, go home” sentiment from the people who struggle just to stay on this island and be near their ohana. Thereʻs fear and anger that didnʻt exist when Coco Palms was in its heyday. I just canʻt muster up the enthusiasm it takes to drive past that decaying eyesore for a couple more decades, and be hopeful for the positive financial, physical and cultural contribution some others think it will make to Kauai.

  9. halohalo December 13, 2017 4:00 pm Reply

    Tear it down and put a grassy parking area for the business & beach access in that area. Why do we always have to do something with things? Can’t we just turn them back into what they were at one point and leave them alone? Coco Palms is an eyesore today, regardless of what it was in the past. Let it die peacefully. That area is not safe for a hotel.

  10. Susan Rosier December 13, 2017 7:19 pm Reply

    You know I don’t think those people in Japan nor those up in the states should even be brought up. First, it is only your opinion there are thousands supporting the project. But mostly because the only ones that should have a say are the people from Kauai that would be affected by a new hotel in the area.

  11. Susan Rosier December 13, 2017 7:27 pm Reply

    Mr, Fernandez, you have obviously watched that episode of South Park too many times. Elvis? Really? You are basing the need for a new hotel where Coco Palms once existed and an Elvis movie was made there in the 1960’s. What should be addressed is the traffic this will cause.

    Oh, and the beach you talk of would require on overhead crossing for hotel guests to even get to that beach across the street fronted with two more hotels. Tourists are not likely to haul all their beach stuff up a bunch of stairs and walk over the highway and behind another hotel to go beach. Don’t see it happening.

  12. K. Murray December 13, 2017 7:38 pm Reply

    Sorry, as much as I enjoyed his music, Elvis was/is not my king or a Hawaiian king. More importantly, during a time when so much of Hawaii’s lands are being pillaged while our children have to leave to make a living, while we are importing too much of our necessities, we need to rebuild our food producing ahupua’a and allow our young farmers/planters to have an easier time to live and grow.
    Time to return Coco Palms back to the ‘ohanas that can create a thriving community. Prioritize our future, not the immediate fast cash that usually gets siphoned out of Hawai’i.

    1. Sunrise_blue December 13, 2017 10:28 pm Reply

      I was not with the Elvis era. On tv Hawai’i looked world class. They should show that part only. Greens in Hawai’i.

  13. Wailua Guy December 13, 2017 10:07 pm Reply

    Check the property taxes on parcel 410060530000, one of two properties I believe purchased as part of Coco Palms development agreement with County in regard to housing. Purchased in 2015 and no property taxes paid since and now owe nearly $14,000.

  14. RG DeSoto December 14, 2017 9:04 am Reply

    Just who owns this property? All you whiners who bear no cost or the people specified on the deed to the property who are carrying the cost of holding non-productive land? It’s easy for all you whiners to dictate what you think is best for the property when you have no responsibility for what your foolish rantings would cost if implemented.
    Either we honor and respect private property rights or we live in an administrative tyranny, if not eventually a more vicious police state type.
    RG DeSoto

  15. Pete Antonson December 15, 2017 11:53 am Reply

    Anyone with reason and aloha will acknowledge that having bums and criminals camping on your property while be surrounded by hand wringers saying “Oh, there’s nothing we can dooooo!” will make investment capital a tad difficult. If you won’t make allowances for this, you’re nothing more than a disingenuous agenda pusher.

    Speaking of agendas, there is no money for a park! The State has no money for a park! The County has no money for a park! No private organization has money for a park and the last time people tried they failed so stupendously that they need an article like this that berates them. Those that think this property could be seized without giving millions and millions and millions of dollars to the owners haven’t been able to read this far anyway and will get a pass!

    Your “next alternative” is at least 10-15 years away! Therefore, you should support the current attempt right up to the day they utterly fail. They’re closer than anyone’s been in 25 years. At least don’t contribute to the failure!

  16. Ron Agor December 26, 2017 2:40 pm Reply

    The County is NOT holding up the building Permits. In fact the building, engineering, water, wastewater, health, DLNR, planning and other departments have been very responsive and extremely helpful.
    The pace of the process is deliberately in concert with the acquisition of funding and a real construction start date. Building permits have a six month expiration date. Don’t want to get the permits too early. ALL IS WELL WITH THE COUNTY AND STATE

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