When the first hippies arrived on Kauai in 1967 from the Mainland United States, they went to Kalalau Valley, but left a short time later, 15 men and women in all, after being warned by Warren Robinson of Gay &Robinson that they were trespassing on 780 acres of private property under permit to his father, Selwyn Robinson.
“People like that are no benefit to the Island,” declared Board of Supervisors Chairman Antone Kona Vidinha in March 1968. “I do not know why they come here. Just the word ‘hippie’ gets people all riled up.”
County Supervisor Ralph Hirota went a step further by stating hippies “are not welcome and not wanted” on Kauai, while County Attorney Toshio Kabutan advised that trespass laws be enforced to prosecute hippies.
Supervisor Henry Gomez called for new ordinances aimed at tightening health regulations as a way to get hippies out of substandard housing, “an ordinance so we can chase them out,” but “the dope thing is the worst part of it. Some of our local kids have been introduced to it by the hippies.”
Reaction to hippies took a violent turn in April 1968, when gun shots were fired into the home of a hippie living in Aliomanu, and three hippies were later beaten at home in Waimea by several juveniles.
One hippie lamented in May 1968 that “Kauai at first looked like the spot we are seeking, but there have been too many ugly things happening, like the shooting of a house recently where there was what you call a hippie living.”
More pressure was put on hippies in April 1969, when 13 hippies were sentenced to 90 days in jail for vagrancy by Judge Norito Kawakami — a sentence that would be suspended for one year anytime the defendants wished to leave Kauai.
And, a “friendly cop” program, inaugurated in July 1969, whereby police officers would drop by ostensibly to hear hippies’ problems and offer aid, also forced many hippies to exit Kauai — reducing their presence from an estimated 250 to about 85.