STAR-BULLETIN / 1999
Sharon and John Lennon take in the view above Lanikai.
Lanikai residents should pull up the drawbridge
From 2002 until now, year by year, I've witnessed the destruction of two beautiful residential towns, Kailua and Lanikai.
Kailua has slipped into a traffic-jammed, exhaust-fumed mess, whereas Lanikai is unbelievable. Once a gorgeous residential area, it is now a crowded, smelly mass of noisy cars, trucks, motorcycles and tour buses roaring through unchecked parking on both sides of the streets, creating hazards to pedestrians and motorists. Perhaps it was glamorous to have the canoe club in residence in the local park in the past, but now it's 400 members strong. It creates a dust bowl rented to others, destroying the "beautiful Lanikai beach," which is no more.
As I eagerly walked to the beach this spring for my first glimpse, coming down the steps I encountered a little boy crouched down, starting to pull up his pants, his mother telling him to "hurry up," with the child replying, "But I'm not finished!"
Continuing onto Lanikai Beach, I encountered numerous dogs, including a woman with four dogs on one leash and a couple of others running loose. The sand was very dirty and left bad smells on one's shoes (like dog/people urine). Crowds of humans were there all day with tents, umbrellas and coolers. There are no bathrooms or trash facilities on the beach. The surrounding streets are clogged with trucks, and cars are parked every which way from early morning to evening, making it dangerous to walk or drive.
Above all, what amazes me is this is allowed! Oahu is a beautiful island. It's just unbelievable that residents and tourists are this destructive -- especially the residents who encourage this because of greed for the money from illegal bed-and-breakfast units and residential homes. This is the biggest problem in Lanikai and Kailua. The indifference and uncaring attitude to their land and the hordes of people who flock to Lanikai Beach. The beach is not adequate for the hundreds of people each week who camp out all day, relieving themselves in the water or on shore and leaving tons of trash. I saw rental homes on the beach with crowds of people in the yards, partying, with thumping music for all to hear all hours of the day and night. Beautiful Lanikai Beach ... no more.
I stand in awe of the people who are trying to save Lanikai and their beach. This is a residential area. I would gate the entrance, bar public transportation and restrict traffic and beach use, but all I can do is go back to the mainland and hope that next time I visit I will see a difference. Aloha and goodbye.
Joanne Inman lives in St. Louis, Missouri.