I have been playing volleyball at Keauhou Bay since 1975. Back in the day, it was an isolated oasis of white sand surrounded by kiawe and monkey pod. Fishing boats needing repair were hoisted on a cable hanging from one of the two ancient monkey pod trees behind the volleyball court. The cable is still there, but only one tree remains.
A small, tightly knit community enjoyed Keauhou’s special beauty and historic atmosphere. Our children played in its warm, white sand and swam in its beautiful, turquoise waters. Things have changed over the ensuing years, but not the timeless spirit of Keauhou.
We have cared for the beach, replacing sand that was swept away by winter storms or tsunami. We planted coconuts and landscaped the beach’s borders. When the first canoe club moved in, we helped build the halau.
Now, we discover there are plans to develop this scared area. They do not include a volleyball court and the Keauhou Canoe Club will be displaced.
Have the powers that be succumbed to the endless quest for the almighty tourist dollar? Do we really want another Kailua Bay or Kahaluu at Keauhou? Why can’t they leave well enough alone? Keauhou is one of the only relatively unchanged spots left on the Kona Coast.
Future generations will never get to experience the magic of this special place, development will destroy its essence. Some things are priceless, Keauhou is one of them. We need to stand and defend this beautiful place, fight to preserve it from those arrogant enough to believe they can improve on nature’s design. Keauhou personifies the quiet elegance of old Hawaii and that ambiance will be forever gone if these developers get their way.
Tami Warren is a resident of Kona.