This is how we roll in Hawaii.
I found myself surfing with the Mayor of the Big Island this morning, Billy Kenoi
It was a surprisingly big swell and although I have surfed with our Mayor at Kamoa point before, I was happy to see him in the water again. Only in Hawaii, the Mayor is one of the boys catching beautiful peeling lefts in Kona. (I wonâ€™t mention any wipe outs either.)
Even more surprising, no one paid him any mind, he is one of the regulars. When there are beginners out, there is always chatter going on, but when itâ€™s the regulars out, it’s pretty quiet. Most people are taking in all the beauty. We had a couple whales waving huge tales at us. And the eyelash of the moon, so small and nearly dark, was awesome as the sun came up. I wondered if anyone recognized the mayor because he lives on the other side of the island in Hilo. No one seemed to notice.
What a great morning! I jokingly asked Billy to take my spot in the lineup when I had to leave for work. He had a huge smile. He was truly enjoying himself.
My lifeguard girlfriend, Joy Mills, and I spearheaded a opposition to a 16 unit oceanfront condominium proposed right here where we were surfing today. The proposal included blasting down for parking which is why I got involved.
I believe a 16 unit condo development here would absolutely ruin the reef and chase the honu (turtles) away
Joy and I do a lot of diving here too, and you donâ€™t need to be a rocket scientist to know that development would destroy the fragile reef ecosystem. Mayor Billy Kenoi mentioned all the combined efforts have succeeded to stop the progress of this development.Â He and I were both relieved. The community really came together to the hearing.
Us Haole (literal translation = without breath) residents really became aware of the Hawaiian cultural importance of this spot when we heard the testimony at the hearing back in August. Today, the Mayor said for us not to worry, he has confirmed it stopped.Â Joy and I hope it could be re-purposed as a cultural site for hula, Hawaiian music, paddling, and arts? Let’s hope for that!
Thanks Mayor Billy Kenoi, for a fun morning (and for help stopping the condo development at Holualoa Bay)! Thanks to all of the people for the time given to stop and protect our precious ‘aina (island)!
Next hearing date is slated for June 2011. Be sure to come…it’s not quite pau.