Natatorium Announcement April 30, 2013

By the Kaimana Beach Coalition


Transcript of video taken by the Kaimana Beach Coalition

This video was taken on a cell phone and only partially captured the event; apologies for the quality.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell: …make it with grass through syncrete blocks, so it’s, the water can run though, and that’s going to be environmentally friendly. Now some people say, now why don’t we just do the full restoration? And this is where, as the Governor mentioned, there is debate – we welcome that debate, we have a task force that looked at various proposals. Here is part of the reason: to rehabilitate the crumbling Natatorium, 69 million dollars in 2015 dollars. 69 million. Versus what we’re proposing, 18.4 million. So a tremendous savings. Now if we were to spend the money for a full restoration, for anyone who swam in that pool, when you’re in the water, there’s about four feet of wall before you can see the ocean. So it’s like you’re swimming in a tank.

In its day it was a great thing. We had a lot of saltwater pools around the country. Today most if not all are gone. So we’re bringing back the beach that once existed along here. Where people can come, like the Governor’s wife, and swim laps, and many of the rest of us, some of us paddle out to go surfing, …from here, the point is, it’s about making it look different and better and open to everyone and particularly those who love to be on the ocean. So this is why we’re going forward with this project.

And it couldn’t have happened unless the Governor said, “let’s work together.” There was a period of time because this land is state land that was given by Executive Order over to the City and County of Honolulu. So we’re going to work together to move the project forward. I want to thank the Governor and his administration for his participation, thank you so much.


Governor Neil Abercrombie: And I would like to conclude my remarks by saying that if the groin and the beach idea works, please give the credit to the Mayor, and the Governor, and everybody here. Except if it doesn’t work, please blame Chip Fletcher and Robert Lucas of Geology, Geophysics, and Oceanography at the University of Hawai‘i.


Rick Bernstein: …it’s been a very emotional situation for many people and I’m just delighted that we’ve concluded that we can give this back to the ocean from where it came and still honor and bless all of the great soldiers that sacrificed themselves on our behalf. Thank you Mayor, thank you Governor, [I] appreciate it so much, and it’s nice to see unity between the City and the State.

I want to thank all the people that have helped us through the years, and it’s been a tough, tough going sometimes emotionally, through all the meetings, and it’s just always hard to take on an issue as large as this but sometimes, something as important as the ‘āina, the ocean, the beach, and our wonderful community that gathers here, it’s so important that we fight for it because if we lose this, we have nothing. So thank you so much and aloha.


KC: …we need to do it right, turn over every stone, answer every concern, mitigate any potential impacts, and then move forward with design and construction and funding of this project, so that in the coming years, generations to come, can come here, see the arches, see the pōhaku, and the memorial, and swim on a beautiful new beach on Waikiki. So with that, Makana, do you want to come up and play?

Makana: I’ll sing Hawai‘i Aloha, I thought the words were very appropriate for today. So sing along…


…Mau ke aloha, no Hawaiʻi

KC: …from veterans, guys for preserving the Natatorium to those who wanted to tear it down and build the beach, and everything in between, the recommendation was to do what we’re talking about here. I’m committed one hundred percent …the Governor said the greatest issue …sit around for another forty years, we’re gonna get a big Kona storm, southern swell, it’s gonna knock down a wall, small earthquake, the arch is gonna crumble. We need to do something. I’m committed. I have four years to push this thing forward. And I believe that working with the Governor the partnership we have…

NA: I don’t think you’re going to see these circumstances come about again so we have to take advantage of it. And obviously you can’t command the Legislature and you can’t command a city council, but what you can do, man, is have the respectful attention of people of goodwill.

Reporter: Architecturally, is it feasible to actually move the arch, or will you have to rebuild it?

KC: Some of it is going to have to be torn down, we’re going to keep as much as we can.

Waikiki War Memorial Complex Concept
April 30, 2013
(PDF format, 1.1MB)