New beach best idea for Natatorium future

The following is a letter to the editor published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 7, 2016.

In a debate last week, Honolulu mayoral candidates were asked what to do with the Natatorium.

Charles Djou said, “Renovate.”

The city’s estimated cost for a full renovation: $70 million, plus the high ongoing costs of complying with modern anti-MRSA health standards.

Peter Carlisle said keep whatever can be saved, an idea fraught with many problems identified by the blue ribbon Natatorium Task Force in 2009.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he would follow the Natatorium environmental impact statement process, which is testing the task force’s recommendation: create a new memorial beach where the Natatorium now stands. This would involve rebuilding the three memorial arches 50 feet inland, and recreating groins to protect Kaimana and the new beach.

We favor this sensible $17 million plan for its obvious cost-effectiveness, preservation of free, open public shoreline, elimination of maintenance expenses, and two new acres of stable beach.

Rick Bernstein
Jim Bickerton
Kaimana Beach Coalition