Sandbar to Stay Accessible to the Public

Visitors are taken by boat out to the sandbar.
Visitors are taken by boat out to the sandbar.
Ernie Choy
Ernie Choy

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Ernie Choy smiles as he serves up loco moco to tourists coming back from the sandbar.

He's happy because the popular site will not become a state monument, a move he says would have limited access.

"It's the only white sand beach Kaneohe has," explained Choy, a long time Kaneohe resident.

Governor Linda Lingle vetoed a bill that would have made the sandbar a state monument and impose regulations, that included banning alcohol and commercial activities.

She didn't sign off on it, because she says the state Department of Land and Natural Resources already enforces rules to keep it safe, clean, and secure.

But supporter Senator Clayton Hee says he's disappointed, especially with director Peter Young, who he says backed the bill.

"He knew it was important to the Hawaiian people," said Senator Hee, "He knew there was numerous problems with a 1,000 people over drinking."

The bill was introduced after some residents complained the sandbar was a site of big parties that got out of control. Parties that resulted in fights, excessive drinking, and visitors leaving behind litter.

For now, Choy hopes everything remains the same for future generations to enjoy.

"It's a magical place. I want my children, my grand children to be able to enjoy the facility and not be told you can not go there," said Choy.