On Friday, Aug. 7, I, along with many other concerned residents, attended the County Council meeting to address the issue of banning alcohol at county beach parks, and more specifically, Charley Young Beach (CYB) in Kihei.
Many untrue statements have been made by various people regarding CYB and the alleged “raucous behavior” of the regular beach users. Councilmember Jo Anne Johnson, who introduced this bill, stated that, “beach-goers were not being responsible with their drinking, and had not improved their personal conduct.” She added, “Every attempt has been made to resolve the issues that continue to plague this [beach].”
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Nothing could be further from the truth! The regular volleyball players (and associated gatherings) have moved away from the condos where the raucous residents live, and I continue to discuss these issues with Kihei Community Association members to address individual residents’ concerns. “Personal conduct,” as Ms. Johnson stated, is the issue at hand, not responsible consumers of adult beverages.
MPD Officer Brad Hickle stated, “Beach parties were out of control,” and, “Partiers urinate and defecate in the bushes... intimidate neighbors and beach-goers and anchored a boat offshore with loudspeakers blaring music that could be heard from blocks away.” Wow, you would think a bunch of drunken pirates had just landed at CYB and were roaming wildly, running amuck on the beach, terrorizing everyone with volleyballs.
There are no “out-of-control” beach parties, just the occasional out-of-control individual. And, the volleyball players had nothing to do with the offending boat, which was chased away by the Coast Guard, and I have never heard of, nor seen evidence of, anyone defecating at the beach.
Local resident Sharon Shutts testified that “drinking at beach parks is not a right, it’s a privilege.” My statement, (The Maui News, Aug. 8) that “the U.S. Constitution protected my rights and privileges,” was made merely to illustrate that the two are one in the same, neither one is subservient to the other. The Constitution protects our “rights and privileges” in the same sentence, so, wasting time debating that issue is pointless.
Councilmember Bill Medeiros summed it up perfectly: “The best remedy is to enforce existing laws. We’re punishing the majority because of the misbehavior of the few.”