Forget Zuckerberg’s wall; beach access is the story

Posted: Sunday, July 3, 2016 12:00 am


There is both a delicious irony and the core of a public policy issue that needs resolution much more than ever in the dustup over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg erecting a rock wall in front of his 700-acre oceanfront property at 7480 Koolau Road in Kilauea.

If I were someone given to shameless puns, I’d observe that this is a case of Zuckerberg stonewalling the entire community, ensuring a continually rocky relationship with his neighbors, and I would advise that he cement a much better bond with local people if he only cared to do so. Which, apparently, he does not.

The controversy over the rock wall itself verges on a non-starter. The wall is not, in fact, much higher than the earth berm in front of which it’s being built and the view of the ocean from Koolau Road won’t be much different post-wall than it is now. Some people on Koolau Road have tried to make an issue of the wall. This is squandering an opportunity.

There is, however, a magnificent irony in Zuckerberg’s approach to the community in which he wants to create, at least, a mega-million dollar vacation retreat, even if he only intends to spend a couple of weeks a year here. Zuckerberg has tried to impose — and largely succeeded, so far, in imposing — a veil of secrecy over his Kauai plans so extensive it would challenge even WikiLeaks. It isn’t even possible to find his name among ownership documents for the property. READ MORE


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