DIALOGUE BY Karleen C. Chinen
If you happen to be driving into town along Nimitz Highway from the airport/Mäpunapuna area, you might find yourself doing a double take as you pass the area just before Ke‘ehi Lagoon. “Whoa . . . what happened to all the dried brush? What’s coming up here?” you might ask yourself.
For the longest time, just the sight of that mangled wasteland made you feel hot and sweaty, even as you sat in the comfort of your air-conditioned car. But things are a-changing there, thanks to one of ‘Hawai‘i’s foremost visionaries and entrepreneurs, Duane Kurisu. When I first heard about Kurisu’s plan to turn that Ke‘ehi Lagoon wasteland into a plantation-style village for homeless families and individuals called Kahauiki Village, I thought it was a great idea. I hoped he would succeed.