Kehena beach on Hawaii Island no longer a nude beach
I find it ironic that less than two centuries ago, people were nude on beaches all over Hawai'i. Mark Twain himself remarked on it when he visited there.
From the article, it's hard to tell whether people were cited for being nude on the beach or just being in a danger zone, or without masking up, or creating nuisances with their behavior. But I hope that some beach can be found where nudity is tolerated.
I found it odd that none of the news stories clearly addressed the nudity issue. In the associated video, one of the officers says plainly that the beach "used to be known as a nude beach" but that "there are no nude beaches in Hawaii." (Legally, he's right.) I suspect that there were two motives for the enforcement action. First, Kehena really is the only beach left in the Puna district after the lava flow, and was therefore attracting textiles whose concerns, of course, always win out in such situations. Second, Sundays (the enforcement was on four consecutive Sundays) are a major gathering time there. Up on the road, nearby, Kalani resort's Ecstatic Dance event attracts crowds, and later in the day the community Drum Circle gets going down on the beach. Cars line the road for a mile, and there's a party scene up on the road, along the frontage of a growing subdivision. So there were probably complaints not about the beach per se, but about the scene on the road.
One thing that has struck me - as we've watched the three nude beaches that were on the island 20 years ago disappear - is a change in police attitudes, personally, toward nudity. Back in the day, if a place was more or less legally nude, and police enforcement was otherwise required - for anything from parking to drugs to leash laws - the police would pretty much just accept the nudity and wade in. Now - and I've heard this over the years about Kehena - the police simply won't expose themselves to the nudity. If you you want a nude space, then it's going to be a lawless space. Which, of course, is not a stable situation.