The famous scenic cliffs over Sunset Beach and Pipeline almost became the site of a housing project. The preservation of those Pupukea-Paumalu lands, more than a thousand acres of unspoiled North Shore beauty, now represents that rare example of one community's triumph over the powers that be.
One irony of yesterday's Ho'olaule'a festival celebrating Pupukea-Paumalu's permanent protection was the fact that numerous ambassadors of the powers that be thanked the community for succeeding.
"Today is a day for us to say how much we appreciate what you have done here on the North Shore to make sure that government was responsive," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, echoing the many other federal, state and local representatives who spoke at the event.
State Rep. Michael Magaoay, D-46th (Kahuku, North Shore, Schofield), led officials at the podium in a standing ovation for the North Shore crowd.
"The truth is we wouldn't be here today without all of you," said Gov. Linda Lingle.
Lingle got a rousing round of applause from the hundreds in attendance when she added, "We must reduce our economic dependence on land development to drive our economy."