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Hawaiian town deals with downside of Dr. Beach's No. 1 rankingany small-town residents would get a kick out of their communities being recognized like Waimanalo recently was when one of its beaches was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. But here, pride was mixed with apprehension about visitors. Just 4.35 square miles on Oahu's windward coast, about 65 percent of people in Waimanalo are Native Hawaiian – the second-highest concentration on the island.Waimanalo Bay Beach Park – with its powdery sand, turquoise water, cleanliness and convenient amenities – was named the best beach last month on an annual Top 10 list compiled by a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach. Sure enough, placing Waimanalo Bay in the top spot led to the most hate mail he's received.Beaches that make it to the top spot typically see tourism increase by 10 to 20 percent, Leatherman said.Change has been coming to Waimanalo despite the list, he said.Sunya Nardo doesn't want to see Waimanalo turn into Kailua.Kassebeer said the concerns shouldn't deprive Waimanalo of its rightful spot at the top of the beach list.
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