Letters — Final Papaikou Hearing Is Wednesday

Dear Tiffany

We are winning! We got support in the last Council for buying the public access. But it isn’t over:

The FINAL VOTE and the biggest, most important Public Meeting–and VOTE–by the County Council on whether the County purchases a 1/2 acre path to Papa’ikou Beach is this coming WED 11/21 at 9AMat the Hilo County Council Room. (Bottom Floor) .

At this meeting the County Council willVOTE. ( If they do not pass it–the Resolution for access will die. )

PUBLIC MEETING on PAPA’IKOU BEACH PUBLIC ACCESS

WEDNESDAY NOV 21st

9AM

HILO: COUNTY COUNCIL HEARING ROOM

Please come. We need many, many people to show up. And if you can–speak out. But just come and bring others.
Please forward this email to your friends.

In Hawai’i the law is that the beaches belong to the public. But if the access to the beach is private–we are denied full rights of public access.

At this hearing we need the County Council to hear that the people from all districts want the County to purchase this trail down to the beach.

It is clearly a Hawaiian gathering rights issue.

This Public Access project is sponsored by Global HOPE, the Moku Loa Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Surfrider.

We all want a just, safe, and civil solution to this issue. Please remind people to be polite.

Thank you!

Noelie Rodriguez for Global HOPE (963-6966)

6 replies
  1. Seeb
    Seeb says:

    This is not about buying land its about forcibly taking it
    The Council’s vote is to start the eminent domain process which could take a decade and cost millions of dollars like the Coupe case in Kona.
    And the county gets a taste for it they might just come to take yours. just Google eminent domain

  2. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    “Takings” are a huge constitutional issue and are very expensive problems for those involved. Community activists that start such things are like bomb throwers, they don’t know, or seem to care, about who gets injured. They’ve seen that for very little effort; a few meetings, some letters to the editor, council meeting clamorings, they can leverage huge cost and hardship onto others.

    On the specifics of this “access” issue. Nobody, I repeat, Nobody, had permitted access to this beach area the whole time the plantation was operating the mill. The access was from the other side of the stream, on land that is now Ken Fujiyamas, but used to be a cane field.
    Don’t believe those who say otherwise, there was no allowed access through the mill area.

  3. Kathy H
    Kathy H says:

    Hawaiino,
    interesting, could you say what you mean by the other side of the stream — Hilo side or Pepe’ekeo side of Kapu’e stream?

    I used to live on the parcel on the Hilo side of the bridge (makai side) across the stream gulch from Pinky’s, so I’m wondering if there was ever access through there? It’s pretty dense jungle and choke mosquitoes.

    As a note, there was a meeting last Tuesday, November 13th, at the Papa’ikou Community Center where the owners and the supporters of public access were able to discuss with those of the community who showed up.

    If the eminent domain does go through, it will still most likely take years, so one question is how to get the community a workable beach access in the interim.

    I also support public access, but this whole thing sure has been a morass of muddy information on the rights and wrongs and who did what when. Sigh.

  4. Anakala
    Anakala says:

    @Hawaiino have you any verifiable information or evidence to link us to that backs up your claims? There have been many old timers in the community who have testified, on camera no less, that their was access during the time the mill was being operated. It is also well understood that the community frequented the area before the new land owners bought the parcel; I myself had been down to the beach to surf/fish before then. The trail wasnt what it was today, but if was an adequate trail nonetheless.

    Who are we not to believe? And why shouldnt we believe them again?

    We have gathering and practicing rights. There should be access for all, bottom line. I dont know what else the issue could be here. There is anger on both sides of the fence, and it is a result of this being drawn out for far too long.

  5. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    When we would go to the mill in the ’70’s to get molasses we’d have to sit for a long time for someone to help us so We’d talk story with the workers.
    My brother was a reg surfer of the break down below and once the Mgr wandered by and he asked permission to go down from the Mill side. We got a 30 min lecture on why the Plantation would not allow any access on the mill side. No parking was allowed on the street at all, it was strictly parking for the camp.
    My brother and his friends would park in the cane field on the Hilo side to go down.
    This is not to say that people didn’t scramble down from the mill side. The point is that “access” has a specific meaning when it comes to the “public” using “private” lands to gain use of a public area, e.g. the area between the Pali and the ocean.
    The first criteria is “safety”, which is somewhat ambiguous since people will take all kinds of risks at times. The State DLNR OCCL told me that if there is a vertical area more than a mans height , 5-6′, that would require a rope, or two hands holding trees, or cutting into the face of the Pali, then they would deem that “unsafe” and would not support public access in that area.
    Using that criteria most of the Hilo coast is unsafe for public access, which we all know to be true. Access points like the Mill site have by now been highly improved, but still not to a legal standard of “safe access”.
    Whoever created the current level of improvements and whenever they did it, it did not precede the 70’s when we stood looking over the beach area with that Mgr

  6. Anakala
    Anakala says:

    @Hawaiino
    thanks for elaborating a bit.

    Im happy the resolution passed. The community and the public deserve access to the beach, without question.

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