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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2006

Kailua debris dilemma not over

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

KAILUA Accusations of illegal dumping next to Maunawili Stream have construction companies promising to make things right, as the city and state consider taking action.

The Rock Man, a wall-building company, said it allowed Martin's Demolition to drop two loads of concrete fill at its Auloa Road construction yard that it leases from a Mainland owner. Michele Kava, with The Rock Man, said Martin's left more concrete than was agreed upon.

Martin's got the material from a demolition job at the old KC Drive Inn site under a contract with Kuro Builders, said Vince Ching, with Kuro Builders. Ching said he expected Martin's to dispose of the debris in accordance with the law.

The city and the state are investigating, and have outstanding violations against the property owner, Tai Tan Duong, who the city says has an Oklahoma City address.

Kava and Ching said they fear the situation could damage their companies' reputations. Kava said Martin's had promised to remove the debris by the end of yesterday, but she didn't think it was possible.

Ricky Martin, owner of Martin's Demolition, couldn't be reached for comment after several calls to the company's office.

People at the Maunawili site estimated there was about 250 tons of debris there, all neatly piled. There were also several mounds of dirt and lava rock. The site is considered part of Kawai Nui marsh.

Kava said The Rock Man has leased the 2.5 acres for three years and uses it to store rocks, dirt and fill for the construction company. The material doesn't remain there long, and they've never had any trouble before, she said.

Duong, who also could not be reached for comment, was cited in March 2004 for various violations concerning the use of the land, said Henry Eng, director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

Eng said the case has accrued about $28,000 in fines and was transferred to the city Corporation Counsel for further enforcement action. An inspector will go out to look into the new charges of illegal dumping, he said. Eng described the situation as "not fully resolved."

Ching, of Kuro Builders, inspected the site yesterday and said he recognized the material from KC Drive Inn, which he described as a small portion of the concrete stockpiled there and not hazardous material. He said he would make sure the debris from KC Drive Inn is removed.

"I'm going to hold our demolition contractor responsible," Ching said. "I'm going to make sure he takes care of whatever he has to take care of. But I'm not going to be responsible for the rest of the stuff on that property."

Chuck Burrows, who has spearheaded many projects to protect and restore Kawai Nui marsh, said the property was once taro and rice fields. The state should purchase the land to protect the historical and cultural aspects of it, Burrows said.

"This should not be a dumping site," he said. "It hurts me as a Hawaiian because of the sacredness we hold dear to the land."

Reach Eloise Aguiar at eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com.