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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kahana residents discuss planning

Advertiser Staff

Kahana Valley residents say they will meet soon to decide how to pick members of a panel to develop a master plan for the park.

State officials and residents are trying to resolve a dispute over who is allowed to live in the state park.

At a meeting yesterday, the Kahana Valley residents discussed what position to take on House Bill 1552, which places a two-year moratorium on evictions, allows for more leases and creates a panel to develop a master plan for the park.

Residents decided yesterday to meet again to decide how to pick their three members of the five-person panel.

"We need to get the community together to discuss how to pick the master plan people," said Ervin Kahala, who grew up in the valley and attended yesterday's meeting.

He said the date of the next meeting had not been determined. The meeting yesterday was monitored by Department of Land and Natural Resources staff.

Protests broke out in the valley in October when the DLNR moved to evict six families living there without leases from the state. The eviction was set aside to allow the Legislature to resolve the problem, resulting in HB 1552.

The 5,280-acre Ahupua'a 'O Kahana State Park is designated as a "cultural living park" where 28 households each provide 25 hours a month of cultural activities for visitors and do other work in exchange for a lease to live there.

At a previous meeting, DLNR chairwoman Laura H. Thielen asked residents to talk to one another and decide if they could work within the parameters of the bill.

Gov. Linda Lingle has until July 15 to veto bills but must notify the Legislature by June 30 of possible vetoes.