A demonstration will be held at the Hawaii State Capitol Wednesday, July 8 at 11 a.m. to support a bill that implements the recommendations made by a study conducted by the Legislative Reference Bureau in 2001 regarding the living park concept at Kahana Valley. The bill would allow the state to negotiate new leases for residents of state parks and keep six families from eviction.
House Bill 1552 authorizes the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to issue long-term leases to Kahana Valley residents; establishes a planning council to develop a state living park Master Plan; and establishes a 2-year moratorium on evictions of Kahana Valley residents. The bill was introduced by Rep. Jessica Wooley.
The six families were given notice of eviction by DLNR in June 2008 and had until the end of October 2008 to vacate the valley. An opinion made in March 2008 by the state Attorney General Mark Bennett said that the state no longer had the right to issue new leases as of 1993.
Because of support from the community and state lawmakers, DLNR Chairperson Laura H. Thielen announced in November 2008 that the state would not take action to evict the residents in order to allow the Legislature to consider revisions to Hawaii law to address these issues.
However, Governor Linda Lingle placed HB 1552 on her list of potential vetoes. The veto explanation states "special interest legislation that establishes a moratorium against the eviction of Kahana Valley residents, even when there are illegal activities occurring on the premises or these tenants fail to pay their rents and fulfill certain legal obligations to live in the valley."
Trisha Kehaulani Watson has a great post with the video "Keep da Mana in Kahana" on her Honolulu Advertiser blog "He Hawaii Au".