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LETTER: Community Meeting Will Address Illegal Shoreline Alterations

March 14, 2016, 2:17 PM HST
* Updated March 14, 1:52 PM
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Please attend the Leleiwi Community Association meeting on Monday 3/14 at 7pm
located at Richardson’s Beach Park in Hilo.

In 2006 the Hawai’i Supreme Court “…issued a ruling strongly reaffirming
that the shoreline in Hawai`i, which marks the boundary between public beach
and private land, extends to the highest wash of the waves, and rejecting the
use of artificially planted vegetation to determine the shoreline”
(Earthjustice).

Right now, there is development proceeding along the Lalakea (Keaukaha)
shoreline which directly violates this ruling. Additionally, the area being
developed is within an SMA designated area. When any kind of development of
this sort is proposed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required
prior to any work starting.  Our public trust has been violated.  Our public
resource has been altered, bypassing all laws, without consent of the
community.  Besides removing large trees, there was a rock wall rebuilt from
a wall which was likely built in the 40’s or 50’s, definitely not a historic
Hawaiian loko i’a wall of which the owner claims. This current landowner has
rebuilt this wall twice now in the last month, it was knocked down just two
weeks ago during our high-surf.  There was an attempt to backfill the area
behind the wall with material which is highly contaminated with arsenic from
the Wailoa area.  The neighbors were able to stop this from happening.  But,
there was fire ant infested backfill which was put in later.  All of this
backfill washed into Lalakea during the high surf, darkening the normally
crystal clear waters for days.  How is this impacting the federally protected
endangered species (honu) which frequent these ponds?

Our shoreline has been illegally altered and recklessly polluted; neither the
public nor the neighbors were involved in these huge decisions because the
landowner knew his actions were NOT PONO.  The landowner claims to have
permits from the County. Where are these permits?  Where is the mandatory
EIS?  Why did the County of Hawaii issue a permit to alter state lands in an
SMA zone without any kind of study to determine the impact of our pristine
public resource? Public trust is fading, the laws to protect our resources
are worthless if they are not enforced and the entire process for shoreline
development gets bypassed.

Please call Ardena Saarinen at 808-443-8657 for more information.

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Ardena Saarinen

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Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

Photo credit: Ardena Saarinen.

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