Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Kahana Update

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports as of 4:57 pm today that the "Kahana families may sue to stop eviction."

I received the below excerpt in e-mail from Keao Nesmith who grew up in Kaua'i but spent his summers in Kahana. Keao has 'ohana (family) that live in Kahana. Keao recommends reading the book, Kahana, How the Land Was Lost as it provides some insight into the history of Kahana.

Basically at the end of the 1800s, a group of Chinese had a consortium that sold the land to the Fosters. The Fosters turned Kahana into ranch land and they had plans to build a resort based on a southeast Asian theme of huts and gardens. That never happened though. The song Beautiful Kahana was written for the Foster family. I think the Fosters sold their Kahana land to another plantation which eventually sold to private families, some of them being my ohana. I still have ohana there but they are not among the ohana being evicted. My ohana had several acres of land in Kahana but the State confiscated it in the early 1970s through eminent domain to turn the valley into a State park. I go and work the lo'i up in Kahana valley almost every week and I take UHM students there every semester to work in the lo'i.

It really sucks that the State confiscated the land by eminent domain and forced these ohana into the situations their are in now. Actually the State evicted everyone back in the early 70s when they seized the whole valley to turn into a State park but the ohana protested at the State Capitol then and at hearings. As a result the State delayed any ruling on the Kahana issue until 1987 when the State created a lease with 32 families that were identified by QLCC as having long family histories in the valley. The 6 ohana who are being evicted were not included among the 32. You need to talk to Aunty Gwen, director at
QLCC Punaluu. She is there now and she was one of those QLCC surveyors who came up with the list of 32 ohana. She also has been helping out the ohana who are being evicted.

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