VIDEO: Tension at Papaikou Mill access meeting

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Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

PAPAIKOU, Hawaii: A crowd of hundreds packed the Papaikou Gym on Friday evening, to hear first hand about County Council Chair Dominic Yagong’s plans to take the commonly used - but privately owned – Mill Road and beach access using the government’s powers of eminent domain.

The meeting was Yagong’s first chance to interface with the public abut his new resolution.

The issue has been festering for years. Many in the community say this path – which has been improved and fenced off by its owners, with access granted during certain hours – has been the traditional access to the popular Papikou Mill for generations.

But tensions between the owners and the community – in particular the surfers and the fishermen who use the ocean at all hours, as the tides dictate – have risen as access has been restricted.

Emotions at the meeting ran high.

Many wondered: by what right can the owners claim dominion over a commonly used trail to the ocean?

Kalani Lyman, a fisherman and long time resdeint of the area, detailed the problems.

Lyman wasnt the only one with complaints. Well known musician Lito Arkangel tried to impress the importance of the area – and its name – on the audience.

But there were supporters of the owners who spoke up at the meeting, as well.

Yagong says the matter is on the October 2nd County Committee agenda, and he plans to move for a public hearing to take place at the same location.

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