November 8, 2010 – PAPAIKOU, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
“Save Papaikou Beach Access” was the name of a meeting held on Saturday at the Papaikou Gym. The community discussed the contentious issue of public access to the popular Papaikou Mill beach, which crosses through gated, privately owned land.
The landowner was not present. Under Hawaii law the owner reserves the right to restrict the access and this situation has given rise to protest and controversy.
Keith “Bradda Skibs” Nehls spoke up in support of the landowenr’s right to post rules at the gate of the access. Skibs is a videographer and surfer known in South Hilo for his work in restoring Honolii and Hakalau Mill.
Community prosecuting attorney Mitch Roth also reminded the crowd that the owner is being generous in allowing access to the beach through her property.
Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong was also present, and he suggested the crowd look into the possibilty of having the county acquire the land through the public access and open space commission process.