(BIVN) – One man operating heavy machinery alone at Punalu’u Beach Park stirred up a lot of controversy in Ka’u.
Local residents confronted Simon Valej over the unpermitted work at the historic Punalu’u Wharf. The commercial boat operator had plans to run lava tours from the boat ramp area.
Video of the intervention went viral on social media and got the attention of state and county officials.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources came down hard on Velaj, recommending thousands of dollars in fines for the alleged violations. Valej went before the land board later in 2017 to plead his case.