KPD & DLNR get it backwards

SUBHEAD: Fire! Aim! Ready! As usual DLNR, it has become an agency to privatize public land and restrict public access to it.

 By Paul Curtis on 21 July 2010 in The Garden Islands News - 

  Image above: Kimo Rosen and friend in Kapaa, Kauai. 

Action Alert! The County of Kauai’s Public Access, Open Space & Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission is currently taking input as to which land to acquire. You can suggest acquiring public access to this trail from Kawaihau to Kapaa (from Mahelona campus to Kawaihau Road near the Kuhio Highway intersection). Here is the link for the survey:

[IBEditor's note: Read this article carefully. It is obvious that Paul Curtis and Beth Tokioka are doing the PR for the effort of KPD and the DLNR to rationalize the closure of walking access from Kawaihau to Kapaa on public land because a Kauai police officer simply doesn't like it. It seems obvious that the KPD put pressure on the local DLNR. The article reports that the new DLNR statewide chief of enforcement, Mark Young, said the posting is a first step in a two-step process that requires the BLNR approval where access is to be limited on trails or other uses. To me that means the BLNR must meet and decide on access restriction before a "No Tresspassing" sign goes up. The KPD and the DLNR have got things 180 degrees backward. They went after Kimo Rosen before a sign was up, then put the sign up and perhaps now will have a BLNR meeting to determine if the access should be closed. The KPD, under Daryl Perry, has become a private army. Does Lt. Michael Contrades' KPAL fiefdom have reason to be fearful of the public? I'd say ther public has reason to fear him. As for the DLNR, it has become an agency to privatize public land and restrict public access to it.]

A Kapaa man said he remains traumatized nearly three weeks after three Kaua‘i Police Department officers delivered him a written warning of trespassing on July 2.

James “Kimo” Rosen, a resident of elderly rental apartments on the makai end of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital campus, said he and the officers videotaped each other during the visit, and he refused to sign the written warning.

He and other residents young and old have used an unimproved trail across state Department of Land and Natural Resources property from the southeasterly corner of the Mahelona campus leading down to Kawaihau Road near the Kuhio Highway intersection as an alternative route to downtown Kapa‘a.

That traditional access now sports DLNR “No Trespassing” signs, with Rosen saying a personal rift between him and KPD Lt. Michael Contrades led to the posting of the signs.

Contrades has been spearheading a project to convert a building on the Mahelona campus into a Kaua‘i Police Activities League youth center, the building smack between Rosen’s apartment and the trailhead.

Rosen said he complained and sent photos to DLNR officials of debris blocking the trailhead. The DLNR subsequently instructed police to remove the debris. Then Contrades sent three KPD officers to Rosen’s home on the county’s first furlough Friday to give him the written trespassing warning, Rosen said.

The fact that three officers, with video cameras, and three squad cars responded, shook him up just because of the apparent show of force, he said.

His neighbors peering out their windows to check out the action exacerbated the situation, to a point where Rosen said he now finds himself carefully parting his curtains to see who is knocking on his door these days.

“In this instance KPD was just enforcing the law — period,” said Beth Tokioka, executive assistant to Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

Rosen said some members of the County Council suggested he should file a complaint with the Police Commission. The police chief agreed.

“I would recommend, in light of these serious allegations, that Mr. Rosen make a formal complaint to the Kaua‘i Police Commission against the chief of police because I am ultimately responsible for the actions taken by my subordinates,” KPD Chief Darryl Perry said.

“With regard to this situation, because there are possible criminal implications with respect to trespassing, I cannot comment on Mr. Rosen’s claims and allegations as these matters would taint the judiciary process should we go to court,” Perry said.

“However, I will state emphatically that KPD officers and Lieutenant Contrades did conduct themselves professionally, and as with any criminal investigation we have evidence to support our position,” the chief said. “On that note, I would like to say that KPD has no ill feelings toward Mr. Rosen and we will defend his constitutional rights at all costs, but we will not stand idle to anyone who breaks the law, nor will we cower down to individuals who threaten to go ‘viral’ as Mr. Rosen has stated on a popular website.”

Trail-closure procedure
Regarding the placement of “No Trespassing” signs at both ends of the DLNR land, new statewide chief of enforcement in the DLNR Division of Conversation and Resources Enforcement, Mark Young, said the posting is a first step in a two-step process that requires state Board of Land and Natural Resources approval where access is to be limited on “unencumbered lands,” or that DLNR property with no structures, trails or other uses.

They can be closed for protection of people or the land itself, according to Young and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules pertaining to unencumbered lands.

Young said the safety of people using the heavily wooded trail, especially at night, is an ongoing DLNR concern.

Rosen said the now-closed trail was a safer way of accessing downtown Kapa‘a, minimizing time on the busier Kawaihau Road.

State and county officials said an approved access route, off of Iwaena Road, is suitable, despite Rosen’s claims that it is steep and unsafe.

“There is an alternate route that is not on the highway,” said Young.

“A legal path exists off Iwaena Road, which meets Kawaihau Road near Kuhio Highway,” said Tokioka. “This legal access has been in use for over 30 years.”

KPAL facility private
“The KPAL property is privately owned and like all other privately owned property there are liability concerns and no one should access the property without permission from KPAL,” said Tokioka.

“The property was previously in disrepair and the building was covered in graffiti and used for illegal activity,” she said in an e-mail.

“Through the generosity of numerous community members including private citizens, businesses, police officers and other government employees, charitable foundations and construction companies, the property is in pristine condition and will soon open to serve the youth of our community,” Tokioka said.

Rosen asked if Contrades and his officers could teach the keiki at the youth center lessons on sharing their little clubhouse with their senior neighbors that need access to a safe way to get to Kapa‘a town.

“It’s called ‘aloha,’” he said.

Larry Knowlton, occupant in another of the apartments in the same complex as Rosen, treks the trail five times a week into Kapa‘a town, doesn’t own a car, and suffers from arthritis and osteoporosis, he said.

“It’s going to be hard if I have to walk all the way around,” said Knowlton, who said he has fallen on the steeper, approved, partially paved pedestrian access between the hospital grounds and Kawaihau Road.

“It’s too dangerous to walk on Kawaihau Road,” said Knowlton, who has lived on the Mahelona campus for 21 years.

“Besides the harassment it’s a safety issue,” said Rosen, who said the trail was a topic of discussion at this week’s lessees’ meeting.
See also:
Ea O Ka Aina:DLNR sign modified for police? 7/20/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Police Block Public Access 7/8/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Hands Across the Sand Westside 6/27/10
Island Breath: Don't Busta Move Dayne 5/5/08
Island Breath: PMRF Security out of control 11/16/07
Island Breath: KPD & Kingdom of Atooi 12/7/07

1 comment :

KimoRosen said...

Juan, also note the photo Paul Curtis ran with his article that said "Private property," was put up after the harassment and warning.

The article was about a "no camping sign." Not about a sign that was erected days after my warning was issued. I am asking TGI for a retraction in corrections, I hope they do so.


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