Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two News Articles: Problem of Camping Permits

People camping in Kapolei for camping permits
By Lisa Kubota
Nov 08, 2010

KAPOLEI - People are camping in Kapolei, but they're not out there for fun. They're waiting in line for camping permits that will be issued on Wednesday for Thanksgiving weekend. The line started forming early Monday morning outside Kapolei Hale.

"If you're not here by the time they're giving it out, you're gonna miss it," said Nanakuli resident Merle Luafalemana.

Luafalemana is one of roughly 400 people who signed a petition started by Morris and Thurston Kamealoha. The brothers want the city to open up more campsites along the Waianae coast.

"Being able to sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows, and just share stories with each other, for us, that's what makes the bond as a family stronger," said Thurston Kamealoha of Waianae.

Rep. Maile Shimabukuro and her son, Keani, being interviewed by HawaiiNewsNow's Lisa Kubota

"There's definitely not enough camping sites to go around on the Waianae Coast. It's probably a problem elsewhere as well," said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro.

Click here to watch the TV news report.

Petition urges more permits for camping
By Dan Nakaso
Star-Advertiser Nov 09, 2010

Morris and Thurston Kamealoha grew up camping along the beaches that line the Waianae Coast but now have to camp out at Kapolei Hale just to get a camping permit and want city officials to make it easier to gain overnight beach access.

As the city continues to enforce a ban on homeless beach campers, the brothers have collected 400 signatures urging city officials to grant more beach camping permits -- specifically for the Waianae Coast -- and have gained the support of state Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Waianae-Makaha-Makua).

The brothers plan to join others tonight who were already camping out at Kapolei Hale yesterday hoping for free beach permits for the Thanksgiving weekend.

"It's ridiculous that people have to go to these extremes," Shimabukuro said. "In the old days, people loved to camp out, before the crackdown on the homeless. It's sad because it never used to be this way in Waianae."

Oahu has a long tradition of people lining up for days and nights to gain free overnight camping permits for one of the estimated 250 sites at 14 city beach parks.

But the phenomenon is worse for people who live along the Waianae Coast, Shimabukuro said.

The Waianae Satellite City Hall no longer issues camping permits, forcing people to travel to Kapolei Hale to camp out overnight. And homeless people have learned how to snap up city camping permits, Shimabukuro said.

"The homeless compete for the regular permits that are available," she said.

She is urging city officials to issue more permits and install more bathrooms and parking spaces.

"There's a lot of pristine coastline with no bathrooms, no parking," Shimabukuro said.

City officials did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Shimabukuro released an e-mail she received from city Parks Director Les Chang that said city officials are developing an online permitting process that "should help minimize long lines and provide a more equitable opportunity for those seeking a recreational camping permit."

Click here to read the entire article.

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