Aloha mai kakou, The battle at Naue this Tuesday is won but the fight rages on. Have a read. Mahalo nui loa for all the prayers and support. Our kupuna are watching us carefully in all we do. Hale Mawae Eo Lono! Building at burial site on hold by Michael Levine - the garden island WAINIHA — A controversial groundbreaking at an oceanfront Wainiha property was halted by Police Chief Darryl Perry at the 11th hour yesterday, saying construction could violate a law regarding desecration of burial sites. “Unless we have a directive or some kind of documentation or some kind of decision that is made at a higher level, as far as we’re concerned, if construction begins on this burial site, they’ll be in violation of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes,” Perry told protestors and workers. HRS 711-1107(b) defines burial site desecration as intentionally “defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the defendant knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant’s action,” tying it indelibly to community standards. “I’m aware of the statute and do not agree with his (Perry’s) interpretation,” said Walton Hong, attorney for property owner Joseph Brescia. Workers had already moved a gate and were preparing to enter the property, instruct protestors to leave, file trespassing complaints and begin construction when Perry had some 20 assembled Kaua‘i Police Department officers “stand down.” Perry announced that construction would not begin, drawing a loud round of cheers and mahalos from protestors, including some 30 men in matching black T-shirts who may have been “Lua” — members of a secretive ancient Hawaiian martial arts sect that serves as an unofficial police force. “We are here today as peacekeepers, to respect those that came before us and to respect the place in which they were laid to rest,” reads a written statement by Keone Kealoha. Kealoha declined to answer questions regarding the organization’s title or affiliations, saying only that they were a “group of cultural practitioners.” Ka‘iulani Huff, who had been camping for weeks on the abutting beach in protest, described yesterday as a “good victory for us. “I’m very proud of our police department today, and all the people that were here. I’m really proud of all of us that we made our stand and stood strong,” she said. Brescia has been trying to build a home on the land since 2001, but has been delayed by various environmental, legal and community challenges and forced to undergo numerous planning adjustments. The Kaua‘i Island Burial Council determined in April that some 30 burials discovered on the property in a December 2007 archaeological survey must be left in place in order for construction to begin. Hong said yesterday that, in light of the ruling, his client had submitted a burial plan to the State Historic Preservation Division, part of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. DLNR spokesperson Deborah Ward said the SHPD-approved burial plan ensured that the burials would not be moved through the use of buffers. “(T)he Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau Island Burial Council ... made their decision to preserve in place with full knowledge that (seven) of the iwi would be in the footprint of the house (which is on pilings),” Ward said via e-mail. “We rely on the burial council’s knowledge of culture and protocol to make the right decision.” Looking forward, KPD Assistant Chief Roy Asher said the issue will be addressed by the judicial system. “It’s in the courts now, which is where it belongs,” he said.

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  • Hale,

    HULO!!!! Good on you guys for standing up for what is just and right. Mahalo for putting yourselves "on the line" over and over. We send our blessings to you all, and hope that you
    know that you are in our prayers.

    Lorilani me Kapule
    • Mahalo nui loa Lorilani for all the prayers and support you and your ohana give to us in this time of deepest reflections and realizations of our cultural connections to our kupuna and to our past.

      Our past lives within us all, and we are mere reflections of it.

      To deny that in the simplest form would be to deny our own existence.

      E holo imua kakou ia kupa'a no kakou.

      Forward we move, together we stand.

      Hale Mawae
      Eo Lono!
      • Maika'i!!!

        I'm picturing the protestors and police officers.....what energy! Continue the fight as yes it is not over and I pray that you will all be protected, guided, and kept from harms way in all that you do in protection of the iwi there. You are all truly warriors to step up to the plate and made the difference of change well needed in protection of our past to secure our future.
  • In the courts, Brescia's jurisdiction, not Kanaka Maoli.
    • Court...bahahahaha. You've been served build your million dollar home in California. Leave our iwi's alone. Mahalo for the support Yolanda, and mahalo to Maui for the warm hospitality and love that reaches the highest peaks of Haleakala.

      Hale Mawae
      Eo Lono!
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