There is no doubt Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a smart guy and he has tons of very smart lawyers. He's also considered politically sensitive and liberal. So it's hard to imagine how he managed to turn the Hawaiian community against him.
Zuckerberg is using the courts to acquire multiple parcels within his 700-acre property on Kauai's North shore. In other places, the only issue would be how much he could pay. But these parcels are Kuleana lots -- an ancestral heritage from the Hawaiians who lived there generations ago to their descendants.
Many families and their many supporters are prepared to fiercely protect that inheritance.
From a legal standpoint, buying a huge tract of land in Hawaii which is dotted with Kuleana parcels is like buying a former battlefield complete with land mines. Many of the parcels are isolated, surrounded by other landowners, but by law their owners are entitled to access.
Other large landowners have learned how to accommodate their Kuleana neighbors. Like all the rest of us who live here, Zuckerberg should accept that sharing the precious things of paradise is a big part of what makes Hawaii special.
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