Tempers flare at community meeting on Waimanalo park project

At one point, the police were even called.
Published: Jun. 11, 2019 at 4:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tears were shed and tempers flared Monday night at a community meeting to discuss a controversial city park project in Waimanalo.

At one point, the police were even called.

But eventually, the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board did come to decision, passing a resolution that urges the city to stop construction of the new athletic field immediately.

"Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Chair Ikaika Anderson, and the City and County of Honolulu are urged to stop further destruction of Sherwood Forest by halting the Phase 1 project immediately,” said board member Kukana Kama-Toth, reading from the resolution.

The Waimanalo community has been deeply divided since heavy equipment broke ground in April at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park ― also known as Sherwoods.

Those emotions were on display at the board meeting as heated words were exchanged and tears shed. But all that tension also prompted some board members to change their minds about the project.

The city’s master plan to cut down trees at Sherwood Forest and build a multi-purpose athletic field was approved in 2012.

But some community members say those plans are now outdated, traffic has changed since then and they’d rather the county repair existing parks in the community.

In his State of the City address last month, Mayor Kirk Caldwell promised protesters the city would plant more native trees than had been cut down.

But, he added, phase 1 would continue.

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