Whodunit in Portlock over chopped down coconut trees

Published: Aug. 3, 2012 at 2:03 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 3, 2012 at 3:51 AM HST
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Adam Werner
Adam Werner
Jack Jelleti
Jack Jelleti

PORTLOCK, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The shoreline spot popularly known as "China Walls" is a magnet for fishermen, swimmers and surfers. And many of them are upset that someone cut down two small coconut trees that were there.

"It's a nice place to come and watch the whales in the wintertime and catch the sunsets, a beautiful place to watch the people enjoying themselves. I like it here," said area resident Jay Cordes.

The two trees had been part of the China Walls landscape for many years, but now, only two stumps remain.

"I noticed them about a week ago," said Adam Werner, who comes to China Walls to swim almost daily. "They're cut down and the heads of the trees are just laying down here." The tops of the trees, their fronds still green, were still laying near the stumps.

But who cut the trees?

Someone seemed to know: a handwritten sign was nailed to the stumps, placing the blame on the owner of a house in the neighborhood. The sign included the man's name and address.

"Everyone that hangs around here knows everyone around here," said swimmer Jack Jelleti. "I don't know why someone would just write his name."

"That's an allegation of course," said Cordes. "Who knows what really happened, other than that they are gone, and that's not a good thing for all the people who come down and enjoy the place."

We went to the address on the sign and spoke through an intercom. The person who answered said they didn't know about the trees being cut down, and added that it was park maintenance. The residents were also unaware that a sign had been posted, blaming them for the trees being cut down. One of the residents went down to China Walls and removed the sign shortly afterward.

The residents of the home did not want to be identified or interviewed on-camera. They said they don't like it when some people drink and use drugs in the park, but denied that they cut down the trees.

No matter who cut them down, the trees are missed.

"It's a sad thing because they were just a couple little small palm trees, but they just kinda sat out on their own and made some shade when you needed it," Cordes said.

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