Homeowner at center of Portlock beach access debate suffers stroke and wife blames city
EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The decades-long controversy over a Portlock beach access has taken a dramatic turn.
The homeowner's wife says her husband suffered a stroke because of a condemnation process and she's blaming a city Councilman.
Last month, the City Council approved a resolution to condemn and purchase the private Portlock lane after homeowner Bert Dohmen put up a gate blocking beach access.
Dohmen is founder and president of Dohmen Capital Research and commentator on CNBC, and his wife told Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chairman Natalie Iwasa in an October email that he'd suffered a stroke.
"Lack of timely and proper communication from the City Council members and the rush on our part to get legal representation in such short notice placed Bert in a life-threatening stress and anxiety," Santy Dohmen wrote.
She continued: "I'm sad, very sad and the truth is that I'm holding Councilman Trevor Ozawa personally responsible for what happened to my husband."
Ozawa had no reaction to the accusation.
"I just stick to the facts. All of the notices were followed. We've been following the correct process. There's no issue," he said.
Resolutions and hearings require a six-day notice and Ozawa says the process was followed. He introduced the resolution after the community objected to the blocked access
"There's a majority with the community and I'm going to stand with them," he said.
Dohmen did not want to be interviewed for this story, but in a text said that her husband "is not doing well."
Wayne Fujihara, Hawaii Kai resident who's fought for beach access at the lane, said he can see how the debate could cause stress.
"But," he added, "I don't think the process for gaining access is creating a person to have a stroke."
Iwasa, meanwhile, said she'd support more notification for people in the middle of tough land disputes.
This is the second time the city has moved to purchase the access lane. The prior attempt was mired in litigation and delay.
Ozawa says the condemnation process is now in the hands of the city and could take a year.
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