Mokuleia Beach residents not budging to vacate park

Published: Jun. 16, 2008 at 8:36 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 16, 2008 at 11:59 PM HST
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Craig Thistleton
Craig Thistleton
Marie Beltran
Marie Beltran

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

MOKULEIA BEACH PARK (KHNL) - Deadline day for families who call Mokuleia Beach Park home.

By 7:30 Monday night, they will be asked to move out for good.

The City says the move is an effort to make Hawaii's beaches safer.

But families who call the park "home" say they're not going anywhere.

From originally about fifty down to only a handful still living at the beach park, residents say if you want to kick us off the area, prove it's yours first.

It's the final cleanup of Mokuleia Beach Park.

While City and County crews clean up the clutter, Marie Beltran keeps a close watch. She says she's not going anywhere. She's putting her foot down.

"If they want to evict somebody show proof of ownership," said Beltran. "The City and County say they own it, prove it."

But the City says they do own the rights to the park, and since there's no lighting or water, the area is a hazard to overnight stays. Still, the 15-year resident of the park says she's not budging.

"What if they try to arrest you?"

Then they're breaking their own laws for trespassing because they're all illegally trespassing here and that's the way I see it."

The City says it's offered residents help in transitioning out of the area, but so far those living here say the only aid has been the Waikiki Health Center.

"We try to give them support," said Craig Thistleton of the Waikiki Health Center. "They know if we're coming and they're sick they know our nurses are going to be here to give them whatever they need."

While the park does officially close at 7:30 starting Monday night, the City says permits will be required to use the park overnight, but only for special events.