Sign wavers try to save Kahana Valley families from eviction
By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email
KAHANA VALLEY (KHNL) - Time is running out for six families living in Kahana Valley in Windward Oahu. Unless the state, which owns the land they live on, changes its mind, the families are spending their final days in their homes.
Dozens of people took part in a sign-waving effort Thursday, hoping to save the families who have lived there for generations.
Bearing pouty lips, children from Kahana Valley hope Santa will save their homes.
"Sad 'cause they're going to knock it down," 8-year-old Tommy Girl Iereoneo-Leota said.
Next door, Thoran Evans struggles to move his furniture. Looking around his home of more than four decades, we see he has a whole lot more to pack up.
"It's kind of heart-wrenching," Evans said. "I mean, as you can see, a lifetime of things to move in 72 hours."
Six families living in the valley say they received eviction notices from the state, giving them until 6 am Monday to clear out. If they don't, they risk getting arrested for trespassing.
"They asked us to qualify for a lease and this, that, and we met the requirements," Evans said. "And then all of the sudden, it's like, you know, they lead, they lead us on and all of the sudden, no new leases will be issued."
Calling the evictions cruel and unjust, the families plan to take their message to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday. They say it's their last-ditch effort to avoid winding up on the streets.
"Where are you going to go?" this reporter asked.
"Homeless. From here, homeless," Evans replied. "My children are taking it very hard. We were looking forward to a decent Christmas and now, where do you spend Christmas?"
According to Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesperson Debra Ward, the Attorney General's opinion is the state has no legal authority to issue new leases and "that's the bottom line."