Saturday, February 2, 2002

Kanahele catches up on rent

His Aloha First group leases land
from the state in Waimanalo

By Mary Adamski

Hawaiian activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele got straight with his landlord yesterday, paying $3,000 in back rent and penalties to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.

Kanahele also paid a $6,000 performance bond required by the state for the lease of 45 acres in Waimanalo Agricultural Park.

The lease, held by Aloha First, a nonprofit organization, covers land occupied by about 80 people. Kanahele said the residents raise taro for their own consumption and have planted ti as a potential cash crop.

"Before we think of cash crops, we have a lot of clearing to do" on the land, which was covered with eucalyptus trees, he said yesterday.

Last month, the Land Board proposed canceling the lease because the residents' organization was in arrears in rent. The board also required them to prepare a soil and water conservation plan, which, Kanahele said, is in the works.

The lease was signed March 30. Kanahele said he did not think the next increment of lease rent was due until the beginning of the second year, April 1.

Kanahele and members of Nation of Hawaii, a sovereignty group he founded, have occupied the Waimanalo land since 1994. They occupied Makapuu Lighthouse land for several months before that while pressing the state for a lease.

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