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Tuesday, May 7, 2024
DOBOR Clears Bums and Junk Cars from Kahului Harbor
By News Release @ 9:12 PM :: 2129 Views :: Maui County, Homelessness


Second Phase of Clean-up

News release from DOBOR, May 7, 2024

(KAHULUI, MAUI) – With a large presence of workers from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), and under the watchful eye of officers with the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), today the public parking areas at the state’s Kahului Boat Harbor are relatively clean of camps, and more than five dozen vehicles, many of them abandoned.

Local towing operators, under contract to Maui County, put cars and trucks, some without tires or in various states of repair, onto flatbed trucks. Behind them, DOBOR staff and workers from a private contractor finished the work they started a week ago  cleaning up encampments.

For months, DOBOR Maui District Manager Paul Sensano received complaints about the conditions of harbor facilities. An initial clean-up in January was followed by last week’s and today’s. “It was quite an effort and as we’re winding down certain tasks did not get accomplished,” Sensano said.

More than a dozen vehicles were moved, by their owners, to a private strip of land next to the harbor, but the responsibility for what happens there is the landowner’s.

Some of the complaints involved illegal activities. Last week one person was stabbed and one man was arrested on an outstanding warrant and two other criminal charges.

Today, that man appeared to be preparing at least three of his cars for towing.

Several other vehicles, lacking wheels and tires, were dragged by their drivers across the dirt lot and onto the paved harbor entrance road.

DOBOR will be posting signs around the harbor, notifying people that only boat trailers with state permits and the trucks pulling them are allowed in the harbor between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. All others are subject to ticketing or towing.

Sensano noted that the issue of houseless camps in small boat harbors has changed over the years. “At Haleʻiwa Small Boat Harbor on O‘ahu, ten or fifteen years ago, many of the people camping long-term were older anglers, who just wanted to fish. Now some of the people in these encampments have severe substance abuse and mental health issues,” he said.

Social service providers have made numerous visits to the camps at Kahului, attempting to place people into transitionary or permanent housing. However, most decline.

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RESOURCES (All images/video courtesy: DLNR) 

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News Release from DOBOR, April 23, 2024 

(KAHULUI, MAUI) – Fifty-four trucks and cars, many inoperable, will be towed from the state’s Kahului Harbor on May 6. A team from the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) and officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement placed notices on each of the vehicles on Monday.

The notices warn owners that their car or truck is parked illegally in a state boating facility, which is a violation of one or more laws under Hawai‘i Administrative Rules. During yesterday’s posting, 27 people were also advised that the state and a contractor would be cleaning up the harbor on May 2 and 3.

Multiple community complaints have noted the accumulation of rubbish and personal items throughout the harbor’s open areas and parking lots. People living at the harbor are advised to pack up their personal belongings, and anything left behind will be hauled off.

Social services providers have been visiting the harbor daily for the past two months and 10 individuals accepted assistance and have moved into temporary or transitional housing. Maui County is holding space for the remaining people should they decide to transition into more permanent housing.

DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood said, “We recognize the plight houseless individuals face and the extraordinary high cost of living on Maui and across the state. However, our boating facilities are open to everyone and it is not appropriate for certain individuals to decide to set up living quarters and to literally trash out places that are owned by all the citizens of Hawai‘i. Currently the harbor area looks like an abandoned vehicle junk yard and we have an obligation to make sure it is clean for the many boaters, fishers, and recreationalists who utilize our facilities on a daily basis.

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SN: 54 vehicles to be towed from Kahului Harbor on May 6


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