The COVID-19 Pandemic struck and all beaches were closed (DLNR State Parks first) - driving more folks indoors or to exercise on crowded sidewalks. Then the beaches were opened but only for exercise. Sitting on the sand between swims or reading a book, even 50 feet apart, was treated as a crime. Folks would jump up and run into the water when they saw the cops coming. Eventually stupid rules ended and sitting on the sand with appropriate distancing became legal.
COVID-19 can cause serious sickness effecting the brain and around that time the DLNR had a Jekyll & Hyde flip. After 33 years of choosing not to enforce its “No Nudity” law, the DLNR issued its first citation for nudity and commenced several acts of unkindness directed at the naturist community. The real purpose of law is to prevent harm to persons or property, and no harm was done by naturists. The “No Nudity” law is “malum prohibitum” meaning unlawful only by virtue of the statute. So for 33 years, the DLNR was on the right side of justice.
On May 2 all 3 Makena State Park Beaches were opened. A few days later, Little Beach alone was suddenly illegally closed and the above fence and notices installed. The closure lasted for about 4 weeks. The DLNR, disregarded the permissible closing conditions in the State Park rule HAR §13-146-4, but issued “closed area” citations under that rule to those entering the area. The DLNR/State Parks website May 2 opening announcement was subsequently altered to show that Little Beach was never opened. The DLNR said the closure was because one of their DOCARE officers had been harassed on Little Beach.
What really happened that caused Little Beach to be closed for about 4 weeks? An eye witness said that a DOCARE officer was enforcing Covid-19 Emergency Rules and some college students were not compliant (which was happening on every beach in the land). In this case the discourse did not go smoothly and the officer attempted to arrest an individual, which resulted in a scuffle. The officer called for backup and claimed he had been assaulted. No citations were issued. The individual who eluded arrest was not known to regular beachgoers and has not been seen on the beach since.
Whoever heard of a beach being closed over something so minor. This vindictive act knowingly penalized the uninvolved who were present and the thousands of Little Beach beachgoers who were not present? The DLNR was angry, and like the ancient gods, smote all the people. Was this the act of an anti-nudity bigot? The DLNR, having established that it was above the law, would repeat this vindictive behavior in 2021.
The illegal beach closure decision was made in an ivory tower without any regard for the purpose for which State Parks exist, as stated under law...
“HRS §184-6 Duties of department: The department of land and natural resources shall preserve the parks and parkways in the state park system in their natural condition so far as may be consistent with their use and safety, and improve them in such manner as to retain to a maximum extent their natural scenic, historic, and wildlife values for the use and enjoyment of the public.”
The DLNR shows no interest in the State Parks’ purpose and takes one step after the other to deprive the public of “use” and “enjoyment” - as recorded in subsequent articles.
On Sunday August 2, a Drum Circle day, Maui State Parks Superintendent, Larry Pacheco, escorted a DLNR photographer, sent by Honolulu on a spying trip. The goal: to record Little Beach beachgoers and catch them showing disregard for COVID-19 Emergency Rules. We have 2 Little Beach eye witnesses who spoke to them. At that time there was a mask and social distancing mandate for anyone moving around outdoors. The photograph at 6:32PM, shows Larry (behind) and the photographer without mask and social distancing, in “disregard of COVID-19 Emergency Rules.” Ironically the DNLR used “disregard of COVID-19 Emergency Rules” as an excuse to illegally close Little Beach for over 9 weeks in January 2021 - as recorded in the following article.
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