Free night fishermen from rules for the homeless
The City and police have done all they can to clear out the homeless from the beaches and parks on the Leeward coast. In doing so, they have extended these rules and prohibitions to the activities of people who fish at night. In Ewa fishermen are required to park outside of Oneula Park and have to walk to their fishing spot which is three to four hundred yards away because the driveways are blocked to prevent the homeless from camping at night. In Waianae and Nanakuli fishermen are warned not to park on the makai (ocean) side of Farrington Highway which runs parallel to the old railroad tracks and beach walls. This causes a hardship as some fishermen need to haul heavy nets and equipment to the beach from their cars. They are now required to park across the highway on the mauka (mountain) side which requires more time and effort to transport their fishing gear. When their cars are not in sight, they become easy targets for vandals and thieves as the highway and streets are hidden from view and are poorly lit on the Leeward coast. For those who still park near the beach wall and railroad tracks as they have done in the past, there is always the fear of police issuing a parking citation. Once these fishermen reach the beach, they are harassed about their camping setup or personal conveniences and shelter. Suspecting they are homeless people or thinking they wish to live on the beach, the police are obstinate about requiring that their shelters have no sides or walls which provide them extra protection from the wind and rain while fishing.
The Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board and the Ewa Neighborhood Board have heard numerous complaints and concerns about how the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is enforcing rules and regulations on the beach at night. Citizens in Ewa are indignant because the City neglects to provide safe conditions in the Oneula Park at night. Many are afraid that fishing at night as a traditional recreation for family and friends cannot continue with these stringent rules and laws. We need to ensure the public about the safety and convenience of fishing at night on the beach. The HPD and City also should be more compassionate about the needs of many individuals who depend on fishing at night to provide food for their families.