Black Pot closes amidst grumbling

Black Pot Beach Park in Hanalei was closed yesterday for clean-up and repair work, but it was pretty much business as usual for beachgoers and surfers.

Residents and visitors ignored a sign saying the park, pavilions and campground were closed for maintenance and continued to use the showers and other facilities.

According to one surfer who did not want to be identified, the police and county workers were at the park in the morning to make sure the public knew to stay away.

He said there was an issue about some items left on state property, but bulldozers came and moved the items.

“County personnel also assisted the state with the removal of a large container, equipment and supplies that were left on the state-owned portion of the park,” Kaua‘i County spokesperson Mary Daubert said. “In April, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources issued a notice to vacate the people occupying the state-owned portion of the park.”

The container belonged to Hanalei River Boatyard owner Mike Sheehan, who said officials also removed two horseshoe pits.

The Hanalei River Boatyard is located at the mouth of the Hanalei River, which is adjacent to Black Pot Beach Park.

“They removed a 30-year-old Matson container that I allowed some fishermen to store their fishing nets and canoe paddles,” Sheehan said. “They hauled it away to somewhere, I don’t know where.”

Sheehan said he was embarrassed by law enforcement present at the park just to remove a container, calling it “way overkill.”

Police Chief Darryl Perry said the police presence was a precaution in case there was a disturbance, “but nothing occurred,” he said.

According to Sheehan, approximately 20 Kaua‘i police officers, including K-9 dogs; 12 Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers — a division responsible for the enforcement activities of the Department and Land and Natural Resources — and 20 county employees with large equipment were at the park during the removal of the container.

“The state’s just playing games,” Sheehan said. “We’ll sort it out in the end. I’m not worried.”

Sheehan said he plans on replacing the container as soon as possible.

The park, pavilions and campground will be closed until the end of the month. Work will also be done on the park’s septic system, which was installed in 1990.

The current system will be upgraded to increase capacity and improve disposal; the work is expected to be finished by May 31.

Though the park is closed, the parking areas will be open to beachgoers, Daubert said.

A community workday at the park is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m.

The Hanalei Community Association and the Rotary Club of Hanalei will help paint the bathrooms, picnic tables and shower area.

For more information on the workday, contact Catherine Stovall at 241-6398 or cstovall@kauai.gov

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