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Hawaiians sue over use of Mauna Kea Access Road

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Video by Cassie Ordonio / cordonio@staradvertiser.com
Three Native Hawaiian beneficiaries sued the state Thursday over the use of Mauna Kea Access Road.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JULY 18
                                Vehicles pass by near the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Daniel K. Inouye Highway.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JULY 18

Vehicles pass by near the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JULY 18
                                Vehicles pass by near the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

Three Native Hawaiian beneficiaries sued the state today claiming that it has violated the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act by using Mauna Kea Access Road without any compensation.

The lawsuit further contends that the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands violated its trust duties by doing nothing to stop the use of the road.

Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele, Edward Halealoha Ayau and Kelii “Skippy” Ioane argue the 6.27-mile stretch of road is part of the Hawaiian home lands inventory and therefore being used without proper authorization. State officials say the road is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.

The road runs from Daniel K. Inouye Highway to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station, which is 9,200-foot above sea level. It’s about 4,600 feet more to the summit.

The nonprofit Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. filed the lawsuit on behalf of the beneficiaries today in state Circuit Court.

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