Kahuku Village resident Genevieve Boretta, 55, was booked Thursday on charges of terroristic threatening and reckless endangerment after allegedly pointing a pellet gun at workers hired by land developer Continental Pacific, LLC. One of the men told police Boretta fired several shots in their direction.
Boretta admitted to brandishing a pellet gun in an interview with KITV4, but said she did so only after workers continued to bring down a monkey pod tree after she told them to stop.
“I told them they couldn’t touch the tree,” said Borreta. “I could've tied myself to the tree if I knew they were going to cut it. “
Boretta’s arrest is just the latest salvo in what has been a confrontational relationship between Continental Pacific and some longtime residents of the village.
“I got a little carried away,” Boretta said apologetically, “but I'm fighting for us, you know, the people of the community.”
Purchased in August, 2006 from Campbell Estates, Kahuku Village encompasses 71 rural lots in an area just mauka of the Kahuku Golf Course. In November, Continental Pacific offered residents the opportunity to purchase 10,000 to 15,000 square foot lots, fee simple, for $150,000.
Continental Pacific attorney Lex Smith said 17 families accepted the offer, with two sales completed so far and 15 others in escrow. Smith said the developer rescinded the purchase offer at the end of December.
“We have made every effort to try to be up front with them,” Smith said of his client’s attempts to reach a compromise with residents. “We offered every lessee out there the chance to buy their home. We offered them for $150,000, which we thought was a very good price.”
Continental Pacific successfully divided the village into a condominium property regime, and has 30 lots remaining at a price range of $300,000 to $400,000.
Residents who decided against purchasing their rental properties are now living on month-to-month leases, or like Boretta, have received eviction notices.
“Right now, we're waiting for the sheriff, that's all we can do,” said Boretta
Other longtime residents like Valerie Roberts lament the uncertainty the standoff with Continental Pacific has caused, noting that her 96-year-old mother is one of two remaining spouses whose husbands worked at the sugar mill.
“A lot of people have gotten evictions, (and) I'm one of them,” said Roberts. “You know, there's generations here, and what they're doing, I think is so wrong."
Residents, particularly those who are native Hawaiian, have also objected to how Continental Pacific has treated iwi discovered during construction activities. However, the developer says it followed every state law and regulation regarding two finds, one last July, and another just last month.
“We had an archeologist on site who made both finds, and everything has been done in coordination with, and at the direction of the State Historic Preservation Division,” said Smith.