Farmers Market Looking For Home

Haleiwa Farmers’ Market (HFM) operators and vendors voiced their displeasure June 17 over the closing of the three-year-old market at the town’s entrance.

The closure came after failed attempts between the operators and the state to reach an agreement that would have let the market remain at that location. The “No Trespassing” signs were put up June 15, after the products had been readied for sale, according to those involved.

“I cannot believe this is happening at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon when all our vendors have already picked and prepared their products for the Sunday market,” said market manager Pamela Boyar. “The governor assured us that we would not miss a market day, so this change of events is a big surprise for us.”

The market had been open since 2009, but its site became an issue last year when it was determined to still be part of a highway right of way. The state completed the Joseph P. Leong Bypass in 1993, and the 2.5-acre parcel become an unused dead end. State law forbids the sale of goods along highways. The state recommended moving to Waialua Courthouse, Liliuokalani Church or Waimea Valley. But each alternative has significant challenges, said organizers. Among the concerns is commercial activity at the church on Sundays, limited parking and delivery problems at the courthouse, and the possible need for a footbridge at Waimea Valley.

Gov. Abercrombie said at a June 15 news conference that the problem lies with organizers’ inability to come to an agreement.

“This was a business proposal for a couple of people out there, and we were just not able to come to a conclusion.

“When people simply don’t want to say yes, it’s very difficult to come to an accommodation. It takes two to negotiate.”