County orders Hilo Farmers Market to remove tarps

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Merchants use pop-up tents Monday at the Hilo Farmers Market.

The Hilo Farmers Market has been ordered to remove its tarps by the county for zoning and fire safety violations.

Manager Keith De La Cruz sent a message to the market’s vendors on Saturday to inform them the remove their tarps, tents, poles, produce boxes and other items by the end of the day.


“I have been working in good faith to resolve notices of violations received from the County since June 2017. It has been a long and complex process. The County has since issued an Order to remove all existing tarps immediately,” De La Cruz wrote.

“… Vendors will need to purchase their own pop up tents; 10’x10’, straight legged, white color tarp recommended. We will need to … take down the pop up tents at the end of each market.”

The market was closed on Sunday and reopened Monday with a number of vendors under the new pop-up tents.

“Why did Keith leave this whole issue until the last minute and also why did he not inform the vendors as to the problem the County has with the tarps as he had them?” one vendor, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said. “The vendors have all been in the dark about these issues and the cause of this present situation.”


A more detailed version of this story will appear in Tuesday’s Tribune-Herald.

Email John Burnett at

  1. FYI March 26, 2018 2:42 pm

    This practice was going on for many years and only now, right before Merrie Monarch, County is changing it? Same like having the hula halaus using the county gyms. Come on, Harry!

    1. Steve Dearing March 26, 2018 3:06 pm

      This is what demo rats do, they only make matters worse and lying Harry is one of the worst.

  2. leilani March 26, 2018 4:11 pm

    Is the City and County of Hawaii against the Merrie Monarch or what? Why is this happening right before the festival, last time the county said merrie monarch halau’s couldn’t use gym’s and schools’s because of fire hazards now it’s farmer’s markets, when they’ve been using tarps forever.. What’s going on with Mayor Harry Kim and this county of Hawaii..

    1. Shrewd Fallstar March 27, 2018 12:58 am

      Honolulu really, really wants this festival, is what’s up. They’re courting Harry to sabotage, perhaps.

      Hilo has made itself vulnerable to losing Merry Monarch through poor organization and promotion.

      Step it up, or say good bye, is my guess.

      1. leilani March 27, 2018 9:29 pm

        You know what, you make sense about Honolulu wanting this festival because they need every cent they can get for that Fail Rail. And if the governor wants it there I could imagine some kind of deal being made between him and mayor Kim, I wouldn’t put it past them, it’s politics.

        But it has nothing to do with Aunty Luana and those who run the festival. They’re always doing their best imo.

  3. kalopaboy March 26, 2018 6:06 pm

    For 30 years, no problem. One more example of the little guys being crushed by the civil service chair warmers plopped in air conned offices. It is difficult enough for all of these people to scratch out a living down there and now what? Exactly what? Really sounds like something a trump buffoon would do. So much for the Aloha Spirit. I’m guessing the county couldn’t figure out how to wring more money out of these hardworking people so they rec’vd the one day notice. Obviously HK isn’t running again. Time to clean house.

    1. KonaRich March 27, 2018 10:46 am

      I was all with you and ready to up vote you until the trump buffoon comment, very uncalled for. Trump ran on, for every new regulation you make 2 must be eliminated, and of now there has been much more than 2 eliminated. Ige or Kim would never do anything like that.
      If your beliefs stay like it is, you and like minded folks like you will never be able to clean house, imo. It’s the east side that pick the mayor no help from west side, so voting name, this is what happens. Just wait tell Kim gets homeless tent cities over your side you’ll love’em look at LA Cal. to see.

      1. kalopaboy March 27, 2018 6:53 pm

        KR, If you believe calling the con man in chief or his sycophants a buffoon is “very uncalled for”, then I’m guessing you live on the California hi-nose side of BI? I was really attempting to sugar coat my feelings irt the fake president. None the less, what happened to the Hilo downtown market was, in my view, short sighted and non-sensical. HK and cohorts will hopefully be voted out next election or won’t run again. Even then, I’m doubtful that the swamp will be drained, but it could be a start. In addition if tents can keep the homeless dry and sheltered, then I’m for them. I do not want to see people shivering in the rain. I don’t feel threatened by them, but am concerned about their well being. I will never feel that I am better than them….never.

        1. KonaRich March 28, 2018 9:45 am

          So calling me a “California hi-nose”. So if it makes you feel better about yourself so be it. Most of this side would truly like to see HK go just like yourself remember the ancient proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” go out an stump for a better candidate on the Hilo side where it will do more good. MAGA

          1. kalopaboy March 28, 2018 11:01 am

            KR, read it again. I never called you a California hi nose. Only guessed you lived on the hi nose side of BI.

          2. KonaRich March 28, 2018 2:34 pm

            So what gave you the clue I lived on the California-hi nose side of this great Hawaiian Island, Maybe the handle Kona Rich, another clue is my first name is Richard. Your argument about not calling me one is slim at best. I am going to guess you will be calling me a racist for what ever the reason. I’m still with you for wanting a better Hawaii county government, not so much by putting people down for where they live or what they believe in.

          3. kalopaboy March 28, 2018 2:52 pm

            KR, 1) I have zero idea that you are a racist, 2) correct, your handle maybe, the way you write, probably, 3) that we both would like to see an improved BI County government, without question.

  4. Shrewd Fallstar March 27, 2018 1:08 am

    Hilo Farmers Market was the first in America to accept EBT, as it should be. Kudos.

    The Market is also very poorly run. Money for improvements a few years back were supposed to be to address these tents / overhanging, I was told by mgmt.
    All that happened was a food shack / restaurant. (Profits for the market?)

    Worse Flaw, imo: Well run markets have strict rules about featuring only LOCAL growers, LOCAL artists. And the vendor has to be present at their stands, w/ a few exceptions. (5 markets per year someone else can run a vendors stand, in Portland.)
    In Hilo? Mass produced junk is interspersed with real crafters and artists. And who even knows about much of the food vendors.
    This sullies the Market over all and hurts the real farmers and artists.

    Better to have a smaller, real Market.

  5. Keoni Yamada March 27, 2018 5:14 am

    HGEA govmnt job-for-life petty tyrants don’t give a $hit about
    anything other than their own incompetent egos.
    Our politicians don’t either.
    So one of the very few things in Hilo that actually works well, solely
    because it’s free-market capitalism at a grass roots level, gets squished like a bug by petty & jealous govmnt punks enforcing stupid & impractical building codes that were approved but never read by our limp-assed county councils.
    We suck.
    They ain’t here to help anyone but themselves.
    This is how the Arab Spring started, and set the Middle East on fire.
    26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi was getting ready to sell fruits and vegetables in the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. He had been shaken down and harassed for several years. He was the sole breadwinner for his widowed mother and six siblings, but he didn’t have a permit to sell the goods. It wasn’t needed. When the police asked Bouazizi to hand over his wooden cart or pay a fine, he refused and a policewoman slapped him.
    Angered after being publicly humiliated, and years of petty abuse, Bouazizi marched in front of a government building and set himself on fire.
    One of his sisters stated, “What kind of repression do you imagine it takes for a young man to do this? A man who has to feed his family by buying goods on credit when they fine him…and take his goods. In Sidi Bouzid, those with no connections and no money for bribes are humiliated and insulted and not allowed to live.”
    Tunisia later made a postage stamp in his honor.
    After a revolution.

  6. MDK 88 March 28, 2018 2:19 am

    Ask Jeffery Darrow

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