General News: Noted author's home in Lehaina demolished by 'Residents' Association'

The house surrounded by oleander bushes on the beach of Lehaina that once housed the celebrated Greek author Andreas Karkavitsas no longer exists, demolished by the local Residents Association in a decision taken during one of their general meetings.
The owners of surrounding properties - which, in a note of irony, are mostly built without planning permission and are themselves candidates for demolition by the proper authorities - justified their action by claiming that the house was in ruins and a "source of infection".
The small house was knocked down on Wednesday, without notifying the descendants of the author, who claim that local residents had also blocked their efforts to carry out repairs on the property.
The action has caused a storm of protest in the local community, environmental groups and the Lehaia Education Union 'Andreas Karkavitsas'.
"The only house that should be preserved on the beach of Agios Panteleimonas in Lehaina is the 'house of Karkavitsas' that was levelled two days ago by the (illegal) Residents' Association with the excuse that it was in ruins and a source of infection!" they note in an angry announcement.
They also point out that the local resident's association had no right to knock down anything on a public beach and that the hundreds of buildings erected along the beach had been declared unauthorised and illegal since 1997.
The house was built by Karkavitsas' brother Costas (1871-1959), himself an author and benefactor of the local community.
The Andravida Deputy Mayor in charge of technical services, found clearing the beach of the rubble from the demolition immediately after the house was knocked down, denied that the municipality had been involved in the decision.
He said that the head of the residents' association Zoi Tsourapa had called the municipality in to clear the beach but that local officials were not aware whose house had been knocked down.
"If this had happened, I would have reacted differently," he added.
Tsourapa claimed that the house was in any case a ruin, with essentially just one wall left standing. This claim was disputed by owner Evgenia Adamopoulou, the grand-daughter of Karkavitsas' sister, who said that she had not been notified until even the rubble was cleared away and intended to sue.
Adamopoulou also noted that, in an ironic twist, the residents had used the presence of the small house to have their illegal buildings along the beach defined as a settlement when authorities attempted to know down the unauthorised buildings along the beach in 2001.
"Later, they started a war. Every time we wanted to repair it they sent the police," she said.

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