Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “Town Hall Meeting” in Kahuku – a Dog and Pony Show

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “Town Hall Meeting” in Kahuku – a Dog and Pony Show:

First, the Press Releases about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “town hall meeting” from his office are dispersed to the various social media outlets:

City Hall is coming to Ko’olauloa Nov. 19 when the mayor brings his cabinet to Kahuku High School cafeteria for a town hall meeting.

The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and is designed to address area residents’ concerns about road and sewer infrastructure, bus service, park maintenance and events, efforts to tackle the homelessness problem and more. 

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his department directors also will report on the administration’s priorities. The public is encouraged to participate and make suggestions.”

Jesse Broder Van Dyke

Communications Director

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Direct: (808) 768-6928

Cell: (808) 489-0341

jbrodervandyke@honolulu.gov

The Kahuku Town Hall Meeting was met with a protest outside the Kahuku High School by citizens against Caldwell’s agenda to cement the Country. But the Mayor’s televised show did not disclose any of that.

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About half of those in attendance were his cabinet members and city employees. The first four rows of the Kahuku High School cafeteria were occupied by his entourage who provided robust applause for the Mayor. The middle section of the cafeteria was occupied by more of the Mayor’s entourage, with some refreshments spread out on the table.

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There were approximately 50 city employees. Others in attendance were recognized community activists and citizens. There was less than a handful of known Caldwell supporters.  Steven Wheelwright  – Brigham Young University-Hawaii President – and his wife were there for a short period. David Lewis, BYU-H Vice-President of Construction was a lone figure with his baby blue Envision Laie t-shirt. There were also policemen and several plainclothes policemen.

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The Mayor used all the right words and pushed the right political buttons using his “Waipahu roots”, peppered with some pidginspeak, and he didn’t forget to remind the audience of his “compassion”.  But his showmanship did not fool the astute citizens.

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Marisa Yamane and Joe Moore from Khon 2 TV  reported a more accurate description of what happened at the Town Hall meeting with Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

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The meeting was tightly-controlled. There was no direct questioning. Those who wanted to “participate” had to write their questions on a piece of paper to be submitted to the mayor.  They requested name, address and email address. There was no opportunity for clarifications or rebuttal during this promotional tour that was on the city’s dime.

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Some found the music -“All Hawaii Stand Together” written by Uncle Liko Martin – used by Caldwell insulting and ironic. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has not met a development he does not like. Hawaiians are up in arms against the disappearance of their inheritances, aina, values and culture. Ko’olauloa is one of very last regions that has some semblance of local lifestyle.

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Hawaii News Now Rick Daysog‘s reporting lacked objectivity, including the following:

“The mayor’s town hall meeting at Kahuku High School on Tuesday was well attended by groups both in favor and opposed to the Koolau Loa Sustainability plan.”

Reality: The mayor’s entourage made up half the attendance. There were less than a dozen Caldwell supporters. The rest were residents and Defend Oahu Coalition members who wanted an honest discussion, that never took place.

DSC08984Daysod interviewed former state lawmaker Bob Nakata who said, ” he supported the city’s transit-oriented development plan because it promised to confine large-scale construction to urban areas. But now he’s changing his mind.

“This Malaekahana development will make Laie and Kahuku one big urban area,” said Nakata.

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Here are some grassroots reactions to the “Town Hall Meeting”:

Hauula Resident Joshua Noga: Mayor Town Hall Meeting More of a Campaign Stop. Last night Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell came to Kahuku High School Cafeteria along with forty of his staff to meet with Ko’olau Loa residents in what he called a town hall meeting. The meeting was anything but a town hall meeting, but resembled more of a stop on his campaign trail. I have never been to a town hall meeting where the public were not able to express their concerns directly but was instead told to write their questions down on a piece of paper. The questions were hand picked by the mayor as to which he would answer and were then read aloud by a member of his staff.

Community members present watched in amazement as the mayor thumbed through questions, his face turned red with embarrassment as he looked for safe questions to answer. Let it be known that Mayor Caldwell supports an urbanization plan that looks to amend the Oahu General Plan, a plan that would violate native Hawaiian tenant rights of kuleana landholders, rezone state-districted Ag lands in Malaekahana, and rezone Laie as resort community like Waikiki. Let also be known that the Ko’olau Loa Hawaiian Civic, Waikane-Waiahole Community Association, Kaaawa Community Association, Friends of Kahana, Punalu’u Community, Hauula Community Association,  and neighborhood boards from Manoa to Ewa oppose the urbanization of Ko’olau Loa currently known as Bill 47. Keep the Country COUNTRY!
Joshua Noga- Hauula, HI
Ko’olau Loa Hawaiian Civic Club

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Ka’a’awa Resident:  Andrea Peatmoss:

“The ‘presentations’ section was too long. Since our sole 2 lane Kamehameha Highway is a State road, the long pothole story was too long; and we won’t have much to do with Rail and only Laie has a sewer, ( still on federal consent decree that taxpayers now pay for it sounded like, but you couldn’t ask questions until after), a lot was largely irrelevant to most people.

Mayor Caldwell whizzed thru one Envision Laie question -again only a written question – and said nobody will be happy with the results, more or less. He focused on a Kahuku has such close ohana tradition plantation camp but too many generations in a house issue to Then you were to talk to the individual staff afterwards- which was difficult physically to stand around to do – and as you waited you couldn’t really hear if the person before you had just asked the same question of that person. 

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 Kahuku Plantation Camp Robert Trotter: “When I approached our honorable mayor last night, he pulled his hand back, instead of out to shake my hand. First politican to not want to make the traditional move. I must have the look of a destitute homeless person. Besides the five or six uniformed police officers, there were at least seven or more very large undercover police roaming the meeting, giving poeple the look. There were more staff and caldwells people than others. he answered questions written down, but maybe 10 questions out of an easy 150 we the people delivered. A beauitful dog and pony show, but the dog was showing many large teeth.”

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Kahuku Resident: Angela Huntemer:  Thank you for filling us in on that – I couldn’t go and was wondering what happened. The week before he took direct questions from the audience at Waialua – because there were hardlly any members of the public. Glad I didn’t have to be the one to find easy questions for the mayor… that would have been difficult. Imua!

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Hau’ula Resident Joshua Noga: Wow that makes this even more crazy. Caldwell and his staff should be embarrassed by that showing. To not even allow community members to express their concerns directly defeats the very purpose of having a town hall meeting. That’s why we have to call him out on his bs and hold him accountable.

We got white washed, and shoved under the pavement below the bus. Two topics bus, and pavement he spent some time on. Would have helped if the told the true factor, paving oahu the going rate in construction cost million dollars a mile.

Ka’a’awa Resident Andrea Peatmoss: I did not care for the format of it. The questions section needed to be open to all to ask and be answered instead of afterwards. Public content safe this way. No mention of the Ethics Commission investigation I thought he might defend himself or staff regarding either.

As for condemnation via eminent domain question, it was “absolutely the last resort ” he said. However, knowing how Choon James‘ property is being affected and Hau’ula lost its recycling center via eminent domain for a NEW fire station, I wonder. If we have $20 million, we have $20 million. Allocation is a City decision, right?

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Now we have no recycle center and a temporary golf course owned by private (foreign ) investor in escrow and existing trauma in Kahuku Village of evictions. Kahuku had an ‘affordable’ housing plan years ago that never got built. Where did that money go? Between that project and the 550 residential units not built WITHIN Laie that have been approved for years but not built, the lack of sufficient dormitory housing on campus for students and the illegal Vacation Rentals by Owners (hundreds near Laie), we have a housing shortage that could be solved without destroying the scenic resources of the Moku and its irreplaceable wild coastline for URBAN SPRAWL. What cannot be solved without huge H-4 type money investment for taxpayers, way over the cost of Rail, is that extra traffic on the sole eroding 2 lane Kamehameha Highway that Turtle Bay Expansion and Envision Laie alone cause. Double the population. Add to that the expected increase in tourists to 7,500,000 (10,500 a day out here in Ko’olauLoa) and the thousands of already zoned vacant residential lands within the Moku. Do the math! 

Andrea Peatmoss I did not care for the format of it. The questions section needed to be open to all to ask and be answered instead of afterwards. Public content safe this way. No mention of the Ethics Commission investigation I thought he might defend himself or staff regarding either. As for condemnation via eminent domain question, it was “absolutely the last resort ” he said.

However, knowing how Choon James’ property is being affected and Hau’ula lost its recycling center via eminent domain for a NEW fire station, I wonder. If we have $20 million , we have $20 million. Allocation is a City decision, right? Now we have no recycle center and a temporary golf course owned by private (foreign ) investor in escrow and existing trauma in Kahuku Village of evictions. Kahuku had an ‘affordable’ housing plan years ago that never got built. Where did that money go? Between that project and the 550 residential units not built WITHIN Laie that have been approved for years but not built, the lack of sufficient dormitory housing on campus for students and the illegal Vacation Rentals by Owners (hundreds near Laie), we have a housing shortage that could be solved without destroying the scenic resources of the Moku and its irreplaceable wild coastline for URBAN SPRAWL. What cannot be solved without huge H-4 type money investment for taxpayers, way over the cost of Rail, is that extra traffic on the sole eroding 2 lane Kamehameha Highway that Turtle Bay Expansion and Envision Laie alone cause. Double the population. Add to that the expected increase in tourists to 7,500,000 (10,500 a day out here in Ko’olauLoa) and the thousands of already zoned vacant residential lands within the Moku. Do the math!

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Hau’ula kupuna Marvin Iseke: ” It was a waste of time. There was no open mike. This was no town hall meeting; it was his TV show. The Mayor was hiding behind his directors. The mayor talked about things we don’t need to hear and ran away from the important things we wanted to talk about.”

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An observer from Kauai said: ” You guys are too nice.”

Ko’olau Loa residents in good faith took the time to attend the Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting to participate and engage in a thoughtful dialogue. They wanted meaty civic participation with the Mayor and offered suggestions. What they received was the Mayor’s dog and pony show that provided HIM two hours of free TV air time for HIS perpetual campaign trail.

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Inserted subdivisions to Ko’olau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan  (KSCP) contradict Oahu General Plan

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More examination, please. Oahu is only a 597-square-mile tiny island in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean.

For some, “sustainability” means more growth, new subdivisions, development and hotels to promote jobs along with a percentage of “affordable” housing.

 For others, sustainability means protecting near-shore ecosystems, diminishing agricultural lands, controlling tax burdens of massive infrastructure projects and protecting Hawaii’s cultural traditions and sense of place.

IMG_0158Both claim their interpretations relevant to quality of life. City Hall claims there is no consensus. Thus, the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) treats “no consensus” as a green light for massive developments.

But, islanders want merits and impacts scrutinized before any green light to massive developments.

 The 2010 draft of the Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP) contradicts the values and vision as outlined in the Oahu General Plan and Hawaii 2050, the recent statewide vision plan. I shall very briefly highlight a few contradictions and discrepancies.

Oahu’s General Plan extols Koolauloa’s special sense of “Old Hawaii.” It states that “agricultural lands are preserved for agricultural uses,” “the ‘ahupuaa concept is used as the organizing basis for land use planning and natural resource management in Ko’olau Loa.”

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 The General Plan further specifies Koolauloa’s natural resources and predominantly “country” character should be maintained by allowing only limited development in established communities, and that agricultural lands along the windward, North Shore and Waianae coasts be maintained for diversified agriculture.

Do “old Hawaii” and diversified agriculture fit with five hotels, 1,000 condominiums, and a new Envision Laie subdivision with 875 homes, a regional commercial center, industrial and technology parks on 300 acres of ag land? There are hundreds of adjacent acres waiting in the wings.

Will Hawaiian culture and values come to hotels hiring kupuna to provide coconut bird-weaving and ukulele sessions? Or, be cutely coined into words like  “Tomorrow’s Ahupua’a” filled with resort retail shops and resort-residential homes?

The draft KSCP says, “… the ‘ahupuaa concept is used as the organizing basis for land use planning and natural resource management in Koolauloa.” However, Envision Laie would marginalize kuleana lands and traditional ahupua’a boundaries in historic Malaekahana. Kuleana landowners have no place at the table in this discussion.

City DPP Director David Tanoue said he “will widen” Kamehameha Highway to address traffic impacts from massive developments. Widening the highway would eventually displace hundreds of private owners and businesses from Kaneohe to Haleiwa. Who would invest in ownership with such profound development impacts?

 Should carte blanche permission of massive development be given without examining planning, financing and constructing infrastructure as stipulated in the KSCP?

 What is the cost of such infrastructure to already burdened taxpayers? Taxpayers are already laden with the $5.5 billion rail and a billion-dollar-plus Environmental Protection Agency consent decree for sewer updates.

These discrepancies and contradictions in the draft 2010 Koolauloa SCP must be ironed out before it is approved by the City Council of Honolulu. This region is a golden goose for Oahu’s tourist industry, watersheds, agriculture, open space, and all things Hawaiiana! Stick to the existing  1999 Ko’olau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan and work with it. Otherwise, irreparable damages done to the iconic country region can never be rescinded.

 I conclude with former Gov. George Ariyoshi’s caution from a June 2006 Hawaii Business article: “We need more thinking, more discussion and more planning. Otherwise, we will continue to drift from project to project, and, incrementally, we will lose what we hold most dear about Hawaii.”

Choon James, a real estate broker who has lived in the Koolauloa area since 1975, was a member of the Ko’olau Loa Sustainable Communities Planning Advisory Committee.

Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board #28 Faces Another Controversy

The Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board #28 is facing yet another controversy today. Residents are questioning the format of today’s agenda. The Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board #28 has 11 seats with 7 members having close ties to the Envision Laie Team.  Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Acting-Mayor Kirk Caldwell inserted “Envision Laie” into the Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP) amidst protests from members of the KSCP Advisory Committee.

There are talks of forming a new independent organization as many feel the Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board #28 does not represent the overall public interest of the region.

For today’s meeting, one standard agenda is deletedPUBLIC INPUT/COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS (2 Minute Limit per Speaker). This deletion of PUBLIC INPUT has raised past infractions of this board.

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Koolauloa Neighborhood Board No. 28

Printable Version (copy and paste into browser)

  http://www1.honolulu.gov/nco/nb28/13/28201311Ag.pdf

REGULAR MEETING AGENDA

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013

HAU’ULA COMMUNITY CENTER

54-010 KUKUNA ROAD

 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

ANYONE WISHING TO SPEAK MUST FIRST BE RECOGNIZED BY THE CHAIR. EACH SPEAKER WILL BE ALLOWED TWO (2) MINUTES – THE TIME LIMIT WILL BE ENFORCED. IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUNSHINE LAW AND ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, THE CHAIR, IN THE INTEREST OF MEETING EFFICIENCY, MAY LIMIT THE NUMBER OF TIMES A PERSON MAY SPEAK ON ANY ONE AGENDA ITEM. THE BOARD ALSO PRACTICES CIVIL DISCOURSE AND SPEAKERS WHO STRAY FROM CIVILITY WILL BE CALLED OUT OF ORDER.

 

I.              CALL TO ORDER – Chair Verla Moore

II.         HONOLULU FIRE DEPARTMENT (HFD)

III.        HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT (HPD)

IV.        APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 10, 2013 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

V.         TREASURER’S REPORT – Larry Nihipali

VI.        GOVERNMENT REPORTS Three (3) Minute Limit per Speaker

A.    Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Representative – Justin Gruenstein

B.    Council Chair Ernie Martin and/or Representative – Chair Martin or Mike Sakata

C.    State Legislators

VII.       NEW BUSINESS 10 Minute Limit per Speaker

A.    Presentation by La`ie Community Association (LCA) Seeking Board Support for Envision La`ie and Ko`olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan – Pane Meatoga, Jr., LCA President

VIII.      BOARD ANNOUNCEMENTS

A.    Board Recess in December 2013

B.    Next Meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 9, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the Hau`ula Civic Center, 54-010 Kukuna Road.

C.    `Olelo Broadcasting – The regular Board meetings air on the 4th Friday at 9:00 p.m. on Channel 49, and on the 2nd and 4th Sunday at 12:00 noon on Channel 54.  

 

IX.        ADJOURNMENT 

cp3 Many feel it’s presumptuous for Pane Meatoga, President of the Laie Community Association to speak for the whole region of Ko’olauloa.

It’s Laie versus the whole region at this point. The surrounding communities and neighborhood boards want “Envision Ko’olauloa“,  not myopic “Envision Laie”.

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ALOHA! Mayor Kirk Caldwell! We are rural Hauula, not Kapolei!

Why is the Mayor  hell-bent on building a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

Why does Kirk Caldwell want to build a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

This is the “Ewa Beach” style fire station he wants to build in rural Hauula. This station is so big that you cannot photograph the building in one photo!

 

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 1 of 3)

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 2 of 3)

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 3 of 3)

The city purchased Lot 64 in 2010 – it can relocate the existing Hauula Fire Station today!

But Kirk Caldwell is bullying to further condemn adjacent Lot 65 for DOUBLE the lot size and TRIPLE the price – to build his SUPER-SIZED Kapolei station in this rural region!

Lot 64 of 20,297 sq. ft is very sufficient to build these stations below.

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Kaneohe Fire Station

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Ka’a’awa Fire Station

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Kahuku Fire Station

 

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Sunset Beach Fire Station

 

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Wahiawa Fire Station

Why does Kirk Caldwell want to build a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

Why does the Mayor want to pave over the last two remaining business-zoned lots in rural Hauula?

Why is the Mayor abusing the weight of the city to shut down private Reynolds Recycling in this small rural community?

Does the Mayor understand the difference between Ko’olauloa and Kapolei?

Can taxpayers fiscally fund all of Kirk Caldwell’s pet projects?

Are taxpayers happy with rising taxes and fees?

When will Mayor Kirk Caldwell advocate for his constituents and exercise fiscal prudence instead of bullying and spinning to get what he wants?

If you were the Mayor of Honolulu, what would you do?

Choon James can be reached at ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com  Phone:  808 239 9111