Tag Archives: Hawaii

Surf, Aloha Aina, and Dustin Barca for Mayor

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/choon-james/hawaiis-politics-surf-alo_b_5303283.html?ir=Hawaii

Even Paradise has elections!
 
Politics in Kauai, the only island that was not conquered by King Kamehameha the Great, just got a little more exciting with Dustin Barca’s recent announcement to run for Mayor.
 
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Barca’s FACEBOOK announcement on May 8, 2014: 
IT IS OFFICIAL LADIES AND GENTLEMAN !!!!! BARCA 4 MAYOR!!! — WE just pulled papers to Run for Mayor of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau . With Mayor Bernard Carvalho Making such BAD decisions for the Future of OUR Home and Kids. WE are Left with NO other choice but to Take his Chair and BRING IT BACK TO THE PEOPLE OF KAUA’I!! WE are up against Big Corporations with MAYOR CARVALHO NUMBER 1 SUPPORTERS BEING DOW,SYNGENTA, BASF, DUPONT/PIONEER AND FARIAS CATTLE. IT’S GONNA BE A UPHILL FIGHT. But WE Have Never Been One To Turn Down A Good Challenge! OUR GOALS ARE PURELY INTENTIONAL FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN, OUR CULTURE AND OUR NATURAL RESOURCES! WE are Not Politicians , WE are just Average people like everybody else. WE Know that it is Now or Never for our future. TIME TO THINK GLOBAL AND ACT LOCAL. GROW FOOD.RESTORE THE CULTURE. RESTORE AND PROTECT OUR WATER . CRACK DOWN ON DRUGS. I Am Dustin Barca And I Approve This message.= #akuaisthyguide #barca4mayor #time4change #alohaaina #alohaainawarrior #thinkglobalactlocal #holyshit #bethechange
On a larger scale, Dustin Barca, married with children (and hundreds of nephews and nieces) will take on what fathers naturally do – protect their children and assuring the future will be better for them.
 
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A few days before his filing for the Mayor’s position, there had been posts reflecting widespread disappointments in the disconnect between government and its people in his Facebook: 
Dustin Barca
May 1
TIME 4 CHANGE!!!
 
It is with deep regret and disappointment we announce the indefinite deferral (death) of the last two good agriculture and food bills in Hawaii. They just killed the local food security bill SB524 and SB2110 pesticide inspector/outreach bill. Guess our legislature doesn’t even care. Conferees all absent but good Rep. Wooley and bad pro-GMO Senator Nishihara…
 
“I found it very difficult and frustrating to see so many good bills die for no reason when they were going to support food security and food sustainability,” said Representative Wooley after the hearing.
 
Not a single pesticide or GMO related bill survived, despite the many promises of legislators and Governor Abercrombie, as an empty promise and attempt to derail County ordinances to regulate where the state repeatedly refuses, during county pesticide and GMO proceedings. SB524 and SB2110 are dead. The conferees didn’t even bother to show up so without quorum both bills were DEFERRED INDEFINITELY. Souki killed the dog meat ban bill. They killed the ivory ban (HB493) bill, the pesticide inspector bill died, GMO labeling, the local food policy bill, the taro preservation bill and of course, the clean elections bill. Our legislature is almost useless.
 
No funding or good bills for irrigation, pesticides or livestock feed.
 
This place needs a full sweep top to bottom. There are very few legislators left who seem to really care at all about food or agriculture in Hawaii. We will tell you who the few good are.
 
Are they here to do something or nothing? They have done NOTHING meaningful for food security this year aside from small kine invasive species bill, nothing.
 
Words cannot express how disappointed we are in our State government today. Sometimes it seems completely worthless, which is why we MUST STAND UP FIGHT BACK REGISTER AND GET READY TO VOTE THE FUTURE OF HAWAII DEPENDS ON YOU.
 
REGISTER TO VOTE BY JULY 10Th VOTE PRIMARIES AUGUST 9th and November 4th we MUST CLEAN HOUSE.
 
Barca’s background as an accomplished surfer and mixed-martial arts fighter will further define his environment activism for a clean and sustainable island home, now and the future. 
 
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Dustin Barca  will literally embark on his mayoral campaign with a race –  by paddling from Ke’e to Polihale. Barca will then run around the island, from Polihale to Ke`e, from May 29 – June 1
 
He will stop along the way to honor some of Kauai’s significant historical areas, talk-story with  the community and find out more about their concerns and dreams for Kaua‘i. This high-energy journey will conclude with a pa`ina (gathering with food!) to be held on
Sunday, June 1,
 2-8 pm in Hanalei. 
 
Chances are high that Barca will not receive “big-money” donations from corporations or monied special interests. Without a huge war chest for relentless television and radio campaign advertisements and other propaganda, it will be up to the grassroots to convince and rally the whole island of Kauai to win this “Aloha Aina” battle. 
 
It’s in Kauai and its people’s DNA to come off the conqueror, again!
 
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Credit: All photos from Barca’s FACEBOOK

What is the vision for Kaka’ako Makai, Honolulu?

This is a photo circulating in facebook. It explains the situation clearly.  Many Hawaii residents are perturbed that Senate Bill 3122 will allow the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), a state agency to develop residential high-rises within Kaka’ako Makai (ocean-side) – Honolulu’s last remaining public shoreline area, where residential development is now prohibited by law.

Kaka'ako Makai

SB 3122 will be heard by the House Committee on Water and Land on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

Anyone can submit testimony via http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/login/login.aspx
Hawaii’s Thousand Friends presents a clear and logical summary for its opposition to SB 3122:
“SB 3122 SD2 seeks to exempt OHA, now owner of several Kakaako Makai parcels, from the 2006 law which prohibited residential development of land makai of Ala Moana Boulevard between Honolulu Harbor and Kewalo Basin.Residential development in Kakaako Makai was banned by the legislature after massive citizen protests against an A&B proposal to construct several 200-foot condo towers there.
HCDA law §206E-31.5…prohibits the authority from: (2) Approving any plan or proposal for any residential development in that portion of the Kakaako community development district makai of Ala Moana Boulevard and between Kewalo Basin and the foreign trade zone.
From 2006 to 2010, in a planning process called by HCDA, people came together to guide the development of the Kakaako Waterfront for the benefit of not only the Kakaako community but for all the people of Hawaii. (4/6/11 staff report)
The result was a conceptual master plan for Kakaako Makai with 9 components, including park expansion/enhancement and waterfront access via parking and traffic circulation measures

Now, SB 3122 SD2 proposes to undo the prohibition of residential development in Kakaako Makai. This must not be allowed because

Kakaako Waterfront Park is one of the last strips of open space and parkland with public access to the shoreline along the urban Honolulu coastline.

With 30 new high-rise towers proposed for Kakaako Mauka and a projected population of 30,000+, there will be a need for this open park space

Kakaako Makai offers open access to shoreline fishing, diving and popular body boarding and surf sites, as well as a waterfront promenade, picnic areas, and significant panoramic views.

OHA knew of the residential restrictions when they accepted the Kakaako Makai property, but now wants to develop 4 or 5 condo towers.

In 2006 when legislators prohibited residential development in Kakaako Makai, with only 1 lawmaker in each chamber opposing, it was evident that the legislature had spoken. Are legislator’s votes only good for 8 years? “

SB 3122 SD2 Status: Hawaii Community Development Authority – Allows the OHA state agency to develop residential high-rises within Kaka’ako Makai ( oceanside) – Honolulu’s last remaining public shoreline where residential development is now prohibited by law.   
Introducer(s): GALUTERIA, DELA CRUZ, HEE, KAHELE, KIDANI, SOLOMON, Baker, Espero, Kouchi, Nishihara, Shimabukuro, Wakai
Measure Title: RELATING TO HAWAII COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
Report Title: Hawaii Community Development Authority; Residential Development
Description: Authorizes residential development on certain specified parcels of land owned by the office of Hawaiian affairs in Kakaako. Requires applicants for residential development to hold a public hearing regarding a plan or proposal for residential development in Kakaako and consider all written and oral submissions from the hearing prior to submitting the plan or proposal to HCDA for approval. Requires HCDA to hold a public hearing and fully consider all written and oral submissions received at the hearings held by the applicant and the HCDA prior to approving any plan or proposal for residential development. Establishes a Kakaako makai association fee and Kakaako makai special account to fund various public services and projects in Kakaako. Exempts the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from section 206E-12, HRS, regarding the dedication of public facilities by developers as a condition of development in Kakaako. 

What Would Dr. Martin Luther King Think of Honolulu Mayor’s Behavior Today?

What would MLK think of Honolulu’s Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s  Persecution of the Poor  and  Civil &  Free Speech Rights today?

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The houseless people continue to be harassed and penalized.

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Citizens who push back are exposed to the Mayor’s strong arm tactics of raiding free speech signs and bullying in the courts, courtesy of  the city’s scarce fiscal resources.

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Is Honolulu any better than the  Montgomery, Alabama of 1955 where those in office abused their power and bulldozed over civil rights because they could?

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The physical segregation of race may appear to be over . But the segregation of  social classes – the rich & powerful versus the poor & the unconnected  – remains very problematic.

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Many are involved in the fight for justice and equality in Hawaii.

As MLK said,

Injustice  anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

just cause needs many helping hands and willing hearts!

Every one is needed.

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What would MLK say about the events of today in Honolulu?

 

 

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

 

 

Hauula Fire Station Relocation Controversy Drives Honolulu Mayor to Illegally Shut Down Reynolds Recycling Center

 

Hawaii Eminent Domain Abuse – Honolulu Mayor Goes Amok on Free Speech and Private Property Rights!

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell impounded free speech signs

on private property on October 18, 2013, again!

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Upon taking office, he went on the rampage by implementing

first raid of the signs on May 29, 2013. There is a federal lawsuit  against the city pending.

PRIVATE  fee owners own this commercial lot. The eminent domain

trial is set for March 2014.  Mayor Caldwell’s threats and intimidation are grossly premature and illegal.

On October 21, 2013, the Mayor rampaged further by posting signs on the private property to threaten Reynolds Recycling into closure. The threatening sign was posted in the middle of the entry way to the business. The problem is the city does not own this lot!

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The city owns the adjacent lot below but it has no posted signs of any kind at all. Maybe after the Mayor has been exposed, he’ll post a similar sign on this city-owned lot to appear even-handed. But it’s too late. His browbeating and abusing the office of the Mayor’s office are too evident.

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Does Hau’ula need a recycling center?

What do you think of the Mayor’s illegal activities?

808 768-4141  mayor@honolulu.gov  Honolulu Mayor

808 768-5002 emartin@honolulu.gov  City Councilman

 

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“Keep the Country Country” Protects Kama’aina Families

‘Keep the Country Country’ Will Protect Kamaaina Families

 

Many islanders are passionate in the cause to “Keep the Country Country” from Kahaluu to Haleiwa. There are countless good reasons to preserve the rural charm and finite resources — watersheds, waterways, forestry, agriculture, farms, animal husbandry, open space, view planes, cultural values, tourism, and lifestyle — of this region.

Another good reason to keep the country country is to preserve the economic viability and stability of kamaaina families, many of whom have lived in this region for generations.

This precious region lures land investors far and wide. Through their public relations mercenaries, they try to label the “Keep the Country Country” movement as “a vocal minority group of ornery haoles with NIMBY problems” or “people who are shutting the gates after themselves.”

However, the developers’ smear tactics are fast crumbling. The public can now clearly see the negative impacts of big developers playing out in Kahuku.

Today, the Kahuku Plantation Village of about 70 houses is in turmoil. Many are facing eviction from homes they’ve stayed in their entire lives. The sweat and equity of these inter-generational laborers; along with their heritage and roots are tied to this plantation camp.

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The entire Honolulu City Council, under the leadership of Chair Ernie Martin and Budget Committee Chair Ann Kobayashi, has allocated sufficient funds for the city to stem massive homelessness and social disruption by acquiring the plantation camp in cooperation with a non-profit group to manage it. But Mayor Kirk Caldwell refuses to respond to the pleas of the plantation residents or the wishes of the city council.

Who will win and who will lose in this high stakes game of profits and survival?

What is occurring at the Kahuku Village Plantation Camp has happened elsewhere and can be quickly summarized in one word — “Gentrification”.

In a nutshell, gentrification is the compressed evolution of massive development in communities that produces “winners” and “losers.”

It’s obvious the “losers” are usually the less affluent.

Gentrification chases the less affluent out of their communities due to the influx of new money and spending power. The less affluent are unable to pay rising rents, property taxes, real estate and the accelerating costs of living. Local businesses may lose their leases under competition or have to keep up with newly built commercial spaces with higher built-in expenses. Development will provide short-term construction jobs to some but what happens next?

Gentrification can alter lifestyle, values, and identity of communities when left unchecked. It inevitably creates disconnect and conflicts in communities. In Hawaii, it’s become a volatile struggle to protecting the local culture and values, environment, finite resources, and a chosen island lifestyle that many hold dear.

Fortunately, Oahu has had a visionary General Plan since the 1970s under the leadership of then Gov. George Ariyoshi. Oahu was divided into eight different geographic areas, delineating different land-use policies that include Primary urban center (Honolulu), Secondary urban center (Kapolei), Urban – fringe (Koolauloa Poko), and Rural designations (Koolau Loa, North Shore, and Waianae).

This Oahu General Plan is a careful compromise to preserve what we hold hear about Hawaii and to address development.

To prevent urban sprawl and inevitable gentrification, decision makers must respect and adhere to the existing Oahu General Plan. There has to be a line of demarcation to safeguard viability and diversity in land-use decisions for Oahu. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.

This Oahu General Plan that protects the Koolau Loa and the North Shore’s charm of old Hawaii, finite resources, food security, watersheds, open space, recreational spaces, view planes, rural lifestyle, and especially the stability of kamaaina residents, must continue to be the basis for objective Big Picture land-use planning. Decision makers must not allow big developers to hijack and amend this document to fit their own agenda.

“Keep the Country Country” — from Kahaluu to Haleiwa — is an integral part of needed diversity and versatility for a thriving and sustainable Oahu. This cause has never sounded so pragmatic and urgent for this iconic region as the first shoe of gentrification drops in Kahuku. “Keep the Country Country” is not about the past; it’s about the future.

About the author: Choon James has been a real estate broker for over twenty years. She’s lived in the North Nhore for over 30 years. She served on the Koolau Loa Sustainable Communities Planning Advisory Committee and hosts “Country Talk Story,” the most-watched public television program on Olelonet in 2012.

Paving Paradise

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/choon-james/paving-paradise_b_3818825.html

Posted: 09/09/2013 3:03 pm

Paving Paradise

My mother’s maiden voyage to Oahu, Hawaii was a memorable one for us.

Her first knee-jerk observation of Oahu’s majestic Ko’olau mountains were these words in Hokkien, “Why don’t they raze the mountains to build more buildings?”

Keep in mind she had just arrived from Singapore after a thirteen-hour flight. Singapore was a concrete city-state of approximately 2.3 million people then. Most lived in high-rise apartments we call “flats.” Rural areas were systematically paved over for more concrete towns.

However, it didn’t take Mother long to change her mind about turning Oahu into another concrete jungle. She quickly fell in love with Oahu’s surroundings. She decided she really loved Oahu for its beauty, lifestyle, and sense of place — the fresh air, the ocean breeze, the open space, the mountains, the soothing scenery and the friendly people. She’s returned to the islands many times.

Today, Singapore’s population is about 5.3 million, squeezed and squashed onto 274 square miles of land. Indeed, hills have been leveled and new land reclaimed around its harboring shores for more development and more people. Singapore imports 100% of its food. This water-stressed country now depends heavily on expensive desalination plants and water from abroad. Its cash economy means the Everyman has to work for basic survival. The competition is stiff. The cost of living is high.

To try and soften the concrete urbanization, Singapore recently constructed solar-powered “super-trees.”

A Gallup poll reported that Singaporeans are the most unhappy people in the world.

The Singapore Straits Times reported, “Based on a poll of nearly 150,000 people worldwide conducted in 2011 — the same one that branded Singapore as emotionless — Gallup’s reading into the results put Singapore at the top of the list of countries where the fewest adults experienced positive emotions. Singaporeans were apparently less upbeat than the people in places like Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Haiti.”

Why am I talking about Singapore on my very first dialogue with HuffPost Hawaii? Because I see Oahu, Hawaii as “a Singapore-in-embryo.”

Unless those of us who live here and those who live outside of Hawaii come together to define Hawaii’s identity, collectively decide what we want Hawaii to become, and together resolve to protect its unique identity and cultures, Oahu could end up like Singapore in fifty years — a concrete jungle with intense urbanization pressures that produce the most unhappy people in the world.

A wise mentor once counseled, “Be careful which wall we’re leaning our ladders of life on. We could be busy climbing up a ladder — only to find out the views at the top are not what we envisioned.”

I look forward to some friendly “ladder conversations” about Hawaii.