Tag Archives: Kirk Caldwell

The Dark Side of Honolulu City Hall – Retaliations,Trolls & Disinformation

 

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The Honolulu City Charter clearly  states the purpose for its being:

“Section 2-102.  Purposes —  All city powers shall be used to serve and advance the general welfare, health, happiness, safety and aspirations of its inhabitants, present and future, and to encourage their full participation in the process of governance.”

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Unfortunately, in real life,  when Mayor Kirk Caldwell has his own pet project, the opportunities for citizen participation are met with disinformation, retaliation, and abuse of city powers/resources. The circle-the-wagon mentality kicks into gear from the top on down. Similar ill-thought justifications  are parroted from top on down.  Process reports and Budget Forms are filled with fabricated information. Lies are perpetuated top on down.

If citizens  further resist, there are always the Mayor’s spokesperson and media trolls to vilify the messengers  and to create confusion and distort facts. (There is an unspecified number of public relations and assistants, paid for by taxpayers,  who service Mayor.)

An example of this dark side at City Hall  would be Hauula Fire Station Relocation project. Despite robust protests and over 1,200 signatures against this extravagant relocation, the city stuck to its nefarious PR tactic to distract from the city’s gross malfeasance in  this process.

The  below August 18, 2008 letter is the “sale contract” that the city and clan freely disperse to the public to distract from its failures to provide due process to the most affected citizens in Hauula. The fact is, even if the owner DONATED the land to the city for the project, the city still has to provide due process to the people living next to this despised project. The city miserably failed its environmental review process to the people of Hauula.

August 18, 2008. This is the  CHERRY-PICKED letter used by the city and clan to hoodwink the city council and the public. This letter does not even meet the basic rudimentary of a basic sale contract, if there was one.

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July 2009 – This subsequent city notice is never provided to the public by the city  – “This Notice is not a contractual offer or commitment to purchase your property”.

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December 13, 2013 Deposition was taken under oath from Land Chief Thomas Miyata where he finally had to stop his lies about an agreement to sell and confess that “ there was no agreement between Miss James and the City for the City to purchase or Miss James to sell her property.” Page 120.

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Additionally, when Hauula residents protested with signs against the extravagant relocation of the $13 Million Hauula Fire Station Relocation, Mayor Kirk Caldwell dispatched the Department of Maintenance & Facilities from Halawa (under the supervision of William D. Balfour, Jr.) to seize the free speech signs. The federal judge had since ordered the City and County of Honolulu to pay the legal fees of the Plaintiff.

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Mayor Kirk Caldwell further engaged the City Corporation Counsel to bully the residents by erecting threatening signs to forcefully close down the recycling center that many depended on. The irony is the Mayor has already stolen $4.6 Million of federal HUD Community Development Block Grants ( CDBG) for this pork project. CDBG funds are meant to improve the quality of lives and economic opportunities in low-income communities. Recycling is a critical cottage industry where even the homeless recycle daily to buy themselves a hot meal! The people are asking for “bread’ but this Mayor is forcing “cake” on them.

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When residents further protested with new signs below, the Mayor dispatched city county inspectors to threaten private property owners with a daily $50 fine if they did not remove the signs!

Mayor no damn good

As of this writing, there are three Hawaiian kupuna ( 2 of them in their 80s) resisting Mayor Caldwell in the federal courts now. Federal Judge Leslie Kobayashi is hearing the case.  CV No: 15-00193 LEK-RLP

Additionally, in April 2017, Mayor Kirk Caldwell opened this controversial project up for bids ( for $7M) when the funds have been deleted by the city council!

Residents are thinking that Mayor Kirk Caldwell is employing the same tactics – SUNKEN COST FALLACY – as he does for the Honolulu Rail.  He’s hoping to encumber as much costs as he can, hoping the judge will not take a bold action against his malfeasance.

A citizen should not be surprised at these capricious and nefarious tactics. Whether it’s a huge project like the Honolulu Rail or this relocation project, the same modus operandi  – lies, distractions and retaliations – is implemented.

Honolulu deserves better.

 

 

 

 

 

Hau’ula Recycling Returns After City’s Retaliatory Shut-Down on Adjacent Private Owner

City shut down recycling business on Choon James’ Lot on October 21, 2013  by installing this sign in the middle of the entry way!  The lawsuit against eminent domain taking is not till March of 2014.

 

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On December 20, 2013, the city moved Reynolds Recycling back onto the adjacent city-owned Lot 64!DSC09937Unhappy Hauula residents have been calling the Mayor’s office at 768-4141 about his irrational Reynolds Recycling Shut-Down. One mentioned he had been calling the office just about every day!

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Regardless of  which lot Reynolds Recycling is situated, this is a temporary fix to appease irate residents. Reynolds is now operating on a short lease.

If Mayor Caldwell succeeds in hoisting his SUPER-EXPENSIVE $13 Million Hauula Fire Station Relocation project onto these last two remaining  commercial lots, the Recycling business will disappear for good.

There is no  other available commercial-zoned parcel to operate the recycling and related businesses in Hauula.

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At the heart of this controversy is Mayor Caldwell’s insistence on additionally seizing the adjacent Choon James’ Lot 65. The city is vigorously suing in the circuit court to gain possession  of her Lot through eminent domain by ‘necessity’.

In fact, the city recently hired an Oakland, California architect for a “comprehensive study”  to justify that an “Ewa Beach” style fire station is appropriate for RURAL Hauula! We sure would like to know how much taxpayers had to pay for that study from Oakland, California.

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The city already purchased  the middle Lot 64 in 2010. The 20, 297 square feet of land is sufficient to build a typical fire station in Oahu.

Curiously, Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants to build a SUPER-SIZED “Ewa Beach” style fire station in rural Hauula that requires Choon James’ Lot  and at triple the cost!

A typical Oahu fire station costs about $5 Million and sits on approximately 19,000 square feet of land.

Former Mayor Peter Carlisle was amicable to working with Hauula’s affected parties by exploring alternate sites for the Fire Station Relocation. However, when Kirk Caldwell became the Mayor in 2013, the culture of bullying was resurrected.  Caldwell was hell bent to push his irrational pet project forward.

Subsequently, on May 29, 2013, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Department of Maintenance Services from Halawa  conducted an illegal raid on Choon James’ free speech signs at her Lot 65, claiming the city had sole possession of the property.  Their court hearing on the eminent domain case is not till March of 2014.

Subsequently, Choon James additionally  filed a suit against the City and County of Honolulu’s illegal seizing of her free speech signs and violating her civil rights on August 13, 2013 .

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New eminent domain signs were created and erected.  However, on October 18, 2013, Mayor Kirk Caldwell dispatched six police cars, a dozen city workers from Halawa Maintenance Facilities, a front end loader, and a couple commercial trucks to raid the signs, again!

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To further retaliate, on October 21, 2013, the city installed threatening signs on Choon James’  Lot of which she is still the fee owner. The NO TRESPASS sign was installed in the front entry to the Reynolds Recycling business.

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The city’s abusive and retaliatory action shut down her business with Reynolds Recycling on her private Lot 65.

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On the other hand, the city did not install  similar ‘NO TRESPASS’ sign at the entry to their city-owned Lot 64.

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Nevertheless, residents are elated to have Reynolds Recycling return to Hauula.  The overwhelming will of the people in Hauula is to maintain the last two commercial-zoned lots for recycling and other small businesses. The fire station relocation project can always explore other sites.

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However, the public wants an explanation as to why the Mayor forcibly shut down the Reynolds Recycling on private owner through the most egregious abuse of power   . . . and then turned around . . .  to have Reynolds Recycling return to its adjacent city-owned Lot 64 for business!

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What monkey business is taking place at Honolulu City Hall? Why did the City and County of Honolulu steal business, through force and abusive power, from its private neighbor and force the same stolen business operation onto its city-owned property next door?

 

 

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

 

 

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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Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s assaults on free speech rights expand to Hau’ula

 

 

 

“Keep the Country Country” Protects Kama’aina Families

‘Keep the Country Country’ Will Protect Kama’aina 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.