Tag Archives: Mayor Kirk Caldwell

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?

 

 

Kahuku Plantation Village Residents Witnessed Re-internment of ‘Iwi kupuna’

Two re-internment ceremonies were held at Kahuku Plantation Camp amidst continuing controversies

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On January 11, 2014, a group of Kahuku Plantation Camp residents witnessed the re-internment of ‘iwi kupuna’ that were found in the grounds around the decades-old plantation homes. Landowner Continental Pacific, LLC handling  of the ‘iwi kupuna’ cultural and other procedures had precipitated controversies.

At the ceremony, the Kahu distributed printed material of ” Aloha Aina Iwi Kupuna – Protocols – Ten Prayers ( oli, pule, mele )” to those in attendance. They were printed in English and Hawaiian Language versions. The Prayers include The Lord’s Prayers,  an ole written by Edith Kanaka’ole,  and the Queen’s Prayer ( Ke Aloha O Ka Haku) by Queen Lili’uokalani, as listed below:

The Queen’s Prayer

Your loving mercy

Is as high as Heaven

And your truth

So perfect

I live in sorrow

Imprisoned

You are my light

Your glory, my support

Behold not with malevolence

The sins of man

But forgive

And cleanse

And so, o Lord

Protect us beneath your wings

And let peace be our portion

Now and forever more 

 ~~~

The first ‘iwi kupuna’ was housed in a lauhala box and buried in about a three (3) feet deep setting;  fresh sand was shoveled into the plot and a cement block was placed on top of it. There would be a marker later on. (This site is located behind the Rainbow Schools vicinity.)

The two governmental agencies charged to address  and regulate ‘iwi kupuna’  issues are 1) The State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) that falls in under the jurisdiction of the Department of Land and Natural Resources ( DLNR)  and 2) The Oahu Island Burial Council (OIBC).

There  was a DLNR ranger in uniform and also a DLNR  uniformed policeman  in attendance.
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Kali Fermantez, a recently appointed member of the Oahu Island Burial Council was  also in attendance. He spoke a few words at the first ceremony focusing on respect for the ‘iwi kupuna’ and forgiveness despite the ‘pilikia’ surrounding the Kahuku Plantation Camp.

We later asked permission to video tape our questions and his responses regarding procedures but he declined, explaining he was a very private person. His wish was respected.

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After the first re-internment ceremony, Kahuku villagers walked to the next re-internment  ceremony at Simplicio Caban’s home. ‘Iwi Kupuna’ human remains were found next to his house when water pipe trenching was being done.


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Villagers gathered around in reverence as the second re-internment ceremony  (abbreviated this time)  was conducted.

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Kawika Farm from SHPD held  the  second set of ‘iwi kupuna’ at  the Saturday’s re-internment ceremonies.

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This metal plate was provided by SHPD as a marker as well as a caution for future encounters with trenching in the area.  The metal plate should help reveal the significance of this site, according to Farm from SHPD.

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The fresh sand covered SHPD’s metal plate. They said it would be leveled and finalized later.

On this day, the dead may appear to be put to rest but the living  are forced to fight on.

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While the ceremonies were going on at the mauka side of the Kahuku Plantation Camp, golfers can be seen at the 122-acre Kahuku “Municipal” Golf Course on the makai side. The iconic beachfront course is also undergoing a watershed transformation; it’s on the verge of being sold to a Chinese investor. Residents worry that the course could be transformed into another resort-residential subdivision or an expensive golf course that the public can no longer afford.

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In the meanwhile, the above Condominium Spatial Unit V- 21 has been cleared and footings can be seen for a  new house. This spatial unit is located next to Kahuku Village Plantation Association President Glen Maghanoy’s former plantation home in the background.

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Maghanoy‘s eviction was approved by Judge Hillary Gangnes. Professional movers completed the Maghanoy eviction during the Thanksgiving of 2013. Maghanoy was on the mainland visiting with his daughter and claimed that valuable items were stolen from him, including his guitars, tool box, about $3,000 cash (hidden inside the house), and his children’s deceased mom’s black pearl jewelry.

Because Maghanoy was not present at the execution of the Writ of Possession by the movers, he could not take pictures of the event. Neighbors had signed declaration of seeing the guitars being laid on the grounds; in fact, one of the movers was playing  Maghanoy’s ukulele.

The  day’s re-internment ceremonies focused on respect for the ‘iwi kupuna’ along with  messages of forgiveness.

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However, to many Kahuku Plantation Village residents, ‘forgiveness’ cannot be used as a convenient tool for Continental Pacific, LLC and its affiliates to absolve themselves of past wrongs and continuing pilikia that surround the camp.

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About thirty-one (31) long time plantation camp families are in danger of being evicted.  Glen Maghanoy and the Eugenio family were the first in line to be evicted.

 

Response to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell regarding the Controversial Hau’ula Fire Station Relocation

REPRINT: Response to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell regarding the Controversial Hau’ula Fire Station Relocation

A Response to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Letter to the Honolulu City Council  Relating to Provisions relating to the Deletion of the Hau’ula Fire Station Project.

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2013/06/21/19361-caldwell-brace-for-cuts-in-honolulu-city-services/

June 27, 2013

Aloha Mayor Kirk Caldwell,

Re: Your letter to the City Council Chair Ernest Y. Martin and Members of the City Council dated June 20, 2013 concerning Bill 12(2013) CD2, FD1, relating to the Executive Capital Budget; Provisions relating to the Deletion of the Hau’ula Fire Station Project. (Pages 4 & 5) 

Before we respond to your above-mentioned letter as distributed widely, including Civil Beat, we wish to share with you our family’s legacy with first responders.

My husband’s family has produced four generations of firefighters. His grandfather was buried in his fireman uniform.   We also have family members who are policemen, nurses, schoolteachers, and military servicemen. Many of our close friends are first responders, including lifeguards.  We are ever mindful of the services our first responders provide. We can never pay our first responders enough for the daily volatile and risky environment they’re thrust into.

Regarding your June 20, 2013 letter to the City Council, we also realize that any Mayor cannot possibly micro-manage or know every detail of city operations.  At face value, it’s understandable why you, as mayor, would object to the Deletion of the Hau’ula Fire Station Project this Budget session. We would probably react the same way if we were not intimately involved or had not carefully researched the facts and circumstances relating to this flawed Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) relocation project.

Unfortunately, a person(s) with considerable influence continues to provide a overwhelming dose of one-sided bureaucratic jargon that does not provide a factual history of this controversial project. This bureaucratic process has become too politicized and evolves with ever-changing made-up premises along the way.

This modus operandi does not serve you as the Mayor, or the public, well.  No matter how thinly cheese is sliced, there are still two sides to it.

There are too much irregularities and evidences to put in this letter. The selected information we share with you here is based on documented facts and records.  We do not manipulate and fabricate new premises along this evolving process.

Mayor Caldwell, the GOOD NEWS is DDC can build another fire station in rural Hau’ula TODAY!

DDC supervised the purchase of Lot 64 TMK:1-5/4/18-24 of 20,297 square feet at 54-290 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula, 96717 on April 19, 2010, using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

 

This City-owned Lot 64 with 20,297.00 square feet is adequate for a typical fire station in Oahu.

For example:
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The new 2424 Date Street McCully-Moiliili Station, with an estimated price of $4.6M, sits on 19,555 sq. ft. lot and was dedicated on April 1, 2010.

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The 640 California Ave Wahiawa Fire Station that serves a much denser population than rural Hau’ula sits on 20,000 sq. ft. lot.

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The Kaneohe Fire Station sits on 20,075 sq. ft. lot. http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Oahu/1990s/1990-09-08-OA-FEA-KANEOHE-FIRE-STATION-RECONSTRUCTION.pdf

 

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The Ka’a’awa Fire Station sits on 15, 493 sq. ft.

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The 1610 Makaloa Street Fire Station by the Pan Am building by Kapiolani Blvd sits on 18,953 sq. ft. lot.

This average lot size holds true on the mainland as well. Metropolitan West Seattle, Washington deems 15,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft. parcels as customary for their fire stations.

Why then, is the DDC Land Chief fixated on seizing our adjacent Lot 65 for an additional 20,300 square feet? DDC’s 2009 Environmental Assessment for this proposed relocation project stated there would be no increase in service area or personnel.

Why then, a Taj Mahal fire station in rural Hau’ula on twice the average lot size and triple the costs of an average fire station? (The relocation project in Hau’ula’s projected cost is $13M, as recorded in the Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board minutes.)

After you review this information and others contained in this PDF file, we’re confident you’ll agree that the Honolulu City Council exercised fiscal prudence and protected the public treasury by deleting the $750,000 that was requested for “Planning & Design” by DDC this budget session.  DDC’s request for $750,000 was premature as the civil trial for “public use” had not even been set.

Furthermore, aggrieved citizens have the right to appeal to higher courts in this legal process.

The City Corporation Counsel initiated condemnation action (1CC10-000863 -04. Also see Civil NO: 10-1-0956-05 PWB) on April 21, 2010 during the Mufi Hanneman Administration.

The Carlisle Administration informed residents it was willing to explore alternative sites for this relocation controversy.

Peter Carlisle

This case was set aside by the city until December 12, 2012 when Deputy Corporation Counsel Winston Wong requested a “Valuation Trial”.

This again was a premature action and denied by Judge Rhonda Nishimura as the initial Trial for “Public Use” had not even been discussed yet.  Despite these circumstances, DDC requested $750,000 for “planning and design” for this project (in limbo) this fiscal year 2013-2014.

What was DDC thinking?

Should the City Council give DDC $750,000 to squander on “planning and design” when the outcome is unsettled and involved in a typically protracted legal process?  The only logical and fiscally responsible action for the City Budget Chair was to delete this so-called “construction funding” for this project for 2012-2013 Fiscal Budget Year.

The 2011-2012 Fiscal Budget Year also deleted this project and noted as “not needed”.  For the City Council to decide otherwise would be gross malfeasance on their part, based on the legal status and other circumstances. As a Hau’ula kupuna said, “Money no grow on trees.”

At the most recent Budget sessions, both the newly appointed Fire Chief and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Director initially stated to Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi they were willing to dialogue. We welcome that.  We’re aware city departments such as the Honolulu Fire Department routinely depend on DDC to do the footwork in projects such as this. Unfortunately, this controversial process has morphed into an art of the wordsmith, with bureaucratic jargon substituting as merits.

The record points towards one unelected bureaucrat who abuses government powers of eminent domain at will. There is no denying bureaucrats have easy access to decision makers at City Hall while the public generally enjoy no such privileges.

Sensing this unbalance, we have diligently provided the City Council documented irregularities and nefarious circumstances surrounding this flawed process.  The most affected residents are grateful that the City Council has listened to the other side of the story during its budgeting decisions.

Many residents are unhappy about perceived wasteful spending, perceived or real; others questioned why the city could not renovate the existing structure or tear it down and build anew instead of seizing the last two remaining commercial-zoned parcels in Hau’ula.

Life-long Hau’ula residents are unhappy they were not consulted with. This project would be situated directly next to their homes.

DDC’s failures to consult affected parties grossly violated the basic requisites of Chapter 343, HRS and Title 11, Chapter 200 Administrative Rules, and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds were used in this project.  Hauula qualifies, being a low-income area. DDC’s request for seizing properties was hastily pushed through to meet CDBG’s date lines.
Many would like the city to prioritize scarce funds and allocate precious resources to installing more fire hydrants for fire safety as well. Many neighborhood pockets here do not have fire hydrants. This is a major setback for our firemen and a major public safety concern.

A case in point happened with a domestic fire in Punalu’u on March 23, 2011. Thirty-five (35) fire-fighters, five (5) engines, two (2) ladder-trucks, a water tanker truck and a fire battalion chief responded very quickly but could not effectively protect the public due to lack of basic infrastructure – water hydrants.

Besides lacking in public engagement, there are too many irregularities and nefarious facts and circumstances surrounding this Hau’ula relocation file. We could tell you about DDC hiring their favorite appraiser all the way from Maui   for this project; that DDC’s first choice for the Hauula Relocation site was a 1.65 acre beachfront lot;  or DDC’s careless 2006 request for eminent domain by necessity on another property only to discard  the action promptly after the city council unanimously granted powers to seize private properties.

We could also tell about the recent illegal seizing of free speech signs on May 29, 2013 on our Lot 65.  The crew was sent all the way from Halawa Maintenance Yard to Hau’ula to seize two “Eminent Domain Abuse”  free speech signs on our Lot 65 under the guise of Bill 54 (11-029 ROH).

Who gave the work order for this illegal seizure and bullying?

What are the incurred costs to the taxpayers for this rogue behavior?

In summary, bureaucratic malfeasance in rural Hauula, Oahu, Hawaii reveals the culture in which government will ignore the law, manipulate the process, and abuse its powers in order to seize property just because it can.

Government cannot become so powerful and arrogant that ‘public purpose’ and ‘public safety’ are conveniently used as mere pre-textual ‘legal weapon’ to threaten and brow beat property owners into automatic submission through eminent domain and other tactics.

Fortunately, this out-of-control bureaucratic malfeasance and abuse can be corrected.   The entire City Council is protecting the public in its kuleana by implementing the democratic process of “checks and balances”.

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As Mayor, you can also support their pono leadership by not allowing DDC’s slop-dash bullying via the big stick of government powers to prevail.

As always, we look forward to collaborating with the most affected parties in a fair and equitable due process. Justice and Equality apply to all.

We can reach a win-win conclusion to this eminent domain abuse story

Mahalo,

Choon James

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

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.

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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Honolulu Mayor’s Disjointed Leadership Could Render Kahuku Golf Course Into Oblivion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/choon-james/honolulu-mayors-disjointed-leadership_b_4113950.html  Posted: 10/17/2013 12:15 pm

                             

                           Oahu’s Kahuku Municipal Golf Course Could Disappear

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It’s Oahu’s best kept secret that the Kahuku Municipal Golf Course was never owned by the City and County of Honolulu.

The city leased the pristine grounds that included sandy beach frontage, sand dunes, and plantation-era graveyards as a ‘municipal’ golf course. Unknown to most, this ‘public’ course has been on a month-to-month lease for many years.

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The 122-acre beachfront course opened in 1937 through the sweat and toil of the plantation camp workers, on land owned by the Estate of James Campbell.
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There is nothing ostentatious about this nine-hole walking golf course except the setting is peaceful and it provides inexpensive recreation for locals of all ages. Users enjoy it without much ado or fancy expectations from the City and County. As Oahu continues to grow, the need for such open space will become more acute, not less.

When the Campbell Estate dissolved its 107-year-old Trust and conducted a fire sale of its assets, this ‘municipal’ golf course was a part of a private bulk purchase by Continental Pacific, LLC in 2006. Continental Pacific, LLC (CP) focuses on acquiring large tracts of real estate and reselling them for profit.

Although a few local activists had raised concerns about losing the ‘public’ course at that time, neither Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz nor Mayor Mufi Hannemann seized the opportunity to ensure that this ‘public’ golf course remained in public hands.

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Acquiring the historic Kahuku Golf Course and the Plantation Camp Village would have been the right direction to take.

The city has a history of land-banking property for future parks and saving historical plantation camps to avoid massive social disruptions and homelessness. Also, this iconic region is a golden goose for Oahu’s tourism industry. There are compelling reasons to preserve the open space and rural charm of this region.

The 2008 financial crisis created a severe downturn on the economy that dampened many real estate ventures. There was a lull in flipping real estate for profits.

Having missed the first wave sale from Campbell Estate in 2006, the city could have stepped up to acquire the Kahuku Golf Course when Continental Pacific, LLC predictably listed the Kahuku Golf Course for $10 Million in 2011.

Continental Pacific, LLC had no buyers then.

It listed again at $11,495,000 on Oct. 15, 2012 offering financing terms with “Cash, Open, Private Mortgage, or Seller Financing.”

It was unfortunate that city hall again failed to capitalize on this subsequent window of opportunity to put in Golf Course in public hands. It was not that the City Council Chair Ernie Martin didn’t try.

In April 2012, Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin, Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi, and the Council unanimously adopted and funded Resolution 12-089 — urging the Mayor to initiate the acquisition of the land beneath Kahuku Golf Course.

Then-Mayor Peter Carlisle and current Mayor Kirk Caldwell both declined to cooperate with the City Council.

In September 2013, the public learned that CP was negotiating a purchase with a Chinese investor for the Kahuku Golf Course.

City Councilman Ernie Martin explained that the mayors considered the situation “a private matter that the county should not get involved in.”

The public submitted petitions to preserve the course to Mayor Kirk Caldwell with no success.

On Oct. 10, 2013, Mayor Caldwell’s representative to the Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board — Justin Gruenstein, former campaign chair for ‘Hannemann for Congress’ — tried to explain Caldwell’s non-performance. Gruenstein attempted to soft-sell that it would be too expensive to own the course and bring the golf course up to city standards. The city had no money.

Thus, acquisition of the $11 million 122-acre beachfront golf course that has been in public domain since 1937 was off the table! Gruenstein stated the approved funds would revert to the City General Fund.

The public’s response to Gruenstein’s excuse was “baloney.” The city could land bank. The city owned many properties that were not maintained nor fixed up to city standards.

It’s outrageous to see Mayor Caldwell’s arbitrary responses towards issues with great consequences.

On one hand, Mayor Caldwell insists that the city has no funds to upgrade the Kahuku Golf Course upon acquisition and Continental Pacific is a ‘private property owner’ he should not involve the city with.

On the other hand, this same mayor is threatening, including eminent domain abuse, the owners of a small privately-owned lot of 20, 300 sq. ft. in Hau’ula, just ten minutes south of the precarious golf course to build his pet $13 million fire station relocation project.

Additionally, next to the golf course sits the Kahuku Plantation Camp, also acquired by CP, that is facing massive evictions. Generations of plantation workers and their posterity are facing controversial evictions.

The City Council adopted and funded Resolution 12-90 to prevent this massive social disruption and homelessness in this 71-home compound. But again, Mayor Kirk Caldwell refused to collaborate with the council by fiddling the same arbitrary tune of respecting Continental Pacific as private property owners.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s constituents tend to conclude that his non-performance could be due to the fact that the attorney — Lex Smith who is representing Continental Pacific, LLC – was also his mayoral campaign committee chairman in 2012. The mayor denied any influence.

It’s tough to figure out Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s logic and his fiscal priorities. Honolulu deserves fact-and-merit-based collaboration with its citizenry in order to ensure that everybody wins.

It would be a travesty for Oahu if politics will render the Kahuku Municipal Golf Course into oblivion.

The mayor can be contacted at 808 768-4141 or mayor@honolulu.gov.