Monthly Archives: June 2023

Report on Oahu landfill sites is available

This 1464 page Report is available online.

Wherever the site is, it’s worrisome. We’re a small island. How many times can we duplicate this modus operandi before we irreparably poison our environment and especially our connected water aquifer?

Are we putting our best efforts in Recycling and Re-use? Is it time to mandate that some items brought in must be take out – Garbage In, Garbage Out.

How the selection has evolved:

Landfill site in Oahu still a mystery

The Honolulu City County is supposed to provide a site for a new landfill.

The process for finding a new landfill has been ongoing. Right now, the deliberating process is unknown to the public.

This was a PBS Insights aired on June 15, 2023.

Here are some reading materials:

Read the 2012 Commission Report of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Landfill Site Selection (MACLS). Particularly, read the Minority Report by John B Goody on Page 47. “The revised site rankings were astounding, and seem to defy common sense.”

Kailua, Waianae, Kapolei, Waianae have all staked their grounds that they don’t want landfills in their areas.

The process has with its twists and turns.

The consultant compiling statistics for Mayor Peter Carlisle’s Advisory Committee on Landfill Site Selection said Wednesday it had made a big mistake. On Friday, just five days ago, the committee announced Kailua as the top ranked location for a new landfill. Its announcement was based on data compiled by SMS Research, a Honolulu firm hired by the city.

But in fact SMS President Jim Dannemiller said Wednesday he had made an “inadvertent data error” while compiling numbers provided by the advisory committee. The mistake changes the positions of almost all eleven potential landfill sites on the site selection list.

A site described as “Upland Kahuku 2” was seventh on the list released Friday. Now it is the new #1. “Upland Kahuku 1,” which is adjacent to “Upland Kahuku 2” is second on the revised list.

The Ameron Quarry moved from first on Friday’s list to fifth on the revised list.

Here is the new updated list released Wednesday afternoon.

1. Upland Kahuku 2 – (previously ranked #7)

2. Upland Kahuku 1- (previously ranked #3)

3. Upland Pupukea 2 – (previously ranked #6)

4. Upland Pupukea 1 – (previously ranked #4)

5. Ameron Quarry – (previously ranked #1

This is the list:


• Ameron Quarry,

• Kaneohe by H-3,

• Kapaa Quarry Road,

• Keaau,

• Upland Hawaii Kai,

• Upland Kahuku 1,

• Upland Kahuku 2,

• Upland Laie,

• Upland Nanakuli 1,

• Upland Pupukea 1, and •

Upland Pupukea 2; and

A New Mayor, A New Commission:

Here is more reading material for this issue.

The City and County of Honolulu (“City”) Department of Environmental Services (“ENV”) has begun identifying potential sites for its next municipal solid waste landfill. To help discern potential sites, ENV formed a Landfill Advisory Committee (“LAC”) to evaluate the sites identified to meet current State regulations. The LAC process is documented in the Final Report.

Honolulu City Council – 64% Pay Increase for FY 2024

There are lots of twists and turns, machinations, and colouring to this pay increase controversy.

The fundamental question is whether the Council Chair Tommy Waters would place Resolutions 23-81 and Resolutions 23-82 on the June 7, 2023 Public Hearing Agenda to address the 64% pay increase.

Resolutions 81 & 82 continue to be ignored and time is quickly running out.

If no actions are taken against the Salary Commission‘s recommended increase, these 64% pay raises automatically become effective as of July 1, 2023.

Also, Tommy Waters and Mayor Blangiardi’s rationale for salary raises can be read in their testimonies to the Salary Commission. Salary Commission members are nominated by Mayor and approved by City Council.

The public’s most awaited meeting was June 7, 2023 – – to see whether the Council would reject the huge leap in pay raise for themselves. Scroll to 6:59 thereabouts to hear Bill10 on Page 27 Agenda.

Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters presided at the June 7. The 10 AM Hearing started at 10:45 AM and finished about nine hours later. Chair Waters did not place Resolutions 23-81 and 23-82 relating to the 64% salary increases on the Agenda.

Bill 10 was the most appropriate agenda item to opine on this 64% raise. Bill 10 was a comprehensive legislative packet to approve the County Budget for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2023 to June 20, 2024. Bill 10 would be where the funds for these pay raises needed to be penciled in. You can look at the June 7 Agenda and click Bill 10 (Page 27) to watch the video proceedings.

Residents were unhappy that Bill 10 was pushed to the back of the agenda. The opportunity for the public to testify began at about 7:00 p.m. Some residents had to leave. The marathon 10:00 AM Council Hearing began at 10:45 AM.

Written testimonies were also submitted earlier by the public. There was also an online petition – “Don’t hide, let the people decide your 64% pay raise”.

Despite the public uproar, Chair Waters dug in his heels and denied public participation by ignoring Resolutions 81 and 82.

Here is brief chronology for this 64% pay raise issue:

January 19, 2023: The nomination of Rebecca Soon through Resolution 23-7 to the Honolulu Salary Commission was submitted by Chair Tommy Waters.

Rebecca Soon is the daughter of Ray Soon (Former Chief of Staff to Mayor Kirk Caldwell) and Cheryl Soon.

January 25, 2023: Listen to the conversation beginning at 4:00 between Salary Commission nominee Rebecca Soon with Waters, Kia’aina, and Cordero.

Listen to the conversation between Chair Tommy Waters, Esther Kia’aina and Radiant Cordero about “full-time” or “part-time” and what salary compensation should be. Beginning at 4:00 pm with this Video

March 21. 2023: Local news media like KITV were following this issue. KHON2 also covered the Proposed Salary for City Council and Administration. The Salary Commission Meeting Agenda included FOR ACTION for deliberation and decision-making relating to the City pay raises:

April 25, 2023: Honolulu Salary Commission’s Press Release adopting its FY24 Salary Schedule and Calls For Action To Attract Public Servants To The City.

The Pearl City Neighborhood Board, a citizen grassroots advisory board, voted to oppose the proposed Salary Increases.

April 27, 2023: Two Resolutions responding to the Salary increases were introduced By City Council members Augie Tulba and Andria Tupola – – Resolutions 23-81 and Resolutions 23-82 to partially or impartially reject the increases.

But City Council Chair Tommy Waters refused to allow these two resolutions a public hearing. Doing nothing about the Salary Commission recommended increases would automatically triggers the increases on July 1, 2023.

May 15, 2023: Chair Tommy Waters signed REQUEST FOR SEALED BIDS ( “RFB”) to perform a salary analysis and comparison study for the Honolulu Salary Commission. Closed Date May 30m 2023. Cost was supposedly $100,000.00 A curious person would ask who received this very seemingly short-noticed request and turn-around report.

May 19, 2023: Maikiki Neighborhood Board also opposed the salary hikes. Makiki Board Chair wrote its opposing resolution due to unprecedented negative reactions to the pay raises.

May 25, 2023: With a horse before the cart action, Chair Waters and Vice-Chair Esther Kia’aina introduced Bill 33 and Resolution 23-109 to prohibit outside empolyment for city council members. Written testimonies on his two similar actions point to “distractions” intentions.

Resolutions 81 and 82 to reject the 64% increase continued to be denied a public hearing by Chair Waters.

June 7, 2023: City Council approves salary increase through inaction in Bill 10. Scroll to 6:57 to watch proceedings. Only Augie Tulba and Andria Tupola voted “NO” in addressing the pay raises. Bill 33 to Prohibit Outside Employment was rescinded and cancelled. Companion Resolution 12-109 passed First Reading. No funds were penciled into the Budget to address the 64% salary increases at this hearing. (However, keep it mind that there is an allowed shell game of moving funds without public votes.)

The two potent Resolutions 23-81 and Resolutions 23-82 to partially or impartially reject the increases remain ignored.

However, the D-Day is June 25 for Chair Tommy Waters to reverse this decision. Waters can still call a Special Hearing. Funds for these 64% pay increases have to be penciled in. The next question is: Where will these salary funds be taken from?

During the entire course of this 64% pay increase controversy, Chair Tommy Waters offered many contradicting rationale, including Conflicts of Interests and why the City Council should not vote for its own salary increases.

However, the Director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission Jan Yamane, who was invited to the June 7 Hearing, also clarified that City Council members could vote on these salary issues by filing a Conflict of Interest Disclosure. A flurry of Conflict of Interests was filed subsequently by the council members.

Contrary to what current Council Chair Waters is insisting about not being able to vote against the Honolulu Salary Commission, here is an example of another City Council Chair Ernie Martin who rejected pay raises in 2013 by introducing Resolution 13-88 himself.

A Happy Day in Jordan

On June 1, 2023, Jordon’s King Abdullah’s eldest son Crown Prince Al Hussein and Saudi Arabian architect Rajwa Al Saif got married at Zahran Palace, Amman, Jordan.

Jordon has been a strong ally with the U.S. Hopefully, the next generation will continue to promote democratic values and world peace as much as possible. The Islamic State has many values that we can emulate as well. The bride went to Syracuse University in upstate New York.

It is an elegant and lavish wedding fit for kings and queens. But, it’s hard to not forget that security is very tight. Having armed guards is part of life. Friends who visit as tourists in the Middle East all report having armed guards as part of the tourism package.

The Crown Prince of Great Britain has a close relationship with the Crown Prince of Jordon. Hopefully, this next generation will focus on more world peace. The future remains bright between these countries and the USA.