Tag Archives: Hawaii

OPPOSITION to Dawn Chang for Chairperson, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) GM 516

Consultant Dawn Chang’s nomination Hearing is on Friday March 31, 2023 1:00 pm

Testimonies can be submitted here. You need an email to register. Testimonies can be a simply OPPOSE or SUPPORT.

This is a written testimony from Deborah Ward from Mountain View, Hawaii Island OPPOSING Dawn Chang. Deborah has been in the environmental movement to preserve and protect Hawaii’s resources for decades. She has been a member of the Hawaii island group of Sierra club since 1984 in Excom positions since then. She served on the OMKM ENVIRONMENT committee for 23 years. Deborah is a retired faculty for UH DEPT of natural resources and environmental management, with an MS in Horticulture. She is currently farming ten acres in Mountain View.

” I am writing to urge you to not to confirm the nomination of Ms.Dawn Chang as Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR).

The basis for my opposition to this appointment is that Ms. Chang’s approach to the pressing issues of our time has been too narrowly focused on meeting the needs of her corporate and organizational clients when the focus needs to be on protecting the public trust.

The context for my concerns is the kuleana of the BLNR. While I am sure that you are aware of that responsibility, a reminder is in order given the importance of the appointment being considered. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, headed by an executive Board of Land and Natural Resources, is responsible for managing, administering, and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (except commercial harbors), minerals, and all interests therein.

The department’s jurisdiction encompasses nearly 1.3 million acres of State lands, beaches, and coastal waters as well as 750 miles of coastline (the fourth longest in the country). It includes state parks; historical sites; forests and forest reserves; aquatic life and its sanctuaries; public fishing areas; boating, ocean recreation, and coastal programs; wildlife and its sanctuaries; game management areas; public hunting areas; and natural area reserves.A summary of that kuleana is protecting the public trust.

Given this tremendous responsibility, the selection of a Chair should be guided by the highest principles. There is ample evidence that the selection of Ms. Chang does not demonstrate an adherence to that fundamental requirement.

The candidate should have demonstrated unquestionable integrity, a profound understanding of Hawaiian history and, a deep respect for the traditional Hawaiian civilization.

While Ms. Chang’s work has been involved in a wide range of relevant areas, an examination of her record in those involvements discloses a bias that disqualifies her from holding the BLNR position. Ms. Chang’s career is repeatedly characterized by decisions that ignore the mandates of history in order to facilitate the colonial mindset of facilitating economic exploitation, rather than acting as a protector of Hawai’i’s future. Her long list of corporate clients is the visible manifestation of her true professional commitments.

Her company belongs in the company of businesses that prepare environmental assessments and environmental impact statements which give developers the cover of a document that says what the developer needs to justify the project at issue.

There are other questions about the fitness of Ms. Chang. Some of her actions appear to be unethical, such as advising clients on how to avoid taking legally required actions.

For example, she advised Kawaiahaʻo Church that its proposal to construct a multi-purpose center did not require an archeological inventory survey, which the law clearly required. Ms. Chang’s advice was to ignore the legal requirement to avoid increasing the project cost.Her advice resulted in lengthy litigation and the illegal disturbing of hundreds of burials.

One of the major issues BLNR must address is the future of Mauna Kea. On that issue, Ms. Chang was responsible for preparing a woefully inadequate comprehensive master plan. Her plan was missing provisions for natural and cultural management, decommissioning, and public access. BLNR determined that the plan was deficient. The delay in approving the missing critical pieces of the plan led to delays in the CDUA for the TMT construction. The BLNR had to step in to require compliance with the law lacking in Ms. Chang’s plan.

DLNR is currently plagued by weak leadership, with multiple conflicts between offices and divisions, many due to conflicting mandates. The chronic understaffing and underfunding leads to ineffectiveness and institutional frustration. The loss of institutional knowledge has led to a serious degradation of our cultural heritage.

Ms. Chang does not demonstrate the skills to address these issues, and could serve to exacerbate the problems. Ms Chang is not the right person to be confirmed as Chair. I ask you to oppose her appointment.”

SB 1468: Surveyors want entry into any private property that has not hired their services

This is another bill that needs more deliberations and disclosure to the public at large. The most-affected stakeholder – the private property owners – deserve to be in this legislative process prior to any adoption of such bills. (The Honolulu Department of Design and Construction (DDC) ” respectfully supports ” this Bill.)

SB 1468 ” Authorizes professional land surveyors, and any assistant under the direct supervision of the land surveyor, to enter any private property to perform land surveying, subject to certain provisions regarding notice and identification. Shields land surveyors and their assistants from prosecution under criminal trespass laws when performing their duties. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2)”

Screenshot from https://mjslandsurvey.com/about-scalice-land-surveying/

For clarifications: Subject Property – hires the surveyor.

Non-Subject Property – does not hire the surveyor but surveyor wants right of entry.

Here are some comments and questions:

  1. SB 1458 “Shields land surveyors and their assistants from prosecution under criminal trespass laws when performing their duties.”
  2. On the other side of the coin, what about the liability of the private property owners who did not hire these surveyors but are forced to provide entry to the surveyors? What happens if a surveyor is bitten by a dog, or trips on a rock and break a leg, or is attacked by a swarm of bees or has a heart attack on the non-subject property?
  3. This Bill is an over-reaching and over-arching demand of right-of-entry to any property in Hawaii.
  4. What about the privacy of the non-subject property owners? Is their property not their castle?
  5. Why this request this year? There are actually more technology options for surveyors now to map out properties.
  6. Why do surveyors need to enter another non-subject property when surveyors already have full access to the subject property that hire them?
  7. Surveyors can perform, stake the pins, and complete work on the Subject Project. The first point of reference is usually on public places like a road or highway.
  8. Surveyors have worked in this industry for ages without asking for entry into any property that do not hire their services. Polite and respectful surveyors usually have no problems with adjacent property owners should there be a need for an adjustment of some sort.
  9. Non-subject Property owners could be on vacation, have kupuna, teenagers, children, tenants, pets, guard dogs, expensive stack of surf boards, and so on that need to be considered.
  10. How can another non-subject property trust surveyors they have not hired for the job? This is opening a new can of worm for personal security of property owners. Already we have criminals who are bold enough to pose as a policeman.
  11. Are the outside party surveyors going to pay for the non-subject property owner’s time to be present, on their own private property?
  12. The beneficiary of this are the surveyors. Just a written notice to the non-subject property owners is very assuming and autocratic. Sending a written notice is insufficient. The US Post Office is unreliable. Or an owner may have a PO Box office that is not checked regularly. The owners may not read or understand English. This should read: the real property to be surveyed after providing a landowner with written notice not less than 30 days before the proposed date of entry to the non-subject property and only upon a written approval receipt from the rightful owner(s).
  13. Again, the surveyors are the beneficiaries. It’s wrong to imply approval just because the surveyors have not received a timely objection. These unsolicited requirements on private property owners takes time, effort and costs. It’s a huge inconvenience. As discussed in #10, there could be a litany of reasons why the owners may not know what’s going on. The result should be the other way around. If the surveyor does not received a written approval, it’s a “No, no approval” to enter private property. (4) A statement that the landowner may refuse entry by making a timely written objection; and(5) A statement of the date, time, and method by which a landowner may object.
  14. This again disenfranchises the private property owner who is not benefitting from these actions. The surveyor is asking for a favor. Unless the surveyor receives a written approval from the non-subject property owner, it must be considered a ” non approval” to gain entry. Also using a certified mail is insufficient notice; it must include a USPO signed RETURN CERTIFICATE from the rightful owner in this context sentence. “Written notice shall be sent to the last known address of the landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property to be surveyed and the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands to be accessed; provided that notice sent by certified mail shall be deemed sufficient notice.

REFERENCES: This are excerpts relating to ” subject to certain provisions regarding notice and identification” as printed in this Bill:

Page 2 Ҥ464- Professional land surveyor right of entry to
private property; notification; identification; liability
. (a)
A professional land surveyor licensed pursuant to this chapter,
and any assistant under the direct supervision of the land
surveyor, may enter the private property of the landowner of the
real property to be surveyed and any adjoining lands at
reasonable times to perform land surveying at the request of the
landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property
to be surveyed after providing a landowner with written notice
not less than ????? days before the proposed date of entry. The
written notice shall include:
(l) The date and time the entry shall occur;
(2) A description of the work to be performed;

Page 3 (3) The approximate duration of the entry;
(4) A statement that the landowner may refuse entry by
making a timely written objection; and
(5) A statement of the date, time, and method by which a
landowner may object.

Any objection shall be expressly communicated to the land
surveyor in writing no later than ????? hours before the date the
survey work is to be performed. If a landowner makes a timely
objection, a professional land surveyor shall not be authorized
to enter the private property of the objecting landowner
pursuant to this section.

(b) The land surveyor shall give at least ten days written
notice of the intention to enter the private property on which
the land surveying is to be performed when the land surveying
may involve adjoining lands. The written notice shall include:

(l) The name of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed and the
name of the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands
to be accessed;
(2) The date and time the survey work is proposed to be
performed; and

Page 4 (3) The name and contact information of the land surveyor
that will perform the work.
Written notice shall be sent to the last known address of the
landowner of, or person with an interest in, the real property
to be surveyed and the landowner or occupier of adjoining lands
to be accessed; provided that notice sent by certified mail
shall be deemed sufficient notice.

When the landowner or person with interest in a property
involved in the survey, including adjoining lands to be
accessed, gives notice to the surveyor that the surveying may
disrupt or interfere with operations on the properties involved,
the surveyor shall meet with the landowners or persons with an
interest in the properties to negotiate a mutually agreeable
date and time to perform the land surveying. (c) The land surveyor shall carry a government-issued
photo identification, and the land surveyor’s:

(l) Certificate of licensure with the license number
issued pursuant to this Chapter, or a facsimile
thereof; or
(2) Seal or stamp, or facsimile thereof, authorized
pursuant to section 464—11; and

Page 5

a copy of the notice submitted pursuant to this section.”

A lessee of the land or premises; or
(b) A professional land surveyor, or assistant under the
direct supervision of the land surveyor, who enters or
remains in or upon the land or premises of another,
after giving notice as required by section 464—
for the purpose of performing land surveying at the request of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed.”

Page 7: (b) A professional land surveyor, or assistant under the
direct supervision of the land surveyor, who enters or
remains in or upon the land or premises of another,
after giving notice as required by section 464-
for the purpose of performing land surveying at the
request of the landowner of, or person with an
interest in, the real property to be surveyed.”

Note the “Effective 7/1/2050” can be quickly amended to “This Act shall take effect upon its approval.”


Hawaii Legislature: HB 538 dismisses the US Constitution

Did a group of politicians woke up one morning and decided to attack the US Constitution or something?

Read HB 538 in the context that the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) is struggling. It has been mired with corruption and mismanagement for years.

At Honolulu Mayor Rick’s Blangiardi’s City Address on March 15, 2023, he stated that the average time for a permit approval was 300 days. Three hundred (300) days is actually on the fast track.

HB 538 states ” then the applicable county planning or permitting agency shall commence foreclosure proceedings, judicial or nonjudicial, on the real property without delay.” Guess which type of foreclosure the county is going to choose?

HB 538 first started with wanting entry into homes without consent. (Interestingly, another bill SB 1468 asks for surveyors entry into any property too.)

Page 2 of HB 538 proposes:

46-A Authority to enter private property; zoning
violation. (a) Notwithstanding chapter 322, a county planning
or permitting agency may enter privately owned residential real property, without the consent or cooperation of the owner or
occupant of the real property, for the purpose of investigating
any condition on the premises that the officer reasonably
believes may constitute a violation of any county zoning
ordinance, rule, or regulation that:

On Page 4, it continues:

§46-B Penalties for unaddressed zoning violations. The
penalties for a violation of any county zoning ordinance, rule,
or regulation shall be as follows, regardless of whether a
county planning or permitting agency’s investigation was
conducted without the owner’s or occupant’s consent or
cooperation pursuant to section 46-A(a) or by other means:

(1) An owner of real property who fails to remediate all
conditions that gave rise to issuance of the notice of
violation, to the agency’s satisfaction and within the
agency’s specified time frame, shall be assessed by
the agency a fine of not less than $1,000 for each day
the violation persists;

(2) If fines assessed to the owner of real property exceed
$5,000, then the notice of violation shall constitute
a lien upon the real property within thirty days; and

(3) If within thirty days of receiving notice of the lien,
the owner of real property fails to:
(A) Satisfy the lien specified in paragraph (2); and (B) Commence and diligently conduct remediation of
all conditions that gave rise to issuance of the
notice of violation, to the agency’s
satisfaction, then the applicable county planning or permitting
agency shall commence foreclosure proceedings,
judicial or nonjudicial, on the real property without
delay.”

Hawaii Legislative Bills must uphold the US Constitution

Good public policies are vetted carefully in an over-arching manner. They must be rooted within the parameters of the US Constitution that have served us well for 235 years.

There are some very troublesome bills – SB875, HB15. HB538, HB106, SB216, HB 498 that are introduced this 2023 session.

The language may vary in these Bills but the core violation is the taking of private property based on civil fines, without providing the judicial court process. It’s not about the market value or the balance of the sold property loot.

I get it that certain politicians are hoping for easier and quicker penalties like non-judicial foreclosures. But to think that the counties can seize private property based on civil fines is misguided. We can’t have knee-jerk legislation just because we want to punish some “egregious” private property owners or to create a new source of income revenues.

Counties cannot become the in-house Police, Prosecutor, Jury, Judge, and Executioner.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it best in one of her last Opinions for the US Supreme Court in Timbs vs Indiana relating to excessive CIVIL fines and Due Process. Below are some of jurist RBG’s excerpts to all of us from the grave:


This Court has held that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause incorporates the protections contained in the Bill of Rights, rendering them applicable to the States.”  

For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties. Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies, as the Stuarts’ critics learned several centuries ago.”

” Protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history for good reason: Such fines undermine other liberties. They can be used, e.g., to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies. They can also be employed, not in service of penal purposes, but as a source of revenue. The historical and logical case for concluding that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause is indeed overwhelming.”

“Even absent a political motive, fines may be employed “in a measure out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence,” for “fines are a source of revenue,”

” In short, the historical and logical case for concluding that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause is overwhelming. Protection against excessive punitive economic sanctions secured by the Clause is, to repeat, both “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty” and “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”       

Hawaii State Legislature: Bills against Private Property Rights are the best-kept secrets.

There were about 3132 Bills this 2023 Session.

There are 6 Power of Sale Bills with the agenda to force the sale of private property. based on civil fines. The County wants to cut off the judicial court process.

These Bills violate basic Constitution civil rights. These Non-Judicial requests turns the counties in Police, Prosecutor, Jury, Judge, and Executioner.

They also assume that the city is always right and the people always wrong.

Below are the 3 active Bills asking for Non-Judicial Foreclosure: To sell private properties without going to court. City wants to levy civil fines and the powers to sell.

SB 875 Introducer(s):
CHANG, MORIWAKI, Dela Cruz

Description:Authorizes counties, after adoption of an ordinance, to sell private property after all notices, orders, and appeal proceedings are exhausted and to use those revenues to pay unpaid civil fines related to that property; provided that the county sells the property at not less than the market value of similarly situated properties and that all revenues received from the sale that exceed the amount of the unpaid civil fines are refunded to the property owner. (SD1)

HB 15 Introducer(s):
TARNAS

Description:Authorizes the State and the counties to place liens on real properties for unpaid civil fines resulting from violations of land use laws. Authorizes the State and counties, subject to adoption of appropriate and particular laws or rules establishing the power of sale, to sell properties after all notices, orders, and appeal proceedings, if any, are exhausted and use those revenues to pay unpaid civil fines related to property. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD2)

HB538 Introducer(s): MATAYOSHI, BELATTI, HASHIMOTO, HOLT, KILA, KITAGAWA, LAMOSAO, MARTEN, NISHIMOTO, TAKENOUCHI, TARNAS, Chun

Description:Establishes penalties for failure to remediate violations, including fines and, under circumstances, foreclosure. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)

These bills below did not pass the March 9 Cross-over.

HB106 Package:
City and County of Honolulu

Description:Authorizes a county to proceed with a power of sale on real property subject to a recorded lien.

SB 216 Package:
City and County of Honolulu

Description:Authorizes a county to proceed with a power of sale on real property subject to a recorded lien.

HB 498. Introducer(s):
SAYAMA

Description:Authorizes counties, after adoption of an ordinance, to sell private property after all notices, orders, and appeal proceedings are exhausted and to use those revenues to pay unpaid civil fines related to that property. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)

This list is from the Star Advertiser:

Screenshot from Star Advertiser. March 13, 2023

Who’s behind these non-judicial Power of Sale bills?

UPDATE: SB 875 & HB 15 are speeding on. ( HB 538 is quite similar.)

Keep in mind the counties already have “Judicial Foreclosure” and “Eminent Domain” powers in place. But the justification is that these processes take too long.

In other words, these bills will allow the counties to be the Police, Prosecutor, Jury, Judge, and Executioner. The Judicial Due Process will be cut off.

We’re asked who started these non-judicial foreclosure bills to forced sale of a private property, based on the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) fines, without going to court.

Here are some quick answers:

It originated in 2022 as HB 1434 with Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Keep it mind that this Power of Sale requests applied to ALL Counties in Hawaii. Based on my observations of him, it’s unlikely that this non-judicial Power of Sale idea originated from Blangiardi unless he’s hoping for a new stream of revenues from fines and sale of properties.

If I have to take a guess, it would be his Managing Director Mike Formby, formerly with the Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP) or former Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) Director Dean Uchida.

Five (5) City Council members, known as the Gang of 5, also submitted testimony – Chair Tommy Waters, Esther Kia’iana, Brandon Elefante, Calvin Say, and Radiant Cordera.

What were the underlying motives?

Fortunately, Bill 1434 failed to pass last year.

I was in the same Mayoral campaign with Rick Blangiardi in 2020. Based on my observations and
his words, he had very shallow understanding about Honolulu City Hall workings.

This year 2023, Mayor Blangiardi is back with HB 106 and SB 216 by request to Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki.

However, presto! The tactics have changed a bit this year. There are five (5) clone bills with the same agenda speeding through.

Google Searches show no county mayors, state legislators or city council members appear to have warned Hawaii about this draconian assault on private properties.

Here are the rest of the three (3) bills.

SB875 is introduced by Senators Stanley Chang, Donovan Dela Cruz and Sharon Moriwaki. This bill is alive and has crossed over on March 7, 2023.

This time around, written testimonies come from only Honolulu City Council former Budget Chair Calvin Say and DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna.

Companion Bill HB498 is introduced by Representative Jackson Sayama.

HB 15 is introduced by Representative David Tarnas (D) It has no senate companion bill but it has crossed over on March 7, 2023.

HB538 is another similar one that includes judicial or non-judicial foreclosure. It is introduced by MATAYOSHI, BELATTI, HASHIMOTO, HOLT, KILA, KITAGAWA, LAMOSAO, MARTEN, NISHIMOTO, TAKENOUCHI, TARNAS, Chun.

The time line provided in this bill is too unrealistic. It assumes that DPP is 100% efficient. In actual fact, it takes a very long time to get a permit. Some permits take a much longer time because it may need a shoreline certified shoreline. This could easily take six months to complete.

Bill 106 threatens private property owners

This is a reprint from the Star Advertiser published February 15, 2023. The limit for Star Advertiser was 600 words. For educational purposes, we’re adding more info through links and photos.

EDITORIAL | ISLAND VOICES

Column: Bill threatens private property owners

  • By Choon James and Natalie Iwasa
  • Today 
  • Updated 7:19 pm

As part of the 2022 county package to state legislators, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi requested “nonjudicial foreclosure” powers, i.e., the power to seize private property without going to court. Fortunately, House Bill 1434 did not pass last year.

This year’s package includes another request for “nonjudicial foreclosure,” aka “power of sale.” 2023 HB 106 BELOW represents an alarming threat to property owners and is prevalent in totalitarian regimes.

This year’s HB 106 offers weak assurance that “a county may, after all notices, orders, and appeal proceedings are exhausted, satisfy all unpaid civil fines through the power of sale on the real property subject to a recorded lien.”

Unfortunately, our years of civic participation at Honolulu Hale show that due process has not always been fair and equitable to ordinary residents.

Furthermore, recent federal indictments and guilty pleas continue to show the troubled Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has no consistent record of fair play or efficient management. Written testimonies reveal alarming threats toward private property rights.

Dawn Takeuchi Apana, DPP director designate, stated: “Specifically, this bill would authorize the city to bring closure to pending civil fines imposed on landowners who are in violation of the city’s land use ordinances and building codes, through a nonjudicial or administrative process.”

Honolulu City Councilman Calvin Say also submitted testimony for a quicker seizure: “Our city corporation counsel is currently able to initiate a Judicial Foreclosure process, which has been successful in similar instances, however this is a long process that takes valuable resources away from other pressing legal matters.”

In other words, give us the authorization to hurry it up by bypassing the regular court method of foreclosure.

The House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, whose members include Chairman David Tarnas and Vice Chair Gregg Takayama, approved HB 106 on Jan. 31. Its report states in part:

“Your committee finds that authorizing the counties to collect on liens filed on properties through a nonjudicial foreclosure process provides some leverage over property owners to comply or lose their property. If a property owner fails to comply and the property is foreclosed upon, this measure would enable the property to be put to productive use, allow liens attached to the property to be satisfied, and stop the accrual of additional debt or taxes on the property.”

Chairman David Tarnas and Vice Chair Gregg Takayama, approved HB 106 on Jan. 31. 2023

Hawaii’s state legislators should recognize that most ordinary residents sacrifice and work their tails off to achieve real property ownership. Each county’s goal should be to help property owners comply with the law and correct their violations, not summarily seize their properties.

HB 106 invites corruption and exposes residents, especially those who have fewer financial resources available to them, as easy casualties of this potential power of sale. All Hawaii counties would be affected.

It should be noted the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Feb. 20, 2019 (Timbs vs Indiana), that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines — civil asset forfeitures are a type of fine — applies to state and local governments, thus limiting their ability to use fines to raise revenue.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also astutely argued fines could be used to retaliate against political enemies and had been used as a source to raise revenue.

RBG was a tireless and resolute champion of justice.

Hawaii has a few egregious property owners, but this tyrannical bill is not the solution. We urge our legislators to vote “no” on HB 106.

###


AUTHORS: Natalie Iwasa is a CPA and certified fraud examiner; Choon James is a residential Realtor and farmer. They have spent combined decades of civic participation at Honolulu Hale as community advocates for good governance.

REJECT HB 106: Authorizes a county to proceed with a power of sale on real property subject to city fines.

The City and County of Honolulu is asking to have POWER of SALE on Oahu’s property owners based on DPP liens. Bill 106 will affect ALL Counties.

JHA 1/31/23 2:00 PM Tuesday
325 VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE

BILL 106 and companion SB 216 may sound harmless in an ideal world with perfect fairness and equity and justice for all.

But in real life, these bills are too over-reaching and will further marginalize Private Property Rights. 

Bill 106 slams Due Process for ordinary citizens. There are systemic failures of discrimination, inequity, and entrenched bureaucracy at Honolulu Hale. This Power of Sale will expose every property owner to the possible whim of politicians, government officials and its powerful political machine. 

Although there is supposedly a fair “process” in place, our decades of participating at Honolulu Hale and the records have shown otherwise. Repeatedly we have witnessed that this same “process” has been unfair and inequitable to ordinary citizens. No matter how thin the cheese is sliced, there are always two sides to it. But the government almost always wins because it has the upper-hand, resources and a legal corporate team to ignore or fight ordinary citizens.

Most ordinary citizens are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They work their tails off to achieve real property ownership. The County’s role ought to be helping property owners correct their violations and be in compliance; not be too eager to seize private properties through fines. 

Unfortunately, the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) does not have a consistent and good record. This is no way to live in a Democracy where Big Brother and its long arm of government continues to become more powerful and subvert Due Process due its citizen.

This POWER of SALE is NOT about a mortgage company foreclosing based on non-payments of a borrower. This is about the government seizing properties, based on DPP fines.

There is an alleged reason or justification that this Power of Sale is needed to enforce “monster homes” or “illegal vacation rentals”.

The isolated problems with monster homes and illegal vacation rentals are not compelling enough to provide counties with this unfettered powers. DPP needs to examine why monster homes are approved for permits in the first place. There was a time when a property owner could only build up to 50% of its land area. Incrementally, the city has approved regulations and ordinances that allow increased density in its land-use legislation.

As a matter of public policy making and with a bigger picture, providing all counties with this Power of Sale for the above alleged reason is akin to tearing down a Cathedral to fry an egg.

Ordinary citizens cannot afford expensive legal representation to make sure their side of the story is heard and fairly considered in the legislative decision-making.

Affluent and well-connected citizens have the means to circumvent DPP. Ordinary citizens will become the casualties of this powerful and overreaching legislation.

This Power of Sale (aka Non-judicial Foreclosure) is overreaching and tyrannical. This Power of Sale authority makes every property owner a sitting duck at the whim of the city.

Basing a POWER of SALE ( aka NON-Judicial Foreclosure) through DPP fines and recorded liens is the worst possible exposure for more corruption and possible political retaliation.  

The City and County of Honolulu requested this same power aka “non-judicial foreclosure” in 2022. 

Please read the 2022 written testimonies that provide a very brief summary of this issue. This far-reaching governmental power will affect all Counties but it was one of the best-kept secrets in 2022. It is the same in 2023.

Please protect Due Process and protect private property rights. As if Eminent Domain is insufficient for the government, the Honolulu County is again asking for a quick Power of Sale aka non-judicial foreclosure.

This governmental power is too much to bear in a democratic society. Private Property Rights must be revered as one of Democracy’s foundational pillars. The counties have other options.

Singapore is World’s #1 for best roads

Read the excerpt below and my personal story while in Singapore.

” By now, it should not come as a surprise that Singapore typically crushes the competition in many world rankings.

And so it did, in a recent list of best roads around the world, where Singapore came in — you guessed it — first.

Iscored 9.44 over 10 points in terms of its road quality in a global study by Zutobi, which also took into account the number of road deaths and the relative size of the road network.”

I was visiting Singapore for about a month. My father’s grave was being reinterred from the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery that was supposedly for the expansion of the Tengah Airbase.

I had left Singapore in 1975 and felt like I needed to show support to my family who had always taken care of family affairs.

During the entire month that I was in Singapore, I travelled all over the island. We travelled on roads, highways, alley ways, and side streets.

There was not a single pothole encountered during my stay in Singapore.

We finally landed home in Oahu. As the airplane was taxi-ing to the terminal at the Honolulu International airport, the announcement came from the pilot came on:

Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize. There will be a 2-minute delay as there is a pot-hole in front of us. The plane is being towed to the terminal.”

My husband and I looked at each other and laughed upon hearing that announcement.

Welcome back to Hawaii!

Land of the potholes, even on the airport grounds.

Election 2022: Hawaii’s Democratic Party has no Mandate from the public

August 13 Primary Elections is over. The General election to finally choose the candidates is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Voters receive their ballots in the mail for the General Election by October 21, 2022

Considering it’s a mail-in elections, the Primary results are disappointing. Over half a million registered voters (515,397 60.4%) did not vote in the Primary.

To put the Primary Results in context, there is no mandate from the public at large for the Democratic Party:

Elections 2022 PRIMARY FINAL TALLY

853,874 Registered

338,477 (39.6%) voted

515,397 (60.4%) did not vote

EXAMPLE: The Gubernatorial Race Results

157,476 votes for Dr. Josh Green divided by registered voters (854,874) is ONLY about 18.44% of Hawaii’s registered voters.

This percentage can hardly be claimed as a mandate for the Democratic Party in Hawaii.

Providing a multi-party choice is good and a must for democracy. For the public interest and public good, our political culture ought to be one of encouraging ALL candidates with diversity of thoughts and ideas to participate.

I would encourage Republicans to reassess and work hard to offer a viable choice for the people of Hawaii.

In the next 2024 elections, hopefully Aloha Aina, Green Party, Independent, and others will regroup and try again!

Republican Duke Aiona has served as a circuit court Judge and also Lt. Governor for 8 years. Josh Green has been in his Lt.Governor office for the past 4 years and also works as a non-board certified doctor.

Another interesting point to consider is this: It was reported early in the August 13, 2022 Primary Night that about 730.000 ballots were mailed out.

But the final tally for the August 13, 2022 was 854,874 registrations count.

That was an increase of about 124,874 registration. It appears to be a very accelerated amount in a very short time.