Tag Archives: Hawaii

Proposed Mauna Kea Telescope Failed Environmental Review Process

Local Kupuna (elders) insisted on taking the front line to block the TMT construction crew access to the Mauna Kea summit on Day 1 – July 14, 2019 PC: Nate Yuen

The latest proposed 18-story $1.4 billion telescope addition to the Mauna Kea Summit was bound to create a tipping point in Hawaiian history.

It’s no secret that Hawaii residents constantly have to protest against the intransigence (unwillingness to listen) of big government and/or private corporations who have the backing of big government in many projects.

Yes, the State of Hawaii has significant and purposeful checks and balances in its environmental review process – Environmental Assessment ( EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – for major projects. But adherence to the entire prescribed rules and regulations and process is inconsistent.  

Project owners get to choose and compensate their own environmental review company.  Environmental review processes are regularly pushed through the status quo food chain despite public concerns over multiplier negative impacts like traffic, loss of fertile farm lands, social upheaval, fiscal impropriety, cultural damages, and so forth.

Consultation” and “Public Participation” with the most affected parties are mandated core requisites in the environmental review process, but often ignored and subverted in real life.

Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) Section 11-200-5 requires an agency to “assess at the earliest practicable time the significance of potential impacts of its actions, including the overall cumulative impact in light of related actions in the region and further actions contemplated.”

HAR §11-200-9(1) explicitly states that the agency must also consult with “those citizen groups and individuals which the approving agency reasonably believes to be affected.”

The intent of the term, “consult” in the context of the Hawai‘i EIS Law is clear. The clarification is found in the 1997 Guidebook for the Hawai‘i State Environmental Review Process, prepared by the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC):

  Pre-assessment Consultation

         Prior to preparing your draft EA it is important to consult with the community regarding your proposed activity as well as agencies. [emphasis in the original] Groups, individuals and organizations that have expertise in the field, have an interest or will be affected by the activity you are proposing should be consulted.  Immediate neighbors or neighboring landowners must be contacted.  Consultation with the local planning department is required.  The local planning office can also direct you to other necessary agency contacts.  [OEQC Guidebook, p.13]

“Consultation” with the affected community is the first of several elements of public participation in the environmental review process established under Chapter 343. 

Public participation is the core value to rational environmental management and has long been recognized as good policy. It is explicitly identified as a founding principle in the legislative findings that preface the environmental review law:

§343-1 Findings and purpose.  The legislature finds that the quality of humanity’s environment is critical to humanity’s well being, that humanity’s activities have broad and profound effects upon the interrelations of all components of the environment, and that an environmental review process will integrate the review of environmental concerns with existing planning processes of the State and counties and alert decision makers to significant environmental effects which may result from the implementation of certain actions. 

The legislature further finds that the process of reviewing environmental effects is desirable because environmental consciousness is enhanced, cooperation and coordination are encouraged, and public participation during the review process benefits all parties involved and society as a whole.

Both the Rules and the Guidebook provide that consultations with the community should occur at the outset of the process, prior to assembly of the actual draft EA.  This assures that both concerns of the community and its intimate knowledge of the site of proposed actions are understood and incorporated into the planning process.

Furthermore, HAR 11-200-9(C) requires agencies proposing an action to analyze alternatives to the nominal project proposal in the environmental assessment.  

Consideration of alternatives is another core element of the environmental planning process and offers one of the key tools available to achieve the purpose of environmental impact minimization.  The OEQC Guidebook includes specific instructions regarding the discussion of alternatives:

Consider alternative methods and modes of your project, and discuss them in the draft EA.  Select the one with the least detrimental effect to the environment.  Alternatives to consider include:

•  Different sites:  is one site less likely to infringe on an environment that needs protection, such as a wetlands or an historic district?

 •  Different facility configurations:  is one configuration less likely to intrude on scenic view planes?

Alternative analysis should include input from the community.  Community members may be aware of concerns and impacts that make a particular alternative more or less desirable. [OEQC Guidebook, p.15]

The Guidebook also offers insight into what’s expected in an EA in the way of alternatives analysis in its discussion of questions to ask when reviewing an EA.

Are alternatives to the proposed project (including no project at all) adequately explored? Are there other ways to carry out the project which may be less damaging to the environment? Are different designs or approaches discussed sufficiently? What basic improvements can you suggest? [OEQC Guidebook, p.9]

         Thus, alternatives to discuss include not just the no action case, but also actions of a significantly different nature that would provide similar benefits with different minimal impacts, different designs or project details, different locations, different facility configurations, and even the alternative of postponing an action pending development of a more viable proposal. (Bold added for emphasis)

The Mauna Kea’s 18-story telescope’s environment review process and other related procedures inevitably became more complicated through the years.

Opponents were forced into the courts to be recognized. Conflicts of interests relating to the State Hearing Officer relating to permit issuance were fought over. and so on. Yet, the powers-that-be continued its intransigent behavior. Subsequent elected officials continued the same intransigent pattern.

History shows that in August 2008, Star Advertiser’s Kevin Dayton reported:  

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye is pressing to have a huge new telescope project built on Mauna Kea that is almost certain to be controversial among Native Hawaiians. But he is also proposing steps such as scholarships for Hawaiian students as part of an initiative to garner public support for the project.

The loss of the TMT project to a competing site in Chile “would not bode well for us as a nation, and could very well signal an end to any major astronomy investment on American soil,” Inouye wrote in the letter.

TMT Observatory Corp. — a partnership between the University of California, California Institute of Technology and an organization of Canadian universities — selected Mauna Kea and Cerro Armazones in Chile as the two potential locations for the telescope it hopes to build by 2018.”

Kevin Dayton further reported a significant piece of information about the review process then:

“Sierra Club’s Mauna Kea Issues Committee Co-chair Nelson Ho said no one knows the “carrying capacity” of the mountain, or the point at which the development overwhelms the natural resources there.

“I think the senator is ignoring a lot of widespread sentiment that Big Islanders don’t want more telescopes on the mountain, let alone the TMT,” Ho said. “It’s a huge monstrosity at a time when there are still too many unresolved issues on the table.”

Obviously Nelson Ho, an informed and local activist’s opinions were insufficient to be acknowledged as part of the “consultation” and “public participation” review process.

A stream of public concerns from various groups and peoples would continue. Unfortunately, the TMT site had been pre-selected and pre-determined. Big government would steamroll the project through no matter what.

It’s time for the oligarchs of Hawaii to play fair, not strong-arm politics. The Mauna Kea project is not the sole irritation in Hawaii.

There are countless controversial decisions that are pushed through without thoughtful consideration of significant public concerns and input, like the struggling Honolulu Rapid Transit Project, the Important Agricultural Lands (IAL) Designations, the proposed Ala Wai Canal Watershed Project, Ho’opili, Ala Moana Beach Park Master Plan, Sherwood Forest Master Plan, Blaisdell Center Facelift, A&B Water Irrigation Permits, the Thomas Square Project, the Hauula Fire Station Relocation, Kahuku Wind Turbines, and so forth.

The Mauna Kea Project’s history of intransigence- – ignoring “consulting” and “public participation” during the review process also does not adequately address many other unanswered questions about Hawaii’s crown and ceded lands, the cultural, historical and social impacts, the “conservation” zoned land use and management and so forth

Yet, on July 14, 2019, there was an orchestrated display of force by Hawaii’s Oligarchs. In addition to DOCARE police, sheriffs, and National Guards, more police presence would be deployed from Oahu and Maui. The presence of LRAD, or “sound cannon,” tear gas, raid gear, batons and so  on were also present as reported by observers.

Subsequently, on July 17, 2019, law enforcement arrested 38 peaceful opponents of the Project. The Governor then issued a State of Emergency through his media communications team:

      HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today issued      an emergency proclamation to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people on Hawai‘i Island and across the State of Hawai‘i, to also ensure the execution of the law, prevent lawless violence, and the obstruction of the execution of the law.

The emergency proclamation gives law enforcement increased flexibility and authority to close more areas and restrict access on Mauna Kea. This will allow law enforcement to improve its management of the site and surrounding areas and ensure public safety.

“Our top priority is the safety and security of our communities and the TMT construction teams. This is a long-term process and we are committed to enforcing the law and seeing this project through,” said Ige. 

The Resistance, practicing fortitude and Kapu Aloha, has been peaceful and non violent as all visiting observers have attested to.

A fair-minded person should be extremely concerned with the chronic intransigent pattern in undermining values of “consultation” and “public participation” of the most affected parties, the flaunting and abuse of big government powers and resources towards the Mauna Kea Resistance thus far.

What may be deemed legal may not always be just or pono.

Choon James has been a community advocate for decades. She has also been a real estate broker for over 30 years. She can be reached at ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com Photos by Nate Yuen. Special mahalo to John Harrison, PHD UH Manoa Environmental Center (Retired).

IMPEACH Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Download Petition here! http://www.ImpeachMayorKirkCaldwell2019.com

Not registered to vote? No Problem! REGISTER to vote here!          

    PETITIONS TO IMPEACH MAYOR KIRK CALDWELL

Persons of contact: Choon James 808 293 8888 Kapohuolahaina Moniz Pa Dave Moskowitz 203 8898 EMAIL: ImpeachMayorCaldwell2019@gmail.com

We are severely concerned with the malfeasance, misfeasance, and non-feasance behavior that have been happening at City Hall.

We have watched with horror the escalating mismanagement and runaway costs of the mismanaged and outdated Honolulu Rail Transit project. The Rail project was grossly under-estimated at $2.7 BILLION in 2006. Today, it’s escalating to $10 Billion with unknown costs. Even the Operations & Maintenance costs and ridership revenues are unknown. The Rail project is now under federal investigations. There are relentless reports of mismanagement and fiscal mishaps about the rail but Mayor Caldwell acts oblivious to them.

Consequently, core services are being undermined while our taxes and fees are escalating. GET/property taxes have increased. “Residential A” property taxes for local landlords who provide services to long-term renters have tripled, triggering rent increases. Other fees like vehicle registrations, sewer and water fees have increased. Our mainstream residents are struggling with these escalating costs of living.

The last two years had more Hawaii residents LEAVING, due mostly to “high costs of living”. We’re being priced out of our house and home.

The list of Mayor Caldwell’s arrogance, corruption, and mismanagement includes, but not limited to, the following: The independent Ethics Commission Director Mr. Chuck Totto was ousted. The former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is on trial at the federal courts. The Mayor’s chief Corporation Counsel Donna Leong is on paid leave, related to the   Kealoha federal investigations. The city’s Prosecutor is being investigated and on paid leave.

Homelessness, crime, environmental degradation, monster homes, violations of residents’ civil rights, violations of state and US Constitution that force the city to pay for settlement awards, abuse of the Community Development Block Grants and so on. Mayor Caldwell is not responding to severe land-use and planning concerns relating to, but not limited to, the Ala Moana Regional Beach Park, the Sherwood Forest Beach Park in Waimanalo. The cries of residents to have basic clean and well-managed beach parks and other public facilities in ALL parts of Oahu are ignored.

Every day, we see the Mayor’s bad behavior and we feel angry but helpless. We see our beloved island worsening. We see ourselves being forced to pay the price for his bad management and bad decisions.

We cannot afford to give Mayor Caldwell any more time to further destroy our island and price us out of our homes and island.

Today, we’re taking a stand and rising up. We need and want new leadership of honesty and transparency and putting RESIDENTS FIRST!

We want fairness, even application of the law and city’s funds across Oahu.

We want to do away with political “pay to play” games at the taxpayers’ expense.

We want our neighborhoods to be clean and safe.

 We want to protect Oahu’s overarching environment, sustainability, safety, and prosperity for our children and their future.  

We want to live in our beautiful island and not be priced out!

We want to take our government back!!!

Please kokua. Stand up and be counted! Please sign the petition to impeach Mayor Caldwell to send him a message that we’re not happy with the direction Oahu is heading! Mahalo!

Choon James For City Council – Happy 4th of July

 

 

                                   I Always Remember This Poignant Family History!

After 69 years, WWII pilot comes home for burial

Niece’s search to end with return of the remains of the uncle she knew only through letters and stories.

Springville •

In March 1944, 2nd Lt. Vernal J. Bird took flight in his A-20G Havoc bomber in an attack on Japanese airfields in western Papua New Guinea. He was last seen trailing his squadron.

But after his niece, Lorna Bird Snyder, launched a years-long search for her uncle, Vernal Bird’s remains will arrive in Utah this month to be buried with full military honors in the Bird family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery.

For Lorna Bird Snyder, it’s been a long time coming. She began her search in 2003, not knowing at the time that a bone had been found at a crash site in the mountains of western Papua New Guinea two years earlier. After moving into her late mother’s home, she found “boxes and boxes of letters,” including Vernal’s. And she took to the Internet to research the American and Australian offensive against the Japanese.

“Every time I found something, I sent for it,” she said. “It took years, on and off. Spurts of every day, then it would lie for while. My [late] mom and dad were beside me: ‘You’re going to do this, dear. Keep moving.’ “

After hearing the news on Tuesday, she said, “I feel relieved and just immensely grateful. It’s kind of united the family again; cousins we haven’t seen coming together. So, OK, things are moving.”

Vernal Bird, the 12th of 13 children, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1941. Three years later, he was at an American base in Nadzab, Papua New Guinea, where he wrote frequent letters home.

“I have been assigned to a [squad] up in the forward, area, and, to put it short, this is going to be a sun-of-a-gun,” he wrote on March 3, 1944. “I feel damn lucky to be flying with them. I like our ships, fast and maneuverable, but the [Japanese] don’t like them so well.”

Bird flew with the 5th Air Force’s 13th Bombardment Squadron, which flew B-24 and B-25 heavy bombers, and A-20G light bombers. His A-20G was equipped with machine guns, heavy bombs and the lighter parafrag bombs, which floated down onto the enemy slowly enough to prevent the plane from being caught in the blasts.

The A-20 pilots routinely flew just above the treetops, sometimes even through them as they attacked. That campaign was brutal for both sides, as they fought ferociously in jungles, mud and monsoons.

Lorna Bird Snyder learned that captured U.S. pilots in particular suffered brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese, who were as exhausted and angry as the Allied forces when they closed in.

On that March 12, the squadron set out for the Japanese base of Boram with the A-20Gs low and fast over and through the the treetops. But Bird and his co-pilot, Staff Sgt. Roy F. Davis, veered toward a mountain range. Then they vanished.

Although a search was begun, it was deemed impractical at the time, according to a report by the Army’s Individual Deceased Personnel File on Vernal Bird.

In the late 1940s, the Army’s American Graves Registration Services searched for and disinterred, the remains of U.S. servicemen in the Pacific Theater for return to their homes. In 1950, the Army “confirmed the finding of non-recoverability for 2nd Lt. Bird.”

But in 2001, a Papuan national named Charles Wintawa found the wreckage of Bird’s plane in the steep, wet jungle. He also found a fibula and took it and the engine identification plates to an American recovery team.

Later, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii went to the wreckage of Bird’s plane. It cannot be explored, however, until and if a still-attached 500-pound bomb is defused.

Meantime, Lorna Bird Snyder said, “It finally dawned on me — DNA.” Vernal Bird’s sister, Elaine, was the sole surviving sibling, and she gave a sample for testing.

On July 12, Michael Mee of Fort Knox told Lorna Bird Snyder that the fibula matched the DNA sample. The next day, Thomas Holland, scientific director of the Central Identification Laboratory at Hickham Air Force Base in Honolulu, met with her and her husband in Salt Lake City to explain the lengthy and exhaustive process of identification.

“He told us exactly what he’d gone through,” Lorna Bird Snyder said. “It was very impressive, very touching.” Looking over photos in her Springville home, she said that while she’d never known her uncle, he was her father’s little brother.

“He was a constant presence in our house,” she said. “They talked about Vernal all the time, how much they loved him.

“It was a little bit frightening to me, as a little kid, to think he was just gone,” said Lorna Bird Snyder, now 66. “What is a war where they take people and don’t give them back? You could just read the heartache in the parents’ faces.”

In Vernal Bird’s last letter, dated March 10, 1944, he told his brother and sister-in-law that “The sun is setting in our sky and it is really a lovely site. Much more peaceful looking than it really is … I’d like to give you a ride, Nick, along the trees we fly right in the leaves at times. Love to all, Vernal.”

His remains, accompanied by a military escort, will be returned and buried on Sept. 28 in the Evergreen Cemetery with military honors. His military headstone will be close to the memorial stone his family placed in the late 1940s.

One day, if that 500-bomb is rendered safe, Lorna Bird Snyder would like to see the place where her uncle’s remains were found, and “look for the sergeant, too.”

“`

 

Uncle Vernal’s Last Letter to the Family,

March 10, 1944

Dear Free, Elaine and kids,

The sun is setting in our sky and it is really a lovely site. Much more peaceful looking than it really is. I am now flying with the [illegible] a good bunch of boys. Not much I can say but at times its plenty exciting. I can hardly believe that a few months ago, flying was just my dream, but now, I am flying with some of the So. Pacific aces. Makes you feel plenty good — oh yes, we got our little hut finished. We’ve got plenty of room (3 …. electric lights and water piped in to our back porch, not bad for a bunch of johns like us. We add something new every day, if it’s nothing but a new [illegible] to arrange our mosquito nets ??

Hope you guys are well. I’d like you to write me … letters are damn welcome here, you just don’t know how much.

Hoped to get to [illegible] in a few months for a period of relaxation…

Like to give you a ride, Nick, along the trees we fly right in the leaves at times.

Love to all, Verna

Choon James: Robert “Bobby” Bunda and I Meet Again!

Choon James: City Council Candidate Robert Bunda Served on  PLDC and Honolulu Rail Board

City Council Candidate Robert Bobby Bunda and I are on the opposite ends of many public policies.  Mr. Bobby Bunda was on the PLDC Board and we were challenging him.

The PLDC  – Public Land Development Corporation – was a moment in time when all of the Hawaiian Islands combined to repeal Act 55.  PLDC caused so much anger amongst the residents. The name itself was an oxymoron.  PRIVATE developers should not be given unfettered access and authority to use PUBLIC lands.

People Power from all the islands of Hawaii ganged up and repealed the bad action in 2012.

Mr. Bunda was also on the Honolulu Rail HART Board. He recently resigned from the Honolulu Rail HART ( Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit) Board. Honolulu Rail issue is another concern that we citizens tried very hard to insert some sanity into the fiscal process.

Choon James is shown here at the State Legislature trying to prove a point – Don’t keep throwing good money into the fiscal black hole. The state Senate Ways and Means Committee narrowly voted to advance the $2.37 billion  bail out for the city’s financially troubled rail project on August 28, 2017.

Surf, Aloha Aina, and Dustin Barca for Mayor

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

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

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

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

Kaka'ako Makai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The houseless people continue to be harassed and penalized.

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

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

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

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

As MLK said,

Injustice  anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

just cause needs many helping hands and willing hearts!

Every one is needed.

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

 

 

ALOHA! Mayor Kirk Caldwell! We are rural Hauula, not Kapolei!

Why is the Mayor  hell-bent on building a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

Why does Kirk Caldwell want to build a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

This is the “Ewa Beach” style fire station he wants to build in rural Hauula. This station is so big that you cannot photograph the building in one photo!

 

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 1 of 3)

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 2 of 3)

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Ewa Beach Fire Station ( Photo 3 of 3)

The city purchased Lot 64 in 2010 – it can relocate the existing Hauula Fire Station today!

But Kirk Caldwell is bullying to further condemn adjacent Lot 65 for DOUBLE the lot size and TRIPLE the price – to build his SUPER-SIZED Kapolei station in this rural region!

Lot 64 of 20,297 sq. ft is very sufficient to build these stations below.

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Kaneohe Fire Station

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Ka’a’awa Fire Station

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Kahuku Fire Station

 

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Sunset Beach Fire Station

 

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Wahiawa Fire Station

Why does Kirk Caldwell want to build a SUPER-SIZED fire station in rural Hau’ula?

Why does the Mayor want to pave over the last two remaining business-zoned lots in rural Hauula?

Why is the Mayor abusing the weight of the city to shut down private Reynolds Recycling in this small rural community?

Does the Mayor understand the difference between Ko’olauloa and Kapolei?

Can taxpayers fiscally fund all of Kirk Caldwell’s pet projects?

Are taxpayers happy with rising taxes and fees?

When will Mayor Kirk Caldwell advocate for his constituents and exercise fiscal prudence instead of bullying and spinning to get what he wants?

If you were the Mayor of Honolulu, what would you do?

Choon James can be reached at ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com  Phone:  808 239 9111

 

 

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

 

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

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell impounded free speech signs

on private property on October 18, 2013, again!

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Upon taking office, he went on the rampage by implementing

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

PRIVATE  fee owners own this commercial lot. The eminent domain

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

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

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

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Does Hau’ula need a recycling center?

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

808 768-4141  mayor@honolulu.gov  Honolulu Mayor

808 768-5002 emartin@honolulu.gov  City Councilman

 

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“Keep the Country Country” Protects Kama’aina Families

‘Keep the Country Country’ Will Protect 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.