Dismantling Hawaii: a Leadership Drugged and Mugged by the Goddess, Money

A Plea to All Residents: GET INVOLVED

Here's How . . .

The ancient Hawaiians were right.  Harmony, synchronicity, uncluttered simplicity, and aloha, are the foundation of a solid community.  Harmony with the land and surrounding ocean, mindful synchronicity with the environment, uncluttered simplicity in our problem solving, and aloha, the alternative for which would be unthinkable in any island community.

It seems we've gotten stupider over the years.  Somehow, building forty-story buildings that will house an elite few at the expense of the rest of the community has become normalized, thanks to a leadership that has no problem being bought and paid for by wealthy private self-interests.  We will have recently built nearly thirty of these monsters right in the middle of our capital, a location that was overcrowded even before the very first of these thirty monstrosities was built.  Thirty new high-rises in the blink of an eye.  Oh . . . the power of the goddess, Money.

Of course, those who own units within these buildings, some of them costing as much as $25,000,000, will want places to put their floating toys.  A fancy place, something equal to their wealthy stature.   No problem.  Solution: buy Hawaii's leadership, privatize the public harbor system, and, voilà, an instant Club Med environment for the anointed few.  What's that you say?  The harbor system in Hawaii is a public asset guaranteed in writing by the Kaiser "Indenture & Deed" agreement with the State of Hawaii?  No worries, you can still use the facilities . . . they'll just cost more.  A lot more. More than you have to spend.  CEOs of for-profit corporations are not altruists.

All of this is being done in spite of the Henry Kaiser's "Indenture & Deed" agreement with the State of Hawaii that guaranteed, at least the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, the right of perpetual existence as a public asset, with many notable restrictions to building and development around it.  We'll be dusting off this document shortly and exposing it to a little fresh air in upcoming articles. You can access this document here: Indenture & Deed. We also have supporting letters from the governor's office regarding this document, upcoming in the same post.

You want to change things?  Let the leadership in Hawaii know that you won't have your public assets yanked out from underneath you.  Let them know that the path that they are on is dangerous and hurting our community, irretrievably.   Let them know that their reputation and job depends on their pono decisions.  Until that happens, nothing will happen that will favor the average-income resident of Hawaii.

Making your voice heard, loud and clear, is not difficult.   Go here and then sign in to post comments about upcoming legislation.  If you're not registered yet, registration for sign-in is a very simple, straightforward process that just takes a minute or so. Just click on "Register" at the top right of the page. Register here. You may submit your comments in the comments box at the bottom of the page, or you can attach a document from your computer.

Right now, Senate Bill SB 1257, SD2 and House Bill HB1460 HD1 will be heard by legislators on Friday, March 15, 2019. Testimonies can be submitted up to 24 hours in advance of the hearings. Both bills, if passed in their present forms, will NEGATIVELY impact Hawaii's grass-roots ocean recreation community.  Submit your comments . . . your voice is important.

HB-1032 is also ramping up for hearings -- another piece of important legislation that affects the ocean recreation community.  Click here for details.

To be notified of upcoming Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) meetings where they will be making decisions about your future as a member of the ocean recreation community, write to this email address:  darlene.s.ferreira@hawaii.gov.  Send an email to this address and ask to be placed on a list to be informed about upcoming meetings.  You can send your testimonies to the same address.  It's that simple.  

Just to make sure that your testimony is being read and looked at by the whole community, at their convenience, anytime, any place, submit your testimony to us and we will publish it in our upcoming Registry of Public Testimony online.


Below is a comment from one of our readers that we found compelling:

PLEASE -- INVESTIGATE, REPORT, and VOTE NO on HB 1460, SB 1257, and SB 1258.

THESE BILLS MUST NOT PASS.  There has been no audit of DOBOR since 2001.  Prior Audit (attached) reported lack of control and lack of integrity of financial affairs.  There can be no expansion of authorizing statutes unless and until there is a full and complete audit performed.

HB 1460 (attached) - Scheduled Friday, March 15, 1:15, Hawaii State Capitol, Conf. Rm. 229 (unfettered use of monies collected by DOBOR; removes requirement that harbors be maintained with such monies).

SB 1257 (attached) - Scheduled Friday, March 15, 10:00, Hawaii State Capitol, Conf. Rm. 325 (authorizing DOBOR to impose giant slip-fee increases to drive out tenants and make room for privatization and commercial development of the Ala Wai Harbor).

SB 1258 (attached) - not yet scheduled but could be scheduled today.  SB 1258 would permit BLNR to lease out harbors for private development "in their entirety" without any protections for the public who use the harbor for ocean recreation, much less the boat owners who pay the fees, not to mention live-aboard permittees who have a constitutionally protect right to Due Process before deprivation of mooring permit, all in violation of statutorily mandated purposes of the harbors. See HRS 200-9 ("[s]tate small boat harbors are contructed, maintained, and operated for the purposes of: (1) Recreational boating activities; (2) Landing of fish; and (3) Commercial vessel activities.").  The new mission of DOBOR and new purposes of the harbors will to pimp out the harbors for purposes of laundering of foreign money, maximization of corporate profit, and to provide exorbitant salaries for those pushing these efforts.

Further Background Information:

What DOBOR failed to disclose to everyone present at DOBOR's March 2nd public meeting is that its proposed rule changes violate numerous statutes.  DOBOR also failed to disclose that, aside from its puny efforts to change its own administrative rules, it appears that DOBOR is acting in collusion with (or has fooled) certain members of the House and Senate to change the relevant authorizing statutes so that DOBOR would be permitted to do everything it has proposed.  Not surprisingly, DOBOR failed to disclose all of this information to the 100 people who attended DOBOR's recent meeting.  Testimony of those individuals who attended this meeting is available at https://ksw.hjy.mybluehost.me/HON-DESTINATION/.

There is no justification for DOBOR's proposed slip fee increase.  It is guilty of mismanagement.  ALL of Harbor's Division December FY18 revenues ($631,139.14) went to Harbor Division PAYROLL.

The legislation that is attached would essentially remove any restrictions on DOBOR's use of slip fees that are deposited into a "boating special fund."  Currently, monies collected from permittees at the small boat harbors is required to be spent on the "operation, upkeep, maintenance, and improvement of the small boat harbors."  HRS 200-8.  If that statute is amended as proposed by HB1460, DOBOR would be permitted to expend such fees on any "state boating facility" defined as "a state small boat harbor, launching ramp, offshore mooring, day-use mooring buoy system, pier, wharf, landing, or any other area under the jurisdiction of the department...."  HB1460.  There would no longer be any limit on what DOBOR can do with monies collected from permittees in small boat harbors, which would result in such permittees subsidizing commercial use of the "day-use mooring buoy system" that only benefits commercial operators (i.e. Ala Wai permittees will be paying for commercial mooring buoys placed in across the state, such as Molokini), with any remaining monies being spent ambiguously categorized "other areas under the jurisdiction of the department", all while docks continue to fall into the water at the Ala Wai and crime continues to overrun the harbor immediately adjacent to Waikiki Beach.

The bleeding of special boating funds will only get worse if these bills are passed.  There will be LESS money to maintain the Harbors, not more, and the Ala Wai will continue to fall into disrepair.

Entirely separate from the proposed rule changes DOBOR is seeking to implement, it has sought and received approval from BLNR to put out a request for bids for those wishing to "partner" with DOBOR to "improve" the harbor.  DOBOR's request to the BLNR for such approval, which tells DOBOR's version of what it intends to do, is attached.  See "DOBOR's Request for Authorization to Develop Ala Wai."  DOBOR's plan is to develop condos and wedding chapels (a ferris wheel was also proposed), where the current harbor office stands, where the old fuel dock used to be, where the haul-out facility used to be.

It is not clear how such uses of the land fit within the harbors' purposes under HRS 200-9, which says that "[s]tate small boat harbors are contructed, maintained, and operated for the purposes of: (1) Recreational boating activities; (2) Landing of fish; and (3) Commercial vessel activities."

Although DOBOR has already sought and received such approval from the BLNR, the proposed action of developing the harbor is not currently authorized by law.  Hence, S.B. No. 1258, which expands what DOBOR may lease to commercial entities to include "any existing state boating facility in its entirety" (i.e., the entire Ala Wai harbor).

DOBOR hired a consulting company, DTL, to coordinate its supposed "public meetings" on these ideas.  DTL did not let anyone actually speak.  DTL is a conflicted entity.  Moreover, DOBOR kept the contract with DTL just under 100K so that board approval (and a hearing) would not be required.

Harbor residents have been witnessing what appears to be an intentional effort to let the Ala Wai harbor degrade to a point where everyone will agree that DOBOR cannot handle it on its own.  DOBOR's incompetence and total neglect of the harbor is its strategy.  See e.g., "Floating Along In A Mismanaged Harbor, Honolulu Star Bulletin, April 25, 2018.  See who is behind that article and you're on your way.


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