New Security Cams Watching Activity on Diamond Head Side of Ala Wai Harbor

Hawaii's DLNR and the City of Honolulu Should be a Collab - But are They?

New Security Cams on Diamond Head Side of State Harbor Installed by City Crews at City Expense

In the quiet darkness of a recent early Saturday morning,  City of Honolulu crews installed sophisticated HPD security cameras on the Diamond Head side of the State's Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor (AWSBH).  Two camera systems, for now.  One at the Diamond Head entrance of the pay parking lot adjacent to the Hilton Hawaiian property, and the other at the Diamond Head end of the Ala Moana Bowls surfer parking lot. 

The cameras were installed on State of Hawaii property.  Ironically, the State's DLNR had been asked, for years, to install security cams in certain strategic areas around the AWSBH to help deter drug-related crime spillover from Hawaii's crack cocaine drug epidemic. The DLNR has responded by not responding.  Equally disturbing is the lack of interest on the part of Hawaii legislators.  Representative Tommy (The Sledge) Brower, Waikiki District, has been aware of the request, as has been Senator Sharon Moriwaki.  Historically, neither of the latter has actually done anything to help deter crime in this part of their district.

By putting the security cams in place, the City is acknowledging the need for additional security in these areas, and with the prospect of an upcoming mayor's convention in the near future, there were enough good reasons to take the plunge and spend taxpayers' money on the installations.  No one, not even the City of Honolulu, holds their breath waiting for the DLNR to act.  While the cameras appear to be quite permanent, there has been some talk that the State may want to remove them later and install their own system, as suggested by one DLNR employee who did not want to be named.  Either way, there are indicators that suggest that the State's DLNR and the City of Honolulu are not on the same page.

 

Enhanced Security of Harbor Bathrooms Badly Needed

Up until now, it has been risky for harbor tenants to use the bathrooms at the AWSBH, because they seem to have become ground zero for homeless and drug-related activity in the area.  Male drug addicts using women's bathrooms, women in men's bathrooms, urine and feces on the floors and walls, and dicey individuals hanging around just outside the bathroom entrances, make the use of these facilities unappealing, if not dangerous.

On several occasions, Suzanne Case's DLNR had been asked to install cameras around the entrances of the harbor's bathrooms in order to help deter the threat of crime in the area.  But, as it turns out, the DLNR responds to the public at its leisure, when it responds at all, and has indicated that it's not interested in upgrading security in its harbor system -- despite the growing dangers.  In fact, the DLNR's enforcement arm, DoCARE, is currently under investigation by the State Attorney General's office, for gross dereliction of duty.  Dereliction of responsibility is a common theme at the DLNR, even, ironically, in the Land Board's legal division.

If thought through carefully, cameras installed in certain strategic locations around the harbor system for the purpose of deterring crime would probably upgrade the quality of our ocean recreation experience here.  Poorly thought-through surveillance schemes, however, would have dire consequences for the people of Hawaii in the not-too-distant future.

 

A Harbinger of Hawaii's Dystopian Future?

There are other specters that are raised with this latest round of security cam installations.  We've written previously about what we feel will be a dystopian Hawaii, in the not too distant future, should the residents of this State decide not to rise up and put a halt to the mindless kowtowing of our leadership to wealthy outsider interests.  Unregulated camera surveillance in the State will most definitely be a component of the new dystopian future that residents may face here.  Some private interests here are already preparing for facial recognition technology. Once again, residents themselves need to rise up and stop the nonsense that their leaders would otherwise allow to become law.  This is, by no means, a time when residents should trust the judgement of the leaders who are being paid with taxpayer money and wealthy favor.

 

DLNR Blunders Might Soon Cost Average Boaters a LOT More Money

Taxpayer money does NOT fund public harbor operations . . . at all.   All funding for State harbors throughout Hawaii comes from boaters themselves via the Special Boating Fund.  Unfortunately, the DLNR and its DoBOR division have been systematically squandering the money in the Special Boating Fund on one failed initiative after another, debiting the fund as if the money was being used for harbors' maintenance projects, upgrades, or infrastructure costs.  The Fund, as a result, is going dry, and now it's the average recreational boater who will have to pay for yet another new boater fee increase in order to replenish the fund.

The name of the fee increase rules change is Chapter 13-234, Boater Fee Increase Rules Package. These fee increases are NOT needed. The Special Boating Fund has been grossly mismanaged to the detriment of Hawaii's public harbor system and Hawaii's boaters.   All boaters and ocean recreation enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to write to the following people (below), repeatedly, in protest.  Better, call them.  And when 13-234 comes up before the DLNR Board, go there in person and oppose the fleecing of Hawaii’s boaters.  If you would like to have your protest published online on the Hawaii Ocean News website -- a protest preserved, over time, for all to see -- please contact us.

Suzanne Case, Chair, DLNR:  suzanne.case@hawaii.gov

DLNR Board (BLNR):  blnr.testimony@hawaii.gov , dlnr@hawaii.gov  and include the following message at the top of your email: PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERY BLNR BOARDMEMBER – PLEASE CONFIRM BY EMAIL THAT THIS HAS BEEN DONE

Write to the governor:  CLICK HERE

 

On another, but not unrelated, topic . . .

In a previous article we cited Lanai's Manele Bay privatization attempt by misguided legislators not paying attention to the will of the people.  Below, we ask that you add your name to the growing number of residents who oppose the act of privatization of public lands and assets.

 

 

 


DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

DAVID Y. IGE GOVERNOR

SUZANNE D. CASE CHAIRPERSON

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 14, 2019

LISTING TWIN-HULLED VESSEL TO BE REMOVED FROM ALA WAI SMALL BOAT HARBOR

State Boating Division Footing the Bill

(Honolulu) - The vessel, Skye, also known as the Navatek is expected to be lifted from the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor tomorrow. The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) notified the boat’s owner some months ago that he would need to remove his vessel as he was $16,000 in arrears in mooring fees and the Skye had become non-seaworthy and could not leave the state’s largest small boat harbor under its own power.

DOBOR officials sought bids from private companies to try and relocate the vessel to the Keehi Small Boat Harbor. A contractor who submitted the lowest bid of $28,000 had started to pump water out of one of the hulls, but stopped work, believing that the hull is filled with mud. Due to the serious concerns DOBOR had as to whether or not the vessel could safely be towed out of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor channel, they decided to reevaluate the removal and have the contractor pull the vessel out at the old haul out area. The same contractor, (Xarbin Industries) will do the lifting work at a new estimated cost of $35,000. Equipment is being mobilized today. Once the vessel is on dry ground it will be surveyed again to determine its current value. If over $5,000 the State is required to hold an auction to dispose of it. If it doesn’t sell at auction, DOBOR will incur the entire cost of disposing of the boat.

DOBOR O‘ahu District Manager Meghan Statts explained, “Unfortunately when boat owners do not keep up with their obligations or lack enough insurance to salvage their inoperable vessels the burden falls to every boater in the state. We’re forced to dip into the boating special fund, which is made up entirely of fees individual boaters pay for the use of slips, moorings, live aboard privileges, etc. Additionally, we have to follow all applicable laws and rules when it comes to notifying owners of late-payments and other actions that impact their vessels and that process often takes much longer than people expect.”

# # #

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

Dan.w.dennison@hawaii.gov


 

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