Hawaii DoBOR’s Ed Underwood Appears Dangerously Incompetent

Administrator Should Be Relieved of His Responsibilities IMMEDIATELY to Protect Hawaii Boaters from Further Harm

Illegal Collusion, Chronic Lying, Gross Negligence and Abandonment of His Responsiblity to the Public Harbor System Harmful to Hawaii Ocean Recreation Community



A growing number of news articles from around the web, and our own research, leave little room for doubt, at this stage, that Hawaii DoBOR’s Ed Underwood should immediately step down from his administrator’s position in order to save boaters, Statewide, the further grief and danger inherent to his continuing and long history of mismanagement of Hawaii’s public harbor system.

Red flags began appearing for us more than a year ago during interviews with Underwood wherein he seemed to feel very comfortable with less than truthful responses.  We would soon learn that Mr. Underwood was not only comfortable lying to the press, but with lying to State legislators, during testimony.

Our investigation of the recent Navatek II debacle, in which Underwood was at center, reveals that the derelict 82-foot, 149 passenger commercial tour ship was backdoored into the public harbor system – making it instantly privy to the Special Boating Fund – via a wink-nod DoBOR-only arrangement that completely excluded the harbormaster at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.  The handling of the Navatek II disaster will cost the Special Boating Fund tens of thousands of dollars -- a number that could go over six figures, when all is said and done.  All of this money will come out of the Special Boating Fund.  Next Friday, the DLNR will ask its Board to approve a proposal to increase boater fees in order to replenish this same Fund, exhausted mainly through DoBOR bungling.

The 800-row pier at the Ala Wai Small Boat harbor needed new electrical wiring in order to provide power to those slips.  DoBOR accepted a bid from a company that was not capable of performing the service.  The screw-up cost the Special Boating Fund as much as $100,000.  Recreational boaters will be asked, next Friday, to pay still more money into the Fund in order to make up for this and similar debits.

Underwood has been the architect of one subterfuge after another, the latest being a law-mandated “public hearing” that gave the public the right to be heard, for or against the DoBOR-authored, ill-conceived rules package that included a monstrous recreational boater fee increase proposal (Chapter 13-234).  Meeting rooms were packed-to-overflowing across the State, but the public found itself talking to themselves, as low-ranking, mostly disinterested, DoBOR and DLNR underlings showed up to move seats and tables around and little more.  Agency leaders, and the ones that should have been present for this testimony, Ed Underwood and Suzanne Case, were nowhere to be found.  The public was outraged.  DoBOR and the DLNR later indicated that they couldn’t have cared less.

Underwood's latest collusionary brainchild seems destined to hand over public harbors around the State of Hawaii over to private, for-profit interests, resulting in House Bill 1032, now awaiting the Governor David Ige's decision.  In an interview, at 1 P.M. yesterday, June 7th, 2019, with one of the financial interests that had its sights set on bidding on and “. . . winning” the right to lease the Ala Wai Marine property, found himself completely shut out of the process “within a week” of the bidding process.  “The whole thing was an inside job . . . the winning bidder was pre-picked . . .  there is little doubt in our minds that illegal collusion is at play . . . we are very disappointed.”

As current investigations reveal more, we will update our readers In upcoming articles. 

Sadly, our Attorney General, Clare Connors, seems paralyzed with disinterest and continues to sit idly by while State agency operatives pad their own coffers while bilking the public and simultaneously allowing our beautiful public harbor system to further deteriorate.  


On a related issue:

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.





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John Galt
John Galt
5 years ago

Keehi harbor is down to about 152 available wet slips as DOBOR continues to drag its feet on replacing the ramshackle piers condemned or destroyed almost 10 years ago. Slips reserved for non-paying boats sit idle while revenue-producing slips are occupied by abandoned boats. The boating special fund is still being charged for water used by the homeless camp at Waianae small boat harbor (to the tune of over a million dollars in the last three years).
Dobor still lists nearly $2,000,000 in payments to DOCARE for non-existent security services in it’s Rev/expense reports. Abandoned boats sit in other-wise revenue-producing slips for as long as three YEARS! while slips dedicated to storing them sit empty. There are at least five sunken boats in Keehi harbor right now. Boats that should have been moved to that dedicated pier months or even YEARS ago will now have to be raised from the bottom at an additional cost of $10-20,000 each.
Dobor payroll at Ala Wai harbor alone has increased almost 100% in the last 8 years while income has remained flat, leading one to wonder what the hell is going on?
For over three YEARS the parking lot at Keehe harbor has been pot-holed and regularly floods even though Underwood claimed 18 months ago the funding was in place, the engineering completed, and only permits remained before work could begin.
To this day, Underwood has not performed a feasibility study on the impact of such drastic fee increases. He simply chooses to implement them and see what happens. That is about as sloppy a management system as I can imagine.
The harbors have suffered under this administrator for long enough! I call on the land board to get rid of him. Hire a manager with a proven background in harbor management.

Curt Friedland
Curt Friedland
3 years ago

Please put me on your email list

Doug smith
Doug smith
3 years ago

I was the state boating regulations officer under Ed underwood, Douglas S Smith MPA. He is incompetent, contact for proff

Rev Dr Malama
Rev Dr Malama
Reply to  Doug smith
3 years ago

I need a deposition from you please.

Tom Bellit
Tom Bellit
2 years ago

I respectfully request to be added to your email list.

Katherine Lindell
Reply to  Tom Bellit
2 years ago

You have been added to our list . . . Thank You . . . Note to readers: interest in HON has been increasing rapidly and we ask that those wanting to be placed on our mailer list please contact us via our contact-us form (see menus at the top of the page). Mahalo . . . KL