Why Fake Environmentalism Poses a Danger to the Public; Hawaii’s Deadly Serious Environmental Issues Are Worse Than Ever

Is Suzanne Case, DLNR Chair, Even Paying Attention to Hawaii's Most Serious Environmental Crises?



Ah, those heady Nature Conservancy days when Suzanne Case was at the helm.  They got some pretty good mediocre stuff done back in those days, and if you’ll let her, she’ll tell you all about it.

But now it’s now, and what she won’t tell you, now, is how miserably she and her DLNR board members are failing not only Hawaii’s environment, but Hawaii’s entire ocean recreation community: 

1) Suzanne Case's DLNR has done nothing to solve Hawaii's most serious environmental issues; 

2) Her DoBOR division Administrator, Ed Underwood, is suspected –- on just about every island -- of illegal collusion and backdoor dealings with private interests desperate to have public lands turned over to them in order to grow their bottom lines;

3) Case’s DoCARE division is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s office for gross dereliction of duty;

4) Her Land Board legal department has repeatedly struggled with the simplest of legal basics, blessing rules packages that, defined by civil law, defraud the public.  It would appear that Land Division's expensive attorneys (technically a division of the AG's office) could quite easily be replaced with a half-dozen paralegals, a subscription to Grammarly, and some good legal software, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars each year in unnecessary salary expenditures;  

5) And some on her own board, the BLNR, show unmistakable signs of struggling with functional illiteracy, which continues to result in misguided decision making that repeatedly hurts Hawaii's public.


Serious pollution issues plague the State and are dangerous to public health

Our harbors and canals are, every year, clogged with millions of gallons of raw human sewerage, damaged by noxious oil spills, and polluted with tons of plastic effluence, all of which eventually finds its way out into our beautiful bays, harbors and ocean shorelines.  Suzanne Case doesn’t like talking about this much, preferring to tell you about the hiking trail she just opened, or the privatization of Palmyra Island by her Nature Conservancy to save the island for its rich donors’ kids.

The DLNR’s version of leadership hasn't been working well for the public.  In fact, it’s proven dangerous. The State refuses to track the MRSA infections caused by its filthy water; people who have fallen into the Ala Wai have died of flesh eating bacterial disease, and the whole poop-in-the-water thing poses a real health hazard for the people of Hawaii and its visitors.  Suzanne Case, the environmentalist, doesn’t talk much about this.



Noxious oil and diesel pollution in Hawaii's coastal environment a continuous problem

The noxious and dangerous chemical odor coming from a recent oil spill in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor directly across from the Prince Waikiki -– something that has gone on for weeks –- was so bad that it cleared Waikiki Yacht Club’s outdoor dining tables and caused several people in the harbor to become ill.  The DLNR’s response has been no response.

In fact, the lack of effective response to huge oil, diesel, and gasoline spills is a regular occurrence in Hawaii’s public harbors. The U.S. Coast Guard informs us that it is the responsibility of the State’s DLNR to resolve the issue.  Apparently, Suzanne Case doesn’t view oil and diesel spills as being pollution.  Selective environmentalism at its finest.


Hawaii's ongoing plastic pollution is killing our ocean ecosystem

And then there’s Hawaii’s ongoing plastic effluence problem.  Tons of it, each year, flows out to sea via our canals, rivers and streams –- Hawaii’s contribution to the ocean’s plastic pollution crisis.  Suzanne Case doesn’t like talking about this either, but she’ll tell you about how they’re trying to remove fungal growth from coral reefs -– fungus, by the way, whose growth is exacerbated by the very same human poop pollution that she's not saying much about.


Hawaii's kowtowing leadership and why the public should be vigilant

It is a complete mystery as to why legislators thought, despite huge opposition, that Suzanne Case should have been reconfirmed as DLNR Chair.  Much like that of her predecessor, Laura Theilen, Case’s DLNR tenure has, so far, left Hawaii’s public harbors in a complete shambles; an utter statewide disaster area.  Our public harbors are a disgrace and the laughing stock of visiting boaters from around the world -- an Island community, like Hawaii, that can’t even get it together enough to have a decent harbor system.  Experienced skippers everywhere continue to call it one of the world’s worst harbor systems and Suzanne Case’s only response is to sponsor a push to hand over Hawaii’s public submerged lands and assets to private for-profit interests -– something that will surely result in the exclusion of the working class public from its own public harbor system.  There are other, better solutions that will benefit everyone, but when those in charge simply lack the capacity to develop these solutions, the public suffers as a result.

And here comes TransPac 50 with the largest fleet ever -- the skippers on those boats will again have no choice but to report back the horrendous conditions they experienced while mooring their boats in Hawaiian waters –- the drug-related crime, polluted harbors, and poor management.  By the way, privatizing Hawaii's public harbor system may not fix any of the latter.


Good leadership requires adept problem solving skills . . .

Good leadership requires adept problem solving skills.  This alone disqualifies the likes of Case and Underwood.  Suzanne Case, with that Palmyra privatization thing still fresh in her mind, is desperately trying to wash her hands of her responsibilities to Hawaii’s public harbors and has been working with a sense of urgency, trying, along with her sidekick, Ed Underwood, to hand all of Hawaii’s public harbors over to corporate interests to do with what they please.  When this materializes –- and they are working hard to make this happen –- the people of Hawaii will not have a public harbor system, and eventually may not have a public anything.


Not your problem?  Think again

And those of you who are sitting back thinking all of this doesn’t affect you . . .  you might want to think this through.  If the State of Hawaii is successful in privatizing public harbors -– public assets and submerged, fast and dry lands –- then expect that other public assets that you hold near and dear will also eventually go up on the block. The precedent will be in place, there will then be nothing to stop lawmakers, and there is so much money to be made for private interests that the pressure for privatization will be enormous!  For a group of lazy, distracted bureaucrats, this is the perfect scenario.  Once done, they won't have to bother managing anything public; they will be able to focus their attention on their most cherished project: the widening of their derrieres.  


The State of Hawaii is in big trouble and the public has to shoulder some of the blame

A person like Suzanne Case or Ed Underwood should NEVER be allowed to occupy leadership positions. The same goes for gubernatorial and legislative positions -- filled, at the moment, with people who are all too happy to kowtow to private interests, at the public's expense.   The negative consequences of their legacy will be lasting and will affect our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on into the future.  For this reason, grass-roots Hawaii must make the effort to rise up and take charge, else face a future that doesn't need us.



Please tell Governor Ige to veto HB1032.  If enacted, a new era of public lands and assets privatization will be the norm:





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