We attended the Honolulu scoping meeting on the Navy’s planned expansion of sonar and underwater munitions testing and training activities two weeks ago. We’re still working on processing the information and our thoughts about the process. In the meantime, we thought we’d share these thoughts from Uncle Jim on Moku o Keawe about their experience in Hilo:
From Uncle Jim Albertini:
Tonight’s (8/26/10) EIS Scoping Meeting on Navy expansion plans for Hawaii and the Pacific was more hardball than the Marines similar meeting of 2 days ago. (Then again, at the Marines meeting we had retired Marine Sergeant Major, Kupuna Sam Kaleleiki, to open the path with a pule and the initial public testimony.)
The Navy EIS personnel weren’t nearly as respectful of the right to public speaking and the community being able to hear each others concerns. Some of the Navy team were downright arrogant, insulting and contemptuous. Initially the Navy wasn’t going to allow us to bring our portable sound system into the Hilo H.S. cafeteria to hold a citizen public hearing. Finally with police presence brought in, the Navy yielded the last hour of the planned 4-8PM event to our citizen hearing.
Some of the Navy EIS team were blatantly rude in not listening to community speakers and carried on their own conversations. Before the public testimony, we invited all present to join hands in a pule and asked for mutual respect, and open minds and hearts.
The Navy refused to have any of their personnel take notes to make the public comments part of the official record of scoping concerns. Community people were very respectful of the Navy personnel as human beings, but the aloha spirit wasn’t returned by many of the Navy people present. Too bad.
Many of the Navy people were hard set to their format. Tour the science fair stations, and If you wanted to comment, put it in writing or type it into a computer. We were told over and over. This is not a public hearing. No public speaking is allowed.