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Posts Tagged ‘access’

You’ve probably seen in the papers over the last few days, news of the Supreme Court win for Keep the North Shore Country and Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter. The ruling states that the 1985 EIS developed for a massive proposed development (5 hotels and 1,000 resort condos) on O’ahu’s North Shore, indeed does need an update. In addition to asserting the obvious fact that “things have changed” since the mid-1980s (for most of us, at least), the court acknowledged that the project is too big and too late for the pristine stretch of coastline along Kawela Bay.

Straight from KNSC guys:

Keep the North Shore Country is very pleased the Hawaii Supreme Court, on April 8, 2010, ordered a Supplemental EIS for the Turtle Bay Resort Expansion Plan.  We commend the Court for thoroughly reviewing the facts of the case and rendering a strong opinion on the need for an updated environmental review 25 years after the original report was completed in 1985.

We are very appreciative of the enormous support of residents on the North Shore, throughout the state of Hawaii and around the world who passionately cheered us on.  Everyone knew that this was the classic case where an SEIS should be required and the Court came down forcefully on the mistakes made by the Honolulu City & County Department of Planning and Permitting and the lower courts for their erroneous interpretation of the law.

Without the numerous donations, large and small, from concerned supporters, we would not have been able to mount this vigorous and ultimately successful campaign.  The cost of fighting city hall is staggering, but we were successful because of the stellar work by many people, not the least of whom are our attorneys.

To everyone who believed in us and to everyone who helped make it happen, MAHALO!

See more on their website at www.keepthenorthshorecountry.org

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From:  Andrea

The U.S. Coast Guard removed 32 tons of debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands over the Fourth of July weekend.  Much thanks to the Coast Guard for ameliorating the health of our oceans!  See the Honolulu Advertiser article:

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090713/BREAKING01/307130004/U.S.%20Coast%20Guard%20removes%2032%20tons%20of%20debris%20from%20Northwestern%20Hawaiian%20Islands?GID=e/Si+j1sOYkNlMXAMxQScaqw1wgB5/Nurtn+5iNvNh8%3D

While I am glad that efforts to clean up marine litter are taking place, especially in such an  irreplaceable, nationally protected locale, 32 tons is only the tip of the iceberg.  The scale of this problem is vast.  Marine litter filling our oceans is a global problem affecting all people and nations.  Marine litter, of which 80% are plastics, harms marine life, degrades human health, and results in tremendous social, economic, and cultural costs.

The United Nations Environment Programme recognizes this immense ocean dilemma that affects everyone.  In April 2009,   the UN Environment Programme released a report titled “Marine Litter:  A Global Challenge.”  Find the report at:

http://www.unep.org/pdf/UNEP_Marine_Litter-A_Global_Challenge.pdf

“There is an increasingly urgent need to approach the issue of marine litter through better enforcement of laws and regulations, expanded outreach and educational campaigns, and the employment of strong economic instruments and incentives,” the report says.

The report also notes that the “overall situation is not improving.” Thank you, Coast Guard, for your part.  But, we must do our part, too.

What can you do to help reduce marine litter?

  • Keep streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and storm drains free of trash to prevent washing trash into the ocean and waterways.
  • Take reusable items- and less trash and throw-away containers- to the beach.
  • At the beach, be sure to recycle what you can and throw the rest of your trash into trash cans.  Do not leave trash or anything else, like plastic toys or containers, at the beach when you leave.
  • Pick up debris that other people have left; recycle what you can, and throw the rest away in a trash can.
  • When fishing, take all of your nets, gear, and other materials back onshore to recycle or dispose of in a trash can.
  • If you smoke, take your butts with you, disposing of them in a trash can.
  • When boating, stow and secure all trash on the vessel.
  • Participate in local clean-ups.  Here’s one resource:  http://www.adoptabeachhawaii.com/
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Serve as an example to others.

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We’d like to nominate the bill proposing the repeal most programs and protections for beaches and coastlines in Hawaii (SB 1318 SD 1) as officially one of the WORST ideas of 2009.

From Elizabeth Reilly of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board:

SB 1318 SD1 relating to planning and economic development titled “Coastal Zone Management; State Planning; Repeal” does just that “Repeals the chapters relating to coastal zone management and state planning, and transfers the authority and functions of the office of planning to DBEDT” despite DBEDT’s public opposition to this proposed action.

Decision-making was deferred on this bill yesterday by the Committee on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources.

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Beach access got a real boost today.  Hawaii’s Senate Judiciary Committee just passed SB 1088, which will help to improve enforcement of public access rights to the shoreline and inland recreational areas.  Yay!

Big Mahalos to everyone who submitted testimony! There is still a chance to help out in this important effort.

The bill is ready to “cross over” to the House of Representatives, where it will go through a similar committee hearing process.  Unfortunately, the first committee that will likely hear this bill declined to hear a similar bill in the past.

To ensure that SB 1088 does not suffer the same fate, please take a moment to contact the Committee’s chairperson, Representative Ken Ito either at 808-586-8470 or repito@capitol.hawaii.gov.  Just leave a nice message encouraging him to hear the bill and help protect beach access in Hawaii.

We can start collecting testimony now in support of this bill by encouraging friends, family, and all outdoor lovers to visit our nifty virtual testimony table. Watch for action alerts in your inbox next month calling for public testimony in support of this and other bills that protect the public’s right to open and safe beach access.  You can sign up with our email action alert network by clicking here.

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From our friends at the Trust for Public Land, an opportunity to participate in efforts to protect forever some of the last wild shoreline on Oahu’s North Shore. KAHEA continues to support the efforts of TPL and others, as a member of the Ko’olauloa-North Shore Alliance. We are one of a broad network of community and non-profit groups joining their voices and efforts together to protect this shoreline forever:

On the North Shore of O’ahu, the scenic property surrounding the secluded Turtle Bay Resort includes over 850 acres along the coast and 400+ acres mauka (mountain side) of the highway. The undeveloped areas feature some of O’ahu’s last slice of “country” — wild coastal beaches, surfing breaks, dramatic landscapes, traditional fishing areas, threatened green sea turtle and endangered monk seal habitat, small local agricultural lots, and Hawaiian ancestral burial grounds. The area is a natural treasure valued by residents and visitors alike as a rural refuge. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save this slice of the real Hawai’i for today and future generations.

For more information, check out www.tpl.org/turtlebay

Kuilima Resort Company (KRC) and its parent company Los Angeles- based Oaktree Capital Management are pressing forward with plans to expand the footprint of the resort by building five new hotels and additional condominiums, adding over 3500 units (2,500 hotel rooms and 1,000 condos). The project has sparked broad concern from community, business, and governmental leaders.

However, the owner’s own financial difficulties and the recent downturn of U.S. financial markets has produced a “green lining.” Beginning last year, KRC failed to pay its creditors, resulting in a foreclosure lawsuit filed by Credit Suisse, representing dozens of U.S. and foreign lenders. Debt for the resort is currently being traded at a fraction of its face value.

In her January 2008 State of the State address, Hawai’i Governor Linda Lingle announced a bold initiative to acquire the property for the public, stating:

“(W)e can’t speculate or sell ourselves into prosperity, but I do believe we have an opportunity to purchase a piece of our future. I am proposing that we buy the 850-acre Turtle Bay property on O’ahu’s North Shore.”

The Trust for Public Land is part of a community, government, private working group formed by Governor Lingle to explore creative ways of financing such a purchase, and to form public-private partnerships to protect the property. More information on the Governor’s initiative including updates on the progress of her advisory working group is available.

The goal of the working group is to negotiate a voluntary conservation sale and acquisition, plan for the enhancement and long-term financial stability of the existing resort, seek innovative ways to create high-quality jobs with low environmental impact, and create a sustainable future for the North Shore. The Trust for Public Land is also part of the Ko’olauloa North Shore Alliance, a network of community and non-profit organizations supporting the initiative to protect this country “forever.”

You can help. Your donations and ideas are welcome. Please donate now to provide essential financial support to the acquisition initiative — and feel free to contact the Governor’s Advisory Working Group at TurtleBayAWG@gmail.com to contribute your ideas.

(photo from Keep the North Shore Country)

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From Marion:

Last week, KAHEA submitted written testimony to the State Land Use Commission in opposition to “the proposal by Molokai Properties Limited to build 200 luxury estates at La’au Point” which will negatively impact the environment and culture.

Our comments point out that: although there is overwhelming scientific evidence supporting that the main Hawaiian Islands serve as foraging and breeding grounds for monk seals and millions of dollars for research and monitoring have been set aside, little has been done by the state and federal governments to permanently protect habitat — like that La’au point. The truth is that the single most important action we can take to save monk seals is provide them places of permanent pu`uhonua, true and forever sanctuaries. Monk seals survive best when left alone in a place where humans do not dominate the landscape, in sanctuaries marked only by the presence of blowing sands and waves crashing against jagged lava formations at the water’s edge.

Further, because “Molokai is one of a few communities that still have resources to sustain traditional subsistence”, they need to be honored and protected to ensure the perpetuation of these traditional practices of gathering for their families and communities. The reason why these practices still remain today have to do primarily with the fact this shoreline is undeveloped and difficult to access.

The proposed development will limit access to this 5-mile stretch of coastline by providing only two points of entry, one at each end of the proposed coastline development even though the “state law requires that public access to the shoreline be available every quarter mile” which is clearly not honored in this proposal.

The Molokai community has voiced their undying concern regarding the relentless and greedy development plans of Molokai Properties Limited. The community has no interest in having a community split and culturally and socially restricted by the influx of big money. Today, they are standing up, protecting their inherent rights to collect what they need from the mountains to the oceans that keeps their culture alive.

hawaii-luxuryx-large.jpg

To make this place no more than a picture postcard tropical beach destination is to strip it of its most fundamental and uniquely Hawaiian identity. We stand together with communities on Molokai to share the view that the sea, land, culture, and people remain vital in marking this land as a Hawaiian place.

Click here to read comments on the EIS:

KAHEA’s comments in opposition to the development at La’au Point

Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Comments on the development La’au Point

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