3 Reasons I'm Salty at Abercrombie

Posted by Shelley at Jul 29, 2011 06:55 PM |
Between helicopters on the slopes of Mauna Kea, further extension on the leasing of our oceans, and the de facto privatization of public land--salty might be an understatement.

1) Three weeks ago we blogged an article that heralded Abercrombie for taking a stand for the environment because he insisted the US Army go through state level environmental reviews if they wanted to conduct High Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training (HAMET) on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Earlier this week we learned that three short weeks later, theyre baaaack! Come to find out, Abercrombie's supposed stand was not incredibly meaningful. This means a new public comment period has begun--this time due on August 23rd, 2011. Send your comments to hamet_nepa@portageinc.com . The Advertiser erroneously credited the State with 'hobbling Army training', but that win-- no matter how short-lived, belongs to all those that submitted comments, showed up at hearings and put pressure. Let's do it again!  Read our post from January for a little background story and talking points.

2) When the list of bills to be vetoed came out, we were relieved that Abercrombie would be saying 'no' to a bill that would extend all ocean leases to 65 years--but then he said 'yes'. The reasons he gave for vetoing the bill was because "oceans are always changing and providing 65-year leases is not prudent. In addition, the definition of aquaculture is too broad". With the conditions of his rationale unchanged, we want to know why he broke his promise to communities that he would veto this bad bill.

3) Last, but certainly not least: while Abercrombie continually attempts to jump on the sustainability gravy train he signed Act 55 into law. This bill allows for the creation of a Public Land Development Corporation. Sound scary? It is. Civil Beat covered this story. Here's some excerpts from a really excellent blog by Ian Lind about this terrifying policy to privatize public land:

"The new PLDC is charged with selecting land from the state inventory and promoting private development for projects that are, but not “limited to office space; vehicular parking; commercial uses; hotel, residential, and timeshare uses; fueling facilities; storage and repair facilities; and seawater air conditioning plants.”"

"And here’s the kicker–these private developments will be exempt from land use, zoning, and building codes, if I read this provision correctly.

…projects pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to special improvement district assessments or requirements; land use, zoning, and construction standards for subdivisions, development, and improvement of land; and the construction, improvement, and sale of homes thereon; provided that the public land planning activities of the corporation shall be coordinated with the county planning departments and the county land use plans, policies, and ordinances."

I am hard-pressed to find a way for public servants (like the Legislature and Governor)  to justify this blatant selling-out (literally) of land that belongs to the public.

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