News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.
Showing blog entries tagged as: activism

News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at:

From Friends on the Big Island: Learn Sustainability Practices from Local Experts

Posted by kahea at Feb 23, 2010 07:14 PM |

Hawai’i Island Sustainable Living Educational Series
The 2010 Sustainable Living Educational Series begins in Waimea!
Come, join your neighbors, bring the ohana! Hele Mai! Learn to become more self-sufficient in many areas of practice, attend all classes on local sustainability topics.

Sustainable Living Educational Series
Introductory classes on Now in Waimea! (across from Parker Ranch Center)

Introduction to Solar Power Systems | Thur. 02/25/2010

Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting – Catchment Systems | Thur. 03/04/2010

Introduction to Sustainable Gardening | Thursday 03/11/2010

Introduction to Green Home Building | Thur. 03/18/2010

Introduction to Professional Web Design and Development | Thur. 04/05/10

Introduction to Online Marketing | Thur. 03/29/10

Classes are currently being held in the Waimea Community Education Center.
Help your family, your neighbors, your community. It starts with you!
Learn how to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

View instructor bios, class details and register online:

New Mauka to Makai Out Soon!

Posted by Miwa at Feb 19, 2010 04:42 AM |
Filed under: ,

We’ve done newsletters for many years, and in the last year, we’ve been rethinking how to do them better. We’re incredibly excited to be releasing our first 2010 issue of “Mauka to Makai” in the next few weeks! This issue highlights the future for food sovereignty in Hawai’i, bioprospecting issues, cultural practice on Mauna Kea, and first-hand experiences in Hawai’i's environmental justice movement, featuring articles from author Claire Hope Cummings, cultural practitioner Kealoha Pisciotta, and UNITE HERE! Local 5 intern Lauren Ballesteros.

We are gearing up to mail out now. If you’ve moved recently, you can help us get your copy to you by emailing your new address to Mahalo!

Thanks also goes to the Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation, whose challenge grant pays for our newsletter printing/mailing. This means that the dollars YOU give go directly to our program work–towards protecting acres of native habitat and sacred cultural sites throughout Hawai’i nei.

If you haven’t already signed up,  subscribing is easy and free, here on the KAHEA website.

No Property, No Say, and No Plan

Posted by Miwa at Feb 19, 2010 03:30 AM |

From Miwa:

Back in January, we posted here about some disappointing news: the denial by the Hawai’i State Board of Land and Natural Resources (Land Board) and Judge Hara (3rd Circuit) of our right to a administrative review (contested case) on UH’s new “management plan” for Mauna Kea. We have now waded through the findings from the Judge, and here’s the story:

One cloudy Thursday afternoon, the Land Board voted to approve a UH’s proposed “management plan” for the conservation district on the summit of Mauna Kea. At the hearing, KAHEA, along with a group of long-time advocates, Native Hawaiians with ancestral ties to the mountain and conservationists (including Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, and Uncle Kukauakahi Ching) requested a “contested case” hearing, a common practice in Hawaiʻi.

A Simple Request: Hold a Hearing
As many of you know: For 40 years, the summit conservation district has been the focus of a contentious struggle over the expanding footprint of an industrial park for telescopes within its boundaries. Approval of this plan, written by the lead developer–the University of Hawai’i–would pave the way for the largest expansion of industrial land use on the summit in nearly a decade, a telescope complex larger than a modern sports stadium, the TMT.

The contested case hearing is part of a time-honored process designed to protect the rights of those affected by state agency decisions, allowing us to formally present evidence of how the plan would impact access, traditional use, cultural practice and natural resources on the mountain. Through the hearing process, we would be allowed to make our case for adopting a conservation plan in compliance with state laws governing the summit conservation district, in place of the development plan written by the lead developer.

Despite the fact that we have had contested case hearings in the past, in a surprise move, the Board denied our request.

No Property, No Say, and No Plan
The Land Board denied our right to a hearing, based on a claim that our group does not have a “property interest”–flying in the face of decades of law affirming Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights and the right to a healthy environment. The unexpected decision instead championed a dangerous new model for rights on public lands:  No property, no say.

“No property, no say” is a dangerous new tactic that the summit developers and the Land Board are hot to pursue. Why? Because detrimental (but profitable!) activities in conservation districts are easier to push through if no one can challenge them. There are legal rights to cultural practice, public access, and a healthy environment in Hawai‘i. But “no property, no say” makes it difficult or impossible for many to assert or uphold those rights.

The Land Board also asserted that “the plan is a plan but is not a plan.” (Yeah. Makes no sense to us, either.)  In the UH Plan, an unlimited number of telescopes, roads, office buildings, parking lots and other structures may or may not be built at an undetermined date in the future. The Land Board is claiming that because the UH plan is so vague, it can’t possibly affect anyone. Since no one is affected, no one gets a contested case. One judge (Judge Hara), agreed.

BUT by approving the plan, the Board has ensured that almost any future action to expand industrial land use in the summit conservation district will be “consistent” with the approved plan. We believe this action impacts us–and the future of Mauna Kea’s conservation district–big time.

No Property, No Say and No Plan? We believe this is a really, erm… crappy way to do decision-making and planning on the future of important conservation lands in Hawai’i. And we’re going to fight it.

The Road Ahead
We are again appealing, this time to the intermediate court of appeals. The outcome of this case will set the stage for how decisions are made on conservation lands in Hawai’i for decades to come. Throughout Hawai’i, approximately 2 million acres of land fall within conservation districts like the one on Mauna Kea.

We are facing well-funded developers from some of the world’s wealthiest nations, and some of the highest paid attorneys in Hawai‘i. Yet, we also are building on over 15 years of successful advocacy, closer than ever to realizing our vision of a better future for this incredible summit–where native habitat and cultural sites can be restored, and species brought back from the edge of extinction.

Your Kōkua Needed!
At stake is not just the future of Mauna Kea, but the future of community voices and the fate of unique and fragile forests, shorelines, summits and waters throughout Hawai’i.

We are committed to fighting this dangerous new paradigm all the way to the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court, if that’s what it takes. We hope you–and so many like you, who understand what is at stake–will walk with us on journey forward.

We are currently working to raise $10,000 in legal fees. We are a little over 1/4 of the way there. If you’d like to contribute, click here to make a secure, easy contribution online. You can also send your gift to: KAHEA, PO Box 37368, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96837.

We will continue to update you on the latest for the sacred summit, and opportunities to get involved, participate, and kōkua.

*The plaintiffs — Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Sierra Club, KAHEA, and Clarence Kukauakahi Ching –express our deepest thanks to you for your support and for making a difference! MAHALO!

Amazing Turn-out, But Commission Disappoints.

Posted by Miwa at Feb 18, 2010 06:28 PM |

On the morning of Thursday, February 4th, the State Land Use Commission hearing was a packed house–wall to wall green shirts as over 60 people literally “stood up” for protecting some of O’ahu’s last wild shoreline.

After 23 years of inaction by developers, Defend Oahu Coalition filed a motion with the State Land Use Commission asking why 236 acres of the property should continue to be classified as an urban district. Today, developers want to use this decades-old agreement, forcing their massive new development on the rural Koolauloa/North Shore community–one that is wrong for this rural area and wrong for our time.

In spite of a day packed with passionate testimony, the overwhelming failure by numerous developers to meet their promises, the LUC again failed to reach a decision. Sigh.  See portions of the day’s events by clicking here

From our friends at Defend Oahu Coalition:

Defend Oahu Coalition would like to express our sincere appreciation for all who came to the Land Use Commission hearing yesterday in the strongest showing of support we have seen yet for Keeping the Country COUNTRY. As you may have already heard, despite a room full of green shirts, passionate testimony throughout the day, the overwhelming evidence of failure by numerous developers at Turtle Bay Resort to keep their promises, and a clear mandate to rule under State Land Use Law, the LUC failed to reach a decision. After nearly two years and six separate hearings, the commissioners once again decided to call it quits and kick the can down the road.

In 1986, the resort company asked that this agricultural land be reclassified as “urban/resort” in exchange for jobs, affordable housing, and parks to benefit the community. The project never materialized, and neither did these benefits. The developers never acted, and their agreement with the State seemingly expired. Over twenty years passed, with different owners, different management and different developers promising jobs, parks, and affordable housing. All while undeveloped open spaces continued to dwindle, and traffic problems escalated.

Today, despite overwhelming public protest, Kuilima Resort Company Kuilima Resort Company (KRC) and its parent company Los Angeles- based Oaktree Capital Management is pressing forward to expand their Turtle Bay Resort with five new hotels and 1,000 luxury condos on Oahuʻs rural North Shore.

Returning the land to its original “agriculture” classification would allow the Turtle Bay Resort to continue operations, but would send a strong message to speculators and overseas developers that they must keep promises that they make to the people of Hawaii. The Turtle Bay Resort has recently been marketed as a rural get-away and is today doing better business than most Waikiki hotels. The LUC should return these acres and protect them as rural agricultural lands. You can find information about upcoming meetings and hearings at Defend Oahu’s website.

Twenty-three years is more than enough time! You can support the Defend Oahu Coalition motion with just one click!

Mahalo to Snorkel Bob!

Posted by Miwa at Jan 18, 2010 07:05 PM |

Together with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, we  filed suit in December in Federal District Court against the National Marine Fisheries Service, to challenge a new rule allowing expansion of the Hawaii longline swordfish fishery—with a dramatic increase in allowable take of threatened and endangered sea turtles. The plaintiffs are represented by the amazing attorneys over at Earthjustice.

A week later, the Snorkel Bob Foundation of Hawaii pledged $10,000 to sponsor that litigation.

Robert Wintner, Executive Director of the Snorkel Bob Foundation, said, “The opening line of our mission statement stipulates that we will defend against incidental kill of marine species, so this litigation is compulsory for us. Earthjustice is not a conservation outfit soliciting grant money and selling vague concepts. It’s a results-oriented law firm that we’re proud to support. Beyond that, the plaintiffs in this case—KAHEA, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biodiversity are also proven achievers in the field. We know these groups and stand firmly beside them.”

Wintner added that this case will highlight outdated ocean management policy that must change to allow for ocean recovery. “The oceans can no longer provide limitless protein for growing human populations. It’s over. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is now part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Both are in the Department of Commerce. That means ocean management is based on maximum dollar extraction and not on recovery. These agencies should be part of the Department of the Interior, where conservation and recovery are primary management factors.

“Look at the line of communication here: the president of the Hawaii Longline Association (HLA) is Shaun Martin, who is vested in the swordfish longline fishery. HLA drafted a recommendation that the swordfish fishery be expanded with a dramatic increase on incidental take of endangered turtles. Mr. Martin then delivered that recommendation to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WESPAC), where he took off his HLA president hat and put on his WESPAC president hat. WESPAC then agreed that the swordfish fishery be expanded. WESPAC uses the word “conservation” more than most agencies in its communications, but its members and officers are significantly vested in commercial extraction. The WESPAC recommendation then went to NMFS, the agency authorized to process such recommendations. NMFS has a history of going along with WESPAC recommendations. This effort to blatantly override the evidence and global consensus began some time ago, with the wheels of bureaucracy grinding slowly. The Commerce Department employs thirty thousand people, and like a giant ocean liner, it does not change course quickly. Now we have a new administration agenda reflecting long-term management policies and ocean recovery. Now we go to the judicial arena, with Earthjustice representing exactly what it’s named for. I call this money well spent.”

Mahalo to “Uncle Bob” and all the amazing people over at Snorkel Bob and Snokel Bob Foundation!

Anti-Technology Hippies

Posted by Miwa at Jan 18, 2010 06:19 PM |
Filed under: , , ,

Will anti-technology hippies embrace videos on the internets?

The ground-breaking documentary “The Future of Food” is now up on, and the reviews from commenters are pretty hilarious. Apparently rooting FOR public-interest journalism and advocating sane regulation of genetically engineered foods makes you an “anti-technology hippie.” If that’s true, we’ll wear the badge with pride. If you haven’t already seen this film, or want to learn more about the controversy surrounding GE food and regulation, check out the film here:

(Word to the wise: It IS sponsored, so you have watch about six commercials throughout the 1 1/2 hour film)

The Future of Food documents the disturbing truth behind engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. More about the film here:

You can learn more about GE food in Hawaii at our website, or from our friends at Hawaii SEED at

Turtle Bay Talkstory II

From Marti:

The Defend Oahu Coalition is looking to you to help keep the country country.  A developer is close to receiving the last set of permits necessary to proceed with a massive resort complex on the North Shore. Your participation can help to protect Oahu’s shorelines from construction and the rural character of this community. Take a look at their update below and please try to attend their community meeting tomorrow evening 6:30 pm at Kahuku High School Cafeteria.


Tuesday, Dec. 8th at 6:30-9:00
Kahuku High School Cafeteria

From Defend Oahu Coalition:

This is the second in a series of Community Forums regarding the future of Turtle Bay. The City’s Department of Permitting and Planning is reportedly very close to issuing final subdivision permits to the developer at Turtle Bay which will allow him to move ahead with the outdated plan for five additional hotels and one thousand more resort condominiums. The State Supreme Court is set to hear Oral Arguments regarding the Keep the North Shore Country case asking for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

The existing property is formally changing owners this month, who are reportedly working on a new business model for the resort. This is a crucial time to get updated about the current situation. Efforts aimed at building on plans for preservation as well as sustainable land use enforcement at City and State levels will also be addressed.

Notable speakers invited to attend include: Governor Lingle, Representatives Abercrombie and Hirono, Mayor Hannemann, Turtle Bay Advisory Working Group Chair Bill Paty, Senator Clayton Hee, Councilmember Donovan Dela Cruz and Interim Developer for Kuilima Resort Company Stanford Carr. The moderator for the evening will be Dee Dee Letts, a member of the Ko’olauloa Neighborhood Board and longtime community activist.

Click here to learn more from the DOC.

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