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News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.

News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at: kahea-alliance@hawaii.rr.com.

grassroots up and down.

Posted by kahea at Jun 27, 2008 05:07 PM |
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From Miwa:

It’s no secret that we’re a small organization. We like to think of ourselves as “scrappy.” In the best possible ways. Grassroots up and down. It’s four of us, a little office in Chinatown, and a fridge covered in stickers. Together, we staff a membership of well over 5,000 people and campaigns ranging from the fight against military expansion in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, to protecting the poi we like to eat from genetic modification.

So, with this blog–we do our best! Our amazing graduate outreach and Hawaiian Language intern, Marion, finished up in late April, and, erm. We haven’t posted since. (We MISS you, Marion!) And yet, despite the lack of new posts, more and more people have been visiting this blog every day.

So, kala mai for the gap in posting. We’re back! This summer is going to be one of some incredible action! From court actions on Navy Sonar to amazing turns in upholding protections for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands!

We appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this blog, and read every comment and every email you send. Mahalo piha!

And we’ll see you around!

Last Wild Shoreline on Oahu's North Shore

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)


Planting Your Vote, Taking Names

Since the announcement late last week about the attempt to corrupt and co-opt traditional farmers’ attempt to secure a simple 10-year moratorium on GMO taro, we’ve heard your outrage! Many of you have written to ask for details about the vote. You’re getting ready to plant your vote, and you’re taking names!

NINE Ayes (Voted pro-GMO in favor of amendments)
Rep. Clift Tsuji, Committee Chair (South Hilo to Kurtistown, Big Island) reptsuji@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Tom Brower (Waikiki/Alamoana, Oahu) repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Jerry L. Chang (Keaukaha to South Hilo, Big Island) repchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Robert Herkes (Puna to Kona, Big Island) repherkes@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Joey Manahan (Sand Island, Mokuea, Kalihi Kai, Kapalama, Oahu) repmanahan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Ryan I. Yamane (Waipahu/Mililani, Oahu) repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita (Pukalani to Ulupalakua, Maui) repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov

TWO Ayes with reservations
Rep. Glenn Wakai (Moanalua to Salt Lake, Oahu) repwakai@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Corinne Ching (Nuuanu/Alewa Heights, Oahu) repching@Capitol.hawaii.gov

THREE Nos (Voted in support for true protection of Haloa)
Rep. Lyla Berg (Kahala to Hahaione, Oahu) repberg@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Faye P. Hanohano (Puna to Pahoa, Big Island) rephanohano@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Rep. Colleen Rose Meyer (Kaneohe to Laie, Oahu) repmeyer@Capitol.hawaii.gov

The “poison pill” amendments prohibit any future moratoriums on any GMO, even at the county level. At the same time, these legislators reduced the moratorium to 5 years and limited the protected taro plants to the Hawaiian varieties only. Read the amendments:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/CommReports/SB958_HD2_HSCR1769-08_.htm

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Call Your Representatives:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/house/members/members.asp

Call Your Senators:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/senate/members/members.asp

You can also copy and paste the email addresses below, to email all of them:

reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repawana@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repberg@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repbertram@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repcabanilla@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repcaldwell@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repcarroll@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repching@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repchong@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repevans@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repfinnegan@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repgreen@Capitol.hawaii.gov, rephanohano@Capitol.hawaii.gov, rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repherkes@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repito@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repkaramatsu@Capitol.hawaii.gov, replee@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repluke@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmagaoay@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmanahan@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmarumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmeyer@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmizuno@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repmorita@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repnakasone@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repnishimoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repboshiro@capitol.hawaii.gov, repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reppine@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reprhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repsagum@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repsay@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repshimabukuro@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repsonson@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repsouki@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptakai@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptakamine@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov, reptsuji@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repwakai@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repward@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repwaters@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov, repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sens@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senbunda@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senchunoakland@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senenglish@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senespero@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senfukunaga@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sengabbard@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senhanabusa@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senhee@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senhemmings@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senhooser@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sendige@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov, seninouye@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senkokubun@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senmenor@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sennishihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sensakamoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senslom@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sentaniguchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sentokuda@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sentrimble@Capitol.hawaii.gov, sentsutsui@Capitol.hawaii.gov, senwhalen@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Again, we are NOT giving up. With your help, we are all our telling our elected representatives that Hawaii’s traditional farmers and those who support them KNOW their humble, grassroots efforts have been stolen and co-opted in favor of biotech corporations. We can do better!

Where is the fairness?

Posted by kahea at Apr 07, 2008 08:38 PM |

Words from Uncle Jerry Konanui on Big Island, on the recent attempt to co-opt SB958 by legislators on the Agriculture Committee:

Aloha mai Kakou,

It is with heavy heart and immense pain that I, Jerry Konanui, a kahu from eight generation of caretakers of our Kupuna Halo our kalo, beg for your assistance.

We have struggled against all obstacles in protecting our Kupuna staying the course of Pono. We have kept to all the concepts of my cherished Hawaiian culture. We carry the Hawaii State motto as a way of life ” Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka ‘Aina I ka Pono,” the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

We worked within the system been fair and pono. We did what we were asked of us as we felt it is the righteous thing to do. The simple SB958 that we submitted and supported was truly that. There were no hidden agenda, what you read is what you got. We simply asked for more time so that as reasonable people we could all take that time out to work within the system for a just and right solution to our difficult problem, while protecting our Kupuna Haloa.

This amended SB958 gives no protection for our Kupuna Haloa, while we try to come to terms. Instead it contains preempt clauses and other promotional GE items that further silence our questions and takes our rights away. This amended bill is one that all care takers of Haloa can never agree to. This is not a compromise bill–the only winners are those that promote the GMO industry.

Chairman Clift Tsuji and I met afterwards, we shared mana’o. I asked Clift “What is this preempting County stuff doing in our Taro Bill?” He could not explain to me what it was or what it means.

I also asked Chair Tsuji what he meant when he said that GE taro can come in to Hawaii from places outside of Hawaii. Again he could not answer the questions. Chair Tsuji said when the bill comes back from the lawyers, it will be understood.

This inability for Chair Tsuji to explain his modified/amended bill seems to indicate that he just passed a bill through his committee that he really didn’t understand or know what it was about. I ask myself, how is this possible? Where is the fairness that Chairman Tsuji so eloquently spoke of?

All we had asked for was a fair hearing. With about 5,913 (7,000 to date) in support of the Original SB 958 and about 213 in oppose. It seems to me that with those kinds of numbers, the bill would pass, but what an
underhanded thing to do, to change the whole definition of the original bill into a pro-Genetic Engineering bill to put at risk our beloved Kupuna Haloa and to squeeze the life of self-rule out of our County Councils of which Hawaii, Kauai and Maui supported the original SB 958.

The shame is not on the Hawaiian Communities and the Taro growers of Hawaii, who supported the original Bill. Shame on those who have again abused the process and allowed greed to blind the clear thinking for those who were chosen to be the government of the people for the people and not a government for the rich, powerful, and influential.

The system is only as good as the protection it provides for the weakest and needy among us. I beg for all in the big house on the hill to Ku’e and kill this Hewa bill. Do what is right!!!

A humble Lepo Popolo.

Mahalo,

Jerry Konanui, he mahi’ai wau.


"This is not the end, this is just the beginning."

Yesterday, in the face of a historic outpouring of support for the genetic integrity of taro, the majority of Agriculture Committee members chose corporate biotech interests over those of Hawai’is’s traditional farmers.

Last month, well over 6,000 people from all corners of our community submitted testimony in support of a 10-year moratorium on the genetic modification of Hawaii’s most traditional and sacred food source, taro. Together, local taro farmers, scientists, professors, doctors, teachers, keiki, produce distributors, and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners expressed concern about the potential environmental impacts of cross-contamination, unknown health consequences of genetic modification, and the cultural impacts of patenting. In the thousands, they expressed their opposition to the fundamental and irreversible modification of the genes of taro.

YET, in a 9-to-3 vote, the committee amended the bill to prohibit any future moratoriums on any GMO products, even at the county level. At the same time, they reduced the moratorium to 5 years and limited the protected taro plants to the Hawaiian varieties only. Under this amended bill, Haloa will not be protected. Now, other varieties of taro, like bun long, can still be genetically altered and cross-pollinate with the Hawaiian varieties, spreading the genetic alterations. More startling, this bill now also robs local communities of their ability to address GMO concerns in their own neighborhoods.

But we are not giving up.

“They should kill this bill and face the consequences and the wrath of the people. “It’s ridiculous. They don’t want to listen. But this is not the end. This is just the beginning.”
– Jerry Konanui, Big Island Taro Farmer

The kuleana to protect elder brother, Haloa, is too important to turn our backs on! We stand with the taro farmers and the thousands of people who voiced uncompromised support for protecting Haloa. There are still four weeks left in the Legislative Session. And anything can happen. Learn more at the website and on the KAHEA blog.

In the meantime, every member of the Agriculture Committee is up for re-election this year. Prepare to plant your vote– Register to vote!

The momentum of this movement is stronger than ever
. People all over the islands are now stepping up at the local level, starting campaigns of homegrown resolutions, speaking about this issue to every neighborhood board, at schools, registering voters, and continuing to take action, and to share.

This year could be revolutionary. Deepest mahalos to all who have shown their support and love, and who have taken action. This latest action is simply fuel for our imu! And we hungry!

Learn more:

http://www.hawaiiseed.org/

http://www.kahea.org/gmo

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/geneticall7.cfm

Fate of Taro Bill SB958 to be Decided Thursday

Posted by kahea at Apr 01, 2008 07:02 PM |

We received word that the bill for a 10-year moratorium on GMO taro has been scheduled for decision-making! Thursday, April 3, 11AM in State Capitol Room 325.

Because we can’t say it any better than this:

I was working in my taro patch this morning in Waipi’o Valley, clearing my head, listening to the wind and the water, and I thought of the profound question you posed to me at yesterday’s hearing. Who own’s the taro? Awesome question, I must admit it startled me for a second, because in its simplicity it really speaks to the core of the whole issue of genetic engineering of kalo. “Who owns the taro”, you ask? Ke Akua owns the taro!

Kalo is a gift that has been passed down to us from our ancestors, generation to generation, for thousands of years. We are merely the current caretakers. I get paid for my hard work and to cover the expenses of producing poi, but the kalo–Haloa– does not belong to me. U.S. patenting laws state that if you are able to genetically manipulate one of God’s creations, you now own the creation. My spiritual beliefs have a hard time comprehending this.

Indigenous people around the world are struggling with this same issue–the Ojibwe protecting the wild rice, the Pueblo protecting the corn, the Inca protecting the potato. They all share the same ancestral ties and values to their life-giving crops as Hawaiians do with kalo. We all share the same disbelief at the utter disrespect for our culture, our heritage, our ancestors.

The huge outpouring of support for SB958 that was represented by the more 6000 written testimonies presented to the Ag Committee yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg. I keep hearing that we need to get the input of the Hawaiian community on this issue. Read those testimonies–they come from the heart, they come from the Hawaiian community. This passionate support for the protection of Haloa will never go away because this is our identity, this is ohana.

Hawaiians are standing up proud and strong, reconnecting to our culture, speaking our native tongue, proud of our past, confident of our future. We are honoring our kupuna, teaching our children, understanding our identity. In an effort to move forward in a positive direction, people are going back to their roots, only to find that our very roots are now threatened. I heard people yesterday who oppose SB958 say that they respect the culture, they understand… but. If they truly respected, if they truly understood, we would not be having a hearing. They would leave Haloa alone.

This is not an issue about science, academic freedom, economic investment, or the price of poi on the grocery shelf. As the language of SB958 states, this is an issue about respecting the cultural integrity of that which is vital to the identity of Hawai’i. In your powerful position as an elected decision maker, you have the ability to help heal a wound that has festered in Hawai’i for the last 115 years. In my humble opinion, in the interest of what is best for the future of Hawai’i, it is your kuleana to participate in this healing process. Please malama Haloa, please support SB958.

- Me ke aloha, Jim Cain, Farmer, Waipi’o Valley

You, too, can support and malama Haloa. Today, HALOA NEEDS YOUR VOICE.

Please take a few minutes to call these seven representatives on the Agriculture Committee and strongly urge them to pass SB958 without any amendments. The entire agriculture committee is up for re-election this year and many of their opponents are in vocal support of SB958!

halau-ku-mana.jpg

Clift Tsuji HAWAII – SOUTH HILO TO KURTISTOWN
586-8480; fax 586-8484; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 68480 reptsuji@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Jerry L. Chang HAWAII – KEAUKAHA TO SOUTH HILO
586-6120; fax 586-6121; From Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 66120 repchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Glenn Wakai OAHU – MOANALUA TO SALT LAKE
586-6220; fax 586-6221 repwakai@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Ryan I. Yamane OAHU – WAIPAHU/MILILANI
586-6150; fax 586-6151 repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Kyle T. Yamashita MAUI – PUKALANI TO ULUPALAKUA (UPCOUNTRY)
586-6330; fax 586-6331; From Maui, toll free 984-2400 + 66330 repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Colleen Rose Meyer OAHU – KANEOHE TO LAIE
586-8540; fax 586-8544 repmeyer@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Joey Manahan OAHU – SAND ISLAND, MOKUEA, KALIHI KAI, KAPALAMA
586-6010; fax 586-6011 repmanahan@Capitol.hawaii.gov

The five representatives below have expressed support of SB958- it is important to call them ONCE to mahalo their wisdom and encourage their continued support of SB958- with NO amendments!

Tom Brower OAHU – WAIKIKI/ALA MOANA 586-8520; fax 586-8524 repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Lyla B. Berg OAHU – KAHALA TO HAHAIONE
586-6510; fax 586-6511repberg@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Faye P. Hanohano HAWAII – PUNA/PAHOA
586-6530; fax 586-6531; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 66530 rephanohano@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Robert N. Herkes HAWAII – PUNA TO KONA
586-8400; fax 586-8404; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 68400 repherkes@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Corinne W.L. Ching OAHU – NUUANU/ALEWA HEIGHTS
586-9415; fax 586-9421 repching@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Take Our Advice, No Be Hard Head

Posted by kahea at Mar 28, 2008 07:54 PM |

From Marti:

Like everybody else, we’ve been watching the news coverage about the closing of Molokai Ranch. We’ve seen how the corporation has tried to spin this event to throw blame at the community for opposing the La‘au Point development. The same tactic was tried with Superferry. But, I gotta say, it still ain’t working.

It is not the community’s fault when a corporation has a bad idea, sinks a whole bunch of money into it, and it fails. When somebody says “ah, this isn’t gonna work, don’t do it,” but a corporation goes and does it anyway… that’s called hard-head.

To see how hard head this corporation is… and how resilient the people of Molokai are, take a look at this list of news coverage & commentary compiled by Molokai residents.

La’au Point Residents Not At Fault by Lee Cataluna
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008803280357

Karen Holt and Todd Yamshita were on KGMB 9 new this morning talking about the Ranch shutdown, the closure of access, buying the Ranch, and windfarms.
http://kgmb9.com/main/content/view/5093/108/

Maui News Articles

Future of proposed project at Laau Point is unclear
http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/501866.html?nav=10

Residents resolve to move on
http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/501867.html?nav=10

Star Bulletin Editorial/Articles

‘Mothballing’ Molokai Ranch would be devastating
http://starbulletin.com/2008/03/26/editorial/editorial01.html

Molokai parent calls isle unit ‘cash positive’
http://starbulletin.com/2008/03/26/business/story01.html

Molokai Ranch’s imminent closure brings uncertainty
http://starbulletin.com/2008/03/26/news/story02.html

Honolulu Advertiser Articles

Ranch’s fate determined by billionaire
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/803260431

Molokai Ranch closure leaves bleak prospects
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/803260433

Molokai Ranch timeline
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080326/NEWS01/803260432

Some legal mana’o/analysis on recent Water Decisions from a Save La’au attorney:
“Three recent decisions need to be understood. First, in September 2007, the Attorney General finally concluded that the State could not lease the MIS to MPL until an environmental assessment is completed.

Second, on December 26, 2007, the Hawai`i Supreme Court vacated the Commission on Water Resource Management’s permit to withdraw and use water from Well #17 for the West End of Moloka`i. In the Matter of the Contested Case Hearing on the Water Use Permit Application Filed by Kukui (Molokai, 174 P.3d 320; 2007 Haw. LEXIS 381 (2007) (Kukui).

Third, on December 14, 2007, Maui County enacted a new ordinance (Ordinance #3052) that requires verification of water supply before subdivision is approved. MCC 14.12.040 and 18.04.020(G)…no permitted allocations from Well 17. At this point, MPL has neither the right to use Well 17 water, nor the right to transport water using the MIS….

The bulk or “piecemeal” sale option and the agricultural subdivision option present inaccurate information. These lots cannot be subdivided into more than 1500 – or even 215 plus 223 – lots. Ordinance 3502 (2007) would not allow this to occur because there is no water source available for these lots. Moreover, MPL over-estimates its ability to sell any of the parcels of land given the fact that it currently has no guaranteed water source for any of its lots. No buyer would purchase a lot on the dry West End without any assurance of a water source.

It is unfortunate that MPL has misled GuocoLeisure and its shareholders regarding the value of MPL’s land. Not only was the Hallstrom Group’s valuation inaccurate when it was made, but the three recent decisions (the Hawai`i Supreme Court’s in Kukui, the Department of the Attorney General’s regarding the MIS, and Maui County in the new subdivision ordinance) make it abundantly clear that 1) MPL has no guaranteed source of water to develop its lands and 2) the lands cannot be easily subdivided. MPL’s land is worth far, far less than MPL claims.”

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