Category Archives: Informational Links

Gary Hooser Confirmation Hearing

Submit testimony in support of Gary’s appointment as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

You may view the hearing notice here:

Petition for “Creating an Agricultural Plan for City and County of Honolulu”

Aloha all,

One of our new Caucus Members asked me to post information regarding an Agricultural petition called “Create an Agricultural Plan for City and County of Honolulu.” Since one of the points of this blog is to give our members a voice, I decided to oblige.

Here is his letter:


Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the petition: “Create an Agricultural Plan for City and County of Honolulu”.

Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 50 signatures – please sign here:

Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

Thank you! Arvid


Posted by Lynn Marie Sager

Energy and Climate in the News

3D Solar Cells Could Be Here Next Year

Friday, 28 January 2011–The 3D solar Cell technology is still in its infancy and it might take another year or two before it goes commercial and gains prominence. Patented by Solar3D, the technology promises to make photovoltaic cells that are far more efficient and cost effective than the traditional ones that we are now using. The plan from Solar3D at this point is to create a prototype for public display by the end of 2011.

Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D, has announced that their developmental project for the 3D solar cells is running well ahead of its schedule and with the technology having been patented by their company a couple of months back, the next step is to create a prototype that will fit the commercial billing.

3D Solar Cells supposedly use a technology that facilitates micro-photovoltaic structure to trap sunlight and then bounce the photons around to generate more energy than the models that are currently on offer. We are obviously thinking this is akin to trapping light inside a prism and creating multiple reflections, but that is only based on our best guess of how the technology seems to work.
Solar panels built from such cells will not only be more energy efficient but apparently will also cost a lot less. Well, all we can say is that we are anxiously waiting for the first 3D Solar Cell to be out. There is so much solar energy out there, clean and abundant, waiting to be tapped into!

Posted by Lisa Hinano Rey

Chair, Energy and Climate Subcommittee

Let’s celebrate World Wetland’s Day together

Aloha members,

Did you know that O’ahu has one of the most priceless wetlands in America?

Come celebrate the protection of this wetland and learn more about its unique place in our landscape. All events are free of charge, including games, music, and tours into the marsh led by local experts. To download a pdf flier with full location and time details, click on this link.

Our Caucus will be manning a coffee and Malasada booth, so be sure to drop by and visit with us after your walking tour. The day promises to be wonderful, so take a moment to invite your friends.

If you would like to lean more about World Wetland’s Day, here is the official Ramsar link. (I feel compelled to add that if you work with kids as I do, you will want to check out all the great wetlands awareness activities that their site provides free of charge. Click here for details. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the pdf Index files. They include fourteen years of posters, cartoons, and activities for kids.)

Hope to see you on February 5, and be sure to forward this post to your friends,

Lynn Marie Sager

Action Alert regarding Caucus Priority–House Bill 1385, relating to Shoreline Setback

Aloha Members,

At our last General Caucus meeting, we selected this item as one of our nine priority items. We will be advocating on its behalf, but you can do more by helping to spread the word, and writing your representatives to express your individual support for this bill.  I have copied an e-mail from Debbie Hecht on the Big Island, with contact information and talking points.

Let’s get the word out that we support this bill. You will find details below.


Please write to the members of the Water Land and Ocean Resources Committee and ask them to support

Bill 1385- Relating to Coastline Preservation.


TALKING POINTS: Bill 1385 will protect almost 100 miles of coastline on Hawaii Island by preserving ocean access, protect the reefs from sedimentation and protecting habitat for ocean species, protect the Ala Kahakai Trail, protect over 35 cultural sites along the Trail, link the 4 National Parks, provide room to build a parallel trail for hiking and biking for residents and visitors, that could be the foundation of an eco-tourism industry and provide jobs for people of our island.



To Read the text of Bill 1385 and to see a map of the almost 100 miles of shoreline to be preserved go to

Bill 1385 is a top priority for the Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus and the Surfrider Foundation. We are asking groups for letters of support.

These are the committee members of the WATER, LANDS AND OCEAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE.

Cut and paste the following email addresses to send an email TODAY:,,,,,,,,,,,

We are very lucky to have 4 Big island reps on committee, If these representatives are from your district please make sure you stress that you are a voter in that district.

  1. Chair Chang from South Hilo, Waiakea Kai, Kaumana, Keaukaha and
  2. Nakashima from Kohala and Hamakua and Hilo,
  3. Herkes from South Kona and Ka’u,
  4. Coffman from Kona.


  1. Do you have a group that we can meet with to get a letter or support?
  2. Hand out the attached information sheet.
  3. Read the text of the Bill at and download the map.
  4. Can we put your name on the Angels List to be kept informed?
  5. Could you be a key person to keep other people in your email contacts informed?

An Action Alert Regarding SB762

Aloha Members,

I just received this action alert from Robert Harris of the Sierra Club. Although it is not one of our Caucus priorities, I felt it was worth passing along to our own members. You may read his full action alert below:


We really need your help. On Monday, the Senate is hearing a bill (SB762) that would automatically approve any application in 30 days if an agency fails to establish maximum time periods for application processing. It would also automatically approve any application before the State Historic Preservation Division (a notoriously underfunded and understaffed office) in 60 days.

We’re all for speeding up government, but automatic approval of any project is bad policy. Permits should be granted on their merits, not because of mistake or governmental inefficiency. No community should suffer because government failed to perform.

Hawaii has already been bitten by similar proposals. For example, in 1996 the Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 3-2 to deny Hawaii Electric Light Company’s request to install two combustion turbines on conservation district land in Ke`ahole on the Island of Hawaii. One member recused himself because he held stock in the utility. Despite the vote, a Big Island circuit court held that since a majority of all 6 members of the BLNR are needed to ratify any action, no legally-binding decision was reached prior to the deadline for action. Therefore, the court held, the permit was automatically granted (despite a majority of votes saying “no”).

Let’s make sure bad projects don’t become automatically permitted in your community. Can you please submit email testimony to: this weekend?  Please indicate the measure (SB762), date and time of the hearing (January 31st, 1:30 pm).

Talking points:

  • I am opposed to SB762.
  • Agencies shouldn’t just respond to developer applications. They should also consider the public’s concerns and natural resource needs. Automatic permit approvals tilt the balance too far in favor of development.
  • There are better ideas to be explored. Like creating an office of the ombudsmen to fix problems with misbehaving agencies. Or simply finding ways to give underfunded agencies the resources they need to perform.
  • We need real leadership, with real solutions. If government is broken, we should fix it. We shouldn’t just turn agencies into rubber stamps for development.

Energy and Climate Action Alert

Once again time is of the essence!!  This coming Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011 testimony will be heard on  a bill relating to Alternative Energy Wheeling.  I will be submitting testimony by email and cannot be there personally on Tuesday.  Anyone who is interested in making official appearance as designee, please let me know by e-mailing me at

Lisa Hinano Rey

Chair, Energy and Climate Subcommittee

The committee(s) on ENE has scheduled a public hearing on 02-01-11 3:30PM in conference room 225.

Report Title: Governmental Wheeling; Inter and Intra; Public Utilities; Transmission and Distribution Fee
Description: Requires the public utilities commission to adopt rules and issue orders relating to intra-governmental wheeling and inter-governmental wheeling that enable renewable energy producers operating on public lands to sell electricity directly to governmental entities located on the same island. Authorizes public utilities to charge a transmission and distribution fee for both intra-governmental wheeling and inter-governmental wheeling.

“Lessons from the Ledge” a series of articles by Gary Hooser

The other day, I overheard Gary Hooser likening the Legislative Process to “trying to drink water from a fire hose.” The accuracy of that image still gets me smiling.

Those of you who have been coming to our meetings know how lucky our Caucus is to have someone with Gary’s experience as our Environmental Chair. He has lived and worked that process for years. And now, he has written a wonderfully informative series of articles designed demystify that process. I would like to recommend that everyone check them out on his blog, beginning with this one:
The Players, The Process, The Rules

Important EIS meeting about “Big Wind” Projects

State and the Department of Energy will hold a meeting to determine the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed “Big Wind” project. These are important meetings, allowing the impacted communities to help shape the content of the coming EIS. Please try to attend and voice whatever questions you may have about this project.

Meeting Information: Feb 1, 2011, at  5:30 at McKinley High School

Hawai’i 2011 Legislative Session Calendar

The Hawai’i State Legislature has announced its 2011 Calendar. We thought you might want to see it. To view a larger PDF version of this calendar in closer detail, click on the following link: 2011 Session calendar-1