Tag Archives: Testimony

PLDC Leg Tracking as of 2/8/13

Senator Solomon refused to hear any of the PLDC bills assigned to her Water, Land and Housing Committee.  If she does the same when the House legislation crosses over the issue of the Public Land Development Corporation will be dead.  It is a tragedy when our right to discuss a critical public issue can be stopped by one legislator.

This is the status of the PLDC bills at this time. All Senate Bills are dead.  The House PLDC Bills will be heard tomorrow (Saturday) at 9AM in the Capitol Auditorium.  See the legislative details by clicking here.

Come and let you legislators know you think Act 55 must be repealed.

 

Repeal Act 55

The following post represents the position of the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party and is not an official position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The House of Representatives is hearing a number of bills about the Public Lands Development Corporation tomorrow (Saturday). You can submit testimony simply by sending in an email (if this link doesn’t work, the email addresses are below). Suggested talking points are also below. Please include your name, the bill number you are supporting/opposing, and the date/time (Saturday, February 8, 9:00 a.m.).

I’m supporting HB 1133 and HB 589 as the two bills that would repeal the PLDC. I’m also opposing HB 942, HB 219, HB 593, and HB 1134 because they don’t repeal the PLDC.

But if you want to have a lot of fun, please join us in appearing in person. We’ll be at the State Capitol in the auditorium (located on the very bottom floor, near the parking area). Politicians are easily influenced by large groups of people. Let’s have a party together and make sure our voices are heard!

Environmental Caucus testimony follows:

Act 55 creates the Public Land Development Corp.(PLDC). The PLDC is mandated to maximize the dollar return from public lands.  Their mission is to enter into public/private partnerships to maximize the economic return from public lands.  Their focus is on tourist development.

So far so good.  Public/Private partnership have many benefits. But Act 55 his deeply flawed and must be repealed.

1. Act 55 exempts the PLDC from all permitting requirements including county zoning laws and building permits.  There is no reason government projects should be exempted from our laws designed to make sure all projects are will planned and designed.

2. Act 55 exempts the PLDC from the government procurement process.  This opens the door to fraud and corruption. 

3. Act 55 gives DLNR two Boards of Directors.  The PLDC can initiate projects which ignore the BLNR land use management plans.  The PLDC can do whatever it wants on public lands without significant citizen over site and without any consideration of existing management plans.

4. The Board of the PLDC is made up of 5 individuals whose expertise is in land development.  There are no land managers of cultural practitioners on their board.  Absolute control over all public land is tremendous power to give five people.

5. The PLDC has the authority to define the adjoining land owners who benefit from their development and assess their property for the cost of development infrastructure.  This places the infrastructure development costs on property owners rather on than on the developers.

There is much more wrong with Act 55 but I donʻt want to write a book.  Act 55 must be repealed and we must start over with proper safeguards and with public participation in the discussion.  You know that the legislation resulting in Act 55 was amended at the last minute and even most legislators didnʻt realize the changes when they voted.

Supporters of Act 55 say the weaknesses in the Act can be correct in rule making.  As legislators you understand that legislation provides the legal framework that guides Government.  Rules are immaterial when the enabling legislation is flawed.

Act 55 is deeply flawed and must be repealed.  However, while the community focuses on the PLDC the Administration has introduce legislation to create the HLDC.  The HLDC as proposed will be the PLDC on steroids.

Watch all proposals to eliminate permitting requirements from public project.  The Governorʻs efforts to expedite his projects without permitting “interference” must be stopped.

You can submit email testimony here:

WALtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

EDNtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

FINtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

For more information about the Public Lands Development Corporation, please see GrandTheftAina.com.

PLDC repeal in jeopardy

This is not a position of the Democratic Party.  The Environmental Caucus supports repeal of Act 55 which created the Public Land Development Corporation.

The PLDC has the authority to sell State land and enter into long term leases on ceded land that is protected by the Constitution with no public oversite.  The PLDC can over ride the land management initiatives of the DLNR essentially turning DLNR into a real estate development agency.  The PLDC projects are excempt from any environment, Hawaiian Cultural and even County planning, building code and zoning regulations.  PLDC. at their discretion may hold one public hear on a project.  The may enter into a public/private partnership to facilitate any project without going to bid.

Supporters of Act 55 claim that the short commings of Act 55 can be corrected in the Rules developed by the PLDC to guide its operations.  In fact, only the law matters.

Senator Solomon introduced the legislation in the Senate that creating Act 55.  Now she is blocking all efforts to repeal this terrible legislation.

This introduction is authored by Bill Sager.  The following is thanks to Hawaii Thousand Friends:

ACTION NEEDED

Friday 2/2/13 on the Senate floor, Senator Malama Solomon, Chair of the Water and Land Committee, said that she will not hold a hearing on any of the Senate repeal PLDC bills, and that she will wait to see what crosses over from the House. 

The problem with this strategy is:  if a House repeal PLDC bill crosses over to the Senate but no Senate repeal PLDC bill crosses over to the House, the Senate committee chair can choose to not hold a hearing on any House repeal PLDC bill or can hold a hearing but not have a vote on the bill, thus making a repeal PLDC bill dead on arrival.

Act NOW. 

Contact Senate President Donna Mercado Kim  senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov

and also contact your Senators and let them know you want the Senate to hear bills that will repeal PLDC.

Senators by Island 2013

List of all Senate repeal PLDC bills :

SB 1 – Introduced by Hee

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB1_.htm

SB 245 – Introduced by L. Thielen, Baker, Ihara, Ruderman, Slom

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=245  

SB 338 – Introduced by Keith-Agaran, Baker, English

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=338  

SB 480 – Introduced by English

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB480_.htm

SB 663 – Introduced by Green, Ruderman

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=663

SB 780 – Introduced by Slom

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=780

SB 958 – Introduced by Kim

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=958

 

A fox in sheeps clothing

This analysis is thanks to Hawaii Thousand Friends.  It is not an official position of the Hawaii Democratic Party

 

– PLDC –
A new name, same purpose

HB 942 Harbors and Parks Development Authority (HPDA)

Click to access HB942_.pdf

Hearing on HB 942:  Wednesday 1/30
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_TRN_01-30-13_.HTM

Submit testimony online: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

HB 942 – introduced by Souki by request (b/r) as part of Governor’s package
Converts PLDC to the Harbors and Parks Development Authority (HPDA) to “make optimal use of harbors and park lands” which would “serve the State and its people better if managed and developed into suitable recreational and leisure centers”
Defines all harbors and parks lands as all state boating facilities and parklands under DLNR
Gives HPDA the authority to identify harbors and park lands that are suitable for development such as:
State parks: Diamond Head (Oahu), Kokee (Kauai), Hapuna (Big Islnd), Makena Beach State Recreational Area (Maui), Palaau (Molokai)

Small boat harbors: Kaunakakai (Molokai), Manele (Lanai), Waianae (Oahu), Port Allen (Kauai), Honokohau (Big Island), Maalaea (Maui)
Like PLDC, HPDA can: do marketing analysis to determine the best revenue-generating programs for harbors and park lands; enter into public-private agreements to appropriately develop harbors and park lands
Permissible uses of harbors and park land same as PLDC: office space; vehicular parking; commercial uses; accommodations (i.e. hotels, homes, vacation rentals, time share); fueling facilities; storage and repair facilities; and seawater air conditioning plants.
Keeps same PLDC board structure substituting OHA administrator for Director of Finance
Like PLDC, HPDA shall prepare the Hawaii harbors and park land optimization plan
Like PLDC, harbors and park land planning activities of the authority shall be coordinated with county planning departments, county land use plans, policies and ordinances
Like PLDC, HPDA HRS 171C-8 states “All harbors and park lands optimization projects, land development plans developed by the authority SHALL be approved by the board. (Note: No set of rules can mitigate or over rule the word SHALL because it is in the law. Leaving no opportunity for denial)
DLNR cannot transfer harbors or park lands in fee simple to HPDA
Like PLDC, HPDA creates the Harbors and Parks development revolving fund; can acquire by condemnation, real, personal or mixed property for public facilities including streets, sidewalks, parks, schools and other public improvements
HPDA can seek assistance from HDCA (Hawaii Community Development Authority) regardless of whether the development opportunities are within a community development district which are: Kaka`ako, Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) and Heeia on Oahu and Hamakua on the Big Island.
Adds PLDC Chapter 171C to the definition of “public work” under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 104 Wages and Hours of Employees on Public Works
Deletes “public school special fund” which can now be found in SB 237  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=237
Deletes “project facility program” which can now be found in HB 557  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB557.htm

Hearing re: Public Land Development Corporation

This article does not reflect the official position of the Hawaii Democratic Party

Repeal of the Act 55 which created the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) is among the highest priorities of the Environmental Caucus.  This is an important hearing because it takes a comprehensive look at the PLDC and the legislation that has been introduced to either repeal or amened the PLDC.

Act 55 creates the PLDC and gives it powers to enter into public/private partnerships to develop state land to maximize tourism.  It gives the PLDC unlimited power to sell or enter into 85 year leases with developers.  It can do this with out a bid and without public review.  Act 55 excludes the PLDC from any permitting requirements and requires only one public hearing.  The PLDC has the right to designate the area around their development which will benefit from the development and access the landowners within that area with a tax to pay for the infrastructure required by the development.  Land owners who cannot pay the assessment will loose their property.

The administration says these problems will be addressed by the rules the PLDC develops to govern its activities.  Attorneys who have reviewed the law tell us that rules are much easier to change and only what is in the law really matters.

The bottom line is Act 55 is deeply flawed and should be repealed.  At the very least, Act 55 must be amended to provide for transparency and removed the exemption from permitting requirements.

If you cannot give testimony personally, pleae email your testimony to the committees assigned to hear the bills you are interested in.  Go to capitol.hawaii.gov and register.  Once registered, you can track bills, get hearing notices and submit testimony.  If you have questions, call the Public Access Room at 587-0478

**************

Press release announcing hearing.

House of Representatives Takes First Step to Address the Public Land Development Corporation

The House Committee on Water and Land has scheduled a hearing on Saturday, February 9, 2013 regarding the abolishment of the Public Land Development Corporation or alternatives to achieve the original intent to generate revenue from public land.

In response to public frustration over the manner in which the Public Lands Development Corporation was created, how its rules were promulgated, the broad powers granted to the organization, and the lack of public input and participation in that process, the House Committee on Water and Land will be hearing bills that will either repeal the Public Land Development Corporation altogether, amend, or start from scratch and create a new agency that will provide far greater community input and oversight.

“As the Chair of Water and Land I am approaching the issue from the standpoint of repeal,” said Rep. Cindy Evans (District 7, North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “The PLDC cannot exist as is, something has to change; however, I am open to options and the most compelling argument will move forward.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona) Vice-Chair of the Committee on Water and Land stated, “My community has expressed serious concerns about the PLDC, particularly about exemptions from planning, zoning and environmental laws. This legislation was passed with very little public oversight the first time around, and, this time, the public deserves to have a voice in the political process.”

“The people I have spoken with on Maui who understand the implications of PLDC support a full repeal. While I recognize the need for increased DLNR revenue and improved public land efficiencies, we must achieve these goals without posing a threat of undermining public input or skirting environmental regulations” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (District 11, South Maui). “The people, especially on the neighbor islands, are saying “try again” – we, as lawmakers, need to listen to them.”

Contact:
Office of Representative Cindy Evans 808-586-8510

Last Day to Comment – Turtle Bay Resort Expansion

Today, Fri Jan 18th deadline ! to make comments about massive developments planned Turtle Bay !
Testimony link > http://www.KeeptheNorthShoreCountry.org

and/or send individual email to each of the following:

drew@replayresorts.com, leesichter@gmail.com, emartin@honolulu.gov, anderson@honolulu.gov and be sure to include a cc to: ccComments@honolulu.gov

*Even just emailing in two lines is helpful. Use the following or even better add you own words:
“I oppose any expansion at Turtle Bay.
“My family is very concerned about:

1. Traffic and the inevitable widening of Kamehameha Hwy from Kahaluu to Kahuku,
2. Hawaiian Iwi and traditional Hawaiian rights,
3. Fishing & effects of overpopulation on our Ocean,
4. Overcrowding on our beaches and the loss of beach access for our local families,
5. Endangered Species including the loss of turtle nesting area, beaches where monk sear haul out to rest. and rare coastal plants,
6. Quality of Life in Oahu, the rural character of Windward Oahu and the North Shore will forever be changed,
7. Damage to our Film Industry & high-paying film jobs-because Turtle Bay is the #1 resort for Filming,
8. Damage to our Tourist Industry with overcrowding in a key scenic area,
9. The added infrastructure expense for sewer disposal plant and highway improvement that we the public will have to pay for,
10. This massive tourist destination expansion outside of the planned south shore tourist destination areas will set a president for “secondary tourist development” throughout Oahu.

also Save Turtle Bay Endangered Species Petition
http://www.change.org/petitions/no-turtle-bay-resort-expansion-beyond-the-current-footprint

Mahalo for  SHARing with friends & family: facebook, email, twitter

Reference links:
http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2012/12/country’s-time/
http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/12/10/17839-report-more-traffic-will-clog-north-shore-if-turtle-bay-expands/
Keep it Country, Grow Film Jobs ! my Op-Ed>
http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/20100722_Keeping_country_country_is_good_for_isle_film_industry.html?id=98994499 <

SB755 exempting government projects from environmental review

Urgent action request from the Environmental Caucus. This is not a position of the Democratic Party. 

Our only chance to stop this legislation is to influence the floor votes.  Email our legislators at sen@capitol.hawaii.gov and rep@capitol.hawaii.gov and tell them to vote NO on SB755.

SB 755 (the “gut and replace bill”) seemed dead because no conference conferees were selected by either the House or the Senate. But wait! There’s a maneuver that legislators can use to pass a bill. The House can agree with the Senate’s version during the floor vote on Tuesday 5/1 and then vote on it.

In the 4/26/12 Civil Beat article, “Is Calvin Say Holding the Budget Hostage?”(emphasis added throughout), reporter Chad Blair writes: ” … it will be the seventh time in 10 days that conferees have met on the budget … The hold up, sources tell Civil Beat, is the insistence of House Speaker Calvin Say that the Senate accept Senate Bill 755, a measure granting temporary exemption to environmental law in order to expedite state and county construction projects. There are controversial bills every session, obviously, but SB 755 arguably wins the prize this year. … two lawmakers and a third source well-known in legislative circles say that Say has made passage of SB 755 his No. 1 priority and is playing hardball.”

For whatever nefarious reason(s), Speaker Say really wants this onerous legislation passed and we must do everthing in our power to defeat this SB755.

Turning a good bill bad

Bill SB2782 is scheduled to be heard by FIN on Tuesday, 04-03-12 4:00PM in House conference room 308.

FIN will vote on HD2.

HD2 amends SB 2782 to fund the Governors Watershed Initiative by robbing other severely underfunded conservation programs to fund the Governorʻs Watershed initiative.

This is a perfect example of the fun and games that goes on at the legislature to turn a good bill bad.

Tell Rep Oshiro to oppose HD2.  Call his office at 586-6200, testify in person if you can and submit you written testimony at http://capitol.hawaii.gov.

School Garden resolution

3/2/12 2pm Rm 309HCR 94 will be heard REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO EXPAND A SCHOOL GARDEN PROGRAM STATEWIDE.

A high priority of the environmental caucus is the expansion of the school garden program.  Submit testimony by:

To submit testimony

1) go to this site:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

2) Type in “HB1893” in the box under “enter a measure” and click on “submit”

3) The date, time, etc. for the hearing will appear in green

4) Then enter your personal information, click on “individual” and click “oppose”

5) Then scroll down to the “additional comments” box, add your personal comments/
sentences into the box (OR write up your comments and save as a document, use the “browser” box, and it will upload for you).

6) Then click the little “I agree to terms” box at the bottom, and hit “SUBMIT”

It will automatically be sent to the Chair of the Committee.

Testify in support of Olelo – deadline April 5

We ask you to submit testimony to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) in support of Oleloʻs application for a license to continue providing public access TV to Oahu.

You can email catv@dcca.hawaii.gov, fax 586-2625, or mail DCCA-CATV, P.O. Box 541, Honolulu, HI 96809

Some points you may want to cover are:

•    Why is public access important to you?
•    What is your personal experience with Olelo’s staff and services?
•    How has Olelo made a difference in your life? To your organization?
•    What additional service would you like Olelo to add?
•    Why should the DCCA renew Olelo’s contract?
Whatever you can do to help Olelo secure a new contract and protect public access in Hawaii is greatly appreciated.

Why is Olelo important to the Environmental Caucus?

Because Olelo produces our workshops that are broadcast live on the Internet so our members statewide can participate in our meetings.  I then edit these shows into half hour segments that Olelo can continue to broadcast and stream to the internet.  OLELO IS OUR VOICE TO HAWAII.

I attended the DCCA. Thursday evening March 27 and gave personal testimony as an Olelo producer. We listen to oceanic Time Warner call Olelo a corrupt, ineffective organization that should have its budget slashed and its organization dismembered. Their testimony was countered by about 30 very passionate Olelo producers who recounted how positively Olelo has affected their lives. Olelo is the voice of our community.

Be aware that Oceanic Time Warner is a very powerful foe of public access television in Hawaii. Every year, Oceanic introduces legislation designed to both breakup Olelo as an organization and to slash the Olelo budget. Oceanic takes every opportunity to attack Olelo as they did last night in the DCCA hearing.

Only your voice can preserve our axis to community-based public television. Take a moment now to express your support for Olelo to the DCCA. The deadline for your testimony is April 5. For more information go to FreeSpeechHawaii.org.