Parcels marked "E" and "I" near the top of the map could be marked for residential development
Parcels marked "E" and "I" near the top of the map could be marked for residential development

Rally Organizers Seek to Stop Additional Residential Development in Kakaako

Several environmental groups – organized under Save Our Kaka‘ako Coalition – will rally against HB 2819, which lifts the residential construction restriction in Kakaako on two parcels transferred to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as part of its recent land settlement with the state.

The event, which will include representatives of Friends of Kewalos; Save Our Surf; Hawaii State Bodysurfing Association; Defend Oahu Coalition (Keep the Country COUNTRY!); Free Access Coalition; The Outdoor Circle; Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter; Hui O He‘e Nalu (Da Hui); Hawaii’s Thousand Friends; Sierra Club and the Kaka‘ako Makai Community Planning Advisory Council, will be held Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 9 a.m. at the Kaka‘ako Gateway Park on Ala Moana Boulevard at Cooke Street.

A statement from the coalition said: “The Coalition believes the exception will restrict public access to the ocean and shoreline and set a dangerous precedent for future exceptions makai of Ala Moana Boulevard, urban Honolulu’s last public oceanfront land.”

The language now in HB 2819 was first introduced in the Senate as SB 682. The highly controversial SB 682 was eventually put into HB 2819 when SB 682 stalled in the House.

Meanwhile, a bill authorizing a $200 million land settlement with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, was accepted by all parties and signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie last week. That bill did not include provisions for residential development, the coalition leaders note.

Ron Iwami, Friends of Kewalos President, said, “There are already a significant number of high rise residential developments on the mauka side of Ala Moana Boulevard and I know of at least 27 more that are planned, not to mention the state’s tallest (650 ft.) building.  Where are all these future residents going to recreate? What will we share with our visitors in the future? We are asking Legislators to keep the makai land open for all people.  Our worst fear is that it could open the door for more residential development, forever changing the face of Kaka‘ako.”

The coalition held rallies in 2005 and 2006 to stop the sale of public lands that would have led to residential development in Kaka‘ako.

The coalition is asking the community to join the Saturday rally and wear red in a sign of unity. Supporters can also sign an online petition opposing HB 2819 at http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-oppose-house-bill-2819.

President Obama Signs Hawai’i Disaster Declaration

President Barack Obama signed a Hawaii Disaster Declaration yesterday after Gov. Neil Abercrombie requested Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts from the March 3 to 11, 2012 storm.

The governor’s office said in a statement the Declaration “allows for Federal funding to be available for emergency work and repair or replacement of public facilities (in all counties) damaged by the severe storms and flooding.”

The islands of Oahu and Kauai were hit most severely by the storm. Hawaii State Civil Defense estimates Kauai’s roads and other public infrastructure was hit the worst with $2 million in damage.

Revenge at the Legislature – all for a Good Cause

Are you frustrated with your state legislators? Are you upset they are trying to raise your taxes and take away your plastic bags? If so, you may be able get a little revenge today – all of for a good cause.

Several legislators have offered to spend about 5 minutes each in a dunking booth today – and anyone can purchase a $5 ticket to attempt to dunk them between 12:30 and 2 p.m.

All proceeds will go to the Hawaii Foodbank.

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