Hawaii poised to lead ocean energy wave by Rep. Thielen

cynthia-3x1An unusual consortium comprised of large utilities, environmental groups, energy think tanks and ocean energy developers has just written to President-elect Barack Obama about the tremendous potential of wave energy and the role it can play in reducing our nation’s dependence upon oil.

The group includes utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Portland General Electric and Florida Power & Light (the largest utilities in California, Oregon and Florida, respectively); environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, Surfrider Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council; and academic entities Oregon State University and the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center. Taking the initiative on Hawaii’s behalf are Robbie Alm, COO of Hawaiian Electric Co., Virginia Hinshaw, chancellor of the University of Hawaii, and Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. I encouraged these Hawaii leaders to participate in the important discussions with the new administration.

In its unprecedented letter to the president-elect, the consortium is asking Obama to provide support for wave energy, citing “conservative estimates” that indicate wave energy could “supply at least 10 percent of the current U.S. demand.” That’s a staggering number for an economically imperiled nation that has spent $700 billion in the last two years on imported oil.

The consortium attached a white paper, titled “Ocean Renewable Energy: A Shared Vision and Call for Action,” to its letter. Among the guiding principles are encouraging pilot and demonstration scale projects, streamlining regulatory processes and cooperating in preparation of unified environmental documents.

Economic stimulation can’t take place at home if the U.S. ends up having to import wave energy conversion technology. The consortium stakeholders are making this a major focal point, stating that “without increased government action to encourage demonstration projects and to fund research and development, the promise of ocean renewable energy may never be realized, and the U.S. may see Europe corner the market on these technologies, in much the same way that it did with wind.”

The consortium also stresses the importance of pilot projects in determining the effects of wave energy technology on marine environments to ensure that we protect our ocean resources to the greatest degree possible while extracting energy from ocean waves.

I joined the key stakeholders in the consortium and met with Obama’s transition team on Dec.16 in Washington, D.C., to discuss how best to integrate wave energy technology into the U.S. energy portfolio.

Hawaii is poised to become a leader. The Department of Energy designated the University of Hawaii as one of two national Marine Renewable Energy Centers. HECO, the administration and energy department signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, an effort to meet 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs with clean energy by the year 2030. Since that time, Hawaii has seen bold plans in the renewable sector. Two of the more ambitious projects are Oceanlinx LLC’s wave energy project off Maui, and Better Place’s electric vehicles. But the electric vehicles must be able to obtain energy from clean, renewable resources, such as ocean waves.

The message I gave to Obama’s transition team is that Hawaii is one of the best places in the world for wave energy conversion, and we are ready. We have an abundance of year-round wave energy, a large, concentrated market on Oahu and our residents pay the highest electricity rates in the nation because our state exports up to $7 billion each year to import oil. With UH Chancellor Hinshaw, HECO executive Alm and economic director Liu joining the consortium’s call for action, our state will lead.


Rep. Cynthia Thielen represents the 50th District (Kailua-Kaneohe Bay) in the state House.



Hawaii’s Capitol Improvement Projects Part 1 of 2

Governor Linda Lingle’s press release conference regarding the some 1,521 Capitol Improvement Projects listed statewide on her website: http://www.hawaii.gov/cip

Representative Thielen Participates In Wave Energy Briefing With Presidential Transition Team

cynthia-headshotRepresentative Thielen and high-level members of a diverse coalition to participate in wave energy briefing with Presidential Transition Team in Washington DC.


Honolulu – “I am excited and honored to participate in a briefing with President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team in Washington DC.  This briefing can result in federal support for wave energy systems in our state, which will help Hawaii‘s economy and our goal to reduce use of fossil fuel,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Cynthia Thielen.  “There are a couple of real advantages that make this opportunity so exciting for Hawaii.  First, the coalition of stakeholders that will meet with the Transition Team – environmentalists, academics, energy developers, investors, and utilities – are not often on the same boat, but they are together on the issue of wave energy.  Second, the University of Hawaii is one of only two National Marine Renewable Test Centers in the nation, and they will be funded for the next five years to study and implement wave energy systems. “


A sampling of the coalition members includes the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Heritage Institute, Portland General Electric, the National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hydropower Reform Coalition, the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pacific Energy Ventures LLC, the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, and the Surfrider Foundation.


The coalition has adopted Principles to guide ocean renewable energy development.  Among the Principles are increased government action to encourage pilot projects.  Hawaii, with its excellent wave climate, is a natural choice for such pilot projects,” noted Rep. Thielen.


The meeting is scheduled for December 16th, 2008 and will also include transition teams from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, and the Council on Environmental Quality.

MCAS EWA FIELD Part 1 of 4.mov


MARINE CORPS AIR STATION EWA FIELD WHEREAS, the 83 year old MARINE CORPS AIR STATION (MCAS) EWA FIELD has a rich and storied history dating back to its beginnings in 1925 when it was carved out of the kiawe bush, becoming one of the first airfields in Hawaii; and WHEREAS, on December 7, 1941, MCAS EWA FIELD became an indelible part of American history by being the first military installation attacked by Japanese fighters, just minutes before they assaulted Pearl Harbor; and WHEREAS, on that faithful day in 1941, four marines, Sgt William E. Lutschan, Sgt Karolo Micheletta, PFC George Turner, and PFC Edward Steven Lawrence, and two residents, Francisco Tacderan and six year old Yaeko Lillian Oda, lost their lives when the naval air forces of the empire of Japan attacked the MCAS EWA FIELD; and WHEREAS, throughout the second world war, MCAS EWA FIELD played a critical role in America’s war effort in the Pacific by serving as the major Marine aviation headquarters in the Pacific, and was a staging and transit point for all Marine assets moving into the combat zones of the South Pacific; and WHEREAS, on June 18, 1952, MCAS EWA FIELD was forced to close because its runways were inefficient for jet aircrafts and expansion was impossible due to the proximity of the Naval Air Station at Barbers Point, and today the air field is now abandoned; and WHEREAS, in recognition of the significant role that MCAS EWA FIELD played in our nation’s and state’s history, historian John Bond brought together a diverse group of current and retired military members, private citizens, and a bipartisan group of elected officials under the banner of saving Ewa Field to protect the historic airfield from development by placing it on a list of National Historic Places as a National Landmark; now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, on this day of December 7, 2008 that this body commends the efforts of John Bond and the tireless work of the numerous volunteers who are dedicated and committed to the preservation of the historic MCAS EWA FIELD.






The compilation within this packet has been provided to the Ewa Neighborhood Board for its meeting that is to be held on December 11, 2008.  The information contained in this outline is meant to assist community discussion on various developments planned for the Ewa/Kapolei region and may be amended to reflect community input.

A final testimonial from the Office of State Representative Kymberly Marcos Pine will be crafted and submitted to the City and County of Honolulu after the meetings scheduled above has transpired and before January 30, 2009, the deadline for public comment on:


To: City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting;

and Honorable City Council Members of Honolulu

     Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on the Draft Ewa Development Plan (EDP).  As a State Representative tracking, budgeting, and lobbying for infrastructure improvements for the Ewa region, this document becomes a blueprint toward achieving those ends.

     Therefore, the specifics of my review of the EDP are as follows:

I.    Connectivity

       A. East West Connector Road

            The East West Connector Road must be adopted into the EDP as a priority.

The portion of this road that is to traverse through private property must be completed prior to the addition of housing slated within its confines. Once the State Land Use Commission, as is expected, approves of the reclassification of this property referred to as the Hoopili Master Planned Mixed Use Community from Agricultural to Urban, every means available to us must be deployed to ensure this thoroughfare is open for public use at the earliest possible time permitted.

  B.  Keaunui Drive

       The inclusion of Renton Road to Keaunui Drive accommodated.

Asing Park has since provided our community with a recreation center, tennis courts, basketball courts, and multi-purpose fields after the 1997 EDP was last addressed.  Now that the park has been demonstrated to be instrumental to the needs of the community, access to the park should be improved.  This can be achieved by connecting the current cul-de-sac situated within the Ewa by Gentry Community Association where Keaunui Drive terminates as an extension over the current OR&L Co. railroad tracks to Renton Road.  This extension needs to be orchestrated by the three parties having jurisdiction: Ewa by Gentry, Gentry Homes, Inc.; City and County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services; and the State Department of Transportation in adherence to the State Historical Preservation Division’s oversight within the OR&L Co. right-of-way as defined within the 40- foot span owned by the state at this juncture.  As a footnote, the Ewa Neighborhood Board approved of this additional feature in 2007 to be initiated by Gentry Homes, Inc.

  C.  Essex Road

       The U.S. Navy permit limited pedestrian access to Leeward Bikeway.

  By having Essex Road open, Ewa Beach residents utilizing the Leeward Bikeway can have a safer way to access the beaches in Kalaeloa.  The Ewa Neighborhood Board has taken a position to favor opening up Essex Road to pedestrian traffic.  The result would save pedestrians roughly 2 miles in their journey one way from the Leeward Bikeway to the beaches within Kalaeloa.  The current route for pedestrians to access the beaches within Kalaeloa is Coral Sea Road which does not possess any paved shoulder to separate pedestrians that are on bicycle from motorists that are traversing the same thoroughfare.  Essex Road should be brokered as a road to be open to the pedestrian by the powers that be and included as such into the EDP.

  D.  Kalaeloa

        Connect Ocean Pointe development to Kalaeloa district.

The roads within Kalaeloa are substandard and not up to city standards. The EDP must include a timeframe in which the roads within Kalaeloa are brought up to standard and accommodate sidewalks, street lighting, and adequate shoulders or easements defined.  The intersection of the Renton Road extension with Roosevelt Avenue should remain open and not be closed as is the current agreement that was stipulated between the Navy and City back in 2002 should and when Kapolei Parkway is completed. Keoneula Boulevard is to eventually connect to the road named Tripoli where it intersects with Essex Road.  This thoroughfare must be made available and open to the public now and not as the EDP schedules it which is to be opened when community pressure of development calls for it in the distant future. 

  E.  North South Road

       The North South Road must be completed ahead of schedule.

As it stands, four of the six lanes to its terminus at Kapolei Parkway coming into Ewa Beach from the H-1 freeway is funded and expected to be available for use to the public by 2010.  Yet, funding by the state for completion to a full six lanes to the terminus near Keoneula Boulevard has yet to be solidified. It appears the EDP has a process to identify residential and commercial developments coming online without regards to the infrastructure in place to adequately serve them. Therefore, the impetus of the North South Road‘s completion date must be moved ahead of schedule as it is currently illustrated in the EDP regardless of any fiscal constraints identified within the STIP/TIP or any other Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization Oahu Regional Transportation Plan approved.

II.   Transportation Initiatives

A.   North South Road


Farrington Highway needs to be configured with an overpass at N/S Rd.


Planning departments within both the city and state have determined that a four-way traffic signal at-grade should suffice to serve the intersection of the North South Road and Farrington Highway well beyond the next decade.  Due to the amount of residential, business, and recreational growth besides government buildings and the proposed UH West Oahu campus slated to be situated at this intersection, the intersection needs to be configured, planned for, and budgeted by the city that would permit a bridge for Farrington Highway traffic to pass over the North South Road.  The state does not have the geographical space to design the North South Road where it could traverse over Farrington Highway.  However, the city has the ability to accomplish an overpass utilizing Farrington Highway within its jurisdiction to proceed over the North South Road at this juncture.


B.    Passenger Ferry Service

   ORTP 2030 lists both Iroquois Point and Ocean Pointe marinas as sites.

Since the state and city do not own any land within both marinas aforementioned above, the state needs to ensure ferry operations will transpire within either one.  The EDP needs to incorporate more definitive resolve to this end that includes parking and transport scenarios that would turn our ocean into a super highway.

C.   Leeward Bikeway


   Phase II of the Leeward Bikeway needs to be funded in 2009 Legislature.

Phase II of the project that comprises a route from the Hawaiian Railway Society’s yard to Lualualei Naval Road in Nanakuli has been dropped from the STIP/TIP by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee (OMPOPC) for funding in this current fiscal cycle.  Prior to this maneuver in 2007 by the OMPOPC, the Leeward Bikeway was a project to be funded in its entirety and was never separated into fiscal categories of different years requiring it compete over and over again for attention.  Now, because of the OMPOPC actions to piecemeal this bikeway project into various phases, the state legislature must fund Phase II of the bikeway to completion.  The EDP should not condone the actions of the OMPOPC decision that purposely delayed this project slated for our region. Thus, the Leeward Bikeway should remain as a project as it was defined in the original Environmental Impact Statement approved of in 2002 that categorized the project as one contiguous project and to be completed in its entirety by 2003. 

D.   H-1 Access Eastbound from Ewa


   The Ft. Weaver Road widening project needs to be extended to the H-1.

Three-lanes along the Ft. Weaver Road corridor pare down to one lane to gain entry to the H-1 Freeway headed to town.  In order to maximize the widening configuration, a third-lane over the Farrington Highway Overpass can be achieved to increase the flow of traffic towards the H-1 onramp. The EDP should included projections that will be forthcoming by the Department of Transportation in early 2009 to accommodate this additional lane over the Farrington Highway Overpass via Kunia Road stemming from Ft. Weaver Road.

III.  Recreation

        A. Ewa Parks

             Master planned appurtenances for parks are lacking.

Ewa (96706) needs a community swimming pool, roller hockey rink, and skateboard park (which could be constructed within the confines of Ewa Mahiko Park), plus a motor racetrack feature in Kalaeloa.  In addition, permanent football fields at Ewa Mahiko Park with lights should be listed on the EDP and accommodate bench seating stands, concessionaires, and goal posts at each end of the fields.

       B.  Dog Park

             A defined dog park identified within the Kalaeloa district.

The community over time has requested a dog park to serve the developments of Ewa by  Gentry and Haseko in 96706.  The EDP should identify a dog park and have it listed on a map in which our elected officials can then lobby for the funds to complete it.

IV.  Schools

A.   Transit Orientated Development (TOD)


   Parking at schools needs to be increased, not decreased.


New schools planned for within the Ewa (96706) region must cater to a lifestyle that is more realistic.  TOD’s are instruments in which to penalize the motoring public and in result restrict, minimize, and omit parking stalls that would serve future developments. When it comes to our schools, the vision that community members will no longer drive to school in their cars but take mass transit instead, is not conducive to what students, parents, and faculty require.  Thus, the EDP must not cater to TOD’s that implement constricted parking use on a school campus, but rather increase parking space. Currently, all schools within the Campbell complex are lacking adequate parking facilities and any new schools proposed should increase parking availability rather than lessen it as is defined in TOD developments.


       B.  Hoopili

   Schools proposed in Hoopili Master Planned Community need definition.

Current plans revealed by the Department of Education reflect a high school to be situated near the Honowai Street intersection with Kunia Road. This plan shall not include a traffic signal at the intersection of Honowai Street and Kunia Road to be implemented. Residents of Ewa Beach have already expressed a strong opposition to this stop light.

C.   Boundaries Set


Need to consider current enrollment when new schools become on line.


The planning scenario configured for who was and who was not to attend Keoneula Elementary School was insufficient.  Every school’s boundary line that is to be set in the Department of Education’s projections must be deployed with clarity and announced well in advance prior to surrounding developments being determined.

V.    New Developments

        A. Capacity

             The push to develop the second city of Kapolei requires better planning.

             The H-1 Freeway was designed to carry some 9,000 vehicles per hour. Projections with rail in operation have that number around 17,000 per hour by the year 2030 if all developments conjured up actually come on line.  Under no circumstances, should the issue of having an adequate supply of water, sewer, and roadway capacity in place to meet future development requisites be thwarted in the name of progress for the sake of development alone.  OMPO has stipulated that it will attempt to take the Level of Service (LOS) currently on the H-1 Freeway from an “F” to a “D” in the near future.  This is not acceptable. The LOS planned for the H-1 should be an “A” and can be attained with proper planning in concert with development approvals. The desalinization plant slated for Kalaeloa has been stymied by the county and this too, is unacceptable. The conversion of sea water to fresh water is paramount when approached in the totality of what the second city of Kapolei is to demand on the current water table.

B.    Community Input


The state Land Use Commission must employ community directives.


The EDP appears to place all burden of responsibility on the state Land Use Commission’s (Commission) approval process which has historically ignored carrying capacity issues for the Ewa Plain.  Albeit the EDP illustrates what lands are to be carved up from Agricultural to Urban, careful assessment within the EDP regarding the state and city’s budgetary allotments for meeting carrying capacity have yet to be considered more thoroughly if our standard of living is to improve. Ewa Beach residents’ top priority is to reduce traffic.  Any approval of new housing developments or changes in land zoning that would bring new housing development must first ensure that traffic will not be negatively impacted.  Proper planning and implementation of job creation, building roads or mass transit must be done prior to or during the development to ensure that current Leeward residents are not negatively impacted.  The EDP must also require the City or State to build their share of roads prior to a development as a requirement to approve a development.


 In conclusion, the EDP is a working document that needs to accept the sentiments of those currently residing within the area to be carved up for development.  Some of those sentiments a frustration with the lack of accommodations for our school, our commute times worsening, and the loss of agricultural lands.  We welcome the growth and job creation, so long as it is adequately able to be sustained.  The EDP has yet to demand in definitive terms and set specific timelines that government can keep pace with what is planned for. The private sector seems to have to shoulder the burdens of proper planning by design while government entities are allowed to sway in the wind and constantly play catch-up when it suits them.  This formula of planning needs to be corrected and redirected to hold government just as accountable if not more so than that of which is placed upon the private sector to achieve.

If we are to prosper and get job creation to be in our area instead of in town, then the roads and schools must be inserted into the map not as a symbol, but rather funded and in place ahead of time.  I welcome your continued feedback to meet these ends so that our standard of living on the Ewa Plains improves for generations to come.



Kymberly Marcos Pine

State Representative

House District 43

Christmas Tree Salutes Hawaii Statehood

christmas-tree-09-webRepresentative Gene Ward stands in front the 2008 House of Representatives Christmas tree.  The House Clerk’s office team, this year, choice Statehood for the theme.  Hand made ornaments depict the headlines from the newspaper’s headlines on Hawaii’s statehood.


The House of Representatives’ Christmas tree salutes “the 50 Voices of Statehood vignettes”, which are being recorded by the award-winning Searider Productions team of Wai‘anae High School.  The vignettes feature personal perspectives on statehood and Hawai‘i’s history from 50 residents representing the state’s diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, political, social and economic backgrounds. Each week over the next year, a different vignette will air on six television stations and 60 radio stations statewide.  An interactive online forum can be viewed from a computer at www.seariderproductions.com/50voices.  The site will allow teachers and students to incorporate the vignettes into their classroom discussions.


Previous 50 Voices of Statehood vignettes have featured former State Representative Stuart Ho, former state protocol officer Francis Lum, former First Lady Nancy Quinn, and former U.S. Congresswoman Patricia Saiki.


The 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission has planned a comprehensive year-long series of events and activities, with a special focus on education, to honor the 50th anniversary of Hawai‘i’s admission to the Union.  The 50 Voices of Statehood series, as well as information on the Commission, its members and the commemorative plans may be found at www.hawaii.gov/statehood.


 Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou from Representative Gene Ward.