Mike Buck with Rep. Beth Fukumoto – Audio File – March 25, 2013

Minority Floor Leader Beth Fukumoto talks with Mike Buck about being a first year Legislator,  issues concerning House District 36 Mililani Mauka and Mililani; along with bills that are moving through the House and Senate this week. Tune in Monday mornings during the 7 o’clock hour to hear Legislative issues on 690 AM. Call in to: 808-296-5467. Audio File

Contact: repfukumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

Easter Baskets for IHS

Easter Baskets for IHS

The Women’s Legislative Caucus held its annual Easter Basket drive at the Capitol. The program has been running for more than a decade. The Institute for Human Services collects the donations from the Hawaii State House and Senate.

Photo Left to right: Senator Laura H. Thielen, Representatives Chris Lee and Cynthia Thielen

Civil Beat:



Proposed Capital Improvements For Campbell High

ImageMarch 27, 2013  By  Representative Bob McDermott


My first CIP (capital improvement project) requests for House District 40, the Ewa area, were focused on Campbell High School. After a series of meetings with school administrators, teachers and the Department of Education engineers, I came to several conclusions.

First, a new second high school is not needed, but major improvements to Campbell High School’s existing facilities are long overdue.

When it comes to investing in our future, I cannot think of a better place to start than our public education system. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be investing in improvements to our school’s physical infrastructure. I have made reforming the educational system my No. 1 goal as a state legislator.

There have been several projects started, but not finished, at Campbell, including extensive improvements to the electrical system. Years ago new transformers were installed in anticipation of renovation to the electrical distribution systems. These transformers have been sitting unused for almost 10 years.

These types of false starts are both wasteful and misleading. Not only is momentum lost, but piecemeal execution makes any project end up costing much, much more than it should.

McDermott Head shot blue shirtI have asked for $5 million, to complete the entire second phase of the electrical build-out. My colleagues in the Legislature have urged me to lower my sights and ask for smaller CIP requests, but I would rather take the time to identify what our district really needs.

We will rally to move Campbell High School back up the priority list for air conditioning. It is ridiculous that Campbell has dropped out of the top 10 schools in need of air conditioning statewide.

A proposal was submitted to cover costs for a new surface for the football field, which will bring our field up to the same standards as other public high schools in Hawaii.

Funds also were identified to renovate the old Ewa fire station, so it can be used as a new EMS center that would service our community.

You have my assurance that, despite these tough times and tight budgets, I will continue to work so that our community will not be slighted when it come to getting our fair share of capital improvement funds.

State Rep. Bob McDermott represents District 40 – Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point. He can be reached by calling 586-9730 or emailing repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Bob McDermott Honors Vietnam Veterans on the Chamber Floor

Honoring from the House of Representatives, Hawaii – Representatives Bob McDermott honors Vietnam Veterans, March 25, 2013:

Colonel John Bates USMC Retired
Colonel Gene Castagnetti USMC Retired
Captain Jerry Coffee US Navy Retired
Captain Jim Hickerson US Navy Retired
Lieutenant General Hank Stackpole USMC Retired

Vietnam honorees Ward and Mcdermott takaiContact: repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov excerpt from Capitol TV


Rep. Ward and Senator Slom Address – The Great Lawn – Town Hall Meeting – March 2013

Did you know that the “Great Lawn” is separated into two parcels? The parcel closest to Kalanianaole Highway is owned by Kamehameha Schools (KSBE) and is the site of the
proposed strip mall. The parcel mauka and on the marina is owned by the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association (HKMCA).

At a Town Hall meeting, on March 21, 2013, Representative Gene Ward, Senator Sam Slom and other officials discussed Hawaii Kai’s issues concerning a new strip mall.

Town Hall March 2013 # 7Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov or senslom@capitol.hawaii.gov

At Legislative Town Hall, East Oahu Residents Express Outrage Over Proposed Commercial Development on Preservation Land

ImageBY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – Hundreds of East Oahu residents packed into Kamioliki School’s cafeteria Thursday night to hear more about a proposed commercial retail development on preservation land that the vast majority of attendees said they adamantly opposed.

Kamehameha Schools wants to build a “gathering place” on 4.5 acres of land on the entrance to Hawaii Kai, which would include stores and restaurants and possibly an educational facility and bike and walking paths along the marina.

Foodland, a locally owned supermarket that lost its lease for the nearby Koko Marina Shopping Center in 2011, would anchor what many residents are referring to as a “strip mall.”

“It’s definitely not a strip mall,” Kamehameha Schools Area Development Director Susan Todani told the skeptical audience. ”We’re really thinking about a gathering place that’s so much more than just retail.  We’re thinking about combining community amenities, such as a waterfront-recreational path and pedestrian and bikeways and playgrounds.  Incorporating the dog park, that’s a really important feature to this community.”

The land, now zoned as preservation, is one of the few undeveloped parcels in the busy community, and it would have to be rezoned by the Honolulu City Council before development moves forward. There already are three major shopping centers in Hawaii Kai and a smaller one that is relatively unused at the entrance to Kalama Valley – all of the land under the centers is owned by Kamehameha Schools.

Residents did not buy Todani’s attempt to downplay the development’s size or purpose, and were upset by several of her statements, especially as she compared Hawaii Kai to other “anti development” communities, as she claimed the development would benefit Hawaiian children at Kamehameha Schools, and as she used Hawaiian words that native Hawaiians attending took offense at.

The meeting went further downhill for Kamehameha Schools and Foodland when they brought up their poll conducted by OmniTrak Group Inc. to gage support for the project. A representative from OmniTrak testified 72 percent of the nearly 400 people who were contactd were in support of the project, but several people in the audience said those results were highly suspect.

Marian Grey, a resident who received a call from the polling company, said the pollster who she spoke to tried to convince her to support the retail project, even after she said several times that she was opposed and wanted the area to remain open preservation space.

Rep. Gene Ward, the organizer of the town hall, announced he took his own poll with the results turning out much differently: 87 percent of residents oppose the strip mall’s construction on preservation land.

Foodland Vice Chairman Roger Wall and two Kamehameha Schools representatives maintained the “Great Lawn” at the entrance to Hawaii Kai was the best location for the popular Foodland store to reestablish itself. Many residents hoped Foodland would return after it lost its lease to Walgreens and Petco in 2011, leaving just Safeway as the only remaining grocery store.

“Following the Koko Marina store closure, we were asked by several community members to contact Kamehameha Schools because it owned parcels of land throughout Hawaii Kai that offered potential for us. The Kuapa site that we’ve really focused in on is the most viable.  It’s central, it’s conveniently located close to the core of Hawaii Kai residents and to us, it’s the only site that makes sense,” Wall said.

Ward co-sponsored the town hall with other area lawmakers including by Sen. Sam Slom, Sen. Laura Thielen, Rep. Mark Hashem, and City Council Member Stanley Chang as well as the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.

Hawaii Kai loves Foodland, but we love the ‘Great Lawn’ more,” Ward said.

Several residents spoke on their concerns about the project and how it would impact the popular dog park and Maunalua Bay, which is heavily used by paddlers, boaters, fishermen, picnickers, tour buses, firefighters in training and workout clubs. They also cited concerns about already heavy traffic fronting the Great Lawn property on Kalanianaole Highway. Others mentioned the view of the mountains that surround Hawaii Kai would be marred by development, and preservation land and open space is disappearing at too rapid a pace.

“People know me as pro-business, pro-development, but you can’t do that at the expense of the last open space. This should be open, wild, nature space for all of us to enjoy because we have so little of it,” said Slom, who received loud applause from the audience.

The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, the organization that runs the Hawaii Kai dog park, many paddlers from Hui Nalu Canoe Club, and several other environmental and community groups have already come out in support of keeping the land zoned as preservation and free from commercial development.

Neighborhood Board Chairman Greg Knuden said it is important for the land, which is the gateway to Hawaii Kai, to remain preservation.

Resident Ann Marie Kirk also spoke passionately about keeping the land as preservation and said she had already written to the Kamehameha Schools President to ask if the land could be donated to the community so it could be a park for everyone in the area to use.

Todani said Kamehameha Schools wants residents to be a part of the planning for the commercial center, leaving many residents feeling like she was implying it was a done deal, and all that had to be decided was what the mall would include.

But after  Thielen detailed the extensive permitting and rezoning process Kamehameha Schools still has to go through, Todani admitted it would take at least four years to get the project completed if it moved forward.

Thielen suggested that many in the audience call their council member, Stanley Chang, to make sure they are informed if Kamehameha Schools tries to move the project ahead.

According to a show of hands at the meeting, Foodland owners have the public’s support for a new store in an existing Hawaii Kai mall, but not for a new project on the Great Lawn. With nearly 400 people in the cafeteria that had standing-room only, just four people raised their hand in support of the project, and everyone else raised their hand in opposition.

Realtor Rob Burns, who lives in Portlock not far from the land in dispute, is one of the residents strongly in support of the project. He asked his neighbors to keep an open mind.

“Most of the people in Hawaii Kai live in homes on land previously designated preservation with underlying urban residential,” Burns pointed out. “The public should not crucify Kamehameha Schools who is doing the best thing they can do with their lands to create income to fund their [mission to educate] Hawaiian kids.”

But Burns was vastly outnumbered and his comments were met with groans. “I’m not trying to win a popularity contest,” Burns said.

The audience “booed” Council Member Stanley Chang after he first said he would listen to the people of Hawaii Kai who made their feelings opposing the project clear, but then qualified his statement moments later saying he had not decided whether he would support the project.

Several people after the meeting said they were disappointed by Chang’s “wishy-washy” behavior and would not support him in the council next election.

Hawaii Reporter Mqarch 22, 2013