Iroquois Beach Target Of Replenishment Project

Image May 29, 2013 by Representative Bob McDermott

Everybody knows that Hawaii’s beaches are world-renowned. They are assets to our island communities and contribute greatly to our unique Hawaiian lifestyle.

Having eight children of my own, I can attest to the fact that going to the beach is one of the best and most affordable things a family can do together.

The Ewa community has several beautiful beaches, from the old Barbers Point Air Station, to our town’s namesake Ewa Beach, to the scenic Iroquois Point.

Our relationship to our beaches helps define us. Whether it is fishing for a record-size ‘o’io, surfing, or just enjoying the sunset, our beaches are critically important to who we are as a people – and that’s why it is worth noting when one of our corporate citizens repeatedly steps in to make things better.

Indeed, it is notable that Hunt Development Co. is funding the $14-million beach replenishment project that will restore Iroquois Point Beach to its former glory, and hopefully stop future erosion from reclaiming the beach.

The nearly 1-mile- long Iroquois Point Beach has suffered from decades of erosion. The shoreline receded 150 feet between 1961 and 2003. Additional damage occurred from 2004 to 2008 with the erosion of another 30 to 50 feet; 16 homes were lost along the shoreline. Red clay soil leached into the ocean, causing murky conditions along the coast, which damaged reefs and corals.

ImageThis beach replenishment project is good news for our district. City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine was a proponent of public access; most recently, I have joined in the planning, and the work began last year to implement changes needed to off-set the beach erosion.

The scale of the project is massive, with nine T-shaped groins being constructed using more than 2,000 truckloads of very large boulders. These structures will help capture and hold the sand in place, as well as serve as artificial reefs.

There will be more than 85,000 cubic yards of new sand with another 2,700 truckloads brought in to add 20 to 100 feet to the width of the current beach.

This sand will be dredged out of the Pearl Harbor Channel, where it has accumulated over the years, much of it from the original Iroquois Point Beach.

Completion of the project is estimated to be sometime this summer.

Access to the beach will be available to the general public, and beach-goers will receive free one-day passes at the front gate.

The finished project will add one more spectacular beach to our roster of recreational assets here in Ewa, and one we can be truly proud of.

We all owe a debt of thanks to the Navy and Hunt Development Co. for once again being a good neighbor.

Contact state Rep. Bob McDermott, R-District 40 (Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point) at 586-9730 or email him at repmcdermott@capitol.ha waii.govContact state Rep. Bob McDermott, R-District 40 (Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point) at 586-9730 or email him at repmcdermott@capitol.ha


Historic Hawaii House Coalition Delivers Promising Results

ImageBy Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson is House Minority Leader and Rep. Scott K. Saiki is House Majority Leader.05/14/2013

Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

The 2013 legislative session has come to a close having made significant progress. A bipartisan coalition, the first in the history of the House of Representatives, committed to finding common ground and overcoming politics as usual to make investments in Hawaii’s future, improve the quality of life for our working families, and increase transparency and accountability in government.

The swift and unanimously supported repeal of the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) was a direct response to public outcry concerning a closed government process that granted vast environmental exemptions to speed development. Repeal of this newly created entity quickly gained consensus across the aisle and was one of the first priorities of the House.

Recognizing the need to put the State in a sure and sound fiscal position and invest in the future, the Legislature took a momentous first step this session to address unfunded liabilities with a commitment of $217 million over the next two fiscal years. Additionally, the Hurricane Relief and Rainy Day Funds will be recapitalized with $160 million and $50 million, respectively. These actions will considerably secure Hawaii’s bond rating and place it in a much healthier position for future investments.

Serious discussions about broad-based tax relief first began in the House where lawmakers recognized the need to help alleviate the incredibly high cost of living that burdens middle class families. Although not realized this session, we remain fully committed to continuing these discussions next legislative session.

The House also focused on campaign reform by introducing legislation, approved by the Legislature, that requires super PACs to identify the top three donors funding political advertisements. The Legislature also changed the financial disclosure filing dates for lawmakers to account for more transparency in their financial interests.

Broader institutional reform of the House of Representatives also represented an important common goal. In order to hold government more accountable and make it more accessible and transparent, the House and Senate began conference committee meetings on the state budget a week earlier to allow more discussion and negotiation time. This enabled the public to better follow the work of the conference committee.

This session, the needs of our people prevailed over the needs of political parties. At a time when increasing polarization in Washington, D.C. has created an atmosphere that produces little help for everyday people, we in the House have tried to chart an encouraging new path and set a new tone by working across the aisle in a meaningful way.

There is still much work to be done in the years ahead. And on some issues, differences of opinion will always remain. But this session has proved that there is often more potential for collaboration than many might assume. The House of Representatives’ bipartisan coalition has succeeded in looking for common cause and achieving common ground.

Rep. Fale addresses HSCR 1776 – Turtle Bay; Land Conservation; Working Group

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 1776 – S.C.R. No. 164


SCR 164 FALEContact: Excerpt from Capitol TV

Ewa Community Tackles Bug Problem Together

ImageBy Rep. Bob McDermott  May 01, 2013 –

It’s rare wMcDermott Head shot blue shirthen grassroots politics involves real grass, but that’s what happened this year in the Ewa By Gentry community.

Residents of the area who are close to agricultural land had been experiencing an infestation of Pacific beetle cockroaches that were attacking grass, shrubs and trees, and even invading homes. The bugs were then dying and rotting, accumulating in air-conditioning systems.

The situation persisted for years and had become a growing problem, with the insects showing up by the thousands.

The problem was brought to my attention by former area Rep. Kymberly Marcos Pine, who is now a city councilwoman. I continued to meet regularly with community members to track the source of the infestation, which proved to be a large, overgrown drainage area. It is owned by Gentry Properties LLC, which proved to be accessible and responsive by sending a community representative, Art Pelkaus. Pelkaus worked with me and the homeowners to tackle the problem.

At Gentry Community Center, we called for a community hearing and heard from several dozen concerned homeowners, led by envoys Dana Fatu and Shawn Troup. At its own expense, Gentry Properties offered to hire an exterminator to treat the perimeter and individual yards. The 7-acre drainage tank, which had accumulated years of overgrowth and trees, was cleared, along with a long-neglected area that had served as a perfect habitat for the Pacific beetle cockroach. The total cost incurred by Gentry Properties was more than $300,000.

Rep. Bob McDermott helps Ewa By Gentry clear out its drainage site. Photo from Rep. McDermott.

It was a privilege to get involved with this project that freed the community of an infestation of the Pacific beetle cockroach. I met so many great, concerned citizens who were effective at communicating their issues and working on behalf of their neighbors. I would especially like to thank Dana Fatu and Shawn Troup for their tireless efforts.

Gentry Properties is a good neighbor. It responded responsibly with concern for the community and made a significant investment when needed.

This is an example of how communication and cooperation can solve a problem at the grassroots level. It also shows what people of goodwill can accomplish when brought together to solve problems.

Rep. Bob McDermott serves District 40. Call 586-9730 or email