What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay? Part 1 of 3 Town Hall

What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay?

Should it be part of the NOAA Humpback Whale Sanctuary expansion plan?
 How can we better preserve the Bay while retaining the rights of Bay users?
 Should the Bay be run by the Federal, rather than State gov’t?
 What’s the State of Hawaii’s position on the NOAA proposal to make it a Special Sanctuary Management Area (SSMA)?

TOWN HALL MEETING:
Date: TUESDAY, JULY 14th, 2015
Time: 7:00-8:30pm Place: Hahaione Elementary School Cafeteria

COME HEAR THE EXPERTS & ASK YOUR QUESTIONS:
Ms. Malia Chow, NOAA Sanctuary Superintendent, AND Ms. Suzanne Case, Director of DLNR

Sponsored by: Senator Sam Slom, Senator Laura Thielen; Representative Mark Hashem; City Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chair, Greg Khudsen and Representative Gene Ward

Gene ward Town HallContact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay? Part 2 of 3 Town Hall

What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay?

Should it be part of the NOAA Humpback Whale Sanctuary expansion plan?
 How can we better preserve the Bay while retaining the rights of Bay users?
 Should the Bay be run by the Federal, rather than State gov’t?
 What’s the State of Hawaii’s position on the NOAA proposal to make it a Special Sanctuary Management Area (SSMA)?

TOWN HALL MEETING:
Date: TUESDAY, JULY 14th, 2015
Time: 7:00-8:30pm Place: Hahaione Elementary School Cafeteria

COME HEAR THE EXPERTS & ASK YOUR QUESTIONS:
Ms. Malia Chow, NOAA Sanctuary Superintendent, AND Ms. Suzanne Case, Director of DLNR

Sponsored by: Senator Sam Slom, Senator Laura Thielen; Representative Mark Hashem; City Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chair, Greg Khudsen and Representative Gene Ward.

Town hall crowd # 2Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay? Part 3 of 3 Town Hall

What’s the Future of Maunalua Bay?

Should it be part of the NOAA Humpback Whale Sanctuary expansion plan?
 How can we better preserve the Bay while retaining the rights of Bay users?
 Should the Bay be run by the Federal, rather than State gov’t?
 What’s the State of Hawaii’s position on the NOAA proposal to make it a Special Sanctuary Management Area (SSMA)?

TOWN HALL MEETING:
Date: TUESDAY, JULY 14th, 2015
Time: 7:00-8:30pm Place: Hahaione Elementary School Cafeteria

COME HEAR THE EXPERTS & ASK YOUR QUESTIONS:
Ms. Malia Chow, NOAA Sanctuary Superintendent, AND Ms. Suzanne Case, Director of DLNR

Sponsored by: Senator Sam Slom, Senator Laura Thielen; Representative Mark Hashem; City Councilmember Trevor Ozawa, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chair, Greg Khudsen and Representative Gene Ward

Town hall crowd

Contact @repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

Supporters fight to keep East Oahu landscape from development

Hawaii News Now Logo July 24, 2015

The clock is ticking as community groups and government agencies work to preserve a treasured landscape in East Oahu.

It’s a battle stretching back decades.

In the late 1980s, the “Save Sandy Beach Initiative” protected more than 30 acres of the Ka Iwi coastline from a luxury development. Now, a new generation is fighting another proposed development in the area and they have just weeks to pull it off.

The breathtaking undeveloped stretch along Kalanianaole Highway from Sandy Beach to Makapuu is East Oahu’s Ka Iwi Coast. The land for sale is just mauka of the highway between the Hawaii Kai Golf Course and Makapuu. It is 182-acres of land that stretches for seven miles along East Oahu’s pristine coastline.

Supporters for this coalition say it’s irreplaceable.

The two parcels of land are for sale for $4 million. The city has dedicated $2.5 million of that to purchase the land and the state has dedicated $1 million. The agreement with the Ka Iwi Coalition and Trust for Public Land states the community must come up with the rest. The deadline is August 30th.

Kendrick Chang, a recent graduate from Kaiser High School, says failure isn’t an option.

“We are already just over $270,000, but we just need to hit the mark and it’s really only about 5-percent left that we just need to raise,” Chang said.

Sandy Beach Chang and Ward

Kendrick Chang and Representative Gene Ward

“It’s critical because if we don’t raise it, the number two person in line to buy it is a developer and that’s cabins on Ka Iwi, that’s the whole reiteration of what we went through, which we don’t want to lose and go through again,” said Representative Gene Ward, Hawaii Kai/Kalama Valley.

Development proposals for the properties have varied from a golf school, to a private recreation center, to a vacation cabin subdivision.

It’s been a battle for decades, one that “Save Ka Iwi Coast” supporters say is critical to win.

“Why can’t we have just the natural coastline? We don’t have much of it left,” said Rene Garbin.

“It’s just so important because once it’s gone it’s gone. It won’t come back,” Garbin said.

To learn more visit www.kaiwicoast.com.

For six weeks now, Chang and several others have been sign waving in Hawaii Kai to raise awareness and money before the time runs out.

Government should not reward incompetence at Office of Elections

Star Advertiser  Jul 16, 2015
    By Sam Slom and Gene Ward

The state Elections Commission just voted behind closed doors to give a $10,000 pay raise to chief election officer Scott Nago, who will now be paid $90,000.

Wait – what? Just last November, the commission grilled Nago about his role in the well-publicized election blunders that affected Puna voters during the August 2014 primary election. In the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle and damage to roads caused by severe weather, Puna residents were unsure how the upcoming primary election would be handled. Nago responded with a proclamation that the election would be postponed for the affected precincts and that it would be done by mail-in ballot. But just two days later, he reversed course and announced that the election would be done by in-person voting instead.

HIS SEE-SAWING upset and frustrated Puna voters who thought they would have time to take care of basic needs like food, water, and shelter – only to have to drop everything to vote in person – never mind that some of those residents didn’t hear about the change in time due to communications still being down, and others didn’t have access to the polling place because some roads were still blocked.

And let’s not forget he was the head guy in charge during the 2012 general election, when Oahu voters arrived at polling places only to find long lines caused by a completely preventable shortage of paper ballots. About 51, or one-third, of Oahu’s 142 precincts experienced ballot shortages, and the public was outraged with such lack of planning for such a simple matter.

Fast forward to April 2015, and the elections commissioners were still debating among themselves the best way to evaluate the performance of Hawaii’s top elections official whose job it is to oversee our elections system. But then in its May 18 meeting, the Elections Commission voted 6-3 to keep Nago on the job.

So what are the people of Hawaii to think of its government rewarding a chief election officer with a checkered history of competence by giving him a $10,000 pay raise? To our way of thinking, this sends the wrong message and is an irresponsible use of state funds.

HAWAII’S voter turnout is already one of the lowest in the nation, and this gives more credence to the cynics who claim their votes don’t count, or participating in Hawaii’s elections makes no difference.

We should all expect more from our democracy, and now more from Nago that his pay grade has increased and reached such a level where there is little wiggle room for any of his past election performances.

With this in mind, the 2015 Legislature passed House Bill 15 to keep an eye on Nago. HB 15 was signed into law as Act 173 last month and makes the chief election officer an at-will employee and requiring a public hearing on the chief election officer’s performance for purposes of deciding retention.

A wiser Elections Commission would have waited for this bill and a public hearing to take effect before rewarding his past behavior.

Slom ward #3State Senator Sam Slom, left, and

Representative Gene Ward are members of the state Legislature representing East Oahu.