July 6th, 2005


A Hawaiian's Opinion about the Akaka Bill: Leinaala Heine

Very rarely do we read and/or hear about what Hawaiians have to say about the Akaka Bill. Leinaala Heine had a letter published in today's newspaper and while I disagree with her as I am anti-Akaka Bill since it uses the Haole Way as the paradigm versus the Hawaiian Way as the paradigm... it's refreshing to read and/or see Hawaiians' perspective as the Akaka Bill is about Hawaiians:

Akaka bill offers hope of survival

Gordon Pang's June 20 article "Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians" gets to the very root of why the Akaka bill is so important. The impacts of Hawai'i's history have been debilitating, even deadly, for Native Hawaiians; we need an opportunity and control of our resources in order to heal ourselves, individually and as a community.

As a January 2005 report published by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development demonstrates, the approach the Akaka bill proposes has a proven track record of success. America now understands that if you let native people govern themselves, they are able to heal, and to contribute to their communities, their states and the nation. It was a painful lesson learned from 200 years of forced assimilation policy.

For Native Hawaiians, the Akaka bill is about our very survival — culturally, linguistically, spiritually and physically. For the state, it's about the survival of Hawai'i's unique way of life, the sharing of aloha, and the preservation of the culture that drives one of the state's largest economic engines. Besides, if the tourist industry were just about sunbathing and surfing, vacationers could drive to the nearest beach.

Leina'ala Heine

Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/op/letters

Cross-posted to hawaiians

They raped Kona and now they are bitching because they want to rape her more. (I'm a Hippie, baby.)

I noticed this letter written by a developer which looked like this to me, "Blah blah blah blee bloo." He's just mad that people are protesting and protecting the land which prevents him from making a quick profit and I don't blame them (the protestors) because they (the invaders) fucking raped Kona on the Big Island:

Activists ruining Kona progress

The meeting notice at Kona-waena School Sunday, June 26, invited all who "support" the Hokuli'a project stalled by anti-development activists. It was a quest for positive dialogue — instead of endless negativism from activists, who, of course, showed up in force, got the microphone and unleashed a diatribe as their followers cheered, then rudely jeered folks with constructive ideas — some of whom had no time to speak and walked out.

The anti-development activists allege conspiracy between Hawai'i County and landowners and other fantasies, including claims that Hokuli'a and development in general are responsible for Kona's homeless, substance-abuse problems, etc. The activists try to divide the community with inflammatory fabrication, misinformation and a lawsuit attacking the county for approving development of the Hokuli'a project.

Hokuli'a, a billion-dollar project, spent many millions relying on county approval, including building a major public highway. Many innocent purchasers bought lots at Hokuli'a to build homes on and participate in an agricultural-use program. All is stopped at Hokuli'a and the new highway.

The lawsuit/shutdown resulted in anti-business repercussions for Kona nationwide. Can you imagine buying a lot for $1 million, starting to build a home on it and then being told that you can't finish constructing the home or live in it — but of course you must still make your mortgage payments on it?

Other anti-development activist strategies have stalled community public works projects, and recently the county lost millions in federal highway fund contributions as a result. The activists don't seem to care about the community, just stopping development.

The anti-development activists say Hokuli'a should have asked the state to change its land-use designation from ag to urban — even though the county already gave Hokuli'a approval to develop one-acre ag-sized lots and Hokuli'a agreed to create new ag activity on its land. Don't activists realize that if the designation was changed from ag to urban, there would be no ag use incentive for Hokuli'a or its lot owners and the lots would likely be smaller than the one-acre minimum allowed in any ag zone? The Hokuli'a project was approved under an ag designation, ensuring at least some ag activity.

Respected Kona rancher William Paris testified how marginal, nonproductive the land was for many years before Hokuli'a. The public never had good access to the land or shoreline here. Hokuli'a's project includes a beautiful oceanfront public park and public facilities where none existed before. Yes, Hokuli'a has golf and much open space. It's beautiful, idyllic compared to its former dry, rocky, barren terrain. It's a good neighbor and asset to the community.

Hawai'i did experience unchecked development in the 1950s and '60s but since then has had increasingly responsible county planners overseeing zoning/development approvals. No system is perfect, and all development is not bad. Hawai'i County would be insolvent today if responsible ranchers had not sold marginal ag land to good developers along the Kona/Kohala coast. Proceeds from such land sales helped enhance and diversify family ranching operations.

Development can be, should be win-win for everyone. We should be focusing on positive ways to support responsible use of marginal ag lands.

John Michael White
President, Hawaii Land Co.

Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/op/letters