His website: http://www.sol4aloha.net/
His letter in today's paper:
Kaho'olawe use misunderstood
"I read with deep concern a letter to the editor from Garry Doone of Ohio, expressing his view that Kaho'olawe remains "uninhabited and unused." Mr. Doone went on to urge the establishment of gambling on Kaho'olawe, with proceeds being earmarked to pay for cleanup.
While concern for Kaho'olawe and its restoration is always appreciated, Mr. Doone, like many Hawai'i residents, is unaware of what is now taking place on the island and what legally constitutes acceptable and appropriate use of Kaho'olawe.
The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission, a state agency, manages the island, the submerged lands and the surrounding waters, extending two miles from the shoreline. In April 2004, the Navy ended its 10-year cleanup of unexploded ordnance on Kaho'olawe. However, an estimated one-third of the island is yet to be cleared. It is not uncommon to find unexploded ordnance exposed by erosion, and there was no unexploded ordnance cleanup in the waters surrounding Kaho'olawe. Consequently, Kaho'olawe continues to be unsafe for public use, and access to the island is permitted only for cultural and environmental restoration purposes.
In May 2004, the KIRC adopted its five-year strategic plan to guide its planning and action priorities. High on the list is restoration of the island and its waters, along with increasing the culturally appropriate, safe use of the reserve toward the fulfillment of KIRC's vision for Kaho'olawe. KIRC has made significant progress in restoring the island and supporting ongoing cultural and educational activities on the island. These activities are carried out in accordance with state law.
Under law, the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve is restricted to the following specific uses: (1) preservation and practice of all rights customarily and traditionally exercised by Native Hawaiians for cultural, spiritual and subsistence purposes; (2) preservation and protection of the island's archaeological, historical and environmental resources; (3) rehabilitation, revegetation, habitat restoration and preservation; and (4) education. Commercial uses, which would include gambling, are strictly prohibited. The law also provides eventual transfer of the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve to the sovereign Native Hawaiian entity.
And far from being "uninhabited and unused," the island supports a continuous presence of KIRC staff, in addition to Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, environmental restoration volunteers, educators, scientists and students who visit the island for extended periods.
Unfortunately, access to the island is currently restricted to those who are invited or whose request to participate in approved activities has been granted. Except for trolling on two weekends a month in certain areas, access to the reserve's waters is also prohibited. Access to the island and the reserve waters must be strictly controlled for the foreseeable future because of the very real risk unexploded ordnance poses for unchaperoned visitors.
The staff and commissioners of KIRC appreciate the aloha of all who want to help in the restoration and rebirth of Kaho'olawe. Anyone wishing to learn more about the island and how they can participate should visit our Web site, kahoolawe.hawaii.gov, or contact the KIRC office on Maui at (808) 243-5020.
Sol P. Kaho'ohalahala
Executive director, Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission
Seen at http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/op/letters