Category Archives for "Legislation"
A message from Save Our Neighborhoods
Dear SONnies and Friends of O’ahu’s residential neighborhoods,
Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list
PLEASE SEND TESTIMONY, ATTEND AND TESTIFY at this important Council Meeting:
Wednesday, Nov 1 10:00 am Council Chambers Honolulu Hale (these resolutions are well down the agenda, so you should be safe arriving at 1:30 which is the end of the scheduled lunch recess)
Last week, the Honolulu City Council Committee on Zoning kicked the can down the road to the full council by passing ALL FOUR STR (Short-Term Rental) resolutions to this Wednesday’s meeting.
Many of you submitted testimony and testified in-person at the Zoning Committee meeting – thanks very much. Many of you did not.
The 9,000 + illegal STRs are not only a blight on neighborhood life, STRs are one of the major causes of high rents and homelessness for the working poor.
These bills are the showdown for our neighborhoods and housing for everyone living O’ahu. For a quick estimate of how many short-term rentals (STR) are in your neighborhood, click airdna.com and type in your 5-digit zip code. Then scout around other O’ahu zip codes and you will see that there are THOUSANDS more. This site may not be 100% accurate but also does not cover all hosting platforms – many operators are not listed on the major hosting platforms and are not shown. Remember, most of these are ILLEGAL under Honolulu zoning law and are removing much-needed rental housing from local families.
There are two forces at work here; 1) Those trying to turn our residential neighborhoods into mini-hotels. They will be supporting 163 and 301. They include current-illegal operators, those providing services to illegal operators or otherwise making $$ from them, and their political backers who have friends/supporters in this industry, and 2) Those of us working to preserve/return residential-zoned housing for O’ahu’s families and insisting that the City enforce the existing law forbidding short-term rentals. We support 052 & 164.
Resolution 17-052 CD-1 (Menor – our favorite Reso)
Resolution 17-163 (Martin – permitting – boo)
Resolution 17-164 (Martin – enforcement only)
Resolution 17-301 (Anderson – permitting – boo)
This is the last step in the Council. Resolutions passed will be transmitted to the Honolulu Planning Commission and then back to the Council in bill form for final consideration and then to the mayor for signing into law.
!!THE ILLEGAL OPERATORS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS WILL BE THERE IN FORCE!!
The main problem with enforcement has been lack of political willpower on the part of administration/corporation counsel/DPP over the past 20 years of the Internet. For example, in a recent letter from the mayor to a neighborhood board member, Caldwell writes: “As you may know, the public is currently divided on whether short term rentals in stable residential neighborhoods is a good idea.” This is just not true. Over the past 10 years, public opinion has swayed the Council and the Legislature in numerous showdowns that the residential public is adamantly opposed to this invasion of our residential neighborhoods, loss of housing, disruption, and the constant flow of overnight strangers.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU ATTEND AND TESTIFY ON ALL FOUR RESOLUTIONS
Even if you do not sign up in advance or at the meeting, you can still testify after all the registered speakers testify.
For the past 12 years, SONHawai’i has been pushing the city to enforce the land use laws to shut down these illegal hotel operations in our residential neighborhoods. SONHawai’i’s and the residential public’s position is reasonable and clear:
TWO YEARS OF PROVEN EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT BEFORE EVEN CONSIDERING PERMITTING
That means shutting down the thousands of currently-illegal operations and putting the horse back in front of the cart. Two of these resolutions (052 & 164) will help make that possible.
One minute PER Agenda item – 4 min total.
Please also right now Submit the testimony form and add your own comments. This does not have to be word-for-word the same testimony that you give in person at the meeting. Remember, there are FOUR items to submit testimony, so submit the form FOUR times, once for 17-052 (SUPPORT), once for 17-163 (OPPOSE), once for 17-164 (SUPPORT and add comment to combine with 052) and lastly for 17-301 (OPPOSE). The link to the testimony form is: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html which is sometimes slow to load – after you ‘submit’ for one item, hit the < (back button) to return to the previous page, change the reso number, fill the form again then click ‘submit’ again.
Some of last week’s testimonies submitted through the above portal did not get posted on the Council website!
So, to make sure that all nine councilmembers see your written testimony, send them all an email of your testimony by pasting all the following addresses in the “to” line of your email:
Submit right away so that councilmembers will see it in time!
Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list. Include associations, housing & homelessness advocates, social organizations and neighborhood groups – this affects us all.
We have prevailed each time in the past, but it takes some effort – especially YOUR effort
Please, help right now to Save O’ahu’s Neighborhoods
This is an excellent article on wildfires in the Western United States. It points out the problems facing new urban forestry and the effects of climate change caused mega-wildfires.
The problem is immense. Over half the Forest Service Budget goes to fighting wildfires. As summers become longer fuels dryout sooner and uncontrollable wildfires rage. The interface between homes and forests become a disaster waiting to happen and many forest ecologist predict that over half of western forests will be converted to grassland in the next 50 years.
Thinning and fuel reduction can help reduce the danger in the urban forest interface, but this article points out the problems generated when lobbyist promote logging company interest over sound forest management.
MAHALO REEF WILDLIFE PROTECTORS!! Special mahalo to Leilani. Check out her great letter to the editor: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/05/15/editorial/letters/mahalo-for-saving-hawaiis-reef-fish/?HSA=194b6a458901371e7024fe618c296ed4e4d1286f.
TO DO. Please contact the Governor regarding SB1240 the Reef Wildlife Protection bill. Now would be a great time for more letters to the editor. It’s easy. Call Gov. Ige at 586-0034. Or submit comments or a request for a bill signing ceremony at http://governor.hawaii.gov/. To submit a letter, go to http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorial/.
OUR CONCERN. We have not yet heard back any positive news from the administration, only the negative spin from the State agency that has opposed the bill (DLNR / DAR) since it was first heard at the legislature. Despite data, public support and a global crisis in coral reef health and massive decline in marine animal populations, DLNR / DAR representatives continue to promote commercial extraction of reef wildlife. DLNR / DAR has bizarrely claimed there are no significant environmental impacts caused by the extraction of 1-5 million wild animals per year. It’s as if representatives within the state agency are in denial and cannot recognize the effects of massive extraction of reef wildlife despite all evidence.
The agency representatives do seem to recognize the reefs are at risk because of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing for food. And while it’s great the DLNR now protects rock, coral and sea cucumber from commercial collection they have failed time and time again to protect all other critical wildlife, including fish, eels, crabs, octopus, shark and thousands of animal species. Change is long overdue and time is running out.
Thanks again for your help!
TALK AT HANAUMA: This Thursday (tomorrow), as part of a month of lectures about Papahānaumokuākea at Hanauma Bay’s Theatre Thursdays, you can hear from Kalani Quiocho, Native Hawaiian Specialist for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The lecture is from 6:30 PM to 7:30 pm at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Theater, 100 Hanauma Bay Rd (off Kalanianaʻole Hwy.).
Admission and parking are free.
VOLUNTEER: For information on a Volunteer Opportunity at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Battle of Midway National Memorial (NM): https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15c1ad25d7178ff4.
APPLY FOR SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL: NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is currently recruiting members for the Sanctuary Advisory Council. The sanctuary is seeking to fill the following seats:
The council is a community-based advisory group consisting of representatives from various user groups, government agencies and the public at large. The council provides advice to sanctuary management on the management and protection of the sanctuary. The council also serves as a liaison to the community regarding sanctuary issues and acts as a conduit, relaying the community’s interests, concerns and management needs to the sanctuary. Council members serve three-year terms which are staggered to allow for continuity within the council.
The deadline for application submittal is May 31, 2017. For more information and to download an application, please visit http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/council/council_app_accepting.html or contact Shannon Ruseborn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are due by Wednesday, May 31.
I don’t usually post a request for money even when it is from an organization I support. This is so important it cannot be ignored. Fighting Trumps EO promoting uncontrolled offshore drilling is something we must do. Also, this is a request from the League of Conservation Voters. One of the objectives of the Hawaii Environmental Hui is to set up a Hawaii Chapter of LCV as soon as we have enough members in our mailing list to justify forming an LCV Chapter.
Bill — Last Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order potentially opening all of our coasts to offshore drilling, which would put at risk marine life, coastal economies, ways of life, and our global climate.
Today, for the first time in our 48-year history, the League of Conservation Voters has filed a legal challenge to the Executive Order.
We’re suing the Trump Administration to defend permanent protections against offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
We need your help. We’re hoping we can raise $50,000 by midnight Friday to ensure we have enough for the fight ahead. If everyone reading this donated, we’d blow through that goal in minutes.
Last December, President Obama responded to widespread opposition to offshore drilling by establishing permanent protections to prevent drilling in virtually the entire Arctic Ocean and especially sensitive parts of the Atlantic Ocean. LCV helped lead the advocacy campaign to persuade Obama to take this bold step for our coasts and our climate.
But now Donald Trump is trying to roll back the entire Obama environmental legacy, including the permanent protections he established against offshore drilling. Buried within Trump’s Executive Order that would radically expand offshore drilling is a section purporting to reverse President Obama’s permanent protections for the Arctic and Atlantic. The problem is, there is no provision in law authorizing a president to revoke those protections — that’s what we’re challenging.
This legal fight could last years. At the same time, other parts of Trump’s order direct his administration to expand offshore drilling to ALL of our coasts while revising or eliminating drilling safety standards. We’re also battling legislation in Congress that would allow Big Oil to drill everywhere off our nation’s beaches. So we need your help.
So why are we suing for the first time in our history? In a country where conservation and environmental safeguards are at risk as never before, we simply cannot afford to leave any tool in the toolbox. The only way we can pull it all off is with your help. Please, Bill: the environment is counting on you.
So we will continue to see you at the ballot box, in the states and the streets, and in the halls of Congress.
But now we will see Mr. Trump in court too.
League of Conservation Voters
Several years ago the legislature created the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC). The legislation gave the PLDC the authority to enter into public/private partnerships to develop state land without regard to any regulations even county zoning and building codes. There was such a backlash the legislature repealed the PLDC law. Now the Legislature appears to some to be bringing back the PLDC concept using a different vehicle. Next week the Senate and the House will vote on the conference draft, HB1469 HD1 SD2 CD1.
Go to Ililani Media for more detail. Click the button below.
Aloha Reef Wildlife friends.
We have come so far. The final language for SB1240 can be seen here.
The great news is the State House and Senate will vote, perhaps tomorrow, on the final bill. Your efforts to reach out to your legislators really made a difference to protect reef wildlife and the reefs themselves. Please try today to thank your legislator and make sure they vote to support SB1240. While the final version is weaker than the House version, it reflects a compromise that will phase out the commercial aquarium industry, which captures and takes 1-5 million animals every year.
One thing, in particular, you can do is contact Governor Ige to make sure he is on board. The state agency in charge of protecting reef wildlife has not been able to protect Hawaii resources for decades; commercial aquarium collection interests have been promoted at the expense of reef wildlife, reef health, and the public interests. This bill can change that.
You can also ask him to schedule a bill signing ceremony to showcase the State’s commitment to protecting wildlife, coral reefs and marine resources. Go to the general website (http://governor.hawaii.gov/), send a written message by going to https://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/comments-on-legislation/ and call 586-0034.
We are very close. MAHALO!
Please share this with your friends.
If this is your first time submitting testimony, you need to register. Use this link and click Register in the top right hand corner of the page:
Submitted by Hawaii Thousand Friends
This is a major project in Kaneohe Bay that needs your support. Let your legislators know you think this project is important and you want them to provide the State matching share. Check it out here.
The 2017 Legislative Session is just around the corner (Opening Day is January 18th), and the calendar of deadlines has now been published. Attached is Public Access Room’s (PAR’s) 2017 Session Calendar in an easy-to-read format, with explanations of the deadlines appearing on the second page.
As always, if you have any questions, or need assistance, please let us know!
If you were forwarded this message and would like to subscribe to PAR’s newsletter and alert list, please email email@example.com with a request to “subscribe.”
If you would like to unsubscribe from PAR’s newsletter and alert list, please reply to this email with a request to “unsubscribe.”
If you need the attachment in a different format, please let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you. Mahalo!
Public Access Room (PAR)
A Division of the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB)
State Capitol, Room 401
415 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
* Toll Free from All Islands
Hawai’i….. 974-4000, ext. 7-0478
Maui………… 984-2400, ext. 7-0478
Kaua’i………. 274-3141, ext. 7-0478
Moloka’i/Lana’i…(800) 468-4644, ext. 7-0478