November 30, 2016

Dangerous Herbicide Drift endangers Hawaii Residents

Governor David Ige: Take action now to protect the people!

I signed a petition on Action Network telling Hawai‘i Governor David Ige to Demand the State of Hawai`i act now to protect the people!.

The world’s largest chemical corporations are using the Hawaiian Islands for open air testing of pesticides tied to experimental genetically engineered seeds.

In the last three years, thousands of Hawai`i residents marched, testified, and went door-to-door to pass laws in the counties of Kaua`i, Maui and Hawai`i to protect our communities from harmful pesticides.  And we won, despite millions of dollars of industry opposition. But the chemical companies sued our counties to block enforcement, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that only the State of Hawai`i, and not the counties, has the power and responsibility to protect Hawaii’s people and environment from pesticides.

The message from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is clear: The power and responsibility to protect Hawaii’s people and our environment from pesticides is in Governor Ige’s hands.

In May 2016, a report funded by the State called for the following actions to protect the health of Hawaii’s people and land:

  • Create and enforce statewide pesticide Buffer Zones Statewide mandatory and thorough disclosure of pesticide use (both restricted use and general use)
  • Collect more accurate health data that helps scientists identify links between pesticides and health impacts on children, babies and families Air, soil and water testing

The State has ignored its own advisors.  The report was written by a panel of experts after a year-long “Joint Fact-Finding” process and yet it has ignored their recommendations.

We  demand immediate action by the Governor to implement basic protections recommended by the State’s own State-funded report. Governor Ige could enact every single one of the recommendations, while not affecting jobs. Moreover, the state legislature has already appropriated $500,000 to implement the recommendations of the JFFG report.

Sign the petition today to demand the State step up and meet its responsibility to the people of Hawai`i now!

Join me and take action! Click Here


November 10, 2016

From: Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation <>

Subject: Conservation Connections Newsletter November

Date: November 10, 2016 at 10:21:37 AM HST

To: Charles Burrows <>



Hello, November!

Highlights of HCA retreat:

Mahalo to all of our member representatives for attending our annual 2016 HCA Retreat, held on November 3-4th at Kīlauea Military Camp in Volcanoes National Park. We had a very productive discussion regarding some of the current and key critical issues facing conservation today, including biosecurity, rapid ʻōhiʻa death, and biocultural integration. Photo credit: Tina Lee.

New Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Website

The website now features a new look and feel!

Additional functions have been included such as frequently asked questions, supplemental information, research updates, media, and a calendar of events.

Please take a look at to learn more!

Vote Now for Team Hōkūleʻa!

Attention to Promise to Paeʻ Āina and Worldwide Voyage supporters:

The Celestial Circumnavigators Hōkuleʻa Team has been selected as a nominee for the prestigious 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award. Please participate in the online voting process by voting daily until December 16th for your “adventurer of choice”.

Please vote at National Geographic and share with your family and friends.


Second Saturdays at Hawea & Keawawa with Hawea Heiau Complex and Keawawa Wetland
Saturday, November 12, 2016
8:30am – 11:30am
Helping hands needed to maintain new native plantings by weeding out invasive species, and work upland by spreading mulch, hand-pulling weeds, and bagging green waste. Keawawa wetland is located mauka on Hawaiʻi Kai Drive close to the Keahole Street intersection. Tools, water and snacks provided. Bring reusable H2O bottle. Limited supply of gloves (bring if you can), plus wear closed shoes, long pants, sun block, and sunglasses.

Heʻeia Estuary Restoration
with Hui o Koʻolaupoko
November 19th
9am – 12pm
This project aims to improve water quality and increase habitat for native aquatic animal species by removing invasive mangrove and replanting native Hawaiian species along a portion of the He’eia Stream Estuary. As of February 2016, removal of mangroves and other invasive plants at this project site is nearly complete. Out-planting of native plants has just begun! RSVP required.

DOFAW Wetland Volunteer Day
Saturday, November 19, 2016
9am – 11:30am
Join us for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s (DOFAW) Wetland Volunteer Day from 9a – 11:30am. The site location is at Pouhala marsh. Volunteers will be helping to out-plant native species. Come support some of Hawaii’s most endangered waterbirds and wetland plants! RSVP required.

For more up to date information about volunteer opportunities, visit Conservation Connections


The final Free National Park Entrance Day is set for November 11th, Veterans Day. This is the last fee-free day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service that was founded in August 25th, 1916.
Concurrently, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as it was a predecessor to the establishment of the National Park Service just few weeks earlier in August 1st, 1916. The three National Parks in Hawaiʻi offering free entrance include Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Puʻuhonua o Honaunau, and Haleakalā National Park.
The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management Fall 2016 Seminar Series Presents:
Bringing Back Koa
Wednesday, November 16th at 3:30pm
St. John Rm. 11, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Dr. J. B. Friday will present his work on the silviculture of Koa and its role in restoration of native forests. Open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
November 6, 2016

Thomas Square – What the City Doesn’t want you to know.

The Mayor has a crazy idea to commercialize Thomas Square, which is a public park and a special historic site for the Hawaiian Nation. The City is going through the process of getting public input by Monday, November 7. We encourage you to testify “against” this idea to the address at the bottom of this message. Help us keep Thomas Square a Public Park that we can all use freely. Mahalo Nui Loa for your help. Dave & Sherry.

Thomas Square must remain a public park.




Thomas Square Park fountain to be destroyed

Thomas Square is being transferred from the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation to the Department of Enterprise Services, and is facing major renovation.


Amongst other things, this means:


  • Thomas Square (Hawaiʻiʻs oldest park) will essentially No Longer Be a Public Park.
  • The “Hawaiian Flag” walkway pattern, the fountain, and other major features Will Be Destroyed.
  • There will be a COMMERCIAL focus. The Department of Enterprise Services is a “self-sustaining” department, meaning it is designed to create its own revenue.
  • Goals include making Thomas Square a “World Class Destination” and part of the newly gentrified “Arts District” of Honolulu.
  • The Houseless (including many Kanaka Maoli with roots in the area) will be chased from the area to make it more “presentable”. “Food Not Bombs” (our longstanding five year weekly Potluck and Music Jam for the Houseless) will be kicked out of Thomas Square Park.
  • Thomas Square Will Be Closed for an essentially undetermined length of time while renovation takes place.


Here’s an article by H. Doug Matsuoka that can be helpful for your comment: “What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square”


Please Comment on the Draft EA:




Written Comments are to be Postmarked by Monday, November 7, 2016
Robert J. Kroning, P.E.
650 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
If you can’t get it together to physically mail your comment you can email it. They may not accept email as official testimony, but if many folks do this, the City will see the amount of public concern, which is a win for us.


Email Comments to:
Cate Cullison at
Robert Kroning at
You must include your name and physical home address in your email.



October 24, 2016

Mililani Trask OHA potential conflict of interest

I support Chris Lee. IMO, He is smart, conscientious and has done good things for his district and the State.

I have always felt Mililani Trask was more interested in her power than in serving the community. Now I feel I have collaboration for what till now was simply a gut feeling. Representative Lee’s letter follows. It is very revealing of what I believe is a pattern of behavior.

From Rep. Chris K C Lee Oct. 20 2016

I wouldn’t be writing today if it wasn’t critically important.

There is a race I’m writing to ask for your consideration for get
involved with. I argue it’s the most important race in Hawaii this
election year. That’s because it’s outcome will determine whether we
will retain our ability to continue pushing on environmental issues, or
if everything will become exponentially harder. Our biggest wins in
recent years – (and many wouldn’t have been possible without groups like the Sierra Club –
from our 100% renewable mandate, to our water issues, to the
Papahanumokuakea expansion), were only possible because of the support of
Native Hawaiian leaders.

OHA doesn’t represent all Native Hawaiian
voices, but they do represent a significant voice from that community.
Without public support from OHA, I can promise you these victories would
not have been possible, or would have been severely watered down.
Politically, that voice supportive of our issues is about to be silenced.

With the credibility of the S C and other environmental groups already
diminished because there’s no longer involvement with elections, I’ve
been cashing in my political capital along with a few others, in order
to keep pushing things forward. But there’s only so much of that to go
around and after this election cycle, there won’t be much political
leverage left. The most painful nail in the coffin will be the loss of
regular support of OHA for our issues. That group’s support alone isn’t
going to pass legislation, but without it, it will certainly stop things
from moving. That’s because opponents look for any reason to kill a
bill, and if there’s a question about where the Native Hawaiian
community falls, it’s one of the easiest ways to stop a bill or
initiative in it’s tracks.

This year Mililani Trask is challenging Bob Lindsey for an OHA seat (on Big Island). She
won the primary election with slightly more votes than Bob ( Bo Kahui got ). If Mililani
wins, as an incredibly loud and outspoken voice on issues, she could
realistically neutralize OHA from taking a position on much of anything.
Bob has been on the right side of most things, but more importantly,
he’s logical, reasonable, smart, and most of all he isn’t in it for

I have to disclose I’ve had Mililani Trask come after me and accuse me
of all sorts of crazy things from being a racist to “anti-renewable
energy” and everything in-between. She has clearly made things up about
people when it is convenient, but worst of all, appears to have a
serious conflict of interest in some issues because she has a personal
financial stake in her agenda.

Here’s Ian Lind’s blog coverage of that:

Rep. Chris Lee drawn into pre-election exchange with Mililani Trask, OHA candidate

Here’s what I wrote laying it all out:

IDG lobbyist Mililani Trask unhappy I chose our community over her employer

This is the single, most important race of the year, because it could
have profound and long-lasting effects on our ability to do anything
significant to protect our environment in Hawaii. It’s late in the
election cycle with just weeks to go. But now is the most critical time
to get involved, and a statement or endorsement means more now than it
ever would before. I’ve spent a LOT of my own political capital and
taken serious personal risks getting involved with this, but it’s that
important and I refuse to stand idly by while our ability to protect the
things we cherish most about this state is flushed away.

I’m asking for your help to reach out to other SC board members and
consider getting involved. Forward this along to the other board members
if it helps. This is the most important election this year and we need
to do something about it. Feel free to call me anytime if you want to
talk, or I’m happy to meet to discuss.

Thanks for your time and consideration,
Chris Lee”

October 20, 2016

Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Draft Master Plan EISPN

Aloha Friends and Supporters of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Draft Master Plan,

mtolomanaThis plan incorporates most of the features of the Community Plan developed in the 1950s when developers wanted to turn Kawainui Marsh into another Hawaii Kai. I have worked 30 years to establish a management plan for Kawainui Marsh.  The current Master Plan takes the plan I have worked so long to see implemented and incorporates almost everything proposed in that original plan into the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Master Plan. This is the plan the Kailua Community envisioned 60 years ago and I support it.

I urge you to reject the misinformation being circulated by those who oppose the Plan and study the Plan for yourself.  Look at what is proposed and what is currently there. Ask your self, “Which do I prefer?” You can view the plan by clicking here.

The latest development in the planning process is the issuance of the EIS Preparation Notice. The opportunity for public comment closes on October 24, 2016—just a few days away. It is critical that we move quickly through this Public Notice process in order that the EIS Draft can commence. It will be at the time of the issue of the EIS Draft that the public will be able to comment on the details of the plan and decide what can be supported and what is not acceptable. For now, we ask that you express your support by e-mailing the letter below (or revise as needed) with your name and contact information: 

I support the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Plan in its entirety because of the following invaluable educational, recreational, cultural, and environmental gains:

*The plan would accomplish the restoration of the wetland ponds, thus opening up areas for endangered birds, fish, and estuary organisms.

*The master plan would enhance educational access and quality by providing education facilities, trails, and viewing platforms for hands-on learning experiences.

*The marsh plan recognizes that the Hawaiian presence, along with native Hawaiian cultural/educational centers at the marsh, is the key to its restoration and preservation, the continuation of educational and stewardship programs, and preservation of cultural sites there.

The plan confirms, not denigrates, this wetland and will restore it to some of its ancient pre-eminence. It has survived all the centuries of use, neglect and abuse, but still functions as a living organism, waiting to be restored to fuller utilization. It deserves to be shared, not fenced off, or relegated to secondary status. It deserves the respect and restorative efforts that the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Plan provides and sanctions.

Three important things the Master plan fails to address are:

  1. Food sustainability and the potential to grow native foods in and around the marshes and
  2. Establishment of minimum stream flows required to maintain the health of the marsh and its tributary streams as required by HRS § 174C-71 protection of instream uses.
  3. US Army Corps of Engineers and DOFAW need to construct an underground conduit passage for the flow of water from Kawainui into the Hamakua Canal to re-establish water flow and improve the water circulation and health of Ka’elepulu Stream.

We are:

  • Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi
  • Conservation Council For Hawaii
  • Hui Kailua-Kawainui Ka Wai Ola
  • Kailua Historical Society
  • Pacific American Foundation

Submit your testimony to:
HHF Planners
Ronald A. Sato, AICP, Senior Associate

State of Hawai‘i
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Ms. Marigold Zoll, O‘ahu Forestry and Wildlife Manager

Kokua malama a’ina. Know what is happening to conservation efforts in Hawaii. Join us and we will do our best to keep you informed. Better yet, contact us and share your mana’o.

Hawaii’s Native Birds face extinction

A warming climate allows mosquitos to move higher into our mountains. Avian malaria, carried by mosquitos, has caused the death of native birds wherever mosquitos can survive.

Mosquitos were introduced to Hawaii in the mid-1800s. They are not a welcome guest in Hawaii.

Mosquitos not only kill native birds, the are a health risk to people too.  Mosquitos are vectors for some of the most dangerous tropical diseases.  Hawaii has had sporadic outbreaks of dengue fever and several cases Zika virus have been reported in Hawaii.

Modern technology enables use to produce genetically modified mosquitos that will kill off the mosquito. What better place to eradicate mosquitos than in Hawaii?  This is a far better technique than spraying Naled and killing insect indiscriminately.

Check out this article in Science Magazine documenting the critical situation on Kauai.

August 24, 2016

The Global Aquarium Trade is highly destructive.

Use of cyanide for capturing aquarium fish is common throughout the South Pacific

Help fund research that can help stop the destruction of marine ecosystems.

Aloha Coral Reef Advocates,

tropical-fish-underwaterOur work protecting coral reef wildlife begins in Hawaii and extends globally via our award winning mobile app, Tank Watch (now available for Android and Apple devices) and with our landmark research. Since 2015 we’ve been assessing the prevalence of cyanide-caught fish in the U.S. marine aquarium trade. The destructive practice of capturing fish with cyanide, though not used in Hawaii, is used widely in the Philippines and Indonesia, the largest exporters of marine life for aquariums. We’ve discovered that millions of marine fish – at least 50% – sold in U.S. pet stores are illegally captured with this deadly poison. We estimate that 30 million fish are exposed to cyanide in capture by the marine aquarium trade each year and that over 90% of those perish within 6 weeks of exposure. Cyanide use also kills countless invertebrates and thousands of acres of coral reefs each year.

We recently presented our initial findings at the prestigious International Coral Reef Symposium, and it was well received. As a result, we were invited to join a coral reef challenge grant and crowdfunding campaign offered by to help raise the funds necessary to complete this important research to help save coral reefs and wildlife.

To complete this project, we need $4,620 to test at least 50 more fish (both test subjects and controls). The funds will be used to purchase the fish and essential supplies and pay for sample analysis by an independent lab. This crowdfunding campaign to raise support for our research launched today: We are excited to share this project with you and will post progress reports on our project page. We expect to publish this fall and will thank all of our backers in our paper.

We’re reaching out to you now to ask for your support. If you can’t donate directly, could you please take a moment to share the project? Whether via social media posts or emails to any friends, family, or colleagues interested in science and coral reefs – we need your help in order to complete this groundbreaking work and take a giant step toward protecting the wildlife we all cherish.

If you have any additional questions about the research, or how this works, I’ll be happy to answer them. Thanks for supporting this science – the reprehensible use of cyanide in fish capture must end, and YOU can help make that happen.

Learn more about our project at Learn more about cyanide fishing in Poisoned Waters, a report we released with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Rene Umberger
Executive Director

August 24, 2016

There are dumb ideas, stupid ideas and crazy ideas. What do you think?

Please Kokua Maunalua Bay.

Please express your views about a proposed venture to sell the opportunity to mix cremated remains with materials to create reef balls and submerge them in Maunalua Bay.

Malama  Maunalua, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Aha Wahine, HULI, the Portlock Community Association and the Maunalua Koko Kai Community Association oppose this proposed use of our fragile marine resource in Maunalua Bay.

The proposed artificial memorial reef will not provide any environmental benefit to Maunalua Bay and it may well have negative impacts on this fragile marine resource.  Dr. Robert Richmond, highly -recognized coral expert of the University of Hawaii, states  “the proposed designed reef will do nothing to address the root causes of decline in Maunalua Bay.”

The benefit, if any, is economic – not environmental. The commercial venture who would sell the opportunity to have ashes interred in the reef balls and submerged in the Bay.

Here’s how you can express your views:

  • Attend the Hawai‘i Kai Neighborhood Board meeting,  Tuesday, August 30 at 7:00 p,m. at Haha‘ione Elementary School, 595 Pepe‘ekeo Street.

Email your opposition to:

Senator Sam Slom:
Senator Laura Thielen:
Representative Gene Ward:
Representative Mark
Suzanne Case, Chair, DLNR:

Mahalo nui for your support of a healthier Maunalua, mauka to makai.

July 23, 2016

Industrial hemp is not for getting high.

Hemp Hemp Hooray! Congratulations Cynthia Thielen

The Governor recently approved Act 228 – establishing a 5-year program to grow industrial hemp in Hawaii. This exciting program paves the way for a vibrant, local industry based on this versatile crop with over 25,000 uses/products, including building materials, nutritional and health care products, soil remediation, animal feed, with beneficial ripple-effects for our local business sector, economy and environment.

I want to thank Civil Beat for their excellent coverage of this development, and for their nice comments about my effectiveness as a Legislator:

“Beneficial circumstances and the dogged persistence of one legislator over many years intersected in this year’s legislative session in the form of Senate Bill 2659 — aka the Hemp Bill, which Gov. David Ige wisely signed into law. 

“Talk of legalizing hemp cultivation had kicked around the Legislature for many sessions, with state Rep. Cynthia Thielen keeping the conversation alive year to year…Sometimes, the good guys and the right ideas win out.

And once again, Cynthia Thielen needs our support and your vote in the upcoming August 13th Primary Election. There is no Democratic opposition and she is opposed in the primary by an ultra-conservative, tea party candidate.  This is serious. In the last election, Cynthia won by a little over 300 votes.  Joan Hood, her challenger has spent the last two years registering voters amongst her base.

If you vote Absentee, keep an eye out for your ballot as these will be mailed on July 22.

For your vote for Cynthia to be valid, be sure to fill in the box by “Republican Party” at the top left of the ballot and vote only for Republican candidates…or your ballot will not be counted. The Mayor’s race is nonpartisan so you can vote for any nonpartisan candidate as well. No Democratic candidate on the ballot has any significant opposition.

If you want to be represented in the State House by an advocate for our environment and who sincerely cares about people your choice is clear.

Vote for Cynthia Thielen.

Please share this with you Kailua friends and your social media.

‘A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia. — No task is too big when done together by all.

First it was acidification. Now its dissolved oxygen

Climate change is causing a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in oceans in some parts of the world. But what is so alarming – the effects of this drop in the amount of oxygen all marine life require will start to become evident in just 15 years or so. At some point, the drop in the ocean’s oxygen levels will leave marine life struggling to breathe.

This isn’t some incremental threat way off in the distance. We’re talking about an existential threat to marine life that is emerging literally right now.

We’re talking about, quite possibly, the beginning of the collapse of the web of life in our oceans.

The new study – which was published in the American Geophysical Union journal “Global Biogeochemical Cycles”, funded by NSF and led by NCAR scientists – should be a stark, clear warning of what the world is facing.

Current forecast: 400 parts/million this year and 450 within 20 years. Armageddon is coming and God is not going to fix it. We have the ability, but do we have the political will? Not if Trump and the oil companies have their way.

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