If you care about our island home, we the people of these islands need to wake up and concern ourselves with the theft and privatization of our public lands, which are our native ceded lands.
Last year, the Pubic Land Development Corporation (PDLC) was rammed through our state Legislature by Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz and Malama Solomon, co-chairs of the Senate Water, Land and Housing Committee.
These ceded (seized) lands are now under jurisdiction of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and could be turned into hotels, parking lots, office buildings boat harbors or “whatever.” Gov. Neil Abercrombie refers to the PDLC as the “development arm” of the DLNR, as if it were his own piggy bank.
Last year, we warned about the potential danger of PDLC — a corporation that will be exempt from zoning and environmental laws, while, according to a July 31 newspaper editorial, this agency includes, “… appointees with political connections. Cronyism and back-room dealings are genuine threats in a state where land and power go hand in hand.”
Those of us who love and care for this aina should be alarmed that this agency would be exempt “… from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency.” What is more appalling is that this PDLC has yet to adopt any administrative rules that establish standards or criteria for any projects. But this agency is already considering three proposals. Is this not okole-backwards, or are the rules to be established to fit the proposals?
This whole scheme must come to a halt before this PDLC rushes forward blindly (or not) without any transparency, rules or standards that are essential and in place, open to public scrutiny, before there is any movement toward development of these public lands that belong to all of us and our future generations.
According to the Sierra Club, even the rules as written do not require public hearings on Hawaii Island, if this agency wants to do a project here. Just think: this corporation’s governing body would not be required to get county input on any proposal.
Remember, these lands belong to all the people, not this gang of corporate dictators — a tyrannical body that has accountability only to itself, with transparency for a self-selected few. This is a second overthrow, stripping the people of their land base and economic potential … to say nothing of this being a frontal assault on the democratic process.
Hearings on Hawaii Island:
— HILO: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 20, at Waiakea High School Cafeteria, 155 West Kawili St., Hilo;
— KONA: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21, at Konawaena High School Cafeteria, 81-1043 Konawaena School Rd., Kealakekua.
All about politics
Those of us who have been around a while can see that the controversy surrounding the primary election is about politics as much as anything. It’s disappointing the Tribune-Herald hasn’t figured that out.
State elections officials should stop pointing fingers and start figuring out how to make sure Election Day goes more smoothly.
What is more important than the safety and health of our residents? The mayor and four members of the County Council have spoken and voted that they really don’t care (“Geothermal vetoes survive,” Tribune-Herald, Aug. 2).
Our feel-good mayor — at any event, forum or gathering — always assures us that residents’ health and safety are his priorities. Yet in the same breath he turns around and vetoes two bills that would have greatly benefited the safety and well-being of many community members living within close proximity to the geothermal plant.
This is proof positive that he speaks in platitudes and assurances that in reality mean nothing.
Then four members of the County Council, all offering flimsy reasons for their no vote, voted not to override the mayor’s vetoes.
The bottom line is that when it comes down to a health study for the residents suffering from toxic emissions, or a Puna emergency response and evacuation plan to escape a highly poisonous cloud of hydrogen sulfide, there is no caring or consideration for these people.
It is hoped that when we select a mayor that we hold him or her accountable for the commitments and statements they make. And, it is important to judge an incumbent mayor by not just by his words, but if he has fulfilled his promises of the past.
This is, also, true for the council members who voted not to override the mayor’s veto. Please do not re-elect the politicians that do not act in the best interests of the people. Good actions speak louder than empty words.