Photo: Waimānalo Community Members
Photo Above: Waimānalo community members peacefully protest the development at Sherwood Forest. The group, who have been protesting the development for months, have a deep concern about the irreversible adverse impacts of the proposed development on the Waimānalo community’s sense of place and rich cultural history, as well as the environmental health of the Waimānalo Bay Beach Park area. – Photo: Wai‘ale‘ale Sarsona

Turn-key Lots Offered by DHHL in Kapolei

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) offered 37 turn-key lots in Kapolei’s Kanehili subdivision on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Located across from Ka Makana Ali‘i Shopping Center, the houses will be built in partnership with Gentry Kapolei Development, LLC and are the same models and quality as the developer’s area fee simple homes.

The offers were made to pre-qualified applicants from the DHHL wait list through 1994 and Kanehili Undivided Interest Lessees. A lot orientation was hosted by the DHHL in July.

“The Department is dedicated to providing beneficiary families with an opportunity to live out the fulfillment of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act by returning families to the land,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Aila, Jr. “Today’s offer provides our beneficiary families the chance to live out the next portion of the Act, which is to rehabilitate. Our hope is that families selecting lots today will now use the opportunity to their advantage, creating family stability and a stronger community.”

DHHL’s turn-key lot offer is one of several types of lot offerings from the Department. The turn-key home product is the result of beneficiary interest in ready-to-live homes.

“This is a big opportunity for us [our family] and we feel so blessed. We have three children and seven grandchildren who all live on the mainland right now, but this is part of what we want this property for – in hopes that they can come back and we can pass it on to them,” said Alan Montgomery, who selected a lot. “It’s hard to find the words because I am just so happy right now… this is a blessing and mahalo to Prince Kūhiō for doing what he did to make this available to the Hawaiians – it’s an awesome, awesome, awesome thing he did for the Hawaiians.”

The Kanehili award offer is among 395 planned in 2019. DHHL has over 1,300 lots in its production pipeline that are anticipated to be completed over the next five years.

Waimānalo nonprofit files lawsuit to stop Sherwoods development

On Thursday, September 26, 2019, Save Our Sherwoods filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court asking the court to stop construction of a massive ‘sports complex’ at Waimānalo Bay Beach Park, commonly known as Sherwood Forest.

The lawsuit alleges that the City and County of Honolulu failed to adhere to federal land use controls; that the City violated federal and state historic preservation laws; that permit approvals were flawed; and that the project’s Environmental Assessment has serious problems.

Earlier that day, Honolulu Police Department arrested 28 individuals for blocking construction access to the site.

Visit “Save Our Sherwoods” on Facebook for up to date information on the issue.

Marshall Island President to visit Hawai‘i to discuss climate crisis

As the leader of an atoll nation on the front lines of the climate crisis, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine is working to fight climate change before her home-land becomes uninhabitable. As the first female head of state of any independent Pacific Island nation, President Heine serves as a global role model for women in leadership with an overarching goal of encouraging a diversity of global stakeholders to invest in climate action. On October 31, President Heine will address the largest multicultural and multi-disciplinary gathering of diverse STEM students, professionals, and leaders in Hawai‘i at the 2019 National Diversity in STEM Conference.

“As one of only four atoll nations in the world, climate change is already a reality for us. The question now is whether the world can summon the leadership to urgently increase its ambition to get us on a pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement and to avoid the worst impacts yet to come. That’s why I am so committed to convening as many stakeholders as possible—especially women champions, leaders of color, and diverse STEM students and professionals— with a shared desire to protect our common vital resources. Together, we can fight climate change, not only with access to funding and technology, but also harnessing the power of traditional and local knowledge,” said President Heine.

President Heine’s keynote address to the 2019 National Diversity in STEM Conference produced by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) will call on others—from heads of states to everyday citizens, especially women and communities of color that are first and worst impacted by the impacts of climate change – to join her and stand united in helping solve our world’s biggest challenge. As the Convener of the High Ambition Coalition and the Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the Marshall Islands is leading the global effort for governments around the world to follow their lead in increasing their Paris Agreement before 2020. The Marshall Islands also recently published a landmark 2050 Climate Strategy charting a way to net-zero emissions and is currently developing a National Adaptation Strategy.