Going Forward

Overall, this blog has really opened my eyes to the problems Hawaii is facing today. Not only are there development issues, but diminishing culture, over population, waste and water issues, etc. Writing this blog has really opened my eyes to what is going on in my home state. Hopefully now, I can move forward as an informed citizen and help in ways I never knew I could. Thanks for reading everyone, and Keep the Country COUNTRY! Especially you, Drew Strotesbury.

Enjoying Kawela Bay without development

 

Honeygirl lounging at Turtle Bay

Residential area right before the bay.

Aloha, Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Can You Do

Yes, this issue is local to Hawaii, but there are many ways everyone can support! Even if it is just signing in support of keeping large-scale development out of Hawaii, it’s a huge help. Legal fees are another expense for groups that support keeping the country, country. To sign or donate, visit http://www.keepthenorthshorecountry.org/ or http://www.defendoahucoalition.org/. Defend Oahu Coalition also has some pretty awesome gear including shirts, tanks, hats, stickers bracelets and more. To view and purchase visit the Defend Oahu Coalition site or talk to me.  Thank you in advance for any support. Hey Drew, I think green might be your color.

Just some of the awesome Keep the Country COUNTRY gear……..

Bumper Sticker

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What I Want

By now I’m sure it’s more than obvious I don’t want this development to occur. Last summer, the Hawaii Supreme Court issued that Turtle Bay development must undergo an updated environmental impact statement. Great news! (More info at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rlRN8O0O-E ). But, even with an updated EIS, the company might still have the authority to build, just not to the same extent. This is still not good enough for me.

So, what is it that I want? Last year, Governor Lingle proposed to purchase the property to preserve it in perpetuity, for everyone. To me, this is the best outcome for the land, other than leaving it alone. If the state were to own the land it could be used to benefit our island as a whole. The recreation areas provided now will still be available and other parts of the land could be ag farmed, wind farmed and more, for a more sustainable Hawaii. University of Hawaii could organize this and eventually become leaders in sustainable research. There are endless possibilities.

Though the state has made three proposals to buy the land, the owners have not responded to the last two and deemed the first too little an amount. What is the price, Drew Stotesbury? How much will we have to pay to get our land back?

Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life and the Land

The Hawaii State Motto “Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono” is roughly translated as, The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness. This can relate to a number of beliefs including sovereignty, local control of natural resources and sustainable development. When I mentioned previously that the culture of Hawaii is deeply rooted, I meant it. At the risk of sounding redundant, and like an Avatar, I’m going to attempt to explain why this development will have such an impact on the overall culture of the North Shore- for it is something to experience not describe.

Most of the North Shore’s population lives off the land. Now when I say lives off the land, try not to picture hunters and gatherers from ancient times. Picture a community that utilizes what it is given to its fullest extent and with respect. The North shore is a place where instead of going to your closest 24-Hour Fitness for a workout, one walks outside of their house, goes for a run, surf, swim or walk on the beach. Therapy does not occur inside a room, but out in the ocean, absorbing and fully taking in what is around you. Small, organic, local farmers provide much of the community with veggies. And, the dinner for the night is one toss of a fishing line away. Of course not every family catches their dinner for the night, but each household does utilize these “ways of life” to an extent. There is a certain amount of attachment between the people and the land.

“Locals on the North Shore have already been asked to leave public fishing areas and beaches because it takes passing private property to get there,” says Oahu local, Katye Killebrew. If this is already happening, before construction has even started, these occurrences will only increase and areas for public use will diminish. Locals should have the right to use, or continue to use, the recreation areas they always have. Drew Stotesbury, what gives you and your company the right to take that away?

Just a short walk or drive outside and anyone could enjoy any of these activities to workout or just relax and enjoy their surroundings.

Aloha, Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Honeygirl

Every so often, Honeygirl, a Hawaiian monk seal, comes to visit and relax on the shores of Kawela Bay. It’s obvious she finds safety and comfort on these shores, for upon her last visit, she gave birth to her own pup. Whenever she visits, it’s kept a secret, for she is one of many endangered species that call Kawela Bay home. For the people who live there, Honeygirl and her pup are considered part of the community or “Ohana,” which means family in Hawaiian. But, for the people who don’t, Honeygirl is only apparent in photos and stories so that she is not bothered and still considers the bay to be a safe environment for her and her child.

Honeygirl lounging at Kawela Bay

The North Shore is home to many indigenous species of Hawaii, including endangered species. Like the Hawaiian Monk seal, the green sea turtle or “honu,” shares the bay as a safe haven away from harm. Up from the bay, to the mountains of the North side, indigenous birds and plants roam freely and untouched. Also, underneath the surface, lay ancient Hawaiian burial grounds or “iwi.” What will happen to the land and these species once construction begins?

Milica Barjaktarovic, and other North Shore residents, say “the North Shore is already becoming more and more polluted as it is” (For more resident opinions http://www.defendoahucoalition.org/letter.php). What will happen when construction starts and even more waste is produced and pushed onto the pristine beaches and mountainsides? What will you tell the community Drew Stotesbury, when your tractors start to dig up the remnants of our ancestors?

I know it’s harsh to say, but am I hitting home at all here? It’s easy to throw around facts and figures all day that deem this development a bad idea. But, in the end, it also matters how you make people feel. Though it may not seem as important as the money you feel you will make in this venture, the way communities in Hawaii feel about the environment around them has a huge affect on how they view and support your company. Hawaii is deeply rooted in culture, and what you’re proposing, has a huge affect on that culture.

Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When is Enough, Enough?

Drinking on the weekends always requires a designated driver. Once one is determined, it inevitable that that we attempt to fit as many people into the car as possible. More times than not, we are able to fit everyone. But at times, enough is enough, we reach our stuffing point, and someone has to find another ride.

The island of Oahu, not just the North Shore, is at that stuffing point. If we haven’t reached it yet, we’re sure close, to reaching our carrying capacity. Our schools are overflowed, traffic is a mess, waste is at an all-time high and there are just too many people and cars. Even our water supply is diminishing faster than ever, which is ironic since we are on an island surrounded by an absurd amount of water.

Drew Strotesbury, the expansion your company wants to pursue will do nothing but add to the amount of waste produced, traffic we get stuck in and water we consume. Oahu is already trying to research ways to get rid of our trash as it is. Shipping our trash elsewhere is being considered at the moment, but all that will do is move the problem to a different area. All this development is doing is trying to stuff more people into our already stuffed car on a typical Saturday night. When will it stop? When is enough, enough?

– Whitney

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Secluded Countryside

The only way to reach the North Shore by automobile is on Kamehameha highway- an over 100-year-old highway that is literally eroding into the sea on certain parts of the island. Other ways would be by boat or helicopter, which most residents do not have and the hotel would not provide. Going forward with the proposed development would require an expansion of this highway due to the influx of traffic to the already jam-packed roads; making traffic another reason Oahu can’t support this development.

So, why not just expand the highway? The expansion of Kamehameha highway would be at the expense of displacing families from their homes that are adjacent to the roads. Not to mention, the construction would close down roads making it impossible for people to enter and exit certain areas. Kamehameha highway and the secluded country living of the North Shore can really only support the size of its current population and the visitors it receives.

This video shows Kamehameha Highway with the ocean on one side and homes on the other. As you can see, there’s really no room for expansion.

-Whitney

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment