Honolulu City Council Gets Lucky

17 04 2014

The Honolulu City Council collected $777.77 in support of the Hawaii Food Bank from money collected in fish bowls and a bake sale. The councilmembers and staff also donated over 500 pounds of food.

Brandon Mitsuda and Council Chair Ernie Martin with the money collected for Hawaii Food Bank.

Brandon Mitsuda and Council Chair Ernie Martin with the money collected for Hawaii Food Bank.

Honolulu City Council Liaison Brandon Mitsuda with over 500 pounds of food donated by councilmembers and staff.

Honolulu City Council Liaison Brandon Mitsuda with over 500 pounds of food donated by councilmembers and staff.





600+ Acres Around Turtle Bay To Be Protected From Development

17 04 2014
Council Chair Ernest Martin speaking at the Turtle Bay press conference.

Council Chair Ernest Martin speaking at the Turtle Bay press conference.

Turtle Bay Press Release





Council Chair Ernie Martin Presents Honorary Certificate to Keith Y. Tamashiro

16 04 2014

On April 15, 2014 at the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board No. 35, Council Chair Ernest Martin presented an Honorary Certificate to Keith Y. Tamashiro in recognition of his promotion to Brigadier General. Congratulations Brigadier General Tamashiro.

Council Chair Ernie Martin and the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board No. 35 recognizing Keith Y. Tamashiro on his promotion to Brigadier General.

Council Chair Ernie Martin and the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board No. 35 recognizing Keith Y. Tamashiro on his promotion to Brigadier General.

Here is the text of the Honorary Certificate.

Honoring and Commending

Keith Y. Tamashiro

On the Occasion of His Promotion to Brigadier General

Keith Y. Tamashiro was promoted to Brigadier General on Wednesday, the 5th of March 2014 at the State Capitol Auditorium. Major General Darryll D. M. Wong, Adjutant General of Hawaii invited distinguished guests, family and friends to the well attended event.

Brigadier General Tamashiro was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate in Field Artillery on June 10, 1984 through the ROTC program at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and served in active duty from 1984 to 1988. In December 1988, Brigadier General Tamashiro left active duty and joined the 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery of the Hawaii National Guard.

On April 7, 2001, Brigadier General Tamashiro assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery. He served as the Battalion Commander for over 5 years and led the battalion as part of the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s deployment in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom in 2004. In addition to commanding the battalion, Brigadier General Tamashiro was the base camp commander for over 2100 personnel at the Kuwait Naval Base while managing soldiers spread out over 3 different locations in Iraq.

Brigadier General Tamashiro relinquished command in July 2006 and was reassigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Joint Forces Headquarters. On July 8, 2007 he assumed command of the 298th Regional Training Institute, Multifunctional Training Unit. In May 2010 he assumed a second Major Subordinate Command as the Brigade Commander for the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Brigadier General Tamashiro relinquished command in February 2012 and was reassigned as the Assistant Land Component Commander for the Hawaii Army National Guard. On June 1, 2013 he assumed the position of Assistant Adjutant General and Director of the Joint Staff for the Hawaii National Guard.

Brigadier General Tamashiro was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and has called Hawaii home for the past 29 years. He currently resides in Mililani with his wife Iwalani Kaninau of Wahiawa. Brigadier General Tamashiro is active in his community and serves as an elected official on the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board No. 35. He also appreciates the opportunity to participate and support community activities and served as the Keynote Speaker at the 67th Annual Wahiawa Lions Club Veterans Day Parade “Remember Our Veterans” held on November 11, 2013.

Therefore, on behalf of the People of the City and County of Honolulu, the Council honors and commends Keith Y. Tamashiro on the occasion of his promotion to Brigadier General. Further, the Council offers its deep appreciation for his selfless service to our City, State and Country.

 

 





Pupukea Beach Park Cleanup A Success

7 04 2014

Council Chair Ernie Martin’s staff coordinated efforts with New Hope to bring staff and volunteers together for a community service project at Pupukea Beach Park. Mahalo to all of the volunteers who made this possible! Here are some of the photos showing the work at the park.





Returned Bills Raise Concerns Among Some Councilmembers

2 04 2014

Press Release on Mayor's Returned Bills





Bill 17 & Shoreline Setbacks

1 04 2014

Bill 17 PhotoIn a recent edition of the Star Advertiser, the editorial headline shouted “Don’t Ease Rules on Retaining Walls”. It was a critical commentary on Bill 17, a measure I introduced relating to shoreline setbacks. Contrary to the false impression created by the editorial and a similarly misinformed article in Civil Beat, Bill 17 would not allow sea walls or groins anywhere near any shoreline. It certainly would not permit such structures on sandy beaches such as those on the north shore of Oahu. Instead, Bill 17 would allow property owners of shoreline residential lots to build retaining walls, still through a permitting process, designed to limit erosion of “terrigenous” soil, consisting mostly of mud and silt, into the ocean. These lots are primarily found along Kaneohe Bay and have been responsible for vast amounts of sedimentation that has accumulated in the Bay over the years. Once clean and clear, Kaneohe Bay is a testament to the destructive force of sedimentation and unchecked run off into the ocean.

Because of the relatively limited shoreline available for residential development in Hawaii, oceanfront property will always be in high demand. Likewise there should be a corresponding insistence on shoreline protection measures. But strict protection of coastal zone areas on Oahu has not always been a high priority and some areas like Kaneohe Bay may never recover. Some shorelines have already been “hardened” by protective structures that tend to cause further erosion problems for adjacent property owners. In a report prepared for the Department of Land and Natural Resources in 1993, shoreline alterations, including seawalls, groins and other structures characterized 88% of the South Kaneohe Bay shoreline. It is likely that a great many of those structures were built illegally, but it is unreasonable to expect that they can be easily or completely removed. Rather than admit to the severity of the problem, the Department of Planning and Permitting contends that the current law has been working well since 1970. If you gauge success by the slim number of variances issued since then, and ignore the proliferation of illegal structures due in part to the nearly impossible permitting process, I guess you would be satisfied. In testimony opposing Bill 17, DPP claimed that it is in conflict with state law. But state law prohibits construction of private erosion-protection structures seaward of the shoreline “except when they result in improved aesthetic and engineering solutions to erosion at the sites and do not interfere with existing recreational and waterline activities.”

While DPP is to be commended for their vigilance, Department rules on shoreline setbacks has been a “one size fits all” approach to shoreline management for a long time. Retaining walls are not even considered for minor shoreline structure permits under the current regulations, in spite of the fact that such retaining walls could be a tool to control soil erosion by way of terraced landscaping. Rather than take a serious look at the suggestion that retaining walls could have a positive effect on the environment if designed in accordance with standardized specifications, DPP has been directing property owners to apply for extremely costly and time consuming variances instead. I heard from property owners who have been trying for decades to obtain a variance that would allow them to stabilize their shoreline and prevent the steady loss of ground, some of them at the mercy of a neighboring illegal seawall. Rather than find relief, they have been tied up in red tape and even in court, in an attempt to meet the astringent conditions imposed by the Department. It is a complicated legal process out of reach for many land owners, especially families of modest means on the windward side who have experienced years of continuous erosion of their property but lack the resources to pursue a variance. Bill 17 seeks to make the rules more responsive to people while it also helps to protect the marine environment. It is time to get real about the true purpose of the law and exactly what is was designed to serve and protect.





Recognizing April 2014 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

28 03 2014
In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Honored guests and members of our armed forces from all branches of the military were on hand for the ceremony.

Honored guests and members of our armed forces from all branches of the military were on hand for the ceremony.

Council Chair Ernest Martin was the emcee for the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation and Certificate Ceremony.

Council Chair Ernest Martin was the emcee for the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation and Certificate Ceremony.

Council Chair Ernest Martin, Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, and Councilmember Breene Harimoto honored groups that provide services to victims of sexual assault, and Mayor Kirk Caldwell through a proclamation declared April 2014 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Thursday, March 27, at 3:30 p.m. in the Mission Memorial Auditorium. The memorandum specifies certain efforts that both legislative bodies will undertake to increase activities with each other.

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), recognizing the importance of increasing the general awareness and support for agencies providing services to sexual assault victims. Sexual assault is a growing epidemic in our community. According to the American Medical Association, a “woman is raped every 46 seconds in the United States” and that sexual assault is a “silent epidemic.”

Organizations like the Resource Sharing Project (RSP) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) have spearheaded efforts to enlighten the community by partnering with state, territory, and tribal coalitions in bringing awareness to the growing problem. By promoting a degree of national unity in voice, coordinating action regarding SAAM activities, encouraging interaction and feedback from across the nation, and building momentum based on previous years’ activities, NSVRC has brought a greater focus on prevention.

Locally, the Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault leads the way in supporting sexual assault programs and agencies which provide sexual assault intervention, treatment and/or prevention services. The Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault acknowledges the critical role of organizations like the Honolulu Sex Abuse Treatment Center and the military sexual assault programs in providing essential services to sexual assault victims. These programs serve Hawaii’s diverse communities and confront this silent epidemic year round.

The Honolulu City Council recognizes and commends the following programs for their dedication and commitment to providing services and support to survivors and working to prevent sexual violence:

• The Sex Abuse Treatment Center
• U.S. Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention Program
• U.S. Navy Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
• U.S. Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
• U.S. Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
• Hawaii Army National Guard Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention Program
• U.S. Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
• Hawaii Air National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program

The Honolulu City Council urges everyone in our community to become involved in the fight to end sexual violence and to unite with us in working toward a future where all women, men and children can live free from sexual violence and exploitation.








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