Category Archives: Community Networking

Sharing community resources, groups & events related to sustainability in Hawaii.

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A draft of an Alternative Building Code is stalled in the Dept of Public Works…

help ask Mayor Kenoi to move it forward!

It is common knowledge, since the controversy over Bill 270, that alternative building legislation has broad support island wide and is long overdue. It has the potential to offer great relief to the occupants of over 7,000 non-compliant homes and to County staff that have the impossible task of enforcing the current building codes.

Councilman Zendo Kern has researched and written a draft for an alternative building code bill and submitted it to DPW for their review and comments, but nothing has happened for a long time.


The Department of Public Works has sidelined this initiative and has effectively stalled the process.


In Hawaii, the building codes are hugely complex and create big extra expenses for small owner/builders.  They require buildings to be overbuilt for this mild climate, mandating construction techniques that are not needed here and materials that must be shipped in from far away.  We want to be able to build with local and recycled materials, using innovative techniques.

Thousands of people have simply chosen to quietly build their own homes with no permits or codes.  These people live in fear that they will be reported.  The county policy is to ignore the many people living this way until there is a complaint, and then the laws are selectively enforced.

Help us ask Hawaii Mayor Kenoi to get this moving!

Thanks so much!

Graham Ellis,

Chairperson, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance


POSITION PAPER of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance


A sustainable community (SC) consists of one or more households that share a location and the conscious intention to be self-reliant, resilient, resource-conserving, equitable, and ecologically restorative—while providing a good quality of life for community members and future generations.

(A household is here defined as two or more people who share a shelter system that includes facilities for eating, sleeping, bathing, and gathering.)

The members of an SC

  • cooperate with each other and with neighbors, for the accomplishment of shared purposes.
  • are responsible and accountable to each other, to neighbors, and to the larger world for the consequences of how they live.
  • steward valuable resources for the benefit of future as well as present generations.

A Sustainable Community:

  • provides many of its basic/subsistence needs (water, food, clothing, shelter, energy, waste management) on site, using primarily local resources (human/natural/financial).
  • reuses or recycles almost all of its “wastes.”
  • is prepared for natural and other emergencies.
  • promotes and aims for income, gender, and intergenerational equity.
  • restores and regenerates degraded eco-systems, while ensuring that land use, building, transportation and other systems are minimally damaging to the biosphere.
  • offers learning opportunities to all ages about the challenges and technologies of living sustainably.
  • is part of a global community: Most SCs have and utilize access to the internet, hence to neighbors, each other, the world, and the global information base.

Why do people choose sustainable community?

The sustainable community movement is leading the way to a new era of more productive, innovative, resource conserving, energy efficient living systems.

Most creators and members of Sustainable Communities (SCs) are motivated, at least partly, by discontent with the standard modern consumerist lifestyle.

Large, complex, centralized, 20th century industrial systems continue to become less functional and less reliable, climate change continues, food (along with water) is becoming the “new gold,” and energy is becoming more and more scarce and expensive.

SC members seek something that is more communal, more ecologically restorative, less auto dependent, less money-oriented, more democratic and equitable, closer to nature, cleaner, healthier, and more spiritually fulfilling.

Most SC members seek economic independence through self-reliance that gives insulation from unreliable financial/labor markets and from the decisions of distant corporations and governments—meanwhile inventing and building alternative local provisioning systems and cultures.

SC’s want to leave our children with an inheritance of functioning, multi-purpose living systems that are capable of surviving and thriving in the 21st century.

SC’s provide friendship and support, and are an answer to the isolation and loneliness of a modern culture built of broken families and traditions.

SC’s support a network of people competent in the operation of alternative, appropriate technologies.

SCs build wealth in the form of functional, productive, efficient and equitable living systems that are strong foundational units of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods, towns, and regions.

This includes

* human/social resources (health, knowledge, skills, relationships, organization, education);

* built resources (appropriately-scaled subsistence infrastructure and technologies for energy and water harvesting, food production, waste recycling, etc.);

* and natural resources of their local ecosystems (soil fertility, vegetation, wildlife).

Summary of the BENEFITS  provided by SC living systems

Food security

External security

On-site productivity

Resource conservation (water, energy, materials)

Employment opportunities

Educational opportunities/outcomes/potential


Healthy environment for children and elderly

Help with child raising

Health care/maintenance

Internal communication

Internal sharing

Communication/cooperation with neighbors

Sharing with neighbors

Saving money by pooling resources

Sharing tools and buildings

Caring for the environment- soil, water, air


Open Letter to Mayor Kenoi- Support Sustainable Building code

Open letter to Mayor Kenoi regarding ALTERNATIVE BUILDING CODE LEGISLATION

Dear Mayor Billy Kenoi

The Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance requests that you give your support to the introduction of ALTERNATIVE BUILDING CODE LEGISLATION that has been drafted by Councilman Zendo Kern and stalled by your Department of Public Works.

Our Alliance (see <> represents 32 local organizations and over 600 members statewide.

We wrote and introduced the alternative building code resolution that was unanimously adopted by the County Council in October 2011. This resolution called upon the DPW to “establish an alternative building code.” Our members are significant stakeholders in this process and have been patiently waiting for some action to occur since this resolution.

As a result of our extensive research on alternative building codes used in other U.S. Counties we wrote and submitted a draft to DPW in March 2012. Despite meetings and requests for more meetings the process was totally stalled by DPW.

During the 2012 election many local residents actively campaigned in support of Council Member Zendo Kern because his primary platform was for an alternative building code. Councilman Kern has also researched and written a draft for an alternative building code bill and submitted it to DPW for their review and comments.

Once again your Department of Public Works has sidelined this initiative and has effectively stalled the process again. It is common knowledge, since the controversy over Bill 270, that alternative building legislation has broad support island wide and is long overdue. It has the potential to offer great relief to the occupants of over 7,000 non-compliant homes and to County staff that have the impossible task of enforcing the current building codes.

We ask that you step in to move this draft out of the DPW  so that it can be formally introduced to the County Council in the very near future. Please inform us of any action you take in this matter.

Sustainably yours, Graham Ellis ,

Chairperson, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance.




To further the cause of sustainable living and sustainable community health and welfare.

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time: 2pm – 5pm

Location: Kalani Honua EMAX

12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho Beach Road, Puna Makai, Hawaii


We would like to share the successes, strategies, stories and some of our research with you. Our national and local political climate has changed; ‘business as usual’ is not an option. There’s a virtual consensus on the belief that socio-economic changes are necessary to sustain the Big Island during more turbulent times. Let’s work on some SOLUTIONS.


Public Protest Too Much For PLDC?

By Dave Smith

A protest over the Public Land Development Corporation. Photo courtesy Hawaii News Now.

It looks like it will be try, … again for the Public Land Development Corporation.

The controversial new state agency designed to increase revenues from state lands using public-private partnerships is continuing its efforts to establish its administrative rules.

Following statewide hearings in August, the agency revised the guidelines and added a strategic plan.

The PLDC’s five-member board met on Thursday and voted to take the amended rules to public hearing.

However, only one of those is planned, on Nov. 13, and that will be on Oahu.

Lloyd Haraguchi, the PLDC’s executive director, was not available for comment on why other islands were not included in the schedule.

According to a statement from the PLDC, even though state law required only one hearing be held, the agency’s board of directors in August took the “extra step” of holding hearings statewide. The reason, it said, was to familiarize the public with the new state entity.

Now the PLDC says it will hold an additional public hearing on the amended rules, as required by law.

The rules can be viewed at, and “any member of the public may submit advance testimony via email or USPS mail by Tuesday, November 13,” the agency said.

“The PLDC remains committed to transparency, and its newly adopted strategic plan, project flowchart and rule amendments show that opportunities for public comment actually expand under the PLDC for potential projects,” the statement said.

But one can’t help but wonder if the primary reason for not taking the revised rules on the road is that the PLDC – and its director – have had their fill of the rough reception they received across the state.

The first time the agency took the draft rules out for public hearings, it encountered large and hostile crowds.

And recent public protests across the state drew hundreds of participants.

Sierra Club Chapter Director Robert Harris described the PLDC’s decision to hold only one public hearing a “new low” for the agency. He went on to say that Haraguchi was “insulting thousands of neighbor island residents by excluding them from the process.”

Much of the criticism has centered on a section of state law exempting the PLDC from “land use, zoning, and construction standards for subdivisions, development, and improvement of land.”

The mission of the PLDC has been called everything from a land-grab, to anti-democratic, to Nazi-ism.

Despite the revision of rules and addition of a strategic plan, county councils on the neighbor islands are all expected to unanimously pass resolutions seeking to abolish the Public Land Development Corp.

Nor did the changes soothe those testifying when the Hawaii County Council overwhelmingly approved its version of a resolution urging Gov. Neil Abercrombie to repeal Section 171C of Hawaii Revised Statutes — also known as Act 55, the law that created the PLDC.


What Exactly is the Problem with PLDC? Where do we begin?

comments on proposed administrative rules for Public Land Development Corporation

for hearing Monday, August 20, 2012, 6 PM, Waiakea High School Cafeteria, Hilo

by Cory Harden, PO Box 10265, Hilo, Occupied Hawai’i 96721  808-968-8965



The “21st Century Mahele”. That’s what some people are calling PLDC. PLDC was snuck into a bill at the tail end of a State legislative session with no chance for public testimony. Senators Solomon and Dela Cruz want to use PLDC to support geothermal and building in rural areas. 


Hawai’i has other quasi-governmental development agencies, like the Hawai’i Community Development Authority and Aloha Tower Development Corporation. They have a poor track record of repeated problems.


PLDC is jumping the gun, perhaps illegally, on two counts.

·         First, PLDC is acting on projects even though these rules are not finalized. That means no direction on how PLDC operates, and no criteria for selecting projects-a perfect setup for sweetheart deals.


·         Second, PLDC is acting on projects before doing an inventory, as required, of all public lands.


Under the most appalling draft rules, these scenarios are allowed:

·         PLDC can take land and terminate leases. 302-27(9), 303-38


·         There’s only one hearing, with only six days’ notice, at the Board of Land and Natural Resources, for leases, and transferring land and development rights, from the state to private entities. 


·         Projects can ignore state and county land use designations, zoning ordinances, building codes;  community development plans; and other legal requirements. 302-27 (10) (12) (15)


·         Neighbors of projects can be forced to install costly underground utilities on just 30 days’ notice. If they don’t, state or private workers can come on their property and do the work. The project neighbor gets the bill and just 30 days to pay. If they don’t, the state requires installment payments. If those aren’t made, there’s a penalty, and PLDC can put a lien on the property. You’d need a lawyer to contest anything. 303-11, 303-12, 303-21, 303-24, 303-25, 303-53, 303-54,



·         Project neighbors can be also forced to build and fix sidewalks.


·         Decisions can be made by just two PLDC members meeting behind closed doors. (Instead, four should be required for a vote to meet in executive session, and for a quorum. 301-6 , 301-9)


·         Taxpayer money will bankroll private development (issuing bonds, investing for seed capital, providing grants and loans and other monetary assistance, buying securities to assist developers) 302-52, 302-61)


·         PLDC can invest more than half a million dollars in a private enterprise, and can own more than half of the enterprise. 302-63, 302-68


In short, PLDC seriously oversteps the bounds of government. It sells out the ‘aina, the culture, and the people to local and transnational corporations. PLDC should be abolished.







More than half of Hawai’i’s people want more land preservation, not more development, according to a recent Civil Beat poll.


There should be a mechanism to evaluate the cumulative impact of multiple projects done by PLDC and others.


Criteria for selecting projects should be more specific to avoid bribes, favoritism, and other devious actions.


PLDC should be required to get county input on proposals.


PLDC should be sure there is legal access to adequate water for projects.


The presiding officer for a hearing should be an independent hearing officer, not the chairperson or their representative. 301-2


There should be a right to hearing if an action or decision for a remote area, like Mauna Kea or a forest reserve, affects the public in general. 301-51 (b)


Developers who have been sanctioned or who broke the law-especially ethical, environmental, land use, safety, labor, or civil rights laws-should be prohibited from working with PLDC. 302-24


PLDC should be required to do hearings on the affected island re. proposals.   302-28


At least three public meetings near the affected area should be held for proposals for coastal lands.



PLDC should be required to hold developers to promises. This will address PLDC’s conflict of interest if developers break promises, since PLDC will lose money if a project fails. Past broken promises: Hokulia, Ko Olina, Haseko ‘Ewa Maine, Knudsen’s Village, Turtle Bay. 302-32


Projects should “not unduly burden existing water systems, sewage and other waste disposal systems, transportation systems, roadway, drainage, street lighting, open spaces, parks, and other recreational areas, public utilities, and public services” or should include “as part of the proposed project, the development of such systems, facilities, and services at reasonable cost”  302-35 (8)


Projects should have no significant impact under the National Environmental Policy Act. 302-35 (8)


PLDC should research the environmental and legal record of each enterprise. 302-65


PLDC should not assist developers with fees. 302-68


Counties should not face unexpected burdens from improvements built by PLDC and transferred to the county. 303-40


Counties and water departments should not be required to pay for water and sewer connections, roads, sidewalks, street lights, and other improvements.  303-40, 303-41


Water departments should not face unexpected burdens from improvements built by PLDC and transferred to the departments. 303-41




Don’t allow unchecked development of Public lands

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 22:58:52 -1000


From: Amara Karuna <>

Subject: Love the Land, Use your voice ASAP- pls forward

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X-ELNK-Received-Info: spv=0;


X-ELNK-Info: sbv=1; sbrc=-0; sbf=eb; sbw=010;


If you love Hawaii, and want to protect our public lands from unsupervised commercial and energy development – it’s the time to say so!   Even if you usually never get politically involved… the land needs your voice now.


This can affect your neighborhood… please read!


Please forward this to all your friends on all the islands- it affects everyone.

See below on how to voice your opinions.


Is This A Good Idea?

A corporation for development of public lands, exempt from taxes, zoning, building or land use laws?

Report by Amara Karuna

Monday, August 20th, 2012


Should businesses get out of following all those pesky laws that we locals have to?

Should they be able to build what they want without getting comments from the neighbors?   And then charge the costs to the people living nearby?   And not pay any state taxes at all?

And who really owns those public lands anyway?  Does the state really have the authority to give them away or do they belong to the Hawaiian people?  And who decides what projects happen, under what criteria?

These are only a few of the questions raised by the passing of Act 55, which created a corporation to encourage private development on our public lands.  This bill was rushed through the Hawaii State government in record time… it took only 3 days to vote it in and sign it.  There was no time for public commentary.

Over 100 concerned citizens of all kinds attended a meeting in Hilo on Monday, to give feedback on the proposed administrative guidelines under which the Public Lands Development Corporation (“PLDC”) is to operate.

Every person testifying was strongly against of what is being proposed, and many spoke with heartfelt depth and well considered points.  It was one of the most inspiring political gatherings I have ever witnessed.  There was a tangible feeling of solidarity and fierce protectiveness of our beautiful home.  If you are feeing intimidated and overwhelmed by the politics on your island, try attending one of these for support.  I felt proud to be living here with these strong, dedicated, spiritually aware people.


This was only the first of several public hearings that are being held, and I urge you to take the time to go to the ones on your island, and to send your opinion in writing, and to encourage all your friends to also do so.  As one woman said, “Don’t get angry, get busy!”

There is a bill being proposed to repeal this legislation.  Let’s put our power behind that.


The rocks, trees, oceans and creatures cannot speak for themselves.  We are their voice.


We have until Sept 14th to comment… please send your testimony sooner than later.



Hearing Schedule:


August 21 (6:00 p.m.) Kona (Konawaena High School Cafeteria)

August 24 (6:00 p.m.) Maui (Maui Waena Intermediate School Cafeteria)

August 27 (6:00 p.m.) Molokai (Mitchell Pauole Community Center)

August 29 (6:00 p.m.) Oahu (Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Kalanimoku Building, Room 132)

August 31 (6:00 p.m.) Kauai (Elsie H. Wilcox Elementary School)


Can’t make it to these hearings? Please send your comments via written testimony to PLDC, P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804, prior to Sept 14.


Make testimony brief, only a few sentences, and to the point.  Try to keep comments non-abusive and rational in language.


Please ask the “PLDC” to improve their draft administrative rules, which currently don’t adequately protect our environment, neighborhoods, and cultural traditions.


Email comments accepted prior to Sept 14 at – <> and  for those who are unable to provide in-person testimony.



So, you want the details?

State moves towards privatization and development of public lands without regard to zoning or land use laws


From the Sierra Club:


Tell the PLDC to protect OUR public land for future generations!


The PLDC can exempt development projects from normal oversight. The upcoming hearings are a terrific opportunity to ask the PLDC to establish common sense protections that protect our beaches, parks, and schools from greedy developers and development projects.

171C-19, (quoted below) is exempt from many requirements that affect other developers.


The PLDC is a vehicle to facilitate development on public land by providing special favors such as state money and permit avoidance.


The rules, as written, don’t require hearings on the Big Island, for example, if the PLDC wants to do a project on the island, Harris said. Nor would the corporation’s governing board be required to get the county’s input on any proposal, he added.  “Right now, they can essentially ignore the county,” Harris said.


When legislators were first discussing creating the corporation, people in support made vague promises that no “bad projects” would be approved, Harris said. The rules don’t spell out what kind of projects the corporation may pursue, nor do the rules give specific criteria for approving projects, he said. That is another cause for worry, he added.


The rules require, among other things, for counties to bear the cost of improvements in areas the corporation deems assessment areas and for county water supply boards to bear the cost of water improvements. The rules would allow the corporation to require “abutting property owners at their expense to construct, maintain and repair sidewalks and curbs in front of the abutting property.”  If the PLDC requires utility lines to be moved, neighboring property owners must then pay for new connections to the lines.


The proposed rules changes are available at The public may request a written copy of the rules by writing to the PLDC at PO Box 2359, Honolulu, Hawaii 96804.




In January of 2011 Samuel J. Lemmo, the Administrator for OCCL, Office of conservation and coastal lands gave a presentation about changes that they were making within conservation lands. This changes were marked as Sub-zones in the conservation lands.


“There will be many reasons given to sacrifice our pubic lands for all kinds of destructive activities such as drilling for water, geothermal and anything else they can make money off of as well as pushing too develop these lands for commercial purposes with little public or county meaningful input or participation.


This will spread and speed the destructive kind of developments we have seen particularly on Oahu and Maui like never before. Expediting the degradation of our remaining precious natural environment and way of life . The roads alone they make for these projects, wells and developments as we have see all over the Hawaiian islands are a huge threat to our remaining native forest.


Developments DNR has permitted in the past and will be pushing for now and in the future have devastated our forest, beaches, coastline, and other natural areas for corporate interest, the PDC will further and speed the progressive destruction of our environment.”



More from Robert:


Once the rules are made it will be much harder to object as they will argue this was your chance to be heard…..It is not just geothermal, it’s ammonia factories, hydrogen manufacturing, ocean strip mining, space ports or anything else they can come up with.


They want to charge you for improvements to “their” development and force you to pay through liens on your property. Landowners could lose their home or property if they do not have money, or want to pay who knows how much for improvements for the development that has nothing to do with them.


page 18,


They want to authorize the imposition of underground utility connection costs on private property without the landowners consent . The rules appear to wrongfully exceed the legislative authority in this regard. They are overstepping their authority.



If you have questions or information e-mail Robert Petricci  at <>

For those who want the specifics:

FYI the following information is to help prepare for the hearings:


The Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) created by last year’s legislature (Act 55, adding a new Chapter 171C to the Hawai`i Revised Statutes [HRS]) to exploit public lands commercially (pursuant to HRS § 171C-19, quoted below) is exempt from many requirements that affect other developers.  The PLDC is a vehicle to facilitate development on public land by providing special favors such as state money and permit avoidance.


Senate Resolution 25 (2012) urges the PLDC ‘to identify public trust land on the Islands of Hawaii and Maui with geothermal resources that may be developed”  and to “work with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to develop and implement geothermal projects on the Islands of Hawaii and Maui.”


Combining special favoritism through economic support and permit avoidance is consistent with how the State has treated geothermal development in the past, but now that approach is formalized in the PLDC to an extreme.




Notwithstanding section 171-42 and except as otherwise noted in this chapter, projects pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to special improvement district assessments or requirements; land use, zoning, and construction standards for subdivisions, development, and improvement of land; and the construction, improvement, and sale of homes thereon; provided that the public land planning activities of the corporation shall be coordinated with the county planning departments and the county land use plans, policies, and ordinances.

HRS § 171C-19

Voting against the legislation creating the PLDC were Representatives Awana, Belatti, Brower, Hanohano, Jordan, C. Lee, Luke, Saiki and Wooley plus Senator Ihara.



Oregon Ecovillage links

In Oregon in general, Recode Oregon is a great resource, with relevant activities re code issues in diverse parts of the state:

Portland is buzzing with related activity. At least seven Cohousing groups listed in the CohoUS directory, find them here by scrolling down to Oregon:

The FIC site has a directory of intentional communities, here’s Oregon’s listing:

Some particular ones I know of include Tryon Community:

Columbia Ecovillage:

Kailash Ecovillage in SE:

City repair (founded and still headquartered in Portland) may have info on ecovillage activities as well, plus being a live example of reclaiming the commons and asking for forgiveness rather than permission:


A Recap Of The March 31 Geothermal Related Community Meeting

By Steve Hirakami
Ninety seven people signed in for the Geothermal Fact Finding Community Meeting on the evening of March 31, 2012. Since probably not everyone signed in, there seemed to be well over a hundred people in attendance. The meeting was called by Robert Petricci who is actively engaged in the organization of community members who live in close proximity to the Geothermal plant. This meeting was opened up to the greater Puna community and both sides were represented. Barbara Lively bravely volunteered to be the facilitator of the meeting. The format was devised by Steve Hirakami who has used Total Quality Management techniques at the Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School in Pahoa.
The format was used to honor everyone’s attendance and to give them a “voice” in a non-verbal way. If all of the attendees were to only speak for 3 minutes (which is rare in Puna) the event would have taken six hours to complete with no collective thought or result. The idea was for each person to express his or her idea via Post-its. The Post-its (which numbered in the hundreds) were pasted onto three 4◊8 white boards with only category titles of Benefits, Hawaiian Cultural and Religious Beliefs, Concerns, Alternatives, and Others.
Volunteers, which included Zendo Kern, James Weatherford, Gregor Ilacan, Diane Thomas, and Steve Hirakami sorted the Post-its into bullet points under the respective categories. While the boards were being organized, the audience broke into a lively dialogue and sharing. The audience was then directed to take three colored dots with different weights: blue=5 points; red=3 points, and yellow=1 point and place them into their personal weighted priorities. This was another lively exercise where people got to dialogue and strategize. The results of the voting are illustrated in the attached document: “Results of Multi-voting on Key areas”.
Based on the colorful representation of priority areas, the audience broke out into five group categories and were asked to meet, discuss, record, and report back to the group. The reports that were reported back to the audience are also attached. Of course, the benefits of geothermal were enumerated, but overall, the concerns were numerous and valid. A standout concern was about the protection by the US and State Constitution of Hawaiian spiritual and religious beliefs. Another valid concern was Health and Safety, learning from the past and looking to the future (if geothermal exploitation is increased). Geographical location was an immediate concern stating that extensive buffer and safety zones need to be in place with careful, comprehensive, and continuous monitoring of all environmental aspects. Alternatives were listed and the general message was not to put all our “eggs in one basket” but to use all the available sources of energy and distribute them in areas with the most demand. And the final topic was the secrecy behind the project and why community input isn’t being acknowledged or even requested.
The next meeting will determine action committees based on last Saturday night’s findings. The question will ultimately be: Is this a Pono development for the community? See you there.

Puna Geothermal Community Meeting
March 31, 2012
Results of Multi Voting on Key Areas (points)
* Community building to create viable alternatives (5)
* Independent from imported oil (9)
* Renewable power
* Lower HELCO rates (3)
* Need for Alternative energy
* IDG Local Development (20)
* Clean energy (9)
* Economic Gain (jobs)
* Free Electric for Puna (12)
* Power for Oahu
* Use of relocation fund
* Use of compensation fund
* Locals buy direct from GEO at reduced rates
* Subsidize fire insurance for residents in Lava Zone 1&2 (1)
Hawaiian Rights; First Amendment Rights
* Culture (20)
* Pele: What would/will she do? (6)
* Spiritual/Religious Practice/Rights (142)
* Hawaiian People: Benefits? Respect? (10)
* Hawaiian beliefs on wind, wave energy (3)

* Health (86)
* Safety (65)
* Air pollution ((8)
* Noise (7)
* Lights-astronomy-Seabirds (8)
* Cost
* Disclosure/Truth (25)
* Evacuation (16)
* Angering Pele (2)
* Property Values (6)
* Location in Residential (71)
* Outdated Technology
* Monitoring (30)
* Other world’s plants Success/Failure?
* Future Generations (5)
* Lava Zone
* Mitigation (3)
* Water Table Aquifer (22)
* Flawed process (5)
* Corporate Greed (4)
* Serving other islands (3)
* Underwater cables (13)
* Endangered species
* Over-riding EPA
* Traffic
* Fracking effects
* Earthquakes
* Blowouts (4)
* Lose Hot pond (8)
* Solar (12)
* Wind (8)
* Biofuel (1)
* Hemp (1)
* Hydro (5)
* Tesla (9)
* Conserve (2)

* Political corruption (21)
* No Trust/Secretive (25)

Puna Geothermal Community Meeting
March 31, 2012
Working Group Feedback
* IDG: 2% gross $$ into community trust to go towards job training/employment for community
* Energy provided for industrial park and agriculture
* Fair rates without avoided cost, ie: fixed rates (no oil adjustment)
* Transfer plant/project to public ownership
* Energy independence with firm power
* Local community employment
* Direct use: Ag related: hot-house, food drying, timber/bamboo drying, aquaponics
* Power for Technology Park
* Alternative fuel production, ie: hydrogen fuel cells, palm oil
* Location away from population
* Lower property taxes for nearby parcels
* Royalty income to OHA, State, County

Hawaiian Rights; First Amendment Rights
* Respect for Spiritual and Religious beliefs
* Explore Theology beliefs BEFORE imposing anything that is not of the Hawaiian culture onto the People of Hawaii
* State Constitution Article 12, Section 7 Religious Freedom Act (Hawaiian religion). Uphold customary, traditional, and spiritual beliefs
* Government is obligated to do a study on the impact of projects on religious beliefs
* Pele has been sending a continuous message about the desecration of sacred ground ever since January 1983. First started at the first Geo site at Kahaulea now known as Pu’u O’o
* Uphold the religion of the Hawaiian People and the Spirit of Aloha
* Lies by the government and corporations
* Expose the CLOSED DOOR DEALS and/or the Judicial corruption
* Stop imposing sacrilegious acts on Hawaiian people

Health and Safety
* Medical Survey: Study past health effects. Illnesses spiked during the 1993 blowout: asthma attacks, miscarriages, seizures, and other health deficiencies
* Need for baseline studies on Lead, arsenic, asbestos in our aquifer and offshore waters
* Once a year monitoring is not sufficient. No underground monitoring. No data/monitor verified
* Purchase monitors ($25K each) from Geo Asset Fund
* February 2, 2012 Huge explosion at plant. Skyquake? Police and firefighters respond. Public had no access to plant
* 2000 Hazard and Chemical report. 11 years without another report. Nothing implemented from the report.
* The State has no authority to implement actions to mitigate hazards
* Environmental Justice: The State needs attention to activate E.J. when they receive complaints.
* After blowout in 1991 State hired investigative team to see what went wrong. Need for Status Updates on regular basis.
* Educate public what an environmental complaint issue is
* Well on top of Ainaloa: Are the taxpayers paying for this research?
* Stop growing this industry (geothermal) and create new and smaller generation in appropriate locations (distributed generation)
* Hydrogen Sulfide is heavier than air, does not rise quickly in atmosphere. Lingers and makes people sick
Geographic Location
* Location, location, location
* Need for buffer zones/setbacks. 10 miles away from residential area. Safety Zone
* Monitoring-Ground.
* Notification like Robo-call (auto dialer to area residents). Immediate online notification
* Create new locations that meet requirements in areas where power is most needed
* Water Table Quality. No chemicals should re-injected into aquifer. Constant testing of water quality after baseline study.
* Loss of Hot Pond possibility
* Need for studies on costs, dependability, and maintenance for underwater cable, transmission lines to Kona/Kohala

* More Solar and wind generation
* Cost of undersea cable could put solar on every house
* Utilize multiple sources, decentralize. Biomass, OTEC, wave, night energy collection panels, methane gas extraction from landfills and sewers, macnuts, bamboo, etc. as fuel, micro wind and hydro turbines
* Bank excess energy
* Conservation: Change wasteful behavior, use energy efficient bulbs and appliances
* Increase use of Solar Hot Water (only 30% now)
* Create Solar “Credit Unions” (Banks)
* Legislative changes needed: Building code changes. HELCO limiting solar photovoltaic use.
Political corruption/Secrecy
* Lack of transparency
* What are community rights?
* Secrecy-By whom? For whom?
* Why are true costs externalized? (internalized?)
* Community is not being involved in decision making . Process leaves community out.
* The “Forces” outside our community give us no input
* Statewide planning needed with everyone concerned
* Decentralized energy (distributed generation)
* Money, control, and power versus Environmental justice
* Ask the State to enforce sunshine laws
* Energy projects being exempted from EIS requirements in legislature
* Support publically funded elections
* Residents will suffer the consequences without input
* Government is failing to serve us
* Need Mock Emergency Drill (enough gas masks, emergency responders?)

(Steve Hirakami is the principal of Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences Public Charter School and a candidate for the newly created State Senate seat representing Puna.)


Geothermal discussions in Puna

“I will admit that I support low scale geothermal. We still import most
of our fuel so any locally sourced energy has it’s advantages.” -M
response: You haven’t been there very long (you came in after all the worst of the previous round of development). You might want to talk with your long-time local neighbors about what they’ve been through with 20+ years of (publicly subsidized) geothermal development.

“Let us study Iceland to see how they do it!” – M

If we *truly* look at Iceland (and New Zealand and others doing geothermal) we will see that we have a completely different geological context from them. Geothermal development proponents will keep saying that because geothermal is working out OK in these other places, that it can be the same here.

Fact is, geothermal elsewhere in the world (New Zealand, Iceland, California, etc.) is not like here.

We are drilling into an active rift zone on an active (and young) volcano. Although both NZ and Iceland also have active volcanoes in some areas, they are not stupid enough to locate their geothermal development in their most highly active, unstable and dangerous areas.

I don’t know if we have any areas that are as geologically/geothermally stable as the areas used for geothermal development in those other places. The east rift of Kilauea is probably not such a place.

So any comparisons with geothermal development elsewhere are bogus at the level of the geology and types of geothermal sources/activity involved. It is not the same here as there. I expect we could find some geothermal-savvy geologists who would testify to that?

This kind of approach is important because it is scientifically grounded, and raises issues of both public safety *and* investor risk (people don’t want to invest in risky things – the riskier this is shown to be, the harder it will be to get investors).
Remember that Harry Kim (as head of Civil Defense) opposed the spaceport proposal for K’au on purely civil defense/safety grounds.

As to location, this is a business investment intended to make people money. So there will be no geothermal infrastructure built in lava zones 1 or 2, the areas most likely to be wiped out by ongoing or new flows and where insurance may not even be available (e.g. lose money, not make money). It’s got to be zone 3 or safer (and as above, the more risky it can be shown to be in all ways, the less willing investors).

Reducing the money willing to flow to this project may be one of the more effective potential strategies.

John S.