November-December 1993 Home   Newsletters

January 1994

February 1994

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Go-See: The Judiciary History Center (Jackie Parnell)
Program Planning Meeting
National Program Planning
Town Meeting on Channel 22
Nuclear Waste Community Education Project (Jean Aoki)
Managing Solid Waste Community Education Project
Shaping League's Future - Crossroads Project
League Members "Go-See" Kapolei (Astrid Monson)
Membership Recruitment Committee (Grace Furukawa)

President's Message

Ever optimistic, we look forward to a fruitful and successful new year. However, being realists we must keep in mind the events of last year, even as we plan for the new.

1993 began with our appeal through viewpoints and testimonies for a joint effort by the City and State to integrate the island's road and bus system into a high capacity bus rapid transit system and to support engineering of the State's highways for HOV, contraflow and bus-only lanes during peak hours--and the new year begins with the same appeal to the same "do-nothing" legislators.

We unsuccessfully opposed granting approval for a "major modification" of the Aloha Motors Convention Center project by the City allowing the developer unprecedented concessions. It is not just a coincidence that doubling the permitted density, allowing heights 43% greater than zoned and freeing the developer from other legal requirements led to the alleged value paid by the State of over 5 times the price paid for the same land in 1987-all of this appreciation during a period when comparable properties were declining in value.

We continued our annual opposition to violations of the original concept of the General Plan for land use for Oahu in the allocation of population growth. To keep certain areas relatively rural and undeveloped, to allow limited growth in others, and to direct most growth to still others, was largely ignored. Lately, however, news of the location of a 2nd University campus in Kapolei and the about-face by some of the Councilmembers on directing growth to Ewa, as it should have been, is promising--if it is not being prompted by political expediency.

We lost our battle to keep downtown heights from being raised. We anticipate the proponents will soon be coming before the Council claiming the need for more density.

The glowing concepts of the master plan for Waikiki seem to have been set aside as the City's proposed amendments to the Waikiki Special District indicate. We have and will continue to oppose the enormous increases in density proposed in the guise of developing more public open space.

After the furor over the "straw vote" on transit being included with the Neighborhood Board ballots, mayoral appointee Willie Espero, executive director of the Neighborhood Commission decided to hire a dozen Leaguers to work under the supervision of his staff on the election. We declined. We do not hire out labor. We do not compromise our organizational skills and expertise in ensuring the secrecy of the ballot and safeguarding the election process, nor our reputation for objectivity and honesty and our commitment to the integrity of any election.

We lost and won many more wars.

This election year the rumbling we hear is "throw the rascals out". That is not as easy as it sounds. Some folk are afraid we might throw the baby out with the bath water. Others think term limits may be the answer. Many have given up on the process. Locally, that may be the reason Hawaii ranks among the lowest in voter turnout. We must find new ways to involve the disgruntled and the cynical--to spark their interest and foster their participation in the election process. Keep tuned. There will be more on this next month.

Arlene Ellis




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