Archive for January, 2010

Minority Caucus Puts Families First

Putting Families First

Representative Ward talks about the budget on PBS

Rep. Gene Ward appeared on the January 21 episode of “Insights” to discuss the State’s budget. PBS has the episode available on its Web site at the following address:

Abandoned Boats at Maunalua Bay


Reported by: Ron Mizutani
Last Update: 11:02 am


Popular Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai is once again gathering attention for misuse and abuse. Area residents say abandoned vessels and boats that are not properly moored are proving to be much more than just an eye sore.


“December 31it’s been here on the sand right here today is January 6th, we still waiting for the tow truck,” said long-time Maunalua Bay resident Marshall Rosa. Rosa says grounded vessels at Maunalua Bay are becoming all too familiar. “If we had one accident with a semi-truck on H1 on December 30th we wait to January 4th to come back to work to pull it off the freeway, I don’t think so.”


This sailboat had the proper permits in place to be moored at Maunalua Bay — a designated mooring area — but strong southwesterly winds eventually washed the vessel to the beach on New Year’s Eve along with debris and other personal items.


“The toilet was on the beach I took pictures of that its tanks was on the beach,” said Rosa. “Bunch of people picked up, you know I picked up myself but my rubbish can can only take so much.”


Rosa says the state is not doing its part to protect the bay and its users.


“That mast fall down on somebody walking by here and gets killed we in trouble again.”


“This particular owner doesn’t have the wherewithal to remove the vessel so we’re in the process now of getting the bids to get the boat off the beach,” said Ed Underwood of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.


The state will use monies from its boating special fund to pay for the removal. The fund comes from user fees collected at boat harbors.


“Poor guy from Waianae has nothing to do with it but he’s got to pay for this too,” said Rosa.


“Hawaii Kai is not a bone yard for abandoned boats it’s a recreational area for people who want to use it for sport and not for parking,” said state representative Gene Ward who believes the state needs a new solution to what’s become a national issue. “It’s basically a fund where in these instances come up DLNR does not have to put it out to bid to get somebody to yank it away. I think a lot of these are just biding their time and let the state pick up the tab the way the abandon vehicles.”


The state says a contractor will be hired by the end of the week.


“It’s a problem and I think the state has got to make it easier on themselves,” said Rosa.

Background Information on the Possible Naming of Barack Obama Birthplace Park

On January 2, the Honolulu Advertiser printed an article headlined “Hawaii considering new holidays, parks to honor Obama.” The article left out important information, and Rep. Gene Ward wrote the following letter for the editor to clarify a few things:


The Advertiser article (1-02-10) regarding the possible naming of Barack Obama Birthplace Park located at the edge of Kuliouou and Hawaii Kai left out some important background information.


The introducer of the House Resolution was Rep. Lyla Berg and the author of the idea behind the resolution was the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, namely its chair, Greg Knudsen, not me as the article implied.


Rep. Berg and I represent this area, and in a spirit of bi-partisanship we agreed to collaborate on the measure. So she introduced HR 77 on March 4, 2009. Since then, the resolution has been bottled up in the Tourism/Water Land Committees and has never had a public hearing.


Rep. Gene Ward

Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley