Letters — Open Letter To Sen. Malama Solomon

Dear Senator Malama Solomon,


Thank you for all of your hard work during this legislative session. As a resident of the Big Island, I look to lawmakers like you to pass legislation that preserves, protects, and enhances our way of life here in Hawaii.


A very important bill that does just that, and is on the cusp of becoming law, has just been assigned to aSenate Conference Committee that you will Chair. I am writing to implore you to give “SB2274: Relating to Sustainable Living” a hearing.


You are likely aware that SB2274 has been thoroughly reviewed and has passed through all six committees in the House and the Senate with overwhelmingly positive testimony. My understanding of the purpose of conference committees is to negotiate over the House and Senate amendments. Please allow this process to happen.


Support for this legislation has been demonstrated by well over 100 testimonies from organizations and individuals; the Hawaii County Council, who unanimously passed Hawaii County Resolution 302-12 urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass this exact type of legislation; Governor Abercrombie who in his 2014 State of the State Address envisions the Hawaiian Islands as “a learning laboratory for scalable, innovative mitigation, adaptation policies and techniques, providing a model on local and regional collaboration.”


At the Hawaii Sustainability Conference last week, Al Gore expressed that “the way we have to respond [to a changing world] is going to require a set of changes that are beyond our routine…our way of life is at stake, our grandchildren are at stake, the future of civilization is at stake.”


A large, growing number of residents on your island, including constituents from your district promote sustainable living. As a staunch supporter of home rule for each county, it is your kuliana to pass SB2274 to give the counties of Hawaii and Maui the power to determine what sustainable activities are permitted.


Senator, l live in an ecovillage that has been visited and praised by the Mayor, the Hawaii County Council Chairman and at least six Council members; we have letters of commendation from Governor Abercrombie, Senator Inouye, Senator Akaka, Senator Schatz, Representative Hanabusa, and many others. Across our island there are numerous organizations operating or planning sustainable living research and we need this bill to permit us to do these activities in compliance with the law and under the regulation of our County Planning Dept.


In conjunction with over 700 members of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance, l have worked for four years to get this legislation passed. l care for my daughter and all children, and l am greatly concerned about the world our generation is passing on to them. Please consider the future of our whole island o’hanaand let this bill move forward so that we can work together to find some solutions to the tremendous problems facing all passengers in our Big Island canoe.


Sustainably yours,


President, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance

9 replies
  1. punated
    punated says:

    Kind of funny, all this emotionalism over sustainability when this state imports 70% of its energy and 90% of its food. The state is the most *DEPENDENT* and least sustainable state in the US. On top of that, federal government funding and tourism account for over 70% of the GDP of the state, with agriculture a distant third. Efforts do need to be made, but don’t call it sustainability. Call it “weaning away from total dependency”. The problem with this bill is how vague it is, not providing any guidelines which it seems to imply are being blocked by special use permits. It also appears the intent is a special interest benefit for those involved. Maybe not illegal, but obvious mollycoddling.

  2. Sativa
    Sativa says:

    Punated, you are so right on time! That is my objection to this bill too. It is not that I object to eco-villages, sustainability or conservation of resources but SB 2274 is not about sustainability it’s about development and denying the neighbors the right to object. This bill would allow developers to destroy the forests lands around Kehena beach to allow for the construction of malls, entertainment complexes, roads, restaurants and stores all under the guise of “sustainable research” with almost NO oversight!!! What is sustainable about that?

    Graham Ellis tried to bamboozle the community by making us believe that SB 2274, the bill he admittedly authored with attorneys, was for “sustainability” and was for everyone. That was easy to do because hardly anyone read the contents of the bill including journalist, bloggers, and the so called community “watch dogs”. Unfortunately the watch dogs must have been fed a big steak and now their over in the corner sleeping or growling at the rest of us who object to SB 2274! Had the community read the bill they would have clearly seen that SB 2274 does not benefit the little guy or the small land owners and in fact denies them the right to object to what is next door to them while giving a green light for special uses such as stores and restaurants outside of the privy of neighborhood input.

  3. punated
    punated says:

    It was a bad bill, and so typical to try to use a word association gimmick, now starting to be Ruderman’s trademark. Afer all, how could anybody be against sustainability? The problem is that the bill wasn’t about sustainability, it was about special treatment for a small clique of constituents, fairly well to do land owners that are looking for avenues to not use ag land for ag. This continued technique of perverting words to achieve contradictory ends is despicable.

    Thankfully, on the issue of sustainability, there are many people that are actually working on that and they are able to do it with special use permits for ag, on ag land. From what I have seen of Ruderman, he comes across as some kind of spoiled brat, poor loser, easy to develop grudges, and kind of muddled thought processes. Riding that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones better watch that speed.

  4. Greg
    Greg says:

    Sativa and ted would have us believe that Graham and Russell are Strip Mall Developers. After all they have done for our area and it’s Keiki; I have one question for Sativa;

    What have you done?

  5. tia
    tia says:

    Great intent and we support you, Graham. Solomon is a corporate lacky though, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on her doing the right thing.

  6. punated
    punated says:

    @tia, the bill died over a week ago. Where have you been? Out of it, but we already knew that.

  7. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    personal putdowns by punated are repellant.
    Ideas imbedded in insults illustrate incoherence
    in developing healthy community dialog.

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