Why I Am Unable To Support An Honorable Man

Carleton Ching is an honorable man. He is articulate, personable, intelligent, hard working and from all that I know about him, no doubt he is an honorable man.

Mr. Ching may be an honorable man but he should not be confirmed as Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Please join me in opposing his nomination by emailing all Hawaii State Senators at sens@capitol.hawaii.gov today and absolutely no later than Feb. 4th

The question before the Hawaii State Senate is not whether Carleton Ching is an honorable man but to whom and to what values is he honorable?

Each of us is imbued with a bias, a certain core perspective that we apply to all things in life. Our work, our friends, the books that we read, the letters we write and the statements and judgments we make daily all reflect the bias engrained within us as a result of the experiences and people that have shaped our life.

Mr. Ching does not simply work for one of Hawaii’s largest real estate developers but his professional career has to a great extent been focused on actively working to eliminate or weaken regulations intended to protect all that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is supposed to manage and protect.

As a Castle and Cooke lobbyist, VP for the Land Use Research Foundation (LURF) and Board Member for the Building Industry Association (BIA) he serves in an influential leadership position in the effort to dismantle key elements now in place to protect public trust resources.

His job at many levels over the past decade is/was to influence changes in public policy to increase the profitability of development interests via the diminishment of environmental, health, cultural and public land protections.

As a Board Member of the Building Industry Association (BIA) Mr. Chings fiduciary responsibility is to support the interests of: developers, general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects and financial institutions.

An even more alarming indication of the deep seated bias in support of development and opposed to environmental protections is his role as Vice President at LURF. LURF’s mission is to “promote and advance the interests of the development community, particularly in the areas of land use laws and regulations.”

LURF touts as some of its major accomplishments:

*LURF fought hard to convince the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service to reduce critical habitat designations and mandated conservation areas.

*LURF successfully lobbied to reduce requirements for developer applicant reviews by the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR/SHPD).

*LURF successfully lobbied to require the Department of Health (DOH) to delete various protections involving native Hawaii rights, historic preservation, coastal zone management and environmental impact reviews for storm water management permits.

*LURF actively opposed the requirement of landowners to provide lateral access along the coast line.

And LURF has been extremely active in what has almost become an annual effort to weaken HRS Chapter 343 (EIS Laws), they were core supporters of the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC) and numerous other efforts to exempt various development projects from environmental, health, planning and public interest laws now in place.

The mission statement of the Department of Land and Natural Resources is to: “Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawaii nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors.”

We all have a bias and a unique perspective on life. Hawaii deserves a Director that is biased toward preserving the resource and protecting the public trust, not someone whose bias is clearly that of promoting increased development and profits while weakening those public trust protections.

Over twenty environmental groups are opposing the nomination of Mr. Ching to be Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Among the groups are the Conservation Council for Hawai`i, Defend O`ahu Coalition, Earthjustice, Friends of Lana`i, Hawai`i Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, Hawai`i’s Thousand Friends, Hui Ho`omalu I Ka `Aina, `Ilio`ulaokalani Coalition, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Kanehili Hui, Kupa`a No Lana`i, Life of the Land, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka `Aina), Maui Tomorrow, O`ahu Chapter of Aha Moku Council, Progressive Democrats of Hawai`i, Puna Pono Alliance, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, The Outdoor Circle, Wailua-Kapa`a Neighborhood Association and West Maui Preservation Association.

Please add your voice to ours by emailing a message to all Hawaii State Senators at sens@capitol.hawaii.gov opposing confirmation. Please email your concerns as soon as possible and no later than Feb. 4th.

The Department of Land & Natural Resources Director also serves as chair of the Board of Land & Natural Resources, chair of the Commission on Water Resource Management and as the state’s Historic Preservation Officer, in addition to overseeing many programs.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, headed by an executive Board of Land and Natural Resources, is responsible for managing, administering, and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (except commercial harbors), minerals, and all interests therein. The department’s jurisdiction encompasses nearly 1.3 million acres of State lands, beaches, and coastal waters as well as 750 miles of coastline (the fourth longest in the country). It includes state parks; historical sites; forests and forest reserves; aquatic life and its sanctuaries; public fishing areas; boating, ocean recreation, and coastal programs; wildlife and its sanctuaries; game management areas; public hunting areas; and natural area reserves

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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15 Responses to Why I Am Unable To Support An Honorable Man

  1. Ihor Basko says:

    Something “smells” or someone is lying. Who represents respect and love for the “aina”? A Developer? For Hawaiians? No? What does he know about anything? Honorable man based upon what paradigm? Honorable for whom? Why only the rich get appointmented to these positions and not the big of Heart and the Wise?

  2. Karen Chun says:

    Please also sign the petition asking the Senators not to confirm. Most important though to email sens@capitol.hawaii.gov and, if you find time make a quick, respectful phonecall to as many senators as you have time for:


    Tell them that Ching is not up to speed on the Water trust laws, the existing contested cases nor how to handle natural resources.

    Baker , Rosalyn H.
    Phone 808-586-6070

    Chun Oakland , Suzanne
    Phone 808-586-6130

    Dela Cruz , Donovan M.
    Phone 808-586-6090

    English , J. Kalani
    Phone 808-587-7225

    Espero , Will
    Phone 808-586-6360

    Gabbard , Mike
    Phone 808-586-6830

    Galuteria , Brickwood
    Phone 808-586-6740

    Green , Josh
    Phone 808-586-9385

    Harimoto , Breene
    Phone 808-586-6230

    Ihara , Les Jr.
    Phone 808-586-6250

    Inouye , Lorraine R.
    Phone 808-586-7335

    Kahele , Gilbert
    Phone 808-586-6760

    Keith-Agaran , Gilbert S.C.
    Phone 808-586-7344

    Kidani , Michelle N.
    Phone 808-586-7100

    Kim , Donna Mercado
    Phone 808-587-7200

    Kouchi , Ronald D.
    Phone 808-586-6030

    Nishihara , Clarence K.
    Phone 808-586-6970

    Riviere , Gil
    Phone 808-586-7330

    Ruderman , Russell E.
    Phone 808-586-6890

    Shimabukuro , Maile S.L.
    Phone 808-586-7793

    Slom , Sam (R)
    Phone 808-586-8420

    Taniguchi , Brian T.
    Phone 808-586-6460

    Thielen , Laura H.
    Phone 808-587-8388

    Tokuda , Jill N.
    Phone 808-587-7215

    Wakai , Glenn
    Phone 808-586-8585

  3. Andrea Anixt says:

    Would you let your Facebook friends and any of the environmental groups against the appointment of Mr Ching know that Honolulu City Council Bill 47 (2013) is very likely to come before the Council’s Zoning Committee February 12th.
    We all need to send Testimony NOW to try to Keep the Country Country from Kawela Bay to Kualoa Ranch
    (thru Ka’a’awa) on Oahu. The Department of Planning and Permitting has the PLDC type ‘developer’s come first’ bias you write about here. The Ko’olau Loa ‘Sustainable’ Communities Plan we need to OPPOSE in Bill 47(2013) to would allow the urban sprawl of a new city on the Gunstock Ranch in Malaekahana.
    If the estimated 1200+ acres becomes DPP’s proposed new ‘urban growth boundary’ ; and the BYU-Hawai’i Campus student body doubles (nearly 90% are from Asia or the US mainland now), as in the Envision Laie/DPP proposed KLSCP, this Oahu General Plan Rural- Designated irreplaceable scenic coastline area is lost forever.
    We know that Turtle Bay Resort is going to be allowed two new hotels and 100 ‘ resort residential units’ (plus 375 lock-off units estimated) as long as it stays within its existing footprint per the Conservation Easement taxpayers and land trusts are footing the $48 million dollar bill unnecessarily for now… DPP and former Director Tanoue should never have allowed TBR and Envision Laie to ‘maneuver’ their way into the KLSCP Revision 2012 after the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) had spent two years on their KLSCP 2009 Revision, done for the DPP.

    “At no time was Envision Laie included” per Creighton Mattoon of the PAC. It was deliberately excluded, as was the 300% expansion Turtle Bay Resort wanted. The PAC did allow the Resort growth within its existing footprint and to be in a special management area already back then.
    The Honolulu City Council accepted the North Shore PAC’s Revision as is and it should have done so for Ko’olau Loa in 2009 or so.
    What DPP did not do was give the number of already zoned urban vacant land in Ko’olau Loa back in 2007 when the PAC started asking for this information. This was finally made a CONDITION by the Planning Commission in 2013 re: the KLSCP. The DPP has still only offered a partial accounting of 4,350+ lots; only R-5, R-7.5, and Country lots/land classifications; and only those under 20 degree slope, and it is 2015.
    In those same eight years, tourism has increased to 5 million a year on Oahu, and Hawai’i Tourism’s (HTA) estimate is to reach 7.25 million over the next 8 years. More than half of those tourists come to Oahu’s North Shore and Ko’olau Loa gets most of those too.
    The traffic impact alone is staggering on the sole 2 lane highway for 35 miles from Haleiwa to Kahalu’u now. If the population is quadrupled in Ko’olau Loa by these factors the PAC (and now the public and the Zoning Committee) do not have available due to the DPP’s withholding them, why? These impacts are not cumulatively considered, nor using the best data available. The DPP’s unfunded mandate for infrastructure like an H-4 highway for 35 miles thru, (and decimating) small beach communities along the way are why the Neighboring communities have made Resolutions against Bill 47(2013).

    These are: Ka’a’awa Community Association, Punalu’u Community Association, Hau’ula Community Association, Kahana Bay Community Association, Sunset Beach Community Association, Waiahole/Waikane Community Association, and Kawela Bay Community Association; and Kahalu’u Neighborhood Board, North Shore Neighborhood Board, Mililani/Helemanu/Waipio Neighborhood Board, Kailua Neighborhood Board, and even Manoa Neighborhood Board.

    Please stand with us in Opposition to this Bill 47 (2013) passing with the developments of Envision Laie still in it! Zoning Chair is Ikaika Anderson, Vice Chair is Trevor Ozawa, City Council Chair is Ernie Martin (also Ko’olau Loa’s Council member), Carol Fukunaga, Ron Menor, Ann Kobayashi, and Joey Manahan are on this committee also.

  4. Andrea Anixt says:

    For City Council testimony, use email addresses: emartin@honolulu.gov, ianderson@honolulu.gov, etc.

  5. Sharon says:

    Thank you for working to protect our islands’ natural resources! I am grateful for well written and informative blogs that alert us to issues like this and allow us to make our voices heard!

  6. kimisaak says:

    Has Governor Ige had anything to say to justify his nomination of Ching. In light of the growing push back it seems like he would issue a statement re his choice.

    • garyhooser says:

      To my knowledge the Governor’s position is that he is standing by his nomination and is essentially saying “let the confirmation process run its course”.

    • Karen Chun says:

      Gov. Ige doesn’t understand DLNR and has this magical thinking that businessmen can solve all of government problems.

      In the case of DLNR the problem is gross underfunding – 49th in all the states. This for a state whose top job producer is – its resources (aka tourism)!

      Under William Aila, DLNR has been making incredible strides in upping its level of service despite the near impossibility of doing its job with the low level of funding.

      What I heard is that Ige is purging all of Gov Abercrombie’s more pro-environment people from government….which is a shame because Abercrombie appointed some real good people – he constrained them to do some not so good things but at least his people WANTED to do the right thing and had the knowledge and the drive to do a good job.

  7. Michael says:

    ….Honorable or not….Money talks. C&C probably made a huge contribution towards Ige’s campaign and now he’s obligated to come thru for them. Get one of they’re people in there to make decisions and choices for what will give C&C headway into what they want to do…not necessarily for betterment of Hawaii and its people, but for its own financial gains. With the experience William Aila already had in DLNR, why else would he move him to DHHL as an assistant?….Assistant???? I smell a dirty mongoose. Reinstate William Aila….he’s not assistant, he’s a leader towards a positive Hawaii!

    • garyhooser says:

      Actually I don’t think that C&C did make a huge contribution to his campaign. And I don’t think Governor Ige is doing this out of obligation but because he is getting bad advice. I agree and like William Aila and it would have seemed to make sense to keep him in the job.

    • Karen Chun says:

      I have to agree with Gary on this. David Ige is repeating the EXACT SAME MISTAKE as Gov Abercrombie. Surrounding himself with a small coterie of people giving him very, very bad advice. But as far as I know it is not because of any campaign contributions.

      The problem would seem to be that Ige, while knowing budgets, is pretty clueless about the role of DLNR and thus has no idea he’s appointing someone equally clueless to head it up. This is lack of information, pure and simple. And some misguided belief that you can put a businessman in charge of ANYTHING and he’ll improve it…even if he has no idea about the mission and laws of the organization.

      Instead of reaching out to wider community resources (like the 22 organizations who signed the letter opposing this nomination) Ige, just like Abercrombie, is taking advice from an extremely uninformed subset of the Oahu political elite. These are the insiders who’ve done business this way for decades – trading jobs among their friends and relatives, insular and detached from the rest of us.

  8. Pingback: Gary Hooser on current legisation | Hui for Environmental Politics in Hawaii

  9. Pingback: Carleton Ching, DLNR Nomination Hearing Announced - Working for the people

  10. Ricard Coon says:

    Hi Gary, it’s been a while since we’ve been in the same place. I most often agree with your positions on Kauai and especially on the environment. I have watched fish disappear, whales increase, baby seals killed and streams and beaches fouled. The rich are taking whatever they want and our island is suffering an overload of people. Horrible!
    I am now essentially homeless, living in a Roberts tour bus(not quite the van down by the river) but above the construction of the new mill bridge. I’ve seen and heard it all for years, now.
    I need housing, but don’t see how I can even find a room in Wailua anywhere near my kids. I’m presently caught in a SS trap that only allows me to earn $900.00 per month over the
    pathetic $ 700.00 I have. It’s difficult. Next year I am allowed to make money. This year, I will be penalized if I make a few dollars too much. Sorry I’m whining. I didn’t mean to go this way. If voting makes a difference, I’ll continue to vote early and for you and a few others I respect. They are few.
    Thanks, Rick

    • garyhooser says:

      Thank you Rick for taking the time to share your dilemma…wish I had a good answer or a quick clean solution but I don’t. I do know that more and more people are in a similar situation and the disparity between the haves and the have nots is growing wider every day…and I know it is wrong. For what it is worth this issue is growing heavier and heavier on me every day and I search together with my friends and others for action and solutions that can make a difference.

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