What People are Saying about Ho'opili Testimony before the Land Use Commission
Closing Argument: Dr. Kioni Dudley -- June 8, 2012
A succinct statement of the reasons NOT to build Ho`opili.
A succinct statement of the reasons NOT to build Ho`opili.
Senator Clayton Hee (3/15/12)
There is every reason to promote food security, knowing that this land is productive. It's not a guess, it's not a wish. It's a fact.
Governor John Waihe`e (3/15/12)
What we were trying to do 20 years ago exists on the Ewa plain. So it makes very little sense in my mind to urbanize that area.
Leon Sollenberger (3/1/12)
"...this piece of ground happens to be one of the most suited to vegetable production, literally in the world."
Peter Apo (3/1/12)
Office of Hawaiin Affairs trustee Peter Apo discusses the effect of the loss of open space and agriculture on the tourist industry as well as the well-being of locals.
Governor Ben Cayetano (3/15/12)
...this is about the future of small farming and the ability to expand small farming...
Jeanne Vana, West O`ahu County Farm Bureau
...there are existing farmers that want this prime, low-elevation, high heat index, relatively dry environment...
Glenn Martinez (3/1/12)
The Hawaii Farmers Union president, an aquaponics expert, discusses the challenges of aquaponics -- particularly if the land is sloped as it is in the gullies set aside for "farming" at Ho`opili.
Alice D. Fisher, Hawaii
This land is worth more undeveloped than it would be covered with houses.
SUMMARY: With a glut of houses depressing the real estate market, and the value of our ag land only increasing nationwide, building more homes on our farmland makes no economic sense. We would be smarter to put our construction industry to work rebuilding our failing infrastructure. Ho’opili would only further tax our resources, requiring large quantities of water and electricity.
Nathan Ortiz, UH Agriculture student
What am I going to do after I graduate if there is no farmland?
SUMMARY: A former construction worker / future farmer speaks passionately for the need to protect our farmland on Oahu. “ I don’t want to go to the Big Island to farm. This is where the market is. The farms there all ship over here. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re just going to pay more and more money for food unless we start producing more food locally.”
Kapua Ruiz, Grad Student, UH Manoa
Get UH West Oahu going before we continue any more development that taxes our infrastructure.
SUMMARY: We should focus on getting projects like UH West Oahu completed before we continue any further development. Right now we lack the infrastructure to make this project viable. There is not enough water, traffic is going to be a beast, and there aren’t enough area jobs. We need locally grown food. What happens when a hurricane hits and we run out of food and water?
Kent Fonoimoana, Defend Oahu Coalition
Moving this farmland is counterproductive to sustainability.
SUMMARY: A former executive Board Member of Hawaii Carpenters Union, and urban sprawl activist, explains the value of defending “the most viable farm that is producing on this island”. To take them out of production and move them somewhere else is not a wise move for our island. What happens when there is a shipping strike?
Anthony Aalto, Secretary, O`ahu Group Sierra Club
The land is not a resource to be strip mined for short-term jobs.
SUMMARY: Comparing the destruction of his former home, Mallorca, to what is happening now on Oahu Anthony implores the LUC to be the conscience of the people. Mallorca ran out of water. Horton’s team already admits their project will be short 5 million gallons a day. Construction should not be the driver of the economy. The major beneficiary of this development would be D.R. Horton, one of the richest men on planet earth.
Pearl Johnson, League of Women Voters
It would be the height of folly to remove these 1500 acres from food production, scraping away the deep rich soil and replacing it with coral foundations.
SUMMARY: The chief deterrent to farming on O`ahu is not the high cost of labor but the lack of land available for farming, and the short leases given our farmers. This farm has been successful because the land is flat, the sunshine abundant, with sufficient groundwater and good transportation nearby. How can we be sure that if rezoning is approved Horton won’t turn around and sell this land again for profit?
No matter how much money is thrown at dressing it up, Ho`opili is still about limited financial self-interest and not the long term safety or food security on O`ahu.
SUMMARY: Stuart shares his global perspective, pointing out how climate change, and peak oil, will cause severe shocks in the production and distribution of food around the world, with impacts especially severe in the Hawaiian islands. He calls the case an epic battle between the $8 billion dollars he estimates D.R. Horton stands to profit, versus the food security of this and coming generations on O`ahu.
Ali`itasi Ponder, Kahuku
We have more places to build houses than we do to grow food.
SUMMARY: When the circumstances change you change your plan. Paving over our most fertile land, leaving us dependent on imports will not show us to be a wise culture. What we all have in common is that 100% of us need to eat. Can we find common ground in agreeing that we have more places to build than we do to grow food, protecting our best agricultural lands for growing our food?
It is not the job of the LUC to create jobs, but to preserve and protect Hawaii’s most productive farmland.
SUMMARY: Victoria reminds commissioners that it is their charge to give the greatest possible protection to those lands with a high capacity for intensive cultivation, citing Aloun Farms growing four crops per year. Lets get on with building the 33,000 houses already zoned and permitted on the Ewa Plain and first fix our existing infrastructure. This will create the jobs folks need.
Manu Mook, Kahu, Waimanalo
We must take care of what our ancestors left. Listen to your children’s prayer. Don’t take away our farmland.
SUMMARY: When you scrape our land you touching our iwi kupuna. We must take care of what our ancestors left, our prime farmland. Our children need healthy, fresh food. With only three days of food on island we’ll be stuck, our families going starve. I’m still waiting for my Hawaiian homelands. Other people coming in to take our jobs. We all have to live together. Please share.
Adam Bensley, UH Student
We cannot eat houses.
SUMMARY: The land at Ho`opili is comprised of our best A & B soils. These are the most productive farmlands throughout the Hawaiian islands. This is the wrong location for a development like this. The infrastructure needed to support Ho`opili would come out of the taxpayer’s pocket, not D.R. Horton.
Juanita Kawamoto Brown, Environmental Caucus, Hawai`i Democratic Party
We can create jobs and stimulate the economy through farming and food processing.
SUMMARY: Let’s determine how much land is truly needed to feed the people of Hawai`i and protect our food security before we rezone this land. Why are we paying the shipping costs for poor quality, chemically treated foods when we have the ability to grow the healthiest, most natural food farms in the world 365 days a year? The designated ag lands being offered by the developer are unfarmable in our opinion.
Candace Fujikane, English Professor
We have a scarcity of land available to grow edible crops, with no other farmland equivalent to Aloun on O`ahu.
SUMMARY: Candace explains the scarcity of viable farmland on O`ahu, how figures for edible crop acreage were inflated in reports produced by Bruce Plasch, and the unlikelihood of finding equivalent land and conditions on O`ahu where the same crops now at Aloun could be grown. Limited water, inadequate infrastructure, and land banking by owners elsewhere underscore how precious the petition area lands are, and the precariousness of Hawaii’s agricultural future.
Representative Rida Cabinilla, District 42
Nobody worries about the displaced workers. They do not have a voice in this forum. The people in my district are in opposition to this project.
SUMMARY: Protection of prime ag land in Hawaii has been a priority of the Legislature. We have seen so many foreclosures on the west side. Value is so low. So now you going drop more housing? We need more affordable housing in the urban core. Go vertical. Funding was allocated to take care of the trades, addressing existing urban needs, not to fund new infrastructure development. Let’s leave the farmers alone. They too have the promise of America.