Monday, July 28, 2014   Search

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Saturday, June 01, 2013
New AIS Testimony: Rail Route Illegally Damages Hawaiian Cultural Properties
By John Bond @ 12:35 AM :: 999 Views :: Rail
 

by John Bond, Kanehili Cultural Hui

Numerous groups and organizations submitted comments and testimony on the 22 mile Honolulu Rail Archaeological Impact Statement (AIS) to the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) to meet the May 30th Deadline. The new AIS comment period had been extended because of last year's Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that the rail AIS cannot be done in phases or segments.

The previous 2009 AIS omitted a great deal of valid cultural information, many groups were not consulted, and data was skewed to fit a 'rush-to-begin-building-the-rail' agenda, rather than any attempt at honest historic and cultural preservation. The law finally caught up with them.

In his ruling, Federal Judge Wallace Tashima made a special point of noting his concern about the identification of Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) along the HART rail route. It was later made clear in recent HART meetings that TCP's include all cultures, not just native Hawaiian, as per federal law.

HART is required to also adhere to Department of Transportation Act of 1966 special provision - Section 4(f) - which stipulates that US DOT agencies-including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), cannot approve the use of land from wildlife and waterfowl refuges or public or private historical sites unless both of the following conditions apply:

  1. There is no feasible and prudent alternative.
  2. The action includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the property resulting from use.

Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner Mike Lee, along with Hawaii Thousand Friends, submitted approximately 800 pages of detailed comment and testimony on the the HART Rail AIS covering the entire 22 mile route. This package included maps, photographs, emails with many agencies (HART, SHPD, DLNR, BLNR, Oahu Burial Council, HCDA, etc.) that go back nearly a decade, as well as news articles, historic research and citations, legal documents and filings, native Hawaiian rights, the Clean Water Act, and much more.

A key issue for Lee is the identification of the ancient coral reef limestone along the Oahu shoreline known as Karst, which connects volcanic mountain lava tube water to the shoreline Karst reef water systems. These water springs feed a shoreline ecosystem and was how ancient Hawaiians managed their fish ponds. The Karst was also of very high spiritual importance to ancient Hawaiians and used for sacred burials, such as downtown Honolulu on the grounds of I'olani Palace where there is an ancient Karst burial cave.

"I wanted them to know that I wasn't just making this up ten minutes ago" said Lee. "I am a Konohikist- I believe in the ecological management and protection of our very important natural island water systems. Protecting our Wahi Kapu sites is also very important to me."

Lee's testimony concerns identification and protection of important Hawaiian cultural sites along the rail route, including wahi pana (sacred sites) and wahi kapu (sacred burial areas) and their inclusion into a TCP (Traditional Cultural Properties) that would make sure these special sites, caves, caverns, springs, ponds and water systems are preserved and not contaminated during rail construction.

Also included were photographs of Kawaiaha'o Church which is a graphic example of early Karst limestone block construction. The church and surrounding walls are made of rough ancient reef from the shoreline and ancient sea shells and marine organisms can be clearly seen. The church is also located on the site of an important ancient Karst spring. Nearby I'olani Palace and the royal guard barracks are also constructed from Karst limestone blocks from the shoreline.

In addition, Kanehili Cultural Hui also submitted another approximately 250 pages of detailed comment and testimony on the the HART Rail AIS- primarily concerned with the Honouliuli-Ewa area and the documentation of previously unidentified Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP), Ewa Historic Districts, Ewa Dec 7, 1941 Battlefield Area and an outline for a Honouliuli-Ewa Cultural Landscape Report.

Many current or former Ewa Village residents helped by supplying historic documents, maps, photos and oral histories. The Kanehili Hui name comes from the original Hawaiian name for the Honouliuli-Ewa area and is mentioned by Hawaiian goddess Hi'iaka in her famous and often quoted chants when she traveled through the Ewa Plains area aprroximately 1000 years ago.

The Kanehili Cultural Hui 501-c-3 non-profit community organization is concerned with the entire cultural history of the area- from ancient times to modern times.

A key focus of the Kanehili Cultural Hui report and testimony was on the 1825 Malden Trails (ancient Hawaiian Trails- believed to have possibly been originally constructed by very early Tahitian arrivals to Kanehili) which played a major role in the Hawaiian cultural history of the Honouliuli-Ewa area, and which was entirely left out of the HART Rail AIS.

The fixed guideway and stations directly overlay the 1825 trails as well as the Kalo'i Karst waterway that flows to the Ewa shoreline.

Also of major importance is the identification and location of the Leina a ka Uhane, a sacred spiritual leaping off place for souls returning to the ancient homeland of Tahiti. This is a National Register eligible TCP, yet HART and the SHPD administrator has continuously tried to minimize the importance and geographic area of this TCP as well as apparently intentionally misidentify its location, despite the error being brought to their attention several times since last year.

The previous Rail AIS also failed in many ways to adequately document important Honouliuli-Ewa cultural sites such as the greater Ewa Plantation and railway network that was the largest private railway in Hawaii. The Oahu Railway that served Honouliuli-Ewa plantation railway was chartered under King David Kalakaua.

A Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) is the primary report that documents the history, significance and treatment of a cultural landscape. A CLR evaluates the history and integrity of the landscape including any changes to its geographical context, features, materials,and use.

---30---

Comments
LINKS:

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

ARCHIVES: Daily News Read

ARCHIVES: HawaiiFreePress

JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

RSS FEED Latest 25 articles

TWITTER HawaiiFreePress

SoundCloud HawaiiFreePress

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

ABCDEF Group Samoa

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Chapter MOAA

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

Angelaisms

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Art of Thinking Smart

Atomic Monkey

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Catholic Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Choice is an Illusion

Christian Home Educators of Maui

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Concerned Women For America Hawaii

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

Danny DeGracia Blog

December 7 Battlefields at risk

DefendOurKeiki.com

DVids Hawaii

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

Global Warming "Scientists" Email Files #1

Global Warming "Scientists" Email Files #2

God, Freedom, America

GoGoGMO!

Grassroot Blog

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hadassah Hawaii

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Alliance of Student Veterans

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Concealed Carry

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federated Republican Women's Association

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Knights of Columbus

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

HawaiiReporter.com

Hawaii Republicans for Life

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Tropical Fish Association

Hawaii Votes

Hepsy's Kuleana

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIRA

Hiram Fong Papers

History Education Hawaii

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Alliance

Honolulu College Republicans

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Aloha Molokai

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Israel Day Hawaii

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kahua Group

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

KeyWiki

Kona TEA Party

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Let's Lose LOST

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Minority Caucus YouTube

Missile Defense Advocacy

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

Native Hawaiian Grants Project

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

OHA Lies

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patriot Voices Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

Perry and Price Show

Pritchett Cartoons

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

Rightly POV

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Saipan Unheard No More

Save Hanalei Ridge

Save Kauai Farms

Save Our Doctors Hawaii

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

Senate Minority Blog

SenatorFong.com

SGLF

SIFE BYUH

SIFE HPU

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

Smart Business Hawaii

St Damien

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Stop SB2424

Student Veterans Oahu and Kauai

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

The Verifiable Truth

The Voice of Kapolei

Tim Lussier HuffPo Hawaii

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

USO Hawaii

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Vote No 113

Waagey.org

WAPNFFS

Watchdog Hawaii

Watchdog Wire

West Maui Taxpayers Association

YAL UH Hilo


Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party