Thursday, May 26, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Ala Wai Development Plan Serves OHA, not Boaters
By Andrew Walden @ 3:31 AM :: 4666 Views :: Ethics, OHA, Small Business

by Andrew Walden

The private sector sometimes corrupts the public sector.  But what if the public sector corrupts the private sector?

DTL, which describes itself as “a Hawaiian Strategy Studio,” in 2017 received $99,885 from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) for outreach services on the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor redevelopment.  These redevelopment plans were then written up in the form of “Modernizing Ocean Recreation Management in Hawai’i Strategic Action Plan – 2019” and DOBOR’s April, 2019 RFP for “Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor Redevelopment”. 

Boat owners are already protesting the doubling of mooring fees prescribed by DTL’s plan.

Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore-Mililani Mauka) is DTL’s vice president for communications and a 10 percent owner.  Kirra Downing, daughter of former Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) member Keone Downing, joined DTL’s payroll in September 2015 and serves as communications director.      

But DTL’s profit interest goes far beyond $99,885 from DOBOR.  It is more likely that they underpriced their services to ensure getting the contract because of the big-picture deals surrounding Ala Wai redevelopment.

The missing piece of the puzzle is DTL’s close relationship with the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).  DTL is one of four partners steering development of a plan for OHA’s Kakaako Makai properties.  DTL is also currently writing OHA’s ‘Strategic Plan.’

According to its webpage, DOBOR’s mission is “to preserve Hawai`i’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring public access to State waters and enhancing the ocean experience.”

OHA, in contrast, has no interest in boating.  OHA stands to potentially receive a 20% cut of revenues generated from development of so-called ‘ceded lands’.  All of Hawaii’s ‘submerged lands’ – including formerly submerged lands such as the Ala Wai harbor—are ceded lands.

In addition to doubling mooring fees, the plan steered by DTL’s “outreach services” aims to open up 11 acres of prime Ala Wai real estate to development which will dramatically boost DOBOR’s annual contribution to OHA’s ceded lands revenues ($2M in 2018) and in theory boost OHA’s appeal the the legislature to increase its annual share of those revenues – now capped at $15M per year

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that OHA’s share of ceded lands revenue is a political question.  OHA blew an opportunity to boost the cap on ceded lands revenues from $15M to $35M by lying to the 2019 legislature about the status of an audit of its LLCs.  But that hasn’t stopped them from grasping for money at every turn.  For instance, OHA’s anti-telescope protesters are demanding $50M annual rent for ‘sacred’ Maunakea.

DOBOR’s mission might be enhanced by a much less profitable fuel dock and boatyard—or by renovation of the restrooms and the dozens of collapsed docks littering the marina. 

OHA’s revenue enhancers? 

Visualize a ferris wheel, soaring leasehold condos, luxury ocean view townhomes all generating land-lease revenues. 

Smelling money, developers began lining up five months before the RFP was released.  The Star-Advertiser, November 17, 2018, reported: “Twenty-seven interested parties, including one that is exploring building a Ferris wheel and a movie theater that offers a virtual reality flyover Hawaii ride, have approached the state about redeveloping the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.

“The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) intends to seek proposals for redevelopment of an 11-acre area. The agency is authorized to offer a lease arrangement that could extend up to 65 years.”

DTL, by snagging the DOBOR contract, has paved the way for OHA’s plan, while doing nothing for boaters—except doubling their fees.

---30---

Background:

 

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT