For Chapter Excom:
Deborah J Ward
Debbie is a conservation activist with a love of native forest wildlife, wild coastal open space and the geologic wilderness of lavascapes. She has networked successfully with grass-roots activists to protect wild streams, Honoli`i, upland koa forests, and bird habitat, and has worked to improve management of Mauna Kea summit lands. A Sierra Club member since the early 80’s, mentored by Lorrin Gill, Mae Mull and Nelson Ho, Debbie has served on Moku Loa Group’s ExComm in multiple capacities, including chair, treasurer, and conservation chair. She has retired from the University of Hawaii, is farming organically in Puna, and supports local sustainable food and energy sourcing. Debbie seeks to engage more members in conservation work through the Chapter Conservation Committee.
For Moku Loa Group Excom:
I have been an outings leader for over 12 years offering backpacking, beach camping and service trips with a focus on conservation. I have been on the board for several years advocating ecosystems conservation using a holistic approach rather than species specific approach. I’ve made comments for the group on issues such as protecting our reefs from aquarium fish collecting, and supporting expanding NARS on the Big Island. I support alternative energy only if projects can substantiate environmental impacts. Member input and expertise on this subject is encouraged.
I have been an active member of the Sierra Club for over 30 years. I have served several terms on the Moku Loa board since I moved to Hawaii full time in 1998. I served as Group Chair from 2001 to 2003. I have been an outings leader for over ten years. Recently I have become active in the Democratic Party and currently serve as Vice-Chair of the Hawaii County Democratic Party for East Hawaii. I serve as the Hawaii Island contact for the party’s Environmental Caucus. My goal for the group if elected is to foster a more proactive and less reactive approach to dealing with the myriad of environmental issues with a focus on renewable energy generation.
I am ready and willing to serve. I have been an active Club member since 1980 and have been your environmental delegate to the HELCO electrical Integrated Resource Planning team from the 1990’s through 2005. I led the charge for the cleanup of Sand Hill on the Puna Coast. This unique geologic feature had turned into a junkyard. It took several weekends with volunteers to remove many truckloads of discarded furniture, refrigerators, junk cars and household refuse. I have been a staunch recycler throughout my life and have owned several businesses that recycled equipment and materials. I have been a staunch advocate for community participation in governmental planning and played key roles from 1995 onwards.
Roberta is a resident of the Big Island and has been a member of the Sierra Club for 23 years. She is an environmental educator at Hawaii Community College, actively involved in Outings and fundraising for Moku Loa Group, and leads service learning field trips for youth through the college. She is currently serving as Moku Loa Group Chair, Hawaii Chapter Excom secretary and Council of Club Leaders Delegate and Budget Officer.
Roberta is the Hawaii Community College Earth Fair coordinator and has previously served as Hawaii Chapter Chair and Council of Club leaders vice chair. She believes that actively involving youth in Sierra Club activities will strengthen our presence and that education is the key to environmental protection and preservation.
CHANGES TO OPEN SPACE CHARTER AMMENDMENT
HELP SUPPORT CHANGES TO THE Hawaii County Charter OPEN SPACE funding provisions. This will let the people decide at the polls in 2012 whether or not to make minimum deposits of 2% of our property taxes to the land fund.
DIDN’T WE ALREADY VOTE ON THIS? Yes, twice! Once in 2006 as a County ordinance for 2% of our property taxes to be set aside, (which was later suspended by the Council and Mayor). Again, in 2010 for a 1% Charter amendment (which is currently only $2 million per year). 57% of us voted twice to support these measures!! Remember – The Charter over-rides the County ordinances.
SAVE THESE DATES TO TESTIFY-If the Charter amendment fails at first reading the amendment dies. It will be heard on September 7 in Hilo, at the 2:30 Finance Committee and September 21 in Kona. Second reading on October 5 in Hilo and October 19 in Kona.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THIS ON THE BALLOT FOR 2012—-It is required to get this proposed Charter amendment through the committee and 3 readings to get this on the ballot to let the voters decide ONCE AGAIN.
Charter amendments need 6 council members to vote YES! So please email and ask the council members:
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Brenda Ford” <email@example.com>, “Dominic Yagong” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Pete Hoffmann” <email@example.com>, “Pilago, Angel” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>,
To find the Council members phone numbers go to: http://www.hawaii-county.com/council/districts.htm
WHY DO WE NEED A 2% CHARTER AMENDMENT?
1. We will be assured that 2% of our property taxes will be deposited each year at budget time. Remember the Mayor and Council suspended deposits to the fund from 2009 to 2011, which meant we did not have $8 million to acquire land during that time. They would be required by the County’s highest law to deposit the 2% amount.
2. Charter amendments can only be changed by a vote of the people, not the Council or Mayor.
3. Remember 2% of our property taxes is approximately $4 million per year. The great “gift” of the land fund is to obtain matching funds. $4 million becomes $8 million if the county gets dollar-for-dollar matching funds. So far the county has obtained $2.145 in matching funds.
4. There are still MANY properties our communities want to acquire â€“ see the list below compiled from the Public Access and Open Space Commission’s recommended List of properties sent to the Mayor further down in this article.
5. With a 2% charter amendment in place we won’t waste citizens’ time in going to council meetings during budget hearings to testify AND we won’t waste council member’s time having to listen to testimony.
Properties Acquired by the County since 2006* costing Hawaii County $11,297,000:
1. Waipio Look out for $902,145. (Hamakua Coast) (No matching funds)
2. Kawa Bay (Puna) $1.9 million County with $1.2 from the State Legacy Lands and funds from US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the endangered Hawksbill Turtle
3. Kaiholena North (Kohala) $6.55 million with no matching funds
4. Pao’o (Kohala) $945, 000.00 with $945,000. From NOAA
2% Land Fund Top Picks by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission
SUSPENDING DEPOSITS TO THE FUND: As you can see there are still many properties to be acquired, costing millions of dollars. The county’s suspending deposits to the fund for two years (2009-2010) really slowed down the acquisition program.
The following properties were on the Commission’s recommended list to the Mayor from 2001-2010, but have not been acquired.
Pohoiki Bay (Puna), Keawenui Access Easement (Kohala), Hamakua Springs Agricultural Conservation Easement (Hamakua), Hapu‘u to Kapanai‘a Cultural Corridor (North Kohala), Kawa (Ka’u), Kingman Trust (Kona), Kahuku Coastal Property (Ka’u), Kaiholena-south (Kohala), Kukuipahu-Ha‘ena Corridor (Kohala), Mahukona (Kohala), Honolulu Landing (Puna), Wai’ele (Puna), Puapua’a (Kona), O’oma II (Kona)
* The Open Space Commission’s Annual Reports and the Financial Data can be found at
To read Bill 87 go to www.dhecht.com or contact Debbie Hecht 989-3222,firstname.lastname@example.org