SUBMITTED: 17 OCTOBER 2006 - 9:00am HST

Hawaii 2050 Sustainability meeting on Kauai

among others, participants included county council members, military personnel & environmentalists

The Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force met at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School cafeteria in Lihue last night. It was the third outer island meeting of this planning group that has been charged by the State Legislature to develop a sustainability plan for Hawaii. The meeting was to engage the community members of the outer islands in the planning process.

Although the kickoff meeting, on Oahu in August, was an unanticipated success with over 500 participants; so far the outer island meetings have been a disappointment of organizers. The two meetings on the Big Island had less than 75 people attend.

Kauai had a surprising turnout of over 150 people attending last night's meeting. One glaring "missing person" was Ian Costa, the Director of Planning for Kauai, even though he was listed as a presenter. It is notable, that when local politicians and task force staff members were mentioned, Costa was the only one who received no applause - and this was before it was realized he was not going to show up... maybe that's why.

Two Task Force staff members are notable for Kauai; Beth Tokioka and Don Fujimoto. Kauai State representative Hermina Morita has been a driving force on the Task Force as well.

The Kauai meeting was led by the Task Force Chair, Russell Kokubun, state legislator from the Big Island. He explained that after the outer island meetings were completed, there would be the Phase One planning period. Phase One is titled 'Vision, Values & Priorities and will begin now and last until February 2007.

Phase One is crucial for public influence. The Task Force is seeking solutions during this phase and in later phases will be creating the plan and reviewing it. So if you are interested in this process, now is the time to get involved and crystallize your thoughts on the issues.

The contact information of those attending was taken and local sustainability efforts were noted.

For the remainder of the meeting the participants were divided into three groups for some "brain storming". I have reservations about this kind of "participation". The way it works is a "facilitator" asks a question. In this case "What is sustainability mean to you?. Then the facilitator seeks a quick answer from each audience member that can then be written in a single line on a big sheet of paper.

After the answers are written on several sheets of paper, colored stickers are given out and people vote on the most popular answers. The facilitator then counts the votes and determines the groups priorities, circling the top three.

After a few answers the group begins throwing up a wish list of desirable things that may have little to do with the subject at hand. The results of this process is a popularity contest for the "nicest" sentiment written down. For example; in the group I was in "Good health care" was the number two vote getter for what sustainability means. Two items that won far fewer votes were "No growth economy" and "Limited Population". I think that is because these items, although vital for sustainability, are not "nice".

I have seen many of these kinds of handling of crowds. Mayor Baptiste's neighborhood meetings to determine neighborhood priorities followed this pattern. These on the spot answers to big problems are not debated, reviewed or criticized. As a result they are a "feel good" list that is later used as a hammer to direct policy.

For example; the mayor's first neighborhood meeting in Hanapepe, four years ago, determined that drug use was the number one problem. The mayor is now using that determination as the community's desire for a drug treatment center in Hanapepe near the public beach park. That is not what the community had in mind.

Instead of involving people, brainstorming can actually alienate participants. I thought the most interesting moment in the meeting came early on before we were separated. We were instructed to say "aloha" to those seated near us and then find someone who we did not know. We were then given one minute to explain what sustainability meant to us. Then the tables were reversed and the speakers became the listeners. I think this should have gone back and forth for a few rounds to get some debate, review and criticism. Ideas need tempering.

check out:




Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force to
Hold Neighbor Island Community Meetings

2 October 2006 - 8:30am

distorted infrared image of today's Honolulu by F. Bresolin

by Bill Kaneko on 27 September 2006

The Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force will be holding neighbor island meetings throughout the state to solicit input on Hawaii’s sustainable future. These meetings are a continuation of the successful Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Kick-off Summit held in Honolulu on August 26, 2006 which attracted approximately 550 participants.

The meetings are being held by the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force created by the Hawaii State Legislature in 2005. The Task Force is working with State Auditor Marion Higa to develop the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan for Hawaii. A timeline of the planning process and portions of the August Kick-off summit will be presented at the neighbor island meetings. Senator Russell Kokubun, Chair of the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force, will be presiding over the meeting.

During the next twelve months, a series of community meetings will be held to gain input on creating a vision for a sustainable Hawaii; defining what sustainability will be in Hawaii; identifying the things we value in Hawaii’s future; and identifying priorities and trade-offs in achieving a sustainable Hawaii. The sentiments of Hawaii’s citizenry will be integrated in a statewide plan, which will guide public and private action towards a sustainable state.

“The Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force is committed to obtaining community input in creating a fifty year long-range plan for Hawaii. The community will have an opportunity to identify key issues of concern for our residents. This process will also enable our citizens to share their vision and aspirations for a better Hawaii,” said Senator Russell Kokubun, Chair of the Task Force.

The schedule for the neighbor islands will include:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
5:30 - 7:30pm
Hilo High School cafeteria
556 Waianuenue Avenue
Hilo, HawaiiPage Two
Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force

Thursday, October 12, 2006
5:30 - 7:30pm
Kealakehe Intermediate School cafeteria
74-5062 Onipa`a Street
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Monday, October 16, 2006
5:30 - 7:30pm
Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School cafeteria
4431 Nohou Street
Lihue, Kauai

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

5:00 - 7:00pm
Baldwin High School Multipurpose room
1650 Kaahumanu Avenue
Wailuku, Maui

Monday, October 23, 2006
3:00 - 5:00pm
Molokai High School cafeteria
2140 Farrington Avenue
Hoolehua, Molokai

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

4:00 - 6:00pm
Lanai High & Elementary School cafeteria
555 Frasier Avenue
Lanai City, Lanai

For information, please call the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs at:
phone: (808) 585-7931 x104, or
Hawaii 2050 website at

Please RSVP at:
phone: (808) 585-7931 x104 or

[Editor's note: Want to know how ugly can Hawaii can get? Check out the following architectural monstrosities. Just imagine how these towers will look after they can't be airconditioned and occupants start breaking out the fixed glass windows. Once the elevators are not running they will probably be abandoned.]


see also:
Island Breath: Kauai 2007 to 2050
Island Breath: Kauai 2050 followup
Island Breath: Hawaii 2050 background

Island Breath: Hawaii 2050 Conference
Island Breath: No growth feasible
Island Breath: Cuba shows how