Big reasons to celebrate and give thanks!
As 2015 comes to a quick close we wanted to send a mahalo out to all of you who have supported us through the years--it is a time to celebrate as we reflect on a pretty remarkable year! The favorable State Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that invalidated the TMT construction permit was a big moment for all of us--with the heavy machinery leaving Mauna Kea just a few weeks later. In an article in Sunday’s paper, the author described the project as being “thwarted by the one-two punch of protesters blocking construction and the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidating its permit” and indeed it’s been a kākou effort! From the lehulehu (multitudes) who have attended hearings and written testimony over the years, to the kia`i who physically held ground on the mauna, to the generous contributions of retailers donating a portion of their proceeds to the effort, to the spiritual guidance of those beyond this realm, to the artists, raconteurs and poets who keep our fires lit and give us symbols to rally around, to the protectors who were arrested and are still winding their way through the system, to the Supreme Court Judges that followed their na`au to do the right thing--and of course, to our fellow hui members who had the courage and forsight to commit themselves to the case when it really seemed like a long shot. It took all of us--a lesson to be carried forward on other fronts!
Today is the last day to give in 2015, reduce your tax bill, and support KAHEA's critical efforts to defend Hawaii's natural and cultural public trust. Donate now!
Your tax-deductible gift to KAHEA will be put to work in 2016 to achieve strong, enforced, and fully realized protections for Hawaii's most unique natural places and sacred cultural sites. That's protections on paper AND in practice--a real difference for the future of Hawaii's most endangered places and species
And while there has been tons of news coverage on the exciting developments in the Mauna Kea story, there have been other wins to celebrate this year as well!
Back in August, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced its final rule codifying protections for the critical habitat of the highly endangered Hawaiian monk seal. KAHEA, as part of a national coalition, petitioned for this rule in 2009. Critical habitat areas are those most important for foraging, pupping and resting. In these areas, every day people can still swim, fish, surf and gather, but developments requiring federal permits and funding have to consult with experts and take prudent steps to protect monk seal habitats. This helps protect shorelines for seals and for kānaka too!
"In another favorable State Supreme Court ruling, Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts were told that they were not allowed a special exemption from rules that limit the height of buildings along our shorelines. Proposed was a 26 story building where an 8 story building currently stands. Ian Lind perhaps said it best in his great piece on this issue called “How Did the City Get it So Wrong on Waikiki Tower Proposal."
If there is one thing to be learned from these three big wins it is that we must be in this for the long haul. Administrative processes and legal appeals often span years and are an important arrow in our quiver. Sometimes that means we don’t see the fruits of our labor for years, and your donations allow us to be around long enough to do just that! So mahalo nui loa for sustaining us, we are humbled and invigorated by your continued support.