Having problems viewing this email? Click here to visit our web page and view the email.




THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 9:00 A.M. - click here for agenda.

The resolution urges changing (4) Kalaeloa street names in former MCAS Ewa BACK to their ORIGINAL names reflecting those pilots killed in action and awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism during WW-II:

Major Henry T. Elrod, USMC,
Captain Richard E. Fleming, USMC,
Lt Colonel Harold William Bauer, USMC,
1st Lt Robert M. Hanson, USMC,

Please try to attend to testify in favor of this resolution, which if passed would be voted on by the entire City Council just before the arrival of 50 Medal of Honor veterans to Honolulu for their convention. This would make a great Medal of Honor commemoration of Hawaii's WW-II Medal of Honor hero's . . .

Please read Resolution 12-265 by clicking here.


Concerning the matter of putting residential housing for non-Native Hawaiians on Native Hawaiian Home Land in Nanakuli - I had to chime in and offer a solution - read my letter to OHA by clicking here.



Seek shelter in shipping containers

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 19, 2012

In the search for needed affordable housing, there can never be enough ideas. One of the challenges, however, is the ability and will to translate the good ideas into actual workable shelters. One intriguing option that bears watching: The conversion of shipping storage containers into short-term housing for farm workers - a proposal with potential to tackle homelessness, a bigger population in need.

Under a resolution passed unanimously by the Honolulu City Council last week, the city Department of Planning and Permitting is directed to draft a bill allowing up to five temporary shelters for farm workers on an agricultural lot for up to five years. Existing law limits only one dwelling on a farm lot anywhere on the island.

Livable containers, which would need to have a full bathroom and kitchen, cost $20,000-$22,000, minus the cost of a stand-alone septic disposal system, said John Rogers, owner of Affordable Portable Housing. A septic system can be about $14,000 - but with a proposed city law change to enable that cost to be spread among three or four containers, better affordability can be achieved.

Though at a fledgling stage here, this concept of reusing steel shipping containers as housing - "cargotecture" - is a niche trend in other parts of the world. Environmentally-leaning architects laud the dwellings' recyclability and durability, and it's indeed worth exploring on some scale here. SG BLOCKS, a New York-based shipping container builder, says fitting a container for housing takes just one-twentieth the amount of energy of reprocessing the same amount of steel.

In Amsterdam, builder Tempohousing was launched in 2002 because of the need for affordable student dorms in a crowded urban area. By 2004 the company was fitting out 40-foot-by-8-foot container homes at the rate of 40 per week in a Chinese factory.

In 2008, the hotel chain Travelodge opened a 300-room hotel built from recycled shipping containers in Uxbridge, West London. The containers were fitted with plumbing, ventilation, insulation, heating and air conditioning - then assembled on site in three weeks. Travelodge said building this hotel was 25 percent faster and 10 percent cheaper than more traditional construction.

In Cape Town, South Africa, the Simon's Town High School Hostel opened in 1998, built almost entirely of 40 used shipping containers, and is able to accommodate 120 boarders.

Even mainstream home-building expert Bob Vila, in a fascinating May show, explored the conversion of steel shipping containers abandoned in U.S. ports, into intermodal steel building units. Some 700,000 containers are said to be clogging ports due to America's turnaround from an exporting nation into an importing one.

In Hawaii, the supply of leg-up affordable housing simply has not kept up with demand. If converted shipping containers are deemed useful and successful for farm workers on a small scale, serious consideration should be given to erecting such shelters for people left homeless.

A city building official said shipping containers already are allowed as dwellings provided they meet standard building, housing and health criteria. Granted, it's not a simple undertaking: the container must have windows and doors, anchoring to a foundation to withstand floods and hurricanes, and likely insulation against Hawaii's heat. And certainly, there would be issues of land for such units.

But it's not so far-fetched to imagine the fit here for decent transitional housing. Proponents say a container dwelling can house a family of four. Economies of scale, such as with several units using one septic disposal system, seem encouragingly possible. The homelessness of citizens struggling to make ends meet and the dearth of affordable housing requires out-of-the-box thinking - perhaps one solution can be found within the refurbished four walls of a 40-foot-by-8-foot container.


Lack of support in Council shelves 'no-kill' animal bill
By Gordon Y.K. Pang

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 19, 2012

A City Council committee voted Tuesday to defer a proposal requiring the Hawaiian Humane Society to inform no-kill shelters and the public whenever it intends to kill animals brought to the Moiliili facility.

Parks and Cultural Affairs Chairman Tom Berg called for the deferral of Bill 57 after the other members of the committee - Ikaika Anderson, Romy Cachola and Breene Hari-moto - all said they would not support it.

Berg said he is reworking the bill to make it more palatable for colleagues. "The deferral by no means says that this is over," he said, adding that he still feels strongly about the Humane Society making some kind of notification before killing animals.

Officials with the Hawaiian Humane Society testified that the bill was unnecessary and could lead to overcrowding and possibly the euthanization of more animals. The bill calls for the Humane Society to notify a registry of shelters and the public, and then give them at least five days to adopt a cat or dog before it can be killed. Animals deemed ill or dangerous could be killed sooner.

The Humane Society operates as the animal control contractor under a $2.3 million one-year contract that can be renewed for up to four more years before the city needs to seek new bids.The latest five-year cycle ends June 30. Humane Society officials said their total operating budget is about $6 million.

The bill was modeled after the so-called Hayden Act, which has been law statewide in California since 1999.

Keoni Vaughn, the Humane Society's director of operations, said the law would be more difficult to implement here because there is only one animal control contractor on Oahu and because there are not enough shelters that can reasonably accommodate animals.

"We never turn any animal away," Vaughn said. "We accept the friendly, the healthy, the adoptable, the sick, the dying, the dangerous and the feral. Any rescue group and willing individual has had, does have and always has the opportunity to work with us."

The nonprofit Animal Haven "would be happy if they (post) the animals on their website that they're going to kill and allows us to take them before they kill them," said organization President Frank De-Gia-como. "It's really that simple."

He said there are about a dozen groups that could accept such animals.

But Abigail Bingham, executive director of the Oahu Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, said she opposes the bill based on the same objections raised by the Humane Society. "This bill could open doors to detrimental animal welfare concerns resulting in unforeseen neglect and potential hoarding situations," Bingham said. Her own group, which works with the Humane Society, lacks the funding to take in more animals than it currently has, she said.

Bingham said the Council should concentrate on the "front end" of the issue of animal overpopulation by putting more resources into spay/neuter efforts.

Of about 30,000 animals brought into the Humane Society annually, officials said, about 3,000 are reunited with their owners, while 8,000 are adopted.

About 75 percent of the animals killed are feral cats.



Councilman Tom Berg | Honolulu Hale | 530 S. King Street Room 202 | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
TEL: (808) 768-5001 | WEB: www.councilmanberg.com | E-MAIL: tberg@honolulu.gov

rail_video Full Video_rail news_coverage civil_beat_article