You are on page 1of 6

The Senate


April 13, 2010

Dear House Colleagues:

Some of you may have received correspondence from Ms. Laura Thielen, Chair of the Board of
Land and Natural Resources, asking you to not override the Governor's Veto of SB1311, SD1,
HD1. She has made many scurrilous and pernicious written remarks that are miss-stating the
facts and blatantly miss-leading. Her accusations are reckless and show a total disregard to the

As you know, the Senate overrode the Governor's Veto of SB1311 on Friday, April 9. The vote
was 21 ayes , with 4 democrats excused.

SB 1311, SD 1, HD 1 as passed by the House and Senate amended two statutes as follows:

1. Added "staff" to HRS 187A-12. (This law has existed since 1985.) This section is currently
entitled "University of Hawaii may use land etc." and currently reads "The University of Hawaii
shall have the privilege, free of charge, of using the land, buildings, apparatus, and appliances of
the department for the purposes of a biological laboratory and research . . . "

2. Amended HRS 188-36 (The present law has existed since 1953, amended in 1955 and 1981.) by
adding the following: "Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the University of Hawaii
shall be exempt from any law that requires a permit or application to carry out repair and
maintenance of the Hawaii marine laboratory refuge."

SB 1311 will preserve and protect the marine life and coral surrounding the Hawaii Institute of
Marine Biology. If repairs are not made immediately, piers and docks will continue to erode and
fall into the ocean, further damaging the live coral. HIMB's mission is to protect the refuge that
it is in and the coral reefs.

As Legislators, we have the duty to analyze the State Administration's budget and amend the
budget to fund programs we believe are worthy of funding and are not included in the budget.
We are not here to "rubber stamp" any State Administration's decision. UH HIMB is Hawaii's
premier Institute of Marine Biology and is located in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. Its research is
invaluable to our state and the world.

Unfortunately, Ms. Thielen has accused me of taking $1 million out of LNR 401 for provisos for
UH HIMB and claims it will bankrupt the division. That is not true that I recommended
To: House Colleagues Fr: Sen. Clayton Hee
April 13, 2010
Page 2 of 6

reducing LNR 401's budget by $1 million. In point of fact, I recommended only reducing
$56,532 from general funds from vacancies that are being used for the Governor's mandatory
reduction. It was the Governor's supplemental request that asked for the reduction of 1
temporary full-time position and cutting $154,608 in federal funds and $79,844 in general funds.
Any provisos added to LNR 401 would be additional funding. Further, DLNR's present budget
passed last year consists of 27 positions, $2,212,247 in general funds and $3,403,311 in federal
funds. This budget is anything but bankrupt.

Budget information received from DLNR showed 17 full-time vacant positions for DOCARE
officers. If DLNR is truly sincere in protecting our waters, then ask yourself, why are there so
many vacant DOCARE positions?

For the Governor's Supplemental Request, Governor Lingle and Ms. Thielen requested the
Legislature to cut 61.75 positions, $3.4 million in general funds, $1.7 million in special funds,
$1.28 in federal funds, and $77,596 in revolving funds for a total cut of $6.5 million.

The real reason for SB 1311 is to fix the office buildings, classrooms, laboratories and shoreline
of Coconut Island. For over a decade the University has failed in its attempts to acquire the
necessary permits because of pointless bureaucratic haggling between the State Administration
and the City and County of Honolulu. Over three years ago DLNR administrator Sam Lemmo
accompanied me to the island and assured me the permit situation would be resolved. Nothing
has happened. Now Ms. Thielen is making the same assurances to you.

By passing SB 1311, the Legislature affirmed its commitment to the University of Hawaii and
the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Ms. Thielen believes the bill exempts UH from
requesting research permits from DLNR. It does not. Unfortunately, Ms. Thielen does not
understand the bill. This bill has nothing to do with research permits.

I am including pictures that were sent to you earlier showing the emergency repairs that are
needed to protect and preserve the Hawaii Marine Laboratory Refuge where the Hawaii Institute
of Marine Biology is headquartered and where millions of dollars of research is conducted.

Coconut Island will continue to fall into the Bay and its buildings will continue to decay unless
the veto to SB 1311 is overridden.
To: House Colleagues Fr: Sen. Clayton Hee
April 13, 2010
Page 3 of 6

I respectfully request that you override the Governor's Veto on SB 1131 because if the
Legislature does not step forward, no one else will.


Senator Clayton Hee

Cc: All Senators

Ms. Laura Thielen, Chair, BLNR

Pictures of Emergency Repairs needed at Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology on Coconut Island.

Fallen seawall in North

Lagoon. This seawall
toppled in 2009. Further
erosion will destroy the
coral habitat below.
To: House Colleagues Fr: Sen. Clayton Hee
April 13, 2010
Page 4 of 6

Maile’s point at the south east point of Moku o Lo’e consists of a seawall and a memorial erected
by the family of Maile Gilbert, a young girl who died in Kaneohe Bay over 20 years ago. The
seawall fell more than 10 years ago and there has been erosion of this public access point. The
reconstruction of the seawall will protect and preserve the surrounding marine habitat and Maile
Gilbert’s memorial. This is the only area that the public is given access and is enjoyed by many

This lighthouse was built in

1933. The picture shows
the effects to the pier and
the lighthouse caused by the
deteriorating cement piers.
Repair of the piers and the
docks will protect the
lighthouse and the
surrounding coral habitat.
The cement pier is roped off
because it is unsafe.
To: House Colleagues Fr: Sen. Clayton Hee
April 13, 2010
Page 5 of 6

Deteriorated support beams for the cement pier. If this cement pier does fall into the water, the
coral habitat below the pier would be destroyed.

Examples of repair and maintenance needed due to corrosion and deterioration to the Marine
Laboratory Building.
To: House Colleagues Fr: Sen. Clayton Hee
April 13, 2010
Page 6 of 6

Marine Laboratory Building from 1957. This building is the only facility that can accommodate
wet lab research projects. It houses more than 25 marine research projects and between 60-70
students, faculty, and staff. If this building is not immediately repaired, research projects with
DAR, NOAA, NSF, and many collaborative partners throughout the Pacific will be lost.