HF&BA Annual General Meeting

President’s Report                                                       July 19, 2013 

Our Mission is to advocate for effective management of our boating facilities and fisheries.

Our Strategy is to represent community stakeholders, to be proactive on issues that affect our harbor users/activities/facilities and work as a partner with local, state, federal and other entities to ensure community access to the ocean, fisheries sustainability, and insure the full involvement of the community in ocean resource and boating facilities management decisions.

One of the ways we work toward affecting change in the harbor is through our legislators.  Despite having built excellent relationships with our Representatives and Senators, working to get anything done through the legislature has proven to be a complex processes that has to date been ineffective, unfortunately.  We have failed in part because it is nearly impossible for our legislators to get the support of the much larger legislature on regional boating issues, during the all too brief legislative sessions.  Our legislative focus has been to pursue a new management paradigm for Honokohau and West Hawaii boating facilities, to replace the less than responsive, generally inept, often inefficient management that is found throughout the DOBOR system today.

One piece of positive news from the last legislature was the rescinding of the Public Lands Development Corporation better known as the PLDC.  This had a direct impact on Honokohau due to the passage of legislation in the previous session paving the way for PLDC development at Honokohau.  That option is now off the table.

We have certainly had some successes with regard to the State’s Boating Division, beginning with halting the effort to establish paid parking at Honokohau.  We were also able to stop the reclassification of all slips into the category "alongside catwalk" which would have allowed DOBOR to charge us twice what we are paying now, under a patently false pretense as there are only 8 true “along catwalk” slips in Honokohau.  We continue to advocate for a complete rewrite and/or a dramatic simplification of the Hawaii Administrative Rules, which apply to management of small boat harbors, and to advocate for other more specific rule changes.

We also have undertaken projects like cleaning, painting and repairing both of the restrooms, repainting the big Honokohau Marina sign on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway and making new directional signage for the Harbor’s main intersection where our visitors are often uncertain which way to turn to find their destination.

We were successful in helping to convince the Governor to release over $600,000 in State funds for improvements at Honokohau.  It should be noted that the Governor rarely visits Kona without making some kind of a statement with regard to his commitment to improvements at Honokhau. 

The release of that $600,000 has had many positive results at Honokohau including the repair of the harbor lighting system (only 37% of which was working when we first brought it to their attention), and to upgrade and replace sections of the deteriorating water delivery system. 

The north-side water system improvement project has been awarded and construction was to have begun toward the end of May.  The contractor has 90 days to complete that project, which will replace the waterline and hose bibbs for A, B, and C docks on the Kohala side of the harbor.  The south (Kau side) pipes and hose bibbs have already been replaced.  DOBOR does not currently plan to replace the outer basin water system.  The only other part of the water project that remain incomplete in our minds is the high-pressure problem found at many of the individual hose bibs that results in damage to hoses and nozzles and the wastage of water, and the very low pressure available at places like the trailerboat wash-down area.

A restroom renovation project (both north and south side restrooms) has recently been awarded and construction is supposed to start in July, the delay apparently due to a long delivery time for several of the plumbing fixtures and the new toilet stall partitions/doors.  The contractor has 90 days to complete that project.  Portapotties will be in place during construction.

 On the subject of the restrooms, our constant requests that the restrooms be cleaned properly has apparently led to a recent decision to contract out the cleaning of the restrooms on weekends and holidays (and for trash pickups in the same time frames). We suspect that we will have to bring some additional pressure to be sure that the restrooms are maintained during the week, and are hoping that the installation of new fixtures, tile, etc. will motivate the DOBOR custodial staff to make a little more effort to keeping the restrooms clean and presentable during the week. 

The new trailer boat wash-down area will be located to the north side of the northern access road, alongside the boundary with the Koloko-Honokohau National Park and an adequate drainage system will be constructed as part of that project.  This project is still in the design phase and is supposed to go out to bid by July. 

We have asked for and been promised the construction of an open air pavilion near the top of the mauka launch ramp to accommodate those waiting for boats being launched, out of the traffic pattern and out of the sun.  It will also have an educational and information kiosk to educate boaters and visitors alike.  This job went out to bid and was supposed to start in late May, and the contractor will have 90 days to complete that project.

 We are also pursuing improvements to the garbage collection system at Honokohau.  Our goal would be to contain the garbage cans within enclosures so they aren’t so unsightly, are moved away from the public walkways, and so that loose trash does not blow around the harbor. 

Our outreach efforts have also resulted in a greater police presence at Honokohau after numerous complaints about vandalism and theft and destructive late night parties at the Harbor.  The regular presence of patrolling police officers seems to have made a difference.

Pressure from our Association has also resulted in DOBOR obtaining federal funding for a holding tank pump-out facility, and that project is currently in the engineering phase.  It will be located at the fuel dock, near the fuel pumps for convenience. . . eventually. 

We have also been promised solar lighting for the two launch ramps and the wash down area and hope to eventually see our local green energy experiment result in solar lighting throughout the facility and in small boat harbors across the state, for obvious cost-saving and environmental reasons.

We have also been staying in touch with boat owners and businesses operating out of Kailua Bay and Keauhou to be sure we stay aware of their issues and assist where we can.  The reconfiguration of the Keauhou Bay moorings to maximize the number of moorings in the bay is the first step in a statewide effort to improve the offshore mooring areas across the state.

All of these things have come to pass through regular discussion, goal setting, HF&BA Board actions, making our needs known through letter writing, phone calls, meeting with the DLNR, legislators and other government officials.  We believe that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Follow through has also been a key to much of our success. 

We have a current member mailing list of roughly 1350 members.  We solicit donations and have a fund raising event twice a year called the Hawaii Fishing & Boating Marketplace swap meet).  We send e-blasts to our members regarding different events and issues, or to inform our members about pending legislation and seek input or testimony at administrative public hearings. 

We are incorporated in the State of Hawaii and are pursuing 501 c 3 non-profit status, which is currently pending.  We have 4 officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

We maintain a website: www.hawaiifishingandboating.com  

We meet as a Board once a month at the Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club between 5:00 and 6:30 pm, second Wednesday of the month.   Please feel free to join us anytime.