I liked this post by Kehau Watson on the community struggle to reclaim Waimanalo from military control and abuse.
Waimanalo Wants Bellows Back
July 9th, 2009 by Trisha Kehaulani Watson
I’ve never written about the same topic twice, until now.
My first blog on Bellows last week provoked a number of colorful responses on the blog site, but the most interesting response I received via email, from a member of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board.
Seems members of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board also have questions about the military’s continued presence at Bellows. As such, they are proposing a resolution requesting the return of the lands to the State. It reads in part:
AWARE the Waimanalo Military Reservation was renamed Bellows Field in 1933 and redesignated as Bellows AFB in 1948 and ten years later re-designated as Bellows AFS and the land was used for military purposes until March 2009, and the United States Air Force continues to hold 400 acres, more or less, of the original land appropriated under the 1917 Executive Order and has publicly declared the purpose and “mission” at Bellows AFS, effective March 2009, is “enhancing combat effectiveness by delivering secure, affordable, and customer-focused recreational services” and has published its intention and proposal to construct a water park, swimming and “resort” pools, golf courses, and recreational lodgings on the 400 acres which are Category C–Revenue Generating Programs which “provide recreational activities that benefit military morale [,] foster community spirit and provide alternatives to less wholesome off-duty pursuits , [and] have the greatest capability of generating nonappropriated fund revenues and fund most of their expenses.” (Air Force Instruction (AFI) 32-1022, § 3.2.3, June 29, 1994) and are not “programs required to support the basic military mission”, and
EMPHASIZING the lands held by the United States Air Force at Waimanalo, upon which a “resort” for recreational purposes is proposed, is a “Category C” use of land, approved by the Secretary of the Air Force under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, which cannot reasonably be construed as a “critical area” for defense or military purposes under the Admissions Act, and
IT IS DECLARED BY THE WAIMANALO NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD that since the United States Air Force, on the remaining Crown Land under its control at Waimanalo, no longer uses or intends to use the land for the specific military purposes for which it was appropriated and because the Congress of the United States has properly exercised its Constitutional authority and enacted laws which devolved the Waimanalo Crown Land to the State of Hawaii to be used “solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other purposes” pursuant to the Joint Resolution of Annexation of July 7, 1898, the President and Chief Executive or his designate must return the Waimanalo Crown Land to the State of Hawaii and the Governor and Legislature of the State of Hawaii must revoke the conditional permission allowing for occupation of the Waimanalo Crown Lands as the current use and occupation exceeds the permission given to the United States, and
THEREFORE BE IT URGENTLY, STRONGLY, AND FINALLY RESOLVED THAT THE WAIMANALO NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD having given consideration to all the relevant issues, and provided opportunity for testimony by the public and United States Military Representatives, that the approximately 400 acres, more or less, of remaining land under the control of the United States Air Force must be returned to the State of Hawaii in furtherance of the legislative purposes declared by Congress in § 1, 30 Stat. 750.
You can read their entire proposal and press release below.
The Waimanalo Neighborhood Board will be meeting to discuss this issue at its regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, July 13, 2009, at 7:30 at the Waimanalo Public Library.
If you do not know where the library is, I have included a map.
I hope those who commented on my last blog on this topic will make the time to go and share their comments with the neighborhood board in person.
Waimanalo has a beautiful and majestic history. It is best captured in the mele “Waimânalo `Âina Kaulana”:
Uluwehi Waimânalo `âina ho`opulapula
Ipu ia like ala ona pua like `ole
Ho`okahi pu`uwai ho`okahi mana`o
`Aina aloha o ka lehulehu
Hanohano no `oe e Kalanianaole
Ho`oko kauoha `oe na ka hana pololei
Ha`awi ka mae ma`i e ia Waimânalo
Kokua like mai na mana Kahikolu
Kû kilakila na home u`i
Me ka kokua a na mana lani
Ha`ina kêia mele no Waimânalo
`Âina ho`opulapula no Kalaniana`ole
Lush, Waimânalo, homestead land
Its fragrant flowers, incomparable
One heart, one thought
Land of love for the population
You are the glory of (Prince Jonah) Kalaniana`ole
You fulfilled the trust with righteous deeds
Waimanalo gives health
Help and power comes from Trinity
Standing strong, the stalwart homes
With help from the heavenly powers
Tell this song of Waimânalo
Homestead land of Prince Kalaniana`ole
(Traditional, from the G. Cooke Collection, translated by Kanani Mana.)
I have no doubt that if allowed to resume control of their land and space, the Waimanalo community is very capable of making the land now controlled by the military `aina aloha once again.