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INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI: The Haʻikū Stairs | Program


>>THE HAʻIKŪ STAIRS ALSO KNOWN AS
THE THOUSAND STEPS OR STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN IS A POPULAR OʻAHU HIKE WITH GREAT VIEWS
AND POSTCARD MOMENTS. IT IS ALSO ILLEGAL. RESIDENTS IN A NEARBY KANEʻOHE
NEIGHBORHOOD HAVE ENDURED TRESPASSERS AND NOISE FOR YEARS. THE
HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY CALLS THE STAIRS A LIABILITY
AND WANTS TO TEAR THEM DOWN, BUT IT IS OPEN TO TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP
UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. TONIGHT’S LIVE BROADCAST AND LIVESTREAM OF INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI START NOW. [INTRO MUSIC]>>ALOHA AND WELCOME TO INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI…I’M
LARA YAMADA. THE HAʻIKŪ STAIRS WERE BUILT BY THE NAVY
DURING WORLD WAR II TO ACCESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES ATOP THE
KO’OLAU MOUNTAINS. NOW, THE FIRST STAIRS WERE WOODEN AND WERE
LATER REPLACED BY METAL ONES.
HERE ARE SOME FACTOIDS… THERE ARE 3,922 STEPS. THE TRAIL HAS BEEN
OFFICIALLY CLOSED SINCE 1987 BUT THAT HAS NOT STOPPED AN ESTIMATED 4,000
HIKERS PER YEAR FROM MAKING THE CLIMB. THE HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER
SUPPLY OWNS THE LAND UNDER THE STAIRS AND SPENDS ABOUT A QUARTER
MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR FOR SECURITY.
NEARBY RESIDENTS IN KANEʻOHE ARE FED UP WITH UNRULY HIKERS
TRESPASSING AND MAKING NOISE AND THREATS AND DAMAGING PROPERTY.
THE BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY WANTS TO REMOVE THE STAIRS, BUT MAYOR
KIRK CALDWELL WANTS JURISDICTION TRANSFERRED TO THE PARKS
DEPARTMENT SO THE TRAIL CAN BE REOPENED. TONIGHT WE WILL HEAR FROM THE WATER BOARD,
THE CITY AND RESIDENTS WITH VARYING VIEWPOINTS ON THIS ISSUE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR PARTICIPATION IN TONIGHT’S SHOW. YOU CAN
EMAIL, CALL OR TWEET YOUR QUESTIONS. AND YOU’LL FIND A LIVE STREAM OF
THIS PROGRAM AT PBSHAWAII.ORG AND THE PBS HAWAIʻI FACEBOOK PAGE.
NOW, TO OUR GUESTS. ERNEST LAU IS THE MANAGER AND CHIEF ENGINEER
OF THE HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY. HE HAS BEEN IN PUBLIC SERVICE
SINCE THE EARLY 1980S WORKING FOR THE STATE AND KAUA’I AND HONOLULU
COUNTIES IN THE AREA OF WATER MANAGEMENT.
VERNON ANSDELL IS THE PRESIDENT OF FRIENDS OF HAʻIKŪ STAIRS, A
NONPROFIT WHICH ADVOCATES KEEPING THE STAIRS OPEN AND HAS OFFERED
TO MANAGE THEM. HE MOVED TO HAWAIʻI FROM ENGLAND IN THE EARLY 1980S.
MAURICE “MO” RADKE IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE KANE’OHE NEIGHBORHOOD
BOARD. HE IS A 30-YEAR NAVY VETERAN AND IS THE STATE COORDINATOR FOR
THE SALUTE MILITARY GOLF ASSOCIATION WHICH HELPS WOUNDED VETERANS
DISCOVER THE THERAPEUTIC ASPECTS OF GOLF. AND GUY KAULUKUKUI IS THE DIRECTOR OF ENTERPRISE
SERVICES FOR THE CITY. HE IS HERE REPRESENTING THE MAYOR BECAUSE
NO ONE FROM PARKS AND RECREATION, WHICH WOULD MANAGE THE STAIRS
IF THE TRANSFER WAS MADE, WAS AVAILABLE.
THANK YOU ALL OF YOU FOR BEING HERE. THIS HAS BEEN A POPULAR AND IN-
DEPTH DISCUSSION FOR MANY YEARS. AND ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED
FOR QUITE SOME TIME. FIRST, YOU’VE BEEN WITH THE BOARD OF WATER
SUPPLY FOR QUITE SOME TIME. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT MAYBE A LITTLE BIT
MORE OF THE MORE RECENT HISTORY. STARTING AROUND 2002, WHEN THE
STAIRS WERE RENOVATED TO A DEGREE. WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THAT
TIME?>>THE COAST GUARD WAS CLOSING THE FACILITY
DOWN. ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS WAS FOR THE COAST GUARD TO RESTORE
IT TO THE NATURAL STATE. THEN-MAYOR HARRIS AND MR. STEVE HOLMES
ADVOCATED FOR THE RETENTION OF THE STAIRS. KEEPING THE STAIRS
AND TRYING TO OPEN IT UP TO THE PUBLIC. THAT PROCESS WAS STARTED. IN
FACT, THE CITY ACTUALLY DID RENOVATIONS OF THE STAIRS, ALMOST 800,
$900,000 WAS SPENT TO RENOVATE IT. AND TRANSFER IT FROM THE BOARD
OF WATER SUPPLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION. THE WATER
BOARD AT THE TIME APPROVED THE TRANSFER. FOR THE TRANSFER TO
ACTUALLY TAKE HOLD, IT HAD TO GET COUNCIL APPROVAL.
UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE COUNCIL, THE PROCESS STOPPED.
>>LARA: YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED FOR QUITE SOME TIME. WHAT’S YOUR
ASSESSMENT OF WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THAT TIME?>>I THINK IT WAS SEVERAL FACTORS CAME INTO
PLAY. ONE OF THEM, IT WAS AROUND THE TIME AT SACRED FALLS. AND AS A
RESULT OF THAT, PEOPLE BECAME VERY AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL DANGERS
OF BEING OUT IN THE MOUNTAINS. AND TRANSFERRED THAT CONCERN TO
THE STAIRS, WHICH WAS IN A WAY WAS UNFORTUNATE. IT WAS THINGS LIKE
THAT THAT CAUSED THE ISSUE. AND AT THE SAME TIME, A LOT OF INTEREST
IN HAI’KU STAIRS AND INCREASE IN ILLEGAL HIKERS CREATED ALL SORTS
OF PROBLEMS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
>>LARA: ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED OFF AND ON IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
AND IT’S A VERY WELL-KNOWN DISCUSSION IN THE COMMUNITY. AS YOU GOT
MORE AND MORE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS AND IN THE HISTORY AND AS WE
MOVE FORWARD, WHAT’S HAS BEEN YOUR ASSESSMENT TO THAT TIME FRAME
AS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING, AND IN YOUR SLICE OF THE COMMUNITY?
>>I’D SAY FROM THE KANEʻOHE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD’S PERSPECTIVE, THE
TRESPASSING. IT BECAME THE MAIN CONCERN OF THE RESIDENTS OF THE
HAIKU VILLAGE AREA. AND THE ADVENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA SHOWING, THIS IS A
COOL THING TO DO, AND THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. THAT EXACERBATED THE
PROBLEM. MORE PEOPLE STARTED TO SHOW UP. AND IT BECAME
A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM THAN IT STARTED OUT BEING.
>>LARA: I REMEMBER SEEING AN ARTICLE TALKING ABOUT A TURNING POINT,
AND I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS. WHEN THERE WAS AN EPISODE OF
“MAGNUM P.I.” WHERE THEY SHOWED — I WANT TO SAY THIS IS BACK IN THE
’80 S . I WAS READING AN ARTICLE ABOUT IT RECENTLY. AND TO HAVE
THOSE VISUALS OF THE HAI’KU STAIRS, THAT WAS A MARKETING TOOL FOR THE
AREA. AND IT CHANGED. AND I THINK WE HAVE SOME VIDEO. AND YOU CAN’T
NOT SHOW IT. YOU CAN SEE WHY WHEN PEOPLE SEE FOOTAGE LIKE THIS, IT’S
VERY ENTICING. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?>>OUR WILD AREAS, I THINK ARE IMPORTANT.
>>LARA: YOU WERE WITH THE TEAM FOR A WHILE.>>YEAH. TO BRING THAT PERSPECTIVE NO IT.
IT’S A SINGULAR OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU. TYPICALLY,
WE DON’T HAVE JURISDICTION OVER MUCH OF THAT COUNTRY’S AREA,
IF ANY. MAYOR CALDWELL IS PASSIONATE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE
ACCESS TO THE OCEAN AND ACCESS TO THE MOUNTAINS. HERE’S ONE OF OUR
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. WHAT LACKED IN THE PAST
WAS SOME KIND OF MANAGED OR CONTROLLED ACCESS. AGAIN, REFLECTING
BACK ON MY DLNR EXPERIENCE, KNOWING THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT
CAN HAPPEN WHEN THE ACCESS IS TOTALLY UNMANAGED, SOME OF THAT
CAN BE MITIGATED BY HAVING A SYSTEMIC PROGRAM. AND IN SOME CASES
PROBABLY LIMITS THE ACCESS AND LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE. AND
MEANS BY WHICH YOU CAN DO IT. WHERE YOU CAN PREPARE AND GATHER AND
PARK IN ADVANCE OF DOING ALL OF THESE KINDS OF THINGS CAN MITIGATE
MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE PROBLEMS WE’VE HAD IN THE PAST.
>>LARA: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? THERE’S KIND OF A FINE LINE
THERE.>>SO, LARA, GUY HAD THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
SERVICES AND I HAD BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY OF WATER SUPPLY.
>>FOR BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY, WE’RE ABOUT PROVIDING SAFE DRINKING
WATER FOR THE COMMUNITY. AND MANAGING A FUTURE LIKE THIS, WE DON’T
HAVE THE EXPERTISE. AND IT DOES EXPOSE US TO LIABILITY.
>>LARA: THIS DOESN’T BELONG WITH BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY.
>>DEPARTMENT SAID, OH, YOU OWN THIS PROPERTY? OKAY. HERE’S THE
STAIRS.>>LARA: WOW.
>>AND NOW THE SECURITY RESPONSIBILITY IS PASSED TO THE BOARD OF
WATER SUPPLY. AND SINCE THEN, WE’VE WORKED HARD TO MITIGATE SOME OF
THE TRESPASS ISSUES.>>LARA: SO IN WHAT WAY? EXPLAIN A LITTLE
BIT MORE.>>INITIALLY, WE DID A PRIVATE GUARD SERVICE
AT THE BASE OF THE STAIRS.>>LARA: WHEN DID THAT START AROUND?
>>THAT STARTED WITH THE PARKS DEPARTMENT. WE KIND OF CONTINUED
THAT PRACTICE. FUNDED BY BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY INSTEAD OF CITY
PARKS. MORE RECENTLY, IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, WE’VE HIRED SPECIAL DUTY
OFFICERS THAT WOULD POSITION THEMSELVES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
FURTHER AWAY FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS. BUT AT A POINT WHERE
THEY COULD INTERCEPT PEOPLE WHO WOULD TRY TO TRESPASS. PEOPLE WANT
TO START EARLY IN THE MORNING WHEN IT’S STILL DARK TO GET UP THERE TO
SEE THE SUNRISE, WHICH I’M SURE IS BEAUTIFUL. SPECIAL DUTY OFFICERS
HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE IN TRYING TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF TRESPASSERS.
THERE ARE SO MANY ENTRY POINTS TO GET TO THE STAIRS.
>>LARA: THIS GOES TO ONE OF THE VIEWER QUESTIONS. PART OF IT IS
OPTICS. BEGINNING OF THE SHOW, IT’S MENTIONED THAT SECURITY IS
OFFERED TO BLOCK HIKERS. WHY IS THAT NOT WORKING? YOUR
COUNTERARGUMENT IS, IT IS TO A DEGREE. LOOK AT THE AREA.
>>YEAH. THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN ENTER TO GET TO THE
STAIRS. BUT THE KEY POINT WAS THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE
THERE WAS A LOT OF COMMUNITY IMPACTS. PEOPLE UNABLE TO SLEEP. 2:00
IN THE MORNING, THE DOGS START BARKING. AND THEY WAKE UP IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND DEAL WITH HIKERS. NOT ALL THE HIKERS HAVE A
LOT OF ALOHA WHEN THEY GO UP AND COME DOWN.>>LARA: THAT LEADS TO YOUR — YOU’VE BEEN
DEALING WITH, AND WHAT YOU’VE BEEN HEARING WITHIN THE KANEʻOHE NEIGHBORHOOD
BOARD. WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
>>WHAT ERNEST WAS TALKING ABOUT FOLKS COMING THROUGH AT ALL
HOURS OF THE NIGHT, TRESPASSING OVER THEIR PROPERTY. WHEN THEY’RE
CONFRONTED BY THE OWNERS AT PERHAPS 2:00 OR 3:00 IN THE MORNING, IT’S
NOT THE MOST FUN ENVIRONMENT FOR EITHER ONE OF THOSE TWO GROUPS.
AND THIS GOES BACK TO WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT IN HAVING
MANAGED ACCESS. IF THE ACCESS TO THE STAIRS WERE IN ANOTHER
LOCATION AWAY FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD, THIS MITIGATES A LOT OF THE
PROBLEMS.>>LARA: WE GOT A QUICK GRAPHIC. HAI’KU STAIRS
ASSISTANCE CALL. SOMETHING OF A DIFFERENCE HERE BEHIND YOU.
HONOLULU POLICE, 2011, 20 CALLS. 2017, 160. REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL SECURITY.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? KNOWING THAT — HOW MUCH
DO YOU PUT INTO SECURITY ALREADY?
>>RIGHT NOW, LIKE YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, 250,000 FOR THE PRIVATE
SECURITY GUARD AND SPECIAL DUTY OFFICERS. TO THAT END, WE DECIDED TO
MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS EIS, WHICH WAS PUBLISHED EARLIER THIS YEAR.
COMMENT PERIOD UNTIL AUGUST 7. EIS, PROPOSED ACTION WAS FOR THE
REMOVAL. IT LOOKED AT DIFFERENT ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING
TRANSFER TO A GOVERNMENT OR PRIVATE ENTITY. WE LOOKED CLOSE
AT MANAGED ACCESS AND ULTIMATELY WHOEVER THE LANDOWNER IS, AND
THEY WANT TO DO MANAGED ACCESS. THOSE DETAILS WILL BE WORKED
OUT AT THAT TIME. WE TRIED TO FLESH OUT SOME OF THE ISSUES. WHAT
WOULD BE REQUIRED. WHAT KIND OF COST MIGHT BE INVOLVED. IN THAT
EVALUATION PROCESS, IT CAME OUT THAT THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT IS BETTER
WITH MANAGED ACCESS AS OPPOSED TO REMOVAL OF STAIRS. WE DID LOOK
AT A NUMBER OF WAYS TO GET TO THE STAIRS. I’M GOING TO SAY THERE
IS NO LEGAL ACCESS AT THIS POINT TO THE STAIRS. THE STAIRS IS CUT OFF
BY THE H3 RIGHT AWAY. SO WE LOOKED AT HALF A DOZEN DIFFERENT ALTERNATIVES,
AND THE HIGHEST RANKED ONE ENDED UP BEING ALONG A DRIVEWAY
TO THE CHURCH NEAR THE CASTLE HILL SUBDIVISION OFF POOKELA STREET.
OF ALL THE DIFFERENT ACCESS, THAT SEEMED TO BE THE HIGHEST RANKED
ACCESS.>>LARA: FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN’T FAMILIAR, DESCRIBE
THAT AND WHY YOU THINK THAT WOULD BE BETTER.
>>FIRST, I WANT TO EMPHASIZE MANAGED ACCESS IS REALLY THE KEY TO
THIS. IF WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK, AND A LOT OF THOUGHT HAS GONE INTO
IT, THIS WILL BE — SHOULD BE THE SOLUTION THAT WILL MAKE THIS WORK.
ENABLE THE STAIRS TO BE REOPENED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, AND AT THE
SAME TIME AVOID ALL THESE PROBLEMS WITH THE UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE
LIVING IN THAT VALLEY. AND THEY’RE GETTING INCONVENIENCED BY
TRESPASSERS AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. MANAGED ACCESS, IT’S A
SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OVER HOW MANY PEOPLE GO
UP. WHEN THEY GO UP.
WHO GOES UP. THEY GET A SAFETY BRIEFING BEFORE THEY GO.
THEY’RE ESCORTED ON THE STAIRS. THEY WOULD HAVE TO PAY TO GO UP. IF THERE’S
NO WAY OF AVOIDING THAT.>>LARA: I THINK I SAW SOME PROPOSAL NUMBERS.
I WASN’T SURE IF THAT WAS — WHO THAT WAS COMING FROM.
SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT OF 10 TO $20 FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS. 100 TO $200
FOR NONRESIDENTS.>>THESE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT SOURCES.
IT SEEMS A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE COME UP WITH THE SAME SORT OF
FIGURES. I THINK THAT’S NOT UNREASONABLE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE. AND IT
WOULD BE ALSO WAYS TO MAKING SPECIAL FEES FOR STUDENTS AND MAYBE
NATIVE HAWAIIANS. FOR THE EXPERIENCE, IT WOULD BE INCREDIBLE
VALUE. AND WE KNOW THAT VISITORS ARE WILLING TO PAY THAT SORT OF — A
MUCH HIGHER AMOUNT OF MONEY.
>>LARA: AND YOU’VE DEFINITELY GOT SOME OF THESE COMING IN
SUPPORTING THAT. HAI’KU STAIRS IS UNIQUE. WHY NOT CHARGE A
FEE. MONEY COLLECTED CAN BE PUT TOWARDS REPAIRS. WE HAVE SIMILAR ONES
FROM RYAN. IF YOU CAN ESTABLISH AN ACCESS POINT, OPEN
AND CLOSE, ALL THE PROBLEMS WITH RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORS WOULD
GO AWAY.>>LARA, I WANT TO POINT OUT BECAUSE THERE’S
SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO GET TO THE STAIRS, WE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE EVEN
WITH MANAGED ACCESS, THERE’S GOING TO BE NEED TO DO ACTION IN THE
NEIGHBORHOODS TO THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIR. PEOPLE TEND TO TAKE THE
EASIER WAY TO GET THERE. WHOEVER THE CONTRACTOR DOES GET THAT BUSINESS,
THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO TRY TO MITIGATE THE PEOPLE THAT
WANT TO GO UP THE STAIRS FOR FREE. AND THE SHORTEST ROUTE. SO
WE’RE GOING THROUGH THIS PROCESS, THE EIS. I WANT TO SAY THAT
ONCE WE COMPLETE THE EIS, PUBLISH THE FINAL EIS AT THE END OF THE YEAR
OR EARLY NEXT YEAR, AFTER THE LEGAL CHALLENGE PERIOD, OUR INTENTION
IS TO BRING THIS BEFORE THE WATER BOARD FOR DECISION ON WHAT TO DO WITH
THE STAIRS. AND IT WILL BE UP TO THE BOARD TO DECIDE IF THEY AGREE
WITH THE PROPOSED ACTION, REMOVE THE STAIRS, LOOK AT TRANSFER TO THE
CITY. MAYOR’S MADE IT CLEAR HE IS VERY INTERESTED IN THE STAIRS.
AND HAVING GUY’S DEPARTMENT OPERATE THE CONCESSION THAT WILL
BE THERE. IT WILL BE A WATER BOARD DECISION PROBABLY SPRING OF NEXT
YEAR. WE’LL MAKE SURE IT’S A VERY TRANSPARENT PROCESS ALLOW PEOPLE
TO PROVIDE THEIR MANAO.>>LARA: YOU’RE ABOUT DONE. YOU’RE GETTING
A LITTLE BIT MORE IN –>>AT THIS POINT, PROBABLY IN THE NEXT FEW
WEEKS, HAVE TO CLOSE COMMENTS AND START WORKING ON GETTING THE
FINAL EIS. AND RESPONSES TO THE COUNTY.
>>LARA: CAN YOU GIVE US SOME INSIGHT AS TO WHAT YOU’RE HEARING?
>>THERE’S PROBABLY OVER 500 COMMENTS THAT HAVE COME IN.
>>LARA: WOW.>>WE ACTUALLY HAD, I BELIEVE, OVER 700 COMMENTS
ON THE PREP NOTICE WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT. I THINK VERNON DID
A VERY GOOD JOB. HE NEEDS TO GET OUT A FORMAL RESPONSE. THE EIS PROCESS
REQUIRES A RESPONSE TO PEOPLE MAKING THE COMMENTS. IF WE HAVE
THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION. WE’RE GOING TO WORK THROUGH THAT
PROCESS AND THEN MAKE WHATEVER AMENDMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO
THE DOCUMENT, THE DRAFT, AND PRODUCE A FINAL VERSION. IT WILL
BE AROUND THE END OF THE YEAR.
>>LARA: OKAY. SO DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE CONSTITUENTS IN YOUR AREA, DO
YOU FEEL LIKE THEY’RE BEING HEARD? DO YOU FEEL THEY’RE BEING HEARD IN
THE RIGHT WAY? WHAT DO YOU FEEL FROM THE BOARD?>>THE BOARD SUPPORTING THE MANAGED ACCESS
PLAN. AND THAT WAS THE MAJORITY OF THE BOARD MEMBERS REPRESENTING
THE DIFFERENT SUBDISTRICTS IN KANEʻOHE. THE FOLKS THAT
ARE VERY CLOSE TO THE STAIRS ARE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH ANYTHING OTHER
THAN COMPLETE REMOVAL OF THE STAIRS. BECAUSE THEY’VE HAD
TO ENDURE THE TRESPASSING FOR SO LONG.
>>LARA: WE’VE GOT ANOTHER GRAPHIC. HAI’KU STAIRS EMERGENCY CALLS
FROM THE HONOLULU FIRE DEPARTMENT. STARTING WITH 2002, THEY HAD ONE IN 2002 AND
2018, LAST YEAR THEY HAD 11. SO WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS NOW? I THINK 4,000
A YEAR. THAT’S DOWN.>>I’M SORRY, I DON’T HAVE THE NUMBERS. ANECDOTALLY,
NUMBERS ARE COMING FROM HAIKU SIDE.
IT’S REDUCED. NOT ZERO. THERE’S SO MANY DIFFERENT ACCESS POINTS TO
GET TO THE STAIRS, SO IT’S REALLY HARD. WE HAVE TO HAVE AN ARMY OF HPD
OFFICERS OUT THERE. THEY SHOULD BE DEALING WITH CRIME.
>>LARA: THAT DOES RAISE THE QUESTION OF, OKAY, IF YOU’RE TALKING
ABOUT A MANAGED PLAN OF SOME KIND, AND WE’VE GOTTEN TO THE POINT OF
SO MANY DIFFERENT ACCESS POINTS, WHAT’S THE REALITY OF THAT BEING
TRULY EFFECTIVE?>>I DON’T THINK THERE’S THAT MANY ACCESS
POINTS. I HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, DOING THE STUDY THERE IS PLENTY. IT
IS A WIDE OPEN SPACE, BUT AS FAR AS ACCESS, MANY IS WHAT, FIVE? SEVEN.
>>LARA: GUY.>>I THINK THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCESS
AND THE AREA AROUND THE BASE OF THE STAIRS. THERE’S A LOT OF WAYS
TO GET TO THE BASE OF THE STAIRS.
I DO THINK THAT WITH SOME KIND OF MANAGED ACCESS, AND MAYBE WHAT I
SHOULD DO IS TRY TO PAINT A PICTURE OF HOW THE CITY DOES SEE IT NOW.
THE CITY DOES WANT TO RECEIVE THE STAIR. THE CITY DOES WANT TO OPEN
IT DURING SOME MANAGED ACCESS WHERE A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY FROM
THE COMMUNITY THROUGH A COMPETITIVE PROCESS WOULD BE AUTHORIZED
TO CONTROL THE ACCESS. THEY WOULD BE EXPECTED TO BRING IT UP TO
SERVICEABLE CONDITION AND MAINTAIN THE STAIRS OVER THE LIFE OF THE
AGREEMENT TO MANAGE THE ACCESS. TO CREATE A COLLECTION POINT OFF-
SIGHT AND BRING VISITORS TO THE SITE. SO IT’S NOT PEOPLE COMING
THROUGH HAIKU TO GET THERE. TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE GO UP ON A
DAILY BASIS AND GO UP WITH A GUIDE. FRIENDS AND OTHERS HAVE COME TO
THE CITY WITH IDEAS. SO I WANTED TO SAY CONCURRENT WITH THE FINAL
STAGES OF BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY’S EIS, WE PLAN TO ISSUE A REQUEST FOR
INFORMATION. REQUEST FOR INTEREST TO START A FORMAL PROCESS THAT
CULMINATE ACCESS ON BEHALF THE CITY. SEE HOW MUCH INTEREST IS OUT
THERE, AND WE THINK THERE’S QUITE A BIT. AND HOW THEY IMAGINE THIS
ACCESS WORKING, WHICH IS THE PURPOSE. I WOULD IMAGINE FOLKS LIKE
FRIENDS WILL RESPOND. AND THEY’LL GIVE US ALL THEIR IDEAS OF WHAT
THEY THINK SHOULD HAPPEN. PEOPLE CALLING IN WILL RESPOND.
>>LARA: TALKING ABOUT SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE OFF-SITE.
>>THAT’S THE WAY WE IMAGINE THIS HAPPENING. AND THOSE IDEAS WERE NOT NECESSARILY OURS.
MANY WERE BROUGHT TO US. AGGREGATION OF INTEREST OUT THERE.
>>FOR THE BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY, WE DID A LOT OF EFFORT TO TRY TO
IDENTIFY THE ISSUES AND ALTERNATIVES TO HELP PROVIDE A BASIS FOR
EITHER REMOVAL OR MANAGED ACCESS SYSTEM. AND THIS COULD BECOME A
RECESS DOCUMENT FOR THE CITY AS A STARTING PLACE. IT’S PRETTY
COMPREHENSIVE EIS.>>LARA: YOU WANT TO COMMENT?
>>I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE FUNDS RAISED FROM MANAGED ACCESS, THAT
WOULD PAY FOR INSURANCE. IT WOULD PAY FOR MAINTENANCE. IT WOULD
PAY FOR SECURITY. IT WOULD PAY FOR STAFFING THE GUIDES, DOCENTS
AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM. EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT THE HISTORY
OF THE STAIRS RELATED TO THE SECOND WORLD II.
AND HISTORY OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS LIVING IN HAIKU VALLEY. AND THE
NATIVE PLANTS THAT ARE ON THE STAIRS. THERE’S ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF THINGS THAT WE
CAN EDUCATE PEOPLE OUT, AND IT’S MORE OF AN EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN
JUST A RECREATIONAL CLIMB. THAT’S WHAT WE ENVISION. AND ALL THIS WOULD
BE COST NEUTRAL ACCORDING TO OUR CALCULATIONS. BUT THE SECURITY
OBVIOUSLY IS ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS. IF SECURITY DOESN’T WORK,
WE’RE DEAD IN THE WATER. I DO BELIEVE THAT AN EFFECTIVE SECURITY PLAN
CAN BE MADE TO WORK. AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY GET
ON THE STAIRS TO GET TO THE SUMMIT. MAYBE HAVE ROVING SECURITY WITHIN
THAT VALLEY AREA. STOPPING PEOPLE BEFORE THEY CAN GET AND CAUSE
PROBLEMS. AND AT THE SAME TIME, HAVE AN ACCESS ROUTE,
OFFICIAL ACCESS ROUTE AWAY FROM THE VALLEY.
>>LARA: QUESTIONS COME IN. WHO WILL PAY FOR RESCUES? WE KNOW THAT’S GOING
TO HAPPEN. AND ANOTHER RELATED, WHO PAYS FOR ILLEGAL HIKERS
WHO GET HURT AND REQUIRE HELP FROM FIRST RESPONDERS? STATE,
CITY, COUNTY?>>I HAVE TO RESPOND TO THAT. THIS WHOLE IDEA
OF PEOPLE NEEDING TO BE RESCUED ON THE STAIRS HAS BEEN BLOWN OUT
OF PROPORTION. AND PEOPLE GETTING INJURED ON THE STAIRS.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO YOU HEAR HAVE TO BE RESCUED ARE
TRYING TO COME UP FROM THE MOANALUA SIDE AND GET LOST IN THE CLOUDS
UP THERE AND GET INJURED. OR THEY GET INJURED AND LOST TRYING TO GET
THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. IF PEOPLE ARE ESCORTED, IT’S AN INCREDIBLY
SAFE HIKE. IT’S A STAIRWAY WITH RAIL. YOU GO UP AND DOWN.
>>LARA: WE ARE SEEING VIDEO NOW. SHOWING FROM THE BOTTOM LOOKING
UP. YOU CAN SEE THAT IT CAN GET SHOCKED IN. THAT CAN MAKE IT A LITTLE
STENCHIER. YOU CAN’T SEE VERY WELL. AND YOU WANT TO SEE BEHIND.
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME IMPROVEMENTS. I CAN’T HELP BUT THINK OF SOME OF
THE OTHER AREAS THAT HAVE BECOME A LITTLE BIT MORE TOURISTIZED.
THAT’S NOT A WORD, I KNOW. ONE WAS DIAMOND AHEAD. AND IN THE KAILUA
AREA. KAILUA AREA IS WHAT CAME TO MIND FOR ME WAS
THE ISSUES WITH THE BIG BUSES.
TOUR BUSSES GOING UP THERE. THEY’RE BEING BROUGHT OUT ON BUSES, BUT THEY’RE
BIG BUSSES AND THERE ARE INCREASINGLY LARGE NUMBER OF BUSES. ANYBODY’S
BEEN TO DIAMOND HEAD RECENTLY, COMPARED TO WHAT USED TO BE
LIKE 10, 20 YEARS AGO, BOY IS THAT DIFFERENT. IT’S ALMOST UNRECOGNIZABLE
FOR PEOPLE WHO USED TO GO THERE MANY YEARS AGO.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT, WHEN THERE’S PLENTY OF POTENTIAL.
MONEY TO BE MADE. INCREASING INTEREST, AND IF THERE’S A MANAGED TYPE
OF PROGRAM. IN PEOPLE’S MINDS THEY THINK IT IS SAFER, WHICH IT MAY BE,
BUT HOW DO YOU BALANCE OUT THOSE OPTICS FROM THE REALITY OF WHAT
WE’RE DEALING WITH.>>I THINK GUY HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.
ALLOWING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT ONE TIME. I WOULDN’T ENVISION
TOUR BUSES BRINGING THAT MANY PEOPLE. THE STAIRS CAN’T MANAGE THAT
MANY PEOPLE WITHOUT IT BECOMING A SAFETY ISSUE. PERHAPS IN THE
MORNING –>>LARA: HANAUMA BAY IS MANAGEABLE.
>>QUITE A BIGGER SPOT.>>I WOULD SAY THAT’S APPLES AND ORANGES IN
THE AMOUNT OF SPACE AND AREA YOU’RE TRYING TO MANAGE AND RESTRICT.
I DO THINK THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION PROCESS GOES TWO WAYS.
IN THAT PROCESS, WE WILL ASK SOME QUESTIONS AND FOLKS IN THE
COMMUNITY AND PEOPLE RESPONDING WILL ANSWER AND ASK US QUESTIONS.
ONE OF THE QUESTIONS IS FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT IS
A REASONABLE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ACCESSING THE STAIRS? WE DON’T HAVE
THAT NUMBER. FOLKS LIKE FRIENDS HAVE AN IDEA.
THEY RUN BUSINESS MODELS. THEY KNOW A NUMBER THAT’S GOING TO WORK.
I DON’T KNOW WHERE THAT IS. OVER AND UNDER 4,000. WHETHER IT’S OVER
4,000 OR LES. I DO EXPECT IT WILL SOLVE MANY ILLEGAL ACCESS WHEN YOU
PROVIDE LEGAL ACCESS TO STAIRS.>>THE NUMBER WE’VE COME UP WITH 80 IS DAY
AS A START. PEOPLE WOULD HAVE A PERMIT. AND THEY WILL BE THE ONLY PEOPLE
ALLOWED ON THE STAIRS.
>>LARA: IF YOU BREAK IT DOWN, THAT’S A QUIT MORE THAN GOING UP NOW.
4,000 A YEAR.>>YOU HAVE TO —
>>TRESPASSING THROUGH PEOPLE’S PROPERTY.>>YOU HAVE TO FACTOR CERTAIN DAYS OF THE
YEAR. STAIRS WILL NOT BE OPEN BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER AND THINGS LIKE
THAT. OR MAYBE A MAINTENANCE DAY. WOULDN’T BE 365
DAYS.>>LARA: DO YOU FEEL AT THIS POINT IN TIME,
YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD PLAN IN PLACE AS FAR AS WHAT A MANAGED PLAN
WOULD LOOK LIKE?>>I’M SOMEWHAT BIASED, BUT I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT
THAT MANAGE THE ACCESS PLAN WE HAVE WOULD BE A GREAT SUCCESS.
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS FOR 30 YEARS.
A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN INPUT. AND A LOT OF THOUGHT HAS GONE INTO IT. IT’S
NOT SOMETHING OFF THE TOP OF OUR HEADS. A LOT OF SCIENCE HAVE GONE INTO
THE BACKGROUND.>>LARA: SO HERE’S KALUA, LIFE LONG RESIDENT.
I OPPOSE THE STAIRS. THIS STAIRS DO NOTHING BUT TAKE AWAY FROM
THE BEAUTY OF THE KOOLAU MOUNTAIN RANGE. BY ELIMINATING THE STAIRS,
IT WILL PRESERVE THE LAND AS IT SHOULD BE. NO DOUBT, IN ANY OF THESE
AREAS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT, THAT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A PERSPECTIVE THAT
HAS TO BE KEPT IN THE CONVERSATION.
>>LOCATION OF STAIRS IS IN THE WATERSHED AREA, SO AGAIN PEOPLE
GOING INTO THE WATERSHED AND MANAGED ACCESS NEED TO BE PART OF THE
EDUCATION. DON’T TRACK IN ALIEN SPECIES ON YOUR SHOES
AND CLOTHES. ACTUALLY WILL BE DETRIMENTAL OF THE WATERSHED.
CLEAN YOUR BOOTS. THESE MAUKA LANDS WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
GOING BECAUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, THEY KNOW HOW TO GET THERE. THESE
ARE WHERE OUR DRINKING WATER COMES FROM. WE NEED TO MALAMA THOSE
LANDS. SO DO IT IN A RESPECTFUL AND RESPONSIBLE WAY.
>>LARA: COUPLE OF QUESTIONS. LINDA IN HAUULA AND BILL FROM KAILUA.
STAIRS IN A CONSERVATION DISTRICT. WHAT IS THE LAND USE DESIGNATION
FOR LAND UNDER THE STAIRS?>>PROCESS REQUIRES, BECAUSE THE STAIRS IS
OWNED BY THE BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY AND UNDER A TRANSFER SCENARIO,
EWS TRYING TO DISPOSE THE PROPERTY. WATER BOARD WILL HAVE TO MAKE
A DECISION, PASS A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE TRANSFER OF THE
PROPERTY TO CITY. THAT WOULD BE — WE’D SUBMIT A RESOLUTION FOR THAT,
TO THAT END. COUNCIL WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT PROCESS AND
ADOPT THAT RESOLUTION. I THINK FOR THE CITY TO RECEIVE THE LAND.
THE LAND, I BELIEVE, IS CONSERVATION LAND.
IT WILL REQUIRE PERMITS. INCLUDING PERMITS FROM DLNR. I THINK OCCL.
TO BE ABLE TO GET A PER TO ALLOW THE MANAGED ACCESS USES.
>>RIGHT. AND RECREATIONAL USE WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT
TYPICALLY CAN HAPPEN.>>SO TO GET THE PERMIT, I THINK IT REQUIRES
SOME KIND OF ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT. THIS DOCUMENT MIGHT
BE NINE-TENTH.>>LARA: WE’RE NOT GOING TO READ THAT DOCUMENT
NOW. THAT’S WHY WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE. LET ME
ASK YOU THIS, I KNOW ONE OF THE FEARS IS THAT, OKAY, WE HAVE ALL THESE
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ISLANDS TO EXPERIENCE THESE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
IN DIFFERENT WAYS. BUT ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA,
WITH WHAT WE’RE SEEING ONLINE NOW, IT’S SO SPECTACULAR. THRILL SEEKERS,
YOU COULD SAY, THE BRANDING THAT’S HAPPENING WITH A LOT OF THESE
AREAS, WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THAT TYPE OF REPUTATION FOR
SOMETHING LIKE HAI’KU STAIRS?
>>THAT IS A BIG CHALLENGE. WE’RE GETTING INQUIRIES FROM PEOPLE ALL OVER
THE WORLD WHO WANT TO GO UP THERE. AND THEY’RE WILLING TO PAY LARGE
AMOUNTS OF MONEY. YOU HAVE TO RESTRICT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE. YOU
HAVE TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE SECURITY PLAN IN PLACE.
AND PEOPLE HAVE TO REALIZE YOU CAN GET UP AT 2:00 IN THE MORNING, AND
YOU CAN TRY AND GET ON THE STAIRS BUT YOU WON’T GET ON THE STAIRS.
>>LARA: WE’RE SEEING PICTURES BEHIND YOU.>>YOU WON’T GET ON THE STAIRS. YOU WON’T
GET ANYWHERE NEAR THE SUMMIT.
YOU COULD GET ARRESTED. YOU COULD GET FINED. THE MINDSET HOPEFULLY
WILL CHANGE. PEOPLE WILL REALIZE THE ONLY WAY TO GO UP AND APPLY FOR
A PERMIT, PAY A FEE. IT’S A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE, THE NOT BEING ABLE TO
APPRECIATE THE PLANTS THAT YOU SEE AS YOU GO ALONG. UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY
OF THE STAIRS AND VALLEY AND EVERYTHING.
IT WILL BE A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE. I’M HOPING OVER TIME, THAT’S THE WAY
IT WILL BE. IT COULD ACT FOR A MODEL FOR HIKING TRAILS IN HAWAIʻI. IT’S
A BIG PROBLEM. PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY REALIZES. IN COUNTRIES WITH
NEW ZEALAND, THEY’RE HAVING TO ADDRESS THAT. CHARGING A FEE,
MANAGING THE SITE EFFECTIVELY. IT MAY BE A WAY OF DEALING WITH THAT.
OTHERWISE, IT’S GOING TO BE A HUGE PROBLEM. IT’S GOING TO GROW AND
GROW.>>SAME SOCIAL MEDIA THAT HELP PEOPLE TRESPASS
CAN HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE RULE.
>>LARA: THAT IS IDEAL. AND THAT’S BEEN THE HOPE IN MANY OTHER AREAS.
WE’VE SEEN THAT HAPPEN WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. I DON’T KNOW.
I WOULD MANAGE THAT IS OUT THERE.>>I THINK DLNR HAS HAD SOME SUCCESS AROUND
SACRED FALLS THROUGH ATTACKING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA.
>>LARA: THAT’S A GOOD POINT.>>VERY CLEAR THIS IS ILLEGAL. AND THE CONSEQUENCES
OF WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU’RE CAUGHT TRYING TO ACCESS THE TRAIL.
>>LARA: THAT’S A VERY GOOD POINT. IT CAN’T JUST BE, HEY, LET’S SEE IF WE CAN
GET SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY INVOLVED.
IT HAS TO BE A PROACTIVE, ENGAGED STRATEGY ON SOCIAL MEDIA. TO TRY TO
SEE THE ATTRACTION.>>THAT’S FULL STOP HERE.
YOU CAN USE IT TO DRIVE THE PERSON WHO WAS INTERESTED TO THE LEGAL
MEANS.>>LARA: WHAT ABOUT LEGAL ACTION? HEADACHES
YOU’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY LAWSUITS AGAINST THE BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY?
>>KNOCK WOOD. NONE YET. ACTUALLY, HOPEFULLY IT DOESN’T COME IN TOMORROW.
WE HAVE NOT BEEN SERVED WITH LEGAL COMPLAINTS OF PEOPLE GETTING
INJURED. AT LEAST THE TERM I’VE BEEN WITH BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY.
>>LARA: CAN THE BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY GRANT AN EASEMENT TO
ANOTHER STATE ENTITY SUCH AS H.I.A. TO IMPROVE AND MANAGE THE STAIRS?
>>WE LOOKED AT THAT. ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS, IT LIMITS THE
LIABILITY. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY, THINK WATER
RATE PLACE. GUYS LIKE MO USE THE WATER AND PAY THEIR WATER BILL AND
THEY PAY FOR OPERATIONS. THEY PAY FOR SETTLEMENTS. OUR VIEW,
TRANSFER THE PROPERTY IS THE BEST WAY TO GO HERE ON AN AGENCY THAT
IS MORE EQUIPPED IN DPR AND D.E.S. BETTER SET OF SKILLS WILL GO TO
AGENCIES THAT CAN DO A BETTER JOB OF MANAGING. SO I WOULD SAY
TRANSFER OF EASEMENTS WOULDN’T REALLY WORK FOR US. THEY’RE GOING
TO GO AFTER THE LANDOWNER. AND DEEP POCKETS IS GOVERNMENT AND
LANDOWNER.>>WE GET SUED OVER THE SIDEWALKS LIFTED BY
OUR METER BOX A QUARTER OF AN INCH. AND PEOPLE TRIP AND GET INJURED
AND WE GET SUED FOR INJURY CLAIMS. KIND OF A LITIGIOUS SOCIETY.
>>LARA: OKAY. I WANT TO GET A FEW MORE. RYAN SAYS, IT WOULD BE IDEAL
FOR THE STATE OF HONOLULU PARKS AND REC TO TAKE OVER THE STAIRS. OUR
ECONOMY IS ABOUT TOURISM. WE SHOULD SHOOT OURSELVES IN THE FOOT IF
WE BELONG THEM. JAMES, TAKE THEM DOWN. MANY HIKERS LEAVE RUBBISH.
HOW WOULD THOSE TYPE OF THINGS BE CONTROLLED? IS THAT PART OF THE
NAVY’S PLAN?>>UNDERMANAGED ACCESS, THEY WOULD GET ESCORTED.
THEY GET A BRIEFING. WHAT YOU TAKE UP, YOU GOT TO BRING DOWN. THAT
WOULD BE EMPHASIZED.>>LARA: OUTSIDE OF THAT, WHAT SORT OF COORDINATION
THAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD AREA. ASSURANCES
THAT IF WE’RE GOING TO MOVE FORWARD IN COORDINATED WAY AND
THINGS HAPPEN. ARE THERE CONCESSIONS BEING CONSIDERED. PEOPLE
HAVE TO DEAL THAT IF THEY AGREE WITH A ROBUST PLAN TO GO FORWARD?
>>I SEE THE PEOPLE GOING UP WOULD GO ON THIS APPROVED ACCESS
ROUTE. THERE WOULDN’T BE THAT ISSUE. WHEN WE WERE DOING
MAINTENANCE DAYS, THERE’S AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TRASH AT THE
STAIRS. WE BROUGHT DOWN 150 POUNDS OF TRASH ON ONE OCCASION.
THERE’S PLENTY UP THERE. IT CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM.
I DON’T THINK IT WOULD BEND MANAGED ACCESS.>>YOU BRING UP AN INTERESTING POINT. IF THERE
IS SOME SORT OF PROBLEM, THAT THE PROPERTY OWNER WOULD BE
ABLE TO CALL THE ENTITY THAT’S OPERATING THE STAIRS. AND SOMEBODY
WOULD PICK UP — IT’S A SIMPLE SOLUTION, IF AT ALL.
>>YOU MENTIONED EARLIER PERHAPS PART OF A DEAL IS EITHER SIGNAGE,
MAYBE EVEN A PATROL LOOKING FOR FOLKS AND REDIRECTING ANYBODY WHO
MIGHT BE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD TRYING TO ACCESS. REDIRECT THEM TO THE
MEANS BY WHICH THEY CAN DO IT LEGALLY.>>THOSE WILL BE WRITTEN INTO THE AGREEMENT.
>>LARA: A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT TO A
CERTAIN DEGREE. YOU CAN’T HELP BUT THINK OF A COST. IF YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT A MORE COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PLANS. IF YOU ADD
ON THESE THINGS, IS THE MONEY THERE? ARE YOU ABLE TO ASSESS AT THIS
TIME?>>>I HONESTLY, I THINK FRIENDS ARE THE FIRST
GROUP THAT CAME AND MET WITH THE CITY. AND I THINK I SAT IN ON ALMOST
EVERY MEETING OF ANY GROUP THAT HAD SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT GETTING
HAIKU OPEN UNDER MANAGED ACCESS. I’VE PROBABLY BEEN IN SIX
OR SEVEN OF THEM. AND I REALLY THOUGHT THERE’S NO WAY. I HEARD THE
EARLY ESTIMATES, I BELIEVE FROM SOMEWHERE AROUND 2002 WHEN THE CITY GOT
VERY CLOSE TO GETTING IT OPEN. THE CITY SPENT THEN ABOUT $700,000
TO GET IT TO THAT CONDITION. SERVICEABLE CONDITION. CURRENTLY,
PRESENTLY THE DEPARTMENT’S ESTIMATE — JUST AN ESTIMATE
OF A MILLION DOLLARS TO GET IT INTO SERVICEABLE CONDITION. WITH THAT IN
MIND, HOW WILL THAT WORK? NOT-FOR-PROFIT IS GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE
TO GETTING THE STAIRS IN SERVICEABLE CONDITION.
NOBODY BLINKED WITH THAT.>>LARA: LET ME EXPAND ON THAT A LITTLE BIT.
WHEN YOU SAY IN SERVICEABLE CONDITION, WHAT TYPE OF MAINTENANCE?
YOU TALKED ABOUT THAT PEOPLE FROM THE FRIENDS OF HAI’KU STAIRS,
THEY TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES FOR MANY YEARS UNTIL THEY SAID,
NO, LIABILITY. AND MAYBE YOU CAN JUMP IN AT SOME POINT. WHAT WERE YOU
ACTUALLY DOING?>>AT THAT TIME, MOST OF OUR WORK WAS WITH
THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN PLANTS. AND WE DISCOVERED IT BY FOCUSING ON
THE ALIEN PLANTS. CUTTING THEM BACK, PULLING THEM OUT. DESTROYING
THEM. THE NATIVE PLANTS WOULD GROW BACK.
IT WAS WONDERFUL TO SEE. AND SO THEY NEED A LITTLE BIT OF HELP. AND
THEY WOULD GROW BACK. NEXT TIME WE WENT UP, IT WAS A BIG DIFFERENCE.
THAT’S SOMETHING WE WERE DOING. AND TIGHTENING BOLTS AND IDENTIFYING
RAILINGS THAT WERE STARTING TO RUST. THERE’S NO DOUBT ON A REGULAR
BASIS, THERE WOULD NEED TO BE MAINTENANCE. REPLACING RUSTED SORT
OF THING. MAINTENANCE ON THE STAIRS THEMSELVES.
>>LARA: AND YOUR ISSUE? THAT WAS UP UNTIL A POINT A FEW YEARS AGO.
>>SO THE STAIRS IS A METAL STRUCTURE. GALVANIZED METAL WAS USED IN
THE RENOVATION BY THE CITY IN EARLY 2000. SO IT IS CORRODING. THERE IS
CORROSION. THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE PART OF THE MANAGED ACCESS
CONTRACTOR. WOULD HAVE TO REPLACE THE PIPES OR RAIL CORRODING
OR METAL STEPS. REPLACE CORRODED BOLTS. WE DID DO AN ECONOMIC
ANALYSIS. IT’S IN VOLUME TWO.
>>LARA: TWO.>>AND IT DID — WE DID COME UP POSITIVE CASH
FLOW EVEN WITH THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS.
IT WOULD HAVE TO BE INVESTED IN BEFORE THE STAIRS COULD BE OPENED UP.
THERE IS MAINTENANCE. GOES BEYOND VOLUNTEERS. IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO
WORK, IT WILL BE — SHOULD BE QUALIFIED CONTRACTORS THAT CAN DO THE
WORK, AND DO THE WORK WITH THE APPROPRIATE SAFETY MEASURES SO THEY
DON’T GET INJURED ON THE JOB.>>LARA: AT THIS POINT, AS FAR AS — I HATE
TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD A LITTLE BIT, BUT YOU LOOK AT THE RAIL, FOR
EXAMPLE. AND ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE MADE AND WHAT THE COSTS ACTUALLY
ENDS UP BEING. IS THERE A CONCERN THAT BY THE TIME WE GET TO THE POINT
OF POSSIBLY PUTTING IN A MANAGEMENT PLAN, ASSESSING THE COST, THAT
WE’LL BE AT A DIFFERENT POINT PRICEWISE?
OR ARE YOU SEEING SOME STABILITY?>>WELL, IT IS DRIVEN BY HOW BUSY THE CONSTRUCTION
BUSINESS IS. I HOPE THERE’S NO RECESSION COMING. FROM WHAT
I SAW IN 2008 PRIOR TO THE RECESS IN ’08, ’09, ESCALATION AND CONSTRUCTION
COST WAS ALMOST DOUBLE DIGIT PER YEAR. AFTER ’08 AND ’09 WHEN
FINANCING BECAME DIFFICULT FOR PROJECTS, THAT COST ESCALATION
WENT DOWN. SO RIGHT NOW, WE’RE SAYING THAT IF WE’RE GOING TO REMOVE
THE STAIRS, IT’S ALMOST A MILLION DOLLARS TO DO THAT. TO OPEN
IT AND DO RENOVATIONS IT WAS A LITTLE HIGHER THAN THAT.
WITH THE REVENUE COMING FROM FROM PEOPLE PAYING FOR THE STAIR, IT
CREATED A POSITIVE CASH FLOW.>>LARA: HERE’S A QUESTION. HAS ANYONE MANAGED
HOW TO MANAGE THE FOOT LIMIT AS IN TIME LIMIT COMING UP AND
DOWN? HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THAT? PEOPLE GOING UP AND
DOWN.>>THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. AND YOU DON’T
WANT TO EXCLUDE PEOPLE GOING UP. YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE DIFFERENT LEVELS.
SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO TAKE THEIR TIME, TAKE FEW PICTURE,
REST, LEARN ABOUT THE PLANTS. AND SOMEBODY FOCUSED ON IT BEING A
RECREATIONAL EXPERIENCE. SOME PEOPLE RUN TO THE SUMMIT.
>>LARA: HERE’S A QUESTION TO ROBERT’S QUESTION. TALKING ABOUT LIABILITY. MEDICAL LIABILITY.
I WAS IN SHAPE. IT WAS TOUGH. I SEE PEOPLE WHO MOST CERTAINLY SHOULD
NOT GO UP THERE. WE GOT PEOPLE WHO DEFINITELY WANT TO GO UP EVEREST.
ARE THEY TRULY READY? EVEN IF THEY GOT THE PERMIT.
>>THERE’S SOME QUESTION TO GETTING A PERMIT. AND THE GUIDES WOULD
BE TRAINED TO LOOK FOR SIGNS OF PEOPLE DRINKING ENOUGH FLUIDS.
STARTING TO GET IN TROUBLE AND PULL THEM ASIDE.>>LARA: SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CITY MOVING
IN AND SAYING, OKAY, WE WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS.
WHAT MADE THE MAYOR DECIDE THE STAIRS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO PARKS?
WAS THERE A TURNING POINT? I’M ALL IN.>>I DON’T THINK THERE’S A TURNING POINT.
AS LONG AS I’VE BEEN PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION, IT’S BEEN VERY
CONSISTENT ABOUT HIS INTEREST. NOT ONLY TO HAVING THE STAIRS
ACCESSIBLE BUT HAVE THEM IN HAIKU. IDEAS HAVE BEEN FLOATED. IF YOU’RE
GOING TO PULL THEM OUT, CAN THEY BE PUT IN SOMEWHERE ELSE? THERE IS
NO OTHER EXPERIENCE SIMILAR. SO VERY STEADFAST ABOUT IT’S A UNIQUE, IF
NOT SINGULAR OPPORTUNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY. AND WE SHOULD HAVE THAT OPEN
AND IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE OF HONOLULU. PEOPLE OF
THE WORLD, REALLY.>>I THINK THE MAYOR HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR HE
WOULD LIKE TO RETAIN THE STAIRS FOR MORE THAN A YEAR NOW.
AT LEAST A COUPLE YEARS. IT’S CLEAR HE WANTS TO RETAIN IT THERE.
>>LARA: WAS THERE A MAJOR ACCIDENT — A QUESTION. WAS THERE EVER A
MAJOR ACCIDENT ON THE STAIRS? DEATH?>>I RECALL THAT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A NEWS
STORY IN THE PAST ABOUT SOMEBODY MAYBE BECAUSE THEY HAD A MEDICAL
EMERGENCY, THEY WEREN’T PHYSICALLY FIT OR CAPABLE. ALMOST 4,000 STAIRS.
AND SOME PARTS ARE LIKE GOING UP A LADDER. THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN
A MEDICAL EMERGENCY THAT LED TO SOMEBODY PASSING AWAY.
>>IT WAS AN UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT. AT ABOUT 4:00 IN THE MORNING,
SOMEBODY GOT INTO TROUBLE ON THE STAIRS AND HAD A HEART ATTACK AND
DIED.>>LARA: ALSO HAPPENED AT DIAMOND HEAD.
>>PART OF THE SAFETY BRIEFING, WE’LL BE TELLING PEOPLE IF YOU START
RUNNING INTO TROUBLE, START. ALERT ONE OF THE GUIDES. CHEST PAINS.
INCREASED TROUBLE BREATHING. IT WOULD HELP. AND BY CHANCE, 4:00 IN THE MORNING IS COMMONEST
TIME WHEN YOU CAN HAVE A HEART ATTACK. LOTS OF THINGS FELL INTO
PLACE. PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED OR DIED AS A RESULT
OF AN ACCIDENT, TO MY UNDERSTANDING, THERE’S NEVER BEEN A CASE ON
THE STAIRS ITSELF.>>LARA: IF THE CITY IS ACCEPTING LIABILITY,
I’M ASSUMING THAT IS PART OF THE DEAL. LIABILITY.
>>THE CITY KNOWS THERE’S NO WAY TO AVOID THAT. IN TERMS OF THE
TRADEOFF BETWEEN MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO THE COMMUNITY, YOU WANT TO
MAKE IT AVAILABLE.>>LARA: NEXT QUESTION, THIS IS INTERESTING.
THIS IS KENNETH FROM BIG ISLAND. SUGGESTION, DIAMOND HEAD HIKE, THEY’RE
GOING BY FOOT. 700 FEET, HAIKU STAIRS. I THINK WE CRUNCHED SOME
NUMBERS. IF YOU ALLOWED 80 UP THERE, IT WOULD BE SOMETHING
AROUND $29,000 PER YEAR, WHICH IS SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN NOW. THE
BALANCE IT WOULD BE THAT MANAGED PLAN AS OPPOSED TO FREE FORM. WHAT
ABOUT WORKING WITH SOME OF THE OTHER GROUPS? WE SAW A QUESTION
ON — WHERE DID I SEE? TALKING ABOUT CARETAKERS AND OTHER PEOPLE.
WHETHER IT BE THE STREAM, WORKING WITH BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY.
COAST GUARD TO PROTECT THE AREA. HAS THIS BEEN PART OF THE
DISCUSSION? WORKING WITH GROUPS FAMILIAR WITH THE CULTURE, LAND.
PART OF A COMMUNITY.>>FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, I THINK ALMOST EVERYBODY
THAT WE SPOKE WITH WANT TO INCLUDE CULTURAL COMPONENT. IN
SOME CASES THAT WAS IN COLLABORATION WITH ANOTHER PARTY. THAT WAS
PROVIDING IT FOR THEMSELVES.
SO CERTAINLY, I CAN IMAGINE SCENARIOS WHERE THERE IS AN ENTITY THAT’S
SPECIFICALLY RESPONSIBLE. IN TERMS OF THE EXPERIENCE, THEY’RE
PARTNERING WITH SOMEBODY ELSE TO PROVIDE IT.>>MAINTENANCE DAYS, TAKING INVENTORY OF NATIVE
HAWAIIAN PLANTS.>>LARA: THE IDEA HERE OR WHAT THE BOARD OF
WATER SUPPLY IS CITY TO TRANSFER IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. IF IT IS NOT,
THERE IS A PLAN IN PLACE OR A DISCUSSION ON HOW SOON THIS COULD BE CLOSED.
AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS 2022. FAIRLY SOON. IS THAT
THE ALTERNATIVE? IS THAT WHAT YOU SEE HAPPENING IF THERE ISN’T ANOTHER
ENTITY ABLE AND WILLING TO TAKE THIS ON?
>>ONCE WE COMPLETE THE EIS AND GO THROUGH THE 60-DAY CHALLENGE
PERIOD, IT WILL BE A DECISION BEFORE THE WATER BOARD AND HOW THEY
WANT TO PROCEED. AND THAT DECISION CAN BE PROPOSED ACTION COULD BE
TAKEN DOWN. BEGIN THAT PROCESS TO ACTUALLY DO THE DESIGN AND
PERMITTING TO REMOVE THE STAIRS. OR IT COULD BE TO PROCEED WITH
TRANSFER EVEN THOUGH THE CITY HASN’T WORKED OUT ALL THE DETAILS YET.
IF THE BOARD FEELS TRANSFER IS WHAT THEY WANT TO SUPPORT, AND THE
MAYOR IS A WILLING PARTY TO RECEIVE THE PROPERTY, BOARD COULD TAKE
ACTION ALONG THOSE LINES. DO WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO DO STATUS QUO?
EIS IS A NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE. THAT IS PROBABLY THE AT LEAST DESIRABLE. AND
THAT’S KIND OF ONE OF THE REASONS I DECIDED TO DO AN EIS. THIS ISSUE
HAS BEEN PENDING AND TROUBLING THE COMMUNITY ON BOTH SIDES FOR
DECADES. SO TO MOVE THIS FORWARD TO SOME KIND OF RESOLUTION, WE NEED
TO DO AN EIS. AND THAT’S WHAT WE HAVE DONE.
>>IF IT GOES IN EITHER ONE OF THOSE DIRECTIONS, IS THERE ADDITIONAL
OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMUNITY INPUT?>>I BELIEVE THE PROCESS WILL BE DONE AT A
PUBLIC MEETING. I HAVEN’T DISCUSSED WITH THE BOARD THE EXACT PROCEDURE.
IT WILL PROBABLY BE AT LEAST AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TESTIMONY TO BE
RECEIVED PERHAPS AT ONE MEETING AND IF THE BOARD IS AGREEABLE, A DECISION
MAYBE AT THE NEXT MEETING. I DON’T THINK — MY RECOMMENDATION
TO THE BOARD IS, A DECISION THAT’S SO IMPORTANT TO ALL SIDES
OF THE COMMUNITY HERE, FOR AND AGAINST THE STAIRS, THAT THE BOARD — I
WOULD RECOMMEND TO THE BOARD TO ALLOW FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. AND DO
A VERY TRANSPARENT DECISION-MAKING PROCESS IN FRONT OF THE COMMUNITY.
>>LARA: AS WE SAW BACK IN 2002, THIS WENT JUST ABOUT OVER THE HUMP,
AND THEN THROUGH DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRESSURE POINTS.
IT FELL TO THE WAYSIDE AS FAR AS BEING REOPENED. KNOWING THAT’S THE
HISTORY AND IT TOUCHES A LOT OF KEY POINTS FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, THAT
COULD POTENTIALLY HAPPEN AGAIN. IS THE MAYOR WILLING TO GO AS FAR AS GETTING
THESE STAIRS REOPENED?>>WELL, I BELIEVE WE’RE IN FOR THE FULL RIDE.
WE CERTAINLY WANT TO WORK WITH THE COUNCIL AND SHARE THEIR CONCERNS.
WE TRY TO ADDRESS THEIR CONCERNED WELL IN ADVANCE. UNTIL THE
PROCESS HAS CHANGED. COUNCIL WILL HAVE TO AUTHORIZE TRANSFER OF
THE LAND. I’M NOT SURE THE DEGREE TO WHICH ALL THE COUNCILMEMBERS
HAVE BEEN BRIEFED. I’M SURE THE COUNCILMEMBER OF THE DISTRICT HAS
BEEN AND VERY WELL AWARE OF THE ISSUES. WE’D WANT TO EDUCATE THEM ON
WHAT WE WANT TO DO AND HOW WE PLAN TO DO IT.
>>LARA: THANK YOU ALL OF YOU. A VERY IMPORTANT DISCUSSION FOR EVERYBODY.
A LOT OF INTEREST. MAHALO TO YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT. AND
WE THANK OUR GUESTS – ERNEST LAU, MANAGER AND CHIEF ENGINEER OF
THE HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY.
MAURICE “MO” RADKE, CHAIR OF THE KANE’OHE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD
VERNON ANSDELL, PRESIDENT OF FRIENDS OF HAʻIKŪ STAIRS.
AND GUY KAULUKUKUI, DIRECTOR OF ENTERPRISE SERVICES FOR THE CITY AND
COUNTY OF HONOLULU. NEXT WEEK ON INSIGHTS –
THE FIRST OF TWO SHOWS ON SEX TRAFFICKING IN HAWAIʻI. FIRST, WE WILL
FOCUS ON ADULTS FOLLOWED BY THE SEX TRAFFICKING OF MINORS. PLEASE
JOIN US. I’M LARA YAMADA FOR INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
– A HUI HOU!

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