Dragonfly Ranch Hosts 35th Anniversary/Retirement Party/
Open House on December 6
by Russell Phelps
Dragonfly Ranch: HEALING ARTS CENTER, an award-winning Bed and Breakfast/eco-spa in Honaunau, is celebrating its 35th anniversary at an OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, December 6th.
“After 65 revolutions around the sun I have decided it is time to turn over my creation to wonderful new stewards,” says “soul” proprietor, Barbara Moore. As she retires, she is looking for a unique way to search the world for the best new owners for her “green” paradisiacal sanctuary. Moore plans to make Dec. 6th the opening of a world-wide writing contest to find these ideal owners.
Moore started crafting her place on the Big Island’s Kona Coast in 1974 when she got a 55 year lease agreement for two beautiful acres of land with huge monkeypod trees. This meadow land at the perfect 700 foot elevation is blessed with sunny weather and light breezes. Green and lush without too much rain, it is ideally located two miles above the ancient “Place of Sanctuary,” Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. Known for world-class pristine snorkeling and diving, this sacred bay features turtles, coral, colorful fish and friendly spinner dolphins.
In 1980, on The Journey of Transformation in Egypt, Moore got guidance to operate her place as a healing retreat center–“where Aloha abounds.” She opened her home and heart to guests from around the world. Approved as a five bedroom B&B, the Dragonfly Ranch was voted #1 Bed and Breakfast in West Hawaii by readers of the local daily newspaper.
Last year this peaceful retreat received the prestigious nomination for National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s “most authentic places to stay.”
This unique “upscale treehouse” with luxuriously rustic suites has housed over ten thousand guests over the years. “Happy campers” have returned again and again, including famous writers, artists, movie stars, musicians, singers and healers. It has also been the chosen site of concerts, symposiums, retreats, workshops, family reunions, weddings and romantic honeymoons.
The legendary Dragonfly Ranch featuring “Serene Play and Healthy Pleasures” has an international reputation as a safe haven of “old Hawaii where time is slow and easy”–for individuals, couples and groups seeking beauty, relaxation, rejuvenation, peace, creativity, spiritual awareness, authenticity and FUN.
Much of the “healing magic” of the Dragonfly Ranch is due to Moore’s soulful touches such as the colorful labyrinth in her “Illuminarium.” For that reason, Moore is offering new owners not only her legacy of a successful business but also her consulting services if desired.
While she would like to see her beloved “expansion mansion” and organic garden continue being a place of magical healing, Moore says, “I am not requiring that the new owners continue operating a B&B/eco-spa. I welcome individuals as well as organizations to contact me about owning this blessed place.”
The grand finale of the December 6th gala celebration will be the announcement of the winner of the “How Many Dragonflies at The Dragonfly Ranch” Contest. Whoever guesses the closest to the number of visible dragonfly images will win a free week-long stay worth up to $2000 in indoor/outdoor Dragonfly lodging.
Particulars can be found on the extensive website, <http://www.dragonflyranch.com/> For more information call Barbara Moore at 808-328-2159 Email: email@example.com
Lanny Sinkin wrote:
Below are two commentaries on the recent oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in the Kingdom Lands case. The second piece arrived without information on the author. I am told that Keanu Sai is the author of that piece.
I have attached a transcript of that oral argument as well.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
By Leon Siu
February 27, 2009
Washington, D.C., USA
Reading the newspaper accounts of the State of Hawaii v. the Office of Hawaiian Affairs oral arguments at the Supreme Court I asked myself, were they in the same courtroom that I was? Hawaii papers put a phony, positive spin on what actually went down. The stories were written with the kind of provincial slant… home-town-team, win-or-lose, they’re-our-boys and we’re-darn proud-of- ‘em and we-love- ‘em.
Well, we do love ‘em, but those of us who were there saw a very different picture than the hometown news reported. The fact is, the state and OHA choked.
Hawaii’s little league ball teams do much better in rallying and coming through in the clutch in their world-series encounters. But the State and OHA got dirty lickins playing in this big league, world-series- level of court. They performed like a bunch of amateur scam artists, but in nice suits.
In essence, the Supreme Court justices appeared not just skeptical, they seemed to be downright annoyed at the state’s convoluted arguments and manipulative efforts to have the federal court undo the results of 14 years of dragging through the state courts.
The justices took their line of questioning way outside the expectations and comfort zone of both the state and OHA. Neither party was prepared to (or wanted to) address the issue of title except to reinforce the state’s claim to so-called “perfect title” as “a given.” So they did some fancy footwork to try to dodge the title issue; which did not amuse or make any points with the court. Neither was the court pleased when the state and OHA tried to steer the justices back to the actual narrow question on deck about state’s rights.
The state’s whole case is built upon the premise that the State of Hawaii has “indisputable perfect title” to the “ceded lands.” Well guess what? If their title was “indisputable” and “perfect” why are they in court? And why have they been in court over this issue for 14 years? Because there is a dispute! There is a question of title!
The injunction leveled against the State of Hawaii by the State Supreme Court in January 2008 caused the State to run crying to the U.S. Supreme Court saying, “No fair, no fair! The Apology Law would force us to give Hawaiians back the lands stolen from them over 100 years ago! It’s ours fair and square because the U.S. gave it to us! The Apology means nothing. We have “perfect title!”
[Ironically, this is the very Apology Law that the state embraces in their support the Akaka Bill. But that’s another story.]
The Apology Law undermines the state’s “perfect title” claim. The State Court ordered the injunction because the Apology Law clearly shows that there is a dispute — a big one! The Apology Law flatly says that the seizure of Hawaii was illegal and that the native Hawaiians never gave up their claims (title) to the lands of Hawaii.
These two glaring admissions of fact, framed within this federal Apology Law (USPL 103-150) don’t merely suggest a problem of land title; they cast serious doubt on the very legitimacy of the State of Hawaii. How can something that results from an illegal act now be considered legal, or in this case, perfect?
The illegality of the initial act (the seizure of the lands of Hawaii) means that anything else based on that illegal act is likewise, illegal; and that means the State of Hawaii and its construct, OHA are illegal entities. That means the only valid, lawful claimant to the lands and jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Islands is, after all these years, the still-existing Hawaiian Kingdom.
That is why the state claimed right off the bat that it had “indisputable” “perfect title.” The state was desperately trying to keep the court from inquiring about any other option regarding title by eliminating that, first off, as a point of contention. But the court’s refusal to wear such blinders was unnerving to the state. You could almost hear the state attorney general saying to the court, “focus! focus!”
But just because the state took a beating, doesn’t mean OHA fared much better.
Probably the most egregious action that day was by OHA when it chose to agree with the state’s “perfect title” position and by doing so, failing to present the Native Hawaiians’ un-relinquished claims as a challenge to the state. They virtually abandoned the Native Hawaiian land claim implicit in the Apology Law! By doing so, they virtually abandoned the Native Hawaiians; the clients they purport to represent!
At best it was a stupid legal maneuver; at worst it was a shameful betrayal.
OHA never challenged the state’s “perfect title” claim and argued instead that according to state laws, the state had a “fiduciary duty,” sort of a moral obligation, to take care of the Native Hawaiians.
That led Justice Ginsburg to ask, “The Native Hawaiians — they do get 20 percent of the proceeds, correct?” And the OHA attorney to answer, “That’s correct…as a matter of State law they get 20 percent of the revenue from the ceded-lands trust…” (we all looked incredulously at each other…since when?) Then he clarified, “…though the amount of that revenue has itself been the subject of protracted and unresolved litigation.” Oh, so we get 20%, but not yet! The check’s in the mail…
Later, Justice Kennedy stated to the OHA attorney: “Your whole case rests on a cloud on the title in favor of your clients. But you — you ignore the cloud on the title that has been entered against the State.”
So, OHA’s strategy is: don’t press for the Native Hawaiian’s outstanding claim on the land, but instead, shift to begging for handouts from the state because, according to “state law,” the state has a “fiduciary duty” to take care of Native Hawaiians. OHA in essence was making a pitch (in the Supreme Court of the United States!) for a welfare claim, not a land claim!
In my opinion, both the state and OHA were way out of their league in this court. But you can’t blame them. They had a flimsy case to begin with; one in which they are trying to defend a situation that resulted from a long series of illegal actions. It’s very hard to defend a string of lies.
Two good things came from this: 1) the state and OHA have proven they have nothing to stand on, and 2) there is now a gaping doorway for the Hawaiian Kingdom to walk through, assert itself and claim its rightful title the lands of Hawaii.
The Myth of Ceded Lands and the State of Hawai`i’s
Claim to Perfect Title
In the recent Ceded lands hearing at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on
February 25, 2009, Attorney General Mark Bennett repeatedly asserted in the hearings
that the State of Hawai`i has perfect title to over one million acres of land that were
transferred to the United States government upon annexation in 1898 and then transferred
to the State of Hawai`i in 1959. This is an incorrect statement. This falsehood, however,
is not based on arguments for or against the highly charged Hawaiian sovereignty
movement; rather, it is a simple question to answer since ownership of land is not a
matter of rhetoric but dependent on a sequence of deeds in a chain of title between the
party granting title and the party receiving title. In fact, the term “perfect title” in real
estate terms means “a title that is free of liens and legal questions as to ownership of the
property. A requirement for the sale of real estate.”
What determines a perfect title is a chain of title that doesn’t have a missing link. Here in
Hawai`i all titles originate from the Hawaiian Kingdom government whether by Royal
Patents or Land Commission Awards and all subsequent conveyances between
individuals are registered at the Bureau of Conveyances located at the corner of
Punchbowl and Beretania Streets on the ground floor of the Kalanimoku Building. An
example of a chain of title would be the Hawaiian Kingdom government to Joe Smith,
Joe Smith to Alex White, Alex White to Alapa`i, Alapa`i to Yao Wong, Yao Wong to
Jonathan Judd. If there is no record of the deed between Alapa`i and Yao Wong there is a
break in the chain of title and therefore Jonathan Judd cannot claim to have a perfect title,
which is a “requirement for the sale of real estate.”
For so-called Ceded Lands, being the Hawaiian Kingdom government and Crown lands,
the chain of title is supposedly from the Hawaiian Kingdom government and Queen
Lili`uokalani to the Provisional government, the Provisional government to the Republic
of Hawai`i, the Republic of Hawai`i to the United States, the United States to the State of
Hawai`i. In this chain, however, there are two missing links and not just one. On January
17, 1893, the Provisional government seized control of the Government and Crown lands
without conveyance, but through revolt, and after investigating the revolt, President
Cleveland reported to the Congress on December 18, 1893 that the Provisional
government was neither de facto (a successful revolution), nor de jure (the lawful
government), but self-proclaimed (committing the crime of high treason). On November
13, 1893, U.S. Ambassador Albert Willis began to negotiate with the Queen, on behalf of
President Cleveland, to grant amnesty for these criminals and an agreement to restore the
Hawaiian Kingdom government was concluded with the condition that the Queen grant
amnesty after the government was restored.
The other missing link is that there is no record of conveyance from the so-called
Republic of Hawai`i to the United States when the Hawaiian Islands were supposedly
annexed in 1898. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term cede is “to
yield or give up by treaty.” In order for countries to cede territory to the United States it
must be made by treaty, e.g. Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, or the Alaska
Purchase from Russia in 1867. For Hawai`i, there are two failed treaties of cession, the
first in 1893 and the other in 1897, but the first was permanently withdrawn from the
Senate by Cleveland in March of 1893, and the second was not able to be ratified by the
Senate because of protests by the Queen and Hawaiian subjects. Instead, the United
States enacted a Congressional joint resolution proclaiming that the Hawaiian Islands had
been annexed. The joint resolution of annexation is not a treaty or conveyance from the
so-called Republic of Hawai`i. It is a unilateral declaration that was used to seize and
occupy the Hawaiian Islands during the Spanish-American War. The United States today
could no more annex Iraq by a joint resolution than it could annex the Hawaiian Islands
by joint resolution in 1898. Congressional laws have no effect beyond the borders of the
If there is no record of a deed from the Hawaiian Kingdom government and the Queen to
the Provisional government transferring Government and Crown lands, there is a break in
the chain of title and therefore the State of Hawai`i cannot claim to have a perfect title,
which is a “requirement for the sale of real estate.” As far as the term “Ceded lands,”
there is no such thing because the Government and Crown lands were never “yielded or
given up by treaty” to the United States in the first place. Confusing cession for
occupation is tantamount to confusing adoption for kidnapping. This is not a case of
semantics, but ignorance of the legal and political history of Hawai`i.
P. O. Box 944
Hilo, Hawai’i 96721
Attorney at Law
Ali’i Mana’o Nui by appointment of Ali’i Nui Mo’i Edmund Keli’i Silva, Jr.
Uncategorized | Tags: Hawaii, Law, List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, Native Hawaiian, Supreme Court, United States, United States Supreme Court, US Supreme Court | Comment (0)
Surfers vs. the Superferry
By Jerry Mander & Koohan Paik
This article appeared in the March 16, 2009 edition of The Nation.
February 25, 2009
Jerry Mander & Koohan Paik: How grassroots activists in Hawaii threw a wrench into plans for an environmentally hazardous superferry.
It all started in 2001 as a purportedly modest “local” effort to offer inter-island ferry service to “help local people more easily visit their relatives on other islands, and carry their farm produce to market.” Most locals liked the idea but soon found that this ferry, the gigantic Hawaii Superferry, was an environmental nightmare. It uses far more fuel (in total and per person) than big planes. It races at high speed (40-45 miles per hour) through zones teeming with endangered humpback whales, dolphins and rare sea turtles. It could transport dangerous invasive species to pristine islands. And it carries hundreds of cars to tiny places already choking on traffic.
Environmentalists demanded an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its Hawaii equivalent (HEPA). But the Hawaii Superferry Company, with strong support from Governor Linda Lingle, the ambitious right-wing Republican lately famous for introducing Sarah Palin at the Republican convention, refused.
By 2004 the lead investor (nearly $90 million) and new chair of the board for this “local” ferry project was New York City military financier John Lehman, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the Navy, a leading neocon with a famously aggressive military vision. (The Washington Post quoted him in 1984 as advocating first-strike nuclear strategies.) Lehman is a member of the Project for the New American Century and a 9/11 commissioner, but his great passion has been pushing for a vastly expanded, 600-ship Navy and a stronger US military presence in the Pacific to assuage mounting concerns about China as a future military superpower. After his company, J.F. Lehman, took over the Superferry project, Lehman appointed a new board with a majority of former top military brass. He later hired Adm. Thomas Fargo as CEO. Only four years ago Fargo was the commander of US military operations in the Pacific, answering directly to George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. So the question is this: why on earth would anyone need a board that qualifies as a mini-Pentagon to run a friendly transport for families and papayas between islands?
A key moment in this saga came in August 2007, on the small island of Kauai, called the Garden Island by tourist agencies for its folded green cliffs, cascading waterfalls and aloha spirit. But on this occasion about 1,500 locals–including a high percentage of Native Hawaiians, joined by people of Japanese and Filipino descent and a contingent of New Age haoles (recent white settlers seeking Shangri-La)–showed up at Nawiliwili Harbor to protest the Superferry’s maiden voyage from Honolulu to Kauai. Several dozen surfers also played a catalytic role.
When the protesters saw the oncoming speeding colossus on the horizon–bigger than a football field, four stories high and capable of carrying as many as 866 people and 282 cars–the outrage grew. The anger had been magnified a few days earlier when Governor Lingle and Lehman’s Superferry company indicated they would disregard a 5-0 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling demanding the boat suspend operations until it completed an EIS. As it approached, dozens of surfers and swimmers leaped into the water. Ignoring strident Coast Guard threats, they headed out under the Superferry’s terrifying catamaran blades, stopping the ship dead in the water. It created a sort of Tiananmen Square standoff in the waters of Kauai.
It was a dangerous business, but next day when the Superferry returned, the crowd of protesters had grown, and the surfers and beach brigades had too. In the ensuing eighteen months, the boat has never returned to Kauai and now has only one daily run, from Honolulu to Maui. The “spirit of Nawiliwili” has become the stuff of legend in Hawaii.
On the island of Maui, similar outrage led to a series of large if less spectacular protests. But the Maui resistance settled on legal actions from groups like the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition. It was these groups that had won the unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court ruling demanding the EIS. Everyone thought that decision would settle matters. Instead, it stimulated Lingle to demonstrate her Machiavellian chops by coercing the State Legislature (many of whose members had received Superferry largesse, as had Lingle) to pass a law theoretically circumventing the court ruling and permitting the boat to operate. It was an in-your-face move worthy of Bush/Cheney at their peak. Lingle’s new law, Act Two, invented an EIS process with few features from NEPA or HEPA. The new law, for example, has no power to stop the Superferry from operating, no matter what the environmental findings. It’s a fake EIS.
The Maui groups have gone back to court to charge that Act Two is unconstitutional–violating separation of powers and directly favoring a single company, among other problems. The final decision is expected any day.
Three weeks after Nawiliwili, another huge throng filled the 1,500 seats of Kauai’s War Memorial Convention Hall, with many more outside, for a “public meeting” called by Governor Lingle. Imperiously she warned that she would not discuss whether there would be a Superferry–that had been decided. Her purpose was to instruct people that if they repeated their protests, they would be charged under new anti-terrorism laws that carry prison terms up to five years and/or a $10,000 fine.
Her statements were met with hoots and laughter and then a series of eloquent testimonies about protection of sacred lands (aina in Hawaiian) and sea creatures and the rights of local communities to protect themselves from invasive species and invasive corporations with militaristic intentions. Many indicated they were not opposed to a ferry if it would operate within community and environmental standards rather than those of an absentee owner with profit motives and military intentions. Others denounced Lingle’s embrace of the project and its owner, suggesting she’d abandoned Hawaii for personal ambition.
Lingle’s goals surely go beyond providing a useful local ferry. They certainly seemed to have far more to do with getting closer to powerful Republican Party figures–notably Lehman, slated, as the New York Times reported, to have been John McCain’s chief of staff, had he won.
Throughout all this, the governor and the Superferry company denied the ferry’s long-range military implications, despite earlier statements by Lehman and other executives about transporting Stryker tanks and other military services along with similar statements from the US Maritime Administration, which had issued a loan guarantee. Pacific Business News reported in March 2005 that Timothy Dick, Hawaii Superferry’s original chair, confirmed that “Hawaii Superferry provided the Army with a cost analysis and expects to negotiate a long-term contract.” The article also noted that “with Lehman’s expertise, the Superferry plans to…carry military equipment and ferry vehicles from Oahu to the Big Island on a daily basis” and quoted Lehman saying that “the Superferry is strong enough to take Stryker vehicles.”
Then in November the Superferry’s manufacturer, Austal USA of Mobile, Alabama, was awarded a $1.6 billion Pentagon contract to build ten high-speed catamarans under the Navy’s Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program in preparation for possible future conflicts with China. The model that Austal submitted for that contract competition was almost identical to the Hawaii Superferry’s large-scale, aluminum-hulled high-speed catamaran design, except for military fittings and accommodations. The fact that the Superferry was already in the water, proving its seaworthiness while the JHSV contract was being considered, suggests that it may have always been intended as a prototype or demo model for the larger deal. It also explains the consistent refusals to do an EIS, which might have delayed getting the boat operational and visible.
Two years earlier, Lehman had also purchased a shipyard, Atlantic Marine, adjacent to Austal in Mobile. It’s not yet clear if Lehman’s company, or Superferry, stands to gain from the Austal award, possibly by subcontracting aspects of that huge construction project, but speculation in Hawaii runs wild.
All parties await the next ruling from the Hawaii Supreme Court on the Maui appeal. A new diverse grassroots community of activists on Kauai is warily assessing whether it will again need to respond. Will the company try to send the boat back to Kauai? Or will the Superferry quit Hawaii altogether as too much trouble, selling the boat for military uses, or to someplace with no activist surfers? As for Lingle’s future, it’s not bright. While touring with Palin during the presidential campaign, Lingle was quoted saying that Barack Obama’s “claim” to be from Hawaii is “disingenuous.” That enraged the Hawaiian public more than the Superferry. She may no longer be politically viable.
Uncategorized | Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Hawaii, Hawaii Superferry, Military of the United States, National Environmental Policy Act, Tiananmen Square, United States | Comment (0)
An alert friend spotted this on a local blog… glad someone is talking.
Long time member Bob Duerr, not seen by us in a while, attended the Annual(Press Club) Dinner with his wife Adriana. Editor Rod asked him what he’s been up to recently, and Bob submitted this brief version of a longer article he wrote for Hawaii Fishing News, going way beyond fish.
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas have nearly four million square miles of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This may seem eco-friendly but diving deeper reveals murky waters.
Gates claims “there is sovereign American territory in the western Pacific from the Aleutian Islands all the way down to Guam.” Over the complaining of Marianas, the Marianas National Monument further cements U.S. “sovereign territory.”
Why the need for ocean territory? Honolulu journalist Richard Halloran says senior Chinese naval officers have told Honolulu’s Admiral Timothy Keating they plan immediately to build aircraft carriers. The Chinese want the U.S. to stop to patrolling the western Pacific.
The military’s latest Hawaii Range Complex environmental impact statement shows the testing zone for the complex completely enveloping the northwest islands. U.S. military action is provided in MPA legal clauses, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest ruling exempting the Navy’s high-powered sonar from harming marine mammals sets the precedent for an environmental open door policy.
news junkie Says:
February 24th, 2009 at 11:22 am
Big Mahalo to Bob Duerr for explaining the whole “Pacific Sanctuary” trick. Its a bait and switch… most think these “sanctuaries” are to protect, nuh-uh, Bush set ‘em up for the military to use to pollute beyond prying eyes, to freak-out China, and to further sales of the defense industry. The Marianas are the only ones who tried to fight back.
Since we are getting kicked out of Okinawa for being bad neighbors in addition to contaminating their land -Hawai’i Island and Guam are IT; the tip of the spear pointed at China. Lucky us. Thank your congressmen.
Uncategorized | Tags: Aleutian Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Kim Beazley, Military of the United States, Robert Gates, United States, United States Secretary of Defense | Comment (0)
Rep. Mayor, Harry Kim is intending to veto this bill banning GMO on taro and coffee on the Big Island.
Thanks to Richard Daimond and his Kauai Museletter:
Ban on GMO-Taro & Coffee Passed!
Mahalo from the heart! Ban on GMO-Taro & Coffee Passed!
following is a summary: please go to this link to read more:
Mahalo a nui loa !
Lokahi a lanakila. – Through unity comes victory.
Thanks to broad, resounding public support, Bill 361–to ban the growing
of genetically modified taro and coffee on the Big
PASSED UNANIMOUSLY at the Hawaii County Council meeting on Wednesday,
1,000 people wrote on behalf of protecting these important heritage
plants, and over 100 testified in person.
Growers are Heard: We DO NOT WANT GMOs!
Strong-arm Tactics by Biotech Continue.
* You can support our work, learn more, and get involved at:
What this GMO Ban Does
This bill effectively places a ban on the testing, propagation,
cultivation. introduction and release of genetically modified taro and
coffee on the island of Hawaii. The penalty for violating this ban is a
What is a GMO?
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are patented plant mutants created
by inserting genes from one species into another unrelated species using
virus & bacteria to transfer the genes. For example, forcing wheat genes
into taro, or bacteria genes into corn. Organic food growers have rejected
GMO, and GMO foods cannot be certified as organic. GMO food safety has
never been proven on humans. This experimental technique is crude and
imprecise, unsafe, unnatural and rejected by the governments of most
nations and the majority of the world’s population.
Natural kope & kalo are just fine, thank you.
Together, our good work makes a difference, as has been shown with this
monumental victory on the Island of Hawai’i.
Thank you to all who support and continue to be vigilant in protecting
our aina.Uncategorized | Tags: Agriculture, Coffee, Environment, Food, Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism, Hawaii, Organic food | Comment (0)