HONOLULU – 11/4/13: The Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr. today announced the appointment of Alan S. Downer as administrator of the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Downer to the post of SHPD administrator,” Aila said, “With extensive experience as director for one of the nation’s largest historic preservation agencies, Downer brings tremendous experience in leadership to the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division. I also believe his qualifications will provide SHPD with much needed direction on working with the National Park Service to meet requirements under its Corrective Action Plan.” Downer served 27 years as director of the Navajo Nations Historic Preservation Department (NNHPD) in Window Rock, Ariz. Downer was hired in 1986 to establish the first tribal historic preservation agency in the United States. The Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department remains one of the largest public historic preservation agencies in the United States. “Mr. Downer has the right experience to lead the Hawaii’s State Historic Preservation Division,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The division plays a vital role in protecting and preserving Hawaii’s historic and cultural sites, while balancing complex issues that affect the state’s economy.” “I’m thrilled to hear that Alan Downer has been selected for the position. His experience working with the Navajo Nation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation gives him the sensitivity to indigenous issues and expertise in federal and state laws that will be needed to rebuild and revitalize our Historic Preservation Division, making it not only a well-functioning but socially responsible agency for future generations,” said Ty P. Kawika Tengan, screening committee member and associate professor at UH Manoa Department of Ethnic [...]
10/22/13: In late September, the Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Division submitted its interim progress report on steps to take remedial action under the federally-mandated Corrective Action Plan 2. The submittal was in response to the National Park Service finding in May that the State has not adequately met the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act. The State’s submittal included work plans for the Archaeology, Architecture and Information Technology sections; survey plans for archaeology and architecture; a draft strategic plan for the cultural resources GIS; and a fiscal update. The National Park Service replied to the submittal acknowledging the progress, especially in the areas of GIS and archaeology. NPS expressed concern about lack of required information in the plans for information technology and architecture, and also noted that the submittal lacked addition required information. NPS also noted that additional items are due in May 2014 that should be in progress at this time. The Corrective Action Plan and federal review of the state’s program has been underway since March 2010. Additional Resources
Last month, leaders of the Senate Finance Committee asked all Senators to identify, by July 26, which tax breaks, deductions and credits should be included in a comprehensive tax reform proposal. The letter advocates a "blank slate" approach to tax reform -- starting from scratch and only adopting proposed tax credits, deductions or other provisions if there is special justification. This means that the historic tax credit could be eliminated from the tax code if Senators do not note their support for the program. The letter suggests deductions will be included only if they help grow the economy, make the tax code fairer or effectively promote other important policy objectives. The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit meets these tests, and has proven to be an effective means to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and support local businesses, as well as the primary public policy objective of preserving historic buildings and structures that give a sense of place, meaning and identity to our communities. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation has joined our preservation partners in reaching out to Senate offices asking them to include the federal Historic Tax Credit among the priorities they list for the Finance Committee. Please join us in this important effort and reach out to Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono on behalf of the historic tax credit. A sample email message is available for download to the right that can be customized with your own comments. Senator Mazie Hirono 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-106 Honolulu, HI 96850 Phone: (808) 522-8970 Fax: (808) 545-4683 Online form: http://www.hirono.senate.gov/contact/email Senator Brian Schatz 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 7-212 Honolulu, HI 96850 Phone: (808) 523-2061 Fax: (808) 523-2065 Online form: http://www.schatz.senate.gov/contact.cfm Available for download is a summary [...]
Today the National Park Service issued its final report and recommendations on the State of Hawaii’s historic preservation program, finding that despite the progress on mandated remedial actions taken since March 2010, the State did not meet the minimum standards to carry out the historic preservation responsibilities delegated to it by the National Historic Preservation Act. The NPS cover letter to William Aila, who serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, said that the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) will continue to be designated a “high risk grantee” and that a new Corrective Action Plan has been issued. The CAP 2 will be in effect until May 31, 2014, at which time “NPS will again review the operations of SHPD,” according to the letter from Stephanie Toothman, Associate Director of Cultural Resources, Partnership and Science for the National Park Service. “If all corrective actions have been implemented satisfactorily, Hawaii SHPD will be removed from high risk status. Failure to meet the new milestones will result in the suspension or direction by NPS of all or part of Hawaii’s annual grant,” wrote Toothman. Historic Hawaii Foundation, as the statewide nonprofit organization that encourages the preservation of places that are historically significant in the Hawaiian Islands, has been monitoring the State’s progress on the CAP since it was issued in March 2010. HHF’s actions have included hosting stakeholder meetings to provide support, advocating with elected and appointed officials for sufficient resources for SHPD to achieve the desired outcomes, and participating in public processes that help with the implementation items. HHF was the lead contractor that provided a training for the State’s Certified Local Governments (found to be “achieved and completed”) and was a sub-contractor for developing the [...]
Care must be taken to preserve Kaimuki's quaint character By Robert M. Fox and David Cheever / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 7, 2013 The Queen Theater closed in 1987, but the 1930s marquee remains a landmark in Kaimuki. (Illustration by Robert M. Fox) Most of us who live in Honolulu usually crest the hill on Waialae Avenue only to get from one place to another. We never give a thought to the neat community that surrounds that hill — Kaimuki. But slow down for a moment and think about this description of Kaimuki from an outside perspective: "Kaimuki is a quaint town with cozy shops and a smattering of good and affordable restaurants. It is walkable. It is low key," according to a guidebook called Daytrips Hawaii. That's pretty nice, especially in view of the bustle and hustle of many other Oahu neighborhoods. And there's a lot to recommend in Kaimuki besides the shops and eateries. For instance, there are pleasant tree-lined sidewalks and the community park on the town side of the Kaimuki hill. Most days you can see moms with kids in strollers chatting with each other. Seniors sun themselves on the ample benches. And the community center attached to the park attracts hula lessons, lei-making and other assorted activities. Kaimuki has several landmarks many of us may miss as we zip along Waialae or other streets in the neighborhood. At the base of the hill above the main drag is the old fire station, built in 1924. It is a classic Spanish/mission style, according to Historic Hawai‘i. Above the fire station is another park that sees less use than the one on Waialae, but nevertheless has great views. [...]
Historic Hawaii Foundation requests your help by contacting members of the State House of Representatives to ask them to vote “no” on SB 1171. Senate Bill 1171 seeks to take away the protections provided by current historic preservation laws in identifying and saving historic and cultural properties. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1171 SB 1171 would change statute governing review of historic preservation projects and would allow development to proceed prior to identifying locations of historic and cultural properties, including Native Hawaiian burials, as well as other historically significant properties. Currently, State law (HRS 6E-8 and 6E-42) requires that prior to any project commencing, that the proposed project shall be referred to the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) for its review of the proposed project’s potential effect on historic properties, including buildings, heiau and archeological sites, aviation and underwater resources, and burial sites. The proposed project shall not commence until SHPD gives its written concurrence. SHPD’s review of proposed projects is an important safeguard to ensure that historic properties are identified and appropriate treatment measures are in place during planning and design work, which also then limits surprises or delays during construction. SB 1171 proposes to change this process by allowing SHPD to provide its review and concurrence in phases, which would then open the way for development to proceed before the full extent of cultural and historic resources are known, or how the project would affect them, or how they are to be treated. This approach would lead to uninformed decision-making and would allow major land use decisions to be made before information regarding historical sites is gathered. It undermines basic protections for the historic and cultural legacy of Hawaii. Therefore, Historic Hawaii Foundation opposes SB 1171. PLEASE CALL [...]
The State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) issued a final completion report February 1 on its efforts to comply with the Corrective Action under which it has been operating since 2010. The report outlines the actions that SHPD undertook to address deficiencies found in the State’s historic preservation program that caused it to be placed on “high alert status” in March 2010. The Division submitted an interim report to the National Park Service (NPS) in October 2012, and then submitted a final report in February 2013. NPS program staff members are scheduled to conduct an on-site review and evaluation sometime in the next few months. The original final review was scheduled in March, but was postponed due to the federal government’s sequestration budget cuts. At an information briefing to the State House of Representatives Committees on Water & Land and Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs on February 15, State Historic Preservation Officer William Aila said that the State is, “not there yet, but is getting closer every day.” Aila reviewed each of the six areas in which remedial action was required, and review progress and next steps in each: Administration; Survey & Inventory, Review & Compliance, National Register Program, Certified Local Government Program, and Preservation Plan. Of these, National Register items are substantially complete and Preservation Plan was approved. Results have substantially improved in the areas of Review & Compliance and Certified Local Government. However, Aila said that the Department is still working on attaining the outcomes in the areas of Survey & Inventory and completing hiring for several key staff positions. He said that the Administration’s budget request to the legislature includes funding for two [...]
The Hawai‘i Historic Preservation Division announced that the statewide five-year preservation plan is complete. The development and implementation of a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan is one of the responsibilities of each State Historic Preservation Office, as outlined in the National Historic Preservation Act. Hawaii’s new plan covers the period October 2012 – October 2017. SHPD’s release said that key features of historic preservation plan are: The plan has a statewide focus. The statewide preservation plan pays attention to preservation issues and players all across the state. There is active public involvement, not only in developing the vision, issues, and goals of the plan, but also in helping achieve these goals. A wide variety of preservation-relevant information on social, economic, political, legal, and environmental conditions and trends is brought to bear in the identification and assessment of issues affecting resource preservation. The plan addresses the full range of historic and cultural resources throughout the state. This means that within a single plan document, all resources representing the breadth and depth of a state’s history, prehistory, and culture are considered. This includes buildings, structures, objects, prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, designed and vernacular landscapes, traditional cultural properties, and underwater historic resources. There is coordination with other planning efforts in the state, such as federally mandated transportation planning, the statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan, and local land-use plans. Plan implementation is linked directly to SHPO expenditures of their federal Historic Preservation Fund grant.