Tuesday, August 18, 2015

SECRET Kalaeloa West Oahu Navy Land Transfer Violates Federal Law and Executive Orders

The SECRET NavFacPac Navy Kalaeloa West Oahu land transfer is in violation of Federal Preservation Laws and Executive Order 11593--Protection and enhancement of the cultural environment. Executive Order No. 13007 Protect Native religious practices which may adversely affect physical integrity.

Why is the SECRET US Navy land transfer permitted to violate
Federal Law and Executive Orders?

Federal Law requires historic and cultural sites must be identified in land transfers!
Why is this major transfer of Public Land not following public notice and comment?

Address your comments and concerns to:
Thomas Clements
250 Makalapa Drive Building 81
JBPHH, HI 96860-3131


The Naval Facilities Command Pacific real estate group is clearly violating Federal CFR’s and Executive Orders by not including the Federally identified National Register Leina a ka uhane sacred site (wahi pana) in the current Navy land transfer process in Kalaeloa, the former Naval Air Station Barbers Point and Marine Corps Air Station Ewa.

The Leina a ka uhane is a Federally recognized cultural landscape district and Traditional Cultural Place. The Leina is identified as on the Plain of Kaupe’a and includes Kanehili.

Navy Base Closure Reports (see below) extensively document the Plain of Kaupe’a and Kanehili as including NAS Barbers Point and MCAS Ewa. It is not a mythical or legendary place- it physically exists. 

The Leina boundaries are determined by sunsets from the leaping off place at Leilono, Aliamanu Crater. Kanehili Cultural Hui has also documented its physical existence on these Navy lands. See maps, photos attached. (Also more links to the Leina explained.)

State of Hawaii Preservation Division (SHPD) approved the Leina District recognition as part of FTA, HART Section 106 project reviews of identified cultural properties in 2012.

In the determination of National Register eligibility in the 2012 FTA, HART, SHPD letters and extensive reports they reference Kaupe’a and Kanehili, well documented places on the Ewa Plain as the location of the Leina District.

Kanehili Cultural Hui has been a recognized Section 106 Consulting Party in the Navy-Hunt KREP PV farm project (2012) and is a current active Consulting Party in the FTA HART Rail Programmatic Agreement.

The Leina a ka ‘uhane district was identified and formally recognized as National Register Eligible under NR categories A and B by the Federal FTA Rail project using Federal Funds contracting experts in the field of native Hawaiian TCP’s. 

The Kalaeloa Navy Base Closure Report:  

Tuggles, Maly, etc., March 2001 (more documents further below) show the Plain of Kaupe’a as National Register Eligible under categories A, B and D. NAS Barbers Point and MCAS Ewa are Federal lands in Kaupe’a and Kanehili.

The City of Honolulu and HART have repeatedly stated that the rail route and stations will go through this same Kalaeloa area identified as the Leina a ka ‘uhane. 

The purchaser of the Public Lands is Hunt Corporation which has shown plans to develop three HART Rail Stations within this same Kalaeloa Leina a ka ‘uhane district.

The Leina a ka ‘uhane, or Spirit Leaping Off Place (SRIF and Kumu Pono 2012:50-53). According to traditional Hawaiian beliefs, is “the leaping off place is where the souls of the dead leave this world to enter the next. To reach the next world, the traditional Polynesian homeland of Kahiki, the soul must be guided by its aumakua” (a deified ancestor- pueo owl, shark, etc.) There are well documented hundreds of years of iwi kupuna burials in Kaupe’a.

“The potential TCPs on Navy retained lands at former NAS Barbers Point include the plain of Kaupe‘a and the locale of Kualaka‘i. These places meet general NRHP criteria (see Section I.3.1). Connections can also be made among Kualaka‘i, the plain of Kaupe‘a, and Pu‘uokapolei, and their association with Kahiki(see Johnson 1988; Tuggle and Tomonari-Tuggle 1997b:27-29).

In the book titled "OLELO NO'EAU  Hawaiian proverbs and Sayings" by Mary Kawena Pukui page 180, line 1666, Ka wiliwili o Kaupe'a. (The wiliwili grove of Kaupe'a.) In 'Ewa O'ahu. Said to be where homeless ghost wandering among the wiliwil trees. Small remnants of these wiliwili groves still exists on the Navy Kaupe’a lands in Kalaeloa as well as iwi kupuna burials in caves and sinkholes.

The Leina District Nomination Report Was Federally Required And Funded:

Determination of Eligibility and Finding of Effect for Previously Unidentified Traditional Cultural Properties in Sections 1-3 Honolulu Rail Transit Project May 25, 2012. 

“Two resources (wahi pana) have been identified as NRHP eligible historic properties of religious and cultural significance to Native Hawaiian organizations. These properties described meet National Register criteria and have sufficient integrity to convey the integral link between tradition and place. A finding of No Adverse Effect was made for the two properties (by having the Leina boundary conveniently start just below the APE of the East Kapolei Rail Station.) However inconveniently this places the Leina District in Navy lands in Kalaeloa. (Please refer to HART Leina District boundary map below.)

Contracted identification and nomination was done under the Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP) study for Sections 1–3 of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project (the Project). Prepared for: Parsons Brinkerhoff, Inc. Prepared by: The SRI Foundation Rio Rancho, New Mexico And Kumu Pono Associates LLC, Kāne‘ohe, Hawai‘I  July 9, 2013  FINAL. 

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR §800 (60), the FTA is responsible for taking into account the effects of the Project on any historic property that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, The undertaking, in this case, is the expenditure of federal funds for the Project. Pursuant to 36 CFR §800.14, the FTA met its Section 106 obligations in January 2011 by entering into a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with consulting parties, including Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs), who have a legal interest in or a concern about the effects of the project on National Register eligible historic properties.

Responsibilities of Federal agencies. Executive Order 11593

“To assure that any federally owned property that might qualify for nomination is not inadvertently transferred, sold, demolished or substantially altered. The agency head shall refer any questionable actions to the Secretary of the Interior for an opinion respecting the property's eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Where, after such reconsideration, the Federal agency head proposes to transfer, sell, demolish or substantially alter the property he shall not act with respect to the property until the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation shall have been provided an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Executive Order No. 11593 requires Federal agencies to administer cultural properties under their control and direct their policies, plans, and programs in such a way that federally owned sites, structures, and objects of historical, architectural, or archaeological significance were preserved, restored, and maintained. Federal agencies are required to locate, inventory, and nominate to the National Register of Historic Places all properties under their jurisdiction or control that appear to qualify for listing in the National Register. The courts have held that Executive Order No. 11593 obligates agencies to conduct adequate surveys to locate "any" and "all" sites of historic value, although this requirement applies only to federally owned or federally controlled properties. Moreover, the Executive Order directed agencies to reconsider any plans to transfer, sell, demolish, or substantially alter any property determined to be eligible for the National Register and to afford the Council an opportunity to comment on any such proposal.

Executive Order No. 13007 to protect Native American religious practices

This Executive Order directs Federal land-managing agencies to accommodate Native Americans' (including native Hawaiians) use of sacred sites for religious purposes and to avoid adversely affecting the physical integrity of sacred sites. Some sacred sites may be considered traditional cultural properties and, if older than 50 years, may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Thus, compliance with the Executive Order may overlap with Section 106 and Section 110 of NHPA.

Under the Executive Order, Federal agencies managing lands must implement procedures to carry out the directive's intent. Procedures must provide for reasonable notice where an agency's action may restrict ceremonial use of a sacred site or adversely affect its physical integrity.

§ 63.6 Review and nomination of properties determined eligible
§ 63.6 (a) For a property owned by a Federal agency, or under the jurisdiction or control of the agency to the extent that the agency substantially exercises the attributes of ownership, the Keeper of the National Register will request the Federal agency to nominate the property to the National Register within six months.

The background on the NavFac Pac real estate transaction is that they are processing excess Navy land parcels at former NAS Barber's Point and MCAS Ewa, in what is today called Kalaeloa. These lands will be transferred to Hunt Corporation using an old 2002 Ford Island programmatic agreement which did not fully identify historic Navy Kalaeloa (and other) Ewa properties. The Leina a ka uhane was identified in Navy base closure documents in 2001 and then documented extensively in 2012 by HART Rail TCP contractors.

Other recently identified historic and culturally important Navy properties in the Ewa Plain area need full consideration. The Navy is violating the intent of Federal law by not doing so.

Kanehili Cultural Hui is very concerned that the outdated 2002 Ford Island programmatic agreement is being used to secretly omit sacred cultural sites and deliberately preclude the local community from effectively participating in the NHPA Section 106 process, commenting on preservation concerns and covenants before the lands are transferred. 

This is illegal under Federal laws and Orders and not acceptable to the local community.


John Bond, President
Kanehili Cultural Hui 

TCPs are sites associated with “cultural practices or beliefs of a living community that (a) are rooted in that community's history, and (b) are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community (Parker and King 1999:1).


The (FTA-HART Section 106) management summary considers the Leina a ka ‘uhane as a single district of several wahi pana that crosses from Moanalua and Halawa ahupua‘a to Honouliuli ahupua‘a (Figures 2 and 3). Spirits would leap from the five wahi pana in Moanalua and Halawa. If not escorted by an aumakua, spirits would land and wander Kanehili and Kaupe‘a on the ‘ewa side.
Hawaiian cultural researcher Kepā Maly says: “The Leina a ka uhane is worthy of a district nomination because there are connections from the leaping place, He ulu o Leiwalo, on the Moanalua side to the general region on the Honouliuli plain. This was the leaping place – from which the ‘uhane lept and settled in the plains of Honouliuli.”

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands residential projects on this same Ewa Plain are named, not by coincidence, Kaupe’a and Kanehili.

 Figures from: IDENTIFICATION OF NATIVE HAWAIIAN TRADITIONAL CULTURAL PROPERTIES, Tuggles, Maly, etc., March 2001. (more documents further below)


Parker and King (1990:9; emphasis added) elaborate on this by noting: Thus a property may be defined as a ‘site’ as long as it was the location of a significant event or activity, regardless of whether the event or activity left any evidence of its occurrence. A culturally significant natural landscape may be classified as a site, as may the specific location where significant traditional events, activities, or cultural observances have taken place…A concentration, linkage, or continuity of such sites or objects, or of structures comprising a culturally significant entity, may be classified as a district.


by H. David Tuggle, Ph.D. M.J. Tomonari-Tuggle, M.A. with the collaboration of Maria E. Ka‘imipono Orr, Kepâ Maly Kumu Pono Associates, and Kalani Flores Mana ‘o‘i‘o Principal Investigator: Thomas S. Dye, Ph.D.
International Archaeological Research Institute, Inc.
NavFac Engineering Command Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i  March 2001


The plain of Kaupe‘a was located on what is today called the ‘Ewa Plain. It probably includes the housing areas and the golf course in the Navy retained lands. Kaupe‘a (see Fig. 3 for location) has potential cultural significance under the following NRHP criteria:
(a) it is associated with traditional events and patterns of events, as expressed in its identification as the ao kuewa (place of homeless souls) for the island of O‘ahu; it is also identified as a place for the collection of plants used for a special lei.
(b) it is associated with the lives of persons significant in the past, as found in the traditions of Hi‘iaka.
It is associated with the lives of persons significant in the past, as found in the traditions of Hi‘iaka, has symbolic associations with Kahiki, ancestry, and the generations of ‘Ewa.


A place of many pits with human bones describes most of the great expanse of the ‘Ewa Plain, where limestone sinkholes were used for human interment over many centuries (including the post-contact period, see below). In many cases, human remains were placed on the floors of the sinkholes (not buried) with the bones thus visible when one looked into the pit, surely a setting to inspire association with spirits of the dead.

Each island had at least one place for wandering souls. For O‘ahu, this place was the plain of Kaupe‘a. Kamakau (1870 [1964:47], italics original) writes that Kaupe‘a was known as: …ao kuewa, the realm of homeless souls,…also called the ao ‘auwana, the realm of wandering souls. When a man who had no rightful place in the ‘aumakua realm died, his soul would wander about…

Although the boundaries of the plain of Kaupe‘a are not clearly defined, it certainly occupied a substantial portion of the ‘Ewa Plain, including the area next to Pearl Harbor lagoon and the area of former NAS Barbers Point. Kamakau (1870 [1964:47-49]) describes the plain as “beside Pu‘uloa,” and as a place of wiliwili trees, which is a common tree on the dryland limestone of ‘Ewa. In the tradition of Pele and Hi‘iaka (Emerson 1915:167; Keonaona and S.L. Desha Sr. et al. 1927, in Maly Appendix B), the plain is described as extending from “the wiliwili trees…to Kanehili” (Ke Au Hou 1911, in Sterling and Summers 1978:44), and as back of Keahi and Pu‘uloa (Pukui 1943:59).

“At the same time, it is clear from Manu’s description quoted above, as well as many other references, that the plain of Kaupe‘a (and associated places of the ‘Ewa Plain) was much more than just a place of ghosts.”

“It is a place of stark beauty and great contrasts, captured in versions of the Pele and Hi‘iaka story” (Emerson 1915:166ff; Keonaona and Desha Sr. et al. 1927, in Maly Appendix B) and in the chant for Kûali‘I (Kapa‘ahulani, in Fornander 1916:390; 1919:458). Part of the beauty of Kaupe‘a is in the plants used to make a famous lei, as described in a song of Hi‘iaka “addressed to Lohiau and Wahine-oma‘o” (Emerson 1915:167.

It is possible that Kaupe‘a refers to the ‘Ewa Plain as a whole. This is suggested in a comparison of the repetition of place names and related features (primarily vegetation and springs) in the Pele and Hi‘iaka traditions, as well as in the chant for Kûali‘i (Kapa‘ahulani, in Fornander 1916:390; 1919:458). The following section from the tradition of Makanikeoe (Manu 1895, May 10, in Maly Appendix B) provides a substantial associative context for Kaupe‘a and the ‘Ewa Plain being synonymous.

FTA and HART Rail Misrepresent The True Ewa Honouliuli Native Hawaiian Spirit Pathway


 FTA HART Rail Farmland Dump Site Is Well Documented Native Hawaiian Burial Place


Ewa Plain Major Hawaiian Burial Place - Federal TCP Documents 


West Oahu Residents Speak Out At Important Ag Lands And Hoopili Station Meetings

Honouliuli Ewa TCP's Are Important Wahi Pana (Sacred Places) On Multi-Dimensional Levels

Honouliuli Ewa's Makakilo Kalo'i Gulch - A Rare In Depth Survey Of This Important Cultural Property