Having gone up against this process personally, I can tell you that I have learned a great deal about government. Most of what I have learned I do not care for. No, that is an understatement. Most of what I have learned I abhor. Now this is just my opinion and I have a right to that. The government just seems to make laws that will accommodate whatever it is they are trying to accomplish, be it wrong or right. In my opinion the permit process is the most corrupt and abused law they have ever come up with. It gives government officials control of everything we the people want to do. Think about it though, it also gives government officials a great way to make a buck! In most cases if you want a permit and you are wealthy and also corrupt, you can get a permit. If you are just the average Joe or an honest person and you want a permit you are in a world of trouble.
The key word in all of this is Process! The County of Maui has many processes and their favourite response to any questioning is "That's the process!" If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times. Even the State of Hawaii is using this process. If you think about it, and it hurts me to do so, even the Federal Government uses this.
Now most processes involve your having to hire an attorney. That is just the beginning of your troubles and expenses. In most cases the attorney will cost you more than a simple bribe would. But if you are an honest person this is your only alternative. You better make sure you hire a good and honest attorney! What did I say? Attorneys have to get a license from the State to practice so where does that leave us?
Posted on: Sunday, August 1, 2004
State may require beach permits
BY Kelly Yamanouchi
Advertiser Staff Writer
To the list of must haves for a Hawaiian beach wedding - lei, white bunting, folding chairs and canopies - you may soon need to add one more item: something to cut through red tape.
Melissa Burbank and Michael McClary of Vermont were married at Banzai Pipeline beach, with the Rev. Kermit Rydell performing the ceremony. Many fear that a Department of Land and Natural Resources proposal may take the joy and beauty out of such events. says
Deborah Booker of The Honolulu Advertiser
Hawai'i has long been a place where couples can celebrate their marriage on a beach without the hassle of permits. But that could change under proposed amendments to state rules on the commercial use of most beaches.
Draft rules proposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources would require permits on certain beaches for a variety of commercial activities, including surf schools, kayak rentals and weddings. z
State officials say the proposed rules may be necessary to address the high demand for beaches.
"We're trying to maintain the enjoyment of the area for everyone," said Peter Young, DLNR chairman.
But for some, including Nina Labbe, who lives at Hickam Air Force Base and held her wedding on Makapu'u Beach in July, the idea of requiring permits for beach weddings "just doesn't sound right."
"That was our dream - to get married on the beach," Labbe said. "The beach is supposed to be for everybody, it's supposed to be something that everybody can enjoy and you know, it just made my wedding beautiful."
"All this red tape involved - it just takes all the romance and fun out of it," said Labbe.
Diana George, president of the Maui Wedding Association, said the wedding industry brings millions of dollars into the state through businesses including airlines, accommodations, restaurants, caterers, recreational activities, gifts, wedding planners, ministers, photographers, musicians, bakers and florists. "There's people that make their living off of this," George said. She says she worries that Hawai'i will lose its standing as a top wedding destination if permits are required for beach weddings.
In the first six months of this year, out of 14,390 marriage licenses issued in the state, 9,711 were issued to brides and grooms who were nonresidents.
Further, many Japanese tourists who get married in Hawai'i don't apply for marriage licenses because they were legally married in Japan and hold "show" ceremonies in the Islands.
Mela Kealoha-Lindsey, whose business Hawaiian Creations By Mela, LLC does wedding invitations and certificates, said that because weddings are on beaches for only about 15 minutes, "it shouldn't be so difficult."
"It's unnecessary," added Kermit Rydell, a reverend whose business A Beach Wedding does as many as 50 weddings a month. "Most coordinators I know keep control of the crowd and usually we don't have more than 20 or 25 people."
If permits are required, "I don't even know how we could function like that," said Karen Carson Russ, a pastor who officiates weddings. Couples from out-of-state planning to get married in Hawai'i often don't decide where to hold their wedding until after they've arrived and are driving around the island checking out spots, she said.
While some beaches already require permits for weddings, most beaches in Hawai'i are so-called "unencumbered land" and do not require permits, according to Dede Mamiya, administrator for the land division of DLNR. Unencumbered land is land that is not leased, set aside to agencies or otherwise designated for a specific use.
The proposed rules for permitting are not final and discussions between the state and the wedding industry are ongoing. DLNR held a hearing on draft rules requiring permits in February and Mamiya said her department hopes to seek approval from the state land board within the next couple of months.
"We're going down the pathway of establishing rules for the beach area," Mamiya said.
Beachgoers and businesses that operate on beaches are "competing for limited space," Mamiya said. For example, one of the most visible conflicts is with surf schools using the beach. "People from the public, even other businesses, are looking to us to give them answers as to dealing with those conflicts," Mamiya said.
One of the biggest problems wedding planners have with the proposal for permits is that applicants would need to apply at least three weeks but not more than two months before the wedding.
That doesn't work with the way people usually plan their weddings, they say. Usually, couples either plan their weddings a year in advance and need to know where they will be able to hold their wedding. Or, tourists decide to get married on the spur of the moment while they are here on vacation.
"They want to take advantage of our no waiting marriage license laws and they want to get married right then," said George, of the Maui Wedding Association.
"To say it has to be three weeks - this industry doesn't work like that. We don't have three weeks," the pastor Russ said. Weddings and vow renewals are often "very spontaneous things" here, she said.
The Maui Wedding Association has drawn up a position statement asking that weddings not be included in the rules requiring permits for use of unencumbered land.
"Applying this rule to weddings is not appropriate," George said. "Our feeling here on Maui is that this rule will severely damage the wedding industry."
State tourism liaison Marsha Wienert said the beach use issue is one "where you try and balance the commercial activities with the public's right to access." She said the issue started at Ka'anapali on Maui and concessionaires on the beach there.
Young at the DLNR said new rules could include creating a space on the beach where weddings are permitted, "where it doesn't negatively impact the beach experience for every other user." Other possibilities are creating a concession or prohibiting weddings on certain beaches.
"Every couple loves to have that shot where they're running along the beach against the sunset," Wienert said. "The weddings market for Hawai'i overall is huge business and it takes tourism to a different level and touches business that don't normally feel the economic pluses - such as a photographer, videographer, bakery."
"We want to be very careful as we do this," Wienert said. "Because we want to be very pro-business where this is concerned and spread the wealth amongst many sectors of our business community."
Reach Kelly Yamanouchi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808 535-2470.
Posted: Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 - 09:40:45
The Garden Island
THE SENATE S.R. NO. 103
WHEREAS, Hawaii is home to some of the world's most spectacular
When this was first in the Maui News it was a joke!