Archive for the ‘Pohakuloa’ Category

The Wind Speaks

Friday, June 30th, 2017


Hawaii Tribune-Herald Reporter Tom Callis and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim

Aloha Tom and Harry,

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald news story June 29, 2017 on the military Pohakuloa Training Area  PTA) said: “More than a dozen Protesters were outside PTA’s gates at the start of the ceremony.” Indeed, more like 40 plus and we had a message but not even one line of the article mentioned our message.  But thanks for including the story of strong winds blowing flags standing behind the podium on top of Harry during his speech.. I’m glad Harry wasn’t hurt.  The strong winds blowing reminds me of the ground breaking ceremony in 2007 for the Saddle Rd. Realignment. The ceremony was held on the new portion of the Saddle Rd. just Hilo side of Mauna Kea park.  A large group of us were protesting the realignment because it pushed the road on the Mauna Kea side of PTA, through the Palila habitat and Mamane forest and opened up more area for PTA live-fire, etc.  The day of the ceremony was May 29, 2007.  Police unduly restricted our protest to Mauna Kea Park so we were kept at least 100 yards from the ceremony.  The winds that day were also strong  and coming from the south (PTA impact area toward the Park.)  At one point dust devils appeared coming right at us and the ceremony. The winds became so strong, it picked up some of our large 4’X4′ heavy duty plastic signs and hurled them at the ceremony tent area.  Police went running after the signs to retrieve them. Dignitaries –U.S. SenatorDan Inouye, Federal, State and county officials and business leaders were in the ceremonial tent.  Probably Harry too was there since he was Mayor back then.  Our radiation monitors that day registered 70-80 Counts per minute (CPM) when the normal background readings were 15- 20 CPM.  We knew something was coming off PTA in those dust devils. Three months later in Aug. 2007 the military officially confirmed DU had been used at PTA back in the 60s, including at  range 11 not far from Mauna Kea Park.  Up until that point the military had repeatedly denied DU had ever been used at PTA or anywhere else in Hawaii.

Moral of the story: Beware of the Makani (wind) — as Bob Dylan said — “the answer is blowing in the wind.” The wind speaks. And sometimes we refuse to listen, even when signs are blown right into our tent and blown flags hit us on the head.

Aloha ‘Aina.  Stop the Bombing.  Stop Training to Invade.  Wage Peace, not War!  Cancel the PTA Lease. Shut Down PTA.  Live aloha! The DU is in the DUst!

Jim Albertini
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489
Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
visit us on the web at
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Protest at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) main gate 9:30AM Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Protest at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) main gate Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PTA is having a ground breaking ceremony for modernizing ranges and infrastructure beginning at 10AM on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (See below)  They are doing their modernization/expansion piecemeal to avoid a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on their overall expansion plans.  We are planning a protest at the PTA main gate beginning 9:30AM  till 11AM.  Carpools leaving the Hilo side Komohana/Saddle Rd. intersection at 8:45AM on Wednesday morning.  Please join and help pass the word.  Mahalo.

We call for stopping all live fire at PTA, comprehensive testing and monitoring for Depleted Uranium (DU) Radiation contamination, clean up of the DU, no renewal of the PTA lease by the State of Hawaii which expires in 2029, and a military exist plan and overall clean up and restoration of this sacred area –“The Land of the Night of Long Prayer.” and a return of this crown and government lands to the Hawaiian people.

Jim Albertini
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489
Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
visit us on the web at
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Below is a military release  to invited guests.  We, of course, are NOT on the list.  Someone sent this to me to let me know what’s happening.

On behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Marquez, Commander USAG-Pohakuloa, you’re cordially invited to Pohakuloa Training Area Installation Improvement Ground Breaking:

Date: 28 June 2017, Wednesday

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: Pohakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawaii

Narrative along with historic pictures:

Pohakuloa Training Area is under-going a series of phased construction projects to modernize ranges and improve Cantonment infrastructure.  Characterized as an austere training environment for military personnel, and a remote duty station for civilian staff, Pohakuloa Training Area represents the largest single live-fire range facility in the Pacific region.  Originally constructed with the intent that facilities were temporary, Pohakuloa has remained an important training asset for all DoD services for the past 70 years.  Temporary facilities have out-lasted their cost-effective life-spans for maintenance and upkeep.  Today, out-dated and worn systems cannot fully support the requirements of military leaders to ensure combat readiness, nor provide adequate facilities for civilian support personnel.  The Pohakuloa “Facilities Improvement Plan” focuses first on Cantonment basic services of water, power, wastewater, and communications.  As utility systems are upgraded, new structures will replace antiquated Quonset huts, including barracks, dining facilities, laundries, and professional office space for civilian staff.  Down-range initiatives will proceed in parallel with Cantonment upgrades.  The recently completed Infantry Platoon Battle Course is the first of several modern range initiatives that will maximize training effectiveness within the existing boundaries of Pohakuloa.  With a civilian workforce of ~200, and military throughput of ~12,000 annually, the “Facilities Improvement Plan” is necessary to enhance Pohakuloa operational capabilities and administrative services, to maintain the readiness of United States armed forces.

The contact info for questions is:  

USAG-HI Protocol @ 808-656-0615

Write a letter to the Editor on DU at Pohakuloa

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Here are email addresses for letters to the editor  I just sent the letter below.  Both the Hawaii Tribune Herald and West Hawaii Today carried an article 6/16/17 about the NRC denying our petition for a hearing, but didn’t say anything about the danger of inhaling DU oxide dust particles.  I don’t know about the Honolulu Star-Advertiser if it covered the NRC ruling.

Hilo –Hawaii Tribune Herald

Kona — West Hawaii Today

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Letter to the editor

License to Poison

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) actions of June 13, 2017 denied Big Island residents a hearing about the dangers of inhaling Depleted Uranium (DU) oxide dust particles from military radiation at the 133,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area.  These particles can be dispersed and carried long distance from PTA by the wind, military high explosives and other activity at PTA that creates dust.  Neither the military, nor the NRC, want to deal with this main hazard of inhalation of DU oxide dust particles.  They only talk about there being no external radiation hazard  which is not really an issue with DU. The NRC and military actions fail to protect troops, residents, and visitors health and safety.  In short, the NRC has issued the military a license to poison us.  The military “mission” and efforts to avoid liability trumps all.  Troops, residents, and visitors are being treated as lab rats for military experiments.  Whatever happened to informed consent.   I encourage everyone to view the short video by Hawaii Doctor Lorrin Pang, MD explaining the health dangers of inhaling DU oxide dust particles and judge for yourself if there are health dangers.  See the video here


Jim Albertini, one of the NRC petitioners and president of 
Malu 'Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489
Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
visit us on the web at
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Press Release on DU at Pohakuloa

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017




Hilo, Hawai’i, June 14, 2017

Four Hawai’i Island residents are expressing disappointment in a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) decision to deny them a hearing on the Army license for depleted uranium (DU) at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA). The residents raised numerous concerns about Army studies and monitoring plans.

Jim Albertini said, “Citizen radiation monitors on numerous occasions have detected radiation levels three to four times background levels in public areas around PTA….How much DU oxide dust is being dispersed from Pohakuloa is unknown.”

 Cory Harden said “Records point to about 2,000 DU spotting rounds used at PTA, but only a few fragments have been found. Only 1,000 acres of the 51,000-acre PTA impact area were surveyed for DU. Concerns raised by professionals outside the Army and NRC were largely ignored.”

 Ruth Aloua and Hāwane Rios said, “We are Kanaka Maoli that live within five miles of PTA in Waikiʻi Ranch. We have used the citizen radiation monitors at the farm during live-fire trainings and recorded radiation spikes of 62 counts per minute. If we are getting these readings here, what is happening to the rest of the island? In 2008 the Hawaii County Council approved Resolution 639-08 urging for comprehensive independent testing and monitoring to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of Pōhakuloa. The conditions of this resolution still havenʻt been met and the concerns of the community have not been addressed. There is a need for in-depth, long term, independent air monitoring of DU and, tragically, this is being blatantly and strategically ignored.We demand accountability, truth, and action. We are not afraid, we will not be silenced, and we are not defeated. The people deserve answers and Pōhakuloa deserves justice. Aloha ʻĀina! ”

 The four say they will continue to seek resolution for unanswered questions about  DU hazards.

Cory Harden, 808-959-7747,

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

License to Poison!

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Fails to Protect Troops, Residents, and Visitors from Military Radiation on Hawaii Island

      On June 13, 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denied a hearing request about Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation dangers at the 133,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) located in the center of Hawaii island. Concerns raised by Big island petitioners Ruth Aloua, Hawane Rios, Cory Harden and Jim Albertini involved the danger of inhaling Depleted Uranium (DU) oxide dust particles dispersed by winds and high explosives. This applies to the health and safety of troops who train at Pohakuloa, residents and visitors alike. Other concerns included contamination of water, sacred sites, plants and animals. The NRC located in Rockville, Maryland said we who live on Hawaii island have “NO Standing” about military radiation in the center of our Island. Ruth and Hawane are Kanaka Maoli who live and farm only a few miles from Pohakuloa. If they don’t have standing, who does? Petitioner Jim Albertini said it appears that the military “mission” trumps all. We are being treated as lab rats for military experiments. What ever happened to inform consent.”

      Albertini said “I have come to see the so called Nuclear Regulators much like Bank Regulators.  They are insiders and rubber stamps of the industries they are suppose to be regulating.  The fact is, there is little or no regulation. There has been no comprehensive study to determine the full extent of Depleted Uranium contamination and other military toxins on PTA and no comprehensive studies to determine what is coming off the base.  Citizen radiation monitors, on numerous occasions, have detected radiation levels 3-4 times background levels in public areas around PTA. More needs to be done.  I ask fellow citizens to view the short video by Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD explaining the health dangers of inhaling DU oxide dust particles and judge for yourself if there are health dangers.   See

      Nearly 9 years ago, on July 2, 2008, the Hawaii County Council passed resolution 639-08 which called for stopping all live fire at Pohakuloa, comprehensive testing and monitoring, and clean up of the DU present at Pohakuloa.  The military has ignored the Council’s voice.

      The military bombing Pohakuloa known to be contaminated with Depleted Uranium and other military toxins is not defense training. It is criminal reckless endangering. War Crimes! The NRC has placed the military mongoose in charge of the hen house. In short, the military has been issued an NRC license to poison. How much DU oxide dust is being dispersed from Pohakuloa is unknown. Hold your breath. The answer is blowing in the wind.

Stop Bombing Hawaii!

  1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.
    4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
    5. Seek peace through peaceful means and work for justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760 Phone (808) 966-7622. Email:

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Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet June 16, 2017– 821st week – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

NRC letter attached–conclusion:

“We deny the hearing requests and dismiss the petitions of Petitioners Albertini, Harden,

Rios, and Aloua for lack of standing and failure to proffer an admissible contention…

Any Petitioner may appeal this decision to the Commission, pursuant to 10 C.F.R. § 2.311,”

within 25 days of service of this Memorandum and Order.

ISSUE DU 2017 6-13 NRC to petitioners