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Tuesday, June 9, 2009
June 9, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:12 AM :: 8012 Views

More Akaka Bill problems: many Hawaiians to be excluded from Akaka Tribe

...the preoccupation at the White House and on Capitol Hill has been about responding to the economy and the wars on two fronts. Even among elected leaders who support the bill, the more worrisome burdens loom larger. (So sad.)

So the object should be to craft a bill that has a broad base of support at home and is unfettered by lightning-rod issues likely to get it shot down.

Fortunately, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 has been moving in that general direction over the past few months. One provision that raised constitutional concerns has been deleted. It would have required that commissioners named to certify the genealogy of a Native Hawaiian electorate be indigenous Hawaiians themselves.

But the bills in House and Senate could exclude many part-Hawaiians who are unable to prove direct descent from a Native Hawaiian living here before 1893 or from a Hawaiian homestead beneficiary; spotty recordkeeping can make documentation impossible.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is right that the definition needs to be worded to be more inclusive of indigenous Hawaiian descendants.

The hope for the bill is sure to fade if it cannot pass in the next few months, before budgetary matters completely overwhelm the Congressional calendar.

The principle aim should be to pass a bill that gives the broadest swath of Native Hawaiians rights similar to those of other indigenous peoples.

They (WHO?) should be able to govern and manage resources that, under a plethora of state and federal laws, belong to them.  (Which is what this is all about.  OHA trustees grabbing power, money, and land at the expense of the native Hawaiians they falsely claim to represent.)

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Sam Slom: Islam Day: a rush to Muslimize us

President Obama, on his American Apology tour, declared that if all Muslims were counted, "America would be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

There are about 2 million Muslims out of 300 million in the U.S. But U.S. policy has shifted, and Israel is thrown under the bus while the attack on Judeo-Christian values has accelerated.

Michele Ouansafi, wife of the chairman of Hawai'i's Muslim Association, and a convert to Islam, wrote that the resolution fostered tolerance, understanding, and a "bridge of hope." She said the three senators who voted against HCR 100 "used bigotry and fear while a third hid behind the facade of 'separation of church and state.'" She added, "This started an unwelcomed controversy, which Fox News and the vocal minority of a similar agenda, capitalized on by interjecting their venom into the purity of the resolution."

Not true. Apparently speaking out elicits charges of bigotry, fear and racism. This is part of an orchestrated political agenda.

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Ocean generates 10.7 percent of state GDP

Hawai'i's direct ocean economy generated $5.4 billion of activity in 2004, or 10.7 percent of the state's GDP.

For Hawai'i, it looked at six sectors linked to the ocean, including marine transportation, tourism and recreation, commercial fishing and other living marine resources, marine construction, ship and boat building and mineral extraction.

It found these businesses employed 98,493 people, with the majority of these working in tourism and recreation. Total wages paid were $2.61 billion.

Hawai'i also led all states in terms of the percentage of people (15 percent) employed in ocean economy sectors.

(Is your Senator getting his cut?)

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Native Hawaiian educators urge UH search delay

We at Ho'olulu Council for Native Hawaiians at Hawai'i Community College urge you to slow down the process of selecting the new president. Name an interim president from within the senior ranks of the University of Hawaii system. The path for our future has already been set with the 2008-2015 Strategic Plan and Outcomes. The interim president can stay the course and continue to move the university forward toward the achievement of those goals.

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Oahu to add 33,000 residents by 2025 -- Big Isle to add 70,000

The Honolulu metro area is expected to grow 3.6 percent from its 2005 population of 899,673 to a 2025 population of 932,587, an increase of 32,914 residents, according to the report.

The Big Island is expected to grow even faster. The island -- identified in the study as the “Hilo area” -- ranked 37th out of 250 U.S. metros, with a 43 percent projected growth rate by 2025. The Big Island is expected to grow from 164,462 residents in 2005 to 235,367 in 2025, bizjournals expects.

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Prevedouros: Council poised to go off the rail

Honolulu's City Council, which represents almost 900,000 people on Oahu, is about to make a major fiscal and political error. It is about to grant the authority to the city administration to start rail without environmental approvals and without federal monies. It also plans to approve to start the project about a mile outside Kapolei and develop a six-mile elevated rail to Waipahu.

Worse yet are plans to approve the float of $1.1 billion in bonds for rail with no stipulations or accountability controls. This $1.1 billion obligation must be paid back by the Oahu taxpayer, plus interest.

These actions demonstrate a lack of responsibility, due diligence and common sense. Here is a partial list of what is lacking in this process:


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Hawaii DoE 63.9% graduation rate disputed

According to a report by Education Week to be released today, only 63.9 percent of Hawai'i's class of 2006 graduated on time, but state Department of Education officials say that number is incorrect. They say, according to the DOE's own calculations, that 79.2 percent of students graduated that year.

Hawai'i ranked among the 15 states with the worst graduation rates in 2006, according to the report.

Among the worst performing states and jurisdictions were Nevada; Washington, D.C.; Georgia; New Mexico; and Florida, all with graduation rates less than 60 percent.

New Jersey topped the list with a graduation rate at 82.1 percent.

"For the past four years the department has disputed the graduation rate published by Education Week. Due to their use of the 'cumulative promotion index,' they continue to present an inaccurate illustration of Hawai'i's true public school graduation rate," said Sandy Goya, spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.

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BOE nears 76% lunch price boost

Committee Chairman John Penebacker, the lone dissenter, said he was worried about the "the financial burden the law will have on families already struggling to make ends meet."

Board member Karen Knudsen, who abstained from the vote, said she wants a detailed cost breakdown of why a lunch costs an estimated $4.40. Knudsen said she thinks the cost is high, in light of the number of students served daily.

With a student enrollment of some 170,500, the department serves some 100,000 meals daily, including breakfast and lunch.

A little more than 51,500 students pay the full price, while more than 44,330 students receive meals free or at a discount, according to rough estimates from state school officials. Some of these students eat both breakfast and lunch.

Advertiser: Hawaii schools may raise lunch prices

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New Mauna Kea telescope plans moving forward: Public hearings scheduled

The proposed addition of the Thirty Meter Telescope Project atop Mauna Kea is moving closer to reality.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo recently released a draft environmental impact statement for the project stating Mauna Kea would be the preferred location for the Next Generation Large Telescope "because it provides suitable observation conditions with minimum impact on existing facilities, the wekiu bug habitat, archaeological and historical sites and view planes," the draft reads.

Comments may be submitted via the Internet at, by calling (866) 284-1716, at public meetings or by mail to TMT Observatory Project, Office of the Chancellor, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720-4091.

Comments must be submitted or postmarked by July 7.

Seven public meetings will be held regarding the draft statement.

- June 16: 5 to 8 p.m. at Waimea Elementary School Cafeteria in Waimea.

- June 17: 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hilo High School Cafeteria in Hilo.

- June 18: 5 to 8 p.m. at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria in Pahoa.

- June 22: 5 to 8 p.m. at the Ka'u High and Pahala Elementary School Cafeteria in Pahala.

- June 23: 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kohala High School Cafeteria in Kapaau.

- June 24: 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kealakehe Elementary School Cafeteria in Kailua-Kona.

- June 25: 5 to 8 p.m. at the Farrington High School Cafeteria in Honolulu.

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Maui home, condo resales plunge 40 percent

There were 56 sales of previously owned single-family homes in May, down 42 percent from 97 a year earlier. The median price was $487,500, down 14 percent from $567,000.

Condominium resales were down 44 percent to 47 in May from 84 a year earlier. The median price was $315,500, down 38 percent from $512,500.

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Failed plan cost state $112,171

The state of Hawai'i spent more than $112,000 to provide office space for Hawai'i companies at a Beijing technology park for nearly three years — but no businesses used the space

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OHA asks for study of burials--after funding their destruction

"In light of these recent findings, OHA would like to express serious concerns regarding the ongoing discoveries and treatment of unmarked burial sites on the Kawaiaha'o Church property," Namu'o wrote.

"The most recent developments at Kawaiaha'o need to be addressed in a pono way," he wrote.

OHA provided a $1 million grant to Kawaiaha'o in 2006 for the new building.  (Church?  State?  Establishment clause anybody?)

It also provided technical assistance to the church on the handling of iwi during the early planning stages of the building.

OHA's concerns come as the state historic preservation division and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are crafting new guidelines for the project.

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A&B forges ahead with plans for redevelopment in Kahului

KAHULUI - Soft real estate market or not, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. is going ahead with the first phase of its Kahului revitalization development, and it will open a sales information center Friday at Maui Mall.

A&B Properties Vice President Grant Chun said Monday that permits are expected to be issued by year's end and construction should begin early next year for Aina o Kane, the mainly residential portion of an even larger project that will stretch from Queen Ka'ahumanu Center to the Maui Mall. The first part of Kahului Town Center looks as though it will follow Aina o Kane by eight to 12 months.

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