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Monday, August 8, 2022
August 8, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:51 PM :: 1696 Views

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$70M COVID Money Backs CNHA Grab for Tourism, Mauna Kea

SA: … HVCB originally won the U.S. contract in December; however, CNHA protested. HTA rescinded HVCB’s contract and began a new procurement with new requirements. The bureau is now alleging that HTA violated state procurement law by running an unfair process that predetermined CNHA as the winner of the re-solicitation.

State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director Mike McCartney has the authority through Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 103D, the Hawaii public procurement code, to attempt to resolve the protest by mutual agreement or to make a decision to uphold or deny the protest. Sources familiar with the process say CNHA and HVCB have met with McCartney to attempt to find a way forward.

In the meantime CNHA is growing its leadership role within Hawaii tourism, much as it gained the backing of important community and political leaders from its roles in the Mauna Kea movement and the Red Hill water crisis, and its management of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of COVID-19 pandemic relief programs….

CNHA’s nonprofit filings show its annual grants and contributions increased to $70 million in 2021 from just over $1 million annually in 2018.

“Over the last two years we’ve been working to uplift our community, not just Hawaiians,” Lewis told the Star-Advertiser. “We’ve infused over $150 million by way of federal funds to help stabilize all of Hawaii.”

Lewis said CNHA’s full-time staff also has grown to about 100 from 26 prior to the pandemic. Keeping the tourism contract will allow CNHA to continue growing once its pandemic programs end.

CNHA’s wide reach also has allowed it to advance Native Hawaiian perspectives relevant to broader community decision- making. For instance, CNHA said it supported Act 255 because it dramatically overhauls the management structure of Mauna Kea…

CNHA does not have the tourism expertise to properly execute the contract. However, CNHA knows many of the Native Hawaiian and sustainability-oriented leaders, who are increasingly taking greater leadership roles in Hawaii’s visitor industry.

It was just 2020 when the HTA board adopted a strategic plan that emphasized destination management. The board also supported a request from Kalani Ka‘ana‘ana, who is now HTA chief brand officer, to help write the Aina Aloha Economic Futures. Many of the co-authors for that Hawaiian-led economic recovery agenda were kiai members interested in protecting Mauna Kea as a sacred site.

John De Fries, who was appointed HTA’s first Native Hawaiian president and CEO in September 2020, told CNHA’s conference attendees that it was these HTA board actions that inspired him to seek HTA’s top job. De Fries originally had been tapped by Ige’s administration to consider serving as senior special assistant, a role that would focus on identifying a Native Hawaiian reconciliation process, as well as Mauna Kea and Thirty Meter Telescope matters….

The tourism contract is not the first time that one of CNHA’s attempts to broaden its reach has caused disruption. There was pushback in 2017 primarily from the Hawaiian Focused Charter Schools Alliance when the Office of Hawaiian Affairs selected CNHA to administer a $1.5 million grant to Hawaiian-focused charter schools over incumbent Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana. Eventually, OHA decided to distribute directly to the schools to maximize the amount of funds going to students….

SA: Public meetings for TMT environmental review to begin

CB: It Will Take Extraordinary Leadership To Resolve Our Differences Over Mauna Kea

read … Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement wants to bring change to the visitor industry

Maui Bill will Create Massive Festering Homeless Tent Cities Islandwide

KITV: … Maui County councilmembers came up with a simple solution to fight homelessness – to allow people to sleep in the cars on public property. The bill passed its initial hearing on August 5th.

The author, Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura said she hopes this will serve as a safe zone for the growing amount of people becoming homeless ….

MN: Bill to allow sleeping in cars in county lots nears approval

read … A bill on Maui that would allow homeless people to sleep in their cars passed first hearing

Consultant hired to help fix EPIC

HTH: … Including permits moved over from three prior systems, there are now more than 450,000 permit cases in EPIC. Some 7,100 have been created in the system over the past year. 5,900 have been issued permits, 2,100 have been sent back for resubmittal and 1,200 are in some sort of review, Pause said.

There are 700 applications in the queue awaiting intake, he said….

Tanya Power, Attainable Housing Task Force chairwoman for the West Hawaii Association of Realtors, submitted a list of eight suggested improvements to the system.

The top concern, she said, is that real estate professionals are unable to access permit information on particular properties, making it difficult to know what has been permitted and what hasn’t.

“This makes us unable to perform a crucial part of our job,” Power said. “This hurts the public and also creates an unacceptable liability condition for us in the real estate profession and the county.”

In addition, review times are still averaging about six months, with applications sitting 30 days in the system before a clerk can even get to it, Pause said.

Then it proceeds to Land Use, where it stays only a couple of days before moving to a plans examiner, which usually takes 60 days if there are no corrections….

read … Consultant hired to help fix EPIC

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