House District 13

Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meets with Office of Hawaiian Affairs,

In News Release on January 31, 2009 at 11:13 pm

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Honolulu. Office of Hawaiian Affairs leadership spoke with members of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus at a Kukakuka meeting on Thursday, January 29 about strategies in protecting “ceded lands” currently in dispute.

Chair of the OHA Board of Trustees Haunani Apoliona, Administrator Clyde Namu‘o, Trustees Oz Stender, and Robert Lindsey advised the Caucus to urge other lawmakers to back a single moratorium bill and to move it through legislation quickly.

“For the legislative action to be the most effective is to have a bill passed before February 25,” Namu‘o said of the date on which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether or not the 1993 Apology Resolution by Congress stripped the State of its right to sell “ceded lands.” “We’re at the point where we no more time to quibble over which version [of the moratorium bill to go with].”

Rep. Mele Carroll, Chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, asked the OHA members for their opinion on how they feel that legislators should proceed forward in the coming month regarding the support of the moratorium legislation on “ceded lands.”

Namu‘o said that the public needs to be educated on the issue of “ceded lands” and let their representatives know where they stand.

“People need to realize that this is absolutely one of the most serious issues to affect our people in a long, long time,” Namu‘o said. “Gov. Lingle needs to hear that not only the Hawai‘i community is upset over this bill, but the broader community as well.”

While Gov. Linda Lingle has not stated any plans to sell “ceded lands,” to have the U.S. Supreme Court to comment on Native Hawaiian claims to those lands is the worst thing to happen, when the State and Native Hawaiians are currently in a process of reconciliation, Namu‘o explained.

“I think the important thing right now is the legislation,” Rep. Mele Carroll said. “Kupa‘aina and ‘Iliu‘okalani Coalitions are out there right now working really hard to educate the public. But we all need to communicate.”

Apoliona agreed: “The common ground of the moratorium, let’s all get on board on that.”

Members of Kupa‘aina Coalition (who organized StopSellingCededLands.com) presented counterarguments to what was stated by Attorney General Mark Bennett at a previous Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meeting. Bennett had said that a legislated moratorium would bring lawsuits against the State, hamper the government’s ability to generate finance, and that having the federal government settle a State issue was the moral thing to do. The Coalition and the OHA members both stated that the Attorney General’s arguments were misleading the public.

“We thank you [The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus] for moving forward and rising against the fear that potential litigation would come forward,” Kupa‘aina Coalition member Derek Kauanoe said.

Kauanoe told the Caucus that legal disputes will come to the State even if the Attorney General and the Governor win their case in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also quoted the Attorney General as agreeing that the issue of “ceded lands” should be resolved in the political arena, not in the courts.

It seems as if the Attorney General and Gov. Lingle want to do away with the unique laws that shape Hawai‘i,” Coalition member Hoku Price said. “It is up to the legislators … to recognize and not challenge the rights of the first people of Hawai‘i.”

Coalition member Jocelyn Doane also told the Caucus that a moratorium would not prevent the State from making money and that licenses, permits, and other economic uses of the land would carry on in the same way that it has.

“This issue is not one that pits the Native Hawaiian community against the non-Native Hawaiian community,” Doane said. “Hawaiians have a special relationship with the land, and so does the rest of the community.”

The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus is composed of 28 members for the 2009 session, the largest membership it has ever had: Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Sen. J. Kalani English (Vice-Chair), Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Sharon E. Har, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. Jessica Wooley, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, Rep. Scott Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Rep. Della Au Bellatti, and Rep. Gene Ward.

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Legislative Hawaiian Caucus announces moratorium on “ceded lands”

In News Release on January 28, 2009 at 3:53 am

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Honolulu. Rep. Mele Carroll, chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, announced lawmakers’ plans to make a priority of setting a moratorium on the selling of “ceded lands.”

“The Legislature, the ultimate policy makers of the State, in multiple acts, has further acted upon the State’s commitments to support Native Hawaiian self-determination and address Native Hawaiian claims to land,” Rep. Mele Carroll said at Wednesday’s press conference. “We believe there is a fiduciary responsibility of the State to Native Hawaiians.”

House Bill 1667, as part of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus package, proposes to prohibit the Board of Land and Natural Resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating ‘ceded lands’ in the public land trust. The bill is a companion to Senate Bill 1085, introduced by Sen. Clayton Hee.

“This isn’t about the economy, it’s about the relationship between the first people, the Native people, and the land,” Hee said. “Any sale of ceded lands, as distasteful as it sounds to me, should only happen after reconciliation with the Hawaiian people.”

Rep. Mele Carroll explained that the bill proposed by the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus differs from other “ceded land” bills this session in that it is centered on the sole purpose of setting a moratorium—a decision that has allowed many Native Hawaiian groups to stand united in support.

“This bill is clear, no sale of ceded lands,” Hee said.

Rep. Mele Carroll also announced that the focus of the bill on setting up a moratorium at this stage of legislation, without a specific sunset or precedents on reconciliation, is tailored to allow amendments to be added later in the process with more community input.

Lawmakers from both the House and the Senate stood in support of moving forward with a moratorium bill after a 17 to 1 vote within the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus.

“The right and pono thing is to support a moratorium bill,” Rep. Della Au Belatti said.

“This is not about a legal battle,” Rep. Sylvia Luke said. “This is really about doing what is right.”

Caucus members also acknowledged the leadership of Rep. Mele Carroll in bringing lawmakers together for one common purpose and in keeping the process transparent with the community.
Moratorium unites Native Hawaiian organizations

Native Hawaiian leaders stood united in support of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus’ bill for a moratorium.

“It’s very, very unusual to get us all [different Native Hawaiian organizations] together in one place and support one thing,” said Pu`uhonua “Bumpy” Kanahele of the Nation of Hawai‘i.

Kanahele asked the Caucus to consider also working on legislation that would protect the democratic process for Native Hawaiians and to provide a political forum that would help to establish self-governance.

“We are in total support of a moratorium on ceded lands,” Kanahele said. “We should all support a fair process. I support this process full on.”

Native Hawaiian attorney and former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Mililani Trask asked the Caucus to communicate with the federal government to direct the Justice Department to move in favor of a moratorium. She also said that there needs to be a comprehensive inventory of public trust lands.

“We support a moratorium on ceded lands unequivocally,” Trask said.

‘Ilio‘ulaokalani Coalition President Vicky Holt Takamine said that a moratorium is not intended to prevent the use of “ceded lands” by Hawai‘i citizens, but to prevent the changing of ownership to outside hands.

“We have shared our lands for public use in the past,” Holt Takamine said. “We don’t have a problem with that. But we do have a problem with selling that and transferring it out of the ownership of the ‘ceded lands.’”

Clifford Hashimoto, Ali‘i Nui of the Royal Order of Kamehameha, also announced support for the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus’ move toward a moratorium.

“The Association of Hawaiian Civics Club stands in unity with all others who are here in support of a moratorium,” said Association president Leimomi Kahn.

Kahn also announced that the Association has gathered a petition to Gov. Linda Lingle to withdraw her lawsuit from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus package

• SB LRB 09-0049-1: Education
Traditional; Hawaiian Navigation; Voyaging canoes pilot program.

• SB LRB 09-0056: State Building Code; Bamboo
Directs the state building code council to establish standards and criteria allowing the use of bamboo as an accepted construction material.

• SB LRB 09-0744: Hawaiians; Indigenous
Recognizes Hawaiians as the indigenous people Hawai‘i.

• SB 09-1042: Kuleana Lands
Kuleana Lands; 10-year Holding Period.

• SB LRB 09-1083: Historic Preservation
Burial Cave; Historic Preservation.

• SB HMNS 2009-1307: Generically Modified Taro; Prohibition
Prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting, or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawai‘i.

• SB HMS 2008 5197: Corrections
Inmate Rehabilitation; Historic Site Restoration.

• SB HMS 2008 5219: Hawaiian Fishponds
Government—owned Hawaiian fishponds; prohibition on sale.

• 2009 0289 SB SMA-1: Hawaiian Language
Documents.

• 2009 0757 HB SMA: Ceded Lands
Moratorium on the sale of ceded lands.

The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus is composed of 28 members for the 2009 session, the largest membership it has ever had: Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Sen. J. Kalani English (Vice-Chair), Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Sharon E. Har, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. Jessica Wooley, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, Rep. Scott Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Rep. Della Au Bellatti, and Rep. Gene Ward.

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus calls a press conference to announce its priority to support a Moratorium on ‘Ceded Lands’

In News Release on January 27, 2009 at 4:02 am

Honolulu. The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus has called for a press conference on Wednesday, January 28 at 10 a.m. in State Capitol Room 423 to announce its priority to set a moratorium on selling “ceded lands” this session. The Caucus met Monday afternoon and voted to move forward with a bill that would prohibit the Board of Land and Natural Resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating “ceded lands” in the public land trust.

“We are inviting the community and its leaders to come be with us,” Rep. Mele Carroll said. Native Hawaiian leaders will be meeting with the Caucus, with the support of ‘Ilioula‘okalani Coalition and Kupa‘aina, and other Native Hawaiian community leaders from 8:30 a.m. in State Capitol Room 423 prior to the press conference and will be open to the public.

Rep. Mele Carroll, chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, will also announce the Caucus’ entire legislative package.

Leading up to the vote on Monday, Rep. Mele Carroll provided an ongoing forum that involved the public in the discourse and allowed lawmakers to hear arguments from different sides of the “ceded lands” debate.

With the start of the 2009 Legislative Session, Mele Carroll met with Gov. Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair Micah Kane, as well as Royal Order of Kamehameha Ali‘i Nui Clifford Hashimoto and members. Through the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus Kukakuka meetings, discussions took place with Hawai‘i attorney Sherry Broder, The Reinstated Hawaiian Government Prime Minister Henry Noa, Aha Kiole Representatives, Association of Hawaiian Civics Clubs President Leimomi Kahn, and many other concerned community members leading up to the Caucus vote.

Many factors were taken into account in the decision to pursue a legislatively mandated moratorium, Rep. Mele Carroll explained. Issues such as the length of the moratorium, its affect on the State’s bond rating, the need for reconciliation, and potential lawsuits resulting from or without a moratorium were all presented to lawmakers at the public Legislative Hawaiian Caucus Kuka Kuka meetings.

The vote came on the same day Gov. Linda Lingle reasserted her position to define the State’s right to sell lands obtained through the Admission Act of 1959.

Lingle stated in her address that “The issue involved in this case is not whether ceded lands should or should not be sold. Rather the issue involves the fundamental question of whether the State of Hawai‘i has clear title to the land transferred to us by the federal government at the time of statehood. The roots of this case date back to a decision made by former Governor Waihe‘e in the 1980s to sell certain ceded lands on Maui and Hawai‘i for the construction of affordable housing. It was a decision he believed was in the best interest of all the people of Hawai‘i. It is a decision that former Governor Cayetano defended in court because he believed it was in the best interest of all the people of Hawai‘i to do so. And it is a decision that we are appealing to the United States Supreme Court because I believe it is in the best interest of all the people of Hawai‘i.”

“I was not surprised with the Governor’s position on ‘ceded lands,’” Rep. Mele Carroll said. “However, I believe there is a fiduciary responsibility of the State to Native Hawaiians.”

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus members include: Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Sen. J. Kalani English (Vice-Chair), Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Sharon E. Har, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. Jessica Wooley, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, Rep. Scott Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Rep. Della Au Bellatti, and Rep. Gene Ward.

LEGISLATIVE HAWAIIAN CAUCUS PRESS CONFERENCE
TO ANNOUNCE MORATORIUM BILL
WHEN: Wednesday January 28, 2009 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: State Capitol Room 423

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus speaks in depth with Attorney General and Sherry Broder about ‘ceded lands’

In News Release on January 22, 2009 at 4:07 am

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Honolulu. The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus sat down with both sides of the “ceded lands” lawsuit headed to the U.S. Supreme Court at its meeting on Thursday, January 22, 2009.

Rep. Mele Carroll organized regular meetings of the Caucus as a way for different sides of the debate on Native Hawaiian issues to hold a transparent discussion with lawmakers—to create an ongoing dialogue with the public prior to making decisions in hearings.

Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett briefed the Caucus on the history behind the ownership of lands transferred to the State as part of the Admission Act in 1959.

Bennett cited the lands granted to the State by Section 5(b) of the Admission Act and pursuant to article XVI, section 7, of the State Constitution as being owned unquestionably by the State in “fee simple” terms.

The Attorney General said that he did not believe the 1993 Apology Resolution should be interpreted as taking away any rights the State has to sell lands acquired by the Admission Act.

“Our argument, both in Circuit Court and in the Hawai‘i Supreme Court is not that the Apology Resolution isn’t a law,” Bennett said. “It is a law. But it does not change, in our view, the legal rights of our parties.”

Bennett also told the Caucus that legislation by Hawai‘i lawmakers prior to the resolution in 1992 had formulated the process for selling “ceded lands.”

Rep. Mele Carroll asked the Attorney General, “Should the Office of Hawaiian Affairs bill pass for the moratorium, would that actually change the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court?”

Bennett replied that it wouldn’t affect a Supreme Court decision.

Sen. J. Kalani English asked Bennett what Congress’s purpose was in passing the Apology Resolution if they did not intend for it to affect the legal landscape.

Bennett replied that the resolution was not intending to change any legal rights.

English then asked Bennett, “If we [the Hawai‘i State Legislature] pass a moratorium that materially changes the debate, how does that affect you?”

Bennett warned the Caucus that a moratorium passed by the Legislature would lead to numerous lawsuits against the State.

“The next day [after a moratorium bill is passed into law], those who oppose Hawaiian programs and who continually sue the State, they would sue,” Bennett said. “It’s my view that if the Legislature passes what’s on the OHA website that the State would be in breach of the Admission Act.”

Attorney Sherry Broder, who has represented OHA in obtaining entitlement to “ceded lands” revenues and was the chief attorney for OHA from 1986 to 2002, said the State administration did not understand OHA’s position on the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Hawai‘i Supreme Court decided that the Apology Resolution does not bestow any ownership to Native Hawaiians and that it should be settled in the political arena,” Broder said to the caucus. “We conceded that that’s where the resolution will come. We want a moratorium.”

Other caucus members said they did not fully understand the Attorney General’s warning against passing a moratorium against selling “ceded lands.”

“This whole argument seems so sterile, like a textbook thing,” Sen. Brickwood Galuteria said. “There’s no humanity to this.”

Bennett said that he is upholding the laws of the State and the Constitution.

Galuteria then asked if Governor Linda Lingle intends to sell any “ceded lands.”

The Attorney General replied, “The Governor has said she does not currently have any intent. If we succeed with this lawsuit, then the State will have the authority to sell or transfer ‘ceded lands.’”

Broder told the caucus that Hawai‘i’s leadership and the courts have consistently acknowledged the need for reconciliation with Native Hawaiians.

“The purpose of this litigation and the way the Hawai‘i Supreme Court reacted,” Broder said, “was that this was a time of reconciliation and that this is a time to restore the status quo.”

English asked Bennett why the administration is so compelled to take a Hawai‘i Supreme Court decision on a State issue to the federal level.

Bennett replied, “Because we believe that it was our obligation to defend, among other things, the laws this administration had passed and the Admission Act. We did it because we believe what we are doing is the right thing to do.”

Rep. Sylvia Luke said she did not fully understand the Attorney General’s opinion that a moratorium passed into law by the Legislature would be harmful to the State.

“I don’t see how a simple policy to create a moratorium on selling ‘ceded lands’ would create future potential 14th Amendment claims,” Luke said. “If the Legislature is making the statement with a bill simply stating that we want a moratorium, then what would the position of the Attorney General be?”

Bennett replied that a moratorium bill would bring the State to a situation where plaintiffs have standing.

“I think there are multiple ways to bring a lawsuit,” Bennett said to the Caucus. “I don’t think that listing them here is in anyone’s best interest.”

Rep. Della Au Belatti said she didn’t think the Attorney General’s “fear tactic” should be holding back the Legislature from exploring reconciliation with Native Hawaiians.

“A moratorium may very well be beneficial to all people of Hawai‘i,” Belatti said.

Caucus members include Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Sharon E. Har, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. Jessica Wooley, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, Rep. Scott Saiki, Rep. Sylvia Luke, Sen. J. Kalani English (Vice-Chair), Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, and Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland.

The next Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meeting, on Native Hawaiian agricultural issues, will take place on Tuesday, January 27 at 4 p.m. in State Capitol Room 423. Guests include Jim Kane, John Osorio, Jerry Konanui, Dr. Lorin Pang, Adolf Helm , and Mililani Trask.

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus speaks with Native Hawaiian health community

In News Release on January 21, 2009 at 5:48 am

Honolulu. Rep. Mele Carroll and the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus met with leaders and practitioners in the Native Hawaiian health community at a meeting on Jan. 15.

Caucus members heard concerns from members of Hui No Ke Ola Pono, a non-profit that provides community-based health care services on Maui; Papa Ola Lokahi, a clearinghouse for data and timely information associated with the health status of Native Hawaiians; Mental Health Alliance; and Community Health Centers in Rural Areas.

“It’s a rare occasion, quite frankly, that we have been invited to speak in front of legislators,” said David Peters of the Kauai Community Health Center. “We at Papa Ola Lokahi look at new initiatives to integrate into Native Hawaiian health care systems. … Initially, you could count the number of researchers on one hand. Now there are nearly 150 researchers [working with us].”

Rep. Karen Awana asked if Papa Ola Lokahi and Hui No Ke Ola Pono looks into different kinds of alternative medicines.

“The whole idea of traditional healthcare practices are organic to the Native Hawaiian Healthcare Act,” Papa Ola Lokahi’s Hardy Spoehr replied. The Native Hawaiian Healthcare Act was created by Congress to develop outreach programs addressing the unique health needs of Native Hawaiians, who were found to have suffered greatly from the early onset of chronic disease and other adverse health conditions.

Tom Foye, Planning and Development Director of Papa Ola Lokahi, described how many non-profit healthcare organizations are at risk during economic times because they are dependent solely on federal funding.

“We’re very much at risk because we have one funding source in Washington: Sen. Daniel Inouye,” Foye said. He explained to the caucus that they should look at funding community healthcare organizations through diversification and solid strategic planning.

 “We hope that we can continue this conversation in all forums,” Rep. Mele Carroll said to the healthcare practitioners.

Alex Santiago spoke to the caucus on behalf of the Mental Health Alliance. As part of ongoing budget cuts throughout state departments, the Adult Mental Health Services division announced in November that it will be cutting over $25 million from its FY2009 budget by cutting services.

“We are not going to stand by and watch as we try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor,” Santiago said. “What we are going to try to do is bring the word to you [the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus].”

Rep. Pono Chong said that lawmakers need to hear from the community where cuts would be better made. “The state, unlike the federal government, cannot borrow money to operate,” he said.

Santiago replied, “We’ve been doing a lot with less. We’re willing to do more with less. We’re willing to collaborate. However, we’re at the point where critical services for the most needy are being cut.”

Rep. Mele Carroll asked Santiago if finding new ways to generate money has been part of the discussion within the mental health community.

Santiago said that all options are being discussed. “Whatever it is we do to get revenue, we have to make sure the money is going to the things we care about,” he said. “There’s a willingness of everyone to come to the table to find a solution.”

Attorney General, Hawaii civil attorneys and DHHL to speak with Legislative Hawaiian Caucus about ‘ceded lands’

In News Release on January 21, 2009 at 5:45 am

Honolulu. The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus will hear concerns from Attorney General Mark Bennett and other civil attorneys about Hawaii’s “ceded lands” on Thursday, January 22.

 

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meeting
Thursday, January 22, 2009
From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at State Capitol room 423

 

Attorney Sherry Broder is scheduled to update the caucus on the legal challenges to preserve lands for Native Hawaiians. Broder has represented the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in obtaining entitlement to “ceded lands” revenues and was the chief attorney for OHA from 1986 to 2002. Broder also had been elected the first woman president of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

 

Rep. Mele Carroll, chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, has been working closely with various Native Hawaiian organizations to create a dialogue with Hawaii lawmakers.

 

Last Saturday, Rep. Mele Carroll and the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus were invited to take part in the Ku I Ka Pono March to protect Hawaiian lands. Community activists are seeking the support of the caucus to oppose the Lingle Administration’s attempt to move forward with selling what is now known as “ceded lands.” Activists are also seeking the caucus’ help in preparing legislation that will set a moratorium against selling those lands.

 

Micah Kane, Chair of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, is also scheduled to speak.

 

At a House Finance Committee last week, on Jan. 14, Kane said that the last fiscal year was the largest construction year in terms of dollars in the history of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust. Kane also credited the progress to the development of a retail facility in Kapolei with DeBartolo, LLC, which provided 4,500 jobs.

 

“We see that as the job center for our families to live and work in that community,” Kane said. “Also, the revenue goes toward Native Hawaiians.”

 

At the Finance Committee meeting, Rep. Mele Carroll asked if DHHL has dealt with any water issues regarding water infrastructure.

 

Kane replied that while there is an integrated system on Maui, the county is currently in a situation where there is a master plan, but has no money to execute the operation.

 

“There is utility availability in many of these counties, but they are obligated to various developers,” Kane said.

 

He would like to see the government given more authority to hold infrastructure to allow projects to move ahead more quickly.

 

“Thank you for all you have done [at DHHL],” Rep. Mele Carroll said. “I know my district is very challenging and you folks have been very diligent in handling the issues.”

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meeting focuses on Hawaiian Health Reorganization

In News Release on January 14, 2009 at 5:54 am

Honolulu. Members of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus will be meeting on Thursday, January 15 at 4 p.m. in room State Capitol Room 423. The caucus will discuss Native Hawaiian health issues, as well as try to determine what will be introduced into this session’s caucus package, including creating a moratorium on selling ceded lands.

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus meeting
Thursday, January 15, 2009
From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at State Capitol room 423

 

The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus was reactivated in 2007 by Rep. Mele Carroll and other lawmakers. In 2008, the caucus opened up its membership to non-Native Hawaiian lawmakers—bringing membership up to 21 members, including five senators: Sen. J. Kalani English, Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, and Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland.

House members include Rep. Mele Carroll, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, and Rep. Lynn Finnegan.

Bishop Museum shares treasures, needs with Legislative Hawaiian Caucus

In News Release on January 14, 2009 at 5:52 am

Native Hawaiian artist Marquez Marzan (left) takes a break from putting the finishing touches on Hawaiian Hall’s grass hale with Rep. Mele Carroll and Bishop Museum Public Affairs Director Donalyn Dela Cruz.

Native Hawaiian artist Marquez Marzan (left) takes a break from putting the finishing touches on Hawaiian Hall’s grass hale with Rep. Mele Carroll and Bishop Museum Public Affairs Director Donalyn Dela Cruz.

 

Honolulu. Lawmakers immersed themselves in Hawaiian history at the year’s first Legislative Hawaiian Caucus Meeting, held at Bishop Museum on Monday, January 12. Caucus chair Mele Carroll said she would like to continue to use the regularly-scheduled meetings to hear from and interact with people in the community who are improving life for Native Hawaiians.

“The whole reason for this is sharing,” Rep. Mele Carroll said. “We want to bring Native Hawaiians to the Capitol. We want them to engage with our legislators and tell us what they want.”

 

The Legislative Hawaiian Caucus was reactivated in 2007 by Rep. Mele Carroll and other lawmakers. In 2008, the caucus opened up its membership to non-Native Hawaiian lawmakers—bringing membership up to 21 members, including five senators: Sen. J. Kalani English, Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Norman Sakamoto, and Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland.

 

House members include Rep. Mele Carroll, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Pono Chong, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Hermina Morita, Rep. Roland Sagum III, Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Lyla B. Berg, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Rep. Joe Bertram, Rep. Joey Manahan, Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Tom Brower, and Rep. Lynn Finnegan.

 

Bishop Museum seeks caucus support

After a tour of Native Hawaiian artifacts, many of which are scheduled to be featured in the $21 million restoration of the museum’s Hawaiian Hall, the caucus heard from Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools spokespersons.

 

Bishop Museum president Tim Johns explained to lawmakers that the FY 2010 budget is receiving the lowest state subsidy it has had in 10 years at approximately $254,000.

Johns said that he would like the support of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus to restore state subsidy, currently at 2 percent of the museum’s overall budget under Gov. Lingle’s plan, to 5 percent. Last year Bishop Museum’s state subsidy was $715,592.

 

In order to meet budget cuts, the museum had to lay off 16 employees and is currently looking at implementing new energy conservation efforts.

 

The Hawaiian Hall complex, built in 1903, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Renovations to the building, which began in 2006, are designed to improve visitor access, climate control, and object conservation.

The renovated complex is planned to present different voices on each floor, spanning time, gods, class, gender, age, and politics. Scientific and western perspectives will also be woven into the interpretation as context and references.

 

Yesterday, Rep. Mele Carroll and other caucus members were able to see Native Hawaiian artist Marques Marzan apply the finishing touches to the life-sized grass hale, which will be featured on the first floor of Hawaiian Hall.

 

Kamehameha Schools looks to contribute to affordable housing

There are ways of doing affordable housing that’s beneficial to more people than those in just one area, Kamehameha Schools government spokesperson Kekoa Paulsen told the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus.

 

“For the amount of money for [building affordable housing in] just Kaka‘ako, you could build three times as much elsewhere,” Paulsen said. Kamehameha Schools would like for the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus to support legislation that would make it easier to build affordable housing in areas such as Kona or Puna rather than high value areas, like Kaka‘ako.

Kamehameha Schools’ role in affordable housing would be in working toward a statewide solution, Paulsen explained.

 

“Our primary emphasis is going to be on education, on charter schools,” Paulsen said. “It’s about building a capacity in the community. It’s not just Kamehameha Schools.”

Rep. Mele Carroll asked, “Because both Kamehameha Schools and public schools have to pass national standards, is it possible for Kamehameha Schools to assist public schools, especially with culturally based programs?”

 

Paulsen replied that Kamehameha Schools has been offering learning opportunities for public educators. For example, Kamehameha Schools’ Public Education Support Division provides resources and support to Hawai‘i’s public education system, including start-up conversion Hawaiian-focused charter schools, Native Hawaiian Immersion schools, and the broader Department of Education.

 

Legislative Hawaiian Caucus invited to Ku I Ka Pono March

In News Release on January 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

Honolulu. Rep. Mele Carroll and the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus have been invited to take part in the Ku I Ka Pono March to protect Hawaiian lands. March organizers are seeking the support of the caucus to oppose the Lingle Administration’s attempt to move forward with selling what is now known as “ceded lands.” Activists are also seeking the caucus’ help in preparing legislation that will set a moratorium against selling ceded lands.

Activists are urging Gov. Linda Lingle to reconsider going forward with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a January 2008 decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court, which granted an injunction against the state from selling ceded lands from the public lands trust until the claims of Native Hawaiians to those lands have been resolved.

Lingle said in a statement that she would not withdraw the state’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court because she did not believe a Congressional apology to Native Hawaiians in 1993 overturned land rights granted to the state when it was created in 1959.

In opposition to the state, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who filed the initial lawsuit in 1994 to argue that the state did not hold good title to public trust lands, aims to see that the 2008 decision to suspend the selling of ceded lands is preserved.

Caucus members Rep. Mele Carroll and Sen. Clayton Hee will be speaking this Saturday at the Kapiolani Park rally following the march.

Ku I Ka Pono March: Protect Hawaiian Lands
Saturday, January 17
March starts at 10 a.m. from Saratoga/Kalakaua and ends at Kapi
olani Park
Rally starts at 11:30 a.m.  at Kapi
olani Park