House District 13

Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

A glimpse of today’s continuing rally & vigil

In Photos on February 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm

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View the rest of the photos here.

Ku I Ka Pono Vigil & Rally

In News Release on February 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm

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A Ku I Ka Pono Vigil and Rally is being held at the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 25 from 4:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in recognition of the U.S. Supreme Court Hearing on “ceded lands.”

Kumu Hula are invited to bring your pahu, ipu and olapa. Vigil organizers ask that you bring ohana, sleeping bags, posters, flags, your own food and drinks, and wear your red Ku I Ka Pono T-shirt.

‘Ceded lands’: House adopts Resolution asking Gov. Lingle to withdraw appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

In News Release on February 24, 2009 at 6:51 am

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Honolulu. Today, the House adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, which urges Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett to withdraw the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s decision to place a moratorium on the selling of “ceded lands” until reconciliation is reached with Native Hawaiians.

“One of the reasons why we are supporting this measure is because it’s the first time a state governor has ever challenged its state supreme court,” Rep. Mele Carroll said on the House floor. “If we’re going to talk about transparency, Gov. Lingle never spoke to the people before filing its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

As Chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee, Rep. Mele Carroll sat through many debates and interacted with the community, Hawaiian leaders, and State officials. With the start of the 2009 Legislative Session, Rep. Mele Carroll had discussions with Gov. Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair Micah Kane, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Haunani Apoliana, Walter Heen, Oswald Ostender, Collette Machado, and Robert Lindsey, OHA’s Administrator Clyde Namu‘o as well as OHA’s attorney Bill Maheula, regarding the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on “ceded lands.”

Other members of the Hawaiian community who Rep. Mele Carroll had discussions with about the moratorium are the Royal Order of Kamehameha Ali‘i Nui Clifford Hashimoto and members, 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 Kumu Hula Vicky Holt-Takamine of Iliuokalani, among many others.

On the floor, Rep. Angus McKelvey, in strong support of SCR40, reminded lawmakers that the “ceded lands” issue is one that affects all of Hawai‘i’s people and the State’s future generations. “The reconciliation process will bring everyone, Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, together,” he said.

Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, who also voted in support of SCR40, said to lawmakers who said they were not yet familiar with the issue that extensive measures had been made by the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus and the media to educate the public on the significance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on “ceded lands.”

Rep. Mele Carroll told the House that SCR40 and the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s decision does not challenge any title to “ceded lands” and that it is simply a statement of policy, which supports a moratorium on the selling of those lands until the reconciliation process with Native Hawaiians, as directed by Congress and by Hawai‘i’s Legislature, can take place.

“This timing is crucial,” Rep. Mele Carroll said. “We need this resolution as we go to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The U.S. Supreme Court hears opening testimony on the appeal on February 25.

SCR40 has been adopted in its final form by both the House and the Senate and certified copies will be transmitted to the Governor and the Attorney General.

SCR40
URGING THE GOVERNOR AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO WITHDRAW THE APPEAL TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT OF THE HAWAII STATE SUPREME COURT DECISION, OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS V. HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF HAWAII, 117 HAWAII 174 (2008).

Rep. Mele Carroll makes ‘ceded lands’ statement in Molokai Dispatch column

In Mele's Words on February 23, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Protecting the ‘aina is a priority for Maui Representative
By Rep. Mele Carroll
Molokai Dispatch

When the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ordered that there be an injunction to prevent the State from selling “ceded lands” from the public land trust last year, the Justices correctly acknowledged the State’s fiduciary duty to preserve those lands until the unrelinquished claims of Native Hawaiians have been resolved.

The Hawai‘i Supreme Court, citing the 1993 Apology Resolution by Congress as well as State legislation, said that given the crucial importance of the ‘aina to the Native Hawaiian people and their culture, their religion, their economic self-sufficiency, and their sense of personal and community well-being, any further diminishment of the “ceded lands” from the public lands trust will negatively impact the contemplated reconciliation and settlement efforts between native Hawaiians and the State.

It is imperative not just for native Hawaiians, but all of Hawai‘i’s people that a moratorium on the selling of “ceded lands” remain in place to preserve this process of reconciliation.

As Chairwoman of the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee and Chairwoman of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, which consists of six State Senators and 22 State Representatives, I have kept an open and transparent discussion to educate lawmakers on the cultural, emotional, and inherent significance of these “ceded lands” to the Hawaiian people.

In late January 2009, the Caucus supported a full moratorium on the selling of “ceded lands” and introduced a bill that became the Caucus’ priority as part of a legislative package.

I have also provided an ongoing forum through the Caucus “Kukakuka” meetings as well as heard and passed out measures to address the moratorium issue, which 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, I’ve had discussions with Gov. Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair Micah Kane, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Haunani Apoliana, Walter Heen, Oswald Ostender, Collette Machado, and Robert Lindsey, OHA’s Administrator Clyde Namu‘o as well as OHA’s attorney Bill Maheula, regarding the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on “ceded lands.”

Other members of the Hawaiian community who I had discussions with about the moratorium are the Royal Order of Kamehameha Ali‘i Nui Clifford Hashimoto and members, Hawai‘i attorney Sherry Broder, The Reinstated Hawaiian Government Prime Minister Henry Noa, Aha Kiole Representatives, Association of Hawaiian Civics Clubs President Leimomi Kahn, Kumu Hula Vicky Holt-Takamine of Iliuokalani and many, many others.

The legislative fight for a moratorium is one that has united kupuna, native Hawaiians, lawmakers, communities, and activists from across the state. The resounding support to bar the selling of “ceded lands” until the reconciliation process can take place is not simply there to institute a legal measure. The powerful emotions and voices that have emerged from our Kukakuka with Hawai‘i’s community reflect the willingness of Hawai‘i’s people to continue to move forward with this healing process and to protect the lands for future generations.

House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs passes taro security bill

In News Release on February 19, 2009 at 7:42 am

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Honolulu. The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee passed House Bill 1663 yesterday after receiving over 500 testimonies on the issue of taro security. HB 1663 prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting, or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawai‘i.

 

Following testimony, Rep. Mele Carroll, Chair of the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee asked University of Hawai‘i spokesman Kevin Malley, who supports bio technology GMO, why UH has not focused on traditional native Hawaiian practices that worked for our ancestors and provided enough food to feed the population. 

 

“Why aren’t we looking at what practices has worked in the past, and why aren’t we identifying today’s challenges and what is the best practices to protect taro’s impurities as well as taro security?” Rep. Mele Carroll asked.

 

Malley replied that researchers have not looked into native Hawaiian practices because their goal is to explore possibilities and maybe could be driven by economics and funding.  Scientists are curious about how they feel is the best way to protect and increase productivity of the taro for the purpose of economics.

 

Jim Cain, a taro farmer from the Big Island, handed out Waipi‘o taro to the committee members, saying that taro is a “priceless treasure” for Native Hawaiians.

 

“Thank you Mele for standing up,” Cain said. “You have 200 taro farmers and over 500 testimonies in front of you from around the state in support of this bill.”  

 

The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee also passed the following bills today:

 

·        HB899 — Clarifies and strengthens the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ bond authority.

 

·        HB1612 — (Passed with Amendments) Permits the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to receive and subsequently assign, transfer or exchange county affordable housing credits.

 

·        HB1015 — Enables the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to begin construction on affordable housing projects without having the full and final amount of the capital costs on hand at the beginning of the project.

 

·        HB1666— (Passed with Amendments) Requires that all letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the State and other political subdivisions include both State languages.

 

·        HB901— (Passed with Amendments) Amends the law to provide for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to receive a portion of the income and proceeds from land in the public land trust.

 

A bill pertaining to the Kupuna Honorary Degree Program, HB1796, which requires the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to develop and administer the program that awards the pohaku degree, intended to be Hawai‘i’s equivalent to the Nobel prizes, to eligible Hawaiian kupuna worldwide was deferred and will be presented by the Legislature as a resolution. 

 

This bill was deferred because the Office of Hawaiian Affairs asked that a resolution be introduced for the purpose of providing a timeline to plan and implement this Kupuna Honorary Degree Program.

 

Representative Mele Carroll to appear as panelist on KITV4 discussion

In News Release on February 19, 2009 at 6:49 am

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KITV4 Panel Discussion on “Ceded Lands”
When:
Friday, February 20 at 7 p.m.

Honolulu. Representative Mele Carroll, Chairwoman of the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee & Chairwoman of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, will speak as a panelist for a live television discussion regarding the pending U.S. Supreme Court certiorari petition.

Chairwoman, Rep. Mele Carroll united 28 members of the Legislature to serve on the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus which consists of six State Senators and twenty-two State Representatives. In late January 2009, the caucus supported a full moratorium on ceded lands and introduced a bill that became the caucus priority as part of a legislative package. The legislation supports the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court decision that prevents the State from selling “ceded lands” until reconciliation with Native Hawaiians is achieved.

Rep. Mele Carroll also provided an ongoing forum through the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus “Kukakuka” meetings as well as heard and passed out four bills that addressed the moratorium issue 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, Rep. Mele Carroll met with Gov. Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair Micah Kane, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Haunani Apoliana, Walter Heen, Oswald Ostender, Collette Machado, and Robert Lindsey, OHA’s Administrator Clyde Namu‘o as well as OHA’s attorney Bill Maheula.

Other members of the Hawaiian community that Rep. Mele Carroll included in the discussions regarding the ceded lands moratorium are the Royal Order of Kamehameha Ali‘i Nui Clifford Hashimoto and members, Hawai‘i attorney Sherry Broder, The Reinstated Hawaiian Government Prime Minister Henry Noa, Aha Kiole Representatives, Association of Hawaiian Civics Clubs President Leimomi Kahn, Kumu Hula Vicky Holt-Takamine of Iliuokalani and many other concerned community members.

Appearing on Friday’s panel discussion with Rep. Mele Carroll are former Gov. John Waihee, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs President Haunani Apoliona with moderator Skylark Rossetti. The discussion will also be broadcast online at http://www.kitv.com.

House Hawaiian Affairs Committee to make decision on OHA bill

In News Release on February 18, 2009 at 4:06 am

Honolulu. A House Hawaiian Affairs Committee will meet for decision making on House Bill 901 on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 11 a.m.

The purpose of HB901 is to allow the State to make progress toward meeting part of its constitutional obligation to Native Hawaiians by addressing the additional amount of income and proceeds that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is to receive from the public trust pursuant to article XII, sections 4 and 6, of the Hawai‘i Constitution, for the period from November 7, 1978, to July 1, 2008.

In February, Rep. Mele Carroll, Chair of the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee held informational briefings and heard testimony on HB901 throughout the islands of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Kaua‘i.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
11:00 a.m.
Conference Room 329
State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street

HB 901
RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS.

Amends the law to provide for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to receive a portion of the income and proceeds from land in the public land trust.

The Hawaiian Affairs Committee consists of Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (Vice Chair), Rep. Della Au Bellati, Rep. Joe Bertram III, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. John Mizuno, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Rep. Ryan Yamane, and Rep. Gene Ward.

House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs to hear taro security bill

In News Release on February 18, 2009 at 3:17 am

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Honolulu. The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee will be hearing a bill on taro security Wednesday, February 18 at 9:10 a.m. in State Capitol Room 329.

The purpose of House Bill 1663 is to further protect:

(1) The cultural integrity of kalo as part of the heritage of the Hawaiian people and the State;

(2) The genetic biodiversity and integrity of all traditional taro varieties in the state as part of the sacred trust between the State and the indigenous peoples of the Pacific; and

(3) Hawai‘i taro farmers’ raw taro, poi, lu’au, and value-added markets,by establishing a ban on developing, testing, propagating, releasing, importing, planting, and growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawai‘i.

HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS HEARING
When: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 9:10 a.m.
Where: State Capitol Conference Room 329

HB1663
RELATING TO TARO SECURITY.

Prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawai‘i.

The Hawaiian Affairs Committee consists of Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (Vice Chair), Rep. Della Au Bellati, Rep. Joe Bertram III, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. John Mizuno, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Rep. Ryan Yamane, and Rep. Gene Ward.

Committee on Hawaiian Affairs hears OHA land settlement bill

In News Release on February 14, 2009 at 7:12 am

Honolulu. A bill that proposes a settlement agreement between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the State will be heard for testimony and decision-making by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee at the State Capitol on Saturday.

House Bill 901 amends the law to provide for OHA to receive a portion of the income and proceeds from land in the public land trust.

The hearing on Saturday comes after Rep. Mele Carroll hosted informational briefings on the bill and heard testimony throughout the islands of Moloka‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

10:05 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Conference Room 329
State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street

HB 901

RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS.
Amends the law to provide for the office of Hawaiian affairs to receive a portion of the income and proceeds from land in the public land trust.

To read a summary of the proposed plan, click here.

The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee consists of Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (Vice Chair), Rep. Della Au Bellati, Rep. Joe Bertram III, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. John Mizuno, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Rep. Ryan Yamane, and Rep. Gene Ward.

House Committee unanimously passes “ceded lands” bills

In News Release on February 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm

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Honolulu. On the same day that Congress reintroduced the Akaka Bill, the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee unanimously passed three separate bills that would place a moratorium on the sale of “ceded lands.”

House Bill 1667, put forward by the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, proposes to prohibit the Board of Land and Natural Resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating “ceded lands” in the public land trust.

“I believe there is a fiduciary responsibility of the State to Native Hawaiians,” said Rep. Mele Carroll, who serves as chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee and the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus.

House Bill 1667 received an overwhelming amount of support including testimony from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, Malama Kaua‘i, Alan Murakami of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Aha Kiole Advisory Committee, Japanese American Citizens League, Kupa‘aina Coalition, Chairman Kali Watson of Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, Life of the Land, Royal Order of Kamehameha I, and many community and individual supporters.

Attorney General Mark Bennett, who submitted testimony in opposition to all House bills addressing “ceded lands,” including House Bill 1667, said he feels the purpose of this bill is to deflect a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.” On February 25, the highest court in the United States is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the appeal put forth by Gov. Linda Lingle to reverse the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court’s ruling that the state cannot sell or transfer “ceded lands.”

Committee members had a lengthy discussion with A.G. Mark Bennett, Professor Vandyke and Clyde Namu‘o, Administrator of OHA, airing out the arguments of a moratorium on the sale and transfer of “ceded lands.”

In support of a moratorium on “ceded lands,” University of Hawai‘i constitutional law professor Jon Van Dyke told the Committee that the Legislature indicated the State’s commitment to resolving unsettled land disputes with the Native Hawaiian people when it created OHA in the 1978 Constitutional Convention.

“The bills that you are now considering are what the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i has already said,” Van Dyke said. “All we’re doing is asking this body to reaffirm what is already in the law.”

A.G. Bennett mentioned that if the State of Hawai‘i fails in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, he anticipates that the state will be dealing lawsuits citing Amendment 14 and the Equal Protection Act.

Any 14th Amendment lawsuit that would arise from a moratorium, as indicated by the Attorney General, was “bewildering,” Van Dyke said.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said, “I find it troubling that we can just discuss this purely at an academic and legal level.” He explained that disregarding the cultural and moral intents of protecting lands part of reconciliation between the State and Native Hawaiians was frustrating.

“When you talk about putting a moratorium on the sale of these ‘ceded lands,’ it doesn’t stop the economic and the legal process from moving forward,” said Kali Watson, former Director of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. “View it as an interim measure to facilitate a just measure in the near future.”

Mahealani Cypher, President of the Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, said: “We find it almost unbelievable that anyone with any self respect would stand up here and say we shouldn’t pass this law. We urge you to put your minds, hearts, and voices into advocating for justice for the Hawaiian people.” She asks the committee to support this legislation to protect the trust.

At the hearing, Rep. Della Au Bellati acknowledged Rep. Mele Carroll’s leadership in creating a transparent process with the community and in uniting lawmakers on the issue of “ceded lands.”

“The outcome was a victory today,” explains Chair, Rep. Mele Carroll. “However, it will still be an uphill battle to get this through our process.”

The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee voted unanimously with all members present to support the legislation on a moratorium of the sale and transfer of ceded lands that were heard today in the hearing.

Another important measure that passed today included House Bill 1660, which recognizes Hawaiians as the indigenous people of Hawai‘i.

The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee consists of Rep. Mele Carroll (Chair), Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (Vice Chair), Rep. Della Au Bellati, Rep. Joe Bertram III, Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. John Mizuno, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, Rep. Ryan Yamane, and Rep. Gene Ward.