Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Hawaiian Kingdom -- tension, dissension at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, EPA cites Puna geothermal plant, prison worker sick-in kills inmates' Mother's Day, Schatz makes piggy list, Maui GMO foes pay $5 a signature, Honolulu homelessness grows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Kamehameha statue with sovereignty sign © 2014 All Hawaii News
The chief executive of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said Monday he’s moving forward after a disagreement with the organization’s trustees over seeking clarification on the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Associated Press.

A letter asking whether the Hawaiian Kingdom should continue to exist as a sovereign, independent state has sent the Office of Hawaiian Affairs into a frenzy. The May 5 letter was sent by OHA CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, but the OHA Board of Trustees said it didn’t support the CEO’s move. Still, Crabbe said Monday he didn’t regret his decision, leaving a rocky, muddy wake between board and CEO. Garden Island.

Crabbe
Appearing with more than 100 supporters at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs offices Monday, OHA Chief Executive Officer Kamana‘opono Crabbe didn't back down in his flap with OHA trustees over the letter he sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking for a legal opinion on whether the Hawaiian kingdom still exists as an independent nation under international law. Star-Advertiser.

Does the Hawaiian Kingdom still exist? A renewed effort to answer that sensitive question has divided the quasi-state agency whose mission is to protect Hawaii's people, environmental resources and assets. Civil Beat.

Flanked by an impressive assortment of community leaders, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Pouhana Kamana‘opono Crabbe addressed the press Monday regarding the Crabbe-Kerry letter. Hawaii Independent.


copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
© 2014 All Hawaii News
Does the Hawaiian Kingdom still exist? That's the question the CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants answered by the U.S. Justice Department. Hawaii News Now.

Taxpayers could be on the hook for about a million dollars a year when it comes to the spending money lawmakers are entitled to each year. How some are spending their legislative allowances is getting attention. KHON2.

Inmates at Hawaii's women's prison weren't able to visit with their children on Mother's Day because not enough guards showed up for work. Only nine out of 29 officers assigned for duty came to work Sunday at the Women's Community Correctional Center in Kailua. Associated Press.

An online petition imploring the University of Hawaii Board of Regents to reject a retired Army officer in the running to be the next UH president had garnered more than 350 signatures by Monday evening. Star-Advertiser.

In late April a campaign commercial titled "Neil Abercrombie: Values" first aired. It played up the governor's commitment to keiki. Barely two weeks later, in early May, the Abercrombie re-election campaign launched a new ad, this one assuring his commitment to those on the other end of the spectrum: kupuna. Civil Beat.

Hawaii tourism could benefit with the advancement of three bipartisan bills that are geared to expanding public and private travel-promotion efforts and helping the U.S. attract millions more international visitors annually. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has made a list of congressional officials hogging federal funds for pork barrel projects. Citizens against Government Waste, a Washington, D.C., government watchdog group, released its annual Congressional Pig Book this week, highlighting $2.7 billion in government earmarks, including $5.9 million in funding Schatz secured for Honolulu’s East-West Center. Hawaii Reporter.

Turnaround specialist John Dean, who guided Central Pacific Bank from the brink of collapse to 13 straight profitable quarters, has committed to staying on as chief executive officer for up to two more years. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu
The number of homeless people rose in January for the sixth consecutive year, according to the 2014 Point in Time survey the city is releasing Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable housing for a growing homeless population on O’ahu must also be an appealing alternative to living on the streets, communal shelters or imprisonment. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to hold a town hall gathering in Ewa. The meeting at Ewa Elementary School begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Co. recently started rolling out a smart-grid program in five different areas on Oahu, as Hawaii's largest utility seeks to implement technologies to improve service, provide customers with more choices and integrate more renewable energy, the head of the utility said. Pacific Business News.

After nine years the city is opening up the waitlist on its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program from Thursday through May 21, the Department of Community Services announced Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

The Environmental Protection Agency cited Puna Geothermal Venture with 14 violations in a report issued last month. Tribune-Herald.

A trio of proposed charter amendments made their debut Monday, heading for County Council approval before being offered for voter scrutiny. But action in the Finance Committee showed it likely that only one of the bills may make it to the Nov. 4 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge confirmed a plan Monday to restructure massive debts on the stalled Hokuli'a luxury home subdivision on Hawaii island, clearing the way for sales and development to resume at the $1 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ enforcement officers are investigating an incident last week in which one diver apparently attacked another. West Hawaii Today.

An environmentalist found herself in danger last week when an aquarium fisherman spotted her taking video of him in deep water off of Kona, rushed toward her and ripped the air supply out of her mouth, according to footage of the incident and eyewitnesses. Civil Beat.

Twenty-seven complaints later, Big Island dentist and oral surgeon Dr. John Stover will never again see patients in Hawaii. Now, the focus turns to exposing holes in the dental investigative process. Hawaii News Now.

The Kahilu Theatre will receive a makeover this summer with the help of a $1.5 million state grant. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Activists pushing for a moratorium on genetically modified farming in Maui County are stepping up their efforts to gather signatures in advance of a looming deadline. Members of a nonprofit organization known as the SHAKA Movement have launched a campaign to pay people $5 for each signature collected in support of a citizens initiative. Bruce Douglass, spokesman for the organization, said that the money is intended as a reward and an incentive for the group's 500 existing volunteers. If the organization gathers 8,500 valid signatures, voters on Maui will be able to decide in November whether to temporarily ban genetically engineered agriculture on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Civil Beat.

House Speaker Joe Souki said Sunday that he has not endorsed Kahului Rep. Justin Woodson in the Democratic primary to keep the 9th House District seat. Maui News.

Kauai

The Kauai County Council on Monday trimmed nearly $2.4 million from its budget in an attempt to stave off real property tax hikes for hotels and resorts and dips in funding for public access and open space projects over the next fiscal year. Garden Island.

The state is up, but the county is down. While Hawaii saw an increase in the number of farmed acres for the first time in decades, the County of Kauai found itself in a hole. Garden Island.