Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 8, 2014


Members of Halau Hula O Leionalani, of Pahala, under Kumu Hula Debbir Ryder, traveled to Hilo over the
weekend to participate in the Queen Lili`uokalani Birthday celebration where halau joined to together at the
queen's park to honor her life amd the dance tradition. Photo by Demetrius Oliviera
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO IS URGING ELIGIBLE small, nonfarm businesses in Hawai`i County that suffered economic damage due to Tropical Storm Iselle to apply for federal emergency loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This SBA support follows the announcement from U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides access to emergency loans for affected area farmers.
      “Tropical Storm Iselle caused extensive damage to Hawai`i Island companies. Numerous small businesses, not just farmers, are in the rebuilding process. Affected nonfarm business owners now have available low-interest, emergency loans from the SBA,” Hirono said. “The announcements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration give businesses in Hawai`i County access to financial resources that will help them recover.”
      SBA is required by law to make low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans available once the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an affected area an agricultural disaster. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued such a declaration for Hawai`i County last week.
      According to the SBA, small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for EIDLs of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
      Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U VOTERS CAN CHOOSE AMONG SIX candidates, all from Honolulu, to fill three at-large Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee seats in the upcoming, general election. The candidates answered questions asked in OHA’s newspaper, Ka Wai Ola. One question was, “How will your skills and experiences enhance the policy-making role of the OHA Board of Trustees?”

Lei Ahu Isa Photos
from Ka Wai Ola
LEI AHU ISA answered, “My experiences range from being raised in public housing, living with my Hawaiian grandparents who spoke only Hawaiian, prayed in Hawaiian, but forbade their mo`opuna to speak the language. I was only allowed to speak the Queen’s English! It was forbidden to speak Hawaiian in school. That’s why I value education! Being a Professor at Hawai`i Pacific University gave me the opportunity to work with students from all over the world. I studied very hard to obtain my Ph.D. while raising my two children at Kamehameha Schools as a single parent. I was responsible for the bill which first funded our Hawaiian Immersion Schools. I also served eight years on the state Board of Education as the Vice Chair and got to visit our 285 public schools, helped set up Charter Schools and even privileged to visit Ni`ihau graduation. I bring all of this to OHA and intend to add Value for all of you.”

Rowena Akana
ROWENA AKANA has been an OHA trustee since 1990. “The institutional knowledge I bring to OHA as the longest-serving Trustee allows me to provide the board with much needed context regarding the many issues that we continue to face,” Akana said. “My decades of experience working with OHA’s many investment managers allows me to serve as a steadfast and knowledgeable steward of OHA’s Trust assets. When I was first elected in 1990, OHA was struggling just to exist. OHA had very little money in the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund, no land assets, OHA Trustees received no salaries and OHA was in the midst of contentious negotiations with the state on receiving its fair share of ceded land revenues. After OHA finally received its first settlement of $129 million, we prudently invested it in the stock market and by the year 2000, OHA’s Trust Fund had grown to $400 million.”
Keli`i Akina
KELI`I AKINA said, “A Trustee must be a statesman who can make wise, ethical decisions for the good of the public being served. I have three decades of experience as a trustee and director of local, regional and national boards in which I have helped guide the nonprofit humanitarian work of thousands of employees across the United States and several foreign countries. What has enhanced my work is the ability to understand relationships between different cultures, something which is essential for OHA to chart the course for Hawaiians. My cultural understanding comes from a Hawaiian background that includes training by Nona Beamer as chanter for her hula halau, education at Kamehameha Schools and University of Hawai`i, and several years living and working on the Wai`anae Coast ministering to Hawaiian youth. My Western education includes college at Northwestern University and advanced academic degrees, including the Ph.D. in Philosophy with an emphasis on both Western and non-Western ethics. I will bring to the OHA Board my combined experiences in board decision-making and my careers as a ministry leader, a college educator and now head of a public policy think tank that focuses on improving Hawai`i’s economy, government and society.”

Harvey McInerny
HARVEY MCINERNY responded, “I have served Lunalilo Trust as a Trustee for the last six years. In 2008 Lunalilo Trust only had a few policies to govern the organization. With a team effort, my fellow Trustees and our executive team have added numerous policies that have guided us in our efforts to turn a struggling, challenged and isolated organization into a Home for kupuna that is vibrant, at full capacity and operating in the black. We have dramatically increased the subsidies that we provide to the kupuna, grown the investment portfolio by almost 65 percent and collaborated with, and benefited from, partnerships within our community that have been initiated and strengthened over the past six years. These experiences, and my expertise in the financial field and capital markets, have prepared me well to take on this kuleana at OHA.”

Mililani Trask
MILILANI TRASK said, “OHA needs an attorney on its board acting as a Trustee. The Trustees often do not understand what their fiduciary obligations are or what they are required to do as Trustees. 
      “One example of this is the recent legal case brought by Trustee Rowena Akana against the Board of Trustees for conducting public business in ‘Executive Session.’ This questionable practice is often used at OHA to facilitate private discussions, avoid beneficiary and public disclosure of information and avoid transparency. In reality, the OHA Trustees have a fiduciary duty to keep beneficiaries informed and to provide regular accounting to beneficiaries. Hawai`i law allows for Executive Session discussions only in limited instances.
      “In some cases the BOT have been manipulated or misled by advice of their In-House Counsel, who are supposed to advise the BOT but often act to support the Chair of the OHA Committees or Board. This has also been used by Trustees, in the past, to avoid liability because ‘we were just following our attorney’s advice.’
      “My legal skills and experience will be of great use at OHA and hopefully will prevent problems like the Kaka`ako Settlement fiasco from recurring and negate the necessity of future Trustee litigation against the BOT.”

John Waihe`e
JOHN WAIHE`E has been an OHA Trustee since 2000. “I believe that the experience and contacts I’ve built up as an OHA Trustee for the past 13 years have put me in a position to effectively advocate on behalf of our beneficiaries,” Waihe`e said. “My learned knowledge of how OHA works and fits into the bigger community has allowed me to prudently manage the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund and successfully protect our beneficiaries’ equitable proprietary interest in it, while fulfilling my mandate to them. 
      “Most recently I’ve had the honor of chairing OHA’s Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment. Through this experience I have been able to cultivate important relationships in Hawai`i and abroad and personally advocate on behalf of our beneficiaries. More importantly, I’ve gotten to work closely with OHA’s own advocacy staff members and learn how the Board of Trustees can best empower them to advocate effectively. I believe that these relationships have helped lead to some of OHA’s most successful Legislative sessions ever in terms of bills passed.
      “Finally, I realize that I am a Trustee and not a supreme authority over a polity. My duties, first and foremost, are to defend the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund and be loyal to, and administer in the best interest of, our beneficiaries.”
      See oha.org.

MEMBERS OF HALAU HULA O LEIONALANI, of Pahala, traveled to Hilo over the weekend to participate in the Queen Lili`uokalani celebration where halau joined to together to honor the queen and the dance tradition.

KA`U ECO-ARTIST DON ELWING TOOK FIRST PLACE in Hawai`i Museum of Contemporary Art’s 25th Trash Art show with his sculpture entitled Kamilo Men in Black. Elwing made the sculpture from plastic marine debris gathered at south Big Island beaches.
Ka`u eco-artist Don Elwing with his Kamilo Men in Black.
Photo from the artist
      The exhibit continues through Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 141 Kalakaua Street in Hilo. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

THE NEXT MEETING OF THE KA`U SCENIC BYWAY Task Force will be this Thursday, instead of today, at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. The task force is about to finish design on the Na`alehu Park kiosk, and this is the last chance for input. The public is invited.
      For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.

A KA`U PLANTATION DAYS PLANNING MEETING takes place today at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Residents continue planning for the Saturday, Oct. 11 event.
      For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.

KA`OHU MONFORT SHARES HER KNOWLEDGE and love of the island’s native plants and their medicinal uses during a la`au lapa`au demonstration, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

FRIENDS OF KA`U LIBRARIES HOLD a member meeting Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House with light refreshments for current and new members. Call Doris Davis at 928- 0919 or Ann Fontes at 987-7448 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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