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Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire (acquiring huge parcels of land, building a headquarters for the "nation", considering purchase of a TV station, etc.). YEARS 2005 THROUGH 2007


In case you missed it, go back to find out

WHY THE EVIL EMPIRE IS INDEED AN EMPIRE, WHY IT IS EVIL, AND OUTLINE OF EVENTS IN ITS EXPANSION FROM 2005 THROUGH NOW.

This is a subpage providing a compilation of news reports and commentaries for the years 2005 through 2007, showing the steps OHA is taking to expand the Evil Empire.


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OUTLINE OF TOPICS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER FOR 2005 THROUGH 2007. FULL TEXT OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FOLLOWS THE OUTLINE.

(1) In 2005 OHA acquired ownership of a 40-square-mile rain forest, Wao Kele o Puna, in the Puna district of Hawaii Island (where the geothermal power plant was tried). Most of the money to acquire the land was paid by a consortium of public and private groups, with a small percentage from OHA; and then the deed was handed over to OHA. In August 2007 a formal dedication ceremony was held, including Senator Inouye, Congressman Abercrombie, and Governor Lingle.

(2) In 2006 OHA acquired ownership of the entire Waimea Valley on the north shore of O'ahu, where formerly there was a nature park operated as a tourist attraction by the same company that owned Sea Life Park. Most of the money to acquire the valley was paid by a consortium of public and private groups, with a small percentage from OHA; and then the deed was handed over to OHA. See also item # 11 in which OHA acquires a property on Kaua'i as the second real estate parcel joining O'ahu's Waimea Valley in an OHA "non-profit" business subsidiary called "Hi'ilei Aloha".

(3) Immediately following the failure of the Akaka bill in the U.S. Senate on June 8, 2006, Hawai'i media and Senator Inouye began a propaganda campaign urging development of a "Plan B."

(4) An internal memo leaked from OHA (probably leaked intentionally) outlined OHA's version of Plan B. The plan essentially calls for carrying out the steps for nation-building described in the Akaka bill, even without federal approval. The plan envisions negotiations with a very friendly Governor and Legislature resulting in race-based ownership of many hundreds of thousands of acres of land and many hundreds of millions of dollars.

(5) OHA has contracted a 2-hour block on a radio station during drive time 7-9 AM Monday through Friday for an undisclosed number of months. This air time is essentially a 2-hour daily infomercial providing music, announcements, news (from OHA's viewpoint), etc.

(6) OHA is contracting with the Kaka'ako development authority for a long-term lease of land to build an OHA headquarters and "cultural center" with the expectation that it will become the government headquarters of the developing Hawaiian nation (presumably 'Iolani Palace will remain a symbolic, honorary capitol operating as a period-piece museum).

(7) On July 6, 2006 the news media reported that OHA has decided to pursue the purchase of a major Honolulu television station at a cost between $30-$40 Million, allegedly as an income-producing investment, but actually with expectations of using it as a propaganda machine. One day later, after a huge outcry of opposition, the media reported that OHA has (at least temporarily) stepped away from that plan. Regardless whether the plan gets revived, the initial enthusiasm for it demonstrates OHA's attitude of spending whatever huge amounts of money might be needed for investments and "nation-building" rather than spending the money to help the "poor downtrodden" Hawaiians OHA loves to constantly remind us about.

(8) OHA has invested about $400 Million in the stock market for many years, instead of spending the money to help Hawaiians. OHA has spent millions of dollars in advertisements and lobbying for the Akaka bill, instead of helping Hawaiians. Both OHA and DHHL have been increasing the size of their bureaucracies. Meanwhile tens of thousands of ethnic Hawaiians have been waiting (some for decades) to receive a lease for homestead land. People on the list, hoping for free land, have failed to buy homes or land of their own, thereby missing out on the wealth they could have accumulated in the booming real estate market. Thus, OHA and DHHL have caused great harm to many thousands of people, as well as creating anger in the hearts of people who feel entitled to something which these agencies are failing to deliver because of their focus on nation-building (not to mention empire-building).

(9) OHA tried, but failed, to purchase Moanalua Gardens (O'ahu) from the Damon Estate for $5 Million.

(10) December 18, 2007: Haunani Apoliona, OHA chair, gave the annual "State of OHA" speech on December 17 in which she described OHA's accomplishments AND PLANS TO BUILD A RACIAL SEPARATIST "NATION OF HAWAII" REGARDLESS WHETHER THE AKAKA BILL PASSES OR NOT. Three newspapers reported the speech in various ways: (1) Honolulu Advertiser, (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin, (3) The Garden Island News (Kaua'i).

(11) December 25, 2007: OHA purchases a poi mill and a lease on taro land in Makaweli Kaua'i, making this the second income-producing parcel in OHA's non-profit subsidiary Hi'ilei Aloha, which also owns and operates Waimea Valley on O'ahu.


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(1) In 2005 OHA acquired ownership of a 40-square-mile rain forest, Wao Kele o Puna, in the Puna district of Hawaii Island (where the geothermal power plant was tried). Most of the money to acquire the land was paid by a consortium of public and private groups, with a small percentage from OHA; and then the deed was handed over to OHA. In August 2007 a formal dedication ceremony was held, including Senator Inouye, Congressman Abercrombie, and Governor Lingle.

http://starbulletin.com/2005/09/13/news/story4.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Tuesday, September 13, 2005

OHA to acquire Puna forest tract
$3.4 million in federal funds helps secure the former geothermal site from Campbell Estate

By Richard Borreca

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs will now control a 40-square-mile native Hawaiian rain forest, Wao Kele o Puna.

The land has been purchased by the Trust for Public Land-Hawaii for $3.65 million from Campbell Estate, ending a decades-long struggle to save an important native Hawaiian resource.

The 25,856-acre property near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park had been owned by the state, but in 1986 the state swapped it for 25,800 acres in Kahaualea on the Big Island so that Campbell Estate and True Geothermal could drill wells for geothermal power plants.

The plan drew the immediate protest of Big Island residents and sparked the creation of the Pele Defense Fund. About the same time the land swap was taking place, the state land at Kahaualea was covered in a volcanic eruption.

Protests and the cost of drilling made the geothermal project unprofitable, and Campbell Estate had listed the property for sale.

"We took a stand for this land two decades ago in the courts, and have never given up the fight to find a permanent way to protect this forest," Palikapu Dedman, president of the Pele Defense Fund, said yesterday at a news conference at the state Capitol.

"It is home to tutu Pele and the deities of the fire clan. It provides the Puna Hawaiian families with food, medicine, wood and lei and replenishes the ground water of the Puna aquifer," Dedman said.

Under the plan, the nonprofit trust will buy the property next year for $3.65 million, using $3.4 million in U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy program money, obtained by Hawaii's congressional delegation.

Title in the property will be transferred to OHA, which put up the remaining $250,000 to buy the land.

While OHA will eventually be responsible for the land tract, the state's Land and Natural Resources Department will manage it after the sale.

"The acquisition ... is intended to protect the natural beauty and cultural resources on the land," Haunani Apoliona, OHA chairwoman, said.

Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the geothermal wells on the property must be capped or filled, a project that is expected to take two take years and at least $1 million. Young said the source of those funds was still under discussion.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060720/NEWS23/607200360/1173/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 20, 2006

OHA takes ownership of Big Isle forest area

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has formally assumed ownership of the 25,856-acre Wao Kele o Puna forest, an area on the Big Island long valued by Native Hawaiians for its cultural and biota resources.

Under a memorandum of agreement signed June 30, OHA will manage the property with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, with help from the nonprofit Pele Defense Fund, until its staff gains the expertise to manage it on its own.

The Trust For Public Land asked Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, to help secure $3.4 million for the purchase from the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program. OHA's board of trustees voted to pay the remaining $250,000 for the property, and to foot an estimated $228,000 bill for annual management and maintenance.

OHA officials hailed the transfer as the first return of ceded lands to Hawaiian ownership.

The 40-square-mile property is home to more than 200 native plants and animal species.

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/20/news/story06.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 20, 2006

OHA buys Wao Kele forest land on Big Island

By Rod Thompson

HILO » The Office of Hawaii Affairs has completed the purchase of 25,856 acres of forested land known as Wao Kele O Puna south of Hilo, the agency announced yesterday.

"OHA is acquiring the area to protect the natural and cultural resources on the land, to guarantee that native Hawaiians can continue to exercise traditional and customary activities on the land, and to ensure that OHA can pass it on to a sovereign governing entity," an OHA statement said.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona called the purchase a "gifted moment" in increasing the assets of native Hawaiian people.

The Hawaiian culture-based Pele Defense Fund asked the Trust for Public Lands to buy the land in February 2005. With $3.35 million of the $3.65 million purchase price supplied by the U.S. Forest Service, the sale to the trust and then to OHA was concluded Friday, OHA announced.

The term "wao kele" refers to the wet, lush middle elevations between the coast and the dry mountain uplands. Although few people lived there in ancient times, coastal dwellers often went upland to collect resources there.

Starting two miles downhill from the present Puu Oo eruption site and stretching another nine miles, Wao Kele O Puna was a site of controversy in the 1980s when a large geothermal energy development was planned in the native ohia forest by True/ Mid-Pacific Geothermal Venture.

Environmentalists and Hawaiians opposed the project, sometimes in demonstrations that resulted in arrests. The Pele Defense Fund sued to halt drilling.

Opponents credited demonstrations and the lawsuit with stopping the project. True/Mid-Pacific said it could not find a usable geothermal resource.

Meanwhile, land ownership shifted. The initially state-owned Wao Kele O Puna lands were traded in 1986 to Campbell Estate. In turn, the state received Campbell's Kahaualea lands immediately uphill.

Advocates of the exchange said it was fair because Kahaualea had better native forest, with fewer invasive non-native plants.

In 1983, eruptions began that covered much of Kahaualea with lava. Preservation of Wao Kele O Puna provides a source of plant and animal life to restore the new lava lands, OHA said.

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2006/07/20/local_news/local03.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), Thursday, July 20, 2006

OHA purchases rain forest

by John Burnett

The Wao Kele o Puna rain forest has new owners.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs said Wednesday that it has purchased the nearly 26,000-acre rain forest near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

According to a statement from OHA, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit land conservation organization with an office in Honolulu, negotiated the $3.65 million purchase from the James Campbell estate, and then conveyed the land to OHA.

"The overall plans are to keep the forest intact," said OHA spokesman Manu Boyd.

Other partners in the purchase include the Pele Defense Fund, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the United States Forest Service and Hawaii's Congressional delegation, led by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Some $3.35 million of the purchase price came from the USFS's Forest Legacy Program, leaving only a $300,000 differential.

"I am pleased to have played a role in securing federal funds for the protection of this special tract of land," Inouye, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. "Clean water, native forest habitat and the perpetuation of Hawaii's native culture for future generations will be the enduring legacy of this incredible purchase."

The transaction itself marks the first return of ceded land -- land formerly the property of the Hawaiian Kingdom -- to Native Hawaiian ownership since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.

While Wao Kele o Puna was under protective status by the state, in the 1980s the forest became the proposed site for a large geothermal project. Test drilling met large-scale community opposition as well as litigation -- and in the end was not economically feasible.

The 40 square-mile rain forest is extremely important to Native Hawaiians, who for centuries have used the land for hunting, gathering and religious purposes.

"It's been a long struggle to protect our forest and Native Hawaiians rights to gather for subsistence and to worship there," said Noa Emmett Aluli, M.D., vice-president of the Pele Defense Fund, in the release. "We honor this forest as the realm of Pele and her family of deities and the aumakua of the Puna families who rest there."

In addition, the rain forest provides essential habitat for more than 200 native plant and animal species, including several listed as threatened or endangered. The forest also serves as a critical corridor for native birds traversing from mountain to the shore.

Nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also depends on the forest as a seed bank to provide new growth on fresh lava flows that have covered the park's own native forests. Wao Kele o Puna is also important for drinking water quality, covering over 20 percent of the Pahoa aquifer, the single largest drinking water source on the island.

"Wao Kele o Puna provides watershed -- life, basically -- to the Puna district," Boyd noted.

OHA said that purchase is unique due to the natural and cultural significance of the parcel, the size of the area -- nearly as large as Kahoolawe -- and because long-term management costs will be significant, even though the purchase price was relatively small.

"Opportunities to grow the assets of the Native Hawaiian people as well as the oversight of and leadership over ancestral land and natural resources are gifted moments," said Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairperson Haunani Apoliona in the release. "I congratulate the trustees of our OHA board for joining with our partners to seize this moment by demonstrating leadership that reminds our native and non-native community that despite disagreements of the past, reconciliation and healing can occur one opportunity at a time."

Management responsibilities will be shared with DLNR working with OHA and PDF to manage the vast forest.

"Through this acquisition, we are able to bring peace to this place," said Peter Young, chairman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources in the release. "... This allows us to expand on the growing partnership between OHA and DLNR, and creates the opportunity to incorporate contemporary land and forest management techniques with traditional practices for the best overall management regime."

"DLNR will continue to be the stewards," Boyd concluded. "They will provide access to practitioners of the Native Hawaiian religion, hula, laau lapaau native healers -- all of whom need access to the many and varied types of plants in the forest."

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2007/08/23/local_news/local01.prt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), August 23, 2007

VIPs to attend Puna forest dedication
Nearly 25,000 acres turned over to Office of Hawaiian Affairs

by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

A vast expanse of Puna forest will be dedicated Monday by its new owners, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Wao Kele O Puna, the 40-square mile tract of land once targeted for geothermal development, was turned over to the semi-autonomous state agency by the Campbell Estate last year.

Speakers at the invitation-only event will include Hawaii's top political leaders, including U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Gov. Linda Lingle, OHA Board of Directors Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, Mayor Harry Kim, Councilwoman Emily Naeole, state Rep. Faye Hanohano, representatives from the Trust for Public Land, Pele Defense Fund and other agencies and community groups. Guests will board shuttles in Pahoa for the trip to the former geothermal site.

OHA acquired the 24,856 acres for $3.65 million, most of it federal funding secured by Inouye. OHA contributed $300,000 to secure the title. OHA's payment works out to $11.60 per acre of pristine, roadless forest.

"We're not buying it to make money from it," said Jonathan Likeke Scheuer, director of the OHA Land Management Hale.

The quasi-state agency has entered into a 10-year agreement with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and will initially pay the state $220,000 a year to manage it. The DLNR's role will decrease over time as OHA becomes more familiar with land management.

Wao Kele O Puna's location over Kilauea's East Rift Zone made it an ideal location for geothermal energy development. Campbell Estate trustees acquired the forest in 1987 in a swap with what is now the Kahauale'a Natural Area Reserve to the west. Attempts to develop the forest's energy potential, via a sublease to True Mid-Pacific Geothermal Inc., ran into an intense opposition.

"It was a very divisive issue in the Native Hawaiian community for many, many years," Scheuer said. Some considered it a sacred and traditional place for Hawaiian gathering rights, while others saw a solution to reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported oil.

Members of the Pele Defense Fund, formed in 1987, sued the Campbell Estate, saying the trust had prohibited traditionally exercised subsistence, cultural and religious practices. OHA funded the Pele Defense Fund's attorneys.

A lower court dismissed the lawsuit, but in a landmark 1992 decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed native gathering rights and sent the decision back to trial in 1994. The geothermal company announced it was halting drilling that same year, OHA said in its monthly publication.

In a 2002 ruling, Judge Riki May Amano ruled in favor of the Pele Defense Fund, ordering that the Campbell Estate stop interfering with traditional and subsistence practices on undeveloped Wao Kele O Puna land.

It was the Pele Defense Fund that started the land transfer process, after Campbell announced it was putting the property up for sale. Members approached Campbell Estate beneficiaries and asked if they would hand over the forest. Some agreed readily and others didn't, and the proposal went nowhere.

"Things took a big leap forward when the Trust for Public Land got involved," Scheuer said. Lea Hong, local director of the nonprofit conservation group, worked with Campbell to secure a deal to turn it over to the state.

Inouye's office secured $3.35 million in federal funds through the Forest Legacy Program, but at the time Campbell announced an acquisition price of $3.65 million.

In 2005, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, already "challenged" to find this extra $300,000 to close the deal, asked OHA to be a party in the acquisition. OHA, in turn, indicated it was interested in becoming the fee owner, and the state agreed.

The nine-member OHA board that voted on the forest acquisition included Oswald Stender, CEO of Campbell Estate during the geothermal push; Collette Machado, a member of the Pele Defense Fund, and Dante Carpenter, who favored geothermal development during his term as mayor of Hawaii County.

"They had to come together after 20 years of fighting on this particular issue," Scheuer said, noting that the board unanimously endorsed the purchase.

OHA completed the purchase in July 2006. DLNR will remain an "integral partner" with OHA, Scheuer said.

The estate of James Campbell dissolved in January, as stipulated in his will.

** Photo caption
This photo taken Friday shows the tip of a now-stagnant lava flow reaching into the pristine and largely inaccessible Wao Kele O Puna forest. The 25,856-acre forest tract will be dedicated Monday by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. - Hawaii Volcano Observatory

** Ken's comment: Could it be that Madam Pele does not approve of OHA taking control?

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2007/08/28/local_news/local01.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No more protests
Wao Kele O Puna forest in the hands of OHA

by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

PAHOA -- Emily Naeole was pregnant with her son in December 1989 when she was arrested during a protest of geothermal drilling in the Wao Kele O Puna forest.

Monday, the councilwoman sat at the dignitaries' table at a ceremony to celebrate the parcel's handover to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

"You know what? This is such an awesome feeling," she said.

The deal was completed July 14, 2006, with $3.35 million in federal funds secured by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. OHA contributed $300,000.

Naeole, Inouye, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Gov. Linda Lingle, Mayor Harry Kim, state Rep. Faye Hanohano and Pele Defense Fund President Palikapu Dedman were among those who spoke on the grounds of the former geothermal plant.

Wao Kele O Puna is the largest remaining tract of native lowland rain forest in Hawaii, spanning 40.4 square miles, or 25,856 acres, of roadless land.

More notably, the site where the dedication was held had become a battleground in the dispute between traditional cultural practices and the search for alternative sources of energy.

"Here, at Wao Kele O Puna, the quiet of the forest once drowned by the drilling of a geothermal well once again echoes the whispers of the breezes, the pulses of the heartbeat," said OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, one of more than a dozen speakers. "Twenty-five years of emotional and spiritual struggle over this forest is not easily forgotten or released by those most affected."

Among those on the front line of this struggle was Dedman who will continue to have an advisory role as the forest returns to Hawaiian custody.

"It's a good day. I'm glad it ended this way, and I hope this is the beginning of many, many days like this," Dedman said, before the afternoon ceremony got under way.

Later, during his speech, Dedman became emotional in front of the group.

"I got to start by thanking the 400 people that got arrested, a lot of kupunas got arrested. About 13 children. We just being ourselves as native people. It's been an emotional journey. A lot of families -- when I see faces I used to talk about how we're going to organize a demonstration, but I don't have to do that no more."

The drilling at Wao Kele O Puna gathered national media attention in 1990, when 2,000 people showed up at its gates -- which are now open -- to protest True/Mid Pacific Geothermal Inc.'s drilling in what was then Campbell Estate land. OHA joined in the fight, funding the Pele Defense Fund's lawsuit against Campbell. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Pele Defense Fund, ordering Campbell to cease its blocking of traditional cultural and subsistence practices on undeveloped land.

As Campbell trustees prepared for the estate's dissolution in January, they began to sell off "non-revenue producing lands," including Wao Kele O Puna. The state of Hawaii was going to manage it under the Department of Land and Natural Resources, until the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stepped in and offered to buy it.

Monday's dedication brought closure to some and gave others a chance to make amends for their past position on geothermal drilling.

"In 1990, when the state government approved the geothermal drilling on this parcel of land, as a representative of the federal government, I joined in the approval," Inouye, D-Hawaii, said. "But then the project failed, thank God, and I realize that I had made a bad mistake, that this should be kept pristine, that this should be for the people forever, and so when the opportunity came to assist in the provision of funds, I was very happy to do so. I hope all of you will forgive me."

He continued: "This is a historic event, because this is the first time, since the monarchy ended in Hawaii, that a parcel of ceded land, government land, will now be returned to the people of Hawaii, to OHA. It is historic. This is the first time."

Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, spoke next. Standing before the microphone, he took two deep breaths before launching into an impassioned defense of OHA and the so-called "Akaka bill" giving Hawaiians federal recognition.

"I am taking a moment to compose myself because I am thinking, as I am gathered here today, on behalf of thousands who cannot be here," he said. "And those many hundreds whose lives went on before this moment. I'm composing myself a bit because I think I was the only one here who was present at the creation -- present at the creation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs." He recalled the days spent in the state Legislature, working day and night to bring OHA into being.

"We thought at the time that we had created the entity that would allow all of the injustices to be addressed by Hawaiians, for Hawaiians, on behalf of everyone. We all know the history that has taken place since then," Abercrombie said. "The court cases and the accusations and the misunderstanding. But I am here to say to you today that those who have had the legislative responsibility recognize that we have a further obligation to make certain that all the assets of Hawaiians are put back into Hawaiian hands."

It was a day of relief for Naeole, who was among 13 women strip-searched after the protest and who successfully sued for civil rights violations. The forest means so much to the councilwoman that it became part of her teenage son's name, Kopa Makua Wao Kele O Puna Naeole.

"To me, I feel like there was history made way back when," Naeole said in her remarks to the audience. "And thanks for you know, Aunty Pua (Kanahele) and all the people who was involved with that. Because we stood up and we fought and we said, 'No, we no like,' and you know what? And being a council lady and this thing has come to pass full circle. We come back and now we the owners."

Lingle downplayed her role in the purchase, instead giving credit to the Department of Land and Natural Resources and OHA for coming together for the public benefit.

"This is the high point of public service, when you're able to be a part of a joint effort like this," Lingle said.

"It was a long journey to reach here, and I'm glad the journey is finally beginning, and hopefully this will be a new beginning for all the people of Hawaii," Hanohano said. "And we would preserve this aina for the generations to come."

Other speakers included Kim, OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo, OHA Trustee Robert K. Lindsey Jr., DLNR interim director Laura Thielen, Jim Pena of the U.S. Forest Service and Reed Holderman of the Trust for Public Land.

Halau O Kekuhi provided the opening and closing protocol, the latter of which included an offering of awa and a chant for the forest.

A low rainbow arched in the east after the ceremony ended, and a light rain fell on those assembled.

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http://starbulletin.com/2007/08/28/news/story06.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 28, 2007

OHA takes control of Big Isle forest

Sen. Inouye says, "I hope all of you will forgive me" for his support of geothermal

By Rod Thompson

WAO KELE O PUNA, Hawaii » The 25,856-acre Wao Kele O Puna forest on the Big Island was formally turned over to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs yesterday in the midst of the forest, the first land acquisition in the history of OHA.

It was an emotional moment for Palikapu Dedman, the former protester whose organization, the Pele Defense Fund, fought a successful battle in the forest and in court from 1985 to 2002 to stop geothermal development on land then owned by Campbell Estate.

Dedman choked up as he tried to speak to a crowd of several hundred people. Finally he said, "We were just being ourselves." "The court case was won on (Hawaiian) gathering rights, not on science," he said. "We've got to grow on this. We've got to expand our gathering rights."

Dedman was the only speaker among 14 to receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye obtained $3.35 million through the U.S. Forest Service, augmented by $300,000 from OHA, to purchase the land from Campbell Estate.

He made a confession about the geothermal project.

"The project failed, thank God, and I realized I'd made a bad mistake," he said. "I hope all of you will forgive me.

"This belongs to the people, and it will be for the people forever," he said.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie added, "We have a responsibility to make sure that all of the assets of the Hawaiians are put back in Hawaiian hands." The way to do it is through the Akaka Bill designed to permit creation of a Hawaiian-governing entity, he said.

Among protesters jailed during demonstrations was Emily Naeole, now a Hawaii County councilwoman. Her son is now 16 1/2, she said, and his name is Wao Kele O Puna, which means the "upland rain forest of Puna."

In 1985 the state traded the land to Campbell for Campbell's Kahualea land farther uphill.

Attempts at geothermal development continued from 1988 to 1994.

The purchase by OHA, completed July 14 with the assistance of the Trust for Public Lands, means a return to public ownership.

OHA land manager Jonathan Scheuer said the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will manage the land for conservation for the first 10 years, receiving $228,000 per year from OHA and contributing $100,000 per year in Land Department labor.

Paul Conry of the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife said the Legislature has provided $2 million to plug the TrueMid-Pacific well with sand and concrete in 2009.

Meanwhile, lava flows have been knifing into Wao Kele. Kaliko Kanaele of the Royal Order of Kamehameha interpreted that as a positive sign.

"Tutu (Pele) is coming," he said. "She's not coming for destruction."

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070828/NEWS0101/708280329/1003/NEWS0101
Honolulu Advertiser, August 28, 2007

Big Island rainforest preserved

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

PUNA, Hawai'i — Two large land parcels described as the last large, intact lowland rainforest in the Islands were dedicated for preservation yesterday in a ceremony that praised efforts by people who protested and sued to block plans to develop the site for geothermal energy production.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye told a gathering of about 200 people at the dedication of the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest that he initially supported geothermal development on the site in the 1980s, but realized he had made a "bad mistake" after the energy project failed.

Inouye later played a key role in securing $3.35 million in U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program funds to cover most of the cost of buying the property to preserve it.

He told the crowd yesterday that "I hope all of you will forgive me" for his earlier support for geothermal drilling on the site.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs provided the last $300,000 needed to complete the Wao Kele O Puna land purchase from the Campbell Estate, and OHA took title to the 25,856-acre rainforest last year. OHA will manage the land under a 10-year partnership with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The federal funding for the land purchase prohibits any future geothermal development on the site, and state lawmakers have appropriated more than $2 million to plug and abandon a mile-deep geothermal well on the site, said OHA Director of Land Management Hale (or division) Jonathan Scheuer.

Scheuer said OHA plans to work with the state and Pele Defense Fund to manage the property to guarantee traditional access for Native Hawaiian gathering and cultural purposes, and will eventually transfer the property to the new Hawaiian nation that OHA's trustees believe will be formed.

"Here at Wao Kele, the quiet of the forest once drowned by the drilling of a geothermal well once again echoes the whispers of the breezes," said OHA trustees Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona.

Inouye and others said the transfer last year marked the first time since the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom that ceded lands were returned to an organization representing Native Hawaiians.

The state transferred the property to the Campbell Estate in 1985 in a land swap meant to encourage geothermal energy development, a process that uses heat generated by nearby Kilauea volcano to produce electricity. Campbell Estate hired a developer, but the developer abandoned the project in 1994.

The land exchange that delivered the rainforest areas to Campbell Estate was extremely controversial, and triggered years of protests and lawsuits led by the Pele Defense Fund, including litigation financed by OHA.

In 2001 Campbell Estate announced it planned to sell the land, and the Pele Defense Fund, the Trust for Public Land, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and OHA combined efforts with the U.S. Forest Service to buy the land.

Palikapu Dedman, president of the Pele Defense Fund and a leader in the years-long effort to stop geothermal development at Wao Kele O Puna, choked back tears as he described the arrests at the site 16 years ago.

"I gotta start by thanking about 400 people that got arrested. A lot of kupunas got arrested, and about 13 children," he said, his voice breaking. "We was just being ourselves as native people. It's been an emotional journey."

"We have to stand up, I guess, for ourselves and just continue doing what we're doing. If government's going to have to catch up, they're going to have to catch up, but we still have to be there to remind them of their responsibilities ... to indigenous people," he said.


===============

(2) In 2006 OHA acquired ownership of the entire Waimea Valley on the north shore of O'ahu, where formerly there was a nature park operated as a tourist attraction by the same company that owned Sea Life Park. Most of the money to acquire the valley was paid by a consortium of public and private groups, with a small percentage from OHA; and then the deed was handed over to OHA. See also item # 11 in which OHA acquires a property on Kaua'i as the second real estate parcel joining O'ahu's Waimea Valley in an OHA "non-profit" business subsidiary called "Hi'ilei Aloha".

http://www.oha.org/content.asp?ContentId=486
OHA press release posted on OHA website 1/27/2006

Waimea Valley Saved!

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is set to assume ownership of Oahu's Waimea Valley within the next few months under the terms of a court settlement that will permanently protect the stunning and historic valley, considered to be Oahu's last intact ahupuaa. The purchase represents OHA's second major acquisition of important conservation land in just a few months, after September's agreement that will give the agency title to Wao Kele o Puna rainforest on Hawaii island. The two deals mark the first time that OHA has acquired substantial land holdings.

In mid-January, Waimea's former owner, New York developer Christian Wolffer, accepted a $14 million offer to settle the long-running lawsuit over the city's 2002 forced purchase of the valley through condemnation. In addition to the $5 million the city placed in escrow to pay for the 1,875-acre property, the remainder of the purchase price will be shared by OHA ($2.9 million), the U.S. Army ($3.5 million), the state Department of Land and Natural Resources ($1.6 million) and the National Audubon Society ($1 million).

"The bottom line is that the ahupuaa that is this valley is going to remain intact," said OHA Chairperson Haunani Apoliona. "This deal is charting new waters for OHA, for sure. But after 25 years, OHA is stronger and better prepared to take a step like this. And, ultimately, all these assets will transfer to the future Native Hawaiian governing entity."

At the request of the seller, the purchase deal is scheduled to close by March 15. But according to OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo, final details of the complicated deal are likely to take some time longer to resolve. "In the meantime," Namuo said, "the valley will continue to run as it has been."

Before the purchase can occur, the judge still has to sign off on a final settlement agreement, and OHA's Board of Trustees must formally approve the agency's share of the funding. The Honolulu City Council must also give final approval to the deal at a hearing scheduled for Feb. 15. On Jan. 25, the council gave unanimous preliminary approval to the settlement, with only Councilman Romy Cachola expressing reservations over the amount of the city's expenditure.

How the deal took shape

On Dec. 7, the Honolulu City Council – responding to overwhelming public testimony – unanimously rejected a settlement deal proposed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann that would have split the valley and returned most of it to Wolffer. At the council hearing, representatives of OHA, the Audubon Society and others said they would be willing to put together a partnership to come up with additional purchase funds, if that was what was needed to prevent the city from splitting up the valley.

Soon after the council hearing, the mediator in the condemnation suit, Clyde Matsui, contacted OHA and others who had pledged to help purchase the valley. After hurried consultations, Matsui and the contributing groups arrived at a purchase offer of $12 million, and it was agreed that OHA would assume title to the property.

Wolffer, however, rejected the offer. At that point, according to the mediator's report, the mayor's representative in the negotiations, Deputy Corporation Counsel Donna Woo, reported that the mayor had secured an additional commitment of $2 million from the Army, bringing the total offer up to $14 million.

That offer was accepted. Wolffer's local attorney, William McCorriston, told The Honolulu Advertiser that the developer's dream had been to one day own a home in the valley, but that Wolffer changed his mind after talking with the mayor, who stressed the valley's importance to the community.

Amid a flurry of rushed meetings after the offer was accepted, the mediator submitted his settlement report to Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang, who gave it preliminary approval on Jan. 12.

The issues

Now that the purchase deal has been set in motion, a number of complex issues face the parties involved. These include:

• The City's conservation easement

Because the city's share of the purchase price comes from the sale of building bonds, there is a requirement that the city must retain permanent conservation and public-access easements over the property. In essence, this means that the city will require that the valley remain protected from development and open to the public in some form.

But exactly how that will play out remains to be seen. "Sure, the public will have access, but to what part?" says OHA's Namuo. "That all needs to be worked out."

• DLNR's role

Another big question is what part the state's Department of Land and Natural resources will want to play. DLNR Director Peter Young said the department has multiple conservation interests in the valley, including protection of native and endangered species, and preservation of the valley's exceptional cultural resources. Young said he has already had discussions with OHA about forging some kind of management partnership, similar to the two agencies' collaboration in the purchase of Wao Kele o Puna forest.

"This is another great opportunity for OHA and DLNR to expand our already growing partnership," he said. "Our scientists and technicians would be able to learn about more traditional and cultural ways of stewardship, and hopefully they can help train OHA folks about modern conservation techniques. That's the exciting thing about our partnership at Wao Kele, and I think it's possible at Waimea, too."

• Audubon's role

After the city took ownership of Waimea in 2002, it awarded a 30-year contract to the National Audubon Society to operate an ecological and cultural visitor center in place of the former owner's "adventure park." However, the contract remained on a month-to-month basis as long as the condemnation suit was pending.

Audubon Vice President for Field Operations Les Corey said that the society "is very proud to be able to play a role in helping to preserve this wonderful valley, which is so precious culturally and environmentally." As far as any plans for the future, Corey said the most important thing at this point is "to listen to the community about how all this can best work out in the long run."

At a recent OHA board meeting, Namuo said he would likely recommend that the month-to-month arrangement with Audubon continue until the terms of a long-term contract could be developed. In addition, he said, such a contract would likely have to go through required state procurement procedures.

Namuo said that Hawaiian culture would have to be a strong element of the valley experience provided by any operator. "I'd like to see Waimea preserved not merely as a beautiful place to visit," he said, "but as a place to gain a significant experience and understanding of the Hawaiian ahupuaa system."

• The Army's interest

Funding for the Army's share of the Waimea purchase is coming through its national Environmental Center, whose mission is to "enhance Army training and operations while protecting the environment." The Army's contribution also ties into its "ACUB" (Army Compatible Use Buffer) program, which allows military departments to partner with government or private organizations to establish buffer areas around training areas. The Army is also using similar funds to contribute $3 million to the North Shore community's effort to preserve the Pupukea–Puamalu area adjacent to Waimea.

But it is probably also significant that the Army holds perpetual access rights to a 23-mile dirt track called Drum Road, part of which runs through the back of Waimea Valley, within the property boundary. In the past, the Army has clearly stated that Drum Road is important to its Stryker Brigade plans, since it directly connects the area around Schofield Barracks with the Army's training area in Kahuku. Appropriations have already been made for the Army to upgrade the road as part of its Stryker program.

It is not known yet what, if any, conditions the Army might push for in the final Waimea agreement, and an Army spokesman could not be reached in time to comment for this report.

--------------

http://www.oha.org/content.asp?contentid=561

OHA gains Waimea Valley title

by Manu Boyd Press Releases (OHA website) 7/3/2006

OHA GAINS TITLE TO WAIMEA VALLEY

HONOLULU — On June 30, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs became the legal owner of Waimea Valley, after months of negotiations and hard work. The 1,875-acre valley, located on Oahu's North Shore between Kawailoa and Pupukea, is rich in historical and cultural significance. The National Audubon Society currently manages the property and will continue to do so as long-term management plans are negotiated.

On Dec. 7, 2005, the Honolulu City Council considered a settlement offer which would have subdivided the valley. Faced with large protests from the community and many organizations, including OHA, the council rejected the settlement, and renewed negotiations over the fate of the valley began. On Jan. 5, 2006, the OHA Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of Waimea Valley, committing an amount not to exceed $2.9 million for that purchase. Later that month, Waimea's former owner, New York developer Christian Wolffer, accepted a $14-million offer to settle the long-running lawsuit over the city's 2002 forced purchase of the valley through condemnation.

In addition to the $5 million the city placed in escrow to pay for the valley, the remainder of the $14 million purchase price was shared by OHA ($2.9 million), the U.S. Army ($3.5 million), the state Department of Land and Natural Resources ($1.6 million) and the National Audubon Society ($1 million, advanced by OHA pending lease negotiation).

OHA Administrator Clyde W. Namuo stated that, "We are very grateful to all of our partners in this transaction who have worked so hard to protect this sacred place. After the headlines in January that announced that a basic settlement had been worked out, thousands of hours were spent by scores of people to make this transaction happen.

"We acknowledge the contributions of the City Council and the Mayor; the Legislature, Governor and BLNR Chair Peter Young; the Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and the National Audubon Society in making this happen. In each of our organizations, many staff have been working on this since January, and they should be gratified to know that work has come to bear fruit."

"The bottom line is that the ahupuaa that is this valley is going to remain intact," said OHA Chairperson Haunani Apoliona. "OHA will ensure that Native Hawaiians will have a direct benefit and relationship with Waimea Valley. OHA will also ensure that the people of Oahu, the State of Hawaii, the nation and the world grow in respect for, are renewed by, care for and support, learn from and celebrate this land of our ancestors, Waimea Valley."

OHA's holding title to Waimea Valley ensures protection and preservation of cultural and natural resources for Native Hawaiians, the entire Hawaii community and the world.

A rededication ceremony is being scheduled for early August to mark the transition of ownership.

Media contact: Manu Boyd, OHA Public Information Director, 808-594-1983.

A map of known archaeological sites in Waimea Valley.
Map adaptation by Joe LeMonnier, based on original by Joseph Kennedy
http://www.oha.org/library/images/WaimeaSiteMap-Web.jpg

------------------

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?99c7d13c-806d-48d3-866f-6d526d1a635a
Hawaii Reporter, July 16, 2006

City Taxpayers Are Bearing the Bulk of the Expense for Waimea Valley Purchase; How is This Justified When Property Taxes are Already Sky High?

By Erick Ahlgren

The Waimea Valley ahupuaa has been spared the developer's spade, and ownership of the entire parcel has been transferred to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Several groups contributed to the purchase; the largest amount, $5 million, came from the City and County of Honolulu. Since the bulk of the County's finances are derived from property taxes, it can be assumed that Oahu property owners bore the greater expense in the purchase of the valley.

How was this justified?

By what logic would the supposedly cash-strapped City and County of Honolulu be compelled to contribute funds for the purchase of property, the deed to which was ultimately conferred to a semi-autonomous State agency which has a surplus of $400 million?

Considering Mayor Mufi Hannemann's recent suggestion that Oahu homeowners take out home equity loans to cover increases in their property taxes, the City's participation in the purchase of the Waimea ahupuaa seems a bit excessive.

Erick Ahlgren, a resident of Kailua, can be reached via email at
ahlgrene001@hawaii.rr.com

----------------------

http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070929/NEWS01/709290333
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, September 29, 2007
** Also there was a closely similar article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin clearly based on the same OHA press release.

Nonprofit to oversee sacred Hawaiian valley

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Attendance at Waimea Valley has fallen to an all-time low and the money-losing North Shore site will be taken over in February by a new entity of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, OHA officials announced yesterday.

Hi'ilei Aloha -- OHA's newly created nonprofit limited liability corporation -- will be run by former Honolulu City Council chairman Gary Gill. He most recently was program coordinator of the Kokua Kalihi Valley Community Health Clinic and also has been deputy director for environmental health at the state Department of Health and director of the State Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Hi'ilei Aloha means "to carry, care for and nurture lovingly," OHA chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said yesterday in making the announcement.

"This day marks a milestone for OHA and is solid demonstration of OHA's commitment to our kuleana of responsible stewardship, malama 'aina," Apoliona said. "We ask for the continued support from all of you in our ongoing efforts to do right by this place, to protect and manage this legacy of our ancestors for today and for tomorrow."

Yesterday's announcement was the latest development in the long history of Waimea Valley, which for 700 years was considered a sacred "valley of the priests" beginning in the late 11th century.

CHANGING HANDS

In modern times, Waimea Valley has survived several ownership changes.

In 2001, New York investor and theme-park developer Christian Wolffer put the valley under bankruptcy protection after attendance slipped. The City and County of Honolulu took possession of Waimea Valley through condemnation and in 2003 awarded a lease to the National Audubon Society.

OHA took title to the land last year after it was bought by a partnership involving OHA, the city, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Army and National Audubon Society.

The National Audubon Society has been running what's now called the Waimea Valley Audubon Center for the last four years but expects to cease operations at the end of January, said Diana King, the center's interim director.

During Waimea Valley's peak years, as many as 2,000 people per day visited the 1,875-acre park. But attendance has dropped to as few as 300 to 400 visitors per day, and the roads and buildings have fallen into disrepair, said Jonathan Scheuer, director of land management hale for OHA.

Both OHA and the Audubon Society yesterday declined to specify what led the National Audubon Society to pull out of negotiations in January for a long-term lease to continue managing the valley.

"It's time to move on," King said. "It's unfortunate that it didn't work out. It's sad to leave such a special place. But we're honored to have played a part in safeguarding the valley, and we're optimistic about the future."

King said "repaving the road, repairing the sewage treatment plant, the roofs, buildings, railings -- all of that needs attention."

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED

Audubon officials estimate that Waimea Valley's operations will continue to lose about $500,000 per year, King said.

"The site has been run on a month-to-month basis for so long that the capital needs are significant," she said. "But we have been closing that gap through charitable donations, grants, outside contracts, things of that nature."

OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o said OHA trustees will be asked to fund $1 million for each of the next five years to keep Waimea Valley running and make needed improvements.

Admission fees currently range from $3 to $8 and could be considered for possible increases in the future, Namu'o said.

Waimea Valley Audubon Center's 43 full- and part-time employees were notified of the changes yesterday morning and will be asked to reapply for their jobs with Hi'ilei Aloha.

The center also receives help from about 500 volunteers, Namu'o said.

"In the last couple of years, it has been allowed to become dilapidated -- from the bathrooms to the trees," said Butch Helemano, a Native Hawaiian minister in the area around Waimea Valley who was pleased with yesterday's announcement. "As a person with a lineal descent bloodline to the area, it was quite embarrassing. That's all going to change now."

Kawika Au, a longtime Waimea Valley volunteer, met Gill yesterday and called him and the new OHA entity "a great choice. It's just what the valley needs."

WAIMEA VALLEY

1,875-acres at 59-864 Kamehameha Highway

Admission:
Toddlers under 4 -- free; children 4 to 12 -- $5 (general), $3 (kama'aina and military); adults -- $8 (general); $5 (kama'aina and military); seniors 60 and older -- $5 (general), $3 (kama'aina), $5 (military)

78 archeological sites identified in a 2005 study by Archeological Consultants of the Pacific.

5,000 species of tropical plants in the Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

35-foot Waihi falls (commonly known as Waimea Falls).

Four out of five species of Hawaiian native freshwater fish, and a variety of native insects.

Fiscal year 2005 revenue: $2.366 million; 2005 expenses: $2.367 million
Fiscal year 2006 revenue (6 months): $636,274; Fiscal year 2006 expenses: $860,483.

THE VALLEY'S HISTORY

Waimea Valley is established as an important ahupua'a, a mountain to sea land division containing necessary natural resources to sustain a substantial number of residents.

Beginning late 11th century: O'ahu ruler Kamapua'a gives control of the valley to the Pa'ao line of kahuna nui -- high priests -- to serve as their spiritual headquarters.

Middle 1700s: O'ahu ruler Kahahana constructs two main heiau, or sacred temples, partly with the intent of furthering spiritual communication with the great chief Kekaulike of Kaua'i.

Late 1700s: After conquest of O'ahu, Kamehameha I acknowledges the importance of Waimea Valley by placing its control in the hands of his top spiritual adviser Hewahewa, also the last kahuna nui in the Pa'ao line.

1848: Nearly eight centuries of kahuna stewardship ends with the mahele land division. Private ownership first goes to granddaughter of Hewahewa.

Late 1800s: Native Hawaiian title to Waimea Valley ends in foreclosure. Foreign interests take over in a sequence of land auctions.

1894 to 1898: Series of floods devastate the valley including homes and crops of approximately 1,000 Native Hawaiians.

1929: Castle & Cook pineapple and sugar company completes purchase of Waimea and leases land to cattle ranchers.

1940s: After attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. military establishes temporary installations in the valley.

1970s through mid 1990s: Bishop Corporation (no affiliation with Bishop Estate) purchases Waimea for $355,000 and establishes Waimea Falls Park. For a 25-year period under the ownership of the Pietsch family, the valley is a commercial park with a restaurant and entertainment. A 150-acre arboretum and botanical garden is established with native and endangered Hawaiian plants, as well as exotic species. During peak commercial success, park attendance averages 2,000 per day.

1996 through 2000: New York investor and theme-park developer Christian Wolffer assumes previous owner's mortgage and develops an "adventure park," but park attendance is in decline. Investor Wolffer puts valley up for sale at $25 million, later reduced to $19 million.

2000: Hawai'i residents form Stewards of Waimea Valley to promote valley preservation and prevent further development. Honolulu City Council passes a resolution requesting mayor to move forward on acquiring the park.

2001: Investor Wolffer places the valley under bankruptcy protection. A New York bankruptcy court gives the city permission to proceed with condemnation process to purchase the property.

2002 to 2003: City takes possession of the property through condemnation and awards a lease to the National Audubon Society, which begins management of an ecological and cultural visitor center at Waimea Valley.

November 2005: Wolffer makes an offer in the condemnation action and offers to settle with the city by dividing the ownership of the valley under a plan that would enable his establishment of a commercial attractions park and residential subdivision. City Council gives preliminary approval to the deal.

December 2005: Wolffer discloses plan to add luxury housing to Waimea Valley parcels. OHA joins with other city, state, federal and private agencies to consider a plan for purchasing Waimea Valley with pooled resources.

2006: Under terms of a court settlement, the valley is purchased by a partnership of OHA, the city, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Army and the National Audubon Society, with the title passing to OHA.

Yesterday: OHA announces it will form a limited liability corporation, named Hi'ilei Aloha.

Source: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com.

---------------------

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080102/NEWS25/801020367/1001/NEWS25
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Waimea Valley goes to OHA entity Feb. 1

By Lynda Arakawa

Management of Waimea Valley will transfer from the National Audubon Society to an Office of Hawaiian Affairs entity on Feb. 1. OHA became the legal owner of the valley in 2006.

The National Audubon Society is wrapping up its operations in Waimea Valley this month before the historic North Shore property is taken over Feb. 1 by a new entity of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The area will be closed to the public Jan. 30 and 31 to allow time for an orderly changeover, Waimea Valley Audubon Center director Diana King said in a statement.

The 1,875-acre Waimea Valley will be managed by a subsidiary of nonprofit Hi'ilei Aloha LLC, which was formed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

King, in the statement, thanked supporters and reflected on the work Audubon accomplished in the valley, which she said was visited by nearly a million residents and visitors since June 2003.

"It has been a good effort despite the many challenges and setbacks encountered along the way," she said.

She said Audubon accomplished much at Waimea Valley, including re-opening trails, building a children's garden and publishing an archeological assessment of the valley. She said staff and volunteers have earned national and state awards.

"Most importantly, we have changed the climate of the valley from a for-profit visitor attraction to a community-based nature center emphasizing care and appreciation for this special place," she said. "We hope that many of these changes will endure."

Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator Clyde Namu'o said: "We are grateful for the Audubon's stewardship and look forward to operation by a Hawaiian entity."

OHA said in September that attendance at Waimea Valley had fallen to an all-time low. The turnover is the latest change for Waimea Valley over the last several years. New York investor Christian Wolffer put the valley under bankruptcy protection in 2001, and the city took possession of the property through condemnation. The city awarded a lease to the National Audubon Society in 2003, after which the property was called the Waimea Valley Audubon Center. OHA became the legal owner of Waimea Valley in 2006 after the land was bought by a partnership involving OHA, the city, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Army and National Audubon Society. In January 2007, The National Audubon Society pulled out of negotiations with OHA for a long-term lease to continue managing the property. Audubon continued to manage the property under the existing interim lease.


=================

(3) Immediately following the failure of the Akaka bill in the U.S. Senate on June 8, 2006, Hawai'i media and Senator Inouye began a propaganda campaign urging development of a "Plan B."

The period following a victory is a very dangerous time. Losing warriors can retreat until their wounds heal, and then come back for a devastating counter-attack. It's one thing to be magnanimous in victory; it's quite another thing to be overly conciliatory or foolish and thereby snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

A collection of news reports and commentaries provides evidence that new legislation to replace the Akaka bill is already being written by Senator Inouye, and is already being pushed very strongly by the Honolulu Advertiser. An article by state Senator Sam Slom, who went to Washington to lobby against the Akaka bill, is magnanimous in victory and expresses a wish to help preserve race-based programs. How sad! Caring for Hawaiian culture and protecting historic places does not require unconstitutional race-based government programs.

See webpage: "Akaka/Inouye Plan B -- Upcoming Consolation Prize --The Hawaii Racial Entitlements Protection Act of 2006" at

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaPlanBjune2006.html


==================

(4) An internal memo leaked from OHA approximately June 22, 2006 (probably leaked intentionally) outlined OHA's version of Plan B. The plan essentially calls for carrying out the steps for nation-building described in the Akaka bill, even without federal approval. The plan envisions negotiations with a very friendly Governor and Legislature resulting in race-based ownership of many hundreds of thousands of acres of land and many hundreds of millions of dollars. The idea is to use the Kau Inoa signup registry to create an elected "government"; then transfer to the new "tribe" all land and money currently under control of OHA, DHHL, and other state and federal government sponsored programs; then have the new entity apply for federal recognition.

The full text of the OHA memo, along with news reports about it and commentary by Ken Conklin, is on a webpage: "KKK -- Kanaka Klub -- Office of Hawaiian Affairs confidential memo of June 2006 outlining OHA plans for setting up Hawaiian apartheid regime following failure of the Akaka bill" at:
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/OHAplanBmemojune2006.html

On August 24-25, 2006 OHA convened a "think tank" meeting at a hotel in Waikiki to get input about Plan B from outside experts. An invitation and list of topics for discussion was circulated beforehand to participants. That memo was posted on official stationery in pdf format by Scott Crawford on his Hawaiian Kingdom blog on August 31. The URL for Crawford's pdf document was:
http://www.hawaiiankingdom.info/C608676235/E20060831090653/Media/OHA%20Think%20Tank.pdf
Unfortunately the document is encrypted and its contents cannot be copied and pasted. Anticipating that after a few weeks the Crawford copy might be deleted, the conference memo has also been placed on this website and can be downloaded at:
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/OHAPlanBThinkTankAug2006.pdf


=================

(5) OHA has contracted a 2-hour block on a radio station during drive time 7-9 AM Monday through Friday for an undisclosed number of months. This air time is essentially a 2-hour daily infomercial providing music, announcements, news (from OHA's viewpoint), etc.

http://www.oha.org/content.asp?contentid=552

Office of Hawaiian Affairs, press release, June 19, 2006

OHA launches morning radio show

Monday-Friday, 7-9 a.m. on KKNE AM 940

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has launched a new daily Hawaiian-issues radio program titled "Na Oiwi Olino – People Seeking Wisdom."

The morning Oahu drive show, which weaves together news, music, commentary, interviews, OHA information and traffic reports, is hosted by Keaumiki Akui, a longtime local radio personality and a public affairs specialist in OHA's Hawaiian Governance division.

"Na Oiwi Olino" features regular appearances by Hawaiian community leaders, OHA staff and other special guests talking about a broad range of subjects impacting Native Hawaiians.

To listen online, or for additional information, visit am940hawaii.com


=================

(6) OHA is contracting with the Kaka'ako development authority for a long-term lease of land to build an OHA headquarters and "cultural center" with the expectation that it will become the government headquarters of the developing Hawaiian nation (presumably 'Iolani Palace will remain a symbolic, honorary capitol operating as a period-piece museum).

http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/06/business/story03.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 6, 2006

OHA reaches agreement on new cultural center
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs enters talks with the agency that oversees development in Kakaako

By Nina Wu

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has taken another step forward in its proposal to build headquarters and a cultural center on 5.2 acres on the Kakaako waterfront.

Members of the state Hawaii Community Development Authority agreed yesterday to enter a six-month exclusive negotiation period with OHA to lease the site for the complex.

"We're very excited," said OHA administrator Clyde Namuo. "A six-month exclusive with HCDA is good news."

Namuo said the agreement would allow OHA to start an environmental impact study for the project, which is expected to include a 30,000-square-foot headquarters building and a 30,000-square-foot cultural center.

Preliminary plans unveiled a year ago included a three-level office complex, along with an outdoor performance area, food court, 180-stall parking lot, canoe hale, imu, taro patches and facilities for hula and the Hawaiian martial art of lua.

Last year, the project's projected price was $32 million, though construction costs have likely gone up since then, he said.

OHA hopes it would be able to put the project out to bid within two years, with at least 18 months needed for construction.

Namuo said before the HCDA board yesterday that he envisioned a cultural center that flowed into Kakaako Waterfront Park, with a portion of the canal covered up.

Eventually, OHA might go back to HCDA to seek a variance for the height restrictions, which are now at 45 feet high, because the center might be built on a mound.

Namuo emphasized that the center would be open and accessible to the public, though design plans are still preliminary. The cultural center would house exhibits open to the public.

"We would see the role of the cultural center as bringing the culture to all the people of Hawaii," he said. "This building is not just devoted to Hawaiians. This is a building for the entire community."

The project could be funded either by selling bonds, or drawing from OHA's $400 million portfolio, though the former option would be more likely, he said.

OHA might also seek funding through the state Legislature. But Namuo said OHA won't wait for legislative action to move forward with the project.

OHA currently leases office space at 711 Kapiolani Blvd., and has been searching for permanent headquarters for several years.

The property, referred to by HCDA as "Lot 1," sits on ceded lands next to the ocean, makai of the University of Hawaii's proposed cancer research center.

Because the site is on ceded lands, OHA may request a rent-free lease, while still paying common area maintenance fees. But the details of the lease terms would still need to be worked out and approved by the HCDA.

Daniel Dinell, executive director of HCDA, estimated the agency pays about $100,000 a year in collective ceded land payments in Kakaako.

Rosette Steel Hawaii LLC occupies half of the 70,000-square-foot warehouse that now sits on the site, with a a lease that expires in January. The other warehouse area is occupied by Next Step, a new homeless shelter on a month-to-month lease until March.

"OHA, with the waterfront, provided a nice bookend," said HCDA's executive director Daniel Dinell. "It's good to have a use that's compatible with the public use of the park. Now OHA is taking the lead in providing that cultural amenity."

----------------

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060706/BUSINESS/607060331/1071
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 6, 2006

OHA's HQ site moves forward

By Andrew Gomes

A state agency yesterday helped advance a plan by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to build a cultural center and office headquarters on public land along the Kaka'ako waterfront.

The Hawai'i Community Development Authority board agreed to exclusively negotiate terms to lease OHA a 5-acre parcel near the 'ewa edge of Kaka'ako Waterfront Park.

The oceanfront site is being used as a temporary homeless shelter that the state created earlier this year by refurbishing an empty warehouse. The shelter is expected to operate until early next year. A steel frame fabrication plant also operates on the site under a lease expiring in January.

OHA's vision, which was publicly announced last year and then put on hold by the state earlier this year, is to develop a three-story complex that fosters Native Hawaiian culture through events, exhibitions and programs, including language and genealogy projects.

Indoor space would include a community center for meetings and performances, 30,000 square feet of offices, a kitchen, food-service area and 180 parking stalls.

Outdoor space would provide for hula performances, canoe hale, taro fields, an imu and a place to practice celestial navigation.

OHA said the project would largely be open to the public, and represent Hawai'i's first major cultural center dedicated to its host culture.

The complex might also one day serve as the seat for a Native Hawaiian government if efforts to create an independent government entity are successful.

If the cultural center project proceeds smoothly, OHA estimates construction could begin in two years and be completed about 18 months after that.

"We're very excited," said OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o. "We've been holding on this."

OHA originally presented its plan to the Hawai'i Community Development Authority board in April 2005, and in February asked to begin lease negotiations.

But the authority, which governs development of state and private land in Kaka'ako, deferred action because legislators had introduced a flurry of bills that potentially could have affected OHA's proposal.

The bills sought to alter or stop a private development plan that called for residential condominiums and public facilities on another piece of state land on the Kaka'ako peninsula. That project was stopped, but no bills passed that would inhibit OHA's cultural center plan.

Yesterday, OHA was given until Jan. 5, 2007 to negotiate lease terms with the agency.

The negotiating period will allow OHA to begin environmental and feasibility studies of the site.

OHA proposes leasing the property rent-free. An agency staff planner suggested that the state could be compensated for the lease by reducing payments it makes to OHA for use of ceded land based on an appraised value of the cultural center site.

Namu'o said the cultural center will largely be a public facility that benefits not just Native Hawaiians but the state's broader population.

"It's a public facility," he said, adding that OHA hopes to physically connect cultural center grounds with Kaka'ako Waterfront Park by covering or bridging a drainage culvert that separates the two properties.

Daniel Dinell, agency executive director, said the site had been envisioned for commercial redevelopment but had not been identified for a specific use.

Dinell said OHA's plan has not drawn any public opposition since being announced last year. "This is a good use in terms of activating that part of the park," he said.

The cultural center is estimated to cost more than $32 million, which was a projection OHA made last year before construction costs rose considerably.

Namu'o hopes the state will help fund the project, but said OHA trustees are prepared to finance the cultural center with OHA's own resources if there is no public financial support.

For the last two years, OHA requested $15 million to help finance the project, but the bills failed to get a hearing. Namu'o said he will make another request next year, but is also considering floating bonds, conventional loans or tapping OHA's $400 million investment portfolio.

OHA spends about $1 million a year to lease office space in a commercial building at 711 Kapi'olani Blvd., and for several years has sought a permanent headquarters for itself and a range of private organizations that assist Hawaiians.

Previous considerations included buying the historic downtown post office and federal building, and constructing a complex integrated with the historic Ala Moana sewage pump station building in Kaka'ako.

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/09/editorial/letters.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 9, 2006, Letter to editor

OHA should not take prime Kakaako space

I believe Hawaiians deserve a center to call their own. But building the Office of Hawaiian Affairs headquarters next to Pier 1 in Kakaako makai is, to borrow Mayor Hannemann's buzzword, a "nice-to-have" ("OHA reaches agreement on new cultural center," Star-Bulletin, July 6). That parcel next to Honolulu Harbor is vital to Hawaii's future "need-to-have" infrastructure.

Honolulu Harbor is the main port of entry for the necessary goods that all people in Hawaii use. A permanent building will keep the harbor from expanding, as our growing and thriving population will inevitably need it to. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the Foreign Trade Zone at Pier 2 handled $4.7 billion in imports and exports in 2004 alone. If the harbor cannot grow with our economy, we are essentially choking ourselves.

A few months ago, Honolulu residents cursed our last mayor for ignoring the "need-to-have" infrastructure improvements in favor of spending on excessive "nice-to-have" projects. Let's not make the same mistake twice.

Kristi Sue-Ako
Kakaako


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(7) On July 6, 2006 the news media reported that OHA has decided to pursue the purchase of a major Honolulu television station at a cost between $30-$40 Million, allegedly as an income-producing investment, but actually with expectations of using it as a propaganda machine. One day later, after a huge outcry of opposition, the media reported that OHA has (at least temporarily) stepped away from that plan. Regardless whether the plan gets revived, the initial enthusiasm for it demonstrates OHA's attitude of spending whatever huge amounts of money might be needed for investments and "nation-building" rather than spending the money to help the "poor downtrodden" Hawaiians OHA loves to constantly remind us about.

News reports from three newspapers are provided for both July 6 (OHA planning to buy TV station) and July 7 (OHA abandons plan) because each newspaper provided some details not reported by the others.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060706/NEWS01/607060342/1001/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 6, 2006

OHA considering KGMB purchase

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is exploring the purchase of local television station KGMB, raising concerns about potential government control over the locally owned media outlet.

Members of OHA's Board of Trustees voted yesterday to make a conditional offer for the local CBS affiliate and authorized its staff to spend up to $50,000 to study the plan.

"It's a huge can of worms. ... To have a commercial broadcast license purchased by a state entity would raise potential censorship questions," said attorney Chris Conybeare, vice chairman of the Honolulu Media Council, a watchdog group.

"If one state agency could do it, I don't think there's anything stopping any other state agency, such as the Department of Transportation, from doing it," he said.

Founded in 1978, OHA is a quasi-state agency whose mission is to help Hawaiians. It receives revenue from ceded lands — those lands controlled by the crown and government when the Hawaiian kingdom was overthrown in 1893. That revenue will be $15 million this fiscal year.

Trustee Oswald Stender said OHA's interest in KGMB is largely as an investment and not as a means to communicate a pro-Hawaiian message.

Stender, who was briefed on KGMB's financial situation, said the station generates about $3.2 million in net income a year. Its 41,000-square-foot offices on Kapi'olani Boulevard is located on prime real estate, which could be redeveloped into a high-rise office or condominium building, Stender added.

Trustee Boyd Mossman echoed Stender's contention that the station is viewed solely as an investment opportunity. "You cannot have a Native Hawaiian format," Mossman said. "It's not going to make any money."

Station owner Emmis Communications Corp. of Indianapolis put KGMB on sale last year when it announced that it was getting out of the television business. Emmis sold sister station KHON-TV earlier this year to California-based Montecito Broadcast Group and has said it plans to complete the sale of KGMB by the end of the year.

Emmis spokeswoman Jodi Wright could not be reached for immediate response and Kate Bueker of the Blackstone Group, which is handling the sale for Emmis, was not available for comment.

Stender said OHA is in preliminary discussions with Bueker and KGMB General Manager Rick Blangiardi.

TWO OFFERS REJECTED

Stender said Emmis is seeking $40 million for KGMB, but he believes that the station will likely fetch less than that.

Two Mainland investment groups had offered to buy KGMB for $22 million to $25 million but both were rejected, Stender said.

"They don't run television stations," he said of those bidders. "They buy and fire everybody and bring the bottom line up.

"We should be an attractive buyer because we are the only local group."

Yesterday's vote was conducted by OHA's Asset & Resource Management and Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment committees. Committee members voted 4-1 in favor of the plan, with one abstention.

The plan goes before the full Board of Trustees today for a separate vote.

Trustee Rowena Akana, who abstained from yesterday's vote, raised concerns over the costs. Akana said OHA could pay much less to air pro-Hawaiian programming on an Oceanic Cable channel, free of any programming restraints by the Federal Communications Commission or CBS.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, who did not attend yesterday's meeting, also raised concerns in a letter over whether FCC rules allow government entities to own a local television station.

Stender said OHA staffers are still researching whether the agency could own KGMB outright. He said staffers are also looking into setting up a nonprofit or for-profit corporation that would own and run the station independently of OHA. He noted that ownership of KGMB additionally would open doors in the broadcast industry for Hawaiian students.

According to Conybeare, such an arrangement would require that the television station be operated at arm's-length from OHA.

FCC officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

FOREIGN EXAMPLES

Bev Keever, a University of Hawai'i journalism professor, said she's aware of no FCC rules that would bar OHA from owning KGMB.

If OHA could resist the temptation to air political propaganda, the agency can provide quality programming along the lines of the BBC, which is owned by the British government, Keever said.

"If it's a question of somebody who doesn't understand Hawai'i and is just an outside corporate interest, then it would be an advantage for Hawaiians and the state for OHA to invest in this way," Keever said.

Stender said OHA consulted with American Indian tribes in Canada that launched a TV station in 1999. The tribes formed the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, which now provides native programming to about 10 million homes and businesses in Canada.

Stender said OHA board members met with APTN board members two or three months ago and were encouraged by APTN officials to invest in television and other media.

Critics said OHA has no business getting into the broadcast industry.

Not only is it risky, ownership of a TV station doesn't fit with OHA's mission to improve the living conditions of Hawaiians, said William Burgess, an attorney for local resident Earl Arakaki, who sued to dismantle OHA and the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,

"What expertise do they have in running a television station?" Burgess said. "How could they possibly justify that? How is it to betterment of Native Hawaiians to purchase a television station?"

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/06/news/story01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 6, 2006

Buying KGMB TV on OHA agenda
Two panels approve further consideration of the proposal today

By Erika Engle

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is considering a move to buy KGMB-TV.

Two committees of the quasi-state agency approved a proposal yesterday to make a conditional offer to purchase the station and commit up to $50,000 for the cost of researching it. The full board of trustees will take up the matter at its meeting today.

Trustees voting in favor of the motion included Oswald Stender, Boyd Mossman, John Waihee IV and Dante Carpenter, chairman of the Committee on Asset and Resource Management.

Trustee Linda Dela Cruz voted against the motion, and trustee Rowena Akana abstained. Trustees Donald Cataluna, Colette Machado and OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona were absent, though Apoliona sent a list of concerns and questions to fellow trustees. Apoliona's staff, at her direction, declined to release the list.

Stender and Mossman said the questions would be addressed before and during the due-diligence process.

One of the main questions raised at yesterday's committee meeting is whether OHA is allowed under state law to own a commercial business. It currently does not own any.

The OHA legal team has been told to find the answer, Stender said, adding, "I just assumed we could."

Akana expressed reservations about one approach to the deal -- the establishment of a nonprofit organization to run a commercial station -- given the IRS difficulties that Kamehameha Schools encountered with its tax-exempt status. OHA should "not go there," she said.

Waihee questioned the need to spend $50,000, saying it is "a lot of money," and that reporters do research to find answers all the time without such a cash outlay.

Stender said previous offers of $22 million and $25 million for the station by investor groups were rejected by KGMB's parent company, Emmis Communications Corp. of Indiana, because they were too far below the $40 million asking price.

Rick Blangiardi, senior vice president and general manager of KGMB, said he was "unable to comment at this time" about the figures being cited or any details of any possible deal.

Stender said KGMB's net income in 2005 was $3.2 million, but that figure likely represents another measure of station performance, according to an industry source. KGMB's gross revenue was $13.5 million in 2004, according to an October 2005 story in Broadcasting & Cable, a leading industry journal.

Nevertheless, Stender estimated that a $40 million investment in the station would provide an 8 percent return.

OHA has been told that Emmis will not entertain any offer below $40 million, Stender said. However, after the meeting, he added, "I bet that thing sells for $30 million."

OHA could pay cash for the station, offer bonds or get a bank loan, Stender said, citing OHA's $400 million in assets.

Since the previous offers for KGMB were from nonlocal investors and OHA is local, Stender noted, "We should be an attractive buyer, for the seller."

Any sale would include KGMB's headquarters on 41,000 square feet of land at 1534 Kapiolani Blvd., assessed at $6.7 million in 2005, and last sold for $5.2 million in 2000, as well as the station's facilities and equipment, and its FCC license.

The OHA trustees' interest in the station was whetted by a visit from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network of Canada earlier this year. APTN owns and operates a radio and a television station "and they get a lot of support" from advertisers, especially for programs about native issues, Stender said.

According to an OHA staff memo explaining the KGMB proposal, ownership of a TV station offers potential value to the Hawaiian community as a "medium of accurate and timely communication regarding Hawaiian affairs to the general public, profit-generating investment featuring physical facilities and assets, a valuable FCC license and prime real estate property." It is also a "multi-media and technology center that serves as a platform for employment, job training and educational opportunities for native Hawaiians.

"Furthermore, ownership of a television station is consistent with the firm belief and experience among indigenous peoples in Canada that ownership and control of media is connected to cultural survival."

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/06/news/story01.html#jump
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 6, 2006

Reaction to possible OHA purchase of KGMB mixed

By Erika Engle

The prospect of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs buying KGMB-TV drew mixed reactions yesterday from a veteran journalist and a media watchdog.

Former KGMB news anchor Bob Jones said he "was fairly shocked" by the prospect. Now a MidWeek columnist, Jones said, "Right off the bat, I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of having a government agency running media. ... The media's job is to provide oversight of government."

One way to get around such a problem could be to put control of the outlet "in some kind of foundation or trust, so that there is a wall there," he said. "But for OHA, the possible pitfalls are numerous.

"Would they have a problem with the way the station covers OHA? Would they take heat from their colleagues and friends, if they, for instance, allow the TV station to cover some very embarrassing OHA meeting where people yelled at each other?"

One of the reasons OHA cited for purchasing the station was to better communicate its services, programs and relevancy to native Hawaiians and the broader community. Jones said he had never heard a potential owner announce an intention to use a station as a vehicle for communicating a specific message.

"I would just be surprised if the FCC would say that a government agency can own a major media outlet," Jones said.

Sean McLaughlin said he was intrigued by the OHA proposal. He is the former chief executive officer of Akaku, Maui Community Television, and is now the spokesman for Hawaii Consumers LLC, a research and advocacy organization.

"We like diversity of ownership, and it's not somebody who already owns a media outlet. We like the fact that it's local ownership," he said. "We naturally would be concerned that it's a government agency. ... But compared to the current ownership, it would be more responsive to local community needs and interests."

Knowing what OHA's interests are, as a station owner, would be preferable to not knowing the interests or agendas of the commercial entities that currently own Hawaii's major media outlets, McLaughlin said.

"The Hawaiians, as a community, have not been as well-served as they should be by the local media," which they could be, if OHA were to buy the station, he said. "I think that should be lauded."

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http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2006/07/06/local/local06.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Thursday, July 6, 2006

OHA considers buying Hawaii television station

by Nancy Cook Lauer
Stephens Capitol Bureau

HONOLULU -- The Hawaiian Islands' first television station could become Native Hawaiian's first as well if a proposed purchase of KGMB moves forward.

The Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is scheduled to vote today to spend $50,000 for the "due diligence" phase of such a purchase.

That will include determining whether OHA, created by the state Legislature as a semi-autonomous self-governing body ruled by an elected board, can legally own a TV station. The next step is determining whether OHA can afford the move. KGMB, a CBS affiliate owned by Emmis Communications Corp., became Hawaii's first television station in 1952. Emmis has said it wants $40 million for the station and its 41,000-square-foot office building.

So far, two mainland offers haven't topped $22 million, said OHA spokesman Manu Boyd. He stressed that the vote tomorrow is only the first step in the process, and decisions such as programming won't happen for a long time, if ever.

"There are a lot of basic fundamental questions that need to be answered first," Boyd said. "It's very, very preliminary."

Representatives from KGMB and Emmis didn't return phone messages Wednesday.

Television ownership by public and nonprofit bodies is certainly not new. Public Broadcasting Service, a nonprofit corporation based in Arlington, Va., is owned and operated by the nation's 348 public television stations. Of the 169 licensees, 86 are community organizations, 57 are colleges/universities, 20 are state authorities and six are local educational or municipal authorities.

Minority-owned radio and TV stations are also on the increase. In 2000, 187 minority broadcasters owned 449 full-power commercial radio and television stations, or 3.8 percent of the 11,865 such stations licensed in the United States, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Native Hawaiian advocates like Antoinette L. Lee, president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, embraced the buy.

"I think this is a marvelous idea," she said. "Obviously we could get all of our things on there without it being screened (by non-Hawaiians). We need to have our own media. I would vote for that in a heartbeat."

So, how did the concept of owning its own TV station attract OHA's attention? Who knows, Boyd said.

"All sorts of options and ideas come up before the board, although I think in this case, it's such a departure from the usual," Boyd said, adding, "although we do a lot of work in media."

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/07/business/story02.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 7, 2006

OHA board scuttles talk of offer for KGMB
One trustee said the purchase could have been OHA's biggest business failure

By Erika Engle

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' board of trustees yesterday rejected a proposal to explore the purchase of KGMB-TV, Honolulu's CBS affiliate.

The matter is not dead, however, and Trustee Oswald Stender may bring it up again.

Before the board's vote on the issue yesterday, Stender had sought a 72-hour deferment, seeking more time to address concerns raised by some of the trustees, but the deferral motion was voted down.

The two chairmen of the committees that had moved the proposal forward on Wednesday, Dante Carpenter and Boyd Mossman, were not present for yesterday's discussion and vote, "and with all the questions on the table, it would have been reasonable to wait until the chairpersons returned to the table so we could discuss it ... rather than make a decision in a vacuum," Stender said following the meeting.

During the discussion yesterday, Trustee Rowena Akana cited media coverage of the issue, including critical reaction to the proposed purchase. "It really gets to me. I'm tired of people telling us ... what is good for Hawaiians." She intended to vote in favor of the proposal, she said.

Trustee Linda Dela Cruz indicated she would vote against the proposal, not because of the $40 million asking price for the station, but because buying KGMB would take money away from funding a micro-loan program for native Hawaiians. "The people come first. This kind of investment is out of style for now," she said.

Stender, defending the proposal by OHA's Assets Resource Management and Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment committees, said, "Opportunity in television is something that is sought after by investors."

"I'm really disappointed that we're not deferring, to really review it in depth and respond to the issues that were raised," he said.

Trustee Donald Cataluna questioned the 8 percent return on investment that Stender said the purchase could provide, noting that better returns exist with other types of investments. "In my experience since 2000, when OHA got involved in some kind of business, it failed." The purchase of a TV station could be its biggest failure, Cataluna said.

Trustees Cataluna, Dela Cruz, Waihee and Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona voted against the proposal.

Stender said he is seeking an answer from the OHA legal office on whether the semi-autonomous state government agency can own a commercial television station.

"If they answer, 'Yeah, we cannot,' that will stop the whole thing right there," he said.

If the answer is positive, then, "from the business side of things, I think it deserves another look."

Representatives of the Federal Communications Commission could not be reached yesterday, but it has previously issued licenses to government agencies for television and radio stations, which are mostly public broadcasting-type outlets. However, the state-funded University of Missouri-Columbia, home to a prestigious school of journalism, owns and operates KOMU-TV, an NBC affiliate in Columbia.

"In fact, the Legislature there got very involved in an issue when the news director there courageously told anchors not to wear flag lapel pins after 9/11," said Al Tompkins, broadcast and online group leader at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school.

"There's plenty to be concerned about when anything that even smells like a government agency gets their hands on a television license.

"Government agencies have a habit of not being able to keep their hands off the throttle ... To a boy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail -- and government agencies have this need to regulate."

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http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2006/07/07/local/local07.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), July 7, 2006

OHA says no to TV station purchase

by Nancy Cook Lauer
Stephens Capitol Bureau

HONOLULU -- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs won't be buying a television station any time soon.

In a show of opposition led by Big Island Trustee Linda Dela Cruz, the OHA Board of Trustees voted 4-2 Thursday not to make an offer to buy KGMB-TV and not to spend $50,000 to explore the concept further.

The trustees were considering the issue both as an investment and a way to communicate OHA's mission to the people. KGMB owner Emmis Communications Corp. has been trying to sell the station and its 41,000-square-foot Honolulu office building for $40 million.

"There is a perception that OHA has not been effective enough in communicating its services, programs and relevancy to the Native Hawaiian community and the broader community," said a committee report prepared by Clarita Barretto, lead advocate for economic development. "Direct ownership in a television station with network affiliation provides Hawaiians with the ability to fully express themselves in terms of arts and culture, education, governance, while building an asset base and economic development tool as a legacy for all Hawaiians."

But Dela Cruz said OHA already has a way to do that, through local access channels on cable television. She questioned why OHA can spend this amount of money when it wouldn't approve micro-loans she had requested for her constituents.

"We already go to the TV, we go to the cable and it's not as much as $40 million," said Dela Cruz, the only member to vote against it at a committee meeting the previous day. "To me, the people come first."

Kauai Trustee Donald Cataluna worried that OHA wouldn't make the profit it expected on the venture. Last year, the station made $3.2 million, a net income of 8 percent on a $40 million investment.

"As an investment, I'm concerned about that. We're making 12 to 15 percent on our investments, and this would be 7 to 8 percent," Cataluna said. "In my experience, since 2000, if OHA got involved in some sort of business, it failed, and this might be our biggest failure."

At-large Trustee Oswald Stender, who has been pushing the idea, first tried to get the matter deferred until more of the committee members who brought the issue forward could be present. Three members, including the chairmen of the two committees that sponsored the initiative, were absent from the board meeting. That motion failed.

"I'm disappointed that we're taking this course of action. I'm disappointed that we don't have the opportunity to really review it and respond to the concerns that have been raised," Stender said. "I just don't want to spend a lot of time on this if there's no chance of it getting anywhere."

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060707/NEWS01/607070360/1190/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, July 7, 2006

OHA won't buy KGMB after all

By Rick Daysog

A day after two of its committees agreed to pursue buying local television station KGMB, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Board of Trustees voted to abandon the deal.

Yesterday, the board decided 4-2 against acquiring the local CBS affiliate as members expressed concerns about the financial risks.

Trustees, including Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, also questioned whether the Federal Communications Commission would allow a quasi-government entity such as OHA to acquire a television station.

"In my experience since 2000, when OHA got involved in some sort of business, it failed," said trustee Donald Cataluna. "This could be the biggest failure."

Two OHA committees had voted 4-1 on Wednesday to appropriate $50,000 to conduct due diligence in considering the acquisition of the station.

"I'm sorry we didn't have more time to really discuss this opportunity," trustee Oswald Stender said. "But let's move on. My heart is not broken."

Besides Stender, trustee Rowena Akana voted in favor of exploring a bid for KGMB. Voting in opposition were trustees Linda Dela Cruz, John Waihe'e IV, Apoliona and Cataluna.

Station owner Emmis Communications Corp. of Indianapolis put KGMB up for sale last year when it announced that it was getting out of the television business. Emmis sold sister station KHON-TV earlier this year to California-based Montecito Broadcast Group and has said it plans to complete the sale of KGMB by the end of the year.

Emmis spokeswoman Jodi Wright did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Stender said OHA's interest in KGMB was largely as an investment and not as a means to communicate a pro-Hawaiian message.

OHA was founded in 1978 and its mission is to help Hawaiians. It receives annual ceded lands revenue, which will total $15 million this fiscal year.

Stender, who was briefed on KGMB's financial situation, said Emmis was asking about $40 million for the station, which generates about $3.2 million in income a year.

He noted that two Mainland investment groups had offered to buy KGMB for $22 million to $25 million but both bids were rejected.

Dela Cruz said OHA's money could be better spent on projects that directly benefit its Hawaiian constituents. Dela Cruz complained that she has had trouble getting OHA's lending program to issue small loans to members of her community.

Local attorney Chris Conybeare, vice chairman of the Ho-nolulu Media Council, said he's not surprised that OHA is abandoning its bid for KGMB.

As a government entity, OHA faced little or no prospect of gaining approval from the FCC, he said. If OHA were to make a passive investment or were to finance the purchase of the station by a separate entity, the deal would come under close scrutiny by the FCC.

"This whole idea of a state agency owning a television station didn't wash," Conybeare said. "I just didn't think that it was an idea that would have proceeded very far."

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/09/editorial/editorial01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 9, 2006, EDITORIAL

OUR OPINION

OHA wise to walk away from KGMB venture

THE ISSUE

Office of Hawaiian Affairs have voted against making a bid to purchase KGMB-TV.

THE state Office of Hawaiian Affairs flirted with danger in considering a move to buy KGMB-TV before backing away. Such a purchase would have been an unprecedented entry by a government agency into ownership of commercial television and could be in violation of federal and state law.

OHA trustees agreed last week to make a conditional offer to purchase the station from Indiana-based Emmis Communications Corp., which is asking $40 million, then voted 4-2 Thursday to reject the venture.

Although Federal Communications Commission rules appear not to specifically address the issue, Congress, in creating the commission and its 1927 predecessor, the Federal Radio Commission, implicitly disallowed government ownership of commercial broadcast stations.

The U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue in a 1973 First Amendment ruling. "As we have seen, with the advent of radio a half-century ago," wrote then-Chief Justice Warren Burger, "Congress was faced with a fundamental choice between total government ownership and control of the new medium -- the choice of most other countries -- or some other alternative. Long before the impact and potential of the medium was realized, Congress opted for a system of private broadcasters licensed and regulated by the government.

"The legislative history suggests that this choice was influenced not only by traditional attitudes toward private enterprise," Burger added, "but by a desire to maintain for licensees, so far as consistent with necessary regulation, a traditional journalistic role."

But OHA is not just any government agency, the state argued in Rice v. Cayetano. In establishing OHA in 1978, the state Constitutional Convention said it intended that it be "independent from the executive branch and all other branches of government." The Supreme Court rejected that argument in 2000 in ruling that OHA's Hawaiians-only restriction on voting for trustees was racially discriminatory.

"Although it is apparent that OHA has a unique position under state law," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "it is just as apparent that it remains an arm of the state."

Concerns about government-owned television stations and networks have been raised around the globe, mostly -- but not only -- in developing countries. The British Broadcasting Corp. is said to have an unfair advantage over other media companies, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is accused of manipulating people and distorting the truth by seizing control of television networks.

Congress wisely established a system for government to own the airwaves but not the commercial broadcasting networks or stations. OHA's purchase of KGMB would have impaired that system and, if allowed, invited incumbent governments with fat budgets to outbid private companies in buying other stations.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060710/OPINION01/607100316/1105/OPINION
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, July 10, 2006, EDITORIAL

OHA needs a focus — not a media buy

While it came as a great relief to see the Office of Hawaiian Affairs jettison ambitions for media ownership, its search for ways to improve communications within and about the Hawaiian community should continue.

Oswald Stender, an OHA trustee, has said the initiative to purchase KGMB-TV arose from a desire to "get our message out," as well as to grow the Native Hawaiian trust fund through a profitable investment and to create job training opportunities for Hawaiians.

Even if one sets aside the troubling legal and philosophical issues of mixing politics with media ownership, purchasing a station would not offer a cost-effective means of achieving those goals.

The agency should concentrate on refining the message, rather than owning the medium. As the recent experience with the federal recognition initiative demonstrated, divisions on that issue are deep even among Hawaiians, and it's a difficult concept to sell in Washington if the community itself can't agree.

Where there is common ground, however, is on the desire to form a political body, leaving the question of federal recognition for the future. There have been efforts in the past to accomplish that, such as the 1999 Ha Hawai'i elections of delegates to a kind of constitutional convention. The effort ran out of money — and steam. But with its resources OHA could see that a renewed effort at organizing is better sustained.

OHA has already resolved to turn its attention toward a Native Hawaiian registry. Thus far, only a small percentage of the Hawaiian population has signed up. Turning up the heat beneath this campaign should be a key focus for the elected OHA board.

If Hawai'i's indigenous people want to make the case that they are a political entity, identification and commitment to a common purpose is essential — and a far better occupation for OHA than running a TV station.

----------------

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060902/NEWS23/609020316/1173/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, September 2, 2006

OHA looks at a new KGMB deal

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Members of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trust-ees are again exploring the idea of investing in television station KGMB.

This time, however, members are looking at a partnership with Heftel Communications and businessman Cec Heftel, who formerly owned KGMB.

OHA trustee Dante Carpenter, who chairs the Committee on Asset and Resource Management, said his panel will discuss the possibility with Heftel representatives during a Tuesday meeting.

Carpenter said Heftel approached OHA trustees about a joint project in which OHA would purchase the 40,166 square feet of land under the station while Heftel's company would buy KGMB, which is the local affiliate for the CBS network.

"My understanding is Heftel and a group of folks are getting back into the TV business and are looking to form partnerships and parlaying those partnerships into upgrading the station from its present analog (technology) to digital," Carpenter said.

In early July, the full OHA board rejected a proposal that would have had OHA administrative staff begin studying legal issues involved in OHA buying the station on its own.

Several board members tried to move the proposal through again at a Monday meeting but failed to muster enough votes.

The Heftel partnership would be "sort of a variation on the theme we talked about earlier except that we would be at arm's length so that there would be no hint of a conflict of interest in terms of OHA owning a TV station," Carpenter said.

"We would not really own that. We would probably own the real estate under it and maybe look at having a partnership interest, that kind of thing."

Carpenter said owning the site would give OHA the option of developing the land, which has an assessed value of about $6 million. A private appraisal valued the property at about $10 million.

The parcel is across Kapi'olani Boulevard, from the expansion of Ala Moana Center.

Efforts to reach Heftel for comment were unsuccessful.

Rick Blangiardi, KGMB general manager, said he had heard from a third party this week that Heftel was interested but that he himself has not spoken to either Heftel or OHA officials about the proposal.

Blangiardi said he had not heard from the Blackstone Group, which is handling the sale of the station for owner Emmis Communications Corp.

Heftel sold the station in 1977 shortly after being elected to Congress.

OHA Trustee John Waihe'e IV opposed the previous initiative and said that he hasn't seen anything in the latest proposal that would make him change his mind.

Waihe'e said he wants to see a business plan and other details before he can be convinced to support moving forward.

"It's a good location for something. The question is exactly what are we going to do with it besides lease it out to these guys?"


===============

(8) OHA has invested about $400 Million in the stock market for many years, instead of spending the money to help Hawaiians. OHA has spent millions of dollars in advertisements and lobbying for the Akaka bill, instead of helping Hawaiians. Both OHA and DHHL have been increasing the size of their bureaucracies. Meanwhile tens of thousands of ethnic Hawaiians have been waiting (some for decades) to receive a lease for homestead land. People on the list, hoping for free land, have failed to buy homes or land of their own, thereby missing out on the wealth they could have accumulated in the booming real estate market. Thus, OHA and DHHL have caused great harm to many thousands of people, as well as creating anger in the hearts of people who feel entitled to something which these agencies are failing to deliver because of their focus on nation-building (not to mention political power empire-building).

http://starbulletin.com/2006/07/12/editorial/commentary.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 12, 2006, COMMENTARY

Combined effort needed to honor a forgotten promise to Hawaiians

by John Michael White

STORIES on the plight of native Hawaiians have made news recently. Perhaps the most moving was about a man "on the list" waiting for a Hawaiian Homestead award for 57 years ("Homestead awards end long wait for lucky few," Star-Bulletin, July 9). A homestead was awarded to his daughter two years after the man died. For more than 60 years Hawaiians have been led to believe by government (entities entrusted to their well-being) that by being "on the list" for a homestead, qualified Hawaiians will be awarded an almost zero-cost, land-lease homestead, which they can build a home on, farm or both.

Promise of an almost free homestead unfortunately kept many Hawaiians from purchasing land or a home in the open marketplace -- thinking they would, eventually, be awarded a homestead to which they are entitled. This has put many Hawaiians out of the economic mainstream of owning/increasing real property values. As renters instead of homeowners, they never catch up. Many might not even qualify for affordable housing as a result. More than 20,000 Hawaiians are waiting -- and the list is growing.

TWO GOVERNMENT entities responsible for helping Hawaiians are the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. DHHL grants homestead awards to Hawaiians from 200,000 acres held in trust for Hawaiians since about the 1930s. OHA collects income for use of Hawaiian lands by others, the income to be used to benefit Hawaiians.

The value of OHA/DHHL described assets, cash flow and buying/ banking/bonding power is huge, perhaps $1 billion or more -- yet the primary reason stated why DHHL is unable to deliver more homestead awards sooner is that it does not have the cash funds for infrastructure and utilities to improve and deliver the land in usable parcels to build homes on for Hawaiians! A logical solution would seem to be for DHHL (and its lands) to partner up with OHA (and its money) to create improved parcels to fulfill the promise of homestead awards to Hawaiians.

HOWEVER, some people at OHA and DHHL have adopted other priorities, which obviously include each entity perpetuating its existence independent of the other. They have become large organizations with huge overhead costs. OHA is building a major office complex for itself in Kakaako. DHHL is headquartered in prime downtown office space. Both entities have many employees and seem to be growing by the day. OHA recently proposed to buy a local TV station valued at $40 million, and justified paying for it based on OHA's large annual income as a "good investment."

What about Hawaiians? Shouldn't they be a good investment? Especially those who were promised a homestead and have been waiting (and dying) on-the-list for so many years?

NO DOUBT the good people working for DHHL and OHA are sincere in wanting to do their best for Hawaiians, but shouldn't the primary goal of both be to put everyone who is "on-the-list" actually on the land with a homestead award as soon as possible? Shouldn't these entities work together to this end? Shouldn't they down-size their operations and team-up to reduce their overhead to a minimum -- in order to spend the most on fulfilling the promise to those Hawaiians whom they are entrusted to look after, who are "on the list"?

Or has that promise been forgotten?

John Michael White is president of Hawaii Land Company, a real estate firm with offices in Honolulu and on the Big Island.


=================

(9) OHA tried, but failed, to purchase Moanalua Gardens (O'ahu) from the Damon Estate for $5 Million.

http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060722/NEWS23/607220351/1173/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, July 22, 2006

OHA's offer for gardens rejected

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

An offer by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to purchase Moanalua Gardens has been rejected by its landowner, the Estate of Samuel Mills Damon.

Timothy Johns, the estate's chief operating officer, said the trust rejected OHA's offer this week and is pursuing discussions with another party.

Johns would not disclose the name of the potential purchaser but said the offer was "more favorable in terms of price and conditions."

OHA Trustee Os Stender, one of those who pushed for OHA to make the purchase, said that the potential buyer is one of the beneficiaries of the Damon estate. "He outbid us, we had conditions, and he had no conditions," Stender said.

In May, OHA trustees agreed to pursue purchase of the 26-acre parcel "for the purpose of economic development opportunities and/or to continue to preserve and enhance the cultural and historical aspects of the property."

They had instructed its staff to offer as much as $5 million for the parcel.

OHA trustees are not disappointed by the development, Stender said, noting that the potential buyer may preserve the gardens, which are known for their cultural and historical value as a botanical garden.

"If his intention is to keep it the way it is, that's fine because that's one of our objectives," Stender said.

The potential buyer has 60 days to complete due diligence on the transaction.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o said the estate asked that the agency put together a back-up offer. The board has not yet decided whether to do so, he said.

Moanalua Gardens was once owned by King Kamehameha V and is home to several historically significant buildings. It has an assessed value of $5.5 million.

Separately, the Trust for Public Lands and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has agreed to purchase the back of Moanalua Valley from the estate.


==================

(10) December 18, 2007: Haunani Apoliona, OHA chair, gave the annual "State of OHA" speech on December 17 in which she described OHA's accomplishments AND PLANS TO BUILD A RACIAL SEPARATIST "NATION OF HAWAII" REGARDLESS WHETHER THE AKAKA BILL PASSES OR NOT. Three newspapers reported the speech in various ways: (1) Honolulu Advertiser, (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin, (3) The Garden Island News (Kaua'i). (4) The full text of the speech was published in both the OHA website and in Hawaii Reporter online newspaper.

http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071218/NEWS01/712180334/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hawaiian agency creating government

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer

Look for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to take the next steps toward creating a Native Hawaiian government entity in the coming year, regardless of whether the Akaka bill is passed by Congress this year.

[** Ken Conklin's note: see "Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire (acquiring huge parcels of land, building a headquarters for the "nation", considering purchase of a TV station, etc.)" at

http://tinyurl.com/wv59r ]

"Even as we await passage of the Akaka bill, we are moving forward toward building our nation, continuing with Kau Inoa registration nearing 80,000 and sketching preliminary plans for a nation-building convention in 2008," OHA board Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said in the annual State of OHA address yesterday at St. Andrew's Priory Cathedral.

[** Ken Conklin's note: Fewer 80,000 have signed up with the racial registry out of more than 400,000 eligible (that's less than 20%), even after 4 years and untold millions of dollars spent on massive advertising and community outreach. See
http://tinyurl.com/22ekaa ]

After her speech, Apoliona said OHA will begin to at least plan such a convention this year.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o said after the address that a convention probably can't be held until 2009.

"There will be a lot of logistical issues to be worked out, in terms of having a discussion of how delegates will be elected, what topics will be covered and the ratification process for whatever documents the nation-building convention comes up with," he said.

OHA has been criticized for wanting to play too large of a role in the formation of a new government entity.

Namu'o, however, said it will be up to Native Hawaiians to decide how the process proceeds. "There will be a lot of policy issues that need to be discussed, and those aren't decisions OHA should be making by itself, but really that the Hawaiian community should be making," he said.

Namu'o said the convention may or may not dovetail with the Akaka bill, the effort in Congress that would establish a process by which a Native Hawaiian government entity may be established and eventually recognized by the federal government.

The bill passed out of the House earlier this year but has not yet been scheduled for a vote before the Senate. President Bush has publicly come out against the bill.

"The ultimate goal of the nation-building discussion is creation of some type of governing structure for Native Hawaiians," Namu'o said. "This can be done regardless of what happens with the Akaka bill."

In her speech, Apoliona also touched on the possibility that lawmakers, and then Hawai'i residents, could choose to hold a state constitutional convention in 2010.

Last week, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona threw his support behind a 2010 constitutional convention.

Apoliona yesterday warned that opponents of OHA could use the convention as an attempt to dismantle the agency. OHA was created at the state's last constitutional convention in 1978.

Native Hawaiians must be prepared to participate, she said. Those who oppose Hawaiians-only programs and agencies, of which OHA is one, will continue their efforts and will likely try to use a constitutional convention to advance their agenda, she said.

"We must determine now how we will get involved so the Native Hawaiian voice is heard regarding what happens to our homeland, to our native people, and our natural, public, social and economic resources for the good of all of Hawai'i," Apoliona said.

Apoliona won mainly favorable comments from those attending her address.

Wayne Kaho'onei Panoke, project director for the "No Vote No Grumble" drive to get Native Hawaiians to register and vote in state elections, applauded Apoliona's call to action.

"It's time to move forward and bring everybody to the table collectively," Panoke said.

Former OHA Trustee Moanikeala Akaka, who has often been at odds with establishment Native Hawaiians, said she agrees with Apoliona that Hawaiians need to unite to fight against those who challenge Hawaiian causes.

But Akaka said she also believes Hawaiians should continue to express their differences on other issues. "Not all Chinese people get along together, nor do all Japanese or all haoles are in total agreement with each other," she said. "This is a democracy."

Apoliona said her suggestion that Hawaiians should "stop grumbling" should not be viewed as a call to stop debate among Hawaiians on all issues.

"It doesn't mean stop challenging or questioning," she said. "It's really about focusing our energy and disciplining our effort to set the goals and move towards achievement of those goals. You can't do that when you're scattered in so many directions."

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Some of the accomplishments of the past year listed by Office of Hawaiian Affairs board Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona:

Purchased the Wao Kele o Puna Rainforest on the Big Island and Waimea Valley on O'ahu, both for preservation.

Awarded nearly $4 million to 78 projects that provide services and programs that affect the Hawaiian community and separately funded 14 trustee programs totaling $6 million that help people on all islands.

Launched the Malama Loan Program, a restructured Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund of $29 million that assists Native Hawaiians with their businesses, education and home improvements.

Provided $2.2 million for Native Hawaiian charter schools.

-------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2007/12/18/news/story03.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 18, 2007

OHA leader urges unity in facing future hurdles

A state constitutional convention could be pivotal for Hawaiians

Native Hawaiians must "stop grumbling" and work together to face future challenges, such as organizing a government and fending off legal challenges to entitlements, a key official says.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona outlined the challenges ahead for Hawaiians in her State of OHA address yesterday.

"We must seize the moment and stop grumbling," Apoliona said in her speech at St. Andrew's Cathedral downtown. "What is needed is thoughtful, focused, disciplined, compassionate and humble collective effort."

Apoliona said Hawaiians are on the "threshold of critical decisions," first and foremost being the organization of a governing entity as set forth in the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill.

The U.S. House of Representative advanced the measure this year, and the Senate is expected to consider it in 2008.

Apoliona also noted that a potential constitutional convention in 2010 would be critical for Hawaiians to maintain gains they already have achieved. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said last week he would seek to have voters decide next year whether to hold a "con con" to review the state Constitution.

"We know those who question our right to exist as a unique, aboriginal, indigenous, native people will continue to file lawsuits against OHA and other native Hawaiian entities," Apoliona said.

Achievements

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona noted that the agency's budget has grown to $42 million, and she listed the OHA accomplishments in the past year, including:

» Awarding nearly $4 million to 78 projects that provide services and programs that help the Hawaiian community.

» Launching the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund of $29 million to assist native Hawaiian businesses, education and home improvement.

» Approving $1.5 million to Hawaii Habitat for Humanity for a five-year project to assist Hawaiian families in a homeownership program.

» Providing $500,000 in funding to community health groups to meet the needs of Hawaiians.

----------------------

http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2007/12/18/news/news03.txt
The Garden Island News (Kauai), December 18, 2007

OHA trustee: ‘Time for realism and maturity’

By Rachel Gehrlein - THE GARDEN ISLAND

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees Chairperson Haunani Apoliona delivered the 5th annual “State of OHA” address yesterday morning in Honolulu.

She called upon Native Hawaiians to “seize the moment” as critical decisions could affect the Hawaiian community in the new year.

“Since 2000, Native Hawaiians have faced some of our most difficult legal and political decisions,” Apoliona said. “We have won some court cases while others continue. We know those who question our right to exist as a unique, aboriginal, indigenous, native people will continue to file lawsuits against OHA and other Hawaiian entities. Political risks exist as well.”

Apoliona outlined three premises critical to OHA.

First, “Just the nature of who we are as Native Hawaiians, we can make Hawai‘i and the world a better place,” she said.

Apoliona said malama ‘aina is the core of who Native Hawaiians are and Hawaiian cultural practices align with the global desire to protect the environment.

“What we bring from our culture as Native Hawaiians, as native people, is what the world and what this nation sorely needs,” she said. “Just by the ‘nature of who we are,’ holding close to our cultural values, we can help to make Hawai‘i, the nation and the world a better place.”

Second, “Native Hawaiians are on the threshold of critical decisions,” she said.

“Probably the most critical decision we face is organizing our Native Hawaiian government, our 21st century political system,” Apoliona said.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill, passed through the U.S. House and will soon be heard in the U.S. Senate.

Apoliona points out, as passage of the Akaka Bill is pending, Native Hawaiians are moving forward in building their nation, with Kau Inoa registrations nearing 80,000 and preliminary plans for a nation-building conference in 2008.

The possibility of a state Constitutional Convention in 2010 asks the question of how it will affect Native Hawaiians.

“If a state Constitutional Convention is held, Native Hawaiians must be in the mix,” she said. “We must determine now how we will get involved so the Native Hawaiians’ voice is heard regarding what happens to our homeland, to our native people and our natural, public, social and economic resources for the good of all of Hawai‘i.”

Apoliona says Native Hawaiians can run as delegates and be instrumental in raising issues and providing solutions. The last state Constitution Convention was held in 1978; a session that created OHA.

The third and last premise was Native Hawaiians “must seize the moment and stop grumbling.”

“The political climate and the social and economic demand unfolding before us, light a pathway of opportunity for the Native Hawaiian community,” Apoliona said. “But the experience will only be an opportunity if we are prepared and ready.”

Apoliona urges Native Hawaiians to stay informed and do their homework because they will soon be in the formative stages of re-establishing a Native nation.

Apoliona announced that OHA increased its annual budget to $42 million, with 70 percent of expenditures going directly toward program services.

She said the OHA Board of Trustees completed four rounds of grant approvals along with multi-million dollar appropriations to the community.

Three of the grants have directly impacted Kaua‘i: OHA has awarded $38,500 to Papa Laua‘e o Makana to support cultural learning activities related to the history of Kalihiwai Bay for elementary students and the community; $28,500 to Ho‘omana to support job training development for young adults with special needs; and $36,211 to the Waipa Foundation (on behalf of Kaua‘i Team Challenge) to support a mentoring program for at-risk youth.

“These grants are good for Kaua‘i,” Don Cataluna, the Kaua‘i OHA Trustee, said.

Cataluna said he was glad the Waipa Foundation got a grant because “I like what they are doing.”

“With OHA’s assets, present and future, and what OHA has been able to help catalyze for the Hawaiian community in recent years, the moment is now,” Apoliona said. “We need to seize this opportunity. No one can do it for us. It is time for realism and maturity.”

• Rachel Gehrlein, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or rgehrlein@kauaipubco.com.

--------------------

** Full Text of Haunani Apoliona speech as published on OHA website December 17 and also in Hawaii Reporter on December 19 **

http://oha.org/pdf/071217SOOHA.pdf
Office of Hawaiian Affairs, December 17, 2007

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?f5ac1680-2c9e-479e-9b70-6efc80d5f375
Hawaii Reporter, December 19, 2007

As Native Hawaiians, We Must Seize the Moment and Stop Grumbling
State of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

By Haunani Apoliona

[This State of Office of Hawaiian Affairs speech was presented by Haunani Apoliona, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, on Monday, December 17, 2007, 11:00 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Cathedral]

Introduction

Aloha mai käkou e nä ‘öiwi ‘ölino mai Hawai‘i a Ni‘ihau a puni ke ao mälamalama. Aloha e nä küpuna, nä mäkua, nä ‘öpio, nä keiki a me nä kamaiki e ‘äkoakoa mai nei, ma këia hale pule la‘ahia ‘o St. Andrew’s Cathedral, a maloko i ko käkou mau hale ‘ohana a puni ke ao mälamalama. Aloha e nä kama‘äina a me nä malihini kekahi. Aloha nö käkou a pau loa. Aloha.

(Translation Greetings to our esteemed fellow Native Hawaiians from Hawai‘i to Ni‘ihau and around this brilliant world. Aloha to the elders, adults, youth, children, and toddlers who have assembled here at this sacred church, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, in your family homes, and around this brilliant world. Greetings to longtime residents and newcomers alike. Greetings to us all. Aloha.)

Welcome to the 5th annual gathering relating to the State of OHA and the Hawaiian community. We are very honored to share this time with you here in the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, as well as with those who are joining us throughout our state, the nation and the world.

We are pleased to share our message from this prominent sanctuary and pu‘uhonua in Hawaiian history with ties to King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho ‘Iolani) and Queen Emma in 1862, who commissioned the building and construction of this Cathedral of Saint Andrew (St. Andrew’s Cathedral) nearly 150 years ago.

The Status of OHA

The year 2007 marks OHA’s 27th anniversary since the swearing in of its first board of trustees. These near thirty years have presented crossroads to paths unchartered as well as rough roads, seemingly endless, full of obstacles and challenges. We pause today to reflect on possibilities just three years away from the close of this decade.

The very bedrock of Native Hawaiian self-determination, quasi independence, was shaken by the U.S. Supreme court ruling against OHA declaring the "OHA election of Hawaiians by Hawaiians" as unconstitutional. That happened at the end of 2000. Since that time, emboldened opponents of Native Hawaiians continue to wield the hammer of the Federal Courts to shut us down once and for all; but, so far without success.

Native Hawaiians and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have stood steadfast well into this decade of change and we will continue to stand steadfast "mau a mau." We have reached out to those of common mission and values. We have reached out to those to stand with us on common ground, Native and non-Native, kama'äina and malihini alike have worked together for Native Hawaiians and for Hawai'i during this tumultuous decade of change, and we will continue to do so "mau a mau."

Particularly over the past six years, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, trustees and staff together have diligently and intentionally worked to reach new levels of professionalism with our partners and our community. Trustees and staff together have worked to hone our discipline, our political will and our focus, working from the facts and doing our homework in as objective a manner as possible.

OHA’s experienced administrator Clyde Nämu'o, in his tenure, has nurtured stability and performance by the working hands of an Office that some, in years past , predicted was on the brink of "implosion."

Since 2000, Native Hawaiians have faced some of our most difficult legal and political challenges. We have won some court cases while other cases continue. We know those who question our right to exist as a unique, aboriginal, indigenous, native people will continue to file lawsuits against OHA and other Hawaiian entities. Political risks still exist as well.

With that as our context, I would like to highlight a few of OHA’s challenges and accomplishments this past year, then focus on where we could direct our energies as Native Hawaiian people.

I would like to share three (3) premises , 'ekolu mana'o ha'i, 'ekolu mana'o nui, with you today.

I. Mana'o nui 'ekahi.

The first premise is that: Just by the nature of who we are as Native Hawaiians, we can make Hawaii and the world a better place. What do I mean by "the nature of who we are"?

Throughout the world there is great concern about survival of the planet, global warming, the environment, and our quality of life. Native Hawaiians, just by virtue of stepping forward, can help with those concerns. Our island lifestyle and respect for limited natural resources has been the legacy of our ancestors, generation to generation. We are experts in caring for the environment.

Mälama äina goes to the core of who we are as a people. Our cultural practices and our values are all about caring for the 'äina, loving our motherland, not just to use, but to conserve and replenish. These traditions and values coincide with the global desire to protect the environment to secure and sustain a certain quality of life for future generations.

At OHA, opportunity has emerged for us to play a direct role in caring for Hawai'i’s natural resources by holding title to key properties in the Hawaiian culture spectrum, to mälama 'äina, Wao Kele O Puna on Hawai'i island and Waimea Valley on O'ahu.

Concurrently, we have joined the County of Maui, community advocate groups and Hawaiian beneficiaries in a contested water case being heard before a hearings office of the State Water Commission for eventual review by the State Water Commission, a case that may not be resolved until well into 2008 and likely will be challenged in State Circuit Court and the Hawai'i Supreme Court.

This is an economic and political milestone, a historic moment for determining who controls the public trust asset we know as water: is it a public entity or a private corporation?

Indeed as an island native and non-native community, we are on the cusp of significant resource management and stewardship questions and policy implications.

Native Hawaiians by virtue of the traditions and values of our ancestors are in a position to demonstrate how caring for the environment is done. If there is the will and discipline, we are also in a position to lead on these issues for the good of Native Hawaiians and Hawai'i.

There exists a global yearning for better relationships, spirituality, and the essence of inner mana. This is a basic need of human beings yet it is difficult to find on a broad level in any nation or culture.

Our ancestors were experts in relationships with the universe. They knew how to balance man, nature, and god. They understood that harmony and balance meant survival and well-being. True to our nature, Native Hawaiians strive to live with deep regard and reverence to this concept, lökahi, through which we seek to keep these major life forces in balance.

What we bring from our culture as Native Hawaiians, as native people, is what the world and what this nation sorely need. As Native Hawaiians, we hold this gift. Just by "the nature of who we are," holding close to our cultural values, we can help to make Hawai'i, the nation and the world a better place.

II. Mana'o nui 'elua

The second premise I would like to leave you with today is that: We Native Hawaiians are on the threshold of critical decisions. What kind of decisions am I speaking of?

A. Probably the most critical decision we face, is organizing our Native Hawaiian government, our 21st century political system. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (Akaka Bill) passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives in October of this year and will be heard in the U.S. Senate.

Allies and supporters, Native people and non-Native people who support justice and fairness, are working diligently to inform and enlighten Republican Senators to support the bill and urge President Bush to sign it.

But even as we await passage of the Akaka Bill, we are moving forward toward building our nation, continuing with Kau Inoa registrations nearing 80,000 and sketching preliminary plans for a nation-building convention in 2008.

Our formal Native nation, will enhance the opportunity to manage our assets and make decisions as a group, using this self-determined process to include Native Hawaiians, wherever they may reside.

B. Another threshold for decision is the looming possibility of a State Constitutional Convention in 2010. Certain sectors in the community are promoting the issue and fanning the fire for a State convention. How might a State Constitutional Convention affect Native Hawaiians? Will it be helpful or not?

If a State Constitutional Convention is held, Native Hawaiians must be in the mix. We must determine now, how we will get involved so the Native Hawaiian voice is heard regarding what happens to our homeland, to our native people and our natural, public, social and economic resources for the good of all of Hawai'i.

We can run as state con con delegates. We can support Native Hawaiians who will run as state con con delegates. We can be instrumental in raising issues and providing solutions that don’t scare others away. We can help to garner support for issues by organizing our communities and even organizing our families. And, we must vote.

The 1978 State Constitutional Convention produced some great advancements for Native Hawaiians, such as, 'ölelo Hawai'i as the official second language of the State of Hawai'i; the constitutional mandate for upholding traditional and customary native gathering practices; the constitutional mandate instituting Hawaiian studies in public education; and the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

A 2010 State Con Con, if there is one, could build upon that beginning, OR, it could reverse progress and eliminate these past Constitutional advancements.

I believe the group that continues to sue and litigate against Native Hawaiians in the Federal Court will be mounting a strategy to accomplish elimination of these constitutional mandates that I mentioned.

C. Another threshold for critical decision-making is one that will make or break the ultimate survival of our Native nation, and the success or failure of our self-determination efforts ---- What will be the fibers that run through our decision-making as we form a nation? What aspects of our history and culture will we draw upon to make decisions to benefit all of Hawai’i nei?

Will we bring the best from our past into the future? Will we have the courage and the will to guide our decisions for nation, policy and motherland, that elevate our cultural values, our spiritual values, balance of god, man, and nature --- lökahi--- and weave them throughout---for the well-being of Native Hawaiians and for the well-being of Hawai'i and all who live here.

III. Mana'o nui 'ekolu

The third and final premise I would like to leave you with today is that: We must seize the moment and stop grumbling.

'A'apo mai i ka 'ike, 'a'apo mai i ka maopopo pono, 'a'apo mai i ka lei o ka lanakila. Mai namunamu, he mea ho'opaumanawa këlä. E kükulu a'e käkou no ke ea o ka 'äina me ke aloha a me ke aho nui.

The political climate and the social and economic demands unfolding before us, light a pathway of opportunity for the Native Hawaiian community. But the experience will only be an opportunity if we are prepared and ready.

We must reflect seriously and commit in a measured timeframe to do all that we, individually and collectively, can do to stay informed.

We must do our homework because before too long, we will be in the formative stages of re-establishing a Native nation of our choosing. We will need spiritually mature, culturally grounded, reasonable and results-oriented Native Hawaiian thinkers and leaders --- driven by service --- not self-service --- for the Hawaiian community; and, we will need wise and compassionate leaders in the greater community at large.

Certain sectors of our community have done a phenomenal job of displaying leadership and pushing for achievement against all odds.

One example is in Hawaiian education.

On their own, without a nation, and with minimal funding, the Native Hawaiian education community has established

• Hawaiian language pre-schools;
• Hawaiian language immersion schools for K-12;
• Audio and video libraries of küpuna who are native speakers;
• Hawaiian language radio programs and newspaper columns;
• A Hawaiian language lexicon committee;
• A Center for Hawaiian Studies within the University of Hawai'i;
• B.A., Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in Hawaiian language and culture;
• Its own indigenous college at UH Hilo;
• After-school science and culture-based programs;
• Hawaiian teacher training programs;
• Hawaiian language websites;
• Culturally-appropriate college preparatory programs, LSAT preparation programs, alternative high school programs;
• And Hawaiian culture-based charter schools; that are all exhibiting a track record of success.

The opportunities are there as evidenced by those in Native Hawaiian education. If we want to be leaders in Hawai’i, we must broaden that span of social and economic influence by increasing participants and initiatives.

As Native Hawaiians we hold an important key to Hawai'i’s future. We must recognize it, believe it, handle it with respect and exercise humility while working in a unified effort.

The key is a gift at the core of what we value as a people embodied in our kuleana that has been passed to us from generations before us.

This gift will not flourish by force or demand, but rather will grow and mature by living and being the nature of who we are.

We can call on these values and traditions for balance and well-being, not only for Native Hawaiians but for all. But we must lead, on an individual basis, then on a collective basis, until it affects all of Hawaii, the emerging critical mass driven by this certain spirit of our ancestors and culture.

We can begin by having respectful interaction and exchange, instead of standing on the outside and saying, "How come?" Or, "Who said"? We must take responsibility for ourselves. We gotta "get a grip" and "leave a legacy," as Auntie Mälia Craver would say.

What is needed is thoughtful, focused, disciplined, compassionate and humble collective effort. Our success means the rest of Hawai'i benefits. If Hawaiians are doing better, there is a positive impact on everyone. Life will be better for all of us.

It is with that intent OHA has supported through grants and other actions the numerous outcomes listed in the 8-page supplement of 2007 OHA actions attached to this message.

We proudly announce that OHA increased its annual budget to $42 million, with 70% of expenditures going directly to program services. In 2007, the OHA Board of Trustees completed four rounds of grant approvals along with board initiatives to include the multi-million dollar appropriations to support community empowerment.

The following are but a few of the hundreds of outcomes cited in the written supplement provided to you with these remarks. OHA:

• Awarded nearly $4 million to 78 projects providing services and programs that impact the Hawaiian community and funded 14 Trustee initiatives totaling more than $6 million for projects addressing needs on all islands.

• Launched the Mälama Loan Program in a restructured Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund of $29 million to assist Native Hawaiian businesses, education, and home improvements.

• Provided grants of $100,000 each to Family Promise of Hawaii, Institute for Human Services, Catholic Social Services, and ALU LIKE’s Ho'äla Hou division to address outreach to homeless families, emergency homeless shelter, Homeless Transitional Project, and incarcerated Hawaiian youth and adult services.

• Provided $500,000 in funding to several community health groups to meet health needs in the Hawaiian community.

• Approved $1.5 million to Hawai'i Habitat for Humanity for a 5- year project to assist Hawaiian families statewide in a first-time homeownership program with up to $20,000 in matching funds for each home loan.

• Awarded over $300,000 in scholarships and program assistance to pre-schoolers attending Wai’anae Coast Early Childhood Center and the Tütü and Me program on Moloka’i.

• Provided the final third year of funding for Native Hawaiian Charter Schools in the amount of $2.2 million (a total of $6.6 million).

• Provided $903,000 in scholarships to Native Hawaiians pursuing a college degree; and granted $500,000 to College Connections Hawai’i for 500 students in their Native Hawaiian Scholars program.

• Awarded a two-year $500,000 grant for rehabilitiation and renovation of Kalaniana'ole Hall, on Moloka'i homestead land in Kalama’ula.

• Awarded a two-year $750,000 grant to support Ho'okuläiwi: 'Aha Ho'ona'auao 'Öiwi Center for Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education, based at UH Mänoa and leeward O'ahu, Nänäkuli.

• Awarded $500,000 to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to support the Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP). With OHA’s assets, present and future, and what OHA has been able to help catalyze for the Hawaiian community in recent years, the moment is now .

We need to seize this opportunity. No one can do it for us. We need to do it ourselves. Pau grumble. It is time for realism and maturity. It is a matter of stewardship and kuleana, to seize this moment and not squander it, for it will not come again.

Closing

As I close let me say, these mana'o nui leave many things to think about it. But we can no longer just think about them. We must commit and we must act.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Administrator Nämu'o and all our OHA staff from Hawai'i to Washington D.C., we say mahalo, thank you for working with us throughout the year and for having faith that those of us who are lucky enough to work at OHA in service to our community and Hawai'i will continue our diligence and commitment to our mission, our responsibility, our kuleana, to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians.

From the third verse of Hawai'i Pono'ï........Let us bear the message for our song not yet complete.

"Hawai'i pono'ï, e ka Lähui ë, 'o kau hana nui, e ui ë." Those true to Hawai'i, the Hawaiian people, your great duty is to prevail.

Mahalo and aloha.


=================

(11) December 25, 2007: OHA purchases a poi mill and a lease on taro land in Makaweli Kaua'i, making this the second income-producing parcel in OHA's non-profit subsidiary Hi'ilei Aloha, which also owns and operates Waimea Valley on O'ahu.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071225/BUSINESS/712250327/1071
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, December 25, 2007

OHA purchases Kauai poi mill, assumes leased acreage for taro

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs is acquiring a Kaua'i poi mill for $185,000.

OHA's Board of Trustees last week approved the purchase of Makaweli Poi Mill in Waimea from Kaua'i resident John Aana.

"OHA looks forward to supporting a thriving poi business that will serve both commerce in West Kaua'i and poi consumers statewide," said OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o.

In the deal, OHA also will assume the leases on 12 acres of land near the Makaweli River that the company uses to grow taro.

OHA said it will also support the establishment of a Waimea cooperative with other nearby taro farmers that will increase the mill's output.

Demand for poi has risen in recent years while production levels have declined due to bad weather and invasive pests. OHA said the mill's taro fields, or lo'i, will have a secondary function as an "outdoor classroom" for raising cultural awareness of the value of taro in Hawaiian life.

OHA said the poi mill will operate as a subsidiary of OHA's nonprofit arm, Hi'ilei Aloha. OHA said it will use its nonprofit status to secure grant funding from state and federal agencies.

OHA, led by Kaua'i trustee Donald Cataluna, has worked on the purchase of Makaweli Poi Mill since 2006.

The acquisition is the second subsidiary operated by OHA's Hi'ilei Aloha arm. A separate unit of Hi'ilei Aloha joined several partners to purchase Waimea Valley in 2006.

--------------------------

http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2007/12/26/news/news06.txt
The Garden Island News (Kaua'i), December 26, 2007

OHA acquires poi mill

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Board of Trustees has approved the acquisition of Makaweli Poi Mill in Waimea. The mill is the latest nonprofit subsidiary on OHA’s limited liability company known as Hi‘ilei Aloha. The new company will be called Makaweli Poi LLC.

In an agreement with current owner John Aana, OHA will pay $185,000 for business assets and will manage daily operations.

The acquisition of the poi mill by OHA is intended to preserve the cultural aspects of poi-making and promote economic opportunities for taro farming and high quality poi production.

“Poi is not only a dietary staple for Native Hawaiians,” OHA Administrator Clyde Namu‘o said. “Cultivation of taro nurtures the mind, spirit and body of all people throughout Polynesia. OHA looks forward to supporting a thriving poi business that will serve both commerce in West Kaua‘i and poi consumers statewide.”

OHA has worked since 2006, led by Kaua‘i Trustee Don Cataluna, on the purchase of the Makaweli Poi Mill. Makaweli Poi LLC is the second subsidiary of the Hi‘ilei Aloha LLC, the first subsidiary being Hi‘ipaka LLC, which will operate Waimea Valley. OHA formed Hi‘ilei Aloha in Sept. 2007 and purchased Waimea Valley with other partners in 2006.

Plans for the poi mill include expanding the size of the taro fields from 12 acres to 25-30 acres. Makaweli Poi LLC will support the establishment of a Waimea taro farmers’ cooperative with a purpose to expand taro production.

The taro fields will be used as “an outdoor classroom” to raise cultural awareness of the value of taro in Hawaiian life.

Makaweli Poi LLC will utilize its nonprofit status to secure grant funds from state and federal agencies.

As demand for poi has risen in recent years, production is down, leading to periodic shortages of community-sold poi. This problem is blamed on bad weather and the apple snail, an invasive pest known to have hurt local farmers in poi harvest, according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture. Another factor is expanded development leading to less land space.


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