Hawaii lawmakers seek exemption from Jones Act

Members of both houses of the Hawaii Legislature have filed resolutions seeking a Hawaii exemption from the "domestic build requirement" within the Jones Act.

Will Caron
The Backchannel: Ching, DLNR, and is the GET progressive?

Featuring Bart Dame, Marti Townsend and Ikaika Hussey

Pro-GMO farmer to lead anti-GMO district

Lynn DeCroite, a Molokai farmer with ties to Monsanto, was sworn-in today to the state House to represent District 13, which voted in favor of the Maui GMO moratorium.

Will Caron
State Senate schedules controversial confirmation hearing for DLNR

The Hawaii Senate has scheduled a confirmation hearing for controversial developer-lobbyist Carleton Ching, who was nominated by Governor Ige to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Will Caron
Rep. Carroll passes away

State House Representative Diana “Mele” Carroll passed at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with her family at her side. At this time services are pending and will be announced at a later date.

“It is a very sad day for the House,” said state House Speaker Joseph Souki. “Mele brought to the Legislature a vigorous desire to serve and deep love for Maui, Molokai and Lanai and Hawaii in general. She will be greatly missed by everyone here at the Capitol. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”

Representative Carroll was re-elected on November 4, 2014 to begin her sixth term, representing the 13th House district, which includes East Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini, but stepped down on Feb. 1 after complications from her previous cancer treatment arose.

In 2005, Carroll received a phone call from then-Governor Linda Lingle asking her to represent the 13th District in the state House of Representatives. At the time she was working as the chief legislative liaison for Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, responsible for representing the County of Maui at the Legislature by providing oral and written testimony, researching and drafting bills, as well as providing community updates through public forums and meetings.

As Arakawa’s chief legislative liaison, Carroll wrote a federal grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for $2 million that contributed to the purchase of Muolea Point (73 acres) in Hana. She then worked with the community to develop a management plan to preserve Muolea Point, which was formerly King David Kalakaua’s summer home for the Alii.

Carroll also served as chief of staff to state Senator J. Kalani English for two years, in addition to serving four years as his chief of staff at the Maui County Council. She also served on the state’s Cable Television Advisory Committee and the Na Ala Hele Trails Council.

At the House, Rep. Carroll was instrumental in helping to secure funding for the new emergency medical helicopter service for Maui County, working with a bi-partisan coalition of community leaders. Rep. Carroll served as the chair of the House Committee on Human Service (HUS) and as a member for the Committees on Health (HLT) and Housing (HSG). In her tenure as a state House Representative she has also been the chair of the Legislative Hawaiian Caucus, and a member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, the Keiki Caucus, the Kupuna Caucus and the Historical Preservation Caucus.

Rep. Carroll’s community service includes serving on the following boards of non-profit organizations: past president of the Waikikena Foundation; past president of the Maui AIDS Foundation; past vice president for the Friends of Maui County Health Organization; past board director of the `Aha Ali`i Kapuaiwa O Kamehameha V Royal Order of Kamehameha II; past board director for the Maui Adult Day Care Center; member of the Aloha Festivals Maui Steering Committee; past board director of the Na Po’e Kokua; and Paia Youth & Cultural Center.  She also served as the head coach of the Lahainaluna High School’s Girls Varsity Basketball team.

The former representative stated many times that serving the people of Hawaii and the 13th District was a “tremendous honor” that she would never forget, and spoke of her position and the people she serve with great admiration. The love that she showed everyone epitomized the Aloha Spirit.

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Hawaii internment camp to become National Historic Monument

Photo: The Honouliuli Camp, ca. 1944, as photographed by R.H. “Harry” Lodge

President Obama has announced that he intends to designate the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Historic Monument. This designation will put Honouliuli under the management of the National Park Service (NPS) and help preserve the history of the site where hundreds of Japanese-Americans were wrongly interned during World War II.

“Honouliuli represents a dark period in our history when thousands of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii and across the country were forced into internment camps during World War II,” said Senator Schatz about the announcement. “This historic site will memorialize the strength and bravery of the many Japanese-Americans who faced discrimination and serve as a reminder to ourselves and future generations that we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. Our deep gratitude goes to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, the Japanese American Citizens League and others who worked tirelessly for this achievement. It is meaningful and right that Honouliuli has finally received the historic recognition it deserves.”

Last December, Carole Hayashino, the President and Executive Director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, and Jacce Mikulanec, President of the Honolulu Japanese American Citizens League, presented Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell with petitions from more than 6,000 Americans requesting the historic designation of Honouliuli.

In 1943, the Honouliuli Internment Camp was constructed on Oahu to intern citizens, resident aliens, and prisoners of war. The camp held approximately 320 internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. Honouliuli was the largest and longest-used World War II internment camp in Hawaii.

Demand for office and technical professionals spikes across Hawaii

Hawaii's largest human resources organization says demand for office and technical workers has picked up significantly on all islands.

ALTRES Office/Professional and ALTRES Technical, divisions of ALTRES Staffing, Hawaii’s largest human resources organization, announced today a significant spike in demand for office and technical professionals across all islands. While the state continues to experience unemployment rates at record lows, Hawaii’s available workforce is thinning out. ALTRES is looking to fill nearly 140 positions on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

“Gone are the days of the overabundance of candidates we experienced during the 2008 to 2010 recession,” said Manager Emy Yamauchi-Wong, CSP of ALTRES Staffing. “It is a great time for those who already have a job and may not be actively looking to explore and see what else is out there. If you’re feeling stifled at your current job or seeking change, now is the time to do it.”

According to the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2014 was 4.0 percent, compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.6 percent.

For a full list of available positions, visit www.ALTRES.com.

GSO highlights bills to fix UH Manoa

The Graduate Student Organization at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has released its list of priority bills for this legislative session for students to testify on.

Will Caron
State bills would help rectify injustices caused by Honolulu’s “nuisance” laws

A brief rundown on three bills that would alleviate some of the unnecessary hardship inflicted upon our houseless citizens by city ordinances that target them unjustly.

Will Caron