What does the DLNR do?

Here's what the Department of Land and Natural Resources does, and why it matters

UH regents approve divestment task force

All 15 regents voted to approve the task force; actual divestment still requires several more steps.

350 Hawaii
Castle & Cooke lobbyist nominated for DLNR head

Carleton Ching, the government relations director for Koa Ridge developer Castle & Cooke, is being tapped by Governor David Ige for the chairmanship of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

From the official announcement:

HONOLULU – Governor David Ige today announced the nominations of Carleton Ching to serve as Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and Kekoa Kaluhiwa to the position of First Deputy.

Ching has devoted much of his career to creating communities for Hawaiʻi’s residents. Early on he spent a decade with the Hawaiʻi Housing Authority where he specialized in building affordable homes. From his time at the Authority he is best known for his role in facilitating a resolution to the contentious conflict between the Waiāhole-Waikane Community Association and the state. Following this he worked for Westloch, Inc., Castle & Cooke Kunia, Molokai Ranch and SSFM International. Currently he is the Vice President, Community and Government Relations, for Castle & Cooke Hawaii. In this role, he supports the organization’s real estate, agricultural and renewable energy initiatives. He is an active volunteer with a number of business, housing, health and education non-profit organizations.

“Stewardship of Hawaiʻi’s unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources,” said Governor David Ige. “No one understands better the complex issues this Department handles and how to balance the needs of our environment and our residents.”

Ching graduated from Kaimuki High School and earned a Business Administration Degree at Boise State University where he was an imposing left tackle for the Broncos.

“It’s humbling to be asked to protect Hawaiʻi’s natural, cultural and historic resources,” said Ching. “I am committed to upholding the mission and purpose of the DLNR. My inspiration comes from my keiki and my moʻopuna. I want to leave Hawaiʻi a better place for them and for future generations.”

Ige’s pick for second-in-command of DLNR is Kekoa Kaluhiwa, who has worked previously for Senator Dan Akaka and First Wind, a renewable energy company.

Ikaika M Hussey
Return of the Shield Law?

A new shield law bill introduced by House majority leader Scott Saiki is working its way through the legislative process this session.

Hawaii journalists could once again be protected by a shield law should HB17 make it through the Legislature to Governor Ige’s desk. The bill was introduced by House majority leader Scott Saiki and passed first reading yesterday.

The bill seeks to codify news media privilege against the compelled disclosure of sources and unpublished information to a legislative, executive, or judicial officer or body, or to any other person who may compel testimony. Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008, temporarily established a limited version of this privilege but was allowed to sunset in 2013 after a vigorous anti-shield law campaign was waged by former state senator Clayton Hee, who chaired the powerful Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee.

Hee was concerned with online media which he believed to be unreliable in the accuracy of its reporting. Despite testimony from numerous experts in the fields of journalism and law urging that the sunset provision be struck from the law, and no evidence supporting Hee’s claim that journalists working for online publications are less accurate than those working in print, radio and television, he was determined to eliminate the protection which, ironically, actually encourages accurate reporting by keeping journalists from landing in jail over telling the truth.

There is currently no federal shield law and Congress doesn’t seem likely to enact one any time in the next four years. As of 2013, 30 states had a specific shield law for journalists, though the protections vary from law to law. Some protections apply to civil but not to criminal proceedings. Other laws protect journalists from revealing confidential sources, but not other information. Many other states, including Hawaii, have established court precedents which provide protection to journalists, usually based on constitutional arguments. As of 2011, only Wyoming lacked both legislation and judicial precedent to protect reporter’s privilege.

Click here for the bill’s status and to submit testimony.

Will Caron
Opening Day provides sampling of Hawaii’s important issues

The activists and members of the public gathered in the rotunda for the opening day of the 2015 legislative session reflected a sampling of the issues and problems most important to those engaged in Hawaii's future.

Will Caron
A case for army downsizing in Hawaii

Why the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and our Congressional delegates have it wrong.

Bart Dame
Cultural practitioners, environmentalists deliver Mauna Kea demands to Governor

No further build-up on Mauna Kea, refusal to accept new UH lease top the list.

Rep. Carroll resigns over health

State Representative Mele Carroll delivered her letters of resignation to Governor Ige and Speaker Souki today. Ige has 60 days to name a replacement.

Disproportionate victims: the māhū prostitute

Discrimination forces many transgender women into prostitution to survive. But once in the sex trade, they are disproportionately effected by both violence and criminalization.

Marina Riker