What really happened at the Aha, part I

A look at what went on behind the closed gates of the Royal Hawaiian Golf Course last month.

Ka'iulani Milham
I am a colonial settler

On the awareness and responsibilities required of settling in Hawaiʻi.

Tyler Greenhill
Video: Hawaiian activists arrested outside Nai Aupuni Aha

A video posted to Facebook by user Kaukaohu Wahilani shows several Hawaiian activists, including Kaleikoa Kaʻeo and Kahoʻokahi Kanuha allowing themselves to be arrested by Honolulu police officers in protest of the Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha on Monday, Feb. 22. The small group of activists gathered outside the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club grounds where the ʻaha is taking place and attempted to gain access to the proceedings. They were denied access but refused to leave, and [Updated] seven were arrested for trespassing.

In the 4 minute clip, Kaʻeo and others explain to the officers that they cannot leave because they genuinely believe the results of the ʻaha will hurt the Hawaiian people. Both the activists and the police remain calm and respectful throughout the clip.

Aloha Aina oia io!!!

Posted by Kaukaohu Wahilani on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Yesterday morning, before the arrests, Kaʻeo, Kanuha and 18 other Hawaiian activists released a signed statement  condemning the process, which they believe, “...violates the most basic principles of self-determination, upholds the status quo, and must be rejected.”

Hawaiian leaders condemn Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha

Hawaiian community leaders are protesting the Naʻi Aupuni ʻAha today, and have issued a signed declaration rejecting the process and calling on other Hawaiians to do the same.

Out to dry

High time to address river diversions in Waimea canyon

Dan Ahuna
A modest disposal

To the Good Politicians, Business People, and Upright Citizens of Honolulu:

The problem as you have perceived about the homeless is their homelessness and what else can be more obvious and on point about this truism. It is a tautology that rings with genius. The more we say it the more we know we are virtuous and righteous.

It is as right as business owners shouting to their employees that they’re obviously not working hard enough or earn too much in wages and that’s the reason for the business failing. How could there be any other answer?
Let us not complicate the issue with indelicacies that would make our coffee conversation and camaraderie uncomfortable at the club. The issue of a minimum wage worker who works for 30 years without a retirement fund is really not realistically our business, is it? Can we help it if we like eating cheap Mexican food but hate undocumented immigrants? Then there is that thorny issue of statehood ceded lands in Hawaii, a portion of which should go to benefit native Hawaiians, and the Hawaiian Homes lands and the long waiting list. But really, is that our problem, when native Hawaiians are homeless in Hawaii?
And then there are the Micronesians who have come to Hawaii at the invitation of the U.S. government, after we have bombed their atolls and occupied their lands as way stations for our commercial shipping and military? Is it our fault that the federal government has not lived up to its obligation of promising to take care of them? Can we help it if we benefit from federal military spending in Hawaii but don’t like the fallout that comes with it?
Let’s move forward with the gentrification of Honolulu and $600,000 a unit condominiums as if we can all afford them and will earn real estate commissions off them in some Valhala way. Let us close our eyes in prayer to erase the image of who once lived on the foot print and parking lot of these hallowed condos. Let us pray even harder to forget that much of the agricultural land lacks clear title because somewhere, somehow, sometimes the land was really owned by Hawaiians who died of western diseases more than a century ago or abandoned their land after the overthrow of the monarchy when water was diverted for sugarcane and pineapple.
History is an inconvenience the rich and politically righteous can ill afford in fighting homelessness by attacking the homeless.
Let us dispose of history forthwith and ride the wave with those with a flair for the obvious. Let us continue to move the homeless to different parts of the Oahu until we can find the place with the fewest objections and least political power, like the way we build our freeways and prisons. Do not ask what is it. Let us go and pay a visit.

—J. Slow

J. Slow
Accountant’s analysis of rail data shows “pattern of errors and inconsistencies”

Errors include the mixing of accrual basis and cash basis numbers; double counting $298 million in revenue; three different amounts for expenditures; flaws in projected ridership numbers; and a $140 million adding error, among others.

What Natalie Thinks Natalie Iwasa
Governor Ige’s second state of the state

The governor lays out his intentions for this year: preserving ag land on Maui, revisiting the TMT project, moving the Oahu Correctional Facility to Halawa, houselessness and investing in technology among priorities.

Familiar messages, hopes at legislative opening day

“People Over Profits” message unites broad progressive coalition; hundreds converge on Hawai‘i’s Capitol

Photo: Kai Markell

Honolulu, HI (Wednesday January 20, 2016)—The People Over Profits Rally 2016 demonstrated the importance of valuing people and the planet over the interests of large corporations exploiting workers and the environment for private profit. It’s a familiar message.

Hundreds of people from all walks of life joined in a rally of more than 30 diverse organizations pushing for more progressive policies in Hawai‘i, including better protection of the environment, more limitations on the use of pesticides, housing for the homeless, a higher minimum wage, and respect for the rights of Native Hawaiians.

“The common theme from all the groups present at the Capitol today was: people first,” said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i.  “The people of Hawai‘i have a right to a clean environment, safe working conditions, and basic housing. Corporations do not have a right to profit at our expense.”

“The four international speakers for food justice highlighted for us just how connected we are across vast oceans,” said Gary Hooser, Executive Director for the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA). “We are all working towards the controls on industrial agriculture, the same protections for our air and water, the same bright future for our children.”

The event featured speakers from Mexico, Nigeria, Malaysia and Switzerland, performances by students from various charter schools, live music by Liko Martin and Laulani Teale, Jammerek, Hanohano Naehu and Paul Izak, as well as speakers from the roughly 30 different organizations concerned with the environment, Native Hawaiian rights, housing, prison reform, reproductive rights, workers’ rights, pesticide controls, wildlife protections and local control over electrical utilities.

The rally followed “Ku‘i at the Capitol,” a separate event hosted by Hui Aloha Aina Momona that supported more than 700 people in the unique experience of pounding taro into poi using a traditional pohaku (stone) and papaku‘i‘ai (poi board). Read about the importance of this event in Summit issue 1.1.