Noted Filipino scholar to discuss Marcos Diaries at East-West Center

Historian Ambeth Ocampo will present an assessment of personal diaries left behind by Ferdinand Marcos and his family when they fled the Philippines

Noted Filipino historian Prof. Ambeth Ocampo of Ateneo de Manila University will discuss the handwritten diaries of Ferdinand Marcos and his family in a free public seminar on Friday, Sept. 1, at the East-West Center. The diaries were left behind by Marcos and his family when they fled the presidential palace amid the “People Power” uprising in 1986.

Prof. Ocampo’s talk on “Interrogating Presidential Papers: The Ferdinand Marcos Diaries” will be from noon–1 p.m. in the East-West Center’s John A. Burns Hall, Rm. 4111 (1601 East-West Rd). The program is free of charge and open to the public, with limited seating available.

To RSVP or for more information, contact (808) 944-7111, or EWCInfo@EastWestCenter.org. Paid parking is available in marked visitor parking on the UH campus.

When they fled the presidential palace in February 1986, Ferdinand Marcos and his family left behind handwritten diaries spanning the years 1969-1984. Since then, they have been in the custody of the Presidential Commission on Good Government. Prof. Ocampo is preparing the diaries for publication, collating from different manuscript sources, and annotating from newspapers and the Official Gazette. He will present an assessment of Marcos’ own view of events during the years chronicled by the diaries.

Ambeth Ocampo is a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. He is the Philippines’ top scholar on national hero José Rizal, about whom he has written several books. He writes a column on Philippine history for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Co-sponsored by: the Filipino Association of University Women, Knights of Rizal, UH Manoa School of Pacific and Asian Studies, UH Manoa Center for Philippine Studies and Philippine Airlines.

Unveiling the Kalihi 21st Century Transformation Initiative

Plan includes a possible redevelopment of the land parcel on which the current OCCC facility is built.

The state Office of Planning and the Kalihi 21st Century Transformation Initiative’s Vison Committee today presented Governor David Ige with a Final Vision report outlining the initiative’s top priorities, including economic development and housing to support Kalihi’s current and future generations.

In his 2016 State of the State address, the governor committed to working with the community to revitalize Kalihi. He asked the Office of Planning to bring together community members to develop a vision for 21st century Kalihi, focusing on state owned land in the Dillingham/Iwilei corridor.

The committee consisted of members from both public and private sectors. Community members also had opportunities to provide their input at three public informational meetings at Farrington High School. Together, they established a list of redevelopment priorities:

• Economic development
• Affordable housing
• Ensuring the safety, health and well-being of current and future Kalihi residents
• Open spaces, infrastructure
• Preservation of pride and culture
• Kalihi as an iconic area of Honolulu

“I appreciate the hard work of the Vision Committee, the community and the Office of Planning,” said the governor today in a press release. “They worked collaboratively to discuss a wide range of potential opportunities for Kalihi, as we work to transform the community to its fullest potential.”

“Being part of the planning process was empowering, but it also shows that Governor Ige cares what we think and want and need. He promised that he would work with us to create a vision for Kalihi and he delivered,” said longtime Kalihi resident April Bautista.

The state is considering redevelopment of the 16-acre site of the existing O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC), a key parcel that could provide many opportunities for the Kalihi community. The Department of Public Safety is currently going through an Environmental Impact Statement process, reviewing potential sites to relocate the facility. The state is also considering keeping OCCC on site, but in a reconfigured footprint.

21st Century Kalihi Vision Report

Micronesian community assistance program to receive $250K

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) will award $250,000 to the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) group to aid in its support of the We Are Oceania Hālau Ola One Stop Center in Honolulu to carry out its mission of addressing the needs of the Micronesian community in Hawai‘i.

“Micronesians, as well as all Freely Associated States (FAS) citizens, face a unique set of challenges when adjusting to life in Hawai‘i,” said Senator Brian Schatz, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will support one stop centers and groups like We Are Oceania as they provide resources and guidance to help these communities succeed.”

We Are Oceania seeks to provide a centralized a support system to help Micronesian communities, families and individuals in Hawai‘i deal with issues including homelessness, urgent medical needs, student truancy and lack of job readiness. The Compacts of Free Association allows for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau to live and work in the United States as legal non-immigrants.

According to the 2013 Compact impact enumeration conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Census, there are 17,170 FAS migrants living in Hawai‘i making up roughly .01 percent of the current population.

Manoa Heritage Center receives $90K for Hawaiian language revitalization

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Indian Affairs Committees, announced that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will award $90,000 to the Manoa Heritage Center in Honolulu through a new Native American language revitalization initiative. The funding, which will be matched dollar for dollar through a partnership with the First Nations Development Institute, will “support programs and initiatives that aim to preserve and revitalize Hawaiian language, history and culture.”

“Language is fundamental to the identity of Native Hawaiians,” said Senator Schatz. “This new funding will give us more resources to preserve the language and all aspects of the Native Hawaiian culture that help make our state so unique.”

According to its website, the Manoa Heritage Center is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. This grant is part of NEH’s Creating Humanities Communities Grant Program which supports grassroots humanities programs by encouraging partnerships and collaborations between local entities.

In 2015, Senator Schatz authored the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act in order to “enhance and integrate native tourism, empower native communities, and expand unique cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.” A component of this legislation, which was signed into law last year, directed federal dollars towards Native American language preservation.

Public briefing on rail funding set for August 14

The Hawaii Legislature is hosting a public informational briefing on state funding for the City & County of Honolulu’s rail project at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 in the State Capitol auditorium.

Key committee chairs from both the House of Representatives and the State Senate have been meeting to discuss rail funding and lawmakers want to hear from the public as they work on an agreement on rail financing.

The City administration and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will also update financial issues at the briefing.

“Rail is at a critical point in its construction and the Legislature wants to hear the public’s input on the funding mechanisms and how to ensure greater accountability from HART and the City on their rail project. We need the most accurate financial information to make the best decision possible,” said House Speaker Scott Saiki.

The leaders of the two chambers have reaffirmed their commitment to resolve the outstanding rail financing issues. 

“In spite of our impasse during the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature understands the importance in crafting a legislative solution that will provide the City and County of Honolulu a dedicated revenue stream to adhere to the Full Funding Grant Agreement and complete construction of the Minimum Operable Segment of the rail project,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi.

There will be a special legislative session to address rail financing from August 28 through September 1.

Testimony for the public briefing must be submitted via email to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy at TRETestimony@capitol.hawai.gov. Testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to the start of the informational briefing.

For more information, go to the Legislature’s website or call the Committee Clerk at (808) 586-6697.

An open letter to Rep. Hanabusa RE: Israel Anti-Boycott Act

Cynthia Franklin is a Jewish-American scholar and co-founder of the Hawaiʻi Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

Cynthia Franklin
Israel lobby’s targeting of BDS would have a chilling effect on political dissent

Far from being about protecting Jewish people from discrimination, proposed legislation that would outlaw the boycott of Israeli-made products and practices over political beliefs is, in fact, a danger to First Amendment rights.

Will Caron
In the wake of Marco Polo fire, Caldwell introduces sprinkler bill

Mayor Caldwell introduces bill to require retrofitted sprinkler systems in residential high-rises for fire safety

Mayor Kirk Caldwell introduced a bill to the city council yesterday afternoon requiring that retrofitted sprinkler systems be installed in all high-rise residential buildings over 75 feet tall built before sprinkler systems were required in 1975. On July 14, a blaze destroyed multiple apartment units within the 36 story Marco Polo building on Kapiolani Boulevard. Three people lost their lives.

“Sprinklers save lives, and our keiki and kupuna need them most,” said Mayor Caldwell. “We know the Marco Polo fire would likely not have spread if the building had sprinklers. We also know that many O‘ahu families struggle to pay for affordable housing, and we are working with the City Council to find ways to help homeowners pay for this lifesaving upgrade.”

The bill was introduced today with the supprt of Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves. Details such as the timeline, assistance programs for homeowners, and penalties for non-compliance will be added during City Council deliberations.

In 1975, the City and County of Honolulu surpassed national standards of the time by enacting a law requiring sprinkler systems in all newly constructed high-rise buildings, but not to existing buildings. In 1983, Honolulu required all existing hotel high-rise buildings retrofit an automatic fire sprinkler system. In 2001, the requirement was extended to all existing commercial high-rise buildings. The requirement had not been extended to existing high-rise residential buildings.

Legislative efforts to force pre-1975 era buildings to meet the code have been defeated multiple times through lobbying by building associations and others who say the retrofits would be too costly.

Honolulu’s Building Code currently requires all newly constructed multi-family apartment buildings be equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system, even if they are not a high-rise building. But Civil Beat reports that, just hours before the fire erupted, the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Hawaii had sent out an invitation for a celebratory pau hana to mark a new law passed this year (Act 053) that continues to prohibit counties from requiring single-family and duplex homes to have sprinklers. The BIA has since canceled the event.

Caldwell’s bill will not impact Act 053, as that law deals only with single-family and duplex homes, not high rise apartments. According to a survey conducted by the Honolulu Fire Department, there are approximately 300 high-rise apartment buildings on O‘ahu which currently do not have a fire sprinkler system.

Special session will be called to fund Rail

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Kauai, Niihau) and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki (McCully, Kakaako, Kaheka, Downtown) sent a joint letter to the Executive Director of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advising the FTA of the Legislature’s commitment to convene a special session in July or August.

Although no specific dates have been set for the special session and no rail funding mechanism has been agreed upon, Speaker Saiki and President Kouchi said that, “after working with members of our federal delegation, it was deemed necessary and prudent to assure the FTA that the Legislature recognizes and understands the requirements under the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) between the City and County of Honolulu and the FTA.”

Link to letter