Sat - October 3, 2009

Maui Council approves ban on GMO taro

Maui News reports:
A bill prohibiting genetically modified taro in Maui County received final approval Friday by the Maui County Council.

The taro bill prohibits anyone from testing, propagating, growing or introducing genetically engineered or modified taro, or kalo, within Maui County. Council members voted 9-0 to approve the ban, saying they believed taro's cultural and spiritual significance to Native Hawaiians was more important than any other factor.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares said after the vote that she would support the ban.

"I will be signing the bill into law and recognize that the passage of this new law will send a message of support for state Representative Mele Carroll's efforts to introduce and pass a bill at the state Legislature," she said in an e-mailed statement.

Congrats to the taro farmers of Maui and all the other supporters who came out and lobbied for this bill. One small but important step in the right direction.

Posted at 07:14 AM     Permalink      

Thu - September 10, 2009

James Nakapa’ahu

James Nakapa’ahu has passed away on September 9, 2009. He was husband and support to Lynette Cruz. He was a quiet but strong and positive presence at many sovereignty gatherings over the years, a Hawaiian patriot and warrior. Deepest condolences and thoughts of peace and conform to Lynette and the rest of James' ohana. Rest in peace brother James.

Posted at 08:51 AM     Permalink      

Thu - August 27, 2009

Five Hawaiian Women Poets

Remembering Roots & Envisioning Future
Five Hawaiian Women Poets

Tamara Wong-Morrison • Mahealani Perez-Wendt • Puanani Burgess 
Ho'oipo DeCambra • Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

Friday, September 11, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
McCoy Studio Theater, Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Posted at 01:28 PM     Permalink      

Wed - August 26, 2009

Jamaica Osorio: Kumulipo poem at White House

Another poetic treat by Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, from the White House poetry night in May.

Posted at 03:04 PM     Permalink      

Sun - August 16, 2009

Google in Hawaiian

This week Google launched translated into Hawaiian.

Here's how to try it out:
- Or, select Hawaiian language in the Language Tools link or as an interface language in the Preferences link on

The translation was done by the same group of researchers who brought Hawaiian language back from the brink of extinction 25 years ago. They are now using the Internet (and Google) to promote day-to-day usage of their language. A quote from a member of the team: "From a symbolic standpoint, this development is a source of deep pride for us. It tells us and our children that our language stands as an equal with English, other major European and Asian languages, and the many other indigenous languages that Google supports internally and through GiYL."

Posted at 04:07 PM     Permalink      

Wed - August 12, 2009

Maui Councilmember flies upside down Hawaiian flag

In this viewpoint in the Maui News, Maui County Councilmember Wayne Nishiki explains why he flies an upside down Hawaiian flag on his desk in the council chambers.

Posted at 09:11 PM     Permalink      

Fri - June 26, 2009

Uncle Ed Lindsey passes away

So long Uncle Ed...

From the Maui News:
Edwin "Ed" Lindsey Jr., "a steadfast champion and leader in protecting Maui's aina and its important cultural landscapes," died Wednesday morning at his family residence in Lahaina. He was 70.

The Maui County Council honored Lindsey in May with a ceremonial resolution as a "beloved Maui treasure" who served in numerous roles, including kumu, kupuna, uncle, tutu, brother, dad and husband.

Auntie Patty Nishiyama of Na Kapuna O Maui, an organization of Hawaiian elders she actively participated in with Lindsey, described him as "a warrior, a strong warrior."

"He will be missed," Nishiyama said.

Lindsey was a founding member of Hui O Wa'a Kaulua, an organization with activities including the building of a sailing canoe, Mo'olele. He also was president of the Ohana Coalition, organizer of Kilakila O Haleakala, co-founder of the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council, member of Na Kupuna O Maui and a participant in the Kaanapali 2020 planning process.

Lindsey spearheaded ongoing native habitat restoration projects such as Malama Honokowai Valley, Malama Ukumehame and Malama Kaheawa-Hanaula.

It was through his work with Kaanapali 2020 that Lindsey saw a need to develop a formal mechanism that would perpetuate the protection of important cultural landscapes, and thus Maui Cultural Lands Inc. was founded as a Maui-based, grass-roots land trust organization aimed at stabilizing, protecting and restoring Hawaiian cultural resources.

Back in 94-95 during the Ohana Council and Nation of Hawaii formative days, Uncle Ed regularly attended our 'aha kupuna and shared his wise mana'o, and through the years always stood pa'a for independence, educating everyone he worked with or otherwise encountered about the true history of Hawaii.

He was also just a dear friend who we always enjoyed hanging out with and laughing with. Our love and prayers go out to Puanani and the rest of his ohana.

Posted at 08:30 AM     Permalink      

Wed - June 24, 2009

Ira Rohter

University of Hawaii political science professor Ira Rohter has passed away. When I first returned to Hawaii after college in the early 90s and started getting involved in politics and issues, Ira Rohter's book A Green Hawaii: Sourcebook for Development Alternatives was a big influence on my vision of what Hawaii could become. I worked with Ira through the Green Party for a couple years and was always inspired by his passion and vision. Rest in peace, Ira.

Posted at 06:55 AM     Permalink      

Wed - April 15, 2009

Nobel nominee to speak Monday at MACC

From the Maui News
KAHULUI - A man who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and educator at the University of Hawaii-Hilo will appear Monday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center to discuss how the global economy affects residents in local communities.

Sulak Sivaraksa and Manulani Aluli Meyer will speak at the event, sponsored by Ala Kukui and the MACC, and titled "The Wisdom of Sustainability: A Dialogue on Global Economics and Island Culture."

Sivaraksa is one of Asia's leading social thinkers and activists, who twice has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, according to an event news release. He founded the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and dozens of other grass-roots organizations and authored more than 100 books in Thai and English, including "The Wisdom of Sustainability: Buddhist Economics for the 21st Century."

In 1995, Sivaraksa received the Right Livelihood Award.

"Sulak Sivaraksa and I share a conviction that if we are to solve human problems, economic and technological development must be accompanied by an inner spiritual growth," the Dalai Lama has said about the speaker.

Joining Sulak at the gathering is Meyer, an associate professor of education at UH-Hilo, specializing in Hawaiian cultural views of intelligence. She is the author of "Ho'oulu: Our Time of Becoming" and the forthcoming "Hawaiian Knowing."

"A far-reaching visionary, Manu Aluli Meyer captures an essence of what it means to be Hawaiian," according to Luana Palapala Busby-Neff, a fellow Hawaiian cultural practitioner.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the McCoy Studio Theater. Admission is $15, and tickets may be obtained by calling 242-SHOW. For information, call 875-7995 or see the Web site

Other sponsors of the gathering are the Hawai'i Tourism Authority and the County of Maui.

Poster and More info... (both PDFs)

Update 4/16: Maui Time Weekly has a good article on the event.

Posted at 08:54 PM     Permalink      

Mon - March 23, 2009

"More Fish in the Sea" Festival on Maui

Check out this great ad, and if you live on Maui and care about the ocean (that should be redundant) check out this event, and folks coming from other islands too. Being put together by some great people who are working with us on various marine protection and restoration issues and initiatives out here on the east side and around the islands.

Check out the website at Join the Cause and Group on Facebook.

Posted at 07:07 PM     Permalink      

Sun - March 1, 2009

Torch-bearing march around Maui comes to conclusion

Maui News reports on the final leg of the torch march around the island.
A sea of people of all ages embraced and honi'd, or touched noses, Friday at Lahaina while celebrating the end of a weeklong, 193-mile torch march around Maui to raise attention for Native Hawaiian issues.

Elders of Na Kupuna O Maui had joined the marchers at Puamana, walking the last 1.2 miles of the journey called E Ka'apuni A Ho'a Kukui Na Moku'aina.

An estimated 400 people ended the march about 4:15 p.m. on a hot, dusty patch of Moku'ula, or Malu-ulu-o-Lele Park, with traditional haule-lani rites honoring deceased members of the Native Hawaiian community.

Coordinator Ke'eaumoku Kapu said the marchers fulfilled their goal, to ignite "a spark of light that spread across all of Maui." The "light," represented by the trek's continually lit torches, signified unity and enlightenment about Native Hawaiian issues, he said. Those issues included the ceded-lands lawsuit now before the U.S. Supreme Court; threats to Native Hawaiian trusts, exemplified by lawsuits related to Kamehameha Schools admissions; and Native Hawaiian health, education and well-being, he said.

Posted at 10:04 AM     Permalink      

Thu - February 26, 2009

Maui Torch March Final Leg into Lahaina

From: Kaleikoa Ka'eo <>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:23:09 -1000
Subject: Kaapuni

Aloha kakou

If you have any ohana on Maui, please pass on info.

The Kaapuni is set to complete the last leg of the journey tomorrow. We plan to launch out from Papalaua (just Lahaina side of the pali area) at about 10am, heading for Mokuula, Lahaina. Expect to enter into Lahaina at about 4-5pm. All are welcome to join in. The more, the better!

Check out KPOA website for more updates.


Posted at 07:44 PM     Permalink      

Tue - February 17, 2009

Support ban on GMO taro

Check out this KAHEA action alert where you can learn more about the bills now in the state legislature regarding genetic modification of taro, and send testimony using their easy online form.

Posted at 12:28 PM     Permalink      

Sun - February 15, 2009

Torch Journey around Maui for Lands, Water, People and Rights

Rec'd via email...

From: Kekahuna Keaweiwi
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2009 9:07 AM
Subject: Ka`apuni E Ho`a Kukui Na Moku Aina

Ka`apuni E Ho`a Kukui Na Moku Aina

February 20-27, 2009

For Our Lands, Water, People and Fundamental Human Rights

BEGINNING on Friday Night, February 20, 2009 at 11:00pm the people of Maui will gather at Moku`ula (Malu`uluolele Park), Lahaina to embark on a 200 mile journey circumnavigating the Island of Maui. We anticipate completing our journey on Friday, February 27, 2009 at Moku`ula with closing protocol and the handing-off of the torches for its finally journey.

A Copy of the Appeal (Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372, Oct. 1, 2008) to The U.S. Supreme Court will be burned and used to IGNITE TORCHES that will be carried across and through all the districts of Maui.

The Torches represent the awakening and enlightenment of knowledge to what is really and truly taking place for all kanaka maoli-native Hawaiians.

CONTRARY to what the State of Hawaii (et al) and United States of America is saying, the truth for na kanaka maoli-native Hawaiians since and well before so-called Statehood of 1959 is:

·        Lack of adequate Health Care for native Hawaiian Beneficiaries.

·        Lack of Housing (Homelessness) for native Hawaiian Beneficiaries.

·        Lack of Funding for Education for native Hawaiian Beneficiaries-are there funds from the State of Hawaii set aside for native Hawaiian Beneficiaries separate from the State’s General Funds?

If we COLLECTIVELY do not remedy this immediately, beginning with igniting community awareness we must add

·       Ethnic Cleansing – by the State of Hawaii and United States of America.

ALL people of Maui are welcome and encouraged to join the marchers as we journey through the many ahupua`a/districts of Maui. Join us and proudly carry the torch which ignites the awakening of a greater humanity for us all.

For more information you can Contact:
Keeaumoku Kapu - 250-1479
Foster Ampong – 281-3894 / email:

Here's a video of a meeting with various agencies of the county and Keeaumoku Kapu discussing the intention and logistics of the march:

Posted at 12:59 PM     Permalink      

Fri - February 13, 2009

"Title Insurance & Land Ownership in Hawaii" on Olelo TV

Title Insurance & Land Ownership in Hawaii

Presentation made Feb. 4 by Dr. Keanu Sai on land transfers and sales in Hawaii following the overthrow in 1893 and the challenges that title insurers face re proving clear title.    

Airing on Olelo Community Television, NATV Channel 53

Also live streaming on these scheduled air dates and available on Olelonet On Demand for 24 hour viewing

2/19/09 Thu 2:00 pm 
2/20/09 Fri 2:00 pm 
2/25/09 Wed 9:00 pm 
2/28/09 Sat 10:00 pm

Posted at 07:05 AM     Permalink      

Thu - February 12, 2009

Sign up for Cultural Resources Preservation plan for Wailea 670

Wailea 670 on Maui has put out a notice asking Kanaka Maoli and other individuals and groups interested in cultural resources located within Wailea 670 to sign up to participate in their preparation of a Cultural Resources Preservation plan for the 670 acres.

Please sign up to by March 12th, 2009 to register if interested in providing input. You must mail your name and address to:

Honua'ula Partners, LLC
c/o Mr. Charles Jencks - Owner Representative
Pacific Rim Land, Inc.
1300 N. Holohpono Street, suite 201
P.O. Box 220, Kihei, Hi 96753

Posted at 07:03 AM     Permalink      

Sat - January 24, 2009

GMO kalo briefing with Hawaiian Caucus

Message from Kahu Haloa:

TUESDAY, January 27th
Taro farmers, scientists & doctors will be presenting mana'o on the issue of genetically modifying kalo, at a formal briefing before the Hawaiian Caucus legislators

Hawaii State Capitol
Room 423 (room could change on the day of, look for signs if room has changed).
1:00 pm

Your presence is always a blessing, to malama Haloa, to participate in the decisions that will effect our most sacred plant and food. The farmers have drafted a bill to formally protect all pono efforts to farm taro in Hawaii nei, while asking that GMO-taro experiments be ceased as they are: unacceptable to the community, irreversibly harmful to taro's hypoallergenic qualities, and could endanger the taro market. That bill will be presented at this briefing.

Perspectives from the biotech industry will also be presented by biotech industry lobbyists, in order to encourage informed factual review and formal public dialogue about this issue in front of decision makers and our community.

Spread the word, all ages are welcome at this public briefing! Can bring your class too!

Park underneath the capitol building, the entrance driveway/ramp is on Punchbowl st.- ewa side, look for small sign. This is just a regular day at the capitol so there should be plenty open spots, i think the meters are $2/hour or so (??).

stay rooted for more information and events.......... and contact us on how to get involved!

e malama Haloa!

call Bryna at 349-4324 with questions.

Posted at 02:57 PM     Permalink      

Wed - December 31, 2008

Uncle Rene Sylva passes

Maui News reports on the passing Sunday of Uncle Rene Sylva, the guru of native Hawaiian plants on Maui. Uncle Rene inspired and educated many people, and I was fortunate to have had a few occasions to spend time with him, listening and learning. He leaves a great legacy, and we'll miss him.

Posted at 11:37 AM     Permalink      

Fri - November 21, 2008

State Observes First Makahiki Commemoration Day

The Senate
State of Hawaii

For Immediate Release
Contact: Richard Rapoza
November 20, 2008
(808) 586-6259

Cell (808) 392-0780


Day focuses on peace, abundance, unity and conservation.

HONOLULU – Today marks the first official State observance of Makahiki Commemoration Day, which was designated for recognition by the 2008 Hawai‘i State Legislature. It is not a state holiday.
"Makahiki was a significant time throughout Polynesia," said Senator J. Kalani English, the principal introducer of the bill that established Makahiki Commemoration Day. "Conflict and war were set aside for the four-month Makahiki season, and unity and peace prevailed. They also let the land lay fallow as they celebrated the harvest."
To perpetuate the ancient wisdom of land conservation, abundance, unity and peace during the four months of Makahiki, Polynesian regional governments celebrate the Makahiki season and have designated November 20th as the start of the Makahiki observance. With today’s fist official observance of Makahiki Commemoration Day, Hawai‘i joins that group.
"This brings us closer to our land, our culture, and our brothers and sister across Polynesia," said English. "I hope everyone will take a moment today and reflect on all of our interconnections."

Posted at 11:01 AM     Permalink      

Mon - September 29, 2008

Colorado Aloha Festival 2008

From: tammie chaumillon <tammjam @>
Subject: Colorado Aloha Festival 2008

1st Time Ever!!!  Hawaii in Colorado! 
Sunday, October 12, 2008 - Longmont, CO

Over 50 Hawaiian theme vendors!
Food, Live Music, Cultural Workshops and Hula dancing!
Call for details, 720.233.5318

Posted at 06:44 AM     Permalink      

Wed - September 17, 2008

Panel discussion on the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Rec'd via email...

From: Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa <lilikala @>
Date: Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 7:13 AM



[PASSED BY 143 NATIONS ON 9/13/07]


TIME: 6:30-9:30 PM




Posted at 04:20 PM     Permalink      

Thu - August 7, 2008

Kaua'i protest ends peacefully

                                                                           ‘Ehu Cardwell
                                                                            (619) 885-4848 Nationwide Cell

“We’re Leaving On Our Own Terms” Say Protesters

Naue, Kaua`i – The protest at the residential property of Joseph Brescia stopping luxury home construction over an ancient Hawaiian cemetery on Kaua`i’s North Shore has ended peacefully late this afternoon.

“Were leaving on our own terms,” remarked protestor Andre Perez of Pohaku O Kane. “Should Governor Lingle fail to intervene and construction start up again, we will be back in force.”

Over thirty protestors and cultural practitioners from O`ahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawai`i Island had arrived this morning and secured themselves to each other and the property by means of a popular activist lock-down device that results in law enforcement authorities spending several hours in an attempt to remove them.

The property, formerly owned by actor Sylvester Stallone, and purchased by California luxury homebuilder Joseph Brescia seven years ago, is considered culturally sacred and contains at least thirty ancient burials as well as numerous artifacts.


Posted at 07:04 PM     Permalink      

Surprise blockade of ancient Kaua`i burial site under way

‘Ehu Cardwell
(619) 885-4848 Nationwide Cell
Occupation Protests Desecration Of Ancient Hawaiian Cemetery

Naue, Kaua`i - In a surprise show of force, Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiians) from throughout Hawai`i have converged on the residential property of Joseph Brescia in a dramatic attempt to stop further luxury home construction over an ancient Hawaiian cemetery on Kaua`i’s North Shore.

Over thirty protestors and cultural practitioners from O’ahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawai`i Island arrived this morning and secured themselves to each other and the property by means of a popular activist lock-down device that will result in law enforcement authorities spending several hours in an attempt to remove them.

“Our goal is to make them forcefully remove us,” states protestor Andre Perez of Pohaku O Kane. “This is not just about Kaua`i. We’re serious about protecting our iwi kupuna, our `aina, and our lahui. "


Posted at 10:01 AM     Permalink      

Mon - July 14, 2008

Protesters, workers clash over graves at home construction site on Kaua'i

Star-Bulletin reported Saturday:
Native Hawaiian protesters on the beach clashed with construction workers yesterday after a tense day at a home site at Naue Point where at least 30 bodies are buried.

No one was arrested or injured, but both the protesters and the construction workers filed complaints with the police, who arrived at about 1 p.m.

The site, where a home is being constructed by California businessman Joseph Brescia, has been the subject of numerous legal battles over where to put the building, how far it should be set back from the ocean, and where the property line exists.

Here's a related article from North Shore Kauai last month. Same story plus video at KHON. (Belated h/t to Keliiaumoana)

Posted at 09:41 AM     Permalink      

Thu - May 15, 2008

Kumu John Lake dies

Kumu John Lake has died. Advertiser story, Star-Bulletin story, Maui News story.

Posted at 05:10 PM     Permalink      

Mon - April 14, 2008

Rally to support charter school funding

Rec'd via email from Ikaika Hussey...

please come out tomorrow morning, Tuesday 10:30 at the state capitol rotunda, to support charter schools. The legislature is planning to cut charter school funds, which may lead to some schools being forced to close. [...]

Again, the rally will be at the state capitol at 10:30 am, Tuesday morning.

we really need people to come out and support these schools!

Ikaika 221-2843

Update 4/15: Here's an Advertiser article on the rally and the budget situation.
Hundreds of public charter school students and staff will rally at the state Capitol today to protest the budget pending at the Legislature that charter officials say will cut their funding by $400 to $900 per student.

Under the budget proposed by Gov. Linda Lingle and being considered by state lawmakers, charter school administrators say, the state's 27 public charter schools may have to cut services or positions.

"We're looking at a significant underfunding next year compared to this year, and certainly a significant underfunding for what is equitable and fair," said Reshela DuPuis, executive director of the Charter School Administrative Office.

Posted at 12:17 PM     Permalink      

Sat - April 12, 2008

Historic Preservation administrator appointment raises concerns

Advertiser reports:
Communications Pacific executive Puaalaokalani Aiu has been named administrator of the state Historic Preservation Division, the agency with responsibility for overseeing the treatment of archeological sites and Hawaiian burials on land slated for development.

Aiu's appointment has stirred some concern because she worked on Communications Pacific accounts linked to the development of Wal-Mart and the Ward Village Shops projects in Kaka'ako, which both involved controversies over burials.

Posted at 08:37 AM     Permalink      

Fri - April 11, 2008

Nona Beamer passes away at 84

Tributes to Auntie Nona Beamer in the Star-Bulletin, Advertiser and Maui News.

Posted at 01:47 PM     Permalink      

Thu - April 10, 2008

Spiritual/cultural gathering at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau

The Temple of Lono is hosting a spiritual/cultural gathering at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau in Kona, April 18-20. Here's the flyer: final brochure 4-2-08.pdf

Posted at 01:31 PM     Permalink      

Fri - April 4, 2008

Dr. King, Hawaii, nonviolence and economics

I was thinking about the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination today, and recalled the photos of King and others wearing leis at the Selma to Montgomery Freedom March in 1965. And I found this story that says Rev. Abraham Akaka was the one who arranged for the leis.

And I found this photo and caption in this piece on different approaches to civil disobedience.

"During part of the famous Selma to Montgomery Freedom March in 1965, Martin Luther King and fellow civil rights leaders wore the Hawaiian necklace of flowers—the lei—to symbolize their peaceful intentions."

King wore an explicitly Hawaiian symbol to convey peaceful intentions. We sometimes take it for granted here, but Hawaii truly is a symbol of peace.

Hawaii was recognized as a neutral country. The queen yielded to avoid bloodshed. Despite having their government overthrown and their country occupied and having suffered systematic removal from their lands and suppression of their culture over generations, the Hawaiian people have not resorted to violence for political ends, despite a vigorous desire to restore the effective sovereignty of their country.

At the same time, in their struggle Hawaiians could more consciously study the methods of nonviolent resistance employed by King to apply to their own situation. It takes different forms here organically, and it is a different culture, but there are a lot of ways Hawaiians could probably apply pressure to change certain situations if they were more intentionally organized around methods of nonviolent resistance.

Of course King's greatest inspiration in nonviolence was Gandhi, whose situation was actually much more parallel to Hawaii's, with the goal of ending the occupation of a country rather than achieving civil rights within a country. As Prof. Boyle said in 1993:
It might be that you would be able to obtain recognition quickly. And especially if you pursue this process in accordance with principles of peaceful, non-violent struggle. And I submit that's the most effective technique you have today. And if you doubt me, you should read Gandhi's book, Satyagraha, Non-Violent Civil Resistance. It's about 300 pages long. And it explains how Gandhi threw the mighty British Empire out of India without using force. People power, what we call it today. And I submit that the Native Hawaiian people would be able to do the same thing, moving in this direction and adopting the techniques of peaceful, non-violent action, which is what Gandhi called for.

Also note that a key component of King's methods related to economics, and in fact that was why he was in Memphis this day 40 years ago, was in solidarity with a sanitation workers strike. We all have seen the end of his last speech, "I have been to the mountaintop," but he also said in that speech: "Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal." And he talks about the collective power of the African-American population and urges boycotts of certain companies.

And Gandhi said: "Economic equality is the master key to non-violent independence."

So one possible example in Hawaii that has a certain parallel: banks. Hawaiian assets on both a personal level and an institutional level (OHA, Kamehameha Schools) are held by a few banking institutions, despite the fact that those institutions (e.g. First Hawaiian Bank) at least in the not too distant past were systemically discriminating against Hawaiians in their lending practices. This is something that is on a much larger scale than just consumer boycotts and takes a real collective effort to pull off starting a Hawaiian bank, but it is along the same lines of thinking as an aspect of civil resistance. Just one example.

Listen to Hapa's "Pride (In the Name of Love)"

Posted at 09:43 PM     Permalink      

House amends GMO taro bill

Advertiser reports:
Searching for a balance between cultural tradition and science, the state House Agriculture Committee yesterday approved a bill that would impose a five-year moratorium on genetic experimentation with Hawaiian taro but would allow research into other varieties of the tropical plant.
The House is expected to approve the bill. It would be sent back to the state Senate, which agreed to a 10-year moratorium last session. House and Senate lawmakers could meet in conference committee on a final version, but that may depend on the reaction among taro farmers and scientists.

Several taro farmers yesterday said the House version is unacceptable and that they would urge lawmakers to adopt a 10-year moratorium.

"This bill is no good for the farmers. It doesn't protect us. It doesn't protect our Hawaiian varieties because you'll be contaminating them with the other varieties," said Jerry Konanui, a taro farmer and cultural practitioner in Puna on the Big Island. "They should kill this bill and face the consequences and the wrath of the people.

"It's ridiculous. They don't want to listen. But this is not the end. This is just the beginning."

Posted at 04:06 PM     Permalink      

Tue - April 1, 2008

Save Haloa - Final Vote on GMO kalo moratorium - call now!

From Na Kahu O Haloa...

THIS THURSDAY APRIL 3 SB958 to place a 10-year moratorium on the genetic modification on taro will finally be voted on- at 11:00 a.m. in State Capitol conference room 325


Please take a few minutes everyday TODAY to call these representatives and strongly urge them to pass SB958 without any amendments.

It does not matter if you don't live in their district, they are making a decision that will effect all of Hawaii!
Leave a message if you call after work hours.

THE ENTIRE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION THIS YEAR and many of their opponents are in vocal support of SB958!

Talking points to support SB958:
- We grow and eat ALL varieties of kalo, so please protect ALL varieties of kalo in Hawaii!
All varieties of kalo are culturally special and an important hypoallergenic food for Hawaii. Protecting only the Hawaiian varieties of taro is not agriculturally safe nor environmentally responsible, and creates an irreversible risk to the taro grower and consumer. GMO kalo can permanently contaminate the real kalo.

- GMO kalo creates an entirely new organism by injecting other plant genes into kalo- this new organism can be patented and owned, is not guaranteed to be hypoallergenic and can permanently contaminate the real kalo. GMO kalo is not pono for how special and sacred pure hypoallergenic kalo is to Hawaii. Be aware that the Genetic Modification of a dangerous new organism that looks like kalo is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUE than the Hawaiian's traditional advanced practice of carefully cross-breeding hybrid kalo varieties!

- My family votes and we are observing the decisions you make!

Please call ALL of these 7 representatives EVERYDAY through April 3rd, remind them NO AMENDMENTS!

586-8480; fax 586-8484; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 68480

586-6120; fax 586-6121; From Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 66120

586-6220; fax 586-6221

586-6150; fax 586-6151

586-6330; fax 586-6331; From Maui, toll free 984-2400 + 66330

Colleen Rose Meyer OAHU - KANEOHE TO LAIE 
586-8540; fax 586-8544

586-6010; fax 586-6011

These 5 Reps have expressed support of SB958- it is important to call them ONCE to mahalo their wisdom and encourage their continued support of SB958- with NO amendments!

586-8520; fax 586-8524

586-6510; fax 586-6511

Faye P. Hanohano HAWAII - PUNA/PAHOA
586-6530; fax 586-6531; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 66530                                                                     

Robert N. Herkes HAWAII - PUNA TO KONA
586-8400; fax 586-8404; From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 68400
586-9415; fax 586-9421

Posted at 07:49 PM     Permalink      

Thu - March 20, 2008

Hours of testimony on GMO kalo ban, bill deferred

Advertiser reports:
Nearly 100 people testified yesterday on a state bill that proposes a 10-year moratorium on developing or growing genetically engineered taro in Hawai'i, but a decision on whether to advance the measure wasn't immediately made.

And this breaking update just posted a few minutes ago:
The state House Committee on Agriculture deferred a bill that would impose a 10-year moratorium on developing or growing genetically engineered taro in Hawai'i late yesterday after a more than 7-hour hearing on the measure that attracted oral testimony from around 100 people.

Senate Bill 958 was introduced last year and passed by a Senate committee. But the bill carried over to this year's legislative session after the House Committee on Agriculture last year declined to hold a hearing on the measure. It still remains possible that the bill could be advanced after more deliberation by the committee.

Posted at 09:37 AM     Permalink      

Fri - March 14, 2008

GMO Kalo moratorium bill hearing scheduled

I have been remiss in posting updates about the GMO kalo moratorium issue and SB 958.

First, a hearing has finally been scheduled for next Wednesday, March 19th, at 8:30 am. before the House Committee on Agriculture.

See the hearing notice for details, including instructions for submitting testimony. Please take a moment today and send in testimony in support of SB958. If you are part of an organization that can submit testimony on letterhead, even better. If you are on O'ahu, or can make it over from another island, please attend the hearing in person and make your voice heard. Don't depend on others to take action! It is each of our kuleana to protect Haloa.

Second, as reported in the Maui News, yesterday the Maui County Council Public Works and Facilities Committee passed a resolution in support of the bill. Kudos to Bill Medeiros, co-chair of the committee and our Councilmember from Hana, for his leadership in pushing this resolution forward, and to Steven Ho'okano, kalo farmer from Ke'anae, for rounding up the support of many kalo farmers and kalo supporters in East Maui.

Last night I helped Steven give a presentation at a meeting of the Reinstated Hawaiian Government, including showing Island at Risk and another new short video by Na Maka O Ka 'Aina featuring Jerry Konanui called Na Ono o Ka 'Aina about the GMO kalo issue. The videos were very well received and are an excellent way to get the information out. If anyone hasn't seen Islands at Risk, I highly recommend it. You can watch the video online. I think it is also showing on local cable access channels, so check local listings and keep your eye out for it.

For more background and action steps you can take on this issue, see Kahea's GMO page.

Posted at 10:57 AM     Permalink      

Sun - January 27, 2008

S. Kohala arms fields rich in artifacts

Advertiser story about the interesting archaeological artifacts being uncovered in 10,000 acres of former military training grounds in South Kohana on the Big Island that is being cleared of unexploded ordnance.

Posted at 09:01 AM     Permalink      

Fri - January 18, 2008

Haloa gathering photos

The Haloa gathering yesterday at the Capitol was awesome, a beautiful event. Great to see plenty old times and plenty 'opio and keiki, kalo growers and supporters all, and of many different colors, too.

I will share more about this as the process moves through the lege, but for now...

I took some photos and picked some out to post.

Here's a panorama (two photos I stuck together) of the gathering at the Rotunda.

Photo Gallery: Haloa Rally @ Capitol 1/17/08

I am trying a new way to post more photos online using iPhoto and Gallery, and am starting with this one.

I am not entirely satisfied with how Gallery displays the slideshow, and I'm also not really satisfied with how iPhoto exports photos. I like how it manages them, but when it reduces them for the web, they don't seem smooth, and are poorly antialiased. Resizing in Photoshop gives much clearer, smoother results, and lower file sizes at the same time. So I'm still trying to figure out how best to share photos that I have stored in iPhoto on the web, with minimal effort. I have a lot of great galleries and I want to go more this direction my blogging to share projects that we're working on and such, so I want to figure out a good solution. Anyone have any good suggestions from experience, please shoot me a note.

But anyway, I have put these up, so please check them out. It was an amazing day and I think there's some good shots in here you'll enjoy.

Oh, I just got in the email this photo gallery that someone else (Mark) took of the event. Maybe I'll try the Kodak Gallery.

Posted at 07:46 PM     Permalink      

Wed - January 16, 2008

Taro growers renew GMO ban effort

Star-Bulletin reports on the activities at the capitol. Today and tomorrow are the big events. See below. I'll be there!

Posted at 05:40 AM     Permalink      

Mon - January 14, 2008

Support Haloa

Join the kalo growers at the Palace and capitol the next three days:

JANUARY 15th- TUESDAY - Gather all ‘Ohana
(WHERE: ‘Iolani Palace)
• 11:00am- ‘Iolani Palace- set-up Kalo Kamp (T-shirt & sign making)
• 5:00pm- Hui Kalo meeting -IMPORTANT- OPEN TO ALL, briefing on goals and the next days events.
• 6:30pm- Potluck Dinner
• 7:00pm- Guest Speakers (Winona LaDuke, local farmers, community organizers)
Viewing of films: "Islands at Risk" & "The Future of Food"

JANUARY 16th- WEDNESDAY – Show Solid Support
(WHERE: ‘Iolani Palace to State Capitol to ‘Iolani Palace to State Capitol!)
• 7:30am- Gather at 'Iolani Palace (if this is too early for you come camp over the night before!)
• 9:00am- Keiki from Schools arrive
• 9:15am- Pule
• 9:30am- Procession from ‘Iolani Palace to State Capitol
• 10:00am- Legislative Session Starts, Na Kahu o Haloa returns to ‘Iolani Palace to talk story and gather the ‘ohana: brilliant kupuna, pono science educators, island food-lovers, and beautiful people with muddy toes!
• Noon- Visit Legislators’ Offices

JANUARY 17th- THURSDAY - Present Pono Purpose
(WHERE: State Capitol)
• 12:30- State Capitol Rotunda - Formal Presentation of Kalo to Legislators, protocol by keiki & kupuna of Na Kahu o Haloa
• 1:30pm- State Capitol, Rm. 309 - Kalo farmers & supporters will brief legislators on their stance against genetic modification & patenting of kalo and explain the importance of hearing & passing bills SB958 & HB704 to protect kalo.
• 4:00pm- State Capitol, Rm. 229 - "Public Advocacy 101" A Training in the Legislative Process for Citizens, by Senator Gary Hooser (D-Kauai).

More information

Posted at 06:02 PM     Permalink      

Sat - January 12, 2008

Haloa Rally - GMO Taro moratorium events this week

The effort of kalo farmers call upon the legislature to enact a law this legislative session to end the genetic modification and patenting of kalo has expanded into a four-day event this week.

Go to this KAHEA page and you can see the schedule of events, print out event flyers, sign an online petition, and get background information.

Posted at 07:53 AM     Permalink      

Fri - January 4, 2008

Sovereignty Flag led UH Warriors into Sugar Bowl

Following up on my post about the Warriors in the Sugar Bowl, here's a photo showing the sovereignty flag leading the team onto the field. (h/t Melissa Leina'ala Haa Moniz)

For background on the flag here's a 2001 article from the Advertiser about it. My understanding after looking into it is that the flag was created relatively recently and is not an original Hawaiian kingdom flag, but it is nevertheless known as a symbol of sovereignty and the kingdom.

People have different ways of showing their Hawaiian nationality. The current "state" flag was the original flag of the kingdom (with only minor modifications, and there's been extensive documentation to prove that), and it remained the same through the so-called republic and territory all the way up to the state. If you are in Hawaii and you see the Hawaiian flag flying in a yard by itself, without an American flag, it most likely represents the kingdom. There are several examples of that here in East Maui.

To make more of a statement, though, some people choose to fly it upside down, which is a symbol of distress. One brother here in who has a taro patch near the road flies an inverted kingdom flag so passing tourists ask him why, and that gives him an opportunity to educate them about the history.

Then there are those who have created new flags. While Kekula and I were working with Bumpy in 93-94 with Ohana Council and then Nation of Hawaii, Bumpy had the vision for the black, white and gold flag with a purple kahili in the center that is featured at, with part of the motivation being to have something distinct from the "state" flag. (I can definitely understand those who say the kingdom flag has stayed the same all these years, we should stick with it, but I also really like the design of this Nation of Hawaii flag, it is very striking and the meaning behind it is pono, very spiritual, and if Hawaii were to change it's flag at some point, I think this one would have my vote.)

And this red, yellow and green flag is another version of that, as I see it, meant as a symbol of the kingdom distinct from the flag which has become the "state" flag (and that has a design obviously based on elements of the British and American flags).

So anyway, to people who know what it means, it represents Hawaiian sovereignty and the kingdom. The team flying this flag, and not the American flag or the Hawaiian "state" flag, as they entered the field before a national audience is a damn strong statement, and goes to show how deeply and broadly the nationalist sentiment goes.

Posted at 08:58 PM     Permalink      

Tue - January 1, 2008

Ha'ouli Makahiki Hou - Go Warriors!

Update 1/2: Well that was a disappointing game. The Warriors played their hearts out, but they were just overmatched in size and speed by the Georgia team that many thought deserved to be in the championship and might be the best team of the season.

I do have to add a couple notes relevant to this blog. First, at the start of the game I saw a sign in the stands that said Nanakuli Ea, and during the feature on the teams' pre-game ha'a, I noticed that the ha'a includes the word "ea" several times (I can't seem to find the words anywhere online). Just in case anyone isn't aware, the first definition of ea is "1. n. Sovereignty, rule, independence." Here's a nice AP article on the ha'a, getting national exposure.

Also, in the Star-Bulletin article this morning, there was one photo that included this sovereignty flag. (The flag is not an original Hawaiian kingdom flag as some people believe, but it still represents sovereignty.) I'm sure there were other signs and flags as well, these are just the ones that got exposure and I noticed.

UPDATE 1/3: I heard from someone who was at the game that this flag, rather than the "state" flag, was actually carried ahead of the team as they first made their entrance into the Dome, and then it was hanging on a pole behind the players for awhile before it was taken down, folded and placed under a table. Obviously someone(s) on the team very intentionally sending a sign for those who know what it means.

Posted at 01:56 PM     Permalink      

Fri - December 28, 2007

On Being Hawaiian and Homeless

Hat tip to Joan Conrow who posted about a Free Speech Radio News report "On Being Hawaiian and Homeless" by Ann Keala Kelly:
After September 11, 2001, militarism and real estate boomed in Hawaii. Military expansion brought real estate speculation, and for the first time in Hawaii, a market for wealthy people looking to buy a second home. The combined increase in militarism and private land ownership have set housing prices beyond the reach of average workers who simply cannot afford rents that have doubled in just a few short years.

Posted at 10:56 AM     Permalink      

Thu - December 27, 2007

Haloa Rally Jan. 16 for opening of legislature

A coalition of kalo farmers and supporters are organizing a rally at the opening of the legislature Jan. 16 at the state capitol to support SB 958 to place a moratorium on genetic modification of kalo in Hawaii.

Update 1/11: The effort of kalo farmers call upon the legislature to enact a law this legislative session to end the genetic modification and patenting of kalo has expanded into a four-day event this week.

Go to this KAHEA page and you can see the schedule of events, print out event flyers, sign an online petition, and get background information.

Posted at 06:41 PM     Permalink      

Tue - December 25, 2007

OHA acquires poi mill, leases taro land

Advertiser reports that OHA is acquiring Makaweli poi mill on Kaua'i, and also will assume the leases on 12 acres of land near the Makaweli River used to grow taro. OHA said the poi mill will operate as a subsidiary of OHA's nonprofit arm, Hi'ilei Aloha.

Posted at 03:21 PM     Permalink      

Wed - December 19, 2007

Search committee formed for Historic Preservation Division vacancies

The Advertiser has this story
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has identified the members of a search committee formed to recruit candidates to fill vacancies within the department's State Historic Preservation Division.

Search committee members include retired First Circuit Judge Patrick K.S.L. Yim, who also is a trustee for the Queen Lili'uokalani Trust; Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner and educator Ku Kahakalau, who founded the charter school Kanu o ka 'Aina Learning 'Ohana in Waimea on the Big Island; and Timothy Johns, former chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and a current member of the board. Johns is also president and chief executive officer of the Bishop Museum, and a trustee for the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust.

Posted at 09:21 AM     Permalink      

Fri - December 14, 2007

Superferry protest on Maui Saturday

Yesterday for the Superferry's first voyage to Maui, there were 200-300 protesters, on a week day. Tomorrow, another protest is scheduled.

Rally for Maui
Saturday, December 8 at 9 a.m.
Corner of Pu‘unene Ave. and Ka‘ahumanu Ave.

Here's a flyer for the event (PDF).

For information call 249-8811.

Or check

Posted at 07:22 AM     Permalink      

Thu - December 13, 2007

Brown vs. Chinen complaint

Here's the complaint (PDF), referenced in this article about the lawsuit filed by David Brown against the Melanie Chinen and the State Historic Preservation Division.
Brown v Chinen Complaint.pdf

Posted at 07:23 AM     Permalink      

Mon - December 10, 2007

Taro patch restoration in Kaneohe

Star-Bulletin has a nice article on a lo'i kalo restoration day in Kaneohe from October. (Not sure why they are just publishing the story now...)

Posted at 10:55 AM     Permalink      

Sat - December 8, 2007

Skeletons in the Closet - literally

Maui Time has an article on a lawsuit against the State Historic Preservation Division filed by David Brown, a former Branch Chief Archaeologist there, alleging "numerous practices at SHPD were illegal, unethical, or culturally insensitive."  The article also provides some background on how the Hawaiian burial laws came about, how it is affecting development, and possible solutions. "Most involved with land development—pro and anti-growth—on Maui agree that SHPD must hire qualified archaeologists, improve the review process and reduce the current backlog of permit applicants. In fact, at least one developer sees higher review fees as a potential solution."

Update 12/13: Here's the complaint (PDF): Brown v Chinen Complaint.pdf

Posted at 06:51 AM     Permalink      

Thu - November 29, 2007

Chinen resigns as head of state's Historic Preservation Division

Advertiser reports:
Melanie Chinen, the embattled head of the state Historic Preservation Division, is resigning effective Dec. 7, citing the physical toll the job has taken on her and the emotional strain on her family from job-related controversy and litigation.

The Society for Hawaiian Archaeology earlier this year voted to seek the removal of Chinen from the agency due to a history of staffing and other problems at the agency during Chinen's tenure. The society contends a lack of staff and other problems made it impossible to properly protect historic and archaeological sites.

An organization called Friends of the Burial Sites Program that includes Hawaiian cultural practitioners and Hawaiians working to protect burial sites has also lobbied Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Laura H. Thielen to have Chinen removed.

That group held a news conference this year to call attention to problems within the agency, including complaints that Hawaiian remains have been unearthed to make way for developments around the state, but have not been properly reburied.

Earlier this month former state archaeologist David Brown filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging his contract was not renewed by the state Historic Preservation Division because of his opinions on "illegal, unethical or culturally insensitive" activities at the division.
Tom Dye, president of the Society for Hawaiian Archaeology and an outspoken critic of the way the division has been run in recent years, said his organization is "obviously pleased" at the announcement, adding that "we wish her well."

Dye predicted it will now be much easier for the agency to recruit qualified archaeologists. "Our membership has believed for a long time that one of the main problems was the leadership at SHPD," he said.

Star-Bulletin also has an article, and notes:
Thielen said she will ask a search committee to look for a new administrator who is a strategic planner, good communicator and creative thinker, who is "devoted to the mission" of historic preservation and who can "help us work through a healing process." She will also ask for three new positions, two clerks to help professionals with degrees with paperwork, and a high-tech librarian position, to improve information available on the Web site.

Update 11/30: Advertiser editorializes.

Posted at 05:49 AM     Permalink      

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