Monday, February 11, 2008

Musings: Ceded Lands Skirmishes

Pink streaks were replaced by strands of goldish-silver as Koko and I set out for our walk under partly clear skies. When we returned, the sun was rising above the mountain, and it felt good to feel its warmth on my face, see it light up the pastures with that soft morning glow.

As I mentioned to Andy, when we passed on the road, it’s feeling like spring, which prompted him to say that must mean summer, with its heat, is just around the corner.

It seems the marketers are always trying to push up the seasons, at least as they’re defined by shopping opportunities. When I was in Cost-U-Less yesterday, I noticed the Easter candy was already out, alongside the Valentine’s Day booty. Then the clerk pointed out that their Christmas tree was still up, too.

Last night, Nani Rogers forwarded me an email that she got from Sen. Hooser saying that “meetings have been scheduled on Kauai” about the proposed ceded land settlement between OHA and the state.

The email came in response to Nani’s request that OHA and the State Attorney General “hold community meetings on the ceded lands settlement.”

Last Friday, the day before the Senate hearing on the settlement, Nani forwarded another email to various senators and me that included a post from the oha lies! blog alleging that OHA was sending emails and letters to the nonprofits that receive OHA grants, pressuring them to send in testimony supporting the settlement.

The post states: “According to several OHA staff members, several grantees are feeling pressured by OHA to submit testimony in favor of the Ceded Land Settlement, because they are made to fear that OHA will stop funding the programs and services they represent. 

Hence, several grantees are sending favorable Ceded Land Settlement testimony under distress to the committees of the Hawai‘i State Legislature (Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs, Water and Land, and Judiciary and Labor)…”

It’s a serious allegation, especially since nonprofits are not allowed to lobby.

Indeed, such lobbying activities by an organization that receives federal funds are at the crux of the allegations against the Western Pacific Fisheries Council and its director Kitty Simonds, which prompted Sen. Henry Waxman to request an investigation, as I reported in last Wednesday’s post.

Meanwhile, the The Advertiser today is reporting about all the stuff that was intercepted by Superferry inspectors. Readers of this blog may recall that the same info was posted last month right here.


Anonymous said...

Sure took a long time for the Advertiser to print this report. The Oversight Taskforce Committee meeting where the data in this report was presented was more than a month ago. Maybe because the taskforce is meeting monthly again in two days this report is done now to imply things are all under control? The ridership has been so low that there is very little to inspect so far. Also, as was indicated by taskforce members at the last meeting, inspections are not thorough, inspectors are not allowed to open and search ice chests, so it is not known how many infractions were not caught. All they reported were the small number of infractions that were readily apparent. DOA and DLNR needs more funding and authorization to open and inspect items such as ice chests. The newspaper reporting on this is starting to get slow, sloppy, and slanted. Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said...

'The newspaper reporting on this is starting to get slow, sloppy, and slanted.'
ha! what an understatement!