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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs June 23, 2024

Hulali Waltgen-Kuilipule campaigns for Hawai'i Island Trustee for Office of Hawaiian Affairs
during  Kaʻū Family Fun Day in Nāʻālehu
on Saturday. See hulali4oha.com

HULALI WALTGEN-KUILIPULE IS RUNNNG FOR OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS BOARD OF TRUSTEES for Hawai'i Island in the Primary Election set for Aug. 10. The card she handed out at Summer Fun Day at Nāʻālehu Park on Sunday said,
    The Pāhala native said, "I am not a career politician. What I am is a fresh new set of eyes and ears for the people. I pledge to make your voices are heard as your Hawai'i Island OHA Trustee." Her campaign website is at hulali4oha.com where you can hear her sing Kaʻū 'Aina La, composed by Kekai Dow. She is known for singing and songwriting throughout  Kaʻū. Her campaign manager is Neralyn Domondon.
    The candidate has been reaching out beyond  Kaʻū with sign waving in Kona, a Laulima Pahoa Meet and Greet Event, and the  Kaʻū Family Fun Day on Saturday. Her next event is on Saturday, June 29 when she will participate in the Independence Day Parade.
    Her online campaign presentation says, "As an only child and a high school graduate, Hulali's roots run deep in our island home. Beyond her academic pursuits, she is also a gifted singer-songwriter and musician, enriching our culture through her artistry. Hulali has been married to her husband, Shaine Kuilipule, for fourteen years.
    "Not defined by politics, Hulali offers a fresh perspective and a genuine commitment to serving the people of Hawai'i. With her attentive ear and insightful vision, she seeks to be a voice for the voiceless and a champion for our community's concerns.
    "A graduate of  Kaʻū High School, Hulali embarked on a decade-long career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Through this experience, she witnessed firsthand the vital importance of community care. Additionally, she dedicated her time to serving as a substance abuse counselor for high schoolers through programs like BISAC, addressing critical issues surrounding substance abuse. Moreover, she served as a transportation driver for Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, ensuring vital access to healthcare for our community.
     "Music has always been Hulali's soul's language. As a singer-songwriter and composer, she has had the privilege of sharing the richness of our culture through music, performing at various venues and events.
      "Her commitment to our community transcends healthcare and music. She's been deeply involved with programs like Pu'u Kamalu in Hilo, HI, where she served as a behavior specialist, providing support to troubled runaway teens. Furthermore, as an Alaka'i for Kukulu Kumuhana O  Kaʻū, under the guidance of Kumu Keola Hanoa, she's been instrumental in perpetuating our language and culture among our youth.
   "Additionally, her recent role as a Program Assistant with Alu Like, in collaboration with Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai'i at their Ke Ola Puʻuhonua site in Naalehu, Ka'u, has empowered her to extend outreach and support to our community in meaningful ways.
    "As a candidate for Hawai'i Island OHA trustee, Hulali pledges unwavering dedication to ensuring that our voices are not only heard but also respected and acted upon. With Hulali, our community's values, aspirations, and needs will have a steadfast advocate at the decision-making table."
Known for her career in health care and music, Hulali Waltjen- Kuilipule, of
Nāʻālehu, is running for OHA. 
     Campaign manager Neralyn Domondon can be reached at 808-437-0082 and ndomondon909@gmail.com.
     Also running for the Hawai'i Island OHA trustee position is Kaʻū's former Congressman Kai Kahale, Z. Ka'apana Aki and Hope Louise Cermelj.
    According to the State of Hawai'i Office of Elections, "The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a public agency governed by a Board of Trustees responsible for setting policy and managing the agency’s trust.
    "The Board of Trustees is composed of nine members who are elected to serve four year terms. All voters statewide are allowed to vote in each OHA contest. Four seats on the Board are at-large trustees. The remaining five seats are resident trustees with one trustee from each of the following islands – Hawai'i, Maui, Moloka'i, O'ahu, and Kaua'i."
    With more than three candidates on the ballot to represent Hawai'i Island, the winner will be determined in the primary if a candidate receives more than half the votes. If noone receives more than 50 percent, there will be a runoff for the top two on the Nov. 4 General Election.
     Those wishing to vote can still sign up for the Primary and the General Elections. See https://elections.hawaii.gov/register-to-vote/.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

The Jellyfish came to Nāʻālehu on Sunday. The 20-foot water slide was featured at the free Kaʻū Family Fun Day, sponsored by Jarneski Rentals of Kea'au. Photo by Ophir Danenberg

Famed Hawaiian woodworker Jeff Gomes, son of the late Officer Bobby Gomes,
 came to Kaʻū Family Fun Day. Photo by Ophir Danenberg
KAʻŪ  FAMILY FUN DAY AT NĀ'ĀLEHU PARK ON SUNDAY drew hundreds of keiki and their families to sun and slide, play games and enjoy crafts and food. It was sponsored free to the public by private enterprise, Jarneski Rentals, of Kea'au.
    The Kuahwis played music all day. Jarneski provided water slides, bounce houses, shooting foam, cornhole tourney and other games. There were many food vendors, volleyball club and crafters.
    Stacey Jarneski said he wanted to bring the Kaʻū community together for fun and community. In addition to water slides, bounce houses and party foam, Jarneski Rentals also offers tents, tables, chairs and more. It operates from its Party Store. Call  808-989-7758. See https://www.facebook.com/p/Jarneski-Rentals-100083369829076/.
    See more photos of Kaʻū Family Fun Day by Ophir Danenberg below.

MORE POTENTIAL VETOES OF BILLS PASSED BY THE 2024 HAWAI'I LEGISLATURE are explained by Gov. Josh Green. He has until July 10 to veto bills or they become law. 

      In addition to the two affecting affecting housing on ag land and invasive species, reported in Friday's Kaʻū News Briefs, others include;
HB40: RELATING TO THE GENERAL FUND: Appropriates funds to be deposited into the emergency and budget reserve fund and pension accumulation fund pursuant to article VII, section 6, of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: Given the Maui wildfire recovery efforts and other state priorities such as affordable housing and reducing the cost-of-living for our residents, it would be financially imprudent to transfer $300 million in general fund money to the emergency budget reserve fund (Rainy Day fund) and to deposit an extra $135 million into the pension accumulation fund. The current balance of the Rainy Day fund of more than $1.5 billion is the largest it has ever been, and the state is committed to making regular payments on its unfunded liabilities including its pension obligations.

HB1800: RELATING TO THE STATE BUDGET: Adjusts and requests appropriations for fiscal biennium 2023-2025 funding requirements for operations and capital improvement projects of Executive Branch agencies and programs.
   Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: Fiscal prudence requires us to reassess our priorities to ensure we are addressing our highest needs—and all our needs—in an appropriate manner. Given recent projections by the Hawai‘i Council on Revenues, specific and targeted line-item amendments to the budget based on feasibility, priority, and departmental capacity are required to maintain a prudent financial plan, preserve our base budget, and balance the state’s most essential needs.
SB3068: MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR WILDFIRE RECOVERY: Appropriates funds to support the state’s continued response to the August 2023 wildfires that affected the counties of Hawaiʻi and Maui. Declares that the appropriation exceeds the state general fund expenditure ceiling for fiscal year 2024-2025.

    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: While the bill appropriates necessary funds to assist with Maui wildfire recovery, the bill inadvertently zeroes out funding for affordable housing. This bill, if enacted, would delay the construction of affordable housing units for Hawaiʻi’s residents. Alongside recovery efforts, housing remains a key priority for the Green Administration, and the administration will fully support all appropriations in this bill by transferring funds to the major disaster fund. The Budget Bill has sufficient appropriations to support all the wildfire recovery efforts detailed in this bill and the funds will be redirected to fund Maui recovery needs upon signing the Budget Bill.
SB3153: RELATING TO THE DAM AND APPURTENANCE IMPROVEMENT OR REMOVAL GRANT PROGRAM: Establishes the Dam and Appurtenance Improvement or Removal Grant Program Special Fund to receive moneys for the Dam and Appurtenance Improvement or Removal Grant Program. Appropriates funds into and out of the Special Fund for the Dam and Appurtenance Improvement or Removal Grant Program.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: Reducing the risk of dam failure requires rigid enforcement of dam safety standards. A robust framework for the management of dam and appurtenance improvements and removals requires careful consideration of a potential program’s long-term cost. The administration is evaluating the financial viability of this program as it supports private dam owners with their state compliance efforts.

HB1640: RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING:Requires the employer to initiate negotiations on the repricing of classes within a bargaining unit within 30 days of its receipt of the exclusive representative’s written request to negotiate. Establishes that an impasse exists and impasse procedures shall apply if an employer fails to initiate the negotiation within the required time frame and the parties fail to reach an agreement within 150 days of the exclusive representative’s written request to negotiate, or by January 31 of a year in which the collective bargaining agreement is due to expire, whichever is earlier. Sunsets 6/30/2029.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: This bill would greatly impact the state’s and counties’ ability to uphold an objective, equitable pay system and would place undue stress on chronically understaffed human resources teams across state and county governments. Existing law already provides for negotiations to reprice classes during master collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

HB1763: RELATING TO HOUSING: Prohibits the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC) from forgiving any loan made from the Rental Housing Revolving Fund (RHRF) unless the Corporation forecloses on the project. Amends the permitted uses of and priority for which moneys in the RHRF are to be used. Repeals the authorization to use RHRF to provide grants. Requires the HHFDC to submit a report to the Legislature on plans to revolve funds back into the RHRF. Applies to RHRF applications submitted after 6/30/2024.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: The RHRF is a critical tool for financing the development, construction, acquisition, preservation, and substantial rehabilitation of rental housing units for affordable housing. However, there are unresolved concerns regarding the impact of this legislation on affordable housing construction. Proposed amendments to permitted uses of the RHRF could impact the ability of financed projects to self-finance any necessary improvements in the future.
HB1936: RELATING TO HARBOR SAFETY: Mandates that the Department of Transportation require the securing of mooring lines from vessels to commercial docks, wharves, piers, quays, and landings to be performed by labor subject to collective bargaining. Sunsets 7/1/2028.
Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: This legislation could increase shipping costs across Hawai‘i for transported goods, which could be passed onto consumers. Given that Hawaiʻi already has a high cost of living, this bill will further increase costs and place an undue burden on Hawaiʻi’s economically stressed residents.

HB2359: RELATING TO THE HAWAIʻI BROADBAND AND DIGITAL EQUITY OFFICE: Establishes the Digital Equity Grant Program to award grants to applicants to deploy digital equity projects to covered populations in the state.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: While the State Digital Equity Plan is a roadmap for achieving a digital equity baseline across the islands, this bill would inhibit the development of small-scale, community-based networks in historically disadvantaged communities in Hawai‘i. As a matter of fairness, providers, regardless of size, should be permitted to participate in the Digital Equity Grant Program.
HB2526: RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES: Increases the penalty for a third or subsequent offense involving the unauthorized driving or operation of motor vehicles to a class C felony. Authorizes the court, as part of the person’s sentencing for the third or subsequent offense, to order that the vehicle used by the person in the commission of the offense be subject to forfeiture. Takes effect 7/1/2024.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: This bill will increase the caseloads for prosecutors, law enforcement, the Judiciary, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation without providing additional funding for enforcement. Implementation costs pose a feasibility issue with enacting this bill.

HB2581: RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Removes the ability of the Governor or a mayor to suspend electronic media transmission during a state of emergency or local state of emergency, respectively.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: The Governor is a strong proponent of the First Amendment, and understands that during an emergency, communication must be timely, accurate, and well-coordinated. However, we must still guard against acts of extreme violence or acts of terrorism which can use social media or other electronic media to communicate and activate crowds or destructive devices. This power to suspend electronic media transmissions is subject to federal law and the Governor and the mayors of every county in the state of Hawai‘i carefully weigh the power to suspend electronic media transmissions. As this bill has had prior versions last session with alternative language that more properly balances the needs for communication balanced against the need for protection, the Governor would prefer that a bill be worked on again looking at that more balanced approach.
SB572: RELATING TO AGRICULTURE: Authorizes and specifies conditions under which the Department of Agriculture may declare a biosecurity emergency, during which the Department and Governor may take certain actions to prevent the establishment or spread of pests and prohibited or restricted organisms. Broadens the objectives and general actions of the Biosecurity Program.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: Unlike the majority of the United States, the overwhelming majority of Hawaiʻi’s commercial goods move through the state’s harbors. Such goods include consumer goods, motor vehicles, construction materials, and fuel. Select sections of this legislation may impede harbor operations and the timely movement of those commercial goods transported through our ports. In effect, the power to requisition ships, as provided in this legislation, will unnecessarily impact the flow of goods that our communities rely on and appears to be an extreme power that could be addressed in a more methodical and limited approach.

SB1511: RELATING TO THE RESEARCH CORPORATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I: Clarifies the purpose of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH) and that its undertakings shall be limited to acts that are reasonably necessary to carry out its purpose. Repeals the requirement that the University of Hawaiʻi contract with the RCUH when the University determines that other various agencies cannot more effectively or efficiently accomplish certain research and training activities. Grandfathers existing RCUH contracts and requires new contracts be subject to new limitations. Limits the scope of the special account the RCUH is authorized to establish. Requires revolving accounts to follow University of Hawaiʻi Administrative Procedure 12.204. Limits internal service orders and revolving accounts of the RCUH that use University intramural funds to certain projects and requires biannual reports to the Legislature.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: In response to Senate Resolution No. 148, Senate Draft 1, of the 2021 Legislative Session, the University of Hawai‘i convened a task force to address the issues outlined in this legislation. This bill is, therefore, not necessary, and will only create confusion about both the role of the RCUH and the University of Hawaiʻi’s ability to foster innovative research opportunities through RCUH, which amount to more than $300 million in the last year alone, with benefits to the state’s economy and communities.

SB2439: RELATING TO LIMITATION OF ACTIONS: Extends the statute of limitations for civil actions brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as an adult against the person who committed the act. Allows a claim to be brought against legal entities during the two-year window period if there is a finding of gross negligence. Authorizes a court to award attorney’s fees to a defendant when an accusation of sexual abuse was made with no basis in fact and with malicious intent.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: Unlike Senate Bill No. 2601, which extends the period of time in which a child victim of abuse may bring a civil suit, this bill extends the time that an adult victim can bring a claim. This bill goes back and provides another limited window for adults to pursue a claim, but in approaches and time limits that do not appear to have any clear or prudent basis. There is also a concern about record retention policies that enable the destruction of potential evidence after set time periods. The potential revival of claims muddles the statute of limitations as a standard in the eyes of businesses and nonprofit organizations when it comes to record retention. Financial implications, insurance coverage, and document retention decisions must be properly factored into future legislation.
SB2512: RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT POWERS: Establishes notice and reporting requirements for the expenditure or use of public resources by the Governor, pursuant to the Governor’s emergency powers.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: In times of emergency, the Governor needs the flexibility and support to rapidly execute on key decisions on matters involving the public’s safety. Notice and reporting requirements mandated in this bill impede the Governor’s responsiveness and the Department of Defense’s flexibility during states of emergency and disaster situations, which impact the state of Hawaiʻi’s ability to provide support for impacted residents. Furthermore, the administrative procedures that necessarily follow such notice and reporting requirements will delay the Governor’s decision-making authority, and potentially the ability to respond in times of emergency.
SB2557: RELATING TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Allows a court to appoint an attorney for the subject of a petition for assisted community treatment if the interests of justice require one be appointed. Repeals language that entitles the subject of a petition for assisted community treatment to legal representation by a public defender.
    Gov. Josh Green's Veto Rationale: This legislation is nearly identical to language in parts of another bill that passed the legislature this session, House Bill No. 2159. And while the Governor supports the purpose of this bill, it is nearly duplicative and unnecessary.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.