Archive for November, 2008

Proclamation delive(RED)

November 28th, 2008

Monday marks World Aids Day, the day when individuals and organizations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic.

World AIDS day

Gov. Linda Lingle has marked the occasion with a proclamation declaring Hawaii’s recognition of the day.

It states in part:

According to the Hawai’i Department of Health, as of December 2007, a total of 3,011 AIDS cases had been reported in our state. Since 1987, UNAIDS has observed World AIDS Day on December 1 of each year. This is a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, as well as a time to reflect upon the importance of providing compassion, support and medical assistance for individuals afflicted with the disease.

You can view the entire proclamation at the governor’s Web site.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2008

Gov. Linda Lingle didn’t go so far as visiting a turkey farm to pardon some unfortunate bird, but she and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona did issue their annual Thanksgiving Day message.

The full text of the message:

Message from Governor Linda Lingle
Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr.
on the occasion of


NOVEMBER 27, 2008

As the holiday season approaches, we would like to wish the people of Hawai‘i a happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful that our state’s rich mix of cultures and traditions cultivates a unique harmony, reflecting the countless blessings we enjoy.

During these challenging economic times, we are reminded that a valued part of our holiday tradition is Hawai‘i residents’ willingness to share their time and treasures with those less fortunate members of our community. Many will serve meals to the hungry or donate food to a needy family. Each one of us can make a difference by being involved in our community. By sharing our aloha with those who need it most, together we can strengthen our economy, helping to ensure growth in the years ahead.

In Hawai‘i, the stunning beauty of our islands, a diverse culture which welcomes new friends and old, and the ideals of ‘ohana, which tie us to this special place we call home, are among the blessings for which we can be thankful. Let us also take a moment to remember our troops in the Middle East who are sacrificing time with their families to protect the principles of freedom and democracy. We appreciate the efforts made by the members of our armed forces and their ‘ohana.

Our Administration is truly thankful for the people of Hawai‘i who make our state an exceptional place to live, work and raise a family. We are proud to be a part of a country where we are empowered to help those around us in need.


Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawai‘i

James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr.
Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawai‘i

State seal


Meanwhile, making sure to not miss an opportunity to seize on a four-letter theme that worked successfully for a certain Punahou alum, Mayor Mufi Hannemann also issued his annual holiday message.

The full text:

Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s


We can be thankful for so much, particularly for the knowledge and comfort that our nation continues to be a bastion of freedom and democracy in the world.  Yes, our financial industry is struggling.  Businesses and consumers are retrenching.  American troops are in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And we have our individual worries and concerns.

But we can also be deeply grateful for the love and affection of our families, the companionship and support of good friends, and the blessings of life in a beautiful island state.  We can also be thankful that we have, above all, hope:  Hope that each new day will bring us opportunities for a better life in this great land.  It was in this spirit that the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving, and it is in this spirit that we celebrate this holiday today.

Gail and I wish you and yours a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  Aloha.

Destination D.C.

November 25th, 2008

Inauguration seal

The official Presidential Inauguration Committee Web site is up and running, although there’s not a whole lot of information to be had just yet.

This committee is in charge organizing the events surrounding the inaugural, such as the parade and many of the lavish balls that are held.

A schedule of events is forthcoming, but the Web site already includes links for those interested in volunteering for the occasion, as well as a link for anyone interested in temporary jobs.

The Web site also notes that tickets are free to the public and distributed through members of Congress. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies already has taken steps to warn the public about scams related to the inauguration tickets, with a message at it’s Web site:

“The public should also be aware that no website or other ticket outlet actually has inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, regardless of what they may claim.”

In other words, don’t buy any sort of ticket from a broker or scalper.

If you are intrested in tickets, contact the office of one of Hawaii’s four members of Congress:

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono

Promoting Obama

November 24th, 2008

As you may have read in Richard Borreca’s column on Sunday, the Hawaii Tourism Authority plans to meet early next month to discuss whether the state should actively promote President-elect Barack Obama’s ties to Hawaii.

The city of Chicago already has tapped the incoming First Family in its new marketing slogan: “Experience the city the Obamas enjoy.”

While Gov. Linda Lingle stopped short of saying similar promotions would be a good use of Hawaii tourism dollars, she did say she believes the idea is worth discussing.

“Certainly it is a big deal that the president-elect went to school here in Hawaii — was born in Hawaii — and I know the Hawaii Tourism Authority is going to be addressing what, if anything, should be spent,”the Republican governor said today at a news conference. “I think the nature of their decision has to be not, are we proud because the president-elect is from Hawaii, but will the expenditure of public funds in the inaugural time period help us to attract more people to the state,
or are there other ways to do that further down the line separate from the inauguration.

“I think it’s something that has to be discussed and thought through. Separate from just the inauguration, are there things that we could be doing to highlight the fact that the new president is from our state and was born here? That’s something that I think marketing people need to have a real good discussion about.”

Upcoming Council changes

November 20th, 2008

City Councilman Nestor Garcia, now chairman of the busy Transportation and Public Works committee, hinted at possible changes in the City Council’s leadership.

Garcia, when talking about a proposal to change the rail transit route to the airport, said at today’s committee meeting he’ll leave several measures up to “the next chairman of this committee.”

With Todd Apo replacing Barbara Marshall as chairman of the City Council, that means there will be a shake up in the City Council committees.

Apo will have the sole power of choosing committee chairs, a critical component in determining the dynamics of this already bitterly-divided body.

Apo, who aligns himself with Mayor Mufi Hannemann on many issues, said this morning he has given more thought to the committee appointments, but didn’t go into specifics.

“I’ve given it more thought,” said Apo, who served as chairman of the powerful Budget Committee. “It’s a regular daily mental play. I’ve started talking to members about what their desires are and their views for the broader council. Nothing’s going to be decided until early December.”

Council members are already vying for the top committees: Budget, Zoning, Transportation and Public Works and arguably Planning and Sustainability.

Allies of Apo include Garcia, Gary Okino and Rod Tam. Apo also served as vice chairman under Marshall, who is recovering from chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer.

This may also be a time for Apo to reach out to the dissidents of the City Council — Donovan Dela Cruz, Charles Djou and Romy Cachola — to possibly capture the five votes needed to gain control of the City Council.

Councilman-elect Duke Bainum, who is replacing Ann Kobayashi, is ambitious and has already served on the City Council and could lobby for a leadership spot. It still remains too early to tell if Bainum will align himself with the majority of the council that typically sides with the administration or with the dissidents.

Hannemann’s call to Obama

November 17th, 2008
By, in a remarkable survey, reached out to more than 1,000 mayors across the country a day after the Nov. 4 election for their top suggestions to President-elect Barack Obama.

At the top of Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s requests were help in boosting tourism and building a proposed $5 billion rail transit system:


Honolulu, HI
Pop. 910,000
Mufi Hannemann, mayor
On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I have asked the president-elect to place a high federal priority on promoting tourism to the United States and a relaxation of the federal visa waiver program, understanding of course that there needs to be a balance between national security and tourism to the U.S. An increase in tourism would not only provide an economic boost to Honolulu and Hawaii, but for many cities in many states across the country. I have recommended that there be established a cabinet-level secretary of tourism position. Additionally, I would like to see an increase in federal funding for rail mass transit. Rail transit provides economic, environmental and social benefits for cities.

Read here for what the other 204 mayors asked for, everything from creating an economic stimulus package or from the mayor of Cape Elizabeth, Maine to mandate universal cell phone chargers. Check out this cool interactive map as well.

Big moves for the Senate

November 15th, 2008

This is why the Senate will be making history by holding a special two-day session in someplace besides the designated Senate chambers in the state Capitol. The House and Senate chambers are used by the Office of Elections ballot counting operations and the elections folks must hold everything in place in case of a challenge and recount.
Meanwhile, the Senate has a two-day session scheduled Monday and Tuesday to confirm Melvin Fujino as a Big Island district court judge.
The temporary Senate chambers are pictured below: the Capitol auditorium. Monday and Tuesday sessions start at 10 a.m. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, in a memo to the senators, said the lower portion of the auditorium will be for senators. Upper area will be for the public.
“All usual protocols including dress code will be enforced,” Hanabusa notes in her memo.dscn7536.JPG

An organized House

November 13th, 2008

The state House Democrats have finished naming representatives to committee leadership positions. There are few major changes.

Here is the release from the House Majority office:

Honolulu, Hawaii.  Speaker of the House Calvin Say today announced the House of Representatives leadership team and the Committee chairmanships for the 25th Legislature.  They are:

House Leadership Team

Speaker:  Calvin K.Y. Say (District 20 – St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki)

Vice Speaker:    Michael Magaoay (District 46 – Kaena Point, Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Haleiwa, Waimea, Pupukea, Sunset, Kahuku)

Majority Leader:  Blake Oshiro (District 33 – Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights)

Majority Floor Leader:  Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala)

Majority Whip:  Pono Chong (District 49 – Maunawili, Olomana, Enchanted Lake, Kaneohe)

Speaker Calvin Say remains as Speaker of the House, a position he has held since 1998.  Say was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976, and has served on virtually every committee, including as Finance Chair from 1993 – 1998.  He is President of Kotake Shokai, Ltd., an import business.

Vice Speaker Michael Magaoay was first elected to the House in 2000 and most recently served as Chair of the Legislative Management Committee.  He was born and raised in Waialua and grew up in sugar plantation housing.  He is a Senior Project Engineer by profession.

Majority Leader Blake Oshiro was first elected to the House in 2000 and most recently served as Majority Floor Leader and Vice Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  He graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, and is an associate attorney with the law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.

Majority Floor Leader Cindy Evans was first elected to the House in 2002 and most recently served as Chair of the Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee.  She has a background in state government and is active in various West Hawaii organizations.

Majority Whip Pono Chong was first elected to the House in 2004 and most recently served as Vice Speaker.  He has a background in state government, international affairs, and teaching.


Committee Chairs


Chair: Clift Tsuji                 Vice Chair: James Tokioka

Consumer Protection and Commerce

Chair: Robert Herkes                      Vice Chair: Glenn Wakai

Economic Revitalization, Business, and Military Affairs

Chair: Angus McKelvey  Vice Chair: Isaac Choy


Chair: Roy Takumi                            Vice Chair: Lyla Berg

Energy and Environmental Protection

Chair: Hermina Morita   Vice Chair: Denny Coffman


Chair: Marcus Oshiro                      Vice Chair: Marilyn Lee

Hawaiian Affairs

Chair: Mele Carroll                           Vice Chair: Maile Shimabukuro


Chair: Ryan Yamane                        Vice Chair: Scott Nishimoto

Higher Education            

Chair: Jerry Chang                            Vice Chair: Mark Nakashima


Chair: Rida Cabanilla                        Vice Chair: Roland Sagum

Human Services

Chair: John Mizuno                         Vice Chair: Tom Brower


Chair: Jon Riki Karamatsu              Vice Chair: Ken Ito


Chair: Karl Rhoads                            Vice Chair: Bob Nakasone

Legislative Management

Chair: James Tokioka                      Vice Chair: Blake Oshiro

Public Safety 

Chair: Faye Hanohano                    Vice Chair: Henry Aquino

Tourism, Culture and International Affairs

Chair: Joey Manahan                      Vice Chair: James Tokioka


Chair: Joe Souki                                Vice Chair: Karen Awana

Water, Land and Ocean Resources

Chair: Ken Ito                                     Vice Chair: Sharon Har


Soetoro-Ng’s bittersweet e-mail

November 12th, 2008

The full e-mail from Maya Soetoro-Ng, President-elect Barack Obama’s half-sister, to supporters and friends after the death of her 86-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, and the historic election of her brother two days later.



November 11th, 2008


When the five new House Democrats this week came to work at the state Capitol they were greeted with special Aloha-designed parking cones to guide them to their basement parking stalls. The House Sergeant-at-Arms office provided the design expertise.

House and Senate members are considered public employees and  pay for parking, but getting special covered parking in the crowded Capitol District is always a treat.

Georgette Deemer, the House Democrat’s information officer also provided a picture of the six new Democrats.
Left to Right: Representatives Denny Coffman, Chris Lee, Henry Aquino, Jessica Wooley, Mark Nakashima and Isaac Choy.