Watching and reporting about Hawaii from Washington Place to Washington, D.C.

5:09 p.m. Auditor Criticizes Public Housing Management

Hawaii’s more than 6,000 public housing units have been so poorly mismanaged that federal funding has been put at risk, Marion Higa said in an audit released today.

Read Civil Beat’s story.

4:58 p.m. Gov: Let’s Get Economy Moving

Neil Abercrombie‘s weekly message concerns the economy.


Since I took office six months ago, I have approved the release of nearly $300 million for the New Day Work Projects. And our budget for the next year includes more than 1.4 billion dollars more.

The New Day Work Projects will put our family, friends, and neighbors to work … and the investment will stay right here in Hawaii. Our economy is coming back strong, and I look forward to continuing this journey with you in the weeks and months to come.

3:44 p.m. Abercrombie on Vietnam Vets

The governor has a YouTube posting — a “PSA to further remember Hawaii’s Vietnam Veterans.”

Excerpt: “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund needs our help now finding photographs of our friends, families and neighbors …”

It’s 30 seconds in length.

2:16 p.m. Hirono on Filipino Reunification

Here’s an excerpt from remarks delivered by Mazie Hirono today on the reintroduction of the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act:

As you know, Filipino veterans are those that honorably answered the call of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served alongside our armed forces during World War II. They fought shoulder to shoulder with American servicemen; they sacrificed for the same just cause. We made a promise to provide full veterans’ benefits to those who served with our troops. And while we have recently made appreciable progress toward fulfilling that long-ignored promise, we have not yet achieved the full equity that the Filipino veterans deserve.

In 1990, the Congress recognized the courage and commitment of the Filipino World War II veterans by providing them with a waiver from certain naturalization requirements. Many veterans thereafter became proud United States citizens and residents of our country. However, allowances were not made for their children and many have been waiting decades for petition approval.

The Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act would allow for the further recognition of the service of the veterans by granting their children a special immigration status that would allow them to immigrate to the United States and be reunified with their aging parents.

12:45 p.m. $4.3M for Rural Education

Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye say that the University of Hawaii will receive $4.3 million to continue a program that provides job training and educational opportunities to people living in underserved, rural communities on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai.

UH-Maui College oversees the program, which offers training in healthcare, culinary arts, food service, veterinary technicians, automotive repair and other industries.

10:30 a.m. House Reps Split Libya Votes

The Republican-controlled House on Friday adopted a resolution “rebuking President Barack Obama for dispatching U.S. military forces against Libya without congressional approval,” according to news reports.

Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa split on the 268-145 vote, which was largely along partisan lines. Hanabusa was in the majority.

The non-binding resolution from John Boehner says the president has failed to provide a “compelling rationale” in aiding rebels battling Moammar Gadhafi.

Hirono and Hanabusa also split their vote an another resolution, this one from Dennis Kucinch, that called for an end to U.S. involvement in the NATO-led operation in Libya. But the resolution failed 265-148, with Hanabusa on the losing side.

NOTE: An earlier posting on the votes from Hanabusa and Hirono was in error.

Meeting: Kauai Reapportionment

The Apportionment Council for Kauai meets at 5 p.m. at the Historic County Annex Building Basement to take up questions from the state’s 2011 Reapportionment Commission.

The questions include whether to include non-resident military and personnel as well as sentenced felons as part of the permanent population.

Discussion as will centers on single- versus multi-member districts, and so-called “canoe” districts, meaning districts that include portions not directly connected by land.

Briefing: Homelessness

That’s right — the Legislature is not in session, but John Mizuno and Rida Cabanilla are still holding meetings on homelessness and housing.

This one is scheduled for tomorrow — yes, Saturday — at 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Room Aging Disability Resource Center Training Room in Hilo (055 Kinoole Street, Suite 101).

The agenda:

The purpose of this informational briefing is to discuss issues concerning homelessness, services provided through the Department of Human Services (DHS) to families, individuals, disabled, and elderly. The briefing will also allow the committees to hear from employees and service providers under DHS on suggestions to improve the current system of social services. Finally, the briefing will address issues relating to the community care foster home industry on the Big Island, review concerns with payments from Ohana Health and Ever Care and discuss the impact of the passage of HB739 on such care providers.

HB 739, which awaits the governor’s signature, requires that primary caregivers be a certified nurse aide and substitute caregivers be a nurse aide who has completed certain training in approved community care foster family homes.

Neighbor Isle Gov’t News

The Maui News reports that Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza has denied a motion by former Council Member Sol Kahoohalahala to dismiss a long-running lawsuit that seeks to invalidate his term in office:

Attorneys for Kahoohalahala had argued that the lawsuit, which was filed in 2008 before he took office, was no longer relevant because his two-year term has since ended. But Cardoza disagreed, saying it was still necessary to resolve the matter even though Kahoohalahala is no longer in office.

“The claims are not moot,” he said.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that a bill intended to resolve noisy-dog complaints has become Hawaii County law:

“I am returning to you Bill 27 Draft 2, which I am allowing to become law without my signature,” Mayor Billy Kenoi wrote in a May 27 letter to the County Council.

Kenoi expressed concerns with the bill, but chose not to veto it. While the bill makes an “incremental improvement” over the existing, “clearly flawed” law, it does not name any specific entity as being responsible for answering barking-dog complaints, Kenoi added in his letter to lawmakers.

West Hawaii today reports that Big Island residents curious about the implications of county officials allowing a South Kohala developer to move forward with some county permitted work will get a chance to hear the county’s reasoning behind the decision:

Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd told West Hawaii Today in late April the county would honor permits already issued for DW Aina Lea’s the Villages at Aina Lea, even after a Land Use Commission decision to rescind the urban land classification for the South Kohala property.

Leithead Todd will be the speaker at a community meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Waikoloa Village Community Meeting Room, adjacent to the restaurant and golf course. Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann is convening the public meeting to discuss the “unprecedented” commission decision.

The Garden Island reports that Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays and Lambda Aloha are co-sponsoring Kauai Pride 2011, the largest gay pride celebration on Kauai:

The three-day event runs from June 10 to June 12 at Kauai Beach Resort in Lihue.

“For me, I think this year with the passing of civil unions, the LGBT community is more energized,” said David Perry, a member of Lambda Aloha and PFLAG. “It brings everyone together, including the youth and families.”

Catch up on previous coverage:

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