The Beat: ‘Should Hawaii Re-Designate Discoverers’ Day As Indigenous Peoples’ Day?’

By Chad Blair
Honolulu Civil Beat, 2/7/14

That’s what Senate Bill 317 calls for. It has a hearing this afternoon.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, explains that the re-designation the second Monday of October from “Discoverers’ Day” to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” would be recognition of Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands and accomplishments of the indigenous voyagers who founded and settled “the myriad islands” of the Pacific Ocean more than 1,000 years before Columbus was born.

SB 317 would also recognize “countless indigenous peoples who perished as a result of confrontations” between indigenous peoples and Europeans.

Star-Advertiser: ‘Slayer of Peacock Decided Not to Sue Condo Association’

Star-Advertiser 2/13/14

Question: Whatever happened to the lawsuit that was supposed to be filed in the aftermath of cruelty-to-animals charges against the woman who killed a peacock with a baseball bat in 2009?

Answer: In January 2011, Sandra Maloney, who was 70 at the time, was found not guilty of second-degree animal cruelty for clubbing a peacock to death outside her Makaha Valley Towers home. Under the law at the time, second-degree animal-cruelty charges applied when intentionally killing any animal — other than insects, vermin and pests. Maloney’s attorney, Earle Partington, argued that peacocks were pests.

Partington said his client is living “happily in retirement.”

When cleared of the charge, Maloney said she planned to sue the condominium association for not taking care of its peafowl problem. But Partington said she has since changed her mind.

“She probably thought in the end it just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

The incident prompted lawmakers to make clarifications to animal-cruelty laws.

Senate Bill 1533 — informally referred to as the “peacock bill” —was introduced by Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Nanakuli-Makaha) and enacted in July 2011. It clarifies that second-degree cruelty to animals applies if an animal is killed “without need.” It also specifies that insects, vermin or pests must be handled in accordance with standard and acceptable pest-control practices.

Under the new law, Maloney could have been found guilty because she did not use an approved method to get rid of the bird.

Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said it is standard and acceptable to use a pest-­control professional, or to check with the state for approval of permits and methods for getting rid of pests — such as live trapping and humane euthanasia.

“Our main concern is that people don’t take matters in their own hands,” she said.

Shimabukuro said problems with peacocks should be handled like problems with cats and dogs. Partington, however, still doesn’t agree.

“Peafowl are pests and vermin,” he said. “A sharp blow to the head is (an approved method) by the American Veterinary Association.”

Gibson said she hasn’t been receiving complaints about peacocks in Makaha, even though they’re still there.

“They reproduce like crazy,” Partington said. “At some point, the state has to do something to exterminate them. They’re not endangered animals. They’re pretty, but we have to look at peafowl as feathered rats.”

The law says “extermination of any insects, vermin or pest must be conducted in accordance with standard and acceptable pest control practices,” but killing insects like cockroaches by force — such as with a slipper — is still acceptable, Shimabukuro said.

“You just wouldn’t hit a peacock that way.”

This update was written by Joie Nishimoto.

Star-Advertiser: ‘OHA Condo Plan Clears Hurdles in Senate’

Two committees pass a bill allowing towers to be built on certain Kakaako parcels

By Andrew Gomes
Star-Advertiser 2/13/14

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs won support from two Senate committees Wednesday for developing condominium towers on land in Kakaako makai of Ala Moana Boulevard despite deeply divided testimony on a bill that would reverse a 2006 law prohibiting residential use in the area.

The bill that passed, however, was amended to restrict housing to three inland parcels out of nine mostly waterfront lots that the state gave to OHA two years ago to settle disputed claims over unpaid ceded-land revenue.

OHA had said it was seeking to develop housing on only three or four parcels, though the original bill allowed for residential use on all nine lots covering 31 acres.

Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing voted unanimously to pass the amended version of the bill, Senate Bill 3122.

Hawaiian Affairs committee Chairwoman Maile Shimabukuro (D, Kalaeloa-Waianae-Makaha) acknowledged the heavy split of support and opposition over allowing condo development in the area, and proposed several amendments seeking to strike a balance.

One of the amendments would impose fees on residential units to be spent on helping maintain the area’s parks, ocean access, security and free public parking for park users.

Another amendment increases the development height limit on two parcels fronting Ala Moana Boulevard for residential development to 400 feet from 200 feet.

OHA sought the bill because it concluded that income from commercial development allowed under current zoning would fall short of what would typically be expected from land worth about $200 million, which was the ceded-land settlement value.

Appraisers for the state and OHA calculated that the land was worth $193 million to $198 million, which is what OHA could expect to receive if it sold the property.

However, a study commissioned by OHA last year assessed the earning potential for the land and concluded that achieving a market-rate annual income of $14 million to $16 million from $200 million of real estate isn’t possible with retail and other commercial development that would suffer from a lack of residents in the immediate area.

OHA testified that it will balance commerce and culture to create a redeveloped Kakaako Makai that will make Native Hawaiians and the general public proud.

“We seek to find the highest point at which the culturally rich use of our Kakaako Makai lands intersects with revenue-generating use of the parcels,” the agency said in written testimony. “We understand better than any other developer the impacts of irresponsible development. Native Hawaiians have been victims of, and suffered most from, the consequences of reckless development.”

Many OHA beneficiaries testified in support of the agency’s request, and urged lawmakers to pass the bill.

Click here to read the full story on the Star-Advertiser site.