(Hawaii News Now)Moiliili resident threatens to sue city over sidewalks blocked by homeless camps

(Source: Hawaii News Now)

Woman threatens lawsuit against city over homeless camps blocking public sidewalks

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – A Moiliili woman is threatening to sue the city over homeless camps that block access to public walkways in her neighborhood.

Jo Ann Ochi has lived near Old Stadium Park more than 50 years.

She says the inability for people to use public sidewalks has gone on too long. And she’s asking the ACLU to defend the rights of the community.

Along Isenberg Street, walkways often resemble an obstacle course.

On Tuesday, pedestrians had it easy ― only having to sidestep rubbish after a recent sweep pushed squatters into a nearby park.

It’s a game of cat and mouse that has some residents at their breaking point.

“I went to the Mayor’s Office. I went to the Governor’s Office. I have talked to Marc Alexander (the city’s homeless czar), the police department,” said Ochi.

“Then I finally got tired because nothing’s been happening.”

Fed up with the status quo, Ochi says she’s now considering turning to the courts for help.

“Mothers pushing babies in their strollers. They’re on the street. That’s so dangerous. One of these days someone’s going to get hit,” she said.

“Right now, I feel like we are being ignored as far as what our rights are.”

It’s a feeling shared by many in the community.

“I think it’s about time someone did something about it,” said Casey Chong, the regional operator of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. He says area businesses are often targets.

Earlier this month, he was grabbed and threatened by a camper after he confronted him about stealing soda.

“Some of the biggest problems has to do with them coming in and being aggressive,” said Chong. “We are setting up a de-escalation class for some of my managers so they can try and handle these situations.”

Alexander, the head of the Mayor’s Housing Office, said the Moiliili encampments have proven to be a continuing challenge.

He confirms the city’s swept problem spots 39 times so far this year.

Despite weekly visits from outreach workers, Alexander says most Moiliili campers want nothing to do with help.

“I think there are a number of factors. Some people are going to be dealing with substance abuse disorder. Some people have mental health issues,” said Alexander.

“Some people are resistant because they’ve been empowered and enabled community members ― out of goodwill no doubt, bringing them food and other supplies that enable them to stay on the street.”

Ochi, meanwhile, said the homeless on her community’s sidewalks are human and need attention.

“We need to do something for them. But we also need to take care of the people around this neighborhood, too. We can’t sacrifice one for the other,” she said.

So far Ochi hasn’t heard back from the ACLU about whether they’ll take her case.

HNN asked but didn’t get a straight answer.

The non-profit’s executive director, Joshua Wisch, sent the following statement:

“All of Hawaii’s people, including people with disabilities and people living without shelter, have the right to share our sidewalks and public spaces. Rules governing the amount of space to be left clear on public sidewalks exist to protect those in our community facing mobility issues.

The ACLU has always supported the rights of the disabled and the important duty of the government to ensure there is enough space for people with mobility issues to use our public spaces and sidewalks, whether they are being blocked by bulky trash, construction materials, a vehicle, or someone experiencing houselessness. Unfortunately, the government has wasted the bulk of its resources on expensive and constitutionally troublesome sweeps, park closures, and sit/lie bans that not only fail to address the critical lack of affordable and transitional housing in Hawaii but also do not address the accessibility and mobility concerns of those living with disabilities.”

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

(Civil Beat) Honolulu Will Pay For ‘Confidential’ Criminal Defense Work For Years

(Source: Honolulu Civil Beat)

A mainland law firm will bill Honolulu taxpayers up to $700 per hour through 2022 in an attempt to shield privileged and private records seized by the feds in January – but exactly what records were taken and why is still shrouded in secrecy.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration refuses to talk about the search warrant, and the law firm’s contract with the City and County of Honolulu, obtained by Civil Beat, describes only vague legal responsibilities. The contract itself includes a code of silence.

“When dealing with the news media, the consultant is expected to be circumspect and to treat all matters falling within the scope of this contract with the utmost confidentiality,” the contract states.

Honolulu Hale with Tilt Shift lens. 2019

Councilmember Kymberly Pine said Caldwell should tell the public exactly why the firm was hired and what records were seized.

“If they’re innocent, they’ll be found innocent, and if they’re guilty, they’ll be found guilty,” said Pine, who is running for mayor. “To restore trust with the public, we should just be honest about everything that’s going on.”

Farella Braun & Martel was hired on Jan. 22, according to the contract, within days of federal investigators executing a search warrant on the city’s department of information technology. Mayor Kirk Caldwell briefly mentioned the warrant that month when he announced Corporation Counsel Donna Leong had received a target letter from the FBI in connection with the federal probe of former police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, ex-prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Funding up to $150,000 was approved by the Honolulu City Council in March. Council members discussed a resolution in a closed-door session and unanimously approved it except for two members who were absent, Ikaika Anderson and Ron Menor.

Earlier this month, the council voted on another spending allocation, this time raising the limit to $225,000. After Civil Beat reported on the contract, council members Kymberly Pine and Heidi Tsuneyoshi voted against the payments. Councilman Tommy Waters voted yes “with reservations.”

Tsuneyoshi said she voted no “after learning more about the details of this issue.” She declined to explain her decision further.

Waters voted with reservations because the corporation counsel wouldn’t answer his questions about the search warrant, he said. According to Waters, the city’s attorneys did not share the scope of the search warrant with council members.

“I was really concerned about the lack of information,” he said. “What was seized? What was in what was seized? And the response was: This was sealed information.”

With the exception of Menor and Waters, who are both attorneys, council members have declined to talk about the substance of corporation counsel briefings in executive session, which are not open to the public.

Waters cited a council rule that allows council members to disclose to the public “the general subject matter that served as the basis for the committee’s meeting in executive session.”

Menor, who chairs the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee, said the information he shared was “more procedural than substantive.”

“I am trying to be as open and transparent about this as I can be,” Menor said.

Honolulu City Council Kymberly Pine.

Farella Braun & Martel’s contract includes a long list of generalized legal tasks: “reviewing documents and records; interviewing witnesses; conducting research; rendering opinions including evaluations reports, and investigations; preparing pleadings, discovery documents and other documents; preparing reports and consulting with members of the Department of the Corporation Counsel; court appearances; communicating with opposing counsel; and assistance with negotiations related to factual and legal issues arising out of any criminal matters and issues involving the city.”

Pine said the vagueness of the contract opens up the possibility that the firm could be used inappropriately.

“My concern is these lawyers are going to be used to hide these injustices related to the Kealohas or the HART investigation,” said Pine, who voted against a measure that would use city money to defend HART employees embroiled in a federal probe. “None of this money should be used for that.”

Civil Beat obtained the contract through a Uniform Information Practices Act request. The news organization also requested copies of the law firm’s invoices, but the city denied it.

The contract, which ends Feb. 14, 2022, states Farella Braun & Martel Partner Douglas Young can bill the city $700 per hour. Partner Jessica Nall, Senior Associate Aviva Gilbert and Associate Claire Johnson can bill the city $500 per hour, and paralegals can bill $350 per hour.

According to Waters, the fact that the legal services are expected to go on for years may or may not be an indication of the scope of the search warrant.

“Perhaps the documents that were seized were voluminous, and it may take the court a long time to review these documents under seal,” he said.

(Hawaii News Now) City: Park security program leading to lower vandalism repair costs

(Source: Hawaii News Now)

City: Park security program leading to lower vandalism repair costs

City: Park security program leading to lower vandalism repair costs
Mother Waldron Park in 2018. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Officials say park security programs across Oahu have proven so successful over the last two years that for the first time, it’s now costing the city less to address vandalism.

In fact, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation, officials spent nearly $234,000 to address damage caused by vandalism during the 2018 fiscal year. But that was down 5% in 2019 to nearly $223,000.

Officials clarify these costs do not include the price of capital improvement projects needed to address extreme damage from vandalism — like the two arson cases at Kaiaka Bay Beach Park and Keehi Lagoon. They say both of these criminal acts cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars to replace the torched facilities.

“From the very beginning our parks have been a priority for this administration, and while the ultimate solution is to foster greater respect for our public areas, these security programs at select parks are working,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a statement issued to Hawaii News Now.

“Whether it’s park rangers, security cameras, locking our parks or having private security guards conduct patrols, these new tools have shown positive results and I’m happy our program is expanding with partnership and support from the City Council and from the state through the Hawaii Tourism Authority.”

Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako is one of the areas city officials are pointing to as a proof their park security program is working.

It’s one of 59 parks across Oahu where comfort stations and parking lots are locked by a contracted security company each evening during closure hours, then reopened at 5 a.m.

The pilot project began with just 25 locations in urban Honolulu in April of 2018 and will be expanding to 62 parks in the near future stretching from Sandy Beach to Waianae, down the North Shore and along the Windward Coast.

Mother Waldron is also one of nine Honolulu locations where private security guards help patrol the area for illegal homeless activity around the clock.

The pilot project began in November of 2018, in which pairs of unarmed private security guards monitor the parks three times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Officials say it has been so successful the City Council has approved $1.2 million to keep the program running and to eventually expand it to other locations.

This initiative is separate from the park rangers that are staffed at Ala Moana Regional Park, Kapiolani Park and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Officials say park rangers will eventually be stationed within Kakaako park lands as well, but the Kakaako Gateway and Waterfront Parks are still in the process of being transferred to the city by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes coming to district parks is the installation of security cameras through a partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which is covering the $204,000 to install approximately 192 cameras at 13 locations island-wide including Foster Botanical Garden, the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex, the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park, Kualoa Regional Park, Ala Moana Regional Park, Kapiolani Park and Hauula, Kalama, Kuhio, Makaha, Makapuu, Oneula and Waimanalo Bay Beach Parks.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

(Hawaii News Now) Honolulu making changes to improve bulky item pickup program

(Source: Hawaii News Now)

Honolulu making changes to improve bulky item pickup program

Honolulu making changes to improve bulky item pickup program
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (AP) – Honolulu is updating a pilot program to improve collection of bulky trash items that have been piling up in some neighborhoods since new rules took effect.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday that the city has tweaked the program to allow Waikiki residents to schedule weekly rather than only once-monthly pickup appointments.

The city initially shifted about 70,000 single-family homes and multiunit residential buildings from monthly scheduled bulky item collection to an appointment-based program that began in June.

Complaints about the new rules began almost immediately as bulky trash items piled up, especially in Waikiki.

In August the city began allowing tenants in multiunit buildings to make their own appointments instead of going through property owners, resident managers and associations.

Officials say appointments have increased 32% since the program began.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(Star Advertiser) Police arrest man who shot at them after hourslong standoff in Pacific Palisades

(Source: Star-Advertiser)

Police arrest man who shot at them after hourslong standoff in Pacific Palisades

  • Video by Craig T. Kojima and Leila Fujimori

    An armed and wounded man with a long criminal history barricaded himself in his ex-girlfriend’s Pacific Palisades house Thursday morning in a standoff with police that continued late into the night.

UPDATE:4:40 a.m.

Police took into custody a 51-year-old man, ending a standoff in Pearl City that lasted more than 12 hours.

Officers took Wayman Kaua into custody sometime before 11:30 p.m., police said today. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for an injury.

Kaua’s daughter had indicated her father sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach.

Police initially responded to a report of gunshots fired at a home on Apoepoe Street at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

A shelter that the American Red Cross opened at the Pearl City District Park gym for residents who could not return home Thursday because of the standoff has since closed as of 4 a.m.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

An armed and wounded man with a long criminal history barricaded himself in his ex-girlfriend’s Pacific Palisades house today in a 12-hour standoff that continued into the night.

Police warned the public in the area to take cover earlier in the day because the shooter had been firing random shots.

The standoff with police affected many of the same Pacific Palisades residents who were trapped in or out of their homes back in 1998 when the same man barricaded himself in another home in a nearby area of Pearl City.

Family members of Wayman Kaua pleaded late in the afternoon with police to allow him to come out because “he’s dying and on his last breath and bleeding out,” but police refused to allow them to go to him.

Kaua’s son’s girlfriend, Abcde Barboza, made the emotional plea, and with his son was trying to get past the police at the intersection of Komo Mai Drive and Aupaka Street.

His daughter Shine Kaua, 24, said her father was released from prison in March and that he and the 61-year-old woman had been together for some time.

She said her father had been shot by police in the stomach and that his lung also was affected, and that he was “bleeding out.”

Police allowed a voice recording by his son to be sent to him, she said.

The family has been in contact with Kaua. “He’s good. He’s a good dad,” Shine Kaua said.

The family remained as darkness fell and into the night. Police continued to use a bullhorn to talk to Kaua at least 12 hours later. Neighbors said he was in the upstairs portion of the house.

This morning Kaua showed up at the ex-girlfriend’s home, which she shares with her extended family, asking to see her, said her sister.

The sister, who asked not to be named, said she and other family members went out to talk to Kaua to calm him down before they knew he had a gun. “We just didn’t want my sister to come out,” she said.

She said her sister knew Kaua from before but that she had changed her lifestyle and found God.

She said Kaua fired a shot into her sister’s car but never threatened anyone with the gun. They had not been arguing, but he was yelling from the outside trying to talk to her.

It didn’t appear that he was trying to harm anyone, she said. “He’s not in his right mind now,” she said.

She convinced him to leave but he returned, she said.

Also at home were two young men and a baby girl. The rest of the family was at work or school.

The family, including the girlfriend, was able to leave the house unharmed, leaving Kaua alone in the house.

“We’re hoping for a good outcome, that he comes out alive,” she said in the afternoon.

Police closed a section of Komo Mai Drive above Pearl City. Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said residents who live between Komo Mai Drive and Apoepoe and Aupaka streets were not allowed in or out of their homes.

She said police responded to an Apoepoe Street home at about 8:40 a.m. after residents reported hearing gunshots.

Keke Manera said she and other residents who live near the house where the gunshots were discharged sought shelter at another neighbor’s house soon after they heard the initial shots this morning.

Manera said she was inside her home when she heard an argument coming from the residence next door. She then heard a gunshot. “It was very loud,” Manera said. Two more shots followed.

After she heard a vehicle leave the residence, she stepped outside to check on her neighbors. When police arrived, she saw Kaua in a vehicle speed toward the home.

Manera said police shot at Kaua before he barricaded himself in the home.

Manera and her 96-year-old grandmother, who uses a wheelchair, and other neighbors fled to another neighbor’s house in a cul-de-sac on Apoepoe Place.

When the SWAT team arrived, officers directed them to stay indoors. Shaken by the situation, Manera remained inside her neighbor’s home as of 5 p.m. “It has been a very crazy morning and day.”

The Hawaii Red Cross opened a shelter at the Palisades Recreation Center for residents who could not return home, and later another in Pearl City.

Kaua has a long criminal history dating to 1988, with about a dozen felony convictions ranging from manslaughter to robbery and various misdemeanor offenses, according to state records.

This is the second time that Kaua has had a violent standoff with police in the Pearl City area.

On Oct. 30, 1998, a police sharpshooter shot Kaua in the chest as he was holding his wife, Chanel Kaua, at gunpoint at 1938 Waimano Home Road. A SWAT team had stormed the house.

The shooting happened after a 22-hour standoff that stranded hundreds of residents and closed several area schools.

Kaua fired at least 17 shots from an assault rifle during the standoff, which started when police went to the home seeking Kaua, who was wanted for parole violations.

Kaua recovered from his gunshot wound and was sentenced to life in prison, but the sentence was later overturned.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the state’s use of a law allowing judges to impose extended prison terms was unconstitutional.

Mark Nakagawa, 62, recalled the 1998 standoff in which the Army “sent in a personnel carrier to move the kids out of The Children’s House,” an area school. Although Kaua was in a home off Waimano Home Road, the entire Pacific Palisades community was trapped for a day and a half. This afternoon and 21 years later, Nakagawa also was unable to return home, adding that the gunman has a clear view of his house from the balcony of the house he is in.

Neighbors said he was pointing the gun at people leaving their homes to go to work, he said.

The 1998 standoff was not Kaua’s first.

He barricaded himself, his then-pregnant girlfriend and her infant son for three hours in 1990 in an Ewa Beach home when police tried to serve him with a probation violation warrant, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported. That standoff ended peacefully.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.


Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporters Rob Perez and Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.


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(Hawaii News Now) Firm announces projected timeline for new Aloha Stadium

(Source: Hawaii News Now)

Firm announces projected timeline for new Aloha Stadium

Firm announces projected timeline for new Aloha Stadium
File photo of the current Aloha Stadium. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (AP) – A new Aloha Stadium could be ready for the opening of the University of Hawaii’s 2023 football season.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that the owner and senior principal of the firm hired to shepherd the process says a 2023 opening date can be achieved.

The state is paying $5 million to Crawford Architects of Kansas City, Missouri, to develop a master plan and conduct an environmental impact statement, which is mandated by law.

Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 in suburban Honolulu as the home of the university’s football team.

The state Legislature approved $350 million for the construction of a new stadium as a so-called “P3″project involving public and private partnerships.

The announcement is the first public timeline revealed since the Legislature signed off on the project in May.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(Honolulu Star Advertiser) Power unstable at Terminals 1 and 2 at Honolulu airport

(Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser)

Electrical power was unstable at Terminals 1 and 2 today at Daniel K. Inouye Airport, but did not affect any flights.

The state Department of Transportation announced the situation in a tweet this morning, but noted that takeoffs and landings were not affected. However, TSA operations may be affected.

DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara said in a text late Wednesday afternoon, “Operations were normal throughout the day.”

He did not address the question of TSA operations or whether electrical power was stabilized.

A spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric said the airport’s electrical issues are not due to an interruption in service from the utility.

A DOT spokeswoman said airport staff and an outside contractor were working to repair the lighting.

(Honolulu Star Advertiser)New Aloha Stadium may be ready in 2023, firm says

(Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser)

New Aloha Stadium may be ready in 2023, firm says

Having the new Aloha Stadium ready for a 2023 football season opening is “eminently do-able, sensible and economical,” said the head of the company overseeing the project for the state.

In his first public comments on the planning for the facility, Stacey Jones, owner and a senior principal of Kansas City-based Crawford Architects, said, “What we’re allowing is a design and construction period of somewhere a little less than three years which, in our experience, is ample time to deliver the stadium plus whatever constitutes the first phase of development …”

Jones said, “I mean, there is an imperative, right, to get out of this old stadium as quickly as possible without being hasty about it. It doesn’t exactly fulfill the customer satisfaction requirements it did when it was built back in (1975). It has ongoing deferred maintenance problems and issues that are expensive to address and is getting more expensive. The longer it takes to build the new stadium the more expensive it becomes because of inflation and other demands.”

Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 but the price tag on remediation of rust and other issues has run several times the initial $37 million cost.

The Legislature approved $350 million in a combination of general funds ($20 million), reimbursable revenue bonds ($180 million) and general obligation bonds ($150 million) to help finance the project in partnership with a yet-to-be-selected private developer as a so-called “P-3” project.

Normally when stadium projects “are delivered by a governmental agency, city, state, country, they take their time because they are not incentivized by the elements of commercial return and immediacy as when you bring in a private developer,” Jones said. “When you have a P-3 environment, things just move more quickly.”

To help achieve the goal of a 2023 opening, Jones said, “We’re anticipating running two parallel streams. The first, the statutory requirement of the environmental impact statement, has already commenced,” Jones said, while officials work toward setting up the request for qualification of potential partners and a request for proposals.

He said the goal is to have the environmental impact statement completed by the end of July 2020 and the requests for qualifications out to the development community by Halloween 2019 and have responses back by Thanksgiving 2019.

The state is paying Crawford Architects $5 million to conduct an EIS and master plan while helping to shepherd the process to completion. The company, which recently completed a 200-acre, multiple-use development for the Minnesota Vikings, said it is talking with another NFL team and has worked on several continents.

(Civil Beat) High Costs Make Hawaii’s Poverty Rate Higher Than U.S. Average

(Source: Hawaii Civil Beat)

Nearly 14% of Hawaii residents — more than 192,000 people — live in poverty, according to a new supplemental poverty rate released Tuesday. The new figures show that the state is struggling despite an official poverty rate that compares well with the rest of the U.S.

Hawaii’s official poverty rate was less than 10% in 2018 but the supplemental poverty measure, which averages the three years 2016-18,  is much higher because it takes into account the cost of living. The median home price on Oahu in July, for instance, was $835,000, according to the real estate firm Locations Hawaii.

The percentage of people in poverty is down slightly from the previous year’s rate that averaged 2015-2017, which was 15%. The total number of Hawaii residents in poverty also decreased by about 18,000.

The U.S. Census Bureau published the new supplemental poverty rate Tuesday. The national rate was 13.1%. Hawaii is among 16 states where the supplemental poverty rate is higher than the national average.

Nicole Woo, an advocate at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, said the supplemental poverty rate shows that Hawaii is doing far worse than the official poverty rate would suggest — 13th worst in the nation instead of 8th best.

“Hawaii has the fourth largest gap between the supplemental poverty rate and official poverty rate, which shows how the cost of living really skews the official poverty rate,” she said. “The official poverty rate is just not a very accurate measure, unfortunately.”

Woo noted that the new census data also showed food stamps reduced poverty in Hawaii by 1.3%, the sixth largest effect in any state. For seniors, the impact of food stamps was even bigger — the third largest reduction in poverty in the nation.

Tuesday’s data release also revealed the latest health insurance rates.

Slightly more people were uninsured in Hawaii in 2018 than in 2017 — 4.1% versus 3.8%. But the difference was within the margin of error. The increase coincided with a national rise in the uninsured rate from 8.7% to 8.9%.

Hawaii continues to have one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents in the nation. The state requires employers to provide health insurance to all workers who work at least 20 hours per week.

(Civil Beat) State Fills One Of Its HART Board Vacancies, Two More Seats Remain Open

(Source: Civil Beat)

State House leaders have filled one of the Legislature’s three vacancies on the local board overseeing Honolulu’s fiscally challenged rail transit project.

Lynn McCrory, a government relations professional, will join the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board, House Speaker Scott Saiki announced in a press release Tuesday.

McCrory, senior vice president for government affairs at Lanai Resorts LLC, replaces a previous House appointee, Kamani Kualaʻau, who resigned last month and had not been able to attend a HART meeting since January.

In the two years since four state-appointed, non-voting seats were added to the rail board to provide added scrutiny, those members have largely stopped showing up. Only one member, Michele Brunngraber, has attended a HART meeting since February, agency records show.

The state Senate’s two seats have remained vacant for months. Officials in that chamber have said they’re difficult to fill but that they’re actively working on finding replacements.

McCrory “has extensive experience in the planning and development of commercial projects both in Hawaii and on the mainland,” Saiki said in his statement. “She has worked closely with community members and government agencies and will be a great asset to the HART board. I am very grateful that she is willing to accept this appointment and look forward to her feedback.”

McCrory has also served as the director and chair of the Kauai County Board of Water Supply, director of the Hawaii Nature Center Board, a trustee of the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, director of the Maui Economic Development Board, and director of the Mutual Housing Association of Hawaii, the release stated.