Hawaii Legislature Considers State-Owned Bank

The House Committee on Finance will hear bills to discuss the concept and policy of a state-owned bank in Hawaii on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 11:30 a.m.

SUMMARY:  These bills will generate discussion on how Hawaii can best use state tax revenue that is currently deposited in private banks.  The committee seeks information on whether a state-owned bank will generate more revenue for the state, create jobs, better support clean energy, provide assistance for parts of the community that are under-served by traditional banks, and increase economic development for Hawaii.

The hearing notice can be found online at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/hearingnotices/HEARING_FIN_02-29-12_2_.HTM

The measures to be discussed are: HB2103, PROPOSED HD2 – RELATING TO THE BANK OF THE STATE OF HAWAII http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/HB2103_HD2_PROPOSED_.htm

This bill would direct the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to draft legislation to establish a state-owned bank.  The bill would also require the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to establish and operate a “mortgage cleansing” program to assist the homeowners of foreclosed properties.

The recent multi-state settlement by the state attorneys general for faulty mortgage foreclosures may also impact this proposal.  Hawaii’s estimated share of the settlement is more than $71 million, of which $8.2 million would be provided to Hawaii to use at its discretion.  The proposed program would be in place until the state-owned bank is operational.

Once a state bank is established, $500 million of state funds held by private institutions on behalf of the state would be deposited into the state-owned bank, and not less than 50% of all state funds required to be held in depositories would be deposited in the state-owned bank.  Currently, Hawaii-based banks hold more than $2.8 billion of the State’s funds as deposits.

HB1033, PROPOSED HD1 – RELATING TO PUBLIC FINANCE http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/HB1033_HD1_PROPOSED_.htm

This bill would establish an independent Clean Economy Bank of the State of Hawaii, to provide financing and risk management support for clean energy projects that help to lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported energy.  The bank would enable the state, in partnership with other states, to fully leverage federal funds to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure the nation’s energy security.

HB1840, HD1 – RELATING TO STATE-OWNED BANK http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/bills/HB1840_HD2_.htm

This bill would establish a task force to review, investigate and study the feasibility and costs of establishing a state-owned bank.  If enacted, this measure begins the process of identifying the needs within the community for a state-owned bank.

HB304 PROPOSED HD1 – RELATING TO STATE FINANCES http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/HB304_HD1_PROPOSED_.htm

This bill would allow the Department of Budget & Finance to enter into agreements with other bond issuers to pool bond allocations.  If a state bank were established, it could take advantage of low-interest financing of “green projects” and broker multi-state projects.  As such, Hawaii would be in position to serve as a national and international finance center.

Background Information

Bank of North Dakota: The Bank of North Dakota was formed in 1919 and is the only state-owned bank in the United States.  It has a single office in Bismarck, North Dakota and offers limited retail banking products; the Bank of North Dakota is a deposit institution only.  The majority of its bank deposits come from public funds, such as tax collections and state fees.  This bank in not insured by the FDIC – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; its deposits are guaranteed by the State of North Dakota.  Since its creation in 1945, the North Dakota State Bank has added more than $555 million to the state’s general fund.

Since 2010, at least 16 states introduced bills to either study or create a state bank or investment trust.  In 2011, Massachusetts formed a 21-member commission to study the issue and recommended against it.  In 2012, the California legislature passed a bill to establish a task force to consider the viability of a state bank; it was vetoed by the Governor.

State of Hawaii Deposits: As of January 21, 2012, the State of Hawaii had $2.8 billion in deposits in Hawaii financial institutions.  Of this, $111 million was in cash and $2.7 billion in certificates of deposit.  Hawaii spends more than $500,000 per year in general funds to pay the administration fees for these deposits.

Mortgage Foreclosures in Hawaii: The great economic recession resulted in nearly 24,000 Hawaii families losing their homes to foreclosure, with over 33,000 jobs lost, and more than 200 small businesses going into bankruptcy — many due to the inability of businesses to get loans.

92-Year-Old Hilo Woman Dies in Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision at Kamana Senior Center

A 92-year-old Hilo woman died Monday (February 27) from injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision at the Kamana Senior Center located at 127 Kamana Street in Hilo.

The victim was identified as Tamiko Fujio of a Hilo address.

Responding to a 8:48 a.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that the a 59-year-old woman Hilo woman was reversing her vehicle, a 2008 Toyota four-door sedan from the lawn area of the senior center onto the paved driveway when she struck the victim who was walking to her vehicle.

The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire/Rescue personnel where she later died at 11:30 a.m.

Police do not believe that alcohol, drugs or speed were factors in this crash.

The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Being that this death occurred on private property it is not counted towards the official traffic fatality count.

Art at the Capitol 2012: What’s on Your Wall, Senator Malama Solomon

Senator Malama Solomon talks about two of her favorite art pieces which are displayed in her office. The works of art include an acrylic on canvas by Carolyn Parrish entitled, “Stormy Day at Coconut Island,” and an oil on canvas by Paul Yardley entitled, “North Kauai.”


The public will be able to view these pieces and other works of art on March 2, 2012 at the 4th Annual Art at the Capitol from 5 – 7 p.m.

Statewide Agriculture Commodities Join Forces to Market, Export Hawaii Brand

In an effort to better market Hawaii commodities to foreign and domestic markets, three statewide agriculture associations have founded the non-profit Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council (SHAC).

The three founding associations— the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HPIA), the Hawaii Coffee Association, (HCA), and the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA)— represent 543 businesses stretching from Hilo to Hanalei.  Combined, the three commodities earned $120 million in 2010*.

Parchment drying is part of the labor-intensive processing of coffee

“Through SHAC, multiple Hawaii commodity groups are unifying to utilize federal and state funding to market and export our made-in-Hawaii brand,” says Eric Tanouye, SHAC vice-president and president of the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association.

Under SHAC, Hawaii commodities can apply for funds through the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). In 2012, $200 million was authorized by Congress under the Farm Bill to be channeled through FAS grants to more than 70 participants.

SHAC will mainly target grants through two funding opportunities: the Market Access Program (MAP) and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC). A cost share program, MAP helps U.S. producers and trade associations finance overseas marketing and promotional activities to support ag exports. TASC tackles technical trade barriers like crop regulations, sanitation and pest-control.

Serving as an umbrella association, SHAQ will enable Hawaii commodities to combine financial resources to provide MAP’s required amount of matching contributions and “desired broadness of representation.” The idea is to consolidate association contributions with diminishing Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) grants to better leverage the federal MAP funding.

“Many tradeshows on the US Mainland are considered international in nature and are eligible expenses under FAS funding,” explains Gloria Biven, HCA treasurer. By maximizing limited state funds and association contributions, we can share the cost of the same activities that span multiple groups.”

Those activities could include production of Hawaii-orientated product shows, the branding of members’ commodities and support of HDOA quality standards.

With a founding purpose to have commodities work cooperatively for the development and sustainability of Hawaii’s agriculture, SHAC will address other issues of importance to its members, such as legislative and regulatory representation. SHAC hopes to increase membership by at least one commodity association every two years to improve synergism and operational finances.

Ken Kamiya, president of SHAC and former HPIA president, surveys a papaya grove

“Our vision of is to create a solid management structure to support members in planning, government financing, compliance and activity implementation,” details Ken Kamiya, president of SHAC and former HPIA president.

“Many Hawaii commodities face the same challenges: geographic isolation, a high cost of doing business and no winter climatic control of plant diseases and pests,” Kamiya continues. “It makes sense to seek solutions by pooling our financial and human resources.”

Immediate goals for SHAC include seeking $500,000 in MAP funds and additional TASC support to fight the coffee berry borer and possible transgenic research.  SHAC will vie for funds with large organizations like the American Soybean Association, U.S. Apple Export Council and the California Table Grape Commission.

HFNA display seen last summer at Atlanta's Produce Marketing Association International Convention and Expo

Steve Beasley, FAS international marketing specialist, recently visited Hawai‘i to educate ag organizations, HDOA and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) on FAS.

“Steve got everyone off to a good start in visualizing the benefits of a multiple commodity group for Hawaii,” says SHAC Executive Manager Rod Yonemura. “Export is a significant part of our members’ sales so it is important to promote the high quality of our ag products to foreign markets.”

*Value of Production-Hawaii State Farm Facts Jan. 2012

Flowers & Nursery Products-$75,600,000



The Green Cancels Canadian Tour – Immigrations Deports Tour Bus Driver

All Canada shows for The Green have been canceled. Ticket refunds are available at place of purchase. Rebel Emergency will still perform at all shows- so check them out if you can. They are a great band from Toronto who drove across the country to be on this short run and we were looking forward to hanging with them.

The Green doing their sound check at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards


Early this morning we all successfully made it on to Canadian soil, but shortly after arriving our tour bus driver was deported due to a discrepancy in work permit processing. Once immigration found out our tour bus driver used to play bass in Next Generation, his work status went from Exempt (driver) to instead needing a labor permit (musician) – because technically in the eyes of immigration he could be a musician.

The Green warms up before the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

It is weird the way the law comes down sometimes, and though we have not slept, and have spent more time at the customs station than we have in our own bedrooms this month, we still love Canada and hope one day to return for a proper tour.

The Green at Pahoa Village Cafe

We are sorry to everyone who has gone out of their way to see us this week. We looked forward to meeting you and do not take canceling shows lightly. We know that for all the disappointment we feel, you are feeling it too. We offer our most sincere apology.

The Green receives the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for best Reggae Group

As a result, we will be scrambling to try and book last minute gigs this week in Seattle + Portland to fill the time and see fans who could not make it out to the sold out shows last week.

Mahalo, The Green


Former Damien Memorial High Employee in Trouble Again… Alleged Child Abuse in California

Well it looks like former Damien Memorial High employee Rev. Gerald Funcheon is in trouble again.

…Another of the named men is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon. Palma President Brother Patrick Dunne confirmed Friday that Funcheon was chaplain and taught at the school from 1984 to 1985. Newport Beach attorney Mike Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and bankruptcy claim on behalf of a former Palma student who alleges he was molested by Funcheon.

Funcheon was a Crosier priest from Minnesota who had been banished from the Diocese of Indianapolis after allegations of sexual abuse, according to Joelle Casteix, regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which has called this morning’s press conference.

Funcheon was one of the perpetrators named in a class-action lawsuit in Minnesota in 2006.

Funcheon arrived at Palma, with the blessings of Bishop Sylvester Ryan and his own Crosier provincial, after allegations arose at Damien Memorial High School in Hawaii in 1984, according to press reports at the time…

Full Article Here: Identities revealed of three former Palma accused of child abuse

WordPress Storage Dues

Some folks think that running a site like this is free to do… well you can have a free site but it won’t allow you to do much things or upload a lot of things to the site like I tend to do here.

I’ve been waiting for my WordPress storage space to fill up and now it looks like it’s time to upgrade my subscription…. again.

It’s only $19.95 to upgrade… but then I also have to renew my domain as well.

So if you like this site… make sure to visit the sponsors… and feel free to click on that Paypal link on the right side of this site to make a donation.

Mahalo for reading!

56-Year-Old Man Dies in Vehicle/Pedestrian Crash

A 56-year-old Hilo man died Saturday (February 25) from injuries he received in a motor vehicle/pedestrian crash which occurred on February 24, 2012 on the Wailoa Bridge in Hilo.

The pedestrian was identified as Marcelino Jaquias, Jr., of a Hilo address.

Responding to a 6:58 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the pedestrian was crossing the Wailoa Bridge in a northerly direction when he was struck by a 2008 Kia van traveling west and being operated by a 47-year-old Hilo man.

The pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire/Rescue personnel and was later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at 6:42 p.m. at the Queen’s Medical Center.

The driver of the van and his passengers, a 43-year-old woman and 5-year-old girl were not injured.

Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were factors on part of the driver but it appears that the pedestrian had been drinking.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 4th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 5 at the same time last year.56

24-Year-Old Man Dies in Hilo Motorcycle Wreck

A 24-year-old Laupahoehoe man died Sunday (February 26) from injuries he received in a single motorcycle crash on Kalanianaole Street, 228 feet east of Koloa Street.

The driver was identified as Dimitri I. Sheehan of a Laupahoehoe address.

Responding to a 4:08 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that Sheehan was operating a 2002 Honda motorcycle and traveling west on Kalanianaole Street when he did a “wheelie” on the roadway, lost control and ran off the right side of the road where he struck a street sign.

Sheehan was wearing a helmet and was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire/Rescue personnel where he later died at 5:43 p.m.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved but speed was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 5th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 5 at the same time last year.

Police Scanner Feed From the Day of the Mysterious Big Boom in Puna

Watch youtube clip below for the scanner feed to begin at the 2:45 mark

I was just alerted to the following youtube clip that has the police scanner feed (STARTING AT 2:45) from the day that Puna experienced the big mysterious boom last week on February 22nd around 8:40 am:


It was posted by some website site called “Alien” that seems to like to write about conspiracies.

While I’m mentioned in the KHON2 news clip… I have no idea what the the intentions are of this group by posting the scanner feed from that day other then to possibly provide some sort of conspiracy as to what happened.

I’m just posting it here so folks can hear the feed themselves.