Annual Report Highlights Hawaii’s Improving Economic, Fiscal Trajectory

The State of Hawaii’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, has been completed and shows Hawaii’s asset growth has outpaced liability growth for the first time in seven years.

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The 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, measures the state’s net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

“The report measures the state’s net worth and overall fiscal health, which clearly shows strong positive fiscal growth over fiscal year 2012,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Our improving trajectory is a reflection of positive trends in our local economy and responsible management of fiscal affairs, which now includes recognized improvements in meeting our obligations for timely reporting.”

The state Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) in coordination with the Department of Budget and Finance and the Office of the Legislative Auditor completed the CAFR on Jan. 27, 2014. The report shows the State of Hawaii’s net position (assets less liabilities) for primary governmental activities increased for the first time since 2006 by $307.1 million, from $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion. This represents an increase of 6.8 percent over 2012. Assets increased by $1.1 billion, which outpaced an increase in liabilities of $807 million. The growth in assets is attributable to accelerating growth in revenues and slower-paced growth in operating expenditures.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie was joined by Comptroller Dean Seki and Finance Director Kalbert Young to announce the public release of the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, which measures the state's net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie was joined by Comptroller Dean Seki and Finance Director Kalbert Young to announce the public release of the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, which measures the state’s net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

In addition, for the first time in more than five years, the state received the Award of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2012 CAFR. The award is given to governments for publishing financial reports that are clear, accurate, and delivered in a timely manner. Under the Abercrombie Administration, DAGS along with the Department of Budget and Finance have worked with the Office of the Legislative Auditor and an external auditor to address deficiencies in the timely production of previous CAFRs.

“The CAFR represents a coordinated and truly collaborative effort of all state departments with the Legislative Auditor and external auditor,” said DAGS Comptroller Dean Seki. “For each of the last three years, the CAFR has been delivered in a more timely manner, compared to the state’s delivery prior, and will serve as a helpful guide for anyone who has interest in the financial operations of the state.”

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State Finance Director Kalbert Young commended: “Investors and credit agencies expect year-end financial reports to be available as soon as possible after the closing of the fiscal year so that the information is not outdated. We believe the state can continue to improve delivery of future reports.”

The CAFR also identified an encouraging decrease in capital projects fund standing balances from $281 million to $149 million. This reflects an increase in capital improvement project activity as more funds were deployed with improved efficiency into the economy through construction projects.

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Addressing Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Young added: “The report illustrates the importance of pre-paying annual required contribution for OPEB liabilities, as Gov. Abercrombie has been advocating over the last three years. The successful passage of Act 268 in 2013 and our intending Annual Required Contribution (ARC) contribution of $100 million in fiscal year 2014 should start to slow and then reverse the increase on the balance sheet and further improve our asset ratio.”

The State of Hawaii’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, is available online at: http://ags.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/soh-cafr-20130630.pdf

Koa Values Soar – Makes Value of Big Island Forest for Sale Increase

Fluctuations in the tropical hardwood markets has resulted in a price increase, effective February 1, for a large parcel of old-growth koa forest on the Big Island. Named Ohana Sanctuary, the third largest privately-owned old-growth koa forest on the planet covers nearly five square miles of pristine koa cloud forest. Previously listed for $22 million, the price has increased $3.3M to $25.3 million. Beverly Molfino of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers is representing the sellers in the transaction.
Hakalau Forest

Situated on the slopes of Mauna Kea along the Hamakua Coast, the property encompasses 3,137.17 +/- acres and features more than 50,000 trees, including koa (Acacia Grey), ohia, mamane, hapu’u, eucylyptus and more. In addition to vast tracts of ancient growth koa, the property contains several waterfalls, including Sanctuary Falls and Haiku Falls, both named by the current owner. The waterfalls and streams merge and flow into the ocean.

The $3.3 million price increase comes amidst a 20% increase in asset valuation of tropical hardwood, particularly koa. A recent timber inventory determined there is an estimated 16.5 million board feet of koa wood alone on the property, with an initial harvest of 6.5 million board feet and a sustainable yield rate of 6 percent to 8 percent per annum. [16.5 mbd.ft. X .20 = $3.3M].

“Koa values continue to soar and this allows for an adjustment upward, although we feel that this price point is still substantially below market for this commodity, particular forest product due to it’s rarity and demand,” said the owners. The current owners, a family on the East Coast, are selling the property because they want to pursue others projects.

Given the popularity and scarcity of koa, a prized Hawaiian hardwood, the availability of this amount of Big Island land particularly a koa cloud forest, is highly appealing to a variety of potential buyers, says Molfino. She points out that demand and limited supply of the sought-after hardwood has resulted in a nearly 1,000 percent price increase for koa wood during the past decade. She adds that the property appeals to those looking to purchase the property for harvesting purposes or preservation.

Zoned as conservation resource, the potential exists to harvest the timber on site. Molfino points out that potential buyers need to do their own due diligence regarding the appropriate permits. Creating and generating hydroelectric power on site is another potential possibility given the number of waterfalls on the property.

The land itself is easily accessible from Chin Chuk Road. It is also within short driving distance to the transportation hub of Hilo, the second largest town in the state of Hawaii. Hilo is home to the largest port in east Hawaii, as well as an international airport.

For more information about the property visit www.beverlymolfino.net or call Beverly Molfino, (808) 937-7246, email beverly@beverlymolfino.net.

Big Island Police Searching for Man Last Seen in November in Puna

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 23-year-old Hilo man who was reported missing.

Philip Voelker

Philip Voelker

Philip Voelker was last seen near Orchidland in the Puna District sometime in November 2013.

He is described as 6-foot-4, 210 pounds with a thin build, a light complexion, brown hair, blue eyes and several tattoos. He is also wanted for several outstanding warrants.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call Officer Eddie Cardines at 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Man Charged With Another Robbery After Big Island Police Release Picture

A Kaʻū man who was arrested Thursday (January 30) in connection with a robbery involving a hatchet has been charged for that case and for another robbery.

Kainoa Kahele-Bishop

Kainoa Kahele-Bishop

After police put out a media release asking for help in locating 23-year-old Kainoa Kahele-Bishop of Ocean View for a robbery on January 26, a 48-year-old Ocean View man recognized his picture and reported that he had been robbed by the same man earlier the same day. In that case, the victim was fishing at South Point when he was confronted, threatened with bodily harm and robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash.

At 6 p.m. Friday (January 31), detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section charged Kahele-Bishop with two counts of robbery, two counts of theft, terroristic threatening and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.

The other arrest stems from a report on January 26 that a 47-year-old Discovery Harbor woman walking near her car on South Point Road had been threatened with a hatchet by a woman who got out of a white Toyota sedan.

The two women scuffled and the victim was able to take the hatchet away and throw it into the brush. During the scuffle, the victim suffered a bite on the right forearm. A man then exited the Toyota, reached into the victim’s car and removed a bag.

The male suspect fled in the Toyota after a passerby stopped to intervene. The female suspect entered the victim’s car and unsuccessfully attempted to start it. She then ran into the bushes.

Police investigation led to the identity of the suspects. The woman, 25-year-old Trinety Crapser of Ocean View, was arrested January 27 and charged January 28 with robbery, assault and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle

Body of Missing Man Found

The body of a missing Pepeʻekeo man was found Sunday after Akaka Falls state park was closed to allow Fire Department personnel to search for him.
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Jeffrey Reyes, 53, was reported missing Friday night (January 31). He was last seen Friday morning leaving his van in the Akaka Falls parking lot. The van was still in the parking lot when the park closed at 6 p.m.

Fire Department personnel began searching Friday night and closed the park while they searched again Saturday and Sunday. Sunday morning, searchers found the body submerged in Kolekole Stream near Kahuna Falls. Reyes was officially pronounced dead at 12:36 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

Police reclassified the case from a missing person to a coroner’s inquest.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. Police do not suspect foul play.