Courts Order Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to Release Enrollment List

In a victory for transparent government, a state court has ordered the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to release its enrollment list. The suit was filed by Judicial Watch with the assistance of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii after an open records request for the Roll was repeatedly denied by the Commission.

Native Hawaiian Roll Commision

In a decision that emphasized the importance of open government, the Court rejected the Commission’s reasons for denying the request, requiring the Commission to produce the list and pay attorney’s fees in the case.

Said former Hawai`i Attorney General, Michael A. Lilly, who represented Judicial Watch in the case, “Today, in a victory for open government, Judicial Watch won a case seeking a roll of over 125,000 people allegedly registered with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.”

Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute stated, “With the release of the Roll, it will now be possible to answer concerns over the tens of thousands of names that have been placed on the list without the express permission of individuals. The fact stands that the vast majority of Hawaiians have chosen not to support the efforts of OHA and the Native Hawaiian Roll to create a sovereign government. Their voices can now be heard. And, hopefully, OHA will stop wasting public money on its unconstitutional push for sovereignty and, instead, spend it on housing, education, employment, and health services for those in need.”

“The Commission was established by the State of Hawai`i to prepare a roll of native Hawaiians,” continued Michael Lilly. “After only a handful of Hawaiians had registered with the Commission, it artificially augmented its roll with three other lists held by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  The Commission refused to produce the roll in response to a freedom of information request by Judicial Watch. In granting Judicial Watch’s request for the roll, the Hawai`i Circuit Court held that the roll was a public record and thus ordered its disclosure. The Court pointed out that Hawai`i’s open records law was intended to ensure that the formation and conduct of public policy be conducted as openly as possible. The Court will assess against the Commission the reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by Judicial Watch in having to seek judicial relief.”

Maui Chef Honored for Good Deeds Helping Puna Residents

Maui Chef Lyndon Honda was honored Tuesday evening at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa for his efforts assisting Puna residents in a time of need.

Lyndon

Lyndon Honda raised more than $40,000 for the folks of Puna

For his efforts in raising more than $40,000 to help the people and businesses of Pahoa dealing with the ramifications of TS Iselle and Kilauea’s ongoing eruption, Honda, a chef based in Lahaina, Maui, was honored by State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura and the Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset at the club’s awards ceremony Tuesday.

Honda, owner/chef of Laulima Events and Catering, was applauded for his aloha spirit and fundraising efforts and presented with a resolution from the 2015 State House of Representatives at the Rotarians’ banquet at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa.

Rep. San Buenaventura cited Honda’s love for “cuisine and food culture combined with his selfless desire to help others” in motivating him to organize culinary events raising $28,000 last September and $15,000 in February to benefit the Puna community.

“Lyndon not only rallied the chefs from Maui and the Big Island to help raise money for the victims,” San Buenaventura said, “but he got them to provide all the necessary supplies, food and tools needed to prepare their dishes so that 100 per cent of the funds raised went to the victims.”

Checks for $3,000 were presented to The Neighborhood Place of Puna, Kua O Ka La and Hawaiian Academy of Arts and Sciences public charter schools, the Puna Community Medical Center fund, and Kalani Honua at the awards banquet on Tuesday. Earlier this year the Pahoa Rotary distributed $750 grants to 31 local farmers and $5,000 to the Hawaii Island Food Bank from the funds Honda raised on Maui last year.