Chief Justice Appoints M. Kanani Laubach as Hawaii Island District Family Court Judge

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii). Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.

Kanani Laubach

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed M. Kanani Laubach to the District Family Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii).

Laubach has been in private practice since 2011 when she opened the Law Office of M. Kanani Laubach, L.L.L.C. in Hilo, Hawaii. Since 2012 she has been a partner at the law firm of Laubach & Frenz, A.A.I., L.L.L.C., handling criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. She also has extensive experience in family law cases involving temporary restraining orders, divorce, paternity, and child custody proceedings.

Between 2006 and 2010, Laubach served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, where she worked on criminal cases in District, Family, and Circuit Court. In 2007 she joined the Violent Crime Unit and was tasked with prosecuting violent crime cases ranging from child sex assault to homicide.

From 2003 to 2006, Laubach served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor Jury Demand, and Felony Trials divisions.

In addition to her legal experience, Laubach has previously worked with families in both the school and home environments, including teaching parenting skills and child development as a Visitation Specialist at Parents and Children Together in Waipahu, Oahu.

Laubach currently holds the office of Vice-President of the Hawai’i County Bar Association, and has been providing pro bono services at the Hilo Self-Help Center since it opened in 2012. Laubach has served as a Director on the Waiakea High School Foundation Board since 2014, and as a volunteer arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since 2011.

Laubach is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2003. She is also a graduate of Chaminade University of Hawaii where she received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2000.

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. If confirmed by the State Senate, Laubach will serve a term of six years.

Hokulea Greeted by Thousands in New York City

After years of preparation, legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived in New York City and was officially welcomed this morning by thousands of New York residents and a delegation of Hawaii leaders, educators, students and supporters.

Hokulea New York

Among those in attendance were Governor Ige’s Chief of Staff Mike McCartney, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Hawaii Island Senator Kai Kahele, Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti, Solomon “Sol” Aikau (Eddie Aikau’s older brother), marine artist Wyland and Solar Impulse pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.

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The arrival event began with a traditional ceremonial welcome by Native American tribes from the area including the Ramapough Lenape Nation, Moraviantown Delaware Nation, Shinnecock, Unkechaug, Mohegan, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. A traditional Hawaiian aha awa, or awa ceremony, was held by Hui Kipaepae of New York. Various hula halau (groups) from New York and Hawaii also offered performances celebrating the historic occasion.

Hokulea New York Kai

“There is something special that this canoe carries on behalf of our home that I think this world not only respects, but needs,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This day of celebration is really the step we need to give us strength to go to the United Nations on behalf of all of the people who are doing their part to be responsible for our island home called Earth.”

On World Oceans Day on June 8, a series of events with the United Nations will include a ceremonial presentation of ocean protection declarations by Thompson to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The canoe’s arrival at Manhattan’s North Cove Marina – the doorstep of the 9/11 Memorial, New York’s financial business district – marks the pinnacle point of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

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During their time in New York, Hokulea crew members have a robust schedule of outreach and engagement, in which they will lead, participate in, and support the following events:

  • Monday, June 6: Malama Honua Education & Environment Summit at Governors Island
  • Tuesday, June 7: Presentation by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan on behalf of Imiloa Astronomy Center at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Wednesday, June 8: World Oceans Day
  • Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New YorkSoHo
  • Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge

For Hokulea’s most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.