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Hawaii Representative Issues Statement on Zuckerberg Reconsidering Lawsuits

“I am heartened to hear that Mark Zuckerberg is reconsidering his lawsuits against the indigenous kuleana land owners on Kauai,” said State Rep. Kaniela Ing.

“This shows the power everyday people wield when we band together to stand up for Native rights and our ‘aina. The people’s voice can and will overcome big money and celebrity–even against the fifth richest man in the world,” Ing said, referencing the videos and articles he shared on Facebook regarding the issue, which garnered over 170,000 views and thousands of shares each.

“Hawaii has always been a welcoming place, but over time, we have learned what exploitation can look like. In his eagerness to join our island community, Zuckerberg may have overlooked the diligence needed to dutifully enculturate and address an understandably skeptical community.

“I mahalo Mark Zuckerberg for his words of aloha and willingness to talk, but I will not stand down until he follows through with action.”

Ing said three steps Mr. Zuckerberg could take: “(1) officially drop the lawsuits; and, (2) donate to the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation to help protect native families from future Quiet Title actions. Then, (3) join us at the table to restart a positive dialog as mutual stewards of land and culture.”

“In the meantime, we should all maintain aloha and grant Mr. Zuckerberg a chance to meet his promise to talk story, explain his intentions, and make right with the community. We will be here watching and willing to share our mana’o.”

Court Dismisses Sandwich Isles Communications Lawsuit Against the Public Utilities Commission

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that state circuit judge Rhonda A. Nishimura today dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sandwich Isles Communications against the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Sandwich Isles, which provides phone and internet services to residents of Hawaiian home lands, sued the PUC to restore millions of dollars in federal subsidies that were suspended in 2015 by federal regulators. Judge Nishimura ruled from the bench, granting the PUC’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

After federal regulators suspended subsidies to Sandwich Isles in 2015 and 2016, the PUC issued decisions declining to certify it as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Sandwich Isles must be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier to receive a type of federal subsidy granted to communications companies to provide services to certain rural or other hard-to-reach geographic areas. After the PUC issued its decision, Sandwich Isles appealed to the circuit court.

The PUC declined to issue the certification in September 2016 because it was waiting for the results of a federal audit of the participation by Sandwich Isles in the federal subsidies program. The subsidy payments to Sandwich Isles were suspended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015 because of the audit and those subsidies are still suspended. In December 2016, as a result of the audit, the FCC ordered that Sandwich Isles pay substantial fines and repay the federal government more than $27 million in overpayments.

Attorney General Doug Chin stated, “Given the federal audit and its findings, the Public Utilities Commission was right to act with caution in this situation.”

The FCC’s orders are in the process of being implemented. Today’s ruling does not impact those proceedings. A written order from Judge Nishimura is forthcoming.

Coast Guard and Fire Department Searching for Man Swept Out to Sea Off Maui

The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department are searching for a man swept out to sea near Kahului, Maui, Tuesday.

Missing is a 34-year-old Caucasian man last seen wearing dark shorts, no shirt with a shaved head.

Currently searching are an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of USCGC AHI (WPB 87364) and ground crews from Coast Guard Station Maui.

Maui Fire Department is searching with a helicopter crew and additional ground crews are conducting shoreline searches. An incident command post has been established at Olivine Tide Pools.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified at 9:15 p.m., Monday, of two people swept out to sea near the Olivine Tide Pools. One person was recovered and safely transported to Maui Memorial reportedly in stable condition.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting that mariners in the area keep a sharp look out and report any sighting to command center watchstanders at 808-842-2600.

On-scene weather conditions are reportedly winds 24 mph with waves at 9 feet.

UH Hilo International Nights 2017

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo International Student Association presents International Nights 2017 on Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. This annual event features performances from around the world and is a favorite among students, the community, and visitors.
This year’s shows feature 15 performances spanning Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Americas. Crowd favorites such as Tupulaga O Samoa Mo a Taeao representing Samoa, and Taishoji taiko representing Japan, are back. Other performances showcase the unique cultures of the Philippines, France, Micronesia, Ireland, India, Kiribati, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the US.

Tickets are $12 for General admission and $5 for students, children, and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased with cash or checks at the PAC Box Office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, or at the door if tickets are still available the night of the shows. Advance ticket purchase is recommended as tickets typically sell out prior to the shows.

For ticket information, contact the PAC Box Office at 932-7490. For more information, visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/international/IN.php.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Tuesday, January 24 at 7:25 PM. It will be visible for approximately 2 minutes at a maximum height of 51 degrees. It will appear 28 degrees above the West Southwest part of the sky and disappear 36 degrees above the North part of the sky.