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Ciber Lawsuit to Remain in Hawaii

A federal bankruptcy court ordered yesterday that Ciber, Inc. v. Hawaii will be heard in Hawaii state court, despite mainland-based Ciber’s attempts to move Hawaii’s claims to Delaware.

The case began in September 2015 when Ciber sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) regarding a project to implement new software for the HDOT’s Highway Division. Hawaii counterclaimed, alleging that the consulting firm defrauded the State, staffed the project with incompetent consultants, and engaged in other misconduct on the project. Hawaii alleged that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by misrepresenting its capabilities to win a contract with HDOT, and that the fraud continued once Ciber had the contract.

First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki said, “Keeping the case in Hawaii is a victory for the state and for common sense. The witnesses are here and the fraud occurred here. Litigating in Delaware would have been illogical and only served to disadvantage the State.”

This is the latest court loss for Ciber. In February 2016, the state circuit court rejected Ciber’s attempts to dismiss many of HDOT’s claims. If Ciber had succeeded in its attempts to transfer the case to Delaware, Hawaii would have been forced to litigate in court thousands of miles away at great expense. With yesterday’s order, while Ciber’s bankruptcy will remain in federal court, Hawaii’s underlying fraud claims against Ciber will be tried in Hawaii state circuit court.

A copy of the order is attached.

Local Big Island Businesses Try to Raise $20,000 for The Food Basket

Hawaii Island’s Food Bank serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. And while many residents generously reach into their cupboards to donate spam, vienna sausage, rice and saimin, it’s the monetary donations that keep the island-wide operation going, allowing The Food Basket to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island.

So when Randy Kurohara, owner of Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store, heard that The Food Basket needed additional funding to sustain their critical programs, he decided to utilize their in-house designing, printing and retail outlets to create a limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn. In just a few short weeks, we already reached 20% of our goal. Please purchase your Malama tee and help us raise $20,000 for The Food Basket!”

The shirts are $20 each with 100% of all monies being donated to The Food Basket. That means every “Malama” tee sold will allow The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

The “Malama” tee was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.Aloha Grown “Malama” tees are $20 each and available for purchase in-store at Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo). Or to purchase online visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/donat e/.

For more information on the Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee Fundraiser, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/malam a.