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June 2006

Hawai`i News

Kamehameha Appeals Case Rehearing Set for June 20th

By NWHIT Staff

The case against Kamehameha Schools’ preference to Native Hawaiians will be reheard on June 20th by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

In August 2005, a decision by the court to overturn Kamehameha’s 120-year-old admissions policy of admitting only students with Hawaiian ancestry, resulted in wide-spread protests among Kamehameha supporters. In March 2006, the court decided to rehear the case in June, this time “en banc” with a panel of 15 members of the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.

At issue is the lawsuit filed by John Doe who believes he was denied admission based on race. The Hawai`i court where the lawsuit was first filed upheld the Kamehameha policy, which was then overturned in a 2-1 decision by the Appeals Court. If Doe wins, it would force the school to admit students who have no Hawaiian ancestry, even though Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s trust that set up the school clearly intended it to be for Hawaiian children.

Pauahi’s trust is now worth $6 billion, which is the reason some non-Hawaiians are eyeing it.

For additional stories about the Kamehameha rulings, go to Hawai`i News September 2005.


Voyage of the Navigator at `Imiloa

by Rochelle delaCruz


`Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai`i in Hilo, Hawai`i, explores the relationship between the science of astronomy and the sacredness of Maunakea, and is destined to become a magnet for residents and visitors alike. The design of the 28-million-dollar center incorporates three cones that represent Maunakea, Maunaloa and Hualālai, the main volcanoes that built the island of Hawai`i. Inside is a Planetarium dome, a 3-D journey to the Big Bang, the Kumulipo Hawaiian Chant of Origins, and exhibits about the thirteen observatories on the summit of Maunakea and the Hawaiian Renaissance movement.

But the first thing you see when you enter is a giant glass floor mosaic, created by the Italian firm Bisazza from Clayton Bryant Young’s painting, Voyage of the Navigator..

Clay Young came to Hawai`i for a short time in the 1980s with the Army as a Green Beret and spent the next twenty years working his way back to the Islands . He finally returned with his family to Hilo in 2001 after graduating from the University of North Texas School of Fine Arts. Clay says his vivid color palette didn’t lend itself to the Texas landscape, but once back in Hawai`i, he understood that this is where his inspiration comes from. When you look at his paintings, you can see his appreciation of the bold colors that surround us in the islands. Young says that in order to convey the island’s mana, he has “… combined a sense of motion with recognizable symbols of the Hawaiian culture.”

Photo Courtesy of `Imiloa
No unauthorized reproductions

The 14-foot circular floor mosaic ringed in titanium was created from 140,000 pieces of glass in twenty-two colors including 16 gold-leaf stars. Overhead is a 14-foot skylight which floods the entire entrance in sunlight. On two days every year, the sun will shine directly down on the mosaic, casting no shadow and highlighting the colors (unless Hilo’s famous rain clouds prevent it!) Since `Imiloa opened only a few months ago, visitors who were at the center on May 20th at 12:15pm experienced this thrill for the first time, and it will occur again at the same time on July 25th. Photo by Walter Steiger

Clay Young’s stunning mosaic is what greets all who enter `Imiloa. The day I was there, a group of elementary school children from the Ka `Umeke Kā`eo New Century Public Charter School arrived, formed a semi-circle around the mosaic and chanted in Hawaiian, protocol asking permission to enter and receive knowledge. It was a moment to savor. Young says this moving experience takes place whenever students from Hawaiian immersion schools come to the center on field trips.

As the Visitor Services Supervisor, Clay Young is at the Center daily and happy to answer the many questions about his compelling artwork, a gift to all who visit the `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai`i.

For more on `Imiloa, visit www.imiloahawaii.org or call (808) 969-9700. For more about Clayton Bryant Young: www.claytonyoungstudios.com. To contact the artist: clayton.young@hawaiiantel.net, P.O. Box 6438, Hilo, Hawai`i 96720-8928 or call (808) 895-4626.






Kūkulu Kumuhana

From Haunani Apoliona, Chairperson
Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Aloha Kākou!

We are now getting down to the wire on passage of the Akaka Bill. We need everyone’s collective energy to help get the bill passed.

In times of challenge and problem solving, our ancestors and `ohana practiced coming together and pooling our spiritual energies to focus on overcoming obstacles toward achieving a successful outcome. That traditional practice of “Kūkulu Kumuhana” is as powerful now as it was then. Please gather your `ohana and friends to participate in Kūkulu Kumuhana and direct your collective positive thoughts during the time this bill will be considered in the Senate. We ask that our collective Kūkulu Kumuhana be exercised June 5 through June 8 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Hawaii Time ( 2:00 p.m. EST ). This is the approximate time a cloture petition will need to be filed by Senator Frist, which sets into motion the very first step in a multi-set process that we expect to end with the final vote on the Bill. The filing of the cloture petition is the first specific and necessary step that must occur if the other steps to passage of the Bill are to follow.

Your support and positive thoughts are crucial for the livelihood and future of our Hawaiian people and all of Hawai`i nei. Mahalo nui loa.

No nā `ōiwi `ōlino



Nā Mana`o Ulu Wale

-Random thoughts, casual observations and other bits of fluff.-
by Roger Close

After last month’s saga of Waimea Valley on O`ahu, I want to tell you about another valley, Moloka`i’s Hālawa Valley. This beautiful, lush valley at the end of the road on Moloka`i’s northeast corner is fed by two waterfalls, Moa`ula and H ī puapua.

In the late 1960’s, archaeologists found the remains in Hālawa soil of possibly the oldest settlement in the Hawaiian Islands. By 650 A.D., the ancients had established a sustainable life with kalo (taro) and fish from the bay. The valley also holds two-thirds of Moloka`i’s luakini heiau (sacred temples).

As in all of Hawai`i, life in the valley began to change in the 1900’s. Sustainability in Hālawa Valley was changed drastically by a 1946 tsunami, a 1964 flood, the lure of modern conveniences pulling people away from the difficult work of taro farming, the aging of landowners, and the selling of kuleana (ancestral) lands to outsiders. As land in the valley was abandoned and/or sold, artifact hunters, squatters, marijuana growers, curious tourists, and uninformed islanders began to destroy this cultural, historical, and spiritual treasure.

Enter Lawrence Aki, who along with his older brother, Harry, was born and raised in the valley until the 1964 flood. Lawrence is leading other landowners of the Hālawa Valley Cooperative in the monumental task of reversing history and making the valley pono again. Lawrence is focused on preserving and restoring Hālawa Valley and its ancient traditions…ancestral lo`i are being cleared, the `auwai are running with clear water, kalo is being grown and harvested, and heiau are being restored. One man working against huge odds to ensure this valley not only does not suffer the same demise of other island sanctuaries, but also is restored and preserved.


It appears there is a standoff between Hui M ā lama I N ā Kūpuna o Hawai`i Nei and two other groups, Nā Lei Ali`i Kā wananakoa and the Royal Hawaiian Academy of Traditional Arts, after a four-month mediation between the two sides produced few results. The stalemate is over 83 priceless Hawaiian cultural objects. The objects were transferred by the Bishop Museum to Hui Mālama in late 2000. Rather than returning them to the museum, Hui M ā lama buried the objects in caves on the Big Island from where they were taken in 1905 by David Forbes and other Western explorers. Hui Mālama maintains the objects were funerary and were interred with Native Hawaiians in the cave.

The two groups on the other side contend, “The preponderance of evidence suggests that the items were not funerary. They were hidden away at the time of the abandonment of the traditional (Hawaiian) religion or shortly thereafter. They are cultural items of great importance.” The groups’ fear is these sacred objects (appraised at more than $10 million) are being destroyed and disintegrating in the caves as the battle goes on.

Hui Mālama claims they have yet to see documentation to back up the argument the cultural objects are not funerary.

The next step…the court will direct appointed engineers to determine whether the cave complex is structurally sound enough to enter to retrieve the objects. Hui Mālama maintains it is not safe.

Two sides, both with good intentions and with their respective versions of history, pursuing what they believe to be pono. I am afraid good intentions do not always yield good results. Who will the real losers be at the end of this struggle? Current and future generations of Hawaiians, again?

Stay tuned!

Until next time, mālama pono.

Click here for more Random thoughts, casual observations and other bits of fluff.

Roger Close is a semi-retired Oregon educator who currently lives in the San Juan Islands. He was born and raised in Kāne`ohe, O`ahu. At eighteen, Roger left the islands to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon . Like so many, he ended up staying on the mainland, returning home for occasional visits.

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