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The Sunshine Editorial Board

The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board focused on ‘Let The Sunshine In’ are Patti Epler, Chad Blair, John Hill. Matthew Leonard and Richard Wiens.

Pau already: Donald Trump is very close to clinching the Republican nomination for U.S. president, yet the local GOP still plans to go through with a presidential caucus March 12. The Sunshine Blog is pretty darn sure the former prez will not be campaigning here. What’s the point?

Same goes for the current office-holder, Joe Biden. But the Democratic Party of Hawaii still plans a “Party-run Presidential Primary” for March 6. Biden is on the ballot, of course, but so are Marianne Williamson, Jason Michael Palmer (who dat?), Armando “Mando” Perez-Serrato (seriously, who dat?) and Dean Phillips (he’s a U.S. representative from Minnesota).

“Uncommitted” will also be a choice on the PPP ballot. The Blog predicts Uncommitted might do quite well this year.

  • A Special Commentary Project

Ballot intiative: Speaking of elections, Hawaii’s are coming soon. Thursday is the first day that candidates for 2024 may begin the candidate filing process to appear on the ballot.

To qualify, candidates are required to fill out a nomination paper and collect signatures from voters in their district. The filing deadline is June 4 at 4:30 p.m. Click here for more on that.

Candidates can also submit a photo and short statement of less than 150 words to be included in a digital voter information guide — a first for Hawaii, thanks to recent legislation. It will be available starting sometime in June at elections.hawaii.gov ahead of the Aug. 10 primary. The general is Nov. 5.

Visualize whirled peas: Civil Beat columnist Danny De Gracia has riled up readers with his recent piece objecting to Hawaii lawmakers possibly changing Good Friday at Easter time to Reconciliation Day in Jan. 17, the day of Queen Liliuokalani’s overthrow. The Blog thinks that’s probably not going to happen, but lawmakers seem to spend every year thinking up new state holidays.

Full moon rises on May 15, 2022.
Will Hawaii honor Lunar New Year? (Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022)

This Wednesday, for example, a House committee will take up a bill to replace Good Friday with World Peace Day. If approved — and don’t hold your breath — it would be celebrated every Sept. 21 because, as the bill explains, “as international conflict continues in certain parts of the world, the recognition and aspiration toward world peace becomes more important and significant.”

Also on the committee’s agenda is a bill to make “the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice of every year as the Lunar New Year” a state holiday. Why? To honor Hawaii’s “rich cultural history, demonstrate its commitment to cultural diversity, and extend its best wishes for peace and prosperity to all who celebrate this important occasion” — notably local Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese Americans.

Yet another bill, but one not yet scheduled for a hearing, would make Nov. 28 “La Ku oko a” Hawaiian Independence Day and a state holiday. That’s the day in 1843 that Great Britain recognized the sovereign Hawaiian Kingdom.

Hawaii presently has 13 state holidays plus one on general election day in even-numbered years.

Come fly with us: Alaska Airlines announced last month that it plans to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal that will take a year or more to finalize. It still needs Justice Department approval among other things.

But while its waiting, Alaska is moving right along with the takeover and on Monday unveiled a new Hawaii Community Advisory Board that, the company said in a press release, “will support Alaska Airlines’ ongoing commitment to developing a true and authentic understanding of Hawai‘i’s people and culture as the airline combines with Hawaiian Airlines – honoring the legacy and significance of this beloved brand and reinforcing Alaska Airlines’ expanded role in Hawai‘i.”

Alaska Airlines is betting on a new Hawaii community advisory board to help it sail smoothly through a takeover of Hawaiian Airlines. (Ludwig Laab/Civil Beat/2021)

“The HICAB will be a corporate and community sounding board for Alaska Airlines in Hawai‘i, providing feedback and recommendations on Alaska Airlines’ business approaches and initiatives, local current events, and community investment needs.,” the release said.

The 16-member board is a veritable Who’s Who of whoever you might want if you were trying to make nice with the political power players, particularly in the Native Hawaiian community. They include, according to the press release: 

  • Paula Akana – President & CEO, The Friends of ʻIolani Palace
  • ʻalehu Anthony – Founder, Palikū Documentary Films
  • Todd Apo – VP, Community Partnerships & Public Affairs, Hawai‘i Community Foundation
  • Rosie Davis – Executive Director, Huli Au Ola, Maui County Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Stephanie Donoho – Administrative Director, Kohala Coast Resort Association
  • Art Gladstone – EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Hawai‘i Pacific Health
  • Hōkūlani Holt – Director of Kahōkūala, Hawaiian Cultural Arts Institute, UH Maui College
  • Stephanie Iona – Community Outreach Manager, Kekaha Agriculture Association
  • Meli James – Cofounder, Mana Up
  • Valerie Janikowski – Program Administrator, Lānaʻi Kinaʻole
  • Kūhiō Lewis – CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
  • Colbert Matsumoto – Chairman, Tradewind Group
  • Ben Rafter – President & CEO, Springboard Hospitality
  • Trisha Kēhaulani Watson-Sproat – President, Honua Consulting 
  • Jayson Watts –  Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Mahi Pono
  • Kūhaʻo Zane – COO & Creative Director, Sig Zane Designs & SZKaiao Creative

A little help please: If you’re serious about making government work better for the people of Hawaii, here’s a good way to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is in need of a new member to serve a four-year term. You just need to be a U.S. Citizen, resident of Hawaii and not hold any other public office.

The Judicial Council vets the applicants and nominates two people to Gov. Josh Green who then picks one.

Send an application along with a resume and three letters of recommendation (attesting to the applicant’s character and integrity) postmarked by Feb. 23 to the Judicial Council.

The Blog hopes you have plenty of stamps. Even though it’s 2024 it appears you have to do this one by snail mail.

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