Few contributions to OHA candidates

Browsing through election info…

There are 14 candidates vying to be elected trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs this year.

2016 candidates

But only three report taking any campaign contributions since the beginning of 2015, according to data published by the Campaign Spending Commission. Click on the table below for a closer look.

Jan 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016

For the most part, then, it appears that OHA elections are primarily local affairs, with few contributions of more than $100, which triggers disclosure. In the absence of significant campaign funds, name recognition, free social media, and support among the Hawaiian community are left as the primary way of soliciting votes. More traditional modern campaigning appears to be minimal, and confined to a few candidates, at least if access to campaign funds is used as a measure.

Today’s Feline Friday photos, with a few hours to spare

Yes, it’s still Feline Friday, at least for another five hours or so. Here’s a view start you off. It’s a picture of my attempt at a recent afternoon nap, with the regulars jumping into place. Duke, Romeo, and Ms. Annie. There are, of course, more photos to see. Just click on the nap picture to see the rest of today’s Friday Felines.

Nap time

I was ready to post these photos earlier today when my morning, and the rest of the day, spun out of control.

First, I had to battle with our printer, which chose this morning to shut down its communication with my laptop. And that put a crimp in my efforts to arm wrestle with several financial institutions to established control of my sister’s finances and get her affairs in order.

Then came surprising news that sent me scrambling again. Two days ago, she was told that she would likely remain in the hospital until August 8 while undergoing initial treatment. Then yesterday that date was moved up to August 2.

But sometime this morning she was told to be ready for a 2 p.m. Move to a Honolulu nursing home for “rehab” while continuing to undergo treatments.

Whoa! That meant a sudden scramble to arrange to pay for the transportation from the hospital to the new location, then get to her apartment to grab some clothes and deliver them so she’s got something to wear.

And in the process, today’s Feline Friday photos didn’t get posted.

So please take a few moments to check out today’s Kahala felines!

Throwback Thursday: Two views of Bonnie’s mango tree

Two photos separated by more than 70 years.

The top photo has a hand-written caption on the back: “Bill McKinnon, 1944-1945”

I don’t know anything about McKinnon, although it would appear he was either a friend of my parents, or of my uncle, Jim Yonge.

A quick online search turned up an obituary of John D. “Mac” McKinnon, which lists a deceased brother, William “Bill” McKinnon. Mac had been in Hawaii during WWII, and I’m guessing brother Bill is the same Bill McKinnon in this photo.

Perhaps further digging can locate surviving relative who might like the photo.

In any case, the picture was taken in the back yard of my parents’ house in Kahala. We moved back into the house last year after completing substantial renovations.

McKinnon is crouching in front of the Bombay Pirie mango tree planted when my sister, Bonnie, was born in 1943. The old house is in the background. Visible on the right, behind the outer leaves of the tree, are windows on the small room on the side of the house that was originally used as the “maid’s quarters.” It later was simply used as a storeroom. Around the corner of the house, out of sight one the right, was a laundry area with a large sink with washboard, which later included space for a washing machine.

You entered from the garage, close to the stairs to the backdoor into the kitchen. It had an extremely small shower, a toilet, and sink, and tiny closet, and enough from for a bed and perhaps a chair and dresser. Not much more.

Bonnie's tree 1944-45

The photo below shows approximately the same scene as it looked this morning. The window is still visible to the right of the tree, but it’s now looking out from our laundry room, which replaced the old storeroom and outside laundry area. The raised deck replaced what was formerly a ground-level lanai on a concrete slab. The tree has grown a bit over the years, as have we.

Bonnie's tree 2016

The view from Kahala

Two views from Kahala Beach Park after Tropical Storm Darby wandered past. Monday and Tuesday mornings, July 25 and 26.

Koko Crater and Koko Head in the background, across Maunaloa Bay.

Click on either photo to see a larger version.

Kahala Beach

Kahala Beach

State high court rejects ethics charges against Hilo charter school administrator

My weekly column over at Civil Beat today looks at a recent Hawaii Supreme Court case which overturned a major ruling by the State Ethics Commission (“Ian Lind: Ethics Commission Takes A Licking“).

It was the second court ruling overturning a commission action in just a month.

Remember that the CB paywall recently came down, so you’ll have easy access to the column.

The July 19 ruling by the Supreme Court shredded what had been one of the commission’s most extensive and significant enforcement actions in decades.

William Eric Boyd, an assistant administrator at the Connections New Century Public Charter School in Hilo, had been charged with violating the state ethics code by approving or processing purchases of supplies, equipment and school lunches from two companies controlled by Boyd and his wife.

In its decision, the Supreme Court noted that Boyd had actually followed all of the charter school’s policies and procedures, and faced the ethics charges despite apparently having done everything according to the rules.

What didn’t make it into the CB column is that there was no evidence that Boyd was anything other than the lowest bidder, providing needed products and services to the school at the lowest cost.

For example, Hilo attorney Ted Hong, who represented Boyd in the appeal, told me in a telephone interview that products ordered through through the Boyd’s Amway distributorship were sold to the school at their wholesale cost. And the court decision noted that meals for high school students purchased from Boyd’s wife cost just $3 each.

You’ll have to read the CB column to find out just why the court ruled against the ethics commission and ordered that all ethics charges against Boyd be dropped.