For years, the most interesting piece of legislation related to the Native Hawaiian community was the Akaka Bill. Which is to say: there hasn’t been much interesting legislation related to the Native Hawaiian community.
That could change if state lawmakers give the go-ahead to HCR107. Introduced by Maui Rep. Mele Carroll, the resolution would establish a committee to investigate the legality of two agreements between President Grover Cleveland and Queen Lili‘uokalani (pictured at right) that precipitated the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. And it wouldn’t be merely a toothless historical exercise; the committee would have the power to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and examine documents.
The House Hawaiian Affairs Committee (HAW) gave the resolution its stamp of approval on March 31, and last week the Maui County Council voted unanimously to support it at the behest of Councilmember Elle Cochran.
Few dispute the fact that Hawaii is stolen territory; the United States admitted as much in the 1993 Apology Resolution. But the question of what, exactly, should be done about it is where the shouting begins. Certainly HCR107 won’t undo the last 120 years—and it isn’t meant to. Hardy Spoehr, executive director of the Honolulu-based Native Hawaiian Health Board, put it well in testimony submitted to HAW. “All of Hawaii’s people are not familiar with this era in Hawaii’s history,” Spoehr wrote. “There are important aspects to this which need to become part of the public record. This will enable many to move on from 1893 to the present day.”
Maui 2, Calipari 0
When the University of Connecticut surged back in the second half to defeat Butler 53-41 and win the NCAA men’s basketball championship this week, they probably weren’t thinking about Maui. Then again, maybe they were.
Lahaina is, after all, where UCONN’s run began, with a win at the Maui Invitational in November. The team they beat, you’ll recall, was Kentucky, the same team they defeated in the NCAA semifinal. You may also recall that Kentucky coach John Calipari publicly bashed the Invitational, complaining at the time that it put a logistical and financial strain on his program.
That’d be he same John Calipari who signed a $32 million contract that made him the highest-paid coach in college basketball and, according to ESPN, included perks like two cars and “membership to the country club of his choice.” The same John Calipari who once called a reporter a “fucking Mexican idiot” (a comment he later defended as an “ill-advised attempt at humor”). The same John Calipari whose former Memphis team was investigated for rules violations shortly after he left.
So even if UCONN wasn’t thinking about Maui when they won, we were. And they were happy thoughts.
In other sports-related news, the County announced last week that a new windsurfing competition is coming to Maui this fall. The Maui Makani Classic will launch sometime between October 27 and November 1—whenever conditions are best—at Hookipa.
Mayor Alan Arakawa predicted the event, which may draw as many as 100 top competitors, will have a “tremendous economic impact on the surrounding areas” and the Maui Visitors Bureau also gushed at the news. That’s all well and good, but we’re mostly just excited to see some bad-ass windsurfing.