UH to reduce length of lease extension request, decommission telescopes

Amid protests and petitions concerning the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the University of Hawai‘i will decommission as many telescopes as possible beginning this year, Gov. David Ige said during a press conference today.

“UH must do a better job of its stewardship of the mountain,” he said during the conference.

The next steps for Mauna Kea include changing the management of the summit by bringing cultural voices into the leadership structure.

UH’s role

In addition to decommissioning telescopes, Ige also requested that UH restart its environmental impact statement process and formally commit that the area where the TMT will be built is the last area where a telescope will be sought.

The university was also asked to reduce the length of its lease extension request and return all lands not specifically needed for astronomy to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) – which is about 10,000 acres.

Ige said the university will next set a schedule for completing his requests, an action that should be done as soon as possible.

In a press conference earlier today, UH President David Lassner said the university agrees that it can do better and the governor’s requested actions are consistent with what the university has heard from the public.

The university expects to issue a more comprehensive statement later this week.

Failing the mountain

“We have not done right by a very special place, and we must act immediately to change that,” Ige said.

A Mauna Kea cultural council will be created that will work with the current board, DLNR and governor’s office. This group will be in charge of reviewing leases and lease renewals, rules impacting the mountain and cultural impact assessments.

According to Ige, the TMT went through the correct process and has a right to continue with construction. However, he also acknowledged the right to protest this action.



Start looking now and move fast: tips for finding an apartment

Published in the May 11, 2015 issue.

Finding an apartment was not as simple as I thought it would be. Going into the search, I knew I wanted to find a place with multiple bedrooms before the semester ended. I did not know that the search would be so tedious, with apartments I had my eye on being swept up and rented out in a matter of days.

My first tip is to start looking for a place right away. With the semester ending, there will be many post-grads — and continuing students who choose not to dorm ­— doing the same thing. Start your search on apartment listing websites, such as Trulia and Craigslist. In Honolulu, most renters appear to post their vacancies on Craigslist, as opposed to other sites like Trulia and Zillow. On the mainland, it seems to be the other way around. Some listings could be scams, so be careful. If you are concerned about this, one option would be to go through a real estate agency. Many agencies in Hawai‘i have property managers who handle rental listings. In my opinion, going through property managers is more secure since you know they are certified and are aware of the laws. One site for this is hicentral.com; members of the Honolulu Board of Realtors post all of the listings.
You can also ask friends and family for recommendations about where to look, or to find out if they know of any renters who may have available apartments. If you’re not from the island, this can be especially useful.

Be sure to also set requirements for what you want out of an apartment. Do you want the place to have two bathrooms or two bedrooms? Will you need parking? How much are you willing to pay each month for rent? Be aware that some rentals do not include utility costs like water and electricity, so you may need to budget for those costs as well.

Once you find a place you like, go check it out as pictures can be misleading. When you get to the apartment, look around for any damage to the building or inside. Also ask any questions you have. If the fridge provided is old, will you be receiving a new one? Since bugs are common in this tropical state, who pays for pest treatments if there is an infestation?

If you like the place, I recommend filling out an application and have it ready to submit at the showing. If the apartment is in a good neighborhood and is available at a decent price, assume there will be competition for it. You never know how fast an apartment can be taken off the market. Rental applications can take only a day or two to process and an offer can be given right after.

If you don’t get the place you want, however, don’t be disappointed. There will always be new listings popping up.


Financial Services: Louis Perez III

This article was part of a series on the Small Business Administration 2015 award winners and was published in the May 2015 issue. 

While he was still in graduate school, Louis Perez III launched his nonprofit, Akamai Foundation.
After graduating from Waianae High School, Perez continued his education at UH, studying finance and receiving an executive MBA.

He says he got into finance because it’s an interesting field in which he can help small businesses, especially those that know their products and services, but not necessarily how to grow or where to get the capital they need.

To read more, go to: http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/sba-award-winners-2015/


Minorities: Jean Jeremiah

This article was part of a series on the Small Business Administration 2015 award winners and was published in the May 2015 issue. 

Jean Jeremiah really likes working in the community.

And although she has a day job with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit, she spends late hours at SCORE Hawaii where she has volunteered since 2005 as an administrator.

SCORE Hawaii, a nonprofit resource partner of the Small Business Administration, offers advice and mentoring to small businesses and entrepreneurs, whether the guidance is for those starting a business or those who have an existing one.

To read more, go to http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/sba-award-winners-2015/

Media and Journalism: Bob Sigall

This article was part of a series on the Small Business Administration 2015 award winners and was published in the May 2015 issue. 

Bob Sigall has been a lifelong businessman. Before he graduated high school, he had started four businesses: reselling golf balls found on a golf course, showing home movies and cartoons in a neighbor’s garage, preparing taxes and window washing.

“I think it’s just a natural thing on my part. I wanted to make some money, so I started a business,” he says.


To read more, go to: http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/sba-award-winners-2015/

Home-Based Business: Jerry Ornellas

This article was part of a series on the Small Business Administration 2015 award winners and was published in the May 2015 issue. 

Jerry Ornellas is considered a “go to” guy for advice about farming and agriculture on Kauai. After all, he has been farming on the island for his entire life.

“I was seduced,” he says. He came from a farm family and started dairy farming with his father in the 1960s.


To read more, go to: http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/sba-award-winners-2015/

Special Lifetime Award: Samuel Kamaka Jr., Frederick Kamaka Sr.

This article was part of a series on the Small Business Administration 2015 award winners and was published in the May 2015 issue. 

Ukulele have been part of the Kamaka family DNA for nearly 100 years. “It’s important to the family as a family legacy,” says Fred Kamaka Jr., the business manager.

It all started with his grandfather, Sam Sr., who wanted to make guitars, not ukulele. Before opening Kamaka Ukulele and Guitar Works in 1916, Sam Sr. was a musician. When he traveled to the mainland for a gig, he paid his way back to Hawaii by working on multiple ships that sailed through Europe. Along the way, he studied guitars, but by the time he returned to the Islands, there was a big ukulele boom.

“It wasn’t his original plan to go into making ukulele. But he got into ukulele because that was what everybody was buying at the time,” Fred Jr. says.


To read more, go to: http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/sba-award-winners-2015/