Geothermal development proposal prompts behind-the-scenes flap at OHA

There was apparently some serious behind-the-scenes maneuvering relating to geothermal development in advance to today’s scheduled meeting of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees.

Last week, a group of six trustees filed their own agenda calling a trustees meeting for this morning. It contained a single agenda item under new business: “Proposal for OHA to invest in geothermal development in Hawaii.”

OHA rules provide that meetings can be called by the chair, or by any six trustees. OHA Chair Collette Machado did not sign off on this geothermal agenda. It was instead backed by trustees Peter Apo, Rowena Akana, Dan Ahuna, Hulu Lindsey, Bob Lindsey, and John Waihee. Also conspicuous by their absence were former chair Haunani Apoliona, and Oz Stender.

Stender is the chair of OHA’s Committee on Asset and Resource Management, which would normally vet any proposal of this kind before it was presented to the trustees. His committee met yesterday with no geothermal-related item on its agenda.

The agenda was time stamped by OHA at 10:08 a.m. on Friday, February 1, 2013.

An official agenda was filed 22 minutes later by Machado at 10:30 a.m., according to its time stamp. A link to the official agenda is included on the OHA website. The site does not mention the alternative agenda filed by the six trustees.

According to one source, the question of what to do with the conflict agendas was referred to the board’s counsel.

When I called Machado’s office yesterday afternoon to ask about the conflicting agendas, one of her staff said, “I’m not sure. I’m confused myself.”

The confusion apparently resulted in neither agenda being posted on the official state calendar, calling into question the validity of today’s meeting. The calendar contains ten other agency meetings, but nothing related to an OHA meeting.

Governor Abercrombie issued an executive order in September 2011 requiring all meetings to be publicly posted in advance on the state calendar. Several other meetings have been cancelled after being challenged for not appearing on the calendar.

Geothermal became a key campaign factor last year when companies and individuals associated with Innovations Development Group, a Hawaiian geothermal developer, poured thousands of dollars into the campaign of OHA candidate Cal Lee, in an attempt to oust Apoliona from the board.

Lee’s campaign was later fined $2,500 by the Campaign Spending Commission for violations relating to a series of related contributions and loans from the geothermal-related donors.

Whether Innovations Development Group was part of the proposal referred to in the alternate agenda proposed for today’s meeting won’t be known until the proposal is disclosed.

4 responses to “Geothermal development proposal prompts behind-the-scenes flap at OHA

  1. Russel Yamashita

    Since OHA is still a State entity, how is it able to “invest” anything, from cash or assets, in a commercial venture. Even if it is some what independent, I would think any “investment” would be subject to the approval of other State departments like Budget and Finance, and the Attorney General.

  2. OHA has loan funds for use in supporting Native Hawaiian owned businesses.

  3. Innovations Development Group, “owned” by Hawaiian? Curious to know and who might be their finance “big monies” backer(s). Look deep into developers’ pockets, Hawaiian or not, …there’s always someone wanting to change our ‘aina for the betterment of their own pocket lining. ‘Auwe!

  4. Aloha!
    My name is Maurice Rosete and I am the owner of Keiki Farmers a (501)c, Hawaiian cultural and educational farm located in beautiful Punaluu green valley road , Oahu. Our mission is to educate everyone about the Independence of Hawaii under the teaching of Keanu Sai, the United Nations, and the scholars of the Universities that are leading us Hawaiians into the 21st century. My comment to geothermal as a graduate of UCLA, environmental technology.
    Geothermal is dangerous, and breaking any kind of Hawaiian ground is sacrilegious to Hawaiians. Oha has no idea of what their indorsing which is false and the haule community and the USA knows this!
    Please , let me enlighten you!

    By the way I watched the spontaneous OHA debate yesterday about geothermal and they have no clue about what is really going on in the environmental/energy community with the business leaders in USA and the PHD at the university. OK! let us get to the meat of the problem than I will share the solution as I was taught in college.
    1st.~ does any one know what the “BLOOM BOX” is??? Let us look at what we know!
    Bloom box originated from Orange County, California, and Google just bought the company for 1.7 billion dollars and is the fastest and most effective way to give every resident in Hawaii and around the world free energy in a box that can run individual houses with all the power they need, It is also running cities in the middle of NO were! without any natural resources been mined or stripped from the earth.
    It can run a city in a cave with no natural elements to destroy or use. How is this possible?
    There board members consist of leaders around the world like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Collen Powell, and many other leaders around the world. It works and Google is looking to have a bloom box in the next 10 years in every house, powering every household. That is because Googles works in Decades or 10 year increments. You would know this if you worked and studied Google! They already started their miracle (bloom box) with the big companies in OC, California like fed X, E-Bay, and many more.
    Every one in California knows about bloom box but NOT the Hawaiian community or the leaders like OHA that is suppose to be supporting the Hawaiian community.
    So, lets look at this problem. It will take Geo thermal to get on its feet with all the construction and legislation about 10 years. When they do finally destroy the INA (land) and divert natural resources, Bloom Box will have trump ! Geo thermal by then making that sort of power company obsolete and bankrupt. How smart is OHA?? Obviously , there just grabbing what ever they can on the table by Haule politicians playing the same game , to rip the people of Hawaii off!!!
    2. Oha is not listening to my generation or the Keiki’s who are trying to tell them the truth and nothing but the truth so help us all!
    3. You can see by the meeting they have no other choice because their STUPID AND IGNORANT.
    4. And for the people who don’t know where OHA’s funding comes from and the scraps that they are given by the united states, must lead you to believe that the same thing is happening again to the Kanaka Maole’s that happen with the white supremacist groups who took our nation in 1893 when the queen, her nobles, and all her government went out the door!
    You don’t think that OHA’s Haule leaders don’t know about Bloom Box and what their trying to do on the Big Island? Think again!
    They know it is a political maneuver to soak the Hawaiian community for all the taxes, fines, and money they can, then claim IGNORANCE when the Bloom Box hits the residential community after securing the commercial sector. All you have to do is study the “Bayonett constitution of 1898, and you will understand the deception.
    OHA in this case is STUPID and out right wrong! and the Geo thermal plants will be a dead town and bankrupted business like the illegal sugar plantations were. OHA is showing signs of desperate measures and looking for uneducated Hawaiians like Haunani Trask, shame on her, uneducated Hawaiian in Energy related issues!
    How dare she go into the meeting unprepared and uneducated in our technology other than Geothermal. Energy is not even her field of education or PHD! How stupid is that!
    Ah! Sorry! you cannot fool the next generation of Hawaiians. We have computer system now and the world wide web. I tried to get in touch with her to enlighten her about Bloom Box technology, but on her website it shows that she is retired and will not take any messages. Well, stay retired and keep hiding out on the Big Island, and stop coming to the meetings and throwing the Hawaiians off again!
    A message to her: educate your self more, you need it and so does OHA!
    Note: Tell our leaders to get on YOU TUBE~ and google: Bloom Box Future of Energy from California.
    I’m sorry if I offended anyone, although I am just sick and tired of the Haule’s coming to Hawaii and playing their political games to focus on retrieving all the money they can until the Truth finally comes out, and the Hawaiians believing these people?!
    Who are you?! Typical haule style: Show you one thing , than do another behind the Hawaiians back!
    Education is Power! Seek it!! Hawaiians stand up for your rights!!
    A Hui Ho Kako!
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