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Winter 2005

President's Message (Sue Irvine)
Maui Will Get Out the Vote (Joshua Cooper & Tamara Horcajo)
Healthcare Task Force Members
Kauai Studies Transportation (Carol Bain)
Informal Discussions Resume
Honolulu League Takes Up Housing (Jackie Parnell)
Task Force Plans Healthcare for All (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG) (Grace Furukawa)
New Board of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii
Secrecy Is on the Rise (Carol Bain)
Sex Offender Web Site (Jaurene Judy)
Still Working for Clean Elections (Grace Furukawa)
Revised Position on Initiative and Referendum
From Grumble to Rumble: The Silver Legislature

Kauai Studies Transportation

The Kauai League has long given an annual scholarship award to a Kauai Community College student writing the best essay on citizen participation in government decision-making processes. This year's winner, Katie Rablin Thomas, received her $200 scholarship award at the Kauai League's 35th annual meeting, on Saturday, April 16, 2005.

Kauai League has initiated a local study on transportation. The focus is on a Public Transit Bus System for Kauai County. Althea McCleery recommended that our policy was in need of review and agreed to chair this committee. Our current local position on transportation is to support and promote policies and programs that develop choices for viable, ADA accessible government-subsidized public transportation systems. The committee met July I 1 to start work and define goals, and will meet again on September 19, 10 a.m. to noon at the YWCA.

Monitoring Electric Coop

The chapter has undertaken what may become the first of several monitoring efforts. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is the recently formed (2002) electric utility that provides centralized electricity on the island of Kauai. Their very first ballot was a laundry list of bylaw changes, some of them significant; but it provided no way for voters to make independent decisions about them. Since then the League on Kauai has been attempting to educate the board on citizen participation and fair and standard election practices. Two years ago, in the spring of 2003. the Kauai League initiated a "watchdog effort" which it feels indicated in this case and in the case of any non-profit organization with an annual budget greater than $100,000 that depends upon state-mandated or government funding for more than 50% of its operating budget. The oversight indicated would include reporting on an open nominations and an open elections process.

Since the scandals of Enron, WorldCom, and others, the importance of independent third-party auditing of financial records has been realized on a corporate level, and such oversight might well be applied to the larger nonprofits and cooperatives. Review of these organizations' financial records must also be public. The Hawaii Attorney General promoted a bill before the state legislature calling for just such financial audits of PEG access corporations, which have taken millions of state-mandated funds since they were formed over a decade ago. A bill that gives the state the authority to perform a financial audit of PEG access corporations in Hawaii was passed, but no financial audit has apparently been budgeted (see HB 1353).

Carol Bain

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