Akaka Bill & PLDC back door play?

SUBHEAD: Senator Brian Schatz is proving to be as destructive of Hawaiian lands and people as Governor Abercrombie.

By Andrew Walden on 25 June 2013 for Hawaii Free Press -

Image above: Over 3,000 acres of land DHHL manages for Hawaiian people. The Kekaka Hawaiian Homelands Association is proposing to grow food here above the Mana Plain where Syngenta grows GMOs. Wouldn't you think the US government would rather have the chemical corporations here. Photo by Juan Wilson.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, the U.S. government may soon have formal rules for the federal law designed to put eligible Native Hawaiians onto homestead lots.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday notified the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of its intent to establish rules related to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which set up a trust comprising roughly 200,000 acres throughout the islands for homesteading purposes....

Masagatani said in a statement to the Star-Advertiser that "DHHL looks forward to continuing its ongoing discussions and productive working relationship with U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh and her staff.

"In the next few days, we will transmit our formal response to the assistant secretary's letter to address her specific issues related to our loan portfolio, revocable permits and federal rule-making."

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, whose office provided the Star-Advertiser with a copy of Suh's letter, said he has been meeting with her to discuss how the federal government can best deal with issues at DHHL, and "we are off to a good start." The Hawaii Demo­crat said the Interior Department is moving forward on several measures to provide more aggressive oversight and assistance to DHHL.

"We understand that these problems are long-standing and challenging," Schatz said in a statement to the newspaper. "However, these are the first steps forward toward providing transparency and accountability on behalf of Hawaiian families."...

In a May meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, Danner, representing the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, asked him to authorize the Interior Department to start the process for rule-making.

The council for the past two years has identified the establishment of federal rules as a top public policy priority and specifically called for regulations in the two areas Suh mentioned in her letter.

Interior's request for information and the move to establish rules indicates that the Obama administration — unlike previous ones — intends to become more engaged with oversight of the trust, Danner said.

"This is fantastic," she said. "I couldn't be happier. Who is in the White House really does matter."

An Interior spokes­woman said the specific process for initiating rules has yet to be defined but that the public will have an opportunity — usually 60 to 90 days — to comment on any proposals. She said the process likely will begin in the next couple of months.

Letter to DHHL from Dept. of Interior. Alrernatively,  use this link for better contrast in image of letter (http://www.islandbreath.org/2013Year/06/130630interior.jpg).


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