David C. Farmer, Successor-Trustee vs. Harmon
(Formerly Woo vs. Harmon & Nicholson vs. Harmon)
CV05-00030 DAE KSC
U.S. District Court For the District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii; cousin of AOL’s Steve Case, and Aon’s Jeffrey Case.
Address to be determined.
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NEW DISCOVERY (05-31-08):
Kamehameha Schools and Nature Conservancy
Team Up to Protect Lumaha‘i Valley on Kauai
Honolulu -- The Nature Conservancy has signed an agreement with Kamehameha Schools to manage the native forest in the back of Lumaha‘i Valley on the north shore of Kaua‘i. Kamehameha Schools owns the property, which contains some of the best remaining native lowland forest in the state.
“This agreement is our first with Kamehameha Schools, and it’s one that we highly value,” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Executive Director in Hawaii. “Lumaha‘i Valley is incredibly beautiful and worthy of serious conservation efforts. Our shared goal is to ensure the long-term survival of this natural and cultural treasure.”
“Preservation of Hawaii’s native environment is critical to the understanding and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture,” said Neil Hannahs, Director of the Land Assets Division at Kamehameha Schools. “At Lumaha‘i, we have a chance to demonstrate how conservation and culture overlap.”
Lumaha‘i is one of the large windward valleys on the island of Kaua`i, extending far into the island’s undeveloped central region, the Alaka’i plateau. The valley’s terminus above 1,300 feet elevation represents some of the most well preserved native lowland wet forest in Hawai‘i. ‘Öhi‘a and dozens of other species of native trees cover the valley walls, while mämaki and other native shrubs and ferns clothe the stream banks.
According to Sam Gon III, Director of Science for the Conservancy, Hawai‘i has already lost more than half of its original native lowland forest, defined as forest below 3,000 feet. “The back portion of Lumaha‘i is as close to pristine as any lowland forest and stream system can get in the Hawaiian Islands,” he said. “There are very few places remaining where you can stand at low elevation in a river valley bottom and see native forest running from river edge to ridge top. This is Lumaha‘i. Its conservation value is immense.”
But the need to bring protective management to the site is great. Invasions of aggressive lowland weeds such as Australian tree fern, clidemia and strawberry guava coupled with the upward movement of goats and pigs from the lower valley threaten what is currently a gem of biological diversity.
“The back of the valley is in many places nearly 100% native forest and shrubland,” said Kalani Fronda, Asset Manager for the Land Assets Division at Kamehameha Schools. “Habitat modification is only in its early stages, but the time to stop it is now.”
“The current scope and severity of damage from pigs and goats is fairly limited,” said Trae Menard, the Conservancy’s Natural Resource Manager on Kaua‘i. “However, based on experience in other forests statewide, the number of feral animals will likely increase to damaging levels quickly if we don’t act now.”
Initial management efforts will focus on controlling priority weeds. In the future, management efforts will likely include the use of community volunteer hunters to reduce pig and goat populations, and the placement of a fence to protect the most remote and undisturbed management areas in the upper portion of the valley.
March 3, 1998
Trustees turned away from
the at-risk for bogus reasons, says
a former KSBE official
By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin
Kamehameha Schools programs that targeted teen moms, preschool tots, at-risk students in public schools and diploma-seeking adults gave Hawaiians opportunities they never would have received.
But the programs were not given a chance before being killed by Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate trustees starting in 1995, says Schools President Mike Chun.
Chun's defense, submitted in a report to trustees earlier this year, answers charges by trustee Lokelani Lindsey that few results came despite about $14 million spent by the estate on the programs.
The trustees voted in 1995 to terminate the schools' early-education and outreach programs, opting instead to open four satellite campuses and several preschools. The reasons given: mostly economics, but also jeopardy to the estate's tax-exempt status and the programs' ineffectiveness. Their decision was based on evaluations by corporate psychologist Dr. Paul Ahr and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young.
"What they told us was what we were doing in the early-education or community education was no longer necessary, no longer wanted, no longer effective and that the programs were failures," said Fred Cachola, who had left the Department of Education in 1971 to direct the Kamehameha Schools extension program.
The trustees at that time -- Matsuo Takabuki, Myron "Pinky" Thompson, Richard Lyman, Frank Midkiff and Hung Wo Ching -- instructed Cachola to seek ways to extend Princess Pauahi's legacy into the Hawaiian community and the public schools and raise the achievement profile of Hawaiians.
His marching orders: "Do more for more, as resources will permit."
From 1971 to 1996, "I felt we had proven to the world that Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate indeed could make a major impact on improving the education profiles of part-Hawaiian youngsters and still maintain the beacon on the hill as a place for the best and brightest who wanted to come to Kamehameha and applied," Cachola said.
The case for educational outreach could be made. A 1990 Census report found the 9.1 percent of Hawaiian adults here who complete college was far below the rate of college-educated Hawaiians in California and other parts of the United States and, for the first time, below the rate of blacks nationally.
Around that time, however, changes on the KSBE trustee board were bringing changes in philosophy. Turning away from outreach, today's trustees appear more concerned with preserving the estate's tax-exempt status and isolating it from the rest of the community, Cachola said.
That the programs were not cost-effective and risked the schools' tax-exempt status was shibai, he said. "It was the saddest period in the schools' history when we knew Ahr and Ernst & Young were really there to provide trustees with all the rationale they wanted to shut these programs down."
Trustee Oswald Stender later objected to closure of the programs after learning information given trustees was incomplete and lacked input from program staff, said his attorney Crystal Rose.
The Internal Revenue Service was astounded at the breadth of services Kamehameha was offering -- from research involving pregnant Hawaiian teens, to studies on Hawaiians' motivation to learn -- but never said the schools would lose their tax exemption, Cachola said.
The programs dealt with high-risk populations, requiring low student-to-teacher ratios that drove up costs. Development costs also were high since resources and trained staffers were few.
In 1992-93, Cachola said, Kamehameha was operating 106 programs through the state Department of Education: 37 in early education, 69 in community education. More than 1,000 teachers were helping more than 31,900 students from preschool to 12th grade and another 5,000 students, adults and teachers. Kamehameha spent $13.6 million that year, plus another $5.1 million in federal funds.
Kamehameha's Early Education Program (KEEP) for at-risk Hawaiian children in the public schools was very promising, said Rep. Nobu Yonamine, state school board chairman in 1984 when the deal was signed with Kamehameha to bring the program into the elementary schools.
"I thought it was a carefully done way of doing research, collecting data on how kids learn and how teachers teach and coming up with a curriculum," he said.
At its peak, KEEP served more than 3,300 students -- 2,000 of them Hawaiians, said Kathy Tibbetts, program evaluation and planning specialist at Kamehameha Schools. Test scores were showing increases when the project was terminated, she said....
Lindsey: "Chun manipulated the budget to award unauthorized financial aid such as $55,000 to the UH Study Abroad Tour in 1993, $47,000 over three years to the Nature Conservancy and overspending by $1.5 million in 1995 and $691,000 in 1996 for aid to Kamehameha and non-Kamehameha students."
Chun: As schools' president, he used "appropriate discretion" to give educational opportunities to Hawaiians and overcommitted needed funds to ensure they were used by as many students as possible.
Funds for the Nature Conservancy in 1995 and 1996 were $26,000, not $47,000, and provided financial aid to four Hawaiian student interns there. Also, $27,000, not $57,000, was spent to support 18 students in the UH Study AbroadTour; all financial aid recipients met requirements of need, Hawaiian ancestry and academic standing.
He did not "manipulate the budget" but did allow the Financial Aid Department to overcommit its budget in 1995 and 1996 based on past underspending of budgeted funds and current industry practices.
"All well-administered post-secondary student financial aid offices award an amount of financial aid in excess of the budgeted amount," Paul Phillips, director of financial aid at California State University, wrote Kamehameha Schools.
Although the financial aid budgets were overspent for 1995 and 1996, the Education Group's budget was not -- and in fact was under budget by $2.3 million and $6.7 million, respectively.
August 3, 2007
Timothy E. Johns Named
Bishop Museum President:
International Search Lands Damon Estate Exec
Honolulu, HI - Bishop Museum has named Timothy E. Johns as President, Director and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1, 2007 . The announcement was made today by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, David Hulihe‘e....
“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Johns as Bishop Museum ’s new President, Director and CEO,” said David Hulihe‘e, Chairman of Bishop Museum’s Board of Directors. “Tim has over two decades of leadership experience with environmental and cultural issues in Hawai‘i , which will serve well him as the leader of Hawai‘i ’s State museum of natural and cultural history. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Bishop Museum was founded in 1889. It maintains the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific cultural and natural history objects and since its founding has as been a premier institution for research and public education. It is designated as Hawai‘i ’s State Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Johns most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for the Estate of Samuel Mills Damon, a position he has held since 2000. Prior to that, he was the Chairperson of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. He has also served as Vice-President and General Counsel for AMFAC Property Development Corporation. He has been a Lecturer in Business Law at the University of Hawai‘i and Windward Community College and has held the position of Director of Land Protection with the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i....
Johns is very active in environmental issues. His memberships include the State of Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. A Rotarian, Johns is a member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu....
Johns serves on the Board of Directors for Grove Farm Company, Inc., Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., YMCA Honolulu, Hawai‘i Nature Center, St. Andrew’s Priory School , Child and Family Services, Helping Hands Hawai‘i, Diamond Head Theatre, and Hawai‘i Public Television Foundation. In June 2005, he was named a Trustee of Parker Ranch Foundation Trust.
“We are delighted the Board of Directors has chosen a candidate with a deep commitment to the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and respectful sensitivity to cultural issues. He is well known in the community and is held in high regard, and this will surely be beneficial in many ways,” said Betty Lou Kam, Vice President of Cultural Resources for Bishop Museum .
Johns was selected after a seven-month executive search by the international search organization Morris & Berger from Glendale , California. Founded in 1984, Morris and Berger is a generalist executive search firm that has developed a specialty practice serving the nonprofit sector, including performing and visual arts and institutions of higher learning....
Members of the Executive Search Committee included Bishop Museum Trustee Dr. Charman J. Akina (Chairman), David C. Hulihe‘e, Isabella A. Abbott, Ph.D., Haunani Apoliona, H. Mitchell D’Olier, Russell K. Okata, Gulab Watumull, Walter A. Dods, Jr., Allen Allison, Ph.D., and Amy Miller Marvin....
Johns will assume the top leadership position for the largest museum in the State of Hawai‘i in the midst of an unprecedented era of renovation and revitalization. Bishop Museum is presently undertaking a $21 million renovation of its iconic Hawaiian Hall complex with the support of world-class museum designer Ralph Appelbaum and Associates of New York.
In 2005, Bishop Museum opened the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center , an award-winning $17 million, 19,000-square-foot interactive science and cultural exploration center. Major traveling and cultural exhibitions are presented in the Castle Memorial Building year-round. Bishop Museum hosts nearly 400,000 visitors and students each year. Bishop Museum also administers the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook, Hawai‘i and the Hawaii Maritime Center in Honolulu .
“I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to join this wonderful institution. The Museum has long been one of Hawai‘i ’s most important and cherished treasures. It is blessed with a wonderful staff, great board of directors, and widespread support throughout our community. This is a dream job for me, “ says Timothy E. Johns, newly named President, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bishop Museum.
NEW DISCOVERY (04-15-08):
Connecting the dots...
David Farmer...Steven Guttman...Brian Schatz...Barack Obama...Oprah Winfrey...Hillary Clinton...Linda Lingle...John McCain....AIPAC...Punahou School...Kamehameha Schools...Dee Jay Mailer...The Global Fund...Henry Paulson...George W. Bush...Haunani Apoliona...OHA...Daniel Akaka...Dan Inouye...Suzanne Case...Dan Case...Steve Case...Jeffrey Case...Aon...The Nature Conservancy...Greg Dunn...Judith Neustadter Fuqua...etc...ad infinitum...
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March 31, 2005
State land director goes on defensive
By Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Advertiser
Peter Young, the director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, strongly defended his leadership yesterday and told legislators that calls for financial and management audits are rooted in misunderstandings.
At hearings before state House and Senate committees, Young said the department has long been a focus of criticism and has been limited by a lack of money and staff. But he said the Lingle administration is committed to protecting the state's natural and cultural resources.
Last week, environmental and cultural groups demanded substantial changes at the department over the next few months or said they would call for Young's resignation. The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has also said the department has not been actively considering Hawaiian issues.
Gov. Linda Lingle has said she has confidence in Young, who serves as both the director of the department and the chairman of the state's Board of Land and Natural Resources.
"I firmly believe that through misunderstandings, you have moved forward with this resolution and hearing," Young told House lawmakers, referring to a resolution recommending an audit of the department and the board. "As you have seen, DLNR is moving forward under trying conditions.
"As you have seen, over the years — even decades — DLNR has been the subject of ongoing criticism. Any suggestions that criticism of DLNR is new are simply not true."
In a House hearing room jammed with department administrators, environmentalists, boaters, tour-group operators and cultural activists, most people who testified supported an audit but many noted that the department has not adequately responded to the recommendations of previous audits.
Several people said the department's broad mission — overseeing land and water use, state parks, forestry and wildlife, historic preservation and ocean recreation — can lead to conflicts and inefficiency. Many also agreed with Young that the department has not had enough money or staff.
"The DLNR suffers from a chronic lack of funding," said Suzanne Case, the executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i.
Case said another audit may not be as useful as an in-depth fiscal resource analysis that would show what level of state money and personnel is necessary to protect natural resources.
Total spending on the department, which includes money from user fees and the federal government, has increased during the Lingle administration. But state general-fund spending — the amount more directly controlled by the governor and the Legislature — dropped this fiscal year and has stayed at about $25 million for the past decade, according to the department.
Several speakers described Young as open and accessible and said the criticism against the department was not personal.
"We shouldn't be looking at this as an indictment, but an opportunity," said Carol Wilcox, an author who has dealt with the department in the past.
Young said he is meeting with the environmental and cultural groups and OHA and believes that an audit is not necessary, although he said he would cooperate if lawmakers ordered the review.
State Rep. Brian Schatz, D-25th (Makiki, Tantalus), told Young that "an audit is not equivalent to an attack."
But, before the hearing, state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-50th (Kailua, Mokapu), described the treatment of Young as a "hatchet job" and said the fault lies with the Legislature. "We should be audited for failing to give the department the support it needs in our budget," she said.
The House Water, Land and Ocean Resources Committee is expected to vote on whether to recommend the financial and management audit tomorrow. The Senate Water, Land and Agriculture Committee voted yesterday to recommend a follow-up audit of the department's management of boating facilities and a new audit of its conservation and resources enforcement division.
The new audits would still need approval by other committees and by the full House and Senate.
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January 9, 2004
SUBJECT: SAVE MAHA`ULEPU
AOL Boss Case Faces Potent Foe In Hawaii
SOURCE: HEALTH GUIDE HAWAII
By Julia Angwin
AOL Time Warner Inc. Chairman Steve Case has battled everyone from Microsoft Corp. to some executives at his own company, who blame him for the failure of AOL's merger with Time Warner. But he's never had a foe that's four centimeters long, with eight legs and no eyes.
It's the Kauai Cave Wolf Spider, also known as the "no-eyed big-eyed hunting spider," an endangered arachnid about the size of a silver dollar that stands in the way of Mr. Case's plans to develop one of the last pieces of pristine beach-front property on the island of Kauai.
Mr. Case, a fourth-generation Hawaiian who now lives in Virginia, bought this slice of paradise two years ago when he paid $26 million and assumed about $65 million in debt for one of Kauai's largest sugar plantations, Grove Farm Company Inc. The farm owns more than 22,000 acres including the golden sand beaches known to Kauai residents as Mahaulepu, which is near the well-known Poipu resort.
The farm's management hopes to build a resort complex including a hotel, golf course and housing near the beach. However, to protect the spider's underground homes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to designate more than 2,000 acres of Grove Farm's land as "critical habitat" for the spider and the endangered cave amphipod. Wolf spiders exist in other places, but only in this area of southern Kauai are they eyeless. One of their most distinctive traits is that they can live in the extreme humidity of a cave. "It's like finding a terrestrial whale," says Francis Howarth, an entomologist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, who discovered the spider in 1971.
The spiders are thought to live on a diet of amphipods, which are essentially eyeless, cave-adapted sand fleas. Most amphipods carry eggs in a kangaroo-like pouch, but the cave amphipod awkwardly carries its eggs in between its legs. "It's a rather spectacular animal in its own right," says Mr. Howarth.
Grove Farm is less enthused. "The proposed designation, much of which covers the Mahaulepu area, would be as devastating to [us] as Hurricane Iniki was in 1992," wrote David W. Pratt, president and chief executive of Grove Farm, in a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Case's father Dan Case, who was named chairman of Grove Farm when his son bought the land, has lobbied the Fish and Wildlife Service on the issue several times in recent months.
The reason for the farm's concern: Mahaulepu's mile-long golden sand beach, flanked by limestone cliffs and giant sand dunes "is probably our most valuable land," says Michael Furukawa, Grove Farm's vice president. He says the farm has wanted to develop the land for years, but was hampered by financial problems before Mr. Case came along.
Now Mr. Furukawa worries that if the area is designated as a critical habitat for the cave critters, the state will zone it as "conservation" land that cannot be developed. To prevent that, Grove Farm has been searching for spiders on its land, hoping that if it finds them living in inland caves it can avoid the critical-habitat designation for the beachfront area. Still, it's a delicate business -- Grove Farm worries it could destroy the fragile underground caves, which are actually lava tubes, while looking for the spider.
Mr. Case, 44 years old, declined requests for an interview, saying through a spokeswoman that he is not personally involved in overseeing Grove Farm. In a statement, he said "there are no current plans to develop the Mahaulepu area" and that Grove Farm is focusing on other unrelated projects. "If and when we do have a proposal regarding Mahaulepu, it will be discussed at length with the many interested people, to ensure that it enhances, as opposed to diminishes, the overall quality of life on Kauai," Mr. Case said in his statement.
Some of Mr. Case's family members aren't so pleased with the idea of developing Mahaulepu. Mr. Case's cousin, Ed Case, who is a Congressman from Hawaii, says he wants Mahaulepu to be preserved. Distant cousin Michael Sheehan, who owned 20 shares of Grove Farm stock, is suing the firm in state court saying that it sold the land to Steve Case on the cheap.
Another cousin, Suzanne Case, is executive director of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, which aims to protect native plants and animals. Ms. Case says the issue has not been discussed among family. "We sort of know that it's out there, and we probably have different roles to play," she says.
Steve Case was raised in the suburbs of Honolulu and went on to co-found America Online, amassing a net worth that is estimated at $760 million, even after the last 18 months' plunge in AOL stock. He has kept his ties with Hawaii, visiting the islands most summers, wearing Aloha shirts at work and financing the creation of a new middle school in Honolulu.
His great-grandfather, Daniel Case, moved to the islands from Kansas in 1896. His grandfather, A. Hebard 'Hib' Case, moved to Kauai in 1919 and eventually became chief accountant at Grove Farm, where he introduced computers in 1956. One of his three sons, Dan Case, Steve's father, became an attorney in Honolulu. Today, about 100 Case descendants still gather at family reunions.
Grove Farm was in bad financial shape when Steve Case came along. By the late 1990s, the sugar business had dried up in Hawaii due to declining federal subsidies, high costs, and increased competition. Grove Farm had been leasing its lands for farming, and running shopping malls and housing developments. Debts were mounting. Bids for the lands surfaced in 1999.
When Mr. Case heard the plantation was available, he sent an e-mail to his investment adviser John Agee. "My macro investment thesis continues to be that Hawaii land has been pummeled over the past decade and is at an all time low; that most of the land owners are old families who are land rich but cash poor and thus unable to make the investments to maximize value," Mr. Case wrote in a Sept. 28, 2000, e-mail disclosed in legal filings.
Mr. Agee then toured the site with Mr. Case's father and e-mailed back: "It is some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen. I think the long-term potential for commercial and residential development is exceptional." In December of 2000, Steve Case's offer was accepted by shareholders, who are mostly descendants of Grove Farm founder George Norton Wilcox. Even so, Mr. Sheehan and 18 other shareholders are suing Grove Farm, saying the farm was sold too cheaply.
One of Mr. Sheehan's objections is that Grove Farm didn't calculate the true value of its "kuleanas." They are land rights created in the 1850s when King Kamehamaha III attempted a reform of the feudal system by giving Hawaiians claims on the lands where they were living. Kuleanas can be valuable because developments on those lands are exempted from strict zoning laws. Kuleanas are "guaranteed slam-dunk money in your pocket," says Mr. Sheehan. "I thought Grove Farm's kuleanas were worth about $100 million." Grove Farm says the lawsuit is without merit.
Mr. Sheehan claims Grove Farm had a conflict of interest during the negotiations: Dan Case's law firm was representing the seller, Grove Farm, while Dan Case was acting on behalf of the buyer, his son Steve Case. During purchase negotiations, however, Grove Farm waived the conflict of interest arising from this situation.
In a deposition, Dan Case explained why he asked Grove Farm for a waiver: "I wasn't sure at all if Steve was going to be interested, so I didn't want to disqualify our firm from the representation of a good client." The conflict was too great to ignore, argues Mr. Sheehan's attorney Richard Wilson. "Steve Case is not a fool. He didn't buy Grove Farm because he's a white knight, he bought it because it was a fire-sale."
In the meantime, a community group calling itself "Malama Mahaulepu" has formed to fight for the preservation of the rugged coastline. They say it is a "wahi pana," or legendary place sacred to native Hawaiians, and that many human remains are buried there. It is also one of the few beaches on Kauai undisturbed by hotels or condos.
Locals reach the beach through the rutted, red-dirt roads of Grove Farm's former cane fields. "This is our last wilderness," says Don Okuno, 44, a native Hawaiian who fishes at the Mahaulepu beach at night, using a spear and a flashlight to catch his prey. The group has tried several times to contact Mr. Case to invite him to tour the area with them. For now, they seek a different kind of protection. On a recent day, half a dozen members of the group gathered on the Mahaulepu beach, heads bowed, eyes closed, and prayed to Hawaiian gods, including Ku, the god of war. A member chanted in Hawaiian:
"Ku supreme, we summon your protection for this land ."
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This witness is expected to testify regarding her business, professional and personal relationships with The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii; Jeffrey Watanabe; David Cole; Kimo Kaloi; The Pacific Primate Sanctuary; Henry Paulson; The Peregrine Fund; Oprah Winfrey; Judith Neustadter Fuqua; Maui Humane Society; Ed Case; Neil Abercrombie; Peter Young; Steve Case; The Maui Planning Commission; Daniel Inouye; Jeffrey Case; Aon Insurance; Stanley Hong; Chris Yuen; Kamehameha Schools; Peter Savio; Guido Giacometti; Susan Tius; Pamela Burns; Hawaii Humane Society; Bishop Museum; Mark Polivka; Puna Chillingworth; Colbert Matsumoto; Mary Lou Woo; Robert Katz; Brewer Environmental Industries; C. Brewer & Co.; Linda Lingle; Ben Cayetano; Anthony Ching; Hawaii Land Use Commission, Judge Alan Kay, Daniel Case, Ray Fuqua, Sam Pryor, Judge David Ezra, Judge Kevin Chang, Colleen Meyer, Hawaii Public Radio, David Farmer and others to be named upon discovery.
Originally posted: November 20, 2005, by The Catbird
Last updated: May 31, 2008