Spring1998 Home   Newsletters

Summer 1998

Fall 1998

President's Message (Jean Aoki)
State Council / Board Actions May 15-16 1998
Honolulu's Loss - Seattle's Gain (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Guidelines for Maintaining League Nonpartisan Policy
League Local News - Hawaii County (Susan Dursin, Helene Hale & Marian Wilkins)
League Local News - Honolulu (Grace Furukawa)
League Local News - Kauai League (Susan Wilson)
Elections and Campaign Finance Reform Bills
Making Democracy Work - Campaign Finance Reform HICLEAN (Toni Worst)
Hawaii's Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP)
Voter Services
Education Committee Projects 1998-99
Action on Motor Voter!
Important Dates
Web Page
Rhoda Miller Peace Memorial
On National Issues...
Small Schools and Schools-Within-Schools (insert)

League Local News - Hawaii County


This past year, Hawaii County League was busy on both sides of the Island. In Hilo our first activity was a Forum on having Nonpartisan County Elections with Dr. Rick Castberg, UHH Political Science Dept. Chair on the Pro side and Professor William Bonk on the Con side at the East Hawaii Cultural Center on May 15. Kona had their own Forum on May 22. Four issues have been our fo cus for the Hilo unit.

  1. Mauna Kea Mountain dispute. We decided to wait until the Auditor's Report was done after the Sierra Club refused to participate in Mediation. The report came out in February and the Board of Directors is recommending that our Program for Mauna Kea be changed from "monitor" to "study" to be prepared for the new Master Plan.

  2. Court monitoring of domestic Violence cases, under the leadership of Sue Irvine and Jennifer Lienhart.

  3. Consensus in opposition to any form of Gambling, except social gambling where the "house" does not take a cut after Sue Dursin's study. Marilyn Idemoto has been cooperating with the Coalition Against Gambling.

  4. International Relations by cooperating with the HI Island Chapter LINAFUSA and GLOBAL HOPE at UHH in various programs.

In addition we have raised money by doing vote counts for several community organizations.


Among the highlights of West Hawaii's League year, the court monitoring project, coordinated by Jennifer Lienhart, ranks high. Ten members monitored a total of ninety cases from May through July. Unfortunately the number 90 does not reflect the time and effort these members contributed. As they discovered sadly - each case goes through many steps in a process that is lengthy and often frustrating. Nonetheless their data was very valuable. It is still being processed as part of a larger state study.

As an outgrowth of the court monitoring project, West Hawaii agreed to handle the registration of October's Domestic Violence Conference. Held at the Kona Surf the conference was cosponsored by the Office of the Attorney General, the Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney's office, and by SVIAT. League, members from East Hawaii, with sign-in on that day, gave a hand to Marian Wilkins and her West Hawaii crew.

West Hawaii's push for the gambling study, begun nearly four years ago, reached a conclusion during the summer of last year when the State League distributed the study and consensus questions. Seeing the overwhelming response against gambling in any form was a surprise even to members who had worked on the issue. It gave the state a strong position from which to take action. West Hawaii worked in conjunction with the state Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, co-sponsoring the visit of Tom Grey, executive secretary of the national coalition, on December 12, Grey spent the day in Kona, and with the help of LWV member Virginia Isbell, was able to speak with students at both Konawaena and Kealakehe High Schools. He also took part in a forum on gambling attended by about 50 people.

As legislative session began West Hawaii League members monitored the gambling bills and spoke out. Hoping that gambling is dead in this session, they have begun to think about bringing solid information to the public.

Marian Wilkins is now heading a study which is part of the state's study on mail-in balloting. Marian has gathered reams of material and sent out the most pertinent to her committee.

Two other topics of interest to West Hawaii appear to have led to a single end. In May of '97, the unit sponsored a meeting on non-partisan county elections. Much discussion grew out of the information presented by Jim Rath, former County Council member, and by several community members who had been active in party work.

Then, in February, League co-sponsored a forum on local governance with AAUW. With the able arrangements made by Mami Herkes and AAUW, the meeting dealing with townships, service districts, and neighborhood boards was well attended. Now, however, it appears that both issues should become part of the County Charter review due in 1999. For this reason Susan Dursin will be writing a letter to the county council asking for the appointment of this commission.

Thanks to George and Marian Wilkins, West Hawaii has completed two vote counts and is in the process of doing another. At least half-dozen members have helped with the counts.

Helene Hale
Susan Dursin
Marian Wilkins

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