Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - August 1, 2020

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AUGUST 1, 2020


Don’t Forget Rep. John Lewis; He Didn’t Forget Us


More Filipino Candidates Running for Public Office in 2020


One-Upmanship: God Created Two Sexes; Supreme Court Creates A Third Sex


COVID-19 Updates, Guidelines and Resources



Filipinos Have A Golden Opportunity to Reverse Voting Trends and Spike Voter Turnout this All-Mail Election


he first all-mail voting (plus in-person voting at limited voter service centers) could be the dramatic change finally to boost voter turnout in the Filipino and traditionally low-voter turnout communities. At least, that is what leaders in the Filipino community and voting officials are hoping. Filipinos are and have been just as politically minded as most other ethnic groups in Hawaii, in part as a carry -over from high political engagement in the Philippines. The majority of Filipino voters in Hawaii are still immigrants; and it’s common to hear politics among this group’s major topics of discussion. But high interest has not always translated to high voter turnout.

Voter turnout in Filipino Districts While the Hawaii Office of Elections does not track voter turnout by ethnicity. One way to gauge Filipino voting trends is by looking at voter turnout in neighborhoods with high concentration of Filipino residents; and compare those raw numbers to other districts not highly populated with Filipinos. Each state representative district has an average of over 50,000 and are carved in a way to have fairly equal number of residents. So for statistical purposes, the base starting point is assumed to be fairly even. Let’s take a look at the numbers. In the last 2018 General, first let’s look at a few State House districts not highly concentrated with Filipinos: District 17 (HAWAII KAI-KALAMA VALLEY) total turnout = 11,110 District 50 (KAILUA-KANEOHE BAY) total turnout = 9,371 District 36 (MILILANI MAUKA-MILILANI) total turnout =9,615 Now, compare those numbers with a few districts with higher concentration of Filipino residents in the same election: District 30 (KALIHI KAI-KAPALAMA) total turnout = 3,167 District 40 (EWA, EWA BEACH) total turnout = 8,850 For more sampling, that same year 2018, but in the Primary, turnout showed: District 38 (WAIPAHU) total turnout = 3,360 For a sampling looking at a longer historical trend, look at the 2016 General Election District 28 (KALIHI VALLEY, KAM HEIGHTS, PORTION OF LOWER KALIHI) total turnout 5,365 The results do, in fact, suggest what many Filipino leaders and academics have been saying that voter turnout is low among Filipino registered voters. In a district race, low turnout is consequential; but in large island-wide or state-wide races like governor, Honolulu mayor, or U.S. Senate -- low turnout of Filipino voters becomes more disadvantageous even though their community represent the second largest ethnic group in Hawaii. Attempts have been made on certain election years for massive voter registration and turnout drives, particularly in the years Ben Cayetano ran for governor and reelection. There were bus and carpool transportation made available in some districts for voters; as well as voter registration drives at community events. Voter registration is still a feature at some events, but not as many of late. (continue on page 3)



awaii’s Primary Election has already begun. Registered voters should have received their ballot package by mail. All that’s needed is for voters to mail back or drop off their ballot by the deadline of Aug. 8, 7 p.m. Remember this important information – if you haven’t registered to vote, you can still vote in the Primary at a voter service center by making use of the same-day registration. The option of in-person voting have also started. Visit elections.hawaii.gov for both drop off locations and voter service center sites. For our cover story this issue, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) presents the second segment of our coverage on the race for Mayor of Honolulu. The same top five contenders in our HFC Election Poll have been invited to participate in our special Q&A. Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, City Councilwoman Kym Pine, and candidates Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi share their plans on economic revitalization, budgetary shortfall-management, policing reform, rail, homelessness, and city development. Preceding the Q&A, associate editor Edwin Quinabo provides a framework to some of the issues discussed by candidates. He also details critical election information in the introduction. Our two-part segment covering the mayoral race (HFC Election Poll and Q&A addressing the top City issues) aims to impart fair and in-depth information for our readers and our community to make knowledgeable voting decisions. Mahalo to the candidates for reaching out to our community. And we also encourage voters to do their own additional research into other candidates in this race who were not a part of our two-part segment due to space limitation. Keeping with our election theme, we have two insightful editorials: one that examines current voting trends of Hawaii’s Filipino community and another one on the overwhelming influence that super PACS have on elections, including the ability to launch negative campaigning with little to no accountability. Also in this issue, HFC editorial assistant Jim Bea Sampaga contributes “Working Parents Unable to Choose Between Jobs, Kids According to Survey” in our Health & Family section. A survey by Hawai’i Afterschool Alliance and Hawai’i Children’s Action Network (HCAN) showed that the majority of the respondents won’t be able to work while their kids are at home as public schools ready to continue distance learning due to COVID-19. Sixty-one percent of the respondents said their employer wouldn’t offer flexible hours that will match with their family’s access to school and childcare. Many of you already know of the passing of Rep. John Lewis who was a champion for civil rights in this country for decades. HFC columnist Emil Guillermo writes, “There was always a special comfort knowing that John Lewis was there for all of us. And now all Filipino Americans, all Asian Americans, who understand our place in the fight for racial justice mourn his passing.” That fighting spirit and yearning for justice Lewis exemplified in his life’s work have also been in many ways pursuits of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle over the course of two decades. Lastly, be sure to read our news sections and articles from our other HFC columnists: Atty. Emmanuel Samonte Tipon’s “One-upmanship: God Created Two Sexes; Supreme Court Creates a Third Sex,” Melissa Martin’s “Masks R Us,” Elpidio Estioko’s “The Last Bastion of Defense: Masks, 14-Day Quarantine, Social Distancing,” and Seneca Moraleda-Puguan’s “Thriving Amid A Pandemic.” Thank you to our advertisers and supporters in the community. Please remember to vote in the Primary. Empower yourself. Empower our community. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



Election Reform Still Desperately Needed, Keep Big Money and Smear Campaigning Out of Elections


ince Citizens United v Federal Election Commission “outside spending” (outside of political campaigns) sources have undermined fair elections through big interest spending and smear campaigning. Outside spending sources include mostly Super PACs and political nonprofits that collectively is referred to as “dark money” sources. In just this 2020 election cycle, groups organized as super PACS have reported receipts over $1 billion as of July 21, 2020 and other independent expenditures (like political nonprofits) reported $240 million. This is the magnitude of heavy-weight spending and influence “outside spending” sources have and will use in mostly the biggest races – presidential, senate-congress, governor, and large municipal contests like mayor throughout

the United States. Super PACS (technically known as independent expenditure-only committees) have the power to raise unlimited sums of money to spend on elections, either advocating for their candidate or by attacking their candidate’s opponent(s). Monies donated to super PACS can come from just about anyone (billionaires), usually corporations, unions, and associations. Super PACs have three requirements: they must report their donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), cannot donate directly to campaigns, and must not be working in coordination with a candidate’s campaign (who stands to benefit from their efforts). But political nonprofits, arguably the “darkest source of political money” are not required to publicly disclose their donors. These types of support are believed to have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent elections and have never been forced to re-

Democrat presidential candidates wanted to make a veal where their money came as much financial support from major break from what hapfrom. individuals and mostly rely on pened in the 2016 Republican primary, where nonprofit polarge donors. The basic conundrum is – litical groups and super PACs Catch-22 Both major political par- super PACS should be limited bankrolled that election. But one by one, Demoties (Democrats and Repub- to lessen big interest groups’ crat presidential hopefuls suclicans) have their liberal and uneven influence in elections conservative super PACS as a over regular, unorganized vot- cumbed, reversing their posimatter of political reality and ing citizens; but how is this tion. Political strategists called possible when a candidate the early pledge as a futile excandidate electability. Some Democrat politi- must get elected in a game ercise anyway, knowing very cians (of big races) have crit- where super PACS are helping well that in the General, in order to defeat Donald Trump, icized super PACs’ influence; every other candidate? The most glaring ex- the Democrat standard bearer some even vowing not to receive donations from dark ample of this just happened would need support from super money sources, but eventually in this year’s primary elec- PACS. Added to this, candidates succumb as their campaigns tion for president. Almost all have no legal ability to stop a Democrats in the beginning run out of money. Democrats have even called for campaign of the race tried to keep out- super PAC from forming and reform, wanting the U.S. Su- side spending sources limit- supporting them even if they preme Court to overturn Citi- ed, some even vowing not to disavowed super PACS – that receive any super PAC help was the basic premise of Citizens United. Republicans have been un- (Warren, but she eventually did zens United, that super PACS apologetic about not only re- in the late game). Only the two had the right to endorse canceiving super PAC money, but billionaires (Tom Steyer and didates as part of freedom of have resisted most campaign Mike Bloomberg) received speech and expression. Until the law is changed, reform initiatives brought up no super PAC assistance; and this is the political reality of in Congress. The main reason Bernie Sanders (mostly fundis relative to Democrat candi- ed by individual donors), had elections. (continue on page 12) dates, Republicans do not have minimum help.

(Filipinos...from page 2)

Other variables Lower voter turnout could also be a socioeconomic issue, not just an ethnic one. Take a look at a district with lower median income and not highly populated with Filipinos but have low voter turnout as well – District 44 (WAIANAE, MAKAHA, MAILI) total turnout 4,660 in the last General Election. Filipinos with higher education and income levels who do not live in neighborhoods with high concentration of Filipino residents could very well have high voting rates. Many of them live in neighborhoods like Manoa, St. Louis Heights, Hawaii Kai. It also appears that Filipinos are not as cluster-oriented as in the past and are increasingly living in mixed neighborhoods where there are sizeable Filipino populations: Downtown, Makiki, Foster Village, Moanalua, Aiea, Pearl City, Kapolei, Kaneohe, Makakilo, to name a few. The Filipino electorate is also changing dramatically among millennials with a huge mixed-race Filipino population. Their political values could be far different from their parents or grandparents. It’s probable that in the next 20+ years, current models that speculate ethnic voting by districts could be even

less reliable and the only way to measure voting turnout would be if the Office of Elections tracked voting by ethnicity – which would not happen, nor should it.

2020 Turn the Tide Our Filipino community has a golden opportunity to flex its political muscle comparable to its population in this all-mail election. One goal should be to have districts with high Filipino populations spike their numbers to where they are at least one-third to double of what they have been in the past. This should send a strong message to politicians. Why does this matter? So that our political values and priorities will be taken more seriously. Spike those numbers and the next mayor of Honolulu will know that our community was pivotal to his or her election. The Honolulu mayor’s race is critical to getting our community back on track and working. We’ve been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 with our overrepresentation in tourism. Economic diversification is a critical long term goal, realistically. Let’s elect someone who can work on diversification as well as getting fast results in boosting tourism and expanding tourism-related markets. Also, critical is making sure that, that leader will keep our hotel workers safe. Please remember to vote! 





he 2020 Election was supposed to be the big story of the year. But it has been for the most part overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic as residents have had to make major life adjustments to work and school, and practice socially awkward (wear a mask and keep your distance) but necessary health precautions. But as crucial this Primary Election is, specifically the big local race for mayor of Honolulu, it’s time for voters to focus and know that the Primary is already in full-swing under the first all-mail voting system. Registered voters should have received their ballot package via mail and should have returned it to the self-addressed clerk’s office. Or at the very latUnprecedented Challenges Honolulu’s mayor-elect already had daunting challenges ahead to manage one of the world’s most famous and diverse cities even before COVID-19. Since the crisis, the next mayor must manage normal city business in a “new normal” setting of soaring unemployment (among the highest in the nation) and a crippled tourism industry on life support. While state and federal government are mostly tasked with unemployment, Honolulu’s mayor-elect, working with State and private-sector leaders, will play a pivotal role in rebuilding tourism and jumpstarting the economy. The urgency for economic recovery is such an overwhelming priority that the candidate who can win public confidence as the best person to get this done – most likely will be the candidate elected. And the situation could become more dire as the end of July had unemployment benefits reduced (federal funding for additional COVID-19 assistance expired). And the national moratorium on evictions also expired which could be a double whammy for unemployed renters. Experts say

est, voted ballots should be sent out by mail by August 4-5 to meet the Aug. 8, 7 p.m. deadline. Don’t’ want to mail back your ballot? There are 36 ballot box drop-off locations statewide. Ballots are also being collected at eight voter service centers. The second option of in-person voting has also started as of July 27 at select voter service centers that will be open until Aug. 7, Mon.- Sat., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and on the day of the Primary, Aug. 8, with extended hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters must be reminded that neighborhood precinct voting will not be available for in-person voting as in previous years; but only at select voter service centers. Visit: elections.hawaii.gov to see statewide locations of voting centers and ballot box drop off locations. Not registered to vote? Hawaii residents who failed to meet the registration

unemployment in an “unaffordable” rent environment as in Honolulu could worsen the City’s homeless problem; or at minimum, put extra demand on the already limited affordable housing inventory. An option for residents could be to leave the state, which has been ongoing for at least 20 years. Honolulu’s population has been shrinking and is 7.8 percent smaller than it was in 1990. But that is a last option to kamaaina with strong family and cultural ties to the islands.

Working people could come out in record numbers Voters traditionally vote based on their pocketbooks. Based on this trend, political analysts and academics will be looking closely at this first election of the COVID-19 era. How will the most severely impacted socioeconomic group -- workers under mid-management with incomes on the lower end and lower skill set – turnout to vote? It’s uncertain where this group of workers political preferences lie between 1) wanting change from a system that has not given them job and health coverage security (tourism, employment-based insurance)

in which case the agents-forchange candidates (Amemiya, Blangiardi) could benefit; or that 2) workers would want to elect someone experienced to “right the ship” as soon as possible, and favor a continuity of a system with changes to come once stability resumes. Favoring change versus continuity is less clear cut this cycle in the Honolulu mayor’s race in part because there is no incumbent to place direct blame to justify change. Every candidate in the mayor’s race can reasonably claim to be for change. While the top two veteran politicians Hannemann and Hanabusa have served years in public office, they also haven’t held elected office for some time. Based on some respondents’ comments in our HFC 2020 election poll, most of the dissatisfaction with government affairs that would warrant change is directed at the federal level, the presidency. Few have complained about local government.

High cost of living and affordable housing Besides the economy-jobs and public safety over COVID-19 as the overwhelming priority, Filipinos also

deadline still have a chance to vote by going to a voter service center where residents can do same-day voter registration and voting.

have mentioned as pressing issues the high cost of living and housing. On housing, the City can do more with additional city-state-private sector projects to expand affordable housing inventory, as some candidates have mentioned. But market forces are the main drivers of the high cost of living in Honolulu and it’s doubtful how much the City can do to change this. Nationally, Honolulu already has one of the lowest property tax rate (the City’s primary income generator). It’s possible for county services fees and car registration fees to be reexamined, but lowering them will hardly reduce the high cost of living by much. Mayoral candidates know the limitations of city governance in reducing the high cost of living, but some have made it a campaign talking point that’s more rhetoric than realistic.

Rail, again, matters this election In yet another race for Honolulu mayor, rail will once again have weighted prominence this election, but for different reasons this time -- namely the completion of the rail project on budget, and

finding cost-effective ways for its maintenance. A third consideration related to rail not being discussed much except mentioned by Hannemann and Amemiya is development and redevelopment of businesses and affordable housing along the rail transit route. While developers, investors, and locals wanting more affordable housing are most likely to be the groups looking forward to “smart development” near rail routes; the issue could pose as a problem for anti-development and environmental groups.

Q&A (with leading Honolu-

lu mayoral candidates Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi, Colleen Hanabusa, Mufi Hannemann, Kym Pine) HFC: COVID-19 has shown our state-city’s economic vulnerabilities, specifically an overreliance on tourism. What specific economic initiatives you would support to lift Honolulu from the current economic depression and make it stronger against tourism-driven future recessions? AMEMIYA: I would get people back to work immediately, including opening up (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (from page 4)

tourism safely and investing in construction projects to jumpstart the economy. Long-term, I seek to re-envision a better, more diversified economy that invests in our people, innovation and technology, and new industries like agriculture, aquaculture, and renewable energy. BLANGIARDI: I will support our small businesses by distributing federal COVID-19 aid to them, ensuring they have the proper training and resources to operate safely, and helping them navigate COVID-19 relief programs. For our workers, I will bolster our City’s workforce development efforts to ensure our workers can seek diverse employment. HANABUSA: There are two phases. First will be to secure federal funding to stabilize our economy. We cannot over rely on tourism, but it will be part of [our] economy; we must define what kind of tourism. [Second] We must take this opportunity to truly develop technology/science jobs for the next generation. HANNEMANN: We must build on our core competence of tourism by developing synergistic industries such as sports, film-TV production, and agriculture/cuisine; broaden infrastructure support for farmers; and promote transit-oriented development to create more housing and business-industrial opportunities, while supporting the construction industry. PINE: As the Chair of the City Council’s Economic Committee, I have proposed plans to diversify our economy, which we can start in 6 months. This includes advanced technology, biotech, clean energy, specialized military contracts, and agriculture. Numerous new inventions, Hawaii’s unique time zone and remote working makes this possible. HFC: Sen. Mazie Hirono mentioned in an HFC interview that the federal government is working on getting state and counties federal support to deal with our budget shortfall. Even with that additional money, should it eventually come, cuts in City services, possible furloughs

are possibilities. What areas would be the first to adjust or scale back to balance the city’s budget? AMEMIYA: The government needs to step up during this crisis and respond with hope and opportunity, not fear and scarcity. Many people rely on City services so cutting services would be a last resort. I would first freeze hiring vacant positions, improve city efficiency, and seek private-public partnerships. BLANGIARDI: I will look to systematically eliminate waste in every City department. Our taxpayers must get more ‘bang for your buck,’ and doing so can help the City make do with less money. I will also eliminate vacant positions in the City, which the City currently budgets for. HANABUSA: The revenue for the City comes primarily from real property taxes and federal grants. The Hotel tax does not add much. We must concentrate on the basic services of the City: public safety, rubbish, sewers, roads, water. If the federal grants are cut, then those programs may be scaled back. HANNEMANN: It would be premature to propose cutbacks until the incoming mayor can assess future revenues and expenditures, commitments by the current administration, federal pandemic relief funding, and other factors that affect the City budget. PINE: In the most recent budget cycle, in anticipation of lost revenue due to COVID-19, I proposed cuts to capital improvement projects that were unpopular with the community, including remodeling the Blaisdell Auditorium and the sports complex in Sherwood Forest. I also propose cuts for redundancy and unnecessary expenditures. HFC: Policing reform is taking place throughout our country. There are calls for many reforms, including greater transparency in police misconduct. What policing reforms do you support? AMEMIYA: I served on the Honolulu Police Commission and have always advocated for an honest and corruption free police force. I support greater oversight powers by the Police Commission,

banning chokeholds, requiring implicit bias training for all police and all City employees, and support a duty to intervene law. BLANGIARDI: I support any effort to increase transparency and accountability within our police department. I believe there is always room for improvement, but I do not believe that cutting police department budgets is the way to improve them, especially for a department as understaffed as HPD. HANABUSA: I support transparency in government. Public oversight over the police department must be improved and that comes with restructuring the Police Commission. Transparency a n d oversight must be created so it is applicable to all police chiefs and officers. Any restructuring is decided by voters through Charter Amendment. HANNEMANN: Legislation was recently passed that provides for more openness in police disciplinary cases, and I would work with the chief and police union on achieving that goal. PINE: Bad actors in the department are shielded from public disclosure. We need to follow other states and bring body cameras, vehicle cameras and transparency. Our police commission should be strengthened to investigate complaints against officers and enforce civil procedures. HFC: With the City’s projected budget shortfall, how could this affect rail’s completion, operation, and/or maintenance? Besides rail, do you support other traffic congestion relief? AMEMIYA: The major problem has been the mismanagement of past politicians and administrations. I support completing rail to Ala Moana and will ensure proper oversight and transparency to finish it. Oʻahu needs a modern, dependable, and affordable transit system, especially for those stuck in traffic or spending long hours on TheBus. BLANGIARDI: I will seek as much federal funding for rail as possible. However, if that funding is not there, I will not raise taxes on our community for the sake of rail. For traffic, I will look to

modernize our traffic light infrastructure to efficiently manage vehicle flow, and improve TheBus. HANABUSA: The construction costs are funded by the GET and the TAT (Hotel tax). I would not divert real property tax money to complete rail. Traffic congestion requires working with the State. The freeways/highways are State run. City can relieve congestion by working from home and improving TheBus. HANNEMANN: My goal is to complete the rail system to Ala Moana, in a fiscally responsible manner while not raising real property taxes; secure available federal funding; and establish public-private partnerships to help fund the project. We will continue to support TheBus and Handivan. PINE: With little revenue coming into the project because of Covid-19, we cannot build a project when we do not have the money. We could change the project’s short-term loans to a longer term loans to lessen monthly payments if it makes sense. Making telecommuting the norm will reduce traffic.

treat the homeless as all having the same problem. Resources are wasted because the City and State both have their homeless programs. We need to have one program. Analyze the laws that affect those homeless with mental illness and build more shelters. HANNEMANN: The City and State should collaborate with Partners in Care and others to pool resources and coordinate efforts to help the homeless; support rapid rehousing to connect people to housing/services, permanent/low-income housing, diversion/prevention response, and income support. The City must pursue all federal funding, including CARES, CDBG/HOME, and Continuum of Care. PINE: Chronically homeless individuals require mental health and addiction treatment. We must remove every barrier and try every innovation to help them. For houseless, I will build tiny homes throughout Oahu to house people. I do not support sit-lie bans that do not help; they just move homeless out of sight.

HFC: Homelessness is still a lingering problem in Honolulu. What will you continue to support that have already been established by the previous administration? What new approach do you have to deal with homelessness? AMEMIYA: I will continue funding for Housing First and increase mental health and drug treatment facilities. My experience with Kahauiki Village -- a public-private partnership with the City that created housing for 600 houseless people, including over 300 children -- is an example of new approaches I would support as Mayor. BLANGIARDI: I am for a “tough love” approach for our chronically homeless. I will cooperate with our courts, and expand the number of treatment facilities for those who are afflicted with mental health or substance abuse issues. I will work to increase housing and make Oahu more affordable for our families. HANABUSA: The problem with homelessness is we

HFC: Many locals believe Honolulu development has gone overboard at the expense of compromising the City’s natural beauty. What does “smart development” or “balanced development” look like to you going forward? Can you also address here your plans for environmental preservation and renewable projects? AMEMIYA: We need to lead the way in fighting climate change. We need to enact a Climate Action Plan within the first 100 days to reach our renewable energy goals. I also believe in developing vibrant mixed use communities along the rail line to solve our affordable housing shortage. BLANGIARDI: I believe there are many steps we can take to make urban Honolulu beautiful. I would like to pay particular attention with the Department of Parks and Recreation to increasing our urban tree canopy, which has been shrinking. I will also work to preserve and expand our City’s green spaces. (continue on page 7)


Masks R US By Melissa Martin, Ph.D.


eople are adjusting and adapting protective masks to fit every occasional. Creative humans are experimenting and taking mask-wearing to an advanced level. Diners were spotted wearing masks with zippers. Unzip, stuff food in your pie-hole, chew, and rezip. Recreational potheads are cutting small holes in their masks and sewing on buttons. Insert end of bong and puff away. Button up when done getting high. Billionaires are dipping their masks in gold. However, the heaviness is causing droopy cheeks and neck spasms. It’s a dilemma for the Kardashian divas. Liberals are wearing double masks while conservatives are wearing invisible masks. Which

is more politically correct? Product advertising is being considered for the front of masks. What a way to capitalize on the pandemic! Gucci, Armani, Bulgari and Prada are making stylish face coverings for the trendy crowd. Celebrities want to be vogueish while others are dying from COVID-19. Of course, companies take a tax write-off when they donate masks. “The requiring of masks and facial coverings has become a hot button nationally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends them as way to prevent the spread of the virus, but some consider mask mandates as a violation against their constitutional rights,” according to a recent article in USA Today. Mandated masks in several areas are being required due to a COVID-19 resurgence. Consumers with a valid medical condition will not have to wear them. Is an outbreak on the lips due to the herpes simplex virus (also known as HSV) a valid infection exception? Masks can rub cold sores and fever blisters


the wrong way. “Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance,” according to the CDC website. So, if you come across an unconscious or incapacitated person should you pluck the mask from his/her face before you call 911? If you come across a conscious person at the grocery store not wearing a mask should you shame him/her or call the mask patrol? Why can’t a scientist invent a lip balm or lipstick that kills the virus in respiratory droplets before spit hits the fan? And what about a virus-stopping cream to stick up both nostrils? No more masks. What about making public coughing, sneezing, and blowing of the nose felony offenses with or without a mask? Threaten American citizens with fines and jail. Saliva (includes drool, dribble, slobber) and snot are found to be enemies of the state.

Therefore, these bodily functions will be arrested. An article published in The Lancet on June 1, reviewed a meta-analysis of 172 studies and found that wearing a mask reduces the risk of viral transmission. But read on for the rest of the story. An article for NPR quoted Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, as saying, “Now, most of the studies in the analysis looked at face mask use in health care, not community settings. And they were observational, not the gold standard of science, a randomized controlled trial, which would be “very unethical in a pandemic.” Will the real information about COVID-19, please stand up? Put all the political players on To Tell the Truth;

an American television panel game. One contestant is sworn to tell the truth about masks while the others are not. The ratings would skyrocket. Yes, this column is meant to be sarcastic, humorous, and witty. And yes, I cover my face inside public places. MELISSA MARTIN, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. www. melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.



One-upmanship: God Created Two Sexes; Supreme Court Creates a Third Sex

By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


o God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Genesis 1:27, New Living Translation. “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.” Matthew 19:4, New Living Translation. On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court created a third sex – homosexual or transgender. Attorney Tipon said: “Susmariosep!” “Then Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34, King James Version. In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and two other cases, No. 17-1618, involving 3

employers who allegedly fired employees simply for being homosexual or transgender, the Supreme Court on June 15, 2020, held, 6-3, that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a) (1) which provides that it is unlawful “for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s . . sex . ..” The issue was the meaning of “sex” in Title VII. The employers said that the term “sex” in 1964 when the statute was enacted referred to status as either male or female as determined by reproductive biology. The employees conceded the point for argument’s sake. But Justice Gorsuch said that an employer violates Title VII when it intentionally fires an individual based in part on sex. If the employer intentionally relies in part on an individual employee’s sex when deciding

to discharge the employee – put differently, if changing the employee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the employer – a statutory violation has occurred. It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex. The majority rejected the employers’ contention that homosexuality and transgender status are distinct concepts from sex, and that if Congress wanted to address these matters in Title VII, it would have referred to them specifically. The majority said that when Congress chooses not to include any exceptions to a broad rule, the Court applies a broad rule.

incentives for sustainable practices and smart planning. My bill Keep Hawaii Hawaii, calls for annual sustainability reports from the visitor industry and visitor education.

HANABUSA: I respect what the Filipino community has done. I have fought for Filipino rights and will never forget the sacrifices made for our country and state. I will listen, not only at election time, and I have the record and experience of proudly standing with you. HANNEMANN: We’re in an unprecedented health and economic crisis. I have the proven, tested leadership and record of achievement as mayor; experience with City operations and finances; solid relationships with elected officials; and know-how to direct a multi-billion-dollar budget and 10,000-employee workforce, while crafting solutions to these crises. PINE: As the only Filipino candidate in the Mayor’s race, and as the First Filipino Mayor, I would work to get us out of this crisis, make Oahu affordable, clean, safe, efficient, ethical and resilient with a diversified economy that doesn’t rely on the outside world to feed employ us ever again.

Majority engaged in Judicial Legislation In Justice Alito’s strongly worded dissent in which Justice Thomas concurred, he said that there is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.

(COVER STORY: HFC Q& A....from page 5)

HANABUSA: This question addresses climate change and how it changes our shorelines, Waikiki and other areas of development. “Smart/balanced development” recognizes that we must preserve Honolulu for the next generations. All projects should be measured by the future. We need a vision of Honolulu which the next generations accept. HANNEMANN: The City’s policies balance preservation with community needs. We can impose impact fees for heavily used cultural and scenic attractions, as we did at Hanauma Bay, with the money going toward conservation and education. We will expand the use of renewables in the City fleet with federal support, and accelerate energy-saving technology use. PINE: Preservation of the land is a priority. Green building and clean energy are the future. Clean energy, zero emissions vehicles, solar voltaic public buildings, through

HFC: Why should our Filipino community elect you as our next Mayor of Honolulu? AMEMIYA: I am a champion for our working class families and believe the Filipino community has made the entire island stronger and better because of their many contributions. As Mayor, I will always put the interests of the community first and work to make Oʻahu better for all of us. BLANGIARDI: The Mayor is the CEO of Honolulu. As former President of Telemundo, and GM of Hawaii News Now, I have the experience to lead us through this crisis. We also need a leader who can deliver on their promises. I will rebuild Honolulu’s economy and help improve our Filipino community.

Justice Alito noted that Title VII prohibits discrimination because of “sex” and in 1964 “this meant discrimination because of the genetic and anatomical characteristics that men and women have at the time of birth.” He had not found a single dictionary that defined “sex” to mean “sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status.” Justice Alito said that the concept of discrimination because of “sex” is different from discrimination because of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” He pointed out that neither “sexual orientation” nor “gender identity” appears in Title VII. He recalled that for the past 45 years bills have been introduced in Congress to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list but none has passed. He said that the majority usurped the constitutional authority of the other branches in the guise of statutory interpretation. Justice Kavanaugh also dissented saying that the question is whether Title VII should be expanded to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation. He pointed out that under the Constitution’s separation of powers, the responsibility to amend Title VII belongs

to Congress, not to the Court. We are judges, not members of Congress, he said, and our role is not to make or amend the law. “Judges interpret the law as written, not as they might wish it were written.” ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law and appellate criminal defense. He writes law books for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report which he cohosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm.It is the most witty, interesting, and useful radio program in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8 a.m. Atty. Tipon served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He co-authored the best seller “Immigration Law Service, 1 st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon has personally experienced the entire immigration process. He first came to the United States on a student/ exchange visitor visa to study at Yale. He returned to the Philippines to resume practicing law. He came again to the United States on a non-immigrant work visa to write law books, adjusted his status to that of a lawful permanent resident, and became a naturalized citizen. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone (808) 2252645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Websites:https://www.tiponlaw.com, https://www.hawaiianimmigrationattorney.com, https:// www.bileckilawgroup. com. This article is a general overview of the subject matter discussed and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established between the writer and readers relying upon the contents of this article.)





The Last Bastion of Defense: Masks, 14-Day Quarantine, Social Distancing By Elpidio R. Estioko


e are fighting an invisible enemy and for the past six months, COVID-19 has been winning and defeating us to the extent that every state is now in panic-mode and scrambling for an immediate solution. Going over the 31 states where COVID-19 surged, the almost unanimous moves by governors to contain the pandemic are to wear masks, observe social distancing and impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine. These, As I See It, are the last bastion of defense to win the war against the pandemic! Folks, take note that these are measures already being implemented by the State of Hawaii… but are just being considered by the states that surged! This means that Hawaii is way ahead than any of the states in containing the pandemic. Agree? Even US President Donald Trump had a complete reversal, an about-face, lately from his original position about wearing a mask. “Get a mask,” Trump said in a briefing early this week without key members of the White House coronavirus task force. Vice President Mike Pence added a surprise pronouncement saying: “the illness will probably get worse before it gets better.” The President added, “It

will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.” Well, I hope this is not another political gimmick because As I See It, he was made to reverse his position considering that everything is falling on him and is affecting, not only his performance as our president providing national leadership but also his reelection bid and chances of getting a second term. He was forced to demote his campaign manager for getting consistently low ratings in all the poll surveys, trailing behind Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in double figures. Something must be done for him to catch up and rally the people to his side, as the November election is only four months away! “Get a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They will have an effect and we need everything we can get.” the President said. This is a surprise move from a person who never wore a mask in public ever since the pandemic started. It’s the complete opposite of his original position of not wearing a mask and his tendency to downplay the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, this is a complete surprise, not only for me but for most Americans and all over the world. These statements came after Trump was seen wearing masks in public for the first

time during his visit to Walter Reed National Medical Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland days before the briefing. Again, I think this is a planned move to cope up with his diminishing popularity. First, he wore a mask for the first time, a prelude to the briefing, then he urged the people to wear masks during the briefing. What next? In his article, Evan Semones said: “It was a noteworthy evolution for the president, who has balked at wearing protective face coverings as a deadly pandemic surged across portions of the U.S. During a visit, President Donald Trump wore a face mask in front of assembled media for the first time. Though the move was expected and had been trailed in a series of media appearances this week, it was still a noteworthy evolution for the president, who has balked at wearing protective face coverings as a deadly pandemic surged across portions of the U.S.” According to White House deputy secretary Judd Deere, the president continued to wear a mask while touring the hospital speaking with

wounded veterans and all military personnel, Secret Service agents and White House staff surrounding the president, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, all wore facial coverings. “I think when you’re in a hospital, especially in that particular setting, where you’re talking to a lot of soldiers and people that, in some cases, just got off the operating tables, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place.” While this was the first time, will it be the last time? Take your guess! To strengthen measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Hawaii, Governor David Ige issued a supplementary proclamation requiring all residents and visitors to travel between any of the islands in the state to self-quarantine for 14 days, effective April 1. This follows a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine order for all visitors and residents arriving in Hawaii from the U.S. Mainland, U.S. territories, or other countries. “Self-quarantine” means travelers must remain in their hotel rooms or residence, obtain food by delivery, and not have visitors. Failure to follow the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both, according to the report. State officials acknowledge that measures like this are extreme, but are necessary to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 outbreak and help the state recover more quickly. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing a cloth face mask to limit the spread of COVID-19. Hawaii has already taken two big steps. The first step was implementing an effective COVID-19 control plan in Hawaii by restricting interisland travel and between Hawaii

and overseas destinations. To restrict this travel more tightly, on March 23, Governor Ige imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all incoming visitors and returning residents from the U.S. mainland and foreign countries. One week later, Gov. Ige imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on virtually all interisland travelers, including Hawaii residents. Gov. Ige also said that the state still believes the pre-travel testing program will help Hawaii stay safe. He announced that progress on the program is being made and more details will be in place by September 1. The second step for an effective COVID-19 control plan in Hawaii was for county mayors and the governor to order all residents and visitors to stay at home and to take social distancing measures when in public places. Such measures, if implemented effectively, can radically reduce community transmission. Between March 4 and 25, the four county mayors imposed a variety of restrictive orders and voluntary recommendations that varied enormously across the four counties according to the Governor’s order. The third step is the most challenging and fortunately is already underway. The Hawaii state government and private health organizations will expand the availability of testing in each of the four counties; routinely test all individuals with respiratory symptoms or fevers for coronavirus; for the Hawaii State Department of Health to proactively trace the contacts of all found infected with coronavirus, and enforce isolation and arrange for or provide care to ill and exposed people until the disease has run its course. The fourth step in controlling COVID-19 is for the state to gradually relax stayat-home and social distancing recommendations and orders and allow some economic activities that involve groups clustered in a location, e.g., a workplace, to resume. (continue on page 11)



Don’t Forget Rep. John Lewis; He Didn’t Forget Us

For those of us who continue to fight against all the ills, all the time, Lewis was By Emil Guillermo immortalized on a Sunday in would see John March 1965. Lewis when I That day Lewis became worked as a press our conscience and our partsecretary in the ner, when he made his coura103rd Congress. geous choice in Selma, AlaHe was still young bama to lead 600 people in a and feisty, just in his 50s, and voting rights march to Monthad the fire to turn an ordi- gomery across the Edmund nary one-minute speech on Pettus Bridge. the House floor into a bit of As they came off the passionate rhetorical magnifi- bridge, Lewis faced state cence. It could be on anything, troopers in a moment capbut more likely it was some- tured by an iconic photothing extraordinary, like a stir- graph. It shows a young Lewring defense of people of color, is in a tan raincoat, his knees or anyone in need of Lewis’ to the ground as a helmeted caring yet forceful voice. officer wielding a nightstick There was always a spe- is about to tee-off. cial comfort knowing that “I was the first person to John Lewis was there for all be hit, and I still have a spot of us. on my forehead,” he told And now all Filipino CBS News. Americans, all Asian AmerThe attack on Lewis is icans, who understand our one of the lasting images of place in the fight for racial “Bloody Sunday.” justice mourn his passing. “I really believe to this I’ll miss him as our hu- day I saw death,” Lewis exman barometer for all that is plained to correspondent Rita right in society. But the truth Braver. “We had to do it, we is Lewis will never be far had to do it. I think there’s from our hearts and minds. some force, sometimes I call


(AS I SEE IT: The Last....from page 10)

However, this must be done with extreme caution. There are two important requirements for relaxing restrictions: 1) they should only be lifted once we have a strong monitoring system in place that can rapidly detect resurgence in the epidemic, and 2) restrictions must be released gradually and the effect of removing them monitored to insure the epidemic remains contained. If the epidemic resurges, we must be prepared to reimpose restrictions immediately. An effective and widely distributed vaccine will make restrictions unnecessary, but as Dr. Anthony Fauci has pointed out that is 12-18 months out in an optimistic scenario. Until an effective treatment or vaccine is developed or antigen and antibody testing becomes cheap, accurate, fast and widely available, some economic

activities will not resume. In conclusion, Hawaii will increase antigen and antibody testing, comprehensive historical contact tracing, mandated mask use, and isolation of exposed and infected individuals are the most vital measures that the state can take to control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once several measurable targets are achieved, we expect that Gov. Ige will be able to lift his stay-at-home order and this will facilitate the reopening of much of the state’s non-tourism economy. Let’s stick to our last bastion of defense: wearing a face mask, 14-day self-quarantine, and social distancing, and we will be fine! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).

Rep. John Lewis

it the spirit of history that maybe just maybe tracked us down and said this is your time. And you must do it; if you don’t, who will?” It is the call that must be answered. Lewis answered the call. Do you hear your call? Will you answer? It may just be the call to march, like many of us felt after George Floyd’s death. The knee to Floyd’s neck is as loud a call as the nightstick to Lewis’ head. I heard a call to march in 2013, seven years ago in late August. Lewis was in Washington, DC leading the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, a key civil rights march that culminated in MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. At the commemorative march, I got to the front and snapped this picture with Lewis at the helm. As they went by, I was overwhelmed by all the people who answered the call. But there was nothing nostalgic about this march. It was the reaffirmation af-

ter half a century of the fight for justice on all fronts in our country–for health care, immigration rights, gay and transgender rights, environmental rights, labor rights, voting rights. I remember seeing so many Filipinos Americans from all walks of life. Whole families, individuals with their rights groups. And then a few days later, on the actual anniversary day of Dr. King’s “Dream” speech, there was Lewis to remind us how we were all still in this together. “We may have come here on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now,” Lewis said. “So, it doesn’t matter if we’re black or white, Latinos, Asian Americans, or Native American, gay or straight, we are one people, we are one family, we all live in the same house. Not just an American house but the world house.” That was in 2013. Maybe we got complacent. It’s hard to imagine that in seven short years, the United States is more divided than ever, with our rights in all the different areas we marched for through the years under attack and more precarious and endangered like never before. The call we must answer now is loud and clear. It’s spread throughout society, and sometimes obscured by the obscene shadow cast by the pandemic’s wrath. The president may not be acting swiftly to address the

problem at hand of COVID-19 caseloads and death rates, testing and tracing. But he’s doing all he can to undo healthcare, a woman’s right to choose, and immigration rights. As people march to reform our police methods, the administration is moving toward an unseemly authoritarianism as secret police actions take place in Portland, Oregon; he now threatens to use similar tactics in other cities across the nation. And then there’s the administration’s war to deny voting rights, disenfranchise felons, reapply poll taxes, and discredit vote-by-mail. The scar on Lewis’ head was for voting rights. At the very least, Congress should move to restore all the parts recently gutted from the Voting Rights Act. At a 2017 speech honoring Dr. King, Lewis gave us all our forever prescription for social justice. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something, and not be quiet.” In his passing, we are reminded to heed Lewis’ simple, practical admonishments, now more than ever. Even from your perspective in paradise. Follow Lewis’ call. Add your voice now.

EMIL​ GUILLERMO​ is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @emilamok.



Working Parents Unable To Choose Between Jobs, Kids According To Survey By Jim Bea Sampaga


orking parents are facing an impossible choice between work and kids as public schools are planning to do partial distance learning according to a survey by Hawai’i Afterschool Alliance and Hawai’i Children’s Action Network (HCAN). Surveyed 721 parents with children under 18 years old

online from July 8 to 17, the results showed that the majority of the respondents won’t be able to work while their kids are at home. “For our children to be successful, parents will need support,” said Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of HCAN, in the press release. “Distance learning is about to begin again, and we urgently need to find a way to allow working parents to care for their kids.”

Respondents expressed their concerns in balancing work hours with their children’s distant learning schedules. Sixty-one percent of the respondents said their employer wouldn’t offer flexible hours that will match with their family’s access to school and childcare. While 73% with children that go to multiple schools were concerned there will be conflicts with their schools’ schedules. Assuming that schools are practicing the appropriate safety measures, most of the respondents prefer that there is at least some in-person learning for their children. Forty-two percent prefer all in-percent learning, 35% prefer a mix of in-person and distance learning while 23% prefer all distance-learning. However, if in-person learning resumes, 96% said they would be “concerned about their children’s physical health” according to the press release. Upon returning to school in fall, 87% said their children

would need extra academic support. While 91% said they were concerned about their children’s social-emotional well-being. With public schools mostly planning to do distance learning, parents worry about the devices their children need to use to learn and study. Over a third of families in the survey said they don’t have the right devices and internet access to accommodate their children for distance learning. Sixty-five percent said it’s unlikely for their family to be able to provide learning and technological support to their child if distance learning continues in the fall. While 37% said they don’t

(EDITORIALS: Election Reform....from page 3)

Smear campaign The ugliest side of outside source campaigning is found in smear political attacks. It used to be that negative and smear advertising (all forms from paper to digital) could be linked to a political candidate’s campaign. This kept a check on negative attacks because candidates would be held accountable for whatever material was put out. Today’s modern elections, there is no such accountability because outside sources will do all the dirty work for a candidate (remember super PACS legally cannot work in coordination with campaigns). And super PACs and non-profit political groups have nothing to lose except the possibility of being sued for defamation, later. Locally, the most egregious example came when former Gov. Ben Cayetano ran for Honolulu Mayor in an attempt to stop the rail project. He faced

a barrage of smear advertising from then PRP Hawaii (prorail PAC) and it is believed by many Cayetano lost that 2012 race because of PRP. PRP spent nearly $2 million on negative advertising targeting Cayetano in allegations that the former governor was corrupt and broke the law while he was in office. After the mayoral election, Cayetano sued PRP which agreed to settle out of court. The financial settlement went to Cayetano’s favorite charities and required that PRP make a formal apology. As of press time (July 28), it’s alleged by some voters that 2020 mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya is the latest target of smear campaigning. Facts in the alleged smear have yet to be unproven, but the accusations by a PAC sent out by mailer, texts, and eventually covered by local media, were called by Amemiya’s campaign as false and misleading.

have enough devices to support distance learning. Majority of them, 85%, said they were comfortable borrowing a device from their school. Those who selected that they were not comfortable stated that they don’t have internet access. They were also worried about charging devices and being unable to look after their children while using the devices. “It’s clear that parents, caregivers, and children are going to need support from across the community as schools reopen,” said Zysman in the press release. “Time is running out to address these issues before they become yet another crisis for the state.”  How much of an impact this latest smear will have has yet to be determined. Until election reform is tightened and the influence of outside political sources is put in check, there is no immediate remedy to smear-negative campaigning by PACs. Such speech is protected (unless deemed slander in a court of law…after an election, which is why smear-campaigns are almost always launched close to election day). But we can be educated voters. Question sources and rely on media sources as best possible. Should questionable material arise with respect to a candidate of your choice, do your homework and see where that leads. Definitely, don’t take material in smear campaigns at face value. Do your own research and be an enlightened voter! Please remember to vote! Empower yourself and your community.



More Filipino Candidates Running for Public Office in 2020 By Jim Bea Sampaga


ilipinos are the fastest growing and second largest ethnic minority in the State of Hawaii. And their large presence is visible in the 2020 Elections as incumbents or first-time candidates for political office. With the Primary Election already in progress with the new all-mail system, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle reached out to other Filipino American candidates who were not featured in last issue’s special coverage. Below are the candidates, their background and platform on the issues.

JANE CLEMENT RUNNING FOR: Hawaii County Councilmember District 7

Why I’m running: Public-private partnerships are crucial now more than ever, and I am committed to building those critical relationships. I am running for office to bring my commitment to making a positive difference for others and my experience of service to the Hawaii County District 7 seat. Background: Jane served as a legislative assistant to a former councilchair Dru Kanuha, the President of the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, and the Government Affairs Committee Chair of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she’s the Hawaii Island Commissioner to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, an officer on the Keahole Center for Sustainability Board, and an active member of the Kona Visayan Club, West Hawaiʻi Community Forums, and the Economic Development Committee of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce. Platform: I will commit to seeking ways Hawaii County can help the private sector create more higher-paying jobs to stimulate our economy. I will make the creation of more housing that local residents can afford. As a council representative, I will work to ensure that we hold the line on tax increases and wasteful spending

SHANE PALACAT-NELSEN RUNNING FOR: Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Trustee At-Large

Why I’m running: OHA has an important role and I’m running to lead OHA through the “new normal” as it directs and stretches its funding, land, and staff for the greatest good. Background: I’m the OHA candidate who can balance business and culture. I currently work for OHA, previously worked for Governor Abercrombie, and 15

years in the resort industry. Raised in Kona. Platform: Increase the trust between OHA and the beneficiaries they serve; Improve capacity to assess needs and respond accordingly; and be more responsive in facilitating discourse among Native Hawaiians. Tunggal maysa kadatayo ket makapagbutos para iti Office of Hawaiian Affairs! Bawat isa sa atin ay maaring bumoto para sa Office of Hawaiian Affairs!

JOSEPH KAAHEMA SIMPLICIANO JR. RUNNING FOR: State House, District 44 (Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua)

Why I’m running: I want to be an extension of the people’s voice. I want to bring transparency and do what is right for the people. Background: I am a Combat Veteran with 5 tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am a very proactive member of my community who does clean ups and try to solve problems. I am also a member of the Waianae neighborhood board and the Harbormaster at Waianae. Platform: Food sustainability/Agriculture, Homelessness, Traffic, Conservation and protection of our natural resources, truly sustainable energy without absorbing acres of land for a solar farm or win turbine which could be used for planting crops. Government accountability and transparency.

EARL TSUNEYOSHI RUNNING FOR: Honolulu City Councilmember District 9 (Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Mililani Town, West Loch, Iroquois Point, and portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach) Why I’m running: My vision is to continue my service to our community and to bring my fresh proven leadership experience based on integrity and doing what is right to make informed decisions that will improve the quality of life of our community.

Background: I am a West Point Graduate and combat (2x Iraq, 1 x Afghanistan) proven leader that has served abroad to protect our country and our way of life. I continue to serve our community in the Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) and am currently activated in support of the state’s COVID-19 response. Platform: Moving forward in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for Hawaii’s government on all levels to work together and to be on a unified front focused on the best interests of our community and to take decisive action that will allow us to overcome this time of uncertainty.


Why I’m running: I wish to change the political landscape of the Big Island by bringing new leadership, a business mindset, and out-of-the-box problem solving and decision making. Background: Restaurant owner, Real Estate Investor and former Realtor Associate. My 35 years of experience in business has provided me the skills and capability to lead and to make hard sensible decisions. Platform: My goals are economic recovery and economic diversification. In this time of COVID-19 pandemic resulting in extreme hardships to families, Hawaii County must lead by example by balancing the existing budget.

DOMINIC YAGONG RUNNING FOR: Hawaii County Councilmember District 1 (Portion of South Hilo, North Hilo, Hāmākua, and Portion of Waimea)

Why I’m running: COVID-19 has placed our County Government in uncharted waters. The financial disaster that we are facing will take experienced leadership to navigate through these unprecedented times. Background: I was elected to the Council seat 6 times and served for 12 years. I was Chairman of the County Council as well as the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Platform: People are struggling in my district and we need to get people safely back to work to begin to rejuvenate our economy. We also must focus on diversifying our economy. EDITOR’S NOTE: Other Fil-Am candidates who were not included in this cover story did not respond as of our press time.This article is a continuation of “Filipino Americans Running for Public Office in 2020” article featured in Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s July 18 supplement issue. We reached out to Filipino candidates we missed in the previous article.



THRIVING AMID A PANDEMIC By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan wake up from, fast and soon. I have seen how the corohe COVID-19 navirus ravage the lives of the pandemic has people I know personally. Just been one of the the other day, I was crying worst things I with a friend on the phone behave ever seen cause his husband has been diand experienced agnosed with severe COVID. in my 34 years of existence. She is also in quarantine and I have survived a lot of ty- their two young children are phoons and earthquakes, sick- with their grandparents. I have nesses and heartaches. But several friends who have also seeing economies crash and contracted the disease and the millions of people getting laid only thing they did was go to off, witnessing thousands of the supermarket. I have a lot families lose precious mem- of friends who have lost their bers and hearing the news of jobs, forced to take leaves and thousands of people getting some have their businesses sick with the virus day by day hanging in the balance. But in all parts of the world is just despite the crushing and tosstoo much to handle. Sickness ing of the COVID waves, the and death are lurking around human spirit triumphs. Instead the corner to devour that it of wallowing in fear and selfbrings so much fear. This pan- pity, I have witnessed how demic is a nightmare we are many have risen to the chalall stuck in and we want to lenge. People have grabbed



Big Island Resident Receives 2020 Community Service Award

opportunities that otherwise they have never done had this crisis never happened. In the middle of the pandemic, my sister-in-law started a chicken wing business that she sells online. My brother started to cook different things- pasta, sushi, burger, chicken and sell them online to provide for his family because he lost his job. A friend of mine sells sanitizers, pajamas, and homeschooling materials on top of her fulltime online job as a researcher just to have extra funds since the projects of his husband, an architect, have been halted. I’ve seen many of my friends find ways to make up for what this nasty virus has stolen. As for me, I started a buy and

sell business on luxury bags and started educating myself about stocks, REITS and property investment while we are stuck at home. Another opportunity that arose in the midst of this crisis is the opportunity for generosity. I am always amazed at how tough seasons like this bring forth the best in us. I have seen how compassionate and generous people can become when we only have each other to rely on. We have all lost something but it doesn’t stop us from sharing with others what we can give. The alumni of the University of the Philippines in Diliman started an initiative to support the jeepney drivers that bring students to and from the university. I have seen friends donate whatever amount they can to help those who are struggling financially. Mommy friends sell stuff, not just to add income to their family but also to help other families. What a joy to see people working together cope and survive this difficult time. Truly, just as Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies a great op-

portunity.” The COVID-19 worldwide crisis may have been one of the most terrible seasons of our lives but it has brought about great opportunities not just to survive, but also to thrive. The pandemic has pushed us to our limits. It has taken away so many things from usour livelihood, our freedom to go anywhere and anytime, our proximity with other people, our normal lives. It has destroyed so many plans, shattered dreams, broken hearts, and crushed souls. It may have stolen so many things that matter to us but it has not taken away our ingenuity, our creativity and resourcefulness, our compassion and generosity, our hope and our faith. The human race had been through tough seasons one after another, generations have faced pandemics and worldwide crises such as this, but one thing I do know- we survive and we conquer. Yes, we are wounded, but we are still fighting to continue living. The battle is far from over, but we have already won the battle. It’s just a matter of time. Keep thriving!



COVID-19 Updates: Cases, Unemployment Benefits, Safety Guidelines, Resources

recent Northcentral University (NCU) graduate received the 2020 Community Service Award from By Jim Bea Sampaga NCU’s Lambda Eta Chapter of Delta Mu Delta, an inince the beginternational honors society open to doctoral students with GPAs ning of June, above 3.8. COVID-19 casKailua-Kona resident Joy Escobal-Luea, Ph.D., was reces have been ognized by the university’s Delta Mu Delta for her efforts in spiking up after sending thousands of children books and fundraising a new a month of havbuilding at her old school in the Philippines. “Our book project started in 2015, two years after our ing less than 10 active cases home province of Bohol was devastated by Super Typhoon per day. Hawaii had its highYolanda in 2013. Besides immediate fundraising activities to est single-day record of 73 help those affected, a visit to the Philippines inspired me to new COVID-19 cases on July create a nonprofit organization,” Dr. Escobal-Luea said in an 25. Sixty-eight of those cases are on Oahu while five are on NCU press release. She also partnered with a local public library in Kailua-Ko- Maui. According to State Health na to donate used children’s books. Dr. Escobal-Luea and her husband and son would pack and ship the library’s old book Director Dr. Bruce Anderson, the recent surges of cases collections to Bohol. “It took me a lot of courage to approach one of the library’s “demonstrate the relaxation board of directors to donate used books and support our proj- of safe practices from the 4th ect,” she said. “Our team vowed to continue this volunteer of July, particularly on O‘ahu, project as long as there are still books available at the local may have been one primary reason for these daily new relibrary.” Dr. Escobal-Luea estimates they’ve sent over 2,000 books cords. We’re beginning to see more cases among younger so far.


to middle-aged adults; many who relay stories of attending gatherings, parties, events, or socializing at bars.” The new cases bring the total number of cases in Hawaii to 1,757 as of July 25. While 1,205 people have been released from isolation, 167 people have been hospitalized. The current death toll from the virus in the state is 26.

Unemployment Insurance The State of Hawaii has issued $2.3 Billion in unemployment insurance benefits since March 1. “Ninety-two percent of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have been processed and paid out by the DLIR,” said Anne Per-

reira-Eustaquio, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Currently, the biggest challenge for DLIR is addressing the high level of imposter and regular fraud in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Fraudsters are using stolen personal information to apply for benefits through the PUA and direct those payments to their own bank accounts. Through July 14, DLIR has issued almost $36 million to imposter fraud claimants and prevent $125 million of potential benefits being stopped. Around $466 million in benefits has been paid to 93,994 PUA applications. The majority of 44,298 denied PUA claims were denied because of (continue on page 15)


COMMUNITY CALENDAR LEA SALONGA LIVE | Friday-Saturday, October 23-24, 2020; 8-10PM | Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu l Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga to serenade the Hawaii crowd in a two-night spectacular concert. Tickets $35 and up. Visit blaisdellcenter.com for more information.

MABUHI PACIFIC EXPO & SUMMIT | November 27-29, 2020 | Hawaii Convention Center l Panelists-presenters on various topics are being accepted for the Expo. For more details, visit mabuhiexpo.com.


Oahu Voters Can Now Make Ballot Requests Online, Voter Service Centers Open Until Election By Jim Bea Sampaga


ahu voters who need replacement ballots can now request online through the Online Ballot Replacement Request System website, hnlvote.ehawaii.gov and via honoluluelections.us. 
 Created in partnership between NIC Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu’s Elections Division, the website accepts ballot replacement (NEWS FEATURE: Covid-19....from page 14)

either identity verification issues or due to potential or eligibility for regular unemployment insurance benefits, according to the press release.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) released a COVID-19 safety guidelines reminder last month for all healthcare providers, learners and staff who work in health facilities and JABSOM. Although the announcement was for people who work or study in the healthcare field, the safety guidelines are very important for the community to learn, practice and adapt especially as the State is preparing to reopen schools, offices and other establishments this upcoming fall. Practice Safe Habits Outside of Work: The safety precautions you take outside of work will impact your workplace. According to the JABSOM guidelines reminder, most of the July positive cases in Oahu have been tied to social events during Memorial Day and Father’s Day. Be careful when engaging in social events. It’s better to just avoid going to such events but if you still decide to engage in public activities, make sure to protect yourself by wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, sanitizing and keeping at least six feet away from the people who live outside your household. Always monitor your health daily for any symptoms. Eye Protection, Face Masks, Face Shields and Physical Distancing: “Universal masking AND physical distancing are key to minimize exposure,” JABSOM wrote in the safety guidelines reminder. The virus spreads person to person through re-

requests for the Primary Election until August 6. Additionally, the website will be reopening after ballots are mailed before this year’s general election. If a registered voter wasn’t able to vote because their ballot was spoiled or not received, they may request a replacement ballot online. On the website, the voter is prompted to provide contact and other information to verify

themselves in the Honolulu Elections Division’s system. In some instances, the website might prompt the voter to re-register to vote before the ballot replacement request can be placed. For those who would prefer to do things in-person, Voter Service Centers in Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale are open until Election Day, August 8. The Voter Service Centers

spiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Eye protection prevents droplets from touching the opening of your eyes while face masks protect your face especially mouth and nose from inhaling any droplets. Aside from protecting you, wearing a face mask also protects others from your droplets when you cough, sneeze or talk. Face shields (a sheet of plastic that covers the face) are also a good addition to protect yourself from others. CDC doesn’t recommend the use of face shields as a replacement for face masks. However, wearing a face shield while wearing a face mask is preferred. When going out, always make sure to practice physical distancing of at least six feet apart from other people. This will ensure that if ever that other person coughs, sneezes or talks, you are safe from their droplets from reaching you. Cleaning and Sanitizing High-Touch Areas: Always make sure to maintain a clean working space, desk, computer or breakroom by sanitizing and disinfecting these areas. When going out, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching doors, handling products or money. Physical Distancing While Eating: Recently, restaurants and malls are allowed to have a certain number of people dine in their establishments. Make sure that you are at least six feet apart from the person next to you since you can’t wear a mask while eating. Clean Your Goggles, Face Masks and Face Shields: Cloth

face masks are reusable and can be thrown into the washer along with your regular laundry. CDC recommends washing your face masks after each use. Washing your face masks nightly is a good rule of thumb. Make sure each member of your family owns at least five to seven face masks so they easily use them interchangeably. For goggles and face shields, cleaning and disinfecting it every after each use is preferred.

Resources With the recent surges of cases and relaxed safe practices throughout the State, it’s better to be prepared when the State declares another community lockdown. Food Pantries and Assistance Programs: The Hawai’i Food Bank regularly holds food distributions throughout the islands. Visit the hawaiifoodbank. org to see their Food Drive Day and Drive-through Food Distribution schedules. Residents can also apply for the Hawai’i Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by visiting humanservices.hawaii. gov/bessd/snap/. Unemployment Insurance and PUA: With the recent delays with UI and PUA, visit huiclais.hawaii.gov or pua.hawaii.gov to start or follow up on your claim. Regular COVID-19 Updates: For regular updates on cases in the State of Hawaii, visit hawaiicovid19.com. The State also launched a new website, recoverynavigator.hawaii.gov, that tracks Hawaii’s Economic and Community Recovery including reopening status and resources for businesses and residents.

Have your organization’s events listed in our community calendar. It’s recommended to submit press releases a month in advance of your organization’s event. Send information to filipinochronicle@gmail.com. provide voters accessible in-person voting, replacement ballots and sam day registration and voting. The centers are open from Mondays to Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On August 8 Election Day, they’re open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Honolulu Hale Courtyard is located at 530 South King Street, Honolulu. While Kapolei Hale Conference Rooms A, B and C are located at 1000 Uluohia Street, Kapolei. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 17 | July 4, 2020)


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