For more information, or to register for this event, call (808) 871-5554. Seating is limited.
KAHULUI, HI, April 19 – Akakū recently prevailed in a battle of creative minds by being one of 52 proposals to advance to the second round of the Knight News Challenge. This year's contest sought out projects that use the best of existing software and platforms to find new ways to convey news and information. The process is open to anyone in the world and over a thousand proposals were made. Akakū's submission, Hawaii Eco-Net, proposes to create a network that identifies and maps native species and invasive species that threaten the ecology and economy of Hawaii. With Hawaii's invasive species problem the most severe of any state in the U.S.,1 technology aimed at eradicating these menaces is imperative.
There is a new land grab in Hawaii whereby the government is giving away valuable public land to private business without getting anything in return for the people. Sound familiar? It has happened before in Hawaii – with agriculture, with beaches, with water and now, with the public airwaves. This time the difference is that the land in question is in the form of public electronic real estate, the electromagnetic spectrum. These are the frequencies you pay for to watch cable TV, use the internet or talk on the phone.
Most people don’t know this, but in exchange for using public rights of way - airwaves, telephone poles, electric wires and underground conduits - cable monopolies like Oceanic Time Warner have to pay “rent” in the form of community access channels like Olelo on Oahu, Akaku on Maui, Na Leo on Big Island and Hoike on Kauai. Now, because of new technology, the frequencies or space these channels occupy have suddenly become extremely profitable to cable companies. (Not unlike how lands once granted to indigenous people by treaty became more valuable once minerals were discovered.) That is why Time Warner wants to take over this public property and move these channels to inferior locations while vastly reducing the amount of non-commercial electronic real estate. That is why, if you are an Oceanic Time Warner Cable subscriber, channels are disappearing from your channel line-up altogether, or re-appearing someplace else. So far, instead of holding your land in public trust, the state is falling for the Time Warner plan - hook, line and sinker.