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OHA Board deliberates in private

After recent weeks’ controversy concerning the Crabbe-Kerry letter, the OHA Board of Trustees held an executive session with their agenda of “considering appropriate action with respect to the conduct of Dr Crabbe.” On the agenda were intended consultations with Board Counsel Robert Klein, OHA consultant Breann Nu‘uhiwa, and attorney Denis Dwyer of Williams & Jensen, a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm.

At the start of the session, members of the general public and Kanaka Maoli beneficiaries crowded into the OHA Board Room. The room was filled to capacity within 20 minutes. Shortly into the meeting, O‘ahu Trustee Peter Apo stated he felt “threatened” and “surrounded” by nearby individuals, to which those individuals voiced their desire for transparency, with two observers saying, “we are not threatening you, you are the threat.”

The board requested privacy for their executive session, after which they intended to share their announcements to the public.

The Board then requested the public to vacate the room and allow trustees to deliberate and consult on their course of action concerning the Crabbe-Kerry and rescind letters. After this request only a handful of observers made an exit as two hālau chanted oli while standing before the trustees. Ka Pouhana and CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe then requested that the public allow the Board to deal with the issue internally like any other ‘ohana. After requests for privacy several other trustees, the crowd exited the Board Room, but not before the statement of an observer that, “you represent us.”

Earl Kawa‘a, a Moloka‘i native, urged the board to solve their dispute through ho‘oponopono, rather than legal means.

After leaving the room, the public congregated before the entrance singing “Kaulana Nā Pua,” “All Hawai‘i Stand Together,” “Hawai῾i Pono‘i,” and chanting “Ea Mai Hawai‘i.” Within fifteen minutes they were requested to lower their volume due to surrounding businesses’ inability to operate.

Hina Wong, a kumu hula and candidate for a Trustee office, went to surrounding shops to ask if they were being disturbed; according to her none so far has reported a noise complaint.

Trustees reported at the beginning of the meeting that they would conduct their meeting for another few hours then invite the general public for announcements. As OHA trustees continue to deliberate, the public remains before the office entrance awaiting the conclusion of the executive session.