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Abercrombie fills vacancies on land board, ethics panel

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:28 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2014

Five people were appointed to two critical state panels by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday.

Named to the seven-member Board of Land and Natural Resources were Vernon Char, Ulalia Woodside and Christopher Yuen.

Nominated to the five-member Ethics Commission were David O'Neal and Melinda Wood.

At least one of the five appointments is from a slate of resignations in recent weeks spurred by a new law requiring public disclosure of the financial interests for members of various state boards and commissions. Abercrombie's office, as of Wednesday, put the number of resignations by members who cited the law in their resignation letters at 18. 

One of the 18 was BLNR member Reed Kishinami, whose vacancy was filled on Friday. Another BLNR member resigned in June only weeks after being appointed, citing personal reasons, said Justin Fujioka, Abercrombie's spokesman. The third BLNR vacancy was due to a term expiration of a member who did not seek reappointment.

Char, an attorney, has served 20 years on various state boards and commissions, including eight years on the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Woodson is a former Department of Land and Natural Resources employee and is currently the regional asset manager for natural and cultural resources with Kamehameha Schools. Yuen is an attorney who formerly served eight years on the board and was a one-time Hawaii County planning director.

Businessman O'Neal is a reappointment to the Ethics Commission. Wood is the grants development specialist at the East-West Center. She replaces longtime member Leolani Abdul, whose request for reappointment was denied by Abercrombie.

Both the BLNR and Ethics Commission now have their full complement of appointees, Fujioka said.

The board and commission vacancies have caused some to cancel meetings due to a lack of quorum.

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64hoo wrote:
nothing new here folks no need any comment, just the governer hiring more puppets for his staff
on July 11,2014 | 06:31PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Same old warhorses. Coming back to drink from the public tax trough.
on July 11,2014 | 07:08PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
A Kam school asset manager should not be on the BLNR. This is a direct conflict of interest as the Board sets land policy and Kam Schools is the single largest landowner in the state. I'm sure if you dig deep enough you'll find the others also have conflicts as well. Just like HCDA, Abercrombie has decided that there is no need to hide the corrupt selling of seats on a board for campaign money anymore. He just does it openly and says the person is the most qualified, even though they may seem to have a conflict of interests.
on July 11,2014 | 07:42PM
islandsun wrote:
And to keep it on the slide, KSBE will issue the perks directly as so it wont show on the disclosures. Now the public will have to be on the watch for how that member votes.
on July 11,2014 | 08:09PM
wiliki wrote:
It's an interim appointment. It's not likely to be permanent. So what's needed is a competant person.
on July 11,2014 | 08:27PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Please nominate yourself.
on July 11,2014 | 09:45PM
Bdpapa wrote:
it is Kamehameha, not Kam!
on July 12,2014 | 06:10AM
holumuahawaii wrote:
It is spate of resignations, not slate of resignations. Incidentally, to those who constantly complain about and throw mud on the public spirited men and women who do serve in these important volunteer posts, please know that you too can serve your fellow citizens by serving on a board or a commission. Just step up.
on July 11,2014 | 09:13PM
atilter wrote:
well said! i always thought serving on boards, commissions, or advisory panels does not generate personal incomes to the participants. the bulk of any funding usually goes to supporting the operations side of the body's work. am i wrong? please chime in.
on July 12,2014 | 02:52AM
hiloboy wrote:
I must be mistaken. I thought "named to the board" meant appointed, but I guess it means "volunteered." My question now is, If it's such a bad deal, why do these people keep volunteering? Someone should just tell to keep their hands down.
on July 12,2014 | 06:12AM
islandsun wrote:
Because of the perks that come in many shapes and forms.
on July 12,2014 | 06:55AM
harley1 wrote:
Really scraping the barrel bottom these days trying to find willing stooges.
on July 11,2014 | 09:17PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
It's better to nominate total strangers than someone one knows.
on July 11,2014 | 09:46PM
kuasol1 wrote:
Ulalia Woodside is the correct name. In paragraph 6, line 2, there is an error, as you have listed "Woodson." Woodson is the surname of a House Representative from Maui.
on July 11,2014 | 09:54PM
kekelaward wrote:
Same old insiders. Get some new blood in there. Some regular Joes.
on July 12,2014 | 02:22AM
mcc wrote:
Career State workers. Only need to know 2 words to pass the oral. "Yes, sir!"
on July 12,2014 | 04:51AM
GinoP wrote:
I can just imagine how many of these people are GOOD Friends of Abercrombie the LFT!
on July 12,2014 | 09:54AM
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