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Governor nixes $100,000 grant for Cabanilla cemetery project

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 03:28 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2014

The Abercrombie administration will not release a $100,000 grant to the Ewa Historical Society to maintain the Ewa Plantation Cemetery because the community group lost its nonprofit status.

The Ewa Historical Society, led by state Rep. Rida Cabanilla (D, Ewa Beach-West Loch Estates), was granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009 but that status was revoked last year because the group did not file returns for three consecutive years.

Hugh Jones, a state deputy attorney general, informed Cabanilla in a June 30 letter that the group does not qualify to receive a grant since it is not a tax exempt organization. State law allows nonprofits recognized by the IRS to receive grants, along with for-profit corporations.

"I'm very, very, very disappointed," Cabanilla said, arguing that the grant money could have helped ensure that the cemetery is maintained.

The city, which has jurisdiction over the cemetery, assigned landscaping crews to the property last year. Cabanilla, explaining that she was responding to community concerns, applied for the grant on behalf of her group earlier this year.

Cabanilla said the Ewa Historical Society has applied to have its tax-exempt status reinstated by the IRS. She said she would ask that the $100,000 be released if the group were to regain tax-exempt status and if there is a new governor after this year's elections.

The Legislature approved the grant as part of the state budget, but many lawmakers said they were not aware of Cabanilla's close ties to the community group. While Cabanilla listed the involvement of her, her son and members of her office staff with the group on the grant application, she did not disclose those ties -- or publicly ask House leadership whether she had a potential conflict of interest -- before voting for the state budget.

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loquaciousone wrote:
"I'm very, very, very disappointed," Cabanilla said, arguing that the grant money could have helped ensure that the cemetery is maintained.

"Now who's going to pay for my new car", whined Rida the Tida.
on July 11,2014 | 03:19PM
markat wrote:
Hopefully, the voters in her district will NIX cabanilla.
on July 11,2014 | 04:10PM
den wrote:
"The city, which has jurisdiction over the cemetery, assigned landscaping crews to the property last year." so why a need for the grant?
on July 11,2014 | 04:17PM
kapoleidude1 wrote:
she is a crook....vote her out!!
on July 11,2014 | 04:21PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
good job abercrombie..you got my vote again
on July 11,2014 | 04:44PM
islandsun wrote:
Yes, good move. But she was easy. When is he going to tackle HECO the bigger crook.
on July 11,2014 | 05:47PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
tackling heco is like trying to tackle matson..it's impossible to bring down the guys that run hawaii
on July 11,2014 | 07:45PM
islandsun wrote:
Impossible or just throwing in the towel?
on July 11,2014 | 08:00PM
South76 wrote:
He won't do it...there are too many union members involved with that entity, he'll need every vote and the money pouring into his campaign from HECO enterprises starts trickling in. Remember who is in control of this state. Remember the donkeys came into power in this state with good intensions but look at them "plantation children" now, they are screwing this state big time. They are no different than the "rich" haoles they replaced.
on July 12,2014 | 03:36AM
nitpikker wrote:
imagine what if this were NOT an election year? grant approved! what rida? you need MORE funds for maintenance? APPROVED!
on July 11,2014 | 05:27PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
No vacation this year huh Rida, you and your son will have to find real jobs and stop living off the taxpayers. You've been exposed for the thief that you are, I can't believe Ewa beach voters elect you to office.
on July 11,2014 | 07:49PM
atilter wrote:
i can!
on July 12,2014 | 03:06AM
South76 wrote:
Lost their tax-exempt status? Hmmmm, maybe their e-mail to Lois Lerner was one of the e-mails that got lost in computer crash at the IRS, LOL...
on July 12,2014 | 03:28AM
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