BIG NAME: Matson imports the majority of goods to Hawaii.
Photo: Emily Metcalf

Jones Act Killing Hawaii’s Sustainability Efforts

Hawaii politicians talk about sustainability of Hawaii’s environment and food supply.

But what are they actually doing to ensure that Hawaii’s farmers can stay in business?

Lois Shimabukuro, who operates with her sister Phyllis, Ka Lei Eggs, her family’s third generation egg business, says politicians are not doing enough.

One of the major problems many Hawaii businesses have is the cost of importing goods.

In Lois’ case, there is a 33.3 percent shipping freight surcharge on the feed she brings in from the mainland. Since there no longer is a manufacturer in Hawaii, Lois imports egg cartons.

But shipping those in costs more than the cartons themselves.

Part of the problem is the Jones Act, a federal shipping mandate that limits competition by only allowing American ships to transport goods between America’s ports.

Hawaii is hurt most by this mandate, but Hawaii’s congressional delegation, which receives substantial donations from those who support the Jones Act, won’t do anything to help Hawaii get an exemption from the law.

Former Congressman Ed Case, a Democrat running for US Senate, points out his opponent, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono has received about 50 percent of her campaign contributions for the U.S. Senate race from Jones Act supporters, and she continues as a strong supporter of the mandate.

Along with all the costs to ship and operate here, high taxes, expensive employee mandates, and land prices, the cost of corn and grain continues to skyrocket.

Lois and Phyllis wonder how they will be able to sustain the family business started by their grandfather in 1947.

They are the only remaining major fresh egg producer in Hawaii.

See the entire show about the Jones Act’s impact on Hawaii businesses on Hawaii Reporter Television.

President Obama, Salazar Diss WWII Veterans at Hawaii Ceremony

 

Steffan Tubbs, a talk show host in Denver, Colorado and a board member with the Greatest Generation Foundation, has been in the news in recent days after he spoke out about an incident at the National Memorial of the Pacific involving a Hawaii Five-0 Crew and 23 WWII Veterans.

In his opinion piece in Hawaii Reporter, he points out some other interesting observations about the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor events here in Hawaii that have so far gone unreported.

There were thousands of people in attendance at the Pearl Harbor remembrance, yet President Barack Obama – born just a few miles from the USS Arizona memorial – was not only a no-show, but did not bother to send a written or videotaped greeting thanks to these men, Tubbs said.

And then there was “no-show” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. His bio and picture were listed in the program and e was scheduled to deliver remarks in person but he never turned up, Tubbs said.

“I am not aware of the circumstances, and perhaps there was a truly legitimate reason for Salazar’s absence, but I have yet to hear it, Tubbs said.

Kailua Take Over

While President Obama could not make it to the WWII remembrance, he is planning to vacation here in Hawaii. The U.S. Coast Guard already has its boats on the canal, which is on the back side of the private home where he will be staying in Kailua, Hawaii. The President could arrive as early as this weekend.

While some residents in the area are proud to have the president staying in their small town, which is known for its spectacular Kailua beach, others are frustrated that they won’t have access to their favorite surf spots or able to paddle their surfboards, kayaks and boats in the canal.

The president’s trip also is costly to taxpayers – it costs about $1.5 million for local and federal protection, transportation and travel.

 

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