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HPU student’s comments spark investigation of state legislator

    By Maren Bjoergum. February 14, 2014 - 12:19 pm


A special State House committee will be appointed to investigate Rep. Faye Hanohano after an HPU student complained about her conduct during a recent hearing.

Aarin Jacobs, 22-year-old HPU environmental studies student, was testifying before Hanohano’s House Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on a bill that would have created penalties for harming sharks and rays within state waters.

According to a front-page story in the Feb. 14 “Honolulu Star-Advertiser,” Jacobs said in an email that Hanohano treated him rudely at the Feb. 7 hearing about a bill that would have protected sharks and rays in state waters.

He said Hanohano made comments about Westerners who come to Hawaii and tell locals what to do.

Jacobs, who is from Portland, Ore., wrote in his email to House leaders that: “She very rudely berates me in front of the committee and audience, interrupting my responses to her, and speaking in Hawaiian without the courtesy of translation. She asked questions and made statements that were irrelevant to the situation and discrediting her position as a committee chair.”

He said Hanohano accused him of wanting to take her food and asked him if she would have to eat people if there were a taro famine and she couldn’t eat shark.

A year ago Hanohano, who represents a Hawaii Island district, apologized to the House after making ethnic and racial remarks about an art program that was installing art in her office as part of the Art in Public Places program.

Hanohano, a former prison guard who has been in the House since 2006, is a strong, outspoken advocate for Native Hawaiians.

She could not be reached for comment, the “Star-Advertiser” said.

Read Aaron Jacobs’ comment about Rep. Hanohano’s behavior at the hearing right here.

Photo courtesy of Faye Hanohano’s Flickr feed.
Photo of shark pulled from