Burial council selection process to be discussed
The state is planning a series of public meetings, starting Tuesday, to gather ideas on how officials should select members of the island burial councils.
The hearings are part of the response by the state Historic Preservation Division to a report by the state auditor, whose criticism of the burials program included a charge that it lacked criteria for appointing burial council members.
The island burial council members meet monthly to discuss developments and incidents of natural erosion that might affect Native Hawaiian burials; they also hear testimony about burial treatment of remains.
Council members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate for a four-year term.
The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Capitol Auditorium.
The Neighbor Island schedule of meetings, all to begin at 6 p.m.:
Maui Wednesday, Wailuku Elementary School cafeteria.
Hawai'i Thursday, State Office Building, Department of Accounting and General Services conference rooms A, B and C, Hilo; and Feb. 24, Kealakehe Intermediate School cafeteria, Kailua-Kona.
Moloka'i Feb. 23, Kulana 'Oiwi Complex, Lili'uokalani Group Activity Room, Kalamaula.
Kaua'i Feb. 25, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School cafeteria, Lihu'e.
Written statements may also be mailed to: Melanie Chinen, State Historic Preservation Division administrator, 601 Kamokila Blvd., Suite 555, Kapolei, HI 96707.
Comments also can be sent by fax to 692-8020, or by e-mail to email@example.com; the deadline is Feb. 25.
Anyone planning to attend a meeting who needs a sign-language interpreter or other special accommodation should call 692-8015 before Monday.
Information on the island burial councils and state burial laws is available at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/hpd.