Monday, May 7, 2001

Kim Hoffman, center, Terry Lyons and Bruce Shoemaker,
right, painted banners yesterday as part of their Asian
Development Bank protest preparations at Old
Stadium Park in Moiliili.

Cayetano welcomes
ADB to ‘Geneva
of the Pacific’

The event's opening
saw few problems

By Rick Daysog and
Nelson Daranciang

The much-anticipated Asian Development Bank meeting kicked off this morning with a welcoming speech by Gov. Ben Cayetano, police preparing for protests, and Ala Moana Beach Park users inconvenienced.

ADB Conference Logo In brief remarks to open the ADB's 34th Annual Board of Governors meeting at the Hawaii Convention Center, Cayetano thanked ADB officials, whose annual meeting here represented a major step toward fulfilling his vision of transforming Hawaii into the "Geneva of the Pacific."

Cayetano cut the ceremonial maile lei and took a brief tour of the convention center's Global Pavilion, which will serve as the main exhibit hall for the ADB meeting.

Cayetano also thanked members of the Local 5 hotel workers union and hotel management for reaching a contract settlement early this morning to avert a strike during the high-profile business meeting.

"This kind of cooperation shows how we value the ADB," Cayetano said. "I can tell you the rest of the week you're going to have first-class service at the hotels."

Officials expect more than 3,000 delegates, staff and media members to attend the weeklong conference.

State and tourism officials hope a successful meeting will boost Hawaii's image as a place to hold business meetings.

Bob Fishman, chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said some of the major goals of the ADB meeting are to send the message to the world that Hawaii can be a major business center and to allow Hawaii companies to interact with representatives and members attending the ADB meeting.

"We wanted to send the message that we're the best place in the world for a meeting that is this high stress, high focused, and high profiled," said Fishman in a speech.

Today's opening also included speeches by ADB Secretary Bindu Lohani and Cinnamon Dornsife, the U.S. Ambassador to the ADB.

Manila-based ADB is a $43.8 billion multinational development bank, comprised of 59 member nations.

Crystal Giles held a puppet head that will be coated
with papier-mache and painted for the protests.

Projects financed by the ADB's Asian Development Fund include education reform and improvement, health and sanitation, micro-finance, infrastructure rehabilitation, environmental protection and projects designed to raise the status of women.

As with other multinational organizations, the ADB has come under fire from opponents who contend that its policies and projects harm the environment and the poor in Third World nations.

Honolulu police reported no disruption or major traffic problems related to the ADB meeting.

Ala Moana Beach Park, meanwhile, was relatively empty this morning as regular users stayed away on the first day Honolulu police took control of half of the park to use as a staging area for ADB meeting security.

Regulars who did show up had to walk a little farther than usual to get to their favorite spots.

"I parked way down by the end by Magic Island and I had to walk down," said retiree Joe Pang. "I get hard time walking too."

Pang and Samuel Akiona meet with friends in front of the tennis courts every morning and go swimming.

"I usually bring my car. But I figure today, the guys going block all the traffic," said Akiona, who rode his bicycle to the park.

Akiona said the beach is usually crowded by 8:30 a.m. Yesterday it was empty.

One surfer who prefers the waves on the Ewa end of the beach said he was forced to park at Kewalo Basin.

"One thing good, not going have people surfing, no crowd," he said, "That's why I made the walk all the way down here. Going be worth it."

There were no protesters to greet delegates and others attending the first day of the meeting, on either the convention center grounds, the sidewalks across the street, or on the promenade behind the center.

Barricades and security officers block off access to the promenade and a sign indicates the promenade will be closed until Saturday.

The major protest is scheduled for Wednesday when about 2,000 protesters are expected to march from Ala Moana to the convention center and then on to Kapiolani Park for a rally.

Extra patrols
cut into police funds

HPD is spending up to
$7.5 million to provide security

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The Honolulu Police Department is spending from $4 million to $7.5 million to provide security for this week's Asian Development Bank conference.

It is important the department is reimbursed, said Assistant Chief Boisse Correa, HPD's ADB coordinator.

"Our country is hosting this event; we feel it is the federal government's responsibility to assist us," Correa said.

Public safety is not being jeopardized in the short run, he said.

"Our beats will be adequately staffed," Correa said. "We're not taking away from the community at all."

He added, however: "Will this impact us in the future? I can't answer that. But did we appropriate money for this? The answer is no. And we don't have $5 million or $6 million to play around with and go toward ADB. That's why we need to get reimbursement from the city and state."

No one knows how much the department will actually get back.

The lead agency handling the ADB conference is the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Bob Fishman, HTA executive director, said the federal government has reimbursed security expenses to other municipalities who have hosted similar events.

Such a request for reimbursement, likely to be made to the U.S. Treasury Department, will not happen until after the conference is over at the end of the week.

"I'm pretty comfortable we'll get some money back," Fishman said. "The research from the governor's office led me to believe the federal government has been reimbursing about 50 percent of everything being requested."

The governor's office will also get help from Hawaii's congressional delegation in securing the money, he said.

City Councilman John Henry Felix, who heads the Council Planning and Public Safety Committee, said he expects full compensation.

"It's really a heavy burden to put on the city to provide security for what is an international event. I should think it's only fair and just that we receive full reimbursement."

Felix noted that it was Gov. Ben Cayetano who extended the invitation to bank officials.

To date, the Police Department has spent about $1.4 million in equipment, salaries and overtime.

At the request of the governor, the Tourism Authority is contributing to the department $518,000 for anti-riot and other equipment, food and water for ADB-related activities.

That transfer, however, did not occur immediately. The City Council, much to the dismay of some members, was asked earlier this year to approve a $750,000 transfer from the police salaries account in order to purchase equipment.

"That was irresponsible budgeting, not what I consider good fiscal management," Felix said. "We should have seen this coming a year ago."

Said Correa: "All this money is for things we did not budget for.

When ADB was given to us about 10 months ago, it was after our budgetary planning for the city."

Fishman said accepting the ADB conference inherently is bringing costs to the city and the state. "It's part of the deal that we made going in -- that we host it."

The state "will be making a good return on this investment because of all the interaction with local businesses and because of the world attention to Hawaii's business message and because we're demonstrating we're running a first-class meeting."

State officials have also estimated conference attendees will bring into the economy between $17 million and $20 million in revenues.

Besides Honolulu police officers, deputy sheriffs from the state Department of Public Safety are being used for security purposes.

Deputy Public Safety Director Sydney Hayakawa said about $50,000 has been spent in ADB-related expenses to date. "If we mirror the police activities, from our side we'd spend maybe about $100,000 to $200,000."

Like Correa, Hayakawa expects his agency to be reimbursed.

"If you look at the original agreement, it's between the U.S. Treasury, the state of Hawaii and ADB," he said. "They're partners in it with us, so there should be some mechanism (for reimbursement). We're doing it on behalf of the U.S. Treasury."

The Tourism Authority itself is spending just over $1.5 million.

Of that amount, $1 million was appropriated by the Legislature, while the rest came from corporate donations.

Fishman said he could not immediately provide a breakdown of the authority's budget for ADB costs.

The amount does not include the $518,000 given to the Police Department.

It also does not factor in the cost of about 125 state employees who "volunteered" to staff the conference on taxpayer time.

Woman arrested for theft
of ADB laptop, papers

Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu police arrested a 28-year-old woman yesterday in connection with the theft of a laptop computer and sensitive documents from the rental car of an employee of the Asian Development Bank.

The employee is here for the ADB's annual meeting that begins today at the Hawaii Convention Center. The theft occurred on Saturday.

Yesterday, police stopped the woman in a stolen vehicle with fraudulent license plates. Police found the missing documents and an empty laptop computer case. They refused to give details on the documents.

ADB protesters
clarify motives

The public doesn't realize
the protesters want to stop
the harm to people, one says

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Twenty-one-year-old David Wu said the public and the Honolulu Police Department have a misconception about those protesting the Asian Development Bank conference at the Hawaii Convention Center this week.

"They need to look at what they're stopping. They're stopping the opposition that's trying to stop the harm to people," Wu said.

"The battle is against globalization, not against each other," said Wu, a student at Kapiolani Community College.

Twenty volunteers from Refuse and Resist, Art in Revolution, People against Imperialist Globalization and independent protesters gathered at old Honolulu Stadium park yesterday to create puppets and banners for Wednesday's march for Global Justice and Hawaiian rights.

About 3,000 delegates from dozens of countries are expected to attend the annual meeting, which starts today.

Those opposed to ADB policies said between 5,000 and 7,000 protesters will participate in Wednesday's march.

Police spent 10 months in training to quell any riots that may occur.

"Nobody wants violence ... we jus' wanna be heard," said Wu, who is part of Refuse and Resist. "There are injustices being done to people. We're taking a stand to that."

Wu said the reason he got involved in the protest was because he strongly opposed big corporations exploiting Third World countries.

"It should be a fair trade, not a free trade," he said.

Kim Hoffman, former buyer for Guess, a retail manufacturer, agreed with Wu.

"I believe the ADB represents greed," said Hoffman. Hoffman quit as a buyer for Guess when she learned the company was affiliated with sweat shops in Third World countries.

"I had some inner issues of what I was contributing to the bigger picture," said Hoffman. She has since started a fair trade import business from Bali.

ADB is a $43.8 billion multinational bank based in the Philippines that spends $6 billion per year financing economic development projects in Third World countries around the Pacific Rim.

It's composed of 59 member nations and employs 2,000 people from nearly 50 countries.

Twenty-three-year-old Kunji Doi of the Fukuoka NGO Forum on the ADB arrived in Hawaii yesterday morning from Japan to join the protest. With a brush, Doi painted, "ADB Should Be Shut Down" in red kanji characters.

Alli Starr, a San Francisco native, said the ADB benefits corporate interests, not the people.

Starr is part of Art in Revolution, a movement of people involved in social and environmental issues. "Nobody's trying to tear down some building for sheer joy," Starr said.

Jeff Gere, a city drama specialist, believes the protest in Hawaii will not be violent. "That (violence) doesn't seem like the tone in Hawaii. They're very committed to community and aloha."

Asian Development Bank

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