Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pork shortage in Hawaii

In Hawaii, pork is a beloved food and the centerpiece of every Hawaiian feast (luau).  So it is with great pride that Senator Inouye proclaims himself “The King of Pork” and champion of earmark spending. In his position as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he has been feeding hundreds of millions of dollars into Hawaii ‘s economy each year from earmarks inserted into the budgets of almost every US Federal department. So, a two year moratorium on earmarks that Senator Inouye has been forced to support will have a major impact to Hawaii’s government, counties, schools, organizations, and companies depending on the money.

We were wondering where the biggest losses would be from the cancelation of the 141 earmarks representing over $320 million dollars to Hawaii. A few recipients have been called out in the news like Oceanit which was expecting $10 million and the Hawaii National Guard which was hoping to continue to fund their drug enforcement activities.  But we were surprised at how many State services, University of Hawaii programs, and County projects were also depending on earmarks for some or all of their funding.

Here is the list, ordered by amount (from, the “Center for Responsive Politics” and “Taxpayers for Common Sense”) of projects and organizations in Hawaii funded by Senator Inouye’s earmarks.  (M=million, K=thousand)


$30M Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project
$25M Pearl Harbor Service Support Facility
$23M Hawaii Federal Health Care Network
$19.5M Maui Apace Surveillance System Operations and Research (Boeing)
$17M Pacific Airborne Surveillance and Testing Kauai
$10M Hawaii Technology Development Venture Honolulu
$9.5M PanSTARRS Maui (UH)
$8M Center for Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences
$6.67M Tropical and subtropical Research (Hawaii and Florida)
$6M Hawaii Energy Sustainability Project
$6M Applications of LIDAR to Vehicles Maui (Textron Systems)
$6M Applications of LIDAR to Vehicles Maui (Hnu Phototronics)
$6M Development of High Yield Feedstock and Biomass Conversion
$6M Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture
$5.5M US Pacific Command Education Program
$5M Optical Network for Space (Oceanit)
$5M National Domestic Preparation Training Center (UH)
$5M Hawaii Open Supercomputer Center Maui (UH)
$5M Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center Hilo
$5M Strategic Materials Kauai (Trex)
$5M USS Missouri Memorial Association
$4.75M Low Earth Orbit Nano-Satellite Integrated Defense Autonomous Systems (UH)
$4.2M Pearl Harbor Navy Shipyard Equipment Modernization
$4M Army Conservation and Ecosystem Management
$4M Multiple Target Tracking Optical Sensor Array Technology (Oceanit)
$3.9M Intelligent Decision Exploration (Referentia Systems)
$3.9M Federal Lands Improvement Project
$3.5M Hawaii Micro-algae biofuel project (General Atomics)
$3.5M Real-time Optical Surveillance Applications Maui (Pacific Defense Solutions)
$3.4M Kapolei Interchange Complex
$3.4M Rural Bus Program for Hawaii
$3.3M Pacific Region Interoperability Test and Evaluation Capability (SAIC)
$3.15M Financial Education and Pre-home Ownership Counseling
$3M Hawaii Interline Activities
$3M Military Applications for Medical Grade Chitosan (Synedegen)
$3M Integrated Data and Environment Applications NOAA
$3M Hawaii National Guard Counter Drug Program
$3M Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Big Eye Tuna Quotas (NOAA)
$2.8M Mobile Modular Command Center
$2.7M Marine Air-Ground Task Force Situational Awareness (Lockheed Martin)
$2.6M Agricultural Pest Facility (APHIS)
$2.5M Imiloa Astronomy Center Hilo (UH)
$2.5M Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii
$2.4M Hawaii Air National Guard Eagle Vision
$2.3M Remote Rural Job Training Project (UH)
$2.25M Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Coral Research (UH)
$2.23M Hawaii Wildlife Service activities
$2.2M Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (Pacific Marine)
$2M Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
$2M Hawaii Advance Laboratory for Information Integration Maui (Akimeka)
$2M Community College Training & Education (UH)
$2M Hawaii Water Management
$2M FLASH Hyper-Dimensional imaging for Near Space Surveillance (HunuPhotonics)
$2M Upcounty Maui Watershed Project
$4M Remote Infrasonic Monitoring of Natural Hazard – Honolulu (U of Miss/UH)
$2M Undersea Special Warfare Engineering Support Office
$1.8M Primary Care Association of Hawaii for outreach
$1.8M Lower Hamakua Ditch Watershed Project
$1.75M Marine Education Program (NOAA)
$1.6 Pohakuloa Training Area Range Complex (Northrop Grumman)
$1.6M 4-D Data Fusion Visualization (Makai Ocean Engineering)
$1.5M Hawaii Seafood Safety and Sustainability (NOAA)
$1.5M International Pacific Research Center (UH)
$1.5M Hilo Clinical Pharmacy Training Program (UH)
$1.5M UH School of Law for a Center of Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law
$1.44M Tropical Aquaculture Feed – Hilo (Oceanic Institute)
$1.4M Agriculture Development and Resource Conservation
$1.28M Hawaii National Guard Integrated Information Command System (Raytheon)
$1.25M Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric research (UH)
$1.2M Virtual Onboard Analyst for multi-sensor Mine detection (BAE)
$1.2M Maritime Directed Energy Test and Evaluation Center Kauai (Envisioneering)
$1.2M Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge rat eradication
$1.2M Mobile Localization (21st Century Systems)
$1.2M Covert Sensing and Tagging System (Progeny Systems)
$1.12M Coastal Field Data Collection (Surge and Wave Island Modeling Studies)
$1M County of Kauai for the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion
$1M Coral reef initiative (UH)
$1M Hawaii Marine Fund
$1M Maui County for infrastructure improvements at Kamole Water treatment plant
$1M Maui County for Kaa Force Main replacement
$1M Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Lighthouse repair
$1M Hurricane Evacuation Studies
$1M Hawaii Invasive species management
$1M Magnuson-Stevens Marine Education and Training
$1M Lahaina Watershed NRCS
$1M State of Hawaii General Flood Plan Update
$910K Kona Short Auxiliary Airfield (Kona International Airport)
$897K Field Data Collection Pacific Island Land Ocean Typhoon Experiment
$876K Alien Species Action Plan Inspection Facility
$800K Maui Economic Development Board for engaging girls in science
$750K Molokai Ohana Health Center
$740K Hawaii County for the Kapulena drinking water source project
$700K Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center Staffing Hilo
$700K Kauai Economic Development Board for science and math education
$500K Hawaii Community College Hilo for college support services and courses
$500K Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program
$500K Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Program
$500K Henry K Giugni Memorial Archives under Education for Native Hawaiian Program (UH)
$500K Water resources monitoring, investigating and research
$500K Watershed Planning Staff NRCS
$500K National Tropical Botanical Garden
$500K Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Program
$500K Western Pacific Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (NOAA)
$487K Self Help Housing Corp Hawaii for construction of 76 lot subdivision for low income families
$487K Maui Economic Concerns of the Community for improvement of Homeless resource center
$469K Varroa mite suppression
$450K Maui Economic Development Board Science and Math training
$400K Agriculture Development in the American Pacific (UH)
$400K UH School of Law health policy center
$400K Leeward Community College prep education for Filipinos
$400K Oceanic Institute Fisheries Development
$400K Hawaii Public Housing Authority for renovation of 24 housing units
$400K Hawaii Public Housing Authority for renovation of 25 units
$400K Waipa Foundation for State certified commercial kitchen
$400K UH Hilo Nurse training program
$300K for the Polynesian Voyaging Society educational programs
$300K for Council for Native Advancement Entrepreneurial Development
$300K Floriculture UH
$300K Maui Economic Development Board Rural computer training
$300K Lanakiia Rehabilitation Center Wahiawa Training Complex
$270K Hawaii Water Resource Management
$250K Iao Stream Flood Control Maui
$250K Community Links Hawaii for Oahu Tech and Innovation Park
$250K Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed Project
$250K Volcano research/monitoring partnership UH/HVO
$243K County of Kauai construction of 36 homes
$220K Hawaii County HOVE drinking water development project
$200K Waimanalo Health Center
$200K Termite Species in Hawaii (study in New Orleans, LA)
$200K UH School of Medicine expansion
$200K UH School of Nursing- Manoa equipment
$200K Community Health Centers Childhood Rural Asthma Project
$200K Bishop Museum educational programming
$200K Hamakua Health Center
$200K Lanai Community Health Center
$194K Mookini Luakini Foundation North Kohala, Hawaii County
$194K Institute for Human Services for job training center
$181K Maalaea Harbor, Maui
$157K Wailupe Stream Oahu
$153K UH Agriculture Diversification
$150K Kalihi Palama Health Center Honolulu
$150K Straub Hospital Burn Center Honolulu
$100K Maui Medical Center
$100K Maui Economic Development Board for Lanai’l Women’s initiative
$100K Kahuku, Hawaii
$100K Hawaii DOT GIS
$100K State of Hawaii Rainfall Analysis
$100K West Maui Watershed
$67K Waimanalo Wastewater Effluent Reuse Plan
$45K Waiakea Palai Streams Flood Damage Reduction Hawaii County
$40K Hawaii Technical Services
$12K Barbers Point Harbor Modifications Oahu


The majority of these funds look like they were used for payroll for studies, services and staffing in Hawaii.  The $320 million represents about 7000 jobs (based on an average salary of $50,000) that could be lost. Services and organizations in Hawaii may be forced to shut down unless they can find some other way to fund their operations and taxes will have to cover the infrastructure projects the Counties were planning to fund.

9 comments:

KK said...

Kudos for looking up the stats on the federal funding that will be impacted. When looking at any of the published matrices displaying these appropriations, add a column describing what will be required to supplement the services and programs that will be lost, and another with the number of jobs that will be cut (the latter of which you kind of have done).

Considering how clearly you’ve thought out the impact these cuts will have in the State, I wonder why you promulgate the King of Pork label. First of all, when I Google "King of Pork" I get the names Rogers, Byrd, Stevens (RIP), Murtha, and stories about wasting money. Even you show surprise at how many reputable agencies get their federal funds through earmarks. Secondly, while Senator has not wasted time denying it, he has not self-proclaimed, either.

As observers, it's neither clever not creative to pass along labels that you don't fully understand.

HiloLiving said...

Here is one of the many articles describing Senator Inouye's pride of being the King of Pork. New York Times article
We believe the cuts to Hawaii and Hawaii County in particular will be devastating.

shwan said...

Thank you for posting article giving information about Hawaii's economics.

Grif Frost said...

Aloha! Excellent post on local economic impact of Federal cuts in budgeting programs. Mahalo!

My guess is that there are other tools available to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate that will help keep a higher than expected flow of Federal funds coming to Hawaii.

Will be an interesting process to follow.

Thank you for helping all of us be aware of the impact of these Federal Funds on our local economy.

Able2Sustain said...

The problem with some of this pork is that it goes to entities, private corporations and organizations, not necessarily because of their capabilities, but because of their connections, their willingness to "smooch" with politicians, and their ability to promise "heaven and earth".

For every single item on the list, there were probably countless hours of lobbying involved. And quite a few behind the scene dinner parties and "if I get the funding, you will get my donations..." agreements.

What happened to the government procurement laws? Why should $X dollars go to one entity and not the other? Oversight anyone???
Should this not be voted on?

In the case of well connected science and technology companies, who are experts in promising "heaven and earth" in their proposals: They in fact have serious problems finding qualified local people to do the work being promised. The end result is often that out-of-state scientists and engineers "move in" to do the work.

They move in with families, cause pressure on the housing market and effectively "displace" the local workforce.

It would perhaps be much healthier for the long term, if Hawaii could say NO to pork and instead focus on developing a work force that is able to compete on the open market.
We will then be sure there is a real need for the products and services being developed.

The current hawaii situation is ironic: We pretend we have a private industry here, not realizing that most of it is paid for by the government. Yet, at the same time people love to critisize the regular government employees, teachers etc. What a hypocricy!

Government "purchasers" and politicians do not have the same vested interest in making sure the money is spent wisely. It is just too easy to spend "other peoples money". And as soon as the money is spent, the person in charge will obviously say that the money was "well spent" (, independent of what actually happened.) What else can they say, right?

Perhaps State of Hawaii / City & County should start taxing Federal spending here on the islands. That would at least make sure some of the money can be used to keep our kids in school on Fridays and fixing the pot holes etc.

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