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  • Hawai'i
  • Umi Perkins (bio)

Hawai'i The year under review in Hawai'i saw the traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a and its accompanying vessel Hikianalia return to O'ahu on 17 June 2017 after a three-year, forty-thousand-mile, worldwide voyage dubbed "Mālama Honua" (Care for the Earth). The voyage circumnavigated the Earth using only traditional Polynesian navigation techniques, [End Page 165] reaching 150 ports in twenty-three countries and territories (pvs 2017). Captain Ka'iulani Murphy stated, "We really are sailing in their (the ancestors') wake … we had to relearn what our ancestors had mastered" (Civil Beat 2017). Originally trained by Satawal's Mau Piailug, Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson noted that traditional Pacific Islanders "figured it out—how to live well on these islands … that is the challenge of the time for planet earth and all of humanity." Thompson used the attention on Hōkūle'a's return to urge Hawai'i to become a leader on sustainability (Caron 2017).

Just as Hōkūle'a was returning from her voyage, Hawai'i Governor David Ige affirmed the state's commitment to the Paris Climate Accords, signing two bills aimed at reducing greenhouse gases in a manner consistent with the Paris agreement. This was one of Hawai'i's perceived acts of defiance toward President Donald Trump, who pulled the United States out of the accords. One news outlet reported: "Mr. Ige, a Democrat in his first term as governor, said in remarks before the signing: 'We are the testing grounds—as an island state, we are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment'" (Bromwich 2017).

Hawai'i lost celebrated musicians Palani Vaughan, Eddie Kamae, and Ernie Cruz Jr during the period under review. Vaughan was a well-known scholar of King David Kalākaua (who reigned 1874–1891) and in the 1970s and 1980s he revived interest in the monarch's period with a four-album series devoted to Kalākaua (khon2 2016). Kamae's passing was even

noted by the New York Times, which called him an "innovator and a historian on four strings"; "Mr. Kamae was one of the most influential Hawaiian musicians of the second half of the 20th century, at once an innovator and a diligent steward of folkloric customs. He is best remembered as a founder of the group the Sons of Hawaii, which made a handful of widely emulated albums in the 1960s and '70s that set the terms for the revivalist movement known as the Hawaiian renaissance" (Chinen 2017). Cruz was a longtime member of the popular music group Ka'au Crater Boys, and his younger brother, Guy Cruz, also a noted singer, died just a few days after him (Kakesako and Berger 2016).

Politically, Hawai'i was at the forefront of opposition to newly elected US President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban, which sought to prohibit travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries. After Hawai'i Attorney General Douglas Chin filed a motion challenging the ban, US District Judge Derrick Kahala Watson ruled on 15 March 2017 that "the Government's narrowly defined list [of types of family members allowed to travel] finds no support in the careful language of the Supreme Court or even in the immigration statutes on which the Government relies" (State of Hawai'i 2017). Trump-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated publically his disbelief that "a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific" could deter a decision of the US president (Savage 2017). As a result of his decision, Watson received threatening messages and was put under twenty-four-hour protection by the US Marshall Service, [End Page 166] which protects federal judicial officials (Silva 2017).

On 7 July 2017, Judge Watson ruled against Hawai'i's challenge to the revised ban, claiming that only the US Supreme Court had the authority to rule on the case (Somin 2017a), but a week later he issued an injunction against key parts of the travel ban executive order (Somin 2017b). At issue was the definition of "close relatives," and whether grandparents met the qualification for exemptions to the travel ban. In...