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Sunday, November 3, 2013
November 3, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:58 PM :: 4436 Views

Gay Marriage: Public Hearing to Continue Monday

OHA Chair Machado Hospitalized: Suffers Stroke After Gay Marriage Hearing

Asset-Rich People Now Eligible for Hawaii Medicaid--But Can't Log on the Website

Share Loss of TAT Could Spell Increased GET

Opposition to Gay Marriage from Native Hawaiians Boosts Push for Religious Freedom 

SA: Several legal and religious scholars, including some who favor marriage equality, have urged the House to adopt more robust protections for religious concerns. Analysts from both sides of the issue have concluded that the draft being considered in Hawaii offers less protection than other states that approved gay marriage through legislation.

Douglas Laycock, a professor of law and religious studies at the University of Virginia, and other scholars who support same-sex marriage have told lawmakers that "careless or overly aggressive drafting" could create a new set of problems for the state.

"The gain for human liberty will be severely compromised if same-sex couples now force religious dissenters to violate their conscience in the same way that those dissenters, when they had the power to do so, used to force same-sex couples to hide their sexuality," Laycock and the other scholars wrote. "Conservative religious believers should not be allowed to veto same-sex marriage for those who want it, but neither should they be forced to directly facilitate it in violation of their understanding of God's will."...

Some legal scholars, such as Thomas Berg, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota who supports same-sex marriage, have also recommended widening the exemption to include individuals and small businesses, such as wedding planners and photographers.

Connecticut rejected such an expansion, and no state with gay marriage has such a "conscience exemption" for individuals and small businesses.

House leaders are not enthusiastic about a "conscience exemption," but lawmakers, such as Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore-Poamoho) and Rep. Jo Jordan (D, Waianae-Makaha-Makua), may force the issue through a proposed amendment of the bill....

Laycock, Berg and other scholars told lawmakers that it would be better to implement same-sex marriage with a minimum of confrontation rather than create the potential for "a series of martyrs" who claim their religious freedom has been trampled. Over time, they predict, attitudes will change in the "live-and-let-live traditions of the American people."

Hour after hour of public testimony in the House and Senate has shown that many attitudes in Hawaii have not changed. The testimony has exposed lawmakers to the range of emotions and unearthed uncomfortable divisions in the islands....

Few lawmakers would likely dismiss Karla Kelii­hoomalu Akiona, a hula teacher who lives in Mililani.

"We Hawaiians have had so much taken from us, and just when you think there's nothing more that can be taken, this happens," Akiona told lawmakers on Saturday. "We don't appreciate people coming into our hale, robbing us of our religious freedoms, trying to destroy our families, restricting our voting rights, and polluting these spiritual lands by dismantling what God has instituted: marriage between one man, one woman."

Rep. Sharon Har (D, Kapolei-Makakilo), who opposes gay marriage, asked Akiona about gay rights advocates who claim that not passing the bill would show a lack of aloha to the gay and lesbian community.

"OK, you need to understand what aloha is," Akiona said, as many in the audience cheered. "You have to understand what it is, and most people do not know what aloha is. Aloha is everything that is pono, everything that is righteous, correct, and everything that is in the light. Anything else is other, is dark.

"So if you want to talk about love, kindness and compassion, and all of those things, that's what it is. Aloha is the most sacred word in the Hawaiian culture, and it is being used very frivolously by people utilizing my culture, my aloha — my culture — to pass what we all know is wrong."

Rep. Kaniela Ing (D, South Maui), who supports marriage equality, asked Akiona about Kamuela Werner, a University of Hawaii at Manoa student, who had told lawmakers that the bill is not only for himself and his partner of 41⁄2 years, but so that gays and lesbians have an "inherent place in the society at an equal height and footing as heterosexuals."

Ing asked whether the young Native Hawaiian deserves the same rights that he and Akiona do.

"I think he deserves rights. I do," Akiona said. "But I don't believe that he should take what God has instituted and switch it around."

Shapiro: The tremendous emotional impact this momentous decision carries in the community

Snotty Ing to gay marriage advocates on Facebook: "Let them air out their dirty laundry.  Yes, pilau ... but at the end of the day we're with you."

Borreca to Legislators: This will be old news in 2014 (Yeah, just keep believing that.)

read ... Gays vs Hawaiians

Health Connector Refuses to Release Obamacare Enrollment Figures, but Profitable Nonprofits Cash In

SA: More than one month after its planned start date, the Hawaii Health Connector still can't say how many people have actually enrolled in health insurance plans via the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act....

Connector call center representatives said Friday that the marketplace designed to match lower-income consumers with subsidized health plans is still having problems with links to applications being down, preventing some people from enrolling on hawaiihealthcon- Consumers must be enrolled on the Connector by Dec. 15 to be covered at the start of the year.

"It is taking too long. We're not the only ones who had glitches, but I think what is really troublesome is how all the parts didn't come together," said Barbara Kim Stanton, AARP Hawaii state director. "We understand that the assisters, the ones that are supposed to help the consumers, are still not completely on board. They haven't had contracts, haven't been trained. There are people that have health needs that can't wait."

Connector Executive Director Coral Andrews didn't respond to requests for comment. The only two insurers on the Connector, Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, also didn't provide enrollment figures to the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Human Services said it has enrolled more than 6,000 on Medicaid since open enrollment began Oct. 1. Consumers applying for tax credits on the Connector must first go through the DHS system and be deemed ineligible for Medicaid....

Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center Inc., doing business as Hale Naau Pono, has yet to enroll a single person on the Connector.

"We haven't enrolled anyone on the Connector because either they will be on Medicaid or they may be eligible for tax credits (and are going through the eligibility process)," said Catherine Lin-Kee, program supervisor for the marketplace assister program. "Because it's a new thing … we're slowly transitioning to educating the community. They're really negative (initially) about the whole Obama­care plan."....

(Ex-Trotskyite) Drew Astolfi, executive director for Faith Action for Community Equity, signed a $2 million contract with the Connector this week. (Ca-Ching!)

Astolfi: Tracing the Financial Outlines of Socialism in Hawaii

read ... Obamacare Still a Failure

Group asks court to stop governor from signing bill

SA: A state House Republican has asked for a temporary restraining order to block Gov. Neil Abercrombie from signing a same-sex marriage bill into law and prevent the state from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto has set a hearing for Thursday on the request, which raises separation of powers issues between the branches of government asks the Judiciary to do its job--interpreting the Constitution.

HNN: Hundreds more testify on day three of same-sex marriage bill hearing

KITV: Day 3 of public testimonies on same-sex marriage bill

read ... Injunction

NYT: Why do Hawaiians Resist our Mainland Gay 'Missionaries'?

NYT: ... on this issue, Mr. Slom is not as lonely as Hawaii’s laid-back image might suggest. Hawaii’s voters, in fact, overwhelmingly ratified a constitutional amendment in 1998 authorizing the Legislature to overturn the court ruling and ban same-sex marriage. Last Monday hundreds of people rallied at the State Capitol to denounce the marriage bill, far outnumbering supporters. The grumpy signs they carried said things like “1 Kane 1 Wahine” (Hawaiian for “man” and “woman”) and “Let the People Decide,” a call to put the issue to yet another referendum. On Thursday, a committee vote in the House was delayed as more than 5,000 people signed up to speak late into the night, many heatedly denouncing the bill. The testimony began again on Friday.

A local news outfit, Honolulu Civil Beat, said the issue is splitting the state evenly, at 44 percent on each side. The debate has an upside-down feel to it. The people wearing the rainbow leis and invoking (the tourist version of)Hawaii’s heritage and the “aloha spirit” are saying: Let’s please get married, in (order to undermine) the Western tradition. The conservatives’ reply: No rites for you. Go have your wedding in California. There’s fluid, and then there’s topsy-turvy. It’s why a few years ago, when some native Hawaiians on Maui tried to close a nude beach — telling white folks, please put your clothes on — some people said: Huh? (because all 'some people' know is the tourist version)

(Translation: NYT editor is glad political correctness has made naked barbarians of white people like him.  But the newly barbarian white people on the NYT editorial board can't figure out why the formerly barbarian Hawaiians aren't going along.  NYT editors are caught up in the false PC narrative they used since 1968 to mentally subjugate the Mainland.  The narrative prevents them from understanding that it doesn't work in areas where people can't be brainwashed to feel racial guilt for slavery and segregation because they aren't white.  That's why black voters rejected gay marriage by 70% in Calif. Prop 8 voting.  Gay marriage is about proving one's own political correctness.  But without accepting the PC version of 'original sin', there can be no desire for the false 'redemption' offered by the new PC religion.  So sad for them.)

read ... A bunch of revisionist history until these last two paras

Kauai Mayor Needs to Flip One Vote to Block Veto Override

KGI: The Kauai County Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday to officially receive the mayor’s veto.

From there, the council will decide on the fate of Bill 2491, including whether or not the six-member board will consider overriding the mayor’s decision in as early as two weeks....

The decision Friday to hold the meeting came one day after Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. vetoed the bill. If the County Council does not accept the veto on Thursday, then the bill would die. Basically, it means if the council declines to accept the veto, the council is declining to even take up that matter. But if the council, who voted in favor of the bill Oct. 16, decides to accept the veto it would be free to pursue overturning it too, and could schedule a meeting Nov. 14 to take up that matter.

If the council votes in favor of reconsidering the mayor’s veto, a public meeting to vote on an override could take place on Thursday, Nov. 14.

The council would need five votes to override the veto. While the council passed the bill 6-1, former council member Nadine Nakamura, who voted in favor of the bill earlier this month, resigned from the council last week to accept a position as the county’s new managing director. She will not be voting on the issue.

read ... Flip One Vote And Ruin a Luddite's Day

Hawaii County GMO showdown Tuesday

HTH: On Tuesday, the Hawaii County Council will consider adding the Big Island to that list as it votes for the second and final time on a bill that would limit the use of transgenic crops.

And both sides see a lot at stake, with ripple effects likely to be felt on the mainland and perhaps beyond.

“A lot of people are watching what happens on Kauai (where a GMO bill was recently vetoed) and the Big Island,” said Blake Watson, a Volcano resident who is a member of GMO Free Hawaii Island.

“It would help get better legislation passed in the future elsewhere,” he said.

Some have done more than watch. Advocates and critics of transgenic food from beyond Hawaii also have weighed in on the debate.

Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, called the current fight on the Big Isle a “battle royale.”

“This will have a significant impact on how this debate proceeds over the next few years,” said Entine, a GMO advocate.

The bill wouldn’t be the first time the county has adopted anti-GMO legislation.  In 2008, it passed a ban on GMO coffee and taro.

Taro Ban: UH cared for HALOA for 104 years with no help from any activists

read ... Hordes of Luddite Morons and Weak-Kneed Politicians

Anti-GMO Protesters Set to Destroy Hawaii's Largest Dairy

HTH: Corey Gillins is a farmer who wears two hats. As the general manager of Big Island Dairy, one of only two dairies in the state, he is responsible for overseeing a herd of 1,000 cows. Daily, 6,500 gallons of milk are produced on the sprawling 2,360-acre farm in Ookala.

But for anyone driving by on Highway 19, it may be hard to get a glimpse of a single cow. Instead, what appears are corn fields that stretch up the slope of Mauna Kea. With 700 acres of corn under production, the farm is not just the largest dairy on the Big Island, but also likely the largest corn producer as well....

The corn is genetically modified to be both resistant to Roundup, a commonly used herbicide, as well as pests. It uses an anti-bug protein referred to as Bt.

(Don't worry. After the eco-terrorists destroy his cornfield, we can get our milk from the organic hippies at Listeria Meadows and Salmonella Farms.)

read ... Farmer: Transgenic corn is key to dairy’s survival

TFA: DoE Making Progress under STRIVE HI

SA: The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) is implementing really smart research-based practices and we are beginning to see indicators of progress. In August, the DOE released the first year of school report cards under a new school performance and accountability system -- STRIVE HI -- that takes a more comprehensive snapshot of our schools through the lens of academic achievement, student growth, the achievement gap between high need students and non-high need students, and college and career readiness.

The results showed that Hawaii's public schools have narrowed the achievement gap by 12 percent over the past two years. The on-time graduation rate, college enrollment rate and proficiency rates are all on the rise.

read ... Teach for America

Sewer woes raise doubts for Kakaako

SA: Something doesn't smell quite right in Kakaako, which is a sure sign of a far worse problem down the line, and in an area that's supposed to be reborn as a new jewel of Honolulu waterfront life.

On Wednesday, the City Council was greeted by a rush of testimony, uniformly supportive of its resolution seeking more information about chronic problems with sewage odor wafting through multiple streets in the district.

Resolution 13-267, heard by the Committee on Public Works and Sustainability, needs to pass promptly to gain answers from the city's Department of Environmental Services within 30 days. The Council wants to know what every present and potential resident of Kakaako is waiting to hear: the cause and cure of the problem.

In particular, the department must answer the resolution's final question: Why are conditional approvals being given to connect up to 5,000 new residential units to the sewer lines until the other mystery has been solved? The Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency that has oversight over Kakaako's redevelopment, needs more definitive guidance before it issues its own approvals for such large projects.

read ... Star-Adv Editorial

Mayor Wright Homes residents "stepped up to the plate," a top housing official says

SA: The number of murders went from two to zero. There were 84 percent fewer aggravated assaults (from six to one), 72 percent fewer nuisance complaints (74 to 20) and 66 percent fewer auto thefts (three to one). Also down by half are robbery (four to two), graffiti (two to one), drunken nuisance (six cases to three) and property damage (22 to 11).

Ouansafi brought in Matt Levi Security on an emergency basis for six months until things stabilized, then went through the procurement process to select the low bidder. Kiamalu Consulting and Investigations Agency is now providing security at Mayor Wright and three other state housing properties.

Security guards now patrol on bicycles to cover more ground quicker. Guards staff both entrances, allowing in only tenants with resident ID cards and registered vehicles, preventing trespassers and unwanted visitors from entering.

Higher solid steel fencing has replaced old fencing frequently cut by intruders.

The housing authority has also broadened criminal history checks, denying housing to anyone convicted of a felony in the past three years.

read ... Public Housing


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Hawaii has the right weather, but not enough bike lanes to get more people out of their cars

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