With Mike Gabbard Controlling DLNR Budget, Kailua Bay Zodiac Death too Hot to Handle
It’s the Judges, Stupid
March 8 Hawaii Republican Caucus in the News
Telescope Protesters Fined $5000 for Illegal take and Transport of Marine Mammal
SA: (Skip thru paragraphs of self-justifying rhetoric to get to this.) …Kealoha Pisciotta and Roxane Stewart said they didn’t know they were in trouble until about four months ago, when they were formally accused of an “illegal take and transport” of a melon-headed whale and assessed a $5,000 fine, Pisciotta said.
According to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a “take” means to “capture, maim, injure or kill” any marine mammal or attempt to do so. The unauthorized transporting of a marine mammal is also illegal.
In Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University is designated as the entity to respond to and sample dead stranded cetaceans, according to the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional office website.
“All marine mammal parts are protected by federal law and should not be removed from the carcass unless authorized. It is important that the remains of a dead marine mammal are untouched as there may be an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of death,” the website says.
But traditional Hawaiian practice calls for returning the revered animal to the sea, Pisciotta said claimed. (WRONG. The ‘traditional Hawaiian practice’ is to cut it up into delicious Dolphin steaks and eat it.)
…after the sun came up, they (claim they) transported the animal by boat a couple of miles offshore — far enough out to avoid attracting sharks (Really? Sharks don’t go in the open ocean?). They anchored the animal with stones and conducted a burial ritual to help it “transition into the realm of the deities.” ….
…. in state waters, under the trust responsibility of the Admission Act, the agency has an obligation to protect and uphold the traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians, he said. In Alaska there are exceptions that give natives latitude to hunt and even kill whales….
Meanwhile: Pisciotta Demands $50M Rent for Telescope
read … Animal Abuse
SB3072: Airport Authority
HTH: Kahele’s third proposal, Senate Bill 3072, which would establish an airport authority, also cleared two hearings last week and is referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
Meanwhile, Kai Kahele threw his hat in the ring of hopefuls vying to fill the late senator’s shoes for the remainder of his term….
read … Kahele’s bills gather steam, move forward
Hawaii PACs Already Busy Raising And Spending Cash
CB: The primary election is not until August, but it’s never too soon to gear up to favor candidates with money and advocacy….
read … Early Money
Term Limits, Voter Initiatives
CB: Senate Bill 2754 proposes amendments to the state Constitution to provide for a citizen’s initiative process, while Senate Bill 2753 proposes a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of members of the Legislature.
read … The People Need A Stronger Voice In Hawaii Policy
Tax Credit: An Investment In Children’s Future
CB: …A simple remedy to mitigate some of the negative impacts of growing up in poverty would be to put more money into families’ pockets. Increasing the household income by $3,000 has huge benefits. Children perform better in school, they are more likely to go onto college and their earnings as adults increase by 17 percent.
But even a smaller amount of money can still play an important role. If the state adopted an EITC set at 10 percent of the federal credit, a qualifying family with two children would receive $337. As the University of Hawaii, Center on the Family noted, this would be a cost-effective way to help low-income families meet their basic needs with their own income—reducing stress within the family….
read … Modest
HB2638: Public Housing Move to Work
SA: …House Bill 2638 would also create a program to help those families to save money during their time in public housing to prepare them for the day when they must move out and find another place to live.
That seven-year limit would apply only to 14 percent of the 6,195 public housing units in Hawaii, or about 864 units that are subsidized by the state instead of the federal government.
Ouansafi also warned lawmakers that about 70 percent of the tenants in public housing today are elderly residents or people with disabilities, and he urged lawmakers to exclude those tenants from the seven-year time limit as well. Those tenants are often on fixed incomes, which means they cannot pay more for housing.
“You cannot ask an elderly person to move out of the system,” Ouansafi said in an interview. “Where are they going to go?”
Lawmakers agreed. On Tuesday, Senate Housing Chairman Breene Harimoto scrapped the seven-year time limit entirely, saying it does not appear to be workable….
Congress has just approved changes in the the federal “Move to Work” law that would allow more jurisdictions to impose time limits on public housing tenants in federally subsidized projects. He said Hawaii has been lobbying to participate in that program, and will apply to participate when it is expanded….
read … Move to Work
HSTA: Give Us a 25% GE Tax Hike and Eliminate Testing
SA: Supporting Senate Bill 2586, the Schools Our Keiki Deserve Omnibus Education Act, means creating a dedicated fund to transform public education in Hawaii.
A 1-percentage-point increase in the general excise tax is such a small price to pay when we are uplifting our whole state union through this initiative.
Currently, students are suffering under a competitive model of education…. (Translation: They are required to pass tests.)
As a classroom teacher, I have seen decreasing motivation and lower skills in my students with each passing year. (Loser.)
read … Gimme Money
HPD wants gun owners in FBI database
SA: …A bill that would establish “continuous background checks” to alert police when Hawaii gun owners have been arrested in another county or state is advancing at the state Legislature.
People convicted of violent crimes or selling drugs are banned from owning firearms, but police in Hawaii have no system to alert them when a gun owner has been newly arrested or convicted in another county or state, said Honolulu Police Maj. Richard Robinson.
House Bill 2629 and Senate Bill 2960 would authorize police to enroll people who register a firearm in the FBI’s national “Rap Back” database, which will notify police when gun owners are arrested elsewhere, Robinson said.
Harvey Gerwig, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, said the HRA strongly opposes the proposed new law because the organization maintains it would allow the authorities to enter “law abiding gun owners in a criminal data base.”
“It is simply one more hurdle for law abiding citizens to overcome to exercise their rights,” Gerwig said in written testimony to lawmakers.
The measure was also opposed by Daniel Reid of the National Rifle Association, who wrote that “positive hits in this system have not necessarily been adjudicated and could cause issues with an individual’s ability to exercise their constitutional rights.” ….
CB: SB3032: Gun Owners Should be Forced to Buy More Insurance
read … Continuous Background Checks
SB2725: State lawmakers seek enhanced police oversight
MN: Hawaii is the only state without a statewide board to ensure that law enforcement officers meet certain standards for hiring and training. Two Senate Committees passed a bill Thursday that would create that type of board.
A similar proposal failed in the Legislature last year, but this year 17 senators signed on to co-introduce the proposal, SB2725.
"We think that's a good indication that that's something our colleagues want to pass," said Sen. Rosalyn Baker of Maui, chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee.
The Honolulu Police Department opposed the bill, saying that the department already meets the highest possible standards.
read … Oversight
225 Homeless Meth Addicts Near Wahiawa
KHON: Executive Director Joseph Acosta said he believes there are approximately 175 people living under the bridge and an additional 30 to 50 homeless people within the Wahiawa area….
KHON2 spoke to a woman who has been homeless for seven years. She said need help “getting my ID and my birth certificate, getting sober.
“The homeless part, it’s bad, but it’s not as bad as my addiction.”
When asked if she thinks she could overcome that with a little bit of help, she said “I think so. I hoping that I can because I just had a baby two months ago, but I had to give my parents volunteer foster custody, because I tested positive (for crystal meth), me and my baby tested positive.” …
read … Volunteers reach out to help homeless, those in need in Wahiawa