Hawaii Family Forum General Election Voter Guide
Kenoi Scandal Stains Journalist, Too
CB: Kenoi’s shenanigans led a grand jury to indict him on several charges in March, making Kenoi only the second Hawaii mayor to face criminal charges while in office, after Frank Fasi beat bribery allegations in the late 1970s. The ensuing criminal trial, expected to conclude in the next few days, has included testimony from two local journalists, Nancy Cook Lauer, a county and government reporter for West Hawaii Today, and Kevin Dayton, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Capitol bureau chief.
Lauer is the dogged reporter who uncovered Kenoi’s questionable use of a county credit card, including charging taxpayers for the $900 he spent in one day at a Honolulu “hostess” bar (although, inexplicably, that charge is not a part of the current trial)….
In his trial testimony, and in discussions afterward, Dayton revealed his perspectives about his government roles that seem contradictory to his professed journalistic convictions. He acknowledged, for example, actively lobbying Hawaii journalists and editors to be less aggressive with Kenoi, even before the credit card issue arose.
He also criticized journalists – from the witness stand – about having what seemed like ill will toward Kenoi while acknowledging his general fondness for the mayor. Dayton said he “always liked the mayor,” including when he was a working journalist covering Kenoi, and he considers Kenoi “a good friend.”
Former county finance director Nancy Crawford testified that Dayton was involved in the redaction process that obscured some of Kenoi’s credit-card charges from being viewed through public records’ requests….
You can watch clips of Dayton’s and Crawford’s testimony here (especially poignant are the segments on Oct. 19, around the 16-minute and 36-minute marks). In short, Dayton stated that during the early years of Kenoi’s administration, daily newspaper reporters in Hawaii were “very aggressive,” “extremely aggressive” and “harsh,” and he had the “impression,” without stating any evidence, that the journalists and editors “disliked the mayor.”
On the witness stand, Dayton also talked about the journalistic Code of Ethics, which has as a primary tenet that journalists act independently. He acknowledged having not looked at the code “in a while” ….
Lauer said she originally agreed to testify in this case – and not to fight the subpoena – only because she thought all of the questions would be about the process she undertook to get access to public records. Once she agreed to testify, though, she learned from her attorney that she could no longer cover the Kenoi story, which strategically for the Kenoi defense, took the primary journalist off the case.
In the criminal trial, defense attorney Todd Eddins also tried to discredit Lauer and questioned her motivations for pursuing the Kenoi story in the first place, linking her with the “extremely aggressive” assertions made by Dayton in his testimony. Lauer said by phone that she took personal offense to that line of inquiry and what it represented about the watchdog role of journalists in terms of public affairs.
ILind: Working for Kenoi is AOK
read … Kenoi Scandal Stains Journalist, Too
Astronomer Cross Examined 11 Hours at Telescope Hearing
BIVN: Before undergoing a marathon cross-examination that lasted 11 hours, astronomer Gunther Hasinger gave an opening statement in support of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Thursday.
Hasinger is the Director of the Institute for Astronomy. He was called as the third witness for the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the TMT contested case hearing.
In his ten minute speech (and written testimony, provided below) Hasinger touted the benefits astronomy has brought to both Hawaii and the world, and said he believes “the future of Maunakea astronomy is … inextricably linked to finding a balance with Hawaiian culture.”
read … IfA Director Testifes At TMT Hearing
HSTA Indoctrinates Members to Hate Matayoshi
CB: a lot of teachers are going to be OK with the change in leadership….
Through my first years of teaching, I had to dedicate all of my energy to my own classroom. I was still learning the job and getting my routines set and picking up tips and tricks.
During those years, I held the name Kathryn Matayoshi in contempt. She was a boogeyman, someone to point to as the source of our problems.
“Who does she think she is?” was frequently batted around when teachers discussed a new state initiative. Many took personal offense that a career politician with a background in law was telling teachers how to do their job….
Big Q: Do you agree that schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi should be replaced when her contract ends next June?
read … Why Teachers Won’t Miss Kathryn Matayoshi
Abortion Pills by Mail for Hawaii
R: The way it works is, a woman is examined in her community by a trained medical professional, who checks vital signs and blood pressure and performs an ultrasound. The information is sent to an off-site doctor, who talks with the woman via video conference and authorizes the medications.
Since the telemedicine program began in Iowa in 2008, medication abortions increased to 64 per cent of all pregnancy terminations, the highest US rate.
In New York, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon, a private research institute, Gynuity Health Projects, works with clinics to send abortion pills by mail to pre-screened women.
read … Abortion by prescription now rivals surgery for US women
Aha Moku Advisory Council Gives DLNR a New layer of ’Advice’
CB: …In 2012, the Hawaii Legislature passed Act 288, establishing the Aha Moku Advisory Committee within the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. The committee is patterned after the Aha Kiole, the ancient councils of Hawaii. Those councils consisted of respected expert practitioners that addressed place-based local resource management issues.
The AMAC consists of eight poʻo (heads), one from each of the main islands. They are nominated by their respective islands, appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate. The poʻo are tasked with representing the concerns of their islands, as communicated to them by aha councils at the moku (district) and mokupuni (island) levels. The committee meetings are open to the public and subject to state public records laws.
In 2015, the Legislature passed a concurrent resolution requiring that the AMAC promulgate administrative rules. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the AMAC adopted their Final Rules of Practice and Procedure by a vote of six to one (one poʻo was absent at the time of the vote). I highly encourage you to click the hyperlink and read the new rules. You will quickly see that they do indeed incorporate indigenous knowledge and methods into a modern regulatory form.
The new rules require the AMAC to apply traditional Hawaiian methodologies and knowledge when assessing cultural and natural resource management issues. They also describe that methodology, based on input from kūpuna and practitioners from across the islands.
Yes, the document contains mundane clauses about quorum, term limits and the role of the executive director, etc., but the truly historic and precedent-setting portions describe the lens through which the AMAC is to regard the management of natural resources and accordingly how they are to advise the DLNR, its many divisions, and other agencies it consults with.
Dean Maenette Benham of the Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaii Manoa describes the rules as reflective of “Hawaiian/indigenous knowledge/world-view as well as best practices and methodologies to malama honua.”
She adds, “The document in action provides respectful relations between the state units and the island/moku councils as they work both/and for their mokupuni and collectively for all that feeds and nourishes us.”
When the AMAC met on Oct. 20, the drafted rules received tremendous support from the public and the majority of poʻo. These rules reflect the input of Native Hawaiian communities within the Aha Moku system throughout Ka Pae Aina. Assistant Professor of Law and Hawaiian Studies Malia Akutagawa and two of her law students (myself and Letani Peltier) spent long hours organizing the final document.
The only poʻo to vote against the rules was Keith Robinson of Niihau, who claimed that such rules had no place in the 21st century….
read … Aha Moku
Big Island Short 170 Doctors
HTH: The districts in East Hawaii showed varying needs. Puna’s increasing population is accelerating the need for urgent and primary care. Ka‘u’s remote location presents access challenges for all medical services. Increased access to rheumatology is needed in all of East Hawaii. Many people in our community receive medical care by either waiting for a specialist to fly here or going to Oahu themselves.
Behavioral health was cited as a priority in all areas. Limited access to specialists and reduced availability of public behavioral health services has created strains in other areas of the health care system. Emergency Medical Services must respond to an ever-increasing number of mental health calls, stretching the capacity of one of our most critical services.
The University of Hawaii “2015 Report on Findings from the Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project” states that Hawaii Island is short 170 full-time physicians. According to the report, the number of full-time physicians we need for the island are: cardiology (eight), psychiatry (nine), primary care (24) and oncology/hematology (six)….
read … Community agrees on physicians needs in East Hawaii
Bicycle Bill Would Drive up Cost of Construction
KHON: Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga’s bill hopes it will inspire commuters to switch from a gas pedal to a bike pedal. Here’s how it would work:
Any new or converted office buildings would be required to provide shower facilities to employees who get to work by means other than a motor vehicle.
The requirement would only apply to buildings with a floor area of at least 40,000 square feet.
There must be separate facilities for men and women (what about trannies?) and no less than four shower heads in each area.
read … Bicycle
Lunatic Escapes Asylum—Nobody Notices for Hours
HNN: Pitts escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital between 9 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, by breaking a window and fleeing.
The escape was discovered at 8 a.m. Sunday during a bed check. State Sheriffs are assisting in the search.
Pitts is 47, six feet tall, 222 lbs., with brown hair, blue eyes, and a mustache and full beard.
CB: Hawaii Prison Officials Say It Will Cost $23,000 For Public Records
read … Search is on for Hawaii State Hospital escapee