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Friday, November 18, 2016
November 18, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:31 PM :: 1133 Views

American Legion Forum to Discuss Hawaii VA Care

DBEDT: 14,000 New Jobs Created in 9 Months

Hawaii to be Stuck With Another Crackpot Project Nobody Else Wants: Floating wind farm?

Supreme Court Rules on Say: Only State House Can Determine Residency of Members

DAGS Director Resigns

HCDA to Appoint New Executive Director

Musical Chairs: Honolulu Zoo Loses Yet Another Director

Courts Again Find Hawaii Anti-GMO Laws Illegal

KE: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today issued three opinions with national implications when it upheld lower court rulings that struck down anti-GMO measures on Kauai, Hawaii Island and Maui.

In a huge victory for the state's seed industry, the panel affirmed that two Hawaii District Court judges acted correctly when they concluded all three county bills were pre-empted by state law, and the Hawaii Island bill and Maui citizen's initiative were pre-empted by federal law as well.

The decision guts a three-year, polarizing effort by the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice to use Hawaii to establish a national legal precedent for controlling GMO crop cultivation under the guise of “home rule.”

Instead, the opinions showed that recently defeated Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser, who worked closely with the two groups, erred from the get-go in introducing Bill 2491, which created a domino effect of similarly flawed anti-GMO measures on the Big Island and then Maui.

The three bills cost the counties hundreds of thousands of dollar in legal fees and created a bitterly contentious political climate that divided rural communities across the state. The Kauai and Hawaii Island bills were passed by the county councils there, while the Maui law was approved by voter initiative….

Coverage:

Court Opinions:

read … Courts Again Find Hawaii Anti-GMO Laws Illegal

Hawaii County: GMO ban rejected again

WHT: …“The local farmers got caught up in all the furor against the big companies,” said Dennis Gonzales, a Hawaii Island scientist who developed the virus-resistant Rainbow papaya in the 1990s. That crop has been credited with saving the industry.

He said he felt the council listened more to emotional testimony than scientists in the field, who were provided little time to speak in comparison.

“Where’s the evidence” that papaya is harmful? Gonzales asked. “There’s no evidence. What makes me sad is people listen to these supposed experts.”

The World Health Organization says “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of (GMO) foods by the general population.”

Wille said organic farmers are still concerned their crops could be cross-pollinated by GMO varieties.

She said she will continue to pursue more regulations through her position as the co-chair of the state Democratic Party’s legislative committee.

read … GMO ban rejected again

HMSA Lying About Source of Profits?

SA: Hawaii Medical Service Association’s claim that its recent return to profitability is due in part to new payment models cannot possibly be true (“HMSA and Kaiser both post profit in quarter,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 16).

HMSA started a limited pilot program in April, paying primary-care doctors a fixed monthly rate per patient, but it is too soon to know if the model can save any money.

The new payment model does require primary-care practices to invest in advanced computerization and more staff to cope with increased documentation and reporting requirements, increasing overhead costs. We don’t yet know if the model can generate savings to offset these costs.

However, there is mounting evidence that the administrative demands of the model are driving many Hawaii doctors out of independent practice and causing them to limit acceptance of new patients.

HMSA has increased our employer group premiums by 110 percent over the past 10 years, and by 12.5 percent since 2015. Higher premiums have much more to do with HMSA’s return to profitability this year than new payment models.

read … Kemble

Donald Trump Wins on Niihau: Does Well in Waianae, N Shore

CB: …Trump did best on the Leeward Coast and the North Shore.

Trump did well in districts with lots ... of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, as well as anywhere with a large military presence….

(Trump won only two precincts Niihau 1606 and Turtle Bay 4703.  His strongest numbers were West and Central Oahu.  Trump did the worst around UH Manoa where many people have been brainwashed by political correctness….)

read … Who Voted For Donald Trump In Hawaii?

Students learn about politics through participation

HTH: Results show about 57 percent of Big Island students chose Clinton for president while 16 percent — or 1,159 — cast ballots for President-elect Donald Trump.

Remaining ballots were cast for third-party candidates. Statewide, just under 55 percent of youth chose Clinton and 22 percent chose Trump.

Trump received 29.4 percent of the presidential vote among adult voters in Hawaii and 26.9 percent in Hawaii County. Clinton received 61 percent statewide and 62.5 percent among county voters.

Hawaii Island students chose the same state senators and representatives elected by adults.

Students also were asked questions including, “Do you feel safe at school?” and “Should public schools be allowed to start at different times in the morning?” Most students islandwide voted “yes” to both of those questions….

read … Students learn about politics through participation

Carr: How to Build Affordable Housing in Hawaii

SA: …It’s more of an issue for Hawaii because of our high costs of land and, more importantly, construction costs. Everything needs to be imported. So our challenge is at times the freight costs more than the material itself.

And that’s why in Hawaii you don’t see production rentals, as you do with our counterpart states on the mainland….

What we’re trying to do is come up with different tools, create tools in the toolchest, to incentivize and make it easier for developers like myself to build more of this.

It’s going to take public-private partnerships. It’s going to take free land. It’s going to take long-term ground leases with state lands or city lands to enable us to build in the urban core. And it’s still not easy….

read … Affordable Housing

Isle adults’ smoking rate declines by 17% in decade

SA: The adult smoking rate has fallen to 14 percent, down from 17 percent in 2005, propelled by a broad-based push to restrict the practice and help people quit. But the rate remains nearly twice as high for Native Hawaiians and people diagnosed with depression, at 27 percent, Health Department data show.

People living below the poverty line in Hawaii are also more likely to smoke, with 1 in 4 lighting up regularly, despite high cigarette taxes. The rate is roughly the same for people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender. Heavy drinkers are the most likely to smoke, at 29 percent.

With the dangers of tobacco now well understood, prevention efforts will lean toward offering support and encouragement to quit or to avoid even starting, rather than painting dire scenarios.

(Translation: With tax revenue dropping, we can’t afford TV ads as much.)

read … Down 17%

Homeless Tweekers Take over Downtown Honolulu Park

CB: …Community members say Kamalii Park has become a place where drug use and dealing occur at all hours. They say they find needles and condoms on the ground and that people – some of them homeless – use the park as a place to relieve themselves and to camp overnight.

The Honolulu Police Department says those concerns aren’t going unnoticed. From July to September, officers made 22 drug and narcotic arrests and 12 misdemeanor arrests, in addition to issuing 28 citations for violations of park rules, like camping out and sticking around past closure hours, said Sgt. Scott Tamasaka….

At other times in the park, he’ll see people twitching, exhibiting behavior typically associated with drug use. Sometimes in the mornings, he’ll see small groups of people passing backpacks around….

read … Will Residents Ever Feel Safe In This Downtown Honolulu Park?

Enablers: Sister Islands Still Giving Away Free Stuff to Homeless Who refuse Shelter

WHT: Thanksgiving came a week early in Kona, as Hope Services Hawaii hosted the 19th annual Homeless Luncheon and Resource Fair Thursday at the Old Airport Pavilion.

The free lunch was well attended by everyone from homeless individuals and needy families to volunteers and around 30 service providers at what several participants described as one of the most comprehensive community outreach events of the year.

Part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the four-hour event included a clothing bank, free haircuts, raffle prizes and perhaps most importantly, connection to a multitude of services ranging from domestic violence outreach to low-income housing information to substance abuse counseling opportunities.

“Last year, we served about 1,800 individuals and families islandwide, and it just keeps growing every single year,” said Malu Debus, volunteer and community partnership coordinator with Hope Services. “We housed 1,094 individuals last year, but homelessness still continues to grow. These events are critical to getting that information that will help these individuals resolve their homeless situations.” ….

KGI: Aki said he chooses to be homeless.

read … The free lunch was well attended by everyone from homeless individuals

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