Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
Free Speech Crackdown on Hawaii Pregnancy Centers Passes House
Connect to Careers: Preparing next generation of Hawaii workforce
Study: House GOP Blueprint Would Put $5613 in Your Pocket, Hawaii
Josh Green for Lt Gov? “I’ve already found my own way.”
HTH: …“Each lieutenant governor has to find their own way,” Green said. “I’ve already found my own way.”
Green plans to undertake a statewide listening tour after the legislative session ends in early May, to get feedback from the public. He’ll make a decision after discussing it with his family, he said.
Kim said the two had a wide-ranging conversation that touched on many legislative issues, including homelessness.
Tops on Green’s priority list is obtaining a Medicaid waiver to allow the state to treat homelessness as a medical condition, as a way to stem the increasing expense of repeated emergency room visits for homeless people….
With very little competition for his legislative seat, Green has amassed a $503,839 war chest as of Feb. 1, the latest filing deadline with the state Campaign Spending Commission. He hasn’t scheduled any fundraisers this year, but he plans to do so, he said.
Green said he’s gotten serious about running after talking with Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, who has publicly said he’s “pretty certain” he will leave the post, perhaps to run for Maui mayor, according to his comments in the Maui News.
If Tsutsui leaves before the end of his term, the post would be offered first to Senate President Ron Kouchi, then to House Speaker Joe Souki and then to Attorney General Doug Chin, under the terms of the Hawaii State Constitution.
The office, along with the governor’s office, is up for election next year.
Green, 47, will have been in the Legislature 14 years when his current term ends.
If he gives up his Senate seat to run for lieutenant governor, Green could join a crowded field, political analyst Colin Moore, associate professor of political science and director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said earlier this year. Names also popping up as possibilities are term-limited Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, term-limited Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, and state Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda, among others.
read … Lt. Gov. Green? Senator almost ready to throw hat in the ring for 2018
White Nationalists Dump Trump Want Gabbard to Run
S: …The self-proclaimed founder of the alt-right movement, Spencer is the president of the National Policy Institute, a think tank devoted to “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” As recently as November of 2016, Spencer led a conference of more than 200 attendees in a cheer of “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” while delivering a Nazi salute.
Spencer was quick to condemn the missile strikes on Syria, calling for Bannon’s resignation and likening Trump’s presidency to a third term of George W. Bush. The white nationalist, or identitarian as he prefers to be known, even intimated he’d throw his support behind Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, in 2020….
read … Gabbard
Rat Lungworm: Hawaii accused of downplaying parasite that struck SF couple
SFC: Health officials in tourist-friendly Hawaii are defending themselves from criticism that they have for years downplayed the severity of a rare, brain-invading parasite that has infected dozens on the islands, including a San Francisco couple stricken by the disease on a recent honeymoon.
A cluster of rat lungworm cases in Maui caught widespread attention last week when Eliza Lape of San Francisco and her husband, UC Berkeley journalism Professor Ben Manilla, revealed they had become severely ill in January after they eloped on the island.
But researchers say the disease had been centered in poorer parts of the Big Island for years and received little notice until state health officials started investigating the Maui cases, which number half a dozen already this year.
Susan Jarvi, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, started looking into the disease more than five years ago and said the state is over a decade late in alerting the community, visitors and health care providers.
“It appears to me that they’ve been trying to sweep this under the rug for a number of years now,” Jarvi said. “I would guess they don’t want to hurt the tourism industry.”
read … Accused
Lab: DoH Lying About Marijuana Testing Progress
PBN: …“I disagree that labs will be available by summertime. We are the lab they have said today was the furthest along in the process,” Rollins said.
Rollins said PharmLabs Hawaii, an analytics lab that is looking to provide third-party safety testing for medical cannabis in the state, has been working with the DOH for over a year on its application.
“We are now taking steps backward, not completing the issues at hand,” he said. “Sample distribution on and between islands is not finalized. DOH and the Narcotics Enforcement Division do not talk to each other and to the lab in the same room.”
In order to gain certification for testing, labs must be approved by both the DOH and the NED.
Rollins also said there has been “no effort yet” to have BioTrackTHC, the state approved seed-to-sale tracking and traceability software, work with the labs.
Four of the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries have received notices from the DOH to begin to cultivate plants, but without a lab to test their products, dispensary owners are worried they won’t be able to sell to patients.
Teri Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs for Maui Wellness Group, dba Maui Grown Therapies, told Pacific Business News last week that the dispensary has delayed hiring more staff until it sees movement on the lab side.
read … Hawaii DOH says medi-juana testing labs will be certified by the summer, but PharmLabs exec disagrees
Indictment: Most Successful Company at NELHA is a Giant Scam
SA: …According to the indictment and other court documents, Hirayama and Ishiyama persuaded their bosses to purchase bottle labels at a 110 percent markup from a California vendor without disclosing that they owned and controlled the vendor. They even created false documents to make it appear that the vendor produced the labels when in fact it purchased them from a true label manufacturer.
As part of the scheme, Melanie Edwards, another defendant charged in the indictment and the only employee of the California vendor, corresponded with Koyo from her home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., to keep up the ruse.
The vendor listed Edwards’ home as its office address and a rented post office box as its business address. The indictment says Hirayama, Ishiyama and Edwards defrauded Koyo out of more than $15 million in label purchases and commissions paid to Hirayama and Ishiyama from 2004 to 2014.
The indictment also says Hirayama and Ishiyama encouraged a Koyo employee to retain a Honolulu lawyer and threaten a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company. Hirayama and Ishiyama persuaded their bosses to let them handle the matter. They then created a phony law firm to negotiate a settlement with the employee.
Hirayama and Ishiyama reported to their bosses that the employee, a showroom manager, agreed to settle her sexual harassment, age and race discrimination claims against Koyo and the company’s chief operating officer for $2.46 million. The actual settlement amounts, which were paid to the employee’s lawyer, totaled $1.41 million. According to the indictment, Hirayama and Ishiyama pocketed the $1.05 million difference plus $364,510 that Koyo paid out for services the phony law firm never performed.
Another scheme detailed in the indictment involved the replacement of PVC pipes at Koyo’s processing plant at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s technology park in North Kona. The indictment says the job cost $265,712 but that Hirayama’s accomplice, handyman Curtis Paza, billed the company $719,816. Paza, who is charged in the indictment, posed as the contractor while the work was actually performed by a licensed plumber.
Hirayama and Ishiyama are also accused of a fourth scheme, which involved presenting fake documents through a lawyer to demand severance payments from Koyo after they had stopped working for the company. The indictment says Hira- yama and Ishiyama claimed they were each due $800,000 plus five years of salary and health care benefits, and that Hirayama collected at least $2.8 million….
2012: Kona Sea-Water Bottler to Pay $2 Million Fine
read … Another Scam