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Tuesday, January 01, 2019
January 1, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:22 PM :: 1530 Views

Photo: Ship Burns 1800 miles off Oahu

Ige Reappoints Directors at Eight Departments

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted December 30, 2018

Maui Anti-GMO King: We are Just Like Old Boys—but more Secretive

MN: … Since securing support from her colleagues, Council Member Kelly King has been the de facto chair of the incoming Maui County Council, making decisions on the inauguration ceremony, proposing committees and even moving into the chair’s office on Monday.

But King said that what she’s doing is different from outgoing Chairman Mike White, who was criticized during the last inauguration two years ago for announcing ahead of time that he would return as chairman.

“I think the part that bothered most people was seeing a press release that solidified it,” said King, who is entering her second term as

the South Maui residency council member. “And that’s why I’ve been really careful not to really talk to you guys a lot or say in public (IQ Test: Are you laughing?), and making it a solid thing because it’s going to be solid once the vote happens. But if you don’t have anybody who’s a clear incoming chair, you have nobody to put all this stuff together.”

The new council will hold its inauguration ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a meeting at 2 p.m. to choose its chair, vice chair and presiding officer pro tempore, and to vote on council rules, committees and staffing….

Meanwhile: Kauai Council members focus on housing, spending

read … King says she has votes to chair council

Will Supreme Court Act Before Council Sworn In?

UPDATE CB: Election Challenge Prevents Ozawa From Being Sworn In For New Term

UPDATE SA: 8 Honolulu City Council members take seats without choosing a leader

SA: … In an unprecedented move, the Hawaii Supreme Court late Friday issued orders requiring state and city election officials to answer questions raised in complaints by former state Rep. Tommy Waters and a group of East Honolulu voters about Ozawa’s 22-vote victory over Waters in November’s general election.

Waters and his supporters questioned the margin of error for electronic vote counting machines and the procedures used to determine the “intent of certain voters in close elections.”

In a 36-page response to the court Monday, state Elections Administrator Scott Nago detailed his office’s method of verifying results through a manual audit team that audits computer-generated results through a hand-count of physical ballots.

Nago said his office does not believe there is a “margin of error.”

It was uncertain Monday if Nago’s response will clear the way for the certification of the results showing Ozawa as the winner by noon Wednesday, when Council members are required by the Honolulu City Charter to gather, have its newly elected members sworn in and then select a new chairman and vice chairman.

A spokeswoman for the state Judiciary said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will not be administering the oath of office for Council members as originally scheduled “because of the matters still pending before the Supreme Court.” Instead, a judge not on the Supreme Court will administer the oath, Judiciary spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro said….

Ozawa and three other Council members on Thursday introduced Resolution 18-294, which calls for Ozawa to be the new City Council chairman and Kymberly Pine, the current vice chairman, to continue in that role. Ozawa and Pine had been viewed as the two most likely members to lead the new makeup of the nine-person Council.

With Council Chairman Ernie Martin leaving the Council Wednesday, Pine will open Wednesday’s meeting before she and her colleagues choose a new leader.

She may be asked to hold onto the gavel at least a little while longer.

Several Council members said Monday one of the options may be for Pine to simply remain as temporary chairperson until the situation involving the Ozawa-Waters election is resolved….

Councilman Joey Manahan said the situation makes it clear there needs to be a state law requiring an automatic hand recount “if an election falls within the margin of error of the voting machines.”

The state Senate last year passed a bill requiring recounts in close elections. But the bill died in the House….

SA: Look what’s coming up in 2019

read … Council leadership remains in question

Doctors, Pharmacists to be Targeted: Eight Line up for Death in 2019

SA: … “It’s very controversial. There are a number of health care providers, nurses and others, who are really uncomfortable about this, so asking anybody to participate as a patient ends their life is a really tough thing,” said Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer for Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the state’s largest health care providers with more than 70 locations that include Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center and Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai. “The most recent barrier does seem to be we haven’t yet located a pharmacy willing to provide the medication. Just like other providers, pharmacists have opinions about it as well. It appears that at this point, they’re uncomfortable.”

(Translation: Assisted Suicide is all about changing the practice of medicine.  That change begins now.)

While most health care facilities have adopted neutral policies on the issue — leaving it up to doctors on whether to participate — hospitals including Hawaii Pacific Health and The Queen’s Medical Center have both said their pharmacies will not fill the prescriptions and that hospitalized patients won’t be able to take the lethal drugs on campus.

(This is targeting info for suicide lawyers.)

In addition, CVS, parent company of Longs Drugs, said pharmacists in Hawaii will follow a “carefully outlined process for the filling of such prescriptions under the limited circumstances” defined by law, but that individual pharmacists can decide whether to fill the prescriptions.

Access to the medications may also be problematic. Manufacturing issues are affecting availability nationwide and drug prices have also increased due to patent issues.

The state Department of Health projects as many as 40 to 70 patients will seek medical aid in dying this year. There are about 10,500 deaths annually in the islands.

“We have had three or four cold calls from interested family members with loved ones with six month or less prognoses. Those relatives were highly motivated and appear to have done their homework in studying the text of the law so we helped as much as we could,” said Lorrin Kim, chief of the DOH Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development. “We are generally aware of three or four others who are very likely to be making their requests the first week of January.”

Patients deemed mentally capable and able to take the medication on their own will be able to request a lethal prescription after two doctors confirm the terminal illness and six-month prognosis. Patients must make two separate appeals for medication, with a 20-day waiting period between the first and second requests. Also required is a written request overseen by two witnesses, one of whom is prohibited from being a beneficiary of the patient’s estate. It is a criminal offense to tamper with a patient’s request or to coerce someone into medically assisted death.

“There’s definitely diversity of opinion. A minority of physicians feel prepared to actually participate in terms of writing a prescription,” Dr. Daniel Fischberg, medical director of the Queen’s Medical Center Pain & Palliative Care Department, said of the more than 1,700 doctors on the medical staff. “There might be some resistance initially.” ….

(And yet, somehow, ‘everybody’ is for suicide.)

read … Medical aid in dying law takes effect

Maui Strategies 360: New Farm Operator Hires Activists (so nobody is protesting)

MT: To hear the hosannas from members of Maui’s progressive community, Christmas came early this year with Alexander & Baldwin’s sale of some 41,000 acres of former sugarcane lands to a mainland company for $262 million, or about $6,400 an acre.

So long Big Bad A&B, the water-guzzling, crop-burning, pesticide-spraying, plantation-era relic. In its place, a company calling itself Mahi Pono (translation: to grow or cultivate morally or properly), the corporate love child of a union between Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and a California-based agricultural company called Pomona Farming.

Within days, the coconut wireless thrummed with good news about the new owners. No GMO crops, existing A&B leases with Monsanto would not be renewed, community activists were being recruited for jobs. (Cha-chiiiing!)

What wasn’t discussed was the question: Who are these guys?

When I asked happy-dancing sale celebrants, their simple answer was “Not Alexander & Baldwin!” When I pressed, I was advised to stop being so negative (huh?), stow the “skepticism,” or “try wait” for the answer to reveal itself.

(IQ Test: It’s not news to you that these activists are all about money, right?) 

The go-to guy on this sale is Hawai‘i’s former Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, now vice-president at Strategies 360, a public affairs, communications, and research firm. Tsutsui said Friday that he began working with Pomona Farming six months ago to help them with the purchase….

read … Who Are These Guys? Enthusiasm over the new owners of A&B’s agricultural lands runs high, though almost nothing is known about them

Star-Adv: Marijuana Not a Cash Cow

SA: … The legal cannabis industry is said to be waving goodbye to 2018 with a lot of appreciation. And it’s true that the marijuana market, whether for medical use or recreation, has grown nationwide.

Still, lawmakers here likely are weighing outcomes in other states.

Colorado has garnered millions for school improvements that are sorely needed here, but there have been upticks in related accidents and health issues. And in California, the business has not yet proved to be the hoped-for cash cow. Hawaii legislators should note all that in debating the issue, as they are sure to do….

read … States’ marijuana results to inform Hawaii decisions

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