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Saturday, January 11, 2014
January 11, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:01 PM :: 3720 Views

The Other Shoe Drops: Kauai Anti-GMO Ordinance Challenged In Federal Court

Hawaii Family Advocates: See You at the Capitol January 15

Abercrombie Appoints Creagen to House from Secret List

Hawaii churches prevail against atheists’ baseless lawsuit

Hauula Teacher Wins Back Pay After Pot-Fueled Firing

DLNR Considers Haleakala Land Exchange

Stung by Reports of Whale Collisions, Pacific Whale offers Feel-Good Seminar

Washington Correspondent Breaks Faleomavaega Illness Story

McDermott to Speak in Kailua

PEW: Hawaii to be 13th in Job Growth

PBN Overview of 2014 Legislative Session

PBN: Many familiar issues will rise to the top of the priority list when the state Legislature convenes for its 2014 session at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

In what some members of the business community are predicting to be a relatively quiet session, lawmakers once again will debate raising the state’s minimum wage and and will receive requests for new funding for a variety of programs. They also will consider creating two new state agencies and eliminating a current one.

Missing at the outset are controversial social issues such as same-sex marriage. But other divisive issues such as gambling always find their way into the mix. And, for the first time, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii will weigh in with a comprehensive package of bills supporting local business.

Following is a 13 page look at the major issues that will command lawmakers’ attention in the next few months....

read ... Down to Business

Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to Introduce Pro-Business Bills at the Legislature

HB: Some of these bills are modest, including one that seeks to limit “drug repackaging.”...

The chamber also wants to modify the state’s historic preservation rules....

One of the chamber’s bills that Menor-McNamara is most excited about is a proposal to create temporary tax credits for the manufacturing industry....

The most ambitious part of the chamber’s legislative agenda is a bill asking for funding to support the work of the chamber’s Military Affairs Council (MAC)....

A good example of this new focus is the first-ever Chamber Week, which will take place during the third week of January.

Every day, there will be different events and activities, Menor-McNamara says. On Monday, Jan. 13, CNBC reporter Scott Cohn will join a panel, via Skype, at 11:30 a.m. at the Plaza Club, to discuss why Hawaii has among the country’s highest costs of doing business.

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the chamber will launch its new “Manufacturing in Hawaii Initiative.” Wednesday, Jan. 15 – the opening day of the state Legislature – will be Membership Appreciation Day at Tamarind Square. Thursday, the chamber will hold its traditional “Walk Around the State Capitol” and members and supporters are invited to participate. On Friday, the chamber will hold “Military Appreciation Day.”

read ... Pro-Business Bills at the Legislature

Politician urges action on beach erosion, blames Global Cooling or Something

SA: State lawmakers heard from scientists Thursday who said Hawaii will face an escalating number of coastal erosion and flooding incidents as climate change-driven sea-level rise plays a greater role here in the decades to come.

In addition, state Rep. Chris Lee (D, Kailua-Lanikai-Waimanalo) said he plans to introduce a bill requiring the state to better prepare for the potential impacts of climate change on Hawaii.

"I think it's clear we can't wait any longer to get a handle on what is a big challenge for us to come," said Lee, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection.

1) There is no evidence that this recent round of cyclical erosion is caused by sea level change.

2) But even if it was caused by sea level change, then different construction methods wouldn't have prevented the damage to homes anyway. The sand literally washed away from beneath the properties.

read ... The Comments

Lawmaker fired up over UHWO student fees

KHON: When KHON2 asked, they said it's been more of a reserve fund and that sometimes in life you have to pay for things you might never use. That's not sitting right with many, including the Senate President, who says watch out.

"If you're the student and you're the parent and you have fixed-income and you're struggling, $100 more makes a big difference. I mean, you give me $100 and throw it in the rubbish can and see if you walk away from that," said Donna Mercado Kim, (D) Senate President.

"What can be done about it?" KHON2 asked.

"Well, certainly we can pass something that says these fees shouldn't be charged until it's in place, and we know exactly when it's going to start, and when they start receiving it then the fees can be collected. So they should have had this planned ahead of time if they wanted to charge it now," Kim said.

"Should they be giving a refund? They so far have said they will not."

read ... Student Fees

State sticks with health-site contractor but Obama doesn't

AP: "The Hawaii Health Connector is continuing to assess and evaluate our technology needs," Connector interim Executive Director Tom Ma­tsuda said in a statement. "We are working with all of our vendors and partners, including CGI, to ensure Hawaii residents can continue to have access to affordable, quality health plans through the Connector."...

CGI's current contract for the federal exchanges will not be renewed after February, a person familiar with the situation said Friday. The person requested anonymity because of federal rules regarding the privacy of contractors.

Instead, the administration intends to hire Accenture, a major technology consulting company, to run the federal website serving 36 states. Hawaii and the remaining states decided to run their own exchanges that are the cornerstone of Obama's signature health care law.

read ... CGI Out

Hanabusa Joins House Democrats Breaking Rank on Obamacare Data Security Vote

CB:  The one-sentence bill says that no later than two business days after any security breach on an ObamaCare site is discovered, “the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide notice of such breach to each individual.” ...

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii was among the Democrats joining Republicans on the bill. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard missed the vote due to Army National Guard training.

KOS: ACA Security: Messaging Bill to Scare People Away from ACA Signups

read ... Obamacare Ranks

Indy Hawaii study downplays atrazine dangers, shows flaws in Kaua’i bill

KE: Last year, the Kaua’i County Council passed BIll 2491, legislation designed to restrict genetically modified crops while also targeting some agricultural chemicals, such as atrazine because of the unusual dangers they allegedly posed to local residents.

Now the state Department of Health has reviewed all the available environmental data on atrazine in Hawaii and found “no exceedances of health-based or ecological regulatory standards,” according to its report to the Legislature. The report clearly underscores the state’s shortcomings in monitoring pesticides within the environment. But it also reveals numerous flaws in how the Kaua;i County Council has chosen to address the pesticide issue on this island.

Read ... Kauai Electric

Faleomavaega Health Won’t Hold Up Omnibus Territories Bill

PNC: CNMI Congressman Greg ‘Kilili’ Sablan says a gentlemen’s agreement will keep the Omnibus Territories Act moving through Congress, despite controversy over Guam War Claims and the hospitalization of American Samoa’s Delegate.

Eni Faleomavaega’s office is saying nothing about his condition, after the long-time delegate from American Samoa was medivaced last October to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, and later, reportedly to a facility in Utah.

Reliable sources here say he needs “major rehabilitation.” Local media speculate he may have suffered a stroke,  and Faleomavaega’s office has not refuted that.

NJ: Faleomavaega's free 2012 trip to Taiwan

read ... Faleomavaega Health Won’t Hold Up Omnibus Territories Bill

Candidate says public should be told

T: Congressional candidate Tua’au Kereti Mata’utia Jr., believes public officials should share details that they can disclose about their health with those who put them in office so that voters are not in the dark.

The health of Congressman Faleomavaega and the limited information released by his office regarding his condition was one of the issues discussed by Tua’au during a press conference yesterday.

read ... American Samoa

City clears out homeless in Iwilei

KHON: So on Friday morning, city road clean up crews, along with Institute for Human Services social workers and police officers began clearing homeless out of the area....

"We call it the compassionate disruption. If we keep going back to certain areas where get a lot of complaints, those complaints occur because people repeatedly go back. I think it changes the pattern," Mayor Caldwell said.

KITV: The city's even hired an extra crew which conducts cleanups at all hours of the night.

read ... Force them into shelters

State Police: Marijuana Oil Labs Same as Meth Labs

HNN: Butane is pushed into the tube of marijuana and the liquid that seeps out is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for the effects of marijuana.   The oil is a more concentrated form of the drug and that's why users like it.  But the fumes that fill the air are volatile, and many people are hurt when the fumes accidentally ignite.

30-year old Rasi Summers of Kea'au died early this year after blowing himself up while making BHO. 

"We're seeing more and more lab sites," says Kamita....

Kamita wants law enforcement to treat BHO labs with the same caution as meth labs.  If the officers are worried about their safety, they should call in a clandestine team.

"It's very dangerous," says Kamita.  And because BHO is easy to make, he worries more young people will watch 'how-to' videos on the internet and give it a try.  

Kamita says for every person who dies making the oil, there are dozens of others who are injured.  He has expanded the training to include emergency room doctors and nurses, so they can spot BHO lab burns and injuries.

read ... State drug agents teach local police about BHO labs

Kauai Lobbying bill gets green light

KGI: A Kauai County Council committee approved a bill Wednesday designed to bolster transparency by requiring lobbyists to register with the county and disclose financial and employment information publicly.

The unanimous vote by all seven council members, who make up the Committee of the Whole, sends the bill to the County Council Jan. 16, as a procedural measure, for final consideration and public input.  

“This bill will help us be compliant with the other counties who have, in fact, established with the state the procedure of disclosures,” Council Chair Jay Furfaro, who also chairs the Committee of the Whole, said before casting his vote.

If passed, it would go into effect 90 days after final approval.

Jan 8, 2013: Kauai County bill would require lobbyist registration, financial disclosure

read ... Lobbyists

Caught in Undercover Sting, Man Fined $2500 for unpermitted Kayak Rentals

KHON: Officials say the Captain Cook resident broke a law that bans commercial activities in state parks without a permit.

The man was caught in November, during an undercover operation at Kealakekua Bay.

He was charged with soliciting customers to rent kayaks for use in the bay.

read ... Illegal kayak Rentals

Isle-based troops were among the casualties in a doomed mission retold in the new film "Lone Survivor"

SA: Hawaii isn't highlighted in the movie "Lone Survivor," but the sacrifice and service of military members based here runs through it before, during and after the battle and ill-fated rescue mission upon which the more than $40 million drama is based.

The Afghanistan war movie, which opened Friday, tells the true story of four Navy SEALs -- three of whom were based at Pearl Harbor -- who were attacked in 2005 high on a mountainside in Kunar province by a much larger enemy force.

read ... Bravery and Sacrifice



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