Flashback: Schatz, Baker Pushed to Loosen Requirements for Dentists
Hundreds of Youth Rally for Life at Capitol
National Republicans Build 'Campaign Mechanics' for Hawaii
Col Martha McSally to Headline Lincoln Day Dinner
Hawaii's $9,000 million Deficit, not $850 million Surplus
Abercrombie: $28.3M for NELHA, DURF, FTZ, HCDA
Meth Again: Feds Arrest Another Halawa Guard
The marriage of Marx and Freud
Longline fleets to lose millions with lower quota on tuna catch
SA: Hawaii Longline Association President Sean Martin, who was part of the U.S. delegation at Cairns, said he was disappointed with the commission's decision.
MARTIN said the commission is conducting an assessment of the bigeye tuna fishery this year, and the results are expected to be presented at its annual meeting in December.
Fishing industry officials said while the U.S. has complied with ongoing conservation and management measures set forth by the commission through strict monitoring and enforcement agreements, a number of other nations — including China and South Korea — either exceed quotas or do not monitor catches to the same level as the U.S.
Martin said in 2008 the commission set a limit of 204 for the number of purse seine vessels in the Western Pacific, but there are now more than 300. The U.S., he said, has kept its number of vessels to the 40 as agreed to in the 2008 measure.
"In addition, Hawaii's longline fleet fish is thousands of miles away from where 90 percent of the bigeye fishing mortality occurs, which also makes us unique in terms of our impact on the stock," Martin said.
(NOTE: Fisheries are the #2 local food producers after the seed industry. So naturally, longliners, like seed producers, are a key target of environmentalists.)
read ... Attacking Local Food Producers
HB1789: If a Molester 'Turns' Your Son, You Can't Turn Him Back
HNN: 'Experts' say the therapy attempts to change a person's sexual orientation. Therapists do so by "aggressive psychotherapy treatment," and in some cases use medicated drugs.
"The drugs make them feel nauseated to make them associate a bad feeling, nausea, with the photographs," Ashley Maynard, Chairman for the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa said. "It's an aversion therapy in that sense which is really shocking." (Or at least it makes sense to portray it as such in order to advance the gay agenda.)
According to failed LGBT activist Kathryn Xian, one of the drafters of HB1789, over a hundred testifiers have registered to address lawmakers during today's hearing.
Reality: Homosexual Child Molester's Alleged Victims Describe Grooming Process at Maui Pineapple Camp
HFA: Legislators Silencing Professional Counselors Free Speech?
read ... Molestation is forever and we've got the excuses and the degrees
Star-Adv: 'Bill of Rights' for homeless a distraction
SA: State lawmakers should swiftly shelve HB 1889, commonly known as the "Homeless Person's Bill of Rights," lest this measure divert attention from far more significant bills that would spur concrete action to help homeless people into transitional or affordable housing and educational and job-training programs.
HB 1889's core intent is important -- to ensure that we as a community never become so inured to the persistent problem of homelessness that we begin to regard individuals living on the streets as less than human.
However, the bill's broad and vague language on issues of employment, privacy and government interaction could serve ultimately to put homeless people in a special class of their own.
That would make it harder to pass community health and safety standards for public spaces that should be accessible to everyone, and undermine city and state laws supporting those goals.
Therefore, this bill should not be enacted, no matter how noble its aim.
read ... Sacred Cows
BoR to Skip Search, stick with Lassner?
SA: The search for the next University of Hawaii president, now into its seventh month, is shifting to focus on finding a local candidate and possibly forgoing the hiring of an outside search firm.
And that candidate could be interim President David Lassner....
At least one college dean has publicly asked the committee to consider appointing Lassner to the top post to give UH some stability.
Dr. Jerris Hedges, dean of Manoa's John A. Burns School of Medicine, testified at the committee's Jan. 15 meeting that Lassner could help UH through its current "crisis mode."
January 8, 2014: Cancer Center Plan: Another Dubious Expensive Band-Aid for UH Administrators?
read ... Local president sought
Puna: Aging Potheads, Sen Ruderman 'Excited' by Talk of Legalization
HTH: The president of the Drug Policy Action Group told about 75 people at a “talk story” session about medical marijuana on Sunday that it is “a very exciting time to be involved with” marijuana activism.
“The movement is happening,” Pamela Lichty told those in attendance, most of whom appeared to be 50 or older....
State Sen. Russell Ruderman of Puna, who was present for part of the meeting, said he was “pleased with the change of moving it to the Department of Health.” He said he thought moving the program from NED, a law enforcement agency, to DOH would help the state “to get away from some of these abuses … of treating medical marijuana patients as criminals, or associated with criminals.”
Of the 20 bills pertaining to marijuana introduced this legislative session, five pertain to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. One was introduced by Ruderman, who said that his Senate Bill 2429 is “not scheduled yet for a hearing.”
“Introducing a bill is a very easy first step. Getting it passed is a very hard process,” he said. Ruderman added that the bill has been referred to the Health Committee, chaired by Sen. Josh Green of Kona, and the Consumer Protection Committee, chaired by Sen. Rosalyn Baker of Maui.
“I’m not the least bit attached to my own bill,” Ruderman said. “If there’s a better one, I’ll support it.”
Ruderman said that bills have also been introduced to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana and for the industrial production of marijuana, which got a round of applause from attendees....
Lichty said the House of Representatives has been the hold-up in the past, but Ruderman noted that House Speaker Joe Souki said in his opening remarks this legislative session that it’s time for the state to establish dispensaries for humanitarian reasons.
“Our speaker, who is 80 years old and has a lot of power, said that this is important,” he said
read ... Good Subjects for a Lung Cancer Study
Peculiar Pakalolo Proposal Pitched
AM: “This is something we already know how to do,” said Cabanilla. “And the market is getting bigger every day.”
read ... Now With Puna Buds
Could Removing State Taxes on Food Make it Cheaper?
CB: A bill making it’s way through the Hawaii Legislature seeks to provide a small measure of relief for livestock producers by exempting transportation costs for milk, poultry and other meats from the state’s general excise tax.
It’s a narrow proposal that isn’t likely to pass, but it raises the question of what kind of burden the state’s general tax on doing business imposes on food producers and, ultimately, consumers.
“When you think about how much money it's costing to do business in the state, it really just makes no sense,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Jessica Wooley, who introduced the proposal. “We're shooting ourselves in our foot by applying this tax to this particular industry.”
Most states don’t tax groceries, according to 2013 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. A 2009 study from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities found that Hawaii was just one of 14 states that taxes food in some way.
Hawaii’s general excise tax is 4 percent for most counties and 4.5 percent in the City & County of Honolulu. Businesses pay the tax on their gross receipts, and the law allows them to pass on the cost to consumers.
The tax already has an exemption for the shipping of “agricultural commodities,” but the definition includes fresh fruits and vegetables and not meats. Wooley’s measure would expand that definition so that dairy products, poultry, beef, aquaponics and other items get similar relief.
She said the bill is mainly intended to help bring down costs for cattle ranchers on the neighbor islands.
It’s not the first time that the idea has been considered. A past version of the proposal sought to create a tax exemption for shipping between Hawaii’s various islands to allow local food to be more competitive with mainland products.
But the idea failed because of concerns that such rules would break the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause, which is widely interpreted as preventing states from discriminating against interstate commerce.
read ... Answer: Yes
Hype over Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill Sparks Legislation
CB: House Bill 2620, and Senate Bill 3016 allocates $234,000 to the University of Hawaii's Sea Grant program to update its document, titled "Hawaii's Readiness to Prevent and Respond to Oil Spills," which has served as the foundation for the state's emergency response planning since the mid-1990s.
The report would be expanded to include risk assessments, as well as spill prevention and mitigation plans, for a variety of toxic substances. UH staff would also update maps detailing critical facilities and marine hazards....
Another joint bill ensures that any fines or legal settlements from marine disasters go directly toward enhancing Hawaii's coral reefs. The bill sets up a special fund within the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources that can't be tapped for other purposes.
Lee has also introduced a measure that would ensure timely communication between state departments and lessees. It turned out that the Department of Transportation had known that Matson had a leaking molasses pipeline prior to the September spill, but that steps weren't taken to fix it.
Under House Bill 2621, contracts between state agencies and lessees would specify a strict timeframe under which such problems must be communicated.
Another bill, introduced by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, would ensure that operators such as Matson pay for all damages caused by toxic spills. In past months, Matson representatives have said that the company will pay for the molasses cleanup effort, but haven't committed to covering long-term environmental damages.
Senate Bill 2018 specifies that parties "have unlimited liability for all damages resulting from any spill or incurred by the state in responding to a release or threatened release of oil, hazardous substances, or unnatural or artificial substances."....
read ... Hype Begets Regulation
Kauai Co Uses Recycling as Excuse to Harass Businesses
KGI: One would require businesses to implement recycling programs that would capture and divert designated recyclables — paper, cardboard, scrap metal and greenwaste —from disposal.
“It’s materials that are easy to recycle,” Fraley said.
The other would require construction and demolition projects to divert 95 percent of designated recyclable materials during the course of the job.
read ... Worst Business Environment
Problems at College-Prep in Kapolei
CB: American Renaissance Academy, or ARA as it’s known, is a 7-year-old college preparatory school that serves 125 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 and costs about $13,000 per year in tuition.
Former ARA board member and parent Augie Tulba — a well-known local comedian also known as "Augie T" — told Civil Beat his experiences at the school haven't revealed any serious wrongdoing or mismanagement.
"It's a family-run school ... And when you only have one entity running things there's always going to be some kind of dissension among families, teachers, parents — it's understandable," said Tulba, who served on the board until deciding to devote his time to a new job last year. "The school is so small, people see things, and everybody knows each other's business ... But I'm a total believer that if it's not run correctly, it's going to slowly die." ...
Still, more than a dozen people, including the teachers and several parents, say the teacher accused of harassment is at the center of many of the personnel issues and the families’ overall dissatisfaction with the school. They wonder why she hasn’t even been placed on leave.
read ... Spins out of Control
Law allowing county lifeguards at state beaches could expire in June
KGI: Were it not for Act 170, the lifeguard tower at Kee likely wouldn’t exist, and the lifeguard who saved the man wouldn’t have been in the area.
Act 170 provides the county with legal immunity — except in cases of gross negligence — so that it can provide lifeguard services at state beaches. But a sunset provision built into the law means it is due to expire, once again, on June 30.
A number of bills have been introduced this legislative session that seek to lift the sunset date. County spokeswoman Beth Tokioka said ensuring that happens is a “high priority for all of the counties.”
“We will be actively supporting this measure throughout the session,” she said.
Senate Bill 2783, its companion House Bill 2234 and others have a simple goal — repeal the sunset date and make permanent the law.
read ... Law allowing county lifeguards