Maui Council: Please Protect Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers from Anti-GMO Hype Campaign
JSC Nominates Six for Hawaii Supreme Court
Committee to Hear Multiple Pro-Hunting Bills This Week
Three Bills Affect Future of Ag Land in Hawaii
Supreme Court Moves Shoreline to "Historical Evidence of Upper Wash"
Nominations Closing for State Water Commission
Community Meetings: Kapolei, Pearl City, Aiea Rail Stations
U.S. Supreme Court approves military exclusion from reapportionment plan
Monsanto Hawaii Announces Enhanced Community Engagement Effort
Kapolei soldier killed in insurgents' attack on Afghan base
SA: A soldier who called Kapolei home died Jan. 20 in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan from small arms fire when he was attacked by insurgents, the Army said.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli, 42, who was raised in Salinas, Calif., had dreams of retirement in Hawaii in four years, his family told the Monterey County, Calif., Herald newspaper.
Balli was a drone pilot and was on his third deployment to Afghanistan and had gone on two tours to Iraq, the newspaper said.
"From what we were told … it appears that his camp was overrun by the enemy. He succumbed to a stomach wound," his uncle, Tony Virrueta, said in the newspaper.
According to his unit, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany, Balli's home of record was Kapolei.
read ... Afghanistan
Halawa: UPW Prevents Drug Detector from Being Used
KHON: Sen. Will Espero, (D) Ewa, Ewa Beach, who chairs the Senate Public Safety Committee, says security has become lax, and says some officers are not being searched like they should be....
Sen. Espero also says there’s a drug-detection machine at Halawa that isn’t been used. The state says it’s been broken for years and using it on employees, or any kind of tightened security, needs to be approved by the corrections’ officers union, UPW. The state and FBI will not say how many more officers they’re investigating.
“Obviously, it’s been happening. We don’t know how much more there is. When we have things like this happen, when we arrest officers, I think they’ll tend to go underground,” Sakai said.
The state also says in recent weeks, two visitors were caught trying to smuggle drugs into the prisons. Sakai says security needs to be tightened with visitors as well.
SA: Searches at Halawa prison stricter since guards' arrests
read ... Halawa Prison
Espero: Cops Should Not Carry Guns While Stoned, Drunk
CB: Espero introduced Senate Bill 2590 that, if signed into law, would make it illegal for state and county police officers to carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication that can cause mental or physical impairment.
There’s currently no penalty built into Espero’s legislation. He said wanted a statewide policy that served as a bright-line for all agencies.
“My legislation was drafted after hearing that the Honolulu Police Department allows their officers to use discretion,” Espero said. “Discretion is what Christopher Deedy used and we all saw the outcome of that discretion.”
read ... Rules for Medicated Marijuana Patients on the Force?
Senate Committee Passes GMO Labeling Bill
SA: A GMO labeling bill passed the state Senate Health Committee on Monday evening but faces a tortuous path to get through the rest of the chamber.
The bill would establish labeling requirements, starting in January 2015, on any food sold in Hawaii that contains or was produced with genetically engineered material. Violations would be punishable by fines of up to $1,000.
"There seems to be the expression from the people of Hawaii that they'd like to know what's in their food," said state Sen. Josh Green (D, Naalehu-Kailua-Kona), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, which advanced the bill in a 3-0 vote. "I don't think it's more complicated for me than that, but I respect everyone's opinions."
Last session, the Senate held a GMO labeling bill that was approved by the state House, so the committee vote was a notable procedural step. But some Senate Democrats read the move more as a policy statement by Green than a sign that senators would embrace GMO labeling this session.
The bill — Senate Bill 2736, introduced by state Sen. J. Kalani English (D, East Maui-Upcountry-Molokai-Lanai) — has had multiple committee referrals over the past several days as Senate leaders attempt to manage both internal politics and outside pressure from anti-GMO activists.
CB: Food Fight: Hawaii Lawmakers Grapple With GMO Labeling
read ... Food Prices Rising
Star-Adv: Just Pick Lassner Already
SA: At this stage in UH development, and with painful past missteps still visible in the rear-view mirror, it would make sense to have a leader already familiar with the university system's strengths and challenges, as well as with the various personalities with influence over its future.
Also at this stage, five months after beleaguered M.R.C. Greenwood exited the president's office, the regents need to take definitive action to propel the university forward.
David Lassner, currently serving as acting president, certainly should be seen as one of the front-runners for the job, based on this analysis. Lassner's been with the university for most of his career and would bring stability to a system that has been rocked by various crises in recent months.
read ... Giving up on the process
Backlogged repairs at UH could be with us forever
Borreca: There is new evidence that the University of Hawaii's own maddening process of repairing the Manoa campus is not only not going to work, we may be condemned to forever discovering more repairs....
In December, the UH Office of Internal Audit sent the UH regents an audit reviewing the UH's current construction and repair and maintenance programs.
The study found that most of the work was done late and for more money than had been budgeted.
Also, UH most of the time can't "recover costs for consultant or contractor work product errors or delays resulting in increased cost project costs."
"Office of Facilities Management procurement process lacks management and monitoring guidelines as well as goals and objectives to ensure that the CIP procurement process is performed timely and effectively from construction initiation to completion," the audit said.
The audit listed 17 construction projects ranging from stabilizing the UH-Manoa quarry wall to renovating the women's locker rooms and expanding the Nagatani Academic Center at UH. Each project cost more than budgeted.
That was the rock rushing past you on its journey back down the hill.
The report finally concludes that the UH Office of Facilities Management does not "update building condition assumptions (adjust the remaining useful life of a building component such as a roof) or periodically validate historical information" in its facilities database.
"Accordingly, the reported $407 million in deferred maintenance backlog may not be accurate," the report said.
read ... Money for Mitsunaga
Molasses Spill Excuse for Frenzy of Legislative Activity
SA: "There are concrete steps that we can take now to ensure that this never happens again while we wait for investigations to conclude," Lee said. The three bills — HB 2620, HB 2622 and HB 2621, respectively — would:
» Update Hawaii's 1996 state report on oil spills to consider other potential contaminants "that we haven't even thought of yet," Lee said Monday. Some $234,000 would go to the University of Hawaii's Sea Grant College Program to complete the update prior to the Legislature's 2016 session.
» Establish a "coral reef and marine life conservation special fund," used by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, to help conserve and restore damaged marine environments. Dollars collected for violating the state laws protecting these areas would help keep the fund afloat.
» Set time limits to respond to any issues raised between the state and companies that lease its facilities, including those at Honolulu Harbor, "so that nothing falls through the cracks," Lee said....
A fourth bill, HB 2248, introduced last week by House Speaker Joseph Souki (D, Waihee-Waiehu-Wailuku), alludes to an "impending lawsuit by the state against Matson for damages caused by the molasses spill." The measure would provide the attorney general's office with an additional $1 million for expert witnesses in that and other "major" upcoming lawsuits.
read ... Legislative Busy Work
Senators pull plug on cooling all schools
SA: An ambitious proposal that would have mandated air-conditioning in all public schools within the next five years was shelved Monday by a state Senate committee, which instead opted to have the Department of Education study the issue and come up with a strategy.
Now, only 12 public schools — out of 255 — have central air-conditioning throughout their campuses, according to the DOE.
Corey Rosenlee, a teacher at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach who has led an effort to bring attention to the sweltering conditions in some classrooms, testified in support of Senate Bill 2559, which would have required air-conditioning be installed in all schools by 2019. The bill also would have provided $25 million for the first phase of the effort next fiscal year.
read ... No AC for DoE
Kauai Catholic Schools Celebrate School Choice Week
KGI: St. Catherine School’s eighth grade class visited the Kealia Beach lifeguard tower Monday to launch Catholic Schools Week.
Students descended the bus bearing cards of gratitude created by students in all grades at St. Catherine School, snacks of baked goods and well wishes for the lifeguards.
“Catholic Schools Week is celebrated nationwide with community service, fun and liturgies,” said Celina Haigh, St. Catherine School principal, in an email. “Our eighth-grade students plan the week, starting with community service Monday when the students deliver notes and snacks to firefighters and lifeguards in our community....
The celebration is highlighted Thursday during the Kamalani Park Day where St. Catherine School will meet up with St. Theresa School for a school mass and play day at Kamalani Park in Lydgate Park.
Related: School Choice Week in Hawaii to Feature 30 Events
read ... School Choice Week
Gallup: Hawaii Obama Popularity 61%
Gallup: Residents of 11 states and the District of Columbia gave President Barack Obama job approval ratings above 50% in 2013. Hawaii had the highest approval rating among the 50 states at 61%, while more than eight in 10 District of Columbia residents also approved. In three states -- Wyoming, West Virginia, and Utah -- fewer than three in 10 residents approved.
read ... Hawaii #1
Temps Decline During Four Decades of "Global Warming" on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii
CO2 Sci: Safeeq et al. report that over the longer 39-year period, island-wide minimum temperature increased by 0.17°C/decade, while there was no detectable trend in the corresponding maximum temperature. And during the more recent 25-year period, they found that annual maximum temperature actually showed a decline, while minimum temperature continued to increase. And they thus calculated that the trend in the diurnal temperature range (DTR) "shows a decline during the past 39 years with a stronger decreasing trend during the recent 25 years."
read ... Four Decades of "Global Warming" on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii
State officials hope the Pro Bowl stays in Hawaii after Abercrombie Opens Mouth
KHON: Visitors alone are expected to bring in more than $25 million.
“It does not take into account what the NFL spends, what the players spend, what their families spend, what sponsors and different people spend in Hawaii. So it’s much bigger than $25 million,” Hawaii Tourism Authority President & CEO Mike McCartney said.
A spot check on visitor-related industries discovered, for instance, The Cab revenue was up 45 percent from a normal Sunday. Sports Authority sold out of autographed footballs. Now comes the hard part — convincing the NFL to bring the Pro Bowl back to Hawaii next year.
“Our job at HTA is to negotiate the new agreement with the NFL and so we’re in active conversations with them,” McCartney said.
Several years ago the governor questioned spending $4 million of state money to lure the Pro Bowl to Hawaii, pointing out funds were needed for early childhood education.
read ... Pro-Bowl
DOJ: Portland pimps indicted, including suspect in Ivy Harris case
HNN: Ten men identified as pimps by the U.S. Department of Justice are accused of transporting women from Portland across the country for prostitution.
One of the suspects, Mark Miles Jr., 36, is accused of taking Ivanice "Ivy" Harris to Hawaii in May 2012 and May 2013 for prostitution. She was killed in May 2013....
Back in Portland, Miles is one of eight men charged with violating the Mann Act and the Travel Act by transporting women to Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho and Minnesota for prostitution. Federal indictments were unsealed in those cases Monday.
Prosecutors said Miles was Harris' pimp for more than 10 years. Prosecutors also said he had as many as seven prostitutes working for him in 2012, and bragged to an undercover agent about doing so well, he was able to buy himself a Mercedes.
read ... Ten Arrested
Hawaiian Telcom is blocking half of the world from calling - and won't tell you
K: Calling from Hawaii to the Maldives islands, and to Gambia, Nigeria, and many other countries, Hawaiian Tel will not permit and does not want to disclose why such action would be taken except to say it is due to security concerns.
read ... Blocked?
Kauaians Angered by Clayton Hee's Niihau Fishing Ban
KGI: Lawmakers in both the Hawaii Senate and House are pushing for legislation that would prohibit outsiders from fishing around “The Forbidden Island” of Niihau.
Kauai legislators, however, aren’t taking the bait.
“I’m against it, I’m against it, I’m against it,” said Rep. Dee Morikawa, D-Koloa-Niihau. “Nobody should be shutting down those resources when it’s for everybody’s use.”
Two bills — House Bill 1921 and Senate Bill 2125 — would make it illegal to “take, attempt to take, or possess aquatic life” within two miles of any island with a total population between 100 and 500 individuals.
With a population of about 130, Niihau is the lone Hawaiian island that meets the specifications.
The only exception to the bills’ prohibitions would be residents of the island, as well as individuals accompanied by someone who is.
read ... Fishing Ban
Bill 8: Homeowners Junk Subject to Seizure
CB: Bill 8 would also provide a mechanism for city officials to go onto an individual’s property to remove, destroy or otherwise get rid of the rubbish at the owner’s expense. The city would first need to obtain a court order before taking such action.
You can read the entirety of Kobayashi’s bill here.
read ... If they were Homeless, this would cause outrage