Roosevelt HS Shooting: Failure of Mental Health Care System
VIDEO: Hawaii House, Senate Republicans Join Forces
Reason TV: Is Hawaii's Anti-GMO Movement Really Just Anti-Science?
The Problematic National Security Rationale for the Jones Act
Six House Bills Address Failed Health Connector
Drop in Median Income Affects Affordable Housing Limits
P-20 Partnership Pushes 55 in ‘25
Panos: Household Electricity and Solar Panels
KIDS COUNT report reveals growing gap in reading proficiency of students
Full Text: State of the Union Speech 2014
Republican Response to State of the Union
Grassroot Institute: Obama Needs to Respect Constitution
Abercrombie: Obama Falls in Line and Echoes Me
Ige: Trumpets Have Sounded!
Legislature: Today's Agenda
Hawaii, Kauai County nearly 3% of population on Medicated Marijuana, Maui Co lags at 2%
CB: The Big Island has the most registered medical marijuana users, according to the most recent figures from the Narcotic Enforcement Division of the state Department of Public Safety, which is currently responsible for approving medical marijuana use. Here's how it breaks down, according to division data through last month:
Island -- Number of 'Patients'
- Big Island 5,131
- Maui 2,833
- Oahu 2,609
- Kauai 1,783
- Molokai 204
- Lanai 28
- Niihau 2
Editor's Note: % of population on so-called 'medical' marijuana
- Hawaii Co 2.8%
- Kauai County 2.6%
- Maui Co 1.9%
- Oahu 0.3%
read ... Where the Potheads Are
Farmers Denounce Maui GMO Bill
MN: Under the eyes of two Maui police officers in Council Chambers to keep order if needed, people addressed the bill that could require pesticide buffer zones, reporting of pesticide applications and GMOs in crops as well as notifications to the public about pesticide applications.
The testimony of 96 people ran all day in the chambers in the Kalana O Maui building and included phone testimony from 51 people on Molokai....
Those against the bill said it adds another layer of regulations for farmers, and that pesticide use is already being regulated at the state and federal levels. Some said that the bill unfairly targets farmers and may drive people out of business because farmers would be subject to buffer zones that could take away useful farmland and crops and require more stringent, unnecessary reporting.
Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chairman Riki Hokama recessed the meeting at 4:30 p.m., even though around 81 people were still on a list to testify. He noted that council members had other commitments....
The meeting is scheduled to continue from 9 a.m. to noon Friday in Council Chambers. People who've already testified will not be allowed to testify again. New testifiers will be accepted....
Tuesday's testimony came from farming organization officials, big company officials, as well as local farmers, agricultural experts and concerned residents.
Warren Watanabe, Maui County Farm Bureau executive director, presented the committee with 2,500 petition cards from Maui County residents expressing opposition to the bill.
During his testimony, Watanabe said that the measure would "regress our industry" and despite its preface that speaks to the risks of pesticides, it only targets agriculture.
He added that the "burdensome regulations" would threaten the viability of farms and ranches, and he said that with the county budget session coming up there is a chance to look at water source development, something that would help farmers.
"Spending time and resources on solving such issues will bring true benefit to the people of Maui in contrast to bills such as this, that have questionable intentions," Watanabe said.
Lynn Decoite, a sweet potato farmer from Molokai, gave passionate testimony via phone about her opposition to the bill. If the bill were to shut down island farms, Hawaii would still import produce that could be farmed in the same ways that people are concerned about, she said.
"What's the difference?" she asked.
She said costs for farmers would go up with the bill in place. She equated GMOs to immunizations and said if GMOs were banned then immunizations also should be prohibited.
"I don't have problems eating GMOs," she said.
David Stoltzfus, site lead for Monsanto's operations on Maui, said: "The bill's underlying premise that modern agriculture is damaging to people or the environment is false. It is built on fear and innuendo about pesticides and genetically modified organisms, without substantiated claims and ignores current regulation organizations and oversight."
He pointed to a recent memorandum of understanding Monsanto signed with the county that assured officials that the company would engage in safe practices involving restricted-use pesticides. The company also will provide the county with pesticide use and other information.
"This type of interaction is what is needed. Not draconian bills and legislation that are based on fear and lies," he said.
Monsanto's pesticide applicators go through extensive training and exams to be certified, he added.
He said its practice includes the use of pesticides to control weeds and insects and its practice to grow seed is no different than the growing of feed or food.
KITV: Maui GMO debate sees more than 100 testimonies; second meeting to be held Friday
read ... GMO bill draws testifiers
Leading Democrats Make Fools of Themselves at GMO Hearing
HNN: "Genetically modified materials contain poisonous pesticides as a part of its genetic makeup. It is designed to reduce the need for additional herbicides. The quantities of this poison has various reactions and side effects that could cause harmful or deadly results to sensitive people," said lied Juanita Brown Kawamoto, the Food and Farm Sustainability subcommittee Chair of the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party, during her testimony. (Yup. This genius is responsible for the Dems Farm policy development.)
"For many of us the science of bio-engineering is in its infancy (after 20+ years of consuming GMOs, Bart?) and the eventual long-term consequences of genetic engineering both to human health and to the environment cannot be predicted," described Bart Dame of the Progressive Democrats of Hawai'i.
CB: Hooser Jr Just as Dumb as Daddy Hooser
TO: Hawaii's GMO War Headed to Honolulu and Federal Court
read ... Stabbing Farmers in the Back
Kauai: Screaming Activists Disrupt Water Well Meeting
KGI: the aggressive crowd of more than 100 that showed up ran the show, forcing facilitators to shut down the meeting before it even started and sending a loud-and-clear message back to the DOW and its Board of Water Supply.
“You. Ain’t. Drilling!” yelled (anti-GMO activist) Louise Sausen of Haena, an outspoken opponent of the project.
Monday’s meeting was the latest speed bump in the saga surrounding the estimated $60 million project, which proposes drilling a 12,000-foot-long, high-elevation well in one of four locations near Mount Kahili. DOW says the project would allow the department to access high-level water, and that the cost of doing so would be made up in savings over the next 25 years....
“If you drill this, we’re going to prosecute you,” said (anti-Superferry protester) Dayne Aipoalani Gonsalves who said he’s the Alii Nui of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi (and has also been caught with fake law enforcement badges).
...Voices raised. Threats were made. At one point, Aipoalani jumped out of his seat and approached the front of the room, questioning who Zachary, Saiki and others really were....
To view the report or for more information, visit www.kauaiwater.org.
read ... Stupid Activists Keep Water Expensive
Hawaii’s low-income students struggle in reading
WHT: For decades, research has shown the importance of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. It’s more than a critical milestone; it’s a crucial marker in a child’s educational development, one that shows that they’ve transitioned from learning to read to using reading to learn. Those who don’t read well and fall behind by this grade rarely catch up. They’re more likely to drop out of high school and not be as economically successful in adulthood.
Even with progress, only 34 percent of fourth-graders nationwide are proficient in reading and the remaining 66 percent are not. When it comes to income, “the gap in proficiency rates between low-income and higher-income children widened by nearly 20 percent over the past decade and got worse in nearly every state,” according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report released today.
Background: KIDS COUNT report reveals growing gap in reading proficiency of students
read ... Elite Forming
HB1943 Big Fat Rate Hike
IM: On January 30, 2014 the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee tackles the rooftop solar conundrum. (Hearing Notice)
House Bill (HB) 1943 “requires the public utilities commission to adopt rules for improved accessibility to connect to the Hawaii electric system for any individual or business.” (Bill)
The Sierra Club and the solar industry will turn out in force to support the bill.
Life of the Land believes that the bill must be modified before it is passed.
Suppose that upgrades to the electric transmission and/or distribution grids are needed to allow greater penetration of rooftop solar. The upgrades cost money....Currently the bill favors a rate impact surcharge....
read ... Big Fat Rate Hike
HB1499 Seeks End to Free Speech
SA: House Bill 1499 is Rhoads' symbolic response to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the landmark 2010 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which held that corporations and labor unions can spend unlimited amounts of money on elections as long as the spending is not coordinated with political candidates....
State Deputy Attorney General Deirdre Marie-Iha said the constitutional amendment, if placed on the ballot, could confuse and mislead the public. "This measure, I believe, would create the impression that it would be effective in overturning or addressing Citizens United — which, as you know, is quite unpopular — but it can have no such legal effect," she said.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii and other good-government groups support the bill anyway, hoping state action might persuade Congress and the Supreme Court to revisit the issue.
The Hawaii Rifle Association and Hawaii Family Advocates asked lawmakers not to restrict political speech.
"Political speech is the most precious speech any of us can have, so please protect it," said James Hochberg, an attorney for Hawaii Family Advocates....
But Rep. Sharon Har (D, Kapolei-Makakilo), who said she agreed with the intent behind the bill, said it would have no practical legal effect. She also said it was "audacious" that lawmakers would introduce any constitutional amendments when the Legislature refused to hear a constitutional amendment on gay marriage during a special session last fall....
Rep. Karl Rhoads (D, Chinatown-Iwilei-Kalihi), the committee's chairman, asked "Mr. Franklin" several questions about the motivation behind political spending to demonstrate that a $100 bill could not actually speak.
read ... Rhoades, Belatti vs Free Speech
Hawaii Tops nation for Arrest of Runaways
SA: Hawaii has a history of arresting more runaways than any other state in the union, said Meda Chesney-Lind, a criminologist and professor with the University of Hawaii.
Despite decades of both local and national efforts to "deinstitutionalize" status offenders, or youngsters arrested for offenses that would not be considered criminal if committed by adults — most notably runaways — Hawaii still arrests a large number of youth for these offenses, she said.
KITV: 'Safe Places' to Keep Runaways off Streets
read ... Deinstitutionalization?
A Court’s All-Hands Approach Aids Girls Most at Risk
NYT: Girls Court brings an all-hands-on-deck approach to the lives of vulnerable girls, linking them to social service agencies, providing informal Saturday sessions on everything from body image to legal jargon, and offering a team of adults in whom they can develop trust. And while still in its early years, the system is showing promise.
Founded two and a half years ago and carved out of the existing juvenile court, the Girls Court is for young women considered most at risk, especially those forced into prostitution. It is part of a network of a half-dozen or so Girls Courts around the country, each with a different emphasis. The results have been promising: The court in Hawaii, a program where both parents and girls attend counseling for a year, has led to a marked decrease in detentions, according to a 2011 evaluation. The Orange County Girls court, which was started in 2009, intervenes in the lives of teenage girls in long-term foster care, with preliminary studies suggesting better grades and fewer placements.
read ... The New York Times
Dozens 'Inherit' Section 8 Vouchers
HNN: The state gets $25 million a year in federal money for the Section 8 program, which equals to about 2000 vouchers for Hawaii.
“As is right now, people can have family members and when they don’t need that Section 8 voucher, the one that’s living with them inherits it,” said Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi.
At the urging of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, the House and Senate introduced matching bills, which aim to change the state law, so that once the last original household member moves away, passes away, or no longer needs the Section 8 voucher, it’ll have to be returned to the state.
It would, however, allow the surviving children to keep the voucher until the last one turns 21, then they would have to give it back.
“To qualify for that voucher, you have to stay within a certain low income, so there is no incentive for the son or daughter to go and get a better job,” Ouansafi said.
The state knows of at least 50 cases of people inheriting vouchers, and the longest someone or someone’s family has had a voucher is 34 years.
“It was not meant to be an inheritance for life. It’s taxpayers money and we just want to make sure that it goes to the appropriate people,” Ouansafi said.
Both bills passed out of committee on Monday, despite having a few people testify in opposition....
There are currently 1,800 people on the waiting list to get Section 8 vouchers. So many, that the state stopped accepting new applications back in 2006....
People with vouchers receive anywhere from $600 to $2,400 per month for rent.
read ... Effort to tighten up Section 8 program
Legislators to Pour $487M down UH Black Hole
SA: "Repair and maintenance is something we need to get done," Choy said in recommending that House Bill 1654 move ahead. "This is not an issue that the Legislature should be attacking year after year after year."
The university's backlog totals $487 million across the 10-campus system, with the bulk of the work needed at the flagship Manoa campus....
Regents Vice Chairman James Lee said UH-Manoa is overhauling its facilities branch to improve construction management and add personnel to ensure the university can handle the influx of work. He said UH expects to complete an action plan by the end of March.
"We're doing everything we can to make this work," Holzman said. "We're the ones to hold responsible. Putting this other element in there just muddies the water. So hold us responsible and see how we do." ....
"This is not an effort by the legislative body to interfere with your management. This is to help you," Choy said. "I understand that you already have (a similar board). I just want to put this board on steroids."
The original bill would have added another layer of controls by creating an "oversight expenditure commission" within the state Department of Accounting and General Services.
But the committee voted to remove that section of the bill after hearing from state Comptroller Dean Seki, who testified that the bill "creates duplicate bureaucratic layers that will delay timely implementation of backlog (repair and maintenance) projects for the UH system." He added that DAGS would need about $250,000 to hire a consultant for some of the services the bill would require.
The Higher Education Committee voted 10-0 to advance the amended version to the House Finance Committee.
read ... $487M
Apple Tried to Fire Carbone, Faculty Backs Apple
ILind: Despite his apparent agreement with the reorganization plan, Apple confirmed to the faculty senate that he had earlier attempted to remove Carbone as director.
“I informed the director that I wanted to make a change,” Apple reportedly said, adding that his idea had been to ease Carbone out over some period of time.
The chancellor said he was “very surprised by the explosive reaction” from key legislators and donors backing Carbone.
In an unusually candid moment, Apple acknowledged that, in retrospect, he should have proceeded differently.
“I tried to be open,” Apple said. “It was a mistake.”
Apple told senators he should have just “gotten my ducks in order” and made an immediate change at the Cancer Center.
Summing up the situation at the center, Apple said, “there are too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Following the question and answer session with Apple, the faculty senate considered a resolution supporting the chancellor.
The resolution cited the critical role of autonomy and academic decision-making authority as key factors in retaining campus accreditation, and said the chancellor “appears to have been prevented from exercising his appropriate line of authority” regarding the Cancer Center director.
The resolution concludes: “Resolved, That the University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate decries any interference in the exercise of the Chancellor’s authority.”
The resolution was approved by a lopsided 51-7 vote.
MN: The best that money can buy
read ... Apple Takes Another Bite of Cancer Center Controversy
HCDA represents developers, not community
SA: Kakaako's state Rep. Scott Saiki has introduced eight bills to rein in — and even abolish — the Hawaii Community Development Authority....
This agency has been destroying our community — the way a rogue City Council ruined Waikiki in the 1970s — instead of implementing plans that "meet the highest needs and aspirations of Hawaii's people."
HCDA tells us it is all about community, yet operates as if Kakaako's current residents and businesses didn't exist. We're the missing "C" — "community" — in HCDA, which operates as the "Hawaii Development Authority." The authority helps developers maximize proﬁts by stuﬃng too many condos into Kakaako's 450 acres, most at prices locals can't aﬀord.
read ... Kakaako United
HB1582: Fast-Track Development Applications
CB: Hawaii legislators are considering a bill, H.B. 1582, that would speed up the process of getting new building projects approved.
The measure would require the State Historic Preservation Division to review and comment on proposed projects within 45 days or the applications will be automatically approved.
The proposal would also allow counties to contract with engineers and architects to review project applications....
Decision-making is scheduled for 10am on Wednesday in Room 325. If the bill passes, it will go next to the House panels in charge of consumer protection and finance.
Click here to see the status of the bill.
read ... Fast-Track Development Applications
C&C Still Pushing Lanai Wind Farm at PUC
IM: Castle & Cooke wants to justify keeping its proposed 200 MW Lana`i wind generation station in the mix of renewable energy projects being considered by Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Maui Electric Company (MECO) and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Castle & Cooke filed with the PUC a self-serving document that was written by AWS Truepower LLC.
read ... Exclusions, Conclusions & Illusions
First Wind plans to build three large solar farms in Central Oahu
PBN: First Wind, which has only focused on wind-energy projects in Hawaii, is diving into solar energy with its first plans to build three separate major solar farms totaling 82 megawatts in Central Oahu, the chairman of the neighborhood board where the projects will be located, told PBN.
Dick Poirier, chairman of the Mililani/Waipio/Melemanu Neighborhood Board, said the projects, being developed by First Wind Solar Group, will be located in Mililani, south of Lanikuhana Avenue, and in Waiawa, on the Diamond Head side of the H-2 Freeway.
The board supports the project, provided that the property used for the projects remain in agricultural zoning, supports compatible agricultural uses and that the project is decommissioned and removed within a year of the conclusion of the operation.
PBN: Oahu solar photovoltaic permits drop 30% in January
read ... Mililani
Hawaii Co 26% of Water Bills Past Due
HTH: Placing liens against property when water or sewer bills are overdue, and shutting off water service for past-due sewer bills were two collection avenues discussed Tuesday by the county Water Board.
The board agreed to push a bill at the state level to allow counties the authority to place liens against property. The bill, SB 3094, is being sponsored by Sen. Gil Kahele, D-Hilo, at the board’s request.
Water bill scofflaws are more than $1.2 million in arrears over 90 days, water officials said....
The department has no leverage to collect sewer bills, because of public health issues if sewer services were blocked, she said. Currently about 26 percent of billing addresses are past-due....
MN: Maui Co Water department will correct billing error
read ... Liens Coming for 26%
More than 100 learn Native Hawaiian law
Pentagon Concerned by China’s New High-Speed Missile
Roosevelt High students released early due to incident, school resumes tomorrow
HPD experiencing technical issues with 9-1-1 system
State to Pay Settlement After Hawaii Law Ruled Unconstitutional
Neiman Marcus Data Breach May Impact Thousands in Hawaii
Durbin Headlines Schatz Fundraiser
SolarCity deal with Brookfield Homes lets Hawaii homeowners go solar
Matson raised $100 million via sale of unsecured notes
Gabbard to hold ‘telephone town hall’ (Jan. 29)
Hawaiian Airlines’ fledging interisland subsidiary preparing for takeoff
UHERO: The Effect of Plan B on Teen Abortions: Evidence From the 2006 FDA Ruling
UHERO: Are Recessions Bad for Your Health?
Hemp growing going legit after decades-long ban
Williams trial could bring the first death penalty to Hawaii
Nine Hawaii soldiers added to Medal of Honor Roll at Capitol
Celebrating champions of civil liberties
Competing to be Hawaii's top microbe
Hearing set on Kekaha Kauai landfill
Kauai dairy farm funded by eBay founder's group to break ground in spring
4 senior enlisted counseled after 2013 chief-select PT fiasco
Tripler to pay $9M settlement for boy's cerebral palsy
There's time to take stand on Keauhou Bay mooring changes
An Environmental War That's For The Birds
Drivers say new safety check process slower
Civil Beat runs lengthy article on beards at the legislature
At Hawaii Legislature, Access Equals Privilege
Agencies seek ways to collect past-due bills
When Will Honolulu Fix Its Cracked, Crumbling and Uneven Sidewalks?