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Saturday, June 27, 2015
June 27, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:18 PM :: 5809 Views

Hawaiian Homes Commission: Proposed Federal Rules Inappropriate

Mauna Kea: Ige Claims he will do Whatever Necessary to Keep Road Open

Hawaii Supreme Court: County Initiative Preempted by State Law

You Can Never Know What Plantation Days Meant From Google

Hawaii Family Advocates Responds to Gay Marriage Ruling

Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage may pave way for expanded gun rights in Hawaii

Hawaii 61% Against Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision

SA: 61% 'No' - "Do you agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage?"

KGI: Randall Ventula, 40, a resident of Honolulu who was on the island for work, is against the ruling.  “It’s just wrong. Inside you know it’s wrong, but I don’t judge anybody,” he said. “I hate it. It’s disgusting. If a man were to kiss a man … my daughter would look away. It’s terrible. People are going to do what they want.”

Ventula added he wasn’t surprised by the court’s vote.  “It was heading in that direction anyway, with (Hawaii’s decision to legalize gay marriage),” he said. “Now a lot of states are pushing that agenda, especially with the media and (the) popularity of gay marriage.” ...

Brandon Hatton, 40, of Lawai, said he’s unsure of same-sex marriage.  “I think that everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do, but I don’t know why they have to get married,” he said. “I think they should live together and have their benefits and what not. They can’t procreate. I mean I understand that they can adopt.”

Star-Adv:  Rep. Bob McDermott (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point), one of the Legislature's most outspoken critics of gay rights advances, predicted churches that don't embrace same-sex marriages will become targets of lawsuits seeking to remove their federally approved tax-free status as so-called 501(c)3 organizations.

"This march toward sexual immorality isn't going to stop," McDermott said.

Former Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who now is president of Hawaii Family Advocates, said Friday's decision undermined religious freedom for millions of Americans who through the democratic process have voted to preserve traditional marriage.

"Every American should be free to practice their deeply held beliefs about marriage without fear of being punished by the government," Aiona said in a written statement. "Today's decision threatens to create more discrimination and inequality than it (is) intended to solve."

Star-Adv: 456 new HIV cases were diagnosed in Hawaii between 2008 and 2012. An estimated 2,200 people in Hawaii live with HIV.

Imperialism: US Homosexuals Plan to Use Decision to Penetrate other Countries

Major ethics investigations underway at the city

ILind: Here’s a tasty little morsel buried in the background paperwork prepared for the Honolulu Ethics Commission’s meeting this past week.

…the Commission has 17 open and interrelated investigations involving 2 departments, 7 subjects and 45 – 50 witnesses. The investigations have absorbed hundreds of hours of investigative work over the last 10 months. However, it will likely take six months to conclude the investigations.

...Could the city administration’s foot dragging on ethics have something to do with these investigations?

read ... Major ethics investigations underway at the city

City Ethics Commission rejected staff concerns about restrictive media policy

ILind: The Honolulu Ethics Commission this week adopted a new policy for responding to the news media despite staff concerns that it is turns away from transparency, and will restrict their ability “to efficiently, promptly and accurately respond to media inquiries.”

The staff concerns were spelled out in a supporting memo accompanying an amended draft policy prepared by the commission staff based on past practice....

read ... City Ethics Commission rejected staff concerns about restrictive media policy

Altars to be moved out of roadway -- But only because Protesters Agree to it (And Media again barred)

SA:  ...protesters opposed to the Thirty Meter Telescope on Friday said they would remove two 4-foot Hawaiian altars, or ahu, that had helped blocked the road.

The 8-mile, gravel-and-paved road leading to the 13,796-foot summit of Hawaii island's Mauna Kea remained closed indefinitely on Friday following Wednesday's arrest of a dozen protesters, who placed boulders in the path of a convoy of construction vehicles and also erected two ahu.

Hawaii island police on Friday also were investigating a report that TMT protester "Mikey" Kalaemano Kealoha Makuakane Kahilihiwa Kaina had been hit by the sideview mirror of a TMT Toyota Tacoma security truck early Friday morning.

The Mauna Kea Visitor Center at the 9,200-foot level also remained closed indefinitely Friday.

It's unclear when construction of the $1.4 billion project would resume. A TMT spokeswoman had no comment Friday.

Kahookahi Kanuha, one of the protesters, said a group was going up the hill to remove the two ahu.

Media were barred by Office of Mauna Kea Management rangers from observing the removal.

SA: So the rocks were just 'found' there, eh?

read ... Altars to be moved out of roadway

Equal Right to Access Mauna Kea?

KITV: Camping is prohibited on the mountain. And although DLNR and the University of Hawaii say they have never granted permission, some native Hawaiians have been camping in plain sight at the conservation district for days on end. So under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, would another group be allowed the same camping rights? Professor Lawrence points out the so-called Mauna Kea "protectors" are operating outside the bounds of constitutional law. Charles Lawrence: "the protesters have never claimed that they're being allowed on, right? Their saying, 'well, no, no. Our position is that this isn't even your property, right? The governor's press secretary Jodi Leong said the state and UH are trying to respect the rights of native Hawaiians (but nobody else) to peacefully assemble and protest, and that's why Mauna Kea protestors are being allowed to camp on the mountain.

CB: Bring Back the Peace Beneath the Stars

read ... Mauna Kea protests are raising constitutional concerns

Environmental Court to Take Control of Hawaiian Rights, Sometimes Civil, Sometimes Criminal

KITV: The environmental court will handle a range of issues, from pollution to littering and controversies surrounding environmental impact statements. An EIS is required whenever a project is likely to have a significant impact on the environment and also takes into account social and cultural impacts on surrounding communities.

“I think Hawaiian rights will be an important part of the environmental court,” said Antolini. “Even though it's not explicit, it is interwoven in a lot of these cases, sometimes criminal (and) sometimes civil."

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald has already selected 22 environmental court judges for circuit and district courts statewide. The judges were selected, in part, because of their environmental expertise.

“Part of the purpose of the environmental court is to be able to collect the information that pertains to environmental cases, and collect the laws that apply to them,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson....

read ...  Suuurpriiise!

Monday is Deadline for Veto Announcements

AP: ...Ige has to let the Legislature know on Monday which bills he won't approve. There are more than 100 outstanding bills and advocates are eager to hear their fates.

Aside from medical marijuana, here's a sampling of what's still up in the air:

— TRANSGENDER BIRTH CERTIFICATES — The governor hasn't yet announced his decision on whether to allow transgender individuals to more easily switch gender on their birth certificates. Right now, they're required to have gender reassignment surgery to make the switch.

— SEX TRAFFICKING — The House and Senate unanimously passed a bill banning sex trafficking in Hawaii. The proposal calls for a victim-centered approach that treats those forced into prostitution as victims instead of criminals.

— AUTISM COVERAGE — Diagnosis and treatment of autism disorders would be covered by insurance for children up to age 14.

— ETHANOL MANDATE — The Legislature passed a bill that puts an end to a requirement that the corn-based additive be mixed into fuel sold in the state. The bill put the state at the front of a national discussion over the future of ethanol in gasoline.

— POWDERED ALCOHOL — Lawmakers passed a bill to ban powdered alcohol before the product went on sale in the state. The powder product makes cocktails and other alcoholic drinks when it's mixed with water. It won federal approval in March....

read ... Veto List?

Hawaii businesses blocked from health care subsidies until state finalizes eligibility process

PBN: Any new Hawaii businesses that have not yet signed up for Affordable Care Act qualified health insurance plans may be blocked from receiving federal subsidies until an eligibility determination system is put in place by the state.

State officials are working with insurers and the federal government to ensure there will not be a lengthy gap in businesses’ accessibility to subsidies, the governor’s office said Friday.

The Hawaii Health Connector closed its Small-business Health Options Program, or SHOP enrollment on June 15, and will no longer offer employer eligibility determinations for plans or tax credits on July 31.

To connect businesses with insurance in the Connector’s absence, the state requested and received federal approval to allow businesses to directly enroll with insurers, according to Laurel Johnston, the deputy chief of staff for Hawaii Gov. David Ige....

OM: What Are State Innovation Model Grants & How Are They Reshaping Care Delivery?

read ... Blocked

Countdown to Oahu's plastic bag ban

HNN: Oahu will soon ban plastic checkout bags. The city passed the restriction three years ago to help prevent plastic from ending up in the ocean. The new law is set to start on July 1.

Mary Roy supports the ban, but admits that she has been hoarding plastic bags.

"I think it's a good idea, personally, environmentally, but I think it's going to be real humbug for awhile, getting used to different types of other bags, bringing your own, that kind of thing," said the Mililani resident.

read ... Hoarding

WaPo: 35% of Hawaii Roads are 'Poor'

WaPo: 35 percent of Hawaii major roadways are rated as "poor."...  Drivers in Hawaii can expect to pay $595 a year in extra vehicle upkeep costs due to bad roads.

read ... Poor Roads

Homeless Harass Students at HCC

ABS: ...He said that his district, which is home to many Filipinos, has become a campground for the homeless.

A tent city of about 125 people has formed along the Kapalama Canal.

“There’s also a lot of activity with the folks that are living here – drug activity, illegal stuff. I felt it was important to have that law here, similar to that of Waikiki,” said Manahan.

Students at nearby Honolulu Community College stress how they feel unsafe when they park their vehicles near the tent city.

Manahan said that the city spends $15,000 a week on clearing these tent cities only for the homeless to return hours later....

Community members, especially the students at Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawaii, hope to see an end to the problem hopefully before the beginning of the fall semester in order to avoid further confrontations with the unsheltered population.

HP: Why Flying Hawaii's Homeless To Other States Is A Good Thing

read ... Fil-Am politician seeks answers for Hawaii's homeless

Study: Electric Cars Worse For Environment Than Gas Powered Cars

DC: A study published by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research found that on a per-mile basis electric cars were on average worse for the environment when compared to their gas-run counterparts.

The study concluded that on average per mile, electric cars were half a cent worse for the environment than gas-powered vehicles.

The authors of the study believe that this is an important distinction, especially when taking into account the federal government pays a $7,500 subsidy for every electric car purchased.

read ... Study: Electric Cars Worse For Environment Than Gas Powered Cars

Kauai Solar Farm: Industrial Eyesore Tipping Point

KGI: ...A solar farm under construction on land held in trust for Native Hawaiians is drawing heat.

Residents say the metal beams associated with the project that rise above the utility poles along Kuhio Highway have become an eyesore, giving this historically agricultural neighborhood the feel of an industrial park.

The beams and their components are part of the solar farm’s substation, which is needed to power the 12-megawatt alternative energy project.

“I think the last few weeks of development have become a tipping point for people with regard to the visual impact to the community, which they may not have envisioned,” said Anahola resident Patricia Hunter-Williams....

read ... Overpowering

Democratic Party Completely Dead in Marianas Islands, Obama sends Photo of Dog

MV: ...The president also gave Cing a token of his appreciation, a limited edition of a 2015 Presidential Commemorative Print titled “Balcony View with Bo and Sunny” which Obama said depicts one of his favorite views of Washington, D.C.

Cing said he appreciates the president’s letter and encouragement, adding that it motivated him to help revive the local Democratic Party which last won a gubernatorial election in 1993.

Beginning in 1997, the party split into two factions as its role as a major political group was gradually taken over by the Covenant Party which was formed by Republicans.

There were no Democrats elected into office in the last elections, and CNMI elected officials are now either Republicans or Independents....

read ... Paradise

Pilot program to eliminate 'invasive' fish species by electrocuting them

HNN: “The principle of electrofishing is relatively simple.  The idea is to introduce a current into the water and expose fish to the current so it effectively stuns them momentarily so you can collect them,” he said.

Blum has requested the Department of Land and Natural Resources a special activity permit that would allow for an approximately six month long pilot program. It would take place in twelve streams on Oahu....

The targeted invasive species are guppies and armored catfish....

Blum says special care will be paid to native species. 

"We're adding a cautionary step where we take the time, consideration and intensity to remove them by hand before introducing any electric current."

read ... Shocking Plan

Stop HECO Stopped: Lack of standing for group challenging state energy policy

IM: A group of individuals represented by Attorney John Carroll filed a lawsuit in circuit court charging that state energy policy violated state law. In particular, the lawsuit charged that the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) Energy Agreement was unconstitutional, the Public Utilities Commission's decoupling mechanism and competitive bidding framework were illegal and that the Public Utilities Commission unfairly handcuffed geothermal bids.

The Circuit Court ruled that "decoupling, rate issues, and policy-making falling within the special competence of the Public Utilities Commission." The court asserted that the issue had to go before the Public Utilities Commission.

Six individuals represented by John Carroll then filed a class action complaint with the Public Utilities Commission. Their application named the utilities, the Governor, DBEDT, DCCA and 100 John Does. The Public Utilities Commission  noted that it only regulates utilities, their rules do not permit class action suits and does not allow John Does. (Docket No. 2014-0191)

The Public Utilities Commission ruled twice against the complainants. In their most recent ruling the Commission noted a lack of standing to challenge the decoupling mechanism.

"The commission concludes that the issue raised by the Complainants here could and should have been raised either through active participation in the commission's 2008 Initial Decoupling Docket or the 2013 Decoupling Review Docket, and/or through a timely appeal of the orders rendered in those dockets. It is beyond dispute that the Complainants neither intervened nor participated in those dockets, nor did they appeal those orders...."

read ... No Surprise Here

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