SB: State Senate passes civil unions bill
Watching the debate was retired Associate Justice Steven Levinson, who in 1993 co-authored the state Supreme Court decision saying Hawaii needed a "compelling state interest" for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (Levinson fled the bench last year in advance of Cayetano’s book nailing him for his role in the Broken Trust scandal.)
Another strong supporter, Sen. Gary Hooser, a Kauai Democrat running for lieutenant governor this fall, said after the vote that "eventually the civil unions bill will be passed into law." (Hooser is an anti-Superferry protester whose campaign website cited the anti-Semitic 911 trooother website WhatReallyHappened.com as part of Hooser’s ‘regular reading regime”.)
REALITY: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature
ADV: Hawaii Senate passes civil-unions bill with veto-proof majority, 18-7
Maui News: Lawmakers say stage set for passage
Article quotes former cocaine addict Sen J Kalani “Powder nose” English, pedophile friend & advocate Rep Bertram, pedophile employer & hospital blocker Sen Roz Baker. And describes internals on deal in House:
…Fast forward to Friday, when the state Senate voted 18-7, which is a supermajority, in favor of an amended version of the bill that now allows both homosexual and heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions.
The amendment is significant, said South Maui Rep. Joe Bertram III, who was one of the bill's authors, because McKelvey has been lobbying behind the scenes for the change.
When reached by phone Friday night, McKelvey said he would change his vote to "yes" - now that civil unions are available to everyone and that seniors who remarry would be able to retain their Social Security benefits. Also, he said, the pending bill does not interfere with the state's definition of marriage.
McKelvey's switch would make the bill veto-proof and deal a blow to civil union opponents, including hundreds of church members who held a rally against the proposal Sunday in Wailuku. Civil union opponents have repeatedly publicly thanked McKelvey for saying "no" a year ago.
Gabbard gets court order against activist
State Sen. Mike Gabbard obtained a temporary restraining order yesterday against a gay rights activist who allegedly punched him at a traditional-values rally at the state Capitol on Sunday.
Ward Stewart, who is 80, was ordered by the District Court in Honolulu not to contact, threaten or physically harass Gabbard or visit the senator at his home or business. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1.
Gabbard, D-19th (Kapolei, Makakilo, Waikele), also has told police he is willing to press charges for the assault. He said Stewart punched him in the chest and tried to jam a protest sign in his face before he was subdued.
Assault described here >>> Rallies on Oahu, Maui, Kauai: 15,000 against Gay Civil Unions
Chief reassures public, says Waialae-Kahala beatings 'not a random act' (no, it is a predictable consequence of soft-on-crime policies)
Police reports today indicate investigators found dangerous drugs in the house at 1451 Halekoa Drive. Kealoha declined to go into details on what kind of drugs were found in the house or how much.
Officers responding to a complaint of noise shortly before 3:30 yesterday morning found 85-year-old Mary Lee Koskinen and her caretaker, 40-year-old Matthew Edmondson, severely beaten inside the house.
Court records show Robinson has six previous arrests, three for contempt, but no convictions.
He was last arrested in November on first-degree burglary charges after residents of a Waikiki apartment reported that someone had broken into their unit while they were sleeping and stole cash and a laptop computer.
Robinson, who was a suspect in several other Waikiki burglaries, was arrested after an officer viewing surveillance video recognized him.
A pre-trial bail report says Robinson said he was born in Florida but had lived in Hawaii since 2005.
Tough year tests resolve to hit priorities
State Sen. Gary Hooser, Senate majority leader, said his general sense is that improving public education, primarily through allotting money to eliminate furlough Fridays, gets top ranking among members of his caucus. Human services to help those most at risk in the current economic malaise seem to rise to second place in discussions.
(And apparently that spend and spend agenda is the closest that any legislator comes to declaring his intentions. No surprise here. Will GOPers field candidates able to take the incumbents to task for their arrogance?)
Political winds bode ill for future of Akaka Bill (1820, 2010 Massachusetts saves Hawaii again)
Although its author expresses optimism that the Akaka Bill will pass this year, the loss of the Democrats' supermajority in the Senate and last-minute changes to the bill that fueled objections in Hawaii may pose significant hurdles during this ninth try…..
(The Akaka Tribe got greedy and blew its chance to steal the Hawaiian patrimony for itself.)
Negotiations are under way among the Lingle administration, the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the offices of Sen. Daniel Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka aimed at trying to hammer out language agreeable to all (after going behind everyone’s back with the new language).
(Anyone who thinks those are good faith negotiations is a fool.)
House approval, achieved twice before, again is expected.
The difficulty remains in the Senate, which, already bogged down in health care, energy and fiscal legislation, now is reacting to the special election in Massachusetts, in which a Republican railing against big government, back-room dealing and special interests won the seat held for decades by liberal lion Edward Kennedy.
Blocked on $250M money grab, OHA goes for $200M
A bill introduced in the Legislature last year would have called for cash and land transfers totaling $251 million to be made to OHA to retire the debt. But that measure did not make it out of a conference committee.
Although the bill is still alive, OHA yesterday said it will introduce a new measure that would call for cash only and that payments be deferred until July 1, 2015. The proposal calls for $30 million, plus 4 percent interest, to be paid annually until the $200 million debt is satisfied.
GOP seeks to mandate 180 school days a year
House Speaker Calvin Say said Democrats also had introduced a bill for a minimum number of days at the request of a constituent from Maui.
"We'll see how far it goes," said Say, (D, St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise-Palolo Valley). "But overall, when you do mandatory instructional days, it mandates that we come up with the resources to pay for it, and that's the other issue that we have to address."
On job creation and the economy, Republicans pledged to oppose tax hikes and push legislation that would benefit small businesses, including measures to streamline the permitting process for "shovel-ready" projects.
Local Bloggers perk up on Djou campaign
Hawaii can bring Charles Djou to the House on the Hill. Yes!
The buzz is encouraging. Hawaii’s special election scheduled for May to replace the Democrat Representative (Abercrombie) as he runs for Governor of our Island State, Charles Djou is poised to be another Brown to upset the Democrat’s stranglehold in Washington. Councilman Djou’s political career shows him an outspoken, consistent and confident candidate, well qualified to shake his well known Democrat opponent in the special election. Djou may be a long shot, but so was Brown.
Panel's ruling on Lāna'i water issue questioned
In a letter last week, Lāna'i resident Butch Gima said the way the commission conducted a Jan. 8 hearing in Lāna'i City was "disrespectful and offensive." He said the panel's process was secretive and made it impossible for Lāna'i residents to know how commissioners made their decision.
Gima said no new evidence was provided to justify overturning a 1996 ruling on the aquifer….
The dispute stems from a requirement that Castle & Cooke not use potable water from the island's high-level aquifer to irrigate its golf course, The Challenge At Manele.
The company has contended that its water well meets the requirement because it is brackish, but Lanaians for Sensible Growth has argued Castle & Cooke is in violation because the well taps the high-level aquifer.
Central Oahu subdivision would create 5,000 homes
Castle & Cooke has asked the state Land Use Commission for permission to convert agricultural lands north of Costco in Waipio into its $2.2 billion master-planned communities Koa Ridge Makai and Waiawa.