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Monday, February 11, 2013
February 11, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:12 PM :: 5372 Views

292 Candidates Register for Honolulu Neighborhood Board Elections—Deadline Friday

The First Amendment Is a Sweet Emotion

Chief Justice Delivers State of Judiciary through Social Media and Releases Strategic Plan

Gun Control? Hawaii Does Not Comply With Existing Background Checks

CB: Hawaii has been getting a bad rap in recent reports for not providing mental health records to a national database used by gun dealers to check on buyers.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System has one mental health record from Hawaii, and FBI officials told Civil Beat that the lone filing is likely a test record.

But officials with the Hawaii attorney general's office say they do give criminal history information to the FBI — and that the system will flag a person with a criminal history in Hawaii that bars him or her from purchasing guns.

Still, it's unclear whether Hawaii is sending all the mental health records that are required. And there's no one taking the lead to make sure that Hawaii is complying, interviews with several agencies suggest.

"Mental health records are a difficult issue, not just for Hawaii but for other states as well," said Liane Moriyama, administrator of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. "It's a broad brush as far as where that mental health data can be collected from and how it then gets authorized to be sent to this national system."

"It will probably be something that needs to be addressed legislatively," she said.

Records of civil commitments to a mental institution — such as when a court determines that someone is a danger to self or others and must be committed — are not sent to the database because of strict state privacy laws….

Hawaii was listed among the worst performing states, submitting a single mental health record, according to the "Fatal Gaps" report, produced by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors promoting tougher gun regulations.

read … Gun Control?

Mainland Gays Lobby Legislature to Change Family Structure

PP: The (misnamed) Human Rights Campaign is pushing forward (backward) once again to make sure that Hawaii’s legislature does the right thing and brings the so-called ‘marriage’ bill to the table tomorrow….

KHON: Same-sex marriage debate continues

Reality: Homosexual Rape Gang May Have Claimed 35 Victims at Blind-Deaf School

read … Mainland Gays

Soda Tax to Steal $37M from Local Consumers

SA: The Hawaii Legislature is currently considering two bills that would increase the price of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The bill proposed by the governor (Senate Bill 1085) would place a 1-cent-per-ounce fee on all beverages with pre-added caloric sweetener…. previous attempts to get such a bill through the Legislature have been unsuccessful. This year the tide has turned.

At a recent hearing, more than two-thirds of the testimony was in favor of passing the bill.

This fee is expected to generate over $37 million annually.

read … $37M Tax Hike

Audit: School Cafeteria Staffing Based on 48-year old Formula

SA: The review, presented Tuesday to the Board of Education's Audit Committee, concluded that school cafeteria workers were essentially expected to run miniature businesses on their own while following outdated and inefficient policies and procedures….

The school food services program is operating with conflicting, outdated and uncomprehensive policies and procedures, many of which are not consistently followed. For example, many cafeterias' staffs do not fill out proper forms for such fundamental operations as purchase requisition, inventory records and collections from individuals.

Some school food service managers are responsible for "conflicting tasks" in the purchasing process, from placing orders to receiving goods to maintaining inventory.

The School Food Services Branch does not review purchases as part of annual on-site reviews.

Staffing for school kitchens is based on a 1964 formula, and overstaffing was found. In the 2011-12 school year, there were approximately 27 full-time and 35 part-time positions that were unneeded, according to the audit.

Menu planning, ordering and inventory are all manual processes. Because many current inventory policies and procedures are not being followed, school kitchen staffs are essentially making decisions about what to order without really knowing what they have.

Full Text: DoE Audit of School Cafeterias

read … Another Day in the DoE

Hawaii Fishermen in Uproar About Cascade of Environmental Protections

CB: Hawaii fishermen say they are being pushed to the limit by a barrage of proposed federal and state laws that threaten their livelihood.

“It stresses me out. It stresses a lot of fishermen out, because how many other people have to fight to maintain their way of life?” said Makani Christensen, a commercial fisherman on Oahu ….

Christensen was one of a few dozen fishermen who crowded a hearing last Thursday in Honolulu to testify against a proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to list three coral species in Hawaii as threatened.

The listings are just one of several NOAA proposals that have fishermen worried. The federal agency may also expand protections for the endangered monk seal around the main Hawaiian islands and take more aggressive actions to help the species recover. NOAA also released rules earlier this month that will enforce a commercial fishing ban in the Pacific marine national monuments.

“There is a whole lot of stuff coming down that is relevant and important for fishermen to understand and that can be overwhelming,” said Charles Littnan, lead scientist for NOAA’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program….

Carl Jellings, a fisherman from Nanakuli on Oahu’s leeward side, said that fishing practices were “being eroded on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.”

“This is something my ancestors did 10 generations ago that I’m still doing,” he said….

During a question and answer session with NOAA, Ross went down a list of fishing practices, such as spearfishing and bottom fishing, asking officials whether any of them could be restricted.

But neither Ross or the other fishermen in the room, got any answers.

“The answer is going to annoy you, and the answer is ‘maybe,’” said Lance Smith, a biologist at NOAA. “Like all the questions, the answer is going to be ‘maybe.’”

read … Harassment

TMT hearing set for Tuesday

WHT: The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will hear testimony Tuesday at 11 a.m. concerning the long-debated, $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project planned for the summit of Mauna Kea.

Both opponents and proponents of the project will gather outside the Hawaii County Building in Hilo before the hearing, which will feature final oral arguments from the parties on the TMT construction permit.

Petitioners include Deborah Ward, KAHEA, Paul Neves, Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, Mauna Kea Anaina House and the family of E. Kalani Flores and B. Pua Case.

The hearing comes after a contested case hearing over a conservation district use permit. Hearing officer Paul Aoki concluded the case hearing more than a year ago. He then released his 126-page decision in November, recommending approval for what is planned to be one of the world’s most powerful optical/infrared telescopes following a decade-long construction project.

Tuesday is an opportunity for supporters and opponents from various vantage points in the debate to have the land board hear their oral arguments in response to Aoki’s report

2009: Thirty Meter Telescope Selects Mauna Kea -- Let the looting begin!

2008: Telescope: The Shakedown begins

read … Telescope

LUC converts one third of Grove Farm lands into IAL

KGI: The state Land Use Commission unanimously approved a petition from Grove Farm Company Friday to convert a total of 11,048 acres to Important Agricultural Lands….

The parcels offered include 10,303 acres just mauka of Lihu‘e around Kilauea Crater and 745 acres adjacent to the Waita Reservoir, near Koloa.

This equates to roughly a third of Grove Farm’s total land holdings of 32,996 acres and Haupu Land Company’s holdings of 1,652 acres.

According to Grave Farm, in March 2011, Maha‘ulepu Farm became the fifth entity in the state to seek the IAL designation, which successfully preserved 1,533 acres on Kaua‘i as ag lands.

During Friday’s hearing, the county of Kaua‘i’s Planning Department called into question the quality of soil, but Grove Farm executives noted that farming has long taken place on the lands and that the lands were sustainable for ranching and growing biomass crops such as various grasses and eucalyptus trees.

read … The rest can be developed

SB693: Install Red Light Traffic Cameras

CB: Senate Bill 693, which has a hearing Monday (Feb. 11) before three Senate committees … Establishes a three-year pilot photo red light imaging detector system program. Appropriates funds for implementation and operation of the program….

KHON: Proposal to install red light cameras

read … Install Red Light Traffic Cameras

HB980: Ban Use Of Electronic Mobile Devices In Cars

CB: House Bill 980, which has a hearing Monday (Feb. 11) in House Transportation … would … prohibit the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle, with certain exceptions, and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming, and emailing activities that take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road, and hands off the wheel. …

read … HB980: Ban Use Of Electronic Mobile Devices In Cars

SA: Use audit to find DMV's problems

SA: Most people have a horror story to share about standing in line at the city's Division of Motor Vehicles, Licensing and Permits. The close encounter with the DMV is a common experience in Honolulu and in most major cities — it's an agency where most people have to make an appearance at some point because most people have a car registered.

Into what's already a bureaucratic juggling act are now added new tasks, and it's clear that the DMV could use independent advice on getting things in hand.

So, unfortunate though it is that it's come to intervention, City Councilman Stanley Chang's proposal for an audit seeking solutions makes sense.

Chang's resolution, which will be heard Feb. 26 by the Council Parks Committee, would direct city Auditor Edwin Young to investigate the reason for the persistent long lines at the agency's various offices and recommend possible solutions.

read … DMV Audit?

Neighborhood Commissioner Fined $57K for Hoarding, Illegal Dumping

SA: ….at the center of the dispute is Manoa community leader Tom Heinrich, who has also stored items on the Hopena Way land. Heinrich said the two 40-foot shipping containers are being rented under his name "in contract for" Chang.

Heinrich, an attorney, until last month was executive secretary of the Neighborhood Commission and for years served on the Manoa Neighborhood Board. He is also a founding member of Malama o Manoa, which aims to promote community involvement and preserve the historic qualities of the valley.

Heinrich lives in the same rented house as Chang but declined to clarify his relationship with her.

He said he has been dragged into the storage dispute by neighbors who believe his community notoriety may bring some attention to the issue….

Chang's driver's license has been flagged, however, which means she can't renew it without resolving the issue.

In a statement, Jiro Sumada, acting director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting, said the parcel has no tax map key number, no address and no record of ownership….

read … Do as I say, not as I do?




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