Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Gonzalez – How Honorable You Are “Sir”

I noticed a US NAVY sailor today blindfolded and a young lady walking him around the hotel I’m staying and snapped this picture.

No... she's not pilfering his wallet... yet. ;)

No… she’s not pilfering his wallet… yet. ;)  HMT II Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez

I’ve now learned that they had planned to get married today and he was doing his part to make sure that he did not see his bride before they actually got married.  (How honorable)

Bills Providing More Legislative Access For Neighbor Island Residents Pass Out of Key Committee

Legislation designed to allow neighbor island residents increased access and participation in the legislative process was introduced by State Representative Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau).

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HB 358, relating to videoconferencing, requires both the House and Senate to implement rules to permit residents to present testimony through audiovisual technology.

HB 361 requires the governor, legislature, and judiciary to ensure public access to information, services, and proceedings of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The bill also authorizes the governor to convene a fair access commission to review public access issues for the neighbor islands and rural Oahu.

“These bills were introduced to help make it easier for neighbor island residents to actively participate in the legislative process,” said Representative Lowen. “Neighbor island residents have to fly to Oahu on short notice and at their own expense if they want to testify before the legislature in person.  For many people, that isn’t possible, and the result is that we don’t hear from them.  Advances in communication technology makes it possible to provide better access, and we should be doing all we can to put systems in place to make government as accessible as possible.”

The bills now move on to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.

 

Bill to Reduce Taxes on Interisland Flights to be Heard

Bill to Reduce Taxes on Interisland Flights to be Heard:

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WHAT:  The Committee on Veterans, Military, & International Affairs, & Culture and the Arts (VMI) will hear HB1128, which would exempt interisland flights from general excise and use taxes for sales of fuel from a foreign-trade zone.

WHEN:  Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 8:30 A.M.

WHERE:  Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 312

WHY:  Since the Superferry ceased operations, interisland transportation has once again been limited to air travel. This has coincided with a rise in fuel costs that has put the islands farther away from one another. This legislation would help reduce the costs carried on to consumers and bring the islands together.

WHO:  Rep. Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) introduced HB1128, which will be first heard by VMI. The Committee is chaired by K. Mark Takai, with Ken Ito as Vice Chair and Reps. Brower, Cachola, Choy, Ohno, Onishi, Takayama, Tsuji, and McDermott rounding out membership.

“This bill impacts everyone because as an island state we are extremely dependant on interisland air travel, especially in ensuring that the smaller rural areas in Hawaii are well served and have access to the other areas of the state for business, as well as staying connected with loved ones,” said Rep. McKelvey. “In these times of rising costs, we need to look at what we can do to benefit everyone and I believe HB1128 is a step in the right direction.”

 

Governor Abercrombie Unveils Early Childhood Action Strategy

The state’s early childhood action strategy, “Taking Action for Hawaii’s Children,”was released today by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Terry Lock, director of the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL).  The strategy focuses on improving health, development, and learning experiences and outcomes of Hawaii’s youngest children, prenatal to age eight.

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“We have a clear vision of providing our children with a safe, healthy, and successful start in life,”said Gov. Abercrombie.  “The action strategy prioritizes the benefits of early childhood development by recommending key partnerships and identifying desired outcomes to prepare our keiki for success.”

The action strategy outlines six main goals to achieve the overarching outcomes identified for Hawaii’s keiki, which include health and development, family support, access to available providers, kindergarten readiness, and learning proficiency by third grade.

“Our plan is inspired by a national, research-based framework that also considers the unique cultures and diversity throughout the state,”said EOEL Director Lock.  “This action strategy is intentionally outcomes-driven, and will help to create conditions of well-being for families and children so our young ones can meet their full potential.”

A critical component is engaging and supporting families, so they can be supportive of their young children.  Relationships between families, practitioners, and providers are key elements in implementing an effective early childhood program.

EOEL recruited teams representing public and private health, safety, and early care and education sectors that worked together since July 2012 to develop the strategies and identify the actions necessary to complete them.  To date, more than 100 individuals have been involved in this initiative.

Early childhood is a key cornerstone of Gov. Abercrombie’s New Day Plan.  An investment in establishing a solid foundation for the health, development, and education of the state’s youngest children is an investment in Hawaii’s social and economic future.

To view the action strategy or to learn more, visit the EOEL website at http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov.

 

Hawaii Could Be Elevated to a Tsunami Watch or Warning Status

4:57 PM UPDATE: 
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

 A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN CONFIRMED IN AREAS NEAR THE EPICENTER
 BUT IT SHOULD NOT AFFECT HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION 
ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED. 
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS ORIGIN TIME - 0312 PM HST 05 FEB 2013 
COORDINATES - 10.9 SOUTH 165.1 EAST LOCATION - SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS MAGNITUDE - 8.0 

THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED AN EXPANDING REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH FOR PARTS OF THE 
PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. 
AN EVALUATION OF THE PACIFIC WIDE TSUNAMI THREAT IS UNDERWAY AND THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT HAWAII COULD BE ELEVATED 
TO A WATCH OR WARNING STATUS.

IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THEIR ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL TIME IS 1004 PM HST TUE 05 FEB 2013