Governor Abercrombie Signs 10 Bills Relating to Criminal Justice

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed ten criminal justice-related measures (Acts 112 to 121) addressing sex abuse, prostitution, crimes against children, violation of privacy, domestic violence, property crime, human trafficking, parking violations and law enforcement misconduct.

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“As I said in my State of the State Address in January, ‘Crimes against our common humanity will not be tolerated in Hawaii,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “I commend the Legislature for addressing many areas of criminal justice as we work together to protect our citizens, especially our keiki.”

  • Senate Bill 2687 (Relating to Limitation of Actions) extends the period by an additional two years that a victim of child sexual abuse may bring an otherwise time-barred civil action against an abuser or entity with a duty or care, including the state and counties.
  • House Bill 2034 (Relating to Sexual Assault) removes the statute of limitations for criminal actions of sexual assault in the first and second degrees, as well as the continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14.
  • House Bill 1926 (Relating to Crime) amends the offense of solicitation of a minor for prostitution and the offense of prostitution to include sadomasochistic abuse under the definition of sexual conduct, including clarification that a law enforcement officer shall not be exempt from the offense while acting in the course and scope of duties. This measure also amends the applicability of a deferred acceptance of a guilty or nolo contendere plea and clarifies sentencing of repeat offenders and enhanced sentences for repeat violent and sexual offenders.
  • Senate Bill 702 (Relating to Child Abuse), known as “Alicia’s Law,” establishes an internet crimes against children special fund and an internet crimes against children fee of up to $100 for each felony or misdemeanor conviction. Fees will be deposited into the special fund, which will be used by the Department of the Attorney General to combat internet crimes against children. This measure also appropriates $62,500 into the new special fund.
  • House Bill 1750 (Relating to Public Order) expands the offense of violation of privacy in the first degree to include the disclosure of an image or video of another identifiable person either in the nude or engaging in sexual conduct without the consent of the depicted person with intent to harm substantially the depicted person.
  • House Bill 1993 (Relating to Domestic Violence) requires a police officer to make a reasonable inquiry of witnesses or household members when physical abuse or harm is suspected and order a no-contact period of 48 hours. This measure also makes the commission of physical abuse in the presence of a family or household member under the age of 14 a class C felony.
  • House Bill 2205 (Relating to Crime) imposes a mandatory minimum term of one year imprisonment upon conviction of habitual property crime and authorizes probation only for a first conviction.
  • House Bill 2038 (Relating to Human Trafficking) establishes the human trafficking victims services fund to be administered by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to provide support and services to human trafficking victims. This measure also imposes human trafficking victim fees to be imposed upon persons convicted of labor trafficking and prostitution offenses.
  • House Bill 1706 (Relating to Illegal Parking Upon Bikeways) sets a fixed fine of $200 for parking a vehicle on a bicycle lane or pathway.
  • Senate Bill 2591 (Relating to Law Enforcement), requires additional information from county police departments in their annual report to the Legislature of misconduct incidents that resulted in the suspension or discharge of an officer. This measure also allows the disclosure of certain information regarding officer misconduct in cases that result in discharge, after 90 days have passed following the issuance of the decision.

Experts Cast Doubt on the Viability of Hawaiian Nation-Building

The feasibility of both the state and federal push to create a sovereign Native Hawaiian nation was brought into sharp question today as two authorities with very different perspectives on the issue expressed their doubts as to whether either plan would come to fruition.

Hawaiian Sovereignty Sign

At a panel on Native Hawaiian issues sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and moderated by the think tank’s president Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., OHA Trustee Oswald Stender and former State Attorney General Michael Lilly fielded questions about the need to help Native Hawaiians, the justifications for Hawaiian sovereignty, and the probable results of the nation-building efforts.

Trustee Stender stressed the importance of providing Native Hawaiians with the tools necessary to improve their quality of life–especially in education and economic advancement. Stressing his belief that it was important to allow the people to determine whether they wished to form a Hawaiian nation, he expressed his private doubts as to whether it was practical or even likely to happen.  Trustee Stender clarified that his comments on the panel were not on behalf of the OHA Trustee board, but as a private individual.

Former AG Lilly agreed with Mr. Stender that there is a real value to organizations like OHA in their potential to help Native Hawaiians, but found the millions spent pursuing the Akaka Bill and nation-building process to be, “wasteful.” In addition, Mr. Lilly questioned the historical grounds for a race-based Hawaiian nation, pointing out that his own background (his ancestors were citizens of the Kingdom of Hawaii and loyalists to the Queen) highlights the inherent contradiction in creating a tribe from what was formerly a multi-racial government.

In reference to the effort by the Department of the Interior to recognize a Native Hawaiian government via administrative rule, Mr. Lilly noted that, “There never was a Hawaiian tribe with whom the United States entered into a treaty relationship. If there was such a tribe, then all the multi-ethnic peoples who were citizens of the Hawaiian Monarchy would be members of that tribe.  For the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a ‘tribe’ is a political and not a racial entity. The current effort to recognize a separate ethnic tribe by the Dept. of the Interior is unconstitutional because, under the Constitution, it is the Congress that has the plenary power to recognize tribes and ratify treaties. That power does not reside in the Executive branch of the federal government or with the various states. So the current effort aimed at creating a tribe of Hawaiians has no legal basis.” He then went on to express doubt that there exists sufficient support even among Native Hawaiians for the DOI’s effort to succeed.

Trustee Stender agreed with Mr. Lilly that pursuit of a “another government” is a waste of valuable financial resources that could be better used to meet the needs of Hawaiians.  He also expressed frustration that the federal discussion of Hawaiians as a tribe unnecessarily confuses the basic issue of protecting entitlements for Native Hawaiians, an issue unrelated to creating a tribe or government.

“Time and again, we see evidence that the nation-building process reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what both Native Hawaiians and the citizens of this state really want,” stated Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “We look to recognize the contributions of Native Hawaiians and demonstrate our respect for that culture. And we wish to help Native Hawaiians succeed, as we do with all citizens of Hawaii. However, the support simply isn’t there for the creation of divisive, race-based government. It is unconstitutional and counter to the spirit and history of our islands.  The money, time and energy spent pursuing political sovereignty could be better spent improving education and economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians. It is time that the federal government and the state stop trying to strong-arm us into supporting an unconstitutional Hawaiian nation and accept that there are better ways to advance the interests of the people of Hawaii.”

Puna Couple Busted for Growing Large Quantities of Marijuana

A Puna man and woman are in police custody after police recovered large quantities of marijuana at their home in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.
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At 11:55 a.m. Friday (June 19) Vice Section officers served a search warrant at a home on the 15-1900 block of 31st Avenue. They recovered 674 marijuana plants ranging in height from 6 inches to 4 feet, 80 clones, and 6.94 pounds of dried marijuana.

Police arrested 62-year-old Cyra Kalama-Lopez at the scene. She was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation. Several hours later, her husband, David Lopez, turned himself in at the Hilo police station. Both remain at the cellblock pending further investigation into possible charges of commercial promotion of marijuana.

Hawaii Passes Revenge Porn Bill – Becomes 10th State in Nation to Enact Legislation

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi) the author of HB1750, Hawaii’s “revenge porn” bill, provided, “Prior to the convening of the 2014 legislative session only two states, California and New Jersey, had “revenge porn” laws.

HB 1750

Today Hawaii became the 10th State in the nation to have this legislation enacted. (Source National Conference of State Legislatures).  I looked at California’s revenge porn law as a blueprint, however, we crafted our law to be stronger against the perpetrator. California’s crime for distributing unconsented nude or sexual photos or videos of another person is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine; Hawaii’s revenge porn law makes it a Class C felony, up to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.”

Revenge porn occurs where the depicted person initially agrees to the photographs or video, often in the context of a romantic relationship, only to have one partner distribute those nude or sexually graphic images via photos or on the internet after the relationship ends. This law will criminalize the perpetrator from distributing sexually explicit pictures that were intended to be private.

Mizuno states, “This newly enacted law will make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented, with the intent to harm the depicted person, with respect to that person’s health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationships.  With technology comes different crimes; today Hawaii will have passed a very important and progressive piece of legislation to address a crime that was unforeseeable years ago and criminalize such offensive crimes.  The fact that we made it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, is extremely tough on this sort of crime.”

Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images on the internet with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and places that person at significant risk in terms of her (his) safety, reputation, physical and mental health. At times this form of cyber bullying may cause the person to commit suicide.”  Please note news articles on the 15-year old girl in California who committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “Today the State of Hawaii will have enacted a law which makes it a felony for perpetrators to post unconsented nude or sexual photos of another person on the internet.  There is not one scintilla of doubt this new law will save lives.”

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Updating Hawaii’s Emergency Management Laws

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 849 (Act 111), a measure that updates the state’s emergency management statues, including clarification of the relationship between state and county emergency management agencies and the emergency management functions and powers of the governor and mayors.

hb849

The bill was introduced in the 2013 legislative session and updates laws more than 60 years old that were primarily focused on nuclear attack and civil unrest.

“This measure will ensure that the state is better prepared for all catastrophic events, both natural and manmade, in safeguarding the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition, this act will better integrate state and county disaster response planning and reorganizes the authorities and responsibilities of government leaders, providing the public with increased clarity during difficult and uncertain circumstances.”

The signing of this bill also changes the name of State Civil Defense to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Hawaii was the last state to retain the use of civil defense in reference to its emergency management agency. This change brings Hawaii in line with modern best practices and updates the outdated language and references used in prior statutes.

Act 111 also establishes an Emergency Reserve Corps and authorizes the 24/7 State Warning Point, both critical increases in the state’s readiness to respond to hazards. It does not significantly change the governor’s emergency powers, but it does vest county mayors with emergency authorities independent of the state emergency management structure.

Governor Abercrombie Signs 5 Bills Relating to Energy

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed five energy-related measures (Acts 106 to 110) that address solar energy device warranties or guarantees, the energy systems development fund, the Public Utilities Commission, modernization of the electric grid and a car-sharing vehicle surcharge tax.

Energy Bills

“We spend billions of dollars a year on imported oil,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Let’s keep our money within the state by investing in clean, renewable energy development that will reduce carbon emissions in the process, helping to mitigate climate change. These bills are critical to Hawaii’s future and demonstrate our commitment to a more sustainable state for our residents.”

Senate Bill 2657 (Relating to Renewable Energy) requires contractors installing solar energy devices to notify private entities that installation may void roofing warranties or guarantees and to obtain written approval and follow written instructions for waterproofing roof penetrations from the roof manufacturer, unless the private entity forgoes the roofing warranty or guarantee. The measure also requires a roofing contractor that waterproofs roof penetrations related to the installation of a solar energy device to honor the roof warranty or guarantee.

Senate Bill 2196 (Relating to Energy) reestablishes the energy systems development special fund that was repealed on June 30, 2013. The measure also extends the allocation of revenues collected from the environmental response, energy and food security tax, also known as the “barrel tax,” to various special funds from 2015 to 2030.

Senate Bill 2948 (Relating to the Public Utilities Commission) transfers the administrative placement of the Commission from the Department of Budget and Finance to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and clarifies its authority to concerning standard administrative practices, including operational expenditures and hiring personnel. The measure also enables the commission chair to appoint, employ and dismiss an executive, fiscal and personnel officer.

House Bill 1943 (Modernization of the Hawaii Electric System) amends the Public Utilities Commission principles regarding the modernization of the electric grid.

Senate Bill 2731 (Relating to a Car-sharing Vehicle Surcharge Tax) establishes a car-sharing vehicle surcharge tax.

Big Island Police Reclassify Womans Death Three Years Ago to Murder

Police have reclassified a death that occurred three year ago from a coroner’s inquest case to a murder.

On September 20, 2011, police were called to a Wainaku residence for a report of a woman found lifeless in the laundry room area of the home.

Sommer Ferreira

Sommer Ferreira

Upon arrival, police discovered the body of 20-year-old Sommer Ferreira. An initial inquiry was conducted into the cause of her death. Based on the circumstances at the time of the incident, no foul play was suspected.

After receiving recent information about the death, detectives reopened the case and conducted further investigation. A suspect has been identified, and the case has been routed to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for further review and disposition.

Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is Back

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular Remote-Control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is back and it’s bigger than ever, Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There will be music, food, drinks, retail and entertainment booths and exhibits, and lots and lots of airplanes.

biggest 4For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying and static aircraft and full size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, and open access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and Restoration Shop.

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Talented local performers, Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and remote control flyers from Japan will perform remote-control aviation feats for two days. Airshow pilots will fly their massive, 1-to-5 scale planes in the skies above the Museum. Specialty acts to be performed include: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. There will be remote control aircraft in the air and on static display, including jets, helicopters, F-22s, warbirds, B-17s, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s and more.

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Visitors can also enjoy free tours of Hangar 79, which still bears the bullet holes of the December 7, 1941attack. Inside, guests will see helicopters, fighter planes, and the Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop–the 1941 machine shop that is busy restoring the Museum’s aircraft. They’ll also get up close and personal with an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-86s, P-40, MiG-15, F-111, and the Museum’s “MiG Alley” and Flying Tigers Exhibits.

biggest 3Admission to the Airshow is $5 per person (including entry to Hangar 79), $15 per family (limit 6 entries per family). It’s free with Museum general admission and free to Museum Members. Tickets for the Airshow only and tickets for the entire Museum visit that day are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Museum admissions may also be purchased at the Museum and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing desk. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes, 7:30am to 5:00pm from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, round trip to the Museum. Call 808/441-1007 for more information or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and @PacificAviation on Twitter, for updates.

This is a City & County of Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism Authority sponsored event. Sponsored in part by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Yelp, Pearlridge Center, Mokulele Airlines, Pizza Hut, Aqua Hospitality, and Hawaii Gas. Sponsors and vendors are invited to participate by calling 808-441-1013.

Keiki Volleyball Players Sought for Hilo Teams

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites keiki to sign up for youth volleyball programs offered at Hilo’s Waiākea-Uka Gymnasium.

HI PAL Volleyball players

HI PAL Volleyball players

Boys 7 to 14 years old and girls 7 to 10 years old can play in the Department of Parks and Recreation’s youth volleyball league that starts in September.

Registration opens July 22 at Waiākea-Uka Gymnasium. Space is limited to two teams. A modest fee will be collected to pay for uniforms, awards and other program expenses.

To register or learn more about the upcoming keiki volleyball programs at Waiākea-Uka Gymnasium, please call Coach Mark Osorio at 959-9474.

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bills in Support of Agriculture

Joined by Board of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright, legislators and Hawaii agriculture industry stakeholders, Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday signed six agriculture and land-related measures into law that address agricultural enterprises, invasive species, the makeup of the state Land Board, and clarifications to the agricultural cost tax credit. Ag Bill Signing

“Agriculture is a crucial component of our state’s sustainability, essential to keeping our dollars here in Hawaii and supporting thriving rural communities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These bills are important for the defense of our unique ecosystem, natural resources and economy. It is also our duty to care and protect the land beneath our feet, which gives us life and defines our culture.”

Click here for the list of bills

After signing what are now Acts 100 through 105, the Governor proclaimed June 16-22, 2014, “Pollinator Week in Hawaii,” coinciding with National Pollinator Week. The observance is held to promote awareness of valuable crop pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, beetles, ants and flies, with benefits ranging from crop pollination to ensuring healthy watershed.

Since 2010, the Abercrombie Administration has built a substantial record of achievement in support of agriculture and the people of Hawaii. Learn more about these and other accomplishments here.

 

USS Ronald Reagan, Carrier Air Wing Two to Participate in RIMPAC

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing Two departed from the Southern California operating area June 18 to participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

USS Ronald Reagan

USS Ronald Reagan

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise and serves as a unique training opportunity for participating countries to foster and sustain the cooperative relationships and interoperability that are critical to ensure security on the world’s oceans.

Inside the Ronald Reagan Room

Reagan and its embarked Carrier Strike Group Nine command staff will work with 46 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 23 nations to exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

“RIMPAC has a long, rich tradition dating back to 1971, so we’re incredibly excited to be participating in this important international exercise,” said Capt. Christopher Bolt, Reagan’s commanding officer. “Every opportunity we have to strengthen relations with our partner countries and exercise cooperative efforts allows us to improve the way in which we provide safety and security for the world’s sea lanes.”
USS Ronald Reagan Commanders Coin
Reagan last participated in the RIMPAC exercise series in 2010.

Details of RIMPAC activities and imagery are available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014.