Hawaii Joins “We are Still In” Coalition in Support of Paris Climate Agreement

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Hawaii Governor David Ige and Attorney General Doug Chin joined forces with governors, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.

Attorney General Doug Chin

Attorney General Chin said, “I am proud to stand beside both Governor Ige and many of my fellow attorneys general as a signatory to the “We are Still In” Coalition. Climate change is of unique importance to our island state, and I will be working with my fellow attorneys general to find ways to act effectively, even when the federal government won’t.”

In addition to Attorney General Chin, other state attorneys general joining the coalition today include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

President Trump announced on June 1 that the United States would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016. The signatories to the “We are Still In” coalition, today released the following statement:

“We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits. 

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

The Paris Climate Agreement requires participating countries to limit global warming to well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from preindustrial levels and encourages them to pursue efforts to keep temperature increases to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The “We Are Still In” coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country’s exit from the agreement the United States will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Delegation Calls For Department of Homeland Security to Halt Deportation of Kailua-Kona Farmer, Andres Magana Ortiz

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and the Hawaii congressional delegation today called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt their impending action to deport Mr. Andres Magana Ortiz of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. In a letter to DHS Secretary Kelly, Hawaii’s congressional delegation requested that the Department reverse its decision to act on a Final Order of Removal to deport Mr. Ortiz based on his attempt to gain legal status through his wife who is a U.S. citizen and his upstanding reputation living in Hawaii for over 28 years as a coffee farmer, business owner, taxpayer, and husband and father.

“Today we call on the Department of Homeland Security to suspend its order to deport Andres Magana Ortiz, and instead allow him to continue on his pathway towards legal status. Mr. Ortiz is an upstanding member of society in Hawaii and embodies the values that we embrace as Americans – hard work, family, and community. The deportation laws facing Mr. Ortiz were designed for dangerous criminals who pose a threat to our society; not law-abiding contributing members of our community. I hope Secretary Kelly will do everything in his power to halt Mr. Ortiz’s deportation proceedings,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

FULL LETTER:

Dear Secretary Kelly:

We are writing to request that your Department exercise its prosecutorial discretion and re-evaluate the request for a stay of removal for Mr. Andres Magana Ortiz of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We believe the particular circumstances of Mr. Magana Ortiz’ case merits the extraordinary grant of a stay.  Mr. Magana Ortiz is currently in the process of adjusting to legal status on the basis of his wife’s citizenship.  In other words, he is trying to do the right thing. Mr. Magana Ortiz is an upstanding member of our community and does not belong in the category of dangerous individuals who should be prioritized for deportation.  In fact, during his immigration proceedings, the government itself conceded that Mr. Magana Ortiz possesses good moral character.

We agree that persons that pose a threat to national security and public safety should be a priority for deportation proceedings. However, Mr. Magana Ortiz poses no such threat to national security or public safety and therefore should not be a priority for removal. Rather, it is in our national interest for Mr. Magana Ortiz to remain in the United States where he can continue to work, pay taxes, and raise his family.

The Department has the authority under 8 CFR 241.6 to issue an administrative stay of removal—essentially, to decide whether to keep families together or tear them apart—and in 2014 Mr. Magana Ortiz received a stay. At that time, presumably the Department found his arguments compelling and consistent with federal law, which has not changed. He filed subsequent stays, one of which was not acted upon by the Department, and another that was denied in March of this year. As a result of this denial, Mr. Magana Ortiz received a Final Order of Removal and has been ordered to report to ICE for deportation on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

The Department’s most recent denial wastes the government’s time and resources on proceedings for an individual who poses no threat to our nation, while a parallel proceeding that could resolve the issue remains open. In 2015, Mr. Magana Ortiz’s wife filed an I-130 Relative Petition for Alien Relative. According to the District Court’s record, this petition was filed in September of 2015 but receipt had not been acknowledged by the Department until March 29, 2016. Given that this avenue is still open and unresolved and has taken what appears to be an extraordinarily long time, we fail to see the value in the Department’s aggressive approach to Mr. Magana Ortiz’s deportation.

In his concurring opinion to the denial of the motion, Judge Stephen Reinhardt noted that Mr. Magana Ortiz entered the United States from Mexico in 1989, at the age of fifteen, and has since built a house, started his own business, paid taxes, married a U.S. citizen, and had three U.S. citizen children. He wrote that Mr. Magana Ortiz is by all accounts “a pillar of his community and a devoted father and husband.” Judge Reinhardt further stated that deportation would deprive Mr. Magana Ortiz’ children of a parent and source of financial support, and possibly of a home and an opportunity for education, unless they follow him to Mexico, a country where they have never lived, and where they do not speak the language.

The Department has the power to keep this family together, or to break them apart. Given the urgent nature of Mr. Magana Ortiz’ situation, we request that you exercise prosecutorial discretion by granting a stay of relief.  In addition, we ask that you expedite review of his wife’s I-130 petition.

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.

8 Additional Mumps Cases Reported in Hawaii – Outbreak Continues

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed eight (8) additional cases of Oahu residents with mumps bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to 89. The recently confirmed cases include children and adults. None of the individuals required hospitalization and all have recovered or are recovering.

The department expects to see more cases of mumps in Hawaii as the viral disease is highly contagious and circulating on Oahu. Information on case numbers is updated regularly at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

The DOH is recommending all adults born in or after 1957, without evidence of immunity to mumps, who cannot verify previous MMR vaccination, should receive at least one MMR vaccine dose. Individuals with only one documented MMR dose, are strongly encouraged to consider receiving a second MMR vaccine dose.

MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies across the state. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccines-immunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps and the ongoing investigation can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/department-of-health-investigating-mumps-cases/.

Hawaii Department of Health Receives $3.04 Million Federal Grant for Treatment of Adolescent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

The Hawaii State Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) has received a $3.04 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to provide funding over four years for the treatment of adolescents and transitional aged youth with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

The grant is designed to bring together stakeholders who serve Hawaii’s adolescents, enhance and expand treatment services and implement financial mechanisms and other reforms that improve the efficiency of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment efforts.

“We are moving towards our goal of a drug free Hawaii,” said Edward Mersereau, ADAD chief. “This grant will allow us to expand the Hawai‘i Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth Treatment Implementation project (YT-I) to increase rates of abstinence, enrollment in education, vocational training, employment and social connectedness—along with decreasing criminal and juvenile justice involvement among our youth.”

ADAD’s treatment services are designed to promote a statewide culturally appropriate, comprehensive system of services to meet the treatment and recovery needs of individuals and families. Throughout this project, ADAD will have a coordinated SUD treatment services program with the department’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, Family Guidance Centers, and four drug and alcohol treatment providers.

According to a 2014 DOH report on alcohol and drug abuse treatment services in Hawaii, adolescents comprised more than half (53 percent) of the nearly 4,000 clients who received treatment by ADAD in 2014. At a six-month follow-up that same year, almost all adolescents (99 percent) who received services were attending school and the majority (61 percent) reported not abusing any substances in the 30 days prior to follow up. The vast majority of those adolescents continued to have no arrests, no hospitalizations, and no emergency room visits since discharge.

“The result of this project will be higher cross-professional training in SUD treatment practices, a more proactive approach to preventative healthcare, a concrete referral system that leaves little room for patients to fall through the cracks, and expanded use of health information technology for better informed decision-making at the point of care,” Mersereau said. “Our goal is a statewide system of treatment that is substantially more effective in utilizing existing resources and treatment methods far beyond the life of the YT-I project.”

The Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division is the primary and often sole source of public funds for substance abuse treatment in Hawaii. ADAD’s treatment efforts are designed to promote a statewide culturally appropriate, comprehensive system of services to meet the treatment and recovery needs of individuals and families. Treatment services have, as a requirement, priority admission for pregnant women and injection drug users. For more information about the division go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/substance-abuse/.

NBA News: Clippers to Play Two Preseason Games in Hawaii Against Raptors

The Hawaiian Islands and AEG Facilities today announced that the L.A. Clippers will host the Clippers Hawai’i Classic on October 1st and 3rd in Honolulu. The two-game event, which will feature two preseason matchups between the Clippers and the Toronto Raptors, will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i.

The Clippers will also participate in a pre-game Fan Fest at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, where visitors to the Aloha State will be welcomed to taste and experience the best Hawai‘i has to offer, as well as meet and interact with the team. The Clippers previously announced that the team would hold its 2017 Training Camp on the campus of the University of Hawai’i.

“We are very excited to be able to host the Clippers Hawai’i Classic in Honolulu,” Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker said. “With the help of our partner, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, we look forward to showcasing the beauty of the islands and to bringing Clipper basketball to the people of the great state of Hawai’i.”

This is the first time the Clippers have played a game in Hawai’i. Clippers games are shown throughout Hawai’i on Prime Ticket and sister network FOX Sports West.

General tickets go on sale Friday, June 9 at 12 p.m. PST at www.etickethawaii.com or by calling 1-808-956-4482.