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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Condemns Justice Department’s Politically Motivated Search Warrant

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today warned that, in violation of First Amendment privacy protections afforded under the Constitution, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested a search warrant for IP addresses and personal information stored on the server of a private company who helped organize protests during President Trump’s inauguration. The search warrant, filed by the federal government in the D.C. Superior Court, is trying to force DreamHost to provide the DOJ with the user information for anyone who visited their site in an effort to identify anyone involved in Inauguration Day protests.

Tulsi and my son when he won an art competition at the state capitol.

“The Justice Department’s politically motivated probe to collect personal information on its own citizens exercising their legal right to express dissenting political views is nothing short of a constitutional violation and is wholly un-American. It reeks of actions that Presidents Nixon and Johnson took against Americans protesting the war in Vietnam. Our country was founded on the rule of law which protects our right to free speech and prohibits the government from violating our personal privacy with baseless warrants. These fundamental rights and protections separate our democracy from dictators around the world who seek to silence and intimidate their political opponents to maintain power. The Justice Department’s witch hunt serves as a reminder that we must take a stand to defend our constitutional rights and ensure our government is not allowed to violate our constitutional rights and civil liberties,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long advocated for reforms that address our government’s responsibility to protect civil liberties. She is a founding member of the Fourth Amendment Caucus and has been a champion for strengthening privacy and civil liberties protections in the digital age. She has introduced legislation to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and cosponsored legislation like the Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act and Email Privacy Act to modernize electronic privacy laws.

Hawaii Rep. Beth Fukumoto Responds to Hate Letter, White Nationalism and Issues a Warning to the GOP

After receiving a letter from a self-proclaimed Trump supporter attacking her Japanese ancestry and her support for “illegals, black thugs, Muslims and bombs, and gays,” Rep. Beth Fukumoto released the following statement. Fukumoto, who left the Republican Party earlier this year after being removed from leadership over her participation in the Hawaii Women’s March, has spoken extensively on her experiences of racism and race politics in the GOP.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto

“This letter isn’t the first to come across my desk, but it’s so painfully relevant to everything that has unfolded in America these last few days that I believed it needed to be addressed. This individual and their list of everything they hate was inspired by President Trump and his statements.

“I worked to fight racist rhetoric when I was a member of the Republican Party, and I left when I realized I couldn’t win that fight from within. The white nationalist undercurrent of the Presidential campaign stretched far beyond Donald Trump. His success is the result of white nationalism left unchecked within the GOP for years.

“Today, every elected official in the GOP needs to make a choice. Be vocal, public and specific in your opposition to prejudice everywhere – especially in the Oval Office. Or, be complicit and continue to work peacefully with a party that has gained electoral wins by building coalitions of mistrust and hate.”

Gabbard-Backed Bill to Expand, Extend GI Bill Signed Into Law

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), co-chair of the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus, released the statement below after legislation she helped introduce to improve and extend GI Bill education benefits for veterans, their surviving spouses and dependents was signed into law today.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate unanimously, and is widely supported by veteran and education advocacy organizations, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the Enlisted Association of The National Guard of The United States, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, the STEM Education Coalition, and others.

“Every single day, roughly 500 veterans are transitioning from military life to civilian life, joining the more than 2.9 million veterans who have returned home since 9/11 alone. We have a responsibility to ensure that our troops and veterans are set up for success in the 21st century economy when they lay down the uniform and transition to civilian life. This bipartisan legislation enhances existing benefits, expands eligibility, eliminates bureaucratic barriers, and empowers our troops, veterans and their dependents to get the quality education they’ve earned and deserve. More than 7,000 Hawaiʻi veterans used their earned education benefit to open the door to new opportunities for them and their families last year, and this law will help our next generation of service members to further build on this progress,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Background: The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (H.R.3218) will apply to all new enlistees in the military, and will:

  • Remove time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future eligible recipients to use their GI bill benefits for their entire lives, as opposed to the current 15-year timeline
  • Simplify the benefit for future service members by consolidating the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill into a single program over time, which would reduce the VA’s administrative costs
  • Provide significant increases in GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents
  • Provide 100% GI Bill eligibility to Post 9/11 Purple Heart recipients
  • Restore eligibility for service members whose school closes in the middle of a semester and create a pilot program that would pay for veterans to take certain high technology courses.

Merrie Monarch Festival – RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation Facilities

2017 Hula Kahiko from the Merrie Monarch Website

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim sent the following letter on August 9th, 2017 to the President of the Merrie Monarch Festival, Aunty Luana Kawelu:

Dear Ms. Kawelu:
RE: Halau Overnight Stay at Parks & Recreation

As you know, historically, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has allowed overnight stays at Kawananakoa Gym, Papa`ikou Gym, Waiakea Recreation Center, and Waiakea Uka Gym by halau participating in the annual Merrie Monarch Festival (MMF). According to the MMF website, the 2017 festival included a total of 23 halau, 21 of which were not Hilo-based. The breakdown of people overnighting in the various County Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) facilities are as follows:

  • Kawananakoa Gym – 24 people housed for one night and 25 people housed for 8 nights
  • Papa`ikou Gym – 35 people housed for 4 nights
  • Waiakea Recreation Center – 25 people housed for one night
  • Waiakea Uka Gym – 51 people housed for 4 nights

This year, the Hawaii County Fire Department (HFD) alerted DPR of specific Fire and Building Codes that are being violated by allowing this practice. To immediately address these violations and allow overnight stays at this year’s MMF, DPR required, per Fire Code and exemption, an approved fire watch at each facility. Following the conclusion of this year’s MMF, at my instruction, DPR conducted an extensive study of DPR Administrative Rules, and Hawaii County Building and Fire Codes, to ascertain whether this practice should be allowed to continue.

DPR’s findings are as follows:

While there are no DPR Administrative Rules that explicitly prohibit overnight stays at DPR facilities, pertinent excerpts from Chapter 15 of the Hawaii County Code indicate/state:

  • Section 15-3 defines “Camper’— means any person who remains in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and “Camping” – means the act of remaining in a park area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • Section 15-8 designates the authority of the Director to establish visiting hours and states in part: “all persons shall observe and abide by the officially -posted signs and designated closed areas and visiting hours.”
  • Article 4, beginning with Section 15-39 and continuing through Section 15-48, designates Camping and all rules associated, including the names of the parks where camping is allowed.

Based on these DPR Administrative Rules, overnight stay at the facilities listed above are prohibited.

With respect to the Hawaii County Building Code, fire sprinklers and/or alarm systems are required for any facility used for sleeping, with the R-1 designation as described below.

County gyms can possibly be evaluated as transient accommodations, but must meet the standards of this section of the code:

302.1 General. Structures or portions of structures shall be classified with respect to occupancy in one or more of the groups listed below. A room or space that is intended to be occupied at different times for different purposes shall comply with all of the requirements that are applicable to each of the purposes for which the room or space will be occupied. Structures with multiple occupancies or uses shall comply with Section 508. Where a structure is proposed for a purpose that is not specifically provided for in this code, such structure shall be classified in the group that the occupancy most nearly resembles, according to the fire safety and relative hazard involved.

The current occupancy type of a gymnasium is Assembly Occupancy. Use of
gymnasiums for sleeping would change the occupancy type to R -I Occupancy.

  • Fire Sprinkler Requirement. R-1 Occupancy in Section 903.2.7 of the Building Code requires a fire sprinkler system; therefore, a gym or other facility used for sleeping shall have a fire sprinkler system.
  • Fire Alarm Requirement. R-1 occupancies in Section 907.2.8 of the Building Code require a Fire Alarm system and smoke alarm system.

The restriction/constraint regarding the use of a gym as a sleeping space is the need for fire sprinklers. The codes also require audio/visual fire alarms. These are not commonly present in older buildings, and therefore, upgrades would be required to accommodate sleeping.

HFD has allowed sleeping in these facilities under the exemption found in the NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, Hawaii 2006 Edition, regulation 20.2.3.6 Use of School Facilities for Sleeping, which reads:

“Educational occupancies that allow sleeping on a temporary basis shall prohibit smoking or open flames, and shall be provided with one of the following:

  1. Smoke alarms shall be provided in the designated sleeping area. When the facility is provided with a fire alarm system, the smoke alarms shall be connected to the fire alarm system, or
  2. An approved fire watch shall be provided.”

None of the DPR facilities above are school facilities, with the exception of perhaps Kawananakoa Gym, which is also governed by rules included in the lease agreement with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

DHHL lease agreement #44, amendment #2, with DPR, item #8, states in part: “it is agreed that for the health and safety of those using the facilities, and to address potential damages to the gymnasium, NO FOOD OR DRINK AND OVERNIGHT STAY at the facilities are allowed.” (Emphasis as it appears in document.)

The DHHL lease agreement would disqualify Kawananakoa Gym in any event,
regardless of any safety -protection systems that may be in place.

Based on this research, DPR has recommended against the continued practice of allowing overnight stays at DPR recreational facilities. However, DPR/Hawai’i County recognizes and fully supports the cultural and historical significance of the MMF, and is aware of the shortage of accommodations available for this important event. As such, every effort will be made to work with your organization to identify potential alternate sites.

DPR would like to offer the usage of the Mauna Kea Recreation Area cabins to visiting halau in 2018. There are two bunkhouses, capable of holding 24 people each, plus seven cabins, capable of holding six people each, for a total of 90 people. Each bunkhouse and cabin has its own bathroom with shower. There are potable water, a dining hall, and ample parking.

DPR is ready to assist the Merrie Monarch Festival in addressing any potential
concerns you may have with these suggested alternate accommodations, and looks forward to working with you.

STATEMENT from Governor David Y. Ige on President’s Remarks About Charlottesville

“The president has abandoned any pretense of standing up for American values or the moral authority that defines the United States.

The racism and bigotry that he defended today goes against every value that makes me proud to be an American citizen and governor of the State of Hawai‘i – the place that President John F. Kennedy once said represents all that we are, and all that we hope to be.”

Mayor Kim’s Testimony Re: Special Session 2017 – Rail Tax Surcharge

August 11, 2017
Special Session 2017 – Rail Tax Surcharge

Dear Senator Lorraine Inouye, Senator Clarence Nishihara, Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Representative Henry Aquino, Representative Sylvia Luke, and Committee Members:

We understand that the upcoming Special Session will be considering many different proposals on how to help the City and County of Honolulu Address the funding of their rail system. While we understand that this is not an easy decision, we want to ensure that the legislatures makes their decision based on fairness. We understand that some of the options being considered include increasing GET and TAT for the entire state with all the proceeds going to rail.

These increased taxes would be collected on all islands, even though the rail system is only located on Oahu. That does not seem fair to tax those that don’t even have access to the rail system. We do support the extension of the GET surcharge for Oahu. That seems to be the fairest method to ensure that those most likely to benefit from the system will pay for the system.

In addition, the TAT cap for the counties was not restored to $103 million as in previous years. This reduced our TAT revenue by $1.86 million. This is more than the entire budget for our Civil Defense department. Without these funds, a significant increase in real property taxes for our citizens was necessary. The same citizens that you also represent. We cannot burden our citizens any more for something that will not benefit them.

Taxing all for the benefit of one is not fair. All islands could see an increase in the TAT and GET but only one will benefit. We all will be seeing less TAT in our budgets. We respectfully request that you whatever you can to provide the counties with their fair share of TAT and find another way to fund the rail system, such as continuing the additional GET for Oahu.

We appreciate your consideration as we all attempt to best serve our joint constituents, the people of Hawai’i.

Respectfully,

Harry Kim
Mayor

HELCO Conducting Aerial Line Inspections Next Week – NOT GREEN HARVEST

HILO,  – To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company will conduct aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Monday, Aug. 21, to Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

The islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruption this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.
If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

20 Years Ago, Bishop Estate Scandal Led To Strict Charities Oversight in Hawaii

The essay titled “Broken Trust”, published on August 9, 1997 by the Honolulu Star Bulletin, reported widespread corruption involving Bishop Estate, the largest private property owner in the State of Hawaii, and led to the formation of a charities regulation group in the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General that exists to this day.

Click to read article

Now-retired University of Hawaii law professor Randall Roth and the late Judge Samuel P. King, along with prominent Hawaiian community members Walter Heen, Gladys Brandt, and Charles Kekumano, wrote the essay that exposed the Bishop Estate scandal involving the trustees of one of the largest charitable trusts in the United States.

Attorney General Doug Chin said: “Under former Governor Ben Cayetano, Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster began legal proceedings to remove the culpable trustees. We appreciate their example. For 20 years, the Department of the Attorney General has maintained strict oversight over organizations that solicit charitable contributions in Hawaii. Our office is nationally recognized for its pioneering oversight program.”

For information regarding the Hawaii Charity Registry, see http://ag.ehawaii.gov/charity/.

25-Year-Old Oceanview Man Dies in Kona Car Crash

A 25-year-old Captain Cook man died following a single vehicle crash Sunday evening (August 13), in Kailua-Kona. He has been positively identified as Nelsin Santos, 25 of Oceanview.Responding to an 8:30 p.m. call, police determined that a 2016 Toyota 4Runner operated by a 24-year-old Kailua- Kona man had been traveling west on Kaiminani Drive at the intersection of Ane Keohokalole when it was involved in a collision with Santos who had been walking within the westbound lane of Kaiminani Drive.

Mr. Santos sustained critical injuries from the collision and was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead on (August 13), at 9:27 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of d eath.

Officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit have initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call Officer Justin Hooser at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

This is the twenty-second traffic fatality this year compared with fifteen at this time last year.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Allowed to Open on Oahu

The Hawai‘i Department of Health issued a formal notice to proceed to Aloha Green LLC today after the dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed its final onsite inspection. Aloha Green is the second licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state, and the first on O‘ahu, to receive approval to begin sales of medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers.

The licensed retail center for Aloha Green is at the Interstate Building at 1314 South King Street in Honolulu. The retail center is licensed to begin selling dried medical cannabis flowers when it opens to registered patients.

“The opening of a licensed dispensary on O‘ahu is a major milestone for the more than 5,000 qualified patients and caregivers in Honolulu,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Our staff continues to work with all the licensees as they build their facilities and business operations in compliance with county and state laws to ensure product and patient safety.”

The rigorous dispensary approval processes to open and begin selling medical cannabis are based on the requirements of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850. Dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county, health, safety, and sanitation regulations, and are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.

Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period. All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.

There are eight licensed dispensaries in Hawai‘i. There are three on O‘ahu: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu. There are two in Hawai‘i County: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC. Two on Maui: Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC; and one on Kaua‘i, Green Aloha, Ltd. These dispensaries are now at different stages of development by the licensees, and at varying stages of the approval process.

Hawaii Jury Questionnaires Mailed Out – Check Your Mail!

Every August, the Hawaii State Judiciary mails juror questionnaires to individuals who have a Hawaii state driver’s license or are registered to vote in the State of Hawaii. The names of individuals who will receive a questionnaire are selected at random.

Beginning yesterday August 7, approximately 235,000 juror questionnaires will be mailed to 85,000 residents on Oahu, 55,000 in Maui County, 70,000 on the Big Island, and 25,000 on Kauai. The questionnaires are used to help select potential jurors who may be eligible to serve in 2018.Those who receive a questionnaire have 10 days to complete and return it to the Jury Pool Office in the envelope provided. Anyone who fails to respond may be penalized.

To be eligible to serve as a juror, you must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Hawaii, and able to read and understand English.

Hawaii’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Lets Survivors Know They ARE NOT Alone – The Mālama Kākou Project

Attorney General Doug Chin and the state of Hawaii’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (Hawaii SAKI) multidisciplinary team today announced the launch of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video under Project Mālama Kākou.

Project Mālama Kākou was created as a result of Act 207 (2016), passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor David Ige, which assembled a statewide multidisciplinary team of victim services providers, crime lab personnel, police officials, and prosecutors to comprehensively reform the testing of sexual assault kits in Hawaii in a caring and victim-centered manner.

Attorney General Chin said: “This public service announcement is an important next step for reaching out to sexual assault survivors. We recently launched the Project Mālama Kākou website to let survivors know they are not alone and there is information and support available for them.”

The PSA will be hosted on the Attorney General’s Project Mālama Kākou website at ag.hawaii.gov/hisaki and will be distributed using social media, email and more. The video features Attorney General Chin representing law enforcement and Ms. Chelsea Crapser, Director of Crisis and Prevention Services of the YWCA of Kauai, representing victim support providers.

A joint statement from Chelsea Crapser, Director of Crisis and Prevention Services at the YWCA of Kauai and Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, Executive Director of the YWCA of Kauai said, “As service providers, it is our sincere hope that every individual knows there are support services and resources available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Mālama Kākou Project is the result of collaboration to better serve sex assault survivors by implementing a new process for statewide testing of Sex Assault Kits. This process allows police, prosecutors, advocates and victim counselors to work together to provide comprehensive support. We are grateful for the collaborative spirit of this group, but most of all, we acknowledge the strength of every survivor who has come forward.”

Hawaii’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens Today

Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies is the first licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state to receive the green light from the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) to begin selling medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers. The Department of Health issued a formal notice to proceed to Maui Grown Therapies today after the dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed its final onsite inspection.

The licensed retail center for Maui Grown Therapies is located at 44 Pa‘a Street in Kahului, Maui. The dispensary will begin selling dried medical cannabis flowers when it opens to registered patients.

“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception. With legal guidance from Department of the Attorney General, the DOH team paved the way for this new industry in Hawai‘i and has set a new standard for dispensary programs other states can emulate.”

The rigorous dispensary approval processes to open and begin selling medical cannabis are based on the requirements of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850. Dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county, health, safety, and sanitation regulations, and are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.

Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period. All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.

According to the StarAdvertiser:

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.
Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands…

There are eight licensed dispensaries in Hawai‘i. There are three on O‘ahu: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu. There are two in Hawai‘i County: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC. Two on Maui: Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC; and one on Kaua‘i, Green Aloha, Ltd. These dispensaries are now at different stages of development by the licensees, and at varying stages of the approval process.

Hawaii Receives Approximately $477,000 in Settlement with Drug Manufacturer

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that Hawaii joined 29 states and the federal government last week in settling claims against Celgene Corporation (Celgene), a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Celgene had permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its drug Thalamid for skin conditions associated with leprosy and its drug Revlimid for transfusion induced anemia. This settlement resolves allegations that Celgene illegally marketed both drugs for cancer treatments that were unrelated to the skin conditions and anemia. Celgene’s promotions encouraged what the FDA considers “off label” uses without first securing FDA approval.

As a result of the settlement with Celgene, Hawaii will receive approximately $477,000. This money will be split between Hawaii’s MedQuest program and the Hawaii Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Attorney General Chin said of the settlement, “Money from the settlement will help with further investigations and prosecutions of medical fraud in this state.”

Celgene’s alleged illegal marketing included monetary kickbacks to doctors, forged clinical studies and medical literature, and manipulated medical diagnostic codes in order to increase sales of Thalamid and Revlimid.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the settlement negotiations with Celgene on behalf of the states. It included representatives from the offices of the attorneys general for the states of California, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Man Charged in Connection with Theft of County Mass Transit Bus

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged 21-year-old Kawelo Nakamura in connection with the theft of a county mass transit bus.

Kawelo Nakamura

On (August 6), at 3:43 p.m., police located the bus on Route 130 and was able to stop it near the intersection at Kaohuwalu Street in Pāhoa, at which time officers arrested Nakamura who was its operator.

Photo by Daichi Marquis

On (August 7), police charged Nakamura with first degree theft, accident involving vehicle/property damage, first degree criminal property damage, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Photo from Kawika Tokita on Facebook.

Nakamura is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $13,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo district court (August 8).

Kiki Lane stated the following on Facebook which lead to the arrest: “”The bus” just over took us on railroad and side swiped my mirror and kept driving, my kids are freaking out and this piece of shit didn’t even stop! police were called! Keep on the look out bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439″….
“Update: just spoke to the police “the bus” that hit me was a stolen bus!
bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439
Please be on the look out and stay out of his way!”

Police initially responded to a 1:47 p.m., report (August 5), of a hit-and-run traffic accident on Railroad Avenue in Hilo involving a Hawaiʻi County mass transit bus that fled the scene. No one was injured in that incident. At 2:36 p.m., police were informed that the bus was stolen from the County’s Hilo base-yard sometime early Saturday morning.

Witnesses saw him earlier down at 4-mile Beach in Keaukaha earlier in the morning. Photo from Kawika Tokita Facebook Account.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or Tuckloy.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Construction of New Clinical Building at UH Law School is Progressing on Time, on Budget

Supporters, donors, faculty and staff of the UH Law School had a first close-up look this week at the new Clinical Building, which is rising in part of the parking lot next to the William S. Richardson School of Law.

A view of the front of the Clinical Building on the UH Manoa campus.

Reception guests were able to scrutinize the outside of the precast structure that is well over half complete. It is scheduled to be done on time and on budget, and will be ready for use in Spring 2018.

The reception also honored Professor Melody Mackenzie ’76, who will serve as acting dean for the next four months while Dean Avi Soifer is on Professional Growth and Development leave at the New York University School of Law. He returns December 1.

As the crowd toasted the new building and acting dean, UH President David Lassner shared words of praise, calling Richardson “a great law school” that is not only responsive to the community but trains students who go on to have positive impacts far beyond Hawai‘i. “The new Clinical Building will amplify that,” Lassner said.

Acting Dean MacKenzie told the crowd that the law school is a source of inspiration as a multi-cultural community whose primary mission is to advance justice. “Without CJ’s vision, many of us would not have had the opportunity to study law,” said MacKenzie, who was a member of the first graduating class, and who served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Richardson, the school’s namesake.

Acting Dean Melody Mackenzie and Dean Avi Soifer

The late CJ Richardson inspired the 1970s movement to build a law school committed to providing opportunities for Hawai‘i’s people.

Construction of the new Clinical Building was funded by $7.2 million in bond appropriations by the Legislature, partially backed by the school’s own funds. Recent additional philanthropy has contributed over $2 million and will pay for furniture and an advanced flexible wall system — not included in construction costs — as well as state-of-the-art IT equipment and landscaping. Additional fundraising is under way, including the goal of $5 million from a single donor for the opportunity to name the entire Clinical Building.

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/

Rep. Morikawa Asks State to Delay Lehua Rat Eraddication Until Critical Questions Answered

Rep. Daynette Morikawa is asking the state to delay its planned rat eradication project on Lehua Island until critical environmental questions can be answered.

“Residents are very concerned about the process of dropping poison on Lehua Island to kill rats, especially as we enter hurricane season,” Morikawa said in a letter delivered to the state this week. “There are also questions about the possible effects of the poison on the coral reef, the endangered monk seal and green sea turtle, and fish near the island.”

By Polihale, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3862929

Morikawa, who represents the section of Kauai including Lehua, Niihau, Koloa and Waimea, has written to both Suzanne D. Case, chairperson of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Scott Enright, chairperson of the state Board of Agriculture, asking them to delay the project scheduled to drop rodenticide pellets set to begin August 8.

Public hearings on the project were inadequate and ineffective and many residents left the meetings without having their questions addressed by state experts, she said.

Morikawa said the same type of eradication was attempted in 2009 and failed. She is asking the state to explain what alternatives have been explored.

In addition, brodifacoum, which is planned to be used as the rodenticide, has not been licensed for use in Hawaii.

“I am asking the state to delay the rat eradication project until all concerns from the public have been addressed and an agreement is reached on how to best proceed,” she said.

*To read the letter to the state, click here.

County, Social Services Agencies Move Homeless People to Temporary Shelter in Kona

The County of Hawai’i together with social services provider Hope Services have moved a group of homeless people from the Old Airport Park to temporary facilities on County property in Kona.

The one-acre property at Hale Kikaha is accommodating approximately 20 adults in facilities consisting of tents, portable toilets, a temporary water spigot and showers.

The move came as the County on Wednesday enforced a no-camping policy at the Old Airport Park, whereby all belongings and housing structures in the park were removed.  This was aimed at improving this facility as a community park.

Prior to Wednesday’s move, outreach workers from HOPE Services, Veterans Outreach, the West Hawai’i Health Clinic, Access Capabilities, County Parks and Recreation, Office of Housing and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office (Kona), and faith-based volunteers were able to find a limited number of spaces at other homeless shelters and relatives’ homes.

Available housing options were offered to the most vulnerable homeless people first, i.e., families, the elderly, chronically homeless, as well as those with substance abuse or mental health issues.

While the team of County and social services agencies tried to absorb the entire homeless population from Old Airport Park, the available housing inventory was insufficient.  Approximately 25 individuals remain without housing.  The County is working to increase the number of beds at the Hale Kikaha shelter, while exploring a permanent site to house the homeless population.

The Police Department will be monitoring to ensure that campers do not return to the park. The enforcement took place as the Department of Parks and Recreation gears up for clean-up efforts on Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 2017.

On Tuesday, Mayor Harry Kim issued an emergency proclamation under which zoning, building and fire codes were temporarily waived to enable the homeless people to be accommodated at the Hale Kikaha facility.

Hawaii Mayor Signs Emergency Proclamation for Homeless Folks – Suspends Some County Laws

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Him signed an emergency proclamation today due to the increasing homeless population in the Kona area of the Big Island of Hawaii:

Mayor Harry Kim

WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County.

WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 7, Articles 1
and 2 of the Hawaii County Code, establishes a Civil Defense Agency within the
County of Hawaii and prescribes its powers, duties, and responsibilities, and
Section 13- 23 of the Hawaii County Charter empowers the Mayor of the County to declare emergencies; and

WHEREAS, homeless individuals have established an encampment at the
County of Hawaii’s Old Kona Airport Park, District of South Kona, County and State of Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, the homeless individuals at the Old Kona Airport Park were removed from the park grounds; and

WHEREAS, these homeless individuals could be temporarily sheltered at the
grounds of the Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona County and State of Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals are without access to
adequate bathroom, shower and living facilities; and

WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals require health and social
services in order to maintain themselves safely and in reasonable health; and

WHEREAS, the lack of secure, safe and sanitary shelter, and adequate health
and social services for these homeless people is endangering the health, safety and welfare of these people and pose a threat to the environment and public health, and demands emergency action to prevent or mitigate suffering, injury, loss, or damage to persons and property; and County of Hawaii is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 1) Hawaii Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to relieve hardships and inequities, or obstructions to public health, safety or welfare found by the Mayor to exist in the laws of the County and to result from the operation of federal programs or measures taken under Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, by suspending the county laws, in whole or in part, or by alleviating the provisions of county laws on such terms and conditions the Mayor may impose; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 2) Hawai’ i Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to suspend any county law that impedes or tends to impede or to be detrimental to the expeditious and efficient execution of, or to conflict with emergency functions, including the laws by which Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, specifically are made applicable to emergency personnel; and

WHEREAS, due to the possibility of threat to the environment and public health to residents of the District of South and North Kona, Hawaii Island, and the need for government agencies and representatives from the private sector to mobilize and provide immediate services to our island residents, a state of emergency is authorized pursuant to Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, and Chapter 7, Hawaii County Code.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY KIM, Mayor of the County of Hawai’ i, do hereby proclaim and declare that an emergency contemplated by section 127A- 14, Hawaii Revised Statutes has occurred in the County of Hawai’ i and hereby proclaim an emergency for the purposes of implementing the emergency management functions as allowed by law, effective August 1, 2017, and continuing thereon for 60 days or until further act by this office.

I FURTHER DECLARE, that pursuant to sections 127A- 13( b)( 1) and ( 2) the following County laws are suspended during the emergency period as they relate to the grounds of Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona, County and State of Hawaii:

  1. Chapter 5 Building Code.
  2. Chapter 25 Zoning Code.
  3. Chapter 26 Fire Code.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawaii to be affixed. Done this 1st day of August, 2017 in Hilo, Hawai’ i.

HARRY KIM
Mayor
County of Hawai’ i

Hawaii Department of Health Certifies Lab to Begin Testing Medical Cannabis

Steep Hill Hawaii, a private independent laboratory on Oahu, can now begin testing medical cannabis from Hawaii’s licensed medical cannabis dispensaries and registered patients and caregivers. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) granted Steep Hill a provisional certification today after the laboratory successfully passed its final onsite inspection and met requirements that demonstrate it has the capacity and proficiency to test cannabis and manufactured cannabis in compliance with state law.

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“We realize that registered patients and caregivers and some of the licensed dispensaries have been waiting for a laboratory to become operational to test medical cannabis prior to consumption and sale. This is a major step forward as it allows the dispensaries to now begin testing their products to sell to qualified patients,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of DOH’s Office of Health Care Assurance, who oversees the medical cannabis dispensary program.

A laboratory is restricted from handling, testing, or analyzing cannabis or manufactured cannabis products until it is certified by the state. Under the interim administrative rules governing the medical cannabis dispensary program, certification allows a laboratory to conduct specific tests required to ensure the safety of products sold to registered patients in Hawaii.

“Certification follows a rigorous scientific process that requires meticulous attention to detail and constant refining to ensure product and patient safety,” said Chris Whelen, chief of DOH’s State Laboratories Division. “Our State Laboratories Division team is currently working closely with two other private independent labs to help them obtain certification. They are continuing to submit or resubmit their validation studies for certification.”

To receive certification, a laboratory must submit validation studies to demonstrate it is capable of conducting testing with consistent and accurate results for the following areas: cannabinoid profile (including THC), compound that are considered “active ingredients,” heavy metals such as arsenic, pesticides, solvents, moisture content, microbial contaminants, intestinal bacteria and pathogens, dangerous molds that can cause infection and disease, and toxins produced by molds. In addition, a laboratory must also meet the accreditation standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii are required to have their products tested for safety by a state-certified independent laboratory prior to sale. Laboratories interested in providing testing for medical cannabis on Kauai, Hawaii Island, Maui, or Oahu may apply for state certification at http://health.hawaii.gov/statelab.