*Update #2* Should Gambling Be Legalized in Hawaii?… POLL

*Update #2*

Now the results have swung a bit more here are the current results:

Yes 63% (17 votes)
No 30% (8 votes)
Only on Hawaiian Homelands 7% (2 votes)
Total Votes: 27

Voting is still open for those who haven’t voted.  The voting service that I’m using only allows one vote per IP address, so sorry to those with multiple people in their house who may read my blog.

*Update*
Interesting results coming in.  Just one vote separates the main two choices.  Poll will remain open for about a week and I’ll bump this every few days just in case you don’t get a chance to see it the first few times it’s listed.

[polldaddy poll=”1358404″]

Ehime Maru – 8 Years Ago

Yesterday, marked 8 years since the Ehime Maru incident off Oahu waters that left 9 crew members dead including 4 high school students after the submarine USS Greenville slammed into it as it was rising to the surface of the ocean.

The Ehime Maru before being hit by the US Submarine Greenville.

The Ehime Maru before being hit by the Submarine USS Greenville

The following is from a Japanese newspaper out of the Ehime Prefecture:

MATSUYAMA, Ehime Pref. (Kyodo) About 340 people offered silent prayers Tuesday for the nine people who died eight years ago when a U.S. submarine surfaced under a Japanese fisheries high school training ship off Hawaii.

At a memorial service at Uwajima Fisheries High School in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, students, family members and teachers rang a bell recovered from the sunken Ehime Maru nine times at 8:43 a.m. — 1:43 p.m. Hawaii time — the exact moment when the 499-ton ship was struck from below by the USS Greeneville.

“Tremendous anger and grief have not gone away even after eight years. It is our duty to learn the lessons from the accident,” said Shinzo Imaoka, principal of Uwajima Fisheries High School.

In Honolulu, 60 people, including relatives of three of the victims, held their own memorial ceremony Monday.

“I don’t want to bring back the memory of the accident, but I really appreciate so many people attending the ceremony every year,” said Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, who lost his 17-year-old son, Takeshi, in the accident.

Mizuguchi’s son is the only victim whose body was not recovered.

Hawaii’s Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro produced the following Ukulele Song for the people of Ehime Maru and entitled it appropriately “Ehime Maru”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YbYidBm5GE&hl=en&fs=1]

Here is a clip of the salvation mission under sea:

Some shots of Canyon’s XL-16 and Quest ROV during salvage operations of the ‘Ehime Maru’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HefMaDULYnM&hl=en&fs=1]

“Project Better Place” An Interesting Debate

I was the first in the State to mention Project Better Place coming to Hawaii back on September 7th of last year.

I’ve thought about the project for awhile, and I think it might work on the other islands the way they have the stations planned now, but I just don’t see how they can be feasible with only four stations on the Big Island.

charging1

In this recently released youtube clip, Project Better Place CEO Shai Agassi talks about the Hawaii Project at  about the 7:00 minute mark.  Towards the end of the video, a managing editor at Forbes explains why this might not work.

Better Place CEO and founder Shai Agassi wants to change the automotive industry by switching gas stations with battery replacement and charging stations for the next generation of electric cars.

Although current plans include smaller areas like Hawaii, Israel, Denmark, and San Francisco, Better Place aims at nothing short of an industry-transforming revolution. Will it be possible?

In this extended interview (at end of clip), Shai Agassi discusses his companys plans and challenges. Bruce Upbin, a managing editor at Forbes Magazine, comments on Better Places challenges and why the network may not work in the U.S.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXL76NyTSKU&hl=en&fs=1]

Things to think about:

1. Prices of Gas have fallen…

2. Building a network… is there enough stations

3. Capital… does Project Better Place have enough money?

VOG Legislation: Rep. Souki… “This is a Natural Disaster, and No One’s in Charge.”

Hat tip to Georgette Deemer over at the Hawaii House Blog for blogging about the recent VOG hearings at the capital which obviously affect us all.

Deemer blogs “Who’s in Charge?“:

Six House committees met jointly this morning to hear VOG related bills in order to make it easier for testifiers from the various state/county agencies and the public. Rep. Robert Herkes coordinated the hearing, as chair of the House Special Committee on VOG Effects…
…At the end of the hearing, Rep. Herkes summed it up by saying that Rep. Souki hit the nail on the head when he concluded that “This is a natural disaster, and no one’s in charge.” Rep. Herkes has and continues to be frustrated by a lack of response from certain state agencies in addressing the immediate problems faced by the people on the Big Island…
…Although the state administration has established an Interagency Task Force on Vog, Rep. Herkes exclaimed that the task force has no chair and has only met twice. Rep. Souki added, “Meanwhile, the whole island is going to pot.”

Full Blog here

The other day, I posted our own District 5 Councilwoman’s testimony that she submitted to the legislature. You can view that interesting piece of testimony here.

Deemer also lists the following “VOG Package” that is before the legislature this year:

HB313 RELATING TO HIGHWAYS. This bill requires the Department of Transportation to conduct more reviews of the highway guardrails on the Big Island, as they are deteriorating from exposure to acid rain caused by VOG.

HB318 RELATING TO VOG. This bill requires the Department of Agriculture to work with the University of Hawaii to determine the best methods of VOG treatment and to research VOG-resistant varieties of plants.

HB316 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE. This bill establishes a temporary reimbursement program for tenants of state agricultural lands in VOG-impacted areas in order to reimburse tenants for costs of reapir and maintenance of fencing and other infrastructure.

HB312 RELATING TO HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES. This bill directs the Department of Defense to develop and implement a program to ensure that an adequate number of monitors are in place throughout the state where high VOG and sulfur dioxide incidences are known to occur.

HB317 RELATING TO MOBILE MEDICAL CARE. This bill authorizes the use of the federal Homeland Security Grant Program funds for mobile emergency and clinical medical care for the people in the southern sections of the Big Island.

HB314 RELATING TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION. This bill requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to develop rules for workers’ compensation claims involving VOG-related medical conditions.

HB315 RELATING TO VOLCANIC EMISSIONS. This bill requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to establish standards to promote worker safety during high incidences of VOG or sulfur dioxide.

Deemer concludes, “As the Labor Committee had a quorum, they passed HB314 as is, and passed HB315 with amendments. The other bills were deferred for decision making next week.”

“The Ledge, Pt. 4” HB1667 on Ceded Lands

This weeks installment of  “The Ledge” is out.

Its focus this week is on HB1667 relating to the Ceded Lands.

You can view the past weeks editions of “The Ledge”  at the link up top or by clicking here:

HB1667
RELATING TO CEDED LANDS.
BLNR; Ceded Lands; Public Land Trust; Prohibition on Disposition
Prohibits the board of land and natural resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating ceded lands in the public land trust

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uvgHmrwOcg&hl=en&fs=1]



Rep. Corinne Ching Calls for Heritage Tourism (Pahoa Take Note)… Videos

Heritage Tourism is an interesting topic and these recent bills introduced are something I think the town of Pahoa should take note in:

Pt. 1:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dMAJ6Q37pw&hl=en&fs=1]

Pt. 2:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU-QuprIbjw&hl=en&fs=1]

Pt. 3

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVeOmnjNsd0&hl=en&fs=1]

Heritage Tourism interview with Representatives Cindy Evans Angus McKelvey’ Senator Daniel Inouye Introduces a bill in Congress to designate the downtown State Capitol part of the Heritage of Hawaii. The artfully constructed interface between natural and built environment has been hailed as a work of genius, harmoniously joining land and sea in a magnificent, yet sensitive statement, making the State Capitol Building worth preserving based on artistic merit alone.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdcqAMqyC5s&hl=en&fs=1]


1. HCR18.DOC HCR18 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15391
Electronic File Date: 1/24/2009 12:00:12 AM
2. HCR23.DOC HCR23 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15391
Electronic File Date: 1/23/2009 11:58:28 PM
3. HR20.DOC HR20 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15394
Electronic File Date: 1/24/2009 12:01:36 AM
4. HR25.DOC HR25 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15394
Electronic File Date: 1/23/2009 11:56:36 PM
5. SCR4.DOC SCR4 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15525
Electronic File Date: 1/30/2009 5:32:44 PM
6. SR7.DOC SR7 Status
Context: THE HERITAGE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATIVELY WORK TO, among other things, …CREATE A HERITAGE TOURISM MARKETING PLAN FOR USE BY THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY. WHEREAS, the state of Hawaii has a rich and vibrant heritage, blending history, architecture, values, and culture from Data Book; and � ���� WHEREAS, one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry is heritage tourism, travel that focuses on experiencing the
Filesize: 15524
Electronic File Date: 1/30/2009 5:50:04 PM

Lingle Releases Funds for Park Improvements… 3 Big Island Parks to See Improvements

Governor Linda Lingle has released $250,000 to improve the energy efficiency of state parks and Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) facilities on the Big Island, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu. This project is in addition to the $1.87 billion public infrastructure construction plan unveiled by Governor Lingle in December 2008 to stimulate the economy and create jobs…
…The following parks and DLNR facilities will receive improvements:

Big Island:
Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area and Baseyard
Kalōpā State Recreation Area
Wailoa River State Recreation Area and Baseyard

Full list of other State Parks on other Islands as well as more on the Governors release here.

Ceded Lands Moratorium Vote: Hawaii State House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs Votes in Favor of HB 1667… Video

This is a video of the vote taken by the Hawaii State House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs regarding HB 1667, which places a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands until the un-relinquished rights of Native Hawaiians are resolved.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4gA5SHH_Eo&hl=en&fs=1]

RELATING TO CEDED LANDS.
BLNR; Ceded Lands; Public Land Trust; Prohibition on Disposition
Prohibits the board of land and natural resources from selling, exchanging, or otherwise alienating ceded lands in the public land trust.

Like I Said Earlier: Contra-Flow 0… Shoulder Lane 1

I’m not sure what the big fuss is about with this latest announcement that Contra-Flows aren’t going to fly… at least right now.  It really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Back in September, I blogged about the State quick-fix project to use the shoulder lane.   The State told us then that Contra-flowing was not going to be possible.

Of note something that will be happening soon. The Shoulder lane that is used in the mornings from 6-8 AM are going to be opened up for 24 hour usage

In today’s Hawaii Tribune, it talks about how Councilwoman Naeole is now thinking twice about the meeting:

…”We can’t seem to get the state people to come,” she (Naeole) said of Department of Transportation administrators. “No sense we have the meeting, and they not there…”

What I don’t understand, is that Emily has known about the quick-fix shoulder project for quite some time as she is a member of the KPAG group.

At the last meeting in front of the State people, she mentioned this resolution to have a contra-flow, however, the State people just kind of blew her off like nothing was going to be done with the resolution.

We have met at least 5 times now with “State Officials” regarding the H-130 traffic.

Why is the STATE not listening to are needs?  Our own council lady is making resolutions that won’t even be heard by State Reps.

That’s ok… at least I know I wasn’t hearing things wrong 5 months ago.  It is a bit of waste of money attempting to do things that you already know aren’t going to work in the long run.

“Morioka said the DOT plans to convert the morning shoulder lane into a permanent lane and widen the road to create a Pahoa-bound shoulder lane for use during evening rush hour.”

Is anyone listening to what I previously stated on my blog?… Once again back in September I said:

Of note something that will be happening soon. The Shoulder lane that is used in the mornings from 6-8 AM are going to be opened up for 24 hour usage

Folks… we just have to get used to the STATE over riding most of what we want at county level.

The Dangers of Eating Genetically Engineered Foods: State-Wide Talks

An informative state-wide tour with best selling author and international speaker Jeffrey Smith, presenting on the Dangers of Eating Genetically Engineered (GMO) Foods.

Jeffrey speaks on Kauai Feb 10-12, Molokai Feb 15, Hawai’i Island; Hilo Feb 17 & Kona Feb 21, and Oahu Feb 22-23.

Sponsored by Hawaii SEED, who will share perspective on local sustainable agriculture and food security.

dangers-flyer1

If you care about what you and your family eat and what’s being grown on our land, don’t miss this event!

International bestselling author Jeffrey M. Smith is a leading spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). His globally respected research captured public attention in 2003 with his first book, “Seeds of Deception”, which exposed the serious yet unknown side effects of genetically engineered foods.

Founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Smith works internationally to educate on why agricultural biotechnology companies should not be in control of our food supply and how the FDA fails to keep our food safe. He has lectured in 25 countries, counseled world leaders from every continent, influenced the first state laws regulating GMOs and has united leaders to support The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, a revolutionary industry and consumer movement to remove GMOs from the natural food industry.

A popular speaker, he has been quoted by government leaders and hundreds of media outlets across the globe including The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Service, Nature, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, The Times (London), Associated Press, Reuters News Service, Time Magazine and Genetic Engineering News.

This presentation is free and open to the public. Please spread the word!

More info here

How Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan Will Help Hawaii’s Construction Industry

I found this interesting site that shows how Obama’s Economic Stimulus plan could help Hawaii’s Construction industry.  (Of course it’s a site run by the construction industry so it might be a bit slanted of a report)

The economic impact of stimulus investment in Hawaii:

  • An additional $1 billion in nonresidential construction spending would add about $2 billion to the state’s GDP, about $685 million to personal earnings, and would create or sustain 19,000 jobs.
  • 6,500 of these jobs would be on-site construction jobs located within Hawaii.
  • 3,000 of these jobs would be direct and indirect jobs associated with construction supply materials and services. The majority of these jobs would be located within the state, but there would be some out-of-state jobs supported.
  • 9,500 of these jobs would be created when construction, supplier and service providers spend their incomes. These jobs would be based in Hawaii and throughout the economy.

Construction Employment:

  • In 2007, a total of 34,000 jobs were supported by the direct and indirect outlays associated with the state’s nonresidential construction spending.
  • The construction industry (residential plus nonresidential) employed 38,000 workers in October 2008.

Nonresidential Construction Spending:

  • Nonresidential construction spending in Hawaii totaled an estimated $1.8 billion in 2007.
  • This direct construction spending in the state contributed a total of $3.6 billion (5.9 percent) to state GDP of $61.5 billion.
  • Direct construction spending in the state added $1.2 billion in additional personal earnings to the benefit of Hawaii residents working in the state.

Construction Industry Pay:

  • In 2007 annual pay of all construction workers in Hawaii averaged $59,300, 58.5 percent more than the average for all private sector employees.

Small Business:

  • Hawaii had 3,000 construction firms in 2006, of which 86.9 percent were small businesses employing fewer than 20 workers.


Legislature Gets TV Facilities… Cooking Show on Agenda?

I think it’s pretty cool that Olelo has opened up a place for legislators and their staff to produce videos and use equipment right at the capital building.

From the Senate Majority Caucus Blog:

It’s finally here! After much collaboration and anticipation,`Olelo Community Television unveiled their new video production studio today, Monday February 2, 2009, right here at the Capitol.

Studio@Capitol is a full in-house video production facility complete with video production equipment available for rent, two editing stations, and a DVD duplicating center. It is available to all members of the Hawai`i State Legislature, State Administration and staff to create, shoot and edit their own productions…”

studio

Now here is what is blowing me away… A senator has already mentioned the following:

…There is great interest and excitement about what this could mean in terms of new ways to reach out to the public and connect with constituents. You can bet each Senator has their own ideas on how to do that. Among them, there has been mention of hosting a cooking show, an end-of-session wrap up, weekly video podcasting, and much more!…

More Here

So I’m throwing around names of cooking shows that could be possible with some of our current Senators and this is what I’ve come up with… Feel free to add your own:

I know I’m missing a few… but I figured too many cooks would spoil the broth.

I just love when our tax money is spent on a good cooking show.

Lingle Releases $833,00 for Advanced Traveler Information System for Oahu Travelers

Governor Linda Lingle has released $833,000 to implement the first phase of an Advanced Traveler Information System for H-1, H-2 and H-201 (Moanalua) Freeways to help motorists avoid traffic and reduce their commute times

More Here

Hawaii Agencies Launch Food Safety Program

The State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Farm Bureau have partnered for a three-year pilot RFID program designed to promote food safety by enabling product visibility throughout the supply chain. The Hawaii Produce Traceability initiative uses RFID technology to track fresh produce down to the farm, or even field, level.

The initiative, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers a win-win situation for consumers and participating growers. When a food safety issue arises, product recalls can be enacted within an hour. With traceability down to the field level, growers can localize the impact of a recall to the relevant area, minimizing losses.


Beyond improving food safety, growers, who can participate by either slap-and-ship tagging or usage of a hand-held RFID system, can reap a bounty of other benefits from the program. Gathered data can be used to optimize harvest productivity, strengthen food processing controls, increase cold chain visibility, reduce produce dwell time on shipping and receiving docks, accelerate transportation times between trading partners and improve inventory turns; all this can help increase profit margins in a competitive industry.

Lowry Computer Products developed the first phase of the system, which includes hardware from Motorola and Symbol Technologies, software from Globe Ranger, and UPM Raflatac RFID inlays paired with waterproof labels. Lowry’s own Fresh Harvest tracking solution unifies these components, providing real-time supply chain data including when boxed produce is planted and harvested, what pesticides are used, and when and where RFID-tagged boxes are scanned. All this information is automatically uploaded into a database accessible to both program participants and, via the initiative’s web portal, the general public.

State officials are now planning for the next two phases of the initiative. Enhancements may include RFID-enabled cellphones to enable more farms to participate, and implementing produce temperature tracking to reduce the threat of food spoilage. The program may eventually be expand to cover 5,000 Hawaiian farms.

Funding for the pilot program was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program, and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation.

Bank Repo’s Air Kauai Helicopters… Again

On November 11th, I blogged that Air Kauai had it’s helicopters repossessed.

The following day, they were able to get them back.

Well now… they have lost them again!

airkauai

Air Kauai Inc., a Lihu’e, Hawaii-based company that specializes in island tours, had its helicopter fleet repossessed.

According to The Garden Island, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris gave the Bank of Hawaii the go-ahead to repossess two Eurocopter AS 350 helicopters last week.  Air Kauai failed to make its December payment of $31,402 to the bank and a $47,600 down payment to the insurance company, the newspaper reported.According to The Garden Island, the company took out two loans…

More here

“The Ledge” Pt. 3: Relating to Taro Security and GMO

My father-in-law is one of the people spearheading this Taro Bill.  I’m not going to get into the debate here about GMO, but I just thought I’d pass along the information about the bill.

“Uncle (dad) shares a little about his life and connection with Kalo.
This video was made to encourage input from the public on House Bill 1663
prohibiting genetically modified taro.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COajohsV4hA&hl=en&fs=1]

HB1663
RELATING TO TARO SECURITY.
Genetically Modified Taro; Prohibition
Prohibits the development, testing, propagation, release, importation, planting, or growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawaii.



Tracking Legislative Bills Via RSS Feeds

Press Release

The bill introduction deadline has passed, and there are now 1,680 Senate bills and 1,843 House bills in the pipeline.

Many of you have participated in the Public Access Room (PAR) workshops – either here at the Capitol or in your community – and have learned handy tips on finding and tracking the bills you’re interested in.  I’m writing to let you know about a slight change in procedure regarding one of those tips – subscribing to RSS feeds to allow you to easily track hundreds of bills and know at a glance if there’s been any activity.  While you can still track your bills using this method, an extra step is required due to a temporary technical difficulty – the feed link does not currently appear on the status sheet pages.  Don’t panic!  There’s just an added step.

Here’s what you do:

· Collect your bill numbers as you find them (via text search, reviewing the list of Senate or House bills filed, etc. – call or email us if you need assistance).

· Go to the Bill Status and Documents page of the Legislature’s website (www.capitol.hawaii.gov ).

· Enter the bill numbers in the top box (separate the bill numbers by commas, as shown – you can put in more than a dozen at a time).

· Click “Go.”

· You’ll see a list of hyperlinks to the measures’ status sheets with the RSS subscription links symbols () next to them.

· Click each subscription link to subscribe.

· You’ll be on top of things!  The subscriptions work as well as ever.

Note:  The folks in data systems are working diligently on any number of issues amidst the usual flurry of session – they have every intention of returning the subscription links to the status pages as soon as possible.  This is just a work-around until that happens.  We’ll send another alert then to let you know the links have been restored.

If this email leaves you feeling a bit overwhelmed, baffled or confused, feel free to contact us at the Public Access Room.  We’ll be happy to walk you through the procedure for RSS subscriptions, or help you find a tracking method that works better for you.

Death Penatly Bill Introduced to Hawaii Legislatures

I know that Sen. Slom is pretty much a “Grandstanding” speaker and likes to catch the attention of a lot of people with some of his  legislation.

He introduced Senate Bill 348 and it has passed the first reading.

This is actually a bill that I would support.  Some crimes are so heinous that I believe some people should be put to death for them.  (here comes the hate mail)

The legislature finds that there is a need to provide for the imposition of the death penalty to address the most serious offenses that can be committed, namely, the murder of a minor who is less than twelve years old, murder combined with torture or sexual assault, or any multiple murder.  The use of capital punishment in these circumstances is intended both to punish the perpetrator and to deter others from committing these types of crimes.

The legislature further finds that this Act is in compliance with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (June 24, 2002), in which the Court ruled that a jury, rather than a judge, must make a finding of aggravating factors when those factors underlie a judge’s choice to impose the death penalty rather than a lesser statutory punishment.  The Supreme Court found that Arizona’s enumerated aggravating factors operated as the “functional equivalent of an element of a greater offense.”  Therefore, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that such aggravating factors be determined by a jury…

More Here

Report Title: Capital Punishment; Murder
Description: Provides for a sentence of death or life imprisonment without possibility of parole upon conviction of a defendant for the murder of a minor less than twelve years of age, murder combined with torture or sexual assault, or multiple murders. Requires separate sentencing proceedings after conviction before a jury.

Senator Hee Talks About the Pending Ceded Lands Case… Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6462h6dCEc&hl=en&fs=1]

Hawaii “Suicide” Bill Passes First Reading

Others simply call this the “Suicide Bill”.  Hawaii is calling it the “Death With Dignity” Bill or HB587.

House Bill 587 passed the first reading on Tuesday and has been referred to the House Committee on Health.

Measure Title: RELATING TO DEATH WITH DIGNITY.
Report Title: Death With Dignity
Description: Allows a terminally ill, competent adult to get lethal dose of medication to end life. Prohibits mercy killings, lethal injections, and active euthanasia. Requires informed consent. Allows alternate doctor to replace attending doctor if latter declines to prescribe. Requires monitor at time of taking dose.