Bill Drafted to Squash Free Speech… Please Don’t Pass Senate Bill 2104,

Well it appears that a few legislatures this year really don’t have a clue about what constitutional rights are all about.

First they write a bill trying to track internet usage for two years and now there is a bill that will squash free speech.

Unfortunately the report title is “Harassment; Electronic Communication,” but most people are trying to disguise this as some sort of “Cyber Bullying” bill.

I myself see the bill as it’s written as a big infringement on folks personal freedoms and especially the freedom to free speech!

The Description of SB 2104 reads as follows and it would be attached to current laws on the books regarding actual real harassment:

Provides that the making of an electronic communication, as defined in section 711-1111(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes, that is directed at a specific person and causes that person emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose, together with the required specific intent, is harassment.

Well this means that I couldn’t specifically blog about folks such as President Obama, Governor Abercrombie, Mayor Kenoi, our County Council or any other SPECIFIC persons or people.

It’s a very slippery slope when the government tells people what they can and can not write and laws enacted like this are another bad example of legislation that wasn’t thought about before it went to the legislature.

I’m totally against cyber bullying and cyber harassment, however, as this bill is drafted… it infringes on our personal rights to free speech.

Now I will specifically state that Senators Green, Espero, Chun Oakland, and Ihara were the introducers of this bill.  Let’s hope this doesn’t cause them any personal emotional distress that I feel the way I do about this bill!

Federal Disaster Declaration is Renewed for Vog Damage to Hawai’i Island Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has renewed a disaster declaration for Hawai’i Island due to volcanic emissions from Kilauea Volcano. The declaration is in response to a request from Governor Neil Abercrombie on December 27, 2011, citing continued agricultural production losses caused by vog.

The federal declaration allows Hawai’i County agricultural producers the opportunity to apply for emergency loans due to damage caused by volcanic emissions. This type of disaster assistance has been provided for Hawai’i Island agricultural producers since 2008.

“Many farmers and ranchers on Hawai’i Island continue to have a difficult time with the cumulative effects of vog on their crops and livestock operations,” said Governor Abercrombie.  “The federal disaster designation renews our access to emergency federal loans and other assistance programs in this ongoing situation.”

Agricultural damages reported in Hawai’i County include: damage to vegetable crops (especially leafy greens), some orchard crops, flowers and foliage (including those under greenhouses).
Ranchers have experienced adverse impacts on range grasses and premature corrosion of fencing, gates and other metal infrastructure.

Hawai’i County agricultural producers who want to apply for emergency loans due to damage caused by volcanic emissions must do so before August 2012. For more information regarding emergency loans and other available assistance, contact the Hilo office of the USDA Farm Service Agency at (808) 933-8381 extension 2.

Former Hawaii State Representative Samuel S. H. Lee Passes Away

Members of the House of Representatives learned today that former State Representative Samuel S. H.  Lee passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, February 10, 2012.  He was 81 years old.

Samuel S. H. Lee

Samuel Lee was the husband of Representative Marilyn B. Lee who currently serves District 38 – Mililani and Mililani Mauka. In his honor and to pay respect to their colleague, the House stood in a moment of silence on the House chamber floor.

Marilyn and Samuel Lee

“On behalf of the House of Representatives, I want to express our deepest sympathy to Rep. Marilyn Lee and her family on the passing of her husband and our former colleague, Sam Lee,” said Speaker of the House Calvin K.Y. Say.  “Hawaii has lost a true public servant and community leader.  Sam’s experience as a diplomat took him around the world, but he returned to Hawaii to give back to our community.  It is with gratitude that we remember Rep. Sam Lee and his many contributions to our state.”

Samuel Sang Hoy Lee (May 16, 1930 – February 10, 2012) was a U.S. diplomat, community organizer, and lawmaker.  He served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1986 to 1996.

Lee entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1955 and served for 26 years.  He and his family returned to Hawaii in 1981 and settled in Mililani.  During a period from 1983 – 1985, pesticide contamination was found in Mililani’s drinking water.  Lee became a community activist and led a successful grassroots campaign which compelled developers and government officials to remedy the situation.  From there, Lee successfully ran for the House and served for five terms.

Sam Lee is survived by his wife of forty-five years, Representative Marilyn B. Lee, his four children, and six grandchildren.

Big Island Police Charge Kona Man With Meth Trafficking and Other Offenses

Big Island police have charged a 42-year-old Kona man with meth trafficking and other offenses, including reckless endangering.

Chad Cunningham

The reckless endangering charge stemmed from an attempted traffic stop January 31 on Aliʻi Drive in Kailua-Kona. The driver, Chad Cunningham of Kailua-Kona, fled from officers and passed a stopped school bus that was dropping off passengers.

On Wednesday (February 8), Cunningham ran from officers who attempted to contact him as he left an Aliʻi Drive apartment complex. Following a foot pursuit, officers arrested him for reckless endangering and took him to the Kona police cellblock pending further investigation. After obtaining a search warrant for his bag, police found 13.4 grams of crystal methamphetamine in 14 resealable plastic bags, paraphernalia associated with drug distribution and an electric stun gun.

On Thursday (February 9), officers from the Vice Section charged Cunningham with meth trafficking, promoting a dangerous drug, possession of an illegal stun gun, reckless endangering, driving without a license, resisting arrest, and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia.

He remained in the cellblock in lieu of $116,500 until his initial court appearance Friday morning (February 10).

GMO Labeling Rally at the Hawaii State Capitol

There will be a GMO Labeling Rally at The Hawaii State Capitol on Tuesday, February 21st, from 12:00pm – 5:30pm.

Schedule for the Rally:

  • 12pm Blessing Ceremony for Haloa the Taro Ki’I on the Capitol
  • 12:30 – 2:30 rally, music 6 speakers, free salad and snacks
  • 2:30 – 4:30 lobby legislators
  • 5pm Closing