Commentary – Group Disappointed in Child Molester Sentence

We’re appalled that an admitted child molesting teacher may spend just a year in prison.

We are deeply disappointed in Judge Glenn Kim’s decision to jail William Plourde so briefly. And we call on him to publicly explain why he gave such a lenient sentence – more appropriate for a purse snatcher than a child molester.

William Plourde

William Plourde

We beg officials in the Hawaii Catholic Church to aggressively reach out to anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sex crimes by Plourde and urge them to call police and prosecutors so that he might be charged again and kept away from kids longer. We suspect, based on our group’s 25 year history, that other current or former staff at Sacred Hearts Academy had inklings that Plourde had sexually violated kids but kept silent. We hope they’ll find the courage to step forward now.

It’s very possible that Plourde could be prosecuted and convicted for other child sex crimes. But the best way to make that happen is for Catholic school and church officials to use their vast resources to prod though who may have information or suspicions about Plourde to call law enforcement right away.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Mayor Kenoi Urges Lingle Administration to Reconsider Kulani Closure and Ag Inspector Layoffs

From the Mayor’s Office:

Below is testimony Mayor Billy Kenoi provided in Hilo tonight to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee reviewing the proposals by Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration to close Kulani Correctional Facility and lay off all but one agricultural inspector in the County of Hawai’i.

“Aloha, Senator Hanabusa, Senator Kokubun and members of the Senate:

Thank you for this opportunity to provide information on the potential impacts within the County of Hawai’i from plans announced by Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration to close the Kulani Correctional Facility and lay off all but one of the 14 state agricultural inspectors who now work on the Island of Hawai’i.

These proposals would have very serious and negative repercussions for our working families and our farmers, and I want to take this opportunity to respectfully urge the Lingle administration to reconsider.

Agriculture is one of our very few export industries, and development of this growing sector of our economy is critical because it offers a measure of stability to protect us from the sometimes painful fluctuations in the world tourism market. For years the County, the State Legislature and previous state administrations nurtured agriculture to try to diversify our economy and to move the state closer to self-sufficiency. Eliminating almost all of the agricultural inspectors working in the County of Hawai’i undermines all those years of effort in a single stroke, and it would be a mistake.

I will not attempt to list all of the enterprises that are put at risk by this decision, but please consider a few of the implications. The agricultural sector that would be placed in the greatest jeopardy with the loss of inspectors is the potted plant and nursery industry, a growing market that is now worth more than $40 million a year on the Island of Hawai’i alone. Each of our 170 nurseries needs to be inspected and certified twice a year to qualify for the export market, a process that is impossible without qualified agricultural inspectors.

I know you are also familiar with the varroa mite and its potential to do harm to our queen bee and honey industries, which together are worth another $10 million. Without agricultural workers to pursue bio-control strategies to combat this pest, the damage to the bee industry could be profound. Worse yet, loss of bees needed for agricultural pollination could in turn harm the macadamia nut, rambutan and lychee sectors, which together are now worth more than $40 million a year.

I have been speaking about industries and dollars, but let us not lose sight of the people who will be affected by the damage done by the loss of the inspectors. Most farming provides a modest income at best, and our farm industry supports thousands of working families who depend on that income to pay their bills. The small farmers who struggle to make a living surely rank among our boldest and most hard-working entrepreneurs, and they deserve continued support from the state.

The plan to close Kulani Correctional Facility is also harmful to the local economy and to working families beyond the 76 employees who would lose their jobs in the proposed prison shutdown. Many of these employees operate treatment and job training programs at Kulani that help to rehabilitate prisoners, which makes our communities safer in the long run. It would be a mistake to abandon those employees and their important work.

Outside the prison, local vendors including food suppliers do tens of thousands of dollars worth of business with Kulani each month, and the loss of sales to Kulani would force some of those local businesses to consider layoffs of their own. This ripple effect in the local economy from the Kulani closure could not happen at worse time.

Hawai’i’s correctional system is already overcrowded, and closing Kulani Correctional Facility appears likely to result in more prison inmates being shipped to prisons in Arizona or elsewhere on the Mainland. If that is the case, the state in effect will be exporting correction officer and support staff jobs to the Mainland along with the prison inmates, a policy that makes little sense in these tough economic times.

Again, we urge the Lingle administration to reconsider the decisions to close Kulani and to lay off agriculture inspectors because both plans are contrary to the long-term economic health of our State and County.

Mahalo for this opportunity to discuss these issues.”


William P. Kenoi


The Ledge: Mina

The latest episode of the “The Ledge” is out and as usual, you can view past episodes up on the top of the blog:

Chair of the Hawaii Energy and Environmental Protection Committee Hermina Morita talks about energy in the world and how Hawaii will play a huge part in ending our addiction to fossil fuel.


The Ledge (Episode 9): Big Island Rep. Denny Coffman on HB 366 Protecting Manta Rays

Once again Rep.  Morita’s office has come out with another excellent segment of “The Ledge“:

HB366 HD2
Manta Rays; Poaching and Commercial Fishing Prohibited
Establishes fines and penalties for any person who knowingly captures or kills a manta ray within state marine waters. Provides an exception for special permits granted for scientific, education, management, or propagation purposes. (HB366 HD2)


“The Ledge” HB 444 Civil Unions… The Video

Once again Rep.  Morita’s office has come out with another excellent segment of “The Ledge“:


HB444 HD1
Civil Unions
Extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. (HB444 HD1)

“The Ledge” Episode VII: Fishponds

Brah!!!!  You went over the top with this one bud… Excellent!!!

Lyla Rep. Berg was an excellent leader in using technology a long time ago back in the days she worked with my old office where I distributed the following series.



Of course you can see previous episodes of “The Ledge” here.

“The Ledge” Part VI: HB 763 Relating to Gray Water Recycling

Wastewater; Gray Water Recycling
Requires the department of health to establish a gray water recycling program for premises not served by a county wastewater system. Permits counties to establish gray water recycling programs in areas served by a county wastewater system.

HB763 is an important part in water conservation. Please send testimony to support Rep Jessica Wooly in her efforts through HB763


“The Ledge” SB456 – Relating to Discrimination

You can see previous episodes of “The Ledge” here.

Discrimination in Real Property Transactions; Source of Income
Prohibits discrimination in real property transactions based on lawful source of income.


Hawaii Legislative Tweets (Leg. Tweets)

With the advance of technology, we can now eavesdrop on the Legislators in action as they work towards hammering out bills in the Hearing rooms.

There are a couple people in general that I’m following.

Hawaii House Blogger:  Twitter – @georgettedeemer (Communications Director Hawaii House of Reps; former state film commissioner.)

Honolulu Advertiser Capitol Blogger: Twitter – @ddepledge (The state government and politics reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser)

All News Hawaii Blogger: Twitter – @nancylauer (Hawaii Capitol researcher, reporter)

I’ll post some of their tweets up top… along with other folks who happen to drop by the legislature from time to time.

These tweets provide interesting insight to the legislature that you will very rarely read in the newspapers, and they are happening on the floor of the legislature live while they are happening… not an edited version a few hours later.

“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:

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


“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.”


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

“The Ledge” Hawaii Legislature Video Show

I just noticed that House Rep. Morita’s Office is putting out a weekly show on youtube called “The Ledge”

Episode 1:

The Ledge is a weekly video series about the 09 Hawaii state legislative session. Bills live and die every day at the state Legislature. We will report on the past weeks actions as well as let you know about whats coming up next week. Stay tuned every Friday for a new episode of … “the Ledge”


Episode II:

This week on the Ledge, we look at opening day at the 25th Hawaii State Legislative session.