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Death With Dignity Bill Passes Key Hurdle

Hawai‘i House lawmakers voted to legally permit medically aided death in Hawai‘i this afternoon, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, after an emotional floor debate in which lawmakers recalled their own family members who suffered before they died

Nine Democrats and three Republicans in the 51-member House opposed the bill.

House Bill 2739 would allow patients with less than six months to request prescriptions for lethal doses of medication.

The measure now goes to the state Senate, where it is expected to win approval.

House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman John Mizuno contends House Bill 2739 has the strongest safeguards to prevent abuse of any state. Five states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical aid in dying, including California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Under the procedures in the bill, patients would be required to submit two verbal requests a minimum of 20 days apart and one written request to their attending physicians for a prescription.

The written request would have to be signed by two witnesses who can attest the patient is of sound mind, and is acting voluntarily. One of the witnesses cannot be a relative and one witness cannot be someone who stands to inherit anything upon the patient’s death.

The bill also requires counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist or clinical social worker after two physicians confirm the patient’s diagnosis, prognosis and competence.

Hawai‘i House Passes 131 Bills to Senate

Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

The Hawai‘i House of Representatives passed 131 bills on third reading on Friday, March 2, 2018, moving them to the Senate for their consideration. The bills include housing, homelessness, education, health, the environment, public safety, governmental affairs, the environment and other important issues.

Here are some of the highlights:

Homelessness and Housing

HB2281 Establishes within the Department of Human Services an Ohana Zones program to provide housing to homeless individuals and families based on principles similar to Housing First and appropriates unspecified funds for the program.

HB2753 Establishes the Ohana Zone Pilot Program. Defines the intent of the pilot program, and sets preliminary milestones that shall be met by the Department of Human Services, Homeless Programs Office in establishing the pilot program.

HB2472 Specifies that certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code related to at-risk rules and deductions and to passive activity loss do not apply with respect to claims for the state low-income housing tax credit.

HB2703 (1) Allocates a portion of the conveyance tax revenues to the rental assistance revolving fund to be used to subsidize rents for persons who meet certain income requirements; (2) Increases the income tax credit for low-income household renters to an unspecified amount; and (3) Makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and changes the amount of the credit to an unspecified percentage of the federal earned income tax credit.

HB2744 Appropriates funds to provide additional rent supplement subsidies.

HB2745 Expands the rental assistance program by increasing the minimum percentage of affordable units a rental housing project is required to maintain for eligible tenants from 20% to 30%. Appropriates funds to support new rental assistance program contracts.

HB1727 Requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees to be used to care for themselves or a family member who is ill or needs medical care, or due to a public health emergency. Gives employers flexibility to offer paid sick leave to minimum wage and other employees or to pay minimum wage employees a salary that is more than the minimum wage.

Education

HB1720 Allows for a state income tax deduction for teacher supplies purchased for use in the classroom and for professional development courses; provided that the teacher obtains a written certification from the Department of Education.

Health

HB1911 Requires home care agencies to be licensed or certified. Authorizes the Department of Health to inspect home care agencies. Requires the Department of Health to establish a home care aid registry. Authorizes the Department of Health to establish procedures for the receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints against home care agencies. Authorizes the Department of Health to enter a care facility when investigating a facility or home. Allows the Department of Health to establish a forum where state-licensed care facilities may post job vacancies. Imposes criminal penalty for the intentional operation of a community-based foster family home, adult foster family home, adult day care center, or home care agency without a license. Requires the Department of Health to establish a working group to discuss and provide feedback for the implementation of the job vacancy forum.

HB2611 Appropriates moneys for Department of Health to fund substance abuse treatment programs relating to persons with multiple chronic conditions, a centralized referral system, case management programs, and a peer mentoring or coaching program.

HB2208 Requires association health plan policies to comply with the laws of this State regardless of the association’s domicile. Enables certain voluntary associations, including employer associations that issue association health plans, to qualify for authorization to transact insurance in the State.

HB2128 Requires that health insurance policies include coverage for clinical victim support services for victims of sexual violence and abuse who suffer from mental disorders.

HB2729 Amends the reciprocity program and adds a visiting patient certifying fee. Extends expiration of a written certification to three years for chronic conditions. Permits retesting of a failed batch of medical cannabis or products. Permits dispensary licensees to distribute devices that provide safe pulmonary administration. Increases the maximum allowable tetrahydro cannibinol limit for multi-pack cannabis products and single containers of oil.

Public Safety

HB1614 Automatically imposes a restraining order upon parties filing for annulment, divorce, or separation to preserve the financial assets of the parties and their dependents and maintain the current island of residence and school of enrollment of a minor child of the parties.

HB2131 Creates a Hawaii Sexual Assault Response and Training Program to address the manner in which sexual assault evidence collection kits are processed and tracked, and to ensure that victims of sexual assault are informed of their rights under the law.

HB2200 Allows an employer to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction against further harassment of an employee or invitee who may be harassed at the employer’s premises or worksite, provided that the provisions do not apply to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations or any of its employees with investigatory duties and responsibilities.

HB2169 Appropriates moneys for youth suicide early intervention, prevention, and education initiatives in Maui county.

Government

HB1656 Increases the amount of the fine that may be assessed against a noncandidate committee making only independent expenditures for campaign spending violations. Allows the Campaign Spending Commission to order that a fine assessed against a noncandidate committee, or any portion thereof, be paid from the personal funds of officers of the noncandidate committee.

HB2541 Enacts voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections commencing in 2020, and allows any election to be conducted by mail prior to the 2020 primary election.

HB1799 Allows only nonprofit corporations to be recipients of grants in aid appropriated by the Legislature under Chapter 42F, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The Environment

HB 2728 Establishes a Clean Transportation Initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all public ground transportation by 2035.

Click here for a list of all bills passed by the House of Representative so far this session.

Onishi Appointed to Serve as Governor’s Rep. for East Hawai‘i

Dennis “Fresh” Onishi. File photo.

Gov. David Ige announced that he has appointed Dennis “Fresh” Onishi to serve as the governor’s representative for East Hawai‘i.

Onishi has worked for the County of Hawai‘i for 29 years, including eight years on the Hawai‘i County Council. From 2008 to 2016, Onishi served as chair of the council’s committee on Environmental Management; chair of the committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development and; vice chair of the Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation.

Onishi has also worked for the Hawai‘i State Association of Counties, and most recently as interim president and chief professional officer of the Hawai‘i Island United Way.

“Fresh was born and raised in Hilo and has spent most of his life serving the people of Hawai‘i Island. I know that he will continue his exemplary service through the Office of the Governor,” said Gov. Ige.

“I will always work hard for the people to make the Big Island a better place to live,” Onishi said.

Onishi is a graduate of Hilo High School and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

He starts his new position on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

Rep. Hirono: Trump Budget Bad for Hawai‘i

PC: James Grenz

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2019:

Instead of investing in programs that help middle and working-class families across our state, the president proposes trillions of dollars in cuts that would harm nearly everyone in Hawai‘i. I will continue to fight to protect Hawai‘i residents from this administration’s misplaced priorities.

The president’s FY 2019 Budget makes harmful cuts to many programs and initiatives important for Hawai‘i, including:

  • A 33% cut to Essential Air Service that supports air transportation to communities like Kalaupapa, Hāna, and Kamuela.
  • The elimination of the TIGER Grant program that has supported construction of Honolulu Pier 29, Saddle Road, and the Līhue Town Core Mobility and Revitalization Project.
  • A $451 million cut to health professionals training programs.
  • The elimination of funding for the Native Hawaiian Education Program—which has helped tens of thousands of Native Hawaiian youth—and the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant—which assists the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in providing housing counseling, housing developments, and other assistance for thousands of Native Hawaiian families.
  • A $70 million cut to Impact Aid.
  • The elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Sea Grant College Programs.
  • A 34% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Cuts to the Volcano Hazards Program ($6 million), the Tsunami Warning Program ($11 million), and the Ocean Acidification Program ($2 million).
  • The elimination of the National Housing Trust Fund, Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnership, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
  • A $1.4 trillion cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years.

Kanuha Makes State Senate Run Official

Hawaiʻi County Councilman Dru Kanuha pulled and filed his candidacy papers today, Feb. 1, 2018, making official his candidacy for State Senate District 3, representing Kaʻū and Kona.

“The outpouring of aloha and support since I announced my candidacy in September has been so humbling,” Kanuha said. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve even more people in our community as Senator.”

“Having been blessed to grow up in West Hawaiʻi and raised with the values of compassion, respect and aloha for the land, water and people, it will be an honor to bring those values with me to the Hawaiʻi State Senate and work hard to address the needs of our people from Nāʻālehu to Ocean View, South Kona to Kealakekua, Kāināliu to Keauhou, Kailua to Kalaoa,” said Kanuha.

Kanuha was born and raised in Kona, and is a proud graduate of Kealakehe High School and the University of San Diego. Kanuha worked at the State Capitol and at Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division before being elected to the County Council in 2012. He is currently in his third term representing the people of Council District 7.

Kanuha is especially proud of improvements in transportation and recreation he advanced during his three terms on the County Council: building Laʻaloa Avenue as a mauka-makai connector to relieve traffic congestion on both Kuakini Highway above and Aliʻi Drive below, completing the Māmalahoa Bypass Extension from Keauhou to Nāpoʻopoʻo to alleviate congestion in South Kona, opening the new playground at Kailua Park to families, and welcoming the community to Aliʻi Kai Park—delivering on a promise made by the county over four decades ago.

While on the Council, Kanuha’s colleagues elected him chair from 2014 to 2016, and he currently serves as chair of the Governmental Relations and Economic Development Committee. He was also chosen by his colleagues as president of the Hawaiʻi State Association of Counties, a body that advocates for the counties at the Legislature, and is on the board of directors of the National Association of Counties and its Western Interstate Region.

 

Hirono to Trump: Nominate a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea ASAP

Sen Mazie Hironon. Courtesy photo.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, released the following statement after Victor Cha confirmed that he is no longer being considered to serve as the ambassador to South Korea:

“One year into his presidency, Donald Trump has yet to nominate an ambassador to South Korea — one of our closest allies in a volatile region of the world.

That the White House is no longer considering Victor Cha’s nomination over his legitimate concerns about preemptive military strikes against North Korea is deeply troubling and undermines ongoing diplomatic efforts to deescalate tensions.

“Donald Trump’s aversion to differences of opinion is pathological and does not serve our national interest or the interests of our allies in the region.”

In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2018, Sen. Hirono questioned experts on the Korean Peninsula on the importance of filling the ambassadorship. Last year, Sen. Hirono wrote to the President to urge him to fill the ambassadorship, and several other positions that are critical to finding a diplomatic solution to deescalate tensions with North Korea.

Statement of Attorney General Doug Chin Regarding Upcoming Lieutenant Governor Vacancy

Attorney General Doug Chin

Hawai‘i Attorney General Doug Chin today released the following statement regarding the upcoming vacancy for the office of state lieutenant governor:

“I will announce my decision regarding the lieutenant governor vacancy by the end of the week. In the meantime, I have been in direct contact with Governor Ige, Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui, and his staff. The work of the LG’s office will continue. I congratulate Shan on his next chapter and applaud his many years in public office.”

Rep. Saiki 2018 Legislative Session Opening Day Remarks

The 2018 Hawai‘i Legislative Session started on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, with opening day remarks by House Speaker Scott Saiki:

These are tumultuous times.

This year, we must step up to the plate.

The State of Hawai‘i requires leadership now and the House of Representatives can and should provide that leadership.

Unfortunately, one need only look to the past weekend to see a glaring instance of the inability of government at various levels to manage major issues facing our state.

Saturday’s events reinforce the importance of the role of government. It also shines light on the role of the Legislature as the policymaker and as the check on the other branches of government. It is our duty to ensure that the three branches abide by their respective constitutional duties so that we all do our jobs well.

We rely on the executive branch to competently and efficiently implement our laws and to administer programs. This begins with basic functions. Some of these functions must be carried out without mistakes because, when mistakes happen, the public loses confidence in all of us.

We also rely on the Judiciary to fairly adjudicate and dispense justice. It is not the role of judges to make policy decisions from the bench. It is the Legislature’s duty to set policy, and we do this with the benefit of broader public input and context.

The legislative branch, and particularly we as the House of Representatives, begin this session with a renewed sense of purpose.

The House is in a unique position to provide leadership. Part of the reason is our composition. Our 51 members are diverse, experienced, and energetic. We represent some of the smallest units of government. Our members have a pulse on what real people actually think, what they do, and what they want.

This collective insight is very powerful and should not be taken lightly. We should use this insight to be bold and creative. We should always be thinking of how to make things better.

There are two painfully obvious challenges that confront our state – the lack of affordable housing and the increasing homeless population. They are full of complexity and competing interests that make them hard to solve. They will require commitment and courageous action, sustained over several years.

But the time to start is now.

HOUSING

There is a shortage of 65,000 housing units in Hawai‘i. The State has set a goal of building 22,500 affordable rental units by the year 2026, and encouraging the development of housing for all income levels.

There is a huge gap between what our working families are able to pay and the cost of building new housing in Hawai‘i. The state and counties must continue to partner with private and nonprofit developers to add to the affordable housing inventory and make these projects pencil out.

To address the financing gap, we should consider increases to programs such as the Rental Housing Revolving Fund, Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund and the Rental Assistance Revolving Fund.

These programs will subsidize rents, infrastructure and construction costs.

For the very low income, elderly and disabled, we should upgrade our public housing inventory. We should also invest in infrastructure in areas that are conducive to such housing, including areas near the proposed rail stations.

HOMELESSNESS

There are now over 7,000 homeless persons throughout the state, including 667 families.

The approach to homelessness is multifaceted and requires short and long-term action. But there is a model that we can adopt. That model is Kahauiki Village.

Kahauiki Village is an example of a successful public-private partnership that included the combined work of the state, the city, nonprofits, and the private sector, some of whom had not interfaced before.

It is a self-contained community that is comprised of 153 transitional homes, a preschool, a market, and a police meeting room. It also operates from a PV-generated battery system and is off the electric grid.

This model can be extended to homeless populations with substance abuse and mental health conditions.

One important takeaway is that Kahauiki Village represents what is possible if people and agencies at different levels work towards a common goal.

And even as we develop more transitional housing, we must also increase law enforcement to avoid encroachment into public spaces. This encroachment affects the quality of life for all, and we must find ways to divert it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA

These are the kinds of issues that our residents are counting on us to solve. But leadership is more than solving issues.

A year ago, President Obama said something in his Farewell Address to the Nation that reminds me of Hawai‘i’s situation today.

He spoke of the youth, diversity, and drive of Americans, and the potential that these traits offered to our country.

But the President also offered this warning:

“[T]hat potential will be realized,” he said, “only if our democracy works. Only if our politics reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of our party affiliation or particular interest, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.”

The people of Hawai‘i are looking to us for more than problem solving.

They are also looking to us to articulate and demonstrate a sense of shared purpose that calls others, calls on everyone, to join in.

The House will play a critical role in calling people together in common purpose, but to do it, I believe that each of us must embrace three things.

First, let’s be open to reform and to challenge the status quo. We can still honor the past, but build upon the foundation that was left for us. It is okay to do things differently.

Second, let’s view challenges through the lens of those who are impacted by them. Some of the most contentious issues in Hawai‘i arise when people believe that government does not consider their perspective or history. We need to do better at reconciling these differences – by drawing on the knowledge of all our people – including those impacted by the policies we create – to shape the path forward.

Third, let’s take a global approach to decision-making. Sometimes government is too focused on jurisdiction and turf. We need to move beyond that.

CONCLUSION

Members, we are at a moment in history where we cannot just be stewards. This legislative session is a call to broader involvement and decisive action. We must be courageous activists because the issues facing our state are too urgent to wait. I know that we are up to the challenge.

This year, we will rebuild a foundation that will help many residents throughout our state. And by doing so, we will advance Hawai‘i’s tradition of pioneering justice, fairness, and opportunity for all.

Thank you and best wishes for a productive session.

Hawai‘i State Senate Convenes

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, the Hawai‘i State Senate convened the second year of the 29th Legislative Biennium Session with a renewed commitment to protect and sustain the people of Hawai‘i and its natural resources and to strengthen communities through effective legislation.

The opening session commenced with an invocation by Pastor Matt Higa from New Hope Kaua‘i. The National Anthem and Hawai‘i Pono‘i was performed by Ms. Nalani Brun.

Photo courtesy Hawai‘i Senate Majority

Among the honored guests in the Senate Chamber were members of the Fukuoka Prefectural Assembly, Governor David Ige, mayors and council members from the neighbor islands.

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi opened the session with remarks on issues where he hopes the Senate will continue to provide leadership and pass meaningful legislation.

Senate President Kouchi encouraged Senators to continue to find ways to address the challenges of homelessness and follow through on the commitment to build affordable housing. With the state facing possible cuts of $12 million in federal aid, he asked Senators to remember to protect our kūpuna and to ensure they are providing adequate health services for each and every resident of the state. He also encouraged Senators to continue to grow the economy to maintain funding for much needed services.

Photo courtesy Hawai‘i Senate Majority

“Creating opportunities for each and every child in this state to close the income gap and to be able to reach for the stars and realize their dreams,” is the reason Senate President Kouchi emphasized education as a priority for the Senate, starting with providing funding to allow better training for teachers to give students the best education available.

President Kouchi called for support to expand the Promise Program, which provides tuition assistance for community college “so that financial need is not an obstacle to higher education and make college a reality for each and every student in Hawai‘i.”

He also wants to see an expansion of the Early College program, which brings university instructors to local high schools. Students are able to earn college credits while in high school, giving them the confidence to pursue higher learning and helping defray the cost of college, which is “a critical stepping stone to allow our children to find that pathway to success,” said Senate President Kouchi.

Photo courtesy Hawai‘i Senate Majority.

With the success of the Farm-to-School program that started in Kohala and is expanding to other schools, President Kouchi was encouraged to see a possible partnership between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education to grow the program that sources local fruits and vegetables, and most recently, locally grown beef. The Department of Education serves more than 100,000 meals a day making it essentially the largest restaurant in the state. “If we have a commitment from the largest restaurant in the State of Hawai‘i to purchase locally grown food, this is the way I see a path forward to put active production on agricultural land the state has purchased and we will be able to bring back farming and address the issue of food security.”

Reflecting on the events of Saturday’s false ballistic missile threat, President Kouchi told Senators “we found out how connected we are.” Just as in the moments when there was fear and the foremost thought was expressing love and appreciation for those closest to us, he encouraged Senators “to express love and hope and always be conscious of what you say.” He also vowed to work with the administration to determine the best practices and what is needed to ensure it does not happen again and how, as legislators, they can carry out their responsibilities to guarantee that each citizen and guest of the state will be safe.

Kouchi also assured the Governor that all 25 State Senators are committed to working on legislation that provide the best results for the people of Hawai‘i.

Photo courtesy Hawai‘i Senate Majority.

The Senate has committed to continue to fortify the state’s position as a leader in sustainability and climate change mitigation by working to implement the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at the state level. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is a voluntary international call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2018 Senate Legislative Program are posted on the Hawai‘i Senate Majority website.

“Hawai‘i was the first state in the nation to enact legislation that support the commitments and goals of the Paris climate accord,” said Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English. “The Sustainable Development Goals will continue the efforts of the Senate to build a more resilient state and improve the quality of life for future generations.”

Former President Clinton Visits Big Island

Former President Bill Clinton is currently enjoying time on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

Sen.Kai Kahele, President Bill Clinton and Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. PC: Sen. Kahele.

Clinton was the 42nd president to serve our country, serving from 1993 to 2001. 

Hawai‘i State Sens. Kai Kahele and Brickwood Galuteira got to meet with him on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, for about 45 minutes.

“We talked about Hawai‘i and how much it has to offer the world and how America could use a little bit of aloha right now,” said Sen. Kahele.

Besides talking with the former president, the Senators gave him a portrait of the famed Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a.

The former president will be on the Big Island until Monday, Jan. 15.

Big Island Resident Ka‘ehu‘ae‘e Announces Run for Governor

Big Island resident Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a has once again thrown his hat into the political scene here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

On his Facebook account this evening, he has announced that he will run for the Governor of Hawaii.

The following was posted to his account:

For GOV 2018. IMUA “NO MORE LIES”. Wkaehuaea@Yahoo.com. P.O. Box 6848 Hilo, Hawaii 96720. Graduated Farrington High School, Honolulu 1960. U.S. Navy, Veteran, 1960-1964. Serve under Admiral John McCain, 7th Fleet Pacific. Aloha Airlines, Honolulu Terminal. Suisan, Hilo. Cost Accountant and Sales. Build two Radio Stations. KAHU AM Panaewa, Hilo. KAHU FM Pahala, Ka’u. Puna Sugar, Supervisor Cultivating Department. Hawaiian Homes Farm Lot. Panaewa, Hawaii. For 30 Years. Hawaii Community College at Hilo. AA Liberal Arts 1997. University of Hawaii at Hilo. BA Communication, BA Political Science, and a Minor in Economics 2000. Nā Leo ‘O Hawaii. Community Access Television. Hilo. Community Outreach Producer. Goals and Promise. Get All Hawaiians on the waiting List on the Lands State-wide. Support All Programs for Seniors, Veterans and Handicap. IMUA, “NO MORE LIES”. Mahalo for Your Support.

Senator Hirono Lashing Out at President Trump – Calls for His Resignation

Senator Mazie Hirono is going off on Twitter today and has called for the resignation of President Donald Trump:

5 hours ago

. is a misogynist, compulsive liar, and admitted sexual predator. Attacks on Kirsten are the latest example that no one is safe from this bully. He must resign.

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on FCC to Uphold Net Neutrality Protections

With three days before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) makes a final decision on net neutrality, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) urged the commission to reject corporate-led efforts to unravel open, fair, and equal Internet access and to listen to the voices of the majority of Americans that support current protections on net neutrality.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:

“In three days, the Internet as we know it could change forever. On December 14th, the FCC will be taking a vote on whether or not to get rid of net neutrality protections that keep the Internet open, fair, and equal for everyone.

“Repealing these protections will allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T to control the levers of the Internet—stifling access, deciding the websites you and I can visit and use, and making it impossible for small businesses to compete against industry giants. It will hurt our students, entrepreneurs, working families, and all who rely on the Internet for things like education, healthcare, and employment as a level playing field of opportunity.

“The FCC must protect the people it’s supposed to be serving—not big, corporate interests—and make sure the Internet remains a place where everyone has a seat at the table.”

President Trump to Land in Hawaii Tomorrow Morning

President Trump is scheduled to land in Honolulu tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at the Hickam Airforce Base.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for the island of O‘ahu for Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


The President is expected to stay on the military base and no roads or traffic will be stopped during his time on O’ahu.

The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, maintenance test flights, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and utility and pipeline survey operations.

Lifelong Kona Resident Announces Run for County Council Seat

Bronsten “Kalei” Kossow will run for Kanuha’s vacant District 7 seat on the Hawai‘i County Counil. Courtesy photo.

Bronsten “Kalei” Kossow has announced he will run for Dru Mamo Kanuha’s vacant seat on the Hawai‘i County Council.

Kanuha’s open seat represents District 7, which includes Kealakekua, Kona Scenic, Kainaliu, Honalo, Keauhou, Kahalu‘u, Hōlualoa, Kona Hillcrest, Pualani Estates, Sunset View, Kuakini Heights, Kona Vistas, Ali‘i Heights and Kona Industrial.

Kossow is a lifelong resident of Kona who attended Hōlualoa Elementary and Kealakehe Intermediate Schools before graduating from Makua Lani Christian School. While a junior in high school, he earned his Eagle Scout award, and soon after received the Honor of Vigil.

A former Boy Scout lodge-vice chief for Hawai‘i Island, Kossow has served as an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 79, and a section-vice chief for the Pacific Region. He is currently working toward his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with the University of Hawai‘i.

“I am proud to be born and raised in this beautiful community,” Kossow said. “I am eager to jump into the conversation and continue the discussion of the current issues that our community is facing such as: creating efficiency in government; pushing for temporary housing for our homeless, working with both County and State agencies to expand the services to those who need assistance; investing in a long-term plan to implement Kona water well security; striving for renewable and alternative energy sources; and enhancing agriculture development for food sustainability.”

Kossow is also a member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, a former paraprofessional for Aloha Council, and current finance chair for Kona Coast Boy Scouts of America. He is also a game management advisory commissioner for Hawai‘i County District 7, as well as a flight coordinator for Paradise Helicopters.

Bill Signed into Law to Make APEC Travel Card Permanent

BIN file photo.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card program has been signed into law by the President.

Introduced by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.), the bill allows Americans and citizens from APEC nations to access fast-track processing lanes at Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport and airports across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific area.

“The APEC Business Travel Card program has benefited hundreds of Hawai‘i residents by making it easier to travel and conduct business across a region critical to our local economy and jobs,” said Sen. Hirono. “This newly signed law reaffirms the importance of travel to our country’s engagement with the nations of the Asia-Pacific.”

“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States–we must make every effort to expand markets to create new good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Daines. “I’m thrilled to see President Trump sign this bill into law to open new opportunities for businesses.”

Prior to congressional action, permission for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to issue APEC Business Travel Cards was set to expire Sept. 30, 2018.

Over 200 Hawai‘i residents actively hold a card. On average, cardholders save 43 minutes in airport wait times.

The bill, called S. 504, is supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, U.S. Council for International Business, National Foreign Trade Council, U.S. Travel Association, Global Business Travel Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, U.S.-China Business Council, U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China and the National Center for APEC.

Joint House Hearing Held on Reef Protection

Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing, chair of the Hawai‘i House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs, held a joint legislative informational briefing on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on “Reef Madness: Can We Save Hawaiʻi’s Marine Ecosystems?”

Rep. Kaniela Ing

Featured topics included coral bleaching, overfishing and pollution. Presentations were given by the Reef Recovery Lab, the University of Hawaiʻi, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources and the Surfrider Foundation.

“This conversation is crucial,” said Rep. Ing. “Hawaiʻi has the expertise and will, so we just had to pull everyone together. Policymakers learned a ton from experts, regulators and NGOs. The consensus was that the governor’s goal to protect 30 percent of nearshore fisheries by 2030 is important, but it needs teeth. I will be introducing a mandate to establish a statewide network of marine protected areas. DLNR publicly expressed support.

“Secondly, Hawaiʻi should join literally every other coastal state to issue non-commercial fishing licenses,” said Rep. Ing. “This will allow for more effective management, data collection and more fish for everyone.”

“As for coral bleaching, carbon emissions is the root cause,” he continued. “Pollution, sewage and toxic sunscreens are contributing factors. My committee will be considering a ban on sunscreen containing oxybenzone, and expansion of cesspool conversion credits, and ways to expedite our 100% renewable energy and transportation goals.”

“It was amazing—so much vital research by some of the best in the world all in one place,” said Ing.

TODAY at 4:00 – Hawaii Representative to Participate in Protest Against Trump

State Representative Kaniela Saito Ing will join “Resistance” groups at 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Hawaii State Capitol to send a clear message to President Donald Trump who is visiting Oahu before embarking on a trip to Asia.

Rep. Kaniela Ing

Ing will hold a sign that reads “Aloha means goodbye.”

“Aloha is a Hawaiian value rooted in the idea of love for one another, that we are all connected. I deeply support this concept,” said Rep. Ing. “But in order for Hawaii to remain a welcoming place of tolerance and aloha, we need to draw the line at leaders who incite fear and hate for personal gain. Trump rose to power by telling whole groups of people – ¬like immigrants, women, and transgendered individuals – that they are not welcome in our society.

“Hawaii is the most diverse state in the nation, and just a few days ago Trump literally said, ‘Diversity sounds like a good thing, but it is not a good thing.’ That statement alone undermines the values that make Hawaii, Hawaii. So yes, aloha means ‘hello,’ but it also means ‘goodbye.’ ”

Ing explained that Trump’s policy is personal to him and many others in Hawaii.

“My grandfather was a Japanese-American WW II veteran who fought overseas for our country, despite facing discrimination back home,” Ing said. “This administration evidently supports the idea of internment camps, in 2017, people.

“I’m afraid of turning on the news around my toddler son because I fear this president will teach him it’s OK to sexually assault women. We cannot afford to normalize any of this behavior.”

Ing will also be marching and speaking at the “The Nightmare Must Go!” protest at Ala Moana Beach Park starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.

Rep. Gabbard: DNC Rigged Presidential Primary & Damaged Party

Some have said that the Democratic National Committee rigged the presidential primary, which, in turn, damaged the party so badly that the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election.

Photo courtesy of the Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Hawaiʻi Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard released a statement on Thursday, Nov. 2, calling for major reform to the DNC in response to an exposé of a rigged presidential primary written by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair who stepped in after Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was removed:

“Today we heard from Donna Brazile that what many suspected for a long time, is actually true: the DNC secretly chose their nominee over a year before the primary elections even occurred, turning over DNC control to the Clinton campaign. The deep financial debt, closed door decision-making, complete lack of transparency, and unethical practices are now front and center.

“Today’s news points to how deeply broken our campaign finance laws are, and how they have only served to weaken individual candidates, while empowering political parties and special interests. These laws essentially allowed the Clinton campaign to bypass individual campaign contribution limits by funneling millions of dollars through the DNC and state parties, taking control of the DNC in the process.

“Along with the recent retaliatory purge of Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison supporters from the DNC’s Executive Committee, this is further evidence of a party and a campaign finance system that needs to be completely overhauled and reformed. These reforms must empower the people and take our party back from the special interests of a powerful few.

“We must bring about real campaign finance reform. The DNC must get rid of the undemocratic system of super delegates, who have the power to swing an election, making up one-third of the votes any candidate needs to secure the nomination. The party must push for open or same-day registration in Democratic primaries in every state across the country to ease and encourage voter engagement instead of making it more difficult. If there is any hope of strengthening our party, they must stop this ‘more of the same’ mentality and start caring more about people than protecting the status quo.

No more games. No more retaliation. No more picking winners and losers. We must act now to take back our party—a party that belongs to the people—and fight for a new path forward that is open, transparent, accountable, inclusive, and that actually strengthens our democracy.”

Rep. Gabbard is a Democrat who has served as the U.S. Representative for Hawai‘i’s Second Congressional District since 2013. She was vice chair of the DNC from 2013 to 2016, when she resigned to support Bernie Sanders for president. She has been calling for an end to superdelegates in the Democratic Party’s nomination process and open Democratic primaries. Rep. Gabbard is a major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard and has served on two Middle East deployments. She is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Puna Community Town Hall Meetings Hosted By Senator Ruderman

Senator Russell Ruderman will be hosting Puna Community Town Hall Meetings on Tuesday, October 24th in Pahoa and Wednesday, October 25th in Volcano:
I will be presenting some of my proposed legislation for the 2018 Legislative Session, and I invite you join me and take advantage of this opportunity for me to hear from you and give your input on these proposed measures, as well as hear your ideas for additional legislation to be introduced this next year.

My staff and I will also be discussing how you can be directly involved in the legislative process – by submitting language for legislation, contacting legislators and submitting testimony, and how to track legislation as it is referred to various committees and moves through the legislature.
Light refreshments will be served.

Senator Russell E. Ruderman
Senatorial District 2 – Puna-Ka’u