Legislative Committees to Receive Updates on Issues Related to DHHL and OHA
Honolulu- The Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaii Affairs will be conducting a series of informational briefings to receive updates on several emergent issues being addressed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).
The briefings will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the State Capitol conference room 329.
During the briefing the committees and departments will discuss:
Beginning at 9:30 a.m.: The Audit of the DHHL Homestead Services Division, the outcome of the DHHL Roundtable Discussions that occurred at the Hawaii State Capitol and the 12th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention in August and September 2013, completion of the Nelson v. HHC settlement payments, vacant DHHL properties, and other community concerns.
1:30 p.m.: The process and plan of execution for the 2014 primary election of candidates for Trustee of OHA.
Directly followed by: Corrective and/or other actions taken or planned in response to the audit conducted by the Office of the State Auditor (Report no. 13-07 of September, 2013) on the management and condition of OHA.
On June 24, 2013, the Governor listed nine measures that were under consideration for vetoes. Among those listed were SB 68 and SB 1265, two bills introduced by Senator Maile Shimabukuro. However, the July 9 veto deadline passed, and those bills became law without the Governor's signature as Act 280 and Act 286.
Related links: Bill seeks leeway for judges in felony drug cases (Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Governor vetoes 3 bills (KITV News)
(AP/Honolulu Star-Advertiser) - The Hawaii State Senate is splitting its committee on tourism and Hawaiian affairs into separate committees for each subject.
Senate President Donna Mercado Kim said in a statement today that the new assignments will give lawmakers better flexibility to focus on the subject areas.
The Tourism Committee will be led by Sen. Gilbert Kalehe, while Sen. Maile Shimabukuro will head the Hawaiian Affairs Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria had been chairman of the combined committee. He says he'll be more effective as a majority leader with his understanding as a committee chairman.
The Senate also announced smaller changes to its commerce and water committees, with Sen. Brian Taniguchi to serve as vice-chairman of the commerce committee and Galuteria to be vice-chairman of the water committee.
On April 5, 2013, Senator Maile Shimabukuro was honored by the Hawaii Women Lawyers (HWL) as the 2012 Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year. The following is an excerpt from the HWL event program:
"HWL recognizes Senator Maile Shimabukuro as the 2012 Women Lawyer of the Year for her introduction and passage of significant legislation which will assist victims of childhood sexual abuse. In 2012, Senator Shimabukuro introduced legislation which would extend the statute of limitations for civil actions brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as a minor against the person who committed the act. Signed by Governor Abercrombie on April 24, 2012, the act now gives some measure of hope and remedy for individuals who were victimized and traumatized by abuse in their formative years...and have been forced to bear this burden far into adulthood. It increases the time limit to bring these civil lawsuits going forward to 8 years from when the victim turns 18, or 3 years from when the victim realizes his/her injury is due to sexual offense. It also created a civil window for victims of child sex abuse until April 2014 to file a lawsuit without regard to the statute of limitations.
"The passage of the act received national attention, including mention in an editorial in the New York Times, which stated that, Governor Cuomo's "strong leadership will be needed if New York is to match Hawaii's accomplishment any time soon." "
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that are recognized centers of educational excellence and leadership. The selection of Waianae High School's Searider Productions Digital program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful, innovative implementations of technology.
Speech delivered by Senator Shimabukuro on 4/2/13:
Aloha and good morning!
Today I am honored to recognize Wai‘anae High School's Searider Productions' Digital Program, which recently received Apple's Distinguished Program Award.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that are recognized centers of educational excellence and leadership. The selection of Searider Productions' Digital program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful, innovative implementations of technology.
Through the implementation of Apple technology, students have been provided with innovative and highly interactive learning opportunities that focus on mastering contemporary digital media and computer technologies.
Searider Digital students are able to explore areas such as video production, internet journalism & social media, graphic arts & design, 2D & 3D computer modeling, and interactive media creation & design.
A key organizing principle is the integration of real-world work assignments into the learning experience and formal curriculum. Students have had the opportunity to work on projects for private, public and non-profit organizations.
Students have also entered various digital media contests and have been recognized nationally and locally for their work.
Although the Searider Productions program is constantly growing and incorporating new and innovative approaches to stay current, it always remains true to its original roots and its ultimate goal of preparing students for success in school, work and life. Through the implementation of innovative Apple technologies, students are able to showcase their digital media skills and are better prepared for higher education, employment and entrepreneurship in digital media-related industries.
I'd like to introduce the individuals representing the Searider Digital Program today, both on the floor and in the gallery. Please stand and be recognized when I announce your name, and I ask the audience to please hold their applause until the end of their introductions:
Michael O'Connor - Lead Instructor
Searider Digital student Jacoby Cid
Searider Digital student Schae-Leigh Nii
And, in the gallery:
26 STUDENTS FROM SEARIDER DIGITAL CLASSES
Searider Digital Teachers - Na‘a Makekau & Curtis Furumoto
Apple Representatives - Nani Daniels and Pete Vraspir
Searider Productions Executive Director - Candy Suiso
Wai‘anae High principal - Nelson Shigeta
Academy Vice Principal - Kevin Matsuba
Academy counselor - Shane Nakamura
Leeward District CAS - Ann Mahi
I ask my colleagues in the Hawaii State Senate and the audience to join me in applauding the teachers and students of the Waianae High School Searider Productions Digital program for their achievement in being designated as an Apple Distinguished Program.
My Speech Honoring the Navy:
Aloha and good morning!
Today I am honored to recognize the United States Navy for their achievements in promoting environmental and Hawaiian cultural stewardship in the State of Hawai‘i, and leading the way to energy security through a number of renewable energy initiatives.
The Navy is thankful for the cultural sharing opportunities available by gratefully accepting invitations to and attending the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo virtually every year since 1964. They also host Makahiki events at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam which the Navy has co-sponsored with the O‘ahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs for the past ten years.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam partnered with City, State, Local Legislators, Army Corps of Engineers, Private Businesses and Community Based Organizations to mitigate flooding in Nanakuli and Kapolei, and to reduce dust and prevent fires in the area of Lualualei.
They continue their partnership with Ka‘ala Farm, Nanakuli High School, and Kamehameha Schools in clearing brush from Ni‘oi‘ula Heiau. They have rendered it visible and accessible, and allowed for the education and cultural awareness of the many students whose kupuna have lived there for generations.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam partners with the community, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Hawaii Air National Guard, military and Department of Defense families in the annual National Public Lands Day event. The group maintains the Halealoha Haleamau Burial Platform and removes invasive Pickleweed, and outplants native Hawaiian plant species at Ahua Reef.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam also partnered with various groups to beautify many areas surrounding Navy property, including the Pearl Harbor Bike Path, Nimitz and White Plains Beaches in Kalaeloa, and Pouhala Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam further promotes environmental stewardship by utilizing photovoltaic arrays to lower energy costs in support of U.S. Navy and Department of Defense initiatives, and operating a fuel oil reclamation facility to reduce disposal costs and dependence on foreign oil. They were recently recognized as best in the Navy for energy and water efficiency.
The Kauai Pacific Missile Range Facility (or PMRF), and its partnership with Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha sustains the educational display of habitat types that existed on the Mana Plain prior to western contact. The partnership also supports educational programs that include remotely piloted water craft and model rockets developed by Kaua‘i students.
PMRF has managed light sources to reduce potential for harm to the Newell's Shearwater and Hawaiian Petrel, both listed by the Endangered Species Act. They have combined wildlife protection and energy savings by replacing light fixtures that reduce both energy consumption and harmful distraction to birds. PMRF continues its partnership with numerous agencies and volunteers to enhance the survival of Laysan Albatross populations located at the facility.
The essence of "Aloha Spirit" is epitomized by the selfless efforts and leadership of our honored guests here with us today. On a personal note, I was raised in large part by my step-grandfather, Fred Calkins. Both he and his son, Fred Jr., served in the Navy for many years. So I am especially greatful for this opportunity to give much deserved recognition to the excellent community service provided by our Navy.
Will the special guests please stand when I announce your name to be recognized, and I ask the audience to please hold their applause until the end of all the introductions:
1) Rear Admiral Frank Ponds, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii
2) Captain Jeff James, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
3) Captain Nicholas Mongillo, Commanding Officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility
4) Master-at-Arms Chief James Wooten, Joint Base Volunteer Coordinator
5) Victor Flint, Joint Base Community Plans and Liaison Officer
6) Patricia Coleman, Environmental Outreach Coordinator
7) Cory Campora, Natural Resource Specialist
8) Jeff Pantaleo, Cultural Resource Specialist
A new blog has been published (sb2588act68.wordpress.com) dedicated to news surrounding SB2588/Act 68, which I authored in 2012, which extends the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits for child sex abuse cases.
Maile introduced SB 68 Relating to Sentencing:
Allows judges discretion in setting incarceration terms when sentencing drug offenders in certain class B and class C felony cases to make the length of the sentence proportionate to the offense and related conduct. Excludes certain offenses.
Repeal drug mandatory minimums
(Originally published on StarAdvertiser.com, February 18, 2013)
Hawaii is one of the nation's safest states from violent crime but prison walls have been spilling over to Arizona because of another policy: mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. A federal sentencing commission determined two years ago that such sentencing rules are "excessively severe" and studies in Hawaii agree. Putting offenders behind bars for a requisite period in drug cases is harsh, futile and expensive, and state legislators should put the mandate aside.
Congress approved mandatory minimum sentences as part of the "war on drugs" in the 1970s. Hawaii passed its mandatory minimum for drug offenders in 1986 and so did most other states. By the 1990s, then-U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist acknowledged that those measures were "perhaps a good example of the law of unintended consequences."
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws eliminate judicial discretion, testified Kat Brady of the Community Alliance on Prisons at the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, which voted to advance the bill last week. "These laws are problematic because they tie the courts' hands and mandate longer prison sentences, regardless of whether the court believes the punishment is appropriate, based on the circumstances and facts of the case."
In Hawaii, drug offenders convicted of possessing a certain amount of drugs, a Class B felony, are sentenced to the minimum prison term of five years for possessing a certain amount of "dangerous" drugs, while distributing it to a minor is a Class A, which would automatically end with 10 years imprisonment.
But is that offense such a danger to society? Actually, in a 2006 case study in Hawaii, 97.6 percent of the drug offenses were not violent or personal crimes. The average drug offender spends an average of 39 months in prison, costing taxpayers an average of $85,000 per drug offender, according to a 2009 study by Thomas E. Lengyel of the American Human Association in Denver and University of Hawaii-Hilo sociology associate professor Marilyn Brown.
Lengyel and Brown figure that the net cost to the state for the 197 drug offenders' total prison terms upon their release in 2006 had come to $15.6 million. "The cost of incarcerating drug offenders greatly exceeds the corresponding social benefit," they concluded.
Many states now recognize that an expenditure is better focused on substance abuse programs than on lengthy imprisonment. The National Council of Sate Legislatures has concluded that sentences should reflect "the harm caused, the effects on the victim and the community and the rehabilitative needs of the offender." Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses don't do that and should be eliminated, in favor of judicial discretion and refining justice
On February 12, 2013, children and parents from Ka Pa‘alana traveling preschool visited the Capitol.
For more information about the preschool, click here.
K-9 Kokua dog rescue advocates from the Wai‘anae Coast visited Maile on 2/8/13, "Humane Lobby Day." The advocates are supporting various animal cruelty and puppy mill bills, such as SBs 7, 8, 9, and 414. For more information, visit:
Front Row: Catherine Lathrop, Kale Lyman, Sen. Shimabukuro. Back Row: Jae Bonarek and Adam Moran.
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