Friday, November 1, 2013

More than 5k want to testify on Hawaii's gay marriage bill, Kauai mayor vetoes GMO bill, Honolulu police must cover tats, law helps pet owners find rentals, Sunshine Law targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Rep. Mark Nakashima
Hawaii House committees mull gay marriage (courtesy photo)
Living up to a promise to hear everyone who wants to speak on same-sex marriage, the state House on Thursday embarked on a marathon hearing where thousands of people would be given a two-minute platform to offer their opinions. Star-Advertiser.

After more than three hours of testimony from public officials, the state House Judiciary and Finance committees around 1:25 p.m. Thursday began to hear from the more than 4,000 members of the public who have signed up to testify. Star-Advertiser.

People signed up until the midnight deadline to get on the list to testify. There were 5,181 people registered by the end of the day, but the committee members had heard from fewer than one-fifth before they decided to recess after 14 hours of testimony. With so many people left to testify, it was unclear when the House would end up voting on the bill. An amendment related to religious exemptions is expected, but it could easily be late next week before any decision-making happens if all the people signed up to testify actually do so. Civil Beat.

Hundreds of people flooded the Capitol, just before Thursday's midnight deadline to sign up for testimony on a controversial same-sex marriage bill was set to expire. House Representatives on the Judiciary and Finance committees will return to the Capitol Friday morning to continue hearing public testimony on SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013" at 8:30 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Special session on #SB1 will resume at 8:30 a.m. Civil Beat live blog.

More than half of Hawaii’s House lawmakers spent Halloween listening to public sentiments as they consider legalizing gay marriage, giving some hints of how they might modify a bill already passed by the Senate. Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker who’s against the bill and has expressed frustration with the process is hoping to disrupt the special session with a lawsuit. Associated Press.

The chairs of the two House committees that started hearing public testimony at 10:00 a.m. Thursday decided to end their first day at 12:26 a.m. At midnight, the deadline to register, 5,181 people had signed up to testify. KHON2.

A number of people on both sides of the gay marriage debate say the current draft of Senate Bill 1, which would legalize same-sex ceremonies, infringes on religious liberty. Hawaii Reporter.

More than 13 hours after House Representatives first sat down for public testimony on the same-sex marriage bill -- they're still going, and with no end in sight.  Nearly 5,000 people have signed up to testify on SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013". Hawaii News Now.

Elsa Marie runs through the lobby of the State Capitol, from one mommy to the other.  Her parents, Elena Cabatu -- who gave birth to the one-year old, and Theresa Gennette -- who had to legally adopt the girl, have been partners for 10 years and now want to marry. Hawaii News Now.

Using the core value of aloha as a weapon against others is pure cultural hypocrisy. Hawaii Independent.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's two appointments to the state Board of Education received nods from the Senate Education Committee this week. Following a public hearing Wednesday, the committee unanimously voted in favor of Amy Asselbaye and Patricia Hala­gao, who were appointed in July as interim members. Star-Advertiser.

A new law taking effect Friday should make it easier for pet-owners to find a place to rent, supporters say. The law, passed in the last regular legislative session, would allow a landlord to charge a security deposit for a pet. Hawaii News Now.

The number of visitors to Hawaii fell in September for the first time in two years as fewer travelers arrived from the western U.S., the state’s tourism agency said Thursday. Nearly 595,000 travelers visited Hawaii, down 1 percent from the same month last year. Spending sank nearly 5 percent to $1 billion. Associated Press.

The number of visitors traveling to Hawaii decreased for the first time in two years in September, as the number of arrivals slipped 1 percent and total visitor spending fell 4.8 percent, according to statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii has the highest percentage of pension and retirement health liabilities hidden from citizens. In Hawaii’s case, it’s 75 percent. Hawaii Reporter.

Oahu

The Honolulu Police Department is officially frowning upon tattoos. Under a new policy approved Sept. 23, officers on official duty will be required to cover up their body art with a long-sleeve shirt or makeup that matches their skin color. KITV.

Editor & Publisher magazine announced today that it has selected Dennis Francis, president and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, as its Publisher of the Year. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser High School’s Principal John Sosa was put on leave by the state Department of Education on September 21, just one day after receiving two prestigious awards for his leadership at the East Oahu school. Hawaii Reporter.

Nearly two months after an unprecedented molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor, response plans and preventive measures to avoid a repeat remain largely up in the air. KHON2.

High-tech ocean-mapping ship arrives in Hawaii. Falkor will be based in Honolulu through August. KITV.

Hawaii

A bill allowing county council members to discuss issues at meetings and events without public notice will be considered for the second time Tuesday, when a Hawaii County Council committee takes up a package of 14 measures some counties want the state Legislature to pass. West Hawaii Today.

The Kailua Village Business Improvement District is looking to shed a little strategically placed light along Alii Drive. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
A portion of Kaanapali Beach adjacent to Canoe Beach closed due to sewage discharge from an accidental connection of a temporary sewer line to a storm drain in west Maui was reopened Thursday afternoon after tests of water showed no contamination. Star-Advertiser

While praised for his work as a police officer, former Maui police Sgt. Paul Bailey was punished Wednesday with a one-year jail term for sexually molesting a teenage girl last year. Maui News.

Maui police officers are accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of beating a Kihei man and his 16-year-old son at their residence in February 2011, shooting the father numerous times with a Taser and falsely arresting them. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai’s mayor vetoed a bill Thursday that would have regulated the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops by large agricultural businesses. Associated Press.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. announced his decision to veto Bill 2491 related to pesticides and genetically modified organisms. Garden Island.

The fate of Bill 2491 lies in the hands of Kauai County Council members, who can override the mayor’s veto with five votes, according to the Kauai County Charter. Garden Island.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. vetoed a controversial bill relating to pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The County Council approved the measure 6-1 after more than 14 hours of testimony and discussion. KHON2.

After years of controversy, protests attracting hundreds and day long hearings, Kauai's Mayor has vetoed the controversial anti-GMO bill. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. vetoed a bill Thursday that would require large agribusinesses to disclose the type of pesticides they spray on fields and implement buffer zones around schools, dwellings and medical facilities.  Star-Advertiser.

In the latest volley in a tense battle over a recently passed bill that would require biotech companies to disclose details about their pesticide use and farmers to acknowledge their genetically engineered crops, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho vetoed it on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Supporters of more oversight on agribusiness expressed outrage Thursday at Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho's decision to veto a bill that would require large farms to disclose the types of pesticides they use and implement buffer zones for spraying. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvahlo Jr. has vetoed Kauai’s groundbreaking GMO-related Bill 2491. HuffPost Hawaii.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho on Thursday vetoed a controversial bill that would have required seed and other agricultural companies to disclose the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms on the Garden Isle. Pacific Business News.

Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho has vetoed a popular bill that would have required top GMO companies on Kauai to disclose their pesticide usage and would have created a buffer zone around schools and hospitals where no pesticides could be used. Hawaii Independent.

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. has vetoed Bill 2491, Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms, which was passed by the County Council on October 16. Hawaii Reporter.

The state House is approving more than $7 million in emergency funding for Kauai's publicly funded hospitals and clinics. KITV.

A water line that broke in front of Kauai 5th Circuit Courthouse is being replaced. Garden Island.