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Monday, June 27, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, June 27, 2022

Malama Pono Punalu'u Invites More Volunteers
A few Malama Pono Punalu'u volunteers gathered for orientation last Friday. They man a daily watch until sundown, after the lifeguards leave Punalu'u, to ensure that beachgoers keep their distance from green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles. Green sea turtles live at the beach and are a big attraction for tourists to take their photos. Hawksbill turtles come in periodically to nest. Anyone interested in joining Malama Pono Punalu'u, call organizer Guy Enriques at 808-217-2253 or email enriques@hawaii.rr.com. See story: http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/search?q=Malama+Pono+Punalu%27u
Photo from Malama Pono Punalu'u

    He said he wants mandatory term limits for Representatives and Senators in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. "Such term limits should be as agreed to by the members of the legislature. They should be equal to those already in place for the other elected positions within the state- such as, but not limited to Governor, Lieutenant Governor, County Council, County Mayors."
    Last said he "will not now, nor ever solicit or accept contributions to further my campaign. To believe in myself and what I can do for the people of Hawaiʻi is enough motivation for me. I think that it is not the job of anyone else to ensure my success, aside from their voting for me. I never will be, 'The best politician money can buy!'"
    Last promised to "never accept bribes, regardless of what it is called. It is illegal. Just ask Senator English or Representative Cullen (among former public officials.)"
    Last denounced the practice of legislators voting "Yes, with reservations." He called it "just a ploy to ensure that they always have an 'out.' If a vote is passed, they say, 'See, I voted for it.' And if it is voted down, 'I voted with reservations.'"  
    Last noted that Hawaiʻi is the only state with this means of voting among all the legislatures in the U.S..
  "State government must cut regulations that impede economic growth," said Last.  He said that the Jones
Michael Last in a previous July 4 parade
 when he ran for state Senate. Now he is
 running for House. Photo by Julia Neal
Act, which requires ships going from U.S. port to port to be built and largely manned by U.S. citizens, "falls under this type of regulation. Eliminate it, along with other requirements that effect how our citizens live and prosper." The Jones Act is blamed for making good more expensive in Hawaiʻi by increasing the cost of shipping.
   Last recommends that Hawaiʻi legalize all forms of gambling, "Period! I and no one else should dictate how another person spends their money, or not. It might be against someone's better judgment, however that doesn't mean you have a right to tell others how to live. Unless gambling and other 'vices' have a negative impact on non-participants, what is the problem? Just to make things clear as to where I stand on this issue- I don't partake in any form of gambling. Maybe that is why so many others go to Las Vegas for the same reason I do... the food! And never the games of chance."
      Those with comments or questions about where the Libertarian candidate stands, "or anything else-please call me," said Last. "My home telephone number is 808-929-8422."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Gov. David Ige announced Monday his intent to veto 30 bills that passed the 2022
 Hawaiʻi Legislature
. Photo from Office of the Governor
GOV. DAVID IGE INTENDS TO VETO 30 of 340  BILLS PASSED BY THE 2022 HAWAIʻI LEGISLATURE. He issued his intend to veto list on Monday, to include:
   HB1705 – RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL PARK LEASES. It allows the Department of Agriculture to extend the agricultural park lease of any lessee who holds a lease with a remaining term of 15 years or less, provided that the land covered by the lease is 25 acres or less and located in a county with a population of less than 500,000.
    The governor said, "The agricultural park program is meant to be a start-up program for new farmers and other small farm operations to become commercially established. This program is not meant to be a permanent space for lessees but rather a temporary environment to support new and expanding businesses. Many of the current lessees have had leases for close to 55 years, and there is a current wait list of over 200 applicants for new leases. This bill extends old leases by another 30 years and that extension can be repeated indefinitely. The largest hurdle that young farmers face is access to available and appropriately sized agricultural lands. Expanding opportunities for more farmers is important for our food security and allowing them equal access to this agricultural park program is one of the critical ways we can ensure
growth in the agricultural industry."
    HB1567 – RELATING TO CRIMINAL PRETRIAL REFORM. It eliminates  the use of monetary bail and requires defendants to be released on their own recognizance for certain nonviolent offenses, subject to certain exclusions. Requires the department of public safety to take steps to provide videoconferencing to a defendant who chooses to participate in a bail report interview via video conference.
 The governor said: "There has not been sufficient time since the Legislature made changes to the State's criminal pre-trial system by Act 179, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi 2019, to fully assess the effect of the changes. The bill does not adequately address several important issues, including the need to secure the appearance of defendants and it deprives judges of the ability to exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis. The bill would mandate the automatic release of defendants that are charged with class C felonies that pose significant risks to public safety, such as felon in possession (firearm), burglaries in the second degree, arson in the third degree, riot, cruelty to animals, promoting a controlled substance in, on, or near schools, and extortion in the second degree."
    HB1570 – RELATING TO THE YOUTH VAPING EPIDEMIC. It bans the sale of certain flavored tobacco products and mislabeled e-liquid products and establishes fines.
     The governor said, "There was a late amendment to the definition of 'flavored tobacco product' in this bill which exempted certain FDA approved tobacco products. This amendment essentially renders the bill ineffective since very few products would actually be included in this ban. In addition, the bill contains subjects that may go beyond its title in violation of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution."
    HB1980 – RELATING TO TELEPHONIC SERVICES.  The bill permits, but does not require or
prohibit, Medicaid, health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to cover telephonic behavioral health services under certain circumstances. Clarifies that telephonic services do not constitute telehealth.
    The governor said, "While the intent of this bill is appreciated, its wording is vague and may allow insurance providers to restrict access to telephonic services. The vague wording can be construed to either restrict when a health plan may voluntarily provide coverage or provide purely permissive authority for health plans to provide coverage. This may prompt health insurance plans to restrict or exclude coverage for telephonic services due to concerns of compliance with this bill. This could especially impact patients in rural and underserved areas, those with limited digital skills, or those with limited access to reliable internet service."
    SB2142 – RELATING TO COMPUTER SCIENCE: It allows Department of Education students to fulfill graduation requirements by taking world language, fine arts, career and technical education, or computer science courses. Establishes a scholarship at the University of Hawaiʻi to encourage students majoring in education to take a computer science course. Requires the University of Hawaiʻi to establish computer science pathways for students majoring in education. Requires teacher licensing and certification to include computer science. It also appropriates funds.
    The governor said: "This bill diminishes the power of the Board of Education to formulate statewide educational policy, as established by Section 3 of Article X of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution. While adding Computer Science as a graduation requirement is a good idea, it is a decision best left to the expertise and constitutional authority of the Board of Education. More concerning is the additional admissions requirements for the University of Hawai‘i system, which would be applicable to all campuses. Community colleges have an open admissions policy and do not have academic-based admissions requirements. This bill could result in barriers to education that would impact non-traditional and disadvantaged people who seek higher education."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

See The Kaʻū Calendar June edition at www.kaucalendar.com.

VOLCANO VILLAGE FOURTH OF JULY PARADE welcomes walking and riding groups and individuals. It is sponsored by Volcano Community Association in Volcano Village from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Monday, July 4 parade starts at the Post Office at 9 a.m. and ends at Cooper Center on Wright Rd., followed by Cooper Center's Independence Day celebration packed with live entertainment, craft and food vendors, keiki games and a large silent auction from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Parking maps can be found at www.thecoopercenter.org. (No parking at Cooper Center except handicap permitted vehicles with prior reservation.)

SPONSOR A BUCKLE, VOTE FOR RODEO QUEEN ahead of the Saturday, July 9 Rodeo organized by Kaʻū Roping & Riding Association and ʻO Kaʻū Kākou. Event to be held on the rodeo grounds behind Nāʻālehu Park. Call 808-854-7917.   

BECOME A SPONSOR AT THE 3RD ANNUAL EXPERIENCE VOLCANO FESTIVAL on Saturday, July 30th and Sunday, July 31st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Last year, over 2,500 visitors attended and over 40 events were featured during the EVH festival. Sign up as a sponsor at experiencevolcano.com. If you have questions, contact experiencevolcano@gmail.com. All vendor locations are taken.

SIGN UP FOR KAʻŪ COFFEE TRAIL RUNS with a change of date from July 3 to Sept. 17. Registration deadline for the annual event is Sept. 14. Organized by Hawaiʻi Island Racers, the 50K begins at 6 a.m., Half Marathon at 7 a.m., and 5K at 7:15 a.m., all starting from Kaʻū Coffee Mill at 96-2696 Wood Valley Road in Pāhala. Proceeds go to support ʻO Kaʻū Kākou. For more details on the event and registration fees, visit https://www.kaucoffeetrailruns.com/.

SEE EVENTS IN KAʻŪ & VOLCANO at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html

at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/05/sponsors-of-kau-calendar.html