Archive for January, 2014

Jan. 29, 2014 Rally in Honolulu at the Capitol

Monday, January 27th, 2014

January 27, 2014
People Not Profits! 2014: A Grassroots State of the State Address
Hawaiʻi State Capitol Building Rotunda
Honolulu, HI
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
In 1971 the people of Hawaiʻi came together to fight corporate exploitation of land and the
dispossession of people from their lands and lifestyles at the People Not Profits rally organized
by Kōkua Hawaiʻi. This was a time of great unity and perseverence and marked a turning point
in Hawaiʻi’s history defined by four decades of keen and aggressive grassroots political activity.
43 years later, the struggle continues.
Waves of new voices, from young people to elders, are coming together to confront a renewed
corporate drive for deregulation and land grabs. We will continue the legacy of standing up for
ʻāina and people this Wednesday as we converge in the capitol rotunda to send a message to
legislators and other power-holders that Hawaiʻi is not for sale and that the health of our ʻāina
and people are interconnected and are our top priorities.
“They’re destroying our environment while they’re trying to build their economy. Instead of
following the will of the people about how we’re gonna build our economic base, they’re
following the guys on the top, the 1% guys who are telling legislators how they’re gonna build
our economy” said rally organizer Walter Ritte in an interview last week.
“Let’s make Hawai’i a people’s place, it’s not the place for the corporations to dictate where
we’re going in Hawai’i. That is a dead end street!” said Ritte.
A sampling of issues and speakers include:
• Hawaiian self-determination: challenging the state controlled Kanaʻiolowalu initiative and
calling for an independent, non-state-administered process toward self-determination and the
return of Hawaiian national lands. (MANA and Kaleikoa Kaʻeo)
• GMO: Evict Monsanto, regulation of agribusiness and protection of community driven laws
(Dustin Barca/Gary Hooser).
• Affordable housing: Kakaʻako development for the rich (Kakaʻako United)
• Iwi kūpuna: The repeal of Act 085 (SB1171) related to phased archaeological surveys
(Hinaleimoana Kalu-Wong).
• Demilitarization: Introducing legislation that challenges Hawaiʻi as a drone test site (UH Law
student, Khara Jabola-Carolus).
• Food security: Protecting agricultural lands for food and energy against mass suburban sprawl
(Keoni Dudley, Save our Farmlands).
• Livable Wage: increasing the minimum wage (Aikea/Local5).
Speeches will break with poetry from Jamaica Osorio and music from Palani Vaughn. Preceding
the rally, Kakaʻako United will lead a march at 8:30am from Mother Waldron Park in Kakaʻako
to the capitol rotunda.
We are pleased to have so many come together to support each others issues under the banner of
grassroots unity against corporate control of Hawaiʻi and for the health of our land and people
for generations to come.
Media Contacts:
Walter Ritte (808) 646-1691
Andre Perez (808) 864-2336
Ilima Long (808) 781-8423

U.S. Militarization in the Pacific

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Very important article on U.S. military pivot to the Pacific/Asia

By Koohan Paik
comments_image 5 COMMENTS


Pu’uhonua NOT More Prisons

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Below is an important message from Ron Fujiyoshi for Ohana Ho’opakele.  We need your support on this. Mahalo.
Jim Albertini

Dear Ohana Ho`opakele members and friends,

Thanks to Representative Roy Takumi HB 2423 was submitted on time.  Enclosed is the present form of the bill.  Also enclosed is Ms. Gaylene Chang Nikora’s excel sheet on her figures for the Pu`uhonua (three years).  Roy did not include everything so the figures may have to be revised, etc.dd  This way Uncle Joe Tassill and the Oahu team can see the rationale of how these figures were obtained.  Gaylene may have to take another look and see if we want to revise anything.
We need to be ready to submit testimony and to go down to testify.  HB 2423 was assigned to two committees: Public Safety and Finance.
The Committee on Public Safety is chaired by Henry Aquino, Vice is Kaniela Ing.  Committee members are: Sharon Har, Roy Takumi, Gregg Takayama, Linda Ichiyama, Ryan Yamane, Mark Nakashima, Kyle Yamashita and Bob McDermott.  If you have any pull with any of them, please contact them.
The Finance Committee probably come later; It is chaired by Sylvia Luke, Vice-chairs are Aaron Ling Johanson and Scott Nishimoto.  There are a lot of committee members.
Please prepare for your testimony on this bill.  It may come up for a hearing anytime.  We may need Uncle Joe Tassill to warn us when the hearing may be.
We each can go to the website at and type in HB 2423.  It will tell you when the hearing is set.
This is the followup to Act 117 that will provide the funds for the Pu`uhonua at Kulani.  If our lawsuit can stop the process of opening up a minimum security prison at Kulani, these funds will be in place for the Pu`uhonua.  There is some talk of Hale Nani becoming an alternative site for the Pu`uhonua but that is to be seen.
No where in the USA or Hawai`i has a modern Pu`uhonua been developed to replace the prison.  We here in Hawai`i can be the first to show what CAN succeed!  We have d#1893 signers on our Kahea advocating for a Pu`uhonua on every island.
Please mobilize people to go down to testify, or, as an alternative, to submit written testimony.  It is easy by email; just go to the website at, type in HB 2423 and it will get you on the page where there is a button to submit testimony.  You can either type in your testimony, or cut and paste from a prepared statement and paste it into the testimony space.
Any questions, email back!
Ron Fujiyoshi
for Ohana Ho`opakele

GMO Watch

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Aloha Petition Signers,

The bills were all introduced as of yesterday’s deadline.  There are a quite a few new bills from our last update, including 2 really bad ones.

Here is a list of the bills, with short description next to each, mostly introduced in this session, that we are tracking:


You can and should look up bills, check their status, and give
online testimony here:  It is
quick and easy once you start your free acct.  You can set up
a “Hearing Notification” list on bills of your own there too.
With the “Testimony” button, you can actually just indicate
“Support” or “Against” a bill, when it has been scheduled for
a hearing, that legislators do review, without having to write
long testimony.  Otherwise you can also email directly to the
legislators about bills not presently scheduled for a hearing.

The bills we expect to be especially focused on relative to this petition are:

Hawaii GMO Labeling Bills Tracking:


2 New Bills Added on JAN. 23rd to PREEMPT ALREADY EXISTING COUNTY LAWS ON GMO’s/Pesticides: 

Action Alert #1 – For Everybody in Hawaii

Nomi Kaheaonalani Carmona:   ‪

#‎GMO‬ â€ª#‎SOS‬ â€ª#‎ACTION‬ â€ª#‎ALERT‬ We must act NOW to stop the Hawaii Monsanto Protection Act! Companion bills introduced today show expected attempts to stop the Counties from protecting their citizens life, health, property and preservation through pesticide and genetic engineering regulation! The Constitution states the Counties SHALL protect life and health and if these agricultural practices are affecting our life, health, property and preservation, we have the right to pass bills like 2491 on Kauai for buffer zones and pesticide disclosure, 113 for GMO prohibition on Hawaii island, and the upcoming Maui bill on January 28th! The chemical industry is again using the Hawaii state legislature to attempt to usurp home rule and necessary regulations for each island condition regarding GMOs and pesticides. Abhorrent.

Write and call your legislators TODAY and tell them what you think. This is absolutely unacceptable and these bills must be stopped immediately. ASAP and BE THERE on the 29th at 10:30AM at the latest for the People Not Profits rally.

*Look up your legislators after you read the House and Senate versions and see if your legislator introduced it.
*We suggest emailing your Senator and Representative together if they both were introducers and CC’ing and or sending a letter to your politicians and sending also letters to the entire House and Senate. Be professional and let them know you are a voter in which district and will not stand for the pre-emption of home rule and the Hawaii Monsanto Protection Acts. Look up if needed at
*Go down to their offices and/or talk to them or mail them letters.
*Call them.
*Find their FB and twitter accounts and tell everyone in your area to do the same.
*Share this information with everyone you know who loves Hawaii and invite them to help

This is abominable. The counties have the rights to protect themselves and the state regulation is a floor, not a ceiling. Defend home rule, defend Hawaii.

*Non-residents, defend Hawaii and email the reps and sens email addresses above and let them know if you will not spend money traveling to Hawaii if they do not stop these bills and allow the Counties to protect themselves

Can email ‘Against’ these two at:, 




Senate Introducers: NISHIHARA, BAKER, KIDANI, SOLOMON, WAKAI, Dela Cruz, Espero, Galuteria, Hee, Slom

Can look up email of individual Legislators here:

Action Alert #2 – For people on Oahu or able to travel there

Action Alert #3 – For Everybody in Hawaii

There are some other bills on our list that are already having hearings.  Would help to have people tap the blue “Testimony” button in “Support” of these 3, ASAP:

Farming Technique Mentor Program; Agriculture; Appropriation
Establishes the farming technique mentor program within the DOA; Appropriates funds.   (S ) 1/23/2014 – The committee(s) on AGL deferred the measure until 01-30-14 2:45PM in conference room 229.


Pesticides; Regulation; Appropriation
Appropriates funds for pesticide regulation.   (S ) 1/23/2014 – The committee(s) on AGL deferred the measure until 01-30-14 2:45PM in conference room 229.


Pesticides; Regulation; Appropriation
Appropriates funds for pesticide regulation.   (H ) 1/24/2014 – Bill scheduled to be heard by AGR on Monday, 01-27-14 9:30AM in House conference room 312.


Unmani on Maui wants us to make sure people are aware of these 2 bills, a better replacement crop for GMO:

Industrial Hemp; Agriculture
Authorizes the growing of industrial hemp for certain purposes under specified conditions.   (S ) 1/17/2014 – Referred to AGL/PSM, CPN/JDL.


Industrial Hemp; Agriculture
Authorizes the growing of industrial hemp for certain purposes under specified conditions.   (H ) 1/23/2014 – Introduced and Pass First Reading.

We may try to enlist Unmani and others to do some of these updates in a timely manner, as we need all of your help in this.

News Items

Two good items related to GMO Labeling:

1.) Legal Experts Reject Food Industry Claims that #GMO Labeling Laws Are Unconstitutional  #Hawaii #HILege

2.) WTFographics: #GMO Labeling: via @youtube #Hawaii #HILege

We’ll let you know, Aloha,


Share our open petition / updates list:

Hawaii Monsanto Protection Act!

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Front Page Honolulu Star-Advertiser today, Jan. 24, 2014



 Print   Email   Comment | View Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet


Bill clamps down on county ag laws

State and federal regulations top efforts to limit modern practices, lawmakers say

By Derrick DePledge


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 01:53 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2014

Hawaii’s Right to Farm Act, passed in 2001, created a legal presumption that generally accepted farming operations do not constitute a nuisance. The bill would expand the act by stating that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices “shall be forever guaranteed in this state.” Laurence Tamag, left, and Eddie Mafraf planted taro shoots in the fields of Grove Farm on Kauai.

Viking River Cruises ® Official Site: Get the Lowest Price Top Destinations at 2-for-1 Prices!

Restaurant Coupons Print Your Free Coupon & Enjoy A Meal Out For Less Tonight!

Cheap Flights – 70% OFF Fly with, $15 Off Book Now to Lock The Best Fares

Two state lawmakers want to strengthen Hawaii’s Right to Farm Act by preventing counties from restricting agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices that are allowed under federal and state law.

The bill was prompted by a Kauai County law that regulates genetically modified organisms and pesticide use and a Hawaii County law that bans new GMO crops. The bill could cast a legal cloud over the Kauai and Hawaii island laws and could preclude other counties from taking similar action to restrict GMOs.

Hawaii’s Right to Farm Act, passed in 2001, created a legal presumption that generally accepted farming operations do not constitute a nuisance. The bill would expand the act by stating that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices “shall be forever guaranteed in this state.”

The bill maintains that the federal and state governments — and not the counties — are responsible for the oversight of agriculture in Hawaii.

Sen. Clarence Nishihara (D, Wai­pahu-Pearl City), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who introduced the bill Thursday in the Senate, said the state can no longer “dance around the issue” of whether to protect farmers.

“To me it’s now put-up-or-shut-up time as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Rep. Richard Onishi (D, South Hilo-Keaau-Honu­apo), vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, who introduced the bill in the House, said farmers should have all of the tools legally available for them in order to farm.

“I personally support all forms of farming,” he said. “I think that when we begin to pit segments of agriculture against each other, it becomes unproductive.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has for now chosen to sidestep the debate over GMOs after reaching an agreement last year with biotechnology companies on Kauai on the voluntary disclosure of restricted-use pesticides and buffer zones near schools and hospitals.

Biotech companies have sued Kauai in federal court over the county’s GMO and pesticide disclosure law, arguing, among other claims, that federal and state law pre-empt the county’s new regulations.

House and Senate leaders have given committees with jurisdiction over agriculture, health and the environment leeway this session in developing legislation on the right to farm, GMO labeling, pesticide disclosure and food security. The debate over GMOs was so strident last session — and so divisive on Kauai and Hawaii island — that lawmakers have lowered expectations that new legislation can pass during an election year.

Anti-GMO activists, who have successfully forced the issue onto the state’s policy agenda, are planning a large rally Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Many lawmakers privately believe that the threat from GMOs has been exaggerated by the activists, yet do not want to take the political risk of ignoring a vocal and increasingly single-minded bloc of mostly progressive voters. Many, however, are equally apprehensive about treading too far into county home rule by aggressively asserting the state’s regulatory authority over agriculture.

Chris Manfredi, president of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, said the bureau supports a right-to-farm bill.

“We certainly support the right of the public to know and understand what’s happening on farms. But to have a patchwork of regulations across the state creates uncertainty in the industry, it sets up an economic environment in which investments are discouraged, and young farmers and ranchers are then deterred from pursuing careers in agriculture,” he said.

Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser, who was behind the Kauai GMO and pesticide regulation law, has said that taking away county authority is “both bad policy and bad politics.”

Rep. Jessica Wooley (D, Kaha­luu-Ahui­manu-Kaneohe), chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee, said she does not plan to hear the right-to-farm bill. She said the bill would interfere with the counties’ efforts and that state pre-emption is a subject of the biotech lawsuit against Kauai. She said she would prefer to focus on issues such as enhancing local food production.

Wooley said she wants to make food security a state policy priority.

“I’m not going to hear a bill like that until we hear some good bills where there is a lot of common ground,” she said of the right-to-farm bill.

The House approved a GMO labeling bill on imported produce last session that failed to advance — but remains alive — in the Senate. House leaders have said that it is basically up to the Senate whether a GMO labeling bill will move this session, but Wooley introduced a new House version Thursday.

Wooley also held a hearing Thursday on a bill that would direct the state Department of Agriculture to lease ag land for food production, not seed development, which some farming interests view as a dig toward biotech companies. The Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation told Wooley’s committee that the bill would not only exclude seed, but livestock, aquaculture and flowers.

Sen. Mike Gabbard (D, Kapo­lei-Maka­kilo), chairman of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, has introduced GMO labeling and pesticide disclosure bills. One of his GMO labeling bills would put the issue before voters in November in a state constitutional amendment.

“As we can see from actions by the neighbor islands on this issue, thousands of people statewide are demanding that GMO foods be labeled. There’s absolutely no rational basis for preventing people from deciding for themselves, whether they want to eat GMOs. This time around, I also included a proposal to put a question on the ballot to let the people have a real voice in this incredibly important issue,” Gabbard said in an email.

“I also took a look at what they did on Kauai with the pesticide disclosure and buffer zones and expanded that for the whole state. I keep hearing reports of plans to douse the aina with cocktails of toxic chemicals that are being looked at, including 2,4-D and dicamba. It’s insane for us not to take this very seriously considering the potential health and environmental impacts.”

Sen. Josh Green (D, Naa­lehu-Kai­lua-Kona), chairman of the Senate Health Committee, has proposed a five-year moratorium on the sale and use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide for agricultural crops and home gardens. His bill would also create a working group to study the health and safety effects of the herbicide.

Monsanto, the biotech company, developed both Roundup — a herbicide with glyphosate — and genetically modified Roundup Ready crops so farmers can use the weedkiller without damaging their crops.

Green, an emergency room doctor, said he does not think he is being premature or alarmist by seeking a moratorium before the health and safety study is completed. “My primary concern is to take the precautionary principle,” he said.