Whether Early Learning Bills Will Create Legal Grounds for K-12 School Vouchers, Letter from Deputy Attorney General Gary Suganuma


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Mailiili Watershed Management Plan

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The State Department of Health Clean Water Branch (CWB) has contracted with Townscape, Inc. to develop the Mailiili Watershed Management Plan, a holistic community-based plan to restore water quality and ecosystem health in the watershed via specific implementable projects. Projects can be anything from re-vegetating streambanks with native vegetation to prevent erosion, to education and outreach to farmers on pesticide use, to enforcement against illegal dumping. There is a total of $1.4 million available for watershed improvements in the  Mailiili Watershed. Part of these funds will be used to install stormwater control projects and to develop the Watershed Plan. The majority of the funds will be used for implementing the projects proposed in the plan, which will also be eligible for federal funding under section 319 (h) of the Clean Water Act and other funding sources. These projects will focus on addressing land-based pollution and restoring water quality and aquatic resources within the watershed.

Since streams flow through private property as well as military property, any restoration projects are best implemented with input from landowners and the community. Mohala I Ka Wai, a Waianae-based community nonprofit organization working to protect and restore natural resources (among other things), has been contracted to help Townscape, Inc. do community outreach to gather information from individuals and groups with knowledge about water flows and conditions within the Mailiili  Stream system, as well as people with suggestions for specific projects. We are asking anyone in the community with knowledge and/or interest to contact Cynthia Rezentes (Mohala I Ka Wai) at rezentesc@aol.com or 497-1432 or Tina Speed at tina@townscapeinc.com or 536-6999, extension 4. For more information and a map of the project area, please go to the following website and click on the link provided for the project fact sheet: http://townscapeinc.com/mailiili-wmp.asp

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L-R: Tina Speed, Maile, and Cynthia Rezentes.

L-R: Tina Speed, Maile, and Cynthia Rezentes.

OahuMPO – Draft FYS 2014-2015 OWP for review

 Request for Comments on Draft FYs 2014-2015 Overall Work Program

Public review of the draft Overall Work Program (OWP) for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2014-2015 is underway. The draft OWP may be downloaded from our website at http://www.oahumpo.org/.

The OWP identifies transportation-related planning studies (called work elements) as part of the metropolitan planning process. Many of these studies are conducted in order to ensure compliance with Federal metropolitan planning regulations. Other studies – addressing current local transportation issues, problems, and priorities facing City and State agencies – are also included in the OWP.

OWP planning studies are conducted by City agencies, State agencies, or the OahuMPO through in-house staff or by a consultant. While federal funding is available for these studies, a 20 percent local match must be provided by the agency conducting the study.

While a number of the FYs 2014-2015 projects have been and remain ongoing, there are a few projects with the following caveat ‒ Programming of this work element is contingent upon the identification of a local match to support the project prior to final approval of this work plan:

  • · 202.04 – Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study
  • · 203.05 – Complete Streets Implementation Study
  • · 203.02 – University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) Travel Demand Management Study

Additionally, OahuMPO does not have sufficient staff resources to support both the Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study and the UHM Travel Demand Management Study in the same year. The Farrington Highway study (202.04) and/or the UHM study (203.02) would only be programmed if sufficient local match and staff resources are identified.

Please submit comments on the draft FYs 2014-2015 OWP no later than Wednesday, May 29, 2013 to:

Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization

707 Richards Street, Suite 200

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813-4623

Fax: 587-2018

Email: OahuMPO@OahuMPO.org

Questions concerning the draft OWP may be directed to Marian Yasuda at 587-2015.

Marian Yasuda, Community Planner


Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization

707 Richards Street, Suite 200

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

(808) 587-2015

Maile Speaks to Kamaile Academy Students About Indigenous Peoples’ Day Bill

 On 4/12/13 Senator Maile Shimabukuro and University of Hawaii (UH) Ethnic Studies lecturer Tony Castanha spoke to Kamaile Academy high school students about the history of “Discoverer’s Day”. Specifically, they talked about whether the name of the holiday should change to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to shift the focus from the European conquerors, to the indigenous people worldwide who have been colonized.
“I was very impressed by the Kamaile Academy students, and I look forward to reading their papers about Discoverer’s Day,” Maile said. “I hope to publish their essays on the new ‘Student Voices’ section of my blog,” she concluded.
Kamaile Academy teacher Kendra Singletary wrote: “Thanks again for coming to speak to our high school students at Kamaile last week. It was an awesome presentation and the students are still talking about it!”
Here is a link to the Indigenous Peoples’ Day bill:
Here is a link to the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution:
Here is a link to the “Student Voices” section of Maile’s blog:
Here is a video of a powerful kane hula performance offered by Kamaile Academy students as part of their ho’okupu to Maile and Tony. Dancers from left to right are: Kelii Keliikipi, Daniel Corpuz, Dyaun Freitas:
For more information about Kamaile Academy, call (808) 697-7110
Maile visited Kamaile Academy on 4/12/13.  L-R: Kelii Keliikipi, Daniel Corpuz, Maile, and Dyaun Freitas.  [Photos courtesy of Kendra Singletary; click to enlarge]

Maile visited Kamaile Academy on 4/12/13. L-R: Kelii Keliikipi, Daniel Corpuz, Maile, and Dyaun Freitas. [Photos courtesy of Kendra Singletary; click to enlarge]

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Maile pictured with Kamaile Academy High & Middle School President Jonathan Kainoa Lasconia.


Kamaile Academy teacher Kendra Singletary, High & Middle School President Jonathan Kainoa Lasconia, and UH Ethnic Studies lecturer Tony Castanha.

Kamaile Academy teacher Kendra Singletary, High & Middle School President Jonathan Kainoa Lasconia, and UH Ethnic Studies lecturer Tony Castanha.


SB 68 – Judicial Discretion for B &C Drug Felonies

Hawaii Should Return Sentencing Discretion to Judges

By Kat Brady 04/11/2013


Chad Blair/Civil Beat

It took the 2008 economic crisis for states to realize that locking up nonviolent drug lawbreakers is costly and unsustainable and that the war on drugs has been an abject failure. Sanity seems to be taking hold in more than half of the U.S. — the world’s largest jailer.

When Nixon initiated the war on drugs his champion was Nelson Rockefeller. The “Rockefeller drug laws” passed in 1973 and New York became the first state to experiment with mandatory minimum sentences for comparatively small drug offenses. Nearly four decades later New York repealed them over the strenuous objections of prosecutors who predicted soaring crime rates.

In 2004 and 2005, New York reformed its drug laws, increasing the felony thresholds for many drug offenses, and allowing hundreds of drug offenders to apply for re-sentencing under less strict sentencing laws. In 2009, building on those reforms, New York repealed most mandatory minimums for drug offenses, focusing on treatment instead of incarceration for most drug crimes. While those changes were supported by virtually everyone who had studied the issue for the better part of four decades, not every group was supportive.

During every step of the process some prosecutors worked to block the reforms and their implementation, promising that real reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws would result in chaos on the streets. One prominent prosecutor, in a letter to legislators, even suggested that the reforms would “pave the road to hell.”

In fact, since reforming its mandatory minimum drug laws in 2004, New York’s violent and property crime rate has fallen 13 percent. Reform and repeal of New York’s mandatory minimum drug laws have not resulted in higher drug activity. Felony drug commitments to New York’s prisons dropped 40 percent between 2005 and 2011. The total number of drug offenders in New York’s prisons dropped 48 percent between 2005 and 2011. And statewide drug arrests fell nearly 30 percent between 2007 and 2011. Meanwhile, New York’s prison population is down 22 percent since 2000, and taxpayers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.

The only reasonable conclusion one can draw from New York’s experiment with mandatory minimum drug laws is that despite prosecutors’ promises, reliance on mandatory minimums failed to control crime or drug activity, and despite prosecutors’ predictions, repeal of mandatory minimums has not led to increased crime or drug activity.

Last month Sens. Patrick Leahy (“Reliance on mandatory minimum sentences has been a “great mistake.”) and Rand Paul (“Judges will tell you that current federal sentencing laws — known as mandatory minimums — don’t actually do anything to keep us safer.”) co-authored the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013.

Speaking at a convention on April 4th, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason.”

In a 2006 Hawaii case study, 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.

Law enforcement vehemently promotes mandatory minimums because prosecutorial discretion is essentially conducted behind closed doors, whereas that of a sentencing judge is conducted in an open courtroom.

Hawaii has a chance to get on the right side of history by enacting into law SB 68 SD1 HD1 that passed 3rd reading in the House. Will Hawaii continue dancing in the dark with law enforcement or restore discretion to our courts?  



Bart Dame ·  Top Commenter · Honolulu, Hawaii

Well-reasoned and well-written, Kat. Thanks for all you do. One of my few sources for optimism at the Legislature is that more and more of them appear to be according Kat Brady the respect her insights deserve. They don’t always listen, but you sometimes keep them from making some bad mistakes.

Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · April 12 at 8:50am


Liana Petranek · Associate Editor at Arab Studies Quarterly

Better to decriminalize drugs and treat drug problems with a universal single payer health plan like they do in more civilized countries.

Reply · 1 · Like · April 12 at 9:08am


Dawn Morais Webster · Following ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa

Thanks Kat Brady for all you do on behalf of those who are in prison and for being a voice for much needed reform.

Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · April 11 at 9:08am

PACT Job Postings 4/12/2013

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