Tag Archives: Hawaii

Hawaii Reapportionment Committee Interactive Map

Curious to see where House and Senate districts are now?  The state Reapportionment Committee has recently released their approved map of house and senate districts.  The west side of Oahu have seen the most drastic changes.

Click here for the link to the map.

The map is not final and will go through public hearings beginning on August 30th in Kapolei.

Click here for a complete list of public hearings.

Special Comment: Is it Contempt or Ignorance with Eric Cantor?

Earlier this month, GOP Congressman Eric Cantor introduced a strategy to help reduce government spending.  His solution: force college students who are receiving loans to repay them while they are still attending college rather than upon the completion of their time in school.

It seems like a pretty far out way of thinking.  Mr. Cantor would like to financially handcuff students who are already financially handcuffed trying to afford an education.  Either Mr. Cantor dislikes college students or he just doesn’t know any better.  I personally think Mr. Cantor is a decent human being.  That said, he likely doesn’t know any better.  The only other explanation is he doesn’t care about those struggling financially.

Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia's 7th Congressional District

Let’s take a closer look at what Mr. Cantor has presented us.  Some college students, like myself, require financial assistance to go to school.  If it were not for grants, scholarships, and loans, there would be a large section of young adults out of school.  Using the University of Hawaii at Manoa as an example, we see that resident full-time tuition (12 credits or more) is roughly $4,500 for the Fall 2011 Semester.  Out of state tuition comes in at about $12,000.  Considering that UHM is considered a bargain for tuition, we still have college students paying at least $9k and up to $24k for a single school year.  Take that number and expand that over five years (the typical amount of time to earn a Bachelor’s Degree), assuming tuition doesn’t increase, and we have total cost between $45-$120k.  Anyone have that type of money lying around?

Are we expecting the parents of those students to pay for college?  Continuing to use Hawaii as an example, the median household income from 2009 was $67k.  That would mean the average family in Hawaii would need to spend roughly 67% of their income for an entire year just to pay for tuition for a single child.  What if that family has multiple children?  Let’s also not forget mortgage/rent, food, healthcare, transportation, and other costs associated with raising a family.

This is why the federal government offers financial assistance for college students.  A healthy society needs educated citizens.  Every past civilization has shown the need for an educated population.  Mr. Cantor would seemingly like to end this goal.

If college students could afford to begin paying back their loans while still in school Mr. Cantor, there is a great chance these students wouldn’t be using loans or other financial aid in the first place.  Common sense tells us that someone using these types of services is in need of them in the first place.

For all the talk about protecting our future, it is obvious that Mr. Cantor has not followed through on that campaign promise.  His plan in no way helps protect our future.  In fact, it puts our future at risk.  This is not wise leadership Mr. Cantor.

Perhaps you are the one who needs to be in school.

*This post can also be found on The Young Writer’s Block.

Hawaii Medical Center Files For Bankruptcy, Again.

Hawaii Medical Center (HMC) has filed for bankruptcy just two years removed from court protection.  The two hospital group consists of HMC East, located in Liliha, and HMC West, located out in Ewa.

Hawaii Medical Center East has been featured in various "Hawaii Five-O" episodes.(photo: khon2.com)

Overall, HMC employs more than 700 employees and has over 300 beds.  The hospitals were previously owned by St. Francis Healthcare Systems before being sold in 2007.  The St. Francis group will be acquiring  the hospitals and looks to create a solvent entity.

There has been no news as to the status of the more than 700 employees.

Click here for more (Link is Star Advertiser story).

Making Pedestrians Safer?

–Update: 5/11/11 2:20pm–The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has reported that Bill 43, the measure relating to electronic device use for predestrians, has passed the first vote in the Honolulu City Council and will now be sent to the various committees to be heard.  Bill 43 is an expansion on the ban on cell phone use by drivers.

We’ll have more updates as they come in.

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Oahu has seen five pedestrian fatalities so far this year.  Of those five, a total of three were in marked crosswalks.  Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi would like to make pedestrians safer.  The former mayoral candidate has introduced a measure which would make the use of electronic devices illegal when crossing the street.  KHON broke the news on Monday.  The story has since been picked up by the Associated Press and has landed in the “Breaking News” section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser website.  According to the KHON report, the police department does not track electronic device usage for pedestrian accidents.

Councilmember Kobayashi has not yet been reached for comment.

Walk About the Capitol with Kanu Hawaii

Kanu Hawaii’s Rotunda Roundup series is nearing an end.  As the legislative session comes to a close, the folks at Kanu Hawaii and Common Cause Hawaii are ramping up efforts to get the public involved.  Thursday, April 28th, will be the “Walk About the Capitol.”  Guests will be show around various parts of the capitol which culminates with a visit to both the House and Senate chambers.  Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland will be on hand to discuss bills being heard in conference committee as well.

Visit Kanu Hawaii for more details.

Honolulu CC to Host 3rd Annual Springfest

Honolulu Community College will be hosting its 3rd Annual Springfest tomorrow, April 9th, from 2pm-9pm at the school’s campus.  Springfest is open to the public and is free admission.  The event will feature performances from local favorites Pimpbot and is headlined by Kolohe Kai.  The event is sponsored by the Honolulu CC student government and student media board.  There will be food vendors as well as keiki games.  The Hawaii Meth Project and Community Helping Schools will also be present.

Springfest 2011 @ Honolulu Community College, Saturday, April 9th from 2pm-9pm. Free admission and lots of parking!

If you have a few free hours on Saturday be sure to stop by the campus of Honolulu Community College and enjoy this free event.  For more information call Ryan @ 510-545-3921.

Rotunda Roundup Thursday

Today is Rotunda Roundup Thursday!  Join Kanu Hawaii and special guest Chad Blair from Civil Beat for an interesting look at the Hawaii’s “Shield Law.”

Chad Blair from Civil Beat will be in attendance to discuss Hawaii's "Shield Law" (PHOTO: twitter.com/chadblaircb)

Also on tap today are tax and budget issues, as well as updates from Common Cause Hawaii.

Be at the State Capitol, today from 5:30pm-6:30pm.  Take some time out of your busy schedule to get involved!

Rotunda Roundup Friday!

Pizza & Policy?  That is this week’s theme for Kanu Hawaii’s Rotunda Roundup.  The event coincides with the “Art in the Capitol” display running from 5pm-7pm today.  Sen. Jill Tokuda, chair of the Senate’s Education Committee, will be present as well as a few other legislators.  This week’s event is focused more on the youth of Hawaii.

Join Kanu Hawaii and Common Cause Hawaii for Rotunda Roundup, today from 4:30pm-6:30pm.

Start time has been bumped up to 4:30pm.  A special panel on youth participation will be featured at today’s event.

Next week Kanu Hawaii will return to the Thursday format for a date with the Media Council Hawaii.  As always, for more information, visit Kanu Hawaii.

Re-Districting? What Would You Do?

With many state legislatures around the country getting set to redistrict the electoral map, it will be interesting to see how Republicans and Democrats fight over party lines and expected votes.  The re-districting is done after each census and can have major political ramifications.  In fact, many have pointed to the last re-districting after the 2000 census as a key to a Republican wave across the country.

Ever wanted to see if you could make some positive change during this time?  The USC Game Innovation Lab created a game which allows players to adjust district lines.  The ReDistricting Game offers a set of missions based on a particular political party.  Players are asked to arrange lines based on equal representation as well as such factors as creating a district with 75% or more African American residents.  Test your mettle!

My Legislative Experience

Cross-Posted with Fluffy2Fit.com

Today I was lucky enough to shadow a State Legislator for the day.  It was part of Shadow the Legislature hosted by Sen. Jill Tokuda.  There was a mix of college students within the University of Hawaii system.  We were all paired with either a Senate or House member.  The day was intended for us to get a glimpse into an average day of lawmakers as well as to get an understanding of how the Legislature operates.

Hawaii State Legislature

I had the honor to be paired with Senate President Shan Tsutsui.  Sen. Tsutsui represents Maui’s 4th District and was named Senate President for this session.  He takes over the role from now United States Congresswoman, Colleen Hanabusa.  The day started with an 8am entrance into Sen. Tsutsui office.  The spacious office featured two conference rooms and a few large couches.  I was introduced to the staff and was told the Senator was actually en route to Oahu on a flight from Maui.  I then saw my Ewa District Senator, Will Espero.  We chatted for a moment before he was asked by Sen. Tsutsui’s office if he would be willing to introduce me during the Senate’s session.  He agreed and we spent a few more minutes enjoying the continental breakfast which had been prepared for us.

Desperate America Report Founder, Ryan Adverderada

Sen. Espero and I have spoken often in the past as I have been a sign waver for him as well as interviewed his son Jason when he ran for office in December.  Sen. Espero is a nice man and a sharp dresser!  After the breakfast, Sen. Espero left for a few meetings while I went to an informational meeting.  The meeting provided an introduction to the Public Access Room which allows people to research bills as well as to get any info on legislators or legislation.  By 10am a few of us decided to take a tour of the Capitol.  Our tour guide, Carolyn, was funny and very informative.  We viewed both chambers from the gallery as the workers prepped for the upcoming session.  We then visited the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s offices.  The Hawaii State Capitol is quite a sight.

I returned to Sen. Tsutsui’s office and was formally introduced to the Senate President.  We chatted a bit as we made our way to the Senate floor.  Since Sen. Tsutsui convenes the session, I sat next to Sen. Espero.  Introductions were called and Sen. Espero stepped forward to introduce me.  He noted my work on his campaign as well as other campaigns in the area.  He even dropped a mention of my Desperate America Report website!  The Senate Chamber itself is an awe-inspiring area.  From the Senate floor, the ceiling lights resemble a spaceship preparing to land.  Sen. Espero and I joked about Sen. Sam Slom being the only Republican in the Senate and his need to run to various committees to serve as the minority member.

Sen. Tsutsui then took me to lunch.  We enjoyed a feast at a local chinese restaurant called Little Village with his aide, Ross.  There we chatted about sports and some of the issues of my area.  The day ended with a Senate Education Committee hearing.  The hearing went as usual with Sen. Slom racing into the room for a vote before speeding away to another committee hearing.

The day was amazing at every turn.  I hope to one day return to the Senate floor, this time as an elected Hawaii State Senator!

Mahalo to Sen. Tokuda for hosting the event, Sen. Espero for the kind introduction, and finally, Sen. Tsutsui for he and his staff’s hospitality and kindness.  The experience gained was priceless and I am a better person for it!