ACLU declares First Amendment victory

Judge Susan Mollway granted a temporary restraining order against Hawaiʻi County last week in Kona “Panhandling” case.

Will Caron
Lassner deserves a chance

Letter to the Editor: one UH Mānoa faculty/staff member shares his disappointment over the Mānoa Faculty Senate's vote to censure System President David Lassner.

John Witeck
State agrees to revise public demonstration rules

An ACLU first amendment lawsuit has been settled with the state promising to change its rules concerning public demonstrations on state property to make it easier to exercise first amendment rights.

In the wake of a federal First Amendment lawsuit (ACLU v. Seki), settled on Sept. 5, 2014, the State of Hawaii has agreed to make wholesale revisions to its rules regarding demonstrations on State property, including at the State Capitol.

Effective immediately:

• Individuals or groups (of any size) wishing to demonstrate at the State Capitol (or other property controlled by the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)) no longer need a permit.
• Demonstrators can have a small table to distribute literature, no permit needed.
• Demonstrators can get a permit, if desired, to reserve a space, but will no longer have to indemnify the state and will not have to obtain insurance if they cannot afford it.

The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Hawaii Foundation and the law firm of Chun Kerr, LLP on behalf of plaintiffs Pamela G. Lichty and the ACLU in March of 2014, and documents burdensome requirements for obtaining a permit—including requirements that small groups get the government’s permission before holding a protest; that individuals have to agree to indemnify the State for any injuries arising from their protest (even if the injuries are caused by the protesters’ opponents); and that individuals or groups must apply for a permit weeks in advance (with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations in response to sudden events or news).

The ACLU had been trying to resolve these issues with the State informally since 2010, but the State did not agree to change these permitting requirements until after the lawsuit was filed.

Pamela G. Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group, whose organization ran up against these regulations while planning a rally at the Capitol said, “This settlement is a win for freedom of speech, and for grassroots organizations like ours that need to respond to current events quickly and without layers of government bureaucracy getting in the way of our message.”

“Objective, consistent standards for access to Hawaii’s public spaces will better safeguard equal treatment and equal protection for all community voices—a critical responsibility of government,” said Attorney Alexandra Rosenblatt of Chun Kerr. “We are relieved that DAGS will now have policies that uphold the rights to free speech and assembly as guaranteed in the First Amendment.”


Will Caron
Hawai‘i’s alternative industries get a boost

More than $5 million in federal grants will help develop Hawai‘i's agriculture, clean tech, manufacturing and healthcare industries.

Will Caron
Oahu defense contractor sentenced on espionage charges

A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and civilian contractor will spend more than seven years in federal prison after he was convicted on espionage charges.

Will Caron
Mānoa faculty censure Lassner

After nearly voting to send the UH system president a resolution of no confidence, Mānoa faculty opted to censure him instead.

Will Caron
New houseless bills won’t help

The city's “compassionate disruption” strategy does more to hide the houseless problem from tourists than it does actually solve the underlying problems that lead to houselessness.

Will Caron
Examining native Hawaiian education

As part of the 13th Native Hawaiian Convention, the Education Caucus will meet to discuss policy and vision for improved education opportunities for native Hawaiians.

The Native Hawaiian Education Caucus, hosted by Kamehameha Schools, the Native Hawaiian Education Council and Aha Punana Leo, takes place on the afternoon of September 30, as part of the 13th annual Native Hawaiian Convention.

The caucus will feature presentations on Kamehameha Schools’ Strategic Plan 2020 and in-depth discussions around the implementation of new State policies that directly impact education for native Hawaiians including the newly created Office of Hawaiian Language (run through the Department of Education), general learner outcomes, and how to create an environment that encourages native Hawaiian students to be global citizens.   

13th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention: Education Caucus
Hawaii Convention Center
September 30, 11am - 5:30pm
Register for the convention
(808) 596-8155

Will Caron
Black and white stripes are the new orange

Halawa Correctional Facility reverts to 19th century uniform practices.

Manjari Fergusson
SUMMIT Fest is coming October 24-26

Hawaii's celebration of arts, culture, and ideas launches soon

Ikaika M Hussey