Jailed state

Three practical reasons to reduce Hawaiʻi's incarcerated population through investment in community-based restorative justice programs rather than through construction of a new, $1.3 billion prison.

Will Caron
With all due respect

Mayor Arakawa’s recent, disparaging remarks regarding the rocks of ʻĪao Valley is part of a larger pattern of belittlement toward non-Western, indigenous culture that can be felt around the globe.

Tamara Paltin
End of Life Forum: options for the terminally ill

As Hawaii’s population ages, what ought to be done at the end of life is becoming a matter of great concern to the state. To explore the options available to those with a terminal illness, the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center and the Matsunaga Institute for Peace are sponsoring a moderated panel discussion on Thursday, February 23 on the topic, “End of Life: Public Policy for the Terminally Ill.” The forum, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium, includes Attorney General Douglas Chin, Dr. Charles Miller and John Radcliffe of Compassion and Choices Hawaii, and Dr. Craig Nakatsuka and Joy Yadao of Hawaii’s Partnership for Appropriate and Compassionate Care. The panel will be moderated by Judge Michael Broderick (Ret.), the President and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. 

Advances in medicine mean that more local residents are caring for relatives in their final days and are facing difficult decisions about their illnesses and death. Furthermore, 100 million Americans have a chronic disease, and a growing number of these chronically-ill people are asking for the right to take their own lives. The intent of the forum is to identify the various positions, and in the process consider the consequences of alternative public policies for the terminally ill in an environment of tolerance and respect.

Judge Broderick is the former director of the Judiciary’s Center for Alternative Resolution, the former Administrative Director of the State Courts, and a former Family Court Judge where he presided over more than 10,000 cases involving every type of family dispute. Over the course of his career, Judge Broderick has moderated or facilitated public and/or televised forums on many controversial issues, including commercial leasehold, siting of public facilities, the State Hospital, homelessness, race, discrimination and identity politics in Hawaii, and the Akaka bill. He currently is the President and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu.

Douglas Chin graduated from Stanford University and received his law degree from the University of Hawaii. Chin joined the Honolulu prosecutor’s office in 1996, where he tried approximately fifty jury cases to verdict. From 2010 to 2013, under Honolulu mayor Peter B. Carlisle, Chin served as managing director for the city and county of Honolulu. From 2013 to 2015, Chin was a law partner and eventual managing partner at Carlsmith Ball, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii Governor David Ige appointed Chin to become the state’s Attorney General in January 2015. He was unanimously confirmed by the state senate on March 15, 2015.

Dr. Charles Miller is a retired oncologist, board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He is one of the founding members of the Physician Advisory Council for Aid in Dying (PACAID) for Compassion & Choices. He served for 30 years in the U.S. Army Medical Department, was chief consultant to the Surgeon General and spent nine years as chief of hematology at Kaiser Medical Center in Honolulu. He is a member of the Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology and serves as the State Affiliate Representative to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Craig Nakatsuka is an internist who recently retired after 34 years of service from Kaiser Medical Group. He has spent the past decade in the work of long-term care and palliative care. Most recently, he spent time mentoring health care teams in providing patient-centered care, one of his greatest joys. He is a spokesperson for Hawaii’s Partnership for Appropriate Compassion and Care.

John Radcliffe, stage 4 terminal cancer patient and advocate for medical aid in dying in Hawaii, is Co-founder & President Emeritus of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. He is a veteran union leader, educator, writer, speaker, lecturer, and governmental and political action specialist. During the past three decades he has been involved in more political campaigns in Hawaii than virtually any other person. He’s been an active lobbyist at the state and national level for forty years.

Joy Yadao is a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience in nursing leadership and in the specialties of pediatrics, oncology, case management, end-of-life care, advanced care planning and healthcare quality. Joy is the former Executive Director of the St. Francis Hospice and Palliative Care Program and was the former Hawaii Clinical Improvement Coach for the CMS Partnership for Patients program. Joy is currently managing an Advance Care Planning initiative recently funded by Medicare and is a founding board member of Kokua Mau, Hawaii’s Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public.

Teachers are best suited to lead our schools

Taking charge of the conversation around education reform.

Amy Perruso
Rep. Quixote and the vanishing turd

Gene Ward's nonsensical urine bill still won't do anything to remedy our state's houselessness epidemic, no matter how much he believes in it.

Will Caron
How to think about Hawaiian Electric’s profits

Kathryn Mykleseth, reporting for the Star-Advertiser:

On Tuesday the parent company of the state’s largest electrical utility reported a profit of $44.6 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with $42.3 million, or 39 cents a share, for the same period in 2015.

Or to put it another way: Hawaii could have saved $44.6 million in the last quarter if the Hawaiian Electric companies were publicly-controlled or were run in a not-for-profit model.

Ikaika M Hussey
Campus speech in the age of Trump

The importance of free speech and activism on university campuses

Will Caron
Why UH grad students should unionize

The only thing that works for working people is to join a union.

Currently, graduate student students at the university are the only state workers that are not permitted to unionize or collectively bargain with their employer. House Bill 1277 and Senate Bill 406 would change that and give these hard-working student employees the same fundamental workers rights that the rest of Hawaiʻi’s government employees depend on.

“This is about more than just wages and benefits,” said Benton Park Rodden at an economic justice rally held on Sunday, Feb. 12. “We’re not exactly making widgets over at the university. We’re engaged in the production of new knowledge, and when you limit the production of knowledge to those who are wealthy and well-connected, you limit what we are capable of doing as a society, and the kinds of information we operate on.”

Rodden is a graduate student at the Hawaiʻi Research Center for Futures Studies. He did his undergrad in Political Science at DePaul University and he currently serves as the Advocacy Chair of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Graduate Student Organization, where he campaigns for legislative action, community activism and change that will benefit students and, therefore, the university.

“What we’re fighting for is the opportunity to change the conditions of possibility so that we can advocate for the world we wish to create,” said Rodden. “I know that when we succeed in uniting academic labor, our alu will become an unstoppable force for change, both here and nationally.

“We’re getting hit from all sides right now,” he continued. “The current White House and Congress has gone ahead and politicized the grant process. They’re attacking researchers when they don’t like the results. They’re attacking our international students, preventing them from being able to do work. We can’t fight every struggle we have on our hands right now; we can’t be fighting both the lawmakers in D.C. and the lawmakers in Honolulu: we need support from our local legislators. We need your support.

“If you care about the facts, than you need to understand that facts aren’t free. Somebody has to work to put the facts together. Somebody has to do the research to make it happen. If you want a public science that works for the public good, than you need to support it. This is a fight that started a long time ago—in the 1970s—when students first started agitating at the university for collective bargaining rights. It’s a fight that we plan to finish,” Rodden concluded.

The House bill is scheduled to be heard by the House labor committee (its second committee hearing) on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. in conference room 309. The senate bill has yet to be scheduled for a hearing by the senate labor committee.

Will Caron
New chair for OHA

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees selected Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi Trustee Colette Y. Machado as its new chair today.

Chair Machado succeeds At-Large Trustee Leinaʻala Ahu Isa, Ph.D., who was installed as acting chair during a special board meeting on February 2. Trustee Machado, who was first elected to the OHA Board in 1996, previously served as OHA chair from December 2010 through November 2014.

“I am grateful that my fellow trustees have given me a second chance to lead them,” Chair Machado said. “My goal is bring stability to the agency and rebuild our hale. We need to work together at the board level and with staff—embrace one and another with aloha so we can move forward for our Lāhui.”

Trustees also filled the remaining board leadership positions during today’s re-organization meeting. Kauaʻi and Niʻihau Trustee Dan Ahuna was named board vice chair.

Maui Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey will remain chair of the board’s Committee on Resource Management, and At-Large Trustee John D. Waiheʻe IV will serve as the committee’s vice chair.

Hawaiʻi Island Trustee Robert K. Lindsey Jr. was selected to chair the board’s Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment, and Trustee Ahuna was elected as the committee’s vice chair.

Ige appoints three new judges to Oahu’s First Circuit Court

Gov. David Ige today announced three appointments to the First Circuit Court (Oʻahu) as follows:

Keith K. Hiraoka, 58, attorney at Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLP, is appointed to the First Circuit Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Karen S. S. Ahn. Ahn retired in June, 2016.

Hiraoka has practiced law since 1983. In recent years, his primary areas of practice have been insurance coverage and representing attorneys, accountants, realtors and other professionals who have been sued. He has tried cases before juries, judges and arbitrators, participated in many mediations and briefed and argued appeals before the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court, the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Hiraoka graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1980 and earned his juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 1983.

“I was honored to have been one of those selected by the Judicial Selection Commission, and I am humbled that Governor Ige appointed me to the First Circuit Court,” said Hiraoka. I will provide as much information as possible to, and spend as much time as is necessary with the Senate and the Hawai‘i State Bar Association during the confirmation process in the hope that the public will have confidence in the process and in the integrity of the Judiciary.”

Family Court Judge Catherine H. Remigio, 51, is appointed to the First Circuit Court to fill the vacancy created by the Aug. 2016 retirement of former Circuit Judge Steven S. Alm.

Remigio was appointed to Family Court in 2011. Prior to that, she served in the Judiciary as a Per Diem District Court Judge and Circuit Court Grand Jury Counsel.  Remigio has also practiced law in several private firms, including as a partner at Bryant & Remigio, LLC. She served as a deputy public defender for the State of Hawaiʻi and as law clerk to Judges Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr. and Eden Elizabeth Hifo in the First Circuit Court. Remigio graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service in 1987 and earned her juris doctorate at the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1992.

“I am deeply honored and grateful that Governor Ige has nominated me to serve on the First Circuit Court bench. I hope to continue working for the betterment of our people and communities and to serve with distinction,” said Remigio.

Attorney Todd W. Eddins, 52, is appointed to the First Circuit Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of former Circuit Judge Richard K. Perkins in June 2016.

Eddins graduated from the College of William & Mary and the William S. Richardson School of Law, where he was executive editor of the University of Hawai`i Law Review. He served as a law clerk to Justice Yoshimi Hayashi of the Hawai`i Supreme Court. Eddins worked as a trial lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender for more than ten years. In private practice he has concentrated on complex civil, criminal, and appellate litigation.

“It is an extraordinary honor to receive Governor Ige’s nomination to fill the seat of such an eminent jurist as Judge Richard Perkins. I am heartened by the opportunity to contribute to our one of a kind community through judicial service.  I look forward to the upcoming confirmation process,” said Eddins.

“These individuals know the law, understand complex civil and criminal issues, and possess the demeanor needed to facilitate their resolution. They also have the expertise to manage a jury trial in a fair and impartial manner. They will serve the people of Hawaiʻi with distinction,” said Gov. Ige.

“The Judiciary must accurately reflect our community, and I want to encourage more women to apply for these positions. More will be open shortly,” said Ige. “I am seeking the help of several professional women’s organizations to recruit talented women to the bench. Ultimately, the judicial branch will better serve the people of this state when it truly mirrors our diversity,” Gov. Ige continued.

The process used to select these appointees is the same process used in prior selections and will be used whenever Gov. Ige makes judicial appointments. Gov. Ige personally interviewed each candidate, received input from retired Hawai‘i State Supreme Court Associate Justice James Duffy, who reviewed the qualifications of the nominees and solicited feedback on each from the law community, and reviewed testimony submitted by the public. The Senate confirmation also allows opportunities for the general public to weigh in.

Jury trials are held in the Circuit Courts, which have general jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. They also have exclusive jurisdiction in probate, guardianship and criminal felony cases, as well as civil cases where the contested amount exceeds $40,000. Circuit Courts share concurrent jurisdiction with District Courts in civil non-jury cases in which the amounts in controversy are between $10,000 and $40,000. Other cases heard by the Circuit Courts include mechanics’ liens and misdemeanor violations transferred from the District Courts for jury trials.

All three appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.