Category: Politics

Journalist Shield Law Extension Advances

Journalist Shield Law Extension Advances

The House Judiciary Committee today unanimously voted to advance a bill that would remove the sunset provision in Hawaii’s so-called “Journalist Shield Law,” otherwise known as Act 210 (HB2557) from the 2008 Legislative session. The law gives the press (“journalists and newscasters”) some protections against being forced to reveal sources...

State Senator Hosting Twitter Town Hall

State Senator Hosting Twitter Town Hall

Hawaii voters approved the change from an elected board last year, but it will take legislative action to determine how the new system will work. On Friday, Sen. Jill Tokuda, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is hosting a “Twitter Town Hall,” or “Twitterview.” She’ll be taking comments and answering...

Candidate Cries Foul Over Twitter Posts

Candidate Cries Foul Over Twitter Posts

The race for Hawaii governor between Democrat and former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona has been a contentious one. A stream of dueling press releases has dominated the headlines, political ads have blanketed the airwaves, and hordes of signwavers have lined nearly every street. But...

Abercrombie & Schatz and Fast Fashion

Abercrombie & Schatz and Fast Fashion

To island democratic voters, “Abercrombie & Schatz” sounds like the ticket to a brighter future for Hawaii. But for many people, “Abercrombie & Schatz” also sounds like a clothing line. On Saturday night, as it became obvious that former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie was going to trounce former Honolulu mayor...

George Takei Speaks Out on Hawaii Equality

George Takei Speaks Out on Hawaii Equality

On this week’s Bytemarks Cafe, the weekly science and technology radio show I co-host with Burt Lum on Hawaii Public Radio, we had the honor of interviewing George Takei. He’s best known for his role as Sulu on Star Trek, but he’s also been a long-time, prominent, and outspoken advocate...

Inouye, Akaka Get Low “Digital I.Q.” Scores

Inouye, Akaka Get Low “Digital I.Q.” Scores

Hawaii’s representatives in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Daniel Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka, have less than stellar “Digital I.Q.” scores, according to a new study by researchers at George Washington University and New York University. “Digital I.Q.” was defined as “an individual’s online competence including his or her presence on...

Civil Beat Puts Public Data Behind the Paywall

Civil Beat Puts Public Data Behind the Paywall

The headline proclaims, “Civil Beat Shares Hawaii State Employee Salaries” — but there’s a catch: you have to pay to get full access to the information. To be sure, there’s a reasonable and deep debate to be had over whether the names and salaries of government employees should be public in...

Governor Vetoes Civil Unions

Governor Vetoes Civil Unions

Gov. Linda Lingle this afternoon announced that she has vetoed HB444, which would have legalized civil unions in the state of Hawaii. A rush transcript of her remarks, and the subsequent Q&A with the media, follows: Aloha everyone and welcome. I wanted to let the media know first of all that at...

Hawaii County Band on Chopping Block

Hawaii County Band on Chopping Block

The Hawaii County Band, a 127-year-old institution on the Big Island, has been singled out for elimination in the county budget, expected to be unveiled on Monday. The news was announced tonight to stunned musicians and volunteers by Bob Fitzgerald and Clayton Honma, director and deputy director of the county...

Governor Lets Tech Credit Cuts Become Law

Governor Lets Tech Credit Cuts Become Law

Today was the last day Gov. Linda Lingle could veto bills from the 2009 legislative session. And while she didn’t sign SB199, she didn’t veto it, either. So, despite the extensive lobbying efforts by the local technology and business community, and despite the fact that she listed it as a...

Gov. Lingle Vetoes Online Tax Bill

Gov. Lingle Vetoes Online Tax Bill

A quick update to my last post on Amazon.com dropping Hawaii affiliates. As the online giant (and many local affiliate marketers) hoped, Gov. Linda Lingle today vetoed HB1405.  Now the ball is in the Legislature’s court, as lawmakers mull convening a special session to override the governor’s vetoes. The full...

Amazon Dumps Hawaii Affiliates

Amazon Dumps Hawaii Affiliates

Amazon.com has pulled the trigger. As reported earlier, a looming Hawaii state tax law change relating to online affiliate marketers has prompted the Internet retailer to close the Amazon Associates accounts of Hawaii residents. Members of the local tech community are pushing Gov. Linda Lingle to veto HB1405, but Amazon.com...

‘The Fuel Film’ Comes to Hawaii

‘The Fuel Film’ Comes to Hawaii

An award-winning documentary on America’s addiction to oil and the promise of alternative energy is coming to Honolulu. “The Fuel Film” (formerly “Fields of Fuel“) will be screened one night only, this Friday at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. The film follows director and activist Josh Tickell as he travels around...

Honolulu Advertiser Harps on HotU

Honolulu Advertiser Harps on HotU

“A Web site for college students subsidized with millions of dollars in state income tax credits is now an adult-oriented Internet portal.” So begins Sean Hao’s article in the Honolulu Advertiser, documenting the “rise and fall” of HotU. The site, which rode the dotcom boom into the dotcom bust in...

Supporters Rally to Revive Civil Unions Bill

Supporters Rally to Revive Civil Unions Bill

Supporters of House Bill 444, or the “civil unions bill,” are not ready to give up. While Tuesday, May 5 Thursday, May 7 is the effective deadline for any last-minute action on the stalled bill, late signals from the Senate offer a glimmer of hope. HB444, which offers same-sex couples...

Act 221 on the Brink

Act 221 on the Brink

Act 221 is on the brink of being gutted. A bill that would hack out the heart of tax credits aimed at building and sustaining a high tech industry in Hawaii is expected to come to a floor vote tomorrow. Hawaii’s technology tax credits, generally referred to collectively as Act...

Mufi Hanneman: How Not to Engage on Twitter

Mufi Hanneman: How Not to Engage on Twitter

From the heady, shaky days of Howard Dean to the triumphant ascent of Pres. Barack Obama, there’s no question that the web is a vital tool for organizing and fundraising. Social networks have turned the grassroots into netroots. If you’re running for office today, you need to have “presence.” You...

Abercrombie Announces Gubernatorial Run Online

Abercrombie Announces Gubernatorial Run Online

Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie is hoping to move from Washington D.C. to Washington Place in Honolulu, today making official his long-anticipated run for governor. True, it was the worst-kept secret in local politics (I blogged it as a sure-thing in November, and I was late then!), and every media outlet...

Study: Hawaii Loves Porn

Study: Hawaii Loves Porn

A nationwide study of online porn consumption has been raising eyebrows, most pundits seizing on the strong correlation between conservative and religious states (a.k.a. “Red States”) and the number of porn subscriptions. But I was amused to discover that Hawaii is the number two consumer of porn, behind only Utah....

Okino: Homosexuality causes disease

Okino: Homosexuality causes disease

There’s a maelstrom of controversy surrounding Hawaii House Bill #444, which “extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union.”  Churches and other groups organized a demonstration against the bill that drew thousands to the State Capitol on Sunday, and...