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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,696

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

DOH: Hawaii-grown papaya not linked to mainland's salmonella outbreak

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A multistate outbreak of salmonella has been potentially linked to whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

But there is no reason to avoid Hawaii-grown papayas, according to the Hawaii Department of Health and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

“The FDA has informed me that their investigations are centered on papayas imported from Mexico,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, Hawaii Board of Agriculture chairperson.

“Our state’s papaya-loving community should be reassured that the fruit grown in Hawaii has not been linked to the outbreak which is mainly occurring in the northeastern U.S.”

Read more: https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2019/06/29/doh-hawaii-grown-papaya-not-linked-mainlands-salmonella-outbreak/

Katherine Kealoha taken into custody; prosecutor calls her 'a walking crime spree'

After she was called “a walking crime spree,” a federal judge today ordered former city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha immediately into custody until her October sentencing on Thursday’s conspiracy and corruption conviction.

Kealoha appeared without her husband and co-defendant, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. She left court through a side door escorted by federal law enforcement.

Both Kealohas were convicted of federal conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges Thursday.

During a hearing this morning, U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright said that Katherine Kealoha poses little flight risk.

Read more: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/06/28/breaking-news/katherine-kealoha-will-be-taken-into-custody-federal-judge-rules/

Ige signs 'red flag' gun bill

Gov. David Ige has approved a new law that enables family members, co-workers or police to obtain court orders blocking access to firearms for people who show signs they could pose a danger to themselves or others.

When Ige signed Senate Bill 1466 into law as Act 150 on Wednesday, Hawaii joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted so-called extreme risk laws, also known as “red flag” laws.

The organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which lobbied Hawaii lawmakers this year to pass the legislation, described red flag laws as part of a national “sea change on gun safety.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads, a key sponsor of the bill, said the measure tries to deal with the problem of people who are law-abiding and mentally stable when they purchase firearms but later develop personal or psychiatric problems “that cause them to go on these horrible rampages that we read about.”

Read more: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/06/28/hawaii-news/ige-signs-red-flag-gun-bill/?HSA=eff6441d41287941b7f36d92bff45b9fc19a078a

Thirty Meter Telescope opponents pledge to hold steady as project's construction nears

The opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope this morning vowed to stand firm against the cutting-edge observatory expected to begin construction atop Mauna Kea in the next few months.

In a news conference at the Honolulu headquarters of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the “protectors” of Hawaii’s tallest mountain called on the state, the University of Hawaii and the TMT International Observatory board of governors to stand down on a $1.4 billion project which opponents say will desecrate sacred land.

With more than 50 people holding signs and flags of protest, speakers complained of heavy-handed state tactics in removing Native Hawaiian structures from the mountain, including two ahu, or altars, which were built on the TMT site in 2015.

“We’re also here to voice our concerns over what looks like the state’s gearing up for the excessive use of violence when the protectors of Mauna Kea have only shown aloha in this struggle,” said Candace Fujikane, board member of KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance.

Read more: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/06/28/breaking-news/thirty-meter-telescope-opponents-pledge-to-hold-steady-as-projects-construction-nears/

GovGuam to join lawsuit over tainted water

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has called the Legislature into special session Monday to consider a bill authorizing the attorney general to join the growing list of jurisdictions filing lawsuits against the makers of chemicals that may have tainted water across the nation.

Attorney General Leevin Camacho urged quick action.

"We believe it is in Guam's best interest to act promptly to determine whether we can join the multidistrict litigation. ... The consolidation of these suits means the litigation is already in place to allow multiple plaintiffs to seek monetary and other remedies from the same group of defendants," he said. "Delay in filing litigation for Guam could mean we miss out on the first, and potentially largest, opportunity to obtain relief from the companies and entities that participated in contamination of our water resources."

Passage of the bill authorizing litigation is "time sensitive" because there is a deadline for filing suit against the manufacturers of PFAS chemicals, which include companies such as DuPont and 3M.

Read more: https://www.postguam.com/news/local/govguam-to-join-lawsuit-over-tainted-water/article_12cb71fc-9961-11e9-ad79-c3630d4ce9c8.html

Some 70 Guam child sexual abuse claims settled by Boy Scouts, Capuchins, Sisters of Mercy

Some 70 child sexual abuse claims on Guam have been settled, including 44 that the Boy Scouts of America recently offered to settle with plaintiffs alleging abuses by a priest who also served as a scout master.

The amounts of final and proposed settlements have been kept confidential.

Attorney Michael Berman, representing 52 Guam clergy sex abuse survivors, told the court during a joint status hearing on Friday that his law firm settled 44 claims against the Boy Scouts two weeks ago in Honolulu.

Since then, he's met with the survivors to explain to them about the proposed settlement. He said everyone he's met with so far agreed to the Boy Scouts' proposed settlement.

"There's a small sense of relief," Berman said, noting that most of the survivors he represents named three defendants, the Boy Scouts, the Capuchins and the Archdiocese of Agana.

Read more: https://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2019/06/28/boy-scouts-capuchins-settle-some-70-guam-child-sexual-abuse-claims/1591043001/
(Guam Pacific Daily News)

Gov. Dunleavy vetoes $444 million from Alaska state operating budget

JUNEAU — Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday cut $444 million from Alaska’s state’s operating budget, slashing services beyond the cuts already made by the Alaska Legislature in order to move closer to a balanced budget without raising taxes or reducing the Permanent Fund dividend.

The action drew immediate and impassioned criticism from many Alaskans, including those who rely on those services and those who provide them, and there were calls on lawmakers to override the vetoes. But the governor also drew praise from Alaskans who believe state government is too large.

The University of Alaska is the biggest target of Dunleavy’s line-item veto pen, losing $130 million in state support atop the $5 million cut approved earlier by lawmakers. The resulting reduction is nearly 41% of the state’s support for the university system. University officials said the cuts would be devastating to the UA system.

“I believe they’re going to be able to work through this ... I don’t believe they can be all things to all people, and I think that’s generally speaking, the state of Alaska. We can’t continue to be all things for all people,” the governor said Friday morning in a news conference that was broadcast statewide.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2019/06/28/gov-mike-dunleavy-vetoes-444-million-from-alaska-state-operating-budget/
(Anchorage Daily News)

Alaska Railroad signs initial deal for link to Canada and the rest of the country

JUNEAU — The Alaska Railroad Corp. board of directors has approved an agreement with a firm seeking to link Alaska and Canada by rail. The board voted unanimously Thursday morning to approve the deal, which does not require the state-owned railroad corporation to fund the project.

Construction is estimated to cost $13 billion, according to a presentation given to the Alaska Legislature earlier this year, and is years away. Thursday’s arrangement deals with initial permitting, land acquisition and preliminary planning.

Under the agreement, the Alaska-to-Alberta Railroad Development Corp. —known as A2A Rail — receives an “exclusive right” to operate a cross-border railroad and the ability to use Alaska Railroad’s existing network as it seeks to build a railroad line between Alaska and Fort McMurray, Alberta. The agreement calls for the Alaska Railroad and A2A rail to obtain a right-of-way across state land between the Canadian border and the end of the railroad’s existing track. The two groups will draft a cost-sharing agreement.

“A rail connection between Alaska and Canada and the rest of the United States is a project that has been talked and dreamed about for close to a century,” said Alaska Railroad President and CEO Bill O’Leary in a prepared statement. “Completing that connection has amazing potential for Alaska and this agreement between the Alaska Railroad and A2A Rail is an important first step to get the project underway.”

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/06/28/alaska-railroad-signs-initial-deal-for-link-to-canada-and-the-rest-of-the-country/
(Anchorage Daily News)

Alaska AG: Dunleavy could have state troopers bring legislators to Wasilla

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson said Gov. Mike Dunleavy could sue lawmakers who show up in Juneau rather than Wasilla for the first day of the second special session on July 8.

While the state constitution bars the governor from suing the entire Legislature, Clarkson said Dunleavy could ask for a court order to have Alaska State Troopers round up individual lawmakers and bring them to Wasilla.

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Clarkson cited a constitutional provision allowing the governor to enforce the state’s laws.

“He could, under Article III, Section 16, go to court — not against the Legislature, because that’s not permitted — but against the absent legislators who are not present in Wasilla subject to the call and seek a court order compelling them to go to Wasilla,” Clarkson said.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/06/26/alaska-ag-dunleavy-could-have-state-troopers-bring-legislators-to-wasilla/

UA president: Dunleavy vetoes 'will impact everything we do'

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes include a $130 million reduction in state support for the University of Alaska system. That’s in addition to a $5 million cut to UA approved by state legislators. Combined, they reduce state support for the university by a $135 million, or 41% from the FY 19 level. Dunleavy says he has faith that university leaders will be able to work through the loss.

“I believe they can turn the University of Alaska into, if not the finest university of the Arctic in a few select areas. I don’t think they can be all things for all people,” Dunleavy said. “That’s generally speaking… the state of Alaska. We can’t be all things for all people.”

The reduction in state support will immediately impact university operations, as the new fiscal year starts July 1st. University officials say if the veto goes through, over 1,300 staff and faculty would lose their jobs.

Speaking to UA Regents during a special budget meeting Friday, University President Jim Johnsen underscored the severity of the cut.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/06/28/ua-president-dunleavy-vetoes-will-impact-everything-we-do/
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