Watching and reporting about Hawaii from Washington Place to Washington, D.C.

4:11 p.m. OIP Wants Open Gov’t Input

The Office of Information Practices is seeking advice on how to make Hawaii’s government more open.

OIP, which administers the Uniform Information Practices Act and the Sunshine Law, is planning to incorporate the input as part of its proposals for the 2012 Legislature.

OIP wants the help in part because of the rise of social media.

As new director Cheryl Kakazu Park noted in a letter today form her office, “Today, there are new tools and methods to share information, expand discussion, and engage more people. These changes in technology and people’s use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, may require modernization of our open government laws in order to avoid violations of our current laws.”

Proposals may be submitted to by July 5.

2:18 p.m. Gov Names Bhagowalia CIO

Neil Abercrombie named Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia the state’s chief information officer, a new position created to run a new department.

Bhagowalia is currently the deputy associated administrator in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, which is part of the U.S. General Services Administration. He formerly worked as a CIO with the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

His background includes time with the FBI and DOJ, where he was involved with information technology resource management. He also spent 14 years as chief engineer and manager at Boeing Information Systems.

DAGS administrator Bruce Coppa says the state’s IT system is so antiquated that unemployment checks are not generated electronically. The new CIO position comes with a salary of $179,700.

Bhagowalia, who is still in Washington D.C. and was not present at the press conference, begins work July 6.

—Nanea Kalani contributed to this report

1:23 p.m. Silent March for H-1 Shooting Victim

Hawaii News Now reports that there will be a silent march at the state Capitol to honor domestic violence victims — including the woman killed in last Friday’s H-1 Freeway shooting rampage.

The public is invited to gather at the Saint Damien Statute at 5 p.m., then march down Beretania Street.

12:50 p.m. What Ed Believes

Ed Case has sent out an email today to supporters reminding them of his 10 fundamental beliefs.

The beliefs are also listed on his campaign website, but here’s two:

No. 3: I believe in public service.

To truly serve one’s fellow citizens, as do ministers, teachers, those in uniform, and so many others, is the highest calling. Not for personal gain, but to better our Hawaii, country and world and live a life of meaning. And because, as one to whom much has been given, much is in fact expected.

No. 8: I believe in hard work and perseverance.

True throughout life, but indispensable in the pressure cooker of national office.

In response, the Hawaii GOP sent out two tweets (@gophawaii):

Have you seen Ed Case’s latest email? Looks like he is shifting back to the center after taking a hard turn left …

Looks like Ed Case is proving this ad right.

11:50 a.m. Neighbor Isle Gov’t News

The Maui News reports that the state Reapportionment Commission is revisiting the question of whether nonresident military personnel living in Hawaii should be counted when the panel redraws voting districts this year:

The question of whether to count military personnel who maintain legal residency outside of the state is important for Hawaii voters, particularly those in Maui County, said Madge Schaefer, a member of the Maui County Reapportionment Advisory Council.

In a November 1992 state constitutional amendment, voters decided not to count nonresident military personnel when the state redraws voting districts.

West Hawaii Today reports that federal officials still do not have a date when bids will be sought for Saddle Road realignment:

DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said DOT officials were hoping to advertise the project by the middle of this month, with a goal of starting construction in October. Construction should take about two years, he said.

What’s holding up the bidding process at this point, Meisenzahl said, is the release of federal funds by the state. He declined to say how much money would be released, citing concerns about giving potential project bidders too much information about how much money is available.

The Maui News reports that A&B Properties has released for public review a draft environmental impact statement for Waiale, a master-planned community on about 545 acres in Central Maui:

While the project raises the prospect of the construction of more than 2,000 homes in one of Maui’s fastest-growing regions, the development also faces some steep challenges, particularly in gaining access to drinking water and sewage treatment.

A&B Vice President Grant Chun said the project’s tentative design was “informed by the standards and goals of the Maui Island Plan,” which is pending review by the Maui County Council.

10:02 a.m. Bills on Solicitation, Substances Become law

The governor has signed 11 bills into law. They include:

House Bill 1085, which brings Hawaii statutes on controlled substances in line with the federal laws and increases the fee for the registration certificate for qualifying patients for medical marijuana;

House Bill 1056, which permits the DOE to determine alternative routes to certification for principals and vice-principals;

House Bill 1082, which establishes the Conservation and Resources Enforcement Special Fund in the DLNR for the purpose of setting aside moneys to be used toward the protection of the state’s natural, cultural and historic resources; and

House Bill 44, Karl Rhoads‘ bill that makes it a misdemeanor to offer or agree to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of sexual conduct within 750 feet of a school or public park.

“Children and their parents, going to and from school or the park, should not be exposed to a gauntlet of prostitutes, pimps and johns,” Rhoads said in a statement. “HB 44 raises the penalty for johns, and subsequently helps to clear out prostitution in areas where children must travel.”

Gov: New CIO Pick

Neil Abercrombie has scheduled a press conference at 2 p.m. in executive chambers to announce his selection of a chief information officer.

The CIO, according to the governor, will be tasked with modernizing the state’s antiquated technology system. The new position will lead a new branch called the Office of Information Management and Technology.

The positions are created via House Bill 1060, which the governor will sign into law today, and through a partnership between the administration and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

The foundation is providing a $3 million grant from the Omidyar Ohana Fund, a donor advised fund established through the support of Pierre (publisher of Civil Beat) and Pam Omidyar.

Abercrombie cited the creation of a CIO as one of his major accomplishments in the 2011 legislative session.

Plastic Bag Hearings: Big Island

The Hawaii County Council is considering an ordinance that would outlaw plastic check-out bags at Big Island businesses.

Bill 17, sponsored by Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, seeks to “proactively address the environmental harm resulting from the proliferation of plastic bags.”

The Hawaii-Tribune Herald says the first of six public hearings is set for 5 p.m. tonight at Keaau Community Center.

Testimony can also be mailed to the County Clerk’s Office (25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, Hi 96720) or emailed to

Kauai and Maui have ordinances restricting the use of plastic bags.

Town Hall: Colleen Hanabusa


Jarrett Middle School Cafeteria, 1903 Palolo Avenue, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Aina Haina Elementary School Cafeteria, 801 W. Hind Drive, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Where’s Neil?

Here’s Neil:

• Remarks, open house dedication for Sea Winds Apartments, 85-295 Kauiokalani Place, Waianae, 11:30 a.m. to noon

Catch up on previous coverage:

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