Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

3:54 p.m. DCCA to Introduce Mobile Phone App

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will unveil Friday what it describes as “the State of Hawaii’s first application for mobile devices.”

The mobile app includes a modified version of the current services available on DCCA’s Business Registration website, according to a press release.

“The app is designed to make it easier for the public to search a business name, find information, and purchase filed documents or certificates of good standing on devices with smart touch response screens and smaller interfaces,” says DCCA.

To access the app (beginning tomorrow), go to business.ehawaii.gov on a mobile device and a mobile version of the registration division website will be displayed. No downloads or installation are required.

The app was “developed at no cost” via the eHawaii.gov program, “a largely self-funded public-private partnership” between the state and the Hawaii Information Consortium.

2:55 p.m. IHS: Increased Use of Homeless Shelters

The Institute of Human Services today reported that there has been a 13 percent year-over-year increase in the use of emergency shelters by homeless people:

IHS helped 1,429 unduplicated individuals with emergency shelter in FY 2011, compared to 1,268 unduplicated individuals in FY 2010. In total, the shelter served a total of over 4,000 unduplicated individuals through shelter, housing assistance, meals, and case management in FY 2011, as compared to almost 3,700 in FY 2010.

IHS reports that they have also seen an increase in the number of families seeking shelter, and the number of meals served at the shelters.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in need both in and outside the shelter,” Connie Mitchell, IHS executive director, said in a statement. “The challenging part is securing funding to serve so many additional individuals during this time of economic crisis.”

12:28 p.m. D.C. Honors for Ledward

Slack-key master Ledward Kaapana has received the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts‘ National Heritage Fellowship Award — the highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

Mazie Hirono and Dan Akaka attended the NEA ceremony at the U.S. Capitol with Kaapana, who was awarded $25,000 by the NEA.

Since 1984, a total of 12 Hawaiian musicians have received the award, including Genoa Keawe and Eddie Kamae.

11:10 a.m. Legislature Briefing on Micronesians

John Mizuno and House Human Services have scheduled a briefing Oct. 6 “to review the issues relating to the Micronesian community in Hawaii, the history of the Federal Compact, and the state costs of providing services to the Micronesian community and the federal reimbursement to the state.”

Panel members include Neal Palafox, Seiji Yamada and officials from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia.

10 a.m. Hearing: Child Abuse

John Mizuno and House Human Services will hold a hearing this afternoon at the Capitol to review “standards for investigation of child abuse, reporting of child abuse, definition of child abuse, and final disposition for cases involving alleged abuse or neglect of children.”

Child Welfare Services, HPD, people with knowledge of child abuse or neglect and faith-based groups have been invited to testify.

Meeting: Tourism Marketing

The Hawaii Tourism Authority meets today at the Hawaii Convention Center to discuss plans for marketing the state in North America next year.

Mike McCartney will also report to the HTA board on implementation of the state’s tourism strategic plan.

Meeting: LUC in Koloa

The Land Use Commission will meet tonight at the Kauai Grand Hyatt Resort.

The agenda includes a petition from Hawaiian Electric Light Company.

PBS ‘Insights’: Debt Crisis and Gridlock

Dan Boylan and a panel of experts — it includes Ed Case — “examine the ongoing national debt crisis and its impact on Hawaii,” tonight.

Promo:

With the US Congress reaching a last-minute agreement in August to raise the debt ceiling, similar political debates on future budgets may be inevitable. This week’s guests will explain how gridlocks affect budget decisions, and present examples of local services being hit by the debt crisis.

AG Defends Gov’s Emergency Authority

AG David Louie yesterday issued a strong defense of his boss, Neil Abercrombie, stating that the governor “took the appropriate legal steps to protect the public from the danger posed by unexploded munitions and the threat of airplane crashes caused by bird strikes.”

Louie rejected arguments from the Sierra Club’s Robert Harris that the governor withdraw his emergency proclamations on the nene and unexploded ordnance.

As Civil Beat reported earlier this week, the Sierra Club and seven other groups called on the governor to rescind both proclamations, arguing that the administration has misconstrued state law.

Not so, says the attorney general, who explains his reasoning in the Sept. 21 letter.

Citing statute, Louie wrote “‘The governor shall be the sole judge of the existence of the danger, threat, state of affairs, or circumstances'” when a civil defense emergency may be declared.

“A civil defense emergency period can be declared if the Governor finds that a disaster has occurred or that there is a danger or threat thereof. The law gives the Governor broad emergency powers, including taking all steps necessary and appropriate to protect the public.”

Of note: Louie said Harris misquoted a Civil Beat article on the nene removal.

Trial Set for Damon Tucker

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government news:

Maui: Panel could affront legal dispute over redistricting

Hawaii County Council rejects impact fees

Alahou Clean and Sober executive director arrested

Maui County Council hopes to study farm lot inequities

Kilauea erupts near Puu Oo

Trial set for Pahoa blogger Tucker

Motor vehicle fees to increase on Garden Isle

Maui panel could affront legal dispute over redistricting

Kauai community leaders: Domestic violence not OK

Big Isle zip line accident proves fatal


Catch up on previous coverage:

About the Author