Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

9:50 a.m. Freedman Joins Schatz’s Staff

Brian Schatz has tweeted (@brianschatz, 2,629 followers) about a new hire for his office: Chuck Freedman, special assistant.

Freedman, long involved with Hawaii Democrats and government, helped Schatz with his campaign for lieutenant governor.

Surfing OK’d for Public Schools

Neil Abercrombie, the DOE’s Kathryn Matayoshi, the BOE’s Keith Amemiya and surfer girl Carissa Moore will be in Waikiki at 11 a.m. today for an announcement making surfing an official high school sport.

Mortgage Dispute Program

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today at the King Kalakaua Building to announce the launch of the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution.

The program was established under Act 48. In addition to DCCA officials, lawmakers Roz Baker and Bob Herkes will be on hand.

Gov’s Security Detail Probed

KITV has this report about allegations of abuse, favoritism and prostitution involving the governor’s security detail.

The allegations come from a whistleblower and are said to be under investigation by authorities.

Arts, Cultural Head Steps Down

Ronald Yamakawa, executive director of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, retires at the end of this year, according to an Associated Press article.

Yamanaka is credited with adding art work in public spaces and supporting slack-key performers.

Tips on Social Media Use

The Office of Information Practices is seeking suggestions on legislative proposals regarding the use of social media and open records and meetings.

Common Cause Hawaii has submitted its recommendations, which incude these:

• An up-to-date directory of social media user names for government officials and government agencies should be maintained and publicized widely.

• Will the new technology create a loophole — a method for avoiding the sunshine law or open records law? If the same information is not allowed to be communicated between those individuals in person or on the phone, it should not be able to be communicated in an electronic form.

• Who can access the information? In the case of Facebook or Twitter accounts, what kind of privacy settings do the users have? Would comments be available for all to see, or only for his or her “friends” or “followers”?

Open records regulations that are applicable to hard-copy paper records should also apply to e-mail, text, social media, and any other electronic communications. If public business is being discussed by government officials, the public must be able to access those documents.

Some Still Worried About Lahaina Halloween

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government-related news:

Big Isle redistricting meetings seek public’s input

Maui County, Merrill Lynch reach settlement

Pahoa road project stalls

Group seeking to be heard before Lahaina Halloween resumes

PUC nixes Kau biofuel plant surcharge

French honor ‘Go for Broke’ veterans in Lihue

Web boost for UH Hilo

Honokowai Kauhale complaints draw audit

$25M solar project planned for Kauai in 2012

Catch up on previous coverage:

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