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President's Message
May 21 State Convention at Tokai University
Hawaii Public Financing Bill Falls Just Short of Passage (Laure Dillon & Jessica Wisneski)
Charter Commission (Evangeline Funk & Piilani Kaopuiki)
Tax Increase for Rail (Charles Carole)
Who Will Use Rail? (Pearl Johnson)
Flawed Agriculture Bill Sneaks Past Legislature (Pearl Johnson)
Judicial Airdates
Did You Know? (Pearl Johnson)

President's Message

Thanks to all of you who attended our annual meting at the Hale Koa Hotel April 16. For those of you who were not able to join us, you missed some interesting discussions, especially with Mike Leidemann, Transportation Columnist for the Honolulu Advertiser. Our meeting happened to take place on the Saturday before Mike's big story on traffic accident statistics covered the front page of the Sunday Advertiser. He shared with us the difficulties he had in getting the data. The State Department of Transportation collects all kinds of information on traffic accidents but they refuse to release it because of liability concerns. Their position is that if they identify an intersection with a high accident rate and an accident occurs there, then the attorneys will say the state is at fault. Mike said, and we all agreed, what about the accidents that will be prevented (and the lives saved) by people avoiding those nasty intersections now that they know about them?

Fortunately the Honolulu Police Department not only keeps traffic accident statistics, it is willing to share them, which annoys DOT to the extent that they have pushed a change in the law to stop the police from releasing these data. Meanwhile, I am very grateful to know that Kapiolani Boulevard has some very dangerous intersections and I am not going near them, thank you. I bet you aren't either.

Another interesting piece of information we learned is how much more open things are under the Hannemann administration than under the previous mayor. Before, only department heads were allowed to talk to reporters. As of now, the news media can talk to any employee. The League supports as much openness in government as possible. Unless there is a really good reason to keep data confidential, let us know what's going on and let us decide how we respond.

In other business, members elected Roxie Berlin and Susan Miller to fill vacant seats on the Board. Teresa Lau is our new Membership Chair. All of the Board Committees welcome new members. So whatever your interest is – planning and zoning, transportation, affordable shelter, the Charter Commission, voter service or just helping out around the office, please let us know.

Finally, don't forget to come to the State Convention May 21. League is honoring Bob Watada, soon-to-retire Executive Director of the State Campaign Spending Commission. Honolulu is entitled to 14 delegates in addition to our members who hold State offices, and even if we have so many people you can't vote, you'll find out what's happening at the State level, meet some League members from the other islands, and have a nice (subsidized) lunch. Please see the sign-up form elsewhere in the newsletter.

Jackie Parnell

LVW - Honolulu

President - Jackie Parnell
Vice President - Piilani Kaopuiki
Secretary - Robin Loomis
Treasurer - Malia Schwartz
Editor - Pearl Johnson
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