H. Doug Matsuoka's notes in the margin of the Big Everything.

11.12.2014

Five dystopian predictions regarding Bill 48 and the criminalized homeless

[Update of 11/12/14: So far, I suck as Nostradamus. For one, I was late to the hearing because I was sure it would be in the afternoon. I was wrong. I got there in time to testify, but not to catch many other testimonies. I also missed if the City put on a presentation or testimony. I'm trying to get ahold of the video recording. But I'm pretty sure Jun Yang didn't speak. Could it be that the City doesn't support this bill? I'm thinking that might be the case...

The vote on the bill was deferred to Friday. Councilmember Menor pointed out that the changes to the draft were substantial enough to require 48 hour notice, and that it was necessary to be strict about this since the ordinance is sure to be challenged in court. To me, it seems odd to pass a law that is certain to be challenged in court where we (The People) have to bear cost of defense penalty for being unconstitutional. Why shouldn't the tourist corporations and businesses that paid the councilmembers to draft and pass this law bear those costs?

Also, Friday's meeting will not hear public testimony. If the changes on the bill are substantial enough to require notice, shouldn't the public have an opportunity to comment on those changes? Why is the public being treated as casual obstacles? 

More on Friday. Doug]

The Honolulu City Council hearing on Bill 48 targeting and criminalizing the homeless is tomorrow (Wednesday, November 12, 2014) and I have some rather explicit predictions about the hearing and the future. For the record:

Prediction #1: Jun Yang speaks!

(Jun Yang on 6/26/14 before he was banished from speaking into a Council microphone)
Director of Housing Yang has not been allowed to speak at homeless criminalization hearings (or even appear in chamber) since the debacle of June 26, 2014. At that Honolulu Council Zoning Committee hearing, he and Office of Community Services Director Pam Witty-Oakland were grilled by committee members. Most of the members were desperately seeking a way to pass through Bill 42 criminalizing sitting and lying on the sidewalk in Waikiki. Yang and Witty-Oakland, being appointed rather than elected, had major problems lying about a Housing First solution that didn't exist and in the end the committee had to defer the bill. Witty-Oakland "resigned" shortly thereafter and Mayor Caldwell must have banished Yang from appearing in Council, because he has been nowhere to be seen at the Council criminalization of homeless hearings since then.

(Pam Witty-Oakland couldn't tell a lie; a fatal shortcoming for anyone in the Caldwell administration.)
So why do I say Jun Yang will speak? The aforementioned Bill 42 eventually did pass. It took another hearing and Managing Director Ember Shinn (the one with the big silver Mercedes parked in front of Honolulu Hale) to announce to the Council that the City was just about to open a Housing First tent city at Sand Island. I mean, like, any day now! Over objections by Councilmembers Breene Harimoto and Kymberly Pine, the Council bought in and passed Bill 42 criminalizing sitting or lying on the sidewalk in Waikiki.

But the Sand Island tent city hasn't happened, and probably won't ever happen. A cursory check of the records (and older folks memories) would have revealed the selected site was a toxic dump not habitable by people or other living things. The owners, the State, requires testing before signing off on the property, and that would raise costs to perhaps $1 million. But was there any real intent to put any kind of site on the property or was it just a prop to get Bill 42 passed?

But here comes Bill 48 which extends criminalization of lying and sitting to other parts of Oahu where the homeless have been forced to find shelter. The Council again needs someone from the City to speak to the fact that thousands of homeless stand (okay sit) to be criminalized because there is no alternative to their being on the street. No problem. FACE, Faith Action Community Equity, a church based nonprofit, seems to have an answer. Guess what? FACE is having a housing summit on Saturday (Nov 15). "The event will open with a speech from Kirk Caldwell which will talk about the plan we have been working on with his staff." Question: Whoever could that be? Answer: Jun Yang, who was the Oahu Lead Community Organizer for FACE directly before he was appointed to be Director of Housing for the City of Honolulu.

Which brings me to …

Prediction #2: FACE gets huge City contract for their homeless housing "solution" which has been developed in partnership with their former Oahu Lead Community Organizer, Jun Yang.

(Jun Yang's LinkedIn profile lists his FACE connection)
In true Honolulu good ole boy fashion, big bucks get delivered to or through the inside guy. All the Council needs to hear is that there is a housing plan for the homeless that will allow them to pass Bill 48. The Councilmembers interest in this is that it takes money to get elected and the money is on the "pass" side, not the Civil Rights side.

Prediction #3: Like the abandoned Sand Island tent city, the FACE housing solution won't materialize.

Or at the very least it won't come about in time to help those criminalized by Bill 48. But by then people will be eating Thanksgiving turkey (or Christmas Goose) while the homeless are being jailed.

Prediction #4: The homeless will be forced into seeking shelter in malls and residential areas.

Since Bill 48 (like Bill 42) won't do a thing about solving homelessness, it doesn't reduce the actual amount of homeless people who will then have to crowd into malls and residential areas.

Prediction #5: Passage of Bill 48 will lead to the further criminalization of homeless by extending criminalization to the areas  the homeless will be forced into.

Malls, wooded areas higher in the hills and mountains, and residential areas etc. will become the next areas where the homeless will be forced to congregate. Once homeless are forced into subdivisions and residential neighborhoods, the self interested middle class will have no problem passing draconian measures to haul the homeless away to prison camps by any means necessary. And this, I am afraid, is the City's final solution:

Prediction #6: The Final Solution: The City will propose that the poor and homeless be hauled away to prison camps.

A rather dystopian scenario, yes. Which may prompt some to ask what I think the solution is. Well, the solution is as difficult as it is simple: Put people before profits. That is, put the welfare of the public, the public good, first. Bills criminalizing the poor do not serve the public good. The public is served by affordable housing, a system of care for the mentally ill, and for treatment those with substance problems. The public is served by politicians who make public policy for the residents of their community, not foreigners with ill gotten bags of loot who can afford multi-million dollar luxury condos and mansions…

…But that's a post for another time. Anyway, those are my predictions. Let's see how I do. 

Oppose Bill 48 and the further criminalization of the poor!

H. Doug Matsuoka
11 November 2014
Makiki, Honolulu


11.08.2014

Info links for the Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui table at The Hawaii People's Fund Expo

It's easier sending someone to the DougNote.com than various URLs with numerals etc., so here are some links for the Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui table presentation at The Hawaii People's Fund Expo on Saturday, November 8, 2014.


The Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui is Laulani Teale, Kamuela Vance Viveiros, and H. Doug Matsuoka. 

At the time of the Hawaii People's Fund Expo, Kamuela was attending the Olelo Community Media's Volunteer Award ceremony, and Laulani Teale was on Kauai at the Aloha Aina Celebration in Kekaha. She was scheduled to perform with Liko Martin, and to livestream video to the Hawaii People's Fund Expo in the evening. Big mahalo to Karen Murray for helping me at the Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui table at the Expo!

(Click pic to go to livestream and recording (bandwidth permitting) of the Aloha Aina Celebration on Kauai)

Laulani has been working with legendary poet/songwriter/musician Liko Martin, and just finished a 10 week stint at the Health Bar at Diamond Head Cove. I also wanted to have available of a livestream of a beautiful new song Liko wrote that I livestreamed from that venue:


9.19.2014

Outline and links: LiveStreaming: Extending Your Reach

LiveStreaming: Extending Your Reach

These are the notes for: LiveStreaming: Extending Your Reach, on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at the University of Hawaii.

Today's hashtag:

Today's Livestream "event": Livestream workshop notes and links

Recording of my first "real" livestream (Part 1 of the 12/29/11 demolition of the first deOccupy Honolulu encampment):



1. What is "livestreaming"?
Demo: Live to web page with notices via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Discussion:
Why livestream (lo rez) rather than video (hi rez)
     Evidence not in camera
     Immediately available
     Viewable and editable later

2. The THREE THINGS you need:

(a)  Hardware: Any fairly modern smartphone (iPhone, Android, MS Windows Phone). Useful optional hardware: auxiliary battery, microphone, monopod

(b) Internet live video account: Livestream video provider account.

Leading livestream providers. Both have free accounts subject to limitations:
  • Ustream.com. Free account limitation: 30 day free trial, then $99/month!!! It was free when I started, with a 10GB archive limit.
  • Livestream.com. Free account limitations: You can livestream and record all you want, but archives only last 30 days. You can get perpetual archives for $500/yr.
(c) The matching app: The app that connects your hardware (a) to your internet video account (b). Each provider has an app to connect your cellphone to the web. As an example, here's the app for Livestream for iPhone:

(d) Extra credit:Your internet "presence":
Optional but very handy: Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube/Vimeo,


3. "How to" shoot

Sousveillance vs Surveillance. Sousveillance is recording by participants of an activity, the opposite of surveillance, watching by authority. What is "guerrilla video"?

Are you exploiting your subjects? Different approaches for different groups (young political groups like "Occupy" vs older Hawaiian groups).


4. Your right to document
Your rights are protected by a lot of ink marks on paper.

ACLU Hawaii "First Amendment Toolkit" with section on your right to document law enforcement encounters.

Video/photography in court — a case study:
Judge bars Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui from video recording or livestreaming court proceedings
5. After the livestream (and ways you can help):

Curation. Propagating your livestream. Twitter hashtags. Facebook, Youtube, etc.


Highlighting


Mirroring


Aggregating


Archiving and editing.

      Raw footage of 3/14/12 raid (54 minutes)
      Edited down to 14 minutes
   
Editing livestream from another source.
     One testimony from hours and hours of testimony

6. Impact







Refs and links:

My Ustream channel (old stuff)
My Youtube channel (archive and non-livestream edits and archives)

Rashomon Project. Open source software to help sync different videos onto one timeline.

Doug
9/17/2014



9.09.2014

Dancing for dollars: Mayor Caldwell fast tracks bill for $57,600 in contributions?

[Update: I testified before the Honolulu City Council the information in this post. Of course, it didn't make a difference to the outcome, but for the record, here's the video:


In my last post, I wondered how public outcry can have so little effect against Mayor Caldwell's attempts to criminalize the homeless, namely Bills 42, 43, and variants. This latest set of proposed ordinances has seen four hearings where hours and hours of testimony opposing the measures have been offered by all sorts of people: the young and old, haole and Kanaka Maoli, activists, attorneys, clergy, social workers, homeless and former homeless, etc. Yet the mayor's bills criminalizing sitting or lying on the sidewalk have marched through without much opposition from the Council.  And all this despite the fact that the mayor has been unable to present facts supporting the need for the bill or evidence of the efficacy of these sorts of "sit/lie" bills.

On June 12, Mayor Caldwell transmitted Bills 42 and 43 to the City Council who immediately scheduled a special hearing to fast track it through the three council hearings required to transform it into law. After the City's Housing Director Jun Yang and Managing Director Ember Shinn were unable to respond with any substantial information about when their rumored Housing First solution would go online, the Council had no choice but to defer the measures (Full video of Council Hearing of July 24: http://youtu.be/nz1Y5QMrEMg ).

But Rasputin and other bad things often don't stay dead, and the bills were resurrected. And again I asked, why does this happen?

Well, I figured it out. I looked over the list of people submitting testimony supporting the Mayor's criminalization bills and decided to check the names and corporations (tourist industry all) against a database of contributors to local politics.

Those submitting testimony supporting the Mayor's criminalization bills contributed $57,600 to him. That's just for the supporters and the corporations they list, and NOT family members or PACs not directly associated with the corporations or individuals.

These guys are big spenders. In recent years they have contributed to State and County (not including Fed) candidates a total of $703,158. I haven't traced how much of this has gone to councilmembers. Yet.

Here's the bottom line of the spreadsheet:
[Supporters sending in written testimony have contributed $57,600 to Mayor Caldwell, and $703,158 to State and County candidates. Click here for XL sheet and supporting worksheets listing each contribution.]
This goes beyond "pay to play" into the "dancing for dollars" territory. So yeah, I'll be at tomorrow's third and final hearing to testify against these bills criminalizing the homeless, but I don't expect to get much play. It's like walking into a pole dancing joint without any dollars. Right?

I'm sorry it has come down to this. We each need to light a torch (and sharpen a pitchfork) against this sort of "government."

H. Doug Matsuoka
9 September 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

The complete spreadsheet as well as individual spreadsheets listing each contribution by each named entity can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lw8k942wilmte4n/AAC3nsM7X40BjtkL-xeyWaMPa?dl=0

The data comes from the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission via Hawaii State Governments data portal: https://data.hawaii.gov/Community/Campaign-Contributions-Received-By-Hawaii-State-an/jexd-xbcg

The contribution dataset is updated as the Commission receives data. The set I downloaded is available on request.

Here's a link to the Council's Agenda for 9/10/14. There are links to the texts of Bills 42 and 43, and their variants, Bills 45 and 46.

You can add your voice against these bills. You can register to testify or submit written testimony at this link: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

9.07.2014

Public opposition to Mayor Caldwell's criminalization of the homeless (Bills 42, 43, and their variants)

I've been opposing the endless stream of bills emanating from the Mayor and Honolulu City Council criminalizing homelessness for what seems like years. On reflection, it actually has been years. Introduced in 2011, Bill 54 met vigorous public opposition. But of course, it passed and became Revised Ordinance of Honolulu (ROH) 11-029. Although the Council claimed it was not targeting the homeless, that it was to keep people from storing property on sidewalks, its almost exclusive targets were the homeless. Them and Choon James who had signs critical of the Mayor and City on her property.

[November 17, 2011 hearing on Bill 54 at Honolulu Hale. Laulani Teale is holding a splintered paddle]
The implementation of Bill 54 was thwarted when people learned to comply with the ordinance without leaving the sidewalk. deOccupy Honolulu used color coded tents to openly show compliance with the law. Many homeless learned how to show compliance with the law in the same way. Of course, Council went back to the drawing board and came back with Bill 7, which allowed no-knock midnight raids to seize property from those living in public. Also widely protested, Bill 7 became ROH 13-8. Implementation began in July of 2013 with paired raids on the homeless at 2am and again at 4am to make sure people who had set up after the 2am raiders left would be sure to be left with nothing — no tent, no bedding, no clothes, no food, no ID, no medication.

Without looking it up, I get a little confused about several other bills introduced at around the same time as Bill 7. But I do remember Bill 59, which was introduced at the end of 2013. This bill so directly violated the Kanawai Mamalahoe (the Law of the Splintered Paddle) that the bill was ultimately indefinitely deferred in committee.

But there is a truckload of new bills that are even more extreme now headed toward their third and final full Council meeting this Wednesday, 9/10/2014. Bill 42 one ups Bill 59 in its violation of King Kamehameha's very firmly worded law (enshrined in the State Constitution) by not only criminalizing lying on the sidewalk, but sitting down on it as well. These bills were drafted by Mayor Caldwell and transmitted to the Council where they have been heard twice in committee and twice by the full Council and will be heard for the final time this Wednesday, September 10, on the morning (9am) agenda.

Here's a link to the Council's Agenda. There are links to the texts of Bills 42 and 43, and their variants, Bills 45 and 46.

Opposition during the previous hearings has come from the public at large; from civil rights and Kanaka Maoli activists, attorneys, professors, the clergy, and from the homeless and formerly homeless themselves. Here's a playlist of 25 (most short) testimonies from 27 people. These people are speaking from what they know, not from distributed talking points. This is the voice of the people on the issue:


You can add your voice against these bills. You can register to testify or submit written testimony at this link: http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

Finally, I wondered why the public outcry against these bills never seemed to matter. The last committee hearing on these bills required five hours of public testimony. Well, I found out why. But that's another story. Stay tuned...

7 September 2014
H. Doug Matsuoka
Makiki, Honolulu

8.20.2014

Free workshop on video live streaming

A lot of what I post are videos from my video livestreams. Well, Common Cause and the St Andrews Social Justice Crew are sponsoring a free video livestream workshop this coming Saturday. Space is limited so RSVP is required. Here's the wording on the flyer:

Citizen Advocate Workshop: Livestreaming

Hold power accountable – using your smartphone.

Live media coverage of important current events is shrinking. It’s increasingly becoming citizens’ responsibility to share significant events and key policy-decisions with others.

H. Doug MatsuokaAt this free workshop, you’ll learn from social justice activist H. Doug Matsuoka how to broadcast video live to the internet using your smartphone (iPhone, Android, WinPho).

H. Doug Matsuoka of Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui has livestreamed midnight police raids on the homeless, protests and demonstrations, legislative hearings, and "hallway interviews" at political and legislative events. He has often provided the only video broadcast and record of testimony at hearings affecting the public.

Date: Saturday, August 23, 2014, 
Time: 10:00 -- 11:30am
Where: St. Andrews Cathedral Offices, 2nd Floor Conference Room
Parking: St. Andrews parking lot
Bring: You are encouraged (but not required) to bring your smartphone (iPhone, Android, WinPho) and laptop
Cost: Free

Speaker: H. Doug Matsuoka of Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui (@hdoug on Twitter)
Event sponsor: Common Cause Hawaii

Space is limited, and participation is open to the first dozen RSVPs!

Questions? Email hawaii@commoncause.org


Doug

7.21.2014

The problem is homelessness, not the homeless. Oppose Bills 42, 45, 45, 46, and 48

HEARING DATE/TIME
WHEN: Thursday, July 24th 2014 at 9am
WHERE: Honolulu Hale, 2nd floor hearing room, 530 S. King Street

SUBMIT TESTIMONY ONLINE by Wednesday, July 23rd:
http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

>> Meeting Date: 2014-07-24
>> Council/PH Committee: Zoning and Planning
>> Agenda Item: Bills 42, 43, 45, 46, and 48
>> Your position on the matter: Oppose
>> If you plan to testify in person, select "Yes" next to "Do you wish to speak at the hearing?"

REGISTER TO SPEAK AT HEARING:
http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html

In the face of a relentless slew of bills enacted by the City of Honolulu and the State, let's remember that the problem is homelessness, not the homeless.

The hearing on July 9 brought out a bunch of different people, each with their own way of thinking about the problem.

Susan Schultz, the English professor from the UH deconstructs Mayor Caldwell's "compassionate disruption":


Activist Kathryn Xian asks Council to "find their hearts": 

Surprising comments from Madori Rumpungworn who spent 30 days in OCCC (Oahu Community Correctional Center) for protesting the City's Bill 54 (ordinance 11-029):

Peace activist Laulani Teale cites the UN Human Rights report and Kamehameha's Kanawai Mamalahoe:


Councilmember Breene Harimoto has been against the criminalization of the homeless from the beginning:


Mayor Caldwell promised one thing and delivers the opposite. And yes, I did hold his picture up and ask, "When did Satan grab ahold of this guy's heart?":


All the bill are variants of the two drafts sent to the Council by Mayor CaldwellLinks to the bills. One is a prohibits sitting and lying on the sidewalk, and the other peeing and pooping in public (even inadvertently in the absence of public facilities):

Bill 42 "sit/lie" CD1 (Criminal unless waiting for the new iPhone):
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-151346/b42cd1.PDF

Bill 43 "pee & poo" CD1 (No public restroom? Tough):
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-150455/dspage02291732910336576078.pdf

Bill 45 "sit/lie" with geographic zones and specified times CD1:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-151316/45cd1.PDF

Bill 46 CD "pee & poo" variant acknowledging possible redundancy of this law:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-151351/46.PDF

Bill 48 CD1 "site/lie" with other geographic zones and specified times:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-151315/48cd1.PDF

Here's a Facebook Event page for the hearing:
https://www.facebook.com/events/640609352701253

Again, hearing is on Thursday, July 24, 9am at Honolulu Hale Committee Room. See the top of post for details.

I've got more to say on the matter, but that's it for now. Check out the videos!

H. Doug Matsuoka
21 July 2014

7.06.2014

Troubling questions plague Honolulu's rush to criminalize homelessness

[The criminalization bills in this post are up for second hearing on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, on the 2pm agenda. The hearings will be on the campus of Windward Community College at Hale Akoakoa.]

The Mayor's Message:
On June 12, 2014, Honolulu's Mayor Caldwell sent a message (MM58) to the Honolulu City Council along with drafts of two proposed ordinances. These drafts were immediately introduced by Council Chair Ernie Martin and scheduled for the first of three required public hearings only 14 days later, on June 26.

"With the Council's support, I anticipate that together we can make significant improvements for our Waikiki businesses, workers, and visitors." Honolulu's residents, the general public, and the homeless — all constituents of the City & County of Honolulu — are notably missing from the list of beneficiaries.

The Bills:
Bill 42 is the "sit/lie" bill making it a crime to sit or lie down on the sidewalk in Waikiki. Bill 45 extends this island-wide. Violators will face up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you are camping out in line for the new iPhone, you are exempt. I'm not kidding.

Bill 43 makes it illegal to pee or poo in public in Waikiki, and its counterpart Bill 46 extends that island-wide. To help force the issue, the Mayor has been closing public restrooms early. The criminalization of those literally "without a pot to pee in" strikes many people as unfair, unconstitutional, mean, and idiotic. Indeed the testimony submitted in writing and at hearing was overwhelmingly in opposition to these bills.

The Problems and Unanswered Questions:
Here are a few highlight testimonies that bring up major problems with these bills:

Councilmember Breene Harimoto is on record opposing this sort of criminalization of homelessness and his testimony on June 26 articulates his objections. (Harimoto will be leaving the Council for the State Senate this coming January as he is running unopposed for the seat vacated by David Ige who is candidate for Governor.)


Harimoto: "The fact of the matter is that the homeless issue didn’t happen overnight. This situation has been brewing for years — I would say even decades. And it’s reached a crisis situation. And here we are today trying to find a quick fix. I think we’re fooling ourselves to think that we can solve this by making this law."




Activist Kathryn Xian found major flaws in the Mayor's ad hoc effort:

Xian: "If you want to help the homeless, this is not part of a comprehensive plan. You have models for comprehensive plans that have been proven to work. Criminalizing the homeless is not part of a comprehensive plan. It is unconstitutional. It divides our community between rich and poor."

The sit/lie bills are practically clones of last year's Bill 59, which was the first proposed ordinance to so directly and blatantly violate King Kamehameha's Kanawai Mamalahoe (Law of the Splintered Paddle). What makes this notable is that Kamehameha's law is enshrined in the Hawaii State Constitution and is well known to the public as a principle means of protection from the abuse of power. It literally grants safety to those who "lie by the roadside." (See my post discussing this in relation to last year's Bill 59).

The City's Corporation Council has signed off on the legality of these proposed ordinances, yet last two year's sidewalk ordinances are still subject to Federal Court proceedings. 



Activist and Hawaiian cultural practitioner Laulani Teale quoted Hawaii attorney Derek Kauanoe's research on the subject.
Teale quoting Kauanoe: "Honolulu's several anti-homeless ordinances helped rank our city among the 'meanest to the homeless' by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. This is precisely the type of government conduct the Law of the Splintered Paddle was intended to protect people against."

Councilmember Kymberly Pine couldn't vote for previous bills that so literally violated Kamehameha's law. Here's her testimony against last year's Bill 59:

Pine: "I have a strong objection to the term 'lying down.' It's just something my district would not support as my district does interpret Hawaiian law very seriously. We do have the largest Hawaiian Homes population and the terminology 'lying down' does violate their belief of what the constitution is."


How will Councilmember Pine and the rest of the Council resolve the issues that plague these criminalization bills? Bill 59 was deferred by public outcry. Yet that bill was resurrected by the Mayor in Bills 42 and 45. 

I plan to be at the hearing on July 9 to lend my presence against these bills. On the next page are links to the bills and othe relevant info. Hope to see you there.

H. Doug Matsuoka
6 July 2014

Makiki, Honolulu

Links and info on next page:

Honolulu City Council disappears video of hearings

If you want to catch the Honolulu City Council hearings you could always count on the hearing videos being mounted within minutes at the Council's citizen page (http://honolulucountyhi.iqm2.com/Citizens/calendar.aspx). No longer. The last video mounted is of the May 28, 2014, Budget Committee meeting.

This made it difficult for me to find out what happened at the June 26, 2014, Planning and Zoning Committee hearing where the newest slew of bills criminalizing homelessness were to be heard after being rushed through first hearing that very morning. The video wasn't mounted, and I noticed nothing mounted since May 28.

The DVD I requested was delivered a couple of days later, but this sort of disappearing act doesn't speak to the transparency in government issue very well, does it?

Since the Council didn't post a video, I guess I'll do it here as a public service if you want to watch the whole 3.5 hearing. Else I'll have excerpts and something to say in a few hours.



In the meantime, why not email your Councilmember and demand that hearing videos be posted immediately after the hearing.

Stay tuned for some excerpts regarding criminalization of the homeless...




6 July 2014

6.22.2014

Long life to Mayor Caldwell and Councilmembers - My testimony on the bills criminalizing homelessness

[This is my testimony to the Honolulu City Council which will hear Bills 42, 43, and 44 on Thursday, June 26, at 8:45 am, then immediately again by the Zoning Committee at 9 am. Bills 42 and 44 propose to make it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk (in Waikiki for Bill 42, extending to Downtown in Bill 44), and Bill 43 makes it illegal to urinate or defecate in public even if there are no restrooms available. These criminalize the acts of living, innocent behavior, of the homeless without addressing any remedy for them. The Council refuses to address the causes of homelessness on Oahu, where the median selling price of a used house is $682,000.

Links to the bills and other cited material are at the end. Doug]


Aloha Chair Martin, Vice Chair Anderson, and Councilmembers,

As a founding director of Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui, I have documented the raids on the homeless by HPD and City DFM crews (sometimes with its Cabinet level Director calling the shots). These raids generally happen in the middle of the night between 2am and 4am in order to catch the homeless unaware. Rather than defend the homeless from harm or theft, the police help steal tents, food, clothes, and bedding — all the Earthly possessions — from people who have the least.

I strongly oppose Bills 42, 43, and 44, which target the poor and homeless by criminalizing innocent, non-violent behavior. I remind the Council that the homeless are your constituents, and you are obligated to serve their interests. I only see their interests violated in these bills which are blatant attacks on the most vulnerable members of our community. 

Where is the help for those who are mentally ill, or too aged to care for themselves? Where is the help for those too young to have standing in our court system who are fleeing abusive situations or sexual exploitation? Where is the action targeting the causes of homelessness: the high cost of housing and the lack of jobs paying a living wage?

Your obligation is to use public resources for the public good. The homeless are the public. How are they served by these measures? I only see their interests ignored in an effort to serve commercial clientele at the expense of these constituents. In short these bills put private commercial interests over the public good.

We often hear how the very sight of poor and homeless people disturb our tourists and how important the tourist industry is to our economy and how we must do what we can to ensure its well being. But who is this "tourist industry" and what do they do that requires us to take such drastic measures against our own people? 

At the same time the Washington Post reported, "Hawaii’s $14 billion tourism industry back to pre-recession levels," (Sept 27, 2013) the State of Hawaii's Point in Time Survey reported that the homeless population had increased 30% in the past 5 years.

If we are to take special care of the tourist industry it is because there is supposed to be a direct correlation between its well being and benefit to our community. If we are to believe the figures, the tourist industry may have made some rich, but has failed the public even as it contributes to political campaign coffers. Members of the tourist industry led forces opposing raising the minimum wage. Public benefit is obviously not the inevitable result of a wealthier tourist industry. 

Last year's Bill 59 criminalizing lying down on the sidewalk failed because it was immoral (Councilmember Harimoto) and that it was in direct violation of Kamehameha's Law of the Splintered Paddle (Councilmember Pine).  Bills 42 and 44 are even more extreme in that they add merely sitting on the sidewalk as an offense punishable — in the case of Bill 44 — by up to $1,000 and 30 days in prison.

[Councilmember Harimoto's opposing Bill 59 criminalizing lying down on the sidewalk as immoral:]


[Councilmember Pine opposing Bill 59 on the grounds that it violates the Hawaii Constitution:]



But all on the Council have heard this from me before. I have testified against the criminalization of the poor and homeless for years now, and my arguments that the practice is a violation of civil rights and a form of class warfare have to be repeated once more.

I was reminded by a Buddhist priest that more important than justice, is compassion. Those who seek justice are often filled with bitterness and hatred toward the perpetrators of injustice. Compassion, on the other hand, is experiencing what others feel, knowing what it's like to be someone else. 

So with compassion, to Mayor Caldwell and Councilmembers I wish long life. You may experience the ailments common to long life: incontinence, dementia, financial uncertainty and homelessness. May you experience what others in your community experience. And may you fully experience the consequences of those who act by your example.

Mahalo for your public service,

H. Doug Matsuoka
22 June 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

Bill 42 criminalizing sitting and lying down on Waikiki sidewalks:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-150454/dspage03258996542835187127.pdf

Bill 43 criminalizing urinating and defecating downtown:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-150455/dspage02291732910336576078.pdf

Bill 44 extending Bill 42 provisions to include downtown and increasing punishment to $1,000 and 30 days in jail:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-150617/DOC002%20(16).PDF

Email testimony to Honolulu City Council (Use subject line to tell them you oppose Bills 42, 43, and 44):
http://www1.honolulu.gov/council/emailph.htm

Sign up to testify:
http://www1.honolulu.gov/council/testify.htm

Honolulu Council Calendar with links to agendas:
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-146114/2014%20Council%20Calenar.htm

6.15.2014

Up in the sky — is that a contrail or chemtrail?

OK, weighing in on the chemtrails issue. For some, the very existence of chemtrails is a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory that has large forces of government, giant corporations, and other such dark (often secret) forces, acting in collusion to control the weather and even to control countries and their populations.

[I catch a contrail or chemtrail. Click for bigger.]
The most visible "evidence" cited are persistent contrails (often in crosshatch patterns) left in the sky. These chemtrails (chemical contrails) are not composed of the vaporous exhaust of airplane engines, but intentional injection of chemicals into the stratosphere. The supposed purposes of laying chemtrails range from global weather control, international warfare, or world depopulation initiatives. All of this in secret without any oversight or control by the affected populations.

Oh my. For a while the chemtrails theory seemed to call out for skeptical distancing on my part.

My worldview accommodates some fundamental craziness in everyone so I'd tolerate my "rational" friends going off on chemtrail tangents from time to time. I did watch some very carefully made and "reasonable" documentary efforts on contrails, particularly "What in the world are they spraying," and its sequel, "Why in the world are they spraying." (Both are available online.) But the idea that the government, or some giant corporation in collusion with the government (the "Monsanto Model") would be able to get away with spraying crap into the air seemed unlikely to me.

On February 14, 2013, NASA scientist Riley Duren gave a presentation on geoengineering. It was a very interesting talk about controlling the weather. He very plainly discusses the precise methods of laying chemtrails, and their costs and purposes. He didn't say anyone was actually laying chemtrails, but that it was an inevitability! Holy crap!

The entire broadcast is still available. I made an 8 minute edit which excerpts the parts concerning chemtrails.



Does this prove chemtrails exist? Not necessarily, but it shows that NASA (and many others) know how to make them and know that they can be "weaponized" for global control and giant profit.

Would a corporation be able to get away with it? And why do chemtrails? Here's a scenario. In 2013, Monsanto purchased Climate Corporation for $930 million. That's almost a billion dollars. What does Climate Corporation do? It underwrites weather insurance for farmers. So if you underwrite bets on weather, being able to control the weather or even influence it the tiniest bit could pay off big time.

That people on the ground may suffer unpredictable flooding or drought might stop Monsanto, though. Not.

In the presentation, Duren gives the hypothetical cost of a global chemtrail campaign at $10 billion a year. That's a steep price even for Monsanto though, with a total capitalized value of around $20 billion.

But how about a really gigantic corporation like BASF? They're the biggest GMO/pesticide/chemical corporation on Earth with a capitalized value of around $87 billion, and revenue last year of around $100 billion.

But wait. In an article cited by Duren, the RRN Team of the World Economic Forum states, "Recent studies suggest that a small fleet of aircraft could inject a million tonnes of sulphur compounds into the stratosphere – enough to offset roughly half of the global warming experienced to date – for US$ 1 billion-US$ 2 billion annually."

That's an order of magnitude less than Duren's estimate, and that much more doable.

(And it would have to be even less than that if the motivation were not to reduce global warming but to influence weather in specific areas. A drought or a flood can sell the right seeds and chemicals.)

So, up in the sky. Is that a contrail or a chemtrail? Well, it certainly could be a chemtrail, couldn't it? But if it were, we the people would be informed about it, right?

Our government wouldn't let harmful chemicals be injected into our skies without telling us, right?

We'd have to have informed consent to allow chemicals to be sprayed into the atmosphere, right?

Especially if those chemicals might have unpredictable effects on our health, the weather, or that might unfairly profit huge corporations at our expense, right?

They would have to disclose what chemicals they are spraying and observe some kind of buffer zone, right?

Right?

H. Doug Matsuoka
15 June 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

Recorded Ustream of Riley Duren's complete NASA presentation on geoengineering:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29293171

Youtube of my edit of Duren's NASA presentation:
http://youtu.be/UCSgDPsHOBc

Publication cited by Duren: World Economic Forum 2013 X Factors list:
http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2013/section-five/x-factors/#view/img-3

Article mentioned by Duren (Guardian 7/17/2012 US geoengineers to spray sun-reflecting chemicals from balloon): http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jul/17/us-geoengineers-spray-sun-balloon

World Economic Forum: Are we at risk from rogue geoengineering?
http://forumblog.org/2013/01/are-we-at-risk-from-rogue-geoengineering/

Monsanto purchase of Climate Corp:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2013/10/02/monsanto-buys-climate-corp-for-930-million/

Documentary: What in the world are they spraying?:
http://youtu.be/jf0khstYDLA

Documentary: Why in the world are they spraying?:
http://youtu.be/mEfJO0-cTis




3.18.2014

HB2409, a bill criminalizing homelessness makes lying down at bus stop disorderly conduct

Up for hearing at the Big House (aka Hawaii State Capitol) on Wednesday morning at 10am in room 016 downstairs, is HB2409 Relating to Disorderly Conduct. It's yet another bill criminalizing homelessness, but this one really takes the cake. It makes lying down at a bus shelter Disorderly Conduct and subject to a $50 fine. Of course, if you have to lie down at a bus shelter you don't have $50. You just continue to get cited until you get pulled in for outstanding citations and then you are processed by the criminal justice system whch then has no choice but to put you in jail. Introducing this is about as low as you can get and credit where it's due, Representative Karl Rhoads gets the mention here.

My testimony, which I reproduce below, requests criminalizing the introduction of these kinds of bills.

Every legislative session one sees a number of really bizarro bills introduced. Aside from wasting a tremendous amount to time and (public) money to introduce and hear them, it also makes one ask, WTF? A friend has the theory that legislators have constituents who are basically loud and fearsome tita's who badger their legislators into drafting and introducing these absurdities. Is this the case with HB2409?

HB2409 proposes some simple changes to Hawaii Revised Statute on the definition of the crime of Disorderly Conduct. That's the crime of yelling and screaming, threatening and cussing, picking fights, and of course, asking to talk to the Mayor when he's at the park when he wants to ignore you. But that's a whole other story.

One who acts "with intent to cause physical inconvenience or alarm" or "recklessly creating a risk thereof…" and engages in the aforementioned behavior is guilty of disorderly conduct. To that, HB2409 proposes to the add one who "Lies down at a bus stop shelter or other bus stop structure." Perhaps the act of lying down itself exhibits "an intent to cause physical inconvenience or alarm"? Or maybe HB2409 is an ad hoc and ill conceived bill kludged together to appease some loud but unreasonably influential tita like my friend thinks is the case?

Hearing is tomorrow so you can submit "late" testimony or just show up (Wednesday, 3/19 10am room 016 at the Big House)

Anyway, here's my testimony on the next page:

2.25.2014

First Exposure: Hawaii Congressional candidates forum caught on video

When The Kokua Council announced they had managed to gather together six of the seven congressional candidates for District 1's hotly contested "Hanabusa" seat, I decided to livestream the entire forum. Congressional District 1 is basically Honolulu, and the other district is the other islands and cities and everyone else. That's how important Honolulu is.

Maybe that's why of those seven announced candidates there are three Honolulu City Councilmembers: Ikaika Anderson, Stanley Chang, and Joey Manahan. While the City & County of Honolulu encompasses the entire island of Oahu, Congressional District 1 only includes urban Honolulu and some outlying areas. Ikaika Anderson of Waimanalo actually represents and resides outside Congressional District 1. But I guess that's a minor quibble. Representative Gabbard who represents CD2 lives in CD1.

But back to the table: The Kokua Council managed to gather six of the seven for a short forum. Only State Senator Donna Mercado Kim was absent (on a trip).

Being there during the first unrehearsed presentation by the candidates was very interesting. Ideas and contradictions seem to form during the process as the response to questions moves from candidate to candidate. That is to say, there is a flow and development of political concept as it moves down the table. Or at least, that's what it seems like to me. What do you think?

So, live yesterday and now on Youtube, here it is (The video gets low-rez from time to time but that's the nature of cel data livestreaming):


From left to right at the long table: Joey Manahan, Mark Takai, Kathryn Xian, Will Espero, Stanley Chang, and Ikaika Anderson.

My Livestream channel is "H. Doug Matsuoka": http://new.livestream.com/accounts/3132312

My Youtube channel is "H. Doug Matsuoka": https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYTDoug

More later,

H. Doug Matsuoka
25 February 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

2.05.2014

Crash and Burn: GMO Bill SB110 "Sneak Attack"

I wrote about how SB110 went from a completely blank bill to one preempting counties from regulating GMOs and pesticide disclosure in my DougNote post. (This is the bill that was being called "Hawaii's Monsanto Protection Act.") The hearing on this bill was scheduled the very next day, 2/4/2014, at 2:46pm (less than 24 hours) and NO TESTIMONY would be allowed. That didn't stop Walter Ritte or Kauai Councilmember Gary Hooser from flying in. If Senate Ag Committee Chair Clarence Nishihara wanted to pull this sort of stunt on behalf of his GMO industry sponsors, he'd have to endure a stare down with them and with the standing-room-only crowd that packed the small committee room.

With six Agriculture Committee present, Nishihara hemmed and hawed through other business until he could not delay any longer. He also gave a long, detailed, and seemingly endless speech about the bill. He was waiting for Senator Glenn Wakai to join the group whose vote would pass the action needed to create the new text. Wakai didn't show up. I livestreamed the event, but here's an edit -- with Nishihara's rant preserved in toto:



This use of a "short form" bill which makes a lateral pass of contents from a failing bill (SB3058) to a completely blank bill, then scheduling hearing in less than 24 hours with NO TESTIMONY allowed, strikes many of us as completely underhanded and sleazy.

The GMO touchdown they hoped for didn't make it this attempt, but is there anything to prevent them from trying again? Nope.

Welcome to Crazytown, the Hawaii Legislature 2014

H. Doug Matsuoka
5 February 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

2.03.2014

OMG! Blank bill becomes "Hawaii Monsanto Protection Act" before my eyes!

So Iʻm sitting at my computer this afternoon frittering away my life on Facebook as usual when I get some kind of notification of a legislative "sneak attack" at the state capitol on the newly enacted Kauai and Hawaii County ordinances regulating pesticides and GMOs. Aside from two bills already dubbed Hawaiiʻs "Monsanto Protection Act," another has been stealthily introduced and scheduled for hearing tomorrow!

Itʻs SB110 says the alert. So I look, and nah, itʻs this weird bill with nothing in it introduced LAST year in January of 2013:

[SB110 at 3:10pm]
Haha. False alert. You know how crazy and emo these GMO people get. But the alert gets propagated all over the place and I figure, letʻs do everyone a favor and put the rumor to rest. No need wasting time, energy, transportation (bus or gas, and downtown parking!) for nothing, right? So I look at the bill status page again to get a reference URL link.

Holy Shmoly! At around 5pm, the same bill looks like this:

[SB110 a couple of hours later.]
The language is clearly aimed at the recent ordinances from Kauai (Bill 2491) and the Big Island of Hawaii (Bill 113) which regulate GMO and pesticides. The giant GMO chemical corporations have already filed suit on Kauai to protect their right to spray pesticides next to schools and residences. This bill (and SB3058) trades protecting the community for protecting chemical corporations.

No really:

"No law, ordinance, or resolution of any unit of local government shall be enacted that abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production, and ranching practices not prohibited by federal or state law, rules, or regulations."

I want to know: (1) Which legislator slipped this language in and scheduled it for hearing; and (2) who called the lobbyists who are sure to be there. If I can, Iʻll livestream this. Hearing is scheduled for 2:30pm and if it isnʻt livestreamed on Olelo, Iʻll make an attempt from my Livestream channel.

For the full text and to submit testimony against:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=110&year=2014

Stay tuned...

2 February 2014
H. Doug Matsuoka

H. Doug Matsuokaʻs Livestream channel

1.13.2014

Testimony in strong opposition to Bill 6

[Bill 6 criminalizing the homeless by subjecting those erecting a tent on a public sidewalk to 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine will be heard by the Public Safety and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, January 14, at Honolulu Hale. This is the testimony I submitted.]


12 January 2014

To: Chair Fukunaga and the Honolulu City Council Committee on Public Safety and Economic Development:

It is regrettable that the public must learn that your deferral of Bill 59 (criminalizing homelessness) on moral and legal grounds was more display than substance. Bill 6 is worse in every way.

This bill along with Bill 7, which was already passed into law as ordinance 13-8, targets what Councilmember Stanley Chang famously calls an "epidemic of people who are obstructing our sidewalks." Please remind Councilmember Chang that he is actually talking about the homeless members of our community who have been driven out of housing by high cost and low wages. Laws and HPD have also driven them out parks, beaches, woods and other traditional commons housing areas to the dangerous curbside areas of our urban centers.

At the Bill 59 hearing, Councilmember Ikaika Anderson said he was, "not comfortable with Bill 59," and wanted to take a good look at what other municipalities were doing. Why then, is Bill 6, which was first heard almost a year ago, being brought before the public for hearing obviously without looking at other municipalities are doing?

At the same hearing Councilmember Pine noted that the people in her district do indeed "interpret Hawaiian Law very seriously." Does she imagine that the people in her district will not see Bill 6 as a gross violation of the Kanawai Mamalahoe (Law of the Splintered Paddle) merely because it lacks the words "lying down on the sidewalk"? The people in her district regard ordinances 11-029 (2011's Bill 54) and 13-8 (Bill 7) as violations of the Law of the Splintered paddle as indeed they are. And they will regard Bill 6 as a violation of the Law of the Splintered Paddle as well, because it is without a doubt in direct violation of the Law of the Splintered Paddle as incorporated into the Hawaii Constitution at Article IX Section 10.

These questions apply to Bill 6 as they did to Bill 59:
  • How can Bill 6 not be seen as targeting the homeless?
  • How can Bill 6 not violate the US Constitution (Amendments 1, 4, and 14)?
  • How can Bill 6 not violate the Hawaii Constitution (Article IX Section 10)?
  • How will minors arrested under Bill 6 be cared for?
  • Does the City have resources to care for the children of the arrestees who live elsewhere?
  • What help is available for juveniles who have fled abusive situations and arrested under Bill 6?
  • How will the City pay for legal challenges to Bill 6 such as those now challenging Bill 54 and Bill 7?
  • And of course, since it is being heard by the Committee for Public Safety, how does this ensure the safety of the homeless?
Clearly targeting the poor, expensive to implement, disastrous to the least fortunate members of our community, and completely reliant on selective enforcement, Bill 6 violates the Constitutional protections of the 1st, 4th, and 14 Amendments. Its blatant immorality is indefensible and the Committee's attempt to slip this into law is an offense against the public good.

I urge our public servants on the Council to attack the causes of homelessness -- sky high housing costs and rock bottom wages -- and help extend the protection of the law to all members of our community. Your oaths and your duty call you to kill Bill 6.

Mahalo for your public service,

H. Doug Matsuoka

1.11.2014

Bill 6: Corporate Sponsored Government vs The Poor and Homeless


Alert! New attempt to criminalize the poor and homeless: Honolulu City Council, after deferring Stanley Chang's Bill 59 criminalizing homeless, is pushing Ikaika Anderson's Bill 6 (scheduled for hearing Tues 1/14 at 9am). What's the deal with Bill 6? For merely erecting any "collapsible structure capable of providing human shelter" on the sidewalk or mall you get a year in jail and $1,000.

Who are trying to find human shelter in a collapsible structure on the sidewalk? We should get them off the sidewalk by increasing the minimum wage and reducing the cost of housing, not by providing the prison industrial complex with an influx of cheap/free labor. And at your expense, by the way.

And what of families and children in those collapsible shelters? Do we have the resources available to care for the kids?

Many of those dwelling in collapsible shelters are working -- bread winners for kids under a non-collapsible roof. What happens to those kids?

And what happens to the juveniles who have run away from abusive households to seek shelter in these collapsible shelters? Are they also subject to arrest?

None of these questions find accommodation in the bill or any other ordinance proposed by the City. Bill 6 is sure to cause havoc before being challenged in court where Bill 54 (from 2011) and Bill 7 are.


Why don't politicians attack the root of homelessness and poverty instead of its victims? Why do they act like servants of the rich and corporations? Why are there always accommodations for giants like the multinational GMO corporations and developers, but the poor are criminalized and jailed?

Bill 6 comes up for second reading (three readings will pass it) on Tuesday, January 14, at 9am at Honolulu Hale. Oppose Bill 6 and the criminalization of homelessness. End the corporate ownership of our government!

Here's a link to Bill 6 itself.
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-134353/7lsk1-0h.pdf

The Agenda (It's a Committee Meeting so it'll be short):
http://www4.honolulu.gov/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-146580/011414%20PSED%20Agenda.htm

Submit testimony by email:
http://www1.honolulu.gov/council/emailpsed.htm

Join Facebook Event opposing Bill 6:
https://www.facebook.com/events/489096974540947/

H. Doug Matsuoka
10 January 2014
Makiki, Honolulu