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


HCDA creates their own anti-homeless police at HAR hearing

While no one was watching, the HCDA (Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority) held  a Hawaii Administrative Rules hearing that creates their own anti-homeless police force, and (incidentally) raises park fees by up to 500%. The affected parks are at the intersection of Honolulu Council Districts 4, 5, and 6, (Trevor Ozawa, Ann Kobayashi, and Carol Fukunaga respectively) but none (or their staff) were present today. These laws were made without any oversight from the public or their elected representatives.

Who knew that such sweeping changes could be made without the oversight of any elected officials? And after one decision making hearing that is accountable to no one? If the Honolulu City Council had to rule on such changes, it would require three full council hearings, and opportunities for public participation at each.

My own interest in attending the hearing was to get some kind of hint as to the mechanism the City would use to curtail First Amendment rights in Thomas Square after its transfer from Parks and Recreation to the City's Department of Enterprise Services. Well, this is bad news. They can do anything they want with Honolulu Administrative Rules without any oversight by the public or their elected officials.

I wasn't planning on testifying, but some one had to, right? (Actually, someone else did testify after me.)

Yes, I'm something of a malcontent. But as long as decent people of modest means can't live in Hawaiʻi, I'm against these new park rules, sit/lie laws, profits over people, etc. In any case, the measures were unanimously passed. Here's da rulez with the new measures adopted today underlined:  https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hcda/files/2012/11/Ch.210-Proposed-Park-Rules-2016-9-7.pdf

Anyway, I gotta go to sleep now. Just bringing you the headlines, but stay tuned for stuff you can do. When the Thomas Square stuff comes up for a hearing, I'm going to shout it out!

H. Doug Matsuoka
Alewa, Honolulu

PS Raw livestream recording of the hearing (after this video they came out of executive session and passed it by unanimous vote): chttps://youtu.be/1drDzmQXmo0


What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square

[This article was originally published by CivilBeat on July 21, 2016. I'm reprinting it with video clips. Doug]

The City of Honolulu plans to close Thomas Square on Aug. 15 for six months and re-open it in February 2017 as something completely different, according to its master plan. Although city officials have unveiled grandiose plans concerning a drastic makeover, there are a number of troubling things they are trying to keep under cover:

1. It will no longer be a public park. The master plan calls for Thomas Square to be transferred from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, where it is a public park, to its Department of Enterprise Services. What is it? The department runs the Blaisdell Center, the Waikiki Shell, the zoo and the public golf courses. By way of a memo dated April 28 from the city’s enterprise chief Guy Kaulukukui to the state’s head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the city asked the state to make changes to allow a change of purpose for Thomas Square to something that would accommodate “whatever purposes it needs as long as that purpose is a public purpose.”

From the livestream of 7/5/16 public informational meeting. Speaker is Guy Kaulukukui, the City's Director of the Department of Enterprise Services which will take over Thomas Square in February 2017 according to the City's Master Plan. Click here to download a copy of Kaulukukui's memo to the head of the State's Land and Natural Resources requesting a change in the purpose of Thomas Square

2. They could charge a fee like all other Enterprise Services venues, and that will stop some park users from continuing their use of the park. Why would they change it from a freely accessible public park? The mission of the city’s Enterprise Services is to be financially self-sustaining. None of the other facilities it operates is free to the public. All charge a fee. How will the costs for the modification and maintenance of Thomas Square be covered without commercialization and fees to the public?

The mission statement of the Department of Enterprise Services requires them to be financially self-sustaining. Here come big permit fees, private vendors, and prohibitions from bringing in what they vend. Just like the Waikiki Shell (also under DES)

3. It will lead to vendors and privatization. Requiring Thomas Square to be self-sustaining opens the door to privatization and commercial vendors. Mayor Kirk Caldwell himself has spoken of putting in a coffee shop and bicycle rentals. And as we shall see below, creation of new rules is completely within the authority of the Department of Enterprise Services without any interference from citizens or their elected officials.

4. They can ban coolers, food and beverages the way they now do for the Waikiki Shell in order to direct revenue to private concessions.

5. New rules and policies will exclude some current park users. At the July 5 informational meeting Kaulukukui said, “Certainly our purpose is to continue all the permitted uses as well as many of the community uses that go on in there right now” [emphasis added]. Not all of the community uses but “many.” That means some of the community uses will be prohibited, and those will no doubt be the ones that do not generate revenue for the city, like family picnics and other public gatherings.

6. No one wants the changes to begin with. There have been no groups of supporters for the Thomas Square Master Plan at any of the informational meetings. The public has not requested these changes and the changes are not needed to accommodate the public’s needs. At the informational meetings, many regular park users showed up to express concern. No one came to support the plan or claim that it was responsive to their needs or requests.

A number of these troubling questions are documented here. From the livestream of the 7/5/16 public information meeting.

7. There is no community oversight for the proposed changes. Other than informational hearings, there have been no “hearings” which require a decision-making body to take and record testimony and render a decision regarding the myriad changes the City proposes. There is no way for public comment to be documented, no public comment web page, no email address, no postal address for public comments to be made or viewed by the public. Discussions conducted at the Neighborhood Board level were completely ignored.

8. New rules replacing Parks and Recreations ordinances may be created without public oversight. As control of Thomas Square moves from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Department of Enterprise Services, parks ordinances may be replaced by rules created solely by Enterprise Services and not subject to any public or political authority, save the will of the mayor. These rule changes are subject to a process where they must hold an informational meeting, but decision making is completely up to the department. No elected official or entity has any authority other than the mayor, who is the originator of the plan to begin with.

In case you missed it above, once again (from the livestream meeting of 5/31/16) Guy Kaulukukui, Director of the Department of Enterprise Services describes their rule making process: they make the rules, but they can't push them through if there's "significant amount of discord over the rules." Hence, this article.

With its Thomas Square Master Plan, the city takes Thomas Square from the public and hands it over to private commercial interests.

The park closure date, Aug. 15, is two days after the primary election, which may decide the next mayor of Honolulu. The handover to the Department of Enterprise Services is scheduled for February 2017, after the winning mayoral candidate takes office.

Tell Mayor Caldwell to keep Thomas Square a free public park! Thomas Square belongs to the community. It isn’t property the city can sell to the highest bidder!

PS The playlist of full recorded livestreams (usually long and boring) and excerpts is here.

H. Doug Matsuoka
15 July 2016
Alewa, Honolulu


Corporate lobbyist to protect Hawaii's land and natural resources?

[Updated 10:55pm 3/15/15]

3/12/15 video of the Senate Water and Land Committee where each senator explains his vote:

This is a special post for my "mainland" readers because they find some of the politics here absurd and hilarious in a really terrifying way. For instance, they find our allowing legislators to run fundraisers while the Legislature is in session to be an invitation to buy legislation. We just call it "local style."

On the other hand, they keep telling me if I don't like a particular politician we should just vote them out. Fine, but that means voting someone else in and I keep telling them THAT system is broken.

For example: We just gave the boot to Governor Abercrombie, and in a big way. It's the very first time an incumbent Governor has been ousted, and by landslide too. We didn't like a lot of things about him. We REALLY didn't like his Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) that would turn over public lands to corporate development. So we elected David Ige.

The new governor has to appoint a cabinet, directors for the various departments. One of the most powerful is for the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The department has control of 1.8 million acres of land that was temporarily ceded to the US by Queen Liliuokalani to keep it out of the hands of a Provisional Government that had staged an armed overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation in 1893. The overthrow itself was part of a scheme by sugar plantation corporations to enrich themselves. One of those corporations was Castle & Cooke.

Now that sugar is no longer an important crop, Castle & Cooke is a major land developer. So who does the new governor appoint to protect our natural resources from development? The lobbyist for Castle & Cooke, Carelton Ching. Haha! No really.

But before Ching's nomination is confirmed, the Senate Committee on Water and Land has to do an advise and consent on the nominee and the Committee's Chair is a former director of the DLNR. Of course, she advises against the nominee, and the committee itself votes 5 - 2 against. So that's that right? Haha again. The nomination hearings don't mean a thing because the vote goes to the full Senate anyway! Not kidding.

I'm not saying Carelton Ching is a bad guy. But not only was he a Castle & Cooke lobbyist, he was a Director of the Land Use Research Foundation (LURF) for 10 years, and they claim to be, "the only Hawaii based organization devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of the development community, particularly in the areas of land use laws, regulations, and public policy." LURF was a big promoter of the PLDC that was so unpopular it help put the former governor on the ejection seat. Clearly, Carelton Ching is not the right guy to be protecting land and natural resources.

The Governor has a campaign going to get senators to vote for his lobbyist friend.

But we have our own campaign to contact senators before the hearing (probably Wednesday 3/17) and let them know they're in the spotlight on this and they should do the right thing. If you've read this far and are from Hawaii, please call/email your senator. If you don't know who he/she is, put your address here in the Capitol's web site and it will tell you.

This is a joke. But the joke's on us. Call your senator!

15 March 2015
Makiki, Honolulu

PS I was a big supporter (and still am) of the Worldwide Occupy Movement and deOccupy Honolulu while they were encamped at the corner of Ward and Beretania. When reporting on the happenings at the encampment, I'd end with a little blurb. Maybe as fitting now as ever: "Occupy Movement asserts that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power."


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


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:


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.

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.




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.



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

[Update: I testified before the Honolulu City Council using 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


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


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



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

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:

>> 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?"


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):

Bill 43 "pee & poo" CD1 (No public restroom? Tough):

Bill 45 "sit/lie" with geographic zones and specified times CD1:

Bill 46 CD "pee & poo" variant acknowledging possible redundancy of this law:

Bill 48 CD1 "site/lie" with other geographic zones and specified times:

Here's a Facebook Event page for the hearing:

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


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


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:

Bill 43 criminalizing urinating and defecating downtown:

Bill 44 extending Bill 42 provisions to include downtown and increasing punishment to $1,000 and 30 days in jail:

Email testimony to Honolulu City Council (Use subject line to tell them you oppose Bills 42, 43, and 44):

Sign up to testify:

Honolulu Council Calendar with links to agendas:


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?


H. Doug Matsuoka
15 June 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

Recorded Ustream of Riley Duren's complete NASA presentation on geoengineering:

Youtube of my edit of Duren's NASA presentation:

Publication cited by Duren: World Economic Forum 2013 X Factors list:

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?

Monsanto purchase of Climate Corp:

Documentary: What in the world are they spraying?:

Documentary: Why in the world are they spraying?: