PBS Hawaii – Insights Election 2014: Ballot Measures


>>MAHEALANI: COMING UP NEXT
ON INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII, ELECTION 2014, BALLOT
MEASURES.>>MAHEALANI: ALOHA AND
WELCOME TO INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII.
I’M MAHEALANI RICHARDSON. YOUR HOST FOR TONIGHT’S SHOW.
LESS THAN 2 WEEKS, HAWAI’I VOTERS WILL DECIDE WHO WILL
REPRESENT US IN WASHINGTON, THE STATE CAPITOL, IN LOCAL
COUNTIES AND IN THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS.
ALSO ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT, WE’LL BE
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT
QUESTIONS THAT HAWAI’I VOTE EARTH WILL BE ASKED TO WEIGH
IN ON. ONE INITIATIVE RECEIVED A LOT
OF ATTENTION WOULD ALLOW THE USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO
FUND PRIVATE PRESCHOOLS. WE’LL TALK WITH
REPRESENTATIVES FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT.
AND THEN MIDWAY THROUGH THE SHOW, WE’LL BRING ON TWO
EXPERTS WHO LOOKED AT OTHER BALLOT INITIATIVES FACING
VOTERS. A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON GMO
FARMING IN MAUI COUNTY, RAISING THE MANDATORY
RETIREMENT AGE FOR JUDGES, ISSUING SPECIAL PURPOSE
REVENUE BONDS FOR FARMERS, AND DISCLOSING JUDICIAL
NOMINEE NAMES. WE INVITE TO YOU JOIN OUR
CONVERSATION BY CALLING, E-MAILING OR TWEETING YOUR
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTEDS. TONIGHT’S THE SEATING
ARRANGEMENTS AND ORDERS OF THE QUESTIONS WAS DETERMINED
BY RANDOM DRAW. ON TO OUR PANEL.
JOAN LEWIS IS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE HAWAI’I
STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, AND THE TEACHER, SHE HELPS
BUILD HOOLA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY AT KAPOLEI HIGH
SCHOOL. FORMING A SEPARATE COMMITTEE
FOR FUTURE OF KEIKI TO ADVOCATE FOR PRIVATE FUNDING
OF PRIVATE PRESCHOOLS. DEBORAH ZYSMAN IS EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF GOOD BEGINNINGS ALLIANCE, CHILDREN’S POLICY
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. GOOD BEGINNINGS IS LEADING
THE PUBLIC CAMPAIGN VOTE YES ON 4 TO PUSH FOR THE PASSAGE
OF BALLOT INITIATIVE. THANK YOU FOR COMING
TOGETHER. WHY DON’T YOU START OFF WITH
YOU, JOAN. NO ONE IS ARGUING AGAINST
PRESCHOOL OR THE VALUE OF PRESCHOOL.
SO WHY IS HTA AGAINST THIS MEASURE.
>>TWO FUNDAMENTAL REASONS. BECAUSE WE’RE TEACHERS, WE
CARE VERY DEEPLY ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION AND THE HAWAI’I
STATE CONSTITUTION, AT THE ONSET OF US BECOMING A STATE,
REALLY WAS A COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ALL
STUDENTS. WE BELIEVE THAT AT THE
PRESCHOOL LEVEL, THAT SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENT.
SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF OPENING UP THE
CONSTITUTION, IT NEEDS TO HAVE BEEN DONE AFTER A GREAT
DEAL OF DISCUSSION AND THOUGHTFUL INVESTIGATION AND
CERTAINLY, HAVING EXHAUSTED EVERY OTHER METHOD FOR
REACHING THE GOAL THAT YOU WANT.
IN THE CASE OF PUBLIC PRESCHOOL, THAT’S IN THE CASE
OF QUALITY PRESCHOOL, THAT HASN’T BEEN THE CASE.
WE BELIEVE PUBLIC EDUCATION IS THE BEST AVENUE FOR
PROVIDING NOT JUST K TO 12 EDUCATION, BUT PREK EDUCATION
AS WELL.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT WOULD BE
THE HARM IF THIS MEASURE WAS PASSED?
>>WELL, GIVEN THAT THERE ARE REALLY NO PLANS, IT’S ALL VERY
VAGUE. PROBABLY ONE OF THE GREATEST
HARMS WOULD BE THAT THERE’S A POSSIBILITIES THAT THE STATE
WOULD BE PUTTING UP MONEY, MONEY THAT COULD BE USED
ELSEWHERE PARTICULARLY IN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INTO
NOTHINGNESS. WE DON’T KNOW WHERE IT WOULD
GO. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE
LIMITATIONS WOULD BE. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WOULD BE
THE ACTUAL OUTCOME. THERE ARE A LOT OF
POSSIBILITIES, BUT AS THERE’S NO PLAN, AS THERE’S NOTHING
DEFINITIVE, WE THINK THAT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IS IT WILL
NOT REACH THE GOAL THAT IS BEING PROCLAIMED, THAT IT
WILL BE PRESCHOOL FOR ALL. IT WOULD BE ACTUALLY THE
OPPOSITE.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT DO YOU SAY
ABOUT THAT? IS THERE A PLAN AFTER, IF IT IS INDEED PASSED?
>>I’LL BEGIN WITH SAYING THAT WE PUT THIS QUESTION ON THE
BALLOT TWO YEARS AG, SO WE’VE BEEN HAVING EXTENSIVE DEBATE
NOW FOR SEVERAL YEARS ABOUT THE MERIT IT’S OF VARIETY OF
PROGRAMS AND QUESTION WE’LL BE PUTTING ON THE BALLOT.
THIS IS NOT NEW. KNOWN ABOUT THIS FOR QUITE
SOME TIME AND BEEN DEBATED IN MANY FORUMS.
THERE’S A SOLID PLAN WE’RE LOOK AT.
WE KNOW EXACT I WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.
WE CAN TAKE A LOOK AT THE LEGISLATION THAT WAS PUT IN
PLACE LAST YEAR. EDUCATION LEADERSHIP IN BOTH
THE HOUSE AND SENATE MOVED AHEAD AND IT ENDED IN
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE BECAUSE THEY SAID, NOW WE NEED TO WAIT
UNTIL THE PEOPLE VOTE YES. BUT THE BILL IS THERE.
SO THERE IS AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR HOW THIS WOULD ALL
ROLL OUT.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT IN
TERMS OF THOSE FUNDS? WHAT CAN YOU GUARANTEE? LET’S SAY
THE MEASURE DID PASS. THAT PUBLIC OR THESE PRIVATE
PRESCHOOLS, WAIANAE, VERSUS EAST HONOLULU, FOR THE
FUNDING?>>I’M SO GLAD TO HEAR JOAN SAY
THAT WE ARE IN ALL IN AGREEMENT THAT EARLY
EDUCATION IS CRITICAL. WE’RE ONE OF THE LAST STATES
IN THE NATION TO BE TAKING A LOOK AT EARLY EDUCATION FOR
ALL OF OUR KIDS THIS. IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE START TO
ADDRESS THIS NOW. WE HAVE 40 STATES THAT HAVE
PUBLICLY FUNDED PRESCHOOL OF PLACE.
TIME WE BEGIN. THE MEASURE THAT WE’VE BEEN
TAKING A LOOK AT STARTS WITH OUR LOWEST INCOME STUDENTS.
THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE PRIORITY, TAKING A LOOK AT HOW
WE SERVE LOW INCOME AND MIDDLE INCOME AND SCALING AND
GROWING. NO ONE BELIEVES THAT WE’LL BE
ABLE TO GO FROM SORT OF NOTHING TO A CADILLAC MODEL
ALL AT ONCE. IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL, BUT
DIFFICULT TO DO. IT’S NOT WHAT’S HAPPENED IN
THE OTHER STATES SO. WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS BE ABLE TO USE
ALL OF OUR CHANNELS, BUILD WITHIN D.O.E. WHERE WE’RE
ABLE TO. WE STARTED THIS FALL.
WE NOW HAVE 18 CLASSROOMS ON D.O.E. CAMPUSES IN TITLE 1
SCHOOLS, SERVING THOSE KIDS. CLASSROOMS ARE FULL AND I
HEARD MOST HAVE GREAT LISTS WHICH IS GREAT.
WE NEED TO BUILD IN OUR COMMUNITY BASED SECTOR AS
WELL. THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENED IN ALL
OF THE REST OF THE STATE. BUILD WHERE WE ARE
INFRASTRUCTURE, HIGH QUALITY EARLY EDUCATORS AND USE ALL OF
OUR OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO LAYERING AND BUILDING AS WE GO
ALONG.>>MAHEALANI: LET’S TALK ABOUT
JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN. JOAN, WHERE DOES HSTA STAND ON
THAT.>>WELL, THE JUNIOR
KINDERGARTEN MODEL THAT WAS ACTUALLY IN PLACE AND WAS
SUNSETTED IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE BELIEVE THAT WE
CAN ACTUALLY HAVE PREK IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
WE HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE.
EARLY EDUCATORS AVAILABLE. WE HAVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO THAT
AND TO EXPAND IT WITHIN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
WHY GO ELSEWHERE? WHY START MOVING OUR MONIES INTO THE
PRIVATE SYSTEM? BECAUSE THE CHALLENGE WITH THE PRIVATE
SYSTEM, EVERY PRIVATE SYSTEM, EVERY PRIVATE SCHOOL, BECOMES
A MATTER OF LIMITATIONS, IN TERMS OF NUMBERS, LIMITATIONS
IN TERMS OF WHO GETS IN AND WHAT DOESN’T, IN TERMS OF WHO
GETS TO STAY IN AND DOESN’T STAY IN.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS NOT REALLY BEING TALKED ABOUT,
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE PRESCHOOL ITSELF.
IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT YOUR NEEDIEST COMMUNITIES, ALSO
TALKING ABOUT THINGS LIKE TRANSPORTATION, TALKING
ABOUT MEALS. ALL OF THESE CAN BE DONE
WITHIN THE COMMUNITYINGS USING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL
SYSTEM.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT THE
COST ISSUE FOR ALL OF THIS?>>THAT’S THE INTERESTING
THING. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT WHERE THE
COST IS, WE LOOKED AT A RANGE OF THE COST FOR PRESCHOOL IN
THIS STATE AND IT GOES UPWARDS TO $15,000.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE DEMONSTRATED THAT WE CAN
PROVIDE QUALITY EDUCATION AT MUCH LESS COST AND I KNOW THE
CHALLENGE IS BEING RAISED WHAT ABOUT THE PRICE OF
EDUCATORS? WE ARE YOU, WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE
LICENSED, MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE WELL TRAINED AND MAKE SURE
THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENS IS FOR THESE PEOPLE
WHO WORK IN A FIELD THAT IS WITH OUR MOST PRECIOUS CARGO,
QUALITY LIVING WAGE CAN BE EARNED WHICH IS NOT
NECESSARILY THE CASE WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE FULL RANGE OF
PRESCHOOLS THAT ARE OUT THERE.
>>MAHEALANI: DEBORAH, YOU HEARD MANY PEOPLE WEIGH IN ON
THIS ISSUE AND COST IS ALWAYS A CONCERN.
>>SURE.>>MAHEALANI: AND PEOPLE, A
LOT OF PEOPLE, SAY YES, PRESCHOOL EDUCATION IS
VALUABLE FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.
BUT CAN THE STATE TRULY AFFORD THIS?
>>MY ANSWER ALWAYS IS WE CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO.
THAT’S WHERE HSTA AND GOOD BEGINNINGS ALLIANCE AGREE WE
MUST START NOW. WE NEED EARLY EDUCATION.
WE ARE FAILING OUR CHILDREN. AS A TEACHER, JOAN KNOWS IF
OUR CHILDREN RECEIVE EARLY EDUCATION, THEY’LL BE BETTER
PREPARE WHEN THEY GO GET TO THE D.O.E.
WON’T HAVE SAME ISSUES ESPECIALLY IN OUR HIGHEST
NEEDS COMMUNITIES. WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
PRIVATE EDUCATION, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT NONPROFITS IN
THE COMMUNITY. I THINK THERE’S SOME
MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.
IT’S VERY CLEAR IN THE STATUTE THAT BEEN PUT FORWARD IT’S
NONPROFITS WHO WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONTRACTING.
SO WE’RE TALKING ABOUT NONPROFIT COMMUNITY BASED
PRESCHOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR QUITE SOME
TIME. THINGS LIKE PUNANA LEO,
RAINBOW PRESCHOOLS, KCAA, MANY OF WHOM ARE ACCREDITED,
HAVE OVER 100 ACCREDITED PRESCHOOLS THAT MEET THE GOLD
STANDARDS. I RECENTLY WAS TALKING TO ALL
OF OUR GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES ALL OF WHOM
MENTIONED HOW IMPORTANT THE NONPROFIT SECTOR IS BECAUSE
THEY ALL SAID THE NONPROFIT SECTOR CAN SERVE THE
COMMUNITY IN CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE WAYS IN MORE
FLEXIBLE WAYS, FAMILY FRIENDLY WAYS SOMETIMES THAN
THE STATE CAN. I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE
EXAMPLES. AGAIN, WE NEED BOTH.
WE WANT TO GROW ON D.O.E. CAMPUSES WHERE WE HAVE
INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT WE ALSO HAVE FOR EXAMPLE E. PARTNERS
IN DEVELOPMENT, SERVING HOMELESS CHILDREN AT A
HOMELESS SHELTER RUNNING A PRESCHOOL? WAIANAE.
THOSE PROGRAMS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT.
WE HAVE CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE IN LANGUAGE BASED
PROGRAMS. WE NEED ALL OF THOSE PIECES.
AND WE ALSO NEED WHAT ARE CALLED FAMILY CHILD
INTERACTIVE PROGRAMS WHERE THE MOM, DAD, GRANDPAS, TUTU
GOES WITH THE CHILD. AND LEARNING.
THOSE PROGRAMS GENERALLY SPEAKING ARE MUCH CHEAPER.
SO WHEN WE START TALKING ABOUT COST, COST HAVE BEEN ALSO
PENCILED OUT BY THE STATE. SO THERE’S A FEW DIFFERENT
OPTIONS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE MOST
EXPENSIVE ROUTE TO GO IS IF WE HAVE TO BUILD THINGS ENTIRELY
WITHIN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
>>MAHEALANI: LEAST EXPENSIVE PRICE TAG IF WE CAN GO WITH THE
FLEXIBLE BLENDED MODEL WHERE WE ARE UTILIZING THE
MANUFACTURES WE ALREADY HAVE, AND BUILDING NEW.
UNFORTUNATELY, WE DON’T HAVE CLASSROOM SPACE IN MANY
D.O.E. CAMPUSES. SO ON TOP OF THE OPERATING
COST, WE WOULD HAVE TO BE BUILDING NEW CLASSROOMS,
PUTTING UP PORTABLES, THINGS OF THAT SORT.
MAKES IT QUITE COST PROHIBITIVE.
>>MAHEALANI: YOU’VE BEEN OUT FRONT LINE OF EDUCATION.
TALK TO MANY EDUCATORS WHO DEAL WITH KINDERGARTENERS ON
THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. WHAT ARE THEY NOTICING? ARE
THEY PREPARED FOR KINDERGARTEN? THIS IS A
GENERAL QUESTION.>>IT’S AMAZING THAT THE
ANSWER IS ALREADY THERE. YES.
THOSE THAT HAVE ACCESS TO PRESCHOOL, THOSE THAT COME
FROM COMMUNITIES THAT CAN AFFORD PRESCHOOL, YOU CAN SEE
THAT THEY’RE READINESS LEVEL AT THE KINDERGARTEN AGE IS
RIGHT THERE. SO THE PROBLEM IS WHY IS IT
THAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT FAMILIES AND IN SOME CASES, I
WAS JUST SPEAKING TO A TEACHER ON MOLOKAI TODAY.
THREE CHILDREN THAT WILL HAVE TO GO TO PRESCHOOL AT $700 A
MONTH PER STUDENT. WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT IN A
LEVEL OF TUITION FOR ANYONE? AGAIN, EVEN IF WE TALK ABOUT
$125 MILLION A YEAR, THAT’S NOT GOING TO COVER THE FULL
COST OF TUITION AT ANY PRESCHOOL FOR ANY SIGNIFICANT
NUMBER OF STUDENTS. ESPECIALLY SINCE THERE WERE
ALREADY 6,000 BEING SERVED IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNDER THE
JUNIOR K MODEL, ANOTHER 6,000 BEING SERVED WHEN WE HAD
KINDERGARTEN BUT WE DIDN’T CAP THE KINDERGARTEN.
SO WE’VE JUST PUT INTO THE POOL OF STUDENTS NEEDING
PRESCHOOL ANOTHER 12,000 STUDENTS UNNECESSARILY.
THEY WERE BEING SERVED IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL.
WE NEED TO GO IN THE OTHER DIRECTION MAKING IT MUCH MORE
ACCESSIBLE TO ALL, NOT JUST NEEDIEST LEVEL.
BUT FOR ALL. SO THAT IF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO
CHOOSE A PRIVATE PRESCHOOL, SAME WAY THEY WOULD CHOOSE A
PRIVATE K-12 SCHOOL, IT’S A CHOICE, NOT OUT OF NECESSITY.
THAT’S REALLY WHAT THE CORE OF THIS IS.
>>MAHEALANI: YOU KNOW, DEBORAH, IT SOUNDS LIKE WE GO
BACK TO THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN, THERE WILL BE A
DISPARITY. THERE COULD BE A DISPARITY IF
THIS MEASURE IS PASSED. THAT’S WHAT JOAN IS SAYING.
>>I’M GOING TO ARGUE THERE IS A HUGE DISPARITY RIGHT NOW.
WE HAVE ENORMOUS GAP. ALMOST HALF OF OUR KIDS START
KINDERGARTEN WITH NO PRESCHOOL.
WHAT WE SEE RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE CHILDREN WHO DO RECEIVE
EARLY EDUCATION TEND TO BE IN — COMMUNITIES.
PARENTS WHO CAN AFFORD IT SEND THEIR CHILDREN.
I’M A MOM MYSELF, I TALK TO PARENTS, ALL PARENTS
UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF ERROL I HAD EDUCATION.
THEY WANT IT. UNFORTUNATELY, IF WE DON’T
PASS THIS MEASURE THOUGH, WE’RE LESS OF A STATUS QUO.
WE’RE LEFT WITH THE HUGE DISPARITY WE HAVE IN PLACE
RIGHT NOW WHERE OUR CHILDREN, WE HAVE THIS GAP.
WEALTHY ARE GETTING PRESCHOOL AND THEN THOSE WHO CAN’T
AFFORD IT, SORRY, TOO BAD. UNFORTUNATELY, WE NEED THIS
MEASURE SO WE CAN START IMPLEMENTING AND MAKING IT
MORE AFFORDABLE FOR ALL OF OUR FAMILIES.
>>MAHEALANI: I ASKED JOAN EARLIER, WHAT WOULD BE THE
HARM IF THIS MEASURE WAS TO PASS.
WHAT WOULD BE THE HARM IF THIS MEASURE DOESN’T PASS?
>>IF IT DIDN’T PASS, IT’S A STATUS QUO.
NO VOTE OR A BLANK VOTE LEAVES US WITH EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE
NOW. DOESN’T BUILD ANYTHING NEW
AND SENDS A MESSAGE THAT EARLY EDUCATION IS NOT IMPORTANT,
COMMUNITY DOESN’T WANT IT. AND IT CLOSES A LOT OF DOORS.
WHAT WE WANT IS TO START BUILDING.
IN ALL OF THOSE PIECES. SO IT CLOSES DOORS.
WE WILL NOT BE ABE TO DO HEAD START EXPANSION.
WE’LL NOT BE ABLE TO EXPAND ON THE TUTU AND ME PROGRAM.
WE’LL NOT BE ABLE TO EXPAND IN OUR COMMUNITY BASED
PRESCHOOLS. IT LEAVES US ONLY WITH A
POTENTIAL POSSIBILITY OF EXPANDING WITHIN THE D.O.E.,
WHICH IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE WE DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE
INFRASTRUCTURE IN ALL COMMUNITIES.
>>MAHEALANI: VIVIAN IN KAILUA WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT
KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS. GIVING QUITE A LARGE SUM OF MONEY TO
PROMOTE THIS INITIATIVE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR HSTA
FOR INCREDIBLY LARGE ORGANIZATION AND POWERFUL
ORGANIZATION TO SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE?
>>I THINK, IT’S NOT JUST KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS, IT’S ALL
OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE JOINING IN ON THIS.
I WILL TELL YOU IN ALL SINCERITY, ONE OF OUR
CONCERNS IS WITH THE PRICE TAG BEING AT $125 MILLION A YEAR,
WITH THE GAME PLAN BEING RATHER AMBIGUOUS AT THIS
POINT, WE’RE VERY CONCERNED THAT WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT IS
ANOTHER WAY WHERE WE’RE GOING TO TAKE STATE FUNDS AND MOVE
THEM INTO A POT THAT THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN GRAB INTO,
BUT THAT IT’S GOING TO END UP BEING FRANKLY A BOONDOGGLE,
NOT NECESSARILY SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO SERVE THE ENDS
THAT WE WERE STRIVING FOR. PRIVATE SCHOOL, PRIVATE
ORGANIZATIONS, DON’T ANSWER TO THE PUBLIC THE SAME WAY THE
PUBLIC SCHOOLS DO. THE SCRUTINY THAT PUBLIC
SCHOOLS RECEIVE IS MUCH GREATER THAN ANY PRIVATE
SCHOOL JUST BY THE NATURE OF BEING PUBLIC.
THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. I DON’T THINK A NO VOTE MEANS
WE DON’T CARE ABOUT EARLY EDUCATION.
I THINK WHAT A NO VOTE MEANS PARTICULARLY WITH ALL THE
DIALOGUE GOING ON NOW IDEA THAT NO, WE’RE SAYING THESE
ARE THE ONLY ANSWERS BECAUSE THESE ARE THE ONLY ANSWERS
WE’RE LOOKING AT. IF WE COMMIT TO THE PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, COMMIT TO OUR COMMUNITIES, IF WE MAKE SURE
THAT THAT’S THE GOAL THAT WE SET, THERE ARE PROGRAMS
ALREADY IN PLACE. GREAT PUBLIC/PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIP, INCLUDING ACTUALLY KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS.
THEY WERE IN MANY LOCATIONS THAT WERE SERVING
PUBLIC — I’M SORRY, UTILIZING PUBLIC, NOT
NECESSARILY FUNDS, BUT CERTAINLY FACILITIES.
AND THOSE PARTNERSHIPS I THINK CAN CONTINUE.
THE IDEA THAT SAY WE MUST GO PRIVATE IN ORDER FOR US TO
EXPANDS, I THINK THAT’S JUST SAYING LET’S NOT WORRY ABOUT
EVERYBODY.>>MAHEALANI: DEBORAH, WHAT
ABOUT THE ISSUE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND IF THE
MEASURE WERE TO PASS, ACCREDITATION, STANDARDS,
WHAT WOULD BE THE PROCESS FOR THAT?
>>THE PLAN IS, THERE IS A CLEAR PLAN IN PLACE, THAT THE
STATE AND IT WOULD BE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
AND THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE ON EARLY LEARNING, WOULD BE ABLE
TO THEN CONTRACT LICENSED COMMUNITY BASED PRESCHOOLS
AND THE STATE WOULD SET THOSE STRICT STANDARDS FOR QUALITY.
THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE AT THE TABLE.
THE WHOLE IDEA IS TO HAVE HIGH QUALITY EARLY EDUCATION IN
PLACE.>>GRACE: WANT TO COME BACK TO
THE COSTS BECAUSE THE $125 MILLION NUMBER KEEPS
GETTING THROWN AROUND. THE STATE HAS ESTIMATED THAT
TO DO THIS CONTRACTING MODEL, TO WORK WITH THE
INFRASTRUCTURE WE HAVE IN OUR COMMUNITY PRESCHOOLS, THAT TO
SERVE 80% OF OUR FOUR-YEAR OLDS IN THE YEAR BEFORE
KINDERGARTEN WOULD COST BETWEEN 40 AND $50 MILLION.
THE EXPENSIVE PRICE TAG, $125 MILLION IS IF WE HAVE TO
SERVE THE SAME NUMBER OF CHILDREN ONLY IN D.O.E.
PLUS THEY’VE ESTIMATED ALMOST $200 MILLION IN
INFRASTRUCTURE. IT’S PUT PORTABLES UP,
CLASSROOM EXPANSION. MOST EXPENSIVE ROUTE SO IF WE
HAVE TO BUILD ONLY IN D.O.E. USING THE PUBLIC PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIP MODEL, MOST STATES ARE NOW DOING, ALL OF
THE STATES ARE NOW DOING, IS SUBSTANTIALLY CHEAPER AND
MORE FLEXIBLE. SO AGAIN, WE’RE USING D.O.E.
CLASSROOMS SOMETIMES. USING COMMUNITY-BASED
PROVIDERS AS WELL.>>MAHEALANI: IS THERE ANY
EVIDENCE, FOR EXAMPLE, OF FOURTH GRADER WHO WENT TO
PRESCHOOL HAS ANY ADVANTAGE OVER ANOTHER FOURTH GRADER
WHO DIDN’T GO TO PRESCHOOL?>>THERE IS TONS.
I THINK JOAN CAN ANSWER THAT AS WELL. RESEARCH IS VERY
CLEAR AT THIS POINT IN TIME THAT HIGH QUALITY EARLY
EDUCATION DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
WE SEE STUDENTS PERFORMING BETTER ON STANDARDIZED
TESTING, HIGHER GRADUATION RATES, EVEN THINGS LIKE LOWER
INCARCERATION DOWN THE LINE. SO THAT’S VERY CLEAR.
OTHER STATES LARGE MUNICIPALITIES GET IT THAT WE
NEED A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR OUR KIDS IF WE’RE SENDING THEM
TO KINDERGARTEN WITHOUT THAT FOUNDATION, THAT WE’RE TRYING
TO WITH KIND OF BUILD ON QUICKSAND.
IT’S DIFFICULT FOR THOSE CHILDREN TO EVER CATCH UP.
IF THEY HAVEN’T HAD THOSE FORMATIVE EXPERIENCES.
>>MAHEALANI: JOAN, WHY DON’T YOU WEIGH IN ON THIS FROM YOUR
PERSPECTIVE ON THE FRONT LINES?
>>WE NEED DO A LOT OF INTERVENTION.
TEACHERS WILL DO WHAT THEY NEED DO AND FRANKLY, THEY WILL
BE PLAYING CATCH-UP. BUT THEY WOULD BE PLAYING
CATCH-UP EVEN IF THIS PARTICULAR MEASURE PASSES.
BUT THE PRESCHOOLS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE STUDENTS.
THAT’S ACTUALLY THE CONCERN IN A WE HAVE.
WE PLAY SAY THAT THEY’LL BE IN THE COMMUNITIES BUT THERE’S
NO GUARANTEE THEY’LL BE IN THE COMMUNITIES.
WE MAY SAY THEY’LL BE ENOUGH TO SERVE THE COMMUNITIES
THEY’RE IN. IF THEY’RE NOT, STUDENTS HAVE
TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE
NEEDIEST FAMILIES, IF IT’S NOT IN THE COMMUNITY, IF
THERE’S NOT THE TRANSPORTATION THAT’S DEALT
WITH, I GET IT, IF IT’S THE MOST EXPENSIVE MODEL COMING
OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAUSE THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
WILL PROVIDE THE COMPLETE WRAP-AROUND SERVICES, NOT
JUST THE TUITION BASED SERVICES.
THAT IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST THING THAT NO ONE IS TALKING
ABOUT. WE’RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT
WHAT IT COSTS TO GO TO PRESCHOOL.
YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ALL THE ANCILLARY COSTS WHICH PUBLIC
SCHOOLS TAKE ON ON A REGULAR BASIS.
THAT MEANS THAT WE MAKE SURE WE PROVIDE EVERYTHING THAT
OUR STUDENTS NEED. I AGREE, IF WE CAN MOVE IT A
REAL UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL MODEL, AGAIN, IN THE PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT WE CAN REMOVE SOME OF THE
INTERVENTION SERVICES THAT HAVE TO BE IN TERMS OF COSTS,
WE CAN REMOVE THOSE BECAUSE WE ARE TAKING CARE OF A LOT OF THE
ISSUES ON THE FRONT END. WHERE WE CAN ENSURE THAT
THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, REALLY, GIVING EVERYBODY THE
EVEN PLAYING FIELD, IS IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
>>MAHEALANI: CAN YOU WEIGH IN ON THAT IN TERMS OF THE OTHER
COSTS IN A JOAN IS TALKING ABOUT?
>>AGAIN, I GO BACK TO THAT WE NEED TO UTILIZE ALL OF OUR
OPTIONS AVAILABLE. THAT’S WHAT EVERY OTHER STATE
IMPLEMENTING PUBLICLY FUNDED PRESCHOOL HAS DONE.
EVEN WITH THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, NEA
HAS REALIZED IT’S NECESSARY. IN THE EARLY YEARS, THEY’VE
SAID MIXED DELIVERY SYSTEM, USING COMMUNITY BASED
PROGRAMS AND D.O.E. PROGRAMS IS THE LOGICAL FOUNDATION FOR
UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL. AGAIN, BECAUSE I THINK THAT
MANY OF OUR COMMUNITY BASED NONPROFITS DO HELP WITH
THINGS LIKE IT’S WRAP-AROUND PROGRAM.
THEY CAN BE, I THINK, SOMETIMES EVEN MORE
RESPONSIVE TO FAMILY NEEDS, TO GO OUT AND SERVE HOMELESS
COMMUNITIES. TO SERVE PEOPLE IN
COMMUNITIES CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE, THOSE TYPE OF
THINGS. SO AGAIN, I THINK IT’S ABOUT
HAVING OPTIONS. WE NEED TO START NOW.
WE’VE BEEN HAVING THIS DEBATE FOR YEARS NOW TO SAY THAT
WE’RE JUST BEGINNING THIS DEBATE AND IS LUDICROUS.
WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT. THERE’S A PLAN ON THE TABLE
AND WE CAN BEGIN TODAY. START CAN SERVING CHILDREN
TODAY AND BUILD FORWARD.>>MAHEALANI: I’M GOING TO GO
BACK TO THE JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN ISSUE.
THIS IS FROM JOAN VIA E-MAIL. IF THE STATE WANTED TO EDUCATE
MORE YOUNG STUDENTS AND RECEIVE EARLY EDUCATION, WHY
WAS JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN ELIMINATED?
>>OKAY, WELL, JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN UNFORTUNATELY
WAS NOT EVER WELL FUNDED. UNFUNDED MANDATE.
IT ALSO UNFORTUNATELY IN MOST OF THE SCHOOLS WHERE IT WAS
IMPLEMENTED, ENDED UP BEING YOUNG CHILDREN JUST IN A
REGULAR KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM.
IT WAS NOT IMPLEMENTED AS A PREK PROGRAM.
THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO IMPLEMENT NOW, IS A PRE-K
PROGRAM THAT IS JUST THOSE YOUNGER CHILDREN, NOT JUST
YOUNG CHILDREN IN A KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM.
SO AGAIN, WE ARE BUILDING. GOOD BEGINNINGS ALLIANCE WAS
IN FIGHTING LAST YEAR FOR THE $3 MILLION TO START THE PILOT
PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS ON D.O.E. CAMPUSES.
WE HOPE THAT HSTA WILL STAND US WITH AND BE THERE FOYTING
FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO OPEN MORE PRESCHOOLS ON OUR
CAMPUSES. WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING TO TRY TO
GET FEDERAL MONEY INTO THE STATE FOR PRESCHOOL.
AGAIN, WE THINK WE NEED TO USE ALL THE CHANNELS BECAUSE
DIFFERENT PARTS OF OUR STATE, DIFFERENT FAMILIES,
DIFFERENT OPTIONS WORK BETTER.
>>MAHEALANI: THERE ARE A LOT OF PARENTS PANICKING WHEN
JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN WAS ELIMINATED.
>>ABSOLUTELY. ONE. THINGS THAT WE TRIED TO
DO WAS STOP THE SUNSET. WE TRIED TO DO WHEN THEY
PASSED THE MANDATORY KINDERGARTEN LAW THIS SCHOOL
YEAR WAS MAKE SURE THAT ANYBODY WHO WAS TURNING FIVE,
FOLLOWING THE ACTUAL KINDERGARTEN STANDARDS THAT
THEY HAD WERE ALLOWED TO COME TO SCHOOL.
SO WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT’S ACCESS HAS BEEN
THERE FOR EVERYONE. NOT EVERYBODY IS SEEING IT
THAT WAY. TALKING ABOUT UNFUNDED
MANDATES AND UNDERFUNDING, WE THINK THIS IS GOING TO
EXACERBATE THAT PROBLEM BECAUSE WHEN WE START SAYING
WE CAN DO IT IN OTHER WAYS, THEN WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING AT
IS THE WAY THAT IS ACTUALLY THE MOST EQUITABLE.
BECAUSE IT WOULD BE THE MOST EQUITABLE TO ENSURE THAT
WHETHER A FAMILY WAS NEEDING PREK IN KAHALA OR PRE-K IN
KA’U, THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS A RESPONSIBILITY
TO PROVIDE FOR THAT. AND THE ONE THING THAT SITS
HAWAI’I OFF FROM EVERY OTHER STATE, WE HAVE IN OUR
CONSTITUTION AND NOT MANY STATE DOES.
THE EXPECTATION THAT WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT EVERY CHILD HAS
ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND THAT’S PUBLIC EDUCATION.
ONE OF THE REASONS WHY PUBLIC EDUCATION IS ONE OF THE
BIGGEST INVESTMENTS THE STATE MAKES WITH ITS TAX DOLLARS
BECAUSE THAT WAS THE COMMITMENT THAT WAS MADE WHEN
WE BECAME A STATE, CARRYING ON A COMMITMENT THAT THE
HAWAIIAN KINGDOM HAD RIGHT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.
SO WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT IS, YES, NEA MIGHT SAY THAT’S A
MODEL, MIXED MODEL HAPPENS. THEY’RE NOT ADVOCATING THAT
IN EVERY CASE. BUT IN EVERY CASES WHERE IT’S
NOT FEASIBLE IN ANY OTHER WAY AND THEY HAVE SET CRITERIA FOR
THAT. IF WE REALLY TALKING ABOUT
EXPANDING SOMETHING FROM WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW, AGAIN,
BEFORE WE OPEN THE CONSTITUTION, WHY NOT USE
WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE AND REALLY FOCUS ON OUR PUBLIC
SCHOOLS?>>I’M GOING TO ARGUE THAT
WE’VE HAD THAT OPTION ON THE TABLE FOREVER THEN.
SO WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY
EDUCATION NOW FOR 20 IT YEARS. WE’VE NOT BEEN ABLE TO BUILD
IT UP WITHIN D.O.E. FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.
THERE’S A LOT OF ISSUES IN D.O.E.
THERE’S NOT NECESSARILY INFRASTRUCTURE.
D.O.E. HAS MANY THINGS THAT THEY’RE WORKING ON.
SO IT HAS NOT HAPPENED. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAS CHANGED
TO MAKE US THINK THAT IT CAN POSSIBLY HAPPEN NOW.
MY CONCERN IS IF WE DON’T PASS THIS MEASURE, TO START
LOOKING AT OTHER MODELS, WE’LL BE BACK HERE 20 YEARS
FROM NOW AND SAYING WHY DON’T WE BUILD IT WITHIN D.O.E.
WOULDN’T THAT BE NICE? WE HAVE OPTIONS RIGHT NOW.
WE CAN DO WHAT THE OTHER 40 STATES HAVE DONE AND USED OUR
COMMUNITY BASED PRESCHOOLS, USE WHAT WE HAVE, USE
INFRASTRUCTURE WE HAVE, AND WE NEED TO START NOW AND NOT
CONTINUE SAYING WE WISH THE D.O.E. WOULD BUILD IT.
BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO SO UP UNTIL THIS
POINT.>>MAHEALANI: PEOPLE HAVE SAID
WE ARE FAILING OUR CHILDREN. WHO IS THE “WE”? IS IT
PARENTS? TEACHERS? GOVERNMENT?
>>I THINK THE COLLECTIVE WE, THE SOCIETY.
IF WE KNOW THAT EARLY EDUCATION IS IMPERATIVE AND
THAT IS FOUNDATION THAT SETS OUR CHILDREN UP SUCCESS IN THE
D.O.E., SUCCESS IN LIFE, WE ARE CHOOSING STILL AS A STATE
NOT TO FUND EARLY EDUCATION, IT’S COLLECTIVE “WE.”
>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU THINK THAT WE ARE FAILING OUR
CHILDREN?>>I THINK THAT WHEN WE TRY TO
FIND ANSWERS THAT WHAT WE THINK EASY, YOU KNOW,
NO-BRAINER TYPE OF ANSWERS, THAT’S WHERE WE FAIL OUR
STUDENTS. WHETHER THAT’S IN THINKING
THAT STANDARDIZED TESTS WILL MAKE THEM BETTER, GOING TO A
MODEL THAT IS SUPPOSEDLY CHEAPER FOR PRESCHOOL IS
GOING TO MAKE IT BETTER EASY ANSWERS ARE ULTIMATELY WHAT
FAIL THEM. IF WE AS A SOCIETY BELIEVE
EARLY EDUCATION IS A RIGHT FOR EVERY CHILD, THAT MEANS THAT
WE AS SOCIETY NEED TO COMMIT TO THAT AND THAT MEANS NOT
UNDERFUNDING, NOT LETTING SOMEBODY OFF THE HOOK.
THAT MEANS NOT SAYING THAT IF YOUR DEPARTMENT CAN’T DO T.
YOU CAN’T DO IT. THAT’S THE WE.
THAT’S WHAT’S BEING REFERRED O.T. WE AS A SOCIETY WITH NEED
TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON.>>MAHEALANI: LOOKING AT FROM
THE PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVE, EVEN FROM THE KINDERGARTEN
TEACHERS PERSPECTIVE, WHEN THE CHILD ENTERS KINDERGARTEN
THE FIRST DAY, WHAT SHOULD THEY KNOW?
>>PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT THEY
OUGHT TO KNOW IS HOW TO SOCIALIZE WITH OTHER
CHILDREN. THAT IS PROBABLY, SINGLE MOST
IMPORTANT THING THEY NEED TO KNOW.
IN TERMS OF SHOULD THEY THOUGH THEIR NUMBERS, COLORS, YES,
ALL OF THOSE BASIC THINGS THAT WE GET ON SESAME STREET, THANK
YOU PBS. THE IDEA OF KNOWING HOW TO
SOCIALIZE WITH OTHER CHILDREN AND WORK IN COLLABORATION
WITH OTHERS, I KNOW THAT SOUNDS CRAZY FOR A
KINDERGARTEN STUDENT, BUT THAT’S PROBABLY THE BIGGEST
SKILL FOR KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, IF THEY CAN HAVE
THAT, IT’S KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS CAN TAKE THEM
ANYWHERE THEY NEED THEM TO GO.>>MAHEALANI: IS PRESCHOOL THE
ONLY MEANS TO BE SOCIALIZED?>>PRESCHOOL IS NOT.
OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE MANY, MANY STORIES OF KUPUNA WHO
TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN.
MANY OF OUR RETIRED TEACHERS ARE PROBABLY, YOU TALK ABOUT
PRESCHOOL. BAR NONE.
BUT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ACCESS TO PRESCHOOL, WHAT THAT MEANS
JUST LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR EVERYONE.
INTO DEBORAH? WHAT SHOULD THEY KNOW? WHAT SHOULD THESE
KIDS KNOW?>>I AGREE WITH JOAN.
BUT I’M A MOM OF TWO YOUNG KIDS.
YOU’RE A MOM. I THINK YOU AND I CAN PROBABLY
ATTEST THAT PRESCHOOL DOES BRING GREAT VALUE.
I KNOW THERE ARE THANKS THAT MY SON, QUALITY ACCREDITED
PRESCHOOL PROGRAM HAS LEARNED THAT EVEN AS AN EDUCATED MOM,
KIDS DON’T COME A MANUAL. I THINK YOU GET HIGH QUALITY
EARLY EDUCATORS, THEY KNOW HOW TO HELP CHILDREN WITH THE
SOCIAL SKILLS. SO WE DO HAVE A KINDERGARTEN
READINESS ASSESSMENTS OF WHAT KIDS ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW.
IT IS THINGS LIKE CAN THEY FOLLOW BASIC CLASSROOM
INSTRUCTION? CAN THEY SHARE? DO THEY HAVE SOME
BASIC PRELITERACY, CAN THEY IDENTIFY A FEW LETTERS?
CORRECTLY HOLD A PENCIL? BASIC THINGS.
WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT CALCULUS.
BUT IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE DATA FROM OUR KINDERGARTEN
TEACHERS IN D.O.E., IT’S PRETTY APALLING HOW MANY OF
OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT READY STILL.
HOW MANY CHILDREN FAIL THAT PRETTY BASIC TEST.
AND IT TRACK VERY ACCURATELY WITH CHILDREN WHO HAVE
RECEIVED EARLY EDUCATION DO FINE ON THAT ASSESSMENT WHEN
THEY ENTER KINDERGARTEN. CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT
GENERALLY DON’T.>>MAHEALANI: CLEARLY, BOTH OF
YOU CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT OUR CHILDREN HERE IN THE STATE OF
HAWAI’I AND I WANTED TO THANK BOTH OF YOU FOR JOINING US
TONIGHT. IT’S BEEN A VERY SPIRITED
DISCUSSION. AND VERY INTERESTING CHOICE
FOR OUR VOTERS COMING UP IN A CUP OF WEEKS.
THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.
>>MAHEALANI: COMING UP, WE’LL HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT FIVE
STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURE AND WHAT A YES OR NO VOTE MIGHT
MEAN FOR VOTERS. PLEASE ENJOY THE STORY ABOUT
HIKI NO, NATION’S FIRST STATEWIDE STUDENT NEWS
NETWORK IS TEACHING HAWAI’I’S STUDENTS NEW LITERACY GIVING
THEM THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR OUR DIGITAL WORLD.
>>WE WANTED TO MAKE EFFECTIVE AND MEASURABLE DIFFERENCE IN
ADVANCING EDUCATION.>>WE OUGHT TO TEACH KIDS HOW
TO DO NEWS, HOW TO DO STORIES. HIKI NO WAS A PROGRAM,
TREMENDOUS INCEPTION.>>DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AREN’T
JUST FUN AND GAMES. THEY’RE THE NEW LITERACY.
AND COMBINED WITH 21ST CENTURY SKILLS SUCH AS
COLLABORATION AND ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
CRITICAL THINKING, THIS CREATES A BETTER WORK FORCE.
>>STUDENTS WORK IN A HIKI NO ENVIRONMENT, THEY BUILD THESE
SKILLS.>>HIKI NO HAS TO BE
INTEGRATED INTO THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM.
FOR IT TO HAVE A FUTURE.>>THE FAMILY FUND OF THE
HAWAI’I COMMUNITY FOUNDATION WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US
TO DEVELOP CURRICULUM THAT WILL ALLOW THE D.O.E. TO EMBED
HIKI NO AS AN ELECTIVE.>>WITH THIS NEW LITERACY, I
THINK HAWAI’I CAN BE LEADING THE NATION.
>>IF YOU SET THE STANDARDS HIGH FOR THE KIDS, THEY’LL
MEET THEM.>>MAHEALANI: EVERY THURSDAY
NIGHT, HIKI NO WHICH PRECEDES INSIGHTS, PRESENTS STATE OF
HAWAIIERS TOLD BY HAWAI’I STUDENTS, ABOUT THE
COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THEY LIVE.
NOW, SHOULD THE MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE OF STATE JUDGE
IT’S AND JUSTICES BE RAISED FROM 70 TO 80? SHOULD THE
CULTIVATION OF REPRODUCTIVE OF GENETICALLY-MODIFIED
ORGANISMS WITHIN THE COUNTY OF MAUI BE TEMPORARILY
BANNED? AND SHOULD ALL TYPES OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS RECEIVE
ASSISTANCE FROM REVENUE BONDS? THESE AND OTHER
QUESTIONS WILL BE PLACING VOTERS STATEWIDE.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS ON THESE BALLOT ISSUES.
JOHN HART IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
COMMUNICATIONS AT THE HAWAI’I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY WHO
SPECIALTY INCLUDES LOCAL AND NATIONAL ELECTIONS.
AND JANET MASON IS A MEMBER OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AND
CONTRIBUTOR TO HONOLULU CIVIL BEAT AND ON LINE NEWS OUTLET.
I WANTED TO THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US TONIGHT.
TORE TALKING ABOUT THESE VALID INITIATIVES.
>>A LOT OF VOTER AND NONVOTERS WE GET BOMBARDED
WITH THE MESSAGES AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE MAKING
DECISIONS IN THE BALLOT BOOTH WHICH IS NOT REALLY A GOOD
THING. WHY DON’T YOU WEIGH IN ON WHAT
WE JUST HEARD ABOUT THE PRESCHOOL INITIATIVE? WHAT
DID YOU MAKE OF THE CONVERSATION?
>>WELL, YOU KNOW, FIRST OF ALL, IT’S IMPORTANT TO
REMEMBER THAT THERE IS ANOTHER SIDE OF THE BALLOT.
WE ALL GET ENGROSSED IN THE PERSONALITIES AND WHO’S
RUNNING FOR WHAT OFFICE. THERE’S ANOTHER SIDE OF THE
BALLOT, SOME PEOPLE DON’T EVEN FLIP IT OVER AND FILL IT
OUT. SO IT’S GREAT TO THINK ABOUT
THESE AMENDMENTS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
IN TERMS OF THIS QUESTION, QUESTION NUMBER 4, ON THE
STATE WIDE BALLOT, I THINK IT IS THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL.
IT’S IT’S ONE THAT IT’S PUBLIC OPINION POLLS ARE MOST
DIVIDED ON. THE LATEST DATA WE HAVE IS THE
MERRIEMAN DATA TALKS ABOUT 40% OPPOSED, 40% SUPPORT.
WITHIN THE MARGIN OF ERROR. REMEMBER, IF YOU DON’T MARK
YOUR BALLOT, IT TENDS TO BE VIEWED AS A NO VOTE.
SO IF YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING THIS CLOSE, IT STAYS THIS
CLOSE, THE DATA WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE IT PROBABLY HEADED
FOR DEFEAT.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT,
LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT PRESCHOOL INITIATIVE SINCE WE
JUST CAME OUT OF THAT. JANET, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE
STILL UNDECIDED. WHAT CAN THEY DO?
>>WELL, I WANT TO MENTION NOW THAT THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN
VOTERS HAS HAD A VOTER SERVICE PROJECT.
WE HAVE DONE A PRO AND CON ANALYSIS OF EACH OF THE STATE
BALLOT MEASURES AND PROVIDED A LITTLE FACTUAL BACKGROUND.
WE DID THIS BY COLLECTING TESTIMONY AND THE COMMITTEE
REPORTS ON EACH OF THE QUESTIONS.
AND IT’S AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE.
SO IF PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY NEED TO STUDY A LITTLE BIT
BEFORE THEY GET INTO THE BALLOT BOOTH WITH ALL OF THESE
QUESTION, IT’S AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND WE HOPE
IT WILL BE HELPFUL.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ARE SOME OF
THE PROS AN CONS OF THE UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL
INITIATIVE? WE HEARD FROM HSTA AND HEARD FROM GOOD
BEGINNINGS ALLIANCE.>>I THOUGHT BOTH SIDES DID A
VERY GOOD JOB OF ARTICULATING THEIR VISION FOR WHAT THEY
WANT PRESCHOOLS TO BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE.
OBVIOUSLY, THEY’RE BOTH INTERESTED IN PROMOTING
PRESCHOOL FOR ALL OF HAWAI’I’S CHILDREN.
DIFFERENCE, I THINK, IS THAT THE SUPPORTERS BELIEVE THAT
HAVING A PRIVATE ARRANGEMENT FOR PROVIDING PRESCHOOL IS
THE FIRST STEP IN BUILDING THIS SYSTEM WHEREAS THE
OPPONENTS THEY THINK THAT THERE’S ALREADY EXISTING
STRUCTURE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
PARTICULARLY ONE THAT PROVIDES MEALS AND
TRANSPORTATION AND AUXILIARY SERVICES AND THAT WE SHOULD
BUILD ON THAT. SO THAT SEEMS TO BE THE NATURE
OF THE TWO ARGUMENTS WE’RE HEARING.
HOWEVER, I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT THE QUESTION ON THE
BALLOT IS REALLY PRETTY NARROW.
THE QUESTION IS NOT ABOUT CHOOSING BETWEEN THESE TWO
VISIONS REALLY. IT’S ABOUT DO WE WANT TO PUT
PUBLIC MONEY INTO A PRIVATE SYSTEM? DO WE WANT TO COMMIT
PRIVATIZATION OF PRESCHOOLS? THAT’S THE QUESTION.
>>MAHEALANI: JOHN, ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE LEVEL OF
FUNDING THAT BOTH SIDES ARE GETTING FROM VARIOUS GROUPS?
>>KIND OF A SHAME THAT OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE HAS BEEN
POLITICIZED. I THINK IN THIS CASE, YOU CAN
ARGUE THAT THERE ARE GROUPS WITH OTHER AGENDAS THAT ARE
WEIGHING IN ON THAT. WE DO HAVE LOOK AT THIS IN THE
SCOPE OF MANY OTHER THINGS. BUT.
>>MAHEALANI: HOW MANY OTHER AGENDAS?
>>WELL, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE THINGS THAT ARE PRESENT THAT
ARE NOT SAID, LIKE TEACHERS UNIONS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHO
HAVE THEIR OWN REASONS NOT TO BE HAPPY WITH THIS.
YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT SEPARATIONS OF CHURCH AND
STATE WHICH HOVER AROUND BUT NO ONE MENTIONS.
YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT, IS THIS A PRECURSOR TO A VOUCHER
SYSTEM THAT HOVERS AROUND AND NO ONE MENTIONS.
IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE COULD HAVE THESE JUST LAID OUT IN
THE PUBLIC DEBATE. THERE IS NO QUESTION OF THE
IMPORTANCE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.
I WOULD LOVE TO SAY AS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR, IN
REALITY, THE DATA ON THIS IS EXTREMELY CLEAR ABOUT MOST
DEVELOPMENT TAKES PLACE BY FIVE.
HAWAI’I IS WAY BEHIND ON THIS. WE WERE WAY BEHIND ON
MANDATING KINDERGARTEN. MOST OTHER STATES, I BELIEVE,
ALL 49 HAVE SOME FORM OF SUPPORT FOR PRESCHOOL.
WE ARE THE LAST ONE. IF IT WAS UNIVERSAL PUBLIC
PRESCHOOL, I WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF THAT.
SINCE WE OBVIOUSLY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE IT, I THINK A
PRIVATE SYSTEM IS SOMETHING THAT OUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED.
>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU THINK THAT THAT’S THE WAY — IF YOU
WERE TO MAKE A PREDICTION, DO YOU THINK THAT’S THE WAY WE
WOULD GO? IN TERMS OF APPROVING THE MEASURE?
>>WELL, LIKE I SAID BEFORE, GIVEN THE DATA, IF I HAD TO GO
TO VEGAS, I DON’T THINK IT LOOKS GOOD.
I REALLY HATE TO BE TALKING ABOUT THAT BEFORE THE
ELECTION BECAUSE IT GETS SOME PEOPLE NOT TO VOTE BECAUSE MY
SIDE IS LOSING OR SOME PEOPLE NOT TO VOTE BECAUSE MY SIDE IS
WINNING. IF YOU FEEL COMPELLED ABOUT
THIS ISSUE, AND YOU SHOULD, YOU SHOULD VOTE AND NOT WORRY
ABOUT MY PREDICTION AS NOT WHAT THE HORSE RACE IS GOING
TO BE.>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU HEAR
THAT? PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO GET INVOLVED, SUCH AND SUCH
IS LEADING AND SUCH AND SUCH IS BEHIND, OR THE BALLOT
INITIATIVE IS BEHIND OR GOING FORWARD?
>>NO, I DON’T HEAR THAT. ON THIS ONE, WHAT I DO HEAR,
AND FRANKLY, THE LEAGUE HAS NOT TAKEN A POSITION ON THIS
QUESTION BECAUSE THOUGH WE HAVE A LONG TERM POSITION
SUPPORTING EARLY EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AT RISK, WE DON’T
HAVE A POSITION ON PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC
EDUCATION. FOR WHATEVER REASON, THE
LEGISLATURE WAS RELUCTANT TO PASS ENABLING LEGISLATION
WHICH NORMALLY WOULD ACCOMPANY PROPOSAL LIKE THIS.
SO WE DON’T THINK THERE’S ENOUGH INFORMATION OUT THERE
APPROVED BY THE LEGISLATURE. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT — PEOPLE
DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY’RE VOTING ON BECAUSE THE
LEGISLATURE HAS NOT IMPROVED AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR
THE PRIVATE PRESCHOOL EFFORT AND THEY HAVEN’T APPROVED A
BUDGET. SO IF SOMEONE GOES INTO THE
BOOTH AND LEAVES IT BLANK, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
>>ALL RIGHT, THESE BALLOT MEASURES HAVE WHAT’S CALLED A
DOUBLE MAJORITY STANDARD. I THINK THE EASIEST WAY TO
UNDERSTAND IT IS WITH AN EXAMPLE.
SAY THERE ARE 300,000 VOTERS WHO COME OUT NOVEMBER 4TH.
BUT ONLY 250,000 OF THEM VOTE ON QUESTION NUMBER 4.
THE PRESCHOOL INITIATIVE. AND THEN SAY 150,000 OF THOSE
250 VOTE YES. THE MEASURE WOULD NOT PASS
ANYWAY BECAUSE THE TEST FOR WHETHER IT WAS A MAJORITY OF
PEOPLE CASTING BALLOTS AS WELL AS THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE
VOTING ON THE MEASURE WAS NOT SATISFIED.
IF 300,000 PEOPLE WERE VOTING, 150,001 WOULD NEED TO
VOTE YES ON IT’S MEASURE. SO IT’S KIND OF A STRICTER
TEST THAN A SIMPLE MAJORITY.>>MAHEALANI: LET’S TALK ABOUT
THE TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON GMO’S ON MAUI IN TERMS OF THAT
INITIATIVE. JOHN, ALSO HEAVILY FUNDED
FROM AT LEAST ONE SIDE, AND THEN YOU HAVE MORE GRASS ROOTS
ON THE OTHER SIDE. WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS GOING?
>>WELL, YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A PACT THAT CAME IN WITH A HALF A
MILLION DOLLARS. THAT’S MORE THAN SEVERAL OF
OUR GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES HAVE IN ITS ENTIRETY ALL
DEALING WITH ONE COUNTY AMENDMENT.
OKAY? I THINK A COUPLE OF REALLY INTERESTING THINGS
HERE TO NOTE. NUMBER ONE IS IT’S A FAIRLY
STRICT BILL, WE’VE HAD THINGS ON KAUAI, WHICH HAS MORE
SUPPORT FOR ANTI-GMO LEGISLATION THAT HAVE NOT
PASSED. WE HAVE LIMITED THINGS FROM
THE BIG ISLAND. IT WOULD BE DOUBTFUL, THINK I,
TO SEE THIS PASSING ON MAUI ESPECIALLY WITH THE
ABSOLUTELY HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT’S BEING SPENT TO
BLOCK IT. BUT ANOTHER THING OF
INTEREST. THAT IS, THERE IS A AG
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT STATEWIDE.
I’M FINDING A LOT OF PEOPLE ON OAHU WHO ARE CONFUSED.
THEY THINK QUESTION NUMBER 2 RELATING TO AG EXPENSES IS THE
GMO INITIATIVE. SO I THINK WE’RE GOING TO SEE
A LOT OF PEOPLE GOING INTO THE BALLOT AND VOTING ON QUESTION
NUMBER 2 NOT BASED ON QUESTION NUMBER 2, BUT VOTING FOR OR
AGAINST THE MAUI COUNTY INITIATIVE.
WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS THE STATE WIDE AG BILL.
>>MAHEALANI: THAT’S REALLY INTERESTING THAT YOU BRING
THAT UP BECAUSE WE’RE SEEING STATEWIDE COMMERCIALS THAT
ARE REALLY TARGETED FOR MAUI VOTERS.
>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>MAHEALANI: ON THE GMO
ISSUE. BUT EVERYONE IS SEEING IT.
>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>MAHEALANI: LET’S TALK ABOUT
THAT. WHAT IS THE AG MEASURE? WHAT
DOES IT MEAN? AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT LET’S SAY FROM WHAT
MAUI COUNTY VOTERS WILL BE LOOKING AT?
>>STATEWIDE MEASURE TALKS ABOUT HOW BONDS CAN BE USED
FOR INVESTMENTS AND NONAG LANDS FOR AG USE.
IT IT’S A VERY SPECIFIC INVESTMENT, YOU KNOW, TYPE OF
BILL. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH
GMO’S AT ALL. IT’S VERY DIFFERENT.
BECAUSE IT SAYS AGRICULTURE, AND PEOPLE ARE SEEING
STATEWIDE ADS ABOUT VOTE YES ON THIS, VOTE NO, I THINK THE
AVERAGE VOTER IS GOING TO HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM
DIFFERENTIATING THESE ADS ON THE MAUI COUNTY REFERENDUM ON
AGRICULTURE VERSUS THE STATE WIDE QUESTION ON AGRICULTURE.
I WILL THINK IT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEFEAT OF
QUESTION NUMBER 2 STATEWIDE.>>MAHEALANI: THAT’S REALLY
INTERESTING. JANET, WHAT ARE THE PROS AN
CONS JUST FOR THE AG MEASURE? THAT STATEWIDE WILL BE
LOOKING THE AT?>>THE AG MEASURE IS GOING TO
PERMIT ENTITIES THAT ARE BROAD, NOT JUST THOSE ON
SUPPORTING IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL LANDS, IT’S
GOING TO PERMIT OTHER KIND OFS OF AGRICULTURAL ENTITIES TO
GET ACCESS FOR SPECIAL PURPOSE REVENUE BONDS.
FOR INSTANCE, AQUACULTURE TYPE OPERATIONS, RIGHT NOW,
THEY CAN’T TAP INTO THE EXISTING SPECIAL PURPOSE
REVENUE BONDS FUND BECAUSE THEY DON’T SUPPORT IMPORTANT
AGRICULTURAL LANDS.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT DEFINES
WHAT IMPORTANT IS.>>ALL RIGHT, THERE’S A
DEFINITION IN THE PROGRAM OF WHAT IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL
LANDS ARE. IT’S THOSE THAT ARE CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING SUSTAINED HIGH YELLED, THOSE THAT ARE
CONTRIBUTE TO THE STATE ECONOMIC BASE, AND THOSE THAT
ARE NEEDED TO PROMOTE THE EXPANSION OF AGRICULTURAL
ACTIVITIES.S KIND OF A SMALL PIECE OF PIE, SMALLER FARM
OPERATION WOULDN’T ALWAYS HAVE ACCESS TO THE EXISTING
BOND FUND WITH ITS RESTRICTIONS THAT IT PUT ON
IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL LAND. SO CERTAINLY, WE’VE SEEN A
NEED THROUGHOUT THE FARMING COMMUNITY TO HAVE LESS
EXPENSIVE CAPITAL AVAILABLE TO START UP OR EXPAND
OPERATIONS. OTHER SUPPORTERS SAY THIS IS
ACTUALLY GOING TO HELP MAKE OUR LOCAL FOOD LESS
EXPENSIVE. AND THE OPPONENTS SAY
SOMETHING LIKE, WELL, THIS PROGRAM ISN’T GOING TO BE
LIMITED TO SMALL FARMERS, SO BIG AG CAN ALSO ACCESS THE
FUNDS AND THERE IS JUST GOING TO AGGRAVATE THE COMPETITIVE
ADVANTAGE THAT THE LARGER AG BUSINESSES HAVE.
SO THAT’S WHAT IS GOING ON.>>MAHEALANI: LET’S GO BACK TO
THE GMO ISSUE. FOR SOME, THE GMO ISSUE IS
MAYBE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE PESTICIDE AND HERBICIDE
ISSUES. SO JOHN, DO YOU THINK THAT
PEOPLE WILL BE CONFUSED BY THAT AS WELL?
>>ABSOLUTELY. I THINK YOU KNOW, AS YOU SAY,
MORE PEOPLE THAN WANT TO ADMIT, WE KNOW FROM DATA, WAIT
‘TIL THEY GO INTO THE BOOTH TO MAKE THAT DECISION.
HAVING BEEN A POLLING OFFICIAL, I CAN TELL YOU
HAVING LISTENED TO THE CONVERSATION, THAT HAPPENED
IN THERE, ALTHOUGH I DON’T GET TO SEE HOW THEY VOTE.
ABSOLUTELY, WHEN YOU HAVE THIS KIND OF OVERLAP ON
LEGISLATION, BLEED THROUGH IS ABSOLUTELY INEVITABLE.
USUALLY, ON THESE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS,
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THEY PASS. WE’VE HAD 40 OF THEM SINCE
’92. 30 OF THE 40 HAVE PASSED.
YOU HAVE 75% SUCCESS RATE. ONE WOULD PRESUME, LACK OF
OTHER DATA, THAT AMENDMENT WILL PASS.
THIS YEAR IS VERY UNIQUE BECAUSE WE HAVE CONFUSING AG
BILLS. WE HAVE A EARLY CHILDHOOD BILL
THAT’S VERY CONTROVERSIAL, AND WE HAVE TWO BILLS UP THAT
ARE SECOND TIME AROUND. MEANING THEY HAVE BEEN UP IN
THE RECENT PAST, BEEN DEFEATED, AND ARE COMING BACK
AGAIN. SO WHETHER OR NOT TIME HAS
CHANGED. SO IF WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A
YEAR WHERE AMENDMENTS DON’T PASS, THIS LOOKS LIKE THE
YEAR. .
>>MAHEALANI: GO AHEAD.>>WE ALSO HAVE MORE PROPOSALS
SHOW UP.>>WE NORMALLY HAVE FOUR, THAT
YEAR, WE HAVE FIVE.>>MAHEALANI: A LOT MORE TO
STUDY.>>IF YOU’RE A MAUI VOTERS
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU BECAUSE YOU
HAVE THE FIVE STATE PROPOSALS AND THREE ADDITIONAL
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS FOR MAUI COUNTY.
>>MAHEALANI: TALK ABOUT THE RAISING RETIREMENT AGE FOR
JUDGES FROM 70 TO 80. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS ON
THAT ISSUE?>>THE PROS AND CONS ARE
RATHER STRAIGHTFORWARD COMPARED TO THE OTHER BALLOT
MEASURE. SUPPORTERS WILL SAY THERE ARE
MANY QUALIFIED JURISTS OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY AND
THAT IF WE DON’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR EXPERIENCE
AND WISDOM, AFTER THE AGE OF 70, WE’RE FOREGOING A GOOD
COMMUNITY RESOURCE. OTHER PEOPLE SAY, WHO SUPPORT
THIS IDEA, SAY THAT THE IDEA THAT SOMEBODY IS NOT
PRODUCTIVE AFTER THE AGE OF 70, THAT’S JUST OUT OF DATE,
THAT MANY MANY PEOPLE CONTINUE TO BE VERY ACTIVE AND
THE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW LONG SOMEONE SERVES ON THE BENCH
SHOULD BE BASED ON PERFORMANCE, NOT ON AGE PER
SE. AND HERE, I SHOULD MENTION
THAT THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, WE DID TESTIFY IN
SUPPORT OF THIS MEASURE AND OUR BASIC PREMISE WAS THAT
INTRODUCING THIS WOULD PROMOTE HAVING A REALLY GOOD
POOL OF JUDGES.>>
>>MAHEALANI: CAN YOU WEIGH IN ON THAT? IT’S HARD BECAUSE
YOU’RE DEALING WITH AGE. THAT IS A VERY STICKY ISSUE
WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE.>>I THINK TO TAKE AGE OUT OF
IT, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THIS ARE IN FAVOR OF JUDICIAL
CHURN. IN OTHER WORDS, IT’S NOT HOW
OLD THEY ARE. IT’S LET’S HAVE OTHER PEOPLE
IN THE SYSTEM. LET’S GIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE A
CHANCE TO DO THIS JOB. THIS WAS A PROPOSAL THAT WAS
DEFEATED BY A HUGE MARGIN IN 2006 OR 2008, I BELIEVE YEAH.
2006, IT LOST 58-35. THE MERRIMAN DATA WE HAVE FROM
THIS YEAR SAYS PEOPLE ARE AGAINST IT 61-25.
SO THIS APPEARS TO BE A NONSTARTER.
IT’S NOT GOING TO PASS.>>MAHEALANI: INTERESTING.
IT MIGHT COME UP AGAIN THEN IF WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS GOING TO
HAPPEN.>>ABSOLUTELY.
>>MAHEALANI: INTERESTING. WE HAVE ANOTHER JUDICIAL
MEASURE IN TERMS OF RELEASING THE JUDICIAL NOMINEES, THE
NAMES. THERE’S AN ISSUE OF SECRECY
HERE.>>THIS ONE IS EXACTLY THE
OPPOSITE IN TERMS OF SUPPORT IN TERMS OF RATIONALE.
THIS IS A TRANSPARENCY ISSUE. THE JUDICIAL SELECTION
COMMISSION ACTUALLY ALREADY DOES IT AS A PRACTICE.
SO ALL THE QUESTION WOULD DO IS MAKE PROCEDURE LAW.
SO I THINK THERE’S ABSOLUTELY A HUGE PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR.
AGAIN, IF YOU LOOK AT THE PUBLIC DATA AND EVEN LARGER
MARGIN THAT OPPOSED THE JUDICIAL AGE QUESTION AGREE
WITH THIS. THE MERRIMAN DATA SAYS 70% TO
13. WHICH IS STUNNING.
I DON’T SEE ANY WHICH THIS ONE IS GOING TO LOSE.
>>MAHEALANI: INTERESTING. BEFORE YOU GO INTO THE PROS
AND CONS OF THIS ONE, HOW DOES LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS GET ITS
INFORMATION FOR ALL SIDES OF THE ISSUE?
>>BASICALLY, WE COMPILE THE PRO AND CON STATEMENTS FROM
THE TESTIMONY ON THE BILL. WE WOULD ALSO LOOK AT THE
COMMITTEE REPORTS. SO IN ALL OF THE PROPOSALS, IN
OUR ANALYSIS, WE FOUND BOTH PROS AND CONS.
WE TRIED TO LAY THEM OUT AS FAIRLY AND OBJECTIVELY AS WE
COULD.>>.
IT’S NOT NECESSARILY APPROVED BY EITHER SIDE.
>>NO. IT’S NOT APPROVED BY EITHER
SIDE.>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU EVER GET
COMPLAINTS?>>CERTAINLY.
BUT WE CAN LIVE WITH THAT. (LAUGHTER)
>>THIS MATTER ON THE JUDICIAL DISCLOSURE, THERE ARE PROS
AND CONS TO THAT. AS JOHN MENTIONED, SINCE
2011, THE PRACTICE OF THE JUDICIAL SELECTION
COMMISSION HAS BEEN TO RELEASE THE NAMES AT THE SAME
TIME THAT THEY GO TO THE GOVERNMENT’S OFFICE.
>>MAHEALANI: THE SITUATION WITH OUR JUDICIAL NOMINEES IS
KIND OF A PROCESS PROBLEM. TYPICALLY, THE LEGISLATURE
WOULDN’T GET THE NAMES OF NOMINEES UNTIL THE THIRD
MONTH OF A FOUR MONTH LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
AND SO THE SENATE IS HARD-PRESSED TO CONSIDER
ANYBODY EXCEPT NOMINEE PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR
UNLESS THEY’RE AWARE OF WHO ALL THE OTHER NOMINEES ARE.
SO THE LEAGUE, AGAIN, WILL — FULL DISCLOSURE,
LEAGUE TESTIFIED IN SUPPORT OF THIS MEASURE BECAUSE WE
THINK IT’S IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND WILL INSPIRE
MORE CONFIDENCE IN THE JUDICIARY.
>>MAHEALANI: I GET THE SENSE YOU WANT TO WEIGH IN MORE ON
THIS.>>NO.
I THINK THIS IS PROBABLY THE LEAST CONTROVERSIAL OF THE
QUESTIONS STATEWIDE. IT’S SOMETHING WE’RE ALREADY
DOING. WE’RE JUST MAKING IT LAW.
VAST MAJORITY WANTS THIS. THIS IS THE 116 ROUND.
>>MAHEALANI: LET’S GO BACK TO SOMETHING, THAT’S MORE
CONTROVERSIAL BACK TO THE GMO’S.
WHAT WOULD A NO VOTE MEAN ON THE GMO ISSUE ON THE GMO
MEASURE?>>NO VOTE WOULD MEAN THAT YOU
DO NOT SUPPORT ANY MORATORIUM ON USING GENETICALLY MODIFIED
ORGANISMS IN CULTIVATION OR PROPAGATION IN THE COUNTY OF
MAUI. THAT’S WHAT MEANS.
>>MAHEALANI: CAN YOU EQUATE A BLANK VOTE TO A NO VOTE?
>>AGAIN, LET’S SEE. IT COMES, IT WORKS AGAINST
PASSAGE OF THE MEASURE. LET’S PUT IT THAT WAY.
YOU CAN ARGUE IT’S NOT A ONE TO ONE, BUT NO MATTER HOW YOU
DO THE CALCULUS, YOU NEED 50% PLUS ONE OF THE MAJORITY.
SO ANYONE THAT DOES NOT VOTE ON AN ISSUE THAT LEAVES IT
BLANK, THAT’S ONE VOTE NOT GOING TOWARDS THAT.
SO I WOULD ARGUE FUNCTIONALLY NOT TO VOTE ON A STATEWIDE
QUESTION IS FUNCTIONALLY A VOTE AGAINST IT.
>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU THINK THERE ARE GOING TO BE ANY
SURPRISES IN TERMS OF THE BALLOT MEASURE?
>>I THINK THE ONE I FIND MOST INTERESTING IN TERMS OF CAN IT
PASS OR NOT IS NUMBER 5. DAMS AND RESERVOIRS WHICH WE
HAVEN’T TALKED ABOUT YET. THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS UP
FAIRLY RECENTLY, UP IN 2012. SO IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE
THAT IT’S BACK QUICKLY. IT WAS DEFEATED IN —
>>MAHEALANI: CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE MEASURE IS?
>>SURE. AT THAT TALKS ABOUT WHETHER OR
NOT BONDS CAN BE USED BY PRIVATE PARTIES TO REBUILD
DAMS BASICALLY. A LOT OF OUR DAMS COME TO US
FROM THE SUGAR TIMES. THEY HAVEN’T BEEN MAINTAINED.
THERE ARE ACCIDENTS AND THAT IS WHY I THINK IT HAS A CHANCE
OF PASSING THIS TIME EVEN THOUGH IT ONLY FAILED TWO
YEARS AGO. THAT’S BECAUSE OF THE
PFLUEGER CASE IN KAUAI. IT GOT A LOT OF PUBLICITY.
THIS WAS A DAM THAT WASN’T MAINTAINED.
BAD THINGS HAPPENED. IT WAS A VERY HIGH PROFILE
CASE. SO NORMALLY, YOU WOULD SAY
THIS IS BACK UP TOO QUICKLY UNLESS YOU HAVE A VARIABLE.
IN THIS CASE, I WOULD ARGUE THE PFLUEGER CASE IS THE
VARIABLE AND YOU COULD SEE THIS FLIPPING IN TWO YEARS,
WHICH IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
BUT IF YOU WANTED TO SAY WHAT IS THE SURPRISE, I WOULD ARGUE
IT MIGHT BE THIS ONE.>>MAHEALANI: IT’S
INTERESTING, YOU KNOW, THE ELECTION IS COMING UP AND THE
PFLUEGER CASE HAS JUST COME TO AN END NOW ALL OF THESE YEARS.
>>THAT’S RIGHT. THAT’S WHY IT’S GOT PERFECT
TIMING HERE. PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THIS.
SAW IT. PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST
PFLUEGER REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE CASE,
THAT’S WHERE MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO FEEL TO BE GOING.
AND I COULD SEE THAT TRANSLATING IN THE BALLOT BOX
TO PASS QUESTION 5.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT THE
PROS AND CONS, JUST IN GENERAL, JANET? IN TERMS OF
THIS?>>ONE INTERESTING ASPECT OF
THIS IS THAT TWO YEARS AG, PEOPLE MAY HAVE
MISINTERPRETED THIS BALLOT MEASURE AND THOUGHT IT WAS
DIRECT SUBSIDY TO PRIVATE LAND OWNERS.
IT’S NOT. IT’S A PROGRAM THAT WOULD
ESTABLISH LOANS FOR THE PRIVATE DAM OR RESERVOIR
OPERATORS. SO THE LOANS WOULD HAVE TO BE
REPAID. IT’S A VERY INTERESTING
SITUATION BECAUSE REALLY, SURFACE WATER, IT’S HELD IN
PUBLIC TRUST FOR THE CITIZENS OF HAWAI’I.
AND YET, WE ARE PUTTING MANAGEMENT OF EFFECTIVELY,
MANAGEMENT OF THIS PUBLIC ASSET IS IN THE HANDS OF
PRIVATE OWNERS. SO YOU KNOW, PERHAPS WE SHOULD
STEP FORWARD IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY, THAT’S WHAT
PROPONENTS WOULD ARGUE, AND TAKE CARE OF THE SITUATION.
OTHER THING THAT HAS HAPPENED, SINCE 2006, WHEN
THE KOLOKO DAM ACCIDENT OCCURRED, IS THAT THE STATE
STEPPED FORWARD AND THEY GREATLY IMPROVED THE SAFETY
STANDARDS FOR THE DAMS AND RESERVOIRS.
HOWEVER, WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE THE OWNERS AREN’T
MEETING THE SAFETY STANDARDS. SO WE HAVE A COMPLIANCE
PROBLEM AND MAYBE IT’S TIME TO BREAK THAT LOG JAM, IF YOU
WILL.>>MAHEALANI: WE HAVE ONE MORE
QUESTION FROM THE BIG ISLAND. WHO WROTE THE MAUI GMO BILL
AND WHAT’S THEIR PURPOSE? CAN EITHER OF YOU ANSWER THAT?
>>I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHO WROTE IT, BUT HERE’S
SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING. IT WAS A VOTER INITIATED
MEASURE. PEOPLE FOUGHT VERY HARD TO GET
THIS MEASURE ON THE BALLOT. UP UNTIL SEPTEMBER, THERE
WERE ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE TITLE OF THE BILL AND THE
WORDING OF THE BILL. LAWSUITS ABOUT THIS.
>>MAHEALANI: WE ARE OUGHT OUT OF TIME.
I WISH WE COULD HAVE MORE DISCUSSION.
WE WISH THIS PROGRAM WHO AIRED EARLIER.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TONIGHT.
WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR INSIGHTS.
>>THANK YOU.>>MAHEALANI: GENERAL
ELECTION IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.
FOR OUR FINAL ELECTION 2014 SHOW, WE’LL BE BRINGING YOU
THE CANDIDATES FOR MAUI MAYOR, INCUMBENT ALAN ARAKAWA
AND TAMARA PALTIN. CANDIDATES VYING TO REPRESENT
THE COMMUNITIES IN SENATE DISTRICT 18.
DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT MICHELLE KIDANI, REPUBLICAN
DENNIS KAM AND LIBERTARIAN RAYMOND BANDA.
NEXT TIME ON INSIG

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