Representative Gene Ward discusses Hawaiian sovereignty with Peter Apo.
One of the easiest and most doable things to lower our cost of living in Hawaii is an esoteric act passed by Congress almost 100 years ago and is called by an innocuous name that makes people’s eyes glaze over when they hear it, i.e. “The Jones Act.” This 1920 law makes the cost of shipping 4 to 5 times more expensive than it has to be because it eliminates any competition in our shipping industry between here and the mainland.
Exempting Hawaii from the Jones Act could lower our cost of living by 25%-35% by not requiring that ships delivering goods to Hawaii from the mainland to use ships built, owned, crewed, and flagged by Americans. In other words, let the thousands of ships that dump their cargo on the West Coast and then bypass Hawaii empty, carry their goods to Hawaii on their way back to Asia at a fraction of the cost we now pay for this service – and we must import over 85% of everything we consume.
Lowering the cost of living in Hawaii is really that simple. Instead the people of Hawaii are paying thousands of dollars more per family to subsidize this act. We need what the Congress gave to American Samoa, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands, who were given exemptions, but we have to ask for it first.
Opponents cite national defense and play the fear card on how this act protects us from not having to rely on foreign ships during a time of war. What they fail to mention is that taking Hawaii out of the shipping equation will not weaken America’s defense poster and the biggest threat to Hawaii’s supply chain has always been shipping strikes, not wars.
The reality is that America is pretty much out of the maritime business with over 90% of our ship building facilities having been closed and the only new ships we produce are military vessels. The bottom line is that the Jones Act still exists unmodified because of a quintessential lack of political will. Our leaders know its downsides but have gotten away with not asking for an exemption because they know few people have heard of the act and even fewer understand what it is doing to them. But times are changing and every time we pay $5 for a gallon of milk or gas, and then read our electrical bill, we know something has to be done.
As citizens awaken to how anti-Hawaii and damaging this law is, the cries of national defense will weaken and be seen as a disguise for the invisible hand that keeps taking an increasingly large portion of the food off the table of our poor and our senior citizens.
Representative Gene Ward, Ph.D., Minority Leader Emeritus, is a member of the House Finance Committee and Co-Chair of the Small Business Caucus and has worked as a small business expert with the United Nations International Labor Office.
Air Traffic Over Ewa
My office has received numerous telephone calls regarding the aircraft noise generated by planes flying over our Ewa homes. According to many residents, it occurs at all hours of the night.
After investigating this situation, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) reported to my office that in order to accomplish much-needed repairs to runway 4R-22L at Honolulu International Airport, DOT needs to close the runway at night. The department has posted an advisory on its website, which states Ewa residents can expect an increase in air traffic over the area because of airfield maintenance work at the airport.
Runway 4R-22L will be closed for pavement replacement Sunday through Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m., through Sept. 30. During this time, flight patterns will be modified, resulting in increased air traffic over the Ewa area.
The runway is the third-longest of four runways at the airport, spanning a distance of 9,000 feet. Runway 4R is our primary nighttime arrival runway, and closing it at night forces those arrivals to be routed to Runway 8L.
According to DOT, there are no other workable options available.
Football Fun In Ewa
Football season is here, and we have several youth teams in the area.
The Crush team and cheer squad are both run by the indefatigable Lola Tripp. Lola is a bundle of positive energy and always is willing to work with parents to ensure their children have a fantastic experience.
The cost is very reasonable, and they get several months of football and cheer conditioning and coaching by people who are driven by nothing more than a desire to help these young players develop teamwork, athletic skills and perseverance.
What impressed me the most about Ewa Crush was the genuine love and affection the coaches develop for the children. These are neighborhood parents coaching neighborhood children. It is a unique situation that creates an unmistakable bond among the kids.
The coach who stood out to me the most was Larry Toro. An elder whom everyone looks up to when he speaks with his gravelly voice, Coach Larry is loved by the kids!
If you are looking for a fun activity for your boys and girls this season, I recommend the Crush. For more information, go to leaguelineup.com/welcome.
State Rep. Bob McDermott represents District 40 Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point. He can be reached by calling 586-9730 or emailing email@example.com.
Representative Beth Fukumoto Chang discusses Hawaii’s Little Fire Ants with Rob Curtiss, Acting Plant Pest Control Branch Manager, Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Dr. Cas Vanderwoude, Hawaii ant Lab , UH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.
Contact: http://www.bethfukumotochang.com Telephone 808-586-9460
Hawaii Ant Lab website: http://www.littlefireants.com
Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai – Kalama Valley) plans to introduce legislation that will make it legal for a terminally ill patient to access investigational drugs. The bill, modeled after a Colorado law that allows terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs without getting federal approval, addresses issues that may arise when terminally ill patients seek to use a medication whose safety and effectiveness is still being tested in clinical trials. Such “right to try” laws have also been passed in Louisiana and Missouri, and will be put to Arizona voters this November as a ballot proposition.
“The bottom line is that, whether it be through speeding up valuable research, or by encouraging the FDA to support expanded access to experimental treatments, this bill is all about saving lives,” Ward said.
According to the Goldwater Institute, fewer than three percent of the sickest patients are able to access investigational drugs through clinical trials, and more than one million Americans die from a terminal illness each year.
This legislation does not require manufacturers to make investigational products available to terminally ill patients, but gives them the “Right to Try” to access potentially life-saving investigational drugs. “The terminally ill patient must assume ultimate responsibility for any consequences resulting from taking the investigational medicine, good or bad, but people should have that choice, and giving them that option is the hallmark of a compassionate society,” Ward said.
Rep. Gene Ward, Minority Leader Emeritus
Representative Gene Ward speaks with Alexandra Avery
President of The Outdoor Circle and Representative Tom Brower Chair, House Committee on Tourism, on Aerial Advertisements.
Representative Tom Brower (Waikiki, Ala Moana) announced plans to introduce legislation banning aerial advertisement in the state of Hawaii. The proposed legislation will seek to clarify the ambiguities and jurisdiction of aerial advertising written in federal, state, and city law. The measure will specifically make it illegal for a pilot to fly a plane out of a state airport for the purpose of towing a banner for advertisement.
“I have had discussions with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state officials to identify what we can do. Due to the ambiguities of city, state and federal law, there is a need for legislation to add more clarity. Right now, we have federal and state laws that need further explanation,” said Brower. “Our skies are under federal and local jurisdiction, but state airport officials issue contracts and agreements with pilots and businesses. While the FAA has indicated that plane operators need to abide by state law and county ordinance, the contract signed by the particular pilot in question did not specifically allow or deny the operation of a tow banner business.” Friday, July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Hawaii Reporter
As we continue the work of beautifying the Ewa area, I was asked by several community members to clean up some roadside growth. Litter and vegetation had overgrown a portion of North Road, and many folks expressed concern over its unsightly appearance. The area in need was about 800 yards in length, but both sides of the road needed attention, so that meant the job entailed 1,600 linear yards. A big job — too big for a weekend community cleanup lasting two hours. Generally speaking, this is not something the municipal agencies engage in because of funding restrictions.
State Rep. Bob McDermott on site during the recent North Road cleanup project
What to do? How can we tackle this large job with little or no funding? I pondered this problem and then contacted the state Department of Corrections to inquire if inmates could perform this task. I specified I wanted low-risk offenders, people close to their release date who have exhibited exemplary behavior. Safety of everyone in the community was my top concern. The department responded with precisely what I asked for and in spades. It gave me even more comfort, since the road in question is somewhat remote. The inmates were polite, respectful, hard-working and eager for a second chance. They went to work with vigor and enthusiasm, cutting the vegetation, raking the green waste and picking up trash with gusto. Supervised by several public safety officers, these men worked very hard. Each day one of the Iroquois Point residents, such as Lt. Col. David Staggs (Ret.), would ensure that the men were fed and had an ample supply of water. Kurt Fevella and Mitchell Tynanes of Ewa Beach Lions Club helped out by collecting the trash bags and taking the rubbish to the dump. With all of us pitching in and thinking creatively, we have made a significant change to the appearance of the area. Thank you to all those people who had a role in making this happen — there are too many of you to name individually. Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott represents District 40 (Ewa, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point).He can be reached at 586-9730 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.