Reapportionment Council Votes to Include Military

The Hawaii Reapportionment Council, which is plotting the districts for the state’s new Congressional, House and Senate districts based on 2010 U.S. Census population estimates, met behind closed doors Tuesday at the Hawaii State Capitol. They announced afterward that they resolved one important issue: All but one of 9 members voted to include the non-resident military in the population count. Non-resident military living in Hawaii have been excluded for the last 20 years.

Part of the reason for the change: Only Hawaii and Kansas exclude parts of the military in the population count for the purpose of redistricting – and Kansas’ constitution showed Hawaii was unique in its definition of non resident military. The federal government does count the military.

This is important because the greatest concentration of military is on Oahu and the greatest increase in population was on the neighbor islands. If the non resident military were excluded as in the past, Oahu would lose one state senator, and the Big Island would gain one state senator in the Kona area.

The commission’s discussion also focused on whether or not to count Hawaii students living outside the state as well as criminals and the institutionalized population within the state.

The commission could not really begin its work of district by district changes until they settled on these plans.

In the end, the commission’s final vote is more inclusive of all of these groups. The main opponent to counting the military was Democrat Anthony Takitani, and the major supporter for counting the military was retired military officer and state employee Tom Smyth.

The commission, which is headed by retired Hawaii Judge Victoria Marks, will make its plan public in August.

Faulty Cable Lines Prevent Public Safety Department from Alerting Public About Runaway Prisoners

Hawaii Public Safety Deputy Director Joe Booker told reporters yesterday that faulty cable lines, an old fax machine and a disfunctional scanner prevented his department from alerting the media and public about four prison escapees until several hours after they’d escaped from the Waiawa Correctional Facility.

Elijah Keakahumoku, Jordan White, George Thomas and David Carvalho escaped some time after an 11 p.m. bed check on Saturday evening and another check Sunday morning at 1:10 a.m. but reporters were not alerted until 12 hours later at noon on Sunday.

“As you know, Waiawa sits in a very rainy area. We had some problems with our cabling and some of the faxing, some of the wiring because of the rain in Waiawa,” Booker said.

He also said that the department is hoping the governor’s new IT director will help get the problem fixed. He and others from the department explained they cannot simply purchase a new fax machine or scanner – they have to put the purchase out to bid and go through a lengthily process to ensure they follow the state’s procurement process.

“Let us know if anyone has an old fax or printer they want to get rid of,” joked director of Public Safety Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, who also stopped to talk with Hawaii Reporter.

Booker told reporters that the prisoners, who lived in the same housing complex, had planned their escape from the minimum security prison two weeks earlier. All prisoners were captured by Tuesday.

The state and counties spent additional resources on an all out manhunt involving police and sheriffs but Booker is not yet sure of the cost.

The men face second-degree escape charges and as much as 5 years in prison, Booker said.

New Star on ‘Hawaii Five-0’

Tom Sizemore

Tom Sizemore has signed up to play a recurring role in the second season of Hawaii Five-0.

Star of Black Hawk Down Tom Sizemore will be on several upcoming episodes of the Hawaii-based show Hawaii 5-0, Entertainment Weekly reports.

He will play the role of a former homicide detective who now heads an Internal Affairs unit in Hawaii.

Sizemore also has appeared in such films as True Romance, Heat and Saving Private Ryan.

The second season will debut on Mondays in the fall on CBS.

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