Hawaii House Panel to Review Cost, Impact, Obligation to Micronesian Migrants

The House Committee on Human Resources assembled an informational briefing today to discuss issues relating to impact of Micronesians migrating here to Hawaii without restrictions.

That includes the fact that Hawaii does not have enough funding from the federal government to cover Micronesians’ medical, social services and other costs now incurred by the state.

The cost to the state is around $110 million and though it is a federal obligation, the federal government pays Hawaii back just a fraction of that, somewhere around $11 million. Guam is in a similar situation.

Retired University of Hawaii Professor Beverly Keever wrote a book on the subject and has submitted testimony for today’s hearing suggesting the House consider six findings revealed in her book, News Zero: The New York Times and the Bomb.

In this award -winning book, Keever researched the “U.S. Pacific nuclear weapons tests, based on the reporting of the then-renowned newspaper-of-record, the release of declassified government documents and the writings of scholars in many disciplines over decades.”

Keever suggests said Hawaii officials should use November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference to remind President Obama and Hawaii’s Congressional delegation to fulfill federal obligations to Micronesians.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle and current Gov. Neil Abercrombie as well as former Congressman Charles Djou have cited this as a financial burden that the state cannot afford at this time and should be reimbursed for.

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye also is looking into the problem, he said.

Keever adds: “The House Committee meeting could well serve to make the federal government and Americans generally more aware of the sacrifices of Micronesians and to insist that those sacrifices be adequately funded.”

We’ll have more on this hearing later today.

Hawaii Man Sentenced for Sending Obscene Material to 14 Year Old Australian Girl, Parents Warned

A 22-year-old man who sent obscene material to an underage girl in Australia will spend nine months in federal prison and the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.

Kyle K. Saito “admitted in court that he engaged in sexually explicit communications with a 14 year-old girl over the Internet and used a webcam to broadcast live images of his genitalia to the girl,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Australian authorities and was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Amy Olson.
U.S. District Judge sentenced Saito today.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said, “Parents should keep an eye on the people their kids communicate with on the internet.  There is a world of creeps out there.”

Maui Resident is Recipient of Cutting Edge Heart Procedure – in Phoenix

There is some good news for Maui artist Leslie Granat.

She is one of the first patients in the nation to successfully undergo a cutting-edge procedure that involves freezing part of the heart.

That procedure, which she had done at Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, can cure a potentially life-threatening cardiac rhythm disorder.

Granat, who is 68, suffered for two years from an irregular heartbeat – a condition that affects nearly 3 million Americans.

She tried to get help in the islands, but there is no such treatment in Hawaii.

Steve Jobs: His Genius Will Be Missed

Steve Jobs

And finally, a personal note about Apple founder Steve Jobs.

As many media reports have noted, Jobs changed the world in so many positive ways and is one of the most innovative people of our time. They compare him to such American innovators as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Part of Jobs’ genius is he made technology friendly and easy to use. My niece, who is 2 years old, and my nephew, who is 4, already know how to use an i-Phone, i-Pad and I-Mac (yes I admit, probably better than me.)

Hawaii Reporter has been powered for 10 years on Apple products – we do everything from film interviews, record radio podcasts, take photos, write notes and use the Internet to present the news just on the i-Phone.

His genius will be missed and look forward to the book on his life to be released October 24.

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards. Hawaii Reporter has a weekly television news show, News Behind the News, which airs on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.