For my family and friends ™ (haolegirl) wrote,
For my family and friends ™

Protesting in Hawai'i: S.B. No. 1551, Hawai'i

* I am biased when it comes to civil disobedience. In this case it comes in the form of a letter to the editor of the Honolulu StarBulletin. Haole or Hawaiian... I love it when people protest. On the other hand some people feel guilty when others protest which is understandable but instead of thinking about how these protestors may be trying to make the world a better place to live in... they only think about themselves. Boo hoo hoo. Anyway here is the letter:

Access to information must be unfettered

"Freedom of information rights don't mean much if the law can't be enforced. Or if high fees for public records block access. But it's happened in Hawaii. The state Office of Information Practices issued an opinion that Mayor Harris' vision teams must follow the sunshine law. But when the mayor disagreed, OIP was blocked from enforcing the law, though they administer it.

When Environment Hawaii was researching a media story on state plans for an irradiation facility, the Department of Agriculture required a $4,200 up-front payment before releasing the documents. That's too much to pay even for the news media, much less a citizen.

It was only after OIP got involved that the department lowered the access fee to $190. To their credit, this was done voluntarily. But we shouldn't have to rely on voluntary actions to lower exorbitant fees.

Fortunately, there's a bill still alive at the Legislature to fix these problems and uphold the public's right to know. But the House Judiciary Committee must approve the bill by tomorrow's legislative deadline.

Please call Judiciary Committee chairwoman Rep. Sylvia Luke to request a public hearing for SB1551."

Peter Bower
President, Citizen Voice

Robin Loomis
President, Hawaii Pro-Democracy Initiative

Beverly Keever
Chairwoman, Right To Know Committee

Jean Aoki
Chairwoman, League of Women Voters Legislative

Tags: letters to the editor

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