Monthly Archives: April 2004

Rep. Karamatsu’s House Floor Speech On His Niihau Shell Products Bill, H.B. 2569


House Floor Speech
Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
on
H.B. 2569
Relating to Niihau Shell Products
Thursday, April 29, 2004
6:30 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

H.B. 2569 prohibits items made of seashells from being labeled “Niihau” if not 100% made of Niihau shells and made within the State. As we are moving ahead in strengthening and diversifying our economy, we must include our native Hawaiians to be a part of this historical movement. This bill takes a small step towards that direction.

Specifically, H.B. 2569 would protect the Native Hawaiian Niihau shell product businesses on Niihau from other businesses using the term “Niihau” on their products when in fact their products (1) do not comprise of seashells harvested from the island of Niihau, its waters, or beaches; and (2) are not fabricated, processed, or manufactured entirely within the State. In addition, this bill allows labeling that indicates the percentage of Niihau shell content if the item contains at least 80% Niihau shells and is made entirely in the State.

The Native Hawaiian Niihau shell product businesses on Niihau are known for their craftsmanship and selection of pristine shells from their island. The policy behind this measure is to protect Hawaii businesses, especially native Hawaiian businesses from being taken advantage of by businesses fraudulently using the term “Niihau” for their products. After all, customers pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for Niihau shell products. Hawaiian cultural products are becoming more and more popular in the global economy as Hawaii in itself is a brand name. Besides retail businesses, with e-commerce businesses on the Internet, the potential for abuse is even greater.

Therefore, I created H.B. 2569 to help protect our Hawaii businesses, especially those owned by our Native Hawaiian brothers and sisters. Thank you.

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House Floor Speech On My Niihau Shell Products Bill, H.B. 2569


House Floor Speech
Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
on
H.B. 2569
Relating to Niihau Shell Products
Thursday, April 29, 2004
6:30 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

H.B. 2569 prohibits items made of seashells from being labeled “Niihau” if not 100% made of Niihau shells and made within the State. As we are moving ahead in strengthening and diversifying our economy, we must include our native Hawaiians to be a part of this historical movement. This bill takes a small step towards that direction.

Specifically, H.B. 2569 would protect the Native Hawaiian Niihau shell product businesses on Niihau from other businesses using the term “Niihau” on their products when in fact their products (1) do not comprise of seashells harvested from the island of Niihau, its waters, or beaches; and (2) are not fabricated, processed, or manufactured entirely within the State. In addition, this bill allows labeling that indicates the percentage of Niihau shell content if the item contains at least 80% Niihau shells and is made entirely in the State.

The Native Hawaiian Niihau shell product businesses on Niihau are known for their craftsmanship and selection of pristine shells from their island. The policy behind this measure is to protect Hawaii businesses, especially native Hawaiian businesses from being taken advantage of by businesses fraudulently using the term “Niihau” for their products. After all, customers pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for Niihau shell products. Hawaiian cultural products are becoming more and more popular in the global economy as Hawaii in itself is a brand name. Besides retail businesses, with e-commerce businesses on the Internet, the potential for abuse is even greater. Therefore, I created H.B. 2569 to help protect our Hawaii businesses, especially those owned by our Native Hawaiian brothers and sisters. Thank you.

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Floor Remarks Inserted into the Journal on House Concurrent Resolution 127, House Draft 1


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Floor Remarks Inserted into the Journal
April 16, 2004
49th Day
House Concurrent Resolution 127, House Draft 1
Requesting the Department of Accounting and General Services to Conduct a Study on the Cost of Maintaining Aloha Stadium

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

The Aloha Stadium (Stadium) in Halawa was built in 1975 and has served the general public for twenty-nine years. The repair and maintenance of the Stadium addressed various problems, including concerns with the corten steel used in the initial construction of the Stadium. That problem was addressed during a major overhaul of the Stadium from 1989 to 1995 that cost the State approximately $88,000,000. There is an anticipated maintenance cost concerning the replacement of all of the Stadium seats at a cost of approximately $17,500,000 over a three-year period. In addition, the Stadium parking lot is also in need of repair and is expected to cost the State approximately $6,000,000. I introduced this measure to find out what it will cost to maintain the Stadium with the intention of introducing another resolution in 2005 requesting the Department of Accounting and General Services to conduct a study on the cost of building a new stadium, and to have the department do a comparison between the two studies.

Thank you.

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Floor Remarks Inserted into the Journal on House Bill 1800 Relating to the State Budget


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Floor Remarks Inserted into the Journal
April 13, 2004
47th Day
House Bill 1800, House Draft 1, Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1
Relating to the State Budget

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

As a member on the House Finance Committee, I am proud to have taken part in the final passage of the State budget bill. This budget provides for the priorities of the people of Hawaii while maintaining fiscal discipline. The legislature has allocated the limited available resources of the State to meet its most critical needs, namely the reinvention of our education system, ice use abatement, and affordable prescription drugs. The appropriation contained in the State budget is a thoughtful spending plan that reflects a balanced approach to addressing the important priorities of our communities without any tax increases.

Thank you.

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Floor Remarks Inserted in the Journal on H.R. 186 & H.C.R. 258


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Floor Remarks Inserted in the Journal
April 13, 2004
47th Day
House Resolution 186 and House Concurrent Resolution 258
Urging the United States Congress to Support the Passage of S. 68, Relating to Improving Benefits for Filipino Veterans of World War II

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

I want to express my support of House Resolution 186 and House Concurrent Resolution 258, which urges the United States Congress to pass S. 68 to improve benefits for certain Filipino veterans of World War II. The Rescission Act of 1946 withdrew the U.S. veteran's status of Filipino World War II soldiers, thereby denying them the benefits and compensation received by their American counterparts and soldiers of more than sixty-six other U.S. allied countries, which were similarly inducted into the U.S. military. The passage of S. 68 would extend full and equitable benefits, particularly health benefits, to Filipino veterans.

Thank you.

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Floor Remarks Inserted Into the Journal for H.R. 181 & H.C.R. 250


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Floor Remarks Inserted in the Journal
April 13, 2004
47th Day
House Resolution 181 and House Concurrent Resolution 250
Requesting the President of the United States and the United States Congress to Support H.R. 677 Extending Veterans' Benefits to Filipino Veterans

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

I want to express my support of House Resolution 181 and House Concurrent Resolution 250, which urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to pass House Resolution 677 (H.R. 677). H.R. 677 would deem certain service in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts to have been active service for purposes of benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs for qualified Filipino veterans. The resolution recognizes the courage and loyalty of the Filipino troops who fought along side our armed forces in the Philippines during World War II. Thus, H.R. 677 would make health benefits available to more of these qualified Filipino veterans.

Thank you.

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Parents Must Support Their Children in Their Education


In order for education reform to succeed, parental support is necessary. We must make sure our children are studying, turning in their homework, and behaving well. I attended public school from Pearl City Highlands Elementary School until graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

I was able to achieve my education because of my parents. As a baby, my mom who is a public school teacher would read to me until I began reading on my own. From three years old, my mom had my sisters and I complete workbooks and reading books by giving us pennies for each page completed.

When times are bad, my mom always tells me to look at a half a glass of water as half full, rather than half empty. Basically, make the most of what you got in your situation.

My dad was very strict, like “samurai.” I often got scoldings for my grades in math, my weakest subject matter. I guess that is why my dad is an electrical engineer and I became an attorney, businessman, and politician. Although I dreaded the anger in my dad’s voice, I appreciate it today. It prepared me to be calm and strong when I talk to someone who is angry or frustrated.

My dad always tells me to don’t blame others for my problems, but it is up to me to better the situation. That lesson taught me accountability, rather than blaming on others.

It is because of my mom and dad that I try to make the most of life. I am very fortunate to have great parents. I love them.

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