On Friday, December 28, 2007, I resigned from my position as Vice Speaker of the House because I felt badly about my mistake in my DUI incident and out of respect to the institution (House of Representatives).
Monthly Archives: December 2007
I spent the whole day helping to make mochi at Jodo Mission of Hawaii. We used machines to make the mochi, but we did two batches the old fasioned way by pounding the rice with a mallet in a carved out stone. It was my first time ever to pound mochi.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As you may know, I made a serious error in judgment by driving under the influence of alcohol this past October, for which I am taking full responsibility and am cooperating with the courts. I was extremely fortunate not to have caused any harm to anyone. I am deeply grateful that I now have the opportunity to learn from my mistake and better myself.
I appreciate those of you who expressed your concern for my well being and those of you who shared with me your disappointment. I look forward to every day of life. On the back of this brochure, I have listed some of my 2008 goals for our community and state. I will continue to do my best. I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
41st District: Waikele, Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu
Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu's 2008 Goals for District 41 and Hawaii
I plan to provide support for:
Waikele Elementary School
Honowai Elementary School
Kaleiopu'u Elementary School
Waipahu Intermediate School
Waipahu High School
Waipahu State Library
Waipahu and Leeward Non-profit organizations
Technology, Renewable Energy, and Environmental Industries
· Establish the Hawaii Innovations Partnership Corporation to provide research and development grants and to invest in enterprises in advanced technology, life sciences, and renewable energy fields.
· Create a concentrated solar power tax credit.
· Start a fuel cell tax credit.
· Establish a tax credit for the development of environmentally-friendly green technology facilities.
· Provide a General Excise Tax (GET) Exemption for green facilities or buildings in conformance with the United States Green Building Council's leadership in energy and environmental design green building rating system.
· Appropriate funds and authorize the Agribusiness Development Corporation to purchase agricultural land in Kunia to be leased to farmers.
· Establish linked investments invested by the state to provide loan funds for agriculture.
· Create an Agricultural Protection Zone placed around tax map keys of real property on agriculture zoned land grossing at least $1,000,000 in revenue from the sale of agricultural produce, products, and services.
· Exempt from the workers' compensation law, owners of businesses holding at least 50% interest in their company.
· Create a small business exporter refundable income tax credit.
· Support small business loans.
· Require the Department of Education to establish the Academy of Hawaii for gifted and talented students to develop the potential of students who have demonstrated superior achievement or possess the potential for superior achievement through the provision of appropriate educational opportunities.
· Appropriate funds into the Hawaii 3Ts school technology laboratories fund for the economic development alliance of Hawaii to expand project EAST programs (technology education) to public schools.
· Set up mass transit economic zones near mass transit stations on Oahu where tax credits are available for qualified businesses, including new construction of housing.
· Establish a mass transit economic zone task force.
· Provide an income tax deduction for an employer who reimburses the employer's employees for the cost of public transportation incurred by the employees for transportation to and from work.
· Use global positioning system (GPS) devices on convicted first degree sexual assault offenders who are violent and repeat offenders.
· Start a sexual violence prevention curriculum in public schools
· Appropriate funds to help the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii operate and expand its services and educational programs.
· Establish laws relating to harassment and stalking on the Internet.
· Create a criminal impersonation statute to protect people from physical harm.
· Establish a pilot project in the Department of Transportation to develop and evaluate a program for the acquisition, placement, operation, and maintenance of video surveillance cameras for the purpose of deterring graffiti on state highway signs and of prosecuting offenders.
Peace and International Relations
· Create one full-time international liaison position for the legislature and executive branch within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism's Office of International Affairs.
· Appropriate funds to the Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism's Office of International Affairs for the purpose of planning and implementing peace missions to other nations. The peace mission delegation may have representation from government, business, and community from Hawaii to provide goodwill, culture, and charitable donations so long as it does not violate any United States treaties or international policies.
· Support Peace Day Hawaii events held every September 21st.
I attended our monthly Jodo Mission of Hawaii board of directors meeting where I serve as Vice President. It was our last meeting of the year.
Yesterday, I brought my mom to the Painters’ Union’s Christmas party held during lunchtime at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballroom. The performance by Willie K. was really good. I enjoyed seeing all the families enjoy themselves.
Last night I enjoyed hanging out with my friend and her psychiatric residents she is chief resident over. She is a great person and has a very good heart.
In my 32 years of life, I have met so many nice people. Sure, most of my friends are professionals in business, law, and politics. However, I am fortunate to have made friends from all walks of life.
I have a lot of friends who work in various trades and labor. When I was seventeen years old, my first job was working in the warehouse for Duty Free Shoppers Hawaii. I appreciate all the work they do to make Hawaii and our country better. Without their dedication, our state and country would collapse.
I have reached out to people who got in trouble with the law. I am a strong believer that people can better themselves. I tried to help a friend who got in trouble with selling drugs. I made speeches to students at various schools about the dangers of drugs. Earlier this year, I met a person who changed his life around at a fundraiser dinner for a non-profit organization. When I got in trouble with my driving under the influence incident, he emailed me about how he remembered my conversation with him, and he sent me his encouraging words. I was sincerely touched by this.
I have tried my best in my personal promise to myself to make a difference on behalf of the girls and women who have entrusted me with their stories of rape and domestic abuse.
I have met women in various industries and sometimes they get mistreated. I try to see the good in all people.
I have enjoyed making friends in acting, film directing and producing, photography, art, creative writing, and music. Artists help us get by in the real world. I love to dream big dreams. The art world helps me to bring out my creativity.
I have met people struggling and I have met people who are finacially secure. I have learned from them all.
In a summary, we are all in this world together. We are interconnected and need to help each other and learn from each other. Dream and strive for all your goals. There is no such thing as failure. You gain skills and knowledge in every so called “failure.” Therefore, let's go all out in all our goals, helping others, and seeking happiness.
Today, I enjoyed attending the Carpenters Union's Christmas party. There was a lot of people and great food. The carpenters are doing a great job in building our homes and buildings.
A handful of us in the Hawaii State Legislature, including House Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa attended a meeting with Democratic National Party Chairman, Governor Howard Dean. We discussed all types of issues relating to our party. It was nice to meet Governor Dean in person.
On Thursday, December 13, 2007, I had meetings with members of the agriculture industries and renewable industries.
In regards to agriculture, I am supporting research to make our agriculture produce competitive in the global market. Research helps produce have a longer shelf life, get protected from diseases, and have better taste. I am also working on Kunia land banking legislation Governor Lingle vetoed.
I am working on legislation to help expand concentrated solar power energy in Hawaii. Sopogy, Inc. is on its way in building a solar farm at NELHA in Kona, Hawaii with the help of the law I supported that floated $10 million in special purpose revenue bonds for them.
On Wednesday, December 12, 2007, I attended the Hawaii Plantation Village's Christmas Party with my mom as my guest. In the past I have supported state grant to this important non-profit organization because they preserve and showcase Hawaii plantation lifestyle, an era of many of of Hawaii's first generation immigrants in the late 1800s.
At the Christmas party, many of the attendees lived on the plantation and volunteer for the organization. Many sang songs, played the ukulele, and made ethnic jokes. The attendees were diverse made up of Japanese, Chinese, Caucasion, Portuguese, Hawaiian, Filipino, and Puerto Rican. I am so proud to live in a plae where we share each other's cultures, religions, and traditions.
Several years ago, in an earlier entry in this journal, I mentioned how I felt I was racing against time. On October 16, 2007, I thought I was going to die. In fact when I opened my eyes, I thought I was dead for awhile. I consider that event my third brush with death.
I am determined to do all I can in my short life with you. I want to live a full and happy life, and I will do my best for others. I have so much more work to accomplish and so much more fun to experience. My time with my family and friends are very precious.
From December 6 to December 10, I was in Tokyo, Japan attending services at Shinnyo-en’s main temple, which is located in Tachikawa. On December 8, Shinnyo-en invited Buddhist monks and a peace organization from China in hopes of maintaining a peaceful relationship between Japan and China.
I participated in sesshin (meditation) and received some guidance. I prayed to my ancestors and teachers. I prayed to the living and dead who are sufferring, even to those who are considered evil so they can find peace. I also prayed to the spirits of the animals, many of which we eat.
I was impressed with the temples and the many displays of various Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. I poured water on a statue of Jizo and prayed to him. He is a Boddhisattva whose spirit travels to the lower six realms to help spirits suffering there. He postponed Buddhahood and the opportunity to go to higher realms in order to help others who are suffering. Very honorable.
Shinnyo-en and Buddhists are seeking world peace, something I want to play a small role in to lay the foundation so that my children’s children’s generation will achieve balance between good and evil, which is a challenge within each and every soul. I dream that balance will be achieved within two generations from mine.
Congratulations to the University of Hawaii Football Team for an undefeated season at 12 wins and 0 losses! Now, hopefully, we will be in a BCS bowl game!
It doesn’t matter what happens after you die. What is important is how you lived.
A couple of weeks after my DUI in I believe late October, former Rep. David Hagino called and set up a meeting at former Sen. Nadao “Najo” Yoshinaga’s elderly apartment complex. Rep. Hagino and Sen. Yoshinaga’s words re-inspired me. I consider my talk with them a huge turning point. I am back to my normal determination level, but I am a lot more focused. I have been working like crazy on my legislation, campaign, business, and personal goals often until early in the morning and then getting up the next day and attending all my meetings and events. In addition, I have been lifting weights and running at least four times a week.
I always had a spiritual side in me, but recently, I have studied myself deeper. Through Peace Day, I met Buddhist leaders who helped me to look within myself even more. I am doing my best to have more compassion and understand my existence in the world of the living.
I am excited for the future. I am looking forward to my work in the public sector and private sector.
The dream I recently had reminded me of another dream I had several years ago. I was a soldier in a war. I was proceeding in the middle of the night in a forest with my radio soldier near me. I saw flashes of light everywhere and heard non-stop loud blasts from guns and artillery. I could hear men screaming everywhere. I know I had my soldiers in a diamond formation. I wanted to communicate with my men, but when I turned to my radio man, he was no longer with me. I heard screaming in front of me and shadows. I yelled out. Guns were fired and I fell back. I looked down and saw blood on my body from all the bullets that penetrated me. The guys charging towards me were my own men in a panic.
This morning I woke up after having a crazy dream. In the dream, I was with a delegation of what I believe were politicians and businessmen to a foreign location. We were in a big city where there were many large buildings and the time period seemed to be in the future because everything seemed a little more modern. We were at some clean and modern restaurants in the large buildings. I remember entering a restroom and one of the toilets was overflowing. Weird.
In another part of my dream, I was in a war. People were dying everywhere. I saw guys get shot in front of me. I believe I was in an all Japanese American military unit. I remember in one scene, many of us were captured as prisoners. There were many young men and boys all dressed in prisoner clothes that reminded me of the undergarb of the samurai uniform. Some of the boys looked like they were of elementary school age. Everyone was sitting Japanese style and looked very stoic with no emotion. In front of every boy and man were three metal rods. Two of the rods had a very sharp pointed tip. I couldn't figure what they were for? When the time came, a boy would carry the sharp metal rods and walk off. My cousin D and I walked to the area where we were supposed to go. D went first. There was a wall dividing us. I heard him say that there is so much blood. I heard painful noises and some crying. After it was done, a Caucasion man came out with a bloodied meat cutting scissors. He said something to me and sounded as if he didn't like what he was doing. It was now my turn. Apparently, the two sharp metal rods were stabbed into all the boys' and men's backs by the shoulder blades and torn downwards. The scissors are used to cut the boys and men up further. As prisoners of war, we were going through an immensely painful slow death.
I don't know why, but the first thing that came to my mind when I woke up was that I was afraid of my goals for peace. I fear something bad could happen if I pursue this further.