Monthly Archives: May 2009

Waikele Community Traffic Awareness Project


On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, I participated in the Waikele Community Traffic Awareness Project with residents of the the Waikele Community Association and the Honlulu Police Department sign waving on Lumiauau Street between Waikele Classics and Waikele Highland View Estates to remind people to drive carefully in this residential area.

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2009 Lantern Floating


On Monday, May 25, 2009, I attended Shinnyo-en’s 10th Anniversary Lantern Floating held at Ala Moana Park from 4:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.  The V.I.P. reception was from 4:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M.  We were seated at 5:30 P.M. and the event was from 6:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.This was my second time attending.  I attended the 2008 Lantern Floating.   

The theme was called, “Many Rivers One Ocean,” honoring the legacy of ouor loved ones and ancestors.  Shinnyo-en message: “The light kindled in each lantern reminds us that we can share with others the same love and we have for our loved ones.  All people who embrace diverse cultures, traditions, and thoughts can come together, and our uniqueness can be highlighted with mutual understanding and respect.  This is the great ocean of harmony that leads us to lasting peace.”

The order of ceremony: Shinnyo Taiko Ensemble; German trumpet soloist Matthias Hofs, Christina Souza and friends (choir), Guest Performance Lanterns Entrance (There were 6 parent lanterns and thousands of small lanterns.  Paren lanterns include Hawaii Lantern and World Peace Lantern); Oli and Hula by Halau Hula Olana and Kumu Hula Olana Ai; Address by Shinnyo-en Priset; Onjiki or food and drink ritual offering spiritual nourishment to the souls; Shomyo Choir (A fusion of Buddhist chant and Western choral harmony, Floating of Lanterns; Sange (Tossing of flowers); and everyone singing “Hawaii Aloha”.

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Zen & Sake: A Fundraiser to Benefit Daihonzan Chozen-Ji International Zen Dojo


I attended Zen & Sake: A Fundraiser to Benefit Daihonzan Chozen-Ji International Zen Dojo on Friday, May 22, 2009 from 6:00 P.M. at Miyako Restaurant, 2nd Floor of New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.  The food was very delicious with sake pairings to each dish.  I met many business persons I be-friended over the years.  Every dish and sake was announced by a different person and each person had to create a haiku poem and state it to the guests.  Unexpectedly, I was asked to make a haiku for the dessert dish, which was zensai with vanilla ice cream, mochi, and a couple of pieces of mango. 

I stated, “Since everyone in this room is full of peace and love.  For the dessert, I decided to go deep into your souls.  My haiku goes like this:

Stars sparkling up high

I see her smiling to me

Love and peace within  

The person could be someone from the past, present, or future.  And the person could be your family, friend, or lover.  Thank you.”

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H.B. No. 128, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, C.D. 1: Relating to Elections


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Journal Written Remarks

May 5, 2009 – Day 61

H.B. No. 128, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, C.D. 1

Relating to Elections

I rise in support of House bill 128, House Draft 1, Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1, relating to elections.

The purpose of this bill is to update, organize, and clarify, as well as make minor substantive amendments to, current campaign finance laws.   We did not not revise current substantive law regarding contribution limits to candidate committees or noncandidate committees; the language in this measure is identical to that currently codified in HRS 11-204(a) and 11-204(b).  We did not consider it prudent to address new or clarified limitations on such contributions at this time due to pending appellate judicial review of Charmaine Tavares Campaign v. Barbara U. Wong by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, which struck down that section of the law.  It should be noted that a number of lawmakers agreed to the decision by the Second Circuit Court that struck down contribution limitations to noncandidate committees because it discriminated corporations from individuals and other entities in participating in the political process.

This bill made some substantive changes to current law such as restricting the limitation on contributions by contractors with the State to contributions by non-bid contractors only.  It also allows for pro-rata attribution of contributions by partnerships and limited liability companies considered as partnerships by the Internal Revenue Service among the partners or members.  Further, the limit on contributions by non-residents was increased from 20 percent to 30 percent of the total contribution received by a candidate or candidate committee for each election period (A number of lawmakers believe that this will be struck down by the courts because it is discriminating non-residents from residents in political participation).  Finally, this bill provided that campaign funds to be used for donations to public schools or public libraries are subject to limitations similar to those for donations to community service or educational organizations already allowed under current law.  Thank you.

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H.B. No. 300, H.D. 1, S.D. 2, C.D. 1: Relating to the Judiciary


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Journal Written Remarks

May 5, 2009 – Day 61

Conf. Comm. Rep. No. 166

H.B. No. 300, H.D. 1, S.D. 2, C.D. 1

Relating to the Judiciary

When the House passed the Judiciary budget to the Senate, the House reduced the budget by $28,065,985 in the first fiscal year (2009-2010) and $28,065,985 in the second fiscal year (2010-2011).  The proposed Judiciary Budget by the House was $124,232,511 in the first fiscal year (2009-2010) and $124,232,511 in the second fiscal year (2010-2011).  The House also eliminated 114 vacancy positions.

In contrast, the Senate draft reduced the Judiciary budget by $8,408,626 in the first fiscal year (2009-2010) and $8,408,626 in the second fiscal year (2010-2011).  The proposed Judiciary budget by the Senate was $143,889,870 in the first fiscal year (2009-2010) and $143,889,870 in the second fiscal year (2010-2011).  The Senate did not eliminate any vacancy positions.

 In conference, after negotiations between the House and the Senate, we agreed to reduce the Judiciary budget by $11,000,000 and eliminated 79 vacancy positions.  As a result, the Judiciary budget has become $141,298,496 in the first fiscal year (2009-2010) and $141,298,496 in the second fiscal year (2010-2011).  We restored all the initial cuts to the purchase of service agreements, which funded many of our important non-profit corporation legal services.  The capital improvement projects for the Judiciary budget included: $230,000 for plans and design for a new administrative services office building for the Kapolei Judiciary Complex; $3,995,000 for design and construction for upgrade and modernization of the elevators at Kauikeaouli Hale on Oahu; $550,000 for plans and land acquisition for a new Judiciary Complex for Kona; and $5,000,000 for plans, design, construction, and equipment for the remodeling and upgrading of Judiciary buildings statewide for fiscal biennium 2009-2011.  Thank you.

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H.B. No. 1378, H.D. 2, S.D. 2, C.D. 1: Relating to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

Final Reading

May 5, 2009 (59th Day)

Written Remarks

Conf. Comm. Rep. No. 129

H.B. No. 1378, H.D. 2, S.D. 2, C.D. 1

Relating to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses 

          Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition of House Bill 1378, House Draft 2, Senate Draft 2, Conference Draft 1.

          This bill would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to open clinics as primary care providers and expand their medical authority without any physician oversight.  Under joint and several liability, physicians will face greater liability costs.  Earlier this legislative session, we had a number of bills aimed at reducing liability  costs for Hawaii’s physicians by adjusting our tort laws, creating incentives to reduce liability insurance costs, and forming a task force to implement a statewide health information technology system to reduce errors and omissions, all of which had a great discussion, but are not before us today.  I oppose this measure because it will take us in the opposite direction by increasing the liability costs for our physicians.  Thank you.

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H.B. No. 1316, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, C.D. 1: Relating to Torts


Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Journal Written Remarks

May 5, 2009 – Day 59

Conf. Comm. Rep. No. 34

H.B. No. 1316, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, C.D. 1

Relating to Torts

I rise in support of House Bill 1316, House Draft 2, Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1.

This bill helps to address the concerns of Hawaii’s design professional companies (professional engineer, architect, surveyor, or landscape architect licensed under chapter 464) in regards to joint and several liability.  In any case involving tort claims relating to the design, construction, and maintenance of highways, where a design professional is determined to be a joint tortfeasor along with one or more other joint tortfeasors, and the degree of negligence of the design professional is ten per cent or less, including the vicarious liability of the design professional for the negligent acts or omissions of the officers and employees of the design professional, the liability of the design professional for more than the design professional’s pro rata share of negligence shall not exceed the available policy limits of the design professional’s professional liability coverage; provided that one of the following applies:

(1)  The contract amount for design professional services relating to the tort claim is $500,000 or less and the design professional is covered for the claim by a professional liability insurance policy with limits of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $1,000,000 in the aggregate; or

(2)  The contract amount for design professional services relating to the tort claim is $1,000,000 or less and the design professional is covered for the claim by a professional liability insurance policy with limits of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate.

This section of the law shall not apply to any design professional with a gross annual revenue of $10,000,000 or more during any of the three calendar years immediately preceding the effective date of the contract for design professional services relating to the tort claim.  Information produced pursuant to this section relating to gross revenue shall be confidential and used only for purposes of this section unless otherwise ordered by the court.  Thank you.

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