Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sharks and What's Wrong with America!!

ACT NOW!!!!!!!!!

America is totally fed up with the legislative process and the recent journey of a pro-active bill in Hawaii that would help save ocean resources in the form of our sharks while banning the trade of shark fins and making finning illegal in the State of Hawaii has hit a snag. This despite what seems to be overwhelming support and virtually no downside to the measure.

Instead of becoming a standard-bearer and environmental leader, Hawaii now personifies just what is wrong with our Democratic process. No telling what special interests are involved here. At this point in the bill's journey, however, something is greatly amiss if the overall good is supplanted.

Please read where the bill stands now and please act.

Friday, April 16

This letter below is from bill supporter Stefanie Brendl who has been fighting the good fight in Hawaii to save our ocean's resources:


Hello everyone,

Unfortunately, I need your help again.

Yes, we made it through the House vote with the shark finning bill, but that was not the end of it.
The bill is now in conference where a final version is being discussed between Representatives of House and Senate.

There is very strong push back from the same House members that tried to kill it in the first place.
If the conference committee can't come to an agreement, the bill dies.
Deadline is next week. We don't have much time.

In the meantime we have addressed the concerns and talked to all opposing groups. Most are now on board with this bill.
However, there is STILL a strong push against the bill from a few members of the House. We are not sure who is influencing them.

But they are willing to go against the overwhelming majority of the public that is in support.
The problem is that they are able to influence a large portion of the House votes, due to their position.
It is hard to understand, and VERY frustrating.

We cannot let this small group of Bullies win!
Why do we bother to have 50 Representatives when one or two guys can abuse their position to keep the rest in check?
Why go through the hassles of committees and hearing and votes when it all comes down to a power play amongst the Representatives?

We have scheduled a press conference for Sunday where we will show the depth of support that we really have. We have invited members of the community to represent the Hawaiian and the Chinese culture, as well as representatives of conservation groups. We will have videos, photos and articles available. Anyone that would like to be there, contact me for info.

We have talked, explained, and negotiated for weeks. Reasonable discussion is obviously not enough!
We need to bring down a storm of letters onto the House Representatives AGAIN, so they will get on with it once and for all. If we can get the majority of the House to see the light, then they will be able to outvote the few stubborn opponents.

But first we have to get this bill out of conference- intact and on time. (by next week Thursday)


Here is how you can help me:

1) Please write a letter in support .... again.
Of course you can use what you wrote before, but keep it short and to the point. (half page or less)

Here are a few points that are important:
-Ask the members of the legislature to please make sure SB2169 will move ahead and become law. Don't let this important opportunity slip away.
-Legislators, please listen to the majority, and not to the interests of a small group that is trying to hold up this ground breaking movement.
-The world is watching. Hawaii can make a difference. Legislators can show great leadership by taking a strong stance... etc

It is important that they realize how many people are watching this effort, here in Hawaii, nationally and internationally. And how much impact this will have.

Address it to:
Hawaii State Legislature
State Capitol Building
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Re: S.B. No. 2169, Relating to Shark Fins

Dear Members of the Hawaii State Legislature,

Make sure you send the statement to me (this email address: before Sunday the 18th.
I will print them out and make sure the media gets them.
I will also make packages to pass on to the governor and other important people that can influence the outcome.

Then send a copy to all the representatives at this address:

If you live in Hawaii you can also call or email your district's representative and tell them that you are one of their constituents and that you would like your voice to be heard.
(find your Reps and Senators HERE)

If you get to this after the 18th, still go ahead, because the meetings will continue next week.

2) If you have time, and feel strongly about this, give these offices a call ASAP. They are the House Representatives on the conference committee that are making things difficult.

Speaker Say is not on the committee, but he is the speaker of the House, and therefore influences all Reps.
Feel free to ask some tough questions and demand answers on why they are hesitating to support this bill. I have included email addresses in case you want to follow up with materials etc.

Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu  ph 808 586-8490    e-mail
Representative Ken Ito:  ph 808 586-8470   e-mail
Representative Angus McKelvey ph  808 586-6160 e-mail
House Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say  ph  808 586-6100   e-mail

Call or email me if you have questions 808 778-6740

Also, do any of you have contacts to any clever investigative reporters that would like to sink their teeth into this?
Despite absolute majority in support of this bill, one guy, Riki Karamatsu, keeps trying to kill this measure.

He did the same thing with other animal cruelty bills (dog fighting, cock fighting, dog tethering). They all had massive public support and they all died in Rep. Karamatsu's committee.
Apparently he only answers to the members of his constituency/district. But in his position as judiciary chairman, he is supposed to consider to the wishes of the whole State (and in this case, the nation).
I just don't see why he should get away with it. Especially when he is planning on running for Ltd. Governor this year.

It's time to bring on the heat! Any advice and input is appreciated.

Thank you for your patience


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