Letters — Hawaii County Clerk and Corporation Council issue Memorandum To Council Members On The Right To Criticize Officials

March 7, 2014 Corp council memorandumAbove  is a copy of a Memorandum, dated March 7, 2014, that  I received today from Hawaii County Corporation Council Lincoln T. Ashida.  The Memorandum has been sent to Hawaii County Council members on citizen free speech rights in testifying before the Council.  This Memorandum is a result of a request made by Councilwoman Karen Eoff to Mr. Ashida on Feb. 20th following my oral testimony (follows) at a Feb. 19th Council meeting where I was interrupted and then later cut off from continuing my testimony in support of Home Rule Resolution 272 and against GMOs. To her credit, Councilwoman Eoff apologized to me the day after the hearing . She said I was right about free speech and civil rights to criticize council people in testimony.  She said she felt bad in cutting me off.   She asked Corp council – Lincoln Ashida, to draft a memo to all the council members on this.  Eoff said It was Ashida who advised her at the break in the Feb. 19th Council meeting that citizens have a right to criticize council members and the council should be careful of free speech and civil rights violations.
In my phone conversation with Councilwoman Eoff I told her I appreciated her apology and said I have no hard feelings toward her. I said I’m glad free speech rights will be clarified but it’s a sad fact that a citizen’s right to criticize council members has to be clarified.  We are suppose to be living in a democracy.  I have never heard a council member object when they are named and praised in council testimony, so why should they object when they are named and criticized?   The main thing is we try to be civil to one another.  We all live on this island together. —

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Emailja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org

My oral Testimony in support of Resolution 272 on Home Rule
9:30 AM Hearing Feb. 19, 2014

Aloha Council members:

I speak as a farmer of 34 years in Kurtistown, where our Malu -Aina farm 
has grown a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables.  Our organization, 
Malu 'Aina, is in strong support of Home Rule 
Resolution 272.  We need to stand up to the agro-chemical corporate 
profiteers and to those in County and State government who are in the 
pockets of these GMO criminal enterprises that want to cut away our 
county voice to protect our own health and safety.  I suppose I should 
not be surprised at how low some people will go to line their own 
pockets at the expense of future generations.  The world is in terrible 
shape with unprecedented toxic pollution, climate change, etc. because
profit and greed have dominated decision making. The precautionary principle 
has not been followed. The precautionary principle states that when you do not
know the full consequences of an action, error on the side of caution.

Madam chairperson, for the GMO supporters and promoters I have a proposal:  
Put your mouth where your money is.  Step forward. Demonstrate your 
corporate loyalty with patriotic vigor.  Volunteer yourself and your 
family members to Monsanto to be genetically engineered.  Why just 
support GMO Monsanto round up ready crops, GMO ringspot resistant 
papaya, etc.


) Volunteer to have these and other 
genetically modified organisms --round up resistant genes fired directly 
into your own DNA.  
And put a new label on yourself. Instead of "Fresh" Onishi, change your 
name to "Round up Ready" Onishi and go down to the county yard at least 
once a week and get sprayed with round up so we the citizens can do a 
health study of you, not us.   But if you really want to show your 
commitment as a Genetically Modified Organism, take the experiment to 
the next level. Brush your teeth with Round Up, wash you clothes with 
it. Shower in it, put it on your breakfast cereal and rice.  Show the 
voters what you are really made of.  For the first pro-GMO politician to 
step forward to become round up ready genetically engineered, I will 
present you with an "M&M --Monsanto & me" T-shirt with your photo 
proudly displayed."

(Cut off)

Madam Chair, I would like to nominate Dennis "Round Up Ready" Onishi as 
the honorary chair of the GMO promoters and present him with this shirt of
Monsanto & Me to wear proudly.  But I do want to say that I believe in redemption,
even for Mr. Onishi.  I believe that people can repent and change their ways, hard
as it may be. But GMO's once released can't be recalled, even when there is 
personal repentance. This is all the more reason for following the precautionary
principle. Support Home Rule.  Ban GMOs.  Mahalo.

Jim Albertini

1 reply
  1. Cheryl King
    Cheryl King says:

    I am very pleased to see that this issue has been clarified. I have noticed one other disturbing trend that I have seen happen with this council that I do not recall happening with others.

    I have seen both testifiers, including myself, and council members told that what they are saying is not germane to the agenda item and that they should stop.
    In other words, they were cut off from saying something that in many cases I thought was pertinent to the discussion

    I totally agree with cutting off someone who pulls a new topic out of the hat to discuss, but I believe the person speaking should have a chance to explain why they think their comments are appropriate before they are so rudely cut off.

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