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Hawaii CPS News Archive
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Hawaii News Coverage
Pesticide Ban To Be Considered In Hawaii County
HILO, Hawaii - The Hawaii County Council will consider a bill next week that will ban certain pesticides from being sprayed on government grounds.
Bill 71, introduced by Kohala councilwoman Margaret Wille, "prohibits toxic herbicides in all County owned or maintained public parks and along all County owned or maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, and waterways." The Council Committee on Environmental Management will hold a hearing on the bill during its 2:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, August 4th in Hilo.
August 1, 2015
Why the People of Hawaii Can't Say 'No' to GMOs
The invalidation of Kauai's GMO and pesticide law shows how corporations can trump environmental and public health protections by overriding local authorities.
A federal court recently ruled that Kauai County's right-to-know law dealing with genetically modified organisms and pesticides is unenforceable. The court determined that state law preempts the county's local law.
September 21, 2014
More Cat Vaccination Days Planned Due to Virus
Clinics are scheduled for the first three Saturdays of July - July 5, 12 and 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Maui Humane Society says it will be be holding vaccine clinics for the general public in response to an outbreak of feline panleukopenia diagnosed in upcountry Maui.
June 26, 2014
Hawaii Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on case involving the due process rights of indigent parents in child welfare proceedings
In a case to be heard on Thursday, December 5, a group of public service law organizations wants the Hawai'i Supreme Court to establish a uniform policy that would guarantee legal assistance for all indigent parents in abuse and neglect proceedings.
Currently, access to court-appointed legal counsel for such cases in Hawaii is determined on a case-by-case basis by court officials, even when the parents are underage. This means that an indigent and underage parent may have to navigate the judicial process without an advocate. This is contrary to the practice in nearly all other states, where counsel is appointed for all indigent parents regardless of age.
December 5, 2013
Preschool threatens to dismiss worker for lunch food choice
HONOLULU - When Carissa Lee O'Connell's husband Rick began preparing organic home lunches for his wife four months ago, the goal was to improve her severe nasal allergies.
In April, Lee O'Connell was verbally warned by the preschool to stop eating home lunches in plain view of kids. But last week, the verbal warning was put to paper, stating that if O'Connell continued to defy school administrators, she would be summarily fired.
May 15, 2013
Hawaii Fight Over GMO Labeling Turns Ugly
Environmental activist Jessica Mitchell is upset with state Sen. Clarence Nishihara for not hearing House Bill 174, which would impose labels on imported genetically engineered food.
If the food is not labeled, Hawaii would not permit its sale or distribution here. HB 174 passed the House, but Nishihara, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, won't hold a hearing on his side of the Capitol. Exasperated, on March 12 Mitchell vented her frustration in a voicemail on Nishihara's office answering machine. She called the senator a "pro-biotech lover" for not hearing HB 174, adding that "the people want this bill to be heard."
March 20, 2013
Hawaii Preschool Plan in Crunch as Advocates Vow to Restore Funding
Gov. Neil Abercrombie's three early education proposals are sailing through the Legislature, but the money he originally proposed to pay for the initiative's first phase - the School Readiness program - got scrapped by the state House last week.
Now, supporters are pinning their hopes on the Senate finance committee, which is expected to take up the budget bill Tuesday, to restore the funding. On Monday, advocates gathered at the state Capitol for an informational briefing to update the public on the early education bills and encourage supporters to testify on the budget bill Tuesday.
March 20, 2013
Legislature Should Require GMO Food Labeling
Just as the Hawaii Constitution proudly enshrouds, our state motto boldly declares: "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono." The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, and we reserve our sovereign right to control our destiny...
These are words that unite all of the people of Hawaii and that could only be born in conquest. They are not hollow. They are a credo for how we aspire to live free. And, they drive to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, which encompasses a system of federalism, wherein the States reserve most powers, with just few granted to the federal government. Hawaii House Bill 174, now pending before the Senate, speaks directly to this fundamental proposition. Requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled is an exercise of our right as the people of this State and our reserved State power to empower all of the people of Hawaii to make informed decisions about what we buy and what we consume to protect our land and our families.
March 20, 2013
Support bills requiring the labeling of GMO foods
Time to speak up for labeling of genetically engineered foods, also known as GE or GMO foods. Hawaii House and Senate bills HB174 and SB615 are in process.
Seventy to 80 percent of our U.S. food supply has genetically engineered ingredients without public knowledge of their accumulative effects. Precaution and labeling are needed. Twenty-nine countries ban growing GMOs or putting them in food, and 61 countries restrict or label them. They know what we as a public do not.
February 26, 2013
Medford Lakes man's adoption story takes strange turn
Residents Steve and Pat Carter's life took a very sharp turn recently when their son, adopted 32 years ago, found himself on a missing children's website.
While stationed with the Army in Hawaii the Carters sought to adopt a child and met the 3 1/2-year-old, fair-haired boy. "For Pat and me, it was love at first sight," Steve said. "The social worker told us that the boy had been in foster care for three years, ever since his mother, Jane Amea, was arrested in Honolulu in June 1977."
June 28, 2012
Safeway drops sandwich theft charges
HONOLULU - The Safeway supermarket chain is declining to press charges against a Honolulu couple whose arrests over stolen sandwiches led state workers to take their 2-year-old daughter and sparked nationwide outrage.
Safeway told Honolulu police Tuesday that it won't press charges against Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski, company spokeswoman Susan Houghton told The Associated Press. The couple were arrested last week when Nicole, who is 30 weeks pregnant, ate a sandwich while shopping and walked out without paying. Their daughter Zofia was taken away by state Child Welfare Services officials. She was returned to her parents 18 hours later.
November 2, 2011
Pregnant mom says sandwich arrest was 'horrifying'
Nicole Leszczynski couldn't imagine that two chicken salad sandwiches would land her and her husband in jail and her 2-year-old daughter in state custody.
Leszczynski, 28, and her husband Marcin, 33, were handcuffed, searched then released on $50 bail each. Their ordeal at the police station lasted a few hours, but their daughter Zofia spent the night away from her parents in a case that has sparked nationwide outrage and forced the Safeway supermarket chain to review the incident.
November 1, 2011
APNewsBreak: Safeway drops sandwich theft charges
Safeway is dropping charges against a Honolulu couple whose arrest for stealing sandwiches led to their 2-year-old daughter being taken into state custody and sparked nationwide outrage.
They were arrested last week when Nicole, who is 30 weeks pregnant, ate a sandwich while shopping and walked out without paying. Their daughter Zofia was taken away by the state and returned to her parents 18 hours later.
November 1, 2011
Kamehameha educator takes job as state's childhood coordinator
Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed a longtime educator to the newly created position of state early childhood coordinator Thursday, taking what he described as the "big first step" toward creating a universal preschool system.
Terry Lock, director of Kamehameha Schools' early childhood education division, will step into her new job in mid-July, overseeing work to plan a "state structure that supports an early childhood system," bring together state agencies to improve services for children and families, and advocate for public policy improvements to help Hawaii's children.
June 11, 2011
Human Services to lay off 228 workers
The state Department of Human Services will lay off nearly half of its 517 workers who process applications for government benefits and will shut down 31 eligibility offices statewide under a cost-cutting plan set to go into effect June 30.
The plan, which has been strongly opposed by advocates for the poor and several lawmakers, is expected to save about $8 million and DHS officials say it will actually speed up wait times by allowing people to apply on-line and over the phone, congregating workers in two main offices and streamlining workloads.
The Honolulu Advertiser
March 30, 2010
Suit Of Girl Abused By Foster Family Settled
HONOLULU -- Lawyers have settled a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of a Big Island girl who was severely abused by a foster family.
The child was in a coma for some time and was found with burns and maggot-infested wounds. The suit filed by the child's grandfather and biological father claimed that staff at Keonepoku School suspected abuse as far back as 2004, but failed to contact police or Child Protective Services.
February 24, 2010
Be vigilant to keep kids from drugs, abuse
Crystal methamphetamine is given much of the blame for the death of an infant boy thrown from an H-1 freeway pedestrian overpass, but the responsibility falls squarely on the meth user convicted last week of murder.
The boy's mother, Nancy Chanco, also had a history of drug use. The Hawaii Department of Human Services was aware that Chanco had a history of drug use preventing her from properly caring for Cyrus and two older sons on repeated occasions. The toddler spent four days in foster care in 2006.
February 15, 2010
Thwarting meth use is goal of project
Oahu Family Court Judge Michael Broderick says he is convinced methamphetamine addiction is the greatest issue facing Hawaii because of the health, economic and social consequences.
Meth use dominates every court calendar he has, including paternity, domestic abuse and Child Protective Services, said the lead judge of the Special Division. Eight out of 10 Child Protective Services cases are drug-related, mostly to ice, he said. He has about 50 domestic abuse cases a week, and 25 percent involve ice, he said.
Honolulu Star Bulletin
June 6, 2009
The Maui Farm
The Ahunas represent a new generation of Maui Farm clients. The Upcountry nonprofit for years housed foster children in four family-style group homes on its 8.3-acre campus a few miles above Paia.
But when the state Department of Health and Human Services changed its policies and began placing more foster children with relatives and families, and fewer in group homes, The Maui Farm overhauled its program. "We now have an opportunity to prevent youth from going into foster care..." said Program Director Donna Vida.
The Maui News
January 25, 2009
High court ruling is victory for victims of child abuse
The state Supreme Court has upheld an award to be paid by the state to a Maui girl whose previous injury was under investigation by Child Protective Services.
Child Protective Services has been told by the state Supreme Court that it is responsible for the welfare of children subject to abuse. A $1.1 million judgment was upheld last month by the high court and will hold the agency accountable for future negligence. Lillian Koller, director of the Human Services Department, called the Supreme Court's decision "unfair to Hawaii taxpayers."
April 9, 2008
Volunteers, gifts sought for first foster care camp
Volunteers and donations are needed to bring brothers and sisters separated by foster care together at the first overnight camp to be held July 27 by Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.
In the foster care system, siblings are often separated and lose touch with each other. Through Project Visitation , the children are reunited each month to maintain stable bonds in a safe environment, the release said.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
June 11, 2007
State struggles to place teens in foster care
The DHS just received a $498,000 federal award as an incentive payment to promote adoptions of foster children.
For the first time, the department can reinvest the money to promote more adoptions, Tsark said, explaining that until now the federal bonuses were needed to cover budget shortages for foster board payments.
October 20, 2006
Mother's quest for lost infant
Like a lost soul on an endless voyage, Deborah Connor has never given up fighting to regain custody of her 11-year-old son, Ryan Cook.
When Deborah Connor lost custody of her 3-month-old, breast-feeding, infant son, on April 20, 1990, to Mark Cook, a batterer, in Billings, Montana, she couldn't believe that her right to due process was stolen in a court of law.
National Alliance for Family Court Justice
June 15, 2001
Alert Kidjacked to Hawaii CPS news!
Picking Up The Shattered Pieces
A mother shares her grueling fight with CPS workers for the sake of her son, who may never get back the childhood that was stolen from him. Where is justice? Who will defend the innocent?
June 24, 2012
Jacked Up: A Losing Battle!
A mother shares her grief and dissolutionment with anyone who will listen. This letter literally went out to hundreds of people. Please take the time to offer words of kindness, support and help if you are able. Our heart goes out to this mom and her children.
May 15, 2010