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Newswatch

For Thursday, December 2, 2010

By Associated Press

POSTED:

Inouye, Akaka urge gay ban's repeal

U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are calling for the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay people from serving in the armed services.

In a statement yesterday, Inouye said a Pentagon study released Tuesday summarized abundant reasons to end the policy. He notes that military and civilian leaders almost unanimously oppose it.

The senator says it's time to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. A decorated veteran who lost an arm during World War II, Inouye says he fought alongside gay men who were killed in combat. Inouye has long backed repeal of the policy. In the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, Akaka voted to repeal the policy pending completion of the Pentagon survey and certification by the president and Pentagon leadership, his office said.

"The Pentagon report shows that a large majority of our troops support the repeal of this policy, and that our military can implement this change while maintaining a high level of readiness needed to defend our nation," Akaka said in a statement yesterday. "This repeal will bring us another step towards equality in the United States."

Also yesterday, state Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter issued a statement opposing the policy. 

Lawmakers hold off vote on bond issue

HILO » A wave of public opposition has prompted the Hawaii County Council to postpone authorizing a $56 million bond until the newly elected Council is able to hold a public hearing on the issue.

The Council voted 5-4 Tuesday to hold a hearing at the call of a new chairman who will be named by the new Council that is to be seated next week.

Mayor Billy Kenoi had asked for the bond authorization as a way to stimulate the economy and get projects moving while construction costs and interest rates are low. But 21 people spoke against the bond issue at a hearing Tuesday, compared with only nine who spoke in favor. Twenty-four opponents and two proponents sent letters.

Opponents said the Council shouldn't rush through such a significant expenditure in its last days in office.

Mayor-elect taps deputy for top post

Maui Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa has nominated a deputy prosecuting attorney for the county's top prosecutorial post.

Arakawa yesterday tapped John "J.D." Kim as county prosecutor, and former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera as his chief deputy.

Kim's appointment is subject to County Council approval.

He has been a deputy prosecutor for 17 years and was a deputy county corporation counsel for seven years. If confirmed, he would replace Benjamin Acob.

Rivera is a partner at Rivera & Martin law firm.






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