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State roundup for October 21

Kauai pesticide bill is pushed

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A pair of attorneys is urging Kauai’s mayor to sign a bill mandating disclosure of pesticide use and genetically modified crops into law.

Attorney Paul Achitoff, of nonprofit Earthjustice, and George Kimbrell, with the Center for Food Safety, are asking Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., to approve the legislation.

In a letter Friday, both lawyers say they are prepared to intervene if any companies challenge the bill in court.

The Kauai City Council approved the bill last week, which requires farms to reveal the presence of genetically modified crops if they use more than five pounds or 15 gallons of restricted use pesticides annually. The council rejected a request by Carvalho to defer the measure to allow discussions with the state on enforcement.

Hawaiian agency gets new officer

HONOLULU (AP) — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is naming a new chief operating officer.

Kawika Burgess will take responsibility for running the agency’s day-to-day operations at the end of the month.

The agency said Friday the 40-year-old previously worked in land management at Kamehameha Schools and the Trust for Public Land. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is the state’s 13th largest landowner, controlling more than 27,000 acres.

The state last year gave the agency about 30 acres of Honolulu waterfront real estate to settle a decades-long claim on revenue generated by Hawaiian monarchy lands. The 10 parcels in Kakaako are estimated to be worth more than $200 million.

Pot grower gets 2-plus years

HONOLULU (AP) — The girlfriend of a former Honolulu police officer has been sentenced to more than two years in federal detention for her role in growing marijuana with him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Muehleck says Athena Sui Lee received a 27-month sentence Friday. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cultivate and possess with intent to distribute about 49 pounds of marijuana.

Ex-officer Michael Steven Chu received an eight-month sentence. He blamed Lee for getting him into the mess that cost him his job. He said he was simply helping her. According to her plea deal, Lee and Chu maintained an indoor pot-growing operation in a Honolulu apartment and at a Mililani house.


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