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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, December 7, 1999


No smoking allowed
in state facilities

Question: Why is it that certain individuals at Leeward Community College are allowed to smoke in their offices? When I asked one person why she was allowed to do so, she replied that she had permission from the interim provost. This practice, as far as I can tell, is contradictory to state law. How can Leeward Community College establish its own procedures?

Answer: Leeward has not established its own set of rules and regulations, said acting Provost Sharon Narimatsu.

In this particular case, the woman you named denied saying Narimatsu had given her permission to smoke. But that's beside the point, Narimatsu said.

"I did ask her about smoking, and she no longer will be doing that," she said. "We are abiding by all the rules and regulations and the laws that are part of the state of Hawaii."

Julian Lipsher, head of the state Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Education Project, said the state has clear-cut policies against smoking in the workplace.

Act 245, passed in 1987, requires that each state agency, including the University of Hawaii system, "must have a written policy that protects the health and rights of nonsmokers in the workplace," Lipsher said.

Since that time, he said, research has shown that "it is not in the best interests of public health" to allow smoking in selected spaces, where smoke still can affect other workers.

But numerous efforts to pass a statewide law against smoking in the workplace have failed at the state Legislature. "In light of that situation, we asked the Governor to adopt and enact an executive memorandum ... which very clearly stated that for buildings within the Executive Branch's control, there will be no smoking in enclosed workplaces," Lipsher said.

Executive Memo 9714, which Gov. Ben Cayetano signed on Oct. 10, 1997, says it is the policy of the executive branch to establish a smoke-free environment for state employees and members of the public visiting or using state facilities, Lipsher said.

"Smoking of tobacco products is thus prohibited in all interior spaces owned, rented or leased by the executive branch of the state government and in any outdoor area under the executive branch's control in front of air intakes," he said.

Q: Will there be another shipment of Christmas trees this year?

A: You might check with some of the Christmas tree dealers around town. But for the most part, what you see is what you'll get for the holiday.

The last of four Christmas tree shipments that Matson Navigation Co. brings in to Hawaii arrived Sunday night on the SS Maui, said spokes-man Jeff Hull.

About 115,000 trees total were brought in. That's about the same number as years past, Hull said. It's hard to give a precise figure because the size of the trees are a factor in determining how many can be loaded into a container.

The majority of trees, about 60 percent in more than 200 containers, arrived the day after Thanksgiving Day, on what's known as the "Christmas Tree Ship." By comparison, 26 containers of trees arrived Sunday.

A small shipment, mainly for displays, as well as a shipment for the neighbor islands, arrived a week or two before Thanksgiving.

Mahalo

To the postman who found my car keys with my Times Super Market Royal Card attached to it and turned it into Times in Waialae. -- No Name





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