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Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, August 14, 2000

Mizuguchi presides
over last session as
Senate president

While the current special session of the Legislature won't end until next week, state Sen. Norman Mizuguchi (D, Aiea) presided over his last session as president on the floor of the Senate last week.

State elections officials have begun preparing the Senate chambers for vote counting for the fall elections, which will result in the Senate having to meet in the House chambers for the remainder of session.

Mizuguchi has decided not to run for re-election.

The session, scheduled to end Aug. 22, is in recess this week.

Viagra users?

Ever wanted to check the Internet to find out whether any state representatives are using the anti-impotence drug Viagra?

In voicing her reservations about a bill postponing the implementation date of a medical information privacy law passed last year, state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua) said folks would look that up on the World Wide Web if the law ever goes into effect.

Her remarks sparked smirks among some male colleagues.

State lawmakers are moving to delay putting the law into effect to help clear up confusion over penalties attached to it.

Field of hemp

Meanwhile, Thielen's office announced that the Hawaii Industrial Hemp Research Project will hold a Hemp Field Day on Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. at the Wahiawa site, where the relative of marijuana is being grown.

Lead scientist David West will present research findings and show off the plant.

Drive-through registration

Taking a lesson from fast-food companies, the state Office of Elections is once again offering drive-through voter registration.

From Aug. 22-24, you will be able to drive up to various sites on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island and register to vote without getting out of your car.

On Oahu, the Wikiwiki Drive-Thru will be at the state Capitol, Pearl City Shopping Center and the Windward Mall.

On Kauai, the Drive-Thru will be at the Historic County Building.

On Maui, it will be at the Maui War Memorial Stadium.

On the Big Island, it will be at the Kona Lanihau Shopping Center, and the Hilo Bayfront parking lot.

Call the Hawaii Voter Hotline at 453-VOTE (8663); or toll free from the neighbor islands, 1-800-442-VOTE (8683).

Health leadership

State Rep. Alex Santiago (D, Waialua-Kahuku) will receive the Vikki Lianne Moritsugu Public Health Leadership Award for for the year 2000 for "Making a Difference."

The award will be presented Thursday at the State Capitol, recognizing Santiago's 10 years of service in the House of Representatives. He has chaired the House Health Committee for four years.

Vikki Lianne Moritsugu, the daughter of Deputy Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu of the U.S. Public Health Service, died at age 22 of a fatal brain injury after she was struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian crosswalk.

She had complicated health issues before the accident because of a sports injury and brittle juvenile diabetes and she wanted to make a difference for other disabled persons.

Her family established an award in her name in 1996 to recognize people and institutions who go beyond their normal responsibilities to help people with critical health and lifestyle problems.

Santiago will use his award money to develop a plan for a comprehensive social entrepreneur training center for young adults and support services for their families.

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