The Conversation: Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Jun 28, 2018

Impact of Supreme Court Ruling on Unions; CBD Treatment for Seizures; Saving Maui’s Silverswords; Strategy 360

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Supreme Court Union Ruling

Credit Christian Fern

This week’s Supreme Court decision in the case known as Janus vs. AFSCME is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the union movement in America, but observers disagree as to what that impact will be. To some, it’s a much-needed adjustment to the way unions operate; to others, it’s a critical blow to the future of organized labor and to collective bargaining. The decision states that public sector employees who are not union members cannot be required to pay the so-called “agency fees” that are taken out of their paychecks. We’re speaking with two union representatives this morning, starting with Bobby Lee, the President of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association. We are also joined by Christian Fern, the Associate Executive Director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

Civil Beat Reality Check

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When Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui resigned to join a Mainland-based public relations firm called Strategies 360, people in Hawaii wondered what the company was up to - especially in the political arena. They’re still wondering. The company has been notably close-mouthed about its clients and the issues it will support, but some of their recent hires might offer some hints, as reporter Nathan Eagle tells us in today’s Reality Check from Civil Beat.

Cannabis-Based Seizure Treatment

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It’s a step forward for the Food and Drug Administration’s approach to cannabis-derived medications. This week it approved a new drug, Epidiolex, that is a formulation of cannabidiol - CBD for short - to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy. Wendy Gibson is a Field Organizer for The Drug Policy Forum, and The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii who has spent years advocating for the use of cannabis-derived medications - and although she has reservations about this one - she welcomes the FDA’s changing attitude.

Haleakala Silverswords

Credit National Park Service

Simply put, they are like jewels in a crown. Maui’s rare silversword plants shine in the pristine setting of high elevations of Haleakala. It’s been six months since scientists began purposely trying to increase the numbers of the unusual species throughout the National Park. It was in response to a recent study that found the population has drastically plummeted over the last 20 years - in response to climate change. The outcropping has been to find the best conditions for growth as drier and hotter conditions are forecast.