Feeding pigeons could land you in hot waterUPDATED 8:28 AM HST Jul 10, 2013Video Transcript
research lab at the University of Hawaii is up for renewal, but critics say the public has been kept in the dark about it for too long. And Civil Beat goes behind that bill banning feeding feral pigeons. Joining us over skype is CIVIL- BEAT's Sara Lin. UH MILITARY LAB -- A mysterious Navy research lab at the University of Hawaii is up for renewal, but critics say the public has been kept in the dark about it for too long. So what's going on anyway? Your viewers might remember the major protests that this Navy lab prompted five years ago when the contract was first signed. People didn't want classified research happening at a public institution. At the time, the Navy agreed that the first three years of research would be public. But here we are today, and still the public doesn't know what's gone on or who's paying for it. And neither the Navy nor UH has answered public records requests for information about the lab. The lab's new 5-year contracts isn't on the board of regent's agenda either, which is upsetting people. OAHU ENERGY -- A new report from Hawaiian Electric suggests that an undersea cable between islands may not be necessary to provide Oahu's power needs in the future. But there's some controversy over that. Although HECO says no cable necessary, state officials and other energy experts say that's news to them. Their own research and studies show that the kind of facilities that it would take to provide enough energy of Oahu, where 75 percent of the state's population lives, would take more land than we have available. And that they're still going to need to ship in power from another island through an undersea cable. FEEDING PIGEONS -- It's official! Feeding feral pigeons "excessively" will get you into hot water with the State Health Department, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie this week. The bill makes excessive feral bird feeding a public health nuisance. The bill is really targeted at a Pearl City resident who neighbors say overfed his pigeons. The birds roosted on his roof, and pooped too much on the neighbors' lanais, causing quite the stink. What's odd here is that the feral birds bill was actually one of the nine bills that the governor said he might VETO. But somehow it made it to his desk anyway for signing. You can find the complete story we just discussed on CIVIL-BEAT-DOT-COM.