Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023 |
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I would like to clarify some of the information provided in Dec. 13’s TGI article “Ho’ike boots TV host for filming meeting.” Ho’ike maintains that their meetings are “open to the public.” I believe that this means that the place of the meeting, whether on public or private property and whether or not Ho’ike is a private or public entity (which is also in dispute), make that meeting room a public place where there should be no dispute as to my or anyone’s right to video tape proceedings. As I told Mr. Riggan, board president Rowena Cobb (who ordered Riggan to stop me from taping) and Kaua’i Police Sgt.
Kaui, if Ho’ike wishes to simply change their meetings to private meetings — not open to the public — or go into executive session, I would leave immediately.
In addition, the by-law change banning cameras referred to by Mr. Riggan was in violation of Ho’ike’s own bylaws and was improperly noticed and passed, according to the minutes of their October meeting, and therefore invalid. In addition, in an October letter from Ms. Cobb, she stated that Ho’ike has operated and will continue to operate in the spirit of the state’s sunshine laws, which would explicitly allow cameras at proceedings.
Also, although Ho’ike does not receive any federal money as Mr. Riggan stated, it is almost wholly supported by taxes collected by the state from cable subscribers and contracts with and receives their funding through the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). In addition, all members of the board are appointed by the DCCA or the cable company.
It remains to be seen what the final legal ruling will be in this case. I will abide by any final determination by the courts.
In addition, I would like to point out that, even though Mr. Riggan claims he never touched my person, a matter which I dispute, grabbing one’s camera is still considered an assault as a matter of law. Although I was using a camera owned by Ho’ike, I had properly signed out the camera as a certified producer at Ho’ike.
Andy Parks, Kapa’a
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