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Saturday, December 26, 2009
December 26, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:59 AM :: 11736 Views :: Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

LINK>>>Jumped by passengers while lighting fuse: Islamist fails to blow up Detroit-bound flight Christmas Day

Rep. Mazie Hirono on Obamacare: ‘We’re not there yet’

Hirono was among dozens of progressives in the House who earlier this year signed a letter warning that they would be unable to vote for legislation without a robust public option....

(Good.  Since the public option will not pass the Senate, lets hope the socialist idiots in the House are all just like the Dazed Hirono.  Obamacare can still be killed.)

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Chief of Hawaii Health Systems retiring (Inspiration for Obamacare)

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. President Thomas Driskill Jr. has led the company since 1997. Hawaii Health Systems said Driskill was leaving to pursue "new senior healthcare leadership opportunities."

The organization's vice president, Alice Hall, has been named interim president.

Hawaii Health Systems' hospitals are mostly in rural areas on the Neighbor Islands. The system has been struggling to cope with rising health care costs and low health care reimbursement rates from Medicare and insurance companies. The state government has repeatedly bailed out the company to keep it running (and maintain 5000 HGEA jobs).

(Hawaii is the inspiration for Obamacare.)

RELATED: Nonprofit status seen as cure for ailing state hospital system (Driskill retiring?)

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SB: Compromise critical in Maui water dispute (OHA Water grab)

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union supports the HC&S desire to limit the elimination of diversions to one of the 19 streams in order to save the jobs. The state Democratic Party supports that position.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., environmental groups and taro farmers are seeking restorations of water flows in more streams where it has been diverted to sugar fields....

The challenge facing the commission is to devise a plan to restore enough water flows to bring back aquatic life in the 19 streams while providing enough water for HC&S to stay in operation. Thielen is right in saying that such a compromise would set a precedent that could inspire other states and countries to balance water needs.

EXPLAINED: OHA Trustees claim ownership of your drinking water

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Isle bankruptcies highest in 4 years

The number of Hawai'i bankruptcy filings in 2009 rose nearly 40 percent to a four-year high.

Figures through today show that a total of 2,906 bankruptcies were filed in U.S. District Court in Hawai'i this year, compared to 2,077 in 2008.

The number of filings was the most since 2005, when nearly 4,500 cases were filed.

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Access to computers gives homeless hope to stay on street (The Homelessness Industry at work) 

By the subject of this article: Nonprofit Director:  "I am part of the 'Homeless Industry'"

The sight of a homeless woman sleeping on a park bench at 4 a.m. next to the Waikiki police station was an epiphany for Curtis Kropar.

"I was instantly infuriated to think that this was the best option she's got."

(It isn't.  Shelters are the best option and we need to allow the police to push homeless people into shelters so they can get help.  Unfortunately Kropar is against that.)

The company is also desperate for a larger facility before its lease at 631 N. King St. runs out. He needs at least 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, hopefully in the same location as its office. Next month Hawaiian Hope is opening a computer training center and Internet cafe next door.

It is all part of Kropar's five-year plan, which includes retrofitting buses for mobile computer classrooms and disaster communication centers, and a mobile laundry service for the homeless that can also double as water purification centers during disasters.

(Here's a better idea.  Push them all into shelters and install STATIONARY computer classrooms and STATIONARY laundries.)

RELATED: "Homelessness industry takes Hawaii tourism hostage" and "Defeating the 'homelessness industry' before it gets a grip on Hawaii"

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$500,000 warrant issued in drunken-driving case (extradited from NV, then allowed to fly back?)

While Sereno asked that Mirassou be allowed to return to Las Vegas while awaiting trial, Deputy Prosecutor Cody Minatodani requested a no-bail warrant for Mirassou.

She said his record includes four prior drunken-driving convictions on Maui, as well as two convictions each for contempt of court and failure to appear.  (and this guy got bail???)

On Dec. 1, he was arrested in Nevada for felony drunken driving as a third offense, as well as for having an open container in a vehicle, Minatodani said. Mirassou has more than 10 convictions for controlled substances, as well as convictions for forgery and false identification to a peace officer.

"He's of the Mirassou wine family," she said. "He has deep resources. This bail obviously means nothing for him."

Sereno said the Nevada felony drunken-driving charge was either dismissed or hadn't been filed, leaving only the Maui case pending for Mirassou.

The felony drunken-driving charge can be brought against someone who is arrested for driving under the influence after having been convicted of that charge three or more times within 10 years.

Minatodani said that Mirassou has two lifetime revocations of his driver's license and was driving without insurance because he couldn't get insurance.

(If we do this a few times, we could shore up the State budget.)

Totally unRelated: http://www.mirassou.com/home/index.asp 

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Lanakila senior center in Kalihi needs donations to stay open

The largest senior center in the state is facing a $150,000 deficit, and is counting on the generosity of the community to help keep it open through June.

The Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center has had mounting financial challenges since last year, when it didn't get a grant-in-aid from the state Legislature as in years past and had to reach out for community support.

The center also got no legislative funding in 2009....

"We're really looking to the generosity of the community," said Jerry Rauckhorst, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Hawai'i, which has a $123,000 annual contract with the state to manage the senior center.

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Obamas visit troops at Hawaii base's Christmas chow-down

"He said, 'You're a big boy to eat that small plate,' " Rollins said moments after shaking hands with the commander in chief and first lady during a midday Christmas meal yesterday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii's Anderson Hall chow hall.

Rollins took the president's ribbing in stride.

"I laughed and smiled," he said.

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Sermon at Ancient Christian Site Highlights Christmas for the 130th Engineer Brigade

MOSUL--Hundreds of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens joined together for Christmas Mass at a fourth century monastery on Christmas Eve near Mosul, Iraq.

The Catholic sermon was attended by a disparate congregation of Iraqis, Americans, and citizens of other countries around the globe who work at Forward Operating Base Marez.

"It's a great way to celebrate the birth of Christ and to show appreciation to God for everything you have," said Master Sgt. Pete Grey. "It was great to have Iraqis from Mosul there. It gave us a chance to give each other greetings of peace."

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