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Monday, May 10, 2010
May 10, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:32 PM :: 10788 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

National Dems give up on Obama’s home district

Finnegan announces candidacy for Lt Governor

Finnegan: Legislative progress stifled by the real ‘Party of No’

Full Text: Hawaii GOP Platform proposed in two parts

Primary, General Election: Hawaii to allow overseas, deployed military voters to fax-in ballots

UPDATE--Jihadi murderer of Big Island man captured in Iraq: Navy Seals acquitted after facing prosecution

Race for Congress has some real chops

Case, Hanabusa and Djou have distinctly different views, covering the spectrum from liberal to conservative, and all have shown solid knowledge of the issues in articulating their positions. In head-to-head forums, they've all been cool under pressure and quick on their feet.

With the intense local and national interest in the contest, the candidates have been fully vetted, the issues have received broad coverage in the media and anybody halfway paying attention has the information to cast an intelligent vote.

What's not to like about an informed electorate having real choices for a change?

It's something that will likely extend to the fall elections, with compelling issues to be debated, from education to civil unions to the economy, and hot competition shaping up for the governor, lieutenant governor, Honolulu mayor and key legislative races.

Who knows, with actual decisions to be made, voter turnout might surprise us on the high side instead of the low side for once.

AP: Federal funds stimulate predictable debate

RELATED: Hawaii's new political reality: Akaka Bill becomes an election issue

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In-person voting begins today for Congressional race 

Registered voters who failed to receive a ballot or have not yet mailed back their ballots can vote in person at the courtyard of Honolulu Hale.

With the exception of May 16, votes can be cast daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until May 20.

Votes will be tabulated and the winner will be announced May 22.

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1000s of Oahu homes on ag land could be declared “nonconforming’ -- “Biggest government land grab”

This anti-ag initiative follows the recent approval by the Agriculture Development Task Force (ADTF) of Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz's Resolution 9-90. This resolution has now morphed into Bills 23 and 24, which would force the homes of thousands of farmer-constituents into the biggest local government-sponsored land grab since the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Instead of engaging in an objective analysis of true ag-land reform, the ADTF and Reso 9-90 sidestepped the hard issues of righteous ag-use and focused a specific and personal attack on "gentleman farmers" -- whatever that is. Among its many anti-farmer changes, the current drafts of the bills deliver a one-two punch to the guts of small family farmers.

First, they would reduce all farm dwellings to an arbitrary maximum of 1,500 square feet. This will appeal only to those who believe in some ancient perception of a farmer's low social status and inferior economic worth. Then it declares all larger farm dwellings as "non-conforming." By being "non-conforming," it means that: 1) If the house is destroyed by hurricane, fire or natural disaster, it could be rebuilt only to the new 1,500-square-foot minimum, and 2) No home could be sold using a conventional mortgage. These measures would drastically reduce property values along much of the North Shore, as you wouldn't be able to rebuild your home or sell it.

These bills do not recognize the difference between fake farms and family farms, and actually miss the point that ag lands must be developed in order to move land into the hands of local family-operated, diversified farms.

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Homelessness Industry: Placing a Legislative expiration date on common sense

We can all breathe easier, knowing that our lawmakers were on the case. Thanks to newly enacted legislation, the temporary ban on public urination and defecation has been extended….

Say, what? Wasn't that always illegal? And permanently?

You'd think so. But in 2004, somebody figured out that no Hawai'i statute specifically prohibited publicly dumping a pantload. So the Legislature made it illegal to use the streets of downtown Honolulu — the zone where there's been a problem — as a latrine. (Presumably, it's still OK to go publicly in Pearl City, but that's a discussion for another editorial).

Problem is, the original law has a sunset clause….

Rhoads, who said some of his colleagues were worried that a permanent ban will be seen as "anti-homeless," is frustrated. "I can't believe I had to spend political capital on this," he said.

Here’s why: Kapiolani Park: Homelessness industry takes Hawaii tourism hostageDefeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

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Hawaii public schools' repair backlog chopped 50 percent

A backlog of repair and maintenance work at Hawai'i's public schools that at one point soared to nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars has been cut by half and stands today at one of its lowest points in the last 10 years.

A tree sprouts on a Farrington High School roof. Without the right equipment, workers haven't been able to remove it.

But rest assured, DoE “maintenance” crews are working every day to increase this list.  Check out this photo of the tree they are allowing to grow through a roof and a wall at Farrington.  There are contracts in that tree.  Save a tree.  It’s called ‘sustainable’ development.

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3 claim furloughs caused harm: Autism students file court records on negative effects

Three autistic public-school students who lost a federal court challenge last year to the state's "furlough Friday" program have suffered educational and behavioral setbacks because of the school closures, according to newly filed federal court records….

"Student has problems maintaining attention and focus and has great difficulty returning to school on Mondays after furlough days," Alm wrote.

Another student's "negative and/or self-injurious behaviors significantly increased after school breaks, including furlough days," Alm found.

The most significant increase in self-injurious behavior occurred after "a four-day break that included a furlough day and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday," according to Alm.

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Honolulu public workers agree to two furlough Fridays each month

There are 24 furlough days for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and nearly all of the approximately 10,000 city employees under the Hawaii Government Employees Association and United Public Workers contracts would be required to take the unpaid days off. An estimated $26 million in savings from the furlough are being used to help balance the city operating budget.

The one-day-per-pay-period furloughs would amount to a pay cut of between 8 and 9 percent for the workers.

(The word “Hannemann” occurs only twice in this article—that takes skill.  With so many scribblers headed for the unemployment lines, many will be looking for jobs.  MMLG!)

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Socialized Hawaii Medicine: Short 500 doctors

Preliminary findings of a work-force study being conducted at the medical school show Hawaii is short at least 500 physicians, Dean Jerris Hedges said in the school's April newsletter.

Newsletter: http://jabsom.hawaii.edu/JABSOM/about/JABSOMNewsLetterMarApr2010.pdf

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FBI agent shoots suspect: Man allegedly brandishing gun was out on $100 bail

Martin Boegel, 27, of a Thurston Avenue address in Makiki, was charged last night with terroristic threatening in the first degree after he was critically wounded in yesterday's shooting….

He had been out on $100 bail on charges of impersonating a police officer in the second degree, a misdemeanor, after he was arrested by UH campus security Tuesday.

UH officials initiated a campuswide security alert after Boegel allegedly posed as a police officer on campus May 1 and May 2.

(Soft on crime judge’s low bail requirement is responsible for setting up this shooting.  If Boegel had been kept in jail, wouldn’t have been shot.)

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Hawaii's jobless seniors forced to tap Social Security early

New Social Security figures show that the number of Hawai'i residents who signed up for early retirement last year — in many cases after being unable to find new jobs — was up 36 percent from 2005. Meanwhile, state figures show 22 percent of all claimants for unemployment benefits are over 55.

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Hawaii Department of Health Cites Hawaiian Waste Systems for Solid Waste Storage Violations

Remember, Mufi had nothing to do with any of this. MMLG.

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All-electric cars driving Hawaii into the future

If we nuclear power this might actually be good for the environment.  Instead it is part of the sales pitch for windfarms.

RELATED:   Hawaii Selected as an Early Launch Site for the Nissan LEAF Electric Vehicle

REALITY: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Hawaii County plans May 20 meeting to discuss Hamakua lands

The combination of enviros talking the sale down plus the old boys waiting to sell at the bottom of the market cycle have conspired to keep these lands useless and fallow in County hands instead of placing them in the hands of a farmer or rancher who would produce.  They have done this while bleating incessantly about the need to ‘save agriculture.’

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Kauai: Waimea residents fight development

(Clue: This is not a Grove Farm development.)

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Mass Neurosis: Path debate a sign of growing pains

The question of whether the county should allow dogs on the shared-use path has carried on for several months, stirring the community, who gave impassioned testimony.  (Yes, they did say “several months”.)

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Aquino leads in Philippines presidential race

MANILA, Philippines — The son of Philippine democracy icons Benigno and Corazon Aquino took the lead today in the vote count for the presidency after the country's first automated elections, which were marred by technical glitches and violence that claimed at least nine lives.

Sen. Benigno Aquino III — whose father was assassinated while opposing a dictatorship and whose mother led the "people power" revolt that restored freedoms — was leading the nine-candidate presidential race with 40.58 percent of the votes from about 57 percent of the precincts, while his closest rival, ousted President Joseph Estrada, had 25.72 percent.

There is no runoff in the Philippines and whoever has the most votes is declared winner.

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