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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
June 23, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:32 PM :: 9584 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Mufi Campaign leader: Hawaii Democratic Party taken over by “Abercrombie zealots”, an “ingrown clique with some very radical views”

There is little tollerance (sic) for any “Democrat” not willing to tow the liberal mantra of the Neil Abercrombie zealots who have taken over the party. What used to be the “big tent” is now a rather ingrown clique with some very radical views. I don’t think they represent the more patriotic AJA Democrats I know, the typical union workers or a majority of the more moderate and independent individuals who still consider themselves Democrats. To quote an old adage…we didn’t leave the party, the party left us.

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Civil union supporters rally draws only 30 people

With just two weeks before the governor must decide the fate of the civil unions bill, Abrahamsson was one of about 30 supporters of House Bill 444 from gay and civil rights groups who hoped to sway the governor by rallying at the state Capitol.

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Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission fines Abercrombie's campaign

The state campaign spending law requires notices of intent to hold a fundraiser prior to the event. However, this filing for a Neil Abercrombie fundraiser was filed hours after a suggested $6,000 a head fundraiser had gotten underway in Washington, D.C. in April.

This landed the Abercrombie campaign with a letter of reprimand on Tuesday from the Campaign Spending Commission.

"The "notice of intent to hold a fundraiser" for the April 27, 2010, event held in Washington, D.C. was filed several hours late with the Campaign Spending Commission," said an Abercrombie spokesperson. "The Abercrombie for Governor campaign will pay the $50 fine."

The Abercrombie campaign said it intends to keep the $3,500 raised….

While the Hannemann campaign list the mainland sponsors names, the Aiona and Abercrombie campaigns list only their local treasurer, leaving it up to the voter to figure out what the mainland address corresponds to.

Meanwhile the Commission continues to look into a complaint filed over a filing for Mayor Mufi Hannemann's Pittsburgh event for which that gubernatorial candidate has said he will accept no funds.

RELATED:

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Capitol no pathway to the statehouse

Already this year, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) lost to incumbent Gov. Rick Perry (R) in the Texas primary, a race in which her votes in Washington proved to be an easy target. Rep. Artur Davis (D) lost in a stunning result in Alabama's gubernatorial primary on June 1.

It's no wonder than that two members of Congress resigned this year as they eyed the governor's mansion back home -- Neil Abercrombie (D) of Hawaii, and Nathan Deal (R) of Georgia. But others -- Pete Hoekstra (R) of Michigan, Zach Wamp (R) of Tennessee -- have chosen to continue serving in Washington even as the campaign in wide primary fields.

None in this group is an odds-on favorite to win.

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850 sign up for Hawaii’s boating TEA party

The Hawaii Fishing & Boating Association (HF&BA) drew more than 350 people to its first community meeting June 10 at Kona’s Honokohau Harbor. By the end of that week over 600 people in the Kona community had signed a petition asking for a legislative investigation into the management of Honokohau.

Within a week, more than 850 new members had joined the HF&BA.

What precipitated this boating tea party?

Following on the heels of one rate increase after another, the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) decided to implement parking fees at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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49 may file for races in Big Isle

With less than a month left until the election filing deadline, 21 Big Island residents have entered County Council and state Legislature races, while 28 others have shown interest in joining them.

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CB: Honolulu Rail Heading Right at Them

The release of the Honolulu rail project's Final Environmental Impact Statement last week was a warning whistle for homeowners and business that lie in the way of the train. Buying parcels and relocating tenants will be costly, but eminent domain fights are unlikely to delay construction.

CB: Aiea Businesses Unknowingly in the Path of the Train

CB: Rail Could Force Out Church, Homes After 50 Years in Pearl City

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Shapiro: Principals’ accountability call should extend to them, too 

When you ask the local education establishment what ails Hawaii's public schools, the stock answer is not enough money.

So it's significant that principals, who arguably know the schools and the system better than anybody, gave a different answer.

When a recent survey asked more than 200 principals what's most needed to improve the Hawaii school system, more funding finished down the list behind better leadership and vision from the Department of Education, improved communication between the DOE and the schools and highly qualified and effective teachers.

In other words, throwing more money at the schools without addressing persistent management and personnel problems won't get us to the goal everybody agrees on -- greater student achievement.

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Earthjustice challenging Alexander & Baldwin's proposed Maui water treatment plant

Monday sued Maui County to block construction of an Alexander & Baldwin plant that would treat water diverted from four streams at the center of a legal battle over water rights.

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit against the county's Department of Water Supply in state court on Maui on behalf of Hui no Na Wai Eha (OHA/NHLC) and Maui Tomorrow (anti-Superferry protesters).

The proposed Waiale Water Treatment Facility would process 9 million gallons of water per day that A&B subsidiary Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar diverts from four Na Wai Eha streams in central Maui.

Earthjustice said the water would be used for A&B's development projects and for sale to Maui County.

EJ News Release: Citizens Challenge Plantation Owner’s Water Profiteering Plans

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Native Hawaiian grants total $1,026 per Hawaiian—did you get yours? 

What if, instead of spending the funds on community centers and oral history projects, we simply divided it among Native Hawaiians? That would leave each person with about $1,026 in cash. For a family of four, a couple with two children, that comes to $4,104.

(Where did it go?  To efforts to take control of your fresh water supply, among others….)

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Personal income on rise

Personal income in Hawaii grew at the sixth-fastest rate in the nation through the first quarter of this year, helped by federal stimulus money flowing into the state.

Hawaii residents' personal income rose by an annualized 1.35 percent during the January-to-March period compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the report released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

"It's significant that Hawaii finds itself in the top 20 percent of personal income growth," said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics.

Transfer receipts, which includes federal stimulus funds and other federal payments to states, accounted for nearly 40 percent of Hawaii's increase in personal income, the BEA reported.

Federal stimulus funds, the bulk of which were for government and private sector capital improvement projects, created 2,566 jobs in Hawaii during the first three months of the year, according to a separate federal report released last month.  (And, although debunked, this claim is repeated endlessly in the Democrat media). 

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Lingle negotiating flights from China

The governor, just back from a two-week trip to Asia that included stops in Japan and China, said her administration is negotiating with an unnamed airline about adding weekly charter flights from Shanghai to Honolulu.

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CB requests one year’s worth of prostitution arrest reports 

Three of us from Civil Beat were there to discuss our request for a few hundred police reports from last year — all the prostitution arrests to be precise.

(Amusing story of how the HPD is giving them the runaround.  How many legislators and school board members are named in those arrest reports?)

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Hawaii County employee with suspended license hits Kona cyclist

A county Public Works employee is under investigation for allegedly hitting a Kona bicyclist Thursday morning while driving a county vehicle with a suspended license.

Chris Michael Domino, 34, who works in the Kailua-Kona building division office, was charged Thursday with inattention to driving, second-degree negligent injury and driving with a suspended license, following a collision with cyclist Jim Gustin, 64, of Kailua-Kona. Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida confirmed the arrest and investigation Monday; he said Public Works is also conducting an investigation into the situation.

SA: Big Island man charged with hitting bicyclist had suspended license

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Thousands Of Taxpayers Affected By Crackdown

A huge crackdown by state tax collectors is affecting thousands of Hawaii taxpayers, even those who already paid all the tax they owed.

State lawmakers are also asking why the state is paying a private company $25 million for work they said should have been done by state employees. (All commission)

The contractor, a Montreal technology company called CGI, identified thousands of discrepancies in tax forms submitted over the last ten years. Many of the problems do involve unpaid taxes, but others are just missing paperwork.  (Because the HGEA workers would never have found that.)

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Census: Hawaii grew 6.9% in past decade 

The state of Hawaii grew 6.9 percent in the past decade, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

In terms of percentage growth, Hawaii County showed the most, at 19.6 percent, followed by Maui County at 13.3 percent. Kauai County had a population growth of 10.4 percent in the past decade.

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Lawmakers Want Governor To Sign Prisons Audit Bill

State lawmakers said Tuesday they are seriously considering a veto override if Gov. Linda Lingle (R) vetoes a bill calling for a cost-benefit audit of a privately run Arizona prison.

The state spends more than $60 million a year to send nearly 2,000 Hawaii inmates to Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., because of prison overcrowding in Hawaii.

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Gov. signs bill allowing counties to ban fireworks

State law allows consumer fireworks on New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year, and the Fourth of July. Aerial fireworks are prohibited except for permitted displays.

The new law, which was opposed by the fireworks industry, gives counties the discretion to approve fireworks regulations that are tougher than state law. The state law was passed in 1994 to bring uniformity to various county restrictions.

SA: New state law lets counties ban fireworks

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Tree plan introduces bugs

The state is once again seeking approval to release a Brazilian scale insect into Hawaii forests to control the spread of the popular but environmentally needy strawberry guava tree.

The state Department of Agriculture is expected to release an environmental assessment today, and the public will have 30 days to weigh in on the controversial bio-control initiative, which has been hotly debated for the past two years.

LINK to EA Report: http://hawaii.gov/health/environmental/environmental/oeqc/index.html

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Heeia lawsuit taken to federal level

A nonprofit group is taking its struggle to reclaim management of Heeia State Park to federal court.

The Friends of Heeia State Park filed a class-action lawsuit yesterday against the new vendor, the state, and Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Laura Thielen.

The suit claims the state is in violation of a number of federal laws, including the National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, by letting another vendor manage the Windward Oahu park.

The group's lawyer, Anthony Locricchio, said he has not presented the lawsuit to the state or the current vendor because their lawyers refused to accept it. He says he plans to serve the papers in time for a temporary restraining order hearing this afternoon.

Anthony Locricchio: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fixers/interviews/locricchio.html

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Hawaii Writers Conference shuts down after 17 years

The Hawaii Writers Conference website is blank except for a letter from Honolulu bankruptcy attorney Steven Guttman dated May 14.

"We are assisting the Hawaii Writers Foundation, a Hawaii nonprofit corporation doing business as the Hawaii Writers Conference, with winding up its business operations," the letter begins.

"The directors of HWF, John and Shannon Tullius, regret events and changes in the economy have forced them to make the unwelcomed decision to terminate HWF and cancel both the retreat and conference scheduled for August 2010. In light of its termination, there will be no further HWF-sponsored retreats or conferences in the future."

Those who had already paid to attend the 2010 conference may end up losing that money.

"As of this date, there are no assets available from which to refund the monies that were remitted," the memo states. "However, funds may become available in the future depending on the resolution of certain financial matters."

John Tullius filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on April 29. Shannon Tullius filed for divorce on May 5. Guttman did not return messages asking for comment.

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New Hurricane Insurer Enters Hawaii Market

Both AXIS Insurance Co. and FICOH are rated "A" by A.M. Best. AXIS Insurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd., a global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance with total capitalization of $6.4 billion as of March 31, 2010.

"This partnership between our oldest local insurance company, First Insurance, and AXIS Insurance Co. will bring additional world class protection to the homeowners of Hawaii," Schmidt said. "It has been one of this administration's long-term strategic goals to assure easier and more affordable access to hurricane and other lines of insurance to our state's businesses and consumers."

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American Samoa wants to loosen U.S. controls

Pago Pago, American Samoa » American Samoa convened a constitutional convention yesterday that will consider proposals for removing some U.S. oversight of the territory's governance.

Several ideas include removing the U.S. interior secretary's power to override vetoes and to review, overturn or intervene in appeals of decisions by the High Court of American Samoa.

The interior secretary also would lose authority to appoint the chief justice and the associate justice. They would instead be appointed by the territorial governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

RELATED: Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American

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Smithsonian hires Konrad Ng, President Obama's brother-in-law, as director

There’s no nepotism here.  Really.  BTW when is Obama gonna start helping his poor and long-suffering African relatives?   

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