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Thursday, June 24, 2010
June 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:53 PM :: 6552 Views :: Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

VIDEO: Charles Djou on “Fox and Friends”

Djou: “We must all re-commit ourselves to turning back al-Qaeda and the Taliban”

Hanabusa campaign worries about Donor Fatigue

Djou and Hanabusa have to restock their campaigns in preparation for their expected rematch in the November general election. Djou's campaign had $216,485 in cash on hand through mid-June, while Hanabusa had $144,497.

"There are a lot of people who want to see us re-elected, locally and nationally," said Dylan Nonaka, Djou's campaign manager.

"We think we've had a successful model so far," said Eric Hamakawa, Hanabusa's campaign manager.

"I think it's progressing as we planned it out in the very beginning. We don't think we've hit that fatigue mark yet."  (Key word--“yet”.  There are only so many old boys around and they are getting tight on cash.)

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State commission is asked to review mayor's fundraiser

Honolulu lawyer John McLaren (Abercrombie campaign) asked the state Campaign Spending Commission yesterday to investigate the fundraiser, asserting in part that Hannemann's signature on an official notice of the June 9 event did not appear authentic.

McLaren also has asked City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi (Abercrombie campaign) to look into the mayor's travel expenses for the trip and the propriety of the fundraiser, which was organized by a former executive of a firm that is seeking a $230 million contract to build cars for a proposed rail project in Honolulu. McLaren previously filed a complaint about the city's handling of rail project contracts.

ALSO: Abercrombie campaign to pay filing fine

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Gay lobby dispatched two operatives from mainland to coordinate campaign against Business Roundtable

(Look at the lengths the gay lobby will go to in order to respond to a single critical letter)

Gay rights advocates in Hawaii and on the mainland approached many of the Roundtable's members and urged them to speak out against the veto request….

A coalition of gay rights groups -- including Equality Hawaii, the Human Rights Campaign, Citizens for Equal Rights and PFLAG-Oahu -- mobilized to pressure the Roundtable to backtrack.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights group, which is based in Washington, D.C., sent two activists to the islands to help respond to the Roundtable's veto request.

Tony Wagner, the Human Rights Campaign's western regional field director, said the group had initially targeted contacts at national companies that are members of the Roundtable. Five national companies -- including Starwood, Time Warner and Marriott -- publicly broke with the Roundtable last Thursday.

"Once the snowball starting rolling, then we started hearing from a number of other companies that were represented on (the Roundtable)," Wagner said.

CB: Why the Roundtable Quieted Its Civil Unions Storm  (More details and praise for how it was done.) 

REALITY: Full Text: Hawaii Business Roundtable calls for veto of HB444 Gay Civil UnionsPsychologists dump 'Gay Gene' theory, The Overhauling of Straight America

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Hawaii Atheists demand Catholics endorse criminal prosecution of Pope

Will you support calls for the indictment, arrest, and prosecution of Pope Benedict XVI?

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Lingle receives list of nominees for state Supreme Court chief justice

The governor must chose the state's next chief justice from the six names to fill the vacancy when Chief Justice Ronald Moon must step down before he turns age 70 on Sept. 4 because of the mandatory retirement law for state judges.

Recktenwald is considered by some court observers to be the favorite to be picked by Lingle, but she will be seeking comments from the public until July 12 on all six nominees.  

RELATED: Lingle seeks public comment on nominees for Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice

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Rod Tam returned to Planning Committee Chairmanship

Honolulu Councilman Rod Tam is fully back in the saddle three months after colleagues censured him for the second time in three years and stripped him of all committee assignments for ethics violations relating to $13,700 worth of falsified meal expenses he charged to the city.

In a reorganization announced by the council yesterday to reflect Lee Donohue’s replacement of Charles Djou in the East O’ahu seat, Tam was restored as chairman of the Planning Committee, named vice chair of the Boards and Commissions Committee and given seats on the budget and zoning committees.

RELATED: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore hui, Djou: Tam should resign and be prosecuted

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Rod Tam Allowed To Pay Ethics Fines Without Interest

HONOLULU -- The Honolulu Ethics Commission is allowing city councilman Rod Tam to pay thousands of dollars in restitution and fines interest-free over three years, after an ethics probe found he improperly billed the city for hundreds of meals.

Tam agreed to pay $13,700 to the city in late February, after a city ethics investigation discovered he used his city council allowance to treat himself, friends and family to several hundred meals at restaurants, costing taxpayers more than $10,000.

Chuck Totto, executive director of the ethics commission, said Tam and his lawyer Jack Schweigert asked for permission for Tam to make monthly payments to the city without interest.

Totto said he agreed to the settlement so the case could settle quickly….

RELATED: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore hui, Djou: Tam should resign and be prosecuted

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Retaliation campaign continues against State tax collection contractor

Today, the contract is the subject of a state audit, called for during the last legislative session by the committee. Since 1999, the state of Hawaii has spent $87.5 million on contracts with CGI. CGI took a lead role in developing computer systems for the tax department. Most recently, the company received $25 million to collect delinquent taxes from 2008 to 2011. The company receives a third of the delinquent taxes collected using its system, up to a cap of $25 million, which has already been hit.

(An email from the contractor) also went on the describe the people in the department as "clinically psychotic. Past history of alleged workplace violence. Manages by intimidation. Staff hates. Experiencing certain kind of marital problems. Extremely odd. Very strange person. Not respected by peers in the state."

(Good.  if they get rid of this company, the State will collect $50M less net tax revenue.  Smash the State.)

RELATED: Tax-collection deal with CGI makes financial sense for state

KITV: Insulting E-Mail Stalled Tax Collection Effort

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School board hires consultant in fake search for superintendent

Garrett Toguchi, board chairman, said Goeke is "going to be used to gather feedback from the community on what (residents) would like to see" in a new superintendent.

(They’ve already picked Matayoshi, the consultant will help the BoE know what to say when selling their choice.)

Meanwhile, the board says it does not intend to conduct a nationwide search, but will (waste a lesser amount of money) advertis(ing) the job in national education journals and magazines and will turn to educational foundations to find potential candidates (in order to make it look good.)

Matayoshi has been called a strong candidate for the permanent position, but others have questioned whether she has put in enough time in the education system.

(In other words, the SA only acknowledges critics who say she is not sufficiently engrained in the corrupt and venal DoE system.)

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Hawaii Gov. Lingle signs law exempting some cargo fees and directing money to ag inspections

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has signed into law a measure exempting some bulk freight from pest inspection, quarantine and eradication fees.

The exemption applies to aggregate bulk freight, cement bulk freight, coal bulk freight and liquid bulk freight.

The law attempts to fight invasive species and strengthen agricultural inspection laws by imposing fines on failure to pay fees and requiring that money raised by agricultural inspections go into an eradication fund.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Clift Tsuji says the law gives the Department of Agriculture more resources to focus on agriculture inspection and biosecurity.

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DelaCruz details plan to keep rail on track

Dela Cruz is among five declared candidates for the mayor's position, once it becomes vacant. Incumbent Mayor Mufi Hannemann plans to vacate the office July 20, when he is required to resign in order to pursue a run for governor.

Other declared candidates for the final two years of the term are city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell, University of Hawaii engineering professor Panos Prevedouros and City Councilman Rod Tam.

Only Prevedouros, who also ran for mayor in 2008, is on record as a staunch opponent of rail, pushing for cheaper alternatives such as dedicated express lanes for high-occupancy traffic like buses, van pools and large car pools.

"Buses and roadways can do much, much better at a fraction of the cost to the public," he said.

HNN: Mayoral candidate's unconventional pitch for votes

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Honolulu spending stimulus money on art

HONOLULU (AP) About $400,000 in federal stimulus money is being spent on a mural and flowering trellises at two new Honolulu transit centers.

City Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka told the Legislative Federal Economic Stimulus Program Oversight Commission that the city is required to spend 1 percent, or more than $377,000, of stimulus grant money on enhancement projects.

Enhancement projects can include public art and historic preservation.

(So they can’t use this money for archaeology and burial treatments?  They are going to have to do a lot of that.)

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UH Board of Regents to debate Thirty Meter Telescope project

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will debate in a public meeting whether to grant their final approval to the billion dollar project, which includes the construction of a world-class telescope on a northern plateau of Mauna Kea.

Should the regents approve the project, the TMT Observatory Corp. will go to the Board of Land and Natural Resources for permission to build as early as October, said Sandra Dawson. Dawson has overseen the approval of the Environmental Impact Study process, and she is now preparing the Conservation District Use Application in anticipation of the regents' approval….

(And then the shake down will begin in earnest.)

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Council action means choices limited in land fund charter vote

HILO -- Voters in November will have the choice of putting a minimum 1 percent land fund or no land fund at all in the county charter, after the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday fell one vote short of putting a 2 percent option on the ballot.

Voting for the bill were its sponsor, Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, along with North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell, South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford,
Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason.

Because it's a charter amendment, the bill needed six votes, so it failed.

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Council, staff taking pay cuts, furloughs

North Kona Councilman Kelly “GTMO” Greenwell was the sole dissenter in the 7-1 vote.  "There are other ways to resolve this thing other than laying people off or furloughing people," Greenwell said. 

(Like legalizing dope so voters will be too stoned to notice that GTMO Greenwell has welcomed AlQaeda head choppers to live in our midst.)

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Furloughs to slow some police functions

But anticipate a longer wait in line for police reports, background checks and records, as well as firearms registration, on furlough days.

The approximately 2,000 sworn officers are exempted from the citywide furloughs. However, about 70 percent of HPD's 497 civilian employees will be furloughed and take unpaid days off two Fridays a month like many other city employees. That is a pay reduction of about 9 percent.

Those furloughed will include nearly all administrative support staff, including civilian clerks, secretaries, information technology specialists, maintenance and mechanical staff, and evidence lab personnel.

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Man Accused Of Sex Trafficking Skips Bail

Vaimili is charged with terroristic threatening, promoting prostitution, kidnapping and firearms charges. Prosecutors said he threatened a prostitute into working for him, forced her to work the streets instead of working in a massage parlor and kept all her earnings.

The woman who issued his bail bond was visibly angry and stormed out of the court saying, “We’re going hunting!” In Hawaii, a bondsman can avoid having to pay the bail if the fugitive can be brought back to court in a reasonable amount of time.  (Many bondsmen never pay.)

Prosecutors had asked that Vaimili, who is from San Francisco, be held without bail, but the judge instead put him on a curfew with electronic monitoring.

The trial is scheduled to resume Monday morning.

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RIMPAC 2010 War Games Launch in Hawaii

In total, RIMPAC 2010 was expected to involve 34 ships, five submarines, more than 100 aircraft and 20,000 personnel, the U.S. Navy said.

By June 28, the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet will be hosting units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

(Will an undetected Chinese submarine surface in the middle of this year’s war games?)

RIMPAC 2010 begins in Hawaii

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USDA reveals $168 billion cost of 2022 biofuels target ($8/gallon fuel)

America will need to build 527 biorefineries at a cost of $168 billion to meet the 2022 target of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

That is according to the US Department of Agriculture, which said yesterday that it expects the biofuels market to react to the need for more renewable fuels infrastructure.

It is expecting the cost of new advanced biofuels plants to be equivalent to $8 per gallon, although as more and more plants are built the costs would come down.

SA: 10 answer HECO's call for biofuel

TOTALLY RELATED: CBS News Nails Abercrombie for giving multi-million dollar earmarks to campaign donors

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A palace for the potash king

Kauai agrees to receive a billion dollar psy-ops target for new age eco-cultists.  Ca-ching!

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