Call for Criminal Investigation of Hanabusa's Campaign Loans
HECO looks at natural gas to help shave power costs
SA: HECO made the statement in response to a letter Gov. Neil Abercrombie sent to utility officials Thursday urging them to find a way to take advantage of cheap natural gas, which has fallen in price by about 70 percent over the past four years….
"Still a prudent question is whether the portion of power generation that would continue to use imported petroleum oil during the transition to renewable energy could instead be converted to a potentially cheaper and cleaner fuel such as liquified natural gas that could reduce energy costs for consumers in Hawaii," Abercrombie wrote in the letter.
HECO Executive Vice President Robbie Alm on Friday said natural gas could provide a solution with "oil prices for electricity at near record levels."
"At the request of the governor, the chair of the Public Utilities Commission, and in the interest of lowering the cost of electricity for our customers, we are very seriously examining the possibility of using LNG to replace petroleum oil in our units," Alm told the Star-Advertiser in an email.
Full Text: Abercrombie Natural Gas Letter to HECO
read … HECO looks at natural gas
Malihini Demand EPA use Vog as Excuse to Shut Down Cane Fires
MN: However the testimony had little to do with the air quality at the summit, instead most comments were focused on the open burning of cane here by HC&S, and the assertion that it is detrimental to the health of island residents.
Many who testified also pointed out that six out of the eight identified sources that could contribute to the haze (such as agricultural burning) had been exempted from consideration by the EPA.
“There is no evidence of agricultural burning is contributing to the haze in Hawaii’s national parks and additional controls on sugarcane burning, beyond the existing agricultural burn permit program, are unwarranted,” said Sean O’Keefe, Director of Environmental Affairs for Alexander & Baldwin (the parent company of HC&S) in a prepared statement.
It was truly an exercise in the theater of the absurd: citizens made pleas to an agency with no authority to regulate agricultural burning. Kerry Drake, a regional associate director for the EPA Region 9 told Maui Now point blank that the EPA does not regulate such activity unless ordered to do so by Congress.
Related: Got Electricity? EPA May Force Shutdown of HECO Plants
read … OPINION: EPA Maui Hearing an Expensive Farce
Foreclosure practices prompt suit
SA: Three local law firms have filed what they hope will be a class-action lawsuit over how nonjudicial foreclosure auctions are being handled by certain foreclosure servicing companies.
The law firms are Perkin & Faria, Bickerton Lee Dang & Sullivan, and Affinity Law Group.
They filed a lawsuit in state court Thursday on behalf of Gloria Macadangdang Ilar and anybody else whose foreclosure was handled by Foreclosure Expeditors/Initiators, Routh Crabtree Olsen, P.S., both based in Washington state, RCO Hawaii and Alaska lawyer Stephen D. Routh.
According to the lawsuit, an RCO lawyer filed a notice of sale of Ilar's Waipahu property on behalf of mortgage holder U.S. Bank on or about March 4, 2010. The notice was for a public auction on April 7, 2010.
However, U.S. Bank chose to have the auction on a later date, and FEI, which was to conduct the auction, did not publicly announce the postponement, the lawsuit said.
Ilar's property was sold April 7, 2011, in a public auction conducted by FEI.
read … Foreclosure
Panetta: Pentagon to shift warships to Pacific
AP: The Pentagon will shift more Navy warships to the Asia-Pacific region over the next several years, and by 2020, about 60 percent of the fleet will be assigned there as part of a new strategy to increase U.S. presence in Asia, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today.
While noting it may take years to complete the transition, Panetta assured his audience at a security conference in Singapore that U.S. budget problems and cutbacks would not get in the way of changes. He said the Defense Department has money in the five-year budget plan to meet those goals.
read … Shift to Pacific
Hirono in Congress Sits on Sidelines
CB: “It’s no surprise that Mazie Hirono and her partisan backers, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), are pleased that Congressman Paul Ryan had the fortitude to release a detailed budget proposal, as it gives them an opportunity to attack, criticize and run their scare tactics rather than deal with the issues at hand. Neither the DSCC nor it’s anointed candidate, Mazie Hirono, have done a single thing to address the unsustainable deficit. And why should she? It is much easier to sit on the sidelines and sling partisan digs than it is to make tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions. “
Lee went on to describe Lingle as “the only candidate” in the Senate race who has made “tough but necessary” fiscal decisions.
CB: National Dems say Lingle’s Record Lines Up with blablabla
read … Lingle Camp Responds to National Dems
Pro Bowl: A New Day for Sandwiches
Shapiro: …a double quote of the week … from Abercrombie on Hawaii paying the NFL $4 million to host the Pro Bowl:
June 2011: "You've got this spectacle of these multimillionaires and billionaires out there arguing about how they're going to divide it up, and then they come and ask us to bribe them with $4 million to have a scrimmage out here in paradise. … What do they do with all that? How many sandwiches can you eat?"
This week after the game was renewed: "This is wonderful news for football fans in Hawaii and elsewhere who love watching the game. It's also great news for NFL players and their families who enjoy coming to our Aloha State."
He calls it "A New Day for Sandwiches."
read … Trash talk persists despite insistence upon teamwork
Pro-Rail Group Steps Up Offensive
CB: A pro-rail union group has stepped up its attack against mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano, buying thousands of dollars worth of ads on local stations this week. Meantime, U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle's campaign has started running ads despite her lack of a serious primary challenger.
Civil Beat's latest analysis of the public files kept by TV stations shows that the Pacific Resource Partnership, the advocacy arm of the local carpenters union, paid $102,665 for 232 spots on the three Hawaii News Now stations, $52,550 for 96 spots on KHON2 and $27,860 for 127 spots on KITV. All of the 30-second ads will air beginning the last week of July through mid-August.
Many of the ads appear to explicitly target Cayetano. A contract between KHON and Media Strategies and Research, acting on PRP's behalf, describes the spots as a "pro-rail campaign against anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano."
PRP also bought some of the most expensive ads seen to date in the public files: four 30-second spots on KHNL during the summer Olympics in July at $9,000 apiece.
read … Your Tax Dollars at Work
CAMPAIGN SIGNS STOLEN DURING OPENING OF OAHU HEADQUARTERS
News Release from Lingle2012.com -- Tonight Governor Linda Lingle was joined by over 300 supporters for the blessing of the Oahu U.S. Senate Campaign Headquarters. The blessing of the Kalihi property included the traditional untying of the maile lei, a Hawaiian trio band, and food catered by a local Filipino restaurant.
While supporters rallied inside the building, two campaign signs and the metal stands were stolen from the front of the property on Dillingham Blvd.
The volunteers and campaign team are disappointed that on a night of such celebration such disrespect would be shown to Hawaii's former governor and candidate for the United States Senate. The Linda Lingle Senate Committee is hopeful that the two signs will be returned to the headquarters.
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Hirono, Case to debate
MN: Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, Ed Case and Mazie K. Hirono, will participate in an hourlong debate, sponsored by AARP Hawaii, on June 12 in the Maui Beach Hotel Elleair Room.
The debate will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be preceded by a discussion forum highlighting state and federal issues of concern to Hawaii residents age 50 and older. The discussion is to begin at 9 a.m….
The event is free and open to the public. To register to attend, call toll-free (877) 926-8300 or go online to aarp.cvent.com/mauidebate.
read … If Mazie Shows
Chang Won’t Seek Re-election to State House
BIN: Rep. Jerry Chang, the Big Island’s longest-serving state legislator, today announced that he will not seek re-election.
Chang, who has served 12 consecutive terms in District 2, would have faced Rep. Mark Nakashima in the newly drawn District 1 under new political maps established in March by the state Reapportionment Commission.
Nakashima is the two-term incumbent in District 1, which includes the Hamakua area. Chang’s home was placed into that district when the commission moved its boundary into upper Hilo.
read … Bye Bye Jerry
Harry Kim to Block Kenoi Reelection?
WHT: Kim said he’s getting his paperwork together, but he emphasized he won’t decide for sure about running until Monday, the day before the deadline to file nomination papers for this year’s election.
“Monday, I will know,” Kim said, adding he’s still talking with family members about a decision….
Kim, 72, had faced Yagong as a challenger in 2004, in what some called the most low-key and low-budget mayoral race in county history. Yagong lost after garnering just 27 percent of the vote to the incumbent Kim.
But Yagong, still running a low-budget campaign against Kenoi’s $333,733 in contributions as of Dec. 31, said he welcomes Kim to the race. A three-way race is likely to split the union vote between Kim and Kenoi, giving Yagong a clearer shot at the general election.
“We’ve expected Harry to run all along,” Yagong said. “I think it would be good for the future of our island to have a good selection of candidates.”
read … Harry Kim
Council Rejects Election Year Pay Raise
SA: City Council members are poised to reject proposed pay raises of 3 percent for themselves as recommended by the city Salary Commission.
The Salary Commission recommended the Council chairman's position receive $60,354, while the other eight other Council members would see their pay rise to $54,019.
Resolution 122, which rejects the raises, is up for a final vote before the Council on Wednesday. But the nine Council members, acting as the Committee on Legislative Matters, already voted unanimously May 16 to reject the raises. They also voted to reject a raise, to $133,191, for the prosecuting attorney.
Hanabusa: “Legislators work very hard and deserve the raise”
read … No Raise in Election Year
United Kingdom council to cease operating Mauna Kea telescopes
SA: The United Kingdom's Science and Technology Facilities Council said it will end operation of two telescopes on Mauna Kea in the coming years.
The council said it will no longer support the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope at the end of September 2013. It is the world's largest telescope dedicated solely to infrared astronomy. The neighboring James Clerk Maxwell Telescope will continue operating to the end of September 2014.
In 2009, the council recommended closing both telescopes by the end 2012, but the council allowed for an extension pending a review by an independent advisory board.
The council said if an alternate operator is not found for either telescope, they will be decommissioned.
read … United Kingdom council to cease operating Mauna Kea telescopes
Apply strict rules for use of Tasers
SA: In the six years since a Maui woman was zapped by a stun gun, prompting a lawsuit that stopped just short of the U.S. Supreme Court, incidents and guidelines involving the weapon's use have proliferated. Clarity from the high court on appropriate stun-gun use would have been welcome, but it recently declined to hear the case. Still, rulings in that suit and a similar one from Seattle clearly send the message that police departments here and nationwide can be sued for misuse of this potentially deadly weapon, so they had better adopt and apply clear and strict guidelines for its use.
Stun guns "should be used only against subjects who are exhibiting active aggression" or resisting in a way that could cause injuries, the U.S. Department of Justice said in guidelines last year. When used on a fleeing subject, "the severity of the offense, (and) threat level to others" should be considered, the guidelines say.
read … Apply strict rules for use of Tasers
Work begins on Kapolei affordable rental project
SA: D.R. Horton — Schuler Division will build the 120 rental apartment units in the first phase of the project for Mutual Housing Association of Hawaii. The development is on Keahumoa Parkway (formerly known as East-West Road), near the Kroc Center.
The first phase will include an administration office, community center and rental apartments for families earning 30 percent through 60 percent of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development median incomes for the area.
read … Work begins on Kapolei affordable rental project
Waimea Middle School earns ‘candidacy for accreditation
News Release: As a result of this visit, the Visiting Committee will recommend a term of accreditation to the WASC Commission, which may then grant or deny accreditation.
Supporting WMS through the accreditation process are Kamehameha Schools, Hookakoo Corp., and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS).
read … Waimea Middle School
Document suggests that boy, 4, killed by stomping
MN: A 4-year-old Wailuku boy died of blunt force trauma to his lower abdomen, "with the injuries most likely coming from someone stomping on him while he was lying on the ground," according to an affidavit filed in court to support holding the child's father and his live-in girlfriend on a second-degree murder charge.
Kyle McKeown, 32, and Grace Lee-Nakamoto, 27, made initial appearances Friday afternoon before 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen. A preliminary hearing for the two is set for Tuesday afternoon in Family Court.
The boy's grandmother, Oahu resident Maryann Rooney, said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the state failed to protect Zion McKeown. She said that he was returned to an allegedly abusive parent after the state took custody of him when he was severely injured at 6 months old. She said that she called Child Welfare Services about a year ago to report that Zion should not be in his parents' care.
read … Document suggests that boy, 4, killed by stomping
Maui police officer indicted in sex-assault case involving minor
SA: Paul Bailey was indicted on four counts of third-degree sexual assault following allegations of sexual misconduct involving a 15-year-old girl on May 21.
Bail was set at $100,000. He is scheduled to appear in state court at 8 a.m. on June 19. Bailey, 44, is currently on paid administrative leave.
read … Another day, another cop
Alleged Homosexual Rapist Arrested at Homeless Camp
SA: A 56-year-old homeless man was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the sexual assault of a teenage boy at a Waimanalo park more than a month ago, police said.
The suspect allegedly assaulted the 14-year-old boy, who is not an acquaintance, in the Sherwood Forest section of at Waimanalo Bay State Recreational Area about midnight on April 18
read … The Homeless are Victims, you know