S&P: Star-Advertiser Parent Company Subject to Cashflow 'Sweep' by Creditors
Before Raising Taxes, Look at What We Already Pay
VIDEO: Oahu Council District 1 Candidates Face Off
Rail: Designed to Fail
Failed Psy-Op: Bus Cuts Blow Back on Rail Lobby, Mayor
SA: In Waikiki, longtime bus rider Roger Van Cleve is threatening to go out and buy a car.
"If I don't know what the bus schedules are, I can't be out on a corner someplace waiting forever," said Van Cleve, 83. "This is all a setup to make us cry for rail."
In Palolo, 40-year-old artist Cory Kot said that today he can ride a single bus to get downtown, but bus changes scheduled to take effect in August will require him to transfer to make the same trip.
Kot questioned why TheBus management is suddenly so intent on imposing budget cuts that require Kot to wait longer at bus stops when the city is preparing to spend a whopping $5.27 billion on a new rail transit system.
The Honolulu City Council Transportation Committee will hear public testimony Thursday on the bus service changes made earlier this month, and on additional changes planned for August. The council update on the bus service changes will begin at 1 p.m. at the City Council Committee Room on the second floor of Honolulu Hale.
"To me, it's insane," Kot said. "It's going to affect ridership, is what I predict."
City bus drivers say they are receiving dozens of complaints from riders, particularly from hotel employees who used bus Route B to get in and out of Waikiki for work. The city eliminated Route B, requiring riders to shift to often-crowded Route 2 buses….
Spurgeon said his 55-minute bus commute from Ewa Beach has become an ordeal of 21⁄2 hours each way, which includes time spent at bus stops waiting for two or three transfers.
Faced with the prospect of a five-hour round-trip bus commute each day, Spurgeon said he went out and bought a car.
"Now I spend $450 a month on gas, which is a shame because the whole object of the bus is to keep people off the road and keep traffic off the freeway, right?" he asked. "It was too much frustration. It's horrible. If I ride the bus for five hours, I don't have that much time to sleep."
Employees at the coffee shop are suddenly coming in late because they can't get a bus when they need one, and Spurgeon blames Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.
"I don't know why the mayor would let this go on when he's supposed to be the one who's protecting us," Spurgeon said. "He's not doing a very good job."
read … Psy-Ops Blowback
Rail will use more energy than buses or autos
HT: We have documented precisely why rail will be an energy hog although it is not for those who glaze over after the third number. But it is a fascinating story of elevated rail, in practice, having very high energy use, TheBus being one of the more energy efficient systems in the nation and autos rapidly declining energy use. In short, it is a story of 40 years ago rail was the low energy user and today it has morphed into being a relatively high energy user. It is a worth while read.
read … Honolulu’s rail line will use more energy than buses or autos
Abercrombie Zings Himself
Shapiro: Gov. Neil Abercrombie praised the Board of Education he appointed, saying board members have "not been in many headline stories … because they were achieving things." He should try it himself sometime.
read … Self-Inflicted
Negative Campaigning Works, Outrage Against it is Fake
Cataluna: Every election year in Hawaii, somebody resorts to negative campaigning, and every time it happens, the reaction is, "Tsk-tsk, this is not how we do things in the Aloha State! This is a new low."
The low isn't new. The way the message is delivered is, though. Perhaps the way negative ads are perceived is changing as well.
The reality is that negative campaigning does happen in Hawaii. In fact, it reliably happens every time there's an election. Acting shocked and offended every time a new hit piece is revealed is some kind of cultural conceit, an unspoken agreement to maintain the myth of Hawaii's decorum.
In the days before email lists, blogging and websites, negative campaigning relied on over-the-fence gossiping. There have always been election-year whispers and rumors that swept through communities like a bad smell on a Kona wind. Cec Heftel's 1986 gubernatorial campaign was derailed by an anonymous letter sent in the mail, which was bold at the time because there was something on paper rather than just passed along the grapevine.
What is different these days is that spreading dirt on a candidate is easier. You don't even need to buy stamps. The other difference, though, is that now it's possible to trace the mud back to its source. Even the most anonymous websites are trackable, and once you find out who is slinging mud, it's not hard to figure out why.
read … Happens Every Time
DoH: HI-5 Has no Fraud, Now Gimme the Money
SA: The HI-5 program is well managed and audited each year by the state Department of Health. Our budget and program is studied annually by the state Legislature. The state auditor reviewed the HI-5 program in 2005, 2008 and 2010 as required by law. Although only the 2005 audit has been released by the auditor, her office will be back to assess our program this August.
To guard against fraud or overcharging, the department performs its own audits of HI-5 redemption centers and private recyclers. And we send inspectors into the field to assure scales are calibrated and paperwork is properly maintained….
In 2011 the HI-5 program collected more than $55 million dollars. Of that amount, $35 million was returned to the public through redemptions. An additional $20 million was paid to recyclers to collect and recycle almost 700 million beverage containers. Nine employees manage this statewide program. Our direct program cost for salaries and benefits was about $600,000.
read … excuses for a fee hike
More Corporatist Dreams For Lanai
SA: Look at the sale and you see a 141-square-mile island with good water, great people and mostly potential. Look at Lanai and you also see the tiny state of Hawaii buffeted and pulled by powerful outside forces it cannot control.
Lanai is the little island that could but didn't.
First it was sugar and a plantation that didn't work, and then there was ranching, sheep and goat and also cattle, which also didn't work. Finally, in 1922, James Dole bought Lanai with the idea of growing pineapple.
The pineapple plantation caught on. Lanai was the summer destination for high school athletes and local kids strong enough for the tough work of picking pineapple. The population grew from the 120 in the ranching days to about 3,000.
Folks on Lanai looked like Hawaii: Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Caucasian and Hawaiian.
After a nearly 70-year run, the sweet fruit was being grown cheaper everywhere else in the world except Hawaii. While putting pineapple on anything from pizza to ham prompted chefs to call it "Hawaiian," pine was leaving the islands.
"We all knew Dole was done; we didn't know what would happen, and then Mr. Murdock came," said one Lanai resident who talked to me about the sale.
The hard-working folk who literally awoke each morning to the Dole plantation whistle were learning a new lifestyle: the hospitality industry….
read … Will billionaire Ellison ‘get’ Lanai’s invaluable assets?
1978 Constitution Creeps Forward over Decades
SA: The mandate to designate IAL was proposed in the Constitutional Convention of 1978, and voters ratified the amendment that same year.
We're still waiting. But in more recent years, the counterpoint to the plodding progress has been the quickening public debate over the balance between preserving agriculture and accommodating development — especially on Oahu, where agricultural acreage is disappearing and the pressures of urbanization have intensified. In particular, the recent Land Use Commission approvals of the Ho‘opili and Koa Ridge projects have given agriculture its highest profile in years.
Now, it would seem, Hawaii is at a crossroads. If agriculture is to become a truly vibrant industry, the commitment to ag lands must be made, almost immediately.
The state in 2005 passed legislation laying out the criteria for issuing this top rank to ag lands and enacted incentives to help their private owners make the investments necessary to make agricultural production viable. Lawmakers recently have taken more small steps in the right direction — a list of such actions follows — but without the fundamental designation of the most essential agricultural lands, the incremental efforts could be wasted.
That's why there's a glimmering of hope in that the city is about to finalize a contract with a consulting firm to draw the maps with the IAL designations for Oahu.
read … Move faster on ag lands protection
Future Failures: DOE expanding student 'watch list'
SA: In the coming school year, students who accrue too many absences, get into too much trouble or fall behind in class will be flagged in a new computerized "early-warning system" designed to direct interventions to kids who need it the most….
Janice Espiritu, principal at Kaunakakai Elementary, which was among the schools that piloted the program, said the system allowed more targeted intervention for kids and also prompted broader discussions about how the campus was doing overall.
She said in an early analysis, the school's data appeared to improve over the course of the pilot. And she pointed out the program doesn't only have to be about identifying kids who are struggling. It was also used at the school last year to spot kids who are excelling or showing improvement, Espiritu said. (Now they know who to discourage.)
Michael Tokioka, the principal at Aiea High, said among the biggest challenges of the new system will be getting everyone at the school into the habit of using it regularly. "You can have a system, but what the teacher does with it is important," he said.
He added, "These kinds of things do take time."
read … Watch List
DoE Insiders Resist RTTT Effort to Bring in non Ed School Grads
SA: Bringing noneducators into school administration, similarly, is territory that is approached with care. On Friday, the DOE launched its Alternative Certification for School Administrator Program, funded with a $900,000 federal grant, a sliver of the $75 million Race to the Top education reform initiative.
The money will cover the costs of training and mentoring 24 candidates for vice principal over a two-year course (see box for a schedule of community briefings on the project). They then will apply with school principals for VP slots, along with job candidates coming up through the schoolteacher ranks.
The contract is with Chaminade University, which will provide most of the course work for the candidates, in partnership with School Turnaround, a New York-based provider of educational training.
"In many ways, the Race to the Top grant we won is about trying new things," said Alex Harris of the Office of Strategic Reform, the DOE division that's carrying out the elements in the Race school improvement blueprint.
read … Yes, But Will They be Good Enough to Measure up to the Vaunted Standards of the DoE?
Charter School Teams up With Grad Students to Build 3-D Printer
SA: Kamalama and 20 of his seventh-and eighth-grade classmates at Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School in Kaneohe jumped on the opportunity thanks to the School and University Partnership for Educational Renewal in Mathematics project at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's department of mathematics.
Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, SUPER-M sends graduate math students to K-12 schools throughout Hawaii to stimulate curiosity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Teachers at interested schools attend workshops put on by UH-Manoa where they learn about the program.
At the workshops, they are paired with graduate students and given time to plan a project to work on for the year.
read … About what the DoE is desperately trying to avoid
Gay-Atheist Bullying: Title IX Allows Us to Impose Gay Agenda
SA: Mink's legislation started a revolution on the nation's playing fields, leading to a nearly 90 percent increase in participation by young women and girls. But there are other components of Title IX that are just as vital. Title IX has helped make students safer from gender-based violence and harassment by requiring schools to have policies — and to take action — against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and bullying by both staff and students. This includes harassment based on stereotypes about how boys or girls ought to look or behave, and it protects students whether they are male or female, lesbian/gay/ bisexual or transgender.
Title IX can also be used to address the disturbing trend of creating separate classes for boys and girls. These programs, which are often based on inaccurate scientific claims about supposed differences between boys' and girls' brains and learning styles, promote egregious gender stereotypes.
Hoover: Repeal Title IX
read … The ACLU’s Latest Trick
Gay Activists Use El Paso Suicide to Impose Agenda in Hawaii Schools
SA: Brandon Elizares' best friend, Shaquail Reed, who flew in from Georgia for the ceremony, remembered Elizares as a funny, outgoing and talented person who shared her love of R&B music and dancing.
"We just clicked," said Reed, 18. "We'd go to parties and the mall. We'd talk about our love lives and our everyday dramas. He looked up to me because I was a couple of years older, but I also looked up to him because of the person he was. He was soft on the outside, which is why people picked on him, but he had a strong heart — the heart of a lion."
Reed, who is lesbian, helped Elizares come out to his family and later set him up with the boyfriend he had at the time of his death. Even after Reed moved to Georgia, the two remained close — close enough that Elizares turned to her during an earlier crisis that left him feeling suicidal.
"He was being harassed all the time — before, during and after school," Reed said. "There were students and teachers who just didn't like him because of who he was. He texted me and I called him back and we just talked it out. But this time, he didn't text or call or anything. I'm still kind of in shock that this happened."
Like many in attendance, the Rev. Carolyn Golojuch, president of PFLAG-Oahu, found cruel irony in that Elizares took his life on the same day that the LGBT community in Hawaii was celebrating the annual Honolulu Pride Parade and Celebration.
Coming: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
read … Bullying
Soft on Crime: Serial Molester Allegedly Doing it Again
KGI: The crimes allegedly occurred between June 1 and Aug. 14. Rita is accused of engaging in three or more acts of sexual penetration and sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
The third-degree charges are for having sexual contact with the minor’s breasts and posterior on three separate occasions. He was indicted on Sept. 14.
This is Rita’s third sex-related crime case, according to information on the State of Hawai‘i Sex Offender Registry. The registry notes a 1996 conviction for second-degree sexual assault and that Rita lost an appeal on the 10-year sentence. He was also convicted of incest in 1996 and was sentenced to five years.
Read … Soft on Crime
Guam: New Saint a Challenge to anti-Colonial Historical Interpretation
SA: On April 2, 1672, the day before Passion Sunday, Calungsod and San Vitores had finished baptizing the daughter of a chief when they were attacked and killed by the baby's father, Matapang, and another villager who resented the missionaries, according to a website — www.pedrocalungsod.net — maintained by the Rev. Jose Arong of Oakland, Calif. Calungsod is believed to have died first, perhaps defending the priest.
Arong knew nothing about Calungsod until he heard his story in Cebu three years ago. Since then, he's been organizing efforts to teach modern-day Catholics the lessons of Calungsod's martyrdom.
"It's too bad that a man died for our faith and we Filipinos don't even know about him," Arong said.
Part of the appeal of Calungsod's journey from 17th-century catechist to 21st-century saint lies "in the fact that he was an unknown," Arong said. "He was an underdog. And I've made it a personal crusade to make him known to people."
Although Guam, a U.S. territory nearly 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, is largely Catholic, many there have been reluctant to celebrate an obscure outsider who was killed by locals, said Deacon Kin Borja of St. Elizabeth Church in Aiea, who is of Filipino and Chamorro ancestry and grew up on Guam. In fact, Matapang is now seen by many Chamorros as a hero for resisting colonial rule.
"We never heard the name of the young martyr," Borja said. "I did not even know his name until very recently because of complete shame over his death and the legend of what my ancestors did."
The deaths of the two missionaries were so shrouded in mystery, Borja said, that he and other children on Guam were told the waters around Tumon turned red every year because of the dead men's blood.
Calungsod "was never mentioned by name but we were told his blood was coming back to haunt us," Borja said.
read … St Pedro Calungsod
Haleiwa land auction a bad deal financially and dubious public policy
SA: Resolution 12-143 will be heard on Monday, seeking City Council approval of closing and selling the 3.4-acre Haleiwa Beach Park Mauka.
The city seeks to utilize sealed "competitive" bidding between only developer D.G. "Andy" Anderson and Kamehameha Schools, the two owners of the land adjacent to Haleiwa Beach Park Mauka (Anderson abuts only one of the six TMKs that make up the park). The minimum bid for the 3.4-acre coastal property is $300,000.
If passed, the resolution triggers this chain of events: 1) Closing a public park along the heavily utilized North Shore coastline; 2) Eliminating active public use of a park being cared for by the community; and 3) Selling a 3.4-acre public park to a private party for private purposes at a fraction of its real value to the public.
Residents islandwide are asking the city to retract this resolution ….
read … Sell a Park to Developers
Medical conference explores electronic patient records
KHON: Currently more than 300 island physicians have already begun using the electronic health system.
"All your information is in one place," said Dr. Lance Kurata, Internal Medicine. "If I'm on the mainland or somewhere else I can get the information and I can give better care for my patients."
The patients who will benefit the most are the ones who frequently go to the doctor.
"In particular consumers that see multiple providers that get multiple lab tests done and those providers are on different electronic health records systems if at all this really helps them connect to the provider community," said Sakuda.
But switching to an electronic system is not cheap.
Experts say for 5 physicians in one office it can cost more than $230,000 to transfer to an electronic system.
"it's difficult to get started it costs a lot of money but in the long run I'm going to give better care and that's the biggest benefit," noted Kurata.
Kurata said there are financial incentives being given out by the federal government.
read … Big Brother
Star-Adv: Army Should Quit Makua Valley
SA: What should be paramount is the consideration of such damage and, in particular, the disturbance and hazard to residential communities, not only from the firing of ammunition but the increased risk of brush fires. The Army still has not made a persuasive case for ignoring these impacts in favor of keeping a back-pocket alternative site for live-fire training.
It would be far better if the Army would settle with the community once and for all on this issue. Rather than spend further funds on the studies, the ideal course would be to simply refocus its attention and resources on the ongoing upgrades in the two other locations.
Clearly, having well-prepared troops is critical to national security, and Hawaii is poised to play a greater role than ever in the Asia-Pacific region. But balance with community concerns is essential, too, and in the case of Makua Valley, there is a way to achieve both.
read … Just Quit
UC Prof: Obama Library will Pollute University with Liberalism
UPI: A Barack Obama presidential library at the University of Chicago would inevitably become a liberal think tank, a professor there says.
The university, where Obama taught at the law school and his wife, Michelle, served as a hospital administrator, has begun a quiet campaign for the library, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The University of Hawaii in Obama's birthplace has been campaigning more openly.
Charles Lipson, a political science professor, said President Ronald Reagan's library in California has become a rallying place for conservatives. The Carter Center in Atlanta, founded by President Jimmy Carter, and the John F. Kennedy Center in Boston advance liberal ideas.
"I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university's highest-profile institution on a national basis," Lipson said. "It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama's political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns."
Lipson said an Obama library in Chicago may be inevitable given the president's close ties to many at the university.
Read … About What UH Manoa Wants
WesPac: Deep 7 Targets Remain Unchanged
News Release: The Scientific and Statistical Committee that advises the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council concluded its meeting Thursday.
The committee recommends that the annual catch target for the seven deep-water bottomfish species in the main Hawaiian islands for the fishing years 2013-2014 remain at 325,000 pounds. The scientists note it is highly unlikely that this target will be reached in the current fishing year.
read … Deep 7