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Thursday, April 8, 2010
April 8, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:07 PM :: 13676 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

LINK>>>Missile Defense: Obama's False START could leave Hawaii unprotected 

Inouye to beg Pelosi not to support Case 

The DCCC, concerned that former congressman Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa will split the Democratic vote in the May special election, is expected to spend heavily in Hawai'i to prevent a Djou victory.

The DCCC is reportedly so worried about a loss in President Obama's hometown urban Honolulu congressional district that it has considered taking sides between Case and Hanabusa.

Case, who campaigns on his independence and his desire to change the political culture in Hawai'i and Washington, D.C., has a new ad that stresses he is a Democrat. Previous Case ads have avoided the party label.

Local Democrats who have backed Hanabusa, including U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and prominent labor leaders, have stood behind the state Senate president despite reports that national Democrats may go with Case.

Inouye has said he expects to meet with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., when he returns to Washington next week to urge the DCCC not to endorse Case.

RELATED: Politico: Inouye aide to assist Hanabusa (Inouye to DC: “Obama? Who’s Obama?”)

ATR: DCCC’s attack on Djou, Claims about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge “False”

DCCC still lying: Rather Than Own Up To His Support For Protecting Corporations That Ship Jobs Overseas, Charles Djou Tries to Change the Subject 

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The squeeze is on: Taxing bills gain momentum

Lawmakers put the pinch on gas and cigarettes as they advance measures aimed at closing the huge budget shortfall.  Thirty-seven transactions that are now exempt from the state's 4 percent general excise tax would be subject to a tax of 1 percent starting July 1, and the tax on a barrel of oil would jump to $1.55 from a nickel under proposals advancing in the Legislature.

SB: The problem is spending

HR: Whopping Tax Increases Pass Hawaii Legislature

RELATED: April 15 No New Taxes Five Rallies on Four Islands: Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Maui, Kauai

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Hawaii Legislature Tackles Controversial Public Education Issues

Rep. Joe Souki (D-Wailuku) opened debate with strong opposition to SB2570 SD1 HD2, which would replace the statewide elected school board with a governor-appointed board.

“If it goes to governor’s office, you are going to have the same things you are hearing right now. Makes that person the most powerful. Hawaii already has the most powerful governor in the nation. It's going to make us that much weaker. You are going to continue to lose the power between the Legislature and the Executive,” Souki said.

Rep. Lyla Berg (D-Hahaione) countered: “For 32 years, we assumed the board would pay attention to policy. But they have to focus on compliance with contracts. We have to pay attention to the well-being of children. I would ask all of my colleagues to go into their communities and ask who they voted for during the last Board of Education election.”

Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) countered, “It is not about power: It is about education. We cannot continue to go from decade to decade with no improvement.”

Ward reminded members of the House that former Hawaii Governors George Ariyoshi, Ben Cayetano and John Waihee all support an appointed education board.

Representatives Mele Carroll (D-Lanai), Lynn Finnegan (R-Aiea), Angus McKelvey (D-Lahaina), Karl Rhodes (D-Palama) and Souki voted “no,” with all others voting “yes.”

RELATED: House Fumbles Furloughs (Again)

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School fixes engage gov candidates

Two candidates for governor like Gov. Linda Lingle's proposal to have the superintendent of schools be a Cabinet-level executive appointee, describing it as the clearest way to achieve direct accountability for improving Hawaii's statewide public education system.

Democrat Neil Abercrombie, who resigned his U.S. House seat to run for governor, and Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, who hopes to succeed Lingle, both like the idea, which has made little headway in the Legislature.

Lawmakers instead are moving ahead with House and Senate bills that would let voters decide whether to replace the statewide, elected Board of Education with one appointed by the next governor. The governor would select from nominees supplied by an advisory panel; appointees would need Senate confirmation. The school board, in turn, would hire the superintendent.

Either change — to have an appointed BOE or a Cabinet-level superintendent — would require a constitutional amendment approved by Hawaii voters to take effect. The current BOE opposes both proposals, preferring to remain having elected members….

(And we can count on the HSTA to spend $100,000 of NEA funds to fight it at the polls.  Who will step up to raise funds and organize a PAC to deliver the pro-reform message to voters?)

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25 Parents, kids stage Lingle office sit-in

Members of Save Our Schools who are upset that the state and the Hawaii teachers union have not ended the furloughs are expected to gather in mid-afternoon.

The group sent a letter to Lingle on Monday asking her to personally participate in negotiations with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the state Board of Education and the state Department of Education.

ADV: Protesters demand end to furloughs

Who is SOS?  Read >>> Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires

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Land gift initiates aid to leeward education (Hanabusa gets plug from Jeff Stone)

Stone credited state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa with being the "catalyst" for the donation.  He said he learned about the need for a large tract of land for Kamehameha Schools through Hanabusa, who represents the Waianae area.  (Do you think anybody actually believes this line of bs, Jeff?)

EXPLAINED: Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina

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Federal APEC funds could be 'tens of millions'  Ca-Ching!

That’s what it is all about.  More Federal pork to feed the corporatist State.

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Log Cabin Republicans Endorses Charles Djou for Congress

Charles Djou, a young Chinese-American from Hawaii, serves as a Captain in the Army Reserves and is a staunch opponent of the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Djou fought for government transparency in Hawaii, supports market-based healthcare reform and tort reform, and has never voted for a tax increase.

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Hawaiian Telcom seeks initial public offering

Walter Dods, who has been a Hawaiian Telcom board member since May 2005 and chairman since May 2008 (ie during the period in which Hawaiian Tel crashed and burned), will no longer continue in a director's role.  "I made the decision to take a more active role in the company as part of the restructuring process because I believe this institution is important to Hawaii," Dods said.  (Plus he’s chairing Inouye’s reelection campaign.)

RELATED:

Central Pacific Bank stock tops $2  (Like Hawaiian Tel, CPB chucked out the old boys, and in doing so avoided liquidation.)

Hoku buys chemicals for Idaho plant (Your tax dollars at work, thanks to act 215/221 tax credits creating jobs in Idaho and profits in Germany and China while Hawaii insiders laugh at how taxpayers paid them millions to do this.)

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Council kills Tam's proposal to end fund that he misused

The proposal, Resolution 10-74, was introduced by Councilman Rod Tam, who was censured last month by the Council over his misuse of funds from the contingency account.

Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Charles Djou decided to shelve the resolution upon learning that Tam was no longer in support.

RELATED: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore Development hui

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More info on possible Star-Bulletin Buyers

The three suitors for the Star-Bulletin are state Sen. Sam Slom and Hawaii Reporter Editor Malia Zimmerman in a joint bid, self-described entrepreneur Frederick "Derek" Harris of the Big Island, and the Anthem Newspaper Group.

Texas businessman Brian Ferguson, managing principal of Anthem, said yesterday that the company made several proposals; however, none are for the Star-Bulletin alone.

"We do not believe that the Star-Bulletin as a stand-alone entity is viable going into the future," Ferguson said. "David Black doesn't believe the Star-Bulletin standing alone is a viable entity going into the future and it's very clear that no publisher in the U.S. believes that the Star-Bulletin is viable as a stand-alone entity. It's a matter of economics, not good journalism."

Ferguson declined to discuss details of his offer. However, he said the company may consider "including MidWeek as part of one of our proposals."

Dennis Francis, publisher of the Star-Bulletin and president of Oahu Publications, has said the Justice Department approved excluding MidWeek from the Star-Bulletin sale.

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ADV: Maui water ruling should favor HC&S

The decision, which the commission could issue any day, will be especially momentous for HC&S, the state's last sugar plantation. Environmental advocates, representing a handful of kalo farmers in the drought-plagued East Maui area, OHA Trustees and their so-called Native Hawaiian Legal Corp say diverted water flow has threatened stream ecosystems as well as the sustainability of kalo production created an opportunity to assert OHA ownership of all Hawaii’s fresh water resources.

These groups argue that HC&S hasn't been a careful conservator of water over its history and that the plantation uses more water than it needs. While denying these claims, HC&S gave in slightly. It's now asking to be given more water from two of the streams than the staff recommended, but accepting the recommendation for the other two streams.

The water commission should approve the HC&S proposal.

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Biofuel scam: After century of private sugar operation, HC&S to become ward of State (“Funding could determine future”)

HC&S better take a look a the future of ALL subsidy-dependent alt-fuel scams: Wind Energy's Ghosts

Baldwin girls’ softball will get new field: Under settlement, state releases $1M to build stadium

Instant justice for the politically correct—and $75K for the ACLU—while others languish for decades (see two articles above)

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GTMO Greenwell opposes Kenoi's stringent restrictions

Kenoi has been trying to fulfill a campaign pledge to counter a perception of cronyism in government contracting and a "who you know" mentality in how the county has done business for decades.

His proposal bans county employees from holding government contracts.

The mayor was praised for his efforts by three council members who have criticized him on other issues in the past.

"We've got to follow the lead of Mayor Kenoi on this ... I applaud him for that," said Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong, the only dissenter in the vote to postpone. "We need to move this forward ... send a strong message that we believe in the reform the mayor is calling for."

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Enviros to use Garbage Guilt to squeeze millions from Hawaii Co Taxpayers

Even moving slowly toward that zero-waste goal has generated controversy. It will also cost money, lots of money.

The plan estimates the current $27.4 million solid waste operating expenses will rise to $29.4 million next year, $37.4 million the year after that, then $41.6 million, $43.1 million and finally $46.3 million by fiscal year 2014-15.

"This plan is not something to be taken or dismissed lightly," said SWAC member Alex Leonard, speaking from Kona. "Garbage is not free."

The committee thinks a pay-as-you-throw model is the way to go.

Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong couldn't disagree more. He said residents are already facing property tax increases, sewer and water fee hikes and a number of other new charges.

He said he plans to make an amendment eliminating the pay-as-you-throw component.

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Enviros continue to harass Kona fish farm operators

Net pens are typically used in offshore aquaculture operations. The one at the harbor is infuriating some local environmentalists, who told West Hawaii Today on Monday the pen was on the coral reef at Kawaihae, has algae, parasites and stinging hydroids attached to the net, and was damaging "an already stressed marine environment."

However, Gunner Mench, owner of Harbor Gallery in Kawaihae, visited the site of the pen late Tuesday afternoon and said "there is nothing on the reef anywhere in the harbor area" that he could see.

(The enviros caught lying again.)

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EPA fines Gay and Robinson, Kula Lodge for cesspool violations

David Albright, manager of the EPA Southwest region's Ground Water Office noted that cesspools are used more widely in Hawai'i than in any other state.

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Kauai solar project 'pretty well stalled': Renewable power firm, utility break off talks over disagreement on costs

Roth said Pacific Light & Power signed a letter of intent with KIUC last August and that both sides had worked hard to come to an agreement. The renewable power firm is proposing to spend $70 million on a 102-acre array of solar heat collectors on former sugar cane land near Kekaha. Heated liquid from the collectors would drive steam turbines to produce electricity.

The startup company hoped to break ground on the project in December.

KIUC has two basic problems with the system: the cost of its power and that it would not be available all of the time, President Randy Hee said yesterday.

Hee would not say what wholesale cost Pacific Light & Power was offering KIUC, but said it was "on the high side ... and we have to look out for our ratepayers."

RELATED: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Fire Commission against allowing Kauai mayor to pick chief

Commissioner George Simpson, saying he recalled the days when the KFD captain who cooked for the winning mayoral candidate was routinely named fire chief by the mayor, made a motion that “we reject it in totality.”

“I think it’s a big mistake,” said Commissioner Wayne Mukai. “I couldn’t support it in any shape or form.”

“It is a step backwards,” said Commissioner Linda Ka‘auwai-Iwamoto.

Before the Kaua‘i Fire Commission was formed by a change to the charter approved by voters in 2006, the mayor had authority to hire and fire the fire chief. Now, the Fire Commission has that authority.

read more

Another Government–controlled market


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