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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
November 30, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:29 PM :: 7961 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

Wikileaks cables reveal China 'ready to abandon North Korea'

The leaked North Korea dispatches detail how:

  • South Korea's vice-foreign minister said he was told by two named senior Chinese officials that they believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul's control, and that this view was gaining ground with the leadership in Beijing.
  • China's vice-foreign minister told US officials that Pyongyang was behaving like a "spoiled child" to get Washington's attention in April 2009 by carrying out missile tests.
  • A Chinese ambassador warned that North Korean nuclear activity was "a threat to the whole world's security".
  • Chinese officials assessed that it could cope with an influx of 300,000 North Koreans in the event of serious instability, according to a representative of an international agency, but might need to use the military to seal the border.

In highly sensitive discussions in February this year, the-then South Korean vice-foreign minister, Chun Yung-woo, told a US ambassador, Kathleen Stephens, that younger generation Chinese Communist party leaders no longer regarded North Korea as a useful or reliable ally and would not risk renewed armed conflict on the peninsula, according to a secret cable to Washington.

Chun, who has since been appointed national security adviser to South Korea's president, said North Korea had already collapsed economically.

Political collapse would ensue once Kim Jong-il died, despite the dictator's efforts to obtain Chinese help and to secure the succession for his son, Kim Jong-un.

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Anti-Military DLNR Pick demands Prayer as part of Public Hearings

CB: …the intimidation came not from his appearance but what he had to say that day — specifically, to a military contingent from Alabama that was shopping around a new sea-based radar system. Hawaii was a candidate.

Aila, speaking at a public hearing near the airport, rose, introduced himself — and then proceeded to completely blow the (tiny) minds of the (inferior) folks from Alabama.

"You didn't offer a pule!" Aila said, (acting as a superior, enlightened being and) scolding the defense personnel for not arranging for the Hawaiian prayer that customarily opens important events.

Aila, a Native Hawaiian, then gave the pule himself, as the folks from Alabama — pasty white folks in need of weight loss (thus marking their inferiority) … — looked on, stunned.

Then it began to rain, and it was as if the gods themselves had rendered their judgment on the radar project….  (And Aila was their Prophet)

Abercrombie said Monday. "In the judiciary, the thing you look for in a judge is temperament, and if anyone has that it's William Aila….”

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Abercrombie DBEDT Pick financed biofuel, solar projects

KITV:

Abercrombie named Richard Lim as director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Lim has 30 years experience in banking and financial services.

Lim is a co-founder of Sennet Capital, a Hawaii-based merchant banking firm. 

Abercrombie said he was surprised and delighted Lim agreed to take the job and Lim said he surprised himself by applying for it.

"I am surprised that I am involved in this. I spent my entire career in the private sector but because of this unique opportunity, I thought I would give government a shot," said Lim.

>>> READ THIS http://sennetcapital.com/highlights.asp  AND THIS >>> http://sennetcapital.com/team.asp

(Good timing for Kim, since all those federal “alternative energy” subsidies are running out and the State’s ACT 221 subsidies are no longer enough of a free giveaway….)

SA:

Jim Tollefson, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, described Lim -- the DBEDT nominee -- as a forward thinker.

"I think it's going to be received very favorably in the business community," he said of the nomination. "He's got an entrepreneurial spirit."

TOTALLY RELATED: Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires

Abercrombie: Clayton Hee has destroyed his chances of ever getting anywhere

Sen. Hee’s name was mentioned over and over again to me all through the campaign for various positions, which probably destroyed any chance he has of ever getting anywhere.

I was just kidding with somebody the other day. They said, `Well, Clayton Hee is going to be the head of DLNR.’ And I said, `Well, he can’t. He’s going to be the head of agriculture.’

(laughter)

And I said, `Of course I could make him head of both departments.’ And they said, `Well, how can you do that?’

I said, `I’ll have to ask Attorney General Cayetano.’

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Inouye offers defense of congressional earmarks

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye went on the Senate floor Monday and offered a comprehensive defense of something with which he is intimately familiar — the congressional spending practice known as earmarks.

The eight-term Democrat read a nearly 2,000-word statement in advance of a vote on an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would ban earmarks from appropriations bills over the next three years.

(The amendment failed, so the House and Senate now have conflicting positions on earmarks.  This may help Abercrombie because all of his schemes are 100% dependent on federal pork.)

RELATED: Inouye becomes useless? House, Senate Republicans place moratorium on Earmarks

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COFA medical care: Abercrombie will have to clean up his own $8M mess

U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright said today that he will grant an injunction against the state of Hawaii’s Department of Human Services and order that the state restore health benefits to legal aliens equivalent to what other Hawaii resident beneficiaries receive….

Hawaii currently spends an estimated $130 million on COFA migrants, but receives only $11.4 million from the federal government to cover the costs. The change from “Medicaid like benefits” to Basic Health Hawaii saved Hawaii taxpayers an estimated $8 million a year, the DHS reported.

While Alston realizes the coverage adds an additional burden to Hawaii taxpayers, he says the decision is a life saving one for some of his clients who need more than 12 doctor visits and four prescriptions allowed currently under the Basic Health Hawaii program.

REALITY: Abercrombie admits responsibility for costing Hawaii millions under Compact of Free Association

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Hawaii's initial unemployment claims fall 25.8%

All islands saw decreases in initial filings when compared to the same week last year.

Maui saw the largest percentage decrease from the same week last year — down 54.3 percent for a total of 252 claims.

Kauai saw a 29.6 percent decrease from a year ago with a total of 152 filings, and the Big Island saw a 29.2 percent decrease for a total of 332 filings.

Oahu saw the smallest percentage decrease from last year — down 12.1 percent for a total of 1,063 claims for the week.

(If this has happened 1 year ago, Duke Aiona would be Governor)

RELATED:

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Special Election: LoPresti claims trucker tried to run car off road

CB: LoPresti was reluctant to share his concerns about Kahele because he is "shaken up," and fears retribution after raising concerns over opponent Kioni Dudley's residence.

"I learned my lesson and I have had enough threats already," LoPresti wrote in an e-mail. "My wife was nearly run off the H-1 this morning with our baby girl in the car and she said that it wasn't until that the driver of the big truck that was charging her saw that it was her and a baby in the car (and presumably not me) that the driver backed off."

LoPresti said he did not file a police report about the incident, but said that he removed campaign materials from the car his wife drives.

RELATED:

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HPR Candidate Forum for Honolulu Council Special Election

HPR's Political Reporter Wayne Yoshioka moderated the candidate forum for the City and County of Honolulu’s Special Election to fill the Leeward Coast council seat. That seat is vacant following the resignation of Councilman Todd Apo.

The following candidates participated in the debate: Tom Berg, Kioni Dudley, Mel Kahele, Christopher Lewis, Matthew Lopresti, Rosebella Martinez, Jason Espero and John P. Roco

The Special Election is a mail-in poll. The deadline to postmark ballots is December 29, 2010.

LoPresti emailed Hawai’i Free Press a statement after the HPR Council Debate: (excerpt)

“…I would like to take this opportunity to be clear in expressing my deepest and most genuine sympathies to the Bainum family for the tragic loss of their loved one. His death and memory is still very near and I pray that my invoking the controversies surrounding his last campaign did not offend. The analogy I made between the circumstances of Kioni Dudley's and Duke's last City Council bid was as apt as it was rushed – since the moderator was signaling that my time was up and I had to finish my point in as concise a way as possible…..”

AUDIO

A.G. Mark Bennett joining Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher

Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett will join the law firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher in January. Bennett will be a director at the law firm, specializing in complex litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, according to a statement from the firm.

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Shapiro: A Target on my back

One anonymous reader put the issue in the best perspective for me by recounting a conversation with a Target protester that went something like this:

“Well, how about if Don Quijote fixed up its rundown store, paved the potholed parking lot and radically improved the quality of its merchandise?”

“That would be good.”

“Duh, that’s a Target!”

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US Supreme Court to rule on “equalizing” funds to publicly-financed candidates

The U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, has agreed to hear a challenge to Arizona’s campaign finance law that could directly impact Hawaii’s fledgling experiment in public funding. At issue are so-called “equalizing funds” made available to publicly financed candidates who are being outspent by privately-funded opponents.

In Hawaii’s pilot project, which was implemented in the Hawaii County Council elections this year for the first time, qualifying candidates receive 90% of the average amount spent by the winning candidate in the same district over the prior two elections. An additional equalizing payments to the public candidate are triggered as their opponents or independent groups outspend them, with the equalizing funds being doled out on a sliding scale.

(SCOTUS will strike down equalizing funds and in passing eliminate Hawaii’s “Defeat Guy Enriques” Law.  Once again America will save us from our progressives.)

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SA: Set priorities for dam repairs

The nightmare associated with the name "Ka Loko Reservoir" still reverberates in Hawaii's collective memory.

The breach of the reservoir dam on March 16, 2006, took seven lives and left a path of destruction on Kauai. The disaster led to the enactment of the Dam and Reservoir Safety Act of 2007. And, last week, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved stricter administrative rules on reservoir maintenance and safety -- regulations that await Gov. Linda Lingle's signature.

The amended rules, which would regulate 138 reservoirs in Hawaii that have the capacity to hold 5 million gallons or more, represent a vast improvement over the status quo.

(The status quo regulations were plainly sufficient.  The problem at Ka Loko was that they were not being enforced.  This exercise is the typical bureaucratic response to any crisis, make more regulations.)

The state's reservoir system, like other facets of its infrastructure, has been allowed to fall into disrepair through deferred maintenance (FALSE) and spotty inspections (TRUE). But even the high cost of putting it right is outweighed by the risk that more lives and property could be lost by watering down these rules or pushing the whole problem to a back burner again.

(KaLoko did not fail because of deferred maintenance.  Ka Loko failed because the spillway was ILLEGALLY covered in order to raise the lake level for waterskiing.  Had the existing regs been enforced, Ka Loko WOULD have been prevented.)

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Public hearings set for Na Wai Eha water withdrawal applications

Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Paia Community Center, the commission will hear testimony from users to justify the reasonable and beneficial uses they intend for water.

The commission staff will present a new map, which graphically represents the users' locations and the ditches and gates where they seek to draw off the water. Commission staff member Roy Hardy said the map should help sort out exactly which applications are in conflict.

Two commissioners, Neal Fujiwara and Sumner Erdman, will conduct the hearings.

The session will break for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Wednesday. It will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday, break for lunch at 11:30 a.m., continue at 12:30 p.m. and conclude by 5 p.m.

Materials related to the applications can be found at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/nawaiehaswma.htm, and also will be available at the hearings.

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Arakawa names key water, finance directors

WAILUKU - Maui County Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa named six new members to his Cabinet on Monday, including two key people to help him achieve his campaign goals, Danny Agsalog as director of the Department of Finance and Dave Taylor as director of the Department of Water Supply.

Arakawa also picked former longtime and award-winning television and print journalist Rod Antone as the county and mayor's spokesman, replacing Mahina Martin. The Maui native's work history also includes being deputy press secretary for U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce, of New Mexico. 

Arakawa appointed Jeremiah Savage, an accredited asset management specialist and regional field training leader with Edward Jones, to serve as deputy director in the Finance Department. Savage has a bachelor's degree from Pacific Lutheran University and held a leadership position for EEC International Korea.

Arakawa also hired Ryan Piros as assistant communications director. Piros is vice president and program director for KPMW 105.5 FM.

The other Cabinet positions that need confirmation are the heads of the departments of Corporation Counsel and Prosecuting Attorney.

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Kaua‘i’s government hospital

As early as 1893, Dr. Campbell was asking the Board of Health for funds to establish a hospital in Waimea, but there was no money available at that time. He led a drive to raise the money by public subscription for the project.

Two years later the hospital had been constructed, and the Board of Health was then asked for an appropriation for operating the hospital. The Board voted a sum not to exceed $500 a quarter, with the proviso that the hospital be under the Board’s jurisdiction and that indigent Hawaiians be treated free of charge. This was agreed upon, and the hospital opened its doors with Dr. Campbell in charge.

One of the onerous jobs he faced during his time at Waimea was diagnosing leprosy in his patients. At the time they were given a few days to settle their affairs and then shipped to the lepers’ colony on Moloka‘i.

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Hawaii’s QUEST Expanded Access Long Term Care Recognized Nationally

In recognition of the 2009 statewide implementation of QUEST Expanded Access (QExA) by the State Department of Human Services (DHS), the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has identified Hawai‘i as one of five innovative states with demonstrated expertise in managed care approaches to long-term care.

Hawai‘i was recognized in the CHCS report: Profiles of State Innovation: Roadmap for Managing Long-Term Supports and Services.

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.chcs.org/publications3960/publications_show.htm?doc_id=1261187

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Human Rights Day Candlelight Vigil in Solidarity with Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo

December 10 also marks the date when the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually.  This year’s recipient, Liu Xiaobo, has struggled for more than 20 years for the application of fundamental human rights in China. He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years’ deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power”. Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China’s own constitution and fundamental human rights.

The Chinese government is preventing Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, from accepting his award in person.

At the Honolulu Human Rights Day Vigil, members of Amnesty International and other will read from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and sign cards sending aloha and solidarity to Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.   Residents and visitors, young and old,  are welcome to bring candles and share their visions of a more peaceful world.

RELATED: China 'scared to death' of Pelosi

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