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Monday, March 14, 2011
March 14, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:28 PM :: 8199 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, World News, Hawaii History

Will Abercrombie kill Rail to establish Pay-to-Play monopoly?

Cabanilla staffer, on the job at Capitol, “also works for an attorney”

Waialua HS, Sacred Hearts win East Coast Robotics Competitions, head for Championship

The Japanese won’t be back for carefree vacations any time soon

The Japanese won’t be back for carefree vacations any time soon. They have their work to do at home. Our hearts go out to them, but our beaches will be bare. The lesson is that a disaster like this, anywhere, could affect our tourism mono-economy any time. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to avoid that sharp stick and diversify our economy already? Next time it could be much worse.

Actually, we may not have seen the worst of it. The Japan tourists will slow down right away and we’ll feel that. But the destruction in Japan also suggests that its economy will go off the side. If that happens, there will be economic implications all over Asia and the world. This could trigger another global slowdown. How do you think that would work on our beaches?

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Governor’s Office is in considerable disarray

While I knew the Governor’s Office was in considerable disarray, I didn’t fully grasp the extent to which they’re short staffed until I attended the G Force Meeting this past Thursday night….

As a stop-gap solution, they’ve been calling for volunteers to work in the office doing various simple jobs; answering phones, sorting mail or files, data entry, etc. If you’re interested in and have time to volunteer, please consider doing so. You can contact Amy Monk at 396-5959 or you can always contact me at info@pd-hawaii.com, or 371-9334.

(Spies and informants are encouraged to apply.)

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Star-Advertiser wants blank to count as “no” on Constitutional Amendments

… the process for amending the Hawaii State Constitution was purposely made difficult (after us pergressives got everything we wanted from the 1978 Con Con). Unfortunately, the majority of state senators seems to think this is a problem to be fixed and has passed Senate Bill 1195, a measure that is based on a complete misreading of what blank ballots signify.

SB 1195, which now awaits House action, would eliminate ballots that are left blank on the proposed amendment in the tally — the only ballots counted in arriving at the 50 percent minimum would be those marked either “yes” or “no.” To deal with a situation in which a large proportion of ballots are left blank on the question, the bill requires that the winning vote also must amount to at least 40 percent of all the ballots cast, including blank votes.

Another problem with this bill is its inherent and incorrect assumption that blank votes communicate no public position at all. Historically, and especially in some repressive cultures, there’s a tradition of casting a blank vote as the only safe expression of opposition. (For instance in the Corporatist One Party State?)

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Anti-Superferry Protesters to face Confirmation today

Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February nominated Rep. Mina Morita to serve as Public Utilities Commissioner and former Sen. Gary Hooser to head the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Also scheduled for floor action today in the Senate is the appointment of Patricia McManaman as director of Department of Human Services.

If the confirmation hearing goes as anticipated, Morita said she plans to resign and be sworn into office in time to start her new job Tuesday at the PUC. Her seat representing the 14th District, which spans from Kapa‘a to Hanalei, will be filled by one of the candidates put forward by the Hawai‘i Democratic Party.

(Will Clayton Hee sabotage these hearings?  Or is Inouye going to let this one go by.)

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Bill Watch: Hawaii Human Trafficking Bills Appear Dead

Hawaii lawmakers appear to have killed all six bills before the Legislature that would have established laws criminalizing human trafficking.

But it is still possible for lawmakers to resurrect a failed bill, and Rep. John Mizuno told Civil Beat on Sunday that he planned to do just that by introducing an amendment to Senate Bill 77 that would put an anti-human trafficking statute on the books.

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Big Wind, Banks again sabotage financing for residential solar installers

Lawmakers, for the second year in a row, have come up short in their effort to tackle the problem of upfront costs that are keeping many Hawaii residents from buying solar water heaters and other energy-efficient appliances.

This year's attempt (SB 182) would have set up a financing mechanism allowing homeowners and renters to buy the devices and pay for them over time using the savings on their electricity bill. The bill directed the Public Utilities Commission to oversee an "on-bill" financing program, which would have been backed by a fund normally used to pay for consumer rebates on compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy-saving measures.

Environmental groups, the solar energy industry and the state office of the Consumer Advocate lined up in support of the bill, saying it would remove a major impediment in achieving the goals of the state's clean energy campaign.

However, officials from the PUC and Hawaiian Electric Co. told lawmakers they were concerned the program would be expensive and difficult to administer.

(The electric grid can only carry so much renewable electricity.  The Big Wind developers and the banks which back them are once again steering the legislature to ensure that they get the benefit from green energy subsidies and the public does not.) 

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44 people killed by Wind Energy projects

In the last decade the wind farm industry, it turns out, has killed far more people for far less electricity produced than the nuclear industry

Nuclear fatalities in the last ten years: 7

Wind farm fatalities in the last ten years: 44.

In those ten years nuclear provided thirty times the energy of wind. This means in the last decade, nuclear has been around 200 times safer than wind on an energy produced/accidents basis.

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Nuclear panic

Nuclear Reality: Hawaii Legislators are already Radioactive

If legislators weigh on average 200 pounds each and are no more radioactive than the average person, then it is likely that their bodies contain together 7600 micrograms of non-depleted uranium. If the average legislator weights 300 pounds it would be 11,400 micrograms of uranium. This does not include staffers, visitors or lobbyists—some of whom may be even more radioactive than legislators.

Many common building materials contain uranium. According to the University of Michigan researchers, drywall contains on average 1000 parts per billion uranium as well as 3000 parts per billion thorium. Clay brick contains on average, 8200 parts per billion uranium and 10800 parts per billion thorium. Cement has on average, 3400 parts per billion uranium and 5100 parts per billion thorium.

If the Big Square Building comprises 100,000 square feet weighing 100 pounds per square foot, and that weight were made up of equal parts drywall, brick, and cement, the ten-million-pound building contains about 42 pounds of non-depleted uranium and 63 pounds of radioactive thorium.

Jim Albertini of the misnamed Malu-Aina Peace Center writes March 27, “We must not tolerate having any depleted uranium in our environment….” By this logic the legislature should immediately be shut down and quarantined as a toxic waste dump.

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Hawaii, Guam raise profiles in Pacific as China expands Navy

The necessity for re-conceptualizing Hawaii and Guam as convergence zones is the fact that China is fast becoming a major player through the use of social and economic alignments with the countries known as “the first island chain” while positioning itself for action in the “second island chain.”

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HB1070: Senate to unleash lunatics to balance budget?

150 Misdemeanor offenders currently in the conditional release program

$400,000 State cost per case

150 x $400,000 = $60M (over five years average time in program)

Bonus: 450 Conditional release population, including those convicted of felonies  ($120M more)

(While we’re at it, why don’t we just empty the Prisons.  After all, the criminals in there are NOT insane.  We could save even more money… and the pool of potential Legislative candidates would be that much deeper!)

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Abercrombie to sign bill to appoint Board of Education members

He is scheduled to sign the bill at 2:15 p.m. at Washington Place. The bill-signing ceremony will be streamed live on the governor’s website at http://hawaii.gov/gov.

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Hanabusa named to House panel on fisheries

The subcommittee is responsible for legislation on fisheries, wildlife conservation and coastal and marine environment protection.

Hanabusa also serves on the Armed Services Committee and its Readiness subcommittee and Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. In addition, she's a member of the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee.

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Tsunami destroyed two or three houses in Milolii

According to State Senator Gilbert Kahele, the remote seaside fishing village of Milolii, as well as the areas of Honomalino Bay and Kapua Bay, also suffered some damage. Kahele, who was born in Milolii, says the reports that he received indicate that there may have been two or three more structures taken by violent waves.

CB: Hawaii State and County Websites Didn't Serve Public During Tsunami

WHT: DLNR head meets with public in Kawaihae

HNN: Damage Visible at La Mariana Sailing Club

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State’s ‘horrendous’ hurdles block retired officers who want to carry firearms

Retired Maui police officers spent their careers arresting murderers, robbers and other miscreants. Now, they're questioning why the state has made it difficult for them to carry a concealed firearm under a federal law that allows them to do so.

The retired officers say the state, which handles the qualification program, has made the firearms test stricter than the one taken by active-duty police officers. Retired officers are required to submit voluminous paperwork, which includes personal information such as medical and mental health files. Some of the forms need to be notarized….

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Socialists succeed in blocking land sale, look towards County-owned farm

A proposal to revoke the county's authority to sell former Hamakua plantation land goes before the County Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Council Chairman Dominic Yagong wrote the proposal last month, calling on fellow council members to rescind authorization to sell 737 acres in Paauilo and Pohakea, and direct county administrators to lease out the land to farmers.
Response to the measure "seems to be very positive," Yagong said. "People feel these should be put into production. It's fallow. It's not bringing in any income."

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Symphony group sees 'endless opportunities'

"We've been overwhelmed by e-mails and phone calls from people who are excited by what we're doing and are eager to help," said Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Oswald Stender, who is heading the group known as the Symphony Exploratory Committee. "There is a lot of interest and support in the community from people who believe that Hawaii, like any great city, should have a first-class symphony."

The group also includes:

» Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano, a former symphony board member and one-time symphony chief executive officer.
» Paul Kosasa, president of ABC Stores.
» Mark Polivka, president of Monarch Insurance.
» Attorney Ken Robbins.
» Mona Abadir, chief executive officer of Honu Group.
» Mitch D'Olier, president of Kaneohe Ranch Co.
» Gabe Lee, executive vice president of American Savings Bank.
» Barron Guss, president of Altres Corp.

The group had been quietly meeting for months before Gov. Neil Abercrombie mentioned it in public for the first time last month.

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On the trail to Hawaii Islam Day: Libyan assassins

(As Gadhafi slaughters his own people in order to maintain his dictatorship, here is a look at the connection between his brutal regime and Hawaii Islam Day.)

The Hawaii MAH-IIO webmaster Abdul Rashid Abdullah is Deputy Director of American Muslims Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council—an organization responsible for recruitment and training of the Muslim Chaplains in the US Armed Forces. One of the tiny group’s most active members is former Muslim chaplain Army Captain James "Yousef" Yee who was charged with espionage at Guantanamo—though charges were later dropped for ‘national security reasons’. The group's co-founder, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was busted in Britain in 2003 with a suitcase full of money from Libya.  Alamoudi, a former associate of Presidents Clinton and Bush is now serving a 23-year sentence for his involvement in a Libyan-backed effort to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince, Abdullah.   

To this day King Abdullah and Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi cannot sit in the same room without cursing each other.  Hawaii is an unlikely flashpoint in THAT "debate". 

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