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Thursday, May 26, 2011
May 26, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:41 PM :: 8936 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

Test of Shield Law? Maui PD subpoenas ID of online commenter who threatened Cop

Brookings: Muslims expel reformer from Manoa mosque, claim Arabs discovered Hawaii

Gallup: Hawaii residents are Least-Stressed in US

VIDEO: Fontaine Factor Discusses Domestic Violence in Hawaii

After raising taxes on poor, Abercrombie announces $13M Crony Capitalist Giveaway

UH Hilo to be home to NASA International Lunar Research Park

Akaka, Inouye join in unanimous Senate rejection of Obama Budget

VIDEO: Ryan: Obama, Dems "Shamelessly Distort And Demagogue Medicare"

VIDEO: Joe Klein: NY-26 Was A "Victory For Socialism"

Everyone Holding Breath for State COR Numbers

Thursday is really busy! Everyone is holding their breath for the meeting of the The State Council on Revenues. If the Council has very bad news, there will be a special legislative session; if not “too bad,” probably not.

AP: Hawaii Council on Revenues prediction will determine if state needs to find additional cash

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Clayton Hee corrects years of lies on Ethics Statements:  SA blogs about it

State Sen. Clayton Hee, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, has amended his annual financial disclosure report with the state Ethics Commission, acknowledging that he made a mistake by not fully describing his finances in his initial report.

“I made a mistake. I take full responsibility for it. As soon as I was notified of it, I corrected it immediately,” the senator said in an email. “It was human error, and I’m a human being. I apologize for my error.”

Ian Lind, a blogger and former legislative staffer and newspaper reporter, posted an item about Hee (D, Kahuku-Kaneohe) on his blog on Saturday after noticing a difference between the senator’s report and the disclosure filed by the senator’s wife, Lynne Waters, the associate vice president for external affairs and university relations at the University of Hawaii.

Not covering this story: SA print edition, AP, KITV, HNN…. 

ILind: Trying to write this off as “human error” is quite a stretch

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Abercrombie still trying to balance budget on backs of Seniors

Best Comment on Special Election in New York:

Voters in the overwhelmingly Republican district voted for (Democrat) Hochul because she framed the issue with a very simple basic message: we should not balance the budget on the backs of senior citizens, but by raising taxes on the wealthiest among us.

In broad terms, Governor Abercrombie is putting himself on the wrong side of that framework. Can any of his closest people bring him to his senses?

We’d kinda like him back on the Democratic side of the divide.

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Abercrombie’s Corporate Welfare goes to OHIO???

The retail, construction and housing sectors are not eligible, according to HSDC Executive Director Carl Fooks, because "there was a feeling that those sectors had access to capital already."

HSDC's role won't be to choose winning applicants, but rather to facilitate introductions between companies seeking funding and appropriate sources of funding in a way that will maximize successful job creation, he said.

An earlier HSDC investment nurtured Hawaii-based CBI Polymers LLC, which produces DeconGel brush-on or spray-on polymers

DeCon Gel Website: “We are headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii with ISO 9002 certified manufacturing facilities in Ohio.”  (In other words, the owner lives here and the company is in Ohio.)

Corporate Welfare Queens line up: http://www.skaiventures.com/

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Bill to alter homes tax exemption advances

The City Council is moving forward with a proposal that would tighten requirements for receiving a historic home tax exemption and another measure to examine all tax exemptions to determine if they should continue.

Members of the Council's Budget Committee advanced both measures Wednesday.

Bill 3, the proposal to modify the property tax exemption for historic homes, was introduced last year by the city in response to a series of Star-Advertiser stories revealing significant gaps in oversight of the taxpayer-subsidized program.

Although many homes are valued in the millions, most homeowners getting the break pay only $300 a year in property taxes.

Owners of historic properties testifying at Council meetings say they are not millionaires, and that maintaining their properties costs far more than the savings they receive from the tax exemption.

(Its true. There is poverty on Round Top.  Really.)

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Research facility at UH-Hilo would test gear for lunar work

Best Comment: “mahalo to Linda Lingle for doing all the initial legwork and foundation.  As always a Democrat gets the credit for what someone else has done the grunt work for.…”

HTH: Big Isle shoots for the moon

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10 yr sentence for Filipino who liberated nearly $300K from Democrat Operatives Meheula, Winer

Salmingo pleaded guilty in December to stealing $297,438 from Winer Meheula & Devens between July 2007 and March 2009.

Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said Salmingo was able to conceal his actions for so long because he made false entries in the company's books and had the law firm's bank and credit card statements sent to his Punahou Street home.

Vladimir Devens, a title partner in the law firm, said the theft devastated the company. He called Salmingo a cold, calculating criminal with no conscience whatsoever. "I myself was fooled by the baby-face looks, the innocent-looking features of this man," Devens said.  (I just wanna cry.)

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Clownish Hawaii Democrat Media Begins Running Free Campaign Propaganda for Hirono

APEC Calls for Seamless Free Trade across Pacific

In the South Pacific, only Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are part of APEC, but the Pacific Islands Forum has observer status at APEC meetings.

APEC's goal is to create what they call a 'seamless economy' between its members...which basically means lowering trade barriers and encouraging countries to trade with each other.

But how does this differ from free-trade? And, say, from other regional initiatives like PACER Plus?

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Former Big Island Mayor Yamashiro Will Be Remembered as ‘Best Mayor’ and ‘Loyal Friend and Mentor’

Attorney Ted Hong, who served in Yamashiro’s cabinet, visited with the former mayor just hours before he died.

He said Yamashiro was one of Hawaii County’s “best mayors” and a strong leader with a clear vision for the County who did not pander and go for the ‘politically correct’ solution.

Yamashiro successfully guided the County through the recession during the 90′s without increasing taxes or laying off employees and was instrumental in bringing direct flights from Japan to Hawaii County, Hong said. Yamashiro also helped geothermal energy become a reliable part of the energy grid in Hawaii County and pioneered a fund to help assist and relocate homeowners who lived close to the geothermal wells, Hong said.

“Mayor Yamashiro believed in an open, transparent and accountable government, allowing media access to all County operations that no other Mayor before or since has done. He reached across to his political opponents, asking Russell Kokubun, a former competitor in the Mayor’s race, to head the Planning Department. His vision for Hawaii County sought to help Kailua-Kona and Puna grow and prosper. He was a major supporter of the Merrie Monarch Festival and Native Hawaiian culture. He saw the future and potential of Hawaii County and its people and took bold steps to realize that potential,” Hong said.

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Civil Beat Gets it Wrong on Democrat Money flooding into Hawaii 2010 Campaigns

The Republican national committeewoman for Hawaii recently called on her party's supporters to provide more money to fight the 2012 campaign.

"We have to address the elephant in the room," Miriam Hellreich, a top fundraiser for former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona's 2010 campaign, said at the May 14 Republican Party State Convention on Kauai. "Competing in 2012 requires raising a lot of money. We were outspent 3-1 in 2010."

It's fair to say that a listener would take away that her party was outspent 3-1 over the course of the year, in all races. ….

(Skip multiple paragraphs of alleged analysis complete with charts….)

…However, even if the Democrats' total grew substantially, the final tally would still not approach the claimed 3-1 difference.

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Goodwin Liu withdraws appeals court nomination

Good riddance!

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After Abercrombie wrecks Budget, Aoki blames Lingle

 

“Your government is in terrible financial shape,” Aoki said, “after years and years and years of denying the systemic problems in government.” Aoki made numerous reference – although not by name – to the Republican rule of Linda Lingle in the prior administration.

Aoki, a familiar face alongside Abercrombie from the time the governor first announced his intention to run for the office of the state’s top executive, said things were not looking good.

“We are gonna have to raid special funds,” said Aoki, “we’re gonna have to do a whole bunch of things just to make the books balanced by the end of the year. One of the biggest problems that we have is that we decided – last year – to delay tax refunds into this year. Which is a $200 million hit to our fiscal year.”

“This administration is not going to do those things, anymore.” (We’ll just raise taxes instead.)

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State partners with NASA to work on space exploration at UH Hilo

Under the two-year agreement with NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., the state would develop a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. Research would focus on development and testing of advanced automated and remote-controlled robotic vehicles, the governor's office said in a news release.

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Obama gives Abercrombie $13M to reward Cronies

The state of Hawaii has been awarded $13 million in federal funds to support new Hawaii businesses through an investment program.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the federal money will grow into a loan fund of about $130 million which would come mostly from venture capital investors. Their money would form a pool offering start-up loans for technology or agriculture companies with large growth potential.

The Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation will screen applicants for the money, facilitate their growth and loan them funds as they grow.

HR: Governor Touts $13 Million Small Business Grant

LINK: Hawaii Strategic Development Corp.

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Incentive reduced for solar water heating program

Homeowners in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties are no longer able to claim a $1,000 instant rebate for the installation of solar water heating systems because federal funding for the program has been exhausted.

However, there is still a $750 rebate available to those who choose to finance their solar water heating systems with a low- or zero-interest loan offered by participating lenders, according to Hawaii Energy, the program charged with administering the state’s energy efficiency program. In addition, homeowners can still claim a 35 percent state tax credit and a 30 percent federal tax credit for installation of the systems. Using all available incentives the $6,600 average cost of a solar water heating system can be reduced to $2,048, according to Hawaii Energy.

Hawaii Energy also said it is planning another enhanced incentive program starting July 1, and has started a wait list for interested homeowners.

For more information on Hawaii Energy’s interest rate buy-down program visit: http://hawaiienergy.com/94/hot-water-cool-rates.

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Kauai Council approves $269M budget—25% increase; Rapozo casts lone ‘nay’ vote

After months of review and weeks of fine tuning, Kaua‘i County Council approved the $269 million fiscal year 2011-2012 budget Wednesday, though not unanimously.

“My concern is not really with the spending, it’s with the philosophy of the budget,” Councilman Mel Rapozo said. He was the one council member to vote against the budget. “If we continue to vote yes on budgets we don’t agree with, then the system won’t change.”

The approved operating budget for FY 2011 totals $185.97 million, representing an increase of more than $38 million or approximately 25 percent over last year’s $147.6-million budget. Council unanimously approved the $83.23 million budget for FY 2011 capital improvement projects, which are funded primarily through bonds.

“The philosophy I thought this year was to reduce and we didn’t,” Rapozo said. “We increased and we increased substantially.” He said he believes the increased spending sends the wrong message to the state, to the Federal government and to voters.

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The Kama’aina Pumping Scandal Remains Scandalous

Kama’aina Pumping Service, owned by County of Hawaii Public Works Automotive Division Head, Randy Riley, was chosen by the county under a questionable procurement contract in 1996 to provide maintenance and cleaning of dry wells and curb gutters on the Big Island.

The previous vendor of this contract was Eckard Brandes, Inc., which Riley worked for as their Big Island account representative. Allegedly Riley resigned from Eckard Brandes, started Kama’aina Pumping Service, and was awarded the contract soon thereafter. The contract was allegedly awarded to Kama’aina from Stanley Nakasone, County of Hawaii, Highways Division Division Head. As the division chief, Nakasone would influence or determine who gets the contract for maintenance and cleaning of dry wells and curb gutters on the Big Island.

Eckard Brandes sued Riley for using proprietary company knowledge and stealing the contract in 1997. Eckard Brandes and Riley reached an out-of-court settlement.

The procurement contract was for approximately $110,000 a month, and lasted for a period of 13 years, from 1996 until 2009.

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CB: For Filipinos, Politics Is More Than Just Numbers

The growth in numbers could eventually translate into greater political clout.

“Politics is a question a numbers, but it’s also a question of educating the people,” said Toy Arre, president of Hawaii’s Filipino Community Center. “Numbers don’t mean anything until our people are educated…It’s a question of how we exercise our ability to vote.”  (Translation: many of them don’t vote Democrat.)

Hawaii’s Filipino population swelled by almost 27,000 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.

A look at the Hawaii Legislature shows that the growth in numbers has already begun to translate into greater political representation.

For that trend to continue, Arre says that more education of Filipinos is necessary. (More Democrat control.)

The voting decisions of younger-generation Filipinos are most pivotal in determining the political weight of the ethnic group in Hawaii, he said. They vote differently (Republican) than Filipinos in other age brackets, he said, sometimes diluting the group's political leverage.  (No the oldsters are diluting the leverage of the young.  Get it right!)

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Anti-Bullying Program introduces “Transgender Clownfish” to Elementary School Students

Redwood Heights Elementary School, in Oakland, is in the hot-seat after the school decided to education students about gender diversity.

On Monday and Tuesday, students of every grade were taught what the school called age-appropriate lessons about gender differences. Some lessons included all-girl geckos, a transgender clownfish, and boy snakes who act "girly" reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

"That's a lot of variation in nature," Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. "Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce."

Principal Sara Stone said the lesson on gender differences was part of a larger effort to control bullying in the school, something parents supported last year.

PRECISELY AS PREDICTED: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

Solution to Bullying:  Ju Jitsu

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Hawaii Doesn't Require Lost Gun Reports

Only a handful of states require gun owners to tell authorities if their gun is lost or stolen.  Hawaii is not among them.

The issue arose in Honolulu when an eighth-grader at Pearl City's Highlands Intermediate brought a Glock handgun to school and it discharged, injuring another student. The 14-year-old said he found the gun on campus. It was registered to an Alewa Heights man, who told police the weapon had been missing since December.

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'Speedy Trial' Violations Rare in Hawaii

For six out of the last seven years, an average of about six criminal cases in Hawaii were dismissed per year because the defendants' rights to a speedy trial were violated, according to a report from the Hawaii Judicial Information System.

Considering that thousands of criminal cases make it through Hawaii's courts system each year, the report indicates that such dismissals are rare.

On Monday, four cases involving Honolulu police officers accused in an overtime pay scandal were dismissed after a judge ruled that their rights to speedy trials had been violated because prosecutions had not commenced within six months of charges being made.

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Alleged Scam Psychiatrist came to Hawaii after losing MD license in Colorado

A psychiatrist arrested in Argentina on charges of falsely billing $1 million in health insurance claims in Hawaii was involved in similar fraud some 30 years ago in Colorado, according to documents obtained Wednesday.

Dr. Carlos Warter was arrested in Argentina on Monday and is expected to be extradited to Honolulu. A federal grand jury indictment accuses the psychiatrist of knowingly sending about $1 million in inflated bills to Medicaid, the Hawaii Medical Service Association and TRICARE, a federally funded program that provides care to military personnel.

In 1982, Warter was convicted of falsifying reports in Denver, according to a copy of the notice Washington state's Medical Quality Assurance Commission sent to Warter in denying his application to practice medicine.

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Tesoro Buys Libyan Rebel Crude for Hawaii Refinery

U.S. refiner Tesoro has bought the first oil cargo sold by rebels who control eastern Libya, a deal that could help them drum up funds to fight Muammar Gaddafi.

San Antonio-based Tesoro (TSO.N) told Reuters on Wednesday it bought the Libyan rebel crude to process in its Hawaii refinery. The deal was first agreed upon in late April, company spokesman Mike Marcy said.

"We purchased a cargo of Libyan crude that was available at the time," he said in an email.

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Hawaii heat source debated

A new analysis questions the prevailing theory that the islands were formed in sequence by volcanic activity as the Pacific plate drifted over a thin, hot plume rising from deep inside the Earth. Instead, a shallower pocket of abnormally hot rocks could be powering the vacation spot’s famous volcanoes, researchers from MIT and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., report in the May 27 Science.

Other scientists don’t think the hot plume is done for. “This result, like many results, isn’t the final word,” says Cecily Wolfe, a seismologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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