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Thursday, July 21, 2011
July 21, 2011 News Release
By Andrew Walden @ 1:56 PM :: 10120 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, World News, Hawaii History

 Berg: Sludge Digester sacrificed to fund Rail

WhistleMan Blows It Again

Finalists named to become Bishop Estate Trustee

A screening committee has named three finalists to succeed Diane Plotts as a trustee with Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

The three are: Anton Krucky, Lance Wilhelm, and T. Aulani Wilhelm. A state probate judge will select a new trustee from the list.

Comments should be delivered no later than 4 p.m. Aug. 30 to Kamehameha Schools Trustee Screening Committee, c/o Inkinen & Associates Inc, 1003 Bishop St., Suite 477, Honolulu, HI 96813.

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Pro-Hamas Activist joins Meth Dealer’s Friend in Effort to Disenfranchise Military

Pro-Hamas activist Larry Geller has joined with Sen. Malama Solomon—self-described friend of the Big Island’s biggest Meth Dealer—in an effort to block Hawaii Reapportionment Commission from counting military personnel.

Here is the complete letter from the attorney general: AG Herkes Opinion Reapportionment

Political Radar: The state Office of Information Practices has ruled that the state Reapportionment Commission is subject to the state’s open-meetings law.

What this is all about: Malama Solomon wants to disenfranchise military so she doesn’t have to face Lorraine Inouye in 2012 State Senate race

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Hirono, Inouye continue to Push America towards Bankruptcy

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) on July 19 voted against H.R. 2560, the "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act", which many fiscal conservatives say is necessary to bring the nation's increasing budget deficit under control. The bill passed the House by a vote of 234 yeas to 190 nays, but is facing tougher challenge in the Senate and does not have the president's support….

"There is no more time left for political gamesmanship by the tax, spend, and borrow crowd. The Senate has an obligation to debate Cut, Cap and Balance, and the American people need to be given time to consider it."

Some in the Senate do agree with the House proposal. Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) told MSNBC this week, “I know Washington is broken. I see business as usual here. But now we’re witnessing business as usual on steroids, and it’s bankrupting this nation.”

But Hawaii's Senior Senator Daniel Inouye, who is one of six members of Congress on a bi-partisan task force organized by Vice President Joe Biden to negotiate reduce the nation's deficit, does not agree with Johnson. He has been advocating along with Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for increased spending and more stimulus funds.

REALITY: Heritage: The Fight We're In

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Hanabusa, Hirono fail miserably, lose East-West Center Funding

CB: The House Foreign Affairs Committee is on Wednesday discussing a bill to authorize the State Department’s upcoming budget. The measure includes a proposal to eliminate federal funding to the East-West Center, and would prohibit any money “to fund, make a grant to, provide assistance to, or otherwise support” the East-West Center.

(Jeff Stone’s )Rep. Colleen Hanabusa says she is supporting an amendment put forth by (Kazakh owned) Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) to preserve funding for the center. 

(This is what happens when Hawaii has only one party representation. We are forced to rely on a low-budget fool like Eni Faleomavaega. Dan Inouye won’t be around forever to bail these powerless weaklings out.)

Hanabusa wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), saying eliminating funding before November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Honolulu is particularly harmful.  (And Ros-Lehtinen cares what Hanabusa thinks because?)

SA: A funding bill in the U.S. House would eliminate the East-West Center, going above and beyond the budget trimming that Republicans have proposed in previous years.

House Resolution 2583, also known as the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal 2012, would repeal a 1960 law that established the center for cultural and technical interchange between East and West.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said she has asked that language to repeal the law be removed from the bill.

As predicted, Hanabusa and Hirono have failed:  US House committee removes $10.8M in federal funding from Hawaii's East-West Center

Who Hawaii is reduced to relying upon: Am. Samoa Congressional Delegate bought and paid for by Kazakhstan?

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Honolulu Board of Water Supply considering 10 percent increase in monthly water rates

The proposal would cost an average family of four on Oahu about $7 more per month. The average monthly water rate would rise from $39.55 to $46.54.

The Board of Water Supply plans a public hearing on the rate increase Aug. 22.

The water board has sole discretion over its rates, and they don't have to be approved by the Honolulu City Council or the state Public Utilities Commission.

Read the full press release.

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Usual Assortment of Shysters, Unions, Banks, DoE Cronies, and Mainland Special Interest fill up Hirono’s Coffers

Democratic Congresswoman Mazie Hirono got a $99,000 boost from a long list of political action committees in her campaign for U.S. Senate last quarter.

Hirono raised a total of $281,268 between April 1 and June 30, nearly doubling the fundraising effort of Democratic opponent Ed Case over the same period.

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Hawaii Ethics Director: Rep Mele Carroll 'Pushed' the Line on Gifts

Civil Beat revealed last week that one lawmaker took an Apple iPad, and that she and 10 others took two dozen Blu-ray DVDs worth $360 from a company with an interest before the Legislature.

The line between an acceptable and an improper gift has "really been pushed," Les Kondo, the Ethics Commission's executive director, said Wednesday.

"Things that are tangible that people can't accept include cash, gift cards — these are general examples — iPads, DVDs...those probably fall into the category of tangible gifts people cannot accept because they're not 'Gifts of Aloha,'" he said.

The comments came after a meeting in which the commission, in its closed-door executive session, took up several gifts accepted by lawmakers that Kondo has described as "questionable." …

This past year, State Rep. Mele Carroll took an iPad valued at $500 from the founder and CEO of Relativity Media, a company that lobbied for and supported legislation calling for bigger state tax breaks for film production in the islands.

Carroll told Civil Beat she accepted the iPad because it was a "good gesture" and a sign that the studio cared about Hawaii.

Only some of the enforcement actions of the Ethics Commission are public. So, whether the Ethics Commission will agree with her remains to be seen.

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$930K Judgment: Aina Koa Pono Biofuel Crony found Liable for sex harassment firing

A jury awarded $930,000 last year to a female barn manager who said she was fired and thrown out of her house by Kimberly Dey in 2008 in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment at a Waimanalo ranch owned by Dey.

Dey is now an advisor to Aina Koa Pono, which has the backing of Hawaiian Electric to build a $350 million biofuel processing plant on the Big Island, a key part of HECO’s plan to expand the use of renewable sources of energy. She is the daughter of billionaire businesssman Charles B. Wang.

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Race to the Top: Schatz Twins United in Failure

Honolulu complex area Superintendent Stephen Schatz has been tapped to head the Department of Education's Office of Strategic Reform.

Schatz will serve as an assistant superintendent, overseeing school improvement efforts and management and implementation of the state's $75 million Race to the Top grant.

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Charter School Task Force Promises Concrete Results

The task force will meet four more times through Oct. 12 to address four major areas ranging from clearly defining the responsibilities of key agencies to discussing appropriate funding levels.

  1. Develop laws and administrative rules that clearly designate the authority roles between and among key charter school organizations and the Hawaii Department of Education, Board of Education and the governor's office.
  2. Define how that governance structure is to relate to the Department of Education.
  3. Identify oversight and monitoring responsibilities of the Charter School Review Panel, the Charter School Administrative Office and the local school boards. Develop a process for enforcement.
  4. Discuss funding-related issues, including but not limited to appropriate funding levels for the Charter Schools Administrative Office.

The concrete items Tokuda promised will then be presented to the Legislature at least 20 days before the 2012 session begins.

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Hawaii Ed Board Plans Neighbor Island Visits

DoE hangers-on were complaining that it was hard to stage agit-prop circuses at the central meeting location.

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Reward offered in Big Island papaya vandalism case

CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to a conviction. The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association has also raised more than $2,000 in additional reward money.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Acting Lieutenant Reed Mahuna at 961-2252. Those who want to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

BIVN: VIDEO: Hawaii papaya farms attacked, farmers hui in Puna

SA: Papaya vandals Agricultural Terrorism must be stopped

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Hawaii County Elections Warehouse Illegally used for Business, Alcohol?

County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said as council chairman he has the authority to hire outside investigators and shut down buildings. Yagong said he and Kawauchi had visited the warehouse July 7, and he ordered the locks changed that night.

"All I can say is I did visit the warehouse with the county clerk, and I did order the locks be changed and the building shut down," Yagong said. "As the chairman of the council, I have the authority to hire an outside special investigator."

When asked what he saw in the warehouse to inspire his course of action, Yagong said, "I can't divulge that information."

But a source close to county government who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal said the warehouse contained sign-making supplies and equipment as well as a quantity of alcohol.

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Kauai Ethics complaint rejected; councilman recuses himself

The county Board of Ethics has dismissed a complaint filed against a Kaua‘i County Council member concerning a possible conflict of interest.

Councilman KipuKai Kuali‘i in May denied allegations that he violated an ethics provision in the County Charter by participating in a discussion involving funding for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney on April 19.

OPA distributes federal monies — in the form of Victim of Crime Act assistance grants — to the YWCA, where Kuali‘i serves as the director of operations.

OPA and YWCA officials have seconded Kuali‘i’s assertion that there was no conflict of interest.

To facilitate the discussion, The Garden Island filed a complaint with the Board of Ethics over Kuali‘i’s participation in the budget discussion. That complaint was heard July 8.

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Haleakala Telescope Shakedown Likely Headed for Hawaii Supreme Court

The land board approved the conservation district use permit in December. Kilakila intervened. The university (the applicant for the permit, although the telescope will be owned by the National Science Foundation) is eager for a quick return to the BLNR.

But whether the board confirms, denies or modifies the permit, both sides are expecting somebody to appeal to Circuit Court. The issues, Jacobson noted, are of enough legal interest that some of them will likely find their way to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Reality: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

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High schools on Hawaii’s Kauai island to play day games again this fall in gesture of Submission to Gaia

High school students on Hawaii’s Kauai island will be playing football in the daytime again this fall to make sure their stadium lights don’t harm threatened and endangered seabirds.

The Kauai Interscholastic Federation on Wednesday said teams would play night games until the fledging season begins and young seabirds begin leaving their nests to head out to sea on Sept. 15.

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Plentiful Pacific trash—BUT NO PLASTIC BAGS--'shocking' to canoe voyagers

"Smith said the rubbish includes nets, ropes, tires, toothbrushes and plastic bottles."
Notice that PLASTIC BAGS are NOT included in the trash.
Most of this stuff is old fishing nets.

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Sierra Club Preparing to Block Hoopili

The Sierra Club plans to step in and try to stop efforts to develop a 12,000-home, master-planned community on farmland in Kapolei.

The environmental advocacy organization has until Tuesday to file its application to intervene with the state Land Use Commission, and is currently awaiting “final internal approval to proceed,” according to Robert Harris, executive director of the Sierra Club.

The D.R. Horton-Schuler Division’s planned Hoopili development is ambitious. In addition to thousands of homes, it would include space for five schools and enough retail space to provide 7,000 local jobs. The company estimates that the project would also create about 27,000 jobs in the construction and consultation phase, according to its website.

While development plans aim to have the first homes available by 2013, the Sierra Club’s potential intervention could cause delays, or if the group has its way, derail the project.

Reality: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

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Proposed Big Island building codes will kill affordable housing

Bob Ernst, a retired Florida builder turned Mountain View farmer, has been holding discussions with a group of stakeholders, including contractors, Realtors, business leaders and others, and he plans to raise objections at Friday's meeting. He argues that a code written in Chicago and adapted for Miami's climate zone should not be the model for Hawaii County, which has numerous climate zones from rainforest to desert and high mountains.

"We're asking them (the council) to not implement that," Ernst said, adding he plans to testify at the meeting. "We're willing to work to get a Hawaii Island code, written on Hawaii Island." His group would rather have the council take the time to approve an island-specific code, instead of passing the bill and amending it later.

"An overriding concern of the stakeholders' review was the additional cost for the building of affordable housing," Ernst said, in written testimony he has submitted to the council. "We humbly request that before you vote on this Bill 270 that you and all Hawaii Island inhabitants know specifically by regulation and cumulatively what that cost will be. A cost analysis and cost benefit analysis must be done."

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Kauai Luddites trying to Kill Hydro Project challenge invalidation of Petition Signatures

In the latest turn of events, five island residents serving as“Representatives of KIUC Petitioners” challenged the co-op’s decision to deem the signatures invalid.

“Petitioners were surprised at the extremely high number of invalidated names reported,” said group representative Tek Nickerson in a letter mailed Monday to KIUC CEO David Bissell.

“They’re probably not members,” KIUC spokeswoman Shelley Paik said Wednesday when asked why some of the signatures were invalidated.

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Maui Ex-officer gets fine, probation for theft

Former Maui Police Department officer Steven Gunderson was ordered Tuesday to pay a $5,000 fine and was placed on five years' probation for stealing $500 from a Lahaina woman he arrested three years ago.

Noting that the 33-year-old Kahului resident has no prior convictions, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said Gunderson was being sentenced like other defendants in similar situations.

He was among three Maui police officers fired in March 2009 after an internal police investigation into allegations that Gunderson stole money from the woman when she was arrested on Aug. 18, 2008, at Puamana Park and that officer Kristopher Galon extorted her for sexual favors after she was released from the Lahaina Police Station without being charged early the next morning. At the time, Gunderson and Galon were working as Lahaina patrol officers.

Gunderson was the field training officer for a rookie officer, who was fired for conducting an illegal search and false reporting in the incident, according to police.

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Hemmings: Jimmy Pflueger - Great Businessman, Employer, Builder

Duke affectionately referred to his young paddlers as his “boys." One of the “bulls” on the team was my friend Jimmy Pflueger.

Jimmy is a native son of Hawaii who learned from his Kapuna care of the land.

Jimmy lives through true friendship.

No matter who you are or what your station in life, Jimmy is a friend you can count on. Jimmy’s handshake is a better bond than any contract a fancy lawyer could write.

Trotter: Open Letter to the People of Hawaii: Jimmy Pflueger is Innocent of Manslaughter Charges

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O’oma Accuses LUC of Incompetency in Land Revision Decision

O’oma Beachside Village is an award-winning community, on paper. It is a mixed-use shoreline community, with up to 1,200 residential and small business units, and environmentally conscious with lots of housing opportunities for all economic levels.

The proposed location, however, between Kohanaiki and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA), which is next to the airport, is a problem. Last December, the Hawaii Land Use Commission (LUC) denied O’oma’s petition to convert 181 of the 303 acres of land from conservation to urban.

In January 2011, O’oma’s developers appealed that decision, filing a lawsuit against the LUC among others. The petition claimed that the LUC misunderstood the law and the facts as they relate to conservation land, ignored expert testimony, were swayed by public opposition to the project, and exceeded the scope of their authority in making the decision.

“It’s as if the LUC turned its back entirely on the decision-making criteria,” said O’oma attorney Jennifer Benck at the July 13 hearing in Kealakekua’s Third District Court. Benck also accused the “quasi judicial” LUC of being uncomfortable making a difficult, unpopular decision. “By ignoring the facts, it’s as if they closed their eyes to justify their decision. This is an example of the LUC acting beyond its statutory ability.”…

Judge Ibarra is expected to issue his ruling in the coming week.

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Sewage Sludge Heading Ewa Only, for Now

The overflow of untreated sewage will head to Honouliuli treatment plant in Ewa starting next month, sparing Waianae and Kailua — for now.

The new plan to take pressure off of the Synagro digester at Sand Island was revealed at a Wednesday morning press conference. Mayor Peter Carlisle said the city will take no more than one 5,000-gallon truckload to Honouliuli each day for no more than 30 days to test the viability of hauling sludge while officials mull options for a long-term fix.

HR: Sewage-To-Kailua Plan Temporarily Shelved

LINK: News Release

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Green Shock Troops for Pacific: UN security council to consider climate change peacekeeping

Special meeting to discuss 'green helmets' force to intervene in conflicts (allegedly) caused by (non-existent) rising seas levels and (non-existent) shrinking resources

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Pearl Harbor skull could date to World War II

Military scientists are trying to determine if a skull found in Pearl Harbor among debris dating to the 1940s belonged to a World War II Japanese fighter pilot, officials said on Wednesday.

The skull was discovered during a dredging operation in April under 40 feet of water, U.S. Navy officials said.

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