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Tuesday, September 06, 2011
September 6, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:15 PM :: 8331 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Big Wind: Does Abercrombie want Giant Boondoggle as his Legacy?

Borreca: Abercrombie like red-neck, knuckle-dragging sheriffs in Arkansas backwoods

Abercrombie belittles his opponents and throws out enough chaff to be worthy of a missile protection system.

"Why doesn't the Star-Advertiser go after the Judicial Selection Commission (which gives the governor the list of nominees, but is not allowed to make it public)?" Abercrombie asked on television.

Abercrombie said if the newspaper was serious, and not "trying to create drama," it would go to the Legislature and demand that the law be changed so that the Judicial Selection Commission make the list public.

Then Abercrombie turns his sophistry into high gear.

"I don't vet the editorials at the Star-Advertiser. Why don't their editorial writers sign their editorials?" he asks, as if this was even part of the discussion.

This is the sort of retort you would expect from red-neck, knuckle-dragging sheriffs in the backwoods of Arkansas, not the governor of one of the 50 states….

One of Abercrombie's judicial picks turned out to be a campaign donor who used to work in his office. Could the public evaluate how this apparent cronyism compared to the other candidates? No, because Abercrombie was preventing a public circus.

The real point of philosophy is that Abercrombie wants a government known to him, run by him, for a public gratefully kept in the dark.

Totally Unrelated: Micronesians: “Its just better in Arkansas” 

read … Has Abercrombie become our Prince of Darkness?

Shapiro: Abercrombie All Talk and No Action

My last “serious” column before going on vacation was about Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s tendency to orate over and over about the state’s problems without having new progress to report in solving them.

A reader wrote in using a word to describe the governor that I haven’t heard since my days in Hilo High — “waha.” It technically means “mouth,” but carries a broader meaning of all talk and no action.

read … Waha

Hirono Demands Infrastructure Bank so US Can Run Up More Debt

Hirono said she supports infrastructure investments as the first and most important way to foster immediate job creation and for long-term growth and economic benefit….

The congresswoman said she supports a bill for an Infrastructure Bank as a way to fund infrastructure projects and investment without immediate impact on the federal budget.

But less spending here: Military Spending: In pursuit of Ideology, Hirono Votes Against 18% of Hawaii Economy, Hirono renews attack on 18% of Hawaii's Economy

MN: Hirono: When you're facing foreclosure, there's a lot of frustration

Read … Bank of Debt

43% of DoE Secondary Schools not good enough for Six-Year Accreditation

With just one Hawaii high school reaching the high proficiency benchmarks set under the federal No Child Left Behind law this year, administrators are turning to the accreditation process to provide parents a better understanding of whether their schools are making the grade….

The state Department of Education is supporting that idea, and included improving accreditation ratings — or increasing the number of schools with six-year accreditation — in its newest strategic plan, released in June.

read … But only One High school is meeting expectations

Reapportionment: Big Island Democrats to put on anti-military circus next Week

The Council Reapportionment Commission, at its next scheduled meeting Wednesday, plans to discuss four strategies for carving up the island's districts: starting at Kaena Point, starting at Makapuu Lighthouse, starting at both points or using the existing districts and simply adjusting the boundaries based on census numbers.

At its last meeting, commission members voted to include nonresident military members and dependents, students and incarcerated felons in the overall population base, just as the state Reapportionment Commission has done in crafting its proposed maps. To date, Elections Office personnel working with the state Reapportionment Commission have been unable to get enough data to accurately extract those groups from the total population count….

Public meetings are expected to draw larger crowds the following week when held on the Big Island, where groups have opposed the commission's 8-1 July vote to include the various nonresident populations in the total population base. Including those groups keeps a larger portion of the population base on Oahu, negating population growth on the Big Island that otherwise would result in Hawaii island getting an additional seat in the state Senate.

What this is about: Military to be Disenfranchised so Meth dealer’s friend can keep Senate Seat?

read … Circus

State Left 10 Concessions in Teachers Contract

When the state imposed the offer, it had only released the basics of what it entailed:

  • 1.5 percent reduction in teachers’ salary schedule and acceptance of leave without pay on certain non-instructional days for a total temporary wage reduction equivalent to 5 percent;
  • 50-50 split of employer/employee contributions for health benefits; and
  • Increased preparation time for teachers

Beyond those, some of the other concessions included:

  • An extension of recruitment/retention incentives for hard-to-staff locations
  • Drug and alcohol testing on "reasonable suspicion"
  • Changes to the "work time distribution" within work weeks

The concessions are official pieces of evidence in the union's labor complaint. Here's a copy of that exhibit:

Full Text: State HSTA tentative agreement

read … 10 Concessions

Carlisle: Homeless Worse than Rats

"You don't want to make analogies that sound inhumane, but when you have, having cleaned up one of the big homeless (camps) on the Waianae Coast, you would have been better off to have a rat infestation," Carlisle said during an editorial board meeting at Civil Beat headquarters last week.

"There were needles, there were condoms with drugs in them, there was glass everywhere. The cigarette butts are all over the place. It's not safe to walk on it. Every mattress that you find that you have to dig up, it's got lice. They've got dogs, they've got feces. You've got all these vile smells," Carlisle said. "It's just God-awful."….

Carlisle said he regularly receives letters from mainland visitors who say they're never coming back to Hawaii because Waikiki "smells like a urinal."

"These people are all hanging out there, half-naked some of the time. Throwing up all over themselves, peeing all over themselves," he said.

Asked about Gov. Neil Abercrombie's short-term plan that involves discouraging civil groups from feeding the homeless in public parks, Carlisle said he thinks it's a "great idea."….

"We don't have coercive powers. With vagrancy laws you had that. That was taken from us by the United States Supreme Court," he said.

Carlisle didn't specify the case or cases in which the Supreme Court struck down vagrancy laws, but an important one appears to be Papachristou v. Jacksonville (Fla.). In that case, the court determined that ordinances that amounted to blanket prohibitions on essentially being homeless violated due process because it didn't inform citizens which behaviors were disallowed.

"I believe it was social legislation," Carlisle said. "I think it was a complete disaster because now people are out there suffering from their mental problems without us having the ability to coerce them into either the treatment that they need or into a zone that isn't in conflict with everybody else's rights."

KITV: “99 percent of the people are just drug crazed. We can’t have that

read … ‘Rats

Hawaii Ranks 48th in Patents per Capita

The state rakes in a huge amount of federal research money, but files fewer patents per capita than all but two states….

"We are number five of all states in the total amount of defense research dollars per capita," Chong said. "But Hawaii inventors file for patents at one-tenth of the rate of the state of California and one-third of the national average on a per-capita basis. Of all states, we are number 48 in filing-per-capita, just behind Wyoming and Idaho."

Intellectual property scholars say there are a number of factors that contribute to Hawaii's relatively low rate of patent filings. Chong points to lower incomes and smaller corporate budgets, for example.

read … Patents

UH-Tokai deal will bring 'unique partnership' to West Oahu campus

The $6 million purchase will allow Hawaii Tokai International College to move from its Kapiolani Boulevard building and construct a new campus adjacent to the new UH-West Oahu campus in Kapolei.

The private Japanese college will also share programs, dorms and classroom space with UH-West Oahu students, Awakuni said.

"It creates a unique partnership between a Japanese university and the University of Hawaii," Awakuni said. "It gives us an immediate, international feel to the (UH-West Oahu) campus."

read … UH Tokai

Isle restaurateurs support efforts to ease visa rules for foreign visitors

Getting a U.S. travel visa in China can be a long and expensive process. Reports are that it can take as much as four months to get a visa interview, and many times it requires traveling great distances to a consular office in a far away city to get the interview. Chinese travelers cite the expense and difficulty of obtaining a visa as one of the key reasons for deciding to travel to countries other than the U.S.

Reforming this process can be done with simple steps: a commitment to putting more workers into the process to speed up processing, using technologies like teleconferencing to aid in handling the backlog of interviews, and expanding the use of the visa waiver program to help handle demand, among others.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association is committed to working with our elected representatives in Congress to encourage these reforms and help open the doors to welcome international visitors to come and enjoy the many treasures — and great meals — that Hawaii has to offer.

read … Visa rules

SA: Give Seals a chance to Rule over Humans

the fishing community fears the worst. The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council complained that the "perceived protection of monk seals over humans," through the translocation of seal pups and a proposed expansion to the main islands of critical habitat boundaries for the monk seal…. (Thus expanding the fishing restrictions which caused the Seals to be out-competed in the NW Islands)

read … Seals over Humans

Feds Demand Maui Animal Shelter Kill Animals

Our government agencies have decided that EMAR needs to make choices and follow governmental philosophy versus EMAR's own. The agencies involved are suggesting that EMAR eliminate its no-kill policy, begin mandatory euthanization and choose between caring for either domestic or wildlife.

read … Kill the Animals

Council to Vote Wednesday on Vacation rentals

There are approximately 1,000 legal STR properties with valid certificates in residential-zoned neighborhoods, plus an unknown number of legal STRs in areas around Oahu already zoned for resort use. Legal properties with a valid certificate or resort zoning would be unaffected by this bill.

This bill, which Save Oahu's Neighborhoods supports, would allow the DPP to differentiate between advertisements for legal and illegal operations. It is similar to a bill by the late Councilwoman Barbara Marshall in 2005 that was unanimously endorsed by the Planning Commission in 2008.

This bill is currently before the Planning Commission and is due for a vote Wednesday.

read … Vacation Rentals

Honolulu Office Buildings Worth Sixty-One Cents

Shares of Pacific Office Properties Trust, which owns a collection of office buildings largely concentrated in Honolulu, ended last week at 61 cents.

The stock is now worth about one-tenth what it was when local real estate investor Jay Shidler took Pacific Office public three years ago, and has fallen 70 percent in the past month from what had been a fairly stable level for most of this year around $2.

Pacific Office's recent stock slide, which began July 22, doesn't appear to be a casualty of general stock volatility or reaction to public announcements by the company.

read … $0.61

Hawaii One of Only Five States to Ban Write-In Voting

Only five states ban write-ins at general elections (Hawaii, South Dakota, Louisiana, Nevada and Oklahoma).

read … Write-In

Latest Sovereignty Mortgage Scam Debunked

It’s not a new theory. It was promoted by Perfect Title back in the 1990s, which led to criminal charges. Keanu Sai, one of the Perfect Title principals, is now a consultant to Laulima.

Recently Laulima has been crowing about several district court decisions in favor of owners fighting foreclosures, including a case involving Laulima president Kale Gumapac….

The implication is that the courts have given some credence to the theory that all post-1898 land transactions are flawed, but a look at the details shows this isn’t true at all….

What’s also interesting here is the persistence of this kind of claim even while the criminal cases against another group which pushed a similar Kingdom-based theory are pending in federal court.

By the way, a superseding indictment was issued September 1 in the pending case against Mahealani Ventura-Oliver, John Oliver, and their co-defendants.

Related:

read … Sovereignty Scammers


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