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Friday, September 09, 2011
September 9, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:27 PM :: 9702 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Charles Djou leaves for Afghanistan

Hanabusa Wipes Prince Kuhio --and Robert Wilcox-- out of History Books

Hawaii, Maui, Kauai: Stop And Remember 7AM Sunday 9-11-11

Kahului, Kailua-Kona TEA Party to Commemorate 9-11

Pacific Command to Host 9-11 Remembrance at Fort Shafter

Gallup: Hawaii has 4th-lowest rate of Uninsured Persons

Full Text: Obama Speech to Congress

Comprehensive List of Obama Tax Hikes

Hanabusa Wipes Prince Kuhio out of History Books

Abercrombie Appoints Waihee, Danner to Decide which Native Hawaiians are "Qualified"

National Journal: Old-Boy Democrats, Unions Protecting Hirono

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser spots the presence of Hawaii Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye at a fundraiser for Rep. Mazie Hirono on Thursday….

The extent to which Democratic establishment figures and groups are encouraging (or protecting) Hirono is becoming clearer. When Case released a poll showing him performing better against possible Republican candidate Linda Lingle, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately pushed back, saying their own numbers showed Hirono faring much better.

Political Radar: E-n-d-o-r-s-e-m-e-n …

read … Ignoring Ed Case

Borreca: More tax revenues for state unlikely to grow economy

Much like the perpetual motion machine, cold fusion and turning lead into gold, we have apparently discovered economic alchemy.

We are turning historic tax increases into glowing increases in the state economy.

The state's semi-independent Council on Revenues this week recalculated the state's growth in tax collections. The state is projected to now take in 14.5 percent more money during the current fiscal year.

This is a change; the earlier prediction was an increase of 11 percent….

Hawaii's revenue is growing because the state is hitting you up for more money. That's right, the state treasury is growing because the state took it from you….

To paraphrase the satirist and cartoonist Walt Kelly and his creation, Pogo: "We have met the economic stimulus, and it is us."

read … More tax revenues for state unlikely to grow economy 

AP FACT CHECK: Obama's jobs plan paid for? Seems not

Essentially, the jobs plan is an IOU from a president and lawmakers who may not even be in office down the road when the bills come due. Today's Congress cannot bind a later one for future spending. A future Congress could simply reverse it.

Currently, roughly all federal taxes and other revenues are consumed in spending on various federal benefit programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, food stamps, farm subsidies and other social-assistance programs and payments on the national debt. Pretty much everything else is done on credit with borrowed money.

So there is no guarantee that programs that clearly will increase annual deficits in the near term will be paid for in the long term.

Related: More 'Stimulus' from President Obama

read … Fact Check

Reaction to Obama Speech:

Only 17% believe Obama speech will improve economy: A Washington Post/ABC News poll found similar sentiments. But answers to one question buried in that poll might be the most telling: 47 percent said Obama’s new economic program would have “no effect.” If that wasn’t bad enough, twice as many believe his plan would make matters worse than believe it will make them better—34 percent to 17 percent.

LA Times: 961 days in, Obama becomes sick and tired of someone dawdling about jobs

Horner listens to Ansaldo for 2 hours, pretends they are going to be OK

It's been a rough stretch for Ansaldo, but the Italian transit company passed a key financial test Thursday. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Finance Committee Chair Don Horner peppered Ansaldo officials with questions and then gave the company his stamp of approval.

Horner, who as head of First Hawaiian Bank is no financial novice, said answers from Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture partners Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda as well as Finmeccanica, the parent company, left him pleased, comforted and impressed. He had asked about the companies' books — everything from profits to liquidity to net worth.

(Why Horner is acting a if everything is OK with Ansaldo? See next article….)

read … What a Sap

Carlisle in DC: Rail Opposition is Inconsequential, Delays, Snafus Should be Dismissed

He said that he reiterated to federal officials that rail opposition in Honolulu is noisy but inconsequential.

"We assured everybody who asked that despite vocal opposition, this project will be done and we are moving forward," Carlisle said.

He dismissed any possible delays or snafus, and said the city remains on track to enter into final design. That's a necessary phase for negotiating the ever-coveted Full Funding Grant Agreement, which would guarantee $1.55 billion in federal money to the city.

(In other words. if Honolulu dumps Ansaldo, Honolulu might have delays which would result in killing the project.)

read … Civil Beat Catches Rail Leaders Trying to Go 'Deep Undercover' in Washington

Campaign Spending Law keeps Herd of Democrat Also-Rans Prosperous

Hawaii is in the midst of a political upheaval so many politicians coming and going with some going in different directions, former governors standing on the sideline eyeing the competition while others look for causes to take up their spare time and keep their name recognition alive.

In all the action, some good and some bad, the hot ticket seems to be running for the U.S. House of Representatives. There are so many candidates, it has to be an easy job.

Ever since U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka announced his plans to retire, just about every ambitious politician has thrown their coconut hat or maile lei into the ring.

For the Democrats, this is an easy decision because if they don’t get elected they will be awarded a high-paying job in state government.

Don’t believe that, eh?

Ask yourself this question: Where’s the herd of people who ran and lost the race for lieutenant governor last time around? All are doing well and many of them trying for higher office again.

This makes some sense, since the campaign laws in Hawaii are written so that defeated candidates can keep their campaign funds as long as they keep running for elected office.

read … Running For The Job Of A Lifetime

HSTA Lawyers “demonstrate egregious and reckless disregard for the truth”

The HLRB’s Sept. 2 ruling against HSTA contained a harsh slap-down of the union’s lawyers:

“The material misstatements made by Ms. Covert in her sworn affidavit, which were not corrected by Mr. (Herbert) Takahashi at the August 10, 2011 Board hearing, demonstrate an egregious and reckless disregard for the truth in this case. These statements seem intended to mislead the Board … Notice is hearby given that conduct of this nature will not be tolerated by the Board.”

The matter appears technical, but some lawyers say it could be serious enough to land HSTA lawyers before disciplinary counsel.

CB: Live Blog: Hawaii Labor Board Hears Teachers' Complaints Against State

read … HSTA can’t get its affidavits straight

After APEC, $6M less federal funding to pay for Homelessness

Greg Cuadra, chairman of the McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board, said homeless people destroyed the Ewa-end grass of Old Stadium Park with their urine and garbage.

“It is an eyesore and it’s increasing,” Cuadra said. “You can’t walk down that sidewalk on King Street early in the morning because they’re all over. They just moved from the (McCully) library, which is state property, over to the park, which is city property. The problem just moved a couple hundred meters. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I would love to see them go somewhere else.”

the state Department of Transportation last month cleared about 90 homeless people from the H-1 freeway’s Nimitz viaduct, along with 50 to 60 truckloads of their belongings.

DOT officials now clear out the area about every six months, spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.

But Brandon Cayetano, owner of the nearby Hawaii All-Star Paintball Games, said “These guys all crossed the road to my field.”

Cayetano has been dealing with homeless people on his 6-acre site for at least four years and has paid as much as $5,000 to haul their belongings from his property.

Thirty-five new homeless people suddenly appeared following the DOT sweep, Cayetano said.

read … Neil “More Federal Funds” Abercrombie

Randy Iwase “Accidentally” Locks Public out of Tax Review Commission Meeting

The sun apparently doesn't shine too brightly at the Department of Taxation.

The public was locked out of a Thursday public meeting of the Hawaii Tax Review Commission.

The seven-member board quickly went into executive session after opening its 8:30 a.m. meeting. Members of the public were told to wait in a conference room. At 10:15, the waiting public was told the meeting had been adjourned. Six of the commission members had already left. The seventh, the group's chairman, Randy Iwase, was the only one who remained.

CB: Hawaii Tax Review Panel to Ask for More Time

Photos: Randy Iwase at Larry Mehau’s House

read … Uh huh

Contractors deserve an update on Marines’ buildup in Guam

Hawaii companies competing for billions of dollars in contracts associated with plans to move more than 17,000 U.S. Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam are caught in the worst of all possible places: They don’t know where the project stands.

Contractors from Hawaii and elsewhere set up shop in Guam several years ago, ahead of the proposed buildup that was supposed to start last year and be completed in 2014.

Some contracts have been awarded but, following a weak recovery from the recent global recession, political and environmental disagreements in Guam, the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and protracted deficit-reduction talks in Washington, the Marines’ relocation project is facing a lot of uncertainty. One source recently told PBN that the project may not be finished until 2020, and multiple sources said the cost could be twice the original price tag of $10 billion.

Our biggest problem with those revised timelines is that none of them comes from “official” sources who are responsible for tracking or monitoring the Guam project. Our state’s congressional delegation owes it to Hawaii-based contractors to find out and communicate the latest information.

Remember Abercrombie’s Plan? Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor

read … Guam?

Housing Agency Confirms "Compliance Audit" Of Maui Project

A private Mainland-based company is conducting the “compliance audit” of a Maui public housing Honokowai Kauhale on Maui project plagued by chronic vacancies and overdue repair work.

Karen Seddon, executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., said the audit is being performed by Spectrum Enterprises, which is already under contract to the agency to provide housing analysis services

read … Maui Affordable Housing

Hawaii County Council Votes for Hefty Building Tax

The committee voted 6-3 to favorably recommend Bill 304 to the County Council, where it faces two hearings. The committee has been discussing and fine-tuning the bill over six committee hearings since October.

The three Hilo councilmen voted against the bill….Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda (correctly) called the bill "anti-local."

A house that's less than 1,000 square feet, for example, would be charged an impact fee of $4,471, while one 3,500 square feet or more would be charged $7,026.

A duplex or multifamily dwelling would cost from $3,314 to $5,207 and a hotel or motel unit would be assessed $4,210, according to the bill.

Fees for construction of retail, commercial, office, industrial, warehouse, church, school, hospital, nursing home structures or other institutions would be assessed per 1,000 square feet with fees ranging from $1,080 to $5,451.

As predicted five years ago: 'Lost Malihini Tribe' and PASH Aim to Take Over County Council

read … Impact fee bill finally advances to council

First Wind Has no Maintenance plan beyond Eight Years

UNITED STATES: US developer First Wind has handed GE an eight-year maintenance agreement for its entire fleet of turbines across the US.

The agreement covers 264 GE turbines at eight different wind projects. GE said it is its first service agreement signed for a complete fleet of turbines.

In addition to on-site maintenance, GE will aim to increase production. There will also be an availability guarantee at the Utah, Maine and Hawaii projects.

Vision of the Future: Wind Energy's Ghosts

read … Soon to be abandoned

Huge Solar project is planned for Archaeological Site at Barbers Pt.

The state’s largest photovoltaic project will be built on land not currently in use at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Kalaeloa at a cost of $80 million if the Hawaii Community Development Authority goes through with plans it is considering.

HCDA, the state agency responsible for the development of Kalaeloa and Kakaako, wants to construct up to four 5-megawatt generating plants on a 230-acre parcel at the old air base, said authority Executive Director Anthony Ching. The plans are tentative, but Ching said the state believes solar energy will be the best use of the land.

“It’s not disruptive of any cultural or archaeological site there, and we believe that it can fit in as a passive activity,” Ching said. “That might be the perfect situation for what might otherwise be seen as undevelopable or limited-potential land, given the sensitivity to [the] concentration of archaeological sites.”

Reality: Hawaii’s Future? Abandoned Solar Farms Clutter California Desert

read … More Of Your Tax Money At Work

Hawaii County Council: Mailing Junk TVs to Honolulu is not Good Waste Disposal Plan

The Hawaii County Council wants the state Legislature to come up with a more practical solution to electronic waste recycling than requiring neighbor island residents to mail their old televisions and computers to Honolulu.

The council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday supporting HB 1521, which would require manufacturers to offer drop-off points on neighbor islands, not just a mail-back program.

"The current requirement that manufacturers offer a recycle option is satisfied by costs to the consumer for expensive and woefully inadequate mail back program," the council's resolution states.

Hawaii County's $575,400 annual contract with Bay Side Computer Shop for a drop-off point in Hilo and Kona ended last year. From July 2009 through March 2010, the program collected 260 tons of e-waste. (That adds up to $2211 per ton)

Since then, there have been problems with people dumping their used electronics at former drop-off sites and along roadsides. (Duh) A collection program is expensive because the old televisions, computers, printers and the like must be sent to the mainland for recycling. (beeeecause…?)

Baseline: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read … But they just can’t figure out that the should throw them into the Dump

Hawaii widow sues big bank over 'vicious' foreclosure effort

"This is Bank of America and we are calling to collect with regards to a debt."

That is a phone message Mililani resident Deborah Crabtree has received many times — up to 48 times a day, every day for five months, according to a lawsuit the 63-year-old widow recently filed in state court against the bank.

read … Widow

The Port of Seattle is silenced by a longshoremen strike

At 1:30 this morning, the longshoremen who run the port walked off the job, and the port's been closed ever since. Bauermeister has parked his truck with its shipping container outside the gate, because it would cost him too much in fuel to drive it home and back tomorrow, when he hopes the port will be open again.

read … ILWU

 

Marine told fellow Marines to stop alleged hazing

Lew had been caught sleeping on duty multiple times at his platoon's outpost, the remote Gowragi Patrol Base close to Taliban positions.
The commanding officer of the platoon testified he didn't think Jacoby was hazing Lew when he punched and kicked Lew's body armor after the Marine was caught sleeping on watch again. "I think Lance Corporal Jacoby lost his temper," said 1st Lt. Jameson Payne.
"I think he was upset Lance Corporal Lew was jeopardizing everyone's lives."

read … Hazing


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