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Monday, September 26, 2011
September 26, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:09 PM :: 8862 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Hawaii Wind, Solar projects: Millions for Wall Street, Banks, maybe even Big Tobacco

Hawaii Republicans Looking for Leadership Find only Factionalism

Kalapa: History of the Hawaii GE Tax

Abercrombie Admin Official Quietly Jumps Ship, Joins Private Sector

Donations Pour In For Fallen Honolulu Police Officer

If you would like to help the Fontes family, you can donate to the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund at the Hawaii Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union.

KHON: Family and friends honor fallen Officer Eric Fontes

read … Eric Fontes

Federal Law Some Child Deaths Should Be Public

The Hawaii Department of Human Services has come under heat for not releasing more information about the recent death of a 9-month-old in foster care.

It’s not unusual for states to stay tight-lipped about the deaths of children in state custody, a national expert told Civil Beat.

Yet federal law requires states to allow the public to access information about any child who dies from abuse or neglect, said Bill Grimm, an attorney for the National Center for Youth Law. That’s “whether they’re in foster care or not,” he said.

Lax federal enforcement, however, has allowed states to develop “virtually a hodgepodge of public disclosure laws,” said Grimm, who has fought for more openness.

read … Against Abercrombie secrecy

Red Tape Hindered Removal of UXO

ILind: …minutes of the Former Waikoloa Maneuver Area Restoration Advisory Board meeting, dated October 1, 2008 which discuss the Corps of Engineers’ problems getting access to state lands around the Hapuna Beach area.

The State believes the Corps has to go through the NEPA process (i.e., prepare either an EA or EIS) for any detonation done on State land. It is the Corps’ position that under FUDS, the Corps is covered by CERCLA which puts public safety ahead of environmental issues.

I had to look up the references. FUDS refers to the Formerly Used Defense Sites program, while CERCLA is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund).

According to the minutes, Rep. Cindy Evans agreed to seek the assistance of then-Attorney General Mark Bennett in resolving the right of entry issue.

The Corps was still waiting for a response from the AG’s office in March 2009, another set of minutes shows.

read … ILind

232 Archaeological Surveys planned for rail route

Archaeological excavations along the planned rail route in Kalihi, downtown and Kaakako will prompt lane closures and detours — and might last from six to 10 months.

There are 232 planned dig sites across a 4.3-mile stretch for work that includes trenching into roads, which will likely get under way next month….

The trenches will be about 3 feet wide and 10 feet long for the guideway's columns. Trenches for utility locations will be about 2 feet wide and 20 feet long. Crews will dig up to 10 feet deep.

The city will begin holding community meetings regarding the excavations today at Farrington High School. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has also sent out about 21,000 postcards to affected residents and businesses along the stretch.

While the city said there will be lane closures and detours, it said residents will not see any road closures.

read … Archaeological

SA: Charter school panel fails to home in on results

Hawaii's charter schools should be put on performance contracts with clear, measurable academic targets and be judged based on their results, according to a report by a national authority on charter oversight….

"What gives charter schools the opportunity to excel is greater autonomy combined with greater accountability," Richmond said. "Hold schools accountable based on clear performance expectations — not just what level is expected, but what happens if performance doesn't occur."

The local school boards that govern charter schools should not be a small group of "well-meaning people," the association advised. Instead they should be an effective team, "strategically assembled, to bring the skills, expertise, temperament and time to govern a multimillion-dollar public enterprise."

The Charter School Review Panel, which has just one full-time staff member, needs a larger staff to do its job properly, Richmond said, calling the current arrangement "irresponsible."

The association recommended that some of the staff of the Charter School Administrative Office be reassigned to work for the panel and focus on school performance and accountability. Much of the office's work now replicates administrative functions of the Department of Education, it said.

The association also advised against creating another charter school authorizer in Hawaii until the current system is fixed.

An online survey conducted by the evaluators found that in general Hawaii "charter school leaders are not sure how their school is being evaluated, but they report that they have autonomy in the operation of their school."

read … Charter Schools

Maui News Praises Maui Memorial

Several years ago, during the debate on whether or not the proposed hospital in South Maui, Malulani, should receive a certificate of need, we expressed the opinion that MMMC needed the competition from the new facility to get better. We even offered the thought that MMMC's position in the state hospital system would forever hold it back.

We are pleased to say that Lo and his team proved us wrong. Every passing month shows marked improvement at MMMC - from the state-of-the art stroke treatment to the ability to perform angioplasties and other cardiac procedures to the new helicopter pad. There is an obvious commitment at MMMC to be a better hospital every day.

(Once the improvements are compete, the decay will again set in. Socialists build monuments, they never maintain them.)

read … MMMC

CB: China's PLA May Be on the Road to a Pearl Harbor

In a disturbing parallel, China in 2011 seems to have started down the same warpath that led Japan to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

The emergence of this similarity has not gone unnoticed. A Washington think tank, for instance, has suggested that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which comprises all of China’s armed forces, has devised a strategy that “mimics the Japanese Imperial strategy of 1941-1942.”

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), whose researchers have working ties with the Pentagon, has even speculated on possible Chinese targets — U.S. air bases on Guam in the central Pacific, Kadena on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, and Misawa in northeastern Japan.

Just as Japan sought to knock out the U.S. fleet based at Pearl Harbor, so “the PLA’s objective would be to deny U.S. forces the ability to generate substantial combat power from its air bases in the Western Pacific.” The think tank says researchers based their findings on extensive PLA writings.

read … Pearl Harbor Redux?

Anti-APEC Protests begin October 17

Several forums, gatherings and educational meetings are being organized by those opposed to the APEC vision of the future.

These protests may be reminiscent of the peaceful protests and marches that occurred in Honolulu in 2001 when the Asia Development Bank (ADB) meetings were held in Honolulu.

The first of the three sets of APEC meetings to be held in Honolulu this fall will occur at the East West Center from October 17-20, 2011.

The meetings of the APEC Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG) may serve as a trial run of how the police and federal law enforcement interact with peaceful protests in the Aloha spirit.

Or they could be like this: VIDEO: Occupy Wall Street–Preview of APEC Protests?

read … It Begins

Born for Gangbanging: Young Criminals Make Film at HCCC, Abercrombie Applauds

"Born Fo Bang" — a film made with youth at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

The film was made under the auspices of FYI FILMS, a non-profit organization founded by Munoz to teach filmmaking and valuable life skills to incarcerated youth.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie hosted the Hawaii premiere of the film at the Hawaii State Capital Auditorium.

(Nothing better than criminals turning their barbarism towards the use of rhetoric to deconstruct civilization, right Neil?)

read … born for politics

Who Controls the Mineral Rights to Hawaiian Home Lands?

Millions of dollars could be at stake in an emerging dispute over who owns the mineral rights to Hawaiian home lands that are being considered for the development of geothermal energy.

While the state contends that it owns the rights, a committee under the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands submitted a report last week pushing for legislative action “which acknowledges the Department of Hawaiian Home Land’s inalienable rights to the minerals.”

Whoever controls the rights – either the state or Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of DHHL – gets the money through royalty payments. The state contends it holds the rights to all minerals on all lands — no matter who owns them. But opponents say some Hawaiian home lands conveyed prior to statehood are covered by federal law, which would give the mineral rights to the landowner. It's one of the most complicated issues facing the state and at least one lawsuit has been filed over the matter.

read … Mineral Rights

Thanks to Plastic Bag Ban 70% of Maui Residents Murder Trees

WAILUKU - More people are declining an offer of a paper bag at local markets as 30 percent of Maui County residents are now bringing their own reusable bags when they go shopping, according to a county study.

For a nonscientific study by the Department of Environmental Management's Division on Waste Management, staff went to a number of large stores on three occasions this year. The officials concluded that "about 52 percent of patrons are reducing their dependence on store-provided bags."

The study found that in addition to reusable bags, 22 percent of customers just use their hands. Both practices are believed to be overall increases since the start of the plastic bag ban.

read … Timbeeeer!

Local bicyclists push for vulnerable roadway user law in Hawaii

Hawaii's bill would mandate stiff fines, loss of license and or prison penalties when a driver severely injures or kills a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist or road worker.

But, the Hawaii Bicycling League says bicyclists also have to do their part in keeping our roads safe.

"We encourage HPD to ticket people who ride the wrong way because of injuries to cyclists," says Taniguchi.

The Hawaii Bicycling League will push for the new bill during the next legislative session.

SA: Bikes, pedestrians deserve full access to Kaimuki streets

read … bicycle

Self-Righteous Back to Nature crowd takes Hanalei Boatyard from Owner

The case alleges a Declination of Judgment of past orders against Sheehan’s companies and those doing business on his property. It is a long-standing dispute. The indictment names Hanalei River Enterprises, Inc., Hanalei River Watersports, Inc., Hanalei By The River Management, LLC, Hanalei By The River, LLC, Blue Dolphin Charters, LTD, Sips Of Paradise and Kaua‘i Boat Enterprises, LLC (aka Bali Hai Charters).

Sheehan was present at the meeting and said the revocation of his boatyard operating permits is a declaratory judgment and a“backdoor way” of condemning his property. He said it affirms his federal takings claim that was missing in his 1993 suit against the county.

“This operation of the Planning Commission and this lawsuit is the final taking,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan, who said he would never own a boatyard on the Hanalei River again, suggested his case was strong and that the county might spend many times the $75,000 for the legal battle and a potential damage award.

Read … eco-faddist takings

Hawaii commerce department debuts mobile app

The Hawaii state government's first app is debuting on the iPad, iPhone, Android and other mobile devices.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs said Friday the application will make it easier for the public to search for a business name and purchase certificates of good standing.

read … Mobile

Disney adds second Hawaii cruise in 2012

USA Today: Mickey Mouse must have Hawaii on his mind. Disney just opened a new land-based resort in Oahu, while the cruise line has added a second Hawaii sailing next fall….

read … Cruise

California Democratic Party among Solyndra’s creditors

The California Democratic Party’s communications director, Tenoch Flores, said the organization was not owed “any funds in any form” by the California-based company. He said he was unclear why the party would be listed as a creditor in Solyndra’s bankruptcy filing.

According to campaign-finance records, Solyndra donated $7,500 to the California Democratic Party in October 2010. It’s legal in California for corporations to make donations. But that doesn’t explain why the company would identify the Democratic Party as a creditor in its bankruptcy filing a year later….

The same month Solyndra donated to the California Democrats, the company also contributed $1,000 each to three California state Assembly candidates, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The state Democratic organization was identified in a document called a “creditor matrix.” It’s a standard filing in bankruptcy cases, where the debtor provides an alphabetical list of the names and addresses of all creditors. In the Solyndra case, the list runs more than 100 pages.

read … Bought but not Paid For


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