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Monday, October 17, 2011
October 17, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:46 PM :: 12718 Views :: Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Solar Credits: 1000s of Homeowners to Face Audits to Cover up DoTAX Re-write of Law

Case: Lingle offers Change to Hawaii Voters

Lingle said she's received a positive response and signed up numerous volunteers since having announced her candidacy Tuesday in Honolulu.

"People were very excited," Lingle said of her decision to run. "I think they were waiting."….

Next year's Senate race, like the 2002 governor's race, will be about change, Case said, adding only he and Lingle are offering that to voters….

Longtime Hilo resident Leilani Kalua, a self-described veteran Democrat who now favors individual candidates over party affiliation, was happy to have her picture taken with Lingle.

"I have always believed in our former governor," Kalua said. "I feel that she was the strongest woman candidate we had in the state, and I wish her the best of luck in the Senate race."

During the past decade, Hawaii's electorate has become more focused on candidates rather than party lines, Case said. That desire to think and act for themselves has reduced the influence of labor unions and other external forces, he said.

HR: Lingle Campaign Manager also Backs Tammy Duckworth

read … Lingle, Case stump in Hilo

CB: Hirono Cold, Aloof, Prefers to be Alone

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono isn't one to smile just to break the ice. And she knows that some people say she's cold or aloof, but that's OK with her. As the 63-year-old Senate candidate puts it, she's had to "paddle (her) own canoe for a long time."

Much of the time, she prefers being alone anyway.

But there's more to Hirono than her sometimes abrupt demeanor.

We spent one day with Hirono on Capitol Hill to get a better sense of what makes her tick, and saw a side to the congresswoman that isn't always accessible.

read … Isn’t always accessible

After 10 months of Abercrombie, Even Anti-Superferry Protester Misses Lingle

…Suspending the state’s environmental protection laws for fishy reasons? Although declaring an emergency to move Nene geese that had been causing the same problems at Lihu`e Airport for a decade isn’t exactly the SuperFerry, it was the same thread of political expediency that runs through both in the minds of the electorate.

But in the one place where Abercrombie could have put a wedge between “what a Democrat in office will do” and “what the Republican did,” his tin-ear handling of the teachers’ union negotiations left many asking what the difference is.

Abercrombie’s now infamous “I’m not your pal” statement to the unions and the viral YouTube screaming match with a nurse were followed by the same imposition of a contract and violation of the tenets of collective bargaining that caused massive protests at state capitols in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio after Republican governors in those states imposed similar anti-union measures.

Even though criticism of the actions of the teachers’ union’s tactics in fighting Abercrombie’s unilaterally-imposed, force-fed contract got most of the press, the antipathy toward Abercrombie still simmers just beneath the surface among the unions whose support will be crucial if either Mazie Hirono or (god no) Ed Case is to send Lingle back out to national Republican pastures.

It’s a long time between now and a year from November and it’s said voters’ memories are long in Hawai`i. But those memories are made not just in broad sweeping brush strokes but in the daily paint splotches and, to mix metaphors, once a crack appears in the veneer it’s hard to plaster it over to keep the wood from splitting right down the middle.

Abercrombie would do well to keep, if not a low profile next January when the legislature meets, at least one that doesn’t rock his own party’s boat. Because if Hirono or Case loses to Lingle many Democratic fingers will be pointing his way and it will be a short two years until the ’14 gubernatorial election where he’ll need all the party support he can get.

read … Even Anti-Superferry Protesters

Djou Raises $81,400, Hanabusa $143,200

He's serving in Afghanistan, but the election team for Charles Djou says he raised $81,410 in the first six weeks of his congressional campaign.

Meanwhile, Richard Rapoza, who is handling media relations for Colleen Hanabusa, reports that the 1st District incumbent raised $143,204 in the most recent filing period.

read … Djou

Critics of Big Wind plan say it does not consider Oahu as a location for alternative energy

A proposal by the state to expand the scope of the planned Big Wind energy project to include solar and geothermal resources on Maui does not go far enough, according to two groups that opposed the original plan to put wind turbines on Lanai and Molokai.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is seeking to broaden an environmental review for the project after public criticism that the plan's original scope was too narrow.

Two community groups — Life of the Land and Friends of Lanai — say the revised plan still does not embrace a wide enough range of alternative energy options.

For example, DBEDT's plan does not include the potential for a large-scale solar energy project on Oahu, such as what Sempra Generation is proposing for the Pearl Harbor and Lualualei areas, said Henry Curtis, executive director of Life of the Land.

read … Coming to Oahu?

Old Boys All Agree: Rail Means Jobs

The most widely circulated projections of rail jobs come from the city's environmental impact statement for the rail project, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization and the Pacific Resource Partnership, which represents construction companies in Hawaii and the local carpenters union.

Although there is considerable variation among the three estimates, there is a general agreement that the rail project will provide a major boost to the state's struggling construction sector, which has been losing jobs since peaking four years ago.

Even UHERO, which had the lowest estimate of the job creation among the three, was bullish on the potential impact of the rail project in a forecast.

"Assuming no additional delays, the rail project will lead to a sharp pick-up in construction beginning later this year (2011) and the construction job base will approach its 2007 peak level by 2015," the UH economists wrote in the February report.

The amount of spending budgeted for the rail project translates into 5,000 to 5,500 construction jobs at the peak of activity in 2013 and 2014, according to an economic model developed by UHERO.

(And how many jobs are lost because of the tax increase which pays for all this? Uh ….)

read … Rail jobs plentiful regardless of who's counting

Program helps identify homeless vets

Charlene Burgess, team leader and social worker for the VA Kaua‘i Community Based Outpatient Clinic, said 35 veterans took advantage of the free event.

The Statewide Point in Time count in 2011 indicated that 25 of the 500 homeless people on Kaua‘i are veterans, Burgess said in an email. “We know there are others out there and we need to identify them so we can get them help.”….

Everything took place under the canopy of fellowship, brought together by the free entertainment offered up by Larry Rivera, Harrom Kaili and the Kapa‘a Kanikapila Serenaders and the New Hope Kaua‘i Hula Ministry.

read … Homeless

First Anti-APEC Rally Today

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) will hold conferences at the East West Center at the University of Hawaii, Manoa this fall.

The East West Center will host the APEC Climate Symposium (October 17-20, 2011) and the ADB Conference (December 14-15, 2011)

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz will deliver the opening speech at the APEC Climate Symposium..

Peaceful protesters will gather from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2011 in front of the John F. Kennedy Theatre across the campus road from the East West Center. The organizers have discussed their plans with both UH and the police, and have received assurances that the protest can occur at that site.

The protests are being organized by the Hawai`i Independence Action Alliance (HIAA) ….

China: Occupy Wall Street's issues worth thought

CB: Unemployed Cheesecake Maker snags OccupyAPEC url

SA: Sweeping security frustrates residents

read … It begins

China Daily: Governors to promote tourism during forum

Before traveling to North America, Chinese travelers are required to obtain a tourist visa. When the Visa Waiver Program was introduced to South Korea in 2008, the number of travelers from South Korea to Hawaii increased significantly, according to McCartney.

McCartney said the state has been working hard to support efforts that could help expedite the process for obtaining travel visas.

"We understand the visa process for Chinese visitors is long, and we hope to ease it," McCartney said.

read … China

SA: Family Justice Center needed to fight domestic violence

Since 2004, the per capita rate of Hawaii men killing women has risen steadily; the state ranked eighth in the nation in 2009.

Too many of those death occurred in Hawaii's Filipino community, where advocates say that language barriers, cultural factors and economic shackles can prevent women from choosing better options.

But how can public policy empower the victims? One way is to make it easier to exercise that power. The city prosecutor's office hopes the solution lies with one that's used in dozens of jurisdictions across the country: the Family Justice Center. It's a good idea. A Honolulu FJC would place all services under one roof — legal advocacy, career counseling, child care, emergency housing, food stamps, medical insurance and more — providing one-stop convenience for a victim with many problems and few solutions.

The FJC has its critics. Victims-rights advocates fear that an agency run by the prosecutor's office inevitably will be law enforcement-centric, causing victims — particularly youth runaways and those with substance abuse problems — to shy away. Privacy is also a concern. Will a victim lose control of her confidential information as it is passed among FJC partner groups? Nonprofit agencies also worry that the FJC will suck up most of the scarce federal resources available for domestic abuse services, leaving victims with fewer options for the more flexible, confidential and individualized help provided by nongovernmental agencies.

(BTW: When will the prosecutors form a special unit to investigate domestic violence within Gay ‘families’?)

read … Domestic Violence

Cabdrivers grumble over airport shuttles

Just after midnight Sunday, Maui-based SpeediShuttle began taking its first passengers — 112 Japanese and Australian tourists — from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki for a one-way fee starting at $14.55.

SpeediShuttle's 32 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans can carry 11 customers each and began offering service Sunday along the H-1 freeway corridor from Kahala to Ko Olina.

Beginning Jan. 1, the service will be expanded to most areas on Oahu, said Cecil Morton, president and CEO of SpeediShuttle.

read … Airport Shuttle

Navy Installs Large Scale Solar Hot Water Project on Oahu

Several facilities across Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) received solar hot water systems between mid-May and early October, with the last two receiving final inspection Oct. 3, as part of a large energy project that will eventually save the Navy approximately $200,000 annually.

read … Hot Water

NORAD FAA Rep Helped Coast Guard Save Pilot off Hilo

"The actual credit for the save belongs with Ms. Denee Hoover. She is the FAA rep who works in the NORAD Command Center. The pilot realized far more than 500 miles out he wouldn't make it and didn't have the gas to turn around. Ms. Hoover alerted me, the Command Center Director, and we alerted the folks in Hawaii. That action on her part gave the Coast Guard team the time to react.

Related: VIDEO: Pilot ditches Cessna, rescued by Coast Guard off Hilo

read … Hawaii Heroes

Airman hurt by blast returns to kin in isles

A month and many surgeries after he was wounded while trying to disarm an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, Air Force Staff Sgt. DJ Dutton walked into a Honolulu Airport baggage claim area and into the waiting arms of friends and family Sunday afternoon.

Dutton, a 30-year-old from Milton, Vt., is an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Pacific Air Forces' 647th Civil Engineer Squadron. He suffered extensive back and leg injuries Sept. 14 when an IED exploded as he was trying to disarm it at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.

He spent the past month at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where he underwent eight skin-graft surgeries.

Dutton, his right leg heavily bandaged, looked happy and healthy as his wife, Stacy, and their two children, 4-year-old Madison and 4-month-old Jackson, greeted him Sunday. Jackson was just a week old when Dutton left for his deployment. Walking with a slight limp into the baggage claim area, he seemed awed by the dozens of well-wishers waiting to greet him.

Related: Military to be Disenfranchised so Meth dealer’s friend can keep Senate Seat?

read … Airman hurt by blast returns to kin in isles

The Rising East: Thinking the Unthinkable, Will North Korea Launch a Nuclear Attack?

A seasoned American specialist on North Korea suggests that Pyongyang has acquired the capability to strike South Korea, Japan, and American bases there with nuclear weapons, causing tens of thousands of deaths.

Bruce Bechtol, a former intelligence officer in the Defense Department, says in a carefully researched essay: “The unthinkable and seldom-discussed threat of a nuclear attack is a nightmare scenario not only for the region but for all nation-states that have interests on the Korean peninsula.”

Besides South Korea, Bechtol says likely North Korean targets would include Japan and U.S. military bases in South Korea and Japan. He singled out the ports of Busan, Pohang, and Incheon in South Korea and Okinawa, Sasebo, and Yokohama in Japan. Most have U.S. bases nearby.

read … NKorea


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