Hawaii Poll shows Cain beating Romney in GOP Caucus Vote, 88% of GOPers back Lingle
Update: Charles Djou in Afghanistan
VIDEO Truth In Accounting Presentation at Hawaii Capitol
Lawyer: Hawaii Assisted Suicide is Not "Already Legal"
Final Stages of Total Withdrawal from Iraq Planned from Schoefield
With the 8-year-old Iraq War rapidly coming to an end and U.S. troops streaming to the exits, the majority of 800 25th Infantry Division headquarters soldiers in the country will be coming home to Hawaii earlier than anticipated, officials said.
Most will be home by Christmas, with the first returning in mid- to late November and other soldiers redeploying by mid-December.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the official spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said during a press teleconference last week that the United States had redeployed 1.6 million pieces of equipment since the start of Operation New Dawn in September 2010 and still had 800,000 pieces of equipment to go.
On the road were 399 convoys and more than 13,900 trucks moving equipment out of Iraq, he said.
Buchanan said the United Sates went from 505 bases in Iraq at the start of 2008 to 92 in September 2010. That number dropped to 23 as of last week….
The 25th Division's Wilson said the Schofield headquarters soldiers will be busy supporting remaining Army brigades by providing staff coordination and facilitating leader engagements with Iraqis leading up to the return home….
It also could be the last time a large unit of Schofield soldiers serves in Iraq.
"I'm just truly thankful for it all (to be over), and hopefully everyone will come home safely and we can all be at peace -- for now," said Pierre, the Schofield mother whose husband is in Iraq.
(Will Honolulu host a Victory Parade?)
read … The End
Lingle Campaigns for “Jobs Impact Statement” to Match EIS
HNN: On Monday, Lingle addressed the Maui Chamber of Commerce, telling the crowd of business leaders that she thinks the federal government too often enacts laws without considering the impact they could potentially have on jobs.
Lingle thinks the government needs to change the way rules are passed.
"Anytime a government agency wants to pass a new rule or regulation they will have to produce an independent jobs impact statement. This would be a version of an environmental impact statement."
Maui News: Who Gets Your Vote for Senate?
read … JIS
Lingle Beats Case in Latest Poll
Political Radar: A new Public Policy Polling survey shows U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in a close race with former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
The poll has Hirono at 45 percent and Case at 40 percent. The margin of error was 5.1 percentage points among the Democratic voters surveyed.
Hirono is up over former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, 48 percent to 42 percent in a hypothetical general election match-up. Lingle is up over Case 45 percent to 43 percent. The margin of error for the larger sample of voters was 4.1 percentage points.
The automated telephone poll was taken among 568 voters – including 368 usual Democrats – from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16.
“This race has become far more competitive since PPP last polled it in March,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “Linda Lingle’s candidacy does give Republicans a chance for a pick up that would be devastating to Democratic hopes of holding onto the Senate.”
read … Political Radar
Shapiro: Futless Perfect Word for Abercrombie
Volcanic Ash: Pidgin dictionaries often give "frustrated" as the definition of futless -- and the word definitely has some suggestion of constipation -- but that doesn't capture its full meaning, and there's no formal English word I know of that really does.
One astute reader said substitutes like "frustrated," "fruitless" and "feckless" are close but lack "that deeper local ring of not really giving a f---."
Here is my favorite explanation of the word, which was attributed to an unnamed source in an online discussion about slang:
"You know when you're sitting on the couch, idly flipping through channels on the TV, half watching whatever's on, but dissatisfied because you know you ought to be doing something real, and would be happier doing something real, but half an hour later you're still on the couch? That's futless."
And isn't that just the perfect description of a typical annual session of the Hawaii Legislature?
read … Futless Abercrombie
HLRB: Lawmakers, governor exempt from testifying in HSTA Case
SA: Key legislators won't have to testify before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board in a labor dispute involving the teachers union, the board has ruled.
The governor would not have to appear, either, the board said, unless the union can prove the information he would provide couldn't be given by other witnesses.
Six legislators and Gov. Neil Abercrombie were among nearly 90 people called by Hawaii State Teachers Association attorneys to appear before the labor board in the union's ongoing case against the state.
In an order issued Thursday, the labor board ruled the legislators have immunity from subpoenas and do not have to testify.
read … Labor Board
Ernie Martin 'Definitely' Running for Mayor — The Question is When
CB: On a business trip to Washington, D.C., City Council Chairman Ernie Martin revealed to Civil Beat that he intends to run for Honolulu mayor — at some point.
"I will run for mayor eventually," Martin said in an interview on Tuesday. "I haven't made a decision as to whether I will run next year."
Martin has become more explicit about his interest in higher office in recent months. He has gone from saying a run for mayor is something he'd consider someday to making it clear that it's a position he plans to seek.
There's no question that the city's District 2 representative is ambitious. He climbed the City Council ranks to become chairman just seven months after he was elected. It's worth noting that Martin won that election — not yet one year ago — by a slim 47-vote margin….
"I'm still in the fact-finding stage," Martin said. "If the window of opportunity is wide enough, I'll do it."
Find This Fact, Ernie: Convicted Cocaine Dealer replaces Advertiser columnist as Ernie Martin’s Campaign Treasurer, Line up for a Mayoral Campaign? Ernie Martin, Ann Kobayashi, Milton Holt, One Ton of Cocaine, and Kamehameha Schools
SA: 'Ice' problem needs new approaches (OK, lets start by getting rid of Malama Solomon and Ernie Martin.)
read … Cocaine Kingpin
All Night in Cold Water: Court Docs Show How Sovereignty Activists Allegedly Killed Man for his $70M Estate
Maui News: Lawyers contesting the $70 million will and trust of Laurence "Baron" Dorcy have asked the court to pay their fees from the estate, pending a probable trial next year. (They are going to milk it for every penny)
…Supporting documents filed in court last week provide many more allegations about how the "first will" group believes that Kanuha and his friend Petro Hoy gained undue influence over a sick man and got him to rewrite his will and his trust.
The filings also allege that, in March of this year, Kanuha took an obviously sick and mentally confused Dorcy into an unheated spa for an all-night party. The following day, Dorcy, whimpering on his bed, was eventually - after hours of pleading by one of his former employees - taken to the hospital. There he was put into intensive care, lost consciousness and died in June.
According to the claim by attorney Michael Rudy, when he tried to depose Kanuha, Kanuha invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself, then walked out of the proceedings.
Rudy also said Wailuku attorney Glenn Kosaka, who represented Dorcy in an attempted adoption of Kanuha, and who is now representing the trust that Kanuha claims to control, also invoked his Fifth Amendment rights at his deposition…. (How much will Kosaka make in legal fees?)
Why did Kanuha borrow $800,000 from Dorcy to buy the land under Morihara Store, then a few months later transfer the deed to a trust of Ko Hawaii Pae Aina? After Dorcy's death, Hoy and his wife, Leatrice - known as "L" to Dorcy and his employees - were indicted by the United States in an alleged mortgage scam aimed at Native Hawaiians.
Background: Naming names: Who are the alleged Sovereignty-mortgage scammers?
read … Assisted Suicide could have made this all legal
Hawaii Officials Merrily Celebrate Rail in D.C.
CB: Five Honolulu City Council members and both of Hawaii's U.S. senators celebrated the Honolulu rail project's progress at an upscale French bistro near Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening.
The officials were part of a group of about 40 people attending the private reception, which was hosted by the Honolulu-based carpenters union advocacy group Pacific Resource Partnership.
Guests included city staffers, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board members, development executives, as well as environmental and nonprofit leaders.
"You know, as I walked in here, I looked around and said, 'Who is there (left) in Honolulu?'" Sen. Daniel Akaka joked when he greeted the crowd. (Can we leave them there?)
The mood was buoyant, arguably even more so than at the festive rail groundbreaking that attracted hundreds of project supporters in Kapolei in February.
Pacific Resource Partnership's executive director, John White, told Civil Beat that it paid about $1,500 to rent a small room and provide wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres. White said the partnership paid a total of about $40,000 to bring 18 Hawaii officials and residents to Washington for the annual national rail conference known as Railvolution.
read … No ethics, no problem
Hearing set on suit seeking release of judicial nominee names
Star-Adv: A hearing has been set for Nov. 9 on a request by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for a court order directing Gov. Neil Abercrombie to release the names of judicial nominees.
Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto will hear the summary judgment motion filed today by the newspaper .
read … Abercrombie’s Judicial Secrecy
State terminates managers of troubled housing project
Maui News: The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. has terminated its contract with Honolulu firm Realty Laua to manage the troubled Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project.
HHFDC Executive Director Karen Seddon said the decision was made in response to issues raised in a compliance audit of the property last month. She said a letter of termination was sent to Realty Laua on Monday.
HR: Management Company Ousted at Maui Housing Project
read … Maui
Civil Beat Experiments with Delphi Technique Online
The Delphi Technique in Action: You may have noticed that we've been explaining our journalism with the simple phrase: Change Begins With A Question™.
It began when our team was sitting around the newsroom and the talk turned to the question why Hawaii uses so much plastic foam. It bothered many of us that the trash at so many places we've worked is stuffed with food containers every night.
We asked our readers if they were as interested as we were. Many said yes.
So we started investigating and have published nine stories on different aspects of the question so far. And we're still looking at it.
Now we want to take the next step with this approach. We've launched a forum where you can tell us what issues are most interesting to you.
LEARN: The Delphi Technique — What Is It?, The Delphi Technique: Let’s Stop Being Manipulated!
read … Change Begins With a Question
Solar tax Equity: US Bancorp to Pull $75M out of Taxpayers’ Pockets
Bloomberg: U.S. Bancorp created a fund to support as much as $75 million in residential rooftop solar installations by Vivint Solar.
The tax-equity fund will finance about 2,400 residential solar installations in New Jersey, Utah, Hawaii and New York, Provo, Utah-based Vivint said today in a statement.
read … It’s a scam
Honolulu income growth since 1970 at 6.6% a year
PBN: Honolulu’s total personal income grew at a rate of nearly 6.6 percent per year during the past 40 years, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
But Hawaii’s largest metropolitan area lost ground in terms of its rank among the nation’s 366 metro areas, dropping to No. 52 in 2010, from No. 42 in 1970, according to the analysis by On Numbers, an affiliate of Pacific Business News.
Total personal income in Honolulu was just under $3.3 billion in 1970. That figure grew to nearly $42.3 billion in 2010, a rate of 6.59 percent per year.
The rate of growth put Honolulu at no. 264 of the 366 metro areas, according to the analysis.
Honolulu’s rate of growth for the last decade was 4.55 percent, according to a separate analysis.
read … Income Growth
CB: How Presidential Candidates Are Stacking Up So Far in Hawaii
Read … Civil Beat
Hawaii GOP Ahead of Nebraska, Missouri
National Journal: If pundits began the year predicting that Republicans would tout a top-tier recruit in Hawaii but have difficulty recruiting in more conservative states such as Nebraska and Missouri, they would have been laughed out of the room. Yet, in the Aloha State, Republicans persuaded former Gov. Linda Lingle to run, giving them an excellent chance at competing in one of the most Democratic states in the country; meanwhile, party officials scramble to find credible nominees against some of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats.
Those developments say everything about the unpredictable nature of this year’s Senate campaign landscape. Republicans, knowing that most of the seats up for grabs are in Democratic hands, have been bullish about their prospects of winning control of the chamber. Factor in a spate of Democratic retirements in battleground states and President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, and conventional wisdom holds that the GOP just about has the Senate in the bag.
read … The GOP’s Red-State Recruiting Blues
ACLU Helps Maoists to Get First and Only Anti-APEC Protest Permit
anti-APEC Maoist group World Can't Wait sought help from the ACLU after getting stonewalled by the city over a permit to protest when world leaders are in town next month….
"We know of only of one permit being pursued although many of these protests may happen spontaneously," Vanessa Chong, executive director of the ACLU.
After some negotiations the city has granted the group, a permit to use part of the Ala Wai promenade, although it won't be the area they hoped for which is directly behind the Hawaii Convention Center.
It will instead be on the opposite end, where organizer Carolyn Hadfield worries nobody will see them.
Hadfield said the group was informally offered use of the more visible Ala Moana Beach Park, but turned it down because of restricted parking. The city did grant the group use of Stadium Park in Moiliili over three days, to use as a staging and meeting area leading up to the big APEC conference.
The group also applied a permit to march from the park to the convention center on Saturday Nov. 12, but has not yet heard back from the city about those plans. It unclear how the use of the park will dovetail with the presence of many homeless campers who have been living in the neighborhood park. (The homeless will be used as a rent-a-mob by the Maoists.)
SA: Police will transfer suspects across isle during APEC week
read … Maoists
Police, Child Care Officials Investigate Alleged Peeping Tom, Close His Family's Hawaii Kai Daycare
HR: …the state Department of Human Services notified Clissold on October 3 that it was opening an investigation “as to whether both me and my wife posed a risk to the children in our care,” Clissold said in court papers.
The state ordered the Clissolds “to immediately cease and desist all child care activities for the duration of the investigation,” Clissold said.
The couple has held a child care license since 1982. The license, which expires at the end of this month, authorizes them to care for a maximum of six children in their home on a quiet residential street in East Honolulu.
Tinsley, who lives across the street from Clissold, said he moved into the rental home with his wife and two young sons in February.
At the end of July, another neighbor informed Tinsley that she had repeatedly seen Clissold leaving Tinsley’s property between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., always wearing a black t-shirt and black shorts.
read … Peeper
32 Priors, Busted for Shooting 14yr old Girl with Drugs
KITV: The girl was a runaway who stayed with Kratz at an apartment building at 2421 Ala Wai Blvd. between Oct. 4 and 7, documents said.
During that time the girl asked Kratz for crack cocaine and he gave her the drug and pipe to smoke it with on two occasions, prosecutors said. Prosecutors also said the girl asked Kratz for methamphetamine and that Kratz went out to purchase the drug and injected the girl with a mixture of meth and water.
Paramedics rushed the girl to the Queen's Medical Center on Oct. 7 for a drug overdose.
According to court documents, urine test results released by the girl's mother, reveal the girl had methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana in her system….
Kratz is charged with three counts of promoting a dangerous drug, two counts of meth trafficking and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Kratz is being held at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to post $200,000 bail.
Prosecutors said Kratz has 32 prior arrests and nine misdemeanor convictions. (He was misunderstood. he had a bad childhood.)
Read … Soft on Crime
Hawaii school-based flu vaccinations to continue
AP: The fifth year of Hawaii's program is underway with free flu vaccinations offered to students in kindergarten through 8th grade in more than 300 public, private and charter schools.
Schatz announced Monday member organizations within the Hawaii Association of Health Plans have contributed more than $780,000 to keep the program going.
read … Who needs the feds?
Tax Increase aimed at Fake Farms
HTH: But not all of those claiming agricultural exemptions are bona fide farmers, foresters or ranchers, a problem county government grapples with but has little money or staff to enforce. It's not known how many of the 11,000 or so property owners claiming exemptions are, in fact, growing crops, rather than, as consultant Jeffrey Melrose put it, providing "a retirement home for a couple sheep and a llama."
...How good a break? A property normally valued at $100,000 an acre, for example, would be valued at $1,500 on the dedicated agriculture program and $3,000 on the non-dedicated program, effectively bringing tax rates down to the minimum $100 annual tax for some landowners. Some owners of pasture land end up paying a minuscule 15 cents per acre annually, he said.
read … Tax Increase
Tsunami Debris to reach Midway this Winter
KITV: Their path back to Russia crossed exactly across the projected field of the debris. Soon after passing the Midway Islands on September 22nd, they hit the edge of the tsunami debris. “They saw some pieces of furniture, some appliances, anything that can float, and they picked up a fishing boat,” said Hafner. That would be a 20-foot fishing boat with the word "Fukushima" on it. “That's actually our first confirmed report of tsunami debris,” said Hafner. There was more news, that would force Hafner to change his predictions.
The crew hit lighter debris, plastic, styrofoam, the stuff carried by currents and wind, even sooner. “We projected it would hit Midway in spring of next year, but based on the Pallada finding the debris seems to be moving faster,” he said. “We don't want to create a panic, but it’s good to know it’s coming.”
Hafner and UH researchers predict, the first wave of tsunami debris will hit Midway Atoll by this winter, then Hawaii, in less than 2 years.
Read … Styrofoam
Hawaii health officials investigate mercury in marlin jerky
HNN: Bags of marlin jerky caught the eye of San Francisco physician Jane Hightower during her trips to Hawaii.
"In a year and a half time it went from obscurity to having its own rack at the major retail stores," said Hightower, a co-author of the study.
Hightower has spent years studying the potential health hazards of mercury in fish. She tested 75 marlin jerky samples purchased in stores and online from Hawaii retailers, and found levels that were above the federal recommended limits.
"You wanna keep your mercury concentration in a fish less than 1 and the marlin jerky was from .05 to over 28 (parts per million). The average was 5.5," explained Hightower.
read … Jerky
HNN VIDEO: Hawaii retirees happy to hear about expected Social Security benefit increase