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Thursday, October 20, 2011
October 20, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:59 PM :: 9831 Views :: Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

VIDEO: Gaddafi Pulled from Storm Drain, Argues with Captors before Getting Final Bullet

China Cancels Honolulu Flights, Abercrombie calls Asia trip "extremely productive"

Hawaii DoE grabs for another $50M from Race to the Top

The Backdoor Attempt to Rewrite No Child Left Behind

Pro-Assisted Suicide Advocates Falsely Advertise Suicide as Legal in Hawaii

VIDEO: Lingle Visits Neighbor Islands

New Poll shows Lingle beating Ed Case for Senate

Horizon Lines Avoids Bankruptcy, But Delisted by NYSE

Lingle’s $400K Fundraiser Creates Optimism

Republicans, meanwhile, are newly optimistic about Hawaii’s open Senate seat, where former Gov. Linda Lingle’s campaign leaked that it raised more than $400,000 in its first few days; the two Democrats in the race, Rep. Mazie Hirono and ex-Rep. Ed Case, raised less for the entire quarter.

read … Optimism

Mehau Crony Naone back out after Paltry 14 Months

Naone pleaded guilty to extorting two nightclubs in 2004 and 2005. He admitted taking cash in exchange for information about upcoming inspections by the Honolulu Liquor Commission, allowing the clubs to operate with violations, and threatening to send liquor commission inspectors to shut down the clubs.

He worked with James Rodenhurst, a liquor commission investigator and shift supervisor at the time. Rodenhurst was sentenced to 17 months in federal prison and completed that sentence.

Naone was head of Aloha Stadium security while he committed the criminal activity. He held the chief position for 18 years before retiring in 2006 after he was indicted in the federal case.

According to FBI wiretap affidavits, Naone sometimes used his work phone to talk with Rodenhurst about criminal activities. The court documents said that he once arranged to meet Rodenhurst at Aloha Stadium to split $1,600 in extortion payments from Corey Kaowili Jr., owner of Volcanoes Night Club and Sin City bar….

Related: Honolulu Meth-Dealer Protection Racketeer tied to Mehau, politicians

read … Soft on Crime

Would Lingle Reintroduce Old Version of Akaka Bill?

CB: Here is what Lingle said Oct. 11 at the Pacific Club when she formally announced her campaign:

As you know, not everyone in my party supports the Akaka bill for Native Hawaiian recognition. I do, I've been clear about it. I worked with Sen. Akaka very closely on that bill and in fact I was able to secure Republican co-sponsors of that bill — people who he couldn't get, but who I could go up and talk with and explain from a Republican point of view why this bill was the right thing to do, why it made sense for Hawaii's economy and for our people and indeed for the country. So, I really have good experience working across party lines.

Lingle makes the same point on her campaign website, in an issues section titled Bipartisanship: "[I] worked closely with Senators and Congressmen of both parties to sponsor and hold hearings on the Akaka bill for native Hawaiian recognition."

Civil Beat emailed the Lingle campaign Tuesday asking to speak to the candidate directly about this issue. Lingle did not respond and her campaign staff directed inquiries to her former attorney general, Mark Bennett.

An earlier email seeking to clarify which version of the Akaka bill she supported drew a response from Russell Pang, who handles media relations for the campaign:

In Governor Lingle's remarks last week, she was referring to an earlier version (S. 147) of the Akaka Bill.

Pang also included information that identified Republican senators who Lingle had lobbied for the bill's passage, stating that it was at "the request of Sens. Inouye and Akaka who sought Governor Lingle's assistance in reaching out to Republican senators. ..."

Related: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe

read … Could Lingle Do What Akaka Couldn't?

Issues at ORI Senior Center Unresolved as Federal Deadline Looms

According to an Oct. 11 HUD letter obtained by Civil Beat, city officials already missed one federal deadline and the center is still out of compliance. Honolulu officials, in an Oct. 14 reply to HUD, said they were still developing detailed plans they are required to submit.

For months, Honolulu has promised to take corrective action to meet Community Development Block Grant requirements. The corrective action was required after routine HUD monitoring found that ORI was failing to comply with a slew of grant eligibility standards. But the city is approaching an Oct. 31 compliance deadline with several issues still unresolved.

City Budget Director Michael Hansen, in his Oct. 14 letter, said the city missed a Sept. 30 deadline to review ORI's financial ties to other organizations because the nonprofit's chief financial staffer was "on leave."

read … Ernie Martin’s ORI

Counting on rail transit jobs? The numbers just don't add up

The Star-Advertiser has reported that construction of the proposed elevated heavy-rail system would increase the number of jobs ("Rail jobs plentiful regardless of who's counting," Oct. 17). The job-projection numbers varied from an average of 5,000 during each year of construction to a high of 17,270 in the so-called peak year.

This brings to mind Mark Twain's description of the three kinds of lies: "lies, damned lies, and statistics."

read … Slater, Roth, Heen, Cayetano

Prostitution conviction of President Obama's friend stricken from court record—2nd Deferred Acceptance

A spokesman for the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office said a letter from his probation officer said that Titcomb had complied with all requirements of the deferral plea. The court ruled that no further action will be taken and Titcomb was granted a deferred acceptance of no-contest plea, the prosecutor's spokesman said. Titcomb did not appear in court Wednesday, but was represented by attorney William Harrison.

Titcomb, 49, was arrested at South and Pohukaina streets at 9:40 p.m. April 4 with three other men during a Honolulu police sting operation in Kakaako targeting prostitution customers.

Titcomb was charged with solicitation and released after posting $500 bail. The offense is a petty misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $500, community service and up to 30 days in jail.

Titcomb has already been granted an earlier deferral for fleeing the scene of a 1989 accident -- a petty misdemeanor charge.

(BTW Deferred acceptance can be a prelude to a run for political office. Just ask Sen. J Kalani ‘’Powdernose” English or BI Mayor Billy Kenoi)

read … Typical Politically Connected Deferred Acceptance

APEC host panel declares stage set for summit

The committee has raised $4 million from the community, got more than $137 million in public and private projects moving to clean up the city and garnered at least $2 million worth of media exposure designed to spread the message that Hawaii is a culturally advantageous place for businesses to meet and is an innovator in clean energy, and in life and ocean sciences.

About 1,063 volunteers have been recruited and trained to serve as ambassadors of aloha during the week. Altogether, about 3,083 workers and volunteers have been trained to ensure improved service from Hawaii's airports to its hotels, retail and transportation companies.

read … APEC Ready?

UPW Leans against APEC Strike

While the City and County of Honolulu works overtime to ensure the success of next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the threat of a United Public Workers strike still looms on the horizon.

Any job action by 8,500 UPW blue collar workers could leave the city at a near standstill. There would be no curbside trash pick-up, airports would go without janitorial services, and schools would be unable to prepare meals for kids. In September the union announced 80 percent of members who took part in a statewide vote had approved a strike authorization.

However multiple UPW sources have told Khon2 the union is leaning against calling a strike during APEC because public opinion could turn against it….

According to Donalyn Dela Cruz, the governor’s spokeswoman, the last official meeting between UPW and the employer group took place July 22, only the second face-to-face meeting between the two sides since the contract expired. “The bargaining process has been productive and negotiation is on-going,” Dela Cruz said via email. (UPW has been raking in the bucks since its contract expired)

Any new deal between UPW and the employer group would require approval by the governor and at least one county mayor.

The union is required to give the Hawaii Labor Relations Board at least ten days notice before its members could go on strike. As of Tuesday the HLRB was unaware of any strike notice issued by UPW.

Reality: Four of a Kind: UPW, UHPA get big Fat Pay Raise—and HSTA suit could give one to HGEA

read … UPW not to disrupt APEC?

 

Kamehameha Schools $2 Million Lawsuit Near Settlement

HR: Kamehameha Schools is on the verge of settling its lawsuit against a mother and child who received $7 million from the Schools after challenging the institution’s admissions policy that favors students of Hawaiian ancestry.

The Schools paid the pair -- identified only as Jane and John Doe -- $7 million in 2007 in return for their agreement to drop a federal court lawsuit that claimed the admissions policy violated civil rights laws. The 2007 settlement agreement contained a $2 million penalty clause if either side disclosed terms of the deal.

Another attorney who had represented the pair, John Goemans, revealed the $7 million figure to the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper in 2008. The Schools sued the Does and their attorney Eric Grant for $2 million….

Minutes of hearings before Nakamura indicate the two sides are very close to agreement.

In an October 6 session, Micah Kane, vice chairman of the Kamehameha Schools board of trustees, was present.

"Confidential settlement placed on the record," the minutes of the session said.

(KSBE can’t defend its admissions policy in court, so it settles for the protection of local judges combined with the legal and extralegal harassment of anybody who challenges it.)

read … Enforcement Mechanism

Bob Jones: Fear of being called Fascists makes us Tolerant to the Point of Paralysis

Bob Jones: The homeless make a mockery of the law we have restricting living on Aala sidewalks, in Pawaa Park and Old Stadium Park. Our city lawmakers are considering allowing confiscation of property stashed on sidewalks and in parks but ...

“This bill makes it illegal to be homeless and it affects all of our rights to be free here in Honolulu,” complains the American Civil Liberties Union’s Daniel Gluck.

We are spinning out of control from what seems to be fear that the ACLU will cry “fascists.”

Maybe it’s a mindset going back to our bad old days when just being a union advocate made you a communist and candidate for jail. That was a time when we were lucky to have the ACLU. These days, we’re tolerant to the point of paralysis….

I don’t expect much from Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He appointed an untested small boat harbormaster to run the giant squid-like DLNR. I don’t expect much from Mayor Peter Carlisle because ... well, because I’m beginning to suspect he was promoted beyond his abilities.

We need a little backbone. We should not accept a society that tolerates the “droogs” of that classic novel and movie A Clockwork Orange.

read … Repressive Tolerance

Rail Operating Costs Worry Honolulu Council Members

CB: Four Honolulu City Council members visiting Washington for a rail conference this week say they remain uneasy about the operations and maintenance costs that the rail line will impose on taxpayers.

But a key rail planner said that those who want Honolulu's rail system to be built have to go "all in," and accept that rail service will require additional ongoing public funding. Expressing concerns were Council Chair Ernie Martin, Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson, Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi and Legal Affairs Chair Romy Cachola.

"Here I am, still worried about construction (costs) but operations and maintenance is forever," Kobayashi said in an interview with Civil Beat in Washington. "Putting it in, that's the easy part. It's the operation and maintenance you worry about because that's forever. It increases over time."

A Civil Beat analysis found that an average of at least $50 million per year will be needed to help run and maintain the rail line — on top of costs covered by revenue from fares — in the first decade that it's fully operational.

read … Rail

List of Top Rail Lessees, Lessors

CB: If the lease is decades long, then the lessee's future control over the land is valuable. But in the event of a short lease — some could even be month-to-month — then the underlying owner is the party that could make a lot of money by selling or developing the land.

There's no easy way to know the lease terms for every parcel on Oahu, but our partners at Hawaii Information Service are able to tell part of the story. We've crunched the numbers for all lessors within 2,500 feet of the rail line, not including condominium property regimes (CPRs). There are 333 different entities that lease out 959 properties totaling more than 2,700 acres.

Here's the list of the top 25 lessors near the rail line…

CB: Manager of TOD Prepares Rail for Failure

read … Top Lessors

CB Dissects Airport Rail Debacle

… a three-part series examining why Honolulu's proposed rail line had to be shifted at Honolulu International Airport, who was responsible and how much it will cost taxpayers. Read the overview here.

Part 1: What Happened? | Part 2: Who Was Responsible? | Part 3: How Much Will It Cost?

read … Part 1

 

 

 

Snowjob: APEC Delegates to be told Hawaii is “Business Friendly”

KHON: Still, some APEC projects will come down to the wire. Steel plates and uneven asphalt remains an eyesore along Nimitz Highway and Ala Moana Boulevard. Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, a host committee member, says both thoroughfares will be smooth by the time the global spotlight shines on Honolulu.

“Everything that we intended to finish before APEC is going to be completed before APEC,” said Schatz. “Nimitz Highway (and) Ala Moana Boulevard, all of that will be pau by the time APEC comes around. And more importantly it's going to be pau for our citizens who deserve a smooth surface.”

When APEC delegates and consular missions arrive on Oahu, what awaits them is nothing short of a media blitz. The goal is to market Hawaii as a business friendly paradise on the cutting edge of renewable energy technologies.

read … Just not enough Maoists to cause problems

Akaka Staffer Takes SolarCity Job

Sen. Daniel Akaka’s office announced on Wednesday that the senator’s communications director, Jon Yoshimura, is taking a job with Honolulu-based energy company SolarCity. (From one sinking ship to another.)

Deputy Communications Director Jesse Broder Van Dyke will take over as director Nov. 1. Broder Van Dyke has served as a spokesman for Akaka since December 2006. He previously was a news producer and assignment editor at KHON2-TV from 2002 to 2006. (Democrat-Media Revolving Door)

Reality:

read … Akaka Staffer Takes SolarCity Job

Solar Farm Becomes Part of Sales Pitch for Hoopili

The developer of an 11,750-home community planned for farmland in Ewa has proposed including a utility-scale solar energy project that would provide enough power to serve about 10 percent of the homes.

Honolulu-based Hoku Solar would build the 5-megawatt photovoltaic project adjacent to the Ho‘opili development proposed by the local Schuler Division of Texas-based developer D.R. Horton, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ho‘opili, which would be comparable in size to Mililani or Hawaii Kai, must receive government approval before Schuler can proceed. The state Land Use Commission has scheduled a series of hearings starting today on Schuler's request to have the land for Ho‘opili reclassified to urban from agricultural.

read … Greenwash

Silly Editors at Star-Adv: “Don't wait to adapt to global warming”

"We are now at the point that it's indisputable (faith and dogma) that the climate is changing, even as the scientific (sic) community refines how much and where," APEC's climate symposium heard on Monday from keynote speaker Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment….

Bierbaum, a member of Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, told the APEC climate symposium that it needs to examine the effect of climate change and "translate that information to what is vulnerable in society and how we can prepare for it." (Tax increases and more taxpayer giveaways to Green Scammers.)

Thus proving: Environmentalism is a Religion

read … The latest Pabulum

Local 5 Behind Occupy Wall Street Honolulu Protests

When we arrived at Chinatown’s Dr. Sun YatSen Memorial Park adjacent to Hawaii Theatre, no more than 25 mostly young people had gathered around a statue of the Chinese political reformer at age 13. The assembly’s numbers would grow to perhaps 50….

The discussion revolved around a variety of issues: procuring local, organic food for the group; whether its numbers are large enough to sustain a permanent occupation (they weren’t); announcement of a demonstration at the Gandhi statue at the Honolulu Zoo later in the day (we needed more notice); securing a website; support from Hawaii unions (several Local 5 organizers are in attendance); and relations with the police.

SA: Maoists Upset at Lousy Protest Permit Site

read … Local 5

Some Hawaii Teachers Ignore Ethics Code

The state Ethics Commission is looking into whether some teachers are violating Hawaii's Ethics Code by tutoring their own students for a fee.

The commission's executive director, Les Kondo, told the commission at its monthly meeting on Wednesday that his office had received three or four informal complaints and that staff was dealing with them. The review hasn't risen to the level of formal charges, he said.

It's been a longstanding position of the the commission that teachers cannot charge their own students for tutoring because that would violate the state's law on "fair treatment" and "conflict of interest" for state employees.

read … Ethical DoE?

Murdock, Robinson Family among 100 largest landowners

Two of the largest landowners in Hawaii made the list of the 100 largest individual or family landowners in the United States.

David Murdock was ranked No. 40 on the list published by The Land Report, a magazine and website of American landowners.

Murdock’s privately held Castle & Cooke owns 98 percent of the island on Lanai, and has significant holdings on Oahu in California for a total of 238,138 acres,

The Robinson family, which owns the island of Niihau as well as acreage on Kauai for a total of 103,000 acres, was ranked No. 90, according to The Land Report.

read … Landed Aristocracy

Get Cash For Your "Energy Hogs"

Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, is offering cash for turning in your old, working refrigerators or freezers that are "energy hogs."

Starting Wednesday, Hawaii Energy will pick up and recycle them. Oahu households will receive $25. Maui and Hawaii Island households will get $65.

read … Fridge

Makaha Resort closing Oct.31

Northwynd announced in April that it had sold its adjacent golf course to Hawaiian Golf Properties LLC to pay for improvements to the 173-room hotel. The 18-hole golf course closed for renovations on May 14.

"It's not very common to see a hotel owner sell off the golf course amenity. That was a little unusual," said hotel consultant Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors LLC. "Typically you want to try to retain the golf course and resort together in order to have some more integrated market positioning."

However, the deal was intended to provide a new owner and operator to improve the golf course in an attempt to keep the resort competitive.

Northwynd took ownership of Makaha Resort in July 2010 when it acquired the assets of another Canadian firm, Fairmont Resort Properties Ltd., through a court-supervised debt restructuring.

The 300-acre resort in Makaha Valley, developed by the late financier Chinn Ho in 1969, has traditionally been challenged by its remote location off the beach, as well as its relatively small inventory of rooms, Toy said.

When resort owners sold the golf course in April, that only made matters worse in terms of its market position as a golf resort, he said.

read … Makaha

"One of the bigger marijuana dealers in Waikiki" Charged with Injecting Cocaine, Meth into 14-year old girl

The 26-year-old man accused of injecting illegal drugs into a 14-year-old girl is known to Honolulu police as "one of the bigger marijuana dealers in Waikiki," said Keith Seto, deputy city prosecutor.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday charging Matthew S, Kratz with two counts each of methamphetamine trafficking in the first degree and promoting a dangerous drug in the first degree. All four charges are class A felonies punishable by maximum 20-year prison terms.

Kratz remains in custody unable to post $200,000 bail.

Seto said Kratz provided the girl methamphetamine on Oct. 4 and 5 and provided her crack cocaine on Oct. 4 and 6.

MW: The Unwinnable ‘War On Drugs’

read … Its OK, he had a prescription

Ala Wai Town House Scene of Earlier Incident

"Very disturbing," said Beck. "There's some weird energy in the building."

Residents on the 18th floor of the Ala Wai Town House have seen their share of drama. Last January, police were called to another unit on the 18th floor and found 33-year-old Christi Hokoana unresponsive. She died a week later from blunt force trauma to the head. Her ex-boyfriend 44-year-old Kevin Dale was charged with murder. He's set to go to trial next March.

"Maybe because of the way the buildings lay out having separate smaller units that are under a thousand dollar rental per month that could like lead to that kind of tenant," said Beck. "Like I said I've seen all kinds of unusual stuff. Yeah and to see this now, kind of freaks me out." …

"I'm just glad you guys are down here putting a spot light on it and maybe some of the other bad guys will leave town," said Beck.

read … 18th Floor

Kauai Council Makes it Illegal To Urinate on County Building

Mickens said the over 500 homeless on Kaua‘i need help; many are physically or mentally sick and in need of a doctor’s care.

“We cannot ignore them and expect that this problem will disappear,” he said.

Kapa‘a resident Ken Taylor said the law should read that urinating and defecating is not permitted in any public area, not just in the Historic District. The way the law is written gives the impression it is OK to do it elsewhere, he said.

Some community members have questioned the redundancy of the law. According to county officials, current state laws may interpret relieving oneself in public as open lewdness, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, fourth-degree sexual assault or criminal property damage.

What’s a portable toilet facility?

As long as “shall” means “shall” — a recent opinion by the county attorney found that “shall” sometimes means “may” — the ordinance is clear: No urinating or defecating will be allowed unless in a portable toilet.

The ordinance defines “portable toilet” as a “temporary, portable toilet facility.” It does not specify what a “facility”means.

read … Don’t Piss on the Government

NATO kills 115 militants in area where Schofield soldiers are based

NATO and Afghan forces have killed at least 115 insurgents over the past week as part of an ongoing operation in a northeastern Afghanistan province, the coalition said Thursday, as it looks to curb insurgent activity along the border with neighboring Pakistan.

The fighting in Kunar province, known for its rugged terrain that leaves coalition supply lines from Pakistan vulnerable to insurgent attacks, comes as NATO is stepping up efforts to secure the country and ready Afghan forces to fully take over security responsibilities before international forces wind down their combat mission in 2014.

About 3,500 Schofield Barracks soldiers with the 3rd Brigade 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry "Wolfhounds" are based in Kunar Province. They deployed in March.

NATO said the operation has been going on since around Oct. 15 and has included the use of fighter jets and long-range bombers. The alliance said that one NATO service member has been killed since the fighting began. It was not immediately clear if any Afghan troops had been killed.

read … 115 Dead Head-choppers

 

 

 

 

 


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