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Thursday, October 27, 2011
October 27, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:02 PM :: 10813 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Aftermath: What Happens to Wind Farms When They Die?

Why is Detroit Casino Operator Mike Malik Dragging former Hawaii Governor Waihee on Long Island, NY?

Chinese Communists Cheer Formation of “Zhou Enlai Peace Institute” in Honolulu

Institute for Justice Attorney, IWF Leader to Speak in Honolulu

Hawaii Lags as States Ban Contracting with Companies that do Business With Iran

Slom Raising Cain

Sen. Sam Slom: “Several local GOP leaders trying to get presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain on the Hawaii presidential ballot next year and to bring the fast surging candidate here for speeching.”

Related:

read … Cain

Civil Beat Poll: Even Democrats Reject Abercrombie’s Tax Hikes

The Civil Beat Poll, just completed on Sunday night, delivers a strong message: 63 percent of likely voters said that the governor is doing a worse job than they expected (and they didn’t expect much to begin with) when he was elected last November. Just 15 percent said he was doing a better job, with 14 percent saying his performance was what they expected (that doesn't necessarily mean they approve of it) and 8 percent unsure….

"Like I say, I play all four quarters…." (Is he talking about a slot machine?)

Abercrombie's approval rating is terrible. Only a quarter of likely voters, 24 percent, said they have a positive opinion of the governor's job performance during the past year. The negative number was 64 percent. (To put that into perspective, 63 percent of respondents said they have a positive view of President Barack Obama's performance in office over the past year.) A small group, 13 percent, was unsure of their opinion on Abercrombie's performance.

On taxes and fees, the story was even worse for the governor: 58 percent of respondents said they thought raising taxes and fees was generally a bad decision, with just 27 percent saying it was a good decision and 15 percent saying they were unsure or that it didn't matter. The governor this year urged the Legislature to increase revenues by raising taxes and fees. It didn't go as far as he suggested, but this year's budget is up 8 percent.

Civil Beat asked: "This past year, Governor Abercrombie increased the size of the state budget. He paid for that increase by raising some taxes and fees. Would you say that this was generally a good decision or a bad decision?"

The poll found that not even Democrats supported his move, with 46 percent opposed and 38 percent in favor….

As would be expected, Republicans lined up overwhelmingly against the hike, with 77 percent opposed and 14 percent in favor. Sixty-four percent of Independents thought it was a bad decision, with 23 percent saying it was a good decision. The increase in taxes and fees was opposed by every age group, every education level and every income level.

CB: Hawaii Sweet On Obama, Sour on Congress

Related: Neil Abercrombie is the Least Popular Governor in USA

read … Another Reality Check for Abercrombie

Abercrombie Pushes Ice Cream Tax, Aides Panic

Guv Neil Abercrombie-the least popular state executive in the 50 states (Louisiana's Bobby Jindal is the most popular) according to Public Policy Polling of North Carolina-held a rare press conference Monday. He said he dropped the pension tax for 2012 but will again go after sugary sweets. He mentioned "ice cream" along with soda but his aides were quick (very quick) to tell the media the Guv didn't mean to link ice cream and won't propose a new tax. Get your cone now.

read … I scream, we all scream…

Think Progress: Lingle Breaks With Republican Presidential Hopefuls On National Right To Work Law

KEYES: There’s been a push, particularly among the leading presidential contenders of the Republican Party, in favor of a national right to work law. [...] Where do you come down on the issue?

LINGLE: I think I’d put that in the category that it’s up to the individual state. It’s not something I supported at home and wouldn’t feel as important part of a platform for a candidate such as myself.

Read … Hawaii GOP Senate Contender Lingle Breaks With Republican Presidential Hopefuls On National Right To Work Law

Tax Credits: Clinton Crony Movie Moguls Coming Back for More Bribery

Proposals to expand film credits for movie and television production in the islands are expected to be back before the Legislature next year….

Proposals that died in the Legislature last year would have increased existing film production tax credit to 35 percent from 15 percent on Oahu and to 40 percent from 20 percent on the neighbor islands, with 5 percent bonuses for productions involving computer-aided special effects and animation.

Changes also would have provided tax credits for new production facilities, rebates to help with a local crew training program, and exemptions from hotel room taxes for productions longer than 30 days.

Relativity Media LLC and Shangri-La Industries were among two major Hollywood entertainment companies seeking the additional tax breaks in Hawaii. The bill gained the support of actors such as Cuba Gooding Jr., who tesitfied before a Senate committee during session, and former President Bill Clinton, who wrote a letter in support.

Rep. Angus McKelvey, chairman of the House Economic Revitalization & Business committee, said he would reintroduce measures to expand the tax breaks.

read … Back for More Bribery

EUTF's drug plan transition is delayed

The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund won't be able to transition public workers to new drug plans on Jan. 1 — the result of a protest filed by the existing prescription drug vendor which lost the latest contract to the parent company of Longs Drugs.

EUTF has said the drug plan contract, recently awarded to CVS/Caremark through June 30, 2013, would save the state about $24 million in the first year due to lower projected costs for active workers and retirees.

But Illinois-based InformedRx is challenging the award, in part because of a flawed procurement process and "inaccurate and overstated" savings projections, said Mark Fukuhara, EUTF's first administrator in 2003 and a former EUTF consultant, who now represents InformedRx. (Revolving door. Get your top three, retire with a fat pension, then cash in by contracting with your old department.)

read … EUTF

Newest Akaka Bill Effort Highlights Need for “Sunlight” in Politics

Putting aside the question of whether it is a good idea to go about creating a Native Hawaiian tribe at all, or even whether you think it would be a good thing for Native Hawaiians to be managed as the federal government has managed American Indian tribes—it cannot be denied that this bill would have a significant and transformative effect on Hawaii. Nor can we ignore the fact that there is far from a public consensus on the bill—which is why so many support the idea of a public referendum on Reorganization before any Congressional action is taken.

That is why attempting to use “backdoor” legislation to pass such a controversial measure leaves so many people in Hawaii questioning whether their concerns are really being heard by Hawaii’s Congressional delegation.

Fortunately, there is still time to let your feelings be known is this issue. No matter where you stand on the Akaka Bill, you can still contact Senators Inouye and Cochran (ranking Republican member of the Appropriations committee) and tell them what you think about creating a Native Hawaiian “tribe” under the Department of the Interior (or any other Native Hawaiian Reorganization plan).

To contact Senator Inouye’s office, you can call his office at 808-541-2542 or 202-224-3934 and you can email him through his website here.

To contact Senator Cochran, you can call his office at 202-224-5054 or email him through his website here.

read … Sneak Attack

Trademark filing spurs speculation about Ko Olina Casino

KHON: A recent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Ko Olina developer Jeff Stone includes a description of the resort as ‘providing casino facilities.’ 

The application was made October 7 as Stone sought to trademark the name Ko Olina for his holding company, Ko Olina Intangibles LLC.

In a statement Mr. Stone’s public relations company said the inclusion of ‘casino facilities’ in the trademark application was done by a mainland filing agency, and was not intentional. (Yup. Happens all the time.)

“The inclusion of ‘casino facilities’ was basically an administrative oversight, particularly given Hawaii does not allow gambling,” read the statement by Sheila Donnelly & Associates. “An amendment is being filed to have “casino facilities” removed from the application.”

However another trademark filing approved by the USPTO in October of 2008 also mentions ‘providing casino facilities’ as one of the possible forms of entertainment at Ko Olina, which has been tied to gambling in the past. (Oops!)

In 2001, Ko Olina Resort was mentioned as a possible site for a stand along casino when former Gov. Ben Cayetano contemplated the possibility of legalized gambling. Anti-gaming advocates were successful in pushing back the effort, even as Hawaii’s economy suffered in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

Related: Why is Detroit Casino Operator Mike Malik Dragging former Hawaii Governor Waihee on Long Island, NY?

read … Jeff Stone is ready for The Abercrombie to Deliver

Cayetano: Civil Beat is Overpriced Blog With a Hidden Agenda

We have come to expect Civil Beat to carry water for the city on rail issues, but this is the first time Civil Beat has argued that the city has been too hard on itself: “even the city [has] overstated the financial consequences [of the alleged mistake].”

Nowhere in its 4,765-word series does Civil Beat address the conflict of interests involving Parsons Brinckerhoff, InfraConsult and Yoshioka, or express concern that the city has flatly refused to investigate the airport-routing misstep.

Civil Beat claims to have conducted its own investigation, but that included asking potentially liable parties whether they made a mistake.

Civil Beat also claims we said that Parsons Brinckerhoff and InfraConsult should bear the cost of fixing the mistake, which isn’t true. Here’s what we wrote: “If the project manager or any other consultant is found to have been negligent, that party or parties — rather than Honolulu taxpayers — should be held accountable for the financial consequences of their negligence.”

Finally, Civil Beat claims that we attributed Yoshioka’s failure to identify a responsible party to close relationships with two of the city's main rail contractors. If Civil Beat had simply linked to our one-page public statement2 or quoted what we actually said, readers would see for themselves that we made no such claim.

Civil Beat’s coverage of rail and of our statements about rail has consistently been biased and substandard. The series on the airport-routing problem is the final straw for us. We have come to view Civil Beat as little more than an over-priced blog with a pro-rail hidden agenda.

read … Overpriced Blog

Mike Buck Show Cancelled by Clear Channel

Kutmaster Spaz and Jimmy da Geek lost their 10-month-old morning show at KHJZ-FM 93.9, or "939 Jamz," and longtime radio personality Mike Buck was relieved of his afternoon talk show at KHVH-AM 830 as part of nationwide, cost-cutting job cuts implemented by Texas-based Clear Channel Communications Inc.

The three local personalities were among at least nine people who lost their jobs in Honolulu Wednesday, but an exact number was not available and all the names could not be independently confirmed.

"We don't discuss internal staffing matters," said Chuck Cotton, vice president and general manager of Clear Channel's seven Honolulu stations.

He confirmed, however, that Michael W. Perry and Larry Price, the top-rated morning radio team in Hawaii, still have jobs.

read … Liberal Dream 

Atheist Advertiser, City of Honolulu Act Quickly to Eradicate Cross from Hilltop, seek Culprit

Question: The city owns Mauna Lahilahi Botanical Garden in Makaha. So why is there a large white wooden cross placed at the top of the hill? It should be removed as not appropriate due to the numerous religions in Hawaii.

Answer: The city Department of Parks and Recreation apparently was not aware of the cross until we asked about it.

“It appears to be on (parks department) property,” an official said. “They are just checking to see how we can get it down.”

We asked him if anyone knew who might have placed the cross there without authorization, but did not get a response.

If any reader has an explanation, please let us know (call 529-4773 or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com).

(Put a Pentagram up there, the SA will not mention.)

read … Quick Action by Government, Media

Police arrest teacher for alleged sex assaults of 14-year-old student

Police said the 42-year old suspect, who is still in custody, is being held on 11 counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts third-degree sexual assault.

The alleged assaults occurred at a Makiki area school, which was not identified in police reports, and began when the girl was 14 in October 2008 and continued until March 2009….

read … Arrested Teacher

Star-Adv Suddenly Endorses Homeless Sweeps

Dozens of homeless people in Honolulu have been forced from their encampments this week — an overdue and needed government action — but many remain a step or more from transitional housing. The city and state appear to be working diligently to assure them space in shelters as an option but at the same time, there is a paradox in that many who remain adrift are tied down by their piles of belongings. …

Honolulu's City Council is now considering a proposal to ban storage of possessions on sidewalks, an idea worth pursuing.

Maintaining personal belongings has been a priority for many of the homeless, (This hoarding psychosis is caused by Methamphetamines.) and some say they have been hindered in attempts to go to job interviews or seek medical care because they can't leave their possessions unattended.

"Having to cart around their possessions is just another insurmountable barrier," Portland, Ore., Housing Commissioner Nick Fish told USA Today.

Honolulu and state agencies should consider a program initiated by Portland a year ago, following similar actions in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago. The program in Portland, where the homeless are provided access to their stored belongings, has been called a success.

St. Petersburg, Fla., has banned outdoor storage of personal belongings in public property while providing a 40-foot trailer with 192 bins for homeless people to keep and maintain access to their things. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month rejected a claim that St. Petersburg's ban of outdoor storage of personal belongings violates the U.S. Constitution.

In this week's cleanup, Oahu's homeless were given advance notice that they would be forced to abandon certain areas, allowing them time to remove their most valued possessions. As the City Council moves forward on its bill to ban storage of possessions on sidewalks — a meeting will be held Nov. 2 — it should consider that the mobility of many homeless, literally and figuratively, will be improbable unless an alternative for storing their things is provided.

read … Clear public spaces of encampments

Obama's Top Trade Ambassador Blanks on APEC History

Civil Beat approached Kirk after he appeared at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event previewing APEC for business and government leaders on Wednesday night. Here's a transcript of our brief interview with the ambassador:

Civil Beat: Looking at the last time that the United States hosted APEC, what lessons did you learn from Seattle that you'll apply here? How does that inform your expectations about what will happen in Honolulu, what can be gained?

Ron Kirk: That was a (World Trade organization). That was, what 2000?

Civil Beat: APEC 1993.

Ron Kirk: No, that was a WTO.

Civil Beat: The last APEC hosted by the United States was in 1993. Can you talk about how that informs your expectations?

Ron Kirk: I'll be honest, I hadn't really played a lot on that. The biggest thing driving us, and what we've done — the value of APEC, even though it's a voluntary forum, it really, we've accomplished, if you look at the volume of trade in the region, we've done a lot.

read … Another “Enlightened, Conscious and Progressive” Idiot

No Free Speech for APEC Supporters: Tiny Group of Protesters Seeks to Silence UH Support for APEC

A small but vocal group of about 30 University of Hawaii faculty and students raised objections to UH officials' support for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference today.

After marching from the Hamilton Library side of the Manoa campus to Bachman Lawn, they used masking tape to place X's over the letters of the "E Komo Mai APEC" sign that they want removed from what is regarded as the front yard of the campus…

CB: UH Welcomes APEC, Rankles Protesters

read … The usual suspects demand censorship again

Federal Judge Throws Out Discrimination Complaint Against Six Hawaii Farms

U.S. District Judge David Ezra dismissed a complaint today filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 20, 2011, against six Hawaii farms, saying the government agency that is charged with prohibiting employment discrimination has not been specific enough in its allegations. He gave the agency's Los Angeles-based attorneys 45 days to refile its lawsuit and one more chance to get their filing right.

The Hawaii farms named in the complaint, including Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii, and Maui Pineapple Farms, all contracted with the Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Company between 2003 and 2007, to bring in workers from Thailand to work on their farms.

Related: Human Trafficking: Did the US DoJ Purposefully lose the Aloun Farms Case?

read … Slavery is OK

Cop Accused Of Rape Says Sex With Suspect Was Consensual

KITV 4 News has learned the Honolulu Police Department has placed a Kailua patrol officer on leave without pay after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female suspect while he was on duty and in uniform.

The officer, who's been with HPD for four years, is accused of raping a 47-year-old woman in the second-floor parking structure next to the Kailua Longs Drugs store.

Sources familiar with the case said the officer told co-workers they had consensual sex and that he admitted to friends he failed a lie detector test administered by HPD after the incident.

Read … Kailua Rape

Judge gives former Honolulu police officer several hours to show up at sex assault sentencing

A judge is giving a former Honolulu police officer convicted of sexually assaulting a prostitute until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to show up to his sentencing.

Michael Tarmoun didn't show up to his scheduled sentencing Wednesday morning in Circuit Court. A jury found him guilty of second-degree sexual assault in June after a previous trial ended with a hung jury.

Hawaii News Now reports defense attorney William Harrison says he doesn't know where his client is and fears there was some sort of emergency.

If Tarmoun doesn't appear in court, a bench warrant could be issued for his arrest. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

read … Waikiki Rape

UH regents approve tuition increases for next five years

In a memo to the regents, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood called the increases “modest,” and said they are needed to make up for budget cuts.

“Given the fiscal realities of the state, the university must rely on tuition revenues more than it has in the past,” Greenwood said.

Under the proposal, annual tuition at UH-Manoa will rise by 35 percent over the next five years for a resident undergraduate student — to $11,376 a year in 2016, from the current $8,400 a year. Tuition next year will rise by $264, to $8,664.

Resident tuition at UH-West Oahu will go up 49 percent over five years, to $7,656 in 2016-2017, from $5,136 this year, equal to what UH-Hilo students would pay.

read … Feeding UHPA

Kakaako project would include Hawaii’s tallest building

The state plans to issue a request for proposals in January for a developer to build two residential towers in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood, one of which would be the tallest building in Hawaii.

The plans for 690 Pohukaina call for one tower with 300 affordable for-sale units and a second tower with 500 market-priced units. The second tower would be 650 feet high, nearly 250 feet taller than the First Hawaiian Center.

The project is slated for a parcel at 690 Pohukaina St., adjacent to developer Stanford Carr’s planned Halekauwila Place project, which is scheduled to break ground next year on 204 affordable rentals….

The increased height for the market-priced residential tower — Honolulu has a 400-foot height limit — would come out of the rules for transit-oriented development, which are being revised to increase density in anticipation of Honolulu’s rail transit project, Ching said.

ILind: Governor backs skyline busting high-rise in Kakaako

Oi: Competing interests argue over the need for Ho‘opili

read … Kakaako KSBE

St. Francis Sisters: We won’t take our hospitals back

The sisters told Judge Robert Faris in Honolulu federal bankruptcy court Wednesday that the hospitals are burning through cash at a higher rate than they feel able to provide….

The sisters sold their hospitals in 2007 for $68 million to a Kansas-based hospital management company that partnered with doctors serving at the two facilities. Cardiovascular Hospitals of America vowed to bring the hospitals to profitability without layoffs. Instead it has twice placed the hospitals into bankruptcy, done extensive layoffs, and failed to make its payments to the St. Francis sisters.

Resolution of the problem appeared in June when the bankruptcy court approved the idea of the Kansas company returning the hospitals to the St. Francis organization, along with a payment of almost $5 million. But the sisters spent months checking hospital expenses – a process called due diligence that is part of any company sale – and concluded that those expenses, and the total debt of the two hospitals, was too great to be borne by the sisters….

St. Francis Healthcare believes the bankruptcy court will allow the mainland company to seek a buyer for the properties – the next court hearing is likely to be in November – and it is expected that the hospitals will continue to operate in the meantime, using cash that is being dispersed by the bankruptcy court.

read … St Francis

UH-West Oahu Named Among Top Social Media Colleges?

The "Top 100 Social Media Colleges" ranking compares more than 6,000 federally recognized colleges and universities and post-secondary schools in the United States in terms of their mastery of public social media methods, tools and websites.

UH West Oahu debuted on the list in spring 2011 at number 66, the first and only Hawai‘i university to be recognized.

Read … UHWO???

Revolving Door HPR’s Kayla Rosenfeld takes state communications job

News Director Kayla Rosenfeld has joined the Hawaii Department of Human Services as its new communications specialist.

She replaces Joe Perez, who was named executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project.

Rosenfeld was with HPR for more than 10 years as a reporter, news director and producer of the station’s daily news and public affairs program called “The Conversation.” Before that, she worked at the Oceanic Institute, was a park ranger for the City and County of Honolulu and was a (Democrat) committee clerk at the Hawaii state Legislature.

read … State Controlled Media Controls State Message

Kenoi Contributor Brian DeLima Appointed To Salary Commission

Hilo attorney Brian DeLima has represented at least one current and one former County Council member, as well as a county employee with a side business that worked as a county contractor.

DeLima's law office, Crudele and DeLima, has contributed more than $1,750 to Friends of Billy Kenoi, the mayor's fundraising committee.

But DeLima doesn't see any conflict of interest in Kenoi nominating him to the county's Salary Commission, which is responsible for setting the salaries for elected and appointed county officials.

Related? Murder in Kona: A flurry of phone calls, then Union Leader Walks Free

read … DeLima

Standing up to bullies

Waiakea Intermediate students have had enough, and they're not going to take it anymore.

About 100 students, parents and teachers were joined by firefighters and police as they raised a ruckus before classes Wednesday morning -- all in the service of calling attention to the issue of bullying.

Standing along the edge of Puainako Street in Hilo, the students, wearing their blue Titan T-shirts, shouted gleefully to passers-by and waved a multitude of signs asking people to join them in taking a stand against bullies.

The theory behind the event sounded simple enough, as described by seventh-grader Uriah Camacho, 11. "We're trying to stop bullying," he said.

"We're taking a stand against bullying because it makes you feel small," said his friend, 12-year-old Noah Aguiar.

"And afraid," added Camacho.

read … Bullies

Maryland tops Hawaii for millionaires

The reports shows that about 7.22 percent of Maryland's households are millionaires, compared to Hawaii's 7.21 percent. Hawaii had led the rankings since 2008. Phoenix defines a millionaire household as one with $1 million or more in investable or liquid assets (excluding sponsored retirement plans and real estate).

Rounding out the top ten states in millionaires per population are New Jersey (7.19 percent), Connecticut (7.13 percent), Massachusetts (6.41 percent), Alaska (6.39 percent), Virginia (6.26 percent), New Hampshire (6.06 percent), California (6.01 percent), and the District of Columbia (5.88 percent).

read … Millionaires


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