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Friday, October 28, 2011
October 28, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:22 PM :: 8955 Views :: Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Hanabusa Most Unpopular of Hawaii Congressional Delegation

Rail: Ansaldo Contract based on Raid of Honolulu General Fund?

US Supreme Court asked to Decide Constitutionality of Cash Payments for Development Approvals

Abercrombie's DHS Seeks Insurers to Transform Medicaid

Abercrombie’s DHS Cuts Child Welfare $5.8M

APEC: Obama needs Congressional Support for Free Trade in Pacific—but Hirono, Hanabusa vote No

Politico: Lingle Wins October

Linda Lingle is to October what Elizabeth Warren was to September: a new candidate whose near-flawless rollout attracts favorable media coverage and instantly reshapes a Senate race. The Star Advertiser dubbed Lingle’s debut “a textbook example of how a major campaign rolls out a kickoff.” Her candidacy is a coup for GOP recruiting efforts and widens the playing field even further in 2012. She’s also made it clear to leaders in Washington that she’s determined to separate herself from the GOP’s national and tea party brands. Whether she succeeds will determine whether the race stays hot in the coming months.

Who won October: Lingle

Latest poll: Rep. Mazie Hirono 48 percent, Lingle 42 percent (Public Policy Polling, Oct. 13-16, 568 voters)

Read … Lingle Wins October

Governing: U.S. House Often a Poor Launching Pad for Governor

Abercrombie spent more than two decades in the House and has had "a difficult adjustment to life as a top executive," says Nancy Cook Lauer, a veteran political reporter in the state. "He's known for a firebrand style and partisan oratory that served him well in his 22 years in Congress and on the campaign trail, but Abercrombie has so far found life on the fifth floor of Hawaii's Capitol an entirely different experience."

Several staffers have left Abercrombie recently, including his chief of staff, his deputy chief of staff and his director of communications.

Richard Castberg, a University of Hawaii at Hilo political scientist, said that part of Abercrombie's struggles may stem from the state's economic challenges and from his personality, he added that the governor's long tenure in Congress has to be considered a major reason.

"The learning curve is steep," Castberg says. "It's a huge leap from being one of 435 to being the top elected official in the state. ... His life experience simply has not prepared him for the post he finds himself in. I think his (non-existent) intelligence will overcome his (infinite) ego, but the process must start immediately."

read … Governing

Star-Advertiser Caught Lying About Alleged Change of Heart by Global Warming Skeptic

"Despite being partially funded by a charity belonging to a firm with annual revenues of $110 billion, Muller's research showed that global warming is both real and man-made." – Richard Borreca SA 10-28-11

"Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that." -- Richard Muller WSJ 10-21-11

(BTW this took about 90 seconds to find online. That’s how pathetic the Star-Advertiser is.)

read … More Lies from the Star-Advertiser

Biofuel Scammers Take Over Hawaii Nature Conservancy

AP: The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii says Kenton Eldridge has been elected chairman of its Board of Trustees.

The nonprofit organization said Thursday Eldridge succeeds Duncan MacNaughton, who chaired the board for three years.

Eldridge is co-founder and partner of Aina Koa Pono, a Hawaii-based company geared to develop energy technology for alternatives to fossil fuels. He is also co-founder and managing director of Sennet Capital, a merchant bank.

Eldridge has served as a conservancy trustee for 11 years….

read … Nature Conservancy

State backs Sub-Prime loans for Solar Systems

SA: State officials have launched a new program aimed at lowering the barrier of upfront costs that prevent some consumers from purchasing renewable energy systems and more efficient household appliances.

GreenSun Hawaii is using $2.69 million in federal stimulus money to create a "credit enhancement" fund that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to borrow money for such investments. The program reduces interest rates for some borrowers and helps others qualify for loans that lenders might not otherwise approve….

read … State backs loans for energy efficiency

Cost of rail contract grows because of insurance coverage

SA: The $3.9 million change order came to light Thursday in a report submitted to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation project oversight committee. The change order will add to the cost of the $483 million design-build contract for the first 6.5 miles of the rail guideway from East Kapolei to Waipahu.

That contract was awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., and the change order is needed to cover the cost of insurance for workers' compensation coverage, general liability, builders' risk and other risks, according to information provided by a HART spokeswoman.

Kiewit did not build those costs into its original bid because insurance coverage for the project was supposed to be provided through an umbrella insurance program for all contractors working on the rail project, said Toru Hamayasu, interim executive director for HART.

That umbrella coverage was supposed to be provided under what is called an Owner Controlled Insurance Program, but a bid protest delayed the establishment of the program, Hamayasu said.

read … Cost of rail contract grows because of insurance coverage

ACLU Admits Homeless Litigation Aims to Advance Policy, not Civil Liberties

Q: Let's say it's a business that temporarily stows its inventory outside, and that impedes pedestrians on the sidewalk. Wouldn't that interfere with the public right of access to use the sidewalk?

A: Certainly. And we're not saying these rights are absolute, because it's always a balancing test. But to the ACLU, these proposals are coming up purely because people feel there's a problem with individuals who happen to be homeless and we need to fix that. So the fix comes in the form of a proposal that says, if we do that we can get rid of them and everything they bring and put on a public sidewalk, rather than perhaps dealing with the thorny and complicated and difficult underlying reasons why people are driven to homelessness in the first place. (The ACLU is the underlying cause of homelessness.)

So, these proposals are not new to the ACLU, they have been around for years. And their earlier incarnation was in the form of "loitering" statutes that pop up regarding Fort Street Mall or other public spaces where, as it turned out, when they tried to implement it, it was not instituted against individuals like you or I, who happen to sit on the bench and fall asleep, or had too much to eat or drink and are feeling not well and sit down. It is going to be selectively enforced against people who don't look right, smell right, act right, who find themselves homeless, and that's a problem for the ACLU.

Know Your Enemy: Repressive Tolerance

read … Another flattering interview with the Conscious, Enlightened, and Progressive Elite

Lawmakers Asked To Tighten Laws on Financial Abuse of Elderly

HR: State law requires that cases of suspected physical abuse of the elderly must be reported to law enforcement, but there is no such requirement in cases of suspected financial abuse, legislators were told today.

Banks or other financial institutions must report those suspicions to the state office of Adult Protective Services, which is not a law enforcement agency and is not equipped to conduct a criminal investigation, said Patricia McManaman, director of the state Department of Human Services.

Christopher Van Marter, head of the Honolulu Prosecutor’s White Collar Crimes unit, and Honolulu Police Lt. John McCarthy, who oversees HPD’s financial crimes investigations, recommended a change to the law.

read … Elder Abuse

Skateboarders, Football Coaches Rumble at Aiea High School

Principal Michael Tokioka did not return calls to the Star-Advertiser, but said earlier this month a group of skateboarders had been riding the roofs of the walkways when football coaches, on campus for a meeting, told them to leave.

But Say said the coaches meeting, normally held on campus, was held at Halawa District Park because one of the coaches was having a family picnic.

After the picnic, two coaches went to the school to return water coolers. That's when they encountered about 20 skateboarders, allegedly drinking and skateboarding off the roofs, he said.

"One coach went down and told them they need to leave, and the group of 20 surrounded him," he said. The skateboarders "were very disrespectful, and they challenged the coaches" but eventually left.

Police said the coaching staff allegedly called family, friends and former players to look for the skateboarders. When they found them a fight broke out.

A skateboarder identified by a friend as "Darren" claims Say delivered the first blow at the 7-Eleven, hitting him twice.

Chad Hiyakumoto, the friend, said Darren ran to Aiea Bowl but was cornered and tried to reason with his attacker, who allegedly beat and kicked him, causing him to vomit blood, and that Darren ended up with a black eye and bruises to his neck and shoulder.

Another friend was beaten unconscious and doesn't remember who hit him, he said.

Hiyakumoto said Darren looked up Say's photo online before making the photo ID to police.

read … Another Day in the DoE

Latest Accused Molester Teacher Awarded with Paid Vacation by DoE

The assaults are said to have occurred at Hawaiian Mission Academy in Makiki beginning in October 2008, when the girl was 14, and continued until March 2009, police said. The victim is now 17. Lindberg taught math and computers at the private Christian school until about three years ago when he left for personal reasons, according to Principal Hugh Winn, who said police never talked to him about the case. Winn took over after the teacher left.

Between August 1993 and July 2006, Lindberg was a teacher at Waialua High and Intermediate, Wahiawa Middle and Mililani Middle schools, according to the Department of Education.

He was rehired by the department as a geometry and algebra II teacher for Leilehua in July 2009, said Aloha Coleman, Leilehua's principal.

After Lindberg's arrest just after lunch Wednesday at the Wahiawa campus, he was placed on paid indefinite leave and cannot return to the school's campus.

Coleman said the school was unaware that police were investigating the teacher and that she was surprised by his arrest….

According to a divorce decree filed in Hawaii in 1999, Lindberg was born in Minnesota and married for five years.

His ex-wife, of Mililani, said she believed the marriage was broken because Lindberg refused to move back home and because he said "that he needs to seek professional therapy but has not made an appointment to see a therapist," the court document said.

read … PAID LEAVE

San Diego Gay Activist Interested in Using Hawaii Youth Suicides to Advance Agenda

LGBT Weekly: My hosts whisked me to the Queen Kapolani Hotel (how appropriate) and settled me in to my penthouse floor suite, where some more beautiful flowers and authentic food awaited me. I was in Honolulu for the 30th anniversary of the Imperial Court of Hawaii, which is one of this state’s oldest gay organizations. I was also attending the first annual Safety-Net for LGBT Youth State Conference at the Japanese Cultural Center. This conference attracts more than 200 educators from throughout Hawaii. I met Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and attorney Kim Coco, the first transgender elected official (state Board of Education) and many other GLBT leaders. Did you know that Hawaii has the highest rate of youth who consider attempting suicide in the nation? This conference is as important and needed as the annual CesCal Educators Conference held in San Diego. My host at this conference was Kaleo Ramos of the Catholic Charities of Hawaii.

Background: Highest suicide rate in US: Hawaii DoE high schoolers, The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

read … Catholic Charities?

State prepares in case HMC hospitals close

HMC, formerly known as St. Francis Medical Centers, said it notified government officials of the situation and is "developing a contingency plan that ensures the health and safety of our patients" while aggressively pursuing potential buyers. A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7.

The money-losing hospitals, which have been funded by bankruptcy lender MidCap Financial since June, continue to operate, though it's unclear how long the lender will fund operations.

"I don't know whether they're going to be able to sell it or not," Anderson said. "A number of hospital systems have looked at the situation and have declined to offer anything."

The state hospitals could absorb HMC's patients, according to Anderson, since the 240-bed HMC East in Liliha only has about 30 patients and the 102-bed HMC West in Ewa had 60 as of Wednesday. The hospitals employ 990 people.

Most of Oahu's medical centers are full to capacity.

read … St Francis

No Support for Aloha Stadium Beer Ban

KHON: In July of 2005 former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona ignited a polarizing debate when he urged the Stadium Authority to ban all alcohol during UH football games. At the time it was not uncommon to witness violence in the stands

"I want them to stop selling alcohol both in the parking lot and in the stadium on game day,” Aiona said at the time.

After months of study and consternation, authority members voted 6 -1 in January of 2006 to keep the status quo. Klompus was the only member to vote in favor of the alcohol ban, but nearly six years later her position has softened.

“People have really shaped up the stadium,” said Klompus. “It's very safe for families and children.”

 

While authority members believe Saturday’s fight was isolated, the stadium has a financial interest in keeping beer sales going. The stadium receives 48.5 percent of all food and beverage concessions, and in beer alone, that amounts to over half a million dollars every UH football season.

read … Beer

Superferry: Civil Beat Fact Check Gets it Wrong Again

The crux of their argument is that the Hawaii Supreme Court decides the difference between right and wrong. Civil Beat sources: Anti-Superferry filth like Gary Hooser and Sierra Club Hawaii’s director Robert Harris, who argues:

“She is trying to say that the Supreme Court changed the law — that’s not how things work. The Supreme Court interprets the law. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law.”

(The Supreme Court is SUPPOSED to interpret the law. But they did indeed change the law. This should not be surprising. For much of its existence, the State Supreme Court’s primary function has been to facilitate the looting of Kamehameha Schools. In their rush to arrive at a pre-conceived outcome, Civil Beat overlooks the rhetorical sleight-of-hand employed by Harris.)

A real Fact Check: Why Hawaii Lost the Superferry

read … Anti-Superferry Filth

NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD MEMBER SAYS EWA NB CHAIR SHOULD RETURN ELDERLY MAN’S HOME TO FAMILY

(Ewa Beach, Hawaii) Ewa Neighborhood Board Member Frankie McCurley expressed serious concerns over a lawsuit against Ewa Chair Kurt Fevella by a deceased Ewa Beach man’s daughter who claims that Fevella used undue influence to obtain control over her elderly father’s home and other assets. This and other recent cases have brought the integrity of legitimate care givers into question. “Barring an actual conviction of wrong-doing, Mr. Fevella should set the example, do the right thing, and make full restitution with this gentleman’s family,” said McCurley. “This issue has shed a dark light on our community and needs to be corrected.”

related: Ewa Democrat Kurt Favella Target of Elder Abuse Allegations, Neighborhood Board Figure Accused Of Fraud, Elder abuse, Favella is paid on “Personal Services Contract” at City Hall

# # #

Eco-Nazis Harass Surfer over Turtle Photo

Green Sea Turtle. Hundreds of people have commented on our Facebook page. Most are outraged.

"This enrages me a lot. I hope HPD, NOAA, and the State DLNR are involved in prosecuting these people," said Jake Smookler.

"Whenever I go to the beach and see a honu, I keep an eye on it to make sure no one bothers it. If someone gets too close, I scold them to leave it alone," said Mayra Perez…. (Bet she’s fun at parties.)

"Hawaii's turtles deserve better. This is not only disgraceful, but it's also potentially a violation of both federal and state law," said Robert Harris. (Ja wohl!)

KHON: Photo shows Hawaii surfer riding turtle

Facebook: Save The Turtles: Don't let 'em get squished Stop and move them

read … Holier than Thou

Audit challenges need, cost for regulating dog breeders

despite the seizure of 153 dogs at a Waimanalo dog-breeding operation in February that was the biggest case of its kind in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Humane Society has been unable to provide to Higa's office evidence of similar large-scale enterprises.

The primary bill aimed at regulating so-called puppy mills -- Senate Bill 1522, introduced in January -- is in conference committee and would require the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to issue licenses to large-scale dog breeders.

But SB 1522 is overly complicated and would be financially unrealistic to manage, the auditor's report said.

The department also is supposed to focus on protecting consumers, the audit said, while SB 1522 clearly is aimed at protecting dogs.

"We found little more than anecdotal evidence for a need to protect the public's health, safety and welfare from abusive activities of large-scale dog breeders," the audit said. "We also found that the primary goal of the bill is to protect dogs rather than the public, and the DCCA is ill-equipped to administer regulation of animal breeders. In addition, financing is an unresolved issue due to the lack of information on the scale and extent of dog breeding in Hawaii."

read … More Fees, Of Course

Akaka Proposes Bill to Hire more HGEA

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka is proposing federal legislation that would increase the nation’s — and Hawaii’s — defenses against invasive species that threaten ecosystems and cause millions of dollars in damage to the agricultural industry.

“Invasive species could permanently devastate Hawaii’s fragile ecosystem, and in the process, destroy our state’s economy and character,” Akaka said at a field hearing in Honolulu Thursday, where Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state officials briefed the senator on the poor state of Hawaii’s border inspection measures.

News Release: Abercrombie testifies at invasive species hearing

SA: Isle leaders back bill targeting alien pests

read … Never Gonna Happen

Democrat Staffer to Direct Hawaii Bar Association

SA: Patricia Mau-Shimizu, the longtime chief clerk of the state House, will step down for a post with the Hawaii State Bar Association.

Mau-Shimizu has been the chief clerk since 1993 and has worked as a House staff member for nearly 28 years. She will be the bar association's executive director.

read … Revolving Door

Stephens Media Lawyers Ordered to Pay Attorney’s Fees in Copyright Case

Newspaper copyright infringement lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas was hit Wednesday with an order to pay $119,488 in attorney's fees and costs in its failed lawsuit against former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase.

This was by far the largest fee award against Righthaven, but likely will be dwarfed by an upcoming award in Righthaven's failed suit against the Democratic Underground. Before Wednesday the largest fee award against Righthaven was for $34,045 — an amount Righthaven says it's having trouble paying or even posting a bond to cover.

DiBiase has a website covering no-body murder cases, or cases where a murder is suspected but the victim's remains have not been located. He was sued by Righthaven last year over allegations he posted without authorization a story on such a murder case by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Las Vegas dismissed Righthaven's suit against DiBiase this summer because Righthaven lacked standing to sue him under its flawed lawsuit contract with R-J owner Stephens Media LLC.

(Stephens Media owns HTH, WHT, BIW, and some other miscellaneous print media on the Big Island.)

read … Litigation Failure

Modernizing Honolulu International Airport

KHON: The renovated and redesigned Lobby 8 in the main terminal building includes a brightly colored back wall made of cast glass, depicting the Pacific Ocean, and a “wave” wall made of shaped wood above the entire lobby.

“The ticketing lobbies at Honolulu International Airport have remained largely unchanged for decades and look like they could be located in any airport in the world,” said Department of Transportation Director, Glenn Okimoto. “Now, when you enter Lobby 8, you know that you are still in Hawaii, thanks to its stunning Pacific Ocean theme.”

DOTA engineers are working on a similar Hawaiian Islands theme for Lobby 7 and work is expected to begin by the end of the year.

The long-range plan is to renovate and redesign Lobbies 4, 5 and 6, also with the “Hawaiian” sense-of-place theme.

Renovation work at Lobby 8 also included creating more open area by demolishing old, termite damaged (they were delicious, thank you) ticket counters and the installation of 46 new, state-of-art ticketing counter positions and informational video displays.

read … Just in time for APEC

Hawaiian collects $18.8M in Baggage fees during second quarter

PBN: Of that, airlines collected $887 million in baggage fees and $612 million in reservation change fees, which are the only passenger fees that the BTS is able to identify separately. Other passenger fees are lumped together with other types of revenue in larger categories, the BTS said.

Hawaiian, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings Inc., collected $14.3 million from baggage fees alone in the second quarter, an increase from $13.5 million during the second quarter of 2010. Hawaiian collected a total of $36.8 million in both fees for the first half of 2011.

read … baggage

Environmentalists Crushed as Weiku Bug is Saved from Endangerment

According to a press release from the service, "The removal of the wekiu bug is based on the successful management of the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai`i. Survey work resulted in more than doubling the number of sites where this species is found. The protection and monitoring of the wekiu bug provided through the management plans for Mauna Kea has precluded the need to list this species."

To read the relevant portion of the October 26 Federal Register, click here: Wekiu Bug Removal Notice.

read … Environment Hawaii

Democrats Launch Third Party Effort to Get Obama Reelected with Plurality

LA Times: Some of its backers have previously contributed to Obama….

…the group is collecting signatures to put itself on every state's ballot; it says it has collected 1.6 million signatures in California, which should enable it to qualify….

Democrats and Republicans in Americans Elect insist that there's no conspiracy here. (Uh huh.) They don't have a preferred candidate, they say, and they're not launching this effort with a "spoiler" outcome in mind. (Uh huh.)

"I'm in this because I think the system is broken, and this is a way to begin fixing it," said Darry Sragow, a Los Angeles lawyer and veteran of California Democratic politics who is the group's national political director. "There's no intention here to spoil anybody's candidacy." (Uh huh.)

On the other hand, he acknowledged, that could be the effect. "The law of unintended consequences is alive and well," he said. (Sure is.)

One potential pitfall for this well-intended effort is the opportunity for mischief. Americans Elect, because of recent court rulings, doesn't have to report who its donors are. Its organizers don't intend it to become a spoiler, but Republicans or Democrats could flood it with money to try to make it one. (No kidding.)

(How dull and predictable. We saw this coming from 2,500 miles away.)

Am Elect has completed Hawaii Ballot Petitioning: LINK (Scroll 2/3 way down)

read … Americans Elect


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