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Sunday, October 30, 2011
October 30, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:31 PM :: 10195 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Honolulu Cockfighter paid by City: $480K to ‘Investigate Rooster Complaints’

Full Text: IBEW, Hawaiian Tel on Strike Vote

Kalapa: Tax Experts Favor System With Broad Base, Low Rates

Star-Advertiser Punked by Global Warmer posing as Climate Skeptic

Occupy Wall Street: "We handle rapes internally" -- Two rapists caught, not reported to police

Sneak Attack: Inouye Attempts to Slip Akaka Bill in as “Policy Rider”

SA: A policy rider inserted by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye into the Senate's draft of a Department of the Interior spending bill would allow the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians in a way similar to how it recognizes American Indian tribes. Federal recognition is the core of the Akaka Bill, so establishing the concept in federal law would lay the foundation for a movement toward self-governance....

Congressional staffers, speaking privately, describe the potential for a "perfect storm" behind an idea that looked all but dead when Senate Democrats lost their filibuster-proof supermajority and Republicans won control of the House last year.

Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, inserted the policy rider into the Senate's draft of the fiscal year 2012 spending bill for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and related federal agencies. The rider would allow the secretary of the interior to recognize Native Hawaiians in the way American Indians and Alaska Natives are recognized. Hawaiians would not immediately be entitled to new federal benefits -- such as the Indian Health Service, the federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives -- but existing federal programs for Native Hawaiians would have greater legal protection....

 

Negotiations over the bill might focus on several House Republican policy riders that would restrict the regulatory power of the EPA in areas such as greenhouse gas emissions. With the pressure to adopt a budget, and the national attention on more sweeping policy riders, congressional staffers believe Native Hawaiian recognition could survive….

The state version of the Akaka Bill appeared largely symbolic when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed it into law in July, because federal recognition has long been the target, but it is a critical component of the new strategy in Washington.

A five-member commission, led by former Gov. John Waihee, will prepare a roll of qualified adult Hawaiians who are either descendants of the aboriginal people who lived in the islands before 1778 or are eligible for homestead leases under the federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, passed in 1921. The Hawaiians must also have maintained significant cultural, social or civic connections to the Native Hawaiian community.

It would be these Hawaiians, recognized in state law as indigenous people with the right to self-government, who would be eligible for federal recognition by the Interior Department.

State Sen. Malama Solomon (D, Hilo-Honokaa) said Hawaiians belonged to a kingdom, not an Indian tribe, so it has been difficult to fit Hawaiians into federal Indian policy for purposes of recognition.

"This is really a unification bill," she said of the state law. "It will start to really identify the nation, because in all of our conversations about sovereignty and self-governance, that is the entity that has been missing, in terms of recognizing who the nation is. And I think that this bill would bring a lot of that to rest."

read … Sneak Attack

Meth Dealer undermines Federal Extortion Case Against HPD Major

A federal judge released last week a once-sealed document that might cast doubt on the truthfulness of a witness against a Honolulu police major.

Maj. Carlton Nishimura, 55, is facing federal charges that he extorted money from the operator of an illegal gambling house, lied to the FBI and tried to persuade the witness to lie.

Nishimura's attorney said he believes witness Doni Mei Imose, also known as Doni Crisolo, told her lawyer she lied to the grand jury that indicted Nishimura to get a lighter sentence on drug charges in an unrelated drug case against her….

Imose, 40, was originally scheduled to be sentenced for conspiracy and other charges for her involvement in a methamphetamine trafficking ring in November 2009. The conspiracy charge carries a mandatory 10-year prison term.

However, at her and the prosecutor's request, the court rescheduled sentencing 13 times. The latest sentencing date is for next month.

read … HPD major's lawyer says a witness lied

IBEW members cast votes on whether to strike against Hawaiian Telcom

The votes have been cast, and it will be known Monday if more than 700 Hawaiian Telcom workers have authorized a strike.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 1357 met Saturday with its leadership team to discuss the possibility of a walkout.

Signs have already been prepared if a strike happens.

(Just in time for APEC)

read … Strike Vote

Unprecedented security for next month’s APEC conference has some in Waikiki grumbling

John Aiwohi relishes playing volleyball on the white sands of world-famous Waikiki Beach every day.

But the Honolulu resident and others will be banned from a half-mile stretch of the beach in mid-November, when President Barack Obama hosts a meeting for Asia-Pacific leaders in the city where he was born.

Security checkpoints, barricades and street closures planned for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference are unprecedented for Waikiki, a tourist haven better known for surfers and mai tais.

Waikiki hasn’t seen such heavy security since the military lined the beaches with barbed wire after the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The blanket of security has many who come to Waikiki each day grumbling. They wonder why leaders can’t meet somewhere less congested, like another Hawaiian island or on a military base that has plenty of security.

“Did they really have to pick Waikiki to come for APEC?” Aiwohi asked….

HNN: Annual Cleanup Event Gets Boost from APEC Prep

read … Grumble, grumble

Lawsuit: End-of-Life Care Scammer Grabs Heiress’ Hawaii Home

In December 2004, McBride modified her will to have her estate divided into 7 shares, with Von Falkenberg getting 2 shares, and five other beneficiaries receiving one share each, according to the complaint.

But the plaintiffs say that Falkenberg had McBride change her will in May 2005, while in hospice care, leaving him most of her estate, including money, securities and properties in Florida, California and Hawaii.

"While receiving end-of-life care in a hospice facility, defendant Von Falkenberg unduly influenced and coerced Annabelle to execute a trust, a will, and to marry him," to the complaint states.

Mincing no words, the complaint states: "The May 2005 Trust and will were executed five days prior to Annabelle's death, while Annabelle was in a hospice facility.

"Annabelle had been administered morphine shortly prior to her execution of the May 2005 trust and will.

SA: 'Death with dignity' raised anew

SA: Life's tough choices

read … Assisted Suicide Would Just Make This Easier

Most judges were on public lists, paper finds

In his dismissal request, Abercrombie submitted lists of judicial candidates that Lingle disclosed during her two four-year terms. He suggested that they show the disclosures deterred some from applying because only 10 individuals were on lists for three vacancies on the Hawaii Supreme Court, 17 for eight vacancies on the Intermediate Court of Appeals and 61 for 17 vacancies at Circuit Court.

But a Star-Advertiser review of news releases not only from Lingle, but also Cayetano, shows that most of the current jurists have been chosen from lists that were made public.

They show:

  • » Nine of 11 judges on the Hawaii Supreme Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals have been selected by a process that included the disclosure of the lists of candidates.
  • Associate Justice Paula Nakayama was picked by Waihee. Abercrombie refuses to disclose the other candidates for McKenna's position.
  • » Sakamoto and most of the state's 33 circuit judges were also picked by a process disclosing the names.

(State district judges are appointed by the chief justice. Current Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald publicizes the names of the judicial candidates when he receives them from the commission, as did his predecessor, Chief Justice Ronald Moon.)

In its request for a court order releasing the names, the Star-Advertiser said Abercrombie cannot prove that the disclosure by his predecessors limited the pool of applicants or that more qualified applicants would have applied if they were guaranteed confidentiality.

The governor cannot show that the judicial appointment process was "frustrated," the basis for his position that the names should be kept confidential, the Star-Advertiser said.

"Rather, the process patently has worked very well," the newspaper said.

read … Abercrombie Secrecy

Hawaii DoE, UH Enlist Obama’s Former Solicitor General to Equate Japanese Americans with Head-Chopping Jihadis

Neal Katyal, who until May was acting solicitor general of the United States, is best known nationally for successfully challenging the secret military tribunals set up by the Bush administration to try terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. In his talk with students Thursday, Katyal centered his remarks on the government's mishandling of the cases of two young men -- Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi -- who stood up against the mass internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II….

"Fred Korematsu's story is a call to action for all of us and especially for all of you, the future of our country, to speak up when a wrong is being committed," Liann Ebesugawa, executive director of the Board of Education, told the students. "Mr. Katyal has time and time again stood up and spoken up for what is right and he has protected our constitutional freedoms many times over." ….

The Korematsu curriculum is a joint project of the Hawaii State Bar Association, University of Hawaii Law School, Judiciary History Center and the Department of Education ….

In response to a question from a student about where the line between civil liberties and national security now falls, Katyal said "the line switches almost daily," and pointed to bills pending in Congress regarding trials of terrorism suspects.

"Courts generally don't want to get involved," Katyal said. "They're generalists. They don't have the special expertise. But in a few times in our nation's history, they have said, 'Enough is enough, you can't do this.'"

That was the case at Guantanamo. Katyal volunteered to represent a detainee there and won a landmark Supreme Court case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that found the terrorism tribunals violated U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.

Hamdan: Osama Bin-Laden’s driver, Suspected in Bombing USS Cole

read … More Propaganda

Vietnam Protester Abercrombie to march in November 5 Vietnam Veterans Parade

Dan Kama, chairman of the committee, said that while all U.S. veterans are welcome to participate, every year, the parade honors a different group of veterans from one of America's wars. This year, the honorees are Vietnam veterans.

Parade dignitaries will include retired Brig. Gen. Ray Gandy, a Vietnam veteran, Brig. Gen. Joe Kim, the deputy adjutant general, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a former critic of the Vietnam War….

In past years, the parade has benefited from its close association with the military and has featured Stryker vehicles and a Black Hawk helicopter flyover, among others. But most of the resources this year are devoted to protecting delegates to the APEC conference in Honolulu, or in the case of the helicopter pilots, are preparing for deployment to the Middle East.

The only military vehicles this year will be four Humvees on loan from the Army Reserve. Still, that isn't expected to diminish the thousands of those expected to line the streets along Hilo's regular parade route.

"It seemed like last year, I'd say we had about pretty close to 4,000" spectators," Kama said. "But this year, I expect more."

The parade will begin promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the staging area near the King Kamehameha statue. From there, it will head uphill on Pauahi Street, turn right on Kilauea Avenue, continue on Keawe Street, turn right on Waianuenue Avenue, turn right on Kamehameha Avenue, and return to the staging area.

read … Veterans

Hawaii National Guard to deploy, but where?

President Obama last Friday announced that virtually all U.S. troops would be pulling out of that country by year's end.

"The coming months will be a season of homecomings. Our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays," Obama said.

Well, some will and some won't.

Anthony said the Hawaii Guardsmen "will be remissioned to somewhere else in the Central Command area of responsibility." He did not know where that would be.

Central Command encompasses the U.S. military's theater of operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emrates and Oman.

"It could be any number of places," Anthony said. "This is actually something that we have anticipated as a very distinct possibility, even before they were mobilized."

read … HNG

Abercrombie Cutbacks Force Shutdown of Kapiolani Child Protection Center

Kapiolani Child Protection Center, which last year worked with more than 160 children and 100 parents, will be closing down its West Hawaii program at the end of November.

"It's a pretty scary situation," Director Dr. Steven Choy said. "The safety net is not going to be there."

The closure comes after the state Department of Human Services cut its $113,000 contract with the center as a part of a $5.8 million cut announced Wednesday.

read … A New Day

Inmate Labor Builds Unpermitted Waimanalo Park, then tears it down

Built by hand and at basically no cost, the lookout brought new life to an area that was more of a dumpsite, thick with brush and Kiawe trees.

Little by little the lookout quickly transformed into a concrete terrace with crushed coral foundation, a half-dozen picnic tables and landscaping.

"I give these guys credit when they work they don't give 100%, they give 120-130% they really work hard," says Richard "bolo" Kahawai, OCCC Work Line Supervisor.

But Saturday, the same men who helped build Kupuna Terrace had to tear it down.

"Finding out at the top of the project that the site distance because of the highway that it could be a safety hazard," says Jamila.

The park, which was built without proper City permits, did not account for traffic along Kalanianaole Highway or that there was no clear crosswalk for park users to access the lookout.

"The inmates are really sad because they work really really hard," says Kahawai.

read … Your Government at Work

Sheriff Plays Shell Game with Big Island Bailiffs

"Evidently, the judiciary didn't coordinate with DPS to ensure sheriffs would be provided and there were none budgeted for the Kapolei Courthouse, so they stole from wherever they could and unfortunately we lost a number of sheriffs because of that," he said. "I can't tell if it's still happening, but I imagine it is still occurring."…

"Personnel are not going to positions in Honolulu," Kawai said. "When Kapolei opened positions were taken from elsewhere, including Hawaii Island, initially, but they have been released" from that courthouse.

Kawai said both West and East Hawaii are nearly fully staffed with 27 of 32 deputy sheriff positions filled -- as opposed to previous years when the division did not have enough sheriffs to provide security for state Judiciary facilities leading to the closure of satellite courts in Ka'u, Kohala and Hamakua. The increase in staffing is partially attributed to the addition of six new deputies from a recent class of recruits.

In Kona, which includes three court facilities, 10 positions are allocated funding with eight currently filled, two of which are temporary 89-day hires allowed during the state's current hiring freeze….

read … Lawmakers say sheriff jobs relocated from Big Isle to Kapolei

Kauai Council weighs tax reforms

The Finance Committee is considering three bills that would among other things increase exemptions for local homeowners, change tax classifications and push dates forward for appeals, assessments and filings. If approved, residents could start seeing changes as soon as next July.

The latest set of property tax proposals, Bills 2416 and 2417, were introduced Wednesday by Councilman Tim Bynum at the administration’s request. Both were deferred to allow fine tuning.

Bynum praised the administration for proposing the bills, but had some criticism to share.

“Your proposal does not address who pays what,” Bynum told county Real Property Officer Steve Hunt. “It also does not address timeshares.”

In the last three years people who live and work on Kaua‘i saw their property taxes increase 20 percent, Bynum said, while those who own property on the island and live somewhere else had a 13 percent decrease.

Another problem brought up by Bynum relates to a 2 percent cap imposed years ago on resident homeowners. The cap protected homeowners from an over-inflating real estate market. But as real property values keep falling, property taxes continue to grow 2 percent a year for resident owners.

By the same token, homeowners who missed the boat and failed to apply timely for a homeowner exemption are likely paying much higher taxes than those who applied when the market was still down.

read … Kauai

Your Welfare Dime At Work: Pregnant F-to-M Transsexual Tracy Lagondino born in Hawaii

Mr Beatie was born as a woman, Tracy Lagondino, in Hawaii in 1974, but says he always felt like he wanted to be a man. (As she is instructed to say by the authors of “the Overhauling of Straight America”)

Quite a brood: Mr Beatie says people often stare at him and his wife when they take all three children out

When he was in his twenties began having testosterone injections, giving him facial hair, a lower voice and altering his sexual organs.

In 2002 he had a mastectomy and legally became a man - but he chose to keep his vagina, uterus and other female sexual organs so the couple could have children, as his wife had had a hysterectomy.

The couple moved to Arizona from their home in Bend, Oregon, after their house was repossessed last year….

In March Mr Beatie revealed he had filed for bankruptcy and was desperately seeking a job to get his family off welfare handouts and pay his $5,000-a-month mortgage…. ($5000/month???)

The Source: The Overhauling of Straight America

Read … Your Tax Dollars At Work

Kona: Kenoi’s Redistricting Team Works hard to Keep Hilo Majority

But some leeward residents feel differently, even going so far as to accuse the commission of political favoritism to preserve Hilo's three council seats. The "Draft Plan A" version would have the 1st District extending from downtown Hilo to Paauhau.

"Many people are angry despite your best efforts to create a fair and legal plan," South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford wrote to the commission Thursday in offering her own map, albeit well past the submission deadline.

One of those critics is Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, a Waikoloa resident, who alleged the commission is engaging in "political motivation" by "insisting to carve out" a third Hilo district.

"It's very clear that this is another form of gerrymandering," Hoffmann said of the option that would result in "gerrymandering Hamakua out of existence."

read … Board juggles redistricting

NRA -- Shooting ranges offer education, recreation

Quantum Leap: Abandoned Yacht Washes up at Sprecklesville

A 48-foot yacht that was abandoned at sea earlier this month was found teetering on a reef off of Maui's Baldwin Beach in Spreckelsville on Thursday night. The Quantum Leap, sailing out of San Diego, Calif., encountered rough seas during a run to Hawaii on Oct. 6….

read … Salvage


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