Strike Ready: IBEW Urges HawaiianTel Workers to Clean Out Lockers
Strange Bedfellows: Hawaii's Former Governor & Detroit's Gambling Promoter?
A Portal to the Past: What Hawaiian Kingdom Property Taxes Tell Us
After School Bus Contractors Are Busted for Bid Rigging, Abercrombie Offers $20M to Line their Pockets
Transportation financing woes came up unexpectedly Tuesday when the board was presented with a 21-page memo by state budget officials. Luis Salaveria, deputy director of the Department of Budget and Finance, told board members the Abercrombie administration is considering reinstating $20 million in transportation funding.
That money would still have to be approved by the Legislature. Education and finance committee chairs have told Civil Beat they want to see real progress on curbing runaway bus costs before signing off on a new transportation budget.
"They wanted us — the Board of Education — to get busy and figure out how to stop having costs perpetually going up, and to look at better ways to manage our transportation resources," Horner said during the board's regular business meeting. "I'm saying as chair, we got that message and we are moving to make some adjustments there." ….
"I feel confident that if we work with the providers and ask them 'How can we in the future help you reduce your costs?' we'll get some solutions," Horner said. "I do not want to go into specifics at this point, but I would expect that by changing our behavior, we're able to give the provider more opportunities for reducing their costs, thereby reducing costs for the department but not reducing service."
But Horner said $20 million of a $72 million budget is not going to be enough. He noted that the district patched a $22 million hole in its transportation budget this year with military impact aid — "monies that typically would go to the classroom. That money, along with some other federal money, was used to help us subsidize a deficit, so we survived."
SA: DOE backs plan to allow limited ads on school campuses
read … reward to the cronies
Abercrombie Crony Demands More Consultant Money to Fix Historic Preservation Office
The price of a $187,000 sole source contract awarded in June to a politically-connected consulting firm must be increased if problems in the State Historic Preservation Division office are to be fixed before a federal deadline expires next year, legislators were told today.
The office, known as SHPD, is in danger of losing $500,000 in annual federal grants because the National Parks Service last year classified SHPD as a “high risk grantee.”
In June, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees SHPD, awarded a $187,000 sole-source contract to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s political ally and pollster Raynard Soon to straighten out the problems in SHPD.
Another company offered to do the work for $96,000 but was disqualified because its bid was submitted 11 minutes late. That left Soon’s company, Solutions Pacific, LLC, as the sole bidder….
Today Soon and William Aila, chairman of DLNR, told state lawmakers that the price of the contract will have to be increased because (insert excuse here)….
read … No Surprise Here
Could Have Got 24 years, Rod Tam Gets Two Days, and Deferred Acceptance
Former state Legislator and City Council Member Rod Tam will spend two days in prison at the Oahu Community Correctional Center and he must perform more than 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to 34 misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors related to theft of taxpayer money and campaign spending violations, the Honorable Randal Shintani said in Honolulu District Court on Tuesday.
Tam, 58, won’t go to prison immediately, so that he can continue to qualify to collect state unemployment for the maximum number of weeks. He’s been unemployed since he left the Honolulu City Council because of term limits in January. He will spend December 31, 2011 and January 1, 2012, the first two days that he is off state unemployment, behind bars.
In addition, fines and fees will be waived for the most part because of Tam’s financial situation. And if he stays out of trouble, his criminal record will be wiped clean after a year, which will clear him to run for office again.
However, Tam's sentence did not sit well with Hawaii State Deputy Attorney General Lori Wada. She could have asked for as much as 23 years in prison, but instead she requested that Shintani sentence Tam to prison for 6 months and order him to perform 1,000 hours of community service….
RELATED: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore hui, Djou: Tam should resign and be prosecuted
read … Rod Tam Gets Two Days
Waimanalo Gulch is scheduled to stop receiving municipal solid waste by July 31
A consultant has completed work looking into potential sites for a new solid-waste landfill and plans to present its findings next week to a panel tasked with advising the mayor on where to put a new landfill on Oahu.
Findings are to be presented Nov. 8 at a meeting of the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Landfill Site Selection, the Department of Environmental Services said in a news release.
A new landfill would replace or supplement the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, which on July 31 is scheduled to stop receiving municipal solid waste and only accept ash from the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant. The city has appealed the deadline and asked that the landfill be allowed to continue accepting solid waste for at least 15 additional years.
Committee members are tasked with recommending to the mayor a new or supplemental solid-waste landfill site, with the understanding that the Waimanalo Gulch site is off the table under all circumstances.
read … Landfill
APEC Summit Agenda Released
To view a complete agenda, click here.
ILind: Sheriff’s unit at airport buying incapacitating pepper weapons
read … Agenda
OHA, Maoists Team up to Trash APEC
There is it, Revolution Books, the RCP front group WCW and “The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has generously provided us with some funding support.” All on one page. MaoZedong murdered 70 million Chinese people and his followers are considered a legitimate partner by a group purporting to “look for cooperative ways to strengthen subsistence and to protect cultural properties and natural resources….”
(“Cultural properties” refers to the ability to shake down developers.)
Star-Adv Gives them a Column: Moana Nui, the 'un-APEC,' to focus on people power
Marxist Censorship: APEC banner coming down at UH
read … Cultural Marxists Funded by Ceded Lands Revenue
SA: Humans are a Disease
Most people love babies, and they welcome new residents. The increase in numbers of people is so subtly pervasive. It is often confused with progress. It is even welcomed as a source for economic gain.
The causes of the population rise are multiple, but the salient factor is the sharp reduction in death rates, especially infant mortality, in the absence of a corresponding drop in birth rates.
However, in-migration has replaced excess births as the major population factor in the "disease" of overpopulation in the Hawaiian Islands. In 2011 Hawaii's rate of population increase is the same as the world rapid growth rate of 1.2 percent, a figure that cannot be maintained indefinitely in a finite environment.
(And check out their solutions to the infestation of babies….)
- Publicly endorse the concept of slow growth. Encourage visitors to visit but not to stay indefinitely. Openly discourage in-migration, as is done in Bermuda and Fiji. (Lets destroy tourism, wreck the economy and drive out all the locals so the enlightened, conscious, and progressive elite can have Hawaii for themselves.)
- Set limits on the use, districting, classification, redistricting and reclassification of land. (Enviros already on this case)
- Establish limits on the construction of sewers, housing, hotels and highways. (Enviros already on this case)
- Develop national laws to change the current situation in which a disproportionate number of aliens are permitted to migrate and settle in this small state of Hawaii. (A passbook system, like South Africa. Only the enlightened, conscious, and progressive will be allowed to come.)
SA: Ho'opili ag conviction falls flat
Know Thy Enemy, read … Too many people
FACE Opposes Free Trade, APEC
FACE is pro-Rail but anti-APEC/Free Trade. So the "finance capitalists" are OK when they build giant gov't projects, but they are evil when they build private business and international trade.
FACE says it is abhorrent to "flatten the difference between nations and cultures" -- typical cultural nationalist rhetoric. But "flattening" international differences of a business, political, or diplomatic nature is one way to reduce the chance for war.
(And btw, as a tourism-dependent state, Hawaii needs free trade more than most.)
Related: APEC: Obama needs Congressional Support for Free Trade in Pacific—but Hirono, Hanabusa vote No
read … Trans-Pacific Partnership Bad News for the 99 Percent Of Us
Kaiser seeks 8.8% increase because Old People Aren’t Dying Fast Enough
The rise in premiums is needed because of an aging populace, the insurer maintains….
read … 8% Increase
Manipulation of Hawaii’s Court System Keeps Car Dealer from Manslaughter Trial
Will the 85-year-old James Pflueger ever face manslaughter charges for allegedly causing the deaths of 7 people when his dam breached in the early morning hours of March 14, 2006?
That is a question legal observers are increasingly asking themselves as attorneys for the multi-millionaire file for appeal after appeal in Hawaii's state court system successfully keeping the aging Pflueger from potentially going to prison.
Most recently, Pflueger’s legal team headed by William McCorriston, filed an appeal to the Hawaii Supreme Court on October 12, the very last day that they could legally do so, with the state response to the Supreme Court coming just days afterward on October 27.
read … Pflueger runs down the clock
SA: UH Should Save Money by Boosting Online Learning
For example, the university is making strides -- belatedly -- toward increasing enrollment revenues through distance-education options. Campuses have been ramping up in recent months to expand delivery of coursework through virtual classroom technology. Increasing enrollments in the state university system -- the economy has deterred many students from pursuing mainland studies -- have averted even deeper cuts from being made. Given that the cost of constructing new classroom space is not one that many campuses can afford right now, out-of-the-box thinking is to be encouraged.
The Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, whose members will be bearing the brunt of the increases, is right to demand further investigations for alternative ways of generating revenue. And the administration also must be sensitive to the call from some students for greater transparency about budgetary matters.
What's also important is that the UH maintain the community college system as an affordable entry point into higher education. The online-education option needs to be accelerated there so that more students may have a lower-cost alternative for earning their freshman- and sophomore-level credits. Transferring to UH-Manoa for the last two years may be one means of making a four-year degree affordable.
And for students not pursuing a bachelor's degree, a well-equipped community college system is an even more critical stepping stone to a livable wage.
read … Online Learning
Tsunami Debris becomes Excuse for $1M Pork
Inouye, who chairs the Senate Committee on Appropriations, inserted $1 million into H.R. 2112, the funding measure that already included $4 million for the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's marine debris program. Inouye's request specifies money for tsunami-related tracking and cleanup.
The Senate pass the bill on a 69-30 vote. The bill now goes to conference with the House.
News Release: SENATOR INOUYE WORKS TO SECURE FUNDING FOR EFFORTS TO TRACK AND CLEAN UP MARINE DEBRIS
Boosting the Latest Eco-Scam: Widening Gyre
read … Pork before problem
City to Feds: Pay Us $37 Million For Hosting APEC
CB: President Barack Obama will arrive for the APEC summit next week.
The thank you he may get for bringing the big show to town is a bill from the city of Honolulu asking for financial compensation.
In a resolution introduced by Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin and member Stanley Chang, the city estimates the cost of providing extra security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at $37 million. And it says the federal government should cover the tab.
Link: Resolution 11-324
read … Even More Pork
HNN SPECIAL REPORT: Meth in the work place
The 50th State is number one in the U.S. in meth use in the work place. Studies say scores of people are working under the influence of crystal meth….
The Hawaii Meth Project advocates prevention. Program director Joe Perez isn't surprised Hawaii's workplace meth use is 410 percent higher than the national average.
"I think it goes right in line with the even worse number, which is there's this $500 million cost impact for Hawaii every year. And the incidents of workplace accidents, lost productivity, etc., they're all a part of that," he said.
Diagnostic Laboratory Services tests urine samples for about 1,000 businesses. Its most recent report shows meth use at work up again after a drop last quarter.
"In my opinion the most important component is our proximity to where the crystal meth is originating, coming from Asia," said DLS scientific director of toxicology Carl Linden….
read … Meth in the Work place
Drug testing for Dopey Hawaii Co. councilmembers moves forward
A Hawaii County Council committee took its discussion of a proposal to drug test elected officials behind closed doors Tuesday evening.
When the committee members returned, the proposed charter amendment got the required six votes to go to the full council with a positive recommendation. That vote came after a majority of council members rejected Corporation Counsel's recommendation not to proceed on the measure.
Hilo Councilmen Donald Ikeda, Dennis Onishi and J Yoshimoto voted against the proposed charter amendment….
It took only one dissenting vote, from Onishi, to block having that conversation openly.
Related: Feds: Medical Marijuana Laws and Hawaii County Council Drive Growth in Drug Trade
read … Doped-Up Council
Kauai County weighs 51% water rate hike
The Kaua‘i Department of Water Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. on Friday to consider a rate increase for residential and agricultural customers.
The rate increase will be the only item on the agenda for this special meeting. The public meeting will be held at the KDOW conference room at 4398 Pua Loke St.
The KDOW board has been studying the need for a rate increase for over a year, having conducted in-depth rate studies and assessed the current and future needs of the water system, a county news release states.
See www.kauaiwater.org “Progress Report on Water Plan 2020.”
read … 51%
Danner Sisters Jump in on Green Energy Scam
During its October meeting in Paukukalo, Maui, the commission unanimously approved the request made by the Homestead Community Development Corporation, the non-profit development arm of the Anahola Hawaiian Homes Association, to use 55 acres of land to build a 10 to 14 megawatt solar project in partnership with KIUC and an additional five acres for a service center and administrative offices, an HCDC news release states. HCDC says it will develop the project with KIUC.
The non-profit corporation has begun community consultation and outreach to identify a benefits package that HCDC says will likely include local-hire and contracting strategies, production revenue sharing, project design and land-use revenues.
“This is breaking ground on so many levels,” said Robin Danner, CNHA president and HCDC board chair, in the release. “The commission’s action facilitates one of the largest renewable energy projects in the state, developed by our utility co-op and Native Hawaiians, with the potential to bring over $50 million in economic impact to the island and strengthening the Hawaiian Home Land Trust to create homesteading opportunities.”
KIUC has formed KIUC Renewable Solutions One, LLC, as a legal entity under which the license agreement for the Anahola site is being finalized, according to KIUC President and CEO David Bissell’s “President’s Report” delivered during its Board of Directors meeting in Hanapepe last week.
Read … KIUC secures homestead land for major solar project
FACT CHECK — White House: Waianae Among Hawaii's Poorest Areas
Civil Beat is Fact Checking opinion again. Weasel words like -- "one of the most" "economically challenged" "communities" -- give the White House three levels of ambiguity and render the statement un-checkable.
If Lingle had said this she would get a "False" from you for overlooking Peepekeo, Puna, Kau, and W. Molokai. CB would be jumping up and down pointing at Kahului and 12 other communities poorer than Waianae. Since Obama's WH said it they get a "True".
Civil Beat is just not competent to be in the Fact Check business and should quit.
read ... Civil Beat Fails Again
Isle soldiers return to volatile area
In late September, Schofield Barracks soldiers headed to a deadly village in eastern Afghanistan, where they handed out calling cards that said, "We are back."
The several-day helicopter air assault mission to Wanat, where nine U.S. soldiers were killed and 27 were wounded in 2008, involved a force of 600, including Hawaii soldiers, U.S. Special Forces and Afghan commandos.
In recent months, Schofield soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team have been pushing back into a volatile region of Afghanistan's Kunar province previously abandoned by U.S. forces
read … Afghanistan