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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
November 29, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:12 PM :: 8469 Views :: Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Abercrombie's Medicaid Cuts based on Obamacare Requirements

Lucky Hawaii: Bond Sale Benefits as Investors Flee Europe

Booted from Big Island, DoE Now Seeks to Force Carlisle to Collect its Impact Fees

US Supreme Court to Decide Whether to Hear Lawsuit Challenging DHHL, Admission Act

Postal Service Announces Hawaii Christmas Mailing Deadlines

US Civil Rights Commissioner to speak on End of Victimology

Abercrombie “Damn Serious” about Oath, Judges aren’t Like Dogs or Ponies

The governor said releasing the names would only invite public scrutiny, as if the selection of a judge or justice could compare to, say, a dog show or a circus.

"The difference here is that a dog show is orderly and has standards that are objective," he said.

He said that the single most important criteria in evaluating potential judges is temperament. The decisions they make, he said, affect so many people.

The governor also said what also troubled him about the judicial names was a perception, fostered by the media, that somehow he was intentionally skirting the law to make decision tainted by politics.

"The assumption was that this was some deliberate flouting of the law by me as governor — knowingly, deliberately flouting," he said. "That I knew what the law was and was trying to box it in. That it couldn't have possibly have been a genuine philosophical point of view that I had, and that I had reasons for it that were not bizarre or antithetical to good order of government, but that it was a disagreement as to what constitutes good government."

The governor resented, he said, the perception that not only did he try to get away with flouting the law, but that he also got caught.

"I've never operated that way," he said. "There is nothing in my record to suggest that I would try to do such a thing. This is a genuine split based on my experience with these things."

The governor said he took an oath to uphold the constitution, something he takes "damn seriously."

(This is the best his new communications team can get him to do? He should’ve kept the old batch of incompetents, at least they were young….)

DN: Duke Aiona as our next governor?

read … Damn Dogs and Ponies

Abercrombie Considered Shutting State Down for Two Weeks in June, Blames Lingle

CB: So dire, he revealed Monday, that he was advised that he had to "seriously consider shutting the state down for two weeks before June 30."

That advice of last resort came in late May from Tax Director Fred Pablo and Budget Director Kalbert Young, the governor told Civil Beat in an interview Monday.

"Not Furlough Fridays — shutting the state down," Abercrombie said. "Turn off the electricity, shut the doors, lay everybody off for two weeks before June 30." ….

That’s Funny, Pablo had PLENTY of money for THIS: Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

"The dimensions of the fiscal disaster that was left for us by the Lingle administration is very difficult to grasp," he said. "They essentially stopped governing for 18 months to two years." (Uh huh, sure Neil, anything you say Neil….)

"I was scrambling the whole time," said Abercrombie, explaining that Pablo and Young discovered the state essentially didn't have an accounting system. "I was genuinely concerned that the state was going to go bankrupt."…

Something DoTax still hasn’t explained: $134 Million Mystery: DoTax suddenly admits “unusual reporting, systemic problems, inconsistencies”

"I was prepared for this job — I was prepared to make the decisions, I knew what I had to do," he said. "I always tried to keep the big picture in mind."….

He still won't identify a decision he made that he later regretted. He believes that what's often the case is that he's right on the issues, even if others don't yet recognize it. He shared a few examples where it took decades to recognize that he had been correct…..

Abercrombie thinks he is a god: Star-Advertiser & Abercrombie sing duet on Religion: Only we the elite may draw lines between right and wrong

“…everybody has to put their paddle in the water and pull together — that's the only way we're going to get to the shore," he said. "I know where we are going."

read … But they’re not Furloughs

Abercrombie Wants to Build 'Third City'

CB: On Monday, Abercrombie riffed on a new idea, his boldest yet: a third city for Oahu, after Honolulu and Kapolei.

This city, which the governor said would stretch from Diamond Head to Kalihi and include Kakaako, Aloha Tower, downtown and Iwilei, builds on the proposal announced last month to construct a 650-foot tower (named after himself, no doubt) in Kakaako….

Yet, Abercrombie believes it represents not only the future of Oahu but also responsible urban planning that is, a la Frank Lloyd Wright, as aesthetically pleasing as it is humanely functional.

"I have great hopes that we will create the next urban oasis in the United States, right here in Kakaako" he said.

Another ambitious proposal, to give the Office of Hawaiian Affairs $200 million in Kakaako Makai land to pay off ceded land revenue debt, fits into that urban vision. As does the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation, which was created to better use state lands. (Yup, Abercrombie’s Third City vision is anchored on the OHA land deal. OHA can’t even pick a Trustee. Get real.)

That renaissance includes redeveloping Waikiki. If not, Oahu and Hawaii "can't compete in 21st century travel venues." "Waikiki is in a state of decline," he said. (The future of tourism depends on OHA?)

CB: Urban Planning, Architecture Books Atop Hawaii Governor's Desk

read … Alienating his base once again

Favored Nation: Did HGEA get better deal?

CB: Abercrombie told Civil Beat on Monday he fully intends to honor the favored nation clause. He said once the UPW contract is finalized, the agreements can be compared.

The governor said he was appreciative of HGEA leading the way in contract talks. He said he knew the state was promising the union it didn't have to worry about another union getting a better deal — and that it still doesn't have to worry….

An analysis of two agreements based on a $50,000 salary shows that a 5 percent cut results in a slightly higher take-home pay than the furlough scenario.

But the 5 percent cut results in a lower base pay, which affects things like overtime rates and retirement benefit contributions — the higher your base pay, the higher your overtime rate and pension contributions will be.

  • $50,000 base salary less 5 percent cut = $47,500 gross base pay
  • $50,000 base salary less 14 unpaid leave days = $47,308 gross take home pay
  • $50,000 base salary less 13 unpaid leave days = $47,428 gross take home pay

read … Did HGEA get better deal?

HART Signs $1.4 Billion Contract With Ansaldo

CB: It took eight months, but Honolulu finally has a signed deal to design, build, operate and maintain its planned rail system.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Monday signed a $1.4 billion contract that was awarded in March. It said that months of "additional review" had showed that the Italian firm Ansaldo had the capacity to deliver on the contract successfully….

But the rail project still faces hurdles. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments this week in a lawsuit filed by opponents attempting to stop it.

SA: Rail agency signs $1.4 billion contract with embattled firm

PR: The largest contract in the company’s 150-year history

read … HART

Is Honolulu rail contract a legal defense tactic?

ILind: By pushing the contract through in the face of a pending legal challenge and without any final funding commitment from the federal government, the city is again placed in a very awkward situation.

The timing makes it appear likely the signing was rushed in order to beat tomorrow’s initial hearing in federal court in the lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the environmental impact study’s alternative analysis.

You can see the argument being set up. “Yes, your honor, perhaps we were wrong and didn’t do a thorough job in the EIS, but now we’re too far along to turn back without dire financial consequences for the taxpayers of Honolulu.”

read … Legal Defense

Abercrombie Still Pushing to Disenfranchise Military personnel

The state Reapportionment Commission should be ordered to redraw new political boundaries to more accurately reflect the total permanent resident population of the islands, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office contends, a move that would shift a state Senate seat to Hawaii island.

But the state Reapportionment Commission argues that it followed the Hawaii Constitution and has asked the state Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit challenging the maps.

read … Reapportionment

Judicial nominees put up earlier

The list of candidates Gov. Neil Abercrombie released for the associate justice vacancy he filled with Sabrina McKenna's appointment includes three finalists for chief justice last year, who could be nominated again for an upcoming opening on the Supreme Court.

read … Amazing what you learn when you have the list, eh?

Feds Give Abercrombie $14m to Organize Obamacare Insurance Exchange

Hawaii is getting $14 million from the federal government to implement an insurance exchange program meant to help individuals and small businesses find affordable health care online.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the grant in a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. Hawaii is one of 13 states that will receive a share of nearly $220 million for such programs.

Exchanges are a key component of the Obama administration's national health-care law….

According to federal rules, exchanges will become operational in January 2014. (Unless Obamacare is declared unconstitutional by SCOTUS or repealed by Congress. Election Day is November 6, 2012.)

Totally Related: Abercrombie's Medicaid Cuts based on Obamacare Requirements

Also Totally Related: Mainland Suicide Activists Push Agenda on Hawaii

read … Soon, we will all be on Medicaid

Honolulu water rates to soar 70%

The first in the series of five annual rate increases would add an extra $6.99 a month for a typical residential home next year.

The board’s approval means water rates will go up 9.65 percent every year for the next five years starting in mid-2012, when rates will jump from $2.79 to $3.06 for every 1,000 gallons of water.

The current average bill of $39.19 will climb $27.53 to $66.72 with the last increase in July 2015, the beginning of the city's 2016 fiscal year.

read … 70%

Recession costs Hawaii hundreds of businesses

PBN: Honolulu had 22,044 businesses in 2008, but that number declined to 21,748 in 2009, a net loss of 296 businesses, or 1.34 percent.

The number of businesses in Hilo declined from 4,261 in 2008 to 4,197 in 2009, a net change of 64, or 1.5 percent. On Maui, the number of businesses went from 4,564 in 2008 to 4,450 in 2009, a net change of 114, or 2.5 percent.

And on Kauai, the number of businesses in Kapaa went from 1,978 in 2008 to 1,919 in 2009, a net change of 59, or 2.98 percent.

read … Recession

Hawaii unemployment claims rise 18%

PBN: There were 2,223 initial claims filed during the week ending Nov. 19, which was 18.2 percent more than the 1,881 claims filed during the same week a year ago.

The largest increase was on Oahu, where there were 1,337 initial jobless claims filed, 25.8 percent more than 1,063 claims filed in 2010.

There were 296 initial jobless claims filed in Maui County, a 17.5 percent increase from 252 claims in 2010, while there were 375 jobless claims filed on the Big Island, which was 13 percent more than the 332 claims filed last year.

Only Kauai saw a decrease, with 130 initial jobless claims filed….

SA: Hawaii visitor arrivals, spending continued climbing in October

read … Thanks, Neil

TRUE: 'There is Space' in Shelters for Stadium Park Homeless

IHS director Connie Mitchell said that the shelter has 390 beds in total, and on Sunday night there were 60 open beds for men and 30 open beds for women. That's enough to fit the people at Stadium Park. On Monday evening, there were 14 tents and roughly 20 people living on the sidewalk….

Next Step shelter rarely has an opening, said Darlene Hein, the director of community services the Waikiki Health Center. "Somebody moves out, somebody moves in within a few days,” she said.

The health center took over operations of Next Step from H-5 this year. On an average night, the shelter is packed with people, Hein said.

Next Step can house about 220 people, including men, women and children, Hein said. Even when the shelter is full, staff do what they can to accommodate people displaced by sweeps.

“If they’re doing cleanups, we will often overfill," she said. “We’ve never had a point where we had a cleanup and we weren’t able to take anybody who asked to come in.”

There's a twist, though. Homeless people don't necessarily flock to shelters after a sweep, Hein said. Some people resent shelter rules: no drinking, no smoking, no violence, no leaving the shelter late at night. Others may already have been kicked out of the shelter and have to complete drug rehab or anger management programs before they're allowed back in….

read … Shelter

Molokai Thugs Chop Down Trees, Obstruct Two Public Highways—Still No Arrests

Later on Sunday, as two vans carrying the boat’s passengers traveled to Halawa Valley for a cultural tour, they were stopped by road blocks on the island’s east end. A tree lay across the road by Honouliwai, blocking traffic, as well as the vans. Ritte denied knowledge of purposeful placement of the tree, saying nature was responsible.

Molokai resident Thadd Camara, a driver of one of the passenger vans, said about 20 cars were held up by the tree. He said chainsaw marks were visible on its trunk. A log was also laid across the road before Morris Point, he said, and a car preceded the tour vans all the way down the highway, driving 20 miles per hour.

Molokai Police said the state Highway Department was contacted and the tree was removed, but would not comment further….

“Everything [protesters] are doing is totally illegal,” said one resident, referring to blocking the yacht from the harbor. (Chopping trees to block the highway is illegal, too)

According to Hawaii state law chapter 231, “No person shall operate any vessel in a manner which will unreasonably interfere with other vessels or free and proper navigation of waterways.”

(Let’s add “extortion” and “racketeering” to the list of charges.)

SA: Opposing sides in Molokai cruise ship dispute to meet Wednesday

read … Arrest these criminals

Multi-Millionaire 9-11 Truther Roseanne Barr Occupies Waimea, Guillotine a No-Show

HR: CelebrityNetworth.com challenged Barr and other wealthy celebrities on their support for the movement, and got push back from Barr. The web site writes:

"If you recall, Celebrity Net Worth was one of the first outlets to point out the irony in Roseanne Barr calling for all rich people to be beheaded when she herself has a net worth of $80 million. Within 15 minutes of publishing our original article, we received a series of ridiculous angry tweets from Roseanne herself via Twitter where she called us “lying pieces of commie shit”. We responded with an open letter to Roseanne where we asked some very basic questions about her involvement in the Occupy movement. Specifically how she has the right to support the 99% when her wealth puts her squarely in the .01%. No response was received from Ms. Barr.

"After our little spat with Roseanne we published a list of the 10 Richest Celebrities Supporting Occupy Wall Street. Let me stress here that we really do not have anything against the Occupy Movement. But we do find it ironic when people like Alec Baldwin, who gets paid to hawk Capital One credit cards, rally against the banking industry. Or Russel Simmons who is worth $325 million and has his very own line of high fee, high interest credit cards called UniRush Financial Services. Or, our personal favorite Kanye West who shows up to #OWS wearing tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry."

Barr, who also claims to be running for president under the 'Green Tea Party' banner and once said she would also be running for Prime Minister of Israel, made international news when she said on Russia Today television, that bankers should give back profits and government bail out money they received in 2008 or face “beheading.” She added that if she were president, she would bring back the guillotine as a form of punishment and no longer “let children see their guilty leaders get away with murder.”

Photos: Hollywood millionairess who advises beheading of other rich folks fouls the scenery in Waimea

More Talk of Violence: Occupy Honolulu: Waikiki Shooting was “Round One”

read … Off With Their Heads!

Hoku considers outside help to complete polysilicon deals

Honolulu-based Hoku Corp. says it might have to buy as much as 500 metric tons of polysilicon in the open market to fulfill contracts with its customers because the company has not been able to produce any of the material at its long-delayed factory under construction in Idaho.

Hoku officials said in a regulatory filing that the company is in the process of "commissioning" the $700 million plant, but they gave no firm date for when the company would begin delivering its first shipments of polysilicon, the main component in photovoltaic solar panels. (Meanwhile the price of polysilicon is dropping like a rock, thus undermining the entire premise behind building this plant in the first place.)

read … Another Act 221 Failure in the Offing

Hawaiian Holdings Ranks the Highest in Terms of Operating Margin in the Airlines Industry

A healthy operating margin is required for a company to pay for its fixed costs and generate cash.

Hawaiian Holdings (AMEX:HA) is highest with an operating margin of 13.4%. Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. provides scheduled and charter air transportation of passengers, cargo, and mail. The Company provides its services among the islands of Hawaii and between Hawaii and several West Coast gateway cities and destinations in the South Pacific.

read … Mmmmmonopoly!

ORI Cabins Not in Good Standing With the State

CB: The Wahiawa senior center that is under investigation by the federal government has a facility in it that is listed as "not in good standing" with the state of Hawaii….

The nonprofit that's affiliated with the cabins, ORI Anuenue Hale, is in good standing with the state.

But the federal government is still reviewing the city of Honolulu's plan to bring ORI Anuenue Hale — including Camp Pineapple 808 — into compliance. A HUD spokeswoman told Civil Beat on Monday that the agency would not make its response to the city public until next month.

read … ORI

Legislators look at Clean and Sober Living

Sandra McCoy of Alahou Clean and Sober Program said more state funding is needed for programs on the Big Island.

Alahou expressed the need for state funding for Clean and Sober Programs. It cost $18 per bed to house clients; the program is currently only able cover $13 per day.

Testifiers claim there is an extreme need for more clean and sober programs as an estimated 4,000-5,000 people come through each year.

DHS does not fund or maintain any clean and sober facilities. There is “no direct funding for substance abuse.” The department does not contract for direct services, but for the shelter and outreach services that provide the case management for homeless persons….

Patricia McManaman, Director of DHS, said that although clean and sober programs are important, there is also a large need for more “wet houses,” or homes where people can come into off the streets with an addiction, with the intent to transfer them to clean and sober houses

read … Clean and Sober

Hawaii State Courts Improve Access to Electronic Records

HR: In recent months, as the number of users grew, logging onto Ho’ohiki was increasingly delayed and the number of complaints about the system rose.

Private attorney David Rosen has been vociferous in his complaints about Ho’ohiki, writing to Rodney Maile, Administrative Director of the Courts, in September and October about the problem.

“During most of the day it is difficult if not impossible to log on to the system,” Rosen wrote.

“In fact, when I called the Ho'ohiki Helpline, I was told that this problem has existed for years and that between 10 am and 4 pm most days there can be delays of 5 to 10 minutes to log in,” the lawyer told Maile.

The Judiciary explained to Rosen, and later to Hawaii Reporter, that 70 “slots” for online access to the system were available and that expanding the number of slots would be difficult given plans by the court to replace Ho’ohiki with a new electronic system by April 2014.

But Maile told Hawaii Reporter in a recent interview that the Judiciary had managed to add another 30 “slots” for online access by the public, as well as another five to be used internally by court personnel.

read … Electronic Records

Karate instructor accused of molesting teen re-indicted on sex assault charges

Michael Shimabukuro, the founder of the Hawaii Karate Association, was originally charged with one count of first-degree sex assault and two counts of third-degree sex assault last year. He was scheduled to go to trial this week….

The alleged victim, a 17-year-old boy, says he was molested over a two-year period

read … Future Legislative Office Manager?

Honolulu Traffic Violations Bureau to Close on Wednesday Nights

News Release: The Traffic Violations Bureau in the Honolulu District Court at 1111 Alakea Street will no longer be open until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Office hours will be from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with counter service hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, effective December 5, 2011.

read … Change of Hours

After a Decade, ‘Process’ continues to push back Maui isle plan

Maui County Council members said last week that they expect once again to push back their deadline to pass the Maui Island Plan, this time until August 2012.

The move to revise the due date comes eight months after council members extended their deadline to approve the plan until the end of this year; 13 months after their previous deadline passed; four years after the plan was originally scheduled to be completed; and a decade after officials first started working to update the county's General Plan.

read … Process

A&B Master Planned Waiale Project Calls for 2,550 Residential Units (no protests here, of course)

MN: Portions of the 545-acre proposed property are currently being used as fallow sugar cane fields, a plant nursery, cattle feed lot, sand stockpiles, and vacant land.

The project is proposed by A&B Properties, Inc., and is designed to provide both relief to the housing shortage and employment opportunities during development on the island.

(Its an A&B project. After purchasing the Sierra Club via contributions from the Alexander Gerbode Foundation, A&B gets to build stuff without hassling with protests.)

read … Waiale

Hawaii dodges major storms as hurricane season ends

The 2011 Pacific hurricane season sputters to a close Wednesday with only one tropical storm intruding into Hawaii waters since June.

read … This is due to Global Cooling


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