Thielen: Federal Takeover of Hawaii Shorelines Would Endanger Clean Energy Projects
Obama to Vacation in Hawaii Dec 17-Jan 2
Fontaine Factor: Volunteering and Giving During the Holiday Season
DoE Data: Not Linked, Not Supported, Not Accessible
Hawaii Physicians Rally Against Assisted Suicide
UHERO: Slowing Asian Growth, Drop in Mainland Arrivals Squeeze Hawaii
Obamacare Push: Insurance Executive Tim Johns to head Hirono's Senate campaign
Now you know how badly the Insurance Industry wants Obamacare. They will even take a leave from their day job—figuring out how much more they can hike premiums—to impose on Hawaii a Senator who will vote to FORCE you to buy their insurance while also voting to allow the insurers to cut coverage for people who should “just take the pain pill” ….
read … Obamacare
BoE: Maybe We Should Stop Interfering with Our Own Audit Department
SA: According to a proposed charter drafted by the DOE and the board, the auditing office would operate "free from interference" and be informed when there are suspected cases of employee fraud or theft. (So they admit that the auditing department is interfered with and is NOT informed about suspected theft.) The office also would answer not only to the superintendent, but to the BOE's audit committee. (This implies that Matayoshi is the source of the interference.)
The full board will take up the auditing plan at its meeting Tuesday.
The plan comes in the wake of a massive employee theft case at Waipahu High, which DOE officials have acknowledged could have been prevented with the right accounting safeguards and personnel checks and balances in place. (In fact the school accounts are NEVER audited. There could be dozens of cases like this.)
Former Waipahu High business manager Warren Harada, 61, of Manoa pleaded guilty last month to stealing nearly $500,000 from the school over a five-year period….
In the wake of the Waipahu High case, schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi told the Star-Advertiser that the department planned to review its policies to determine whether any needed to be strengthened and also hire another internal auditor, to add to the department's existing staff of three…. (That’s right, three auditors oversee a $2B budget spent on six islands. What a joke.)
SA: Tighten controls over school funds
read … Another Piece by the SA’s in-house DoE Hack Mary Vorsino
Lingle backs Visa Reforms to boost Tourism
Former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, launched her bid for U.S. Senate a few weeks ago with a pledge to improve tourism in America. She criticized the difficult visa application and approval process that Chinese and Canadian visitors must go through as barriers to tourism in Hawaii and throughout the country.
Just days later, Hawaii’s current Democratic U.S. Senators, Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, introduced the APEC Business Travel Act of 2011. The legislation passed Congress on November 4 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama while he was in Hawaii for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. The law will provide 19 participating countries access to expedited visa interviews and fast track immigration lanes.
Lingle congratulated the Senators and encouraged them to support Senate Bill 1746, which would expedite visas for both Chinese and Canadian visitors….
Former Congressman Charles Djou, a Republican who is challenging Hanabusa in the 2012 election, also has suggested such reforms.
read … Visa Reforms
State Energy Office: Anti-Superferry Protester knows how to Profit from “Clean” Energy
SA Profiles Mark Glick, Administrator of DBEDT’s State Energy Office: In the post since October, Glick's new job is a civil service position, not a political appointment. However, he was involved in politics in Texas as an aide to 1998 gubernatorial candidate Gary Mauro, a Democrat and the state's land commissioner who was defeated by George W. Bush. From 1987 to 1991, Glick had been a senior adviser to Mauro at the land commission, and worked on amendments to the Texas Clean Air Act and the federal Clean Air Act. He also was president of a business, GANA Inc., that focused on reducing air pollution in urban areas and securing contracts and grants for clean fuel and emissions reductions projects, from government agencies, nonprofits and corporations around the country.
With the political climate in Texas changing, and Glick's private-sector work affording him some flexibility regarding where to live, he decided to move to Hawaii. Influential in his decision, he said, was Hawaii businessman Angel Maehara, a shareholder in another company Glick was managing, Global Environmental Technologies.
"He always encouraged me," Glick said of Maehara, who died in 2002 at age 83. "We became really good friends. He was like a mentor."
Prior to his current post, Glick had been energy project manager and senior adviser at DBEDT, since July 2010. Previously, he had headed economic development and, before that, operations for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He also established the Hawaii Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
Glick also is a past chairman of Sierra Club Hawaii; he was in charge of the group when it succeeded in halting the Superferry for not complying with the state's environmental review process.
read … Crony Capitalism in a Nutshell
BOSS Poll of 400 local business leaders goes inside the local economy and forecasts what’s ahead
BOSS – the Business Outlook and Sentiment Survey – is a survey of 400 business leaders on all major islands. It is done twice a year for Hawaii Business by Qmark Research, a division of the Anthology Marketing Group.
Four hundred random interviews were conducted by telephone from Oct. 3 to Oct. 13. In each case, Qmark spoke with the company’s owner, CEO or other senior executive. Thirty-two percent of the respondents were on the Neighbor Islands. A mix of small, medium and large companies were surveyed.
read … BOSS
Hawaii County Council to have Five Open Seats in 2012
HTH: North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago said Thursday he won't seek another term, a move that ensures a new council majority when the governing body is sworn in next December.
Pilago's announcement means there will be at least five open seats on the nine-member council -- South Kona and Puna seats opened by redistricting, Kohala and Hilo seats opened by term limits and Pilago's seat. A sixth seat could possibly open as well, if Council Chairman Dominic Yagong of Hamakua decides to run for mayor as is widely speculated.
Pilago, 66, the council vice chairman, is finishing a two-year term after sitting out a term following an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2008. Prior to that, he'd served two terms on the council.
Pilago reaffirmed he has no plans to run for mayor. He said he's just decided it's time to step down once this term ends next year, adding that redistricting didn't have an impact on his decision.
read … Opportunity
SA Editors Use Berg to Push for IRV Voting Again
Serious concerns, indeed. Unfortunately, Berg is the only elected representative of the leeward district on the Council, even though most of his constituents oppose his position on rail, its major issue. Of 14 candidates, Berg drew 18.5 percent of the 12,534 votes cast, edging out the runner-up by 351 votes in a no-runoff election. The state Legislature in the upcoming session should consider enacting an instant runoff system, such as having voters include three other preferences beyond their first choice.
HFP: IRV Debunked
Something the SA isn’t interested to cover: Ernie Martin's campaign treasurer is a convicted cocaine dealer, but don’t worry, it was just a metric ton and Berg got drunk, so that’s the priority.
read … Hypocrisy written by cowards
Ballot News Looks at Hawaii Reapportionment
On November 25, the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission filed a brief defending the state’s redrawn political lines against two legal challenges. Filed by State Senator Malama Solomon and several other Democrats, the first lawsuit challenges the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission’s decision to include most of the state’s non-resident population in its redistricting counts — a change of policy that cost the Big Island a new Senate seat. Unlike the first lawsuit which centers on the mere fact that non-residents were included, the second lawsuit argues that the Reapportionment Commission did not try in “good faith” to exclude non-residents. In past redistricting efforts, the state has excluded non-resident military and student populations. However, the Commission argues that it excluded all the non-residents that it could given vague data.
Named as a defendant in the first challenge, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) sided with the plaintiffs and asked the court to order the Commission to start over. The Commission, in turn, asked for the cases to be dismissed and for their attorney fees to be reimbursed by the plaintiffs. The cases are being heard by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
read … Ballot News
VIDEO: HSTA Continues to Attempt to Derail Laupahoehoe Charter School
Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School encourages all current teachers at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School to consider teaching at the charter school when it officially becomes a charter, on July 01, 2012. The charter school is required by a government Assurances Framework to prepare in case some teachers may choose to teach elsewhere or retire. The charter school is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from qualified State teachers for school year 2012-13.
HTH: Approximately 33 percent of the state's teachers, or 3,600, are novices with less than three years of experience.
read … Laupahoehoe
Beachgoers Complain About Homeless Defecating In Waikiki
People who come to Waikiki don’t dream of strolling in an outdoor latrine and encountering human feces. Waikiki Beach is a world-famous tourist attraction and one of the loveliest places on earth, according to many. But more and more homeless are congregating in the area, and they often defecate out in the open. (Hey, hey that crap is protected by the First Amendment, just ask Occupy Honolulu.)
Surfing instructors say they see it all the time.
“In the morning when we show up for work, there's been stuff at our stand a few times. I know it's not from the dogs,” said beach boy Willie Grace.
“I saw a lady do it one time. I think it's pretty bad,” Grace said.
Homeless people sleep near the city’s surfboard racks and relieve themselves in the areas between the racks.
read … ACLU Protected Feces
Honolulu Offers Homeless Maid Service
Shapiro: The city removed homeless campers from the sidewalk at Old Stadium Park so crews could clean up, then let them move right back in to mess it up again. What a city. The Carlisle administration wants to charge fees to tax-paying sports enthusiasts who use public parks, but squatters get free maid service.
read … Volcanic Ash
Sovereignty Activist Rejects OHA Land Deal
The state is contemplating giving the Office of Hawaiian Affairs land to resolve OHA's claim to a share of ceded land revenues. "The agreement doesn't affect any claims related to the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy by the U.S.-backed businessmen" (The Maui News, Nov. 17)….
This is a high-stakes shell game where the thief shuffles stolen lands from one pocket to another, hoping nobody will ask to see the title.
read … OHA Deal
Feds ask again for more time to sort through 101 million documents in Global Horizons human trafficking case
DN: The Department of Justice asked judge Richard L. Puglisi again today (Friday, 12/2/2011) to grant them more time to sort through the mountain of documents and hard drives that they removed from the offices of Global Horizons about a year ago. The DOJ has asked the court for a six month delay in the Global Horizons trial, billed as the largest human trafficking case in US history.
Judge Puglisi denied the request one month ago. The case is currently scheduled for trial in February, 2012. The DOJ renewed their motion, which was delivered to the court only last night….
The delay, according to the DOJ, was caused by the assertion of attorney-client privilege by Orian over communications with 72 attorneys he has identified to the DOJ. This requires that the documents be vetted to see which might be affected. The government estimated that a million pages that may be privileged. They reported that there are 101 million documents on 77 hard drives. They estimated that there could be 20 million potentially privileged documents.
CB: By the Numbers: Global Horizons Human Trafficking Trial
Related: Human Trafficking: Did the US DoJ Purposefully lose the Aloun Farms Case?
read … Still Alive?
Omidyar Discovers that Local Farmers can charge more
(Which means the State does not need to get the tax and regulation foot off the farmers’ necks.)
read … Locals pay premium for food that is local
Hilo TSA Hammered for Catching Alleged Pedophile
Simon Jasper McCarty, a British citizen who has been held without bail here for more than three years on child pornography charges, is finally scheduled to go on trial next month, but there are still questions about whether prosecutors will be able to present the most damning evidence against him.
That evidence is more than 60 videos depicting McCarty having sex with pre-pubescent boys in the United Kingdom and Nepal, according to federal court records. McCarty reportedly helped operate an orphanage in Nepal.
The videos were stored on a computer external hard drive packed inside McCarty’s luggage that was seized by law enforcement agents after he was initially detained at the airport in Hilo Aug. 5, 2008.
Lengthy delays in the case to date have been caused by a continuing court dispute over the legality of searches of McCarty’s bags and the seizure of what was found in his luggage.
Totally Related: Honolulu TSA Screeners Investigated for catching Too Many Illegals and Drug Smugglers
read … Neutering the TSA
Yagong wants to privatize Hilo sort station
HTH: Yagong is introducing a resolution that "urges" Mayor Billy Kenoi to request proposals from companies wanting to reconfigure the sort station and operate it as a broader material recycling facility.
A private MRF "could potentially add 20-30 green jobs to the local economy," while possibly generating revenue from disposal fees, lease rent and material royalties, according to his resolution.
It also would provide an "opportunity to reclaim and mine material currently" in the rubbish dump, the measure adds.
"The County of Hawaii needs to develop private-public partnerships to effectively deal with our growing solid waste problems," Yagong said. "We cannot continue to expect the taxpayers to cough up more money to grow government, when the private sector has the expertise, financing and technology to partner with the county to meet the needs of our growing community."
The council has already heard some of those pitches. In July, Pacific Waste Inc. offered to invest $5 million in the sort station and then use it to remove recyclables before sending the remaining garbage to the landfill.
Pacific Waste claimed it could save taxpayers more than $1 million a year. It's proposal called for sharing a portion of the county's disposal revenues, selling the recyclables and creating biofuel from the remaining garbage.
But Kenoi told Stephens Media at the time that the Department of Environmental Management would hire county workers to sort rubbish at the facility. (UPW controlled jobs)
read … Yagong
Proposal would increase UH-Manoa parking rates
With recent pay
cuts hikes and proposed tuition hikes, University of Hawaii-Manoa staff and students are feeling the squeeze, and proposed parking rate increases for the next five years could add to their financial woes. (Pay cuts??? Not for UHPA!)
read … UHPA’s Expensive Contract Continues to Bite
Electric car rental firm expands to Oahu
GreenCar Hawaii, which launched the state's first car-share company on Kauai last year, has expanded its service to Oahu with four Nissan Leaf electric vehicles which will be marketed to both visitors and locals.
The company unveiled the cars and two charging stations Friday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki Hotel, which is hosting GreenCar's foray into the Oahu market.
Guests of the hotel, as well as other visitors and local residents, will be able to rent the vehicles for an all-inclusive rate of $15 an hour or $95 a day. Motorists with their own electric vehicles can use the GreenCar charging stations for a $5 flat fee.
read … Tax credits
Church's Construction Halted For Removal Of Buried Human Remains
A state judge Friday ordered Kawaiahao Church to stop any construction work on a controversial project that's being built on top of an old cemetery there.
Kawaiahao Church has already poured some of the concrete for a $17.5 million multipurpose building planned to house Sunday school classrooms, a nursery, social hall and meeting rooms.
But Paulette Kaleikini filed suit against Kawaiahao two weeks ago, claiming the church violated a state permit that requires removal of all human remains at the site before construction. Kaleikini said three members of her family had been buried at the site when it was previously used as a cemetery.
Circuit Judge Edwin Nacino ruled in Kaleikini’s favor Friday.
"That prevents them from doing any construction work on top of any burials. They have to ensure that the burials are removed," said attorney David Kimo Frankel (Hokulia Shakedown) of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, who represents Kaleikini.
SA: State judge suspends Kawaiaha'o project
Read … Kawaiahao
Asbestos Leads to $9000 Fine
SA: Thomas Lileikis, environmental health specialist of the Department of Health's Indoor and Radiological Health Branch, said there was an inadvertent disturbance at the site of no larger than 30 square feet when a strip of structural material was inadvertently dislodged. A small amount of asbestos was released but contained within the site, and it did not pose a public health hazard, he said.
Kauai Industries could not be reached for comment. Owner Jonathan Spies of Big Island Landscaping, subcontractor of Kauai Industries, said he plans to contest the allegations. "All we did was remove equipment," said Spies. "We didn't touch any structures."
read … Release of asbestos brings $9,000 state fine
WWII records available free online up to Dec. 7
“It’s like a treasure hunt,” she said of her search through the online records, digitized and indexed from paper and microfilm in the National Archives. “It’s full of little nuggets of treasures.”
That treasure trove, which includes 60 million World War II records of individual members of the U.S. armed forces, will be available for free through Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the attack, says Josh Hanna, executive vice president of Ancestry.com.
“We think the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day is an important time for everyone to sort of pause and reflect on what really was the greatest generation and to give everyone a chance to look at these records for free,” he said.
read … Ancestry.com