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Sunday, December 04, 2011
December 4, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:03 PM :: 9847 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Hawaiians’ Anger and Distrust towards OHA Settlement: “Theft, Perversion”

MN: But some of the approximately 50 people who attended the meeting at Maui Waena Intermediate School reacted with anger and distrust of OHA negotiating a deal with the state.

During a question-and-answer session, Foster Ampong said that having OHA, a state agency, negotiate with the state is like "a thief negotiating with itself."

"There's a perversion there," he said, maintaining that the state was trying to clear itself of liability over Hawaiian lands. "It's really, really insulting to us here."

Ampong likened the proposed settlement to efforts to convince Hawaiians to support the Akaka Bill and its aim to have the federal government recognize Hawaiians as a native people. He said both were being "shoved down our throat."

Ampong received a round of applause in support of his comments…..

Two of the 10 properties are ceded lands, and most of them are tied to leases, including one on a 2-acre vacant lot at Ahui Street with a lease until 2074.

One property at the end of Keawe Street is being used by the state as a homeless shelter and had been considered as a site for OHA offices, he said.

That comment led to a reaction from one woman in the audience, who said OHA aimed to displace homeless people using the facility and that many of those are Native Hawaiians.

But Namu'o told her he never said OHA would displace the homeless at the facility and that OHA had no intention of doing so. (And, Dear Legislators, that exchange demonstrates exactly why OHA CANNOT be relied upon to anchor or even participate in any Kakaako Redevelopment Plan.)

read … OHA Rejected Again

SA: Bond Sale Will Lead to Legislative Spending Frenzy

After emerging from a fiscal tourniquet, Hawaii lawmakers are positioned to convene a new Legislature with an easing of capital improvement debt and a positive outlook for tourism, the state's primary economic engine.

This should enable a measure of optimism leavened with caution -- the only kind of optimism that's reasonable during a fragile recovery -- and that's a good thing. Optimism will allow decisionmakers to take a long view, making investments that will help the state capitalize on growth as it materializes. The caution will stay their hand from loosening the belt more than a notch, at least for the immediate future….

But none of this diminishes the overarching challenge of the coming session: deciding how to deploy taxpayer funds, which are still going to be thin, while the economy remains weak. There will be great temptation to restore many of the cuts that have been made in the past two years.

To a large degree, the state still must resist a return to business-as-usual budgeting. Business is not as usual, not yet. The state's executive and legislative branches have to come to terms over which programs get the priority -- surely, repairing the state's strained social safety net should rank high on the list.

A careful approach in the next year will help to assure that economic recovery and growth becomes more robust, leaving the state freer to seize on opportunities at hand. That is the way to usher in a New Day that can be more than illusory.

WHT: Council to consider wish list for Legislature

read … Just an Illusion

Cost of electricity is silent factor in Hawaii energy policy

DN: Neither green energy nor clean energy is defined in Hawai`i law. All prices should be public so consumers can truly understand what different technologies cost. The price should include transmission and distribution. Obviously a rooftop system needs less transmission than an inter-island wind system.

If you object to mining coal because it is *dirty*, to be consistent shouldn’t you object to mining rare earth metals for wind turbine magnets & solar panels manufactured in China because they too are likely even *dirtier*?….

Wind turbines are partly dirty in that magnets can be dirty to make. The giant hole that must be dug for wind towers and then filled with cement, concrete, etc. made from pulverizing rocks and then shipping the cement/concrete to the site may account for 5-10% of any proposed net CO2 savings for windfarms….

The beauty of decoupling for HECO is that it perversely rewards *economic inefficiency* in that over-investments and screw-ups are incorporated into its rate base….

The beauty of decoupling here is that rather than waiting until the smart grid is completed before capitalizing its software development cost, it is capitalized into the rate base as expended.

In the last few years a number of surcharges have been introduced to get all kinds of money upfront.

Proof of all this is HEI’s investor presentation in which it forecasts a *5% average growth ...with *zero* business risk with decoupling’s perverse incentive of capitalizing over-investment….

read … Part 2

Abercrombie Stumbles in First Year, Plans More of the Same for Next Three

SA: Gov. Neil Abercrombie's performance during a stormy first year in office has revived doubts about his executive ability and eroded the political capital he earned with a landslide election victory.

The Democrat has not met expectations -- according to the private assessment of many of his political allies -- and a series of administrative and public-policy misfires …

his fearlessness and capacity for the unconventional, which can make even his friends uncomfortable ….

"My whole career has been built on people forgiving me, if you will," Abercrombie said ….

… many of Abercrombie's political allies, in private conversations, say they thought he would do better….

The governor said he does not expect gratitude even if his "New Day" agenda eventually succeeds in improving the state.

"There's only one thing worse in politics than being wrong, and that's being right, because people will forgive you for being wrong, but they'll almost never forgive you for being right because it means things got done, and things had to happen that nobody wanted and nobody liked," he said. "Especially if they knew that's what had to be done, and they were upset by it, because they blame you for upsetting them."

read … More of the Same on Tap for Three More Years

Bad New Day: Abercrombie Already Planning for 2014 Election

Borreca: Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie is running for re-election. He has held two fundraisers, including a $2,000-per-ticket event last week. He is looking at a second term in 2014.

Normally, the news would be if a sitting governor announced that he or she were not running for re-election, but for Abercrombie the reverse is true….

When asked about being on the lowest rung of the national gubernatorial job approval ladder, Abercrombie admitted he doesn't like it, but said it is because he's been making the tough decisions. Then he shared the Abercrombie political maxim.

"People may not agree with me on every issue, but they know I am straight with them, I tell them what I am going to do, how I am going to do it and why I am going to do it, and then I carry through on it," Abercrombie said of himself. (Every clause in that sentence is a demonstrable lie.)

Here's the second part of Abercrombie's theory of macho politics.

"Who knows, a day may come when you want me to be on your side. I may not be on your side today, or with you today, but if I agree with you and even if you are the only one on that issue, you don't have to look twice to see whether I am there," Abercrombie said. (This must be his pitch to campaign contributors.)

Timeline: Abercrombie's first year in office

Understatement: Governor stumbles in first year

read … It gets worse

 

Matayoshi Subverts State Law to Reorganize DoE Upper Echelons

The department's academics and operations will soon each have their own chief, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi announced at a Board of Education retreat Saturday. Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe will be responsible for overseeing academics, and the current assistant superintendent of school facilities and support services, Randy Moore, will take on a new role as the department's first "senior assistant superintendent" in charge of operations. That encompasses everything from human resources to food services.

State law allows the superintendent to have only one "deputy," Matayoshi said, explaining Moore's new title. But for all intents and purposes, Moore and Nozoe are both now second in command.

Until now, the state superintendent has had 27 people reporting to her, Matayoshi said. Most of those will now be divided between Nozoe and Moore, freeing the superintendent up to do more strategic work….

Another big change is that all 15 complex area superintendents also will report directly to Nozoe. Matayoshi said it is "incredible" that the department and board have never before tapped the expertise of what she considers the district's "linchpin leaders." ….

Matayoshi said reorganization is not a new idea, but it never got done before because of resistance to change. A legislative bill last session even proposed dividing the department similarly, but it died in committee. But the new Board of Education has made a point not to micromanage the department, making it easier to effect the change without unnecessary legislation or drawn-out political battles.

CB: The results of the retreat were not as concrete as BoE Chairman Don Horner expected.

KITV: "I've been around for a long time and I've seen a lot of proposals."

Fascinating: Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year

read … DoE Shakeup

How The DoE Promotes Hawaii’s Income Gap

"By 2018, Hawaii will rank 10th in the nation in jobs requiring post-secondary degrees," said De Lima. "The bottom line is, what does college education and hiring get you? Money…..

He threw out another statistic: Forty percent of Hawaii students who take the military entrance exam do not pass, ranking the state last in the nation.

read … the DoE summed up in two statistics

PHOCUSED Boss of Profitable Nonprofits to Seek Tom Berg’s Council Seat

Santiago represented the North Shore in the state House of Representatives between 1990 and 2000. He also led the Hawaii Democratic Party from 2003 to 2004. Since leaving political office, Santiago has worked as executive director of PHOCUSED, a nonprofit health and human services organization, and as a private consultant.

Santiago said his priorities are to improve infrastructure in his district, prioritize the city budget, (Money for PHOCUSED members) promote economic development and diversity,(Money for PHOCUSED members) develop a strategy for sustainable and balanced growth,(Money for PHOCUSED members) and empower the community.(Money for PHOCUSED members)+

HNN: Former state representative to challenge councilman Tom Berg

read … Lets Send even more money to my friends

Socialist Morons Can’t Figure out Why there is a Shortage of Cancer Drugs in Hawaii

Sen. Josh Green, a Hawaii County emergency room physician and chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said he is asking the state attorney general to investigate whether the pharmaceutical industry is keeping its commitments to provide certain drugs to isle residents. (Will the AG’s investigation cost more than the price differential necessary to restore supply?)

Green held an informational hearing last month at the state Capitol to see what can be done to address the problem, including administrative rules or legislation that would put pressure on pharmaceutical companies through the purchasing of drugs for about 500,000 Hawaii government workers, retirees, dependents and Medicaid recipients. (Morons. Pressure is not needed. Price is needed. Pay the price.)

"As a very small state that's isolated, our numbers are not going to tend to pencil out properly for profits, and very sadly, profits are a motivator in this industry," he said. (He recognizes this and still gets it wrong.) "Every region has to be as important as the rest irrespective of how many patients or how many cases of a particular cancer there are. A state shouldn't stand out with significantly worst access." (Unless the State stands out for significantly lower payments OR significantly SLOWER payments. And, well, this IS Hawaii so some questions answer themselves.)

"It is unconscionable that several pharmaceutical companies are turning their backs on Hawaii's patients, especially those with cancer," Green said. (So instead of paying, I’m going to sic AG Louie on them.)

There is no shortage of cancer drugs. There is a shortage of LOW COST cancer drugs. Eliminate the Medicaid price controls, and suddenly cancer drugs will flood the marketplace. Yes, it is that simple.

But instead, Josh Green is demanding an investigation and babbling about drug companies' obligation to supply drugs he doesn't want to fully pay for. What a moron. All we have to do is eliminate the price controls. There is a simple choice: abandon socialism or die of cancer. This is the 'final exam' and Josh Green is getting all the answers wrong.

Study: IMS Study Reveals Drug Shortages in U.S. Disruptive Yet Narrowly Concentrated

read … But they just keep digging the hole deeper

Occupy group, city officials put actions on hold for now

SA: City officials do not appear to have any immediate plans to try to remove Occupy Honolulu members from Thomas Square, where they have put up an encampment in the last month despite a rash of evictions and arrests in mainland cities from New York to Los Angeles.

"The city welcomes and encourages the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights so long as the individual or group does not violate the law or endanger public health or safety," city spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy said in a statement Friday.

Occupy Honolulu members say they don't intend to leave the camp any time soon, although they appear wary of the city's intentions….

Mayor Peter Carlisle has agreed to meet with several members of the group who want to ask permission to stay within park grounds after hours….

Brooker said the group thought a meeting was necessary given the evictions and arrests that have taken place on the mainland in recent weeks….

Carlisle's agreement to meet comes after city Parks Director Gary Cabato turned down Occupy Honolulu's request to allow the group to camp in the park overnight.

Who these clowns are: Occupy Honolulu: Waikiki Shooting was “Round One”

read … Occupy

Honolulu Drowning In Water Main Breaks

I’m sure nobody is counting, but water main breaks are becoming a daily routine.

Residents and motorists in East Honolulu woke up last week to not one, but two separate water main breaks. Honolulu Board of Water Supply crews were repairing a 24-inch main on Kalanianaole Highway, east of Keahole Street in Hawaii Kai. The ruptured main left Koko Headbound lanes on Kalanianaole Highway closed for hours. Maunalua Bay Beach Park was left without water.

If that wasn’t enough, Kuliouou Road also was closed between Wakine Place and Keoki Place, where a crew worked on a 12-inch water main break. Traffic had to be rerouted onto Elelupe Road. Residents were left without water and had to seek out a water wagon in an area near the break site.

And if that wasn’t enough, a Board of Water Supply crew in Mililani worked around the clock to repair a broken 16-inch water main on Meheula Parkway at the busy Kuahelani Avenue intersection near the H-2 freeway interchange.

read … Break Main

Hawaii County: $7.5M in fuel taxes goes unspent (some money sitting since 1998)

HTH: The lapsed funds were listed in two-year increments, with amounts ranging from $52,000 left over in 1998-2000 to $2.3 million unused in 2006-08. The majority of the unused funds were from the last six years.

(There’s no waste or inefficiency in Hawaii government. Really.)

read … Fuel Taxes

Domestic Migration 2008-2009: More People Leaving Maui than Arriving

MN: According to census data compiled in the 2011 Maui County Data Book, to be released later this month, most of Maui's newest residents still arrive the old-fashioned way: they're born here.

Between 2001 and 2009, "natural increase" - meaning the number of people who were born, minus the number who died - added 8,609 new souls to the county's population. During the same period, international migration added 4,373 people, but domestic migration accounted for only 1,588 of the island's total number of new residents.

The reason for the low number? People may have been moving to Maui, but if they were, they were canceled out by almost as many people moving away. In fact, the county saw a net loss to domestic migration in some years, including 2008-09, when the total number leaving Maui exceeded the new arrivals by 823 people.

read … Wait a minute, I thought everybody was coming here

Honolulu joins the "city camp" initiative

Some city apps are already available on-line.

And many more will launch soon.

"We're about to launch refuge collection app it's going to let you know what color bin you're supposed to put on the street," said Frizzell.

Honolulu 311 is another app set to launch.

It will allow folks to take pictures of potholes, broken streetlights and abandoned vehicles in their neighborhood and send it directly to the city agency.

read … City Camp

Hawaiian Hiring Flight Attendants

The airline will be holding group interviews of 2,200 people Monday in downtown Honolulu's Blaisdell Center to fill 275 job openings….

the new routes will add an estimated $310 million in visitor spending and $34 million in tax revenue

read … Jobs

Homeless Advocate: Newt is wrong, Food stamps are For Buying Drugs, Not Going to Hawaii

HP: I've worked with the homeless for about twenty years. Most recently as the VP of Cumberland County Pennsylvania's largest homeless shelter. I've lived with the homeless and written a book about my experiences. During that time I knew people who sold their food stamps.

It's all pretty tragic really. Seeing people so down on their luck that they're willing to risk welfare fraud to purchase necessities. The going rate for $200 worth of food stamps is about $70. And the easiest way to sell them is to find a merchant who will front you a small amount of cash and wait for the higher level of reimbursement that comes from the feds.

It's kind of startling that Newt floated the drastically preposterous notion that people use their food stamp money for travel rather than make the more believable claim that people were buying drugs.

(OK, in the interest of bi-partisanship, lets say both Newt and the advocate are right. What’s happening is that we are giving drug addicts EBT cards that they trade for drugs. Then the drug dealers go on vacation with the card.)

And just for the record:

read … Uh … OK

UH Prof Publishes Eminent Domain Book

David L. Callies, Benjamin A. Kudo Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's William S. Richardson School of Law and 1965 graduate of DePauw University, is co-author of Eminent Domain: A Handbook of Condemnation Law. Published by the American Bar Association….

read … Eminent Domain

Hawaii perfectly placed to watch the December 10th total lunar eclipse

If you get out of bed early on December 10th you can see the moon turn blood-red during a total lunar eclipse between 04:06 and 04:57 AM….

read … Early Bird


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