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Thursday, December 08, 2011
December 8, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:56 PM :: 8308 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

State Sues to Get Back $39M Looted from Graves by John Waihee

Ed Case: “Mazie's been selling her candidacy to DC insiders”

Former State Administrators: Abercrombie’s Bond Sale Like setting up savings account by charging credit card

Hawaii Physicians Rally Against Assisted Suicide

Hawaii's Second Saint: Blessed Marianne Cope to be Canonized Next October?

Another E-W Center Conference: Pearl Harbor Day at the NEH

Obama Delays Hawaii trip after Romney hit

Abercrombie Cronies Push Executive Director out of Agribusiness Development Corporation, Slip their Own Guy In

HNN: "The board has been totally functional up until July of this year when the Abercrombie group came in," said David Rietow, Agribusiness Development Corporation Board Member.

Since July there are six new appointees from Governor Neil Abercrombie and five left from the Linda Lingle Administration. Then there's Executive Director Alfredo Lee who was hired 12 years ago and has had only positive job reviews but is being forced to resign….

There's concern over how the replacement executive director was picked. The job posting was up on the state website nine days without any announcement or notice issued. Just one person applied, James Nakatani who happens to be the Department of Agriculture Deputy Director appointed by Governor Abercrombie.

"I believe it was an inside job and it was done to get Jimmy into that position. All the signs point to it," said Rietow. "I have a problem with the process. It was not a fair and open process in my mind. Let's say you want to build a house, you get more than one quote don't you?"

Legally Kokubun says the state did nothing wrong with the search only being up 9 days.

"I think we did the process in the most appropriate manner," said Kokubun.

The Abercrombie faction of the board approved Nakatani for the job.

Council passes abandoned property bill

HNN: State Homeless Coordinator Marc Alexander argued that the bill will help him help those who live on the street.

"This is a tool in our tool chest, one of very many, that could be used in order to encourage people to get the help that they need, and ultimately the help that they want," he said. (EXACTLY THE RIGHT POLICY!)

Councilman Nestor Garcia said he was changing his mind to support the measure.

"I'm going to hold the administration's feet to the fire and say, 'Okay. I'll give you this opportunity to use this bill to do what you say you're going to do,'" he said.

The measure passed 8 to 1, with Romy Cachola the only "no" vote.

If Mayor Peter Carlisle signs it into law, Bill 54 will take effect the very next day.

read … An Act of Humanity towards the Homeless to protect them from those who seek to keep them on the streets

Waihee Tribe Disenfranchise Large Numbers of Hawaiians

Others see the Roll Commission as effectively disenfranchising large numbers of kanaka maoli, who have been struggling for years toward independence.

They fear the state-sponsored process set forth by Act 195 will usurp the longstanding efforts of various sovereignty groups, a concern that Waihee tried to dismiss in his radio interview.

“It’s not like the state of Hawaii’s forming this government for us,” he said. “What the government is doing is recognizing we are the indigenous people and giving us the opportunity, through the kindness of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to have the means to go and do that, to ultimately form our own government.”

And that’s precisely the kind of connection that has some kanaka maoli very concerned, as the commission, which must make a status report to the Legislature 20 days prior to the start of the 2012 session, goes about its business.

Related: 2011 Akaka Bill: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe, Abercrombie Appoints Waihee, Danner to Decide which Native Hawaiians are "Qualified", SA: Hawaiians not tribal, State Akaka Tribe is not a Tribe, Many Hawaiians will not be “Qualified”, Reservation for a Broken Trust?

read … Hawaiian Roll Call

Hawaii Civil Unions Will Be Same as Marriage for State Income Taxes

The Attorney General of Hawaii has issued an opinion on the income tax filing requirements of civil union partners for years beginning after December 31, 2011. The AG ruled that civil union partners will be treated as if they were married:

Benefits, protections, and responsibilities. Partners to a civil union lawfully entered into pursuant to this chapter shall have all the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative rules, court decisions, the common law, or any other source of civil law, as are granted to those who contract, obtain a license, and are solemnized pursuant to chapter 572.

Effect of civil union. All provisions of the Internal Revenue Code referred to in this chapter that apply to a husband and wife, spouses, or person i in a legal marital relationship shall be deemed to apply in this chapter to partners in a civil union with the same force and effect as if they were “husband and wife”, “spouses”, or other terms that describe persons in a legal marital relationship.

read … Civil Unions

Slom: Gambling is in the Air, Bond Sale Means More Debt, More Burden for Taxpayers

Bonded Bliss. After last week's record breaking $1.3 BILLION Hawaii General Obligation Bond sale announcement and press conference at the Chamber of Commerce by the Governor, I was asked for comments. Unlike the Chamber which gushed at the news, "Thank you Governor for this gift to business," Smart Business Hawaii recognizes the GO sale for what it is: more debt, more government spending and a greater burden for small business and Hawaii's taxpayers. Sure, the state got a good interest rate and saved some money on refinancing (remember how Linda Lingle was criticized for that?) but it is DEBT, not greater economic vitality, or an improved business climate. And, this Administration will propose new taxes and spending come January and the new Legislative Session. Besides, some of the borrowed money will be used to pay back the raids on the Hurricane Fund and Rainy Day Fund; not prudent fiscal policy. This was not a joyous event to cheer. Read Richard Borreca's column in yesterday's Honolulu Star Advertiser

Wanna Bet? Gambling is in the air. Everywhere here. Gambling will be the prime topic at the 2012 legislature as the state still searches for new money to fuel its excessive spending programs.

read … Sen Sam Slom

Military Families Support Training at Pohakuloa

BIW: The Marines were back in town last week, holding meetings in Waimea and Hilo to get public input on a plan to base three more squadrons of attack aircraft in the islands and train them at areas including Hawai’i Island’s Pohakuloa Training Area. As usual, they got an earful from Native Hawaiians, peace activists and concerned citizens. But they also got support from a few parents of past and former military personnel, who wanted the Corps to provide its personnel with the best training possible.

The plan would bring up to two Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) squadrons and one Marine Light Attack Helicopter (HMLA) squadron to the islands, where they would be based on O’ahu and train there and on other islands. The VMM squadrons would bring with them a total 24 MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, which take off and land vertically like helicopters and fly like airplanes …

(skip umpteen paragraphs of the usual blither from Jim Albertini and Cory Harden)

…the Marines also found some support at the meetings, especially from military families.

“Four years ago we had to bury my grandson, my only grandson because he had been shot in Iraq,” said one resident, who urged the Marines to supply the best training possible. “I am proud that the military affects our freedom,” she added. “The peace movement does not affect our freedom. It is the military that affects our freedom.”

One vet, whose son is currently serving in the military, noted that “You should be trained like you fight,” including live fire training. He recalled that when he was serving as a forward artillery observer in Vietnam, “There’s this little voice in the back of your mind saying, “I hope this SOB did his training well.”

“My son wears the uniform of this country, and he’s not going to be sacrificed because someone would prefer to do something else,” he declared.

read … Send in the Choppers?

SA: Marines, residents should find accord

SA: Officials also said crews familiar with the base also know flight approaches that minimize noise intrusions, but added that some units come through to train on a transient basis, unaware of the sensitivities. Additional efforts to brief short-term users of the airfield would be appreciated by the densely populated community.

However, the proposal overall seems a reasonable means of boosting the readiness of Hawaii's Marines, with superior, safer tactical craft and with activity that fits within the range of base operations conducted at Kaneohe for decades. The military always needs to make accommodations for residential neighbors, but part of that work must fall to the civilian community, too. Neighbors of military bases have to accept some measure of noise as the reality of moving in next to an airfield that, in most cases, was first on the scene.

read … Marines, residents should find accord

Plan tightens rules for public charter schools

The plan the task force unanimously approved would put each public charter school on an annual performance contract. It would also strengthen the statewide authority that oversees the school system and alter the makeup and responsibilities of the charter schools' individual governing boards.

"A real game changer and breakthrough is the institution of performance contracts," Tokuda said. "In the past your charter application was by default your contract. That was not enough. It needs to constantly be assessed and changed and modified to make sure it's meeting the best needs of students." ….

Other recommendations would:

  • Allow for multiple authorizers of charter schools, along with the statewide panel. New authorizers would be responsible for their own staff.
  • Streamline the application process, giving each prospective new charter school one chance to apply annually, rather than allowing applicants to keep revising their applications.

Full Text: www.capitol.hawaii.gov/specialcommittee.aspx?comm=csgtf

CB: Charter School Task Force Recommends An Overhaul Of The System

read … Plan tightens rules for public charter schools

Superferry Assassinated by a gang of granola-munching elitists and just-say-no localists and self-anointed culture-keepers

Oi: …forgotten is the support the Super ferry’s plan initially received from regular people, farmers, small businesses and tourists who saw its potential as an alternative means for transport that had been, and still is, dominated by air carriers.

Many things went wrong or were bumbled by Superferry’s handlers, but the dogmatized image today is that the venture was assassinated by a gang of granola-munching elitists and just-say-no localists. (WORD!)

So it is that when a business encounters resistance, or even reasonable questions about its effects on a community, narrow-visioned profit apostles wield the Superferry as the smoking gun of Hawaii’s shoot-itself-in-the-foot economic wounds.

On the other side is the knee-jerk reaction of self-anointed culture-keepers who turn blind eyes to the wants and needs of many of their fellow citizens, claiming impossibly to speak for all of them.

read … Loudest voices overwhelm efforts to find middle path

Anti-GMO Luddites Fail to get GMO Bill in HSAC Legislative Package

CB: It turns out that the proposed amendment to the Hawaii State Association of Counties package floated by Tom Berg wouldn’t exactly reinstate the GMO bill removed by members in committee but would instead insert a different GMO bill.

The original proposal, which was approved by the three neighbor island county councils, would have required labeling on genetically-modified foods. The bill floated by Berg would require grocery stores to post signage alerting shoppers to the presence of GMOs on the shelves.

They sound substantially similar, but because of the way the HSAC package works, only bills approved verbatim by all four counties count. So Berg’s bill is dead on arrival, even if adopted by his colleagues today. The original bill is dead, too, unless citizens convince members to reinsert the previously removed bill.

That seems like a long shot, but a number of anti-GMO testifiers are going to try anyway.

Reality: The Future of Fraud

read … GMO Bill

ILWU’s McElrath Rejects Occupy Attempt to Shut West Coast Ports

"Support is one thing, organization from outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another," Robert McEllrath wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to ILWU locals.

read … By the dopers are still trying

Thielen Renews Push for Rooftop Solar On Bill Financing

SA: Third, this year the Democrat-controlled state Legislature failed to pass the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) bill that I sponsored. Enacting PACE is, to use a term from my grandchildren, a "no-brainer." This financing program allows homeowners and small businesses to lower their energy costs while creating green jobs, stimulating the economy and reducing the state's dependence on fossil fuels.

PACE allows property owners to borrow funds to install renewable, clean energy generation on their home or commercial building and repay the loan through semi-annual county property tax assessments amortized over a 20-year repayment period. The liability attaches to the property, not the individual homeowner, since the next owner of the property will continue to receive the benefits of the energy improvements.

SA: TransUnion reports Hawaii residents beat the U.S. overall in delinquencies

read … Thielen

Video of Tom Berg Arguing With Secret Service at APEC

A police sergeant's helmet-cam caught the following video of drunken (Really? Did they do a breathalyzer?) Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg arguing with the Secret Service at an APEC event.

The police report detailing the incident says police were called by the Secret Service requesting assistance with "an intoxicated male attempting to gain entry into the 'secure zone' without proper access credentials."

Part way through the seven-minute clip the sergeant appears to take his helmet off.

SA: Video shows Berg's dispute with Secret Service

read … ALLEGEDLY drunken

Council grants permits for Hilton expansion

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hilton Hawaiian Village's plan to build two timeshare towers on its Waikiki site came under sharp criticism from the lawyer for the family that owns some of the lots the towers would sit on.

Attorney Cal Chipchase IV represents the Mun family. He told the Honolulu City Council that Hilton officials failed to notify his client of the project and they "learned about it by accident."

SA: North American flights to isles more full than ever, visitors panel says

read … Hilton

Census: Median incomes highest in East Honolulu

The Waialae Iki census tract in Honolulu had the highest median household in Hawaii in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey five-year estimates released Thursday.

Waialae Iki, which is in East Honolulu, had a median household income of $162,355, Makiki Heights was second highest with $141,146, while two other East Honolulu neighborhoods followed, Waialae-Kahala with $140,938 and Portlock with $125,865, according to an analysis of the data by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

State researchers noted that all 42 census tracts with median household incomes of more than $100,000 were on Oahu. There are a total of 314 populated census tracts in Hawaii.

read … Census

REPRESENTATIVE CORINNE CHING UNVEILS THE 2012 HERITAGE CALENDAR, "HAWAII: OUR PRECIOUS HERITAGE"

When: Thursday, December 8, 2011 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  

Where: Natsunoya Tea House, 1935 Makanani Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 

Honolulu, HI – Representative Corinne W.L. Ching, Founder of the Heritage Caucus, will unveil the 2012 Heritage calendar entitled, "Hawaii: Our Precious Heritage." The calendar, which traditionally centralizes the Liliha-Nu'uanu neighborhood, went state-wide this year having been inspired by the recent APEC Conference.

The 16-month calendar reflects the different spirits of Hawaii from innovation and technology to tradition, education, and exploration. This is the sixth calendar presented by the heritage caucus and the first to receive a Pele Award, featuring photography by National Geographic society member Paul Chesley and text from writer Keith Lorenz.

”The beauty and culture captured in this calendar will inspire you to find more ways to become involved in our community," said Representative Ching. "The culture of Hawaii is something to be appreciated; something I feel is captured by this calendar."

If you would like to request a copy of the calendar or have any questions please feel free to contact Jessica Bursack at (808)586-9415.

News Release from Office of Rep Corrine Ching

Republicans Prefer Hawaii 5-0

Love “Parks and Rec”? You’re probably a Democrat. Prefer “Hawaii Five-O”? You’re likely a Republican.

Those are the findings of Experian-Simmons’ annual survey on partisans’ consumer preferences, as reported by EW.com’s James Hibberd. Even more interesting are the two groups’ least favorite shows – conservatives hate “Weeds” and liberals don’t like “Swamp Loggers.”

Notably, the survey found “Newsmakers” is extremely popular across party lines.

read … TV Politics

Medical Center Lab Director Has Fake PHD from Hawaii Scam School

A laboratory director at The University of Kansas Medical Center received a doctoral degree from a school operated from a post office box in Hawaii.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kathleen Gustafson was awarded her Ph.D. from Eurotechnical Research University, which is no longer in operation and had no campus or curriculum. She was enrolled from 1990 to 1994, and wasn't required to attend classes by the university.

read … EuroTechnical

Chaminade places coach on administrative leave for racial slur

HNN: The text message, which contained a racial slur, was actually sent to one of the members of the team.

The team member brought it to University officials, (some loyalty, eh?) who took immediate steps to place Mathey on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation which is expected to be concluded by Thursday. (Followed by ritual apology possibly some crying, etc. You know the drill.)

read … PC Police


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