China’s Startling Strategic Play in Micronesia
DeMello Joins Abercrombie Communications Team
Florida Marlins Holding Baseball Clinic at Schofield
Gone with the Wind Subsidies
VIDEO: 5 Questions with NEWS maker David Chang, Chair Hawaii Republican Party
Fortunately for Abercrombie, Republicans Don’t Have a Strong Candidate for Governor in 2014
HNN: If given a letter grade on his first year in office analysts say Governor Neil Abercrombie wouldn't get high marks.
"I think you'd have to give him a C or a C- and I think his critics would say that is great inflation," said Dan Boylan, Political Analyst.
"Obviously he's still there so he's passing but it wasn't a year that was covered in successes," said Richard Borreca, Political Columnist.
That's surprising since he campaigned that he'd be ready on day one.
"He does have this sort of macho governor idea that he's supposed to rise above it all and he's going to be leading us all but leaders have to have followers and right now I'm not sure how many followers he has," said Borreca.
The governor upset unions, nurses, teachers, senior citizens, football fans, soda drinkers and the list goes on.
"Politically if you're going to offend people and you're the Democratic governor you should be offending Republicans but instead he went straight to the heart of the Democratic base in Hawaii," said Borreca.
Fortunately it's early and there isn't anyone strong enough to challenge him.
"A union guy is mad at Neil. What are you going to do? You going to vote for Duke (Aiona)? You going to vote for a Republican?" asked Boylan.
"The Republicans would have to have a strong candidate," said Borreca. "But they don't have that right now."
read … Republicans don’t have a strong candidate
Shapiro: Abercrombie’s Entire Career Built on Being Wrong
SA: And a double quote of the week … from Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a Star-Advertiser interview on his bumpy first year:
First: "My whole career has been built on people forgiving me, if you will."
Then later: "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."
So by his own reasoning, his whole career has been built on being wrong
read … Volcanic Ash
We'll believe it when we see it, maybe
SA: We've remarked a lot about the Abercrombie administration's penchant for secrecy, particularly with judicial nominations. So it's welcome news that Gov. Neil Abercrombie is looking to make the state budget process more transparent by releasing quarterly reports on state spending.
Never mind that he's also doing it to tweak the Lingle administration, whom he has accused of passing off "jury-rigged numbers" as fiscal soundness.
In announcing the plan, Abercrombie said he feels entitled to ask people "to give credit where credit is due." He was referring to his handling of the budget, but we'll apply it to opening up the state's books. Great idea, governor.
read … Off The News
Former Congressman Ed Case: If Hirono Wins U.S. Senate Democratic Primary, Former GOP Gov. Lingle Will Beat Her
HR: In his recent spree of "talk story" sessions across the state, he said he often gets asked what Hirono has accomplished in Congress, because her constituents are not convinced there have been memorable or significant accomplishments.
Case, who calls this U.S. Senate race, Hawaii's most important election in a generation, maintains if Hirono wins the Democratic primary, former GOP Gov. Linda Lingle will beat Hirono in the November general election.
read … Ed Case
Bound for Hawaii on the wings of a soaring Australian Dollar
The Age: They have booked a two-bedroom apartment close to the beach in Honolulu for Aus$250 a night for two weeks in January, less than the Aus$320 a night they usually pay in Noosa. Friends have said it will also cost less to feed the family, between Aus$80 and Aus$100 a day in Hawaii compared with Aus$140 on the Sunshine Coast.
Read … Falling US Dollar Props Up Tourism
Mayor signs abandoned property bill into law
HNN: Mayor Peter Carlisle signed Bill 54 into law Friday, which allows the city to remove personal property left on sidewalks, in parks, or on other public property.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that public property remains safe, clean and accessible to everyone," Carlisle said. "Obviously, there are significant problems in some public areas where personal belonging have accumulated and remained for long periods of time. That cannot continue."
On Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council voted 8-1 to approve the bill.
read … Abandoned Property
SA Cheers as Obama, Steve Case team up to Boost Business Cronies
Case Family’s Star-Advertiser: A promising boost came Thursday, with the U.S. Small Business Administration launching a $1 billion Early Stage Innovation Fund to provide matching capital to beginning small businesses. The "Startup America" project will rely on new SBA rules modifications to allow more leveraging of private-sector funds to be invested in innovation and entrepreneurship ventures.
In tandem, a Startup America Partnership of more than 50 companies announced another $1 billion in services — from free software and consulting to legal services — to 100,000 new companies over the next three years. That partnership is led by Steve Case, AOL co-founder and former Hawaii resident who maintains strong ties here, including his Revolution land holdings in Maui Land & Pine and Grove Farm. (And his daddy is on the Board of the Star-Adv. Funny that Dan Case didn’t mention that when he wrote this editorial.)
Even as it uses executive action to get around the congressional quagmire, (Lets make him dictator!) the Obama administration urged Congress to move on legislation to help small businesses with important tools.
(Enough blither. We’ll just skip to the comments where the real story is found)
Startup America Partnership is a collusive and deceitful scheme by giant corporations and government to shepherd their selected startup babies through the free enterprise process so they won't have to compete on a level playing field with the millions of startups that have no intention of becoming giants. Scott Case, CEO of Startup America Partnership admits these freakishly few startups have no intention of being one of the 28 million small businesses in America. If you talk to his pet projects “...and you ask which of them are small businesses, no one will raise their hand. What they’ll tell you is that they are giant businesses that just haven’t scaled yet.” Case further denigrates small business; “Small business owners, if they fail at their first attempt, they’ll immediately go take a job in their industry. The local salon owner who doesn’t make it will go cut hair for someone else.”This is unbridled arrogance right out in the open. The smugness is palpable. Case says, “These startups are special...We have to connect them with help from big institutions.” Jonathan Ortmans, of the Kauffman Foundation said, “What we really need to do is concentrate on these high-growth, high-impact firms.” Case says these baby Tyrannosaurus Rex's “face vastly different challenges than their mom-and-pop [belittling description] counterparts, with high-growth firms more often struggling to find the talent and expertise they need to grow their businesses quickly.” Case admits these pre-giants have less regulatory burden than small businesses, but that's not enough special treatment – he wants more. Startup America Partnership is an elitist club for the freakish few pre-giants among us small businesses. Standup, America. Fight Startup America with the strength of 28 million businesses working together to keep giant corporations and giant government from creating another non-level playing field.
read … More Pabulum from the Case Family Advertiser
Abercrombie Sends $3M to Big Isle for no Particular Reason
WHT: Hawaii County has received an unexpected windfall -- three times as much money for its community housing projects as it usually receives.
But the $3 million comes with strings attached. The county has only until Jan. 5 to accept applications from nonprofits and government agencies interested in ensuring the money reaches low-income families who need housing assistance. The money can be used for rental housing, homeownership and tenant-based rental assistance programs.
The county Office of Housing and Community Development administers the money, which is federal funding sent down from the state. The state in the past has divvied the amount up evenly among Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties.
But about two weeks ago, the state decided to allot the entire amount to one county each year, starting with the Big Island.
read … The Pinata Frenzy Begins
Laupahoehoe charter again seeks BOE relief after CSRP decision
BIVN: On December 8, 2011, the Hawaii Charter School Review Panel (CSRP) tripped over itself, again, in unlawfully taking action against the charter of the Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS). Without hearing from LCPCS Interim Local School Board members who were present at the Panel’s meeting, acting contrary to agenda information previously provided to the charter school, and following an illegal “executive session”, the Panel violated multiple State laws and greatly exceeded its own authority by trying to delay the opening of the charter school.
The charter school will seek immediate relief from the State Board of Education and expects that the school will open July 1, 2012 as lawfully scheduled.
LCPCS is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from qualified teachers. Inquiries regarding student registration or employment should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.laupahoehoecharterschool.org for more information on LCPCS.
read … Laupahoehoe
Waialua robotics teacher wins Milken award
SA: "It's surreal right now," Lee said afterward. "I'm still in shock. I'm just very appreciative, very grateful and just very, very shocked. … It just feels like I won the lottery."
Teaching was not Lee's first career choice, the former engineer told the crowd. But he's been loving it for more than 17 years.
"A long time ago I was convinced to try this out, and I never thought I'd be here today," Lee said.
He thought Friday's assembly was meant in part to honor his robotics team, which won an award in April that goes to only one of 4,000 robotics teams in the world each year.
read … Robotics
SA: Football Coach Salary Too High
SA: In retrospect, of course, head coach Greg McMackin's $1.15 million annual salary was too high. He was by far the highest-paid coach in the Western Athletic Conference, even though he lacked a proven track record of success.
By way of contrast, the WAC's most successful coach this year, Nevada's Chris Ault, makes $438,952.
McMackin's salary seemed to reflect more the grandiose aspirations of UH — still riding the high of June Jones and a trip to the Sugar Bowl — than a cold-eyed calculation of cost versus benefit for a relatively small Division I program. It's a mistake the UH administration can ill afford to make again, especially in this economy.
Was this hype just a scam to get McMackin Out? UH Point Shaving? Blown Leads and Significant Movement in Money Line
Grandiose? With MRC Greenwood at the helm? Executive compensation at UC: MRC Greenwood and the $871 million dollar secret
Shapiro: UH president draws a full house in new contract
read … Ground UH football in reality
Onishi Lobbies Hawaii County Reapportionment, Gets Own District
WHT: A last-minute change to the new County Council district map has saved Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi from having to square off against fellow incumbent J Yoshimoto.
The change, revealed by detailed maps released late Wednesday by the county Redistricting Commission, trims Yoshimoto's neighborhood out of District 3, where Onishi plans to run for re-election, and puts it into District 2, where Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda is term-limited and can't seek re-election.
The District 2 line was moved 1.1 miles east for a 1.1-mile-by-0.7-mile rectangle that contains Yoshimoto's Pukana Street house.
The scramble happened Nov. 30 as the commission took away one of Hilo's three districts to make a second Puna district to accommodate population changes.
West Hawaii Today has obtained a Nov. 17 email purportedly from Onishi describing how the proposed council map put him in the same district as Yoshimoto and asking people to testify to have the map changed. The email asks that testimony be faxed to 961-8912, which is the Clerk's Office Hilo fax number.…
"The map is done," Siracusa said. "Unless someone takes us to court and the court rules against us, this is it."
read … Onishi-mander
Bodhi Day Celebrated in Honolulu
SA: Fourteen Oahu-based Hongwanji ministers celebrated Bodhi Day Thursday with a Walk for Peace, a “symbolic pilgrimage to express our support for the Pacific Buddhist Academy’s mission of nurturing mindful and compassionate human beings.” ….
“We’re always learning from the way we are reacting to things. We human beings will never see reality as it really is — we see everything in a self-centered, distorted way. No follower of Buddhism would ever claim to be enlightened — that’s a Buddha. We may have moments of insight but cannot claim to be enlightened,” he said.
read … Bodhi Day
Ban likely to stifle New Year's fireworks
The ban was passed by the City Council in 2010 but didn't go into effect until January. It outlaws nearly all fireworks on Oahu. The exception is firecrackers, for which consumers will still need permits.
Each $25 permit entitles an adult to buy up to 5,000 firecrackers.
As of noon Friday the city had sold 431 permits, less than the 591 permits sold as of Dec. 9 last year when non-firecracker types of fireworks could be purchased. For this year's Fourth of July holiday, 95 permits were sold. That was also down from 2010, before the fireworks ban took effect, when the city sold 174 permits for Independence Day.
read … No Celebration
Environmental Impact Statements for Sale?
HR: If you let them, Parsons Brinkerhoff will recommend the right solution ... for both transportation and the local economy.
A quote from Washington Post article titled Busway — not light rail — would bring more jobs, money to upper Montgomery, analysis finds: A $772 million light-rail line would generate a total “economic impact” of $1.3 billion between 2014 and 2050, while a $491 million bus rapid transit line would spur $2.2 billion, according to the study by consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff.
read … Environmental Impact Statements for Sale?
Plan seeks to replicate New Zealand's success by creating a sustainable dairy industry in the isles
Hawaii hasn't had much of it since feed costs decimated the local dairy industry in recent years. But a company from New Zealand, where dairy farming helps drive the national economy, aims to rebuild Hawaii's local milk supply.
An affiliate of Dairy Solutionz (NZ) Ltd. has teamed with partners and investors to establish an initial 1,000-cow farm by 2013 and assist others in starting similar-size farms.
The thrust of the endeavor is forming a consortium of Hawaii dairy farms feeding herds almost exclusively on pasture grasses.
Such a model is well developed in New Zealand, which is the world's largest dairy exporter with about $11 billion in sales representing 95 percent of the country's milk production….
dairy farmers suffered blows over the decades that included real estate development pressure forcing operations onto marginal lands, and a debacle in 1982 when tests found milk contaminated by heptachlor passed through cows eating tops of pineapple treated with the pesticide. (In other words, an environmentalist chemophobia scare killed local ag. This is VERY instructive.)
Imported milk began flowing in 1985
read … Milk
Traffic Fatalities Down on Big Isle
WHT: Hawaii Island roads are claiming nearly a third fewer motorists' lives than in the early to mid-2000s, according to recently released state Department of Health traffic crash and injury data.
Ninety-eight motor vehicle occupants died on Big Isle roadways between 2006 and 2010 -- a 30 percent decrease from the 140 lives lost between 2001 and 2006, according to state Traffic Related Crashes and Injuries data presented in late November by Department of Health Traffic Safety Coordinator Kari Benes. During that period, Hawaii County also saw its per capita death rate for motorists suffering fatal injuries drop by 35 percent from 89 to 59.7 per 100,000 residents. (Improvements to Saddle Road reduce death rate?)
However, the data also indicates the county still accounts for 30 percent of traffic deaths statewide, although the Big Island has only 13.6 percent of the state's population.
read … Big Island Fatalities
State approves process to ban alcohol, drugs at Kaneohe sandbar
KHON: The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) today authorized the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) to initiate proceedings to adopt a rule that permanently prohibits the possession and use of alcohol and drugs and unruly behavior within a safety zone around Ahu o Laka (the Kane‘ohe sandbar) on three-day weekends that include state holidays.
read … Sandbar
Sold! DLNR sells all 16 Koke‘e cabins in auction’s first tier
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks announced Friday it auctioned all of the 16 available recreational cabin lots in Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon state parks in the first scheduled tier of the auction held Thursday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial in Lihu‘e.
read … Kokee
Hawaii Has Unclaimed Property
To see if you have unclaimed property at the State of Hawaii, simply follow this link: www.ehawaii.gov/lilo/app
Each person needs to check the Unclaimed Property Search webpage for their name using last name, and first and possibly middle initial
Businesses should search for every conceivable spelling and abbreviation of their name including titles of departments. Zero balances indicate something other than cash (e.g. safety deposit boxes, stock, etc…)
read … Unclaimed
In 2008, Barack Obama lit a fire among young activists. Next year, Occupy Wall Street could consume him.
NYM: DEMS MOVE TO BAN 'OCCUPY' FROM 2012 CONVENTION
read … NY Magazine