Lawsuit: Veterans, Military Personnel Challenge Hawaii Reapportionment Plan
Okabe to Obama: Abercrombie is 'Difficult'
US Constitutional Convention? Hawaii State House Wants to Write Obamacare into Constitution, Strengthen Power of President
VIDEO: Hawaii Federal Rapper at Center of Latest GSA Scandal
Hawaii's Good Friday Holiday - What's Up With That?
Seek Truth in Response to Physician Assisted Suicide
Thielen May File as Democrat, Challenge Party to Sue
ILind: Two days before the party’s State Central Committee was scheduled to meet to consider Thielen’s appeal of a negative decision by the Oahu County Committee, her attorney sent a letter to state party chairman Dante Carpenter detailing their legal position and urging a solution that would avoid embroiling the party in an embarrassing public controversy.
“Laura does not want to take any actions to potentially embarrass the party or affect its opportunities for success in the upcoming elections,” attorney Eric Seitz wrote in the March 29, 2012 letter.
Then Seitz got to the legal point. Under state law, a candidate has to be a party member, and Carpenter has not disputed that Thielen joined the party in February….
It now appears likely Thielen will file for the Senate seat as a Democrat. It would then be up to the party to decide whether to challenge her candidacy in court, really a no-win option during an election year from a political perspective. Thielen could also try to preempt the party’s challenge by taking the initiative and going to court to block the party from taking any action to revoke her membership.
Why do I say the party would be in a no-win situation if it chooses to go to court to enforce its internal enforcement of the 6-month “good standing” rule? Because the party’s success in warding off Linda Lingle’s attempt to take the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dan Akaka depends a great deal on the “she’s a nasty partisan Republican like those guys we’ve been seeing on television, and we’re much more open, people friendly Democrats” narrative. Looking like the heavy-handed bunch of party insiders defending their privilege would go a long way towards undermining that theme.
Eric Seitz Letter to Dante Carpenter: Re Laura Thielen
Dante Carpenter: Requirements to Run as a Democrat
read … Thielen’s attorney says she can run as Democrat despite internal party ruling
Political Comeback? Former Sen. Fred Hemmings Says Hawaii is Ready to Change the 'Status Quo'
HR: Legendary waterman Fred Hemmings has had many victories in his life whether in sports, in media, in business or in politics.
Now the Hawaii native, who was in the House of Representatives beginning in 1984 for six years, and then in the Hawaii State Senate for a decade from 2000 until 2010 when he “retired” from politics, wants to make a comeback.
He’s aiming to recoup his former Senate seat, which includes Kailua, Waimanalo and part of Hawaii Kai, from either incumbent Democrat Pohai Ryan or whoever might win the Democratic primary this August.
read … Hemmings
Charles Djou: Back from Afghanistan - Ready for Political Battle
HR: A JAG officer in the Army Reserve, Djou … was thrown into the most intense fighting in the Kandahar region with ruthless Taliban fighters willing to do anything to protect one of their main sources of funding for their terrorist organization - opium fields.
“I did not think I was going to arguably the violent district, in arguably the most violent providence, in arguably the most violent nation on earth,” Djou said, adding “It was an eye opening experience, to say the least. He said his unit was regularly the target of gunfire, bombs and rockets.
Interviewing suspected Taliban fighters who were captured by coalition forces so it could be determined if they were innocent farmers who should be freed or “bad guys” who should be detained, was Djou’s main responsibility.
“In the past, it was easy to determine who the enemies were,” Djou said, because of the uniform they wore. But Taliban fighters don’t wear uniforms, he said.
He said through these interviews, he encountered “some of the worst, nastiest, most awful individuals I’ve ever interacted with.”
One Taliban fighter he encountered waited outside the American base to stalk Afghan workers who primarily were hired to do manual work. Once they were home, he murdered them and put a nail into their forehead with a note attached that said “This is what happens to traitors.” The body was then dropped off at the doorstep of the local mosque.
“This is the nature of the enemy we face,” Djou said.
Coming face to face with Taliban terrorists, some of the most evil people on earth – and American soldiers, some of the finest and most patriotic people in our country – has changed his perspective on the war in Afghanistan because the time allowed him to see firsthand the importance of the work being done there.
Djou worked with a unit of 4,000 people – 1,500 Americans and 2,500 Afghan soldiers. He said it is clear "progress is being made."
The Afghans are organized as an army and not warlord style. They are learning to fight with the rule of law, not just with swords and guns, he said.
It is unfortunate our soldiers don’t get the recognition they deserve because the only news the media reports is bad, he said.
read … Back from Afghanistan
Lingle acknowledges her challenge as a pro-choicer
Borreca: In a deft piece of political timing and also an unstated recognition that the GOP is floundering in an unwinnable "culture war," Hawaii's former GOP Gov. Linda Lingle is emphasizing her pro-choice position.
This week Lingle noted in her Web page ads that she was adding a new issue statement to include her position, which is not new, but has not been highlighted.
Speaking as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Lingle says women are being "degraded to little more than a political pawn in this year's election cycle."
"It pains me deeply to see members of my own party attempting to legislate women's health and contraception choices," Lingle said….
If Lingle is to win in November, she will have to appeal to more than just Republicans in Hawaii, much like she did in her two successful gubernatorial campaigns.
Milner notes there is little risk to Lingle if she dives to the middle of the political spectrum and ignores the GOP's right wing.
"Social conservatives are not very powerful here, and other conservatives may have some misgivings about Lingle but are certainly going to vote for her," says Milner.
Political elections always return to the middle and those who can successfully move to that middle without insulting the extremes are usually the ones skillful enough to win the race.
Portland Maine Press-Herald: Collins making (short) trip to Hawaii for GOP Senate candidate fundraiser
Help for Hirono: Lingle Should Be Blasted on Pro-Abortion Stance
read … Pro-Choice
Duke Aiona Leaves St Louis School Job, Returns to Law Practice
PR: Aiona was executive vice president of development and recruitment at Saint Louis School. In his announcement on Friday, he said his practice would focus on family law and that he would serve on a panel of neutral mediators.
From Aiona, a former judge: “I’m excited about this new opportunity to bring people together. I’ve been blessed to serve the people of Hawaii in different ways, and this is another challenge I’m looking forward to.”
read … Aiona
Insurers Launch Big Brother Medical Records System
SA: The Hawaii Health Information Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect Hawaii's medical providers through electronic health records, launched a secure direct messaging and patient referral system Thursday in a first step to link the health care industry.
The service allows providers to send and receive direct messages and patient referrals including lab results and progress notes on a secure network that will soon connect patient records electronically.
The Hawaii Health Information Exchange was established in 2006 by health care providers, consumers and insurers. It was designated by the state in September 2009 as the organization charged with developing and implementing a statewide health information exchange that will ultimately feed into the national health information network.
The system is available to physicians with or without electronic records. Physicians can register for the service at hawaiihie.medicity.net.
read … Electronic patient referral system gets under way
New Hawaii State Securities Lawyer: $900,000 In Back Taxes, Child Support
HR: The newly-hired head of the state’s securities enforcement office allegedly defrauded a business associate in 2010 and failed to pay $900,000 in tax and child support debts over the past 10 years, according to public records.
Peter C. Hsieh was also reprimanded last year by the Hawaii Supreme Court for mishandling funds belonging to clients of his law practice in 2006, as reported March 30 by Hawaii Reporter.
Hsieh (pronounced Shay) disclosed the reprimand before the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs hired him February 13 as its senior securities enforcement attorney, DCCA Director Keali’i Lopez said last week.
Lopez said today the department “did not know about" Hsieh’s tax and child support debts or the fraud allegation lodged against him in February in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
“We are extremely concerned and we have begun our own internal investigation,” Lopez said through spokesman Brent Suyama.
The civil fraud allegation was filed February 21-- after Hsieh took the state job -- by attorney Joseph Huster, who provided legal services to Hsieh’s law firm on a contract basis, according to court records. (See the Huster suit here)
Huster alleged that Hsieh “stole and/or fraudulently transferred” tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees owed to Huster for work performed in 2007-08….
Hsieh declared personal bankruptcy last year, disclosing that he owed more than $600,000 to the IRS and more than $146,000 in state tax arrearages. Hsieh bankruptcy
read … Perfect Guy to Oversee Securities Issued by the new State Owned Bank of Abercrombie
Gore Cult Praises Hawaii’s Preparation for Global Warming, Demands More
UPI: Only nine U.S. states have taken comprehensive steps to address their vulnerability to water-related effects of climate change, environmental advocates say.
A state-by-state analysis of water readiness released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council found 29 states are completely unprepared for growing water threats to their economies and public health.
The nine states that are best prepared and most engaged, with comprehensive adaptation plans, are California, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii, the report said.
Those states have developed an integrated and comprehensive preparedness plan that addresses all relevant water sectors and state agencies, the NRDC said.
Full Text: http://www.nrdc.org/water/readiness/files/water-readiness-HI.pdf
read … States ranked on water-need preparations
Water Board Appointees Get Instructions for Malama Solomon’s Water Deliveries
CB: Ted Yamamura and Jonathan Starr must now be confirmed by a vote of the full Senate.
Sen. Carol Fukunaga was the only dissenting vote - opposing Yamamura’s appointment.
MN: Senate group’s backing moves Mauians closer to water panel
VIDEO: Malama Solomon orders Water Commission Nominees to Make Sure She Gets Her Water
read … Approved
Abercrombie Admin Backs Castle & Cooke Development
SA: Three state agencies threw their weight behind the proposed Koa Ridge housing development in Central Oahu at a state Land Use Commission hearing Thursday.
The state Department of Agriculture, Office of Planning and Department of Transportation expressed support for the estimated $2.2 billion project calling for 5,000 homes, a hospital and commercial center on 768 acres of farmland between Mililani and Waipio.
But three project opponents — the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter, state Sen. Clayton Hee and Mililani/ Waipio/Melemanu Neighborhood Board Chairman Richard Poirier — worked to persuade LUC members to reject the plan by developer Castle & Cooke.
read … Castle and Cooke
Honolulu Council Campaign Getting Ugly
HR: Berg came out swinging when asked to comment on Pine’s background: “Her record for eight years at the State Capitol as a state Representative was a total failure. Pine could not get one bill passed as the first primary introducer in all that time and is now campaigning on a record using others' accomplishments as if they were her own.”
One example, he said, is “Pine’s claim she was responsible for restoring the funding to build the North-South Road- when the facts are, she was responsible for the vote to delete the funding.”
He said after Pine's vote to kill the funding for the project, she went on to profess she championed the funding for it.
“This type of deception does not bode well for a candidate with eight years of legislative experience and not one bill authored that she can lay claim to. And now, she is launching a campaign for council and according to her own announcement, that is further laden with more deception as if she accomplished something,” Berg said.
The major difference between Pine and Berg is their stance on rail: Berg is opposed and Pine is in favor of the city’s plan to build a 20-mile elevated steel on steel rail system from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center….
The council is supposed to be a non-partisan body, but virtually all candidates are Democrats. Berg is a former member of the Republican Party and Pine is a Republican. Former Democrat state Legislator Alex Santiago has already announced his intention to run for the council seat. Some political analysts speculate that if Pine and Berg continue to battle, they may force one another to lose the seat in favor of the liberal pro-rail Democrat.
related: Rep Kymberly Pine Running for Honolulu City Council
read … Honolulu Council Campaign Getting Ugly
Feds Bust Five in cockfighting, illegal gambling case
HNN: According to the federal indictment, the crimes occurred at Lloyd and Nitta Marshall's home at 86-715 Puuhulu Road in Waianae. Authorities documented the ring from January 2009 through July 2011.
read … Federal
Online Poker Site Accepts Hawaii Players
A question that commonly arises is what poker sites accept Hawaii. Other than the one mentioned below, the answer is not many at all. Hawaii has long been against gambling of any form, that’s why you won’t find any casinos or poker rooms on any of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
Betonline.com – The last poker site that accepts Hawaii. This is actually one of the largest poker rooms for the United States anyway, they also have a casino and sportsbook that you can bet on from Hawaii.
read … Poker
Double Murderer Charges Parole Board Vindictive, Gets New Hearing
SA: Fukusaku was sentenced to two life terms and ordered by a state judge to serve at least 30 years in prison. The paroling authority later set his minimum term at 40 years before he could be released on parole.
The Hawaii Supreme Court later affirmed the convictions but set aside the judge's minimum sentence. Fukusaku was resentenced to two life terms by the judge but not ordered to serve any minimum.
When the paroling authority reset the minimum term under the new sentence, it ordered Fukusaku to serve a minimum of 50 years.
Fukusaku challenged the 50-year minimum, but his request was rejected by a state judge without a hearing.
In a 19-page unanimous opinion issued Tuesday and written by Chief Appeals Judge Craig Nakamura, the three-judge panel ruled that the judge should have held a hearing on the challenge.
The court said at the hearing that the judge must determine whether paroling authorities were "motivated by an intent to punish Fukusaku for successfully challenging his court-imposed sentence."
read … Soft on Crime, Hard on Bureaucratic Privilege
Food businesses face fee 1050% Fee hikes to Create HGEA Jobs
PBN: The Hawaii Department of Health is proposing annual permit fee increases statewide from $50 to $525 per food business in order to pay for 20 additional food-safety inspectors on Oahu and Maui.
The fees would affect 10,000 food establishments, ranging from convenience stores, hotel kitchens and grocery stores to restaurants and food trucks. About 6,000 of those businesses are on Oahu.
read … Higher Fees
W. Oahu churches expand to serve growing congregations
PBN: Hope Chapel West Oahu is looking for a developer to build a new church at an estimated cost of $20 million to $37 million on a 10-15-acre campus to accommodate its rapidly growing congregation.
It’s another sign that churches, like commercial businesses, are scrambling to keep pace with West Oahu’s growing population.
Late last year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu hired planning firm Helber Hastert and Fee to look at its projected growth in West Oahu. The diocese predicts that the congregation at St. Jude Catholic Church in Kapolei will grow 33 percent by 2020 and nearly double by 2035.
In response, the church, located at 92-455 Makakilo Drive, plans to more than double its size to 50,000 square feet by building a $12 million facility on up to 15 acres of land that it has yet to choose.
read … Growth
Open-ocean cages get state's approval
SA: Hawaii Oceanic Technology hopes to have its first "Oceansphere" fish cage off the coast of Hawaii island by 2013. The company has permits and approval for 12 of the cages on a 247-acre fish farm 2.6 miles off the North Kohala coast.
Spencer estimated the farm will produce 6,000 tons of tuna per year. The fish will be marketed as "King Ahi."
Hawaii company wins permit for tuna farm
Other, similar “frivolous” lawsuits against federal government agencies have been dismissed,
read … Luddites Lose Another Round
"Pacific Gibraltar" -- Important New Book on Hawaiian History
HR: In 2011 a major book was published by a highly respected historian who analyzed the Hawaiian revolution and annexation.
William M. Morgan Ph.D., PACIFIC GIBRALTAR: U.S. - JAPANESE RIVALRY OVER THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII, 1885-1898 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011). It is available at "Bookends" in Kailua, and amazon.com. Sixteen copies are scattered around various branches of the Hawaii Public Library. A detailed book review, with many lengthy quotes from each chapter, is at http://tinyurl.com/8y2s6o5
Most Hawaii readers will be surprised by details about Grover Cleveland's attempt to overthrow President Dole and restore the Hawaiian monarchy through a combination of diplomatic and military intimidation in mid to late 1893.
read … Pacific Gibraltar