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Saturday, April 14, 2012
April 14, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:47 PM :: 14517 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Mazie Brings "Mr Fannie Mae" to Hawaii

Hawaii Shippers Council Outlines Jones Act Reform Proposals

Hawaii Economic Performance Ranks 15th, Economic Outlook 46th

Hawaii Youth Link Assisted Suicide to Teen Suicide

Makers of Promotional Products Rally to Defense of Rail

SB2341: Would Allow Overnight Accommodations on Maui Ag Land

SB2394: Would Allow Condemnation of Private Property to Bail Out Mortgage lenders

VIDEO: Thielen, Rivere, Ward Rip SB755 Environmental Exemptions

Case: Hirono Now Ducking 10 Debate Invitations

Public Access TV Relegated to Digital Siberia

Adrianne Heely Appointed Maui Judge

North Korea's Rogue Missile Launch

Redistricting case will be heard in May

SA: A tentative date of May 10 or 11 has been set to hear a motion seeking an injunction to stop the implementation of the state Reapportionment Commission's final reapportionment and redistricting plan.

The case is to be heard by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing date is subject to the availability of the two other judges — to be appointed by the chief judge of the 9th Circuit — who will hear the case with U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright of Honolulu.

read … Redistricting

HSTA pressure kills class-time bill

SA: The Department of Education is moving to standardize bell schedules internally, after measures addressing big differences in the length of the school day among campuses failed to win approval from lawmakers.

But those efforts could prove difficult because bell schedules must be approved by teachers at each school with a two-thirds vote.

Following pushback from the teachers union, the House this week voted down a bill that called for the creation of bell schedule options that meet minimums for instructional time.

The teachers union opposed the House bell schedule measure, and a similar version that failed to advance in the Senate, saying it infringed on teachers' rights to have a say on the length and conditions of their workday.

…the existing bell schedule selection process (has been) outlined in contract guidelines since 2004….

He also said, in testimony, that concerns about the "inability to obtain a ‘supermajority' of votes necessary to enact scheduling changes" are overblown, since many schools have been able to get enough support from teachers to approve a new bell schedule.

But others point to schools that have been trying to change their bell schedules for years, and have been unable to because of teacher opposition.

Ann Mahi, acting Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt complex area superintendent, said she put a bell schedule change at Roosevelt High up for a vote five times before it was finally approved last school year. The change was from a six-period day to a seven-period one, which required teachers to take over an additional class.

Mahi pointed out that McKinley High has also tried to move to a seven-period day but has failed, in part because of concerns from teachers about larger class sizes.

Many high schools are considering the switch from a six-period day because earning a high school diploma requires 24 credits. Students who fail even one class at a six-period-day campus would have to opt for so-called credit recovery courses or summer school or risk not graduating.

Earlier this year, the DOE convened a group of about 40 principals and school registrars to think about possible options for standardized bell schedules and what schools should consider as they look to lengthen the amount of instructional time students get.

The group's findings will be provided to the superintendent in a few weeks, said Mahi, who was tasked with leading the discussion and putting together a report…. (A REPORT! On what to do now that the HSTA has commanded its legislators not to do what needs to be done!)

The discussion on lengthening the school day in the islands first gained momentum after teacher furlough days in the 2009-10 school year gave Hawaii schoolchildren the shortest instructional calendar in the nation.

Under a law passed last year, half of the state's elementary schools had to offer at least five hours and five minutes of instructional time on average each day this school year. The DOE met that mandate, with 72 percent of schools hitting the minimum. By the coming school year, all elementary schools must meet it.

And by 2014 all middle and high schools will have to offer at least 51⁄2 hours on average each day. Charter and multitrack schools are exempt from the law, which also calls for a school year of at least 180 instructional days.

read … Another Glorious Victory for HSTA! I’m sure they’re very proud!

Educated Youth Flee Hawaii

CB: The state-by-state data comes in an appendix table. Each state has a number for each decennial census — the "net migration rate" represents how many people moved into or out of a state in the five years leading up to the census per 1,000 people aged 25 to 39 (the definition of "young"). Negative numbers indicate net outmigration, meaning that more migrants left an area than entered it, in a given period. Positive numbers indicate net inmigration.

Here are Hawaii's numbers, isolated:

1965-1970 1975-1980 1985-1990 1995-2000
+192.5 +43.1 +39.5 -69.8

Source: U.S. Census Bureau working paper

The net in-migration rate in the late 1960s was among the nation's highest. Others in that range were Virginia (+220.9); Alaska (+193.2); Washington D.C. (+193.1); and California (+185.9). By comparison, young, single, educated people were fleeing South Dakota (-333.4), North Dakota (-274.4) and West Virginia (-270.4) at a rapid clip.

By 2000, Hawaii was closer to the Dakota end of the spectrum (-282 for North, -215.9 for South) than the young, single, educated magnets like Nevada (+281.8) and Colorado (+157.7).

read … Educated Young Flee Hawaii

Waipahu Students Not Fooled by Rail Presentation

SA: After the brief session with Grabauskas, several Waipahu students said they still have concerns about the project like some of the grown-ups they know.

Senior Anthony Yarborough, 17, was one of the few students in the room to have used a train, traveling from Syracuse to New York City and back.

For many people, including him, it will take time to give up the freedom and independence of driving one's own vehicle, said Yarborough, who lives in the Honowai section of Waipahu. "A lot of people just like the privacy, they don't like sitting around other people," he said. "And people like the fact that they can get out of their house and into their car when they want to."

Junior Connie Kim, 17, said she's lived in Japan, where rail is a way of life, and is excited the technology is coming to Waipahu.

"It really works well over there, I'm just wondering if it's going to be the same," she said.

Kim, a Kunia resident, said she wants to know how the cost of riding rail will compare with other modes of transportation. Additionally, "I want to know how they're going to keep the trains clean," she said, noting that city buses are often the target of vandals.

read … Face it, the kids are just too smart for old boy schemes

Abercrombie’s Wife Endorses Tulsi Gabbard

SA: A coalition of Hawaii women, including first lady Nancie Caraway, have announced their support for Tulsi Gabbard in the race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District….

“I have seen Tulsi in action. I’ve seen her with people. She works beautifully with people. She listens to them. She thinks on her feet and she’s a genuinely reciprocal human being,” Caraway said.

Others declaring their support for Gabbard included City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and prominent diversity advocate Amy Agbayani.

Ignore this please: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway

read … Anti-Mufi Crowd

 

Legislature out of control on attacking Hawaii’s environmental protections

DN: I’m a great fan of Rep. Thielen. If the Legislature followed her lead, not only would our environmental laws remain intact, we’d already have alternative energy powering our coffee makers instead of burning coal, oil and incinerating garbage and paying the highest electric rates in the country.

I’m also recalling that in the House Finance hearing I attended to testify against the evil bill SB755, it was Representative Sharon Har, a Democrat, who was allowed by the Vice Chair to mount a mean-spirited and uncalled for attack on an individual testifier. It was Republican Gene Ward who raised a point of order calling on her to give it up.

While the drama was playing out in the hearing room, behind the scenes in the adjacent room, leadership had already begun decisionmaking on that and other bills.

There’s not much democracy involved. In this particular committee, the Chair simply pops out at 2 a.m. and basically instructs the committee members on how they will vote, the same as powerful chairs do on other committees. In past sessions I’ve seen Speaker Say in and out of the Finance hearings as well. It’s clear that our laws are fashioned not by the votes of the people’s representatives, but by how they are told to vote by their leadership.

Often, they are voting on proposed amendments they haven’t even seen (and won’t ever see, since the amendments go not to the committee voting but to the next committee down the line).

It’s this system of powerful leadership that is willing to cave to developers in the face of public opposition. They can do this because there are no consequences for them.

Borreca is correct in pointing out that Democrats are on the wrong side of this.

But what do they care? In the coming election, most will run unopposed.

read … Out of Control

Civil Beat’s “integrity investigation” questioned by Ian Lind

ILind: Some of the “findings” appear to me to be plainly wrong….

I have to take the findings of the whole project with a big grain of salt. Interesting, but not necessarily reliable. And drilling down through the layers of questions and subjective evaluations isn’t quick or simple.

read … Questionable Integrity

Legislators Consider Giving Sex Workers Welfare, Labor Law Protections

KITV: State lawmakers are considering bills that would require establishments, like strip clubs and massage parlors, to display posters providing information relating to human trafficking and a national resource center for help. (Notice they are not going to close these brothels and arrest the pimps/traffickers, they are merely ensuring that the sex workers are covered by labor laws)

"When we have stronger policies, we not only help deter people from getting involved in this business but we help the victims," said Rep. John Mizuno.

But, some groups oppose aspects of the bill, including one that allows convicted prostitutes to vacate their convictions if they claim they carried out sexual acts against their will.

"We have a lot of concerns about how this process is set up because it is inconsistent with our current criminal justice system with how it functions," said Lance Goto from the state attorney general's office.

Part of the bill would add services to minors forced into sexual slavery or labor. State child welfare officials said they support the intent of the bill, but do not have the resources.

Read … Labor Posters

Honolulu TSA Screeners Acquitted of Catching too Many Illegals and Too Many Drug Smugglers

AP: The investigation began in November after allegations surfaced that screeners at the airport targeted Mexican travelers for extra screening. Two employees claimed the officers known as “Mexicutioners” targeted Mexican passengers in an attempt to appear productive to their supervisors.

The TSA “determined the available evidence does not substantiate the allegations of racial profiling by two behavior detection officers” at the airport, the agency said in statement.

The allegations resulted in an immediate investigation into Honolulu airport’s behavior detection program, which involves officers who are trained to detect behavior, such as facial expressions, of those who intend to do harm.

A group of 38 civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union, demanded an independent probe into possible profiling at other airports.

Background: Honolulu TSA Screeners Investigated for catching Too Many Illegals and Drug Smugglers

More Background: Illegal aliens get past TSA, jet off to Hawaii with forged ID

read … Political Correctness

GSA official to assert privilege to remain silent

AP: A General Services Administration executive will assert his right to remain silent at a congressional hearing next week into the agency's spending practices, the official's lawyer said Friday.

It was learned that the official, Jeffrey Neely, also could face a possible criminal investigation.

Neely was placed on leave by the GSA's new leadership. He was commissioner for the Public Buildings Service in the Pacific Rim region, covering Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and several other countries and territories.

Read … Take the 5th

World Laughs at Incompetent Socialists in N Korea

PBN: According to media reports, the launch failed miserably. According to The New York Times, “in what was a major embarrassment to the North and its young new leader, the rocket disintegrated moments after the launching, and American and Japanese officials said its remnants fell harmlessly into the sea.”

People are taking to the Internet to poke fun at North Korea and its young leader, Kim Jong Un.

“North Korea launch failure equals comedy success,” says a Stars and Stripes headline. A Wall Street Journal blog jokes about the rocket breaking up shortly after its launch.

Read … Laughable Socialist Idiots

Illegal Dumping Settlement Dumps on taxpayers

CB: The city has agreed to spend $1.4 million on environmental projects as part of a settlement to resolve its violations of environmental laws when city workers dumped more than 250 truckloads of concrete into Mailiili Stream ….

The Hawaii Department of Health announced the settlement today….

Nanea Kalani wrote about the settlement discussions last year. She also investigated more than 5,000 hours of overtime the city paid to workers to do the illegal dumping.

Read … Money, money everywhere—except in taxpayers’ pockets

After Hee’s Bill Fails, Opihi Season Requested by Resolution

HTH: Legislation aimed at regulating the harvest of opihi has been revived after dying in committee last month.

The measure requests that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources establish seasons for harvesting opihi, set a five-year harvesting moratorium on Oahu, and prohibit the taking of the shellfish from below the waterline.

Native Hawaiians exercising their gathering rights and traditional practices would be exempt.

The measure has support from marine scientists and the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i who say it will help to sustain the fishery, seen as culturally important to native Hawaiians, for future generations.

“We are in danger of losing not only a marine animal that is unique in the world, but also losing an important direct connection to Hawaiian history and culture,” the Nature Conservancy wrote in its testimony on the resolution.

But regulation can be easier said than done, said Alton Miyasaka, a Land and Natural Resources biologist.

Miyasaka said it would be difficult to determine who is harvesting for commercial or traditional proposes.

Read … A to B to C

Schatz traveling to Asia to discuss clean energy Scams

AP: Schatz will meet with industrial leaders in Japan and Asia to discuss partnerships to help secure Hawaii's clean energy future and expand its green economy.

The trip strengthens alliances made during last fall's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Honolulu. These alliances make Hawaii a leading incubator for the global clean energy industry, Schatz says….

Over the past year, Gov. Neil Abercrombie formalized an agreement with Japanese officials to establish the $37 million Smart Grid Demonstration Project on Maui and agreed to pursue a smart grid demonstration with Korea.

Guan PDN: Follow Hawaii and push for clean energy industry for Guam

read … A disaster in the making

Kauai electric utility will begin installing smart meters

KGI: The utility expects the work to take 18 months. Members of the cooperative will be notified by letter “at least a couple of weeks prior to installation at their home or business,” the utility said.

KIUC is spending $11 million on the program, half of it coming from federal funds. It’s part of a national smart-grid demonstration project that will allow KIUC to read meters remotely and improve outage response time, it said.

read … Smart?

Horse Cruelty Case May Be Tossed Due to Bumbling Kauai Prosecutor’s Office

KGI: A 5th Circuit judge is considering a dismissal motion in a horse cruelty case as an attorney general’s appointed prosecutor takes over.

Sheri Lawson was present for her first hearing as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the misdemeanor 16-count cruelty-to-animals case against Lara Butler-Brady. After a 90 minute flight, her first hearing lasted just minutes as the judge continued the matter to April 16.

Lawson is a Hawai‘i County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. She is the State Attorney General’s appointed prosecutor to replace the Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney’s office after its motion to recuse itself for a potential conflict of interest was approved on March 8.

The case remains in the 5th Circuit with Chief Judge Randal Valenciano presiding. He granted the prosecution’s motion to withdraw when the Attorney General agreed to accept the case that goes to trial on May 29.

Defense counsel Greg DeCosta represents Butler-Brady. His motion to dismiss the case for violating her right to a speedy trial was moved to April 19 after arguments, to allow the judge to review files that arrived just before the hearing.

DeCosta argued that Rule 48 of the Hawai’i Rules of Penal Procedure and the constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. He presented four continuance periods since 2010 that he said are charged to the state and collectively exceed the 180-day limit.

Read … Kauai Prosecutor Scores Another One!

Homeless Alcoholic Busted in Kauai Church Fire

HNN: Henry Garvey, a fifty year old homeless man believed to have been living in the area, was detained at the scene of the fire and initially arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Upon further questioning at the police station, Garvey reportedly admitted to starting the fire and was subsequently arrested for third degree Arson. Damage to the church is estimated to be around $1,500.

At just after 10 p.m. on April 7, Garvey is believed to have called Police Dispatch to report a fire at the church located on Kolo Road. Officer Rivera of the Hawaii Police Department was first on the scene, and was able to extinguish the blaze before fire fighters arrived.

According to officials, Rivera then located Garvey, who appeared to be intoxicated. Police say Garvey became belligerent and uncooperative, and "continued to interfere with the investigation despite several verbal commands to cease his actions." At this point, he was placed under arrest.

Garvey posted his $1,000 bail and is awaiting trial.

read … Alcoholism and Homelessness could be linked, you know….

UH Manoa Perfesser Preaches His Atheist Religion at California Revival Meet

Eureka CA: Atheist, author and physicist Victor Stenger will discuss his new book, “God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion,” when he delivers the keynote address at Humboldt State University's Spring 2012 Philosophy Forum next Friday at 7 p.m. in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Building, room 166.

Stenger, a specialist in particle physics, is emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He contends that careful observation and scrutiny -- science -- is humanity's only reliable source of knowledge, while faith and religion spawn intolerance, holy wars and fanaticism. (Apparently he hasn’t studied the 20th century—the century of atheist mass murder.)

In his new book, Stenger analyzes related issues: whether or not the universe had a beginning, what quantum mechanics implies about the involvement of human consciousness in affecting reality and whether evidence can be found in nature for a divine plan. (Some people might be so dazzled by the big words that they believe they are witnessing Revealed Knowledge!)

Critics have praised “God and the Folly of Faith” as a “powerhouse against superstition.” Scientific American columnist Michael Shermer calls it Stenger's best work to date, “clearly placing him in the new atheist pantheon alongside Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.” (Did SCIAM say ‘pantheon?’ LOL!)

read … A Self-Worshipping Religion

Some Hawaii post offices offering late collections on Tax Day

KITV: this year at Honolulu’s Airport Post Office is an express line, at the side will call window, for simple Tax Day transactions such as purchasing stamps and Certified Mail services….

The Airport Post Office in Honolulu will be the last to close, at 8 p.m. on that night, and will be the best bet for last-second customers who need to purchase stamps or special services.

The 28 post offices listed below will have collection boxes or lobby drop slots labeled with special bright orange signs indicating, "Tax Mail Drop – Final Pick-Up Midnight."

Read … Tax Day

International Marketplace to Be Demolished

A plan to replace the International Market Place, the Waikiki Town Center and the Miramar at Waikiki Hotel in the center of Hawaii’s main tourism district with a new retail, dining and entertainment complex will add 1,800 jobs, according to a draft environmental impact statement for the project.

PBN: Lawmakers explore putting a hotel on top of Hawaii Convention Center

Read … No more TheShack

Photo: First axis deer killed on Big Island

DLNR: Recognizing the impact this invasive species can have on local cattleman and farmers, a partnership between conservation groups and the agricultural community was formed last year.

It has since proved its readiness to address this new threat with the taking of the first axis deer on the Big Island on April 11, 2012, as part of an official program to remove these unwanted pests from the island.

This comes after nearly a year of extensive field surveys, training and coordination with land owners and managers. The team is actively working toward the goal of eradicating the population before Big Island ranchers and farmers face the same problems now occurring on Maui and other places where deer populations are exploding at the expense of local communities.

Jan Schipper, BIISC manager, said, “We are fortunate to have two highly skilled marksmen working on this project, who were trained by hunters on Molokai, to ensure that animals are treated as humanely as possible. We are not able to disclose the exact locations of deer we have sighted, or the animal that was shot, out of respect for cooperating landowners’ privacy. We are mindful that trespassing and poaching are a major concern for some landowners.”

(This guarantees the failure of the project, but will provide an excuse for HGEA/UPW jobs for years to come. This is a designed-to-fail jobs program just like coqui eradication.)

read … Delicious and Nutritious


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