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Friday, May 18, 2012
May 18, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:26 PM :: 10600 Views :: Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Fact Check: Civil Beat lies about Djou's Afghanistan Combat Record

Djou Files Papers to Run for Congress

Supreme Court Continues to Grapple with Constitutionally Protected Native Hawaiian Practices

Census Releases More Data About Hawaii

After 10 Months, HSTA Finally Rests Labor Board Case

Will State Bureaucracy Drive Away HMC Buyers?

SA: Lawmakers have responsibly stepped up to the plate to enhance emergency services and have authorized the acquisition of the Liliha property as an elder-care facility in the state's hospital system, should the need arise and funds become available.

But the best outcome for the taxpayers would be the private ownership and management of both hospitals.

The state's role in all of this should be figuring out a way to streamline the regulatory process that, at this point, will delay the reopening of the facilities for 18 to 24 months after a deal is closed….

The real worrisome aspect of all this is not the due-diligence process, which could take three to six months. It's the estimate that it could take up to two years later to get the regulatory approvals needed to reopen the hospitals. That is simply an intolerable delay.

When Queen's took over the organ-transplant service from HMC, reviews were accelerated to minimize the problems for patients in transition.

The state certificate of need reviews accompanying any proposal to reopen a full-scale hospital is surely more complex, but the state should begin considering ways of simplifying things, for the long and short term.

It's been proven that Hawaii can move briskly in emergency circumstances. Restoring permanent emergency and acute-care service to West Oahu, and addressing a critical need for elder-care health providers, should be approached with much the same urgency.

read … Ease path to re-open hospitals

Judge Removes 30 Historic Sites from Rail Suit

PBN: A U.S. District Court of Hawaii judge has ruled that Oahu’s rail-transit project will impact fewer than 10 recreational and historic sites, not the more than 40 locations cited by plaintiffs in a lawsuit….

Tashima ruled that the plaintiffs have no case when they claim the elevated rail system would impact the Pacific War Memorial Site, Piers 10 and 11, the Makalapa Navy Housing Historic District, the Keehi Lagoon Park and other sites, according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, which oversees construction of the system.

The city will try to get the remaining claims in the lawsuit dismissed in court on Aug. 21, HART officials said.

HR: Federal Judge Removes Some Historic Sites from Lawsuit Challenging Impact of Honolulu Rail

HNN: Judge sides with city over rail sites

Full Text: Click here to read the Order on Defendants' Motions for Partial Summary Judgment

read … Rail Suit

City gets FTA OK for site to build rail guideway pieces

SA: The city has won federal approval to produce the first sections of elevated guideway for the 20-mile Hono­lulu rail system.

A letter received Thursday from the Federal Transit Administration authorizes the city to spend up to $21.8 million to build and equip a precast yard in Campbell Industrial Park, and to begin production of 30-foot-wide pieces of guideway.

The guideway will be erected on top of concrete columns to allow the trains to travel from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center above Oahu traffic.

read … Guideway

DHHL Funding on Shaky Ground Despite Supreme Court Ruling

CB: Louie says the high court ruling only has implications for DHHL’s operating expenses. According to state documents, that amounted to $185 million in fiscal year 2012. The court ruled that it was impossible to determine whether development costs for homestead plots was sufficient or not.1

Robin Danner, president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, disputes this. She says the Supreme Court ruling leaves open the question of development costs and how much state money should go toward that.

The ruling "doesn't deny that it should be done. The court didn't say no one has to address the development costs of homesteads," she said.

The state has argued that the cost is prohibitive. Developing all the homestead lots could cost tens of millions of dollars, state officials have said.

But Danner says that capital expenditures would buoy the state's economy.

"Every dollar invested means dollars to create jobs, to create infrastructure, to lay pipes, to lay lines," she said. "It creates an economic ripple and economic impact all the way to the grocery store. I think that is the part that gets missed. We're not a problem, we're a solution."

Louie says it's too early to estimate how much money Gov. Neil Abercrombie might seek for DHHL in next year’s budget.

http://maoliworld.ning.com/profiles/blogs/mican-kanes-approach-at-dhhl Kane, however, said he’s proud to have “weaned” DHHL off general funds, a strategy he pursued for two reasons. Accepting taxpayer funds to operate programs that “benefit a single class of people” could open up the department to an equal protection lawsuit, he said. Secondly, he believes that “financial self-sufficiency is political independence.”

LingleYears: DHHL: Significant Progress in Aiding Native Hawaiians to become Homeowners

ILind: Critics target commercial development of Hawaiian lands

read … Shaky Ground

Why Don’t All DoE Schools Have Midterms?

HM: Some public high schools have midterms and final exam weeks, and some do not. Why?

A: Kathryn Matayoshi: Well, part of it is that every school has the ability to set their own schedules. It’s a strength, because they get to tailor them to programs at the school, and it’s a weakness in the sense that we don’t have a consistent schedule across the state. That becomes more difficult when we look at opportunities like distance learning; classes need to start at the same time … So, we are looking at how to become more consistent on the scheduling. But again, a lot of those decisions are left to principals as the education leaders of their schools.

read … Chaos

Hawaii Reporter Diminishes its journalistic status

Corrie Heck Lingle Campaign Communications Director: Hawaii Reporter has diminished its journalistic status by posting a disgusting cartoon and fictional story of Governor Lingle at the recent Hawaii Republican Party State Convention. There is no room for this inappropriate commentary in Hawaii politics, and we call on Hawaii Reporter to remove the offensive and out-of-line post immediately. John Carroll and his political operative, Keith Rollman - who runs the despicable Atomic Monkey website - should be ashamed ….

Who is Keith Rollman? Mufi’s Atomic Monkey Exposed: Website calls Abercrombie a “flailing gasbag”, wife “a witch” , Could force Hannemann out of race: Admits AtomicMonkey site produced by Mufi campaign worker, AtomicMonkey responds: “Some of us work for the City…we proudly stand by description of Abercrombie as ‘flailing gasbag’”

HawaiiReporter.com claims to be open forum, responding to Heck: “Hawaii Reporter has published virtually every letter and commentary received over the last 10 years in order to ensure people with all viewpoints are allowed to comment on Hawaii politics, business, government, education and union activity.”

Editor’s Note: Hawaii Reporter is lying. It is not an open forum. The previous print-only Hawai`i Free Press once provided online content to HR but was forced to set up www.HawaiiFreePress.com because Hawaii Reporter in 2008 began refusing to post HFP content.

Fascinating Read: Board of Education: the Transsexual-Libertarian Connection

PR: Robotic

Read … Diminished Hawaii Reporter

State runs short of funds for EV rebate

SA: A state program that provided Hawaii motorists with $4,500 toward the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles has ended earlier than expected because high consumer demand depleted the fund.

The state issued more than 450 rebates totaling about $2 million between January 2011 and when the funds ran out earlier this month. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism extended the program twice, adding $150,000 in January and $350,000 in March. DBEDT officials originally had expected the March infusion to keep the program going until November, but demand was higher than anticipated.

The state also has awarded $2.6 million in federal stimulus grants to cover the cost of more than 230 public charging stations at 80 locations statewide.

read … They Gave all the Money Away

Hawaii to feel effects of Chinese solar panel tariffs

PBN: Hawaii’s fast-growing solar industry will feel the impact of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision Thursday to impose tariffs of more than 30 percent on photovoltaic panels imported from China — most likely in the form of higher prices.

This is in addition to the Commerce Department’s 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent tariff announced in March.

The tariffs are retroactive to 90 days before the decision.

But according to Andrew Yani, spokesman for the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, there are still more questions than answers in this case, which stemmed from the claims of several U.S. firms last October that Chinese solar-panel makers received unfair subsidies from its government, among other issues.

“We don’t know how it will affect [the Hawaii market],” Yani told PBN. “It will need to play out [itself], but longer term, you will see a rise in PV prices.”

NYT: U.S. Slaps High Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels

FULL TEXT: http://ia.ita.doc.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet-prc-solar-cells-ad-prelim-20120517.pdf

read … Protectionism

University of Hawaii Hires New Chancellor At $439,008 Per Year

HR: University of Hawaii regents today hired Dr. Tom Apple as new Manoa campus chancellor at a salary of $439,008 per year -- $100,000 more than outgoing chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.

Although some regents had privately expressed misgivings about the salary escalation in tight economic times, the vote was unanimous.

Regents Dennis Hirota and Chuck Gee said they had been prepared to vote against Apple, provost at the University of Delaware, but were ultimately convinced that he was the best candidate for the position and that his salary was justified.

Hinshaw has been chancellor for three years and departs in July on a 10-month sabbatical, collecting $28,740 per month while she is away. When she returns she will take a tenured position at the University's School of Medicine.

SA: A Delaware university provost will be the new chancellor, earning $439,008 a year

read … Lets Raise Tuition Again!

Leftists Pass out Cash

Most recent grantees include:

* 808 Urban
* Hawaii Guerilla Video Hui
* Hawaii Peace and Justice
* Hawaii Women in Filmmaking
* Ka Lei Maile Alii Hawaiian Civic Club
* Kauai LGBT Youth Council
* Maui Huliau Foundation
* Pride at Work Hawaii
* Q-Waves
* The Marion Kelly Preservation Ohana
* Youth Speaks Hawaii

read … Leftists

Hawaiian snags $56M in bag fees

SA: The state's oldest and largest carrier raked in a company-high $56.6 million from bag fees in 2011, bucking a national trend that saw U.S. airlines' revenue from bag fees fall for the first time since they started collecting them, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Hawaiian's bag fees represented 3.4 percent of the $1.65 billion it made in total revenue last year, when the airline lost $2.6 million. Hawaiian's loss included a pretax lease termination charge of $70 million tied to the purchase of 15 Boeing 717-200 interisland aircraft that Hawaiian had been leasing.

Hawaiian's bag fees have steadily risen through the years and were up 4.8 percent in 2011 from the previous high of $54 million in 2010. The airline had $38.2 million in bag fees in 2009, $11.6 million in 2008 and $4.5 million in 2007.

read … Bags of Money


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