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Sunday, June 03, 2012
June 3, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 PM :: 16334 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

"But Businesses Can Pass Along Their Taxes, Residents Can’t"

Obama's Puck's Alley Drug Dealer Killed by Gay Lover

European Budget Cuts Threaten Mauna Kea Telescopes

Borreca: Senate May Go Republican With or Without Lingle Victory

At the end of a long column peddling the nonsensical idea that Lingle vs Hirono will decide control of the Senate, Borreca slips up and admits it is all a lie:

“What if by Election Day, Hawaii voters see that Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and Virginia are going Republican and the Senate is already in GOP hands — could there be a last-minute move by Hawaii voters to put Lingle in the Senate?

“Probably a bit far-fetched, but if you see Democrats begging voters to vote early and absentee, you will know why.”

Reality not ‘far fetched’: Senate Likely to Shift Republican Even Without Lingle Victory

read … Desperate Democrat Losers

Thielen: Democratic Party of Hawaii acting against democratic principles

Today, however, the political pendulum has swung so far it's bent. The extremes within parties pull us apart. Cries of "DINO" and "RINO" push moderates out of office, out of political parties, and out of participation in government….

An 18-person committee on Oahu (fewer on neighbor islands) controls whether new members may run for office. The only appeal is to a 60-person state committee. That means nine and 30 people opposing a candidate can block a member of the party from running for office, and can deprive other party members and voters the right to choice in an election.

Democratic principles support inclusive participation in government. We are the party that championed voting rights. A primary election where you can vote only for candidates that are pre-approved by any small group is undemocratic and wrong.

The party hardliners have already tried to expand the committees' control. They proposed screening members for their entire first year. Some hardliners advocate for committees to screen all Democratic candidates.

Fortunately, the Democratic Party consists of many groups, not just one. The attempt to reject me as a candidate is making us have an open discussion about party ideology and voting rights. I am heartened that so many members of the party are not comfortable with the hardline position. It remains to be seen which side will win. But the fight will clearly continue well beyond the decision about my candidacy. Far greater issues are at stake for all Hawaii Democrats.

I look at the woman questioning me. The real question is: Do I want to fight for democratic principles, even when it means fighting within my own party?

Related: Both Sides in Thielen Dispute Aim For Democrats-Only Primary Elections

read … Democratic Party of Hawaii acting against democratic principles

Wind Farm Bulldozers at Work Without Approved Archaeological Plan

SA: By the time bulldozers started heavy construction at what will be the largest wind farm in Hawaii, the office charged with protecting the state's historic and cultural resources hadn't approved the developer's plan for protecting archaeological resources on the property.

The former Kawailoa plantation land near Haleiwa includes an irrigation system that is more than half a century old and is eligible for inclusion on the state and national registers for historic places.

Today, four months after the heavy grading started, the State Historic Preservation Division still hasn't completed its review of the First Wind monitoring plan, even though the developer has had monitors in place since the work started and has reported to the agency that no archaeological sites will be disturbed by construction.

"It's something that slipped through the cracks," William Aila, chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said of the lack of a timely approval of the monitoring plan. His department oversees SHPD….

Aila acknowledged that SHPD should have approved the (First Wind) monitoring plan for that project once the developer indicated in its archaeological survey that no sites would be adversely affected by construction. He said Friday that the plan would be approved shortly.

Bob Rechtman, the consultant who did the archaeological work, voiced a concern shared by many who deal with that office.

"The concern is that this is just one project among hundreds statewide that has essentially proceeded without timely input from SHPD….

read … Wind Scammers Free Ride

“Common Core” DoE Crony Contractors to Score $54M

SA: If Hawaii uses the traditional approach, rolling out the new standards over the next two years could cost about $54.7 million, according to the analysis.

A balanced model could cost less than half that, while a "bare bones" approach could cost about $16 million, the report said. (But $38M fewer lucrative “Professional Services” Contracts to DoE insiders)

Hawaii would have spent about $16.5 million on instructional materials during the period anyway. Diverting those dollars for common core textbooks, training and other expenditures would bring the state's implementation cost down considerably — to $38.2 million for the traditional approach and to nothing for the bare bones approach, according to the analysis.

Download the report: Hawaii State Department of Education, standards crosswalks, curriculum frameworks and model units, and assessments for specific standards, http://wetserver.net/hcpsv3_staging/cc/common-core.jsp

Putting a Price Tag on the Common Core: How Much Will Smart Implementation Cost?

read … State's common core costs could hit $54.7M

Cayetano: Enhanced bus system, with Free Wi-Fi, is the way to go

SA: Honolulu's bus system is rated the best in the nation. My plan begins by enhancing, not dismantling it, as the city is now doing as part of its rail plan.

I would plan and implement an enhanced version of the bus rapid transit plan contained in the 2003 final Environmental Impact Statement I signed as governor and that the FTA approved in 2003. Full details of the region from the Ewa Plain and Mililani areas, to town are in this final EIS.

The city paid Parsons Brinkerhoff more than $10 million for the 2003 study, which concluded that bus rapid transit (BRT) was superior to rail as it would generate higher ridership at roughly one-fifth the cost ($1.04 billion)….

Finally, it doesn't cost much to retrofit buses with Wi-Fi and other amenities….

read … Carlisle and Caldwell have some plans too, but really, can they beat free Wi-Fi?

Changes to bus routes start today

SA: that's little consolation for commuters trying to get to work on Route 55 (North Shore, Windward Oahu and Wahiawa) — the former Circle Island route — because "peak" morning weekday intervals end at 6:02 a.m. in Wahiawa, 7:02 a.m. in Kahuku and 7:32 a.m. in Kaaawa; after that, the bus shifts to a once-an-hour schedule instead of every half-hour.

"We only have the one bus up our side," said Hauula resident KC Connors, who's been catching the bus for two years since she was permanently injured in a car accident and is no longer able to drive. "Frankly, it doesn't always come on time and one in four times I wait a long time. It's a real problem already."

Connors sees firsthand who it will hurt. "It's going to affect people's livelihoods, the elderly, disabled, lower income," as well as high school and college students, she said. "I saw a woman (at the bus stop) crying and crying. She said if she doesn't get to her fast-food job on time and is late three times, she's fired."….

State Rep. Gil Riviere said North Shore and Windward communities "gave clear input" to a transportation official that they didn't want the hourly schedule, "but that didn't affect anything."

"Many, many people have said the buses are always full," he said. "Reducing it to the hourly schedule will make it worse."

Riviere said breaking up the Circle Island bus route may have helped Wahiawa residents traveling to town with more reliable service, but "their solution is to reduce the amount of buses going around the North Shore. … Once again, we're getting left in the lurch."

He suggested adding a route within the North Shore to alleviate problems caused by traffic tie-ups.

read … Thanks to Rail

Bus Contractor Pitches School Busses as Rail Alternative

SA: the state's largest agency wants to get rid of a major transit benefit on all islands that could, if implemented and managed properly, reduce traffic by 20-30 percent almost immediately, with no further investment — while protecting our most valuable resource, our children, by getting them to and from school safely…. (The word ‘collusion’ appears nowhere in this article.)

The last two Legislatures required a cost-benefit analysis from the DOE on school bus service. But the DOE wrote barely a paragraph on the subject; it did not even do a decent financial analysis. It decided that school bus service costs money and has little to do with education, other than being the greatest factor in reducing truancy.

A cost-benefit analysis would have shown, among other things, the dangers to children of walking in high-traffic environments; the risk of children being molested on city buses; the benefits to the community of reduced traffic on roads and around schools; the excessive consumption and cost of fuel sitting in traffic around schools; and more.

Instead, the DOE seeks to match the school bus fare with the fare of the city bus — $1.25 — when the city bus is much less efficient and costs four times more.

The fare for school bus service should never have been allowed to get above 30 cents a trip. The DOE should be trying to maximize the service, not minimize it. Fill up underutilized school buses to get cars off the road by reducing the fare, not increasing it.

Finally, in the state's search for funding options: federal law states that school districts can get school bus funds from the FTA. But shenanigans in Washington, D.C., have defined school buses with "charter, or intercity bus transportation or intercity passenger rail transportation," essentially making them ineligible.

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye could look into this matter and explain that school buses are actually community public transportation vehicles, and school districts that use school buses qualify for FTA funds.

read … Rewarding Collusion

Census: Cost of Hawaii Oil Imports Fluctuates Wildly

  • · 2011 $4.5B BARRELS 42.3M
  • · 2010 $3.2B BARRELS 42.3M
  • · 2009 $2.6B BARRELS 41.0M
  • · 2008 $4.1B BARRELS 41.4M
  • · 2007 $3.4B BARRELS 46.1M
  • · 2006 $3.2B BARRELS 49.0M
  • · 2005 $2.3B BARRELS 45.0M

Hawaii depends on petroleum to meet 90 percent of its needs, according to the Energy Information Administration. Most of Hawaii's imported oil — about 60 percent — is used for transportation, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Another 30 percent of the oil imports goes to electricity generation, while the balance is used in commercial and industrial applications.

read … Mostly Being Used as an Excuse for Big Wind and Big Cable

SA: Natural gas worthy option for Hawaii

SA: Electricity in Hawaii costs roughly triple the national average, which is a major reason to move away from fossil fuels toward clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar energy.

While that long-term goal is sought, The Gas Co. is wisely moving forward with plans to bring natural gas to Hawaii, and the state Public Utilities Commission should approve permits and nudge utilities to welcome the company's investment.

Hawaiian Electric Co., the state's largest electric utility, has not said whether it is studying the option of using natural gas. Spokesman Peter Rosegg has said HECO is weighing the cost of modifying equipment and building additional infrastructure against the potential fuel price advantages for customers.

Executives of the member-owned Kauai Island Utility Commission are excited about the opportunity, as they should be….

Hermina Morita, chairwoman of the Public Utilities Commission, says the PUC has not given HECO or Kauai Island Utility Cooperative any "formal directive" to study natural gas. However, she said the utilities "have a responsibility and duty as managers to fully investigate all alternatives to help lower ratepayer impacts."

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz has said he considers liquefied natural gas as "a real option for us, and we're looking at it very seriously."

In a letter to Hawaiian Electric, Gov. Neil Abercrombie asked that it "move forward with plans to include natural gas in Hawaii's energy portfolio in the near term." ….

Hawaii's utilities are rightly preparing for long-term expansion of clean energy from sources other than fossil fuels. They should be open and aggressive about the use of natural gas at least as a way to lessen prices along the way.

read … Natural gas worthy option for Hawaii

Did broken airport beacon contribute to fatal air crash near Lihue?

ILind: Note the last sentence in the May 18, 2012 emergency procurement request filed with the State Procurement Office by the Kauai District, DOT Airports Division:

The obstruction light at Carter’s Point was severely damaged during our last thunder storm. A lightning strike hit the lightning rod and melted the protective covering and several boards inside the housing unit that contains the computer and batteries. The light illuminates the mountain that is 799 ft high and about 2 thousand feet from the extended centerline of runway 35 (the major landing runway at Lihue Airport). During night operations and bad weather conditions, pilots must keep this obstruction light to their left side at all times or risk a very serious accident. If a pilot clips their left wing into this rugged cliff they will never make land and end up in the harbor, in approximately 4,000 ft of water. A plane carrying mail crashed into the ocean because the light was out of service and the pilot did not have a reference point to tell him he was too low and far from the runway.

An online search of news stories and aircraft accident reports turned up the crash of an Alpine Air plane carrying mail from Honolulu to Kauai shortly after 5 a.m. on January 14, 2008.

read … Did broken airport beacon contribute to fatal air crash near Lihue?

Civil Rights Watchdog to Run for State House

News Release from Low for House: Jeremy Low is a former government civil rights “watchdog” and research analyst at the Hawaii State Office of Language Access during the Lingle administration. He monitored and worked with state government departments to make sure they are in compliance with the Hawaii Language Access Law. Low was also a community liaison and legislative aide for retiring State Representative Barbara Marumoto. He filed papers to run for her redistricted seat in the State House, District 18, Hahaione Valley, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Aina Haina, Wailupe, Waialae Iki, Kalani Valley, and portions of Kahala and Waialae.

Jeremy Low, a lifelong resident of the area and a lifetime real Republican, announced his candidacy to become the State Representative for District 18.

“I am running for public office to improve our economy and to create new private sector jobs by implementing good and sensible public policies. I am a fiscal conservative, and I want you to know it. You can be assured that I will oppose tax increases, and I will support tax cuts. I believe you should be able to keep your hard earned money,” said Low. “Public officials whose kneejerk first reaction to a fiscal crisis is to raise taxes hurt our community by not understanding basic economics. We must do our best to expel this kind of thinking from government.”

###

Fontaine Factor - Agriculture in Hawaii

Host: Representative George Fontaine
Guest 1: Dean Okimoto -- President of HI Farm Bureau Federation
Guest 2: Brian Miyamoto -- COO Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation
Contact:
repfontaine@capitol.hawaii.gov or Dean Dean Okimoto at nalofarms@hawaii.rr.com Brian Miyamoto at brian@hfbf.org

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTRowW3aD1g

Better Government with Rep. Marumoto and Beth Fukumoto

Representative Barbara Marumoto speaks with Beth Fukumoto, Director of the House Minority Research Contact: repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov or b.fukumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kENPiMpHd0Q

Time with Barbara Marumoto - Small Business

Representative Barbara Marumoto speaks with Monica I. Toguchi, Vice-President, Highway Inn Inc., 94-226 Leoku Street, Waipahu, Hawaii 96797 Phone: (808) 677-4345 Fax: (808) 671-8653 Website: www.myhighwayinn.com Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @highwayinn
Contact:
repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul1ry_2OHVE

No reason to fear debris, NOAA says

MN: More than likely, there will be no body parts or radioactive materials among the Japan tsunami debris that may begin washing up along the main Hawaiian Islands this year, federal officials said last week.

"People shouldn't fear. There is no reason to stop going to the beach. It's not going to come in one tidal wave of trash.

(And) the radioactivity is highly unlikely," said Carey Morishige, Pacific Islands regional coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Debris Program.

read … Maybe this will make the Paranoiacs Leave

Hawaii to receive more than $2.8 million for Eco Make Work Jobs

News Release: The State of Hawaii will receive $2,810,498 to protect shorelines, improve water quality and preserve coral reefs, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.

The money comes from two grants awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This award marks the 38th year that NOAA has provided ongoing funding to the State of Hawaii to administer its federally approved coastal management program.

read … $2.8 million for coral reef protection and coastal zone management

"Tegara osele na wo nokose", To leave a name behind

HR: Kaoru Moto was born on April 25, 1917, in Camp 1 of the sugar plantation town of Sprecklesville on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Moto’s father, Ryozo, immigrated to Hawaii in 1888 and had come to Hawaii from Hiroshima. Ryozo’s wife Sugayo also immigrated from Hiroshima 10 years after Ryozo. Moto had two siblings, Fusaya his sister and Mitugi, a younger brother. Both Moto and Mitugi served with 100th Battalion.

read … "Tegara osele na wo nokose"

Ironing gives Cayetano peace and spending money

Cataluna: The total for the two books was $23, and Cayetano asked if it was OK if he paid with dollar bills. As he counted out the money from his wallet, he explained that the stack of ones came from a money lei that he had taken apart and ironed early that morning.

Ironed?!

Sure enough, though the bills lay flat, there were still marks from accordion folds.

When asked, Cayetano said he vaguely recalls the event but said that it's definitely something he would do. "As a matter of fact I iron my own clothes, a habit I developed since high school," he said.

read … Ironing

Hawaii County Writes Yet Another Report on Sustainability

SA: "We all know we have to support agriculture, we have to commit to being able to feed ourselves," Mayor Billy Kenoi said in releasing the Hawai‘i County Food Self-Sufficiency Baseline Study 2012. "If you're going to make good decisions, you have to have access to good information. This is what we need to move forward in a very strategic, tactical way."

The report reveals a checkered agricultural landscape. The island produces virtually all the milk it consumes and more than 17 percent of its beef, for example, but with no commercial poultry operations, it imports all its chicken and eggs, aside from farmers market and other informal sales. Despite vast macadamia nut orchards, the study estimated that less than 5 percent of nuts consumed on the island are macadamias. (Too bad they can’t export all that milk, eh. No Superferry.)

Half of the 42,000 acres in crop production on the island are macadamia orchards, with an additional 6,000 acres in coffee, while vegetables, fruits and aquaculture account for another 10,000 acres of active agricultural use.

read … Several Trees Murdered


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