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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
April 2, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:45 PM :: 4407 Views

US House Examining ObamaCare’s Problem-Filled Hawaii Exchange at Hearing Thursday

ACLU Sues, Claims Pre-K Program Not Secular Enough

Full Text: Court Rules Hawaii not responsible for COFA Shortfalls

Stung by High Electric Rates, Parker Ranch launches Paniolo Power Company

UHERO Looks at Lanai, Molokai Windfarm Proposals

Pentagon Overhauls Effort to Identify its Missing

Major Tsunami not expected after Chilean Quake

Kids Doing Time for What's Not a Crime: The Over-Incarceration of Status Offenders

Maui: 8500 Signatures for Ballot Initiative ordering Shut Down of Farms

KOS: Maui Initiative signature collectors stood in front of stores, worked community events, and canvassed their neighbors on a quest for registered Maui County voters to support the ballot initiative for a temporary moratorium on GMO growing (yup.  They want to close down farms.) until a study is done showing they are safe (there have already been 1000s of studies proving GMOS are safe.  What is missing is even one study showing any harm from GMOs.)

Organizers counted up the notarized petitions and announced that they had gathered the necessary 8,500 signatures (translation: they came up short).  However when each signature is verified some may be thrown out as invalid, so petitions will continue circulating for another week (translation: they know many signatures are bogus).

If the Initiative successfully passes, Maui can look forward to being sued by the GMO companies who have sued Kaua'i and Big Island over their disclosure ordinances. 

read ... Morons against Monsanto

Grand Hyatt, Bionic Dread Team up to Protest Dairy Farm

KE: I see that folks are still busily bashing the proposed dairy....

What a strange sociological phenomenon on this island that when anyone tries to do anything – good, bad or in between – the lunatics rise up in righteous indignation to do whatever they can to stop it?!....

Diann Hartman, spokeswoman for the nearby Grand Hyatt, questioned whether there were any dairy farms with such a high density of cows to acreage within two miles of the ocean and three of a thriving economic center.

No, but there are hundreds of shopping centers and resorts with a high density of sunscreen-lathered, mai tai-quaffing tourists along the shoreline, wreaking all sorts of unchecked havoc on land, water, culture, access. But shhhh, let's not mention that.

Ag, not tourism, is the bogeyman de jour.

This comment by “bionic dread” said it all:

To some of us, it's another Superferry or GMO field.

Yes. Isn't everything?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of living in a war zone.

And don't be blaming it on the chem companies or the corporations. We created this “ground zero” victim-aggressor mentality and we can end it. Or we can keep wasting our resources and energy on endless skirmishes that never do address, much less resolve, the bigger issues that face us.

read ... About the Protesters

HB1675: Hawaii Lawmakers Mull Reversal of Act 167 School Hours

CB: This year, the big question is whether Hawaii should turn back the clock on House Bill 2486, a law that was passed in 2010 in response to the furloughs. HB2486 set across-the-board minimum instructional time for all schools. (Charter and multi-track schools are excluded from the requirements.)

A bill that’s making its way through the Legislature would eliminate certain key conditions of HB 2486, which was better known as Act 167.

Those conditions include setting a minimum number of instructional hours that is gradually increasing....

... opponents of House Bill 1675 worry the measure could make the state more vulnerable to future Furlough Fridays and, perhaps more likely, that it risks restoring great variations in instructional time that could lead to less equal education.

read ... School Hours

Kauai HHSC Hospital funding runs dry

KGI: An emergency funding request to cover a short-term deficit with the statewide public health care system appears to have died.

The Senate’s Emergency Appropriation Bill for Hawaii Health Systems Corporation was a follow up for a $18.2 million request to cover all regions and hospitals in the state HHSC system. It wasn’t scheduled for a hearing before the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, which essentially killed the bill.

HSCC operates Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea, Samuel Mahelona Memorial in Kapaa and three clinics in Waimea, Port Allen and Kalaheo. The emergency funding included $3.7 million for Kauai to ensure solvency through June 30.

“This was a shock and I have no insight on why the bill is not being heard,” said HHSC Kauai Region Interim CEO Scott McFarland. “I was quite surprised.”

The emergency funding was to pay the final amount of a previously approved request. He said it will be a challenge for operations to reach the next fiscal period.

“I am working with the entire Kauai Legislative delegation on attempting to find an alternate legislative vehicle to ensure the HHSC Kauai Region has the cash to operate over the next 90 days,” McFarland said.

HHSC Interim Acting President and CEO Alice Hall, said the bill had cleared two other committees and they did not expect it to stall Tuesday. The funding was to cover federal cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and make up the difference with a collective bargaining increase that came after the budget was approved.

Other cost saving measures are already in place and the delay will likely mean holding off paying venders until after July 1.

District 16 State Rep. Dee Morikawa, (HGEA) said this is not something  to panic over when the Legislature has already funded HHSC’s Kauai operations with $7 million that was proposed to last until the end of this fiscal year.

read ... Nothing to see here

Solomon Gut n Replace Geothermal Resolution Pops Up

IM: On Friday March 28 a Resolution calling for the fencing of state parks (SCR 148) was replaced by a geothermal Resolution (SCR 148 SD1).

A quadruple committee hearing was scheduled for Tuesday April 1 (April Fool’s Day).

The Resolution was heard by the Committees on Water and Land (WTL), Energy and Environment (ENE), Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Ways and Means (WAM)....

The hearing lasted 46 minutes as several Legislators questioned the PUC’sSean Mikell (the PUC Legislative Coordinator who also works in the PUC Research and Policy section) and Life of the Land’s Henry Curtis.

The four committees deferred the matter until April 2, 2014. No hearing notice has been filed for this second hearing.

Background: Solomon Pushes for Approval of Mililani Trask's Overpriced Geothermal Contract

read ... Sandwich Profits

'Life without limbs' minister enjoys a Hawaii beach vacation before the release of his inspirational book about defeating bullies

DM: Inspirational Christian minister born with no limbs Nick Vujicic was pictured hitting the beach in Maui on Tuesday as he took a much needed vacation ahead of the release of his newest book, in which the Aussie native explains how to overcome bullying.

Vujicic's life is a testament to how one can overcome adversity, but in Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying, the 31-year-old reveals that even he's had to struggle against bullies.

Read ... defeating bullies

Tsunami Monitoring Technology Hits the Mark in Chile

NBC: A beefed-up tsunami monitoring and prediction system performed with flying colors in the wake of Tuesday's magnitude-8.2 earthquake in Chile, researchers reported on the morning after....More than 12 hours after the earthquake, the tsunami waves swept harmlessly past Hawaii at a height of 20 inches (50 centimeters) — right in line with the computer model's predictions.

read ... Hits the Mark

Hawaii State Center for Nursing finds promising results from long-term care nursing project

PBN: The Hawaii State Center for Nursing, established by the state in 2003 to address nursing issues in the workforce, recently published results of a two-year project aimed at addressing the state’s nursing shortage in long term care.

The report, called  “Hawaii Partners in Nursing: Addressing Recruitment and Retention in Long Term Care,” noted that the need to get more nurses into long-term care is urgent. Between 2000 and 2020, the number of people age 60 or older in the state will increase by 75 percent, while people age 85 and older will increase by 121 percent.

read ... Long Term Care

Kenoi aides to get More raises

HTH: The largest percentage increase is going to the mayor’s public relations specialist, whose $62,425 annual salary is climbing 17 percent to $73,032. Next is one of his executive assistants, whose $83,204 salary increases 10.7 percent to $92,081.

The increases are on top of 4 percent increases received by all the employees last year.

read ... Looting your Tax Money

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