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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:42 PM :: 4702 Views

July, 2013: Neil Abercrombie Conspiracy Theory Claims Inouye Letter Conspiracy

Health Connector Extends Enrollment Grace period to April 30

GMO Paranoia: Knowledge is the Key to Fighting Fear

Obamacare Punches $150M Hole in ILWU Contract

All Eyes Should be on the First Wind – PUC Affair

Pine: Habitual Dumpers Could Go to Jail and Face $10,000 a Day Fine

"Modern" Light Rail: Worth the Investment?

Over 60 Staff Positions Vacant at Hawaii State Hospital

Star-Adv Lies About its own poll to Avoid Acknowledging Djou is #1

SA: ...Kim's campaign reported collecting $251,642 from Jan. 1 to March 31, according to a quarterly campaign financing report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday. Overall, the veteran lawmaker collected $582,775 in the campaign she began in November.

Tuesday's campaign financing reports showed Chang just behind Kim in fundraising with Takai closing in. Chang reported total receipts of $557,748, with $122,299 collected during the first three months of 2014....

Takai finished second in fundraising during the first three months of 2014, reporting $227,203 in receipts. Overall, he has collected the third most to date, reporting $453,919 collected.

Anderson's campaign has spent the second most on the race, with a reported $214,702 in total disbursements, $92,729 from January through March. Anderson's campaign reported $349,528 in overall receipts, $78,947 during the first three months of 2014....

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou announced on April 3 that he is also running for the office he once held. Because his announcement came after the quarter ended, Djou did not have to file a first-quarter report. However, Djou issued a statement on April 7 declaring that his campaign committee had raised $100,000 in its first 100 hours. The February Hawaii Poll did not include Manahan or Djou....

(WRONG: Djou was polled and his numbers beat all the others.  See >>> CD1 Poll: Good News for Charles Djou)

Related: Djou: $100,000 in 100 Hours

read ... Kim is top moneymaker in U.S. House race

Campaigning for Schatz, Abercrombie: Gore Prances Around Stage before Slipping out for a Massage

SA: Gore, wearing a lei, spoke before an adoring crowd of about 9,000, who greeted him to the stage with a standing ovation and saw him off in similar fashion. On hand were more than 4,000 students (ordered to attend by their perfessers). Tickets were free (because nobody believes in this crap enough to pay).

Gore freewheeled around the Stan Sheriff Center stage, waving his arms and pointing his fingers and showing slides and charts -- much like his totally debunked Academy Award-winning 2006 documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." 

read ... Gore and His Bots

Schatz keeps fundraising edge on Hanabusa as Donor Support Dwindles for Both

SA: Schatz raised about $601,320 from January through March and has topped $4 million overall, according to his federal campaign finance report. Hanabusa raised about $427,860 during the past quarter and more than $2 million overall, her report shows.

The quarterly figures were the lowest for Schatz and Hanabusa since they announced their primary campaigns last year. While the August primary to fill out the remainder of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's term is among the most intriguing in the nation, a Democrat will likely prevail in the November general election. Consequently, the big money is concentrated on other races that might influence whether Demo­crats keep political control of the Senate.

read ... Donors Losing Interest?

Aiona-Abercrombie-Hannemann Race Should Motivate Voter Turnout

MN: Right now, there are two very good races on the Democratic side of the ticket. Brian Schatz vs. Colleen Hanabusa for the U.S. Senate promises to be a very tight race that will be decided in the Democratic primary.

Sen. David Ige's intraparty challenge to incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie may prove to be just a warm-up bout.

Assuming Abercrombie prevails over Ige in the primary, he faces a strong challenge from former Republican Lt. Gov. James Aiona and possibly a third-party run by Mufi Hannemann. Hannemann, the former mayor of Honolulu, is studying a run as the Hawaii Independent Party nominee for governor.

These two races alone should motivate all of us to register and vote.

read ... Motivating the electorate

Matsuda Health Connector Expects 9,000 Enrollments

PBN: Tom Matsuda, interim executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector, is anticipating that the online health insurance marketplace will end up with 9,000 individual enrollees from the first open enrollment period that  ended on March 31....

“When I started in early December, we had about 600 enrollments, and obviously the first few months of operations were pretty rough. But we finished with more than 7,000 enrollments — now more than 8,000 — and we are still continuing to process enrollments,” he said. “There is always room for improvement, but I think we got close to the target on the individual marketplace, and when you combine it with new Medicaid enrollments, we actually did pretty well considering the small potential in number of enrollees who are uninsured.”

read ... Tom Matsuda on Hawaii Health Connector enrollment

HB 1700 -- Day 1

PR: State Rep. Sylvia Luke and Sen. David Ige opened conference committee negotiations on the state budget Tuesday afternoon with a reminder that it was their cautious approach to state spending last year that positioned the state to handle a downgraded revenue forecast.

Luke, the chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, said it was unfortunate that expectations were raised by the state's record $844 million budget surplus at the end of the last fiscal year.

While Gov. Neil Abercrombie has touted the record surplus in his re-election campaign, the governor, Luke and Ige have been consistent in explaining that the surplus did not mean the state would go on a spending spree.

Luke and Ige have pledged not to go back on the state's promises to address unfunded liabilities in the public worker health care and retirement funds and replenish the state's rainy day and hurricane relief funds....

On Tuesday, Luke and Ige announced that negotiators had reached agreement on several important items:

  • *$1.5 million for Housing First, a homeless assistance program.
  • *$1.2 million for early intervention services in the state Department of Health.
  • *$1 million and 50 positions for enrollment support at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu.
  • *$9 million for increased utility costs at the state Department of Education.

House and Senate negotiators will meet again in Room 309 of the state Capitol at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

read ... HB 1700 -- Day 1

Pacific Resource Partnership, Schatz, Biggest Ad Buyers

CB: In the past six months, more than $700,000 has been spent on political TV spots, public records kept by each local TV station show.

Much of that has been spent since January, as campaign season kicks into a higher gear ahead of the Aug. 9 primary.

And once again, the Pacific Resource Partnership is proving itself to be a major political player, this time encouraging policy makers to move forward with big developments that the unions affiliated with the political committee will benefit from.

PRP is the biggest spender so far, paying more than $350,000 for 813 spots aimed at promoting development in Kakaako....

National Organization for Marriage: The group spent more than $37,000 on 104 spots advocating against same-sex marriage. The ads ran during October's special session of the Legislature that considered the Marriage Equality Act, which passed and was signed into law on Nov. 13.

The ad aired on KITV, KGMB, KHNL and KFVE; the most expensive cost $2,100 and aired during "Hawaii Five-0."

For the Sake of the Children: During the same special session that passed the Marriage Equality Act, the organization For The Sake Of The Children bought 13 spots for $2,540 on KITV opposing same-sex marriage and urging lawmakers to uphold what the group calls the traditional Hawaiian ohana....

read ... Campaign Sending

Duncan, Abercrombie Tour Hawaii DoE as 'Rising Star'

SA: Results from the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), the "Nation's Report Card," highlighted that Hawaii was one of the top five fastest improving states in the country, with an eight-point increase in math for fourth- and eighth-grade, a four-point increase in reading in fourth-grade, and a five-point increase in reading in eighth-grade (when compared to 2009 results.) This success in Hawaii is the result of challenging the status quo and making changes to the way teachers and administrators do their work and hold themselves accountable.

Meanwhile: Attacks on BOE chairman amount to religious bigotry

read ... Hawaii emerges as a rising star in education reform

Fewer Hawaii workers testing positive for marijuana, amphetamine use

PBN: The lab tests between 7,000 and 10,000 samples each quarter. Amphetamine use has shown a 33 percent drop since the end of 2012, while positive tests for marijuana declined by 26 percent. The use of synthetic urine dropped 56 percent

Quarter over consecutive quarter, positive tests for cocaine rose to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent.

read ... Fewer Hawaii workers testing positive for marijuana, amphetamine use

Hilo Family Court Returned Boys to Bisexual Child Molester

HNN: "He's just the worst kind of monster there is out there. I really hate him. He didn't just ruin my life, he ruined all my brothers' life," said Rajan Ram, who was adopted by the Ram.

Five victims, now grown men, have sued Ram, claiming he sexually abused them for years.

Advocates for sex abuse victims said the case is one of the worst they've seen.

"It is ultimately tragic. You have these kids who at their ultimate bottom. They're vulnerable, they're being pulled out of their homes," said Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"He destroyed them."

Ram was charged with sexual assault back in 1993 but that case fell apart due to conflicting witness testimony. Hawaii's Child Protective Services took the boys from Ram's home but was forced to send them back.

"We conducted an investigation and we determined that there was sufficient basis to take the children into custody," said Patricia McManaman, director of the state Department of Human Services.

"The Hilo Family Court, however, after review, return the children to Mr. Ram."

Many of the victims said they were scarred by the alleged abuses.

"There were several instances I wanted to jump off that bridge, the Hakalau Bridge," said Carlos Ram, who was adopted by Ram in the 1990s.

Added Rajan Ram: "It's been horrible. I've been to prison. Two felonies on my record."

read ... Child Molester

Where’s The ‘Community’ In HCDA?

Bob Jones: There’s more profit interests at play here than visionaries.

A family member of the Mitsunaga & Associates engineering firm sits on HCDA. So does the owner of a Kobayashi Group subsidiary business. Their “expertise” is cited as the reason.

Even if John and Mary Citizen had the expertise to sit on HCDA, would they have the time?

No. The Mitsunaga daughter is going to be given the time because Mitsunaga’s business interests coincide.

The open-space allowance I’ve seen so far is ridiculous. Open space means parks and substantial separation between concrete-and-steel towers.

When citizens see space and height limitations overridden so developers can make a better profit, they lose faith in the process. They figure their governor is playing to his campaign contributors....

We’ve moved most of the decision making into the hands of government bureaucrats and business interests.

What a place! A 450-foot building-height limitation is only a maybe. A judge found by the state Bar Association to be “unqualified” is seated on the Supreme Court. And the Public Utilities Commission chairwoman ran an illegal bread-and-breakfast on state conservation land....

read ... What A Place!

SCR38: No Student Fee Hikes

Price: ...SCR 38, urging the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii to not raise student fees to balance the budget of the University of Hawaii Athletics Department or budget deficits of any other department of the University of Hawaii. The resolution was introduced by Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and passed all necessary readings in the Senate. This measure was referred to Ways and Means. It was a decision-making meeting only; no oral testimony was accepted. Interested people could submit written testimony, but few if any did.

SCR 38 passed without fanfare April 2 as planned.

One of the hottest topics on the Manoa campus happens to be student fees. In some cases, UH charged students for services that did not even exist – such as at West Oahu for transportation and health care that had never provided. That resulted in a refund to affected students and prompted the passage of SCR 38.

read ... The Art Of Political Gamesmanship

Reconstructed Car Owners Wait Months for Safety Inspection

HNN: Some people with souped-up rides are driving illegally due to a permit backlog. Owners have been waiting up to two and a half months for an appointment to have their modified vehicles inspected. A reconstructed vehicle permit is needed to obtain a safety check sticker. The new safety inspection system that started several months ago is now making it tougher for drivers to skip that step.

read ... City tries to reduce 'recon' permit backlog

Rail Buys, Wrecks Dillingham Shopping Plaza

HNN: When the elevated rail route comes down the middle of Dillingham Boulevard the area will look very different. Some say it already is. Once a busy shopping center the city bought the property at 1901 Dillingham Boulevard in August 2012. Since then it's began to deteriorate, but Hart does plan to make it better.

The property at 1901 Dillingham Boulevard has graffiti, overgrown weeds, fading signs and a neighbor says the homeless previously broke in to scavenge the place.

"We want our properties to look nice and we're urging people to maintain their properties, well we should start with ourselves," said Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilmember.

The city paid $2.8 million for the property in August 2012. The previous owner paid just under $1.3 million eight years prior in 2004.

Some council members question why the city center properties were bought so early.

"We're not getting property tax. And these other people have lost their businesses," said Kobayashi.

read ... HART apologizes for unkempt rail property

Hawaii County Council Bows to Homelessness Industry

WHT: Sadegh came out from the shadows Tuesday to testify before the council Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation against Bill 193 that would allow the county to confiscate and sell personal property that is left in public areas.

After hearing a dozen people express their concerns, the bill sponsor, Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha, postponed the bill for more work. He said the bill isn’t targeting the homeless, but the dozen people who came to testify — all with concerns about the bill — seemed to disagree....

Several said the bill is premature.

“You’ve got to give them a soft place to land before you cut their legs out from under them,” said David Schlesinger.

Several suggested alternatives, such as providing more affordable housing, allowing tents to be built in remote oceanfront areas and providing lockers at select public buildings. Some pointed out that the county has more than 8,500 potentially homeless families on a waiting list for Section 8 federally subsidized housing.

South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Brenda Ford agreed that tents might be a solution, at least temporarily.

read ... Homeless bill heads back to drawing board

Depositions Detail Retaliation Attack Against Kauai Councilmember

KE: “Look, Sheila, get one rice cooker,” county planning inspector Patrick Henriques said as he peered through a gap in the drapes that covered a sliding glass door at Councilman Tim Bynum's house.

His boss, planning supervisor Sheila Miyake, looked, too, and she saw a refrigerator. “That, to me, is an installed appliance,” she said. Patrick pressed his camera up to the glass and took pictures of the room. Then, spotting a broken window, “I tried to peek through that thing.”

The two county workers were describing their unannounced “exterior inspection” after receiving an “anonymous” complaint that Tim had converted his Wailua Homesteads house into a multi-family dwelling. Their words were caught on tape by former First Deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane, who was secretly recording their Nov. 30, 2010 conversation.

read ... Dreck from the Depos, Part I

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