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Saturday, April 19, 2014
April 19, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:17 PM :: 3733 Views

Tulsi Gabbard Helps Republicans Shadow Obama in Asia

Gallup: Hawaii Public Schools Still Rank Among Worst in USA

April 17, 2014: Election Commission Releases Updated Candidate List

Gill: I only Want to Close the Democrats' Primary

SA Corrections: Tony Gill, attorney for the Demo­cratic Party of Hawaii, said he believes that only people who publicly support the Demo­cratic Party of Hawaii should be able to pick its candidates. A "Name in the News" interview with Gill on Page A16 Friday implied he wants to apply that standard to all political parties.

Background: Tony Gill seeking to overturn Hawaii's open primary election

read ... Just Close the Dems Primary

Blocking Ige from Democratic Convention Platform, Abercrombie Cowers Behind Carpenter

HNN: A gubernatorial candidate is mad about a democratic diss. State Senator David Ige claims it's because Governor Neil Abercrombie is scared of him. Right now candidate Ige will not be able to give a speech at the Democratic convention, but there is a chance he may still get to take the podium.

"Obviously it's not fair. Every convention for going back as far as we could see all major candidates especially for statewide offices had the opportunity to address the convention," said Sen. Ige.

State Senator David Ige isn't necessarily a fiery man, but he is fired up about not being able to address the Democratic convention next month when Governor Neil Abercrombie was given five minutes.

"I can understand why the Governor is afraid of me speaking but I do believe that the members of the Democratic Party want to hear all major candidates," said Sen. Ige.

He also accuses Governor Abercrombie and his employees, some of whom are coordinating the convention, of plotting against him and changing the rules to prevent him from speaking.

"Just look at the people who are making those decisions. They all work for the Governor," said Sen. Ige. "They clearly are concerned."

"I don't work for Neil Abercrombie and so their allegations are not true," said Dante Carpenter, Democratic Party of Hawaii Chair.  (Quick IQ test: Is Carpenter lying?)

PR: `Full support'

CB: Anderson Joins Ige Seeking Speech Time at Democratic Party Convention

read ... Abercrombie Shakes With Fear

UH Insiders Try to Buy Favor of Kim, Takai

ILind: Takai’s supporters appear much more eclectic. I was somewhat surprised to see a $500 contribution to Takai by UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, who has to tread lightly as the UH budget is still awaiting final approval at the legislature. Other UH contributors include athletic director Ben Jay ($500) and assistant AD Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano ($250).

Kim has her own short list of UH contributors, including the UH system’s top lawyer, Darolyn Lendio Heim ($250), former UH football coach June Jones ($1,000), and associate v-p Michael Unebasami ($1,000), who has also given the same amount to Takai.

Totally Unrelated: Mercado Kim Threatens Investigation Because Son not Admitted to Richardson Law School

read ... 1st Congressional District race shifting out of low gear

Star-Adv Very Excited as Obamabots Play Wordgames over Hawaii Obamacare Investigation

SA: "There must have been some misunderstanding because it is not correct that GAO has determined which state exchanges will be closely examined as part of our work," Chuck Young, the agency's managing director of public affairs, said in an email Friday. Young, based in Washington, D.C., said the "GAO will indeed be looking generally at state exchanges but a list of which ones we will examine in more detail is still under development," with the exception of Oregon, which the agency previously announced.

Slom said Friday that David Lewis, assistant director of the GAO, called him at 1 p.m. Thursday and verbally confirmed an impending probe into the Hawaii Health Connector's use of taxpayers' dollars.

"My word is my documentation," Slom said. "I have always backed up my statements, and I do now. We had about a 15-minute conversation. It was very clear. I haven't tried to make it into anything other than what it is. No one has called me about any misunderstanding."

read ... Word Games

Medicare's flaws Presage National Health Care? Run for the Hills

Zunin: date, more of the people's resources have been spent trying to stop fraud than has been returned to the system. Perhaps the ratio will improve as providers continue to move over to electronic health rec­ords, which are easier to mine.

The bad news is President Barack Obama promised that a good portion of the costs for the Affordable Care Act would be covered by catching fraudsters. Unfortunately, not only did this not bear out, it caused many physicians who were already deeply frustrated with Medicare to voluntarily relinquish their participation.

The truth is that Medicare, once hailed as the mark of a civilized society, one that provides a health safety net for its retired citizens, is deeply flawed and difficult to work with. To begin, the process of credentialing a new provider is long, arduous and unpredictable, even if it is only to add a new location. Over the years, our clinic has had to wait as long as six to nine months for approval. In the meantime, providers working at the clinic still must be paid.

In addition, reimbursement is typically lower than for any other payer aside from Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income individuals.

Bear in mind that because of their age, Medicare patients tend to be more fragile, more complicated and more time-consuming to care for. At the same time, coverage for preventive services and immunizations is minimal.

Medicare provider support staff are also routinely poorly informed and provide inconsistent responses and incorrect information when queried on claim delays and denials. There is also poor coordination and maintenance of benefits. That means it is hard to know for sure who is covered. In the end the collection ratio for health services rendered in good faith suffers, and indirect costs of running a billing department can be driven skyward. If this is any indication of what national health care would be like in this country, we should all run for the hills....

related: Beyond Obamacare: Solving Hawaii's Healthcare Cost Problem

read ... Billing abuse just another aspect of Medicare's flaws

Hawaii Is Genetically Engineered Crop Flash Point

AP: Hawaii's origins as a critical node in corn production dates to the 1960s when James Brewbaker, a recently arrived researcher at the University of Hawaii, noticed he could plant three crops a year in Hawaii's warm climate instead of one as in most places on the mainland.

Around the same time, Pioneer Hi-Bred was trying to squeeze more research into a year by using greenhouses and farms in Florida. Brewbaker suggested researchers come to Hawaii.

Seed farms grew as research expanded and more land became available as Hawaii's sugar and pineapple plantations became less competitive in the global market and shut down.

As of 2012, the most recent data available, seed crops in Hawaii were worth $217 million, up from $140 million in 2007. About 95 percent of it is corn. In all, they exceed the value of the state's next several largest crops — including sugarcane and macadamia nuts.

Developing a new seed variety takes about 10 to 12 growth cycles, said Phillipson. On the mainland, this could take 10 to 12 years. Being able to get three to four growth cycles a year in Hawaii dramatically shrinks the time it takes to bring a new product to market.

"It's getting your newest and best hybrids to market quickly," said Richard McCormack, who leads Hawaii operations for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, which is part of DuPont and has farms on Kauai and Oahu....

Today, about 90 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered and has been developed partially in Hawaii in this way....

There has been little scientific evidence to prove that foods grown from engineered seeds are less safe than their conventional counterparts, but consumer concerns and fears persist....

read ... Hawaii Is Genetically Engineered Crop Flash Point

New Department Chair Promises to Politicize Fisheries Rules

WHT: The head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources is pledging a new era of community input.

“Part of my job is to drag DAR into the modern day,” Frazer McGilvray told members of the West Hawaii Fisheries Council on Thursday night. “Engaging communities and giving them a voice is certainly a part of that.”

McGilvray, who took the helm at DAR seven months ago, said social science is as important as biological science when decisions are made about how to manage a resource.

What's Coming: Anti-Aquarium Nuts Attack Big Isle Fisherman For Catching Delicious Tiger Shark, PETA Attacks Hawaii Man Nearly Killed by Ahi

read ... Sociology = Biology

Senate to probe security and escapes at Hawaii State Hospital

KHON: What happens when a patient deemed dangerous to the community escapes from Hawaii State Hospital? That question will be the focus of the next phase of a probe by a special Senate investigative committee looking into the operations of the facility....

Hee bases his argument on the case of David True Seal, who escaped in 2009 and now faces trial on the Island of Hawaii for second-degree murder. Hee says there were actually seven other escapees from the hospital that same year.

read ... Senate to probe security at Hawaii State Hospital

Criminal Wife Beater filed TRO Against HPD Major

KHON: Aiana dated the Major’s daughter for nine years and the two have a 6-year-old son.

Aiana also has a lengthy criminal past including assault, theft, and abuse of a family or household member.

“Have you ever hit the major’s daughter?” KHON2 asked Aiana.

“In the past, I’ll be totally honest. I was an abusive person. And I cannot lie. I’ll come straight forward and say the truth. But that was four years ago,” Aiana said.

read ... Domestic Abuse

Soft on Crime: Just out of Prison, Three Felonies Gets Measly 10 months jail

WHT: “I’m going to give you a break and put you on probation,” 3rd Circuit Judge Glenn Hara told Franklin Grammer. Hara then sentenced him to four years probation and 18 months in jail, with all but 10 months stayed, and 300 hours of community service. The judge also ordered Grammer to enroll in a literacy program.

“Personally, I was surprised, based on his record and based on the fact that there were three felony offenses he was pleading to at three separate times. And the guy just got out of prison. Very surprising,” Roth said afterward.

In a deal with prosecutors, Grammer pleaded no contest to forgery and two counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. In return for his plea, drug paraphernalia charges were dropped.

Deputy Prosecutor Lucas Burns argued for a five-year prison sentence for Grammer, who admitted to passing a counterfeit $100 bill at a 7-Eleven store Jan. 20, 2013, and to possession of methamphetamine Dec. 5, 2013.

“The state is certain that a prison term … is warranted, based on his criminal history,” Burns told the judge, adding that Grammer had prior felony convictions for burglary, theft and strong-arm robbery.

Deputy Public Defender Sherilyn Tavares, who represented Grammer on the forgery charge, told the judge that her client was released from prison in 2011. She and Cody Frenz, who was appointed by the court to represent Grammer on the drug charges, argued for probation.

Tavares described Grammer, who has an eighth-grade education, as “extremely under-educated, illiterate” and “naive” with “a really big heart.”

read ... Soft on Crime

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