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Thursday, April 24, 2014
April 24, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:00 PM :: 4897 Views

Evaluations? DoE Claims Principals' Arbitration Award "Aligns with DoE Goals"

UHERO: Managing a Grid with Green Energy

Cost Implications of GHG Regulation in Hawai‘i

DoE 2014 Graduation Dates

Solar Scammers Push Poll, Claim 94% Support Them

Schatz Supporters Younger, Whiter, More Ideological

LATimes: After tourism, the U.S. military is Hawaii's biggest source of income.

"Go to Washington, bring federal dollars home," said Randy Perreira, head of the Hawaii Government Employees Assn., the state's largest and most powerful union, which has endorsed Schatz. "That's the game."

Abercrombie's mention of age led Hanabusa to accuse the governor of sexism, suggesting his comments insulted women who devote themselves to family and start their professional careers later in life. (Hanabusa has no children but practiced law for several years before launching her political career.) "We make choices," Hanabusa said in an interview. "We have to."

Another fault line is race and ethnicity. Asians make up the largest segment of the population, about 4 in 10 residents, followed by whites, at just over 25%. Nearly a quarter of the population identifies itself as being of two races....

A generation of Japanese American World War II veterans, including Inouye, helped break down long-standing economic and social barriers that had once favored white plantation owners and businessmen and, with the help of organized labor, converted pre-statehood Hawaii from a Republican-leaning territory into today's Democratic stronghold.

Within the party, however, there has long been a divide between pragmatists and a smaller group of activists, typically younger, whiter and more ideological. For years, Inouye and Abercrombie represented those wings; now, it's Hanabusa and Schatz.

They took opposite sides in the bitter 2008 Democratic presidential contest: Hanabusa, like Inouye, backed Hillary Rodham Clinton. Schatz, like Abercrombie, was an early and ardent backer of native son Barack Obama and ran his successful Hawaii campaign.

KITV: Hanabusa, Schatz discuss vote on defense department budget

read ... The LA Times

Hannemann Announces Campaign for Governor

SA: Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, hoping voters have grown weary of both Democrats and Republicans, will run for governor as an independent.

Hannemann is calculating that he could take Washington Place in November with a plurality if the major party candidates split the vote. His choice to run under the newly formed Hawaii Independent Party banner is both political and pragmatic after punishing losses to Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor in 2010 and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary for Congress in 2012.

"I think clearly people are not happy with the way both major parties sometimes push folks to accept party platforms — or the rigidity of party platforms — either having to appeal to the far left or the far right," Hannemann, 59, said in an interview Wednesday. "I've always been a moderate. I've always been a centrist. I've always been independent.

"And I've always done better in general elections where more people vote and I'm able to appeal to people across the spectrum." ...

The new Hawaii Independent Party, which unveiled an official logo this month and issued an open invitation for potential candidates, is aiming to be more than just a vehicle for Hannemann's ambition.

The party's state executive committee is scheduled to meet Saturday on Oahu to review a handful of prospects. The party will not have a state convention, but is planning a general membership meeting before the August primary.

The independents — at the very least — will have to recruit a lieutenant governor candidate to pair with Hannemann on the ticket.

HNN: Hannemann Announcement

HNN: Hannemann Interviewed

read ... Hannemann

Appeals Court: Calvin Say Must Prove He Lives in the District He Represents

CB: State Rep. Calvin Say must still prove he lives where he says he does, according to a unanimous ruling issued Wednesday by Hawaii's Intermediate Court of Appeals.

The opinion reverses a ruling issued last year by Oahu Circuit Court Judge Karen Nakasone on a petition claiming that Say isn’t qualified to represent his district because he doesn’t actually reside in it.

The appeals court ruling could mean the lawsuit will go to trial in Circuit Court as soon as July, ahead of this year’s elections, said Lance Collins, a Maui-based open-government attorney who is representing the petition’s six plaintiffs.

IM: The Right to Serve in the State Legislature

DN: Rep. Calvin Say, former speaker, in the hot seat now

read ... Appeals Court: Calvin Say Must Prove He Lives in the District He Represents

Anti-Agriculture Amendment to Kauai Charter Pushed

KE: In the context of the anti-biotech war being waged in Hawaii, I got an email from an earnest reader who shares my frustration at the inability, or unwillingness, of people to look at the bigger picture. He wrote:

Because most people don’t have the time or the desire to dig deeper, maybe we all want a clear and simple message fed to us?

I thought of his words when a friend told me she'd been asked to sign a petition to get Kauai Rising's 18-page anti-ag charter amendment on the November ballot. Did you read it? she asked the signature-seekers. No, they replied.

They had, however, read the large-print summary, with its clear and simple message spelled out in red: Let the People Decide.

I thought of his words again when I read Chris D'Angelo's abysmally simplistic article on the charter amendment in today's The Garden Island. He, too, apparently read only the summary. Otherwise, surely he would felt compelled to report on the actual “meat” — though it's more like pink slime — of the proposal.

Crazy, absurd stuff like this (emphasis added):

[P]rohibiting activities and practices that result in the intentional or unintentional introduction into [terrestrial and aquatic] such systems of GMOs or toxins that may endanger, or may reasonably be suspected to, endanger or threaten the existence, survival, productivity or natural diversity of organisms comprising such systems, or the ability of organisms naturally present in such systems to thrive.

So right off the bat, we're talking no more chlorinated water. No more prescription drugs, or even coffee, because that stuff isn't removed from treated sewage. No more treated sewage because it uses chlorine. No more cesspools, or even septic tanks. No more cars, because they drip antifreeze and oil. Oh, and no organic pesticides, either, because don't they also endanger the “natural diversity of organisms,” e.g., insects?

KGI: 2000 idiots sign petition so far

related: USDA: Pesticides, Chemicals, and Synthetic Ingredients Used in 'Organic' Food

read ... Kauai Eclectic

Star-Adv: Hold Principals to High Standards

SA: The DOE and the labor union that represents Hawaii's principals, vice principals and other educational officers — to our continuing dismay, since these administrators belong in the management ranks — have made some progress on the accountability front; by the end of last school year, a new evaluation system was rolled out at all 255 regular public schools. The Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA) is an annual review that rates principals based on factors such as students' test scores, instructional leadership and the engagement of the school community. The results, however, have no immediate impact on a principal's pay or placement.

It is unfortunate that the salary and performance issues were separated, at least as far as Hawaii's students are concerned.

Unlike Hawaii's public-school teachers, who negotiated a contract that links future pay raises to performance, the roughly 850 members of Unit 6 got straight pay raises — annual, across-the-board increases of 4.5 percent each year for four years. The average pay for high school principals in Hawaii now is about $125,000 a year. The state's consumer price index rose 1.7 percent last year, so the healthy increase for Unit 6 obviously reflects the arbitration panel's view that the educational officers deserve more money for the scope and quality of their work, not simply to keep up with the cost of living.

Act 51, the 2004 state law that inspired the belated principal evaluation system, clearly stated that principals "will be held accountable for their performance through a system that includes rewards, assistance and sanctions." The evaluation system that evolved from that 2004 mandate, though, focuses on the two former, and this week's arbitration decision goes further in that direction, establishing a program that would financially reward the highest-rated principals. The best principals surely merit this special recognition, it's true, but sanctions for the worst performers must be part of the framework, too. The lowest-rated principals may need more than administrative support, mentoring and training; they may need to find another line of work. Schools cannot soar with weak principals. It is as simple as that.

read ... Hold principals to high standards

New pre-school program funded in DoE budget, not Gov's Office

KITV: The governor hoped for $5 million to roll out a pre-school program in the public schools but instead got $3 million.

"This year the governor's proposal was to use the Department of Education facilities and that was the amount they came in with to do it with DOE cooperation. So we felt it was more appropriate to put it in the DOE budget than the governor’s office," said House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke.

Lawmakers also gave the nod for $15 million to support the DOE's weighted student formula, $2 million to support after-school athletic programs, $600,000 for teacher evaluations and $800,000 for the charter school commission.

The budget will also cover pay raises for public school principals and educational officers that an arbitrator awarded this week.

"The settlement is a little bit higher than we had anticipated but we should be okay in terms of finding the funds for that," said Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige.

Money committees say 80 percent of the money set aside Wednesday will go to public schools and the University of Hawaii system.

West Oahu will see $4 million to add 89 new positions.

UH will also receive $19.5 million for faculty raises, something that did not get covered with General Fund money last year.

Ex Teacher: Testing and mandates replace creative learning in schools

read ... New pre-school program funded in state budget

TAT: Conferees Negotiate Split with Counties

PR: Here is the split under consideration:

*33 percent in July

*37 percent in July 2015

*41 percent in July 2016

*44.8 percent in July 2017

read ... TAT Split

Horner breezes through Senate confirmation vote 25-0

SA: The Senate Education Committee had vetted Horner's nomination earlier this month and, after a three-hour public hearing, recommended his reappointment for a term through mid-2017.

At that hearing, Horner's nomination was met with opposition, particularly from gay rights activists and atheist groups for his position as a volunteer pastor for New Hope Diamond Head.

He teaches a weekly Bible class, but is not paid by the church.

Those supporting Horner's reappointment included several of his fellow BOE members, the Hui for Excellence in Education, Hawaii Association for Independent Schools, the state Public Charter School Commission and Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights.

Opponents criticized Horner for being affiliated with New Hope....

read ... Gay Atheist Smackdown

In Wake of Lawsuits Against Homosexuals, Extension of Child Molester Law in Doubt

AP: In a highly publicized law, victims have been given a two-year window to file lawsuits in cases that had passed the statute of limitations, which led to a surge of filings. That window is set to close Thursday.

In advance of the deadline, former child model Michael Egan III filed several lawsuits against (leading homosexual) Hollywood executives, claiming that “X-Men” director Bryan Singer and several others abused him as part of a Hollywood sex ring. Singer and others have denied the allegations, and the director’s attorney has called the claims defamatory.

Lawmakers on Wednesday decided to take more time to come up with a strategy for a bill that would avoid a potential veto by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

“If nothing passes, the sunset occurs,” said Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman on the Senate side of the committee handling both bills.

Read ... Suddenly they change their tune

Abercrombie Appointee Sued for Sexual Abuse of Girl

HNN: Some discrepancies have already been found in the case dating back 30 years ago. It says 1984 and that Alexander, who would've been in his mid 20's, used his authority to his advantage. The lawsuit says Alexander was a Catholic priest at all times material. Although the Church says he wasn't an ordained priest until October 1985. He was a deacon September 1984. He was also in Belgium studying from 1980 through 1985. However he did spend summer's in Kailua....

"We are not concerned about the validity of the complaint. We know it didn't happen. We will be able to prove that," said Bill McCorriston, Alexander's Attorney.

Alexander now works as a program director for the Hawaii Community Foundation. He was the State Homelessness Coordinator under Governor Neil Abercrombie. He resigned that position after news broke he was having an affair with a consenting woman when he was an ordained priest.

"I know they're going to try and leverage that situation but it doesn't apply here," said McCorriston.

Alexander's attorney says the lawsuit is a smear campaign and says they will not settle this case.

"We're going to fight it. We're going to fight it hard and for you attorneys on the other side we're coming," said McCorriston. "One thing Marc Alexander has is a lot of friends and a lot of supporters and a lot of people who know this is not his character and he did not do it. We're going to help him. We're going to get him to the finish line. And for those behind this frivolous lawsuit, we're coming."

CB: The complaint can be read here.

read ... Catholic priest sued over alleged assault of Kailua teen

$150M Special Purpose Revenue Bonds for Gas Co Waste to Energy Scheme on Maui

Senator English wrote SB 3008 which was introduced on January 23, 2014.

The bill would authorize $150,000,000.00 in Special Purpose Revenue Bonds (SPRBs) for Anaergia Inc.

Today a Senate House Conference Committee is seeking to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. In order for SB 3003 to pass the Legislature the differences must be ironed out by tomorrow.

Last year Anaergia received an infusion of cash from a few large corporations including Macquarie Capital, a sister company to Macquarie Infrastructure Company.

In 2005 Macquarie Infrastructure Company bought The Gas Company which was subsequently rebranded as Hawai`iGas.  Last year Alicia Moy became President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawai’i Gas.

The Maui proposal by Anaergia directly impacted Maui EKO Compost and Pacific Biodiesel.

In the mid 1990s Maui EKO Compost and Pacific Biodiesel began recycling waste product at the Central Maui Landfill. They may be displaced by Anaergia.

read ... Political Connections Pay Off

Crackpot Tries for Five Congressional Races, Plans to Be in Hawaii After Losing Georgia

POLITICO: He’s focusing first on the spot being vacated by Gingrey in Georgia’s 11th, in the suburbs northwest of Atlanta. As a backup, he chose Hawaii’s 1st district because it’s an open seat with an August primary, which will give him time to refocus his efforts if he loses in Georgia on May 20; although he’s visited Hawaii multiple times, he has never lived in the state. He gave up on Minnesota’s 6th earlier this year, when local GOP officials showed little interest in his run. In Michigan, he recently failed to secure the 1,000 signatures required to get his name on the ballot in both the 8th and the 14th districts....
read ...
Crackpot Coming May 20

Sopogy's assets being liquidated, Act 221 'Capital' is Consumed

PBN: Sopogy Inc., one of Hawaii’s oldest solar energy companies, which recently shut down its operations, is in the middle of an insolvency proceeding with its assets currently being liquidated, the Los Angeles attorney for the Honolulu-based company told PBN....

He says that in Sopogy’s case, it came down to it just running out of capital to continue operating its business....

Sopogy’s only project in Hawaii also was its first, the Holaniku at Keahole Point solar energy plant in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island at the Hawaii Ocean Science & Technology Park that is run by the state’s Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.

PBN: Large West Oahu solar farm contract terminated

read ... Hawaii solar energy firm Sopogy's assets being liquidated

CEO, Two Others Embezzle Nearly $500K from The Bus Credit Union

HNN: Dona Takushi, 54, of Honolulu, the former manager and CEO of the credit union, is charged with stealing $114,410 through fraud.

All three defendants are accused of doctoring credit union records to pay down their personal VISA card balances when they had not paid off their accounts.

Takushi is also charged with stealing a Subaru Forester from the repossessed inventory of the credit union and giving it to her daughter as well as falsifying credit union records to hide loans to herself and a family member that were not paid back.  

"We believe the evidence will suggest that all three acted independently, stealing from the same credit union, while working together, side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder for all that time," said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon, who said they women did not cooperate with each other in the crimes that happened over a five-year period from 2007 to 2012.

read ... Embezzlement

What’s New from HCDA?

Legislative Motion:

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