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Sunday, April 27, 2014
April 27, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:36 PM :: 3827 Views

VIDEO: "We Don't Want Your Phony Roll"

The Power of the Money Committees

The Kobayashi Group is not a “Small Business” as Defined by the HCDA Law

'Surveillance System' Looks at Hawaii Residents Sugary Beverage Drinking Pattern

Do You Know the Meaning of ‘Temporary’?

COFACAN: Advocates Plan Next Steps to Defend Healthcare Access

Centrifugal Forces Tearing Hawaii Democratic Party Apart?

ILind: Centrifugal force seems to be tearing the state’s Democratic Party apart this year.

There are already several major fault lines.

There’s David Ige’s primary challenge to Neil Abercrombie, the Democratic incumbent governor.

Then there’s Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s decision to give up her safe House seat and tackle Sen. Brian Schatz in the primary.

And now there’s former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s decision to bolt the Democratic Party altogether in order to run under a new party’s banner.

Each of these appear to represent a fracture in the party into competing factions and, in the case of Hannemann, an eventual wholesale departure from the party’s structure.

MN: Hannemann's move to the Independent Party is an attempt to bypass that liberal Democratic base

read ... Is it more than the usual pilikia in the state’s Democratic Party?

OHA Reiterates Plan to Exclude 77% of Native Hawaiians from 'Hawaiian Governing Entity'

SA: Those who sign up will elect delegates to represent them at a governance convention.

At the convention, these delegates would draft a governing document that establishes the principles and framework of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. Hawaiians on the official roll would then vote in a referendum to approve or disapprove the draft governing document.

If approved, the governing document would determine the next steps in the process....

(Only) 120,000 names are published on the Official Roll of Native Hawaiians. It is our fierce belief that Hawaiian-nation building will succeed if all Native Hawaiians take part....

Ultimately, the choices would include state recognition, seeking federal recognition as a native nation within the United States, or gaining redress as a nation that once stood independently among the family of international nations....

Reality:  OHA’s “New Body Politic” Will Exclude 77% of Native Hawaiians

read ... OHA stakes claim to nation-building

Kakaako: Last-minute shenanigans on full display

SA: The Hawaii State Legislature is wrapping up another session May 1, and its final week of upheaval hardly resembled any kind of process, pretty or otherwise. The tendency toward last-minute shenanigans was on full display.

There were several examples, including the back-and-forth over funding the hard-won plan to preserve areas adjacent to the North Shore's Turtle Bay Resort. There was also eleventh-hour drama over the bill to increase the minimum wage; the working poor can't afford to wait any longer for a boost in household income.

But nothing demonstrates the lack of responsiveness to the public more than the sudden reversals over development of the Kakaako Makai district, part of the area otherwise under the direction of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.... the conference committee wrangled over OHA's Kakaako amendment, state Rep. Cindy Evans proposed that the residential zone expand a block past Ala Moana Boulevard, enabling 400-foot-high residential development of not only two OHA parcels but also four owned by Kamehameha Schools and two owned by the state.

This version of the bill represented nothing less than a repeal of the entire 2006 law, and all without conducting a single hearing before the public. The Legislature should stick by its 2006 decision to keep the waterfront from becoming a private enclave....

read ... Last-minute deals leave public input in the dust

OHA: One More Chance for Kakaako Makai Development Scheme?

OHA: There is still a chance the bill could resurface before the end of session.  “We ask the legislature to reconsider their actions and allow lawmakers to vote yes or no on the merits of our proposal without adding entitlements for other properties,” Crabbe said. “That is simply the right thing to do.”

read ... One More Chance?

Borreca: Reopen the Search for UH president

Borreca: Regents are meeting Monday and, in a closed-to-the-public executive session, the search committee will brief the regents on the remaining candidates.

Sources at the state Capitol and in the UH system say there are just two candidates: David Lassner, the interim president, and Lt. Gen. Francis "Frank" Wiercinski, retired commander of the Army in the Pacific....

Some legislative leaders have said that if there are only two candidates, the regents should reopen the process, recalling the missteps of 2009 when Greenwood was one of three finalists and became president because the other candidates withdrew.

While the regents noted their process has been "transparent," the unknowns include such basic information as how many candidates did the regents question, who was on the first short list, and who and how many applied.

Without an open process, what happens is UH will have a new president with a nice salary, in a state filled with doubters wondering if we are served by the best available.

2009: Engineered choice: How to pick a Greenwood

read ... Search for UH president enters realm of unknowns

Maui News: Mufi Helps Neil Get Reelected

MN: Hannemann's move to the Independent Party is an attempt to bypass that liberal Democratic base and appeal to the electorate as a whole.

We have supported Hannemann in past elections and believe he is a bright, competent politician. This time, though, we believe he is running for the wrong office. We would have preferred that he stay in the Democratic Party and run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by Colleen Hanabusa.

Despite his low approval ratings in the polls, we expect Gov. Neil Abercrombie will prevail over his primary challenger, Sen. David Ige. Then we think Hannemann and apparent Republican gubernatorial candidate James "Duke" Aiona will split the moderate and conservative vote in the general election, providing a clear path for the governor's re-election.

Perhaps we are wrong and Hannemann is right - he can attract a winning plurality in the general election. But, boy, it looks like a long shot. A three-sided fight should help Abercrombie.

read ... Mufi Helps Neil

Spurned by a federal court, Pacific migrants seek justice through politics

SA: ...a core group of the migrant population, joined by supporters, is mobilizing under the name COFA Community Action Network, or COFA CAN.

At the helm sits a University of Hawaii graduate student, Joakim Peter, born in Chuuk, who believes political action is the only path toward improving conditions for Micronesians. Advocates for their cause, including attorney Victor Geminiani, see Micronesians like Peter as the vanguard of new leadership.

"He will tilt against windmills in a way other Micronesians can't," said Geminiani, who is executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, a nonprofit group that has published briefs and otherwise advocated for Micronesians.

Peter, who is himself wheelchair-bound, is pursuing a doctorate in special education at UH. In recent weeks, COFA CAN has been doing some organizational strategy to fight for equitable medical benefits for Micronesians....

Related: COFACAN: Advocates Plan Next Steps to Defend Healthcare Access

read ... COFACAN

Excellent News! Opposition imperils nomination of Wooley

SA: Anti-GMO State Rep. Jessica Wooley's nomination as director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control could get derailed after several senators objected to her confirmation.

Senate leaders agreed on Friday evening to delay a vote on Wooley's confirmation until Tuesday.  (Better idea: Stall her until June 3 so she can't file for her seat.)

Sources said privately that Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office has been informed that Wooley's nomination might be at risk.

Pro-agriculture Sen. Clarence Nishihara, who opposes Wooley's confirmation, said there is enough concern that "may­be the governor should reconsider his appointment."...

"I think very highly of Jessica Wooley and I intend to vote for her," said Sen. Josh Green (D, Naalehu-Kailua-Kona)....

read ... Some Truly Excellent News

After 12 Years, Failed Solar, Wind Systems Close Haunama Bay Night Programs

SA: The parking lot lights, which rely on solar and wind to charge their batteries, were installed in 2002 at a total cost of $75,000.

"Some of the lights still work, but there are many which are corroded by ocean salt and wind and have stopped working," said city spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke. He added that the original manufacturer is no longer making replacement parts.

Consequently, the lights can't be easily fixed.

(This is what will happen to all solar and wind systems in 10-20 years.)

read ... Twelve Years later

Honolulu Residents Lack Trust in City Government

CB: Only about one in four Oahu residents gave government officials a positive rating when it comes to honesty and acting in the best interest of the community. About the same number of people think the City of Honolulu is moving in a positive direction.

When asked whether government officials do a good job of treating all residents fairly, even fewer residents, or 22 percent, gave the city positive ratings.

Honolulu ranks "lower" or "much lower" in these areas than other cities, according to the 2013 National Citizen Survey, which rates the livability of cities throughout the country. Some 352 Oahu residents completed the survey.

Background: Auditor Releases National Citizen Survey of Honolulu residents

read ... The Residents Are Wise

Arakawa: Non Need for property Tax Increase

MN: Maui County received some good news Friday when the state Legislature upped the counties' share of the transient accommodations tax by $20 million.

While a cap remains in place, it has been upped from $93 million to $113 million. County mayors had sought elimination of the cap completely.

Mayor Alan Arakawa released a statement saying he was disappointed in the Legislature's decision because he believes the money belongs to the counties. We agree with him but something is better than nothing.

The fight can be rejoined next year.

The other bit of good news is that Arakawa said the extra TAT money and "some creative cuts from the council" should obviate the need for a property tax increase.

read ... Rein in the spending

Kauai Scores $5.4M Overtime

KGI: Employees across County of Kauai departments accrued more than $5.4 million in overtime expenses during the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to a budget report prepared for the county’s Cost Control Commission.

During the first four months of this year, those same costs have already reached $1.8 million.

While overtime costs have remained consistent over the past three fiscal years — totaling just over $5 million each year — they are also being accrued at a time when officials are trying to bolster efficiency and gradually downsize the county’s workforce of 1,254 full-time county employees.

read ... Clocking in on county overtime

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