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Monday, August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:33 PM :: 2908 Views

Without Abercrombie, Education Reform a Political Orphan

WaPo: Union freakouts are hurting the hunt for good teachers

2014: States with the Best & Worst School Systems

Hawaii Charter Schools Produce 7% More Student Achievement Per Dollar Spent

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted August 4, 2014

Your Tax Dollars at Work: FlikMedia, Inc. Acquires Flikdate

Hawaii's Partnership Against Fraud

Star-Adv Poll adds AJAs, Hanabusa Suddenly Leads

SA: Hanabusa leads Schatz 50 percent to 42 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

Other public and private polls have shown Schatz with the advantage, however, and political analysts predict a close vote Saturday....

The Hawaii Poll was conducted by phone July 21 to 29 among 458 likely primary voters statewide. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.6 percentage points. The poll also asked voters to rate the candidate's favorability, a sample that covered 612 likely voters statewide. The margin of error for that question was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Hanabusa was up over Schatz 48 percent to 40 percent in the last Hawaii Poll in February, the same 8-point gap as in the new poll. But advisers to the Hana­busa campaign say privately that the split has fluctuated during that time.

The Hawaii Poll, more importantly, has been at odds with other public and private polls taken during the primary....

Hart and others familiar with the polling data say the biggest difference in the polls is the demo­graphic representation of Japa­nese-American and white voters.

In the Hawaii Poll, 27 percent of voters interviewed were Japa­nese-American, and 22 percent were white. In some of the private polling, according to sources who have seen the breakdown, Japa­nese-Americans account for about 20 percent, and whites make up about 36 percent.

The contrasting demo­graphics help explain the disparate poll results. In the Hawaii Poll, Hana­busa, who is Japa­nese-American, leads Schatz 54 percent to 36 percent among Japa­nese-Americans. Schatz, who is white, leads Hana­busa 57 percent to 38 percent among whites.

"It's going to depend on how many Caucasians vote," Hart said. "Will there be this AJA last surge?"

read ... Just a Ward Poll

Aiona Leads In ‘Toss-Up’ Hawaii Governor Race

PPD: The Hawaii Governor race is a winnable race for the Republican Party, almost akin to how Democrats feel about their chances of defeating a Republican governor in Kansas. Under the right conditions, with all of the political stars in alignment, it is certainly possible.

read ... PPD

Hawaii: Where good polling goes to die

WaPo: Hawaii's governor and one of its two senators could lose their primaries on Saturday, with a new poll showing both Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) and appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D) falling behind their challengers. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, conducted by Ward Research, shows Abercrombie trailing state Sen. David Ige by 18 points and Schatz trailing Rep. Colleen Hanabusa by eight.

Pretty dire straits, right?

One problem: Polling in Hawaii — and especially primary polling — is notoriously unreliable. And we don't mean off-by-a-few points unreliable. We mean often vastly different-from-the-final-result unreliable.

In fact, in the Senate race, another recent poll had showed Schatz with a clear lead. The automated poll for the Civil Beat Web site, by the Merriman River Group, showed Schatz ahead by the same margin by which the Star-Advertiser shows Hanabusa leading — eight points.

So whom to believe? Probably nobody — at least insofar as you're trying to predict what happens Saturday. The recent history of Hawaii polling is not a happy one, with both of these pollsters showing late surveys whose results were far afield of the eventual margin.

read ... Die

Disappeared absentee ballots? Did anyone else not get their Hawaii absentee ballots yet?

DN: ...neither of us here at disappeared news land have received our absentee ballots in the mail. The County Clerks office advised on the phone that they had been mailed, so where are they?

When I called on two different occasions, I got two slightly different answers—one was mailed “early July” and the other was “by July 18th.”

Either way, as of yesterday, they have not yet been delivered....

Follow Up: The missing absentee ballots—is a vendor responsible?

read ... Disappeared absentee ballots?

Erroneous bills add to tax agency's problems

SA: ...The Tax Department call center has only 10 operators to answer the more than 300,000 calls it gets per year. Last year the call center could answer only 59 percent of the incoming calls, the department said.

The erroneous balance-due notices sent to residents who had paid their taxes on time highlight ongoing problems with the Tax Department's faulty $87.5 million computer system.

The state paid Montreal-based contractor CGI Group Inc. — the same vendor that built Hawaii's troubled health insurance exchange — $87.5 million between 1999 and 2011 to modernize the Department of Taxation's information technology system. It is now preparing to spend at least another $32 million to install a new system.

Fujitani earlier told the newspaper the agency realized in 2011 after assessing the "old technology" that it needed to replace the system.

But three years later a contractor still hasn't been selected. The department's request for bids was scheduled to close Thursday but has been postponed until the end of August. The state released a request for proposals in April after a number of delays....

read ... DoTax Fails Again

Abercrombie Camp Pushes Back Against Poll Results

CB: Today, a poll was released by Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that shows us trailing. (By 18%.) We don’t believe it for a second. We’ve been polling too and our results have us tied. That means the entire election boils down to a race to drive voter turnout in the final days of the campaign.

Former Gov. John Waihee, an Abercrombie supporter, had a little spin of his own Sunday:

In 1986, I first ran for governor against then-Congressman Cec Heftel. With two weeks left in the election, I was 18 points behind. Thanks to hard work and getting out the vote, I won.

In 1998, Ben Cayetano trailed then-Maui Mayor Linda Lingle in nearly every poll during his re-election bid. Ultimately, Ben went on to win by 5,000 votes.

read ... Delusional?

Kauai: Small Farmers Will be Pushed off Land by Ordinance 960

KE: ...the Small Business Regulatory Review Board has completed its required review of the proposed rules for Ordinance 960 — Kauai's pesticide/GMO regulatory bill, which is on hold pending a court review. The Board's comments were succinct, and primarily addressed the bill's impact on small farmers, as opposed to the chem/seed companies:

Pesticide buffer zones will make tracks (sic) of land uneconomical for growing purposes;

Establishment of an emergency/medical hotline will be costly for small farmers to maintain;

The civil fines proposed for the failure to file annual mandated reports are high and will be costly for small farmers, should they miss a deadline; and

The ordinance will curtail the economic viability and future growth of the agricultural industry as well as create business and economic uncertainty that will lead to less land investment and planning for future use.

read ... Kauai Eclectic

New academies, administration, rules for Halau Lokahi

KITV: The Charter School Commission was not as patient. It threatened to pull the plug on state funding unless Halau Lokahi got rid of the current governing board, including the school director. The school also had to come up with a new financial plan.

That plan was approved this week.

"The school has a plan for paying off its debts instead of leaving these significant liabilities to the public. It can make a fresh start with new leadership," said Commission Executive Director Tom Hutton.

Old leaders are not the only things going. The school is downsizing, eliminating extra classroom space to cut costs. Some staff hours will also be reduced or even eliminated altogether. Even though some will be working fewer hours -- many still believe in the school.

"It is about the bigger picture -- the school's survival. That was most important to the staff," stated McNeil.

There will also be some additions to the school this fall. New academies, including ones focused on commercial and sustainable products will add to their current offerings of ocean learning and cultural academies.

On the financial side, the state will also monitor the charter school's finances on a monthly basis.

read ... Nepotists Gone

Burglar Latest to Escape from Work Furlough

KITV: 40-year-old Christopher Robles failed to return to the center after work Saturday afternoon.  His scheduled return time was 4 p.m....

Robles was serving time for first degree burglary.  Escape will be added to his sentence.

read ... Another One

Greenwald: Omidyar Teaches Me to Trust Billionaire Oligarchs

NYT: He praised Mr. Omidyar, who he says is just trying to level the field with legacy media.

“There’s a lot of distrust of billionaires and the oligarchic model,” he said. “People don’t believe that you’re really going to get to be journalistically independent. But you can’t complain that there’s not serious investigative journalism against big corporate and governmental outlets and then at the same time oppose every single model that lets you have the kind of funding that you need.”

(Translation: They pay me and I agree not to reveal their secrets.)

Greenwald: Whining about Israeli Defense against Muslims

read ... Serving Russia, China, and Islam

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