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Saturday, August 9, 2014
August 9, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:30 PM :: 3302 Views

Two Big Island Precincts Voting Postponed

UHERO: Stall in Tourism Slows Hawaii Economy

Breaking HECO's Monopoly with Community Choice Aggregation?

Mandatory Labeling of GMOs--A big-government solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

Dobelle Sued for Personal Use of School Funds

Former Officer Calls for Inquiry into HPD Killings

Polling Places Open Without Absentee Voter Lists

SA: ...Dylan Nonaka, Republican Party  consultant, said  there were reports of polling places not having the list of voters who cast absentee ballots and other issues with the machine that tabulates paper ballots on site.

Quidilla said theses issues seem to only becoming from the Big Island where he commended elections officials and poll workers for coping with difficulties created by the storm.

"We are making adjustments," Quidilla added....

Rex Quidilla, the state's elections division spokesman, said polling places on the neighbor islands, with the exception of the sites at the Big Island's Hawaii Paradise Community Center and Keonepoko Elementary School, allowed voters to cast their ballots at 7 a.m.

Roads to the two Big Island polling sites were obstructed by damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle making them unavailable. The 8,000 voters there will vote by absentee ballot.

Stewart Maeda, Hawaii County clerk, said his office intends to mail the absentee ballots to the registered voters in the two affected precincts.

By law, the entire process will have to be completed within 21 days of the primary election. "We are still working out the logistics with the state elect, but we hope to complete the entire process as soon as possible."

Quidilla said there no "substantial delays" in the opening of the 142 polling places on Oahu.

read ... Poll sites open on time for primary election

The Rundown (final primary)

PR: We have updated our rundown of potentially competitive state House and Senate races with summaries from the final state campaign-finance reports before the primary on Saturday. We will reassess the lineup after the primary and again in the weeks before the November general election.

read ... The Rundown (final primary)

Will Storms Save Abercrombie?

AP: As the final days of campaigning drew to a close in Hawaii’s dramatic primary races, a pair of hurricanes thrashed toward the islands.

The storms posed considerable risk, but for Gov. Neil Abercrombie, they also represented an opportunity to cast himself as a steady leader with a strong emotional connection to people in the state.

He hugged military response personnel, emphasized his national network of contacts and, even as forecasters predicted the storms would weaken and veer away, Abercrombie reminded everyone to remain vigilant. “The full brunt of the storm is still to come,” he said Friday morning.

Whether this final image will be decisive for voters casting ballots Saturday remains to be seen. The incumbent governor faces a surprisingly strong challenge from a fellow Democrat and early voting was heavily encouraged.

read ... Hawaii Dems face tough battles for governor, Senate

Republican Charles Djou has plan to tackle jobs, economy

KL: Having already served time in Congress, Djou is working to address a three-part plan to fix Hawai‘i’s most pressing issues. This includes the issues of jobs, the high cost of living, and taking care of our next generation in terms of economic stability and the national debt.

Djou’s proposals to rectify these situations include jumpstarting the employment rate, as Hawai‘i has the highest underemployment rate in the nation; passing Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership, which would increase Asia Pacific trade and commerce, thereby boosting Hawai‘i’s economy; and eradicating unnecessary government regulation like the Jones Act, which increases the costs of goods and services.

Djou also has new proposals and ideas for issues like ObamaCare, which he believes Hawai‘i should be exempt from because of our implementation of the Prepaid Health Care Act in 1974. Furthermore, Djou hopes to tackle problems like the national debt, college debt, gay marriage at a federal level, taxes, the veteran’s association and foreign policy; he also plans to cosponsor the Balanced Budget Amendment if elected.

Djou has experience in pushing to get these ideas and proposals addressed in Congress, as he has had over a decade of experience in public office, and is no stranger to the presence of partisan issues....

“For me being republican representative is inconsequential. It's not what's important to me. What's important to me is to be an independent advocate for the people of Hawaii. For me, if I ever have to choose between my political party and the people of Hawaii, I am going to choose the people of Hawaii, always, all the time, and I never even need to spend a split second thinking about it,” Djou said.

During his time in Congress, Djou has broken ranks from his Republican party on a regular basis. Instances of this were when he voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and when he voted in favor of both the Dream Act and immigration reform. Djou credits his close relationship with the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, as helping him to succeed in getting bills passed that will help the people of Hawai‘i.

“We were able to build a good relationship with one another, and as a consequence he was never miffed or felt I was somehow burning him when I was breaking ranks,” Djou said.

According to the National Journal, Djou was one of the last ten remaining centrists in Congress of 2010. His identification with his centrist beliefs and his record as congressman show that Djou has a profound understanding of what he calls “hyper partisanship”, and this coupled with his grasp of Hawai‘i’s interests, makes him a powerful candidate for Hawai‘i Democrats to face.

“Every other candidate running for this office is going to be a freshmen in the minority. It will take them years to build the same level of influence that I will have on day one. Of all the candidates I am the one who is going to be ready to deliver for Hawai‘i on the first day in office,” Djou said.

read ... Ka Leo

HMSA and the Hawaii Health Connector

HB: In a recent op-ed, you wrote that the state should try to close part of the Hawaii Health Connector. Why?

I was talking about the part of the Hawaii Health Connector, or the Hawaii Exchange, that deals with small businesses. I think people who aren’t immersed in it don’t really understand the real structure of the exchange. There are really two parts: the individual enrollment, where people who aren’t part of a business can enroll, and the part called SHOP, the Small-business Health Options Plan, for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. I was talking about that SHOP piece....

SHOP doesn’t fit the Hawaii model of healthcare, which is a very good model. We have almost universal coverage. The real benefit, so far, of ACA for Hawaii, has been the enrollment we’ve been able to achieve through the Quest Program, which is Medicaid. That’s closed the gap in the uninsured even more, but those people enroll in Medicaid, not private carriers. There have also been a few thousand people – not a lot – who’ve enrolled in the individual portion of the connector. That’s also been somewhat of a success. We’re not saying shut that down....

(Legislators) said they tried that already, they had talked to the congressional delegation and were told we wouldn’t be eligible for the exemption immediately; we’d have to wait until 2017. That’s when the law says you can seek waivers from certain requirements of the ACA. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that I’ve talked to people in Washington and they’re more than willing to listen to the argument. I’ll just leave it at that. I think they’re willing to listen; it just depends on how you ask the question....

First of all, there isn’t going to be any competition. Right now, there’s only Kaiser and us on the connector. Of our smaller local competitors, HMAA has already said it’s never going to go on the connector. It’s too expensive for a small carrier. In Hawaii, only HMSA and Kaiser could afford it, and the national players are really not going to come to Hawaii. If they were, they could have come already....

read ... HMSA and the Hawaii Health Connector

Homelessness: We Need to Take Better Care of our Number 1 Industry

PBN: We’re facing more competition for the high-end visitor market. PBN reported a couple of weeks ago that Honolulu architectural firm Group 70 International has a $210 million contract to help design a $3 billion resort complex in Tahiti. Some are billing it as the Waikiki of the South Seas, which should serve as a warning that more big competition is on the way.

Then there’s our own Waikiki, where big hotel chains can’t get the necessary permitting to upgrade their properties and our elected officials can’t agree on what to do about homeless persons who defile the streets and sidewalks and accost our guests.

We need to take care of our No. 1 industry. As UHERO says, it’s the only economic driver we can count on for the long haul.

PBN: UHERO: Hawaii needs economic stimulus

read ... PBN Commentary

PGV Geothermal Venting Amounts to Nothing

HTH: 39 parts per billion at the source and 25 ppb a half mile away. The release lasted for an hour, though the bulk of the release occurred within the first 10 minutes, Kaleikini said....

read ... About a Big Fat Nothing

New indictment targets defendants in fatal blast

SA: Trial was scheduled for October.

That was before a federal grand jury returned another indictment Wednesday accusing DEI, Donaldson and Finley with disposing of the treated and dismantled fireworks and their residue at a Schofield Barracks range without a permit and without the Army's knowledge. The new charges also accuse them of improperly storing the fireworks and of lying to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for telling the agency that they had disposed of all of the seized fireworks by Dec. 1, 2010, even though they hadn't.

According to the indictment, Donaldson approached a Schofield range employee he knew and asked to use the range to dispose of the treated and dismantled fireworks. The company, Donaldson or Finley did not inform Schofield's Environmental Division that they were using the range to dispose of the fireworks or advised any range personnel that what they were doing required a state permit, the indictment said.

The indictment charges DEI, Donaldson and Finley with disposing of fireworks at Schofield on 23 occasions between Dec. 1, 2010, and March 23, 2011.

DEI employees Bryan Cabalce, Robert Kevin Freeman, Justin Joseph Kelii, Robert Leahey and Neil Benjamin Sprankle died in an April 8, 2011, explosion and fire at the Waikele storage bunker. The indictment says the men were dismantling commercial-grade fireworks by breaking them apart, cutting them open and/or soaking them in diesel fuel.

read ... New indictment targets defendants in fatal blast

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