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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
August 26, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:47 PM :: 3822 Views

HRA: Hawaii Primary Results Positive for 2nd Amendment

This Obama Administration Proposal Would Effectively Authorize Some Americans Seceding

A Cautionary Saga: Judge Kurren Invalidates the Anti-GMO Ordinance 960

Chronic Absenteeism in Hawaii's public schools plummets 39 percent

Hawaii commission opens investigation into election day debacles

$48M Shortfall: HHSC Layoffs Begin September 2

Full Text: Nago's Report to Elections Commission

Study: Hawaii 'Ban the Box' Law Reduces Crime

Some Hawaii health plans may be subject to 'Cadillac tax' in 2018

PBN: The excise tax targets insurance benefits that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. Businesses that offer the plans will be expected to pay the tax, not the individuals who have the plans. The provision goes into effect in 2018.

Aug 5, 2014: Will $150M Obamacare Tax Lead to ILWU Strike?

SA: Pay for HMSA CEO rises to $1.3 million

read ... Thanks, Obama 

Gubernatorial Race Anybody's Ballgame as Voters Demand Change

MN: Two weeks after his upset of Gov. Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nomination, Oahu state Sen. David Ige expressed confidence Saturday that he and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui would ride a wave of voter support to win in the Nov. 4 general election.

"We're working really hard. We're not taking anything for granted. We do believe we have the strongest team of all the candidates for the general election," he said.

Ige was interviewed while taking a break from shaking hands and chatting with some of the more than 600 people who attended Saturday's Maui Economic Development Board Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner at the Grand Wailea.

In phone interviews Monday, however, Ige's Republican and Independent party opponents maintained that Ige's primary victory was more of an anti-Abercrombie than a pro-Ige vote.

"It's a whole new ballgame. It's anybody's ballgame," said Independent gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann, the former Honolulu mayor.

Republican candidate and former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona said he's been seeing a wave of voter support come his way. That has been reflected in personal, online and mail donations, new campaign volunteers and the results of early polls that show him as the front-runner with running mate Elwin Ahu.

"We feel very good about the campaign," he said, adding that the consensus of voters is: "We want change. We don't want more of the same."

read ... Momentum?

Judge Kurren Liberates Kauai from Anti-GMO Nonsense, Hawaii Co Next

WHT: A federal judge who struck down Kauai County’s GMO and pesticide disclosure law will also decide the fate of Hawaii County’s ban on most genetically modified crops.

Anti-GMO activists pushed for both laws last year, and arguments that they are pre-empted by state and federal law proved to be enough to find Kauai County’s law invalid Monday.

Whether U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren decides the same is true for Hawaii County’s law remains to be seen, but GMO supporters said they found the ruling promising.

“We see that as a positive sign,” said Lorie Farrell, a coordinator for Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United. “We’re not exactly sure that it means for (Bill) 113 at this point. We are hopeful.”

Both sides may not have to wait long.

Kurren is scheduled to hear oral arguments on whether to dismiss or uphold the law Oct. 23.

KGI: Invalid

SA: Counties consider effects of ruling on GMOs

read ... Liberator

Gary Hooser convinced them to put their faith in him, and his big gamble

KE: The county was joined in defending the law by Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety. Earlier, Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff had expressed confidence, saying he considered the U.S. District Court "friendly." 
But today the Star-Advertiser quoted Achitoff as saying he was "disappointed" by the ruling:

"It has unfortunate consequences on Kauai and throughout the state. The state has shown complete disregard for problems that the pesticides on Kauai has been causing. The federal court decided that the state only has to the power to do anything about it but the state has refused to do anything."

However, that's not true. The state negotiated with the chem/seed companies for voluntary pesticide use disclosure and conducted some statewide water samplings that found low levels of pesticides. More is needed, but now that the state has been totally reviled, alienated and dissed, and the election is nearly upon us, where's the impetus?

As I and others have said throughout the months of turmoil, angst and bitter conflict that accompanied this bill's passage and adjudication, if folks would've started by pressuring their state Legislators to act, things might have turned out differently.

Instead, Councilman Gary Hooser convinced them to put their faith in him, and his big gamble. While he won national notoriety and local political acclaim, he lost the battle, leaving his supporters with nothing, and little recourse for future actions.
Way to go, Gary.

Flashback: Hooser: It doesn't matter if Kauai GMO Law is never Enforced--All That Mattered was Getting it Passed

KE: Musings: Known and Unknown

read ... Kauai Eclectic

Math, Reading Scores Drop as Test Become Tougher

SA: After a decade of steady growth, the number of Hawaii public school students scoring proficient in math dipped slightly last school year while reading scores also slid — decreases officials say were expected as the state continues its transition to a more rigorous set of curriculum standards and as schools gear up for a new standardized assessment this year.

Statewide, 59 percent of isle students tested proficient in math for the 2013-14 school year, down from 60 percent the year before, state Department of Education data released Monday show. In reading, 69 percent of students were proficient, down from 72 percent a year prior....

Students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 last year took a hybrid or a so-called bridge assessment — a subset of math and reading questions from the former Hawaii State Assessment that most aligned with the Common Core standards to help with the transition to the Smarter Balanced tests students will take later this year. (The Smarter Balanced standardized test is aligned to Common Core standards that will be used by roughly half of the Common Core states. It was developed by a consortium made up of 23 member states.)

Teachers statewide last school year began teaching under the Common Core, a set of nationally crafted standards that aim to lay out what students should know and be able to do in reading and math from kindergarten to grade 12. Hawaii is one of 41 states to adopt the initiative....

Some individual schools saw significant year-over-year improvements in math, reading and science test scores, including:

» Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha charter school on Kauai: Reading proficiency improved to 95 percent from 69 percent, marking the highest reading proficiency rate among public schools and the largest improvement in that category. Math proficiency climbed to 79 percent from 54 percent.

» Kaelepulu Elementary in Kailua: Science proficiency increased to 97 percent of students from 47 percent, marking the highest science rate in the state and the largest improvement in that subject. Math proficiency rose to 90 percent from 76 percent, representing the largest improvement in math among schools.

read ... Scores Drop

Borreca Uses Nago's Poor Performance to Push Vote by Mail (again)

Borreca: It may be that the fault is not so much with Yoshina, Cronin and Nago as it is with the system.

First, as Senate President Donna Mercado Kim is saying, "clearly the elections commission standing by itself is not working."

The commission, well-intended as it may be, is responsible to no one, has no accountability and is free to drift or plow ahead as it so desires.

"We can see the commission continuing to have problems," says Kim.

Nago's qualifications are also troublesome to Kim, who says Nago's communications skills are poor. After an elections commission hearing last week, state Sens. Russell Ruderman and Sam Slom also criticized Nago's performance....

A total of 289,367 people voted. The breakdown: 163,675 voted by mail and 125,692 voting in person.

State and county elections officials urged voters to vote absentee this year because of the obvious problems with Iselle bearing down on the state.

What goes unsaid, however, is that voting by mail simply solves the problem of storms wrecking polling places.

Running Hawaii's elections by mail would take some work. First, the state Legislature would need to bear down and see it through. There are three states — Washington, Oregon and Colorado — that can offer help on how to do it, but the Legislature would have to drive it forward.  (Think: What do those three states have in common?)

Reality: Vote By Mail: “Tool of choice for voter fraud”

read ... So Hawaii can be Just Like Washington, Oregon and Colorado

Scammed by Solar Contractor, Man Blames HECO

KITV: A day before the deadline, HECO released this statement: "We continue to work closely with Hawaii's solar industry, to ensure we can deliver solar power safely and reliably for all of our customers. We look forward to filing our plans that outline specific actions for adding significantly more solar."

Ewa beach resident Will Walker remains skeptical. He had solar panels installed on his roof last October, and was told HECO was looking into hooking them to the energy grid. They remain unconnected even now eight months later.

"I don't have faith in HECO anymore doing the right thing on their own. I think it will take the people pushing them in the right direction, lawmakers, and the PUC pushing them in the right direction," said Walker.

Reality: No Blackout: RevoluSun Exposed

Read ... Scammed

State defendants ask for dismissal of lawsuit over primary election

KHON: In the motion written by Deirdre Marie-Iha, the state asks for the dismissal “so as not to delay the critical actions necessary to prepare the (state) for the Nov. 4, 2014 general election.” She further argues that this court, in particular, does not have jurisdiction over the case and is “premised on unproven, contested questions of fact that would require trial court litigation to resolve.

“It has an insufficient number of plaintiffs, and fails to state the fundamental allegations that form the underlying premise of each and every election challenge: that the result of the election might be different.”

SA: ACLU lawsuit claims voters in Puna had their rights deprived

Related: Full Text: Nago's Report to Elections Commission

read ... Dismissal?

HPOWER trash shortage Costs City $Millions

HNN: After a major expansion, the city now says it's not collecting enough trash for its HPOWER Plant. And that shortfall could cost the city millions of dollars.

The city is required to collect 800,000 tons of trash a year for the Campbell Industrial Park power plant, which burns garbage to produce electricity. But right now it's only getting 678,000 tons a year.

The city has to pay operator Covanta Honolulu for the difference but so far, the company has not yet told the city what that amount will be.

"I think it's (costing) millions," said City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.

"It's just a waste of money, whichever way. We have to be more efficient."

On Wednesday, the council's Budget Committee will hear Bill 47, which seeks to increase the amount of trash that can be burned in the HPOWER plant. The bill will allow HPOWER to use construction waste and other nontoxic waste that's being stored at the PVT landfill in Nanakuli.

CB: Leeward Landfill Seeks Exemption from City’s Waste-to-Energy Fees

read ... Shortage

7 Month Wait reported for new building permits, costs balloon as projects sit idle

KHON: KHON2 has heard from those in the industry that some are waiting even longer than usual to get their projects started.

They say it’s taking double the amount of time to get their building permit applications approved, despite a new program meant to help the process.

Donald Corbin has an empty lot in Waipahu where he’s created blueprint drawings for a new two-story house. His work is complete, but now it’s up to the city. “Currently, they’re not that good,” he said.

Corbin’s company, Blue Hawaii Drafting Services, has been playing the waiting game with the city.

“How does long it take you to get a permit reviewed?” KHON2 asked.

“It depends. There’s a new electronic filing process that’s really slowing it down immensely from maybe three months to six to seven months for a permit,” he said.

He said the longer waits started last year when the city Department of Planning and Permitting changed its system....

“The homeowners have to pay their mortgage, their interest fees on their loans and it accrues and accrues every month, and after six months, they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars,” he said.

KHON2 called the city to get answers. A DPP spokesperson said the number of building permits issued increased by nearly 9,000 in one year and, because of the rebounding economy, he expects numbers to continue to rise for the next fiscal year.

The city says there were some kinks in the ePlan process which led to some delays....

read ... High Tech Fetishists Fail Again

Stricter abuse law criticized as excessive

SA: At least eight have been arrested recently under a felony domestic violence provision....

read ... Abuse?

QUICK HITS:

Abercrombie Letter to DoI

HECO, MECO and HELCO to file energy plans today

Billionaire Buys More Influence in Hawaii

First of trio of credit union thieves sentenced in Honolulu U.S. District Court

American Heart Association pushes for e-cigarette regulations

Charles Reed Bishop Honored in Upstate NY

Pearlridge rail station is motivating development nearby

Most Hawaii restaurants earn "pass" placard

Obama: 15,500 Trannies Join Military

Lava flow now within 2 miles of Puna subdivision

George W. Pasha III, chairman and former CEO of shipping company The Pasha Group, dies at 79

Islands Defend Challenge to U.S. Nuclear Program

Civil Beat Poll: Projecting the Winners

CEO exits Hawaii Group post after his prostitution arrest

Clarify spending on Hanauma Bay

Plans for Pahoa emergency room move forward


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