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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
August 27, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:15 PM :: 4236 Views

Hawaii Gubernatorial Candidates on the Jones Act

HECO Submits Power Supply Improvement Plan

Survey: 79% of UHM Faculty Disturbed by Apple Firing

According To State, ACLU Complaint About Postponed Puna Primary Not An "Election Contest"

Honolulu City Lights non-profit display application deadline is August 29

Ige: I Was Behind the Billion Dollar Act 221 Debacle

SA: Ige stressed the need for economic diversification and said he's been a proponent of tax credits for technology companies.

"I was part of the biggest private equity investment in the history of the state of Hawaii and I do know how venture capitalists and investment bankers work in developing businesses," he said.  (Wow.  Just wow.)

...Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, a Republican, said he would push policies that address regulations and road blocks that hinder businesses growth.

"What the government needs to do is get out of the way of businesses and let them do what they do, which is to create jobs," Aiona said.

Aiona suggested that the state conduct an annual report on credits and deductions to determine what's effective. He also suggested lowering the unemployment taxes paid by small businesses.

Reality: Audit: State Gave Away $1B Act 221 Tax Credits Without Verification of Eligibility

Ready Made Negative Mailer: PRP: Fukunaga Running to Continue Act 221 Tax Credit Scams (Just take out 'Fukunaga' and insert 'Ige'.)

read ... Act 221 Disaster

Hannemann Bids for Kakaako Developers' Support

SA: Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said Tuesday that the city, not the Hawaii Community Development Authority, should have planning oversight in Kakaako.

The HCDA could proceed with the infrastructure needed to support high-rise condominium projects in Kakaako, Hannemann said, but the city should handle zoning, affordable housing and other regulatory matters. He said the HCDA should still oversee redevelopment in Kalaeloa, where he suggested a new racetrack could be built....

Afterward, state Sen. David Ige, the Democratic candidate for governor, and former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican candidate, did not embrace Hannemann's idea....

Ige said he would implement a state law passed this year that weakens the governor's power over the HCDA board, essentially freezes building height limits, and expands public notice requirements for projects. "I am committed to — if elected governor — really implementing that, really providing more balance on the board there and (I) really hope that we can get back to the original vision of Kakaako, which really was about live, work, play," he said.

Aiona said he would have to think more about Hannemann's proposal, but cautioned, "I think we finally got some traction with HCDA, regardless of the issues that people have brought up."

read ... Hannemann wants city to oversee Kakaako

Gubernatorial Forum: Is Gay Marriage Behind Us?

CB: Aiona, who served as lieutenant governor under a governor who vetoed civil unions, said the legislation is now the law of the land. He does not propose to overturn it, but he said same-sex marriage is still an issue “in hearts and minds,” both here and across the nation.

Aiona said he sees no “finality” to the issue: “It will always be something discussed.” The U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately rule on the matter, he said, something he called “unfortunate” because it will be nine unelected people....

Hannemann said, if elected governor, he would swear to uphold the law. But he would not have called a special session on same-sex marriage, as Abercrombie did. His basic philosophy is that “the voices of the people need to be heard.”

Like Aiona, Hannemann would have preferred the question be put on the ballot....

Ige pointed out that he was the only candidate to have voted on the matter, and he voted yes. He reiterated his support for extending the same benefits that straight couples have to gay couples and said the legislation struck a balance by protecting the rights of clergy and churches who opposed gay marriage.

But Ige also said that democracy allows for continual challenges to constitutions and laws, suggesting that if enough people want to change things, it’s “always a possibility” that laws — presumably including same-sex marriage — could change.

read ... Continual Challenges

Aiona-Ahu Rally at Aloha Stadium

WHAT: ARTS, SCIENCE AND ATHLETICS RALLY AND FUNDRAISER

WHEN: THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH – 5:30PM-8PM

WHERE: ALOHA STADIUM

read ... Buy Tickets Here

Gubernatorial Forum: Eliminating Government Waste

KHON: Each candidate had different ideas to eliminate government waste while improving services.

Hannemann: People have always wanted more services, but don’t want to pay for it. I understand that. That’s why you need someone who has had experience in dealing with a budget to be able to demonstrate that people’s desires and needs will be met and resolved. I would assemble a team of non-partisan team of cabinet officials, like I did at the city, and do an audit. I did that as your mayor. That’s where we were able to identify what we needed to do to streamline government. We identified where the waste was taking place and the opportunities to maximize, whether it’s federal grants or state grants that come to the city. I believe that’s the best way to do it, with openness and transparency, and that’s what’s needed at the state level. Look at the Dept. of Taxation. It’s very important in my mind to ensure that that process is simplified, that we are collecting as much as we can, and that those monies go to specific purposes that we say we’re collecting those taxes for. I don’t regard public taxpayer dollars as a personal piggybank. It’s your money and we need to be accountable for it.

Ige: I’ve been a big proponent of use of technology — investing in technology to allow government to provide enhanced services in a more cost-efficient way. I’ve learned growing up it’s really (about) leading by example, and as chief technology officer at the State Senate, I led our efforts to take the Senate completely paperless, and it was really focused on the notion of re-engineering the entire legislative process to make the best use of technology, to become the most efficient that we could. I believe that making these investments throughout state government will allow us to deliver better, more improved services, than we can without it. As chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, we’ve appropriated more than $200 million in core infrastructure, IT investments that we will see significant improvements in the efficiency of state government as we move forward. It is really about managing your tax dollars better, but most importantly, $60 million of that was invested in modernization of the tax system. That system will allow us to collect more taxes that are already owed, so we can avoid future increases.

Davis: We’ve become a very wasteful government. You’ve heard the list of shame: cost of living, cost of housing, cost of purchase, cost of shipping, etc. The previous administrations have brought us to this point. Solutions come from a new day, a new idea. Solutions don’t come from battling the same ping-pong ball back and forth. Let’s use a calculator and take $16 billion a year — again, tourism on a good year, $12 billion and a gamble at that — $16 billion leaves our shores to purchase food. In 1930, Kauai grows 90 percent of its food. Today, in 2014, we import 92 percent of our food. If we cannot address the elephant in the room, which is a $16 billion bleed for food, let’s take another $6 billion for oil for energy in an archaic manner, juggle the budget and save money at the legislature, reassign our lunch money — $24 billion for food and energy, that’s where our solution lies. You cannot run a business that spends more money than it generates.

Aiona: It begins with transparency. Transparency begins with me (as) the governor of the state of Hawaii. If I’m transparent, if I’m open, if I dictate, if I show by example, if I supervise, then I think it will be transparent in regards to what we’re spending, in regards to the contracts we have out there, the leases and everything else that requires the spending of time, money and goods and services that we as a government put our monies to. So it really begins with me and how I lead the government. Transparency is something all of us understand. I don’t think it will take much direction to let the department heads and everyone below them to know that this is where we’re going to go. One example is with the Dept. of Education, which probably has the biggest budget next to the Dept. of Health and Dept. of Human Services in regards to state funds. I said it in 2010, and I’ll say it again today, the first thing I’ll do is to have an audit, both financial and management. I think all of you are aware of the lawsuit filed last week by a procurement officer with the Dept. of Education in regard to fraud. She was fired as a whistle blower because she revealed the fraud and waste, and according to that complaint, that was the tip of the iceberg.

read ... Eliminate Waste

Be a part of history—attend the Calvin Say residence hearings at Circuit Court

DN: ...Most of the action will be on Friday, August 29, which will be an evidentiary hearing that will include the live testimony of current House Speaker Souki unless his subpoena is quashed.  Place: the fifth floor (Circuit Court floor) of the District Court building on Hotel and Alakea Streets....

read ... Calvin Say residence hearings at Circuit Court

Puna Voters Had Practical Problems, Not Legal Defects

CB: Natural disasters occasionally disrupt elections but legal challenges have not materialized or succeeded in other states.

SA: ACLU election lawsuit misguided

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

read ... Legal Defects?

Kauai: Anti-GMO 'Fools' Set Environmental Policy Back 20 years

IM: ...How could I be reveling in the realization that environmental and progressive politics have been set back 20 years by fools who thought their little mob action was more powerful than state law?

Those of us who were environmentally conscious and active before some of the “red shirts” were even born will never be happy with the ignorance, the drama, the ugliness and now the stunning precedent that has been set by this epic political failure....

...it was all wrapped up with a bow and presented to the chem companies, courtesy of Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum — the self-righteous, posturing apostles of Bill 2491. ...

Still, I do find some satisfaction in seeing Gary and Tim fall flat on their faces. Just as I find some small vindication in being able to say, yeah, I was right all along and I stuck to my guns, even as Gary's “red-shirts” and “fistees” turned on me with a savage vengeance for daring to tell them the truth: They'd been suckered into supporting a bill that was legally flawed and would never give them any answers or relief.

Even the Environmental and Public Health Impact Study (EPHIS) is in danger of being tossed out, with attorneys trying to determine whether the judge's order invalidating the entire ordinance precludes that study from moving forward.

And if it doesn't, the worried westside folks are gonna have to throw themselves on the mercy of the state, and beg for health and environmental studies. Because Hawaii SEED, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network, Surfrider, Earthjustice, Kauai Rising, Babes Against Biotech, Kauai Ohana and the other folks who fed their fear and led them down the primrose path ain't gonna do shit to help them.

Gary, still dangerously seeped in his delusions of grandeur, says he wants to continue the fight, as does Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff. Of course they want to appeal. That's how Earthjustice gets money, and Gary gets publicity. But they don't have a hope in hell of getting the Administration or the rest of the Council to go along with their charade. The game is up....

read ... I Told You So

Dairy Farmer Demands State Allow Him to Sell Milk for Less

KHON: Big Island Dairy, the state’s largest milk producer, wants to sell its product at a price lower than the law currently allows to compete with mainland farms.

It also wants to expand business because 80 percent of milk consumed in Hawaii is imported from the mainland....

Click here to read the proposed rule changes.

The Board of Agriculture deferred any solid decisions until the next board meeting.

In the meantime, the board will create a committee to investigate what decision is best for both businesses and consumers.

read ... Price Reductions

Kauai Property Taxes Jump 34%

KGI: ...Allan Leonard said he wasn’t sure what to expect when he received his real property tax bill earlier this month.

The Princeville resident said he expected some type of increase but didn’t expect to see a 34-percent jump in the amount of taxes he must pay this year compared to last year....

County officials say Leonard is a part of the 5,293 property owners in the county’s homestead class who received increases on their real property taxes this year. Another 5,651 people, according to Department of Finance data, received decreases on their tax returns.

Only 32 properties saw no changes on this year’s tax bill compared to last year.

read ... 34% Tax Hike

DPS: estimated one in three at OCCC is homeless

HNN: Officials estimate one in every three people who are incarcerated at O'ahu Community Correctional Center is homeless.

"Close to 30% of the individuals who walk in our door daily are homeless," said Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai.

He added that the data is based on an estimate provided by intake officials at OCCC. "We have observed over the past few years an increase in the number of homeless individuals coming through community correctional facilities on all islands. OCCC just happens to be the biggest one, but we believe this is a statewide issue."

DPS officials confirm the current population at OCCC is 1,273 in a space designed with a capacity for 628. Sakai says one of the challenges jails face with an influx in homeless people is many have mental health issues and need special housing.

"We're not designed to handle this kind of population, we're already overcrowded. Our facilities are old and our resources are limited," Sakai said. "At OCCC, modules designed for 36 have 100 inmates in that space. The staff has to be concerned about safety all the time."

Hawaii News Now was granted access inside OCCC during inmate intake. Only individuals who agreed to share their personal experience were recorded, including one homeless man who has been incarcerated several times in the past few years. He admitted to using drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, and says he has also been a patient at Hawai'i State Hospital, where he was treated for manic behavior.

Jail officials say many of the homeless they process during intake admit to substance abuse and a majority express or are identified as having mental health issues....

Precisely as Explained: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read ... Filling the Jails

Meth Hoarding: Homeless leave large amounts of trash behind at UH Manoa site

HNN:  Homeless people living on University of Hawaii Manoa land just steps away from dorms and faculty housing have left behind piles of trash, making parts of Waahila Ridge look like a small garbage dump.

"It makes me very depressed to see all of this trash," said UH student Aaron Bullock, who hikes the Waahila Ridge several times a week and took Hawaii News Now on a short hike to homeless camps that look more like small garbage dumps, with rubbish everywhere.

Among the garbage were old laptops, stereo equipment, suitcases with clothes and toiletry products, old bicycles and shoes."You have electronics and things, there's no use for any of this if you're living in the forest. It's obviously somebody with a mental disorder," Bullock said.

DN: Activists Mobilize to Keep the Homeless, Homeless

KITV: 400 Sign Petition to Keep Homeless on the Streets, out of Shelters

HNN: Sit-Lie Bill Should be Island Wide

Google: Meth Hoarding

read ... Hoarders

EPlans Double Wait Time for Permits

KHON: Anderson said he wants to iron out any issues the department may be having with ePlans. It’s the only way applicants can submit plans for new building permits. Before the program began, applicants could file electronically or with hard copy paper plans at the city.

“I understand that the director and his department are doing the best they can to roll out this program that they started late last year, and I’d also expect the director was hoping they’d have a better handle on this at this time,” he said.

Viewers say ePlans, which was meant to simplify and improve the review process, was actually taking longer than before and, in some cases, twice as long. KHON2 heard more complaints Wednesday from people who did not want to go on-camera, because they were afraid of being blackballed by the city....

“The system is 10 months old. Should the kinks have been worked out by now?” KHON2 asked.

read ... Permits

Bureaucracy Metastases: Hanauma Bay may be getting an oversight agency

KITV: The Honolulu City Council is looking at whether it should create a new agency to oversee the operations at Hanauma Bay.

SA: Council tells city to account for Hanauma Bay revenue

read ... Metastases

HD41 A Race to Watch

Political watchers have traced Rida Cabanilla’s primary defeat to several factors, including her absence from the same-sex marriage vote and an inquiry by the state Ethics Commission into her potential conflict of interest in obtaining a $100,000 state grant for her own nonprofit organization.

In the Democratic primary, Cabanilla faced Matthew Lopresti, a charismatic Hawaii Pacific University philosophy professor, who ran under the platform of restoring honesty and integrity to the Ewa House seat.

On the Republican side, construction manager and New Hope Leeward minister Bryan Jeremiah fended off opposition of his own, but not in the traditional sense.  State Republicans strongly urged him to resign after his extensive criminal record became public. Dating back to 1982, Jeremiah has several criminal convictions including drug dealing, drunk driving and assault. The latest was 12 years ago.

After state Republicans said they would not support his candidacy or even allow him to be a card-carrying party member, Jeremiah withdrew from the race. But he later re-entered as a Republican and won the primary, saying he has put his past transgressions behind him.

read ... HD41

Credit Union Was a 'Den of Thieves': Honolulu FBI

CU: A FBI special agent who spent seven months investigating wrongdoing at Oahu Transit Services Employees Federal Credit Union said this week the $12.5 million cooperative was once a den of thieves.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon, shown at left, also said the recent discovery of a $500,000 embezzlement by three employees was an expensive lesson for credit union officials about the importance of maintaining strong internal controls and oversight from an engaged board.

“In 20 years in law enforcement, I have never seen a case where three individuals working shoulder to shoulder were each embezzling from the same organization without the others knowing that they were stealing,” Simon told CU Times. “It really was a proverbial den of thieves.” ...

CUMIS Insurance Society, which covered the $993,125 loss caused by the thefts, also filed a civil lawsuit against Cheung, the other two former employees and the credit union's auditor, CU Pacific Audit Solutions, according to court documents....

read ... Credit Union Times

Prison Guard loses legs in work-related incident, fights 5 Years for benefits

CO: Patrick Hamlow, 54, uses a wheelchair to get around his Kalihi apartment because he lost both legs. 

It all started five years ago this summer at Halawa Prison when the veteran guard had to walk through a prison unit flooded with raw sewage to turn off the sewer line. He said inmates had purposely clogged toilets in the special holding unit where he was temporarily assigned to sergeant duty that day so he went in through the sewage spill to shut off the sewer lines near several prison cells.

SA: Police, Corrections officials investigate alleged Halawa sex assault

read ... 5 Years

QUICK HITS:

Data Shows Duality of Asian America: High Income, High Poverty

TRACKING THE FLOW: Lava’s advance being watched closely in Puna

Hawaii Red Cross recruiting disaster volunteers

University of Hawaii Foundation receives record $98.6M in donations and gifts

Aerial advertising controversy will go to jury trial

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'Surfing the Nations' broke barriers in North Korea

Draft plans for Honolulu Rail will be revealed tonight at Washington Middle School

VIDEO: Remembering Robert Herkes

City Council committee defers bill on land use fines

Hawaii, US territories to import Liquefied Natural Gas

Md. Health Exchange Under Review For Possible Fraud

Hawaii Co incinerator wouldn’t face garbage shortage

Lawyer defends Quack

UHM Perfesser Spouts Hamas Propaganda

More Hamas Propaganda in Star-Adv

Reasonable cost for public documents delivered in electronic form?

UHM Study: Global Worming Will Destroy Hawaii Tourism (LOL)

Honolulu motorists are 22% more likely to have an accident than the national average

Abortion Mongers Call for Voters to Turn Out


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