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Sunday, November 9, 2014
November 9, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:46 PM :: 4046 Views

UHERO: LNG Could Save Hawaii Ratepayers $800M/Year

Legacy Land Commission Seeks New Members

Ige Special Interest Roadmap

SA: The first test for Ige and his chief of staff, Mike McCartney, the president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, could be how they handle the powerful interests that will likely try to penetrate the new governor's inner circle and compete for his ear.

"He's got to be very careful about not getting the wrong kind of advice," said former Gov. George Ariyoshi, who gave Ige his start in politics with a state House appointment in 1985. "And I think that he's also very mindful of the fact that people, once he gets there, are going to want to get things from him."

Ige's faction in the Senate included Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui), Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Downtown-Nuuanu-Liliha), Sen. Les Ihara Jr. (D, Moiliili-Kaimuki-Palolo) and former senator and now Honolulu City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga. Rep. Gregg Takayama (D, Pearl City-Waimalu-Pacific Palisades), whose wife, Linda Chu Takayama, was a loyalist to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, became a close ally during the campaign.

Hiraoka, Ige's campaign manager, will lead his transition team. His choice of McCartney, a former state senator, party chairman and executive director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, as chief of staff potentially strengthens a bond with the teachers union that has already given some critics pause.

Ige made a political issue of Abercrombie's fundraising from Kakaako real estate developers and billionaires like Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison, and while some development interests donated to Ige's campaign after the primary, the money was not critical to his election, so he is not beholden.

read ... An article entitled: "Ige takes office with few political debts"

Ige on BoE, Kauai Dairy, GMOs, Kakaako

Borreca: Ige on BoE: "When positions come up on the board, we would be seeking candidates interested in actively empowering schools and not just talking about it....It is about trying to make sure that they are focused in supporting schools rather than directing schools...."  (Translation: Leave the HSTA alone.)

Kakaako: " is about finding community members to represent small business...."

Ag: "I met with dairy farmers interested in reopening dairy farms."  

Q: Is the debate on GMO going to help or hurt the state?

A: "We need to have all sides stop and listen, to have all sides come together about concerns and try to find a way for everyone to come forward. We have 1.9 million acres in agriculture and only a small fraction is actually in production. ... If we need to create buffer spaces, the state has lots of that can be made available. I do believe the state has an obligation to ensure the health and safety of our community, so we need to regulate pesticide use, we need to know where and how it is being used and we need to assure that they are being used in ways that are safe for our community."

read ... The governor-elect wants to modernize tax collections and encourage ‘small ag’

Affable Ige must now show he can firmly take the lead

Shapiro: Comparisons between Ige and Ariyoshi, the former governor who appointed the young engineer Ige to the Legislature in 1985 and played a key role in Ige's decision to run against Abercrombie, go beyond the obvious ethnic similarity.

Ariyoshi, who was lieutenant governor to John A. Burns and inherited the top job when Burns became ill, is generally well-remembered for keeping the ship of state afloat during his 13-year tenure with relatively little of the political and economic drama that marked the subsequent regimes of John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Linda Lingle and Abercrombie.

Ariyoshi billed himself as "quiet but effective," and that was exactly the pitch Ige tried to channel as he promised little more than "we can do better."

Both came to office with intimate knowledge of state operations as former chairmen of the Senate's budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, where each had a reputation for frugality....

An important early sign will be the Cabinet and staff Ige appoints.

He'll be under pressure to fill his administration with refugees from losing Democratic campaigns looking for state paychecks while they plot their next moves.

If Ige hopes to be a transformational governor in a time of high public cynicism, he needs to hire top people who are focused on his agenda rather than their own.

read ... Affable Ige must now show he can firmly take the lead

Star-Adv: Don't abandon linking tests to teacher pay

SA: One obvious risk in a two-year delay on linking evaluations to scores is that the Hawaii State Teachers Association would exploit the lull and push the DOE to give up altogether its bid to hold teachers at least partly accountable for the performance of their students. That would be unacceptable. (Try inevitable.)

read ... Don't abandon linking tests to teacher pay

HHSC: Private Partnerships key to Erasing Budget Deficit

SA: The regional structure of governance was created in 2007 under Act 290 to give the regions, whose representatives understand the needs of their vastly different island communities best, the authority to manage their own operations and budgets under regional boards, while at the same time working together as a system for collective efficiencies and best practices.

As volunteers, board members at both the corporate and regional levels give countless hours of their expertise and time to HHSC because they are passionate about everyone having access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Without this, people would leave Hawaii, and individuals and businesses would not come here, which would affect our state and island economies and quality of life....

Throughout HHSC's history, dating back to 1996, we have been dependent on financial support from the state, as caring for our safety-net population means we do not always get paid for services provided.

Unfortunately, the budget deficit has grown considerably due to many factors -- wage and benefit increases, reduced reimbursements, technology upgrade requirements (electronic medical records), capital needs for our aging facilities, increased costs for drugs and supplies and many other costs, such as insurance and utilities.

These have come at a time when our state is struggling to meet the financial needs of its many different departments, and we understand the challenges our legislators and governor face in making these difficult decisions. That is why for many years, we have been committed to improving operational efficiencies and pursuing other possible resources through public-private partnerships, collaborative service agreements and other types of cooperative relationships.

read ... Quality and accessibility are priorities of Hawaii's public hospitals system

Nurses Flee Hawaii

SA: New nurses in Hawaii are finding it difficult to land jobs in their field despite increasing demand for medical services.

The tight employment market has left many registered nurses working in lower-level health care positions such as nurse aides or medical secretaries as a way to gain experience.

As Hawaii's population ages, health officials say eventually this nurse surplus could turn into a shortage as some graduates who can't find jobs move to the mainland or get out of the profession altogether.

"There's definitely a risk for a shortage. We have heard of individuals who have gone out of state to look at other opportunities," said Cindy Kamikawa, vice president and chief nursing officer at the Queen's Medical Center, which employs more than 1,400 nurses at its Punchbowl campus. "Our workforce is relatively stable, and we are seeing retirements, but not at the rate that we would expect."

The turnover rate for nurses at Queen's dropped to 6.1 percent this year from 7.9 percent in 2012.

read ... New nurses left behind

A Newly Arrived Republican Voter Reacts to Hawaii Election Results

WHT: My wife and I have moved from California after 40 years of living there. We have officially established residency here since July this year and have also registered to vote in time for the November election.

We have always known that Hawaii is a Democrat state, but despite of this, we still voted straight Republican. We know that some of the Republican candidates campaigned hard. Many times I waved to candidates on Kuakini Highway. We have also received campaign mailers from candidates. I even attended the gubernatorial candidate’s forum at Kealakehe High School to hear in person what James “Duke” Aiona and the other candidates have to say.

We were hoping that one or two of the Republican candidates would come out ahead. However, the results have confirmed to us that Hawaii is indeed a strong Democrat state. Except for the relatively close result between Charles Djou and Mark Takai, the margin or difference between all the other Republican and Democrat candidates’ votes is as expansive as the distance between California and Hawaii.

We were wondering why we never received campaign material or have seen advertisement from Cam Cavasso or Kawika Crowley. Now we think we know why. We assume they have never bothered since they probably knew they never had a chance.

(This illustrates the process by which Republican voters quit the electorate.)

read ... Republicans never had a chance

Veterans Day

Hawaii VA Director Celebrates Veterans Day by Lying Again

SA: There have been a number of recent improvements in our health care system, and you have my commitment that we will continue to improve services to meet your health care needs.

During this past year, we have had a number of accomplishments in the services we provide, including eliminating our waiting list for new patients, reducing the number of days it takes a new enrollee to receive services from 145 days this past January, to 35 days at this time.  (The truth is that they gave each waitlister an intake appointment.  Now they are waiting on a different list for actual medical care.)

We also are successfully completing a number of intensive quality reviews with outstanding results.

read ... Some Lies

Apo: I am an American — I am a Hawaiian 

PA: I am an American of Hawaiian ancestry. I am proud to be an American. I am equally proud to be of Hawaiian ancestry. Whew! There, I’ve said it. I’m finally dealing with a self-inflicted identity crisis. It’s been a very confusing emotional passage since 1975 when I first became a Hawaiian activist.

read ... But he is still pushing for a fake Indian Tribe

Cost of Living Drives Poverty in Hawaii

SL: The U.S. supplemental poverty rate in 2013 was 15.5 percent, the census found, equal to 48.7 million Americans. That rate was higher than the official poverty measure – which was 14.6 percent, or 45.8 million.

For individual states, the rates are an average of rates from 2011, 2012 and 2013. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia were poorer under the supplemental measure than under the official one. California had the largest gap between its supplemental and official poverty rates, followed by Hawaii, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Alaska, New York and Illinois.

read ... Cost of Living

Military Budget Siphoned off by Green Energy Scammers in Hawaii

SA: Hawaii has become ground zero for a Pentagon research drive to develop alternative energy in areas including Asia and the Pacific, where the need to travel long distances -- and use lots of fuel oil to do it -- has been identified as a national security risk.

"Everyone is focused on Hawaii right now," said Richard Carlin, head of the Office of Naval Research Sea Warfare and Weapons Department. "The studies we're conducting there and technologies we're developing will not only help the Navy reduce its need for fossil fuels, but also move the country closer to energy independence."

Reality: 49% Waste: Inspector General Slams Hawaii Navy Solar Projects

read ... Energy research finds home in Hawaii

FOIA reveals Hawaii is the only state not receiving military gear from the feds

DN: In response to a Freedom of Information Request by MuckRock in Hawaii, a number of documents dating from around 2005 were turned over—because, the response noted, there was nothing more recent.

And although there were some camouflage outfits listed, and an ambulance and a truck, for example, most of the swag consisted of file cabinets and other office supplies.

Full documentation of the Hawaii FOIA request is on the MuckRock website here, and it’s very instructive—if anyone is interested in doing a FOIA, it’s a good example of the process. The documents received are also posted on that page. Have a look at it to see what the Maui Police Department, among other agencies, received from the feds....

read ... FOIA reveals Hawaii



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