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Sunday, November 23, 2014
November 23, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:32 PM :: 4150 Views

Progressivism Becomes Convenient Vehicle for Tycoons

Who’s the Boss, Anyway?

Alfalfa Farmers Sue to Overturn GMO Ban

Could Congress finally end the GMO labeling war?

Caldwell Makes the Disabled Pay Starting Jan 1

Hawaii Landmark Land Use Litigation for 2014

Supreme Court Blocks Friends of Makakilo Appeal vs DR Horton

Dumbfounded, Shouting Abercrombie--Failure to Lead

Borreca: The fiscal difference between exiting Abercrombie and his living predecessors is Abercrombie's failure to engage the community in a search for solutions.

In some ways he acted like Lingle in her second term, when the 2007 recession rose up to swat away any hopes of a budget in balance. Lingle failed at pulling in costs and was determined not to raise taxes. In the end, she was forced to take warm bodies off the payroll.

Republican Lingle had no friends at the Legislature, controlled by Democrats and the powerful public unions. It was determined that if a budget was to be cut, each slice would also bleed away her popularity.

Enter Democrat Abercrombie, brimming with 40 years of empathy for the legislative experience.

Facing a similar no-money budget, Abercrombie failed to engage first the public and then the Legislature in ways to balance the budget....

What happened was that Abercrombie was so dumbfounded by the size of the budget deficit that he threw everything at it to raise money. Public workers, old folks, the poor, no matter how politically suicidal the tax, Abercrombie shouted for it....

The fact that Abercrombie was unable to lead the state out of the financial problems and the legislatively proscribed solutions offered first by Calvin Say and then by then-state senator and now Gov.-elect David Ige explains much of the Abercrombie legacy.

read ... Dumb, Shouting

Abercrombie Rationalizes 'Epic Failure' of his Administration

Shapiro: Abercrombie's graceless excuses seeking to spin his landslide loss as somebody's fault other than his own is making him difficult to ignore and further tarnishing what's left of his legacy.

First he claimed he was the victim of Republicans crossing over to the Democratic primary to vote against him in punishment for the special session of the Legislature he called to enact same-sex marriage....

Democrats, Republicans and independents alike were in remarkable agreement that Abercrombie had to go, giving a sitting governor just 73,507 votes out of 289,367 cast in the primary....

He made it seem like there was more hostility toward gays in the electorate than there actually was by any reasonable analysis of the vote, which showed little traction for same-sex marriage foes.

It was an ugly final word for him to leave on the gay marriage victory he has described as his proudest achievement.

Now Abercrombie is aiming equally unfair parting shots at environmental groups that did contribute to his loss after becoming disenchanted with his surprisingly fervent pro-development policies.

At a climate summit he called last week to try to repair his environmental credentials, Abercrombie did the opposite by describing those who lost faith in him as the equivalent of "a left-wing, environmental tea party." ...

Whatever he has to tell himself to rationalize the epic failure that sadly was the Abercrombie administration.

read ... Epic Failure

'Buff and Turf' Flies Mainland Homeless to Hawaii

KGI: “If you’re homeless, you try to go where you can survive a little bit better,” Ferreiro-Fujiuchi said.

Originally from Southern California, Mark Anthony Smith, 34, is homeless on Kauai.

Smith was diagnosed with a mental health disorder while he was a teenager; his family disowned him after he started taking drugs. He cleaned up his act, got married and was pursuing vocational schooling when he relapsed. His wife divorced him seven years ago, and from there he became part-time homeless, living on his disability money and working around the country....

“We kind of see new people all the time,” Ferreiro-Fujiuchi said.

Joni Lesser-Benton, a clinical social worker on Kauai, said that while she hasn’t seen an increase in homeless clients in her private practice, she has noticed new faces on the street.

One possible cause, she said, is what is known in the medical field as “buff and turf,” a practice in which patients are medically stabilized and given a ticket and enough medication to get to another place — in this case, by plane to Hawaii.

Lesser-Benton said she saw an influx in the number of victims of this practice while working in Santa Cruz, California, and expects it is occurring here as well.

“The agencies just get tired of folks that they see over and over and over again, and they’ll just put somebody on a bus or plane or train,” she said.

HTH:  HCF launches program to serve more homeless families

read ... Buff and Turf

Think tank wants principals and teachers to be in charge

SA: All are welcome at the Hawaii School Empowerment Conference sponsored by the Education Institute of Hawaii, although the symposium is especially relevant to principals, vice principals and teachers, as well as policymakers such as state lawmakers and Department of Education state and district administrators. Representatives from school districts in Canada, California and Nevada that the Hawaii delegation visited last month will speak and answer questions, and Hawaii members of the fact-finding delegation also will share their experiences.

When: Nov. 28-29
Time:  8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day
Where: Moanalua High School, 2825 Ala Ilima St.
Cost: Free, including lunch each day
Questions: Email or call 778-6378

read ... Think Tank

Health Connector Boss Apologizes, Urges Consumers to Skip the Website

SA: ...Both the federal marketplace and the Connector got off to a tough start last year.

There are still some issues this year that we are working diligently to fix.

I apologize to the people of Hawaii for the problems that they experienced.

We at the Connector have a responsibility to help all the members of our 'ohana gain access the health care they deserve, and I am committed to making that happen.

It's why we are making sure that our customers understand their access to the Connector is not just through a website.

We have dedicated people at our call centers to talk with our customers and assist them with the process of enrolling....

read ... Skip the Website

Caldwell: With TOD, we can keep the Peasants from Owning Cars, Homes

HNN: More than 400 people jammed a TOD symposium at the Neal Blaisdell Center Saturday to talk about how areas downtown will be developed around rail transit stations. They also got to see several proposals on what changes will becoming and were invited to make their own suggestions on what they'd like to have.

"So a lot of what you're seeing out here is different ways that we can work with the streets and public spaces to create gathering places and new bike lanes, like on King Street, bike shares and parklets, the kinds of things that people want," said Harrison Rue of the TOD Honolulu Team.

Participants also talked about lowering Honolulu's dependency on cars. They contend it can be done with development near rail lines.

"That next generation is willing to live in a more dense urban core, not own a car, maybe rent," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "But they want to preserve the outlying lands to keep them open and green forever."

DN: Hawaii Progressive Just Can't Figure out how he's Been Played for the Fool that he is

read ... Drive the People into poverty

Star-Adv: State Should Favor Foster Care over Return to Abusive Families

SA: ...That trend seems to be heading in the wrong direction, an observation underscored in a February ruling by the state's Supreme Court. The justices found that the DHS 2005 policy favoring family over permanent placements of foster children was inconsistent with state and federal law, which make the best interests of the child the standard.

If the state is to rebalance the disposition of child-protection services as it should, its leaders must strengthen the alternative course: placing children in foster care. The foster parents who provide that service must be made true partners in the mission of safeguarding these vulnerable children.

The most experienced among these parents derive fulfillment from their work and don't do it for the money. Enlarging the corps of foster parents is necessary, but must be done with careful screening to find candidates with the right orientation and skill set.

That said, these are people who should be given adequate financial support from the state, and while reimbursements for board expenses and clothing allowances have been improved, more should be done. A lawsuit challenging current reimbursement levels is still pending.

Beyond the dollars and cents, these providers also require a system for seeking such assists that is easier to navigate than the current bureaucracy. There are state programs providing supplemental services and respite, but if there are too many hoops involved in accessing them, foster parents may not realize they're available.

Even more critically needed by these parents is better communications with DHS — ostensibly, their "partners" — on the needs and condition of the children in their care. Some have reported that their input about prospects for family reunification is shrugged off, and that officious attitude toward these service providers needs to end....

read ... Foster Care

Biggest Event in Aloha Stadium History an Ariyoshi Rally

SA: Conceived in controversy, christened with a curse, and doomed to decades of costly repairs and lawsuits, the 50,000-seat, 98.6-acre facility has nevertheless been the state's largest window to the sporting and entertainment world. For its initial $37 million investment — and many times that in subsequent repairs....

...the mayor's stadium committee selected an 80-acre site at Halawa Housing from which about 80 families would be removed. Their ouster would be part of the controversy that swirled around the project. At the groundbreaking, which drew a picket line with signs that declared, "Homes First, Stadium Second," one of the protesters reportedly placed a curse on the project.

But it soon became apparent that what Blaisdell had imagined — a $20 million state-of-the-art facility — would be too expensive for the city, and his successor at Honolulu Hale, Frank Fasi, opposed the use of city funds. Fasi derided it as a "white elephant" and maintained through his six terms as mayor that a cheaper, better one could have been built in town....

The state took over what was seen as a $41.4 million project, but the Legislature directed state comptroller Ke Nam Kim "to cut corners and keep the price within $27 million," according to a news report of the time.

The stadium opening was targeted to coincide with the January 1972 Hula Bowl — but was three and a half years late.

Two years after the "curse" was placed on the project, a workman was killed in a fall from the stands, prompting other workers to walk off the job. Later, a 10-week strike by sheet metal workers caused a delay, as did an exceptionally rainy fall in 1974. In addition, there were 127 change orders and several lawsuits....

And, true to the politics that often surrounded the stadium, one of the largest reported crowds, 49,701, was for a 1978 political rally for Gov. George Ariyoshi, who a rival had suggested "should be hung by his toes from the stadium rafters."....

Now, the state is on the clock with the stadium's future. A state-commissioned study is in the third step of an eight-step process designed to help determine the fate of Hawaii's biggest sporting venue.

At issue is whether the state will continue to shore up the facility at what is forecast to be a $120 million tab over the next five to 10 years, or lay out two or more times the amount to build a new one.

A study by Foley & Lardner, a New York firm hired to advise the Stadium Authority, recommended in June "a new 30,000- to 35,000-seat stadium on the lower portion of the stadium site" at a price of $132 million to $192 million....

read ... Money Pit

Luxury Realtor, Mainland Activists Seek Intervention in Maui Anti-GMO Suit

CB: Five Maui County residents — Chemophobia activist Dr. Lorrin Pang, Luxury Realtor Mark Sheehan, Lei’ohu Ryder, Bonnie Marsh and Alika Atay — and the misnamed SHAKA Movement filed a motion to intervene on Friday, as well as a motion to dismiss the lawsuit....

A separate coalition of Maui County residents represented by the national nonprofits Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice also filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit to defend Maui County’s moratorium. The nonprofits have also intervened in similar lawsuits on Kauai and the Big Island.

Maui County’s betrayal of its own people by agreeing to delay the moratorium without a whimper of resistance proves it cannot be trusted to properly defend our clients’ interests,” said Earthjustice managing attorney Paul Achitoff in a press release.

But SHAKA also agreed to the delay, thus we must conclude that Earthjustice is saying SHAKA "cannot be trusted" -- see LINK

MN: Filing to dismiss GMO initiative challenged

read ... Money Interests

Small Business Defends itself against Anti-Styrofoam hysteria

MN: ...On Monday, the Maui County Council's Infrastructure & Environmental Management Committee received testimony and a report on the Polystyrene Task Force, which the Maui Chamber of Commerce was pleased to participate in. We appreciate the council creating a task force to allow stakeholders to discuss the proposed ban in more detail and thank Council Member Mike Victorino for chairing this effort.

The first night, the task force quickly identified that polystyrene is not a landfill issue so that rationale for the bill was thrown out. The primary intent of the draft bill was then clear: to protect marine animals and birds from the hazards of plastic litter.

Over four meetings we reviewed research, discussed concerns with the current legislative draft, tested alternative and polystyrene products at Zippy's to compare and contrast them, and tried to find common ground.

Beyond agreement on the primary intent of the bill and the fact that Maui has a litter problem to tackle, there was no consensus.

Business members on the task force saw that plastic litter, in general, not just polystyrene, was the real issue. They feel a ban on polystyrene is unnecessary because it would create negative impacts to local residents and businesses and cause harm without achieving the stated goal of "protecting marine animals and birds from the hazards of plastic litter." They instead sought a public/private partnership between businesses and the county to control litter onshore and prevent it from getting into the marine environment to address that goal.

Hypesters: Regulating single-use polystyrene food containers

read ... Small Business Defends itself against hysteria

On balance, Army in Hawaii is a positive

SA: For better or worse, the Army is going to downsize, and no place will be spared, including Hawaii. The Army may cut up to 20,000 soldiers from Oahu in 2015.

Some think we should rush to embrace a smaller Army presence here.

Not me.

read ... Downsize



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