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Monday, November 24, 2014
November 24, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:53 PM :: 3531 Views

Report: Hawaii Scores ‘D’ on Sex Trafficking Laws

Hawaii Is the State with the 8th Most Frugal Consumers

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted November 24, 2014

UH Officials worry serious NCAA violations to come

SA: Some University of Hawaii officials fear multiple Level I and II violations — the most severe NCAA infractions — when the school receives a formal Notice of Allegations from the association concerning its men's basketball program, according to people who say they have been briefed on the subject.

Athletic director Ben Jay said the school has yet to receive the notice from the NCAA and declined to speculate on possible levels of infraction or when the notice will be received. "Under NCAA bylaws, I'm prohibited from commenting at this time," Jay said.

Notice is expected as soon as next month....

UH officials and their Ala­bama-based attorney specializing in NCAA infraction matters have been attempting to gauge what allegations the seven-month inquiry into the men's basketball program will produce and what self-imposed sanctions might be warranted.

Under the NCAA's revised four-tier system for classification of infractions implemented in August 2013, violations are classified in Levels I through IV, with I (severe breach of conduct) being the most egregious and Level IV being "incidental issues."

Level I violations include "unethical or dishonest conduct" and a "responsibility violation" on the part of the head coach resulting from an infraction committed by someone within the program.

Level I violations carry the most severe penalties, which, depending upon mitigating or aggravating factors as assessed by the Committee on Infractions, might include postseason bans of one to four years, financial penalties of 3 to 5 percent of the "program budget or postseason money disgorgement," 12.5 to 50 percent in scholarship reductions, 12.5 to 50 percent reductions in recruiting visits, and two to 10 years on probation.

In addition, cited coaches or officials could face two- to 10-year restrictions whereby any school that seeks to employ them would be required to "show cause."

read .... NCAA Violations

Ige Wants to Name Cabinet by December 1--One Week from Today

SA: Ideally, Ige would name key members of his Cabinet by Dec. 1, (one week from today) but he is being advised to take the time necessary to select those best suited for the posts.... 

Ige said one of the most important responsibilities emphasized was the fact that he will become commander in chief of the state's National Guard, expected to lead during emergencies and ensure homeland security. He said the new governors were advised on the questions they needed to ask to prepare for the responsibility....

After hearing from some of the other governors, however, Ige said his experience with the state budget as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and his grounding in legislative culture give him an advantage. He said some of the other new governors have no elected experience, and some asked basic questions about how to prepare a budget draft and how to form a relationship with the Legislature....

Only One so Far: Ige Names Fuchigami to Head DoT, Extends Application Deadline

read ... One Week Left

Jockeying for 2016 or AG? Kaneshiro Unloads on Carlisle

CB: ...when Kaneshiro returned to office in 2010, he found a backlog of more than 2,300 outstanding felony bench warrants.

There was also a box containing 1,000 unserved penal summonses in the office of one of Carlisle’s investigators.

And then there was Carlisle’s bad check restitution program, which allowed a mainland debt collection company to use the seal of the Honolulu prosecutor’s office on letters that threatened people to pay up or be taken to court.

But the most troubling discovery was that a deputy had allowed the statute of limitations to expire on 20 sex assault cases without charging them. Because the deputy did not enter the cases into the case tracking systems, no one knew they existed until the deputy’s office was cleared out....

read ... 2016 or AG?

Leadership of PUC in ‘holdover position’

MN: PUC Chairwoman Hermina Morita's term officially expired June 30, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie kept her as commission chief in a "holdover position," meaning that she serves as interim chairwoman until she or her replacement is nominated by the new governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

Morita was able to retain her position, at least temporarily, despite what appeared to be a falling out with the governor early this year and allegations before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources that she and her husband, Lance Laney, had operated an illegal vacation rental on property they own in Hanalei, Kauai.

As of Friday, after being asked about Morita's reappointment, a spokesperson for the Governor-elect Ige Transition Team said: "All individuals will be asked to go through the formal application and interview process for positions, boards and commissions, including the future chairperson of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission."

The statement did not address whether Ige's transition team was more focused on filling other positions, including those of his future Cabinet, than the PUC chairperson; or whether the governor-elect has had second thoughts about statements in support of Morita's reappointment while he was on the campaign trail.

read ... Holdover

Abercrombie: "Have you talked to the Chinese About Money?"

IM: Abercrombie lost in part because he abandoned his position and sacrificed his power base. He decided that money was more important than values.

In 2011 the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings were held in Waikiki. Free trade advocates and Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators talked about breaking labor and transforming the world into a global corporatocracy.

As a member of Congress, Neil Abercrombie strongly opposed free trade agreements. As Governor he did a 180.

Governor Abercrombie held a press conference at the Hawai`i Convention Center on November 7, 2011, the first day of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation  meetings. He stressed high tech, the military, astronomy, and the politically connected.

He concluded by saying that everything is rosy and to ignore those who say otherwise. He did not mention labor, workers, or the general public.

I asked the Governor: “Are there any downsides to APEC?” and he replied, “Not for us.” He noted that, “There are a whole lot of people, I'm sorry to say, [with] a vested emotional interest in always seeing us on the losing side.”

He then went over to the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) booth. “Have you talked to the Chinese about money?” Abercrombie asked, and seeing perplexed faces, he added, “They have money.” He then left to talk to others.

read ... Why did Governor Abercrombie really lose?

Abercrombie Got Biggest Raise of Any Governor

CSG: Governors in 11 states saw their salaries increase in 2014 over 2013 levels. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie saw the largest year-over-year increase, when his salary increased by 23 percent (from $117,312 to $143,748), based on recommendations from the state’s Commission on Salaries. The median salary increase for these 11 governors was $3,624.

read ... CSG

Lame Duck Anti-GMO Kauai Council Gift to Omidyar Development Scheme

KE: A few things have been made crystal-clear recently.

Here was the first: As soon as agriculture becomes profitable on Kauai, it will get taxed to ensure that it has a hard time remaining so. To wit: The bill that places seed production into a new tax category — agronomics — so the county can gouge it a little deeper, all the while pretending, with absolutely no justification, that growing fields of corn, for whatever purpose, is somehow not diversified agriculture.

And who's to say the same policy won't be employed for any other crop that dares to succeed?

Though Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura's amendment did water down the bill that ousted Councilman Tim Bynum proposed, it was only because of her revisions that the bill passed at all. Councilman Mason Chock had been reluctant to go along with Tim's version, but said his concerns were assuaged with JoAnn's changes, and so he voted yes.

Here was the second:  If you're a billionaire, like Pierre Omidyar, and you want to build mansions on the ridge above Hanalei Bay, but the community is resisting, and you want to avoid a nasty public fight, it's oh-so-convenient when the County Council passes a shoreline bill that includes an arbitrary “bright line” exemption that excludes your project from setback requirements, and thus eliminates an avenue of public scrutiny and involvement.

The “bright line exemption” — unnecessary, and in no way serving the public's interest — was introduced by JoAnn, and will benefit a only a few developments, including Hanalei Ridge. Why did she push it?

read ... Musings: Crystal Clear

Aloha Stadium design flaw undetected for 35 years

HNN: Photos from an engineers' report in 2010 showed paint crumbling at various key connections in the stadium. The experts said "distressed paint" indicated connections were slipping.

Another picture showed a fractured welded joint that needed repair.

But worst of all was the discovery of a previously unnoticed -- and until now unreported -- design flaw, 35 years after the stadium opened. Connections on the beams and braces at the very end of each of the sideline stands were found to be "very highly over stressed."

"This is likely to be a fairly brittle failure and could happen without significant warning," said engineers in the report.

"We're just fortunate that we had caught this particular flaw before it could have been a serious problem," Chan said.

The state spent nearly $400,000 to reinforce those areas before the beginning of the 2010 football season, because engineers said the problem was so bad it needed to be fixed before the stadium was used again.

The state has spent more than $70 million in the last five years making safety improvements.

For example, $800,000 was expended to stiffen the raised concourse pedestrian bridges, installing tension rod stays to eliminate an unsettling "bounciness" pedestrians experienced.

SA: Studies abound on edifice rex

read ... 35 Years

City gets 'F' for rail project

HR: It is important that the rail have an "independent inspector - independent inspection" team, that isn't influenced by the receiving of RAIL construction contract revenues..... that is a major "conflict of interest"....

We were promised 17,000 local jobs, and have 1,300 - with 13 percent of what was promised.

In any school that would equate to an "F".

Background: Contract conflict creates new concerns for rail project

read ... Fail

State to Force Micronesians on to Obamacare Exchange

KITV: Micronesian residents are currently eligible for Medicaid under an agreement with the United States, but that coverage will end after February.

Instead, those in Hawaii will have to sign up for a plan with the Hawaii Health Connector -- but that comes at a cost.

"If they choose a silver level plan, they would be getting similar coverage to what they have now. The exception is they will have co-pays associated with the plan now that they didn't have before," said Meredith Nichols, with the Hawaii Health Connector.

Those co-pays could range from $5 to $20 for doctor visits, treatment and medications. Some COFA residents could pay hundreds to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.

The state would save about $25 million, as it would no longer have to cover the gap between what was promised to Micronesian residents and what the federal government provided.

KITV: Micronesians in Hawaii face healthcare expenses

read ... Obamacare

Complaints About Homeless Flood Mayor's Office

CB: Peter Elliott wrote that he worked hard to save up for a place in Waikiki and described the homeless as destroying the community.

I’ve “been shocked at how the, mostly voluntarily, homeless seize the benches and tables at Waikiki, sit on sidewalks with ‘I want pot signs,’ wake me and many others up at all hours to steal bottles and cans from my building’s dumpster, roam around with stolen supermarket carriages, and destroy the sense of community in Waikiki by making people think that anyone saying hello to them is going to ask for money,” he writes.

Joey Rivera, a tourist who was staying at the Marriott in Waikiki, said he planned to go shopping for 10 days, but decided to go elsewhere because of the homeless.

Parts “of the blocks smell like urine, you have people blocking the sidewalk to the point they are purposely creating a choke-point were people are forced to engage with them, and the smell of defecation is overwhelming,” Rivera wrote. “Your street people are invasive to the point that they make shopping a bad experience.”

read ... Complaints

Suicide Squad is Back, Looking for People to Kill Off

CB:  Attorney General David M. Louie issued an opinion that manslaughter charges could be brought against any physician who willingly prescribes a medication with the intention of helping someone end their life....

“Physician-assisted suicide” might harken back to the days of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the maverick physician who was arrested, tried and convicted of second-degree murder for assisting people who wanted to end their lives.

In jail for eight years, he was released in 2007 and passed away in 2011. His method included lethal injection, and he did not have criteria that required someone to be terminally ill....

Opponents argue that it’s impossible for anyone to know if they will live longer than expected even with a deadly diagnosis. This is true....

Reality: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii

read ... Kill, Kill, Kill

Volcano Staunches Flow of Punatics into Hawaii

WHT: Since Sept. 1, shortly after geologists issued their first warning about the flow, the area from Pahoa and Hawaiian Beaches/Shores down to Kalapana and Kapoho has seen 47 sales of residential land and houses, according to data provided by Hawaii Information Service.

During the same period last year, there were 119 land and home sales. That represents a decline of 60 percent, compared with a 15 percent drop islandwide.

read ... Punatics

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