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Saturday, November 29, 2014
November 29, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:19 PM :: 3553 Views

Early Release: "Pflueger’s old-boy manipulation of the justice system stinks like corruption and smells like big money.”

Caldwell appoints Roy Amemiya to be Managing Director, effective January

Inauguration Set for Monday at Capitol

Independent organization wants schools to have more power, not the DOE

HNN: "The only way to get high performance and strong results is when decisions are made by the people who are actually doing the work," said Galera, who was 2010 Hawaii High School Principal of the year and 2004 Central Oahu District Principal of the year.

"It shouldn't be a dictatorship, that's a good bottom line," said Randall Roth, Education Institute of Hawaii President.

"When you look at empowerment, especially in a district like Hawaii with 255 schools, one size does not fit all," said Ray L'Heureux, former DOE Assistant Superintendent, who is now a member of the Education Institute....

"We're making progress but we need to continue to reexamine and continue to make progress in ways that are efficient and focuses on student achievement," said Brian De Lima, Hawaii Board of Education Vice Chair....

The Institute says it's not just about decentralizing the DOE.  It's about changing the culture of the system.  A survey taken last April found 65 percent of principals are afraid to speak up against the DOE for fear of retaliation.

"The urgency is we have to collaborate and work together now. We need to make the changes now. We have a new Governor. He will start office on Monday. We're very hopeful," said Galera.

The new Governor's wife Dawn Ige is also an educator and was Darrel Galera's vice principal.  Educators are anxiously awaiting Governor elect Ige's plans for education and if the Education Institute will have an ear at the Capitol.

KITV: First lady-elect Dawn Ige presented the welcome remarks. As an educator herself, she talked about supporting the idea of school empowerment.

read ... Independent

Ige Will Have Power to Reverse Abercrombie Operatives' IT Job Grab

AP: "If you're firing 11 people who've been on the job, why couldn't some of them be re-programmed here, if in fact you had to do away with those positions?" Kim asked.

Kali said that wasn't possible because "their backgrounds and experience would not have qualified them for the vacant positions."

Asked if she thought the Abercrombie appointees were qualified for their new jobs, Kim said, "I think in some cases it's a stretch, if you look at their resumes."

None of the employees in the state's IT office have permanent, civil service jobs. That means the people who were recently hired could be ousted after Ige takes office Monday.

read ... Monday

Abercrombie Admin Finally Admits Big Wind is Dead

IM: Mark Glick, speaking for the Abercrombie Administration, asserted that DBEDT’s Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) would offer market competitive financing so low income people could finance rooftop solar.

Henry Curtis pointed out that DBEBT has previously asserted that the interest rate would be above market rates so as not to compete with the financial market, and that half of the funds could be siphoned off to finance large unspecified projects.

The bonds are secured by ratepayers who will cover loses.

In addition, there would be minimal oversight of the new $150 million state bank controlled by DBEDT.

DBEDT’s Mark Glick announced for the first time that the Abercrombie Administration had given up on the Big Wind project.

Nice to know with five days left to the Abercrombie Administration and Governor-elect Ige and HECO both against the boondoggle.

Meanwhile, First Wind, one of the proponents of Big Wind, is be gobbled up by SunEdison and its subsidiary TerraForm.

read ... Puna Alternative Energy Forum

AG Louie's Final Act:  Pflueger released from prison months ahead of schedule

HR: Kauai’s Fifth Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano sentenced Pflueger to what amounted to one month in prison for each death.

But in reality, Pflueger will spend less than a week behind bars per death. He was released this week from the Kauai Community Correctional Facility to home detention just six weeks into his 7-month sentence.

Public Safety Director Ted Sakai made the decision in conjunction with Attorney General David Louie.

In a letter to Senate Public Safety Chair Will Espero obtained by Hawaii Reporter, Sakai explained: “On Monday, I received a memo for the facility physician indicating that Pflueger has developed an additional condition that might require urgent care, and that our M.D. does not believe that we can appropriately care for Pflueger at Kauai Community Correctional Center or any other facility.

"He recommended that Pflueger be granted medical release so he can be under the direct care of his own specialist physicians on Oahu, who are familiar with his conditions.

"After consulting with the Attorney General, I was advised that I have the authority to grant such a release.

"As such, effective today, we have placed Pflueger on home detention on Oahu, where he resides.  He will be restricted to his home and to visits to his physicians.  He will be monitored electronically and supervised by the Intake Service Center,” Sakai said....

read ... Six Weeks

Maui Anti-GMO Leader: Initiative Would Have No Impact on OUR Community 

KITV: "I believe the only financial impact would be on the corporation's bottom line, not on our community," said Sam Small of the Shaka Movement, an anti-GMO group.

read ... Arrogant Morons

Anti-Aquarium Obsessives Try Hawaii County Council

BIVN: The bill was ultimately postponed to the call of the chair.

read ... Arrogant Self-Interest

Barrons: Will Legislators Protect HEI Profits?

Barron's: Hawaiians are fleeing the state’s biggest utility for lower-cost solar power. Could the stock fall 20? ...

Sky-high prices worry regulators and put Hawaiian Electric (ticker: HE) in a tight spot, especially as it continues to reward investors with a 4.4% dividend yield. Short sellers, who rarely bet against utilities, say the payout could be in jeopardy, and warn that the company could be forced to issue new debt or equity to foot the bill, which could eclipse $100 million this year.

The shares have risen 17% in the past six months, to a recent $28.19, and trade for 17.5 times forward-four-quarter earnings, a five-year high. At a more reasonable multiple of 14 times, toward the low end of the industry’s range, the shares would trade for about $22.50, a 20% discount to Friday’s close....

Hawaiian recorded negative $27 million in free cash flow in 2013. The company says it expects to spend $1.3 billion on capital projects in 2015 and 2016, if its plans are accepted, up from a prior estimate of $760 million. One short seller says high capital expenses mean Hawaiian will record negative $700 million in free cash in the next five years, forcing it to raise debt or equity, or slash the dividend. Its payout ratio—73% of profits—is already well above the industry average of 50%.

Clifford Chen, Hawaiian’s manager of investor relations, says the company has no intention of cutting its dividend, and notes that many utilities operate with free- cash-flow deficits. “At utilities, these projects generally can’t be funded by operating cash flow,” he says.

Hawaiian’s basic business will likely stay intact until battery storage gets cheap enough to let homeowners fully disconnect from the grid. But anyone betting on the utility now is wagering that legislators will protect its bottom line, even as the company incurs the wrath of their constituents.

read ... Hawaiian Electric: Why Its Shares Could Dim

Honolulu Police Chief Begins Second Term

HNN:  It's been five years since Louis Kealoha was sworn in as chief of Police in Honolulu.

The former Captain jumped rank and other, more experienced candidates to win the appointment in November of 2009....

Kealoha says he does have moments of doubt and times when he feels overwhelmed, but he says his faith, family and friends carry him through those times. He says he feels like he has settled into the position and looks forward to the next five years.

read ... Honolulu's Police chief looks back on his first term

Stipends for UH athletes could cost nearly $1M a year

HNN: The University of Hawaii Athletic Department, already $3.5 million in the red this year, will have to come up with more money shortly to remain competitive with other schools that are spending significantly more money on benefits for athletes allowed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The NCAA is expected to start allowing universities to pay athletes stipends starting in the next year or so. It's a major change in college sports driven by the five biggest revenue-producing conferences in the country.

So financially-struggling UH will be scrambling to find the funds to keep up, according to UH Athletics Director Ben Jay.

"We're at a brink. We are at a large brink in terms of what's going to happen with UH athletics. And that's what I want to make clear to the public," Jay said.

When the NCAA starts allowing schools to pay athletes stipends, those new expenses could cost UH anywhere from $803,441 to $964,050 a year, Jay said.

Each full-scholarship UH athlete would be eligible to be paid a maximum of $3,543 a year, on top of having tuition, room and board and books covered by the university....

Another NCAA rule change this year meant for the first time, UH is spending anywhere from $350,000 to $400,000 on meals for athletes in season. But other schools plan to offer unlimited meals to athletes the entire school year.

read ... $1M/year

New King Street cycling lane: Pain, Confusion, Danger

SA: Changes to the busy road have created confusion and danger for drivers, some say....

With one week to go before the official unveiling of the new King Street Cycle Track, drivers and cyclists are hoping for the best but bracing for a potentially painful period of adjustment....

"I think (the cycle track) is safe for bikes but not for cars," said cyclist James Palmer, 63, of Pauoa.

Palmer pointed to the end of Keala­ma­kai Street, where cars turning left onto South King Street would need to drive almost perpendicular to the opposing sidewalk to access parking across the street. Left-turning vehicles would also face a dangerous situation if they entered the nearest turning lane at the wrong time.

"If they turn and there's a parked car in the lane, they'd be forced to merge one lane over to the right with the oncoming traffic," Palmer said. "It's not safe."

On Monday the city opened on-street parking adjacent to the cycle track in marked stalls along Ala­pai and Pensacola streets. The metered stalls are closed during the 3:30-6:30 p.m. weekday rush hour.

Merchants along King Street have expressed concern over the changes. Some have already experienced a drop-off in business due to construction and confusion.

"If 100 customers come in here, all 100 will complain," said Cal's Cleaners employee Le Moon.

Moon said customers have complained about being unable to see oncoming traffic clearly as they pull past the cycle track. Others are concerned about crossing the track to pay the parking meters.

"Everyone is confused about where they can park," Moon said. "People go in and out, in and out, and now they don't know where to go. It's confusing and it's dangerous."

LAT: Hit-and-runs take a rising toll on cyclists

read ... Dangerous

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