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Thursday, February 4, 2010
February 4, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:31 PM :: 10138 Views

LINK>>>Taxed Enough Already? TEA Party rallies February 27

SB: Former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi dies , Timeline: Frank Fasi's political career

3 Stooges’ fake DoE “accountability” bill passed out of House committee—Gov’s bill will not be heard

The bills, passed out of the House Committee on Education, would give voters the opportunity to decide in November whether the state constitution should be amended to allow the governor to appoint a nine-member BOE from a pool of candidates selected by an advisory council. Those appointments would need to be approved by the state Senate.

(In other words--An old-boy controlled list of the same old-boy losers who have made such a mess of things.)

Gov. Linda Lingle had requested a constitutional amendment to allow the governor to appoint the superintendent of schools and abolish the state Board of Education.

Takumi said there are no plans for the (criminals on the) state House Committee on Education to hold hearings on Lingle's request. He said the state Senate could still do so.

Under House Bill 2376 and House Bill 2377, the appointed school board would be made up of members with staggered terms, (giving the next Governor—and the voters--even less control) and they would appoint the superintendent of schools, Takumi said.

As predicted: Hamamoto's DoE resignation: To block Lingle's constitutional amendment

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State is #3 in Debt: Hawaii's bond rating falls to 'negative' as budget crisis takes its toll

Hawaii, the third-most indebted U.S. state, had the outlook on $4.7 billion of general-obligation bonds lowered by Moody's Investors Service because it's depleting budget reserves as declining tourism reduces revenue.

(Hey I have an idea.  lets build a $5B rail system!)

TOTLLY UNRELATED: Feds' rail boost reassuring

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Bertram declares bankruptcy

Bertram's bankruptcy also lists $9,493 in money owed to the government.

That includes $796 in undated general excise taxes owed to the state, $1,323 in 2007 federal income taxes and $4,358 in 2002 federal income taxes.

Bertram said the tax debts stem from a payment made several years ago, before he was a legislator, to his nonprofit organization, Greenways Maui, for consulting services he provided to a consultant for a developer. The Internal Revenue Service later told him the payment was taxable income, he said.

(Imagine that!  Eco-activists being paid off by developers.  Who’d have thought it was possible!)

Henry said the GOP had a "good candidate" for the office in retired Maui police Capt. George Fontaine, but didn't think that Bertram's recent bankruptcy would be an issue in the election. Instead, he said he believed Bertram's support of civil unions would be a bigger concern for voters.

"I think that had more of an impact on people wanting to see him unseated, more than his financial status," Henry said.

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Bill to Legalize Gambling on Hawaiian Homelands Advances over DHHL objection

A measure would allow the Hawaiian Homes Commission to set up a gaming authority, eventually overseeing gambling operations on native Hawaiian homelands.

The bill advanced today despite strong opposition.

"To amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act by allowing gambling on Hawaiian Homelands would seem to violate the purpose of this act,” said Dianna Kay from the Coalition Against Legalized Gambling.

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ADV: Legislation would allow casino operations on Hawaiian Home Lands

Carroll visited the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington, about 30 minutes outside of Seattle.  (Who paid for this trip???)

"We know that our people love to gamble," Carroll said after the meeting. "It is part of our culture. Not for all, but for some."

Hall said DHHL is projected to generate about $20 million on lease rents and other revenues annually.

Lobbyist John Radcliffe, a longtime supporter of legalizing gambling in Hawai'i,  (and a major campaign contributor) said a 2000 study estimated a single casino in Hawai'i could generate as much as $350 million annually.

Radcliffe said Hawai'i residents spend billions on illegal gambling locally and at casinos in other states. That money could be used to create jobs and wealth here, he said.

Kale Gumapac, of the Native Hawaiian group Kanaka Council Moku O Keawe, said he also went on the Tulalip trip and came away impressed by first-class medical and dental facilities that had been built for the Tulalip tribes with the proceeds from the operation of its casino.  (Gumapac was last spotted on Big isle opposing a DHHL commercial lease for a Walmart—but a casino is OK with him after the junket.)

Gumapac said tribal leaders told him without the money, the quality of life for the tribes would regress to that of the 1930s.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Kaulana Park, in written testimony, said his agency is "concerned about the potential disadvantages associated with gaming like negative impacts to local businesses, difficulties with and cost of regulation, and social costs which may unintentionally cause a negative impact to our beneficiaries and the state."

Park added: "We cannot support an initiative like this that would work against the rehabilitation of Native Hawaiians as envisioned by our founder, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole."

SB: Gambling bill designed to lift native Hawaiians (propaganda headline)

RELATED: Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

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Model for Obamacare, “advanced” Hawaii tries to get trauma centers on sister islands (6 1/2 hours to treatment for major trauma)

The Big Island Trauma Advisory Council held its first meeting Friday to discuss the future of trauma care in Hawaii County. The council -- physicians, emergency responders and hospital leaders -- formed after the state Legislature approved funding in 2007 for the organization of a statewide trauma system in response to a 2005 study by the American College of Surgeons.


That study found, among other things, that the rates of unintentional fatal injuries on Neighbor Islands -- including the Big Island -- were more than double those for Honolulu across most age categories between 1996 and 2000.  (Statistics started 14 years ago.)

…this large disparity in the mortality rate from trauma suggests an association between delayed access to organized, definitive trauma care and risk of death in areas outside Oahu.

According to the 2005 study, 50 percent of all deaths in Hawaii those age 1 to 44 are trauma-related.

Yet there are no trauma care centers on the Big Island, Maui or Kauai. Nor is there a trauma care center with the highest designation, Level I, in the state. The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu is rated Level II.

Numbers provided by Hilo Medical Center show that the average time between a patient's injury on the Big Island and the time he or she was delivered to The Queen's Medical Center was nine hours and 43 minutes between 2001 and 2006.

In 2008, that fell to six hours and 33 minutes, due mainly to the fact that the hospital began contracting with multiple medical air transport companies.

Council members said they hope to have their planning complete by 2011 so that they can begin the process of putting the system in place.
"Across the country, good trauma care systems don't really mature for 10 or 12 years," Brinkman said. "We want to get started quickly." 

(So it will be 26 years at least if everything goes perfectly.  Did we mention that Hawaii is the model for Obamacare?)

RELATED: Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa

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Greenwood Urges Lawmakers To Invest In UH (she’s out of synch again)

HONOLULU -- University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood on Wednesday proposed an increase in the number of in-state graduates, upgrades of the university's research enterprise and repair of deteriorating buildings.

TWO DAYS AGO: Regents seek rise in revenue: Propose lift the limit on nonresident students who pay higher tuition 

(But Hawaii media love their comrades at UH.  Check out all the planned after-speech lauditories….)

ADV: University of Hawaii president says UH is part of economic solution

ADV: Greenwood makes case for supporting UH

ADV: Greenwood seeks improved grad rates, facilities for UH

SB: UH president's plan elevates isles' economy with education

HR: Greenwood Urges Greater Financial and Human Investment in Higher Education

Full text of Greenwood’s address:

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Honolulu Rail 4th Most Expensive in the Nation

Only three other metro areas have spent more than Honolulu intends to spend. They are Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, all with far greater populations than Honolulu.

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Islands No. 2 in union membership

A little more than one-quarter of Hawai'i's labor force belongs to a union, which makes the state the second-most unionized state in the nation after New York, according to a new report.

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Utilities commission ruling deemed valid  (OK to exclude a member!)

The failure to include one of three state Public Utilities Commission board members in a recent decision does not invalidate the agency's ruling, the Attorney General's office said.  In a Feb. 1 opinion, Deputy Attorney General Randall Nishiyama said the PUC can issue decisions and rulings so long as a quorum consisting of two of its three commissioners takes part in the decision.

The AG opinion, which was requested by PUC Chairman Carlito Caliboso, was issued on the same day that The Advertiser reported the PUC Commissioner Les Kondo had accused Caliboso and Commissioner John Cole of excluding him from a Dec. 30, 2009, decision on a Hawaiian Electric Co. renewable energy case.

Kondo had said his exclusion violated commission rules, made the order invalid and could result in HECO paying refunds to its local consumers.

The HECO case — which was approved by the PUC — allows the local utility to set up a mechanism to recoup millions of dollars in costs for investing in smart meters, storage batteries and transmission lines.

This is a wind-related decision.  Related site: National Wind Watch

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WHT falls for Obama’s SOTU lie: Louder, richer and often foreign voices enter the election process

Foreign-owned corporations, Belgian-owned Anheuser-Busch for example, will now have a direct lever, their money, with which to turn government policies in their favor, bestowing upon the individuals of their choice, assets that far exceed those of the individual American. 

(This is the type of shamefully embarrassing ignorance which comes from taking Obama’s words seriously.  BTW—isn’t Stevens media a corporation?)

Reality explained here:  5-4: Supreme Court rejects FEC bans of books, movies critical of candidates

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County has failed to collect $100M in fees: Impact fees could replace current 'fair Share' system

In comparison, the county would have collected about $60 million if it had collected impact fees, according to research by Waimea engineer Bob Hunter. Impact fees generally are collected on all building permits, rather than just development permits and rezonings.  (In other words, the individual lot owners are out $60M.)

Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda didn't seem convinced.  "I believe in individual homeowners," Ikeda said. "It's like changing the rules when they have already been saving the money to build their homes."

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Kaloko homeless shelter project lurching forward

HILO -- The Kaloko Housing Program took incremental steps forward Wednesday, but county officials seem confident the affordable housing project will be serving residents by early 2011.

The project was originally supposed to open last December.

The Hawaii County Council approved a resolution exempting the project from some code requirements, and in other action, advanced the rezoning of 8 acres from agriculture to urban to allow construction to begin.

"This should have been done some time ago and it didn't get done," said Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, chairman of the Hawaii County Housing Agency, of the rezoning. "Honestly, it fell through the cracks. Nothing's lost though, we didn't lose any money or anything."

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Bill 1965 will make it costly to sell your undeveloped land

Rep Mele Carroll (OHA crony) introduced House Bill 1965, which will require that before any piece of undeveloped property is sold, an archaeological inventory survey must be done. A State Historic Preservation Division officer must then sign off on the survey for work to proceed….Reps. Cindy Evans (DU scam) and Michael Magaoay (charity shakedown) also introduced the bill with Carroll on Jan. 15. A week ago, the bill passed the Economic Revitalization, Business and Military Affairs Committee. Next, it will go before the Judiciary and Water, Land and Ocean Resources committees.

(Of course this would be a massive taking -- exposing the State to billions of dollars of lawsuits.)

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Big Isle bag ban is voted down

A Hawaii County Council committee voted 6-3 Tuesday against a bill that would ban businesses from giving plastic shopping bags to customers.

The same lawmakers are now expected to kill the measure when it goes before the full council in two weeks.

Councilman Donald Ikeda opposed the ban. He says a combination of education and harsh fines for littering are needed to curb the problems plastic bags cause.


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Arrogant Obama attacks tourism AGAIN

LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama is known for having a way with words, but some lawmakers from Nevada wish he would pipe down about trips to Sin City. After sparking a firestorm of criticism from Nevada's elected officials for suggesting that people saving money for college shouldn't blow it in Las Vegas, Obama told U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter that he wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas.

It was the second time since taking office that Obama singled out Las Vegas as a potential example of spending excessively….

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