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Thursday, February 11, 2010
February 11, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:05 PM :: 9646 Views

LINK>>>Abercrombie resignation kills Obamacare majority in House

Hannemann, Inouye set up to blame Lingle for Rail failure

Jennifer Goto-Sabas, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye's chief of staff, who warned against repeating mistakes of the past that cost the city huge sums of federal transit dollars.  "Make no mistake: If Honolulu blinks again, those dollars will evaporate," she said.

…The (rail now) letter was signed by 38 Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Kym Pine (Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point).

ADV: Lingle urged to sign off on rail

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Republicans kill Democrat move to bring back pay to play

Good government groups applauded the demise of a bill that they say would have weakened Hawaii's campaign spending laws by allowing some government contractors to donate to political campaigns.

House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro said the decision to recommit the bill was made in caucus, after it appeared members were divided on the issue.

"We talked about it in caucus and there seemed to be a pretty good division," said Oshiro (D, Aiea-Halawa). "Without knowing exactly where the Minority Caucus was, we decided to recommit the bill."

The six-member Republican caucus claimed victory, saying the bill would have brought back the "pay to play" days of the past when companies could try to influence politicians with big donations.

"Pay to play was an unseemly and immoral process that soiled the image of this House and politics in general," said Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kaneohe-Kailua). "We must stop attempts to bring the bad old days back, like we did today."

DePledge: Reality v. Rhetoric

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2 gaming bills move forward in House

HB 2251, H.D.1, would establish a gaming commission that has the authority to issue one five-year license to a casino gaming operation on Oahu.

HB 2759, H.D.1, would authorize the Hawaiian Homes Commission to allow casinos on Hawaiian homelands and establish a gaming commission within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. It also calls for a wagering tax that would be split, with 80 percent of revenues going to Hawaiian Homes and 20 percent to the state general fund.

Burris:  Gambling a bad bet for isolated Hawaii

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Shapiro: Superferry bachi

The military is going to get its people and equipment from Point A to Point B one way or another. What was the real downside to using ferries instead of other less efficient means? What would be the harm if a little military business on the side helped the Superferry subsidize potentially valuable commercial services to small businesses and travelers?

The knee-jerk view that anything military is inherently suspect is simple-minded, not to mention disingenuous in a state that constantly keeps a hand out for military spending to float the economy.

Against this backdrop, it's more than a little ironic that Superferry opponents may now find themselves living with twice as many high-speed catamarans plying Hawai'i waters exclusively for military use, with none of the civilian benefits offered by the Superferry.

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Appeals court hears plea of furloughed students

Attorneys for seven autistic students asked a federal appeals court yesterday to let them go back to school on Furlough Fridays, arguing that Hawaii's decision to shut down campuses has illegally disrupted their education….

During yesterday's oral arguments, judges questioned the precedent the court might set if it granted the students' appeal to go back to school.

"I'm worried about the slippery slope situation," said Senior Circuit Judge Dorothy Nelson. "The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is intended to protect disabled children. But is it intended to give them veto power over every system-wide change?"

ADV: School furloughs back in court

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TIM School-Shidler merger makes sense

While the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents enjoys more autonomy than a decade ago, all it takes is discussion of closing, merging, shrinking, moving or changing the name of a department to bring out the worst kind of legislative meddling.

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Hawaii's January Forclosure numbers increase 286.4 percent from the year-ago period

Despite a 15.1 percent dip in foreclosures from December, Hawaii foreclosures rose 286.4 percent in January to 1,302 filings from the year-ago 337, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

In comparison, national foreclosures increased 15 percent to 315,716.

January's foreclosure rate of one filing for every 394 Hawaii households compares with the nation's rate of one in every 409. Hawaii ranked 11th nationally for rate of foreclosures, one spot below its worst-ever 10th place ranking in December. In the last two months, Hawaii has seen 2,836 foreclosures.

ADV: Isle foreclosure rate 11th-worst in nation

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Hawaii tackles unpaid rents: Public housing proposals also include credit checks and speeding up evictions

public housing officials say the changes are meant to decrease the number of tenants who fail to pay or who damage units, spurring costly repairs that add up quickly. And they point out that other public housing authorities already take similar steps.

In December, more than 20 percent of the thousands of households in public housing were behind on their rent, with the Hawai'i Public Housing Authority owed as much as $1 million.

The planned screening measures are part of other proposed changes to decrease rent delinquency in public housing, including speeding up evictions, and come as the agency attempts to tackle an aging public housing inventory, deal with budget shortfalls and catch up on tens of millions of dollars in backlogged repairs.

(Since HPHA has such a long waiting list, obviously this will create an incentive for people to get their credit right in order to qualify.  Meanwhile HPHA will be filling MORE units with needy renters since vandalism will decrease thus decreasing the backlog of units which are not ready or occupancy.  Of course the usual gang of bleeding heart do-gooders are lining up to make sure that credit worthy people live in tents while bums, deadbeats, and assorted louts get a government subsidy.) 

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Pimps safe for now: Senate Judiciary defers bill to make human trafficking a felony

The legislative session is one-fourth of the way through today, and so far, nothing has been done to help the average taxpayer or public school students.

A bill to make human trafficking a felony was deferred by the Senate judiciary committee;

A bill for a fiscal and management audit of the Department of Education died despite questions about procurement, waste, fraud and financial abuse in the $2.4 billion department.

Legislation to remove the salary caps of the Department of Education superintendent and her deputies is moving forward….

Related: Lack of Law Put Minors at Risk in Hawaii (Is Hawaii a haven for pimps?)

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Kona trial: Doper kills man over “medical” marijuana

“The defendant was growing marijuana in his greenhouse," Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville told the jury. "The defendant set up an elaborate surveillance system ... focused solely on the greenhouse."

Damerville said that Metcalfe "had a plan" that resulted in the death of Kuahuia, who was struck in the back with birdshot fired from a 12-gauge shotgun.

"He was ready," Damerville said. "'And when I catch the mother------ this time, I don't want him pulling one over on me.' Does that sound like a person who's in fear for his life? 'I want to f--- kick that door open, fly out with a shotgun and just start f------ shooting.' The evidence says that's what he did. The defendant's plan was complete when he shot and killed Larry Kuahuia."

(So lets make it legal so we can have even more incidents like these)

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Sports Commission proposal deferred

The State Senate Committee on Economic Development and Technology decided Wednesday to indefinitely defer a proposal that would have established a volunteer Hawai‘i Sports Commission.

The proposal (SB 2743) was originally put forth by Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona. He stated the measure would attract, develop, manage and promote sports and sporting events in the state.

Aiona released a statement after the committee’s decision:

“It’s a shame the public voice was not heard today. Since the moment we introduced this bill, residents from across the state have stepped forward to actively support a Hawai‘i Sports Commission.  We are missing out on our share of an industry that generates more than $4 billion a year — money that could be spent in our local communities,” he said in his statement.

ADV: Committee blocks Aiona's sports commission proposal

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Plastic Bag Ban Debated at Hawaii Capitol

The Rise Above Sink Below Plastics Coalition held a press conference and rally at the Hawaii State Capitol’s Rotunda on Wed., Feb. 10, from 12:00 - 1:00. Arrogant anti-Superferry activists from the Surfrider Foundation are partnering with the Sierra Club, Styrophobia (a psychiatric disorder) and other organizations to educate people about the dangers of plastic marine debris and the proliferation of single-use plastics (SUP) like bags and bottles in our environment. The Coalition showed artwork by local first-graders…(because the first thing they always do is brainwash children)

BIW: Ban plastic bags, save a tree (BIW Editorial endorses both plastic bag ban and Senate’s paperless operation without grasping the obvious contradiction between the two positions.  How pathetic, but this is what happens to people when they become followers of the latest incarnation of Cult of Gore)

REALITY:

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State high court rules judge could force Lanai council member to vacate office

Maui County Council Member Sol Kaho'ohalahala could be forced to vacate his office by a judge, under a ruling of the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The unanimous ruling found that council members who violate county residency requirements automatically forfeit their seats, and that members of the public don't need to take the additional step of pursuing impeachment or recall in order to remove them from office.

 

The court's decision does not in itself rule on Kaho'ohalahala's status on the council, but sends the case back to 2nd Circuit Court for a full hearing.

SB: High court leaves Council member's fate to Maui judge

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Group: DIRE need for injection wells action -- Says Tavares not doing enough soon enough to achieve results

Last fall, Tavares announced her intent in the next 10 years to end the decades-old practice of pouring an average of 9 million gallons a day of recycled wastewater through 18 injection wells, which are located at the county's five sewage treatment plants. She is believed to be the first Maui County mayor to make such a pledge.

In October, she convened the Maui Wastewater Community Working Group and gave the 21 volunteer members a deadline of this December to make recommendations on how to go from 20 percent recycled water use to 100 percent.

But the mayor's group is only advisory, so three of its own members, Irene Bowie of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, environmental scientist Robin Knox and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency attorney Jeffrey Schwartz, formed a parallel group, "Don't Inject, Re-direct," or DIRE, they said.

Schwartz said that DIRE was needed because the county administration rejected the group's idea to form subcommittees to develop a strategic implementation plan. The working group also doesn't do enough to engage regular folks to participate, he said.

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First county land sale March 31: 16 Paauilo mauka parcels to be offered via sealed bid

"After 15 years of sitting idle, it will be nice to get these lands in private ownership," Ken Van Bergen, the county's property manager, said of vacant parcels the county accepted in a 1994 tax settlement with bankrupt Hamakua Sugar Co.

Eco-socialists working to depress sale price:  Another Hamakua parcel up for grabs

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Greening buildings requires more lettuce: New code could add $2,000 to cost of new home

Starting May 11, insulation will be required in all new houses and multifamily structures, even if they don't have cooling and heating systems.

In addition, all individual apartments and condos will have to have individual electric meters….

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