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Tuesday, August 10, 2010
August 10, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:09 AM :: 11999 Views

Same-Sex Marriage Judge Finds That a Child Has Neither a Need Nor a Right to a Mother

Excess of $1.4B found in 186 Hawaii Special Funds

BoE Chair Toguchi speaks out against appointed BoE

Djou attends Iraq mobilization ceremony of former unit

Individual right to sue for “clean and healthful environment”? State moves for reconsideration

Hirono, Djou Split On Funding Bill

The bill would spend $15 billion on Medicaid and $10 billion to support teacher salaries. It passed the Senate last week and House members, who had started their August recess, are briefly returning to vote Tuesday.

Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono said she will support the measure because prenatal care, hospice care and other health care covered by Medicaid would take a hit if the bill fails.

Republican Rep. Charles Djou said he will oppose it. He said the bill raises taxes and spends money that a nation facing a huge annual budget deficit and long-term debt cannot afford.

"The state budget passed by legislation is in balance. There are no layoffs and school closures. We're going to take money from Hawaii to bail out mainland states -- all the more reason this bill is a cynical political ploy," Djou said.

"It will mean $100 million for Hawaii. This money will allow the (Department of Education) to use the money used to retain teachers for other programs. So, it's all for education," Hirono said.  (No it is not for ‘education’.  It is for the DoE to take money out of teacher salaries and use it “for other programs”—i.e. a giveaway to crony contractors.)

Djou is running on the straight fiscally conservative line.  Hanabusa is running on the straight tax and spend line.  Hawaii will choose November 2.

Shapiro: Djou a true test for GOP

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Gay activists continue to hound Calvin Say

Gay rights activists have challenged Say’s nomination papers and his voter registration, claiming that he actually lives in Pauoa instead of HD20, which covers St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley and Wilhelmina Rise.

In a letter to the activists on Thursday, Scott Nago, the state’s chief election officer, said his office confirmed with the city clerk that Say is a registered voter at the 10th Avenue address in HD 20.

Bernice Mau, the city clerk, said today that her office is still investigating the complaint to Say’s voter registration. She said her office has written to Say asking him to show documentation that he lives on 10th Avenue. Her office is also doing its own review.

This is what they do to even their own supporters when they do not toe the line.  Do you want to be ruled by these activists?

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Cayetano: Mufi is King of Smears

"We are obviously pleased with the finding of the State Procurement Office," Carolyn Tanaka, a spokeswoman for the Hannemann campaign, said in a statement. "The complaint was filed back in May by people not involved in any way with the contracts in question, and who are known supporters of Neil Abercrombie.

"It was clearly a politically motivated act to embarrass and raise suspicions about then Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Playing politics with serious issues like public contracting to smear a candidate should not be tolerated."

McLaren said he is still reviewing the state Procurement Office's report. He said, however, that he revised and expanded his complaint in a June letter to the state auditor calling for the auditor to review the city's contract awards. He said that letter also was sent to the Procurement Office and the attorney general, but he said the Procurement Office's report appears to be based solely on his April complaint.

"It looks like a whitewash, to be honest with you," McLaren said.

Cayetano, in an e-mail, said he wanted the attorney general to rule on what he sees as a conflict between administrative rules under a previous version of the procurement code and the procurement code as it is written today.

"Clearing up the apparent conflict between the old rule and the current procurement law was a task for the state attorney general, who is the only state official whose legal opinion matters in procurement cases -- not the state procurement officer," Cayetano said. "So I am disappointed the state AG turned our complaint over to the procurement officer and did not give an opinion on the issues we raised."

Cayetano rejected the Hannemann campaign's accusation of a "smear." "Mufi is king when it comes to smears," Cayetano said. "What we asked of the attorney general was a legitimate complaint made openly and publicly."

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Rail drives Hannemann contributions, Abercrombie gets D.C. support

"Mayor Hannemann is sitting on all sorts of money because, of course, he's building a rail," said Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan.

Boylan said architects, engineers, construction unions, and developers have contributed more to Hannemann than they have to Abercrombie because Hannemann is pushing so hard for rail, and if it is built they stand to benefit.  (Nothing to see here.  Just move along.)

…while Hannemann got lots of money architects and engineers, Abercrombie has also received money from firms and people in construction related businesses.

For example, people affiliated with Mitsunaga & Associates have contributed a combined $35,000 to the Abercrombie campaign.  On its web site Mitsunaga & Associates says it has provided "architectural, engineering and construction management services to government" for more than 30 years.

As of the end of June Hannemann had raised $2,486,158.09 and still had $2,005,398.91 in his campaign war chest.

Abercrombie had raised $2,058,611.55 as of June 30, but had only $468,942.07 left to spend.

(The words “Duke Aiona” appear nowhere in this article.)

RELATED: Abercrombie Donors: Not Pay-for-Play Mitsunaga leads pack

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HGEA Backs Hannemann; HSTA Abercrombie

The Hawaii State Teachers Association on Monday announced it has endorsed former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie for Hawaii governor. Meanwhile, the Hawaii Government Employees Association will announce on Tuesday that it picked former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann as its choice of candidate to back.  (In 2008 HGEA was the only major union to line up with Inouye and support Hillary against Obama.  Now they are lining up with Inouye again.)

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Endorsement: HSTA albatross hung around Abercrombie's neck

Of course they did.  SOS and Kanu Hawaii are Abercrombie/Omidyar operations and Abercrombie pledges not to audit the DoE.  The entire purpose of the Furlough Fridays strike/lockout was to get Abercrombie elected.  Duh.

Among the key questions for the union's decision -- and for many parents taking kids back to school Monday -- how administrations would deal with any future threat of furloughs?

And Abercrombie would throw money at it.

HNN: Teachers union backing Abercrombie for governor

SA: Abercrombie gets teachers union nod

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DePledge: HD 43, HD 31 races competitive

We have updated our rundown of potentially competitive state House and Senate races with campaign-finance data from the latest reports. We have also added a House race, and upgraded House District 31 in Salt Lake from a “tossup” to “leans Democratic,” based on the reports and feedback from political analysts.

*HD43 (Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa)
Rep. Kymberly Pine (R)
(Raised this period: $9,990 Cash on hand: $15,812 Total: $30,944)
Jason Bradshaw (D)
(Raised this period: $14,050 Cash on hand: $5,253 Total: $14,050)
Kurt Fevella (D)
(Raised this period: $2,911 Cash on hand: $2,222 Total: $6,989)

Bradshaw, a former Democratic aide, is political director of the AFL-CIO….

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Hawaii Bar Association reconsiders rating rule

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Judge Katherine Leonard's rejection for Chief Justice by the state Senate may be the catalyst for change at the Hawaii State Bar Association.

"What's under consideration now is that the HSBA, the state Bar, will provide some brief explanation of what led to the qualified or unqualified vote," HSBA president Hugh Jones said.

Here is the most concise possible explanation of the Bar Association’s Leonard decision:

"Sen. Clayton Hee, in opposition, raised concerns about whether Leonard would be open enough to Native Hawaiian rights. A court that strictly follows the rule of law may not have led to the recognition of customary Hawaiian rights, he said."

SA: State bar's judicial evaluations are secret to avoid political taint

“There is no other group with a bigger stake in any one of the three branches of government than Hawaii's lawyers, whose foremost concern is systematic fairness that comes from a well-run judiciary.” (Try to read that without laughing.)

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Parents working 16 hour days to save children from DoE

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Jerry Agag has no time to waste.  He's heading from one full-time job to another.

"I usually work 16 hours everyday", he says.

Agag carries that load so he can send his 13-year-old twin boys, James and Joseph, and his 16-year-old, Garrett - a drummer in the marching band - to Damien Memorial School.

It's a rhythm the family knows well. The boys and their older sister only see their dad on Sundays. During the week, they're asleep when gets home, and Agag wakes before dawn to start his work day all over again.

Like Agag, more parents are feeling the pressure of paying for private school tuition and carrying heavy burdens for their kids' education.

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KITV Exclusive: Embattled DOT Deputy Quits

For the last seven years, Sekiguchi oversaw 15 airports in the state, with a multimillion dollar budget and hundreds of employees. Sekiguchi was paid about $100,000 a year.

He's been under fire for a number of questionable business deals by the airports division, which is paying more than a $500,000 a year to sublease this building on Ualena Street near Honolulu Airport that it already owns.

The state is paying twice as much money to buy half the land it had planned to purchase to expand the heliport at Lihue Airport on Kauai.

At a July 19 hearing, State Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim accused Sekiguchi of taking at least one day of vacation in April of 2009 without putting in for vacation time….

Kim has been critical of the Lingle administration for creating a civil service airports administrator position that had not been authorized or funded by the Legislature. Kim claimed the job requirements were written in such a way as to give Sekiguchi an advantage in getting the job, which would have allowed him to remain working for the state after the Lingle administration and other political appointees leave office at the end of the year.

(In other words,Kim only decided to suddenly become interested in wasteful spending at DOT because she wanted to get rid of Sekiguchi and make way for a Democrat to take over and reward selected contractors.

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Collaborate on APEC security

Josh Cooper, one of the leaders of the 2001 protests, told the Star-Advertiser's Gordon Y.K. Pang that he expects "strong representations of indigenous peoples, climate change campaigners, women's rights activists and global justice advocates" to show up outside the APEC meeting.

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Hawaii legislators seek feedback from the homeless (Still pushing for Honolulu’s own tent city hell.)

"You know when you try to flush something down the toilet that doesn't belong there it comes back up and you gotta call somebody and you keep trying to snake it down it's still gonna come back up it's just, not to compare us with waste but that seems to be what they think we are waste," said Lisa Beth Roberts (who is resisting going to a shelter because not enough force has been applied). 

"Because you're always on the move and I think tempers can flare and then people self-medicate," said Roberts (ditto, with an excuse for doing drugs as a bonus).

Lawmakers are pushing to put more resources on the table to help. (and hope that the excuses of the shelter resisters will be a successful sales pitch)

Among the solutions being considered are safe zones, sort of like camps, where homeless can gather without being harassed. (And be used to shake down politicians)

They're also trying to revive the Housing First project, a 100-unit building in Chinatown that will house those with drug problems and mental illnesses.  (So Chinatown streets will always be full of homeless thus creating a demand for more money)

"If you don't put the resources to help them then you're just going to have this continual cycle of these structures against fences people sleeping in doorways urine all over your sidewalks and you're not helping them," said Senator Will Espero (D), Ewa Beach.

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Big Island marijuana advocate to remain behind bars

Christie set the agenda for the Hawaii County Council for much of the last year.  Now he is in jail and headed for a federal felony drug dealing trial.

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Kauai judge dismisses 2 criminal cases calls prosecutor’s conduct “egregious”

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Kauai Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe has dismissed two criminal cases against a man because they involved duplicate charges.
The two cases had kept Leo Vincent Chandler held on bail since at least January. The charges included kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and third-degree theft.
Watanabe said last week that she didn't know why prosecutors failed to dismiss the initial charges earlier. She called a prosecutors' motion to consolidate the cases "egregious."

Released: Kaua‘i’s Most Wanted for Sunday, April 25, 2010

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Hawaiian Electric Industries posts higher profit

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric Industries, parent of the Oahu, Maui and Big Island electric utilities as well as American Savings Bank, posted a $29.3 million second quarter profit Monday.

That was almost double the net income of $15.5 million booked last year at the same time, reflecting utility rate hikes and cheaper credit for the banking division, which improved its operating profit despite 5% lower revenue.

(Green energy means generating electricity by giving the ‘green’ to HELCO.)

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American Engineer Convicted of Selling Military Secrets to China

Noshir Gowadia was accused of pocketing at least $110,000 from China, which he allegedly used to pay the mortgage on a multimillion-dollar oceanview home he built on Maui's north shore….

He moved to Maui in 1999 from the U.S. mainland where he had been doing consulting work after retiring from Northrop.

The case is one of a series of major prosecutions targeting alleged Chinese spying on the U.S.

In March, Chinese-born engineer Dongfan "Greg" Chung was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after he was convicted of six counts of economic espionage and other federal charges.

Investigators learned about Chung while probing Chi Mak, a defense contractor engineer convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China. Mak was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2008.

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Peak Oil cult leader dies in hot tub: Profited from wild claims of doom?

While Simmons' views on peak oil were regarded as somewhat controversial, he drew even more attention for a June 9 interview with Fortune magazine, in which he predicted BP Plc would be driven bankrupt in "about a month" as the cleanup costs for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill mounted.

A week later, Simmons & Co International (SCI), the investment $$$ bank that Simmons founded in 1974, said it was cutting ties with its founder, who until that point had served as chairman emeritus.

Simmons said he was retiring from SCI to devote his time to The Ocean Energy Institute, a think tank and $$$ venture capital fund addressing the challenges of U.S. offshore renewable energy.

"Matt Simmons was an innovative thinker who pushed ideas that have the potential to yield a more environmentally and economically $$$ sustainable future for Maine and the world," Maine Governor John Baldacci said in a statement.

"Our state has been viewed as a leader in $$$ alternative energy in part because of the groundbreaking work spearheaded by Matt Simmons and the Ocean Energy Institute," Baldacci said.

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LA Times Obituary: Robert Aitken dies at 93; American Zen master

Known for his commitment to social justice, Aitken helped found the Berkeley-based Buddhist Peace Fellowship….

In 1978, Aitken co-founded Buddhist Peace Fellowship with his wife, Anne, and Nelson Foster, who would later succeed Aitken as spiritual leader of Diamond Sangha. The fellowship promotes social activism by Zen Buddhists and has led or participated in prison advocacy campaigns and programs supporting sustainable agriculture in Asia, Tibetan education and human rights in Burma, now called Myanmar.

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