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Sunday, August 22, 2010
August 22, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:48 AM :: 9261 Views

Ed Case: Abercrombie, Aiona “both honest, independent, experienced candidates”

Abercrombie has edge (49-44 over Hannemann)

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann are in a statistical tie ahead of the Democratic primary for governor, a new Hawaii Poll has found, but Abercrombie appears to be holding a slight edge.

(Remember when Charles Djou had a polling lead that is within the margin of error?  The SA/SB/HA refused to acknowledge Djou had a lead.  Compare that to the SA’s headline on this article.) 

Abercrombie drew 49 percent and Hannemann had 44 percent in the poll, while 8 percent said they were undecided. The margin of error was 4.8 percentage points.

(Poll shows that any GOP crossover votes might go 72% to 28% for Hannemann)

SA: Election polling by media keeps things honest  (Democrats still replaying the Special Election in their heads.  So sad.)

ILind: Debating the debates 

(All the squabbling about Hannemann’s alleged anti-haole bias is designed to push whites into Neil’s camp and swing the majority-white neighbor islands in Abercrombie’s favor.)

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Holding course: Recktenwald likely will not alter the high court's direction (Nomination approved by SA)

(In other words, Hanabusa and the other Senate Democrats can approve him.)

Gov. Linda Lingle's chief justice nominee would bring administrative skills and leadership as budget restrictions and furloughs challenge the state's high court.

But Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald's judicial track record suggests he won't alter the jurisprudence of the state's third branch of government, known for rulings that sometimes rankled Lingle and her administration.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a lawyer, said Recktenwald isn't known for dissenting from the high court's rulings since his appointment as an associate justice in May last year.

"I do not believe that he's going to be immediately seen as somebody who is going to move or change the direction of the court at all," she said.

Even the governor declined to predict whether her appointment might move the court "back to center."

"Definitely, time will tell something like that," she said at the press conference Aug. 13 announcing her appointment of Recktenwald to a 10-year term. "You all know the history of appointments. Sometimes what you think happens doesn't end up happening." 

(There is something to say here, but lets just wait until the Senate confirms Recktenwald.)

Recktenwald declined to describe his judicial philosophy when his appointment was announced, saying one cannot "pigeonhole" a judge. He later declined to comment "out of respect" of the pending review of his appointment by the Hawaii State Bar Association and state Senate. 

(He wouldn’t want to describe himself as a “modest” judge who upholds the law.  That would bring certain death.)

SA: Term on state high court saw 9 published opinions

HFP: CJ-Appointee Recktenwald: Eleven Supreme Court Opinions

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Obama, Djou deliver dueling addresses

In the Republicans' weekly address, Hawaii Representative Charles Djou said the government should cut spending in order to reduce the need to borrow funds or raise taxes. He said continuing to spend too much will only produce what he called "the same dismal results."

This is the first time in American history that both the Presidential address and the opposition party address were delivered by politicians raised in Hawaii. (Harbinger of two party system for the state?)

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Poll about the Poll says: More residents leaning toward absentee voting

Respondents on Oahu were more likely to vote via absentee mail-in than their counterparts on the neighbor islands (42 percent vs. 28 percent), but less likely to participate in absentee walk-in voting (6 percent vs. 12 percent).

Age, ethnicity and political affiliation appeared to be factors in who intended to cast an absentee ballot.

Respondents age 35 or younger were more likely to vote via absentee mail-in (43 percent) or absentee walk-in (9 percent) than those age 55 and older (38 percent and 7 percent, respectively).

Japanese (43 percent), Hawaiian (41 percent) and Caucasian (35 percent) respondents were more likely to opt for absentee mail-in voting than Filipino voters (26 percent). However, only 3 percent of Caucasian respondents said they would vote via absentee walk-in, compared with 8 percent to 10 percent for Japanese, Hawaiian and Filipino voters.

Early voting was also more popular among Republican voters. Of respondents who said they usually vote Republican, 45 percent intended to vote via absentee mail-in and 9 percent through absentee walk-in. Of those who usually vote for Democratic candidates, 34 percent said they would mail in their votes and 7 percent said they would do walk-in before Sept. 18. The respective percentages were 41 percent and 10 percent for those who typically vote independent.

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Emily Naeole’s husband flees state, alleges domestic violence, threats

HILO -- Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason's husband has fled to Juneau, Alaska, claiming his estranged wife beat him, forced him to turn over his monthly Social Security check and, after he left the state, sent a Big Island man to threaten him.

Raymond Beason, in an emotional telephone interview with West Hawaii Today on Saturday, said he plans to file police reports Monday in Alaska and Hawaii about the threats. He decided to go public just days after two threatening occurrences made him worry for his safety, he said.

Beason said Naeole-Beason recently sent him a threatening text message on his friend's cell phone. He plans to show it to the police, he said. He also said a "Hawaiian guy" wearing a Hawaii County Fire Department shirt, confronted him in Juneau earlier this week and told him, "You ever come back to Hawaii, we're gonna get you."

(Of course Naeole is a member of the august body known as the Hawaii County Council.  Her election opponent is Hawaiian Beaches Action Team leader Fred Blas.  Election Day is Sept 18.)

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State attorney general accepts Rego case

LIHU‘E — The state Attorney General’s Office has agreed to accept the 2009 second-degree theft case against Koloa resident Dennis Louis Rego Jr., officials said.

County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho said as soon as her office received the case she contacted the AG’s office for advice on whether she should transfer the case due to a conflict of interest because Rego was her long-time boyfriend in the 1980s and early ‘90s.

State Supervising Deputy Attorney General Christopher Young of the AG’s Criminal Justice Division said he initially told Iseri-Carvalho that he didn’t see a conflict because the relationship took place 20 years ago. (Huh?) The Aug. 9 letter from the AG to the OPA saying it will accept the case does not explain the reason for the decision.

(The majestic Kauai County Prosecutor’s office at work….)

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Secret meeting yields ad hoc committee: Board creates group to determine clinic's future

The board convened the special meeting to discuss the future of the clinic, at the apparent instruction of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. board. West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday the clinic faced closing or being combined with the publicly funded Kona Community Hospital, after hospital officials and board members authorized, then forgave, the bulk of about $2.9 million in loans to the clinic. The state board directive was accompanied by a 90-day deadline.

Asked under what authority the reportedly illegal loans by Kona Community Hospital to the clinic were made and forgiven, Zagorodney said she didn't know.

"The board acted in good faith with the best intention in approving the loan to Alii. ... We realize now there may have been legal complications to that, but that's what (the ad hoc committee) is about," she said.

The six-member committee will research what is the best legal structure for the clinic. Among suggestions was to fold the clinic into part of the hospital, Zagorodney said, adding a decision has not been made.

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Hannemann Plan To Revive Superferry Sinking Fast: Federal Government Expects To Outbid All At Ferry Auction

Matsuda said Maritime Administration wants the Superferry vessels for military and humanitarian projects.

"They are extremely versatile as we saw the military successfully activate them for use in the response to the earthquake in Haiti. We saw what they can do," said Matsunda.

A source who knows the Hawaii investors who want to bring back the Superferry said they were counting on a fire sale, and hoped to pay no more that $40 million for each vessel.

Hannemann Campaign spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said Hannemann is aware that others are interested in buying the Superferry, and that he is just waiting for the process to play itself out.

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Forced farming in DHHL’s new “Green” project

Under Kaupuni's new community-centered model -- what DHHL calls a modern ahupuaa -- residents will be required to maintain a neighborhood garden and hula studio to teach Hawaiian culture, language and arts. A new community center will also provide a space for neighborhood meetings and educational programs on financial literacy, economic development and higher education.

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Are you paying your neighbor to cut his electric bill?

With their electrical bill shooting up from about $150 a month in the winter months to about $250-$300 in the summer, the Robinsons decided it was time to take the photovoltaic plunge.

The Robinsons are among a growing number of local homeowners and businesses taking advantage of Hawaii's nearly constant sunshine by using electricity-generating solar panels to power their homes.

The upfront costs to convert to PV are not cheap, roughly $26,000 to $35,000 for a system large enough to supply 600 kilowatt-hours per month — what Hawaiian Electric Co. considers typical usage for a Honolulu household. But with tax credits — 35 percent from the state and 30 percent from the federal government -- the price can be brought down to the point where a system can pay for itself in five to six years. The state tax credit has a cap of $5,000 a year, while the federal credit has none.

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