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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
April 14, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:18 AM :: 6458 Views

State rejects notion that special law was written solely for the Superferry

The Lingle administration believes the state Supreme Court was in error last month when it found that a law that allowed Hawaii Superferry to operate during an environmental review was unconstitutional, arguing the state Legislature did not exercise power over state lands and did not craft a special law that excluded all but the Superferry.

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Borreca: Abercrombie anxious for campaign Swan Song to begin

With the impatience of someone who at 70 has finally decided what he wants to do in life, Neil Abercrombie sits in his Kakaako campaign office anxious to get on with what he considers the most important campaign of his political life.  U.S. Rep. Abercrombie is (foolishly) leaving a 20-year career in Washington politics at the time when his Democratic Party controls Congress and when he is close enough to President Barack Obama to have been in the tight crowd along with Oprah Winfrey to celebrate the inauguration upstairs at the White House. 

The garrulous Democrat said he has (finally, after 38 years  in campaigning) learned, for instance, when to stop talking and listen.  "I understand that it can be construed as lecturing other people, putting yourself in a position where you are telling them what they need to do. 

So far Abercrombie has found some valuable friends, picking up old-time Democratic Party war horses like Charles Toguchi, the former state schools superintendent and legislator, and Ed Hasegawa, who worked on the Hawaii Obama campaign. Also, Abercrombie enlisted Andrew Aoki, 40, an attorney and co-founder of 3Point, a public-interest consulting firm, and Kanu Hawaii, a group that promotes the culture of aloha.  (Does anybody see the names Winer or Meheula on that list???  Duh!)

Abercrombie said he will continue to work in Washington and commute to his home state when he can. If he resigned, it would trigger a special election because House members cannot be appointed, like senators, and Abercrombie said he did not want the state to go through the expense of holding a special election.

(Prediction: Abercrombie and Hannemann will thrash each other in the primary before Hannemann loses to Aiona in the general.  Then Abercrombie will move back to Buffalo.  Question: Who flattered him into this suicide run?)

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Spending way up in race for Honolulu council:  Felix, Holmes, Anderson top list

Health insurance executive John Henry Felix spent about $70,000 in personal funds in seeking the council seat representing Kailua, Kane'ohe and Waimanalo through Wednesday, according to records recently filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission. 

Steve Holmes, who, like Felix, is a former councilman, has spent nearly $41,000 in personal money campaigning for the vacancy created following the Feb. 22 death of Barbara Marshall. 

Overall, Felix raised $58,050 and spent $128,175 through April 8, according to his filing with the commission. Holmes has raised $2,200 and spent $43,101.

Ikaika Anderson, a former Marshall aide, reported raising $81,192 and spending $98,797. 

RELATED: Following the Money in the Honolulu City Council Special Election

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Movement to possibly ban herbal hallucinogen

Salvia is also sold in smoke shops like Smokey's in Waikiki.

"I would say we sell if not one a day one every other day. The military guys love it because they don't get drug tested for it," said Sochocki, a Smokey's employee.

Smokey's sells salvia for $30 to $120, depending on the potency.

"Once you start getting up to times 40 yes it can be a really powerful psychedelic, you'll see things shoot, you won't remember your name you'll start drooling a little bit your hands will sweat a little bit," said Sochocki.

"They become afraid may jump off buildings may do things like most hallucinogenic substances," said Kamita.

Because of the potential danger, State Representative Barbara Marumoto is pushing for a bill that would create a task force to study salvia and its effects.

Senate Bill 1058 is scheduled for a vote before the full House tomorrow.

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Oahu: Hawaii land fund may conserve 5,700 acres

Six applicants are seeking some of the fund's first distributions. They include plans to:

  • Save a Waimea ranch from a gentleman's farm residential subdivision;
  • Block a luxury beachfront home development in Kahuku and;
  • Keep former Central O'ahu pineapple fields in agriculture.

The proposals, all from nonprofit groups, have applied to spend $6.75 million of the $8 million available in the fund, and would use matching funds to acquire $24.8 million in land or easements from willing sellers.

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Hawaii Co: Second hearing on new housing impact fee held

"I'm not against impact fees ... but in doing so, that impact fee should be fair and not overly inflated ... which would ultimately increase housing costs in West Hawaii," said Peter Young, with consulting firm Hookuleana LLC.

Passed by the 2007 Legislature, the school impact fee will require West Hawaii housing developers to donate land and/or pay fees for public schools. It uses a formula that will provide land for future school sites and about 10 percent of the construction costs.
Impact fees would be charged to all new single family and multifamily housing in the proposed district, which includes areas served by Waimea Elementary, Waikoloa Elementary, Konawaena Elementary and all Kealakehe complex schools.

"Regardless of the age of new residents, all West Hawaii citizens will benefit from improving our public schools," she said. "Our kids deserve the best."

(But instead they get the DoE and housing costs so high that 1000s leave every year....)

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Kauai: Council questions Planning Dept.’s planning progress

With former Council Planning Committee Chair JoAnn Yukimura in attendance and nodding her head in approval, first-term Councilwoman Lani Kawahara pressed Costa for answers about planning initiatives funded by the council in past years that have yet to yield published reports.

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