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Friday, June 8, 2012
June 8, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:20 PM :: 12474 Views

Potential Buyers of HMC West to Participate in Leeward Job Fair

Financing Underwrites Matson Separation from A&B

BOSS Survey: Profits Up, Optimism Strong

Hirono Flip-Flops on Lilly Ledbetter

Hirono defends sex-selective abortions

Deedy Case: Redacted Text of Motion for Dismissal

Eric Marshall, Senate Dist 10 -- Last Candidate on the Ballot

The Rundown: A look at Competitive Legislative Races

DePledge: …some strategists believe the state Legislature is out-of-balance politically and overdue for a correction. Voter perceptions about Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s job performance could also influence how Democrats fare. A solid performance by former Gov. Linda Lingle in her Republican campaign for U.S. Senate could offer some down-ballot hope for minority Republicans….

Redrawn political districts after the census could complicate the re-election plans for many incumbents. Issues such as economic recovery, environmental protection, and improving public education will likely shape many state campaigns….

read … The Rundown I

Fifth of state legislators get free ride into office

Borreca: For the campaigns to fill the 76 legislative seats, 16 have only one candidate.

So already elected to the state House are 11 incumbents, including Republican Reps. Cynthia Thielen and Gene Ward.

Strolling around next year's state Senate will be at least five members of this year's Senate, because after this week's filing deadline, they had no opposition….

Across the country, 2010 was not a year of flowing political juices. Ballotpedia calculated that most races around the nation were not competitive.

"One-third of all state legislators run unopposed in the general election. Overall, 57 percent of state legislators and 49 percent of U.S. congressmen won their elections with more than a 30 point margin of victory," according to Ballotpedia….

Although there will be candidates in the general election, in 23 House primary races and 15 Senate primary races, there will be only one candidate.

read … No Contest

Democrats Praise Kawakami for being Gracious Loser Who Obeys his Gay Lords

PR: Kawakami … gave this explanation to friends on Facebook in May:

About switching parties, I feel that I can best and most effectively serve the people of our community and of Hawaii as a member of the Democratic Party. I continue to be committed to integrity in government, my family values, and building a lasting legacy for our children, grandchildren and beyond.

Like Thielen, Kawakami asked Oahu Democrats for an exception to the party’s rule that candidates for elected office be party members in good standing for at least six months before the filing deadline. Like Thielen, Kawakami was denied.

Unlike Thielen, Kawakami chose not to appeal to the party’s state central committee. He also chose not to ignore the party’s ruling and file for office anyway.

Aloha Friends and Supporters,

I first want to thank you all for your love and support! Also, it is with disappointment that I share with you, I am unable to run as a Democratic candidate in this year’s election due to a requirement in the Party’s Constitution.

This requirement states that one must be a member of the party in good standing for at least 6 months prior to the filing deadline which is June 5, 2012.

I joined the party within the 6 month time requirement and was unable to receive a waiver to run. I do plan on continuing to be involved in Mililani and our state. I will pursue running for office in the future and look forward to working with all of you at that time!

Aloha ke Akua,

Tony Gill, the chairman of Oahu Democrats, described Kawakami’s response as a gesture of good faith. “He responded graciously and in an orderly manner,” he said.

read … Unwanted Loser

Bullying still problem, survey finds

SA: 1 in 6 Hawaii high school students report they have been harassed online or through texting….

read … Gay Agenda

Lift age limit for state judges

SA: Circuit Judge Richard Pollack has been nominated by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court, but the reality is that he stands to be forced to depart the bench after little more than eight years when he turns 70 years old. Hawaii is among the majority of states that force state judges to step down because of age, but should eliminate that misguided constitutional requirement at the earliest opportunity.

State legislators recognized that need six years ago when they put on the ballot a constitutional amendment to repeal the forced retirement by age, but the effort was tarnished by partisan politics and rejected by voters. Then-Chief Justice Ronald Moon was to reach the age of 70 four months before the end of Republican Linda Lingle's term as governor; she named Mark E. Recktenwald as Moon's successor, and he won't turn 70 until 2025.

Associate Justice Simeon Acoba will be forced to retire when he turns 70 in 2014, but Abercrombie would prefer that the constitutional mandate be changed.

(Do you really want Abercrombie to pick the court?)

read … Lift age limit for state judges

Abercrombie to Name new Homeless Tsar

SA: Gov. Neil Abercrombie today is scheduled to introduce a new coordinator for state programs on programs addressing homelessness.

The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the governor’s office at the State Capitol.

Abercrombie will also sign into law Senate Bill 2804, which establishes the Hawaii interagency council on homelessness under the Department of Human Services.

The bill also requires the department to conduct a study on designating safe facilities for homeless individuals, couples and families.

read … Tsar

10 years later LUC Approves Koa Ridge Again

PBN: The LUC made its decision with certain conditions, mainly dealing with the issues of traffic. It said that any highway improvements related to the project shall be funded by Castle & Cooke, and it ruled that these traffic issues must be taken care of concurrently with development.

For Castle & Cooke, the decision comes as a big sigh of relief. Koa Ridge twice had been put on hold in the past decade.

The Sierra Club Sierra ClubSierra Club complaint targets Seaboard Foods hog farm in Western KansasKCK Board of Public Utilities plans M investment in natural gas plantBarriers blur between for-profit, nonprofit worldsFollow this company Hawaii chapter, which opposed the project, successfully stopped it in 2002 when it filed a lawsuit after the Land Use Commission approved Castle & Cooke’s application the first time. The advocacy group argued then that an environmental impact statement for the project should have been completed before the commission addressed the plan.

Castle & Cooke complied with a judge’s order and completed the EIS before resubmitting the request to the commission in 2008.

read … Koa Ridge Again

UH chancellor's perks: car and moving allowances plus tenured faculty job

HNN: Incoming University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, who's already being paid more than the UH president, will also receive car and relocation allowances, according to Apple's employment agreement.

Apple's agreement also shows he'll be granted tenure as a UH professor, allowing him to remain at the university as a high-paid professor once he leaves the chancellor's job, something the head of the UH faculty union opposes.

When Apple begins his job later this month as chancellor of UH's flagship campus, he'll be paid $439,008 a year. That's more than UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, whose current annual salary is $427,512, because of a voluntary ten-percent reduction she has taken, while other UH administrators have taken five-percent cuts because of budget cuts.

Greenwood said Apple's current pay as University of Delaware provost was already in the mid $400,000s and if stayed in his current position in Delaware, he would have been paid more than his UH Manoa salary.

"So when we made an effort to attract him here, frankly, he's making what amounts to a lateral move. So the salary issues were not the major concern in the conversations and I do think he's worth every penny we're paying him," Greenwood told reporters when the UH Regents approved Apple's hiring on May 17.

Apple's employment agreement allows him to use a state-owned vehicle or drive his own car and be paid an auto allowance of $276 a month, or $3,312 a year.

Apple can also use a relocation allowance of up to $30,000 for moving or replacement expenses.

Just like his predecessor, Virginia Hinshaw, Apple will be guaranteed a high-paying tenured faculty position at UH when he leaves the chancellor's post.

Apple, who was a chemistry professor before going into administration, "shall receive tenure upon initial appointment as a full professor in an appropriate department with an eleven month faculty fallback salary not less than other senior college or school faculty," according to his appointment agreement approved by the UH Regents last month.

read … Polishing the Apple

Lanai Demands Statewide Energy Plan Before Cable Built

MN: Environmental group Friends of Lana'i wants the state to require that Hawaiian Electric Co. complete a long-range statewide energy plan before being allowed to seek bids for an undersea cable developer and other large renewable projects.

The group filed its request this week with the Public Utilities Commission. Other community and environmental groups joined the effort, including Life of the Land and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., representing residents on Lanai and Molokai.

read … Group pushes for statewide energy plan

Groups in Hawaii, 12 other states, want U.S. to block Internet bets

AP: Family-centric groups in 13 states are calling on Congress to block states across the nation from legalizing Internet gambling, saying the societal costs will far outweigh the benefit to tax coffers.

They want Congress to strengthen the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act “to ensure its clear intent that the Internet not become a giant online casino.”

The groups are from Wisconsin, Kentucky, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Hawaii, Georgia and Tennessee.

The U.S. Justice Department ruled in December that in-state online bets not involving sports teams do not violate federal law. That has touched off a race by cash-strapped state governments to try to legalize Internet gambling.

Several national family groups expressed similar concerns last month.

“The bottom line is we are The Family Foundation, and expansion of gambling through casinos or online is targeting one group only: moms and dads,” said Kent Ostrander, founder of The Family Foundation of Kentucky. “It’s an effort to separate a family from its assets. The family is the building block of any society, and yet it is the most vulnerable institution in that society.”

read … Groups in 13 states want U.S. to block Internet bets

Why Gas Prices are Higher in the West

EC: While the main issue we explored was why gasoline prices in Hawaii are so high relative to the rest of the country, as I explain in the video it is an issue that impacts all states west of the Rockies. A key reason that prices west of the Rockies are higher than they are east of the Rockies is because there is no pipeline connection to bring oil from the new production sites to the West Coast. Further, Japan’s shift away from nuclear power has them using more petroleum to fuel their power plants, and that has tightened up supplies of light, sweet crude oil.

read … Why Gas Prices are Higher in the West

Hanabusa, Hirono Vote Against Medical Innovation

CB: Colleen Hanabusa and Mazie Hirono joined 146 Democrats in opposing the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday (June 7).

read … Taxes yes, Innovation no

Fitch Affirms County of Hawaii GO Bonds at 'AA-'; Outlook Stable

News Release: the county benefited temporarily from a one-day per month furlough requirement included in labor contracts with non-public safety employees. The furlough generated $2.1 million per year in savings but is scheduled to expire in June 2013.

Other expenditure reductions include 222 vacant positions that remained unfunded, salary freezes in place since 2009, tight controls on consulting contracts and overtime spending, travel restrictions, cancelled or delayed vehicle purchases and technology replacement, and elimination or deferral of employee training.

The county has reduced the size of its budget in each of the last several years and again in fiscals 2012 and 2013….

The county participates in the state sponsored employee retirement system, with a funded ratio of 55.3% (adjusted to a 7% investment rate of return), which Fitch considers low. The county makes its full annual required contribution (ARC), representing a manageable 8% of general fund spending, which is set to increase each year through 2015. The county prudently funded its related to other post-employment benefits (OPEB) from fiscal 2008 to 2011 but budgeted to only fund the pay-go amount in fiscals 2012 and 2013 in order to conserve fund balance. The unfunded OPEB liability remains sizeable at $332.7 million.

read … Stable in Puna

Rand Paul Endorses Romney

Politico: File this under signs the Ron Paul campaign is really, truly over: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul threw his support tonight to Mitt Romney.

The endorsement came in an appearance on "Hannity," a little less than 24 hours after the elder Paul acknowledged in an email that his delegate total is "not enough to win the nomination."

Romney embraced the endorsement in a press release, calling Rand Paul a "leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty."

read … Rand Paul

Lord Christopher Monckton To Keynote Carroll Fundraiser This Friday

JCFS: Lord Monckton has been described as the “high priest of global warming skepticism.” He is a past advisor to Margaret Thatcher and an outspoken voice for conservatism and common sense. He has endorsed John Carroll’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate and will be the featured speaker at John’s Windward Fundraiser at Pinky’s Pupu bar and Grill, Friday, June 8th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

read … Monckton

Obama Tells Rich WeHo Gays, Marines in Kaneohe Want Them

CB: At an LGBT fundraiser in Los Angeles last night, President Barack Obama told the crowd about how multiple Hawaii Marines thanked him for ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell when he was working out in Kaneohe….

The fundraiser, which drew about 600 people, was at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Attendees included Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, among others.

WeHo News: “You call us fa**ot, we call you ni**er”

read … Obama Recounts Gratitude from Hawaii Marines



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