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Thursday, June 14, 2012
June 14, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:45 PM :: 24259 Views

Undercover Video Catches Hawaii Planned Parenthood Offering Sex-Selection Abortions

Oahu's Untapped Hydroelectric Resources

US Flag Ships 'Grey-listed', Detained Overseas Due to Poor Maintenance

Pentagon Cuts Could Eliminate Commissaries, Exchanges

State Dept. Video: 'Visit America: It's Easier than You Think'

Rally for Religious Freedom Saturday June 30

House Republicans: Veto the PEO Bill

Hawaii to be First State to Set Up Obamacare Exchange?

Judicial Selection Commission Appoints Cahill

Hawaii Democrats Eat Their Own

CB: The fallout from l'affaire Thielen has been ugly.

Sen. Ryan has received hateful calls and emails. Campaign signs have been defaced. Neighborhood board meetings have been disruptive.

Just last week, party spokesman Chuck Freedman, fed up with the mess created by party leadership, called it quits.

The irony in all this is that Hawaii is largely a one-party state that has only rarely given power to the GOP.

Maybe Democrats felt that, because they hold so many elected offices, they could afford to go after one of their own.

But the party should seriously consider whether the ultimate outcome from the beef over Thielen might drive some away from the party and send more Republicans and independents to office.

DN: Is Laura Thielen a Democrat? Is Ed Case? Calvin Say?

read … Final Descent into Cannibalism

Hirono: My Colleagues Don’t Hear Me Yelling from the Far Left

SA: Case questioned Hirono's vote this year for a failed budget proposal from the Progressive Caucus that included hefty tax increases and deep cuts to defense spending.

"I think the issue here, Mazie, is, is your philosophy one that is mainstream enough to represent the majority of voters in Hawaii? Or are you going to govern and think and operate from an extreme, which is not what we need in Washington today?"

Case, who served in the moderate-to-conservative Blue Dog caucus, said Hirono and the Progressive Caucus reflect the "far left" of the House….

"If you simply yell from the far left at the far right, nothing is going to get done to solve our challenges," he said. "And I'm asking you, Can you get beyond that?"

"I don't think any of my colleagues hear me yelling from the far left," she responded. "In fact, what they see me doing is working very hard every single day to get things done for the people of Hawaii.

· CB: Familiar Senate Debate Sees Fresh Exchanges

· KITV: US Senate Candidates Square Off

read … Debate

Justice Reinvestment Begins: Inmate Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison Eligible For Furlough

HR: Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro on Wednesday slammed state prison officials for saying they will soon consider furloughing a prison inmate sentenced in January to up to 10 years in prison.

“It is appalling that the corrections system is not holding criminals accountable for their crimes,” Kaneshiro said.

He was addressing the case of Thang Nguyen, 27, a ringleader of a sophisticated motorcycle theft ring who pleaded no contest last year to multiple counts of theft, racketeering and money laundering.

Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi sentenced Nguyen in January to serve a maximum of 10 years in prison for his crimes.

But the Hawaii Paroling Authority, which decides the minimum amount of prison time an inmate must serve before being eligible for parole, last month set Nguyen’s minimum at two years.

That in turn started the clock on Nguyen’s eligibility for a prison furlough program meant to help inmates nearing parole to reintegrate into society by taking daytime jobs outside prison, then returning to custody overnight.

The Department of Public Safety notified Kaneshiro’s office May 30 that if Nguyen meets “necessary requirements… he may be placed on furlough no sooner than 30 days after receipt of this letter.”

…Nguyen is being transferred from Halawa Correctional Center “to a minimum security facility where he will continue to be observed and get the programming that would allow him to eventually be considered for furlough,” Schwartz said.

“This is all part of the corrections process to reintegrate people back into their communities,” said Schwartz. (aka “Justice Reinvestment”)

Kaneshiro said Nguyen’s early release from prison “an insult to the judge who felt that the 10-year prison term was an adequate sentence.”

Other less culpable co-defendants in the case were sentenced to 18-month jail sentences, said Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Van Marter.

“It is ironic to us that the most culpable defendant will serve less prison time than other defendants,” said Van Marter.

CB: Kaneshiro: Public Safety Department Making a “Mockery” of Justice System

SA: Prosecutor furious over furlough flap

read … Justice Reinvestment

Church battles efforts to ease deadlines on sex abuse suits

AP: The bishops say the provision unfairly targets the church because public schools, the site of much abuse, and municipalities have fought successfully to be exempted.

read … Church battles efforts to ease deadlines on sex abuse suits

Foreclosures Sink to 4-year low

SA: Lawmakers passed Act 48 because homeowners and consumer advocates complained that lenders were improperly foreclosing on homes or not giving homeowners a fair chance to avoid foreclosure. The new law contains strong consumer protections including a mediation program and harsh penalties for violating procedures governing out-of-court, or nonjudicial, foreclosures.

The Legislature passed a bill this year to revise the law and make it more palatable to lenders. But some foreclosure attorneys predict that lenders will still avoid nonjudicial foreclosures. They also predict that a new provision requiring that attorneys attest to the validity of foreclosure documents for cases filed in court will further bog down or stop the flow of foreclosures.

The bill, House Bill 1875, is pending before Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

In the two years before Act 48, lenders were typically making 900 to 1,600 foreclosure filings a month. One type of filing, auction notices, had been running between 400 and 1,200 per month before the law, and fell to 14 the month after Act 48 was enacted. Last month there were 21 auction notices.

read … Low Foreclosures

Hawaii Solar Installations Jump 45%, State a Leading target of Scammers

SA: Solar installations in Hawaii rose 45 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to a report from an industry trade group that is forecasting continued strong growth this year.

Hawaii homeowners and businesses installed photovoltaic systems with 14.8 megawatts of generating capacity in the first quarter, the sixth-largest amount of any state, the Solar Energy Industries Association reported Wednesday. The first-quarter increase brings Hawaii's cumulative PV generating capacity to 97 megawatts to date.

The amount of PV installed in the first quarter is enough to power the equivalent of 3,000 to 3,700 homes. Residential installations represented 7.5 megawatts of the total capacity, while commercial projects accounted for 7.3 megawatts, the SEIA reported.

Nationally, there were 506 megawatts of generating capacity installed during the first quarter, up 85 percent from the first quarter of 2011. New Jersey topped the list with 174 megawatts followed by California with 148 megawatts.

Hawaii is one of the markets with the best growth potential for PV installations potential in 2012, according to the research firm that did the report for the SEIA.

Result: CoR: Solar Tax Credit Scammers Will Take $491M More than Projected

read … Blow-out top

Kawamoto Becoming Excuse for Attack on Property Rights

SA: City officials have been industrious about collecting the fines allowed under the law; after a recent $3,000 payment to the Department of Planning and Permitting for violations on three properties, the total assessment has amounted to $38,000.

However, the city could benefit from the addition of more powerful tools to its enforcement toolkit, though it's critical that new policies aimed at addressing this situation be crafted so they don't unduly penalize people who cause a less serious problem.

Attorney Richard Turbin, a neighbor of one weedy Kawamoto parcel, has led the charge against the billionaire's violations for years. At least one of his proposals, if enacted, would bring unwanted consequences. Turbin has suggested that the city increase the daily fine being assessed from $50 to $500, but that would be unduly punitive when applied to more conventional offenders, those who lack a Kawamoto-sized bank account….

City Councilman Stanley Chang said the city Department of Planning and Permitting has been pursuing a different strategy, placing a lien on offending properties, that seems to be drawing a speedier response.

Further, some critics believe a complaint in civil court would be effective, if sizeable damages could be won to help finance further corrections. There is some precedent for this, in earlier suits against homeowners who violate deed covenants.

In addition, legislation seeking to provide another route for legal actions came close to passage last session and should be refined and resubmitted when lawmakers head back to the Capitol in January.

House Bill 2852 would have created a cause of action against "any person who maintains a property nuisance on residential property that causes industry or damage to the person or property of another person."

Its sponsor, state Rep. Mark Hashem, said it would target repeat offenders whose properties pose a threat to the community, which would be a good plan.

read … Find fair way to stop Kawamoto's blight

Incompetent Abercrombie Administration Angers Farmers

CB: Hawaii is the only state that isn't complying with new federal regulations that increase oversight of pesticides that are sprayed in and around waterways, according to officials from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The delay is angering local farmers and state agriculture officials who for months haven’t been able to spray pesticides to control invasive species that are threatening native habitats or fight weeds that are choking out irrigation ditches.

All states were required to create a new permit, under the Clean Water Act, by Oct. 31, 2011. But nearly eight months later, Hawaii health officials are still reviewing rules governing the permitting process.

And it could be at least two more months before anything is finalized, according to Gary Gill, deputy director for Environmental Health for the Department of Health.

read … 49 out of 50 States Got this Done

Kauai Luddites Hire Ousted KSBE Trustee to Launch Harassment Suit against Seed Growers

KGI: A group of Waimea residents have filed suit in 5th Circuit Court against Pioneer Hi-Bred and landowner Gay & Robinson for alleged inaction to control erosion and pesticide-contaminated dust from its GMO test fields.

The suit, filed May 16 by Honolulu attorneys P. Kyle Smith and (Former KSBE Broken trustee) Gerard A. ‘Broken Trust’ Jervis, represents 17 individuals from neighboring farms and communities. They are seeking an injunction against the use of suspected toxic chemicals and damages.

The complaint is separate from the mass-action suit filed in 5th Circuit last December by Smith and Jervis on behalf of 194 individuals against the same defendants. Attorneys representing Pioneer Hi-Bred and Gay & Robinson have since had a motion granted to move the case to federal court.

read … Pioneer Hi-Bred

W. Maui parkway plan is revived

MN: Mayor Alan Arakawa is reviving plans to build a beachfront parkway along West Maui's coastline from Puamana to the pali.

The administration is in talks with landowner Makila Land Co. to purchase nearly 200 acres between Launiupoko and the Ukumehame recycling and convenience center for $16 million, Arakawa said.

"This would address the deficiency of active fields, beach access and park areas Lahaina has," he said. "This entire area can become a major park for Lahaina."

In 2006, during Arakawa's previous term as mayor, the county acquired 100 acres in Ukumehame for $4 million from private landowners to start the parkway.

Plans for the parkway stalled after he left office in 2006.

Related: Emergency Proclamation: Abercrombie Suspends Procurement Code, Environmental Regs for Maui Hwy Project

read … Emergency?

Candidate forums slated across Big Island

H24/7: Several community groups and organizations have scheduled candidate forums and events ahead of the Aug. 11 Primary Election. All forums and events are open to the public….

read … Candidate forums slated across the island

Punatics Grab For Second Geothermal Fund

BIW: Driven by the testimony of dozens of Puna residents, two bills related to geothermal safety advanced at the County Council last week. One bill mandates an evacuation plan for the area around Puna Geothermal Venture and any future geothermal plants built on the island. The second rededicates what’s now called the Geothermal Evacuation and Community Benefits Fund to its original purpose of mitigating the plant’s negative effects on nearby residents.

read … All about the money


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