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Friday, October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:49 PM :: 5034 Views

Video: Biden is Laughing, Are You?

Inouye Formally Endorses Caldwell

Hauula: Caldwell Should Stop Using “Keep the Country, Country”  

Hawaii Letter Carriers Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement, Cover-up

Hirono Votes Threaten Local Jobs

Poll: Sam Aiona Tied for Lead in Council District 6

Kym Pine: End Homelessness on Oahu

Consumer Reports: Protect Yourself from the Latest Solar Scams

Zipline Audit Report: State Cannot Improve on Industry Self-Regulation

KITV: Hirono, Lingle to square off debate October 16

Survey: Djou 60% Hanabusa 34% 

Maui News: A clear win for Lingle

MN: The U.S. senatorial debate Monday night between former Gov. Linda Lingle and Rep. Mazie Hirono was enlightening for two reasons:

Hirono has no platform, other than to keep mentioning that her opponent is a Republican!

Lingle is conversant on a broad array of subjects and Hirono is not.

The debate on KHON reminded us of classroom encounters where one student had studied and the other one tried to bluff her way through. When asked to name a legislative accomplishment, Hirono could not.

Lingle used that opportunity to point out that despite an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature, she was able to champion the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Lingle also pointed out that, working with members of the opposing party, Hawaii closed a huge revenue gap after the crash of 2008 and balanced its budget.

In short, Monday night Hirono showed the state why she wanted to limit the number of debates against Lingle.

read … Clear

Ad Wars: Djou vs Hanabusa, Lingle vs Hirono

CB: In Hawaii, Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Charles Djou this week spent more than $61,000 on 160 spots that are airing through Sunday on KHON, KITV, KFVE and KGMB.

Colleen Hanabusa this week spent more than $58,000 on 152 spots that are airing through Sunday on all the local broadcast stations.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono this week spent more than $258,000 on 701 spots, some of which are airing through early November

Hirono's Republican opponent Linda Lingle this week spent $144,000 on 407 spots that are airing through Sunday on all the local broadcast stations and a range of Oceanic Time Warner cable networks, including CNN, ESPN and TNT

read … Money Race

Youth versus experience at Maui House forum

MN: The HD 11 incumbent George Fontaine said he's co-sponsored a number of successful bills and works hard to reach across the aisle.

Fontaine said his voting record speaks for itself, in particular his opposition to raising the pension tax. He also opposes raising any tax, especially in tough economic times.

The two also sparred over Fontaine's dedication to preserving state social services safety nets.

"I'm not for cutting programs to social services, but we do need to look at ways to reduce fraud and waste," Fontaine said. "I have worked desperately to keep safety net programs in place."

Fontaine said the real "elephant in the room" is the state's multibillion-dollar unfunded liability for retired public employees.

"We need to get our financial house in order, reduce our debt without cutting programs by making programs more efficient, but more importantly by investing in more audits for fraud," he said.

Ing said he would consider tax increases….

Ing accused Fontaine of allowing the Kihei high school project to fall behind schedule.

"I wasn't even in office (when funding lapsed)," Fontaine said. "I think this is just an example of how you don't understand what the process is."

He said the Department of Education could not proceed with the project because the state owned no land and had not completed an environmental impact statement. But the state now is ready to proceed, he said, adding that he plans to seek money for the high school in the next legislative session.

"I hope we can get this program on track and our Kihei high school built by 2016," Fontaine added.

In the HD 13 race, Mele Carroll addressed why her attendance at the Legislature was irregular recently, saying it's because she underwent successful breast cancer treatment, while staying in touch with her staff and constituents.

MW: Fontaine Faces Ing in Closely Watched State House Race

read … Fontaine Wins

Carpenters Union Launches new Front Group spend nearly $600K for Caldwell

HNN: A union-backed group is exploiting a loophole to spend nearly $600,000 on behalf of mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell.

"Workers for a Better Hawaii" is a little-known organization that has emerged as the second biggest spender in the high-stakes race.

Hawaii News Now has learned that most of these ads are being paid by the pro-rail Hawaii Carpenter's Union, which has bankrolled over $1 million in negative ads attacking Caldwell's opponent Ben Cayetano, who opposes rail.

Political analysts say the amounts spent on the ads make a mockery of state campaign spending limits.

"There are no limits. It's Las Vegas. It's the kind of politics we should be ashamed of but we are not," said Dan Boylan, a retired professor at the University of Hawaii West Oahu.

Filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission show the Carpenter's Union has spent nearly $400,000 on these ads.

The local painter's union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the AFL-CIO joined the carpenter's union in paying for another $183,000 in ads.

read … Caldwell

FEAR: Higher voter turnout could cut both ways

Borreca: For the first time, Hawaii is going to welcome more than 700,000 potential voters to democracy.

How many will accept the invitation and walk right in remains to be seen, but voter numbers are a big deal.

Election officials will not tally up the complete numbers until Monday, but this week they are saying that the state will climb above 700,000 for the first time this year.

Voting will start for many on Tuesday because absentee ballots go in the mail on Monday.

A high vote turnout is likely to help Cayetano more than it would Caldwell, who is starting to call in the Democratic regulars. (Translation: Old Boys Know They are a Minority, so they Suppress Voter Turnout)

What is not clear is how much of that increased turnout will help GOP standard-bearer Lingle in her race against Democrat Hirono.

read … Higher voter turnout could cut both ways

Ward Research ‘Shocked’ by its 22% Undercount of Gabbard Vote

Q: Your polls showed Mufi Hannemann holding a 65 percent lead to Tulsi Gabbard’s 20 percent in February and 43 percent to her 33 percent less than a month before the August primary in the U.S. House 2nd District race, but Gabbard won with 55 percent over his 34 percent. Were you surprised?

A: I was shocked by the margin

read … Spin it!

State's new land developer to call Round 2 of public meetings

SA: A state corporation formed to raise revenue through public land development will be going through a second round of statewide hearings about its proposed rules after being blasted by critics in the first round.

The state Public Land Development Corp. board voted Thursday to take the rules to public hearings again, despite calls from environmentalists and native Hawaiians to eliminate the agency.

Officials say they want to consider changes to the proposed rules.

The public hearings will probably occur in mid-November, according to a PLDC official.

read … Ding Ding Ding!

Regents Split into Pro and Anti-Greenwood Factions

HNN: Sources said there is no firm consensus among the 15-member Board of Regents about whether they should fire Greenwood. About four or five regents firmly support Greenwood, including Regents Chair Eric Martinson and the regents' two vice chairs, James Lee and Carl Carlson, sources said. Another faction of four or five regents opposes Greenwood and feels she should be terminated, sources said. It's unclear how the remaining regents stand on whether she should remain or be let go.

SA: Don't act rashly on Greenwood

SA: UH fails to release Greenwood documents

read … Placeholders following instructions

Another $200K UH accounting error focus of new investigation

HNN: Sources tell Hawaii News Now a UH fiscal officer is on paid leave, under investigation for the $200,000 accounting error in a temporary payroll account.

UH routinely fronts some payroll costs for its professors, researchers and staff in the brief time between the end of one federal grant and the beginning of another and then reimburses the UH when the next grant comes through. Officials described this operation as similar to a bridge loan, with the money coming from the UH's Research and Training Revolving Fund, known as RTRF.

In this case, UH fronted about $200,000 in salary money to cover payroll in between grants, but a fiscal officer never reimbursed the UH for the money from the new grant when it started, sources said.

UH officials who oversee Coconut Island are furious and they've told colleagues the error should have been caught immediately and should never have happened.

Sources said the UH's new Kuali Financial System, which went online at all ten UH campuses July 1, detected the error.

read … Coconut Island

Hanabusa Defends Greenwood, Apple

PBN: When asked her thoughts on the ongoing controversy surrounding fallout from the botched Stevie Wonder concert at the University of Hawaii, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa told PBN reporters and editors that the community ultimately should be the ones who decide whether the self-governing structure currently in place is the best model.

In a recent interview with 1st Congressional District challenger Charles Djou, he told PBN staff that if it was up to him he would “clean house” at UH to help it get beyond the controversy.

Hanabusa told PBN staff on Thursday that a “knee-jerk reaction” wasn’t the solution.

“It’s not a matter of cleaning house,” she said. “If we can’t get a clean answer [as to what went wrong and who is responsible for the failed concert effort], then it goes to the whole essence of the university’s structure.”

Hanabusa said she thinks the public wants to know whether the concert scam was symptomatic of issues related to the university’s governance, or if it was just an isolated event.

read … Just Like Broken Trust

University of Hawaii Board of Regents Aim to Silence Peers, Media, with 'Confidentiality Covenant'

HR: University of Hawaii Board of Regents could face criminal or civil penalties if they disclose to media or the public information they learned in their closed door meetings.

That is according to a new "confidentiality covenant" that regents must sign if they are on the Advisory Task Group on Operational and Financial Controls Improvement.

The document, obtained by Hawaii Reporter through a FOIA request, has strict conditions regents must adhere to.

They are mandated to keep the Task Group Work confidential and they must refuse to speak to the media as Board of Regents’ Chair Eric Martinson is designated as the public and media contact for the Task Group.

HNN: UH regents threaten accountability panel with criminal penalties for leaking info

read … Confidential

Transcript: Elderts Threatened to Shoot Deedy

When Deedy told Elderts, "You're gonna get shot," Elderts responded, "What, you're gonna shoot me?"

Deedy then said, "Yeah, you're gonna get shot," according the transcript.

Medeiros recalled that "Kollin stood up, and Deedy gave a thrust kick to Kollin."

The transcript also includes testimony from another HPD detective identifying Deedy, Elderts, Gutow­ski and Medei­ros in the restaurant surveillance video and other witnesses, including restaurant employees and patrons.

Hart has said that Deedy was performing his duties as a federal law enforcement officer by protecting his life and the lives of others.

In other court filings, Hart says Deedy shot Elderts only after Elderts harassed another restaurant patron with racial slurs, assaulted Deedy and tried to grab the agent's gun.

Hart is attempting to have the indictment dismissed and to make public the restaurant video.

read … 'You're gonna get shot'

Savio Denounces City Affordable Housing Deal

HNN: Under the leasehold purchase and sale agreement, the company would pay the city $ 142 million and would spend $42 million on renovations.

One local developer is crying foul in the bid process.

"You tell me it's $200 million and I can close in ten years from now, that's a good deal. The closing date is important, and if they were going to accept a date other than the at the end of the year it should have been disclosed," said Peter Savio, developer.

City officials told council members the close date has always been March of 2014

read … Disgruntled Losers?

HTA Seeks MOU for 2M Japanese Visitors

JDP: If the tourism industry had it their way, a lot more Japanese people will be spending their vacations in the United States, particularly in Hawaii. At least that’s the plan, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney. Together with the Japan Hawaii Tourism Council, they are trying to sign a memorandum of understanding that will see them aim for 2 million visitor arrivals from Japan to Hawaii by 2016.

HTA Vice President of Brand Management David Uchiyama said that this year, there have been 1.35 million visitors and next year is expected to bring 1.4 million tourists to Hawaii. So the target for 2016 is very doable. It’s still a far cry from the record 2.2 visitors in 1996 and 1997, but back then, there were around eight or nine airline origination points as compared to the current three.

read … nearly 50% increase

Pfluegers Seek Eviction of 82-year old Woman

HR: Joan Vannatta has cherished her home in Niu Valley for 56 years.

The plantation style house in the peaceful valley just across from the beach is the place she lived with her life long sweetheart, her husband, John A. "Bonny" Vannatta, where they raised their six kids and had many happy years together.

But now, at age 81, Joan is on the verge of losing her home because of a land lease dispute with one of Hawaii’s most well known families.

Her children say moving their mother on the verge of her 82nd birthday, when she is in poor health, away from a home and community she’s known and loved for so many decades, could not only sink her spirits, but also put her in physical jeopardy.

They hope to resolve the issue by either buying the land or extending the lease. But her children said the landlords – the Cassidays and the Pfluegers – families that own hundreds of acres of land in Hawaii, seem unwilling to negotiate and have actually filed an action in First Circuit Court to evict their mother from the home she and her husband built.

Kevin Chee, an attorney for the family, represents the Pfluegers and Cassidays in court. During a recent hearing where he attempted to have the court grant Joan’s eviction

read … The Pfluegers are such nice people

Elder Abuse: Don't be a victim of crime

Learn to keep yourself safe in your home and community. Find out about ways to protect yourself from crime, financial exploitation, and con artists. Guest speaker Scott Spallina from the Elder Abuse Unit will discuss financial abuse & exploitation prevention.

More info: http://www.attentionplus.com/events

read … Flyer

Residents sue county to enforce Kona planning law

H247: In their circuit court challenge, the Misslers contend the County Board of Appeals erred when the board upheld the decision of County Planning Director, Bobbi Jean Leithead-Todd, to approve the development of a high-density subdivision in the midst of an old-growth, rare and healthy ohita forest at Waikakuu, South Kona that lies next to the State South Kona Forest Reserve and that is a habitat for endangered species like the Hawaiian Hawk and the Hawaiian Hoary Bat as well as other endemic native forest birds and plants.

The state has also designated the area as a Priority One watershed In olden times, Hawaiians treasured the area for its water and off-shore fishery and for the abundance of forest birds whose feathers were used to make precious garments.

By its decision dated Aug. 10, 2012, the County Board of Appeals ruled the Planning Director did not have to comply with the requirements of the Community Development Plan law because, the board concluded, the plan law is illegal and not enforceable.

read … Kona

Judge: Anti-GMO Luddites Can’t Sue Landowner

KGI: Pioneer has leased fields east of Waimea since 1998 from Gay & Robinson and Robinson Family Partners. The fields are used to conduct open air testing of genetically modified crops as part of its Waimea Research Center.

The lawsuits allege that Pioneer’s practices in the farming of genetically modified seed crops on fields next to Waimea unlawfully allowed pesticides and pesticide-laden fugitive dust to blow into residents’ homes on almost a daily basis for more than 10 years.

The plaintiffs also allege that long-term, excessive exposure to dust and pesticides have resulted in reduced property values and physical damage to their homes.

Ignore This: His role in a restroom sex scandal rocked the mighty Bishop Estate

read … About Gerard Jervis Latest Hustle

Gay-Atheists Eager to Attack Boy Scouts, but Organization Barred and Blacklisted Anybody Like Them

HNN: Boy Scouts of America kept records dating back nearly 100 years, officially called the "Ineligible Volunteers Files." Last summer the Oregon Supreme Court ordered release by this month of files covering the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. A Seattle attorney compiled them and released them this week.

California and Texas top the count at 254 and 213. In one of Hawaii's 4 examples, alleged misconduct included molestation of 2 Pearl City scouts during the summer of 1980. In a Wahiawa allegation, it says strong evident was presented, but no charges were leveled and he was allowed to resign. Another lacked specifics only to say he should no longer be registered.

A fourth listing seems to have been a preventive measure because of arrests for indecent exposure and peeping tom prior to an attempt to register.

So where are they now? It's hard to know for sure. Cross-referencing the four names with Hawaii court and criminal records yielded no matches of any similar crime. Checks with nationwide sex offender databases yield only a handful of similar names and just one likely match -- to a registered sex offender in California convicted of “continuous sexual abuse” of children there.

Boy Scouts in Hawaii has 10,000 youth members statewide. Today's policies include background checks, training and mandatory reporting to authorities of any suspected abuse.
Boy Scouts of America said: "Numerous independent experts have recognized that the bsa's education and training programs for protecting scouts from abuse are among the best in the youth-serving community."

Four Hawaii names from list of ‘perverts’ excluded from Boy Scout Volunteer Activities (we have expunged the names due to libel concerns, but they can be found by searching the list using the information below)

11/03/71 (name) 1877 Honolulu HI FBI arrest sheet from 1954-1969, for indecent exposure, larceny, and peeping tom activity.

06/16/83 (name)1460 Honolulu HI No specific information given about registrant, except the field director of the Aloha Council, Arnold Takaki, observed that no formal charges had been brought against registrant, but that they should not be registered with the BSA.

10/06/82 (name) 1472 176-T; 321-P Wahiawa HI Strong evidence presented that registrant was involved in child molestation. No charges leveled; he was allowed to resign. Priority Separation slip included.

06/01/88 (name) 777 803-C Pearl City HI In 1980 he molested and carried on a relationship with a couple of scouts during the summer. This came out in May of 1988. Document 20901 and 20902 is a letter from the Far East Council to (name) acknowledging the prior misconduct and wondering why he had heard nothing of this before. Also indicates that if he had known about any misconduct immediate action would have been taken against Hale.

read … About an issue that would go away if BSA allowed gays to sign up and party with the boys

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