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Thursday, October 18, 2012
October 18, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:11 PM :: 7107 Views

Poll: Lingle 43% - Hirono 47%

Gallup: Romney 52% – Obama 45%

Hawaii Among Worst States to Practice Medicine

Endangered Species: Feds Grab for 18,766 Acres on Big Island

Fitch Rates Honolulu Bonds AA+ 

Court of Appeals Upholds Rail Contract Award 

Bateman: We Can Cut Consumers' Electric Bills

Wastebook 2012: University of Hawaii Martian Food Tasting Project

Legislative Rundown Looks at 12 Key Races

PR: Majority Democrats have commanding control of the state House and Senate. With Hawaii-born President Barack Obama up for re-election, his popularity in the islands may help Democrats widen their majority even though 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. Neither former Gov. Linda Lingle, who is campaigning for U.S. Senate, nor former congressman Charles Djou, who is running for Congress, show enough strength to offer much down-ballot hope for minority Republicans. The GOP will be fortunate if they emerge from the elections with their existing numbers intact.

House Democrats are watching a handful of races to see if the outcome could influence House leadership next session. Redrawn political districts after the census could complicate the re-election plans for a few incumbents. Issues such as economic recovery, environmental protection, and improving public education will likely shape many state campaigns.

read … 12 Key Races

800 Manoa Voters Get Two Absentee Ballots Each

KHON: Turns out there could be many more Manoa households just like hers holding not one but two absentee ballots.

"The city clerk said it's probably 800 people,” said Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi who represents Manoa.

Kobayashi says she first heard of the glitch when calls started coming into her office.

The city clerk will hold a news conference Thursday morning to give details on what voters should do and how the mistake was made.

"They might send a letter to the people who got double ballots and say you received two ballots, disregard those two and vote on this new ballot,” said Kobayashi. “Postage, that costs money and if we have to do it again more money,” she added. (Yeah. Lets give them THREE ballots.)

Kobayashi says she was told the glitch was the fault of a ballot vendor.

(Manoa was the worst district on Oahu for Republicans in 2010. What a coincidence.)

SA: All the voters getting two ballots are in the same precinct in upper Manoa, Takahashi said

KHON: Nago Screws up Ballot List

read … 800 Double Voters

Greenwood: Senate Investigators Putting UH Accreditation at Risk

HR: "Inappropriate political pressure” threatens the independence and academic accreditation of the University of Hawaii, President M.R.C. Greenwood warned faculty members this afternoon….

Greenwood said she was pressured to restore Donovan to his old job.

“It was made very clear to me that if we did not accede to this improper pressure, we would be subject to public hearings and the University’s budget might be in danger,” Greenwood said today.

“I did not accede to this demand and the reason I did not was to protect the University, its faculty and its independence,” Greenwood said.

“Whether you like the decision that we made or you hate the decision we made, whether you’re a fan of the previous athletic director or not, I believe the faculty needs to consider standing with us on this decision in refusing to acquiesce to inappropriate political pressure,” she said.

Greenwood said she’s confident in the decisions she has made “even though it has been at considerable cost to me and my family.”

Because of her decision to remove Donovan, Greenwood said, “I’ve been subject to a campaign of false statements, the university has been diminished and our board of regents has been dishonored.”

While a committee of the faculty senate recommended delaying a vote on the no-confidence motion, it also noted numerous differences that academics have with Greenwood and her team.

A list of those issues was contained in a memo to the faculty:

  • The lack of regular consultation with the faculty, through shared governance, erodes the University of Hawaii’s credibility in the community, with the legislature, and puts our hard fought accreditation with WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) at risk.
  • The development of the 2013-2015 Biennial budget without consultation with faculty and seemingly, UH-M administration, illustrates the lack of consultative process.
  • The lack of consultation with faculty on matters that will directly affect the academy, such as the hiring of 50 new high profile research faculty, without regard for the impact these positions will have on Schools, Colleges and Departments and individual faculty.
  • The lack of consultation with UH-M faculty regarding the “15-to-Finish” program which might impact faculty workload, academic support services and departmental dynamics. While the CAB supports the principle of shortening the time to graduation, the lack of discussion is disturbing.
  • The excessive expenditures of hiring external legal and public relations firms at a significant cost and loss of precious resources perhaps better served in support of the instruction and research mission of the University, is troubling

HNN: UH regents consider Greenwood's fate in closed-door meeting today

SA: University autonomy imperiled by concert troubles

SA: Regents call in $15K consultant to talk about governing

read … Greenwood: University of Hawaii Threatened by "Political Pressure"

A sainted nun blessed Hawaii with her service

SA: To isle Catholics, …the ceremony will be for them worth celebrating because one of Hawaii's own is acknowledged as having demonstrated the ultimate fulfillment of her faith.

But it is an occasion everyone can respect, regardless of religious belief, which is what makes Hawaii's two saints special. What the believer calls holiness also can be seen as service to humanity at the highest level, service that has left an indelible mark on the well-being of this state….

Mother Marianne's legacy, and that of the Franciscan Sisters in Hawaii, was to create the foundation of what remained a critical part of Hawaii's health care system for decades. St. Francis Hospital was founded in her memory, followed by other Franciscan health institutions. Saint Francis School, too, was founded in her honor.

Throughout the pilgrimage of the Hawaii contingent to Rome, Blessed Marianne Cope (the title given after her beatification in 2005) has been extolled as a "holy woman." An intrinsic part of that distinction, however, is just how human she was, and how she nurtured the humanity of all people, even those society had discarded.

That can be recognized by all, as can this observation: Hawaii, with its endowment of health care services and its value for human kindness, would have been a far poorer place without Mother Marianne.

2009: Secular Humanists push back against St Damien (Watch the pattern, these Editors haven’t changed a bit.)

2011: Colette Machado: I look at Kalaupapa--Native Hawaiians will fight against Assisted Suicide

read … A sainted nun blessed Hawaii with her service

Hawaii's 'Most Sophisticated Grassroots Attack Operation'

CB: Yes, PRP’s political action committee has spent more money on political television advertising than any other candidate in local races. And, yes, much of this has been focused on attack ads directed at former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano who wants to kill the city’s $5.26 billion rail project.

But the group’s latest effort to drum up political support for Kirk Caldwell involves arming citizens with smart phones, maps and ritzy campaign pamphlets and sending them door-to-door throughout Oahu to sway voters on the idea that rail is good for Hawaii and that Cayetano is bad.

That’s right, even if you’re an undecided voter who doesn’t watch TV or listen to the radio, PRP still plans to get its message into your home.

Not only are organizers using technology to track voters and gather data about them in real time, but they're paying $400 a week. Union members are said to get paid even more….

“This is my ninth election, I’ve been through eight general elections, and I’ve never seen this happen before,” Cayetano said Tuesday, noting that PRP has spent more than $2 million trying to keep him out of office. “If I beat them it will be really sweet for us, I can tell you that.” – Cayetano

HR: Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann: I Endorse Kirk Caldwell for Honolulu Mayor

read … Sweet

Rail: Spending A Lot for Nothing

Oi: …spending on rail has yielded route maps, station designs, environmental studies, contract awards, a ruling structure and at least one concrete support pillar.

It has also generated conflict and more expenses. The project is supposed to come in at $5.27 billion, a tad less than what will be spent on the election campaigns this season. But unanticipated bills keep piling up, mainly because the city put its cart before the horse.

Instead of completing a key archaeological survey for the entire rail route, the city rolled the dice and came up snake eyes when the state Supreme Court ruled against its rush job. Before the ruling shut down construction, the city’s early awarding of contracts, purportedly to lock in costs during a down economy, began to rack up bills as contractors filed delay claims and change orders were issued.

The tally for the mess is $114 million so far and in comparison to the total guesstimate of rail, $114 million doesn’t seem like a lot. Still, the value of the accelerated work is dubious. If rail is built, I doubt those extra expenses will bring a better return.

read … Spending a lot of money eclipsed if value is lacking

HIPA Conspires with Abercrombie, Legislators to Defend PLDC

CB: Solomon, who is vice chair of the Senate Committee on Water, Land, and Housing, said she was invited to brief the group at a meeting last week.

She said the governor’s office had tasked Kaneko with organizing the group, but didn’t know the identities of everyone involved.

PLDC executive director Lloyd Haraguchi said that there had been meetings with Kaneko, lawmakers and staff, but he didn’t view it as a working group. Haraguchi said there had been about three meetings in recent weeks involving Kaneko, who is CEO of the Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs. He said Kaneko was interested in working with the PLDC on projects to improve aging school facilities.

Rep. Sharon Har attended one of the meetings but doesn't necessarily consider herself to be a member of the group.

“There were discussions about all the misinformation regarding the PLDC," Har said. "And they are just trying to set the record straight.”

Same Conspirators: Gaming Industry Lobbyist, Progressive activist screen Abercrombie cabinet picks

read … 21st Century Schools

Hawaii DoE one of only Three States Using ‘Adaptive Testing’

EW: Only a handful of states—including Delaware, Hawaii, and Oregon—are now using adaptive testing on a widespread basis….

“There’s a belief that this provides a more rewarding testing experience for the test-taker,” Mattson says. “A struggling student doesn’t need to be beaten over the head encountering lots of questions they can’t handle, … and the student who is strong might welcome an additional challenge.”

In addition, because each test for each student is personalized and there are so many test questions in the bank, security risks are lessened, says Doug Kosty, the assistant superintendent for assessment and information services for the Oregon department of education. His state has used computer-adaptive testing for nine years.

“Adaptive testing is really beneficial and can pinpoint a student’s learning level more closely,” says Gerri Marshall, the supervisor of research and evaluation for the 15,000-student Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Del., which piloted such tests….

Computer-adaptive assessments aren’t scored on the basis of how many right or wrong answers a student gets. A student’s score depends both on the number of items he or she got right and the difficulty of the items presented. Early trials, or field tests, present items to representative samples of students to evaluate the difficulty of each item in the pool and to translate that into values that will provide a score, Cohen says….

In addition, users of computer-adaptive testing laud the immediacy of the assessment results, which typically are posted when a student finishes the test, giving teachers the opportunity to adjust their instruction more quickly based on the results. Officials from both coalitions say some results will be available almost immediately or within days, while results from sections that contain more writing and constructed response may take several weeks.

related: After One Year, Systemwide Cheating Boosts DoE Test Scores

read … Adapt

With 364 Water main Breaks a Year, Former City Officials Say Honolulu's Board of Water Supply Needs to Boost Pipe Replacement Schedule

HR: Oahu’s Board of Water Supply must replace hundreds of miles of pipes connecting Oahu’s 2,100-mile aging water system.

Some 900 miles of piping are more than 40 years old, and another 300 miles were laid over 70 years ago.

With the pipes deteriorating, there is at least one water main break a day, an average of 364 days a year.

A team of former city appointees, assembled by Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Ben Cayetano, said the Board of Water Supply should be replacing 30 to 40 miles of pipe per year.

But in 2010, the agency completed just one mile of construction, in 2011, just six miles were finished; and in 2012, the agency will replace five miles of pipeline.

Kurt K. Tsue, spokesperson for the Board of Water Supply, said the agency has been focused on other repairs:

“In addition to replacing pipeline, the BWS is also renewing other components essential to the water delivery system, which are also in need of proactive maintenance. This includes 94 potable water sources, 90 booster pump stations, and 170 potable reservoirs. In 2010, the BWS also conducted renovation and repair projects at nine wells, five booster stations, six reservoirs, and three facilities.”

This year, in addition to 5 miles of pipeline replacements, Tsue said the Board of Water Supply will conduct 20 renovation projects at its wells, shafts and boosters, as well as renovations at six of its water tanks.

“The pipeline projects this year include water system improvement projects in Hawaii Kai, Liliha, Aiea, Mapunapuna, University Avenue, Ward Avenue, and Kona Street,” he said. “In addition to reducing the likelihood of emergency water main breaks, these projects will also improve fire protection and enhance water service to residents and businesses in the area.”

Taxpayers are seeing monumental increases in their water bills. However, Cayetano's Truth Squad" members said recent rate increases are only programmed to replace 40 miles of pipes in the next 5 years.

See the recently implemented water rates and charges:

read … Leaks

Kauai Politicians Continue Posturing in Leadup to Prosecutor Election

KGI: For the last six months, except for two teens, the Office of Prosecuting Attorney has ceased referrals to Hale ‘Opio’s long-standing youth diversionary program. Council members wanted to know why, and the explanation took more than four hours.

In an effort to keep discussion within the agenda — or to his opinion of the scope allowed by the agenda — Public Safety Committee Chair Mel Rapozo interrupted council members JoAnn Yukimura and Tim Bynum several times….

OPA stopped referring youth to Teen Court since April 10, when it received an opinion from the County Attorney’s Office, which indicated a potential violation of the law, according to Iseri-Carvalho….

Hale ‘Opio has been operating since 1976, and started Teen Court in 1995, according to Hale ‘Opio Executive Director Laverne Bishop.

From its beginnings until 2007, Teen Court referrals were made by the Kaua‘i Police Department, she said. It was only after Iseri-Carvalho was elected county prosecutor in 2008 that referrals started coming from OPA, according to Bishop.

read … A bunch of Election Related Stuff

Hawaii sees wilting sales from its flower and nursery products sector

PBN: The value of Hawaii’s flower and nursery products sector fell 2 percent to $69.6 million in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Hawaii Field Office.

It was the fourth year in a row that sales of flowers and other nursery products in Hawaii declined after reaching a record high of $108.7 million in 2007, the federal agency said. It also was the lowest amount over a 10-year period.

read … Wilting

9-11 Trooother Masquerading as Patriot Claims to be Booted from Military Flight at Hickam

CFP: “Sir, you must come with us

HR: Was He Added to the 'No Fly List' for Tea Party Activities?

POLITICO: More than half of Democrats are 9-11 Trooothers

Reality: 9/11 Truthers Meet the Birth Certificate Brigade

Patriot? Get real. 9-11 Trooothers are de-facto propaganda agents of al-Qaeda. Don’t be a sap.

Judge allows trial video coverage by the Hawaii Guerrilla Video Hui

SA: Teale, 45, who is representing herself, is accused of being disruptive, but she said she was only trying to ask Mayor Peter Carlisle a question about why her banner had been taken from Thomas Square a day earlier.

Teale said she is a supporter of Occupy Honolulu.

She, Kamuela Vance Viveiros and H. Doug Matsu­oka make up the Hawaii Guerrilla group, which was formed last year.

If Romney is elected, ‘Occupy’ will become the Democrat vehicle to corral the conspiracy-minded.

DN: Media access and right to protest at issue in linked trials today in District Court in Honolulu

DN: The 1st Amendment is the new 2nd Amendment

read … Occupy Video



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