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Saturday, December 15, 2012
December 15, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 PM :: 4491 Views

UHERO: Film Subsidies Illegal Giveaway to Corporations

Honolulu Neighborhood Board Candidate Filing Opens

Court: Kawaiahao Subject to Burial Council

Supreme Court Slaps Down Maui County Takings Claim

Guam: Mayor Seizes Neighbor's Land

31-20 / 24-20 Rhoades Bolts to Souki Camp

PR: Rhoads, who had been pledged to House Speaker Calvin Say, said he was influenced by Say’s announcement on Thursday that he would step down. Rhoads said he was offered the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee under Souki.

“I accepted,” said Rhoads, who is chairman of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee under Say.

Souki’s coalition now has 24 Democrats, two shy of the 26 necessary for a majority in the 51-member House. Souki also has the support of the seven House Republicans, so his coalition has 31 votes to control the chamber.

Souki has said he would prefer to have a majority of the House’s 44 Democrats but would still honor an agreement to grant Republicans three vice chairmanships of committees if he takes power.

Thursday: Oshiro to lead Say Faction--Challenge to Dissidents

read … Speaker Oshiro Loses Ground

Hawaii to pay athletic director $293K per year

SA: The University of Hawaii has offered to pay its new athletic director $293,000 a year, with the potential for thousands of extra dollars in bonuses.

Ben Jay, who has served as senior associate athletics director for finance and operations at Ohio State since 2006, accepted the offer last week. The conditional offer released by the university system Friday shows Jay signed it Dec. 3, four days before Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple announced Jay’s appointment.

The offer calls for an initial three-year appointment, with an option for a two-year extension subject to satisfactory performance evaluations.

The appointment is pending approval of university system President M.R.C. Greenwood, who is expected to announce her decision after the next board of regents meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24

read … $293K

Oahu property values up $4.2B

SA: New developments, improvements to existing structures and increases in the values of residential and hotel resort properties were the main reasons for the overall increase, the city said in a news release.

Total gross assessed valuation of all taxable real property on Oahu was $184.4 billion, compared with $180.2 billion a year ago. Gross valuations of residential property increased 2.1 percent, to $148.1 billion from $145.1 billion.

Hotel and resort property values increased 9.4 percent, commercial property values increased 0.7 percent, and industrial property values increased 3.2 percent, the city said.

The latest tax assessments do not necessarily correspond to how much property owners will pay in taxes next year. That will be determined when the Council sets tax rates in June. For residential properties the current rate is $3.50 per $1,000 of property value.

read … Simple Supply and Demand--Thank an Environmentalist

Honolulu adds 5,200 private-sector jobs over 12-month period

PBN: Honolulu gained 5,200 private-sector jobs between October 2011 and October of this year, which ranked it No. 55, in the middle of the top 102 U.S. markets for the number of jobs gained.

The rank was a little higher, No. 48, for the percentage of jobs gained, according to the analysis by On Numbers, an affiliate of Pacific Business News.

read … 5,200 Jobs

Court: Burials Law Applies to Modern Burials Too

CB: Dana Naone Hall, who brought the lawsuit and is represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and Maui attorney Isaac Hall, said that those details are expected to be determined when the case goes back to the First Circuit Court.

She said that with an AIS, the Oahu Island Burial Council will be an integral part of the preservation review process and have power in making decisions about how to treat burial remains. Up until now, she said, the council had been shut out of the process by the state. The state had granted the church a disinterment permit to remove all the burials it encountered during construction. The Oahu Island Burial Council can make decisions about whether or not burials should be disturbed.

The church’s pastor, Kahu Curt Kekuna, did not respond to an interview request. But William Haole, chair of the church’s Board of Trustees, issued a statement saying that the church was reviewing the decision and conferring with its attorneys to determine its options.

Earlier, church officials had argued that Hawaiian burial law didn't apply because they were Christian burials.

But the appeals panel said burial law applies regardless of race, religion or cultural origin.

SA: Kawaiaha'o Church project requires land survey, appellate court rules

(Translation: More cause for activists to shake down developers.)

read … Iwi

Surfing the Nations helping Central Oahu’s Wahiawa be more family-friendly

PBN: Executive Director Cindy Bauer said the transformation began in 2009 when they closed a bar, followed by closing the state’s second largest porn shop in 2010. They’ve also closed an adjoining strip club and liquor store which once made up the scandalous strip in Wahiawa.

PBN reported on the renovations in August, but I visited the storefront on Thursday and talked story with Bauer. Progress is promising and though work still has to be done, the four storefronts along Kamehameha Highway already seem to be giving off a positive vibe.

Now, the strip is transforming into a coffee shop, community center, market and shave ice store, thanks to private donations and the hard work of Bauer and volunteers.

read … Surfing the Nations

Organ donors are poised to give others the gift of life

SA: In Hawaii an estimated 400 patients are in end-stage organ failure waiting for a lifesaving organ. Nationally there are an estimated 116,000 patients in the same condition. Millions more are in need of life-restorative tissue for abdominal repairs, burn dressings, bone to repair fractures and prevent amputation, heart valves and veins for cardiac bypass surgery, corneas to end blindness, and the list goes on.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the need for organs is growing almost twice as fast as the supply. More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year, and the surgical need for tissue continues to rise.

The cost of a transplant is about $100,000, according to the 2012 U.S. Renal Data System Annual Report. Medicare spends on average about $18,000 a year for immunosuppressive drugs for a kidney transplant recipient compared with about $70,000 to $87,000 for a year of dialysis. Kidney transplantation remains the most desirable and cost-effective form of kidney replacement therapy. In addition, kidney transplantation also provides the opportunity to improve patient health and quality of life, and eliminates the costs associated with dialysis.

To address this critical need, Legacy of Life Hawaii, the state's only federally designated organization authorized to recover organs and tissue for transplant, set out to revitalize its organ and tissue recovery programs and significantly increase the number of organ/tissue donors statewide….

Additionally, Legacy of Life Hawaii's Family Services team offers immediate support to donor families in the hospital and ongoing support through its aftercare program. So far this year, nearly 60 percent of organ/tissue donation opportunities have been authorized either by the individual's donor designation (primarily through the DMV) or family consent.

As 2012 draws to a close, Legacy of Life Hawaii reports a 50 percent increase in tissue recovered and a 15 percent increase in organs recovered. That means more lives saved and many more restored through the gift of organ and tissue donation. Counted among our blessings in this season of giving are the organ and tissue donors and their families who demonstrated so clearly that life is worth giving.

read … Legacy of Life

New gambling-machine sweep targets Lucky Touch arcades

SA: Police seized dozens of alleged gambling machines this week in a new sweep of Oahu game arcades, a move criticized by a lawyer for the arcades since a state court could rule next month on whether such seizures should continue.

Police vice officers executed search warrants Thursday at five Lucky Touch game arcades in Kalihi, Aiea and the Ala Moana area and seized 60 Products Direct Sweepstakes machines along with gambling records, police said.

Police said no one was arrested, but officers opened multiple cases of second-degree promotion of gambling.

Lucky Touch Arcade is the second arcade chain to be targeted by police and the city prosecutor. In September police raided six Winner'z Zone arcades and seized 77 Products Direct Sweepstakes machines.

read … Lucky Touch

DNA Games: Deputy Faces Sex Assault Charges

SA: He said he willingly gave investigators his dental records and a DNA sample because "I got nothing to hide."

The woman gave investigators the shorts she said she was wearing during the assault that she said had a spot of her assailant's DNA.

Former Honolulu Police Department criminalist Sean Crabbe testified that there was not enough DNA to reach any conclusions. (In other words, they won’t use the DNA to find out which deputy did it.)

Defense expert David Haymer, professor of genetics at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, testified that based on HPD's report, there was enough of a sample to rule out Fonoti as a contributor.

"That's someone else's DNA. It's not Mr. Fonoti's," Haymer said. (But as a defense expert, it is not his job to find the actual culprit.)

read … About how the real culprit goes free

Queen's finalizes purchase of HMC

SA: "We're going to be delighted to have something closer to home because if there is an emergency, you don't have to go all the way to Kapiolani (Medical Center for Women & Children) or Queen's (Medical Center)," said Jame Schae­del, a West Oahu resident who sits on the Maka­kilo/Kapo­lei/Hono­kai Hale Neighborhood Board. "Those minutes can save lives."

read … Queens

Keep an eye out for possible mental illness in horrific Connecticut shooting

DN:  It seems as if I was just writing about James Holmes, the young man with schizophrenia who was 24 when he killed 12 people, including a 6-year-old girl, with as many as 59 more wounded at a screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises at a Colorado theater….

my biggest concern now is our lack of understanding and treatment of mental illness which returns to haunt us again and again. As I wrote in my piece about James Holmes, The Treatment Advocacy Center, a national non-profit organization based in Arlington, Va. that was founded in 1998, estimates that approximately 7.7 million American adults suffer from severe bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and about 3.6 million of those adults are untreated in any given year, with substantial numbers ending up homeless, in jails or prisons, completing suicide, committing acts of violence or being victimized. It doesn’t help that about 40% of people with bipolar disorder and 50% of people with schizophrenia do not themselves know that they are mentally ill and so will not seek the help they need themselves.

We have all got to do better in understanding, treating and most of all preventing the ravages of mental illness. We need to do it for our children’s sake. Each and every death hurts too much.

read … Mental Illness

Usual Suspects Use Connecticut Shooting to Push Gun Control

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