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Saturday, December 22, 2012
December 22, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:42 PM :: 5812 Views

House Finance Ctte to Consider Budget

Committee on Energy and Environment to Discuss Invasive Species

UHERO: Hawaii Personal Income Growth Slows

DOE Releases Report on Farrington High School Auditorium Collapse

U.S. East and Gulf Coast dock strike may threaten Islanders

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Rail: Honolulu Pays $5.5B, Orlando Gets Train for Free

“Battle for Control of the Democratic Party”

HNN: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim today joined a crowded field that includes U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and state Sen. Will Espero.

Party sources also have discussed newly elected U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as a potential applicant.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes. People are jockeying for position," said HPU Professor John Hart.

"You are talking about in the first post-Inouye world, the first battle for the control of the Democratic Party."

Hanabusa was hand picked by Inouye to succeed him but one former chairman of the Democratic Party says her nomination is not a sure thing.

"It's not a done deal. I think the Senator will probably appreciate the process, you know, because he's a good Democrat," said state Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, (D) Ala Moana, Waikiki.

"The law calls for us to pick three to be forwarded to the governor for consideration and he is the decision maker."

read … It Begins

List of Senate Wannabees to be Released Monday

SA: Services and memorials continue for Ino­uye in Hawaii today and Sunday.

Meanwhile, former state Rep. Blake Oshiro, an aide to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, confirmed he has applied for the vacancy, and state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa) announced her intent to apply. Kim is vice president of the state Senate and serves as chairwoman of the Senate Special Committee on Accountability, which most recently investigated the University of Hawaii's handling of a bogus Stevie Wonder concert.

Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kia­aina, who unsuccessfully ran in the Demo­cratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, also applied, a source said.

Others who have applied or announced their intent to apply for the vacancy include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, state Sen. Will Espero and Tony Gill, chairman of the Oahu Demo­crats.

read … Wannabees

Today We Are Gathered … To Hear More About Me

Slate: President Obama was supposed to eulogize the memory of Sen. Daniel Inouye. Instead he told us about his favorite summer vacation.

Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii.

WS: During eulogy for war hero senator, Obama refers to himself 63 times...

HNN: President and First Lady to attend public memorial for Inouye in Hawaii

read … Self-Absorbed Choomer President

Not a Single Teacher Fired in 2010-11--Cheating Draws One Day Suspension

SA: The longest suspension in the 2010-11 school year — the most recent data available — was 20 days for an Alia­manu Middle School teacher who made a racial slur against an administrator. The DOE said the teacher had previously been suspended in 2009, for gesturing inappropriately to another teacher.

A Moanalua Elementary teacher received a daylong suspension for using profanity while speaking with the principal, while a Niu Valley Middle teacher was suspended for a day for writing an essay for a student, according to the DOE.

Three teachers were suspended for 10 days in 2010-11.  One left her Lei­le­hua High classroom to "reportedly use the restroom a number of times," allowing her students to go without supervision; another directed inappropriate sexual comments to Molokai Middle students, including about a student's clothing; and the third, a teacher at Mountain View Elementary, took a string a child was playing with and "briefly tied the student to the chair," according to the DOE.

Other suspensions included five days for a Manoa Elementary teacher who allowed her students to run barefoot during physical education class  (This gets 5 days, but cheating gest one?); three days for a Pahoa High and Intermediate teacher for yelling at a vice principal and using profanity; three days for a Wai­luku Elementary teacher who used "excessive force" when grabbing a student by the back of the neck; and two days for a King Kekaulike teacher who shared private health information with another student, resulting in a "disruption of learning."

The DOE also released disciplinary information for executive officers, none of whom were suspended in 2010-11. Two, however, were terminated.

Waipahu High business manager Warren Harada was fired for stealing nearly $500,000 from the school over several years. He subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for theft and money laundering.

Also terminated in 2010-11 was a vice principal at Ilima Intermediate who was under investigation for "mismanaging school funds," according to the department. The DOE did not release more information.

  • 2010-11: 10 teachers suspended
  • 2009-10: 11 teacher suspended, 1 fired
  • 2008-09: 21 teachers suspended, 3 fired
  • 2007-08: 15 teachers suspended, 8 fired
  • 2006-07: 8 teachers suspended, 5 fired

read … Accountability

HART completes trench work for archaeological survey ahead of schedule

PBN: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said they have completed all of the trench work for the archaeological survey along the elevate-rail mass-transit project’s entire 20-mile route.

HART will be working with the state Historic Preservation Division of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to determine whether any other trenches need to be dug, HART spokesman Scott Ishikawa said in an email. The findings of the work will be included in an extensive archaeological inventory survey report that HART will submit to the state early next year.

Construction on the rail project is expected to resume in September, he added.

read … Completed

Surge is on to get gun registrations and permits

KITV: In Honolulu talk about increasing gun control is prompting a surge in gun registrations and permits.

There was a long line Friday at the firearms unit at the Honolulu Police Department. The line to register and get permits for guns was wrapped around the building since 2 a.m.

Gun owner Christopher Pone said, "We seen the line being long. We decided to come early, we didn't realize it was going to be this long."

Some knew they were only going to be moving forward inch by inch, and brought chairs….

According to HPD there have been more than 23,000 registrations so far this year.

read … Quick before Obama Takes Them

Deedy seeking to limit later use of his testimony

SA: If State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy's court testimony on his request to have his murder charge dismissed can be used against him later in his trial, Deedy might decide not to testify at the hearing or might even withdraw his request to dismiss the charge, his lawyer Brook Hart said in state court Friday.

read … Deedy

Foreclosures march toward levels seen before law’s overhaul

SA: A recent resurgence in new Hawaii foreclosure cases strengthened in November after an initial surge in October attributed to more lawyers and mortgage lenders adjusting to state foreclosure law amendments enacted in June.

Requirements in the revised law appeared to constrain new foreclosure lawsuits statewide to about 60 or 70 in each of the first three months after enactment. Then the volume roughly tripled to 196 in October and rose again to 313 last month, according to state Judiciary data published this week.

November’s count came close to — but still remains less than — the number of foreclosure cases started during most of the 12 months preceeding the law’s overhaul. In November 2011 there were 395 new cases.

read … Back to normal

City crosswalk pilot project launches

KITV: South King Street -- between Pawaa Lane and Hauoli Street -- now has a set of overhead safety lights that will hopefully change a dangerous crosswalk into one much safer…. If all goes well, this will be the first of several crosswalk overhead safety lights around the state.

SA: Celebrate safely and arrive alive

read … Crosswalk

$1000/day Fines for Plastic Bag Use on Big Island

HTH: Retailers have one year, beginning Jan. 17, to phase out their supply of single-use plastic bags. During the first year, retailers may offer plastic bags at a cost to customers.

Reusable bags, including plastic ones that are at least 3 mils (thousandth of an inch) thick, and paper bags are allowed. Also allowed will be bags without handles offered to prevent contamination of food, such as raw meat, frozen foods, deli foods and unpackaged bakery items, bags without handles for produce, nuts, grains, cereal, flour, rice and candy, bags for protecting garments at a laundry or formal wear retailer, bags without handles for small retail items, including jewelry, buttons, beads, ribbon and hardware items, and bags for prescription drugs.

Kenoi said nonprofit organizations are exempt from the rules.

Fines ranges from $250 for an initial violation notice to up to $1,000 per day. The Department of Environmental Management director has the authority to waive the fines. The county will issue one written warning of violation before fining businesses for noncompliance.

read … $1000/day

UH biosafety lab on Kalaeloa site gets federal OK

SA: The NIH accepted an environmental assessment last week that found no significant impact for the University of Hawaii's proposed $47.5 million Pacific Health Research Laboratory, which would be capable of testing infectious agents such as tuberculosis bacteria and viruses that cause dengue fever and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

"All lights are green now," said UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple. "Many of these infectious disease labs lead to centers that develop new vaccines and treatments. In particular for us, it would be tropical diseases that we're so vulnerable to."

Board of Regents approval is now the only step needed to proceed with the lab. That's contingent upon the university negotiating a lower lease rent with the Army for the 2-acre site in West Oahu, Apple said.

The university had hoped the Army would lease the site at little or no cost, but the Army is now asking for lease rent of $218,850 per year.

"We all got thrown a curveball about a month ago when the folks from D.C. asked for new language," Apple said.

read … Kalaeloa

Hawaii State Energy Office able to show location of renewable energy resources

PBN: The State Energy Office has launched an online mapping tool that shows the distribution and locations of renewable energy resources throughout Hawaii.

Called “Renewable EnerGIS,” the interactive tool is designed to help landowners, developers, residents and policy makers assess the renewable energy potential of sites statewide.

Based on available data in the Office of Planning Statewide Geographic Information Systems files, also known as “layers,” Renewable EnerGIS displays the location of renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric, ocean thermal energy conversion and wave. It will also identify related attributes, including rainfall, slope, soil characteristics, land use zoning and critical habitats. It does not show existing renewable energy projects, which can be found at the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative website.

read … renewable energy resources

EPA Maui Water report Doesn’t Give Enviros What they Want

AP: EPA Pacific Southwest Region ground water office manager David Albright said the study doesn't say the wells are the cause of coral reef decline. More research is needed on this issue, he said.

"To establish that there's a direct hydrologic link between the injection wells and the very shallow coastal seeps is an important step," Albright said. "It just doesn't say that that's therefore the cause of the problem. There's no causal link being established here at all."

MN: Bacteria levels ‘safe’ in flows through injection wells — EPA

HR: Mayor's Response to EPA Interim Report

read… EPA

City Raid on Occupy Nets Junk, Misses Tents

DN: Notice that all the tents in the image above are red. Also, note that they don’t have tags. So there is nothing for the army of city people to take away. When they came by yesterday to tag the tents, the tents were blue.

Tomorrow the tents will be blue. One day they might be yellow or black.

(The purpose of this is to create conditions for the ACLU to win its court case and destroy the city’s authority to remove ‘stored property’ from the sidewalks, thus facilitating the return of hordes of homeless and the profitable nonprofits who help them stay on the streets.)

read … Occutards

Court Stays Law Barring Therapy for Boys ‘Turned’ by Predators

NBC: A federal appeals court on Friday put the brakes on a first-of-its-kind California law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight. (Pay attention.  This is Hawaii’s future.)

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law on hold until it can hear full arguments on the issue. The law was set to take effect Jan. 1.

Licensed counselors who practice so-called ``reparative therapy'' and two families who say their teenage sons have benefited from it sought the injunction after a lower court judge refused the request.

The law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this fall, states that therapists and counselors who use ``sexual orientation change efforts'' on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards.

The appeals court's order prevents the state from enforcing the law, SB1172, while a different three-judge panel considers if the measure violates the First Amendment rights of therapists and parents.

read … ‘Turning’ your son

Japan's next leader wants freer rein for military

AP: Imagine that North Korea launched a missile at Japan. Tokyo could - and would certainly try to - shoot it down. But if the missile were flying overhead toward Hawaii or the continental United States, Japan would have to sit idly by.

Read … Japan's next leader wants freer rein for military

Pressure grows on Senate Democrats to act on ‘fiscal cliff’

The Hill: …avoiding the fiscal cliff now depends on President Obama working out a deal with the Senate. Reid’s allies said it is unrealistic to expect him and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to step in and hammer out an eleventh-hour agreement.

On Friday, Reid dismissed McConnell’s proposal that he bring to the floor legislation extending tax rates that could be molded with a variety of amendments.

Slate: Obama Urges Action, Heads To Hawaii

read … Don’t Worry, Mazie Hirono coming! 

 

QUICK HITS:

Biologist and volunteers evacuated from remote island

Colorado Man Who Killed Raccoon Now Faces Sex Assault Charge (Arrested in Hawaii)

State ID program moving to county driver's licensing offices

Kenoi names new Parks director

Save Olowalu? Final OK for isle plan, but council adds an alteration

Kona Judiciary Complex could be reality by decade’s end

Tsunami Cleanup DLNR Spends $50K to get $50K from Feds


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