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Thursday, December 27, 2012
December 27, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:03 PM :: 4713 Views

Abercrombie Appoints Schatz, Mazie to be Junior Senator

Inouye Staff Offer Dead Fish, Tell Schatz ‘Good Luck’

Hubris Online: Abercrombie’s Head Scratcher Not Logical, Must be Personal

Obama Skips Inouye in Memoirs

Seniority? Hawaii is better off without it

Matson Buying Reef Shipping

DoE Launching College, Career Readiness Assessments

3 Stooges VIDEO: Biden Swears in Schatz as Reid Looks on

Schism: Abercrombie May Have Ignited Civil War in Democratic Party

SA: Several Democrats said privately that Abercrombie's decision could cause a schism within the party that could lead to a serious primary challenge to the governor or to Schatz….

Asked afterward whether he may have ignited a civil war within the party, Abercrombie said: "If it is an issue for anybody, then I suggest they can take that to the people and present that as an argument. But I think, with regard to 2014, my view is that will take care of itself. My responsibility is to do the right thing by what is in the interest of the party, the state and the country as a whole."

Schatz said he has good relationships with Inouye's staff and would work toward a smooth transition.

"My job is to reach out to everyone, including and especially key supporters of Senator Inouye — (and) staff members — to make sure that we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder in making sure that this transition is done in a way that's in the best interest of the state of Hawaii," he said.

Dante Carpenter, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said Schatz would be "under the gun" at first in the Senate because of his lack of experience.

Precisely As Predicted: Is Abercrombie Vitousek?

read … Mr. Schatz goes to Washington

Star-Adv: Schatz Has to Prove He’s Earned it before 2014

Star Adv Editorial: Gov. Neil Abercrombie upended conventional thinking Wednesday, and assumed considerable political risk himself, when he appointed Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to finish out the last two years of the late Daniel K. Inouye's term in the U.S. Senate.

According to those conventions, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, with two years in Congress following a long tenure as state Senate president, stood out as the most experienced of the three candidates nominated by the Democratic Party of Hawaii to succeed Inouye. That, and the fact that Inouye had asked for her appointment in his last days, made her the presumed front-runner, ahead of Schatz….

He will need to draw heavily on the networking he's done to demonstrate he's capable of the position he has just won. He will have to prove that he's earned the spot between now and the 2014 midterms; that, rather than campaign fundraising, will have to be his focus, and given the challenges of running for statewide offices these days, that's a tall order….

Technically, Schatz will become Hawaii's senior senator by virtue of the fact that he is to be sworn in ahead of the rest of the freshman class….As a result, there are sure to be competitive tensions to overcome among the state's two senators and two representatives — Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono was voted into office and thus can't be enthralled with her new junior status.

Schatz, who spoke admiringly of Inouye's staff, did so with full knowledge that he will need their help to hit the ground running. Bruised feelings aside, the staff owes it to Hawaii to have (stab him in) his back….

It will take a team approach by all four delegates to start building the relationships in both chambers of the U.S. Capitol, in the interests of their home state. Hawaii is about to find out whether any or all of them have the right stuff for that job.

read … Political Risk

LG: Tsutsui or Say?

PR: Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Waihee-Wailuku-Kuhului) issued a statement Wednesday:  “I understand that by law, as Senate President, I would be next in line to succeed Lieutenant Governor Schatz.  I plan to discuss this prospect with the Governor and my family before making a decision.”

If he ultimately turns it down, next in line is the House speaker, followed by the state Attorney General and then state budget director.

House Speaker Calvin Say (D, Palolo-St. Louis Heights-Kaimuki) said he has not given much consideration to the possibility of succeeding Schatz.

In an interview, Say said: “I’ll wait to what the senator has to say, but I haven’t made any statements. … Let’s wait and see until I get a call.”

read … Ticket to the 2018 Gubernatorial Nomination 

Fiscal Cliff to Tax All Earners

FOX: For those making below $10,000, the tax increase amounts to roughly $300. But those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would pay an additional $1,700 in 2013.

Up the pay scale a bit more, households earning $50,000-$75,000 would send an extra $2,300 to Washington. And for those making over $200,000 -- but under $500,000 -- the tax bill will grow by roughly $14,000.

The numbers go up from there. Those making more than a million dollars a year could pay more than $200,000 in additional taxes.

Read … Just Tax the Rich, eh?

Obama Hits Balls with Buddy Busted in Prostitution Sting

TMZ: President Barack Obama wrapped up his Hawaii vacation on Christmas Eve with one last round of golf with close friends ... including an old school buddy who was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute.

It was Barack's second round of golf in Hawaii in the last week with Bobby Titcomb, who was popped in April 2011 after allegedly approaching an undercover police officer for sex in downtown Hawaii.

Titcomb pled "no contest" to the charges and was fined $500. Since Titcomb stayed out of trouble for six months after the plea ... the charge disappeared from his record.

Read … Hits Balls

More PV installations on Oahu this year than in past decade combined

PBN: One local PV contractor, who has been tracking the market by tabulating the number of permits, says that there were a total of 9,526 installations across the state from 2001 to 2011.

But, according to Marco Mangelsdorf, president of Big Island-based ProVision Solar Inc., more than 15,000 permits will have been issued by the end of this year for net energy metering systems on Oahu alone.

“[This number] is more than 150 percent of the cumulative total in one year compared to the previous 10-plus years,” he said….

All stakeholders in Hawaii’s PV industry will have their eyes on the legislature, which convenes on Jan. 16, hoping for some certainty in one of the state’s fastest-moving industries.

read … Blow Out Top

No Rail Decision Yet, Decision Faces Likely Appeal

SBH News: Federal Court Judge A. Wallace Teshima has yet to issue his decision from the 12-12-12 arguments in the case against the Honolulu rail. The suit was filed in May, 2011. The judge had promised an early ruling. The FTA last week executed a $1.55 billion agreement with Honolulu in Washington. A separate state suit has temporarily stopped construction but not spending and planning. An appeal by the losing side is expected.

read … Not the final word

EIS needed for transit-oriented development in Kakaako

PBN: he Hawaii Community Development Authority said Wednesday that an Environmental Impact Statement is required for the Transit-Oriented Development projects for the Kakaako Community Development District.

The planned projects will involve substantial secondary impacts, such as population changes or effects on public facilities, the state agency said.

It also may substantially affect scenic vistas and view-planes and may require substantial energy consumption, the agency said as reasons for triggering an EIS.

read … Kakaako

Group has 38 ideas to reduce Hawaiians in prison

KITV: The report submitted to the Legislature on Thursday says resources should be directed toward children of incarcerated parents to reduce the number of families with successive generations in prison.

It says children of incarcerated parents are at higher risk of winding up running into legal problems themselves. The task force says education and programs for at-risk youth are inadequately funded.

The recommendation is among 38 outlined by the task force in its report.

Native Hawaiians make up about one-quarter of the state's population, but 39 percent of the state's inmates and those on parole.

Read … Justice Reinvestment

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