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Saturday, December 29, 2012
December 29, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:18 PM :: 4187 Views

Full Text: "Leveraging State Agency Involvement in Transit-Oriented Development"

Mayor-elect Caldwell Announces Key Appointments

Hawaii DOE 2012 Year in Review

Lanai to Congress: End Wind Production Tax Credit

Kealakekua Kayak Rentals: DLNR Bans Small Businesses From Water

Former Kauai Prosecutor Makes List of "America's Worst Bosses"

Governor Appoints Judge Dean Ochiai to First Circuit Court

Counties, Controlled by Old-Boys Getting No Hearing in Legislature

UPDATE: After the Hawaii Tribune-Herald ran this article, a Senate WAM County briefing was announced.  It will take place at 1:30 pm in Room 211 on January 15 2013:  LINK  

HTH: Every year, like clockwork, the four county mayors join a procession of state agencies, the Judiciary and the University of Hawaii to make their funding requests at a joint session of the state House Finance Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee. But not this coming year. (Why? The old-boys have been driven out of the Legislature and the Congressional delegation. Now the Abercrombie people are working to finish off their county governments.)

The informational briefings that start Thursday and continue through Jan. 15 lack the traditional mayors’ unveiling of legislative wish lists before the money committees, according to the agenda posted on the Legislature’s website.

Legislative officials on both the House and Senate side say it’s not an oversight or any indication the neighbor islands will get less attention this year….

“Just because we’re not on there yet, doesn’t mean we won’t have our chance,” Kenoi said. “We’re continuing to dialogue with the Legislature and we’ll get that chance to propose our wish list.”

read … Abercrombie Faction Continues to Screw Inouye Faction

Schatz First Day: Gives Away $60 Billion

CB: …the bill still contained unnecessary spending measures during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts. Hawaii Sens. Dan Akaka and Brian Schatz voted with the majority.

read … Over the Cliff

Hirono’s Plan for the Future: “Sooner or Later Seniority Has to Begin Again”

If Hawaii’s loss of seniority is worrying some residents, its elected officials are putting on stone faces. “Let’s not be wringing our hands,” Ms. Hirono said. “He would expect us to show strength and to build on the foundation he laid.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, himself a former member of the House, characterized the seniority shifts as an inevitable changing of the guard. “Between Tulsi Gabbard coming in at 31 in the House and Brian Schatz coming into the Senate at 40, we’re investing in the long run,” said Mr. Abercrombie, who decided to appoint Mr. Schatz, his lieutenant governor, this week. “Sooner or later, it has to begin again. That’s what we’re doing. We’re not whining. We’re not complaining.” (Nobody here can do anything.  Our only hope is elected officials.)

read … The Whole State Must Wait for Them

Is military spending vulnerable in post-Inouye Hawaii?

ILind/NYT: Mr. Inouye, who lost his right arm in combat during World War II, also persuaded the United States military to leave its bases in Hawaii open, even though the state is no longer as vital for strategic defense purposes. The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps all maintain installations here.

“There were several times that there was talk of Pearl Harbor being shut down, but he protected us from that,” said Jeanne Ishikawa, who attended a memorial service for Mr. Inouye on Oahu over the weekend. [emphasis added]

read … Is military spending vulnerable in post-Inouye Hawaii?

Carlisle, Berg Gone, Pledge Return

KHON: Mayor Carlisle says for now, he will work in the private sector. He feels confident in his accomplishments, but has one regret.

"This not lasting longer, of course, but other than that, no," Carlisle said. "I'm not particularly interested in going to Washington, D.C. or Washington Place, so as a result of that I would very much like to see coming back here at some point."

Sharing that same sentiment -- outgoing Councilmember Tom Berg, who was defeated by Rep. Kymberly Pine in the November election.

"I'm gonna run again," Berg said.

read … Gone for now

Feds Fund Honolulu’s Rail Transit But Burials Complicate Route

ENS: On Thursday, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima ordered a halt of any construction activities in phase four of the 20-mile route, but did not issue an order halting construction on the first three phases.

Judge Tashima ruled that the city cannot proceed with downtown construction until it abides by his earlier decision that the city and federal officials reconsider alternatives to routing the rail line through a tunnel under Beretania Street and reconsider the project’s impact on a park and on Native Hawaiian traditional and cultural sites along the route.

The city had halted construction on the rail project after the Hawaii Supreme Court said in August that archeological surveys must be completed on the entire 20-mile route before construction could continue. The city has said the survey should be completed shortly.

read … Environment News Service

Danny DeGracia: The End of the Hawaii Republican Party

DDG: Well let’s look at this from a different perspective. When Governor Abercrombie appointed Schatz, the Hawaii Republican Party put out this press release saying … they were basically saying in effect that had Rep. Hanabusa been nominated they were ready to field a candidate for a special election and my first thought was why say that? Isn’t that like saying their electoral victory depends on the governor giving them a free throw? Isn’t that showing their hand a little too much?

That press release basically seemed … I don’t know, it makes it seem like this is the end of the Hawaii Republican Party as a viable organization. That pretty much seems that you’re in a desperation mode.

Read … End Times

Maximizing Solar Energy Credits in the New Year

HR: Solar tax credits are still available to Hawaii residents in the new year and still offer great savings with just a few simple adjustments.

read … Maximizing

Campaigns & Elections Magazine Names Hawaii's Top 10 Political Influencers of 2012

HR: Campaigns & Elections named to top 10 Influencers of the 2012 Elections in its current issue. The top 5 Republicans and top 5 Democrats are listed below along with their reasons for being named.

read … Top 10?

Animal Liberation Nuts Pay Ringling Bros Circus $9.8M for Fraudulent Lawsuit

DP: An animal rights group will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday it was not admitting any wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus' owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him "essentially a paid plaintiff" who lacked credibility….

Friday's settlement covers only the ASPCA. Twelve other defendants including The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute and The Fund for Animals are still involved in the lawsuit.

read … Obsessive Fraudsters Busted



HMSA Hikes Rates 8.8%

HMSA members who are unemployed or self-employed can expect to pay more for their insurance next year. An average rate hike of 8.8% was approved by the state insurance commissioner and will go into effect January 1st. This does not affect members who get their insurance from their employer.

read … HMSA

Hawaii’s Shield law to expire in June

HTH: Jeff Portnoy, a Honolulu attorney representing Hawaii media organizations on the issue, said the law provides “freedom that journalists need to do their jobs.”

The law sunsets on June 30 and will have to be renewed by the Legislature to remain in effect.

So far, 11 media organizations in the state, including the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today, have contributed to the lobbying effort, Stirling Morita, Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter president, said in an email.

Morita said the law serves the public’s right to know what’s going on in government or business.

“The most important stories … often takes people who are not willing to risk their reputation, their jobs, their own security to provide the information needed for those stories,” he said.

“We got to protect them or no one will come forward with information for that particular story,” Morita added.

read … No Shield

Mayor Arakawa signs isle plan, ‘framework’ for future of Maui

WHT: …Community Plan Advisory Committees for the county's community plan regions will draft plans for their areas and, depending on the area, those will be reviewed by the Maui, Molokai or Lanai planning commissions.

After years of review, the Maui Island Plan was criticized in its final phases as being too pro-development

read … Framework for the Future



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