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Thursday, January 3, 2013
January 3, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:45 PM :: 4966 Views

Lawsuit: Mentally Disabled Girl Raped at Three DoE Schools

Bloomberg Editorial Blasts Jones Act

Sabas: Boss Inouye 'Is Watching Us'

Abercrombie Releases $45M CIP, $25M Barbers Point Land Buy

HSTA Teacher: Student Evaluations Like Police Being Paid by the Arrest

CB: "Should teachers pay be based on student test scores?? Our corrupt government thinks so. That's like saying cops should be paid based on how many arrests, or soldiers paid by how many kills, etc. A pathway to more corruption - just like the system's!" Farrington High School teacher Pete Doktor wrote on the Hawaii Teachers Work To The Rules Facebook page, which was created to unite teachers to hold demonstrations in favor a fair contract.

read … What they really think about your kid

Report: Hawaiian Youth not Morally Bankrupt

HW: …the authors of the June 2012 report: Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Hawaii Juvenile Justice System: 2000-2010 have made some suggestions on how to patch the holes in Hawaii’s JJS that allow for such over representation.

The report, commissioned by the Juvenile Justice State Advisory Council and conducted in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) Department of Urban and Regional Planning, analyzed the arrest and court records of 56,978 individual juvenile offenders ages 10–17 years old from 2000–2010.

This is the first major study examining ethnic disparities in Hawaii’s JJS since 1995. While it demonstrates that Hawaiian youth are disproportionately represented in the JJS, the study also found that they are twice as likely as other groups to articulate a clear sense of justice, which could be a strength to build upon.

“In Hawaiian cultural terms, [they have] a sense of what’s pono or not,” said Tai-An Miao, M.A., one of the authors of the report. “The data isn’t new; it’s not a surprise to anyone,” she continued. “It’s more the idea of what are we going to do about this, and how are we going to collaborate?”

The report was prepared to meet a federal mandate that requires states to make steps to lower the number of minority children coming into contact with the JJS. The research confirmed that Hawaii’s JJS has unique challenges that must be tackled to make progress in the years ahead. One of those challenges will be to reduce the number of arrests for status offenses, which will, in turn, decrease disproportionate minority contact.

“When you look at all youth arrests in Hawaii for that time period, about half of all arrests are status offenses, which are not public safety issues. I mean, it’s running away from home. It’s truancy,” Miao explained. “Really trying to cut back on the number of kids arrested for things that aren’t a threat to public safety–if we were able to do that alone, it would free up money for prevention and early intervention services,” she explained.

read … Something to Build on

Report Ties Political Rhetoric to Criminal Activity, Recommends more Rhetoric

SA: "Native Hawaiians have suffered from severe intergenerational, historical and political trauma from the loss of land, language and culture," the task force reported. "This collective trauma has negative economic, health, cultural and educational impacts on individuals, and often manifests itself in criminal activity."

In other words, Native Hawaiians who are prone to criminal activity tend to be poor, under considerable stress and without adequate means to choose upward mobility over lawbreaking. A sensible way to fight recidivism is to attack these problems directly.

The initiative recommended that the Hawaii Paroling Authority disallow prison inmates from choosing to "max out" — serving their entire sentence behind bars so they can be released without supervision or rehabilitation. Using culturally based rehabilitation programs to ease inmates back into society has worked elsewhere and makes sense for those with strong ties to their native culture.

read … Sovereignty Activist Recruitment

Abercrombie Donor Cheers Extension of renewable-energy tax credit

SA: Hawaii's lone commercial producer of biodiesel says it won't have to raise its prices for the alternative fuel thanks to the decision by Congress to extend a tax credit for the industry.

The $1-a-gallon biodiesel blenders credit was one of several renewable-energy tax incentives extended by Congress on Tuesday as part of a last-minute deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would have otherwise taken effect that day.

The biodiesel credit was implemented in 2005 but Congress has let it lapse twice. The latest extension, pushed by the American Soybean Association, will run through the end of 2013.

Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel, which produces biodiesel from waste cooking oil, held meetings last year to discuss the impact of losing the tax credit and how to prepare customers statewide for a potential price increase, said Kelly King, the company's vice president and director of communications.

"This means the price doesn't have to go up at our pumps," she said. "Our customers expect a lot of stability in biodiesel prices, which haven't changed in seven months."

The company's biofuel is sold on Oahu predominantly at Union 76 stations. Prices ranged Wednesday from $4.59 a gallon at the Koko Marina 76 station to $4.89 a gallon at the Union 76 station at King and Piikoi streets.

Reality: CBS News Nails Abercrombie for giving multi-million dollar earmarks to campaign donors

read …  Biofools on Welfare 

Global Worming on Agenda for Office of State Planning

“We have lots and lots of science (sic),” says Jesse Souki, director of the Office of State Planning (OSP). “We have a pretty good idea of what the problem is, and what’s going to happen. The hard part is figuring out what to do about it.”

Act 234, adopted in 2007, is the state’s response to mitigation. It calls for cost-effectively rolling back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and has driven the Islands’ foray into renewable energy sources.

With Act 286, the state is now turning its attention to adaptation. Drafted by OSP and signed by Gov. Abercrombie this past July, the bill is intended “to encourage cooperation and collaboration . . . to plan for the impacts of climate change and avoid, minimize or mitigate loss of life, land and property for future generations.”….

Act 286 identifies some “priority guidelines” that are intended to help state and county officials decide which adaption programs and policies should be funded. Priorities include public education, monitoring and research, considering Native Hawaiian traditional knowledge and practices in planning for the effects of climate change, and preserving and restoring natural features such as beaches, wetlands and forests, which can help mitigate some of the anticipated impacts.

“Some of the lead scientists (sic) in the world in climate change are here in Hawaii.”

Reality: Sea Level Rise? Nonsense, Oahu is Rising From the Sea for Next 1.5M Years

More Reality: No sea level rise: Pacific islands growing not shrinking, says study

read … About their next excuse for tax increases 

Gabbard, Hirono Sworn In

KHON: Senator-elect Mazie Hirono will take the oath of office in our nation's Capitol at 7 a.m. Hawaii time.

Former city councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard will also be sworn in to her seat in the U.S. House.

"It really, really is a tremendous honor and privilege to have this opportunity to work for Hawaii and to serve Hawaii," said Tulsi Gabbard.

Tomorrow also brings historic significance. Gabbard, along with McKinley High School graduate Tammy Duckworth will become the first female combat veterans ever to serve in congress. Duckworth serves the state of Illinois.

PBS: Brian Schatz Profile

LN: Hanabusa, Hirono, Gabbard: The Junior League

read … 7am Thursday

Caldwell sworn in: Restoring Bus Routes a Priority

SA: Caldwell said evaluating and restoring bus routes — some of which were scaled back in cost-cutting moves by the administration of Mayor Peter Carlisle — are among his top priorities, saying that he might keep some of the changes if they prove to be popular.

On rail, Caldwell said he will keep a close eye on finances and seek to minimize the visual impacts of the project.

He also said he will ask the Legislature to return to the city a portion of the 10 percent of rail taxes collected for administrative purposes.

“Obviously I’m biased on this, but I really would like to see the 10 percent come back to the city,” he said. “If there is a way to get the cooperation of the Legislature … to have that tax go to the city it would really help in terms of building this project.”

CB: Caldwell said he had recently met with Abercrombie to discuss various issues, including plans for the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium — an issue over which they had disagreed last year.

News Release: MAYOR KIRK CALDWELL INAUGURATED

read … Captain Kirk Beams Down

Fiscal Cliff Deal Guarantees Corporate Welfare, Poor Not So Certain

PBN: “While there is a lot of relief that the fiscal cliff was avoided, nonprofits are still very uncertain about how future debt reduction and spending cuts talks will impact us.” she said in an email. “We deal with the most vulnerable people and any further cuts to social service spending will continue to impact those who need services the most.”

Programs that were at risk of being cut include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, unemployment benefit extensions and the Earned Income Tax Credit, she noted.

“Those programs will need to continue to be preserved for our families, it’s just the right thing to do,” she said.

Federal talks to place a cap on charitable deductions continue to be a concern for local nonprofits as well.

“On a local level, this was enacted by our state Legislature two years ago, we are the only state in the nation with a cap and many nonprofits believe we are starting to see the impact of the public cutting back on their giving,” she said. “If this were to be imposed on a broader federal level, there is a good possibility of many charities being impacted, which in turn impacts the people we serve.”

FOX: Obama signs fiscal crisis deal and defense bill from Hawaii with autopen

read … Don’t Worry, the Wind Farms Got Theirs

Hawaii defense contractors ready for federal cuts, life without Inouye

HNN: Defense contractors in Hawaii are bracing for a one-two punch: federal budget cuts as a result of the fiscal cliff and the potential for fewer federal contracts awarded to island companies because of the death of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye.

Hawaii businesses benefit tremendously from federal contracts, with more than $2.5 billion a year coming into the economy from the federal government. Even a slight decrease in that amount could mean millions of dollars less to the Hawaii economy.

read … On Defense

Obama Cuts Everybody’s Wages by 2%

PBN: The temporary payroll tax break began two years ago; it reduced the payroll taxes deducted from employees’ paychecks, which fund Social Security, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, taxed on up to $113,700 in annual earnings.

For employees in Hawaii and across the country, that means a 2 percent reduction in pay starting with the next paycheck.

What does it boil down to? For some, it’s as simple as bringing coffee and lunch to work instead of buying it. But that will have an impact on the coffee shops and restaurants near where we live and work. And what about the people who were already bringing lunch to work?

read … For a good greater than yours, eh?

Hanabusa: Fiscal Cliff Tax Hikes an Experience to Build On

“The recent passage of a bill to address the fiscal cliff showed us again that collaboration is essential, but a commitment to core principles is irreplaceable,” Hanabusa said. “I plan to build on that experience in my second term.”

read … Experienced Tax Raiser

Anti-Sex Trafficking Agenda for legislative Session

CB: Anti-trafficking advocates should be congratulated for their legislative successes, but must work with lawmakers to translate momentary gains into a concerted social movement. During the next legislative session, they should push for passage of the following measures to address lingering legal deficiencies that leave victims unprotected.

read … Time to Shutter the Local Sex Trade in Hawaii

Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy? Parole Ahead

KITV: They say Deguair shot and killed Duckworth, then pushed him off a cliff at Kaena point, because Duckworth ratted to police about an armed robbery in 2007.

Duckworth told police that he and three other men, including DeGuair, donned masks, guns, and fake DEA gear, then busted into a Maile home.

After two mistrials in the murder case, prosecutors only focused on another robbery that happened at the Aiea Que just one week after detectives found Duckworth's body on that rocky cliffside.

But there was no mention of that on Wednesday.

"Mr. Deguair has virtually no prior record," said Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kim, who sentenced Deguair to 20 years in the Aiea robbery on Wednesday, with the possibility of parole, and crediting him for time served.

Kim then denied requests by prosecutors for an extended sentence, saying, without any other major convictions to date, there was no case for it.

There is yet another trial coming up in March

read … Soft on Crime

Repeat Child Rapist, 44 Counts Will be on Probation Again in 10 years

KGI: A homeless man who sexually assaulted a child and was charged with 44 counts of non-compliance with the state sex offender registry was sentenced to prison Wednesday in 5th Circuit Court.

Jayson Michael Toki, 40, of Lihu‘e, was sentenced to three consecutive five-year prison terms, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years to serve before being considered for parole. He was sentenced on two felony counts of third-degree sexual assault in one case, and four counts of failing to comply with sex-offender registry requirements in the other.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin said the defendant was previously sentenced to a five-year prison sentence for felony third-degree sexual assault charge in 1998. He had also completed requirements regarding a psychosexual evaluation and classes.

The re-offense shows that following a prison term, the defendant would need a strict probationary period….

read … Repeat Child Rapist

Police officers reportedly shot in Hilo

HNN: Two police officers were shot Wednesday night in Hilo near the site of the former Green Onion Restaurant along the 1200 block of Kilauea Avenue.

Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said the officers ages 40 and 31, underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to their legs at Hilo Medical Center and are now listed in stable condition.

read … Green Onion

Getting state ID card takes 2- to 3-hour wait

SA: After spending most of his Wednesday at the city driver’s licensing office at City Square in Kapalama waiting for a state identification card, Alejandro Romero raised the document over his head in triumph and was greeted with a smattering of cheers and applause from those who had been waiting in line with him.

Wednesday was the first day that the City and County of Honolulu, along with neighbor island counties, took over issuing state ID cards from the state Attorney General’s Office, which had dispensed them from the state ID office at 465 S. King St. for years. That office was shuttered on Dec. 21, leaving those seeking a state ID nowhere to go for more than a week….

…others who stood in line glanced anxiously at the single teller window accepting driver’s license and state ID applications at 12:30 p.m. Another employee was taking photos and trying to work a window at the same time.

“There should be more workers here, especially when it’s new,” Abrazado said.

read … About a Model of Efficiency

DLNR Adaptive, Indefinite Plan to Ban Small Businesses from Water

HTH: Aila said he’s not sure whether DLNR will seek to find a means to convert the illegal kayak vendors into legal business owners. He said the illegal vendors could easily earn $50,000 a year apiece, a figure on which they are not taxed and from which the DLNR receives no fees. He said he’s getting mixed stories from Kealakekua residents and kayak vendors on how the original permits were awarded several years ago. Some people say other vendors were told to apply for the permits, but never did. Other people say a process to apply was about to be set up, then officials had a closed-door meeting and opted to only award four permits.

Aila said he needs to get the truth about that situation before deciding how to proceed on permits for new rental companies.

He declined to provide details about how long DLNR will keep the closure in place, or what enforcement activities will look like once it reopens.

“Our plan is to be as adaptive as (the people doing illegal activities) are,” Aila said.

read … Obey us, not the rules

Problems plague McCully pool, swimmers kept out for years

KHON: On the corner of Citron and Pumehana Streets is the McCully Rec Center Pool. But it's cool blue waters, haven't had a swimmer for years.

"It's been years, some people don't even know there is a pool there because it's been closed so much," said Ann Kobayashi.

A posted city sign, tells of a $2.5 million master plan to re-construct the pool, but so far area residents say it's been closed longer than it's been open.

"This go around four years since 2009, but it had been broken down on and off for 5 years before that," said Ron Lockwood, McCully Neighborhood Board Chair.

The second floor swimming pool has been plagued with leaking problems since it was built. Resulting in repeated water damage to ground level rooms.

read … Situation Normal

Construction Defects at Pinnacle Honolulu Condos

CB: The latest construction defects coming to light are in the luxury 37-unit Pinnacle Honolulu condominium. Claims against the developer raised in previously confidential arbitration proceedings became public last year when lawyers representing the association of apartment owners sought a court order confirming a $2.4 million arbitration award.

The arbitrator, retired Circuit Court judge E. John McConnell, found there were building code violations in the Pinnacle that raised safety concerns.

The most serious violations, according to documents filed in court, involved faulty fire-rated partitions. These are designed to contain any fires within individual apartments and prevent their spread. In some apartments, these fire partitions stopped at suspended ceilings and didn’t extend the full distance between the concrete slabs of each floor. Although not visible once apartments were finished, the defect would have allowed a fire to spread from one apartment to the next.

Others partitions were not properly sealed where they met the floor or ceiling, or where they were penetrated by wiring, conduits, or vents, according to the arbitration award.

Additional problems were found in the fire exits, where ceiling and stair heights varied more than allowed by the building code, creating potential hazards in case of an emergency.

read … Pinnacle

 

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