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Saturday, January 5, 2013
January 5, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:14 PM :: 4562 Views

Matson, TOTE Ship Orders Timed to Influence Federal Jones Act Study?

LNG Report: HCEI Goals not Compatable With Refining in Hawaii

Abercrombie Grabs Control of Democratic Machine

Borreca: The death of Hawaii's political patriarch, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, disrupted that machine, but it was fast up and running in version 2.0.

For instance, our freshest faces, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, 31, and one of our oldest, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, 74, were at Hotel George in Washington, D.C. last November for a $2,500 to $1,500 fundraiser labeled "Breakfast with Gov. Abercrombie," with the money earmarked for Gabbard.

The newest senior U.S. senator is Brian Schatz... his appointment shows that it makes sense to play ball with the last guy standing, who is Gov. Abercrombie.

Before his promotion, Tsutsui privately held the fairly prosaic goal of wanting to be mayor of Maui.

Now... Tsutsui will be considered someone who could step into the top state job permanently, if Abercrombie decides to retire

...over at City Hall, no one is expecting bombs to be thrown from the mayor's office....

These new hands at the wheel will find that it still turns the same way and that Hawaii is still headed in the same direction....

Honolulu's vibrant business climate is still a hoped-for future and not a dream realized.

Reality: Where Abercrombie Started

read ... Meet the new boss

Economist: Hawaii recovery on a 'plodding path'

MN: A Hawaii economist is telling state lawmakers he expects the state's economic recovery to continue on a "plodding path," with federal deficit reduction dragging down growth.

Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics said in written testimony today for a joint committee briefing at the Hawaii Capitol that the state needs to revive investment and rethink how it delivers public service.

Brewbaker's comments come as lawmakers consider a two-year budget given mixed challenges….

Brewbaker said public investment in Hawaii has been shrinking for a half-century and that the state's approach to regulating tourism has held back its potential.

Full Text: Brewbaker Testimony

read … Socialism

New Federal Regs “Dramatically Increase Cost to Farmers”

"These are just good common sense rules to have like, you will have hand washing stations. Every restaurant is required to do it. You will have restrooms for your employees," Olomana Gardens owner Glenn Martinez said.

In addition, irrigation water must be clean, and animals won't be allowed in areas where crops are grown.

Hawaii Farm Bureau president Dean Okimoto said the proposals look good on the surface, but you have to dig deeper.

"It's going to dramatically increase the cost to farmers. Of course, that's going to reflect in food prices in the long run," he said.

read … Bureaucracy, Regulations

HPU steps Up to Straighten out State’s 20-Year Aloha Tower Mess

KITV: The HPU Communication vice-president appeared before the downtown neighborhood board at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday night.

HPU said it was developer Ed Buchor who first approached them about being a part of the redevelopment of the iconic Aloha Tower Marketplace.

There was no mention at the meeting of how the deal between the two entities has soured and is headed to arbitration.

The Aloha Tower Corporation put off officially voting on the transfer of the lease of the state owned property from Bushor to HPU….

"I am glad HPU has stepped up to straighten this mess out the state has failed miserable ever since they took over Aloha Tower more than 20 years ago," said Lynne Matusow. (Don’t worry. There’s still time for the State to fail again.)

The school assured the board its willing to appoint a liaison with the downtown community as it moves forward with its plan.

The board voted to give the project support in principal, but wanted to see more details about the development plans.

Read … Downtown residents weigh in on HPU Aloha Tower plans

Assisted Suicide, Soda Tax, Rationing of Healthcare on Legislative Agenda

Ira Zunin: Other states and countries have imposed a soda tax or a fat tax levied upon certain food items. Measures of this nature have, so far, evaded passage by the Hawaii Legislature, but not for long.

Under health care reform people will continue to enjoy increased access to care, but newfound efficiencies will not be enough to manage costs and, increasingly, care will be rationed.

Finally, there is the question of how we die...too many dollars are spent during the last weeks of life

read ... GMO food, health care remain hot-button issues

State to Increase Vehicle Registration Fees to Pay for Useless Program?

WHT: There’s no indication it will help – and it’s likely to add to the cost of registering a motor vehicle in Hawaii — but a task force on uninsured motorists is nonetheless recommending the state create an online database to track who is carrying required insurance and who is not.

Approximately 11 percent of Hawaii drivers do not have insurance, according to a report released this week by the Insurance Verification Working Group, a task force created by the 2012 Legislature to look into a web-based tracking program.

“According to insurance industry data, there is no significant difference between the uninsured motorist rates of states that have insurance verification programs (about 33 states) and those that do not,” the task force report says. “(Property Casualty Insurers Association of America) recommended that states do not adopt electronic verification programs, as there are simpler and less costly alternative approaches to addressing the uninsured motorist problem.”….

Despite the lack of proof it will help, the working group, “after much discussion and deliberation,” is recommending the state establish a web-based program to track uninsured motorists by putting out a request for proposals from private-sector vendors, with a planned implementation date of Jan. 1, 2015.

In the past 5 1/2 years, Hawaii County has issued 34,221 citations for driving without insurance, compared to 167,221 on Oahu, 23,223 on Maui and 7,116 on Kauai. Some $25.5 million in fees and fines were collected over that period statewide. (Ca-Ching!) Under current law, motorists can be fined from $100 to $5,000 for driving without insurance.

The City and County of Honolulu, which has lobbied for creating the database, has the lowest conviction rate in the state, with only 17.3 percent of citations ending in convictions. Hawaii County has the highest rate, with 54.1 percent, followed by Kauai, with 48.9 percent, and Maui, with 37.3 percent.

read … Group pushes uninsured motorist tracking

A&B: Trust Us, We’re not Like the Other Developers

CB: Two recent projects that were highlighted in the article, Ko’olani and Pinnacle, seem to be saddled in costly litigation proceedings. We would like to point out that both these projects were developed by parties new to Hawaii and that had no real long term roots in the Islands. A third project briefly mentioned in the article, Hokua, finished its corrective actions and settled on its costs.

As partners in MK Development, a company whose affiliates developed Hokua, along with local company A&B Properties, we found it odd that the article did not go a bit further in explaining the uniquely positive aspects of how the issues at Hokua were handled. (Translation: We’re A&B, trust us, kick out all the other developers. After all, that’s what we pay the Sierra Club to do for us.)

Yes, there was a leak issue, but of critical importance to the reader would be that the Hokua homeowners did not have to pay for fixing the leak problems. MK proactively investigated the leak issue, found that it was not faulty workmanship but failure of a specific part and that similar issues were being litigated in other states.

As a local developer, our reputation remains here in the islands with the people that we continue to do business with, socialize with and basically co-exist with. We do not take the profits and leave to go back to Florida or Texas or California or New York. This is our home. We are proud of our projects and our reputation and we pick our project team members carefully and expect that they will stand by their product.

The Hokua experience, while unfortunate that it ever occurred, is an example of a developer being proactive in facing an issue directly and openly, working collaboratively with the new homeowners and their association, and actively engaging all the constituent parties that were directly and indirectly involved in the issue to research the problem, determine the optimal solution and then focus on the remedy.

While some court filings were necessary in the process, for the most part, all of the steps were taken as a group focused on a solution with minimal finger pointing or posturing.

read … Check the Track Record of Your Condo Development Team

Another Failure Coming: Sopogy Inc. IPO in 2013?

PBN: Fools pile in….

read … Wait ‘til they do their SEC Filings, LOL!

Ex-HPD officer gets 8 months in pot case

SA: Honolulu police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Chu and Lee in April when the pair showed up at Lee’s Kapiolani Boulevard apartment as agents and officers were executing a search warrant. The DEA said Chu was carrying plant nutrients and other material used for growing plants indoors, and Lee was carrying a bag containing $12,000 cash in $2,000 bundles.

The DEA said it found a pound of processed marijuana in Chu’s vehicle and 20 marijuana plants growing in Lee’s apartment. The agents also found a large amount of cash in the apartment.

In Chu’s rented Mililani Mauka home, the DEA said it found 10 to 20 marijuana plants in another indoor growing operation.

The Police Department fired Chu after the 13-year veteran pleaded guilty in August

read ... Just another day in the nei

Hawaii Second Highest Drowning Rate in US

SA: Drowning fatalities in the islands peaked at 77 in 2005 but have totaled more than 40 a year in the past decade, and nearly half of the victims have been residents, mostly in the ocean. The rate per population has been double the national average and second only to Alaska, where drownings often are from fishing accidents.

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of fatal injuries in Hawaii among visitors, who have been unaware of the ocean's danger. They are especially at risk in the winter, when wave heights can double unexpectedly in less than an hour.

Last weekend alone, lifeguards along Oahu's north and west shores made at least 17 rescues, 41 assists and more than 4,000 preventive actions as residents and tourists battled 30-foot waves. However, many drownings occur outside the watch of Honolulu's 200 professional lifeguards, who average about 1,500 rescues a year.

read ... Drowning

Hanabusa: Asians are Lazy, Only Liberals are Industrious

MMA: "However, I think O'Reilly's attempt to characterize Hawaii's Asian-American population is most insulting of all," she said. "Claiming that Asian-Americans are not liberal by nature because they are 'hard working and industrious' is the kind of one dimensional and paternalistic attitude that we should have gotten past decades ago. (She's worked very 'industriously' for the Broken Trustees, Mehau, and the Pali shooter's gang.)

"Hawaii's -- and America's -- Asian-American communities are as rich and diverse as any in our nation. Attributing any broad set of characteristics to any large group only serves to encourage attitudes that 'they' are somehow different from 'us.'"

She said there was "absolutely no justification" to his claim that being hard working and industrious is incompatible with holding liberal political views.

Hard Working:

read … Industrious



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