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Monday, January 21, 2013
January 21, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:03 PM :: 4558 Views

Our American Triumph: Civil Rights and Hawaii Statehood

Storm of Protectionism: It’s time to repeal the Jones Act

Schatz: The Biggest Challenge Hawaii Faces is my Inadequacy

SA: It has been less than a month since U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz took office, and while he is still in temporary offices, he says he has settled in and is working to tackle big economic challenges facing the islands.

The biggest of those challenges is the so-called "Inouye cliff" — the drop in federal funds expected because of the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye and Hawaii's loss of seniority in the U.S. Senate.

Speaking to the Star-Advertiser Sunday from his Senate offices, Schatz said since being appointed to fill Inouye's seat Dec. 26, he has been building relationships with Senate colleagues, hiring staff and settling in. He said he has filled about half of the positions in his office.

Schatz, D-Hawaii, said there is "no doubt that there is going to be a reduction in federal spending across America" in the coming year.

He said the loss of Inouye's seniority in the Senate will be an additional impact for the islands, but added at this point it's unclear just what that reduction in federal funds will look like.

"It's not as if the federal government is going to go away," he said, adding, "We have challenges in front of us."

read … Doesn’t measure up

Support Our Troops Rally at Pohakuloa

BIAMC: The 1st of several counter rallies this year , to stand with our good Marines and Soldiers at PTA and to discredit the inane and asinine local defamers and detractors who crawl out from under their rocks to insult those to whom we owe so much . This first rally of the New Year of 2013 saw the Big Island anti-Moonbat Coalition  link up with  the  ‘sound of thunder ‘ …. Rolling Thunder ,  the Patriot Guard , black leather clad Vietnam veteran warriors on Harleys….

read … Anti-Moonbat

Star-Adv: Gun Control, Obamacare, and Amnesty for Illegals Should be Obama’s Agenda

SA: The most significant goals visible on the horizon include the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act; a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants; a sensible strengthening of federal gun control regulations…

Obama rightly has refused demands to negotiate spending cuts with Republicans in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. So it's encouraging that the GOP appears willing to be flexible on this issue, providing some room for negotiating a more ambitious budget deal.

On the international front, we hope the president will make good on his promises to end the war in Afghanistan, bring our troops home and shift the military's focus on the Asia-Pacific region, convincing allies of the importance of striking a strategic rebalance against Chinese dominance. That includes a military presence in Australia and continued importance of bases in Hawaii.

read … Obama should proceed boldly

Star-Adv, Rachel Maddow Spin Desperately in Effort to Portray Gun Owners as ‘Conflicted’

SA: Kahuku resident Drew Wheeler had considered buying a combat-style weapon in recent months.

"That's changed now," said Wheeler, whose 6-year-old nephew, Benjamin Wheeler, was one of 26 killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"I never thought that my family would be right smack in the middle of something of this magnitude," he said. "But this brought it right to a centerpiece in my life. This whole thing has changed me."

In reaction to President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday that laid out an aggressive plan to reduce gun violence, Wheeler, 47, said he supports regulation of "weapons capable of extreme danger" like those used at Sandy Hook.

"I'm torn on whether they should be able to be owned, period," he said….

His brother and sister-in-law, David and Francine Wheeler, spoke on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" a month after the massacre.

The Real Problem: Connecticut Shooting: Failure of Mental Health System

read … Tag Team with Maddow

Ing Joins Broken Trust Waihee for Hawaiian Roll Rally at Iolani

SA: Maui state Rep. Kani­ela Ing (D, Kihei-Wai­lea-Makena) attended the event with his girlfriend, Sara Oha­shi, who signed a petition as a non-Hawaiian supporter of Native Hawaiian sovereignty.

"The missing piece is that the Hawaiians don't have a group to say, ‘We will be recognized if recognition occurs,' " Ing explained to her. "The purpose of this roll commission is to establish that base of people."

Ing said he believes state recognition has put Hawaiians in a better position to get federal recognition.

"I think it means unification despite any political differences," he said. "It's important to at least say, ‘Hey, we're in this together,' and I think it helps tremendously with our case for federal recognition."

The event was broadcast live by Oiwi TV and streamed online at

Best Comment: “Oh, yeah, this is the gov. who rigged the appointment of his buddies, Lokelani Lindsey, Henry Peters, and Gerard Jervis, as trustees of the Bishop Estate. They considered the estate their own multi-billion $$ piggy bank and themselves above the law, causing great strife in the Kamehameha `ohana. That's his legacy, and no amount of shibai on his part will change that .”

read … Ex-Gov. Waihee issues call for Native Hawaiian unity

Gays: “Civil Union uptake has been relatively low in Hawaii”

C2: Passing civil unions in the Aloha state was a slog that lasted decades. Even so, and possibly because civil union uptake has been relatively low in Hawaii, the focus is now on enacting marriage equality, and equality groups are hopeful that national progress will translate into speedy results.

Such hopes were bolstered when, in a recent (albeit unsuccessful) state lawsuit, Governor Abercrombie refused to defend aspects of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying he believed the ban to be unconstitutional.

Read … Four States Targeted by Gay Activists

Anti-GMO Crackpots Delusions of Grandeur

KGI: “We must be allowed to live this life amidst development and urban sprawl,” said Rhoda Libre, president and executive director of the Kaua‘i Westside Watershed Council. (Urban sprawl in Waimea?) “This is not one voice, or one person’s personal vendetta with delusions of grandeur. (BINGO!) I am a cultural gatherer (aka tourist) and we are an ocean people (aka surfers), and that is where our food is, where our health is, and why our people are living long and productive lives.”

Libre said her goal is to reestablish cultural and regional ahupua’a — a concept of caring for property — with accountable management of natural resources. Libre said she worries that the GMOs compromise the historical lineage and significance of cultural sites, (huh?) affecting the salt ponds and native plants, the shoreline and the coral reef (really? how?  no examples, eh?).

“None of these chemicals are safe, ‘-cide means poison: Pesticide, herbicide, homicide, suicide,’ and the GMO companies are by far the worst polluters on the island,” LeBedz said. “They poison the ground and it runs into the water when it rains.”  The golf courses actually use more pesticides than agriculture, but (its not nearly as sexy an issue these days)….

Reality: The Future of Fraud

read … Westside residents share anti-GMO actions

Protestors want answers about burial plans at Kawaiahao Church

KHON: People who went to church Sunday morning at Kawaiahao church were met by a group of protestors.
Descendants of those buried at the church say they're upset because church officials aren't telling them anything.
They say it's because of an ongoing legal battle regarding burial plans.
"Our concern is over the 600 burials, where are they? Are they being taken cared of? Are they even here on the property?" asked J.R. Keoneakapu, descendant.
"It is on property and I can guarantee you that it's in a safe place and we have also used a cultural practitioner's recommendation," said Bill Haole, Kawaiahao Church Trustee.

read … Burials

‘VSE Corp’ Sued in Waikele Fireworks Blast

SA: The families of the five victims have sued VSE and other companies, although Donaldson is not named in the lawsuit because state workers' compensation law bars employees from suing their employers for work-related injuries or wrongful death.

VSE, however, has filed a separate complaint trying to bring Donaldson into the lawsuit, arguing that its contract with Donaldson indemnifies VSE from liability.

Ralph J. O'Neill, a VSE attorney, said he and his clients are still reviewing the report….

Steven Hisaka, an attorney for one of the victim's families, said the report showed that Donaldson revised its disposal methods several times, allowing VSE the opportunity to evaluate the situation.

"There were at least two opportunities for VSE and the people there to review the methods that were being changed," Hisaka said. "That, in fact, never occurred." 

Related: 'VSE Corp' Blamed in Deadly Waikele Bunker Explosion

read … Lawsuit

Parents of Autistic Girl Sue DoE for Abuse

CN: HONOLULU - A public school disciplined an autistic 8-year-old girl by forcing her head down on a table and holding her by the neck for five minutes as she screamed, her mother claims in Federal Court.  

Buy … Text of Lawsuit

Leeward tow company faces eviction

SA: Leeward Auto Wreckers' failure to comply with a state Department of Health order to correct the violations triggered a $15,700 fine in June that still hasn't been paid, the agency said last week.

The company, which took over the city contract Nov. 1, also has been hit with $1,000 in fines by the city for multiple infractions, including overcharging nearly 250 customers for towing and mileage fees through mid-December, according to the city. The city has ordered the company to refund the overpayments….

Alpha BT LLC, which owns the 2.5-acre Kapolei lot on Kuhela Street, filed a lawsuit last week asking a state judge to order Leeward Auto to vacate the property where the towing company has its main office and stores towed vehicles.

Leeward Auto owes nearly $56,000 in delinquent rent and has failed to correct the Health Department violations, according to the lawsuit….The company also has failed to submit test samples and a remediation plan to deal with possible health or environmental hazards resulting from a January 2012 explosion and fire at the site.

read … Towing Company

It will take a year for isle employment to recover from the recession, experts say

SA: Job growth turned positive in 2011, and the expansion picked up speed in 2012 with number of payroll jobs averaging 600,300 for the year. However, the number of jobs won't be fully restored to pre-recession levels until 2014, according to a forecast by the University of Hawaii Research Organization. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is predicting a full recovery in the job market will have to wait until 2015.

"We're still about 25,000 jobs below the peak of the job market in 2007," said Eugene Tian, the state's chief economist. "The recovery has been slower than during previous business cycles."

Hawaii isn't alone. It is one of 44 states where payroll jobs are still below their pre-recession levels, according to the BLS data. Sluggish job growth during the economic recovery is the main reason Hawaii's unemployment rate was stuck in the 6 percent to 7 percent range from the start of 2009 through the summer of 2012. The jobless rate broke below the 6 percent level in September, falling to 5.7 percent. By November it had reached a four-year low of 5.3 percent.

read … Job market bounces, but lower than 2007



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