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Friday, January 25, 2013
January 25, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:23 PM :: 4585 Views

HSTA: 'Prepare for Negotiations to Continue at Length'

HTA: 2012 Arrivals, Spending Set New Records

HGEA, DOE Agree on Evaluation and Support System for Principals

Hawaii's 40 Top 'Green' Energy Projects

A Fracking Good Story

DoE Scores 'D' for Teacher Preparation

15 House Reps: Let the People Vote on Marriage

AP: A bipartisan group of 15 Hawaii representatives is advocating for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

If passed, the amendment would be placed on the ballot during the November 2014 election.

Sen. Mike Gabbard, a Democrat, is proposing a similar bill in the Senate.

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage was also introduced in the House on Thursday. Rep. Faye Hanohano, a Democrat, is the bill's sole sponsor.

Gabbard says that a ballot initiative would be the most democratic way to resolve the issue.

Gayopolis: House Bill 1109 states its purpose as "to recognize marriages between persons of the same sex in the State of Hawaii

read … Most Democratic

Gay-Atheists Trying to Force Gary Okino Off Ethics Committee

HNN: Former Honolulu City Councilmember Gary Okino has angered the gay community after making inflammatory comments during a council committee meeting.  All while he is trying to be confirmed as a member of the city Ethics Board of Appeals.

The council committee that got an earful of Okino's biblical beliefs did not object.  But critics sure are saying his prejudice should disqualify him for the position.

"First of all I have to say that tolerance is not a virtue. Are you tolerant of murder? Are you tolerant of drug abuse? No you're not. So I have no tolerance for homosexuality and I get accused of being intolerant. Is it good? Is it bad? Intolerance is relative," said Gary Okino, during an Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee meeting last Tuesday….

Despite Okino's comments no one on the council committee objected to his appointment.  The full city council will vote on Okino's confirmation next Wednesday.

Gay activists are mobilizing to convince council members to reject the confirmation.

read … More Gay-Atheist Retaliation

Fesharaki: Oil Prices Going Down, Wind, Solar ‘ Not Free’

SA: First day I arrived in Hawaii, George Ariyoshi was governor and he was saying, “We have the sun, we have the wind, we have the ocean. We don’t need any energy from outside.”

This is actually all really fundamentally wrong, because it’s not free. Sun is expensive; if we don’t subsidize it a great deal, it won’t sell. Wind is not free. Nor is the ocean.

So all these things have a cost. And to assume that because we have it it’s free for us is essentially something that many people in Hawaii, politicians and a lot of very good people, have deluded themselves for a long time.

I believe it needs about $140 (per barrel price for) oil to make a lot of renewable energies break even….

Q: But don’t some people believe that we are headed for $140 oil?

A: Actually, that’s not true. I think we are actually looking down.

Q: Why would that be? Is it because supply is actually not diminishing?

A: Well, because a lot of new supplies are coming. You might have read in the press, the International Interagency Report, we’ve said for two years that the U.S. within five years will not import any more oil from the Middle East. The shale gas revolution: The U.S. rose from the second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas to the third-largest exporter. All within five, six years. This is a very dramatic change….

…we have natural gas, which is far less polluting than oil, and it is homegrown in the U.S. and we can bring it here. The environmentalists don’t like it….

When people say, “Don’t bring it (liquefied natural gas) in, because if you bring it in it interferes with that,” I think that’s fundamentally unsound. Because technology’s not here. If you don’t do (LNG), you have to use more oil, because oil is the fungible material….

Q: How do you answer critics who say you have a bias because your clients are oil companies?

A: Of course they say I have a bias. But the reality is that if you don’t know about the oil industry, then you are clueless about how it operates….In Hawaii, unfortunately, if you speak the truth, they say, “You must be paid off by somebody else.”  ….Nobody in their right mind thinks HCEI is doable.

CB: Oahu’s Solar Feeding Frenzy Continues

read … The Truth for Just a Minute, Then go back to nonstop 24/7/365 lies

Refineries, Electric Power Plants May be Shut to ‘Solve’ Non-Existent Global Worming

HNN: Hawaii's Global Worming Solution Act will require Hawaii's largest oil companies and electric utilities to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

"What these rules ultimately do is require any of the large emitters of carbon dioxide to come up with a plan to reduce their emissions back to 1990 levels," said Gary Gill, Deputy Health Director.

Environmentalist said the cap -- one of the most stringent in the nation -- is needed to combat the effects of global warming….

These new rules will require drastic emission reductions at state two largest producers of greenhouse gases: Hawaiian Electric Co. Kahe and Waiau power plants, which generate nearly 9 million tons of greenhouse gases each year. (Clue: Combined Cycle Natural Gas)

"We're relying on turbines that are decades old and are some of the worst nationally in terms of the emissions produced," said Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter.

Complying with this law could costs tens of millions of dollars and those expenses will likely be passed on to consumers.

"It is possible that we may have to make modifications to our generating units. That would increase our costs for generating electricity," said HECO spokesman Darren Pai.

The new rules may already be having an impact on Hawaii's gasoline market. Tesoro Hawaii, which announced that it is leaving the state earlier this month, said in November that the cap "places the future of our Kapolei refinery in question."

The new rules were supposed to be in place by the end of 2011 but could be finalized by summer.

From there, the state will begin monitoring emissions from Hawaii's 25 largest polluters and will eventually require them to produce a greenhouse gas reduction plan.

Reality: "95% water vapour" Global warming debunked by New Zealand Meteorologist

More Reality: Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System

read … Another Excuse to Put their Hand in Your Pocket

HART Sues Demanding to be Given 10ac Waipahu ‘Banana Patch’ Without Payment

PBN: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's board of directors voted Thursday to use eminent domain to acquire pieces of two properties totaling nearly 10 acres in West Oahu that are needed to build the city's $5.16 billion rail project.

Tuesday’s vote marks the first time the board has chosen to use its right of eminent domain to acquire land along the 20-mile rail route.

HART officials said that after two years of negotiating with Richard and Karen Lee to acquire 9.7 acres at 96-136 Farrington Highway near Leeward Community College and with the Stuart Plaza office complex at 945 Kamehameha Highway in Pearl City, next to The Home Depot, to acquire 2,211 square feet of space, the agency needs the courts to resolve the dispute over the value of those properties.

IC: Release The Hounds! Honolulu Rail Authority Begins Condemning Property Along Route

SA: ‘Banana Patch’ Targeted

KHON: City offering $1 for property in rail path, first move to condemn land

2008: ‘Banana patch’ to be cleared for rail project?

read … Condemned!

Kauai Reps Skeptical About Pot Bill

KGI: Rep. James Tokioka, D-Wailua, Koloa, said he has previously voted against medical marijuana legislation. During this session, he said colleagues have asked him to sign on to legislation that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state of Hawai‘i.

“My response to them was that I could not support these measures at this time, but like many other controversial bills, if my district felt overwhelmingly to support these measures, I would reconsider,” Tokioka said.

Kaua‘i legislators have typically gone against the grain in not supporting marijuana legislation.

Rep. Derek Kawakami, D-Hanalei, Kapa‘a, said that recent studies in favor of decriminalization have given several states the confidence to reconsider legislation for legalization and taxation of an otherwise illegal industry. The history of prohibition and alcohol is one example of how the market gets flushed underground to the criminal element, he added.

“For me to put my name on any bill we will have to have discussion on the impact to the criminal justice system,” Kawakami said.

SA: Nine lawmakers co-sponsored a similar bill in the state Senate, Saiki Doubtful About House Passage

Christie faces more drug, income tax charges, Co-defendant rearrested

Souki Pot Bill nearly identical to Colorado Amendment 64

Potheads at Civil Beat come up with another ‘Fact’ Check

Patrick Cockburn: Marijuana and Schizophrenia "25% Play Russian Roulette"

read … Leaders take a cautious look at marijuana

News From Hawaii’s Future -- Colorado:

Penalty could keep (Tobacco) smokers out of health overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1. For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes. That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don't come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.

read … But Potheads will get their ‘medicine’ subsidized

Tsutusi Promises Not to Run Against Abercrombie, Pushes Constitutional Amendment

Borreca: Meanwhile, he is working on his own legislation and is suggesting that the state Constitution be changed to give a primary-winning gubernatorial candidate the chance to pick his or her own running mate, similar to the way the candidate for president picks the vice presidential running mate.

The inspiration is that Abercrombie is better served with Tsutsui, than a randomly selected lieutenant governor (like … uhh … Brian Schatz….) picked by the voters….

Asked if Abercrombie's own diminished popularity would cause Tsutsui to run against the governor in 2014, Tsutsui flatly said "No."

read … No Mo Schatz

Honolulu Council Committee OKs hotels in smaller communities

SA: "Limited-service" hotels would be allowed in low-density, mixed-used areas of Hono­lulu, West Oahu and Central Oahu under a bill that got a preliminary approval Thursday from the City Council Zoning and Permitting Committee.

But Bill 75 (2012) has a long way to go, with concerns raised about how such hotels would be approved and the potential impact on communities.

The law now allows hotels only in areas designated for resort and high-density mixed-use business development. The city Department of Planning and Permitting proposed allowing lower-intensity, or "limited-serv-ice," hotels as a result of "pent-up demand" for such accommodations in urban Hono­lulu, West Oahu and Central Oahu.

read … Waikiki Spreading

Rail Burials Ruling May Halt Road Work Statewide

SA: Distressed that a state Supreme Court ruling that halted construction of the Hono­lulu rail project could also sidetrack state highway projects, the Abercrombie administration wants the state to be able to review in phases the potential impact of construction on burials or other historic sites.

The Supreme Court ruled in August that the State Historic Preservation Division failed to follow state law when it signed off on the $5.26 billion rail project before an archaeological inventory survey was completed along the 20-mile route from Kapo­lei to Ala Moana Center. The court found that the city erred by granting a permit for the rail project and by starting construction before the historic preservation review process was finished on all four phases….

The Abercrombie administration has asked state lawmakers to amend the law so historic preservation reviews can be conducted in phases. The court ruling, the administration warns, could affect state highway projects that are often built in phases because of federal funding and timelines as well as practical considerations such as the timing of property condemnations.

"If all highway projects cannot be phased," the administration argues in its justification for the change, "it is possible that new highways cannot be built or old highways cannot be widened."

read … Road Work

Hawaii DoT May Face Criminal Charges over Oahu Shearwater Deaths

EH: On December 20, DOJ attorneys informed the Department of Transportation that its lights are causing unlawful takes of birds, sea turtles, and moths protected by the two laws. According to a memo to the state’s chief procurement officer from state attorneys, “Although counsel for DOJ stated that the investigation is statewide, the priority is on O`ahu, where DOJ claims a considerable number of wedge-tailed shearwaters … have been supposedly injured by DOT lights.”
The DOJ has told the state that it can enter into a plea agreement or face a criminal trial.
The Attorney General’s office, representing the DOT, filed a request with the state procurement office on January 22, seeking authority to engage the services of a law firm with experience in this area at a cost of up to $150,000, without going through the competitive bidding process.

(To read the AG's memo, click here.)

read … Environment Hawaii

HB72 Protects Public Employees from ‘Occupy’ Lawsuits

DN: The bill is HB72 and the hearing is at 8:30 tomorrow—hearing notice is here. The bill “Exempts counties and their employees from liability for removing personal property from public property” and seems to be a reaction to the case filed in federal court to protect the so-called ‘rights’ of Occupiers desperately trying to help the homelessness industry.

What this is about: Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

read … About the Enlightened Conscious and Progressive Bums With lawyers Harassing Wageworkers in the name of ‘the 99%’

Anti-GMO Activists Seek GE Tax on Ag Exports

H247: “Tax on Seed Exports” (SB365) would eliminate the exemption to the GET tax currently extended to GMO seed export crops grown in Hawaii and valued at over $225,000,000 of gross income a year.

read … Tax Hike Luddites

SB894: $100M to Buy Out Turtle Bay?

CB: Senate Bill 894 would appropriate up to $100 million from the general fund during the next two fiscal years for the purchase of undeveloped lands.

read … Turtle Bay

Hanabusa Scores Gig on Energy Subcommittee, May Use Position to Support Alaska Drilling

PR: In a news release Thursday, Hanabusa’s office says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  approved a waiver allowing the exception to the Democratic caucus rule limiting members to four subcommittees.

Her latest assignment is to the Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which oversees U.S. energy production and development on federal lands, including measures affecting geothermal and natural gas resources.

Hanabusa is the ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, and serves on the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. She also serves on the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness, and Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces.

News Release: Hanabusa Gains Special Approval to Serve on Fifth House Subcommittee

read … Alaska

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