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Sunday, January 27, 2013
January 27, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:11 PM :: 4343 Views

'Complete Streets': Will Kakaako Become Another Waikiki?

Kulani Prison to be Sovereignty Movement Training and Recruitment Center

HFF: Mainland Money Behind Push for Gay Marriage

CDC: Hawaii 3rd Lowest Tobacco Use

199 Candidates Register for Honolulu Neighborhood Board Elections

Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals Clarifies Zoning Appeals

After 20 Years of Minimal Change, Minimal Growth What Should Hawaii Plan For?

Impact of High Taxes Cripples Economic Growth

Meet the Profiteer Behind Hawaii Medical Marijuana Cards

Governor's road to curing 'virus' starts with a mirror

Shapiro: In his State of the State address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie condemned the "virus of absolutism" that he said infects politics. It's one of those diseases that's easy to see when the other guy has it, but a devil to tell when you're catching it yourself.

Abercrombie urged fellow elected officials to elevate the local political dialogue, and promised to set a good example himself. From now on, he'll only bad-mouth his adversaries while sitting atop his high horse.

The governor seems to have given up on the controversial Public Land Development Corp. and is instead pushing separate measures to allow development around schools, parks and harbors. The new initiative is called PLDCUL8R.

read … Abercrombie is a disease

Abercrombie’s Perilous Rollercoaster: Are Unopposed Legislators Really That Popular?

Borreca: Since 2011, the Abercrombie administration's learning curve has been mostly a perilous rollercoaster ride, but now it appears the governor and his current crew are up to speed. (Really?)

What is so baffling, then, is how he started and then finished his speech.

In the beginning, Abercrombie went after the naysayers.

It is understandable that after a summer of battling Native Hawaiian and environmental groups over the PLDC, Abercrombie would be a tad prickly about protesters.

But, come on, this from someone whose early career was built on anti-Vietnam War sound bites and bullhorn-led protest marches? (Can you spell hypocrisy?)

Yet, Abercrombie the leader, not Abercrombie the dissenter, would say: "When politics gets reduced to slogans and bumper stickers — what is right; what is good? What is wisdom and virtue to one is grounds for accusation and denunciation to another.

"One's position is not merely faulty or misguided; it is characterized as the work of someone consciously plotting to destroy the environment, or stealing public benefit for private gain, or willfully corrupting the good and welfare of the community," Abercrombie said.

Yes, this is the same fellow who early in his gubernatorial term said, "I am the governor. I'm not your pal. I'm not your counselor. I am the governor."  (Common denominator: It’s all about me.)

Abercrombie then wrapped up the speech by presenting the lawmakers with something that sounded like a gubernatorial pardon or "get out of jail free" card.

The Democratic governor said many legislators are already so popular no one even runs against them.

"Some members had no opposition either in the primary or general election. Some members were sent here with 60 percent plus of the vote. Some were sent with 70 percent-plus of the vote," said Abercrombie.  (Visualize Konstantin Chernenko giving a similar speech in 1985.)

"You have the faith and trust of an overwhelming majority of your voters. You have the opportunity to authenticate the role of government by acting in bold affirmations of that faith and trust."

Some of those savvy legislative veterans, including several who were elected without opposition, said in reaction that they were alternately shocked that their governor thought the gig was so easy and that voting for controversial legislation couldn't end a career.

As Abercrombie signed off the speech, repeatedly saying "I love legislating," the lawmakers were thinking to themselves: "Let's see how you love our legislating."

read … Mile Wide, Inch Deep

Let the People Vote on Marriage

Hochberg: Rumor has it that the Legislature may have the votes to redefine marriage in Hawaii.

Before lawmakers rush into redefining humanity's fundamental building block, they would be wise to reflect on just what such a redefinition would mean.

Hawaii has been dealing with same-sex "marriage" since 1993, when two same-sex couples sued the state for denying marriage licenses based on Hawaii's longstanding definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

That led the people of Hawaii in 1998 to enact this constitutional amendment: "The Legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples."

The Legislature presented this statement to the people, who responded by passing the amendment with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

The public has not been asked whether the Legislature should have the power to redefine marriage.

The Hawaii Constitution states, "All political power of this State is inherent in the people and the responsibility for the exercise thereof rests with the people."

The Legislature is duty-bound to honor its servant role. If anyone is to decide the question, it is the people.

Related: Broken Trust Gang finally Imposes Gay Unions on Hawaii

read … James Hochberg

Rhoads Proposal calls for limits on free speech

SA: A bill seeking to amend the state Constitution to limit free-speech protections to "natural persons" and exclude businesses has drawn opposition from the state Attorney General's Office and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i….

But House Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads, who introduced the bill, and some of the bill's supporters contend the measure is a way to react to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision….  (If you agree, you have been played for a fool by progressive babble about ‘corporate personhood’.)

Rhoads (D, Chinatown-Iwilei-Kalihi) said the Judiciary Committee will vote Thursday on whether to advance the bill….

Common Cause Hawaii, Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii and the Imua Alliance submitted testimony supporting the measure.

Common Cause Hawaii said the amendment would "send a strong signal" to Congress that the state holds that freedom of speech should apply only to natural persons.

(These the the very same people who keep telling us gay marriage is a civil right and we therefore cannot vote on it. Now they want to tell us the First Amendment is NOT a civil right and we CAN vote on it.)

read … No Free Speech

Abercrombie Schools, Harbors, Parks Proposals Copied from Text of PLDC Law

SA: Gov. Neil Abercrombie has chalked a middle path in land utilization that deserves serious exploration during the current legislative session. It lies between the status quo of undercapitalized state resources and the controversial Public Land Development Corp., which drew heated criticism from those concerned that the public would not have a say in its projects.

Along with an earlier proposal enabling easier redevelopment of public schools properties, the proposed Harbors and Parks Development Authority represents a rational effort to boost the public benefit of state-owned lands in three categories that have been the most difficult to manage.

The schools-development scheme is part of the state's campaign to replace Hawaii's outdated educational facilities, dubbed "21st Century Schools." With most of the buildings a half-century old or more, some means of leveraging private capital generated in redevelopment to help cover the cost of school improvements is clearly necessary.

As for the proposed harbors and parks authority, it is designed to be a scaled-back version of the PLDC. The legislation (Senate Bill 1173, and its twin in the other chamber, House Bill 942) borrows language from the establishment of the corporation and substitutes the authority's name throughout.

read … Will the mob of protesters by instructed to speak up? Does it benefit their ’leaders’?

SB594/SB595 Help Farmers by Exempting Foods From GE Tax

KGI: SB 594 exempts from the General Excise Tax amounts received for the slaughter and processing of poultry and livestock to be consumed in the state, provided such meats have been here. The bill would go into effect as early as July 1.

SB 595 adds to the definition of agricultural commodities exempt from the GET, milk, poultry eggs, poultry carcass, poultry meat, and aquaculture and aquaponic products to be consumed in the state, whether processed here or imported.

All those bills are scheduled to go through a public hearing at the Agriculture Committee Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. at the Honolulu Capitol in the conference room 229.

read … Exempt Food from GE Tax

HART: Rail on Track

SA: Court-ordered rail studies on a tunnel under Beretania Street and effects on a historic Kakaako park won’t delay construction, says the city’s rail chief, but foes remain ready to fight

SA: Another Bone fragment found during rail route survey

read … On Track?

Trained parents have better effect on children than universal preschool

SA: The plans being set in motion to promote state funded preschool are not designed to succeed.

Pre-kindergarten will only produce lasting change when it is offered to disadvantaged families willing to invest their labor so the child is prepared for school, and the family is invested in and able to support the child's growth.

Research confirms pre-K boosts scores initially but, sadly, benefits do not last beyond early school years.

Edward Zigler, a founder of Head Start, confirmed family and life experiences have far greater impact than school. Several studies of successful pre-K programs show each involved significant family interaction with the school.

Supporting pre-K is politically, not research-, based.

Related: Abercrombie 'School Readiness' Plan Based on Proven Failure?

read … Parents 

Nearly 90% of all bills introduced in Hawai'i fail

HNN: Hawaii has one of the lowest percentages of bills that pass in the Nation….

During the 2012 legislative session: 1,219 bills were introduced in the House. 179 passed, but of those only 172 became acts. 6 were vetoed by the Governor. In the Senate, 1,072 bills were introduced. 166 passed and after 8 vetoes, 157 became acts….

"Sometimes it's because maybe they're just not very good laws, but other times it's because the legislators are slowly working to build coalitions to modify the bill slightly so they become more appealing to other legislators—to demonstrate that there's real need in the community for these laws," said Prof. Moore….

More than 2,800 bills have already been introduced in both the House and Senate since opening day for this legislative session last week.

read … One Party System

Hawaii Refinery Stop Set to Lure Asia Jet Fuel: Energy Markets

B: Asian jet fuel shipments to Hawaii are poised to triple as Tesoro Corp. shuts the islands’ biggest crude-processing plant, helping lift refining margins from the weakest level in almost five years.

read … Refining Margins

Films of IAM’s 2nd Annual Energy Festival

…are now available for viewing on the I Aloha Molokai Channel on YouTube. There are seven in all:

Trent Williams Assaulted, Tasered in Hawaii Nightclub, Won’t Play NFL Pro Bowl

HPD: January 25, 2013 Captain Andrew Lum, Office of the Chief, Honolulu Police Department: "At 1:30 am this morning, Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officers responded to a report of a large affray at a night club in central Honolulu. (Which one???) Three males were injured during the affray. Two were treated and released from the hospital, and the third male declined treatment. One male was arrested for Assault in the 3rd Degree and additional arrests are likely. The HPD has opened an Assault 2nd and four Assault 3rd investigations. The investigation into these offenses continue." Williams is not a suspect and was one of the people injured. He got stitches in his head and was tasered.

AP: Redskins teammate Jammal Brown said on Twitter that Williams needed seven stitches. “It wasn’t his fault,” Brown said. “He did nothing wrong.”

Williams’ Pro Bowl selection is marking something of a personal comeback for Williams, who was suspended four games in 2011 for testing positive multiple times for marijuana.

SA: Pulling the plug?

DP: Is it time to sack the Pro Bowl? No, just move it

North Korean Dictator Preparing Nuclear Test? 

AP: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened top security and foreign affairs officials and ordered them to take "substantial and high-profile important state measures," state media said today, fueling speculation that he plans to push forward with a threat to explode a nuclear device in defiance of the United Nations.

The meeting of top officials led by Kim underscores Pyongyang's defiant stance in protest of U.N. Security Council punishment for a December rocket launch. The dispatch in the official Korean Central News Agency did not say when the meeting took place.

Last week, the Security Council condemned North Korea's Dec. 12 launch of a long-range rocket as a violation of a ban against nuclear and missile activity. The council, including North Korea ally China, punished Pyongyang with more sanctions and ordered the regime to refrain from a nuclear test — or face "significant action."….

South Korean defense officials say North Korea is technically ready to conduct a nuclear test in a matter of days.

read … North Korean leader vows 'high profile' retaliation

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