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Thursday, May 29, 2014
May 29, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:17 PM :: 5471 Views

Keli’i Akina to Run for OHA Trustee-at-Large

Native Hawaiians would be 'Indians' under Obama plan

Will OHA Delay Kana'iolowalu? Live Stream Here

Duke Aiona Releases First Campaign Video

Controversial candidates fill ballot for Ewa Beach House Seat

Melodie Aduja: Former State Senator with troubled past wants another chance

May 29, 2014: Office of Elections Releases Updated Candidate List

Aiea: More Condos, Fewer Traffic Lanes, and Toxic Waste

Veto Coming?  Abercrombie Babbles Incoherently about SB2682

CB: A bill hailed by good government advocates as a way to increase transparency and public confidence in government operations may face a veto by Hawaii’s governor.

The Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 2682, which would add 15 state boards and commissions to the list of government officials and agency members required to have their financial disclosures made public. A primary goal of the bill is to allow for the media and the public to determine whether a member might have a potential conflict of interest when business they are involved with comes before the board or commission they serve on.

In an interview with Civil Beat Wednesday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie discussed at length his admiration for the many citizens who agree to serve on Hawaii’s boards and commissions and said he’s worried that efforts to force “volunteers” to disclose information about their personal lives would keep many people from serving.

That said, Abercrombie proceeded to talk about the bill and ask questions in a way that demonstrated he knew little — if anything — about the measure, despite the fact that it has been the subject of numerous news stories and editorials. One member of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents has even publicly declared he will quit if Abercrombie signs the bill.

“Did they write something just for the regents, is that what it was?” Abercrombie asked Civil Beat....

The governor did not distinguish between financial interests — which is what the bill is all about — and private relationships.

“If somebody’s looking to find somebody’s third cousin married to so and so, so they can make an accusation or something like that, I don’t understand what the efficacy of it is other than to create opportunity for people to create mischief for other people that are just volunteering their time for the community,” he said.

And, warming to the argument, he declared that women in particular will be harmed by it.

“No doubt in my mind,” he said. “Absolutely this is going to work against women.”

The governor was asked to elaborate.

“Oh, please,” he responded. “The prejudice against women, the discrimination against women in the workplace, is rampant. It’ll be, ‘Oh, she’s married to the second cousin of the guy who’s the head of this department,’ or something like that. And someone will say it’s a conflict. Then what? Then what? I don’t think it’s a conflict.”

Abercrombie continued: “Women are professional now. Probably more women work than don’t work now, and have to work. It’s not like it’s some kind of aesthetic choice that’s being made. And it creates incredible opportunities for mischief. Why should, because somebody’s married to somebody, should that automatically disqualify them? Believe me, it’s going to hit women a lot harder than it’s ever hit men.”

CB: Abercrombie: ‘This State Has Never Been Run Better’

read ... Senile Dementia Setting in

Hawaii Has 80 New Laws; 161 Bills Await Action

BIN: So far this year, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law 77 bills from this year’s Legislature, while another 161 await action.

According to spokesman Justin Fujioka, the governor has until July 8 to either veto or sign the remaining bills or they will become law without his signature.

The latter has already occurred with three bills which were passed early in the legislative session.

One dealt with arbitration during collective bargaining, another involved selection of members to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, and the third made arbitration and other awards against real estate appraisers a matter of public record.

Abercrombie also has a June 23 deadline to inform lawmakers of his intent to veto any bills.

So far, he has not indicated his intention to cast any vetoes.

read ... Hawaii Has 80 New Laws; 161 Bills Await Action

Kakaako developers co-sponsor fundraiser for Gov. Neil Abercrombie

KHON: On Friday, the Howard Hughes Corp. hosted a "real estate community pau hana fundraiser" for Gov. Neil Abercrombie that attracted dozens of local business executives and deal makers, who paid $150 each to mingle with the governor.

Other big Kakaako developers such as Stanford Carr Development, Castle & Cooke, Oliver McMillan and Marshall Hung's Downtown Capital co-sponsored the event.

Critics say that in return for the donations, the governor's administration is more likely to approve larger projects.

"It just confirms what we already knew -- that these big developers have a pretty significant say in how the government seems to function and how permits seemed to be doled out," said Ariel Salinas, a Kakaako resident since 2007 and member of Kakaako United, which opposes many of the new project.

"We're practically powerless to stop what we see as the destruction of our neighborhoods." ...

The Abercrombie administration doesn't have to disclose the results of last week's fundraiser until July. But state Campaign Spending Records show that the event's co-sponsors and other Kakaako development interests have donated a total of $588,000 to Abercrombie's campaign since 2009.

"People are concerned about special interest money that the influence of money in politics," said state Sen. David Ige, who is opposing Abercrombie in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

"We have heard over and over again that Kakaako is too much, too fast."

read ... Bought n Paid For

Six More Condo Towers for Kakaako

SA: Three developers have unveiled plans to seek permits later this year for six more residential towers in or on the edge of Kakaako with more than 1,000 new units.

Four of the new towers are part of the Ward Village master plan by Ward Centers owner Howard Hughes Corp. One is part of the Our Kakaako master plan by Kamehameha Schools. And one is adjacent to Ala Moana Center and the city's planned rail station there.

The six new projects are on top of 15 towers in or on the outskirts of Kakaako with a combined total of roughly 5,400 units under construction, permitted, in permitting or recently completed.

read ... Just the beginning

Hawaiian Affairs CEO: delay nation-building plan

AP: Kamanaopono Crabbe told the agency's board in a meeting Thursday that the group should reassess its options in light of recent events.

In a heated meeting, Crabbe says the group should spend six to nine more months educating the public. He also says the group should consider alternatives to the Native Hawaiian Roll, a register where about 125,000 Hawaiians recently signed up to be part of the government building process.

Some board members say they are frustrated about spending more time and money. The board does not plan to vote on the recommendation Thursday.

CB: OHA Grapples With Future of Hawaiian Nation-Building Effort

AP: "Hawaiians are not and have never been a tribe, and to be put under a tribal government could hinder their freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights."

Streamed live on the Web at

read ... Delay?

Ohigashi: Closed Primary 'Not My Passion'

MN: The first state Democratic Party chairwoman from Maui and the first Neighbor Island woman to hold the post said Tuesday that "we'll have to wait and see" on the party's legal challenge to Hawaii's open primary system.

"That's not my passion," said Stephanie Cambra Ohigashi on the lawsuit on appeal in the federal courts. "My passion is for an open party and to have more people vote, (rather) than less."

read ... Bye Bye Tom Gill

Congressional debate canceled for low attendance from business community

KHON: Tonight's debate between the state's top Democratic contenders to become Hawaii's next Congressional representative has been canceled. The reason: the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii couldn't get enough people to attend.

It was canceled for lack of interest and low attendance. Keep in mind this is not for some obscure office. This is for one of only two Congressional seats representing the state.

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii says it is the voice of business. But apparently that voice wasn't interested in hearing from Congressional candidates.

(Should've invited Djou.)

read ... Nobody Cares About the Democrats

Hawaiian Electric receives three bid proposals for LNG supply

Platts:  The company accepted proposals through the end of last week for up to 800,000 tons/year of LNG to be delivered to its generating stations by ISO containers. Proposals were sought for a minimum of five years and up to 15 years of supply, with delivery to start between late 2016 and mid-2017.

The company is reviewing the proposals in detail, Kanja said. He did not elaborate on the offers or the participants. The company expects to select a preferred bidder in June and sign agreements by August.

Although the company would prefer a single integrated provider to supply LNG and transport it to its plants, it has said it would also consider separate proposals for LNG supply and for logistics services.

The utility plans to modify various generating stations to enable them to use natural gas as a replacement for fuel oil, distillates and other liquid fuels.

Hawaiian Electric is also evaluating other LNG infrastructure and import options, including fixed and floating LNG concepts, in cooperation with Hawaii Gas, the state's gas utility.

read ... Three bid proposals for LNG

Veterans Affairs clinics under review in Hawaii

KITV: "We had two days notice and team of five VA professionals came in," said Dr. Kevin Novak, Primary Care Association chief of staff.

Fewer than two months on the job, Novak watched and listened. For three days last week his team was grilled about everything from scheduling to staffing.

"(They wanted) to be sure they were doing it correctly and that there was no gaming of the system," he said. "They validated that things were being done here the way it should be and that we weren't hiding anything here."

Still, Novak said there were glaring deficiencies that needed improvement, including shifting administrative duties off neighbor island staff and off doctors so they can shift their time back to patients.

"What we need to focus on is building our base," Novak said.

The review found recruitment and retention to be a major problem. Novak said that just this month, they lost two full-time doctors, who were replaced by temporary fill-ins.

He said the VA is working with The University of Hawaii to grow locally. He wants the local population to go into the medical field an become doctors and nurses and stay local to care for their families.

The VA Pacific services some 24,000 vets from Molokai to the Marshall Islands, growing 5 percent every year with sign-in kiosks helping to cut back on long lines.

read ... Veterans Affairs clinics under review in Hawaii

Homeless Flying to Kauai

KGI: ...campers at Anahola Beach Park were told to vacate or face arrest last week. We’re not disputing that these folks weren’t supposed to be there, but we will argue this is a sign of the severity of the homeless problem in Hawaii and specifically, on Kauai....if people can’t make it here, then they should leave and go to North Dakota and work in the oil fields. Plenty of jobs there....They drink, do drugs and smoke. They came here without work and assumed everyone would greet them with open arms and care for them. There’s also the argument, the more you do for the homeless, the more you’ll have. Provide free food, clothes, services, a place to sleep, and you’ll soon have all the homeless men and women you can handle and they’ll keep coming back. There will always be those who take advantage of resources and the kindness of others.

Bottom line — the homeless population on Kauai is going to increase before it decreases. More will arrive via plane, somehow scrapping together ticket fare to get here.

read ... Homeless solution remains elusive

Chinatown Tenant Income Levels Debated in City Housing Sale

CB: ...The proposed sale of city properties in Chinatown that some say could dramatically alter its character and lead to “gentrification” was on the table Wednesday at the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee.

The city is seeking to sell 12 public housing projects, which could bring in some $140 million in revenue. But a recently proposed City Council resolution affecting three of these properties in Chinatown — Marin Tower, Harbor Village and Chinatown Gateway Plaza — is sparking opposition.

Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga has proposed changes to the pending sales bid to encourage mixed-income housing in the three high-rises, situated within a mile of one another and comprising more than 500 residential units....

By contrast, Mayor Kirk Caldwell is seeking to attract buyers interested in maintaining low-income housing. This includes households that earn 60 percent or less of the median income, a maximum of $58,740 for a family of four and $41,160 for a single person....

Leaders of Faith Action for Community Equity, a nonprofit that has long advocated for affordable housing, also showed up to testify against the income requirement changes....

Ember Shinn, managing director for the Caldwell administration, testified that about 95 percent of the residents in the buildings earn 60 percent or below the median income.

Shinn also said there is a financial incentive to attracting developers interested in maintaining low-income housing — they can access federal tax credits.  Otherwise, a developer will have to seek greater amounts of private capital, potentially affecting the sale.

Last year’s attempted sale of the housing projects fell through when the developer, Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC, said it had problems attracting the needed financing. (after the council purposefully sabotaged the deal.)

read ... Chinatown Tenant Income Levels Debated in City Housing Sale

City Council bill would ban foam food containers

SA: "It's time to go one step further in protecting our land," Chang said in a news release. "Polystyrene foam containers are still made with the carcinogen styrene (crackpot chemophobia) and do not break down safely, leaving our beaches and land scattered with toxic foam bits and endangering species that try to consume the foam."

The measure comes as the Council is considering another bill that would include compostable bags in a plastic bag ban scheduled to begin Jan. 1.

read ... More Harassment of the People

Hawaii Ranks #3 in Unionization

  • > Pct. of workers in unions: 22.1%
  • > Union workers: 121,357 (23rd lowest)
  • > 10-yr. change in union membership: -0.3% (18th highest)
  • > Total employment, 2013: 549,219 (9th lowest)

As is the case in many states with strong union membership, a large proportion of Hawaii’s manufacturing workers — 18.3% — were union members as of last year, more than in all but two other states. More than 32% of private construction workers were also union members, among the highest percentages nationwide in 2013. By many measures, Hawaii is a good place to work, with high median incomes and low unemployment helping to offset the state’s exceptionally high cost of living last year. A typical household made more than $66,000 in 2012, more than in all but a handful of states. And the unemployment rate was just 4.8% last year, also among the best rates.

Read ... The States With the Strongest and Weakest Unions - 24/7 Wall St.

Hawaii Man Gets Probation for Making Kid Walk Mile

AP: A judge sentenced a Hawaii man to one year of probation and a $200 fine for making his son walk a mile home from school as a form of discipline.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe called the punishment "old-school" and no longer appropriate, the Garden Island newspaper reported Thursday (

Robert Demond of Kilauea (kih-luh-WAY'-uh) said he picked up his son from school and asked about a matter that had been brought to his attention. When the son didn't respond, Demond made him walk home to think about his actions.

read ... Hawaii Man Gets Probation for Making Kid Walk Mile

UH athletics to post $2 million loss

KITV: Athletics Director Ben Jay says he's trying to keep the deficit under that $2 million. Football revenues were just over $900,000, lower than expected.

The 21-team, $33 million department also had to battle rising costs.

About a year ago, Chancellor Tom Apple had asked the athletics department to not run a deficit of more than $1 million for the next three years while the school tries to get back to solvency.

read ... Lassner's Fault



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