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Saturday, August 16, 2014
August 16, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:36 PM :: 5443 Views

Nago Fiasco: 'Thousands Disenfranchised' Hanabusa May Challenge Results, Oshiro Talks Special Session

Primary Results-- Full Printout -- Schatz Wins -- Ilagan Wins with 52%

Papaya Crop Ruined: Anti-GMO Activists Cheer Hurricane Iselle

Cavasso to Schatz: Mainland PACs Spent a Lot of Money Getting You Nominated, Lets Debate

Hawaii and the USA: A Union Worth Celebrating

Iselle: How to help

H247: Donations from across the island are pouring in to collection points for delivery to residents affected by Tropical Storm Iselle.

Community groups, non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals are setting up systems to get supplies to the areas still without power and water.

read ... How to help

HMSA Pulls Plans from Hawaii Obamacare Exchange

AP: Michael Gold, president of Hawaii Medical Services Association, told The Associated Press that his staff is spending too much time and money dealing with the Connector's technical problems.

"It's an ongoing expense that everyone in the state is going to have to bear, and almost everyone in the state agrees it is not the best model for Hawaii," Gold said in an interview.

The decision affects more than 300 Hawaii businesses that buy plans for 664 subscribers and independents from HMSA through the exchange. HMSA will stop offering plans to small businesses beginning January 2015. The companies will be able to finish the terms of their enrollment over the next few months, and then they can either enroll in plans directly through HMSA or choose a different plan on the exchange, likely from the only other insurer, Kaiser Permanente, Gold said....

Small businesses have to buy insurance plans through the Connector to qualify for those tax credits, said Lindsay Chambers, spokeswoman for Hawaii's Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito, in an email.

"We will continue to seek other ways to ensure that Hawaii's small businesses are able to obtain these tax credits in accordance with federal law," Chambers said. 

Gold said very few employers qualify for the tax credits....

While the company is pulling out of the small business side, HMSA will continue to sell plans through the Connector on the individual side, where it has nearly 5,000 customers, Gold said....

HMSA staff logged 8,000 hours dealing with problems such as data from 133 patient accounts that disappeared when it was sent from the Connector to HMSA, Gold said.

"It's an astonishing number of hours we've spent on this," Gold said. "The system still is not really working correctly."  ...

Eric Alborg, deputy director of the Connector, said ... it is true that on both sides there was a lot of time spent on fixing issues with both systems....

HMSA reported year-to-date loss of $8.4 million Thursday. It blamed its $30 million first-quarter loss on the Affordable Care Act and said it made up some of that loss in the second quarter....

read ... Obama Has What it takes to make HMSA Quit

Preposterous Grabauskas Claims Rail Cost Overruns Not His Fault, LOL!

PBN: Grabauskas said that (after blaming everybody else) HART intends to carefully review the bids to determine in more detail why they came in so high.

Reality: $144.5M Surprise: Honolulu rail stations' bid 75% higher than budgeted

read ... Preposterous

Hawaii undersea cable unlikely to get support if Ige or Hannemann elected governor

PBN: A planned undersea power cable, a major part of bringing Hawaii closer to its renewable energy goal that’s had major support from Gov. Neil Abercrombie, is unlikely to get as much support if either state Sen. David Ige or former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is elected to the state's top public office.

Ige, fresh from pulling off a major upset victory over Abercrombie in the Democratic primary, told PBN that if he wins the general election, his position on the undersea cable would be that the need for the project, should be driven by individual energy needs assessments for Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties....

Hannemann, who lost to Abercrombie in the Democratic primary in 2010 but will run in this year's general election as an independent candidate, told PBN that the fact remains that while Maui County and Hawaii County could produce a lot of the state’s renewable energy, the greatest demand is obviously on the most populous island, Oahu.

“There are pros and cons to an interconnected energy grid so environmental and technical concerns must be met, [and] connecting Oahu and Maui via an underwater cable that carries energy both ways seems fairer than connecting Molokai and Lanai with Oahu in a one way only system,” Hannemann said via email. “Most importantly, the host islands supplying energy to Oahu must receive compensation or a community benefits package that goes beyond merely a promise to bring down electricity rates.”...

The Republican nominee, James “Duke” Aiona, was lieutenant governor under former Gov.Linda Lingle and was there when she spearheaded the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative in 2008. He said he is all for the undersea cable project, provided that it is cost-efficient and sensitive to the environment.

“We know Hawaii’s families are desperate for their cost of living to go down and energy independence is critical to that goal,” he told PBN via email. “The time for action is now, we can not afford to lag any further behind in the goals set by the HCEI. I believe the undersea cable may be a significant factor to reducing our cost of living and our dependence on imported oil.”

In February, a PBN cover story on the project, which could connect Oahu and Maui’s grids and eventually the Big Island, explained how it could eventually lower residents’ electrical bills, while stabilizing the grid for a price tag pegged at somewhere between $600 million and $800 million.

In return, ratepayers could save a total of $423 million over 30 years, (Yup.  Spend $800M to 'save' $423M.  Hello?) according to the state Energy Office. On top of that, Hawaii would move closer to its clean-energy goals, the state said.

IM: Forecasting Hawai`i Energy Policy in Turbulent Times

read ... HCEI is Duke's Alone

Next governor must deal with Aloha Stadium issues

SA: Last month the consultant hired to work with the state on the future of Aloha Stadium told a public forum that "hundreds of reports" have been compiled on the facility in its nearly 40 years.  

Well, 294 documents (studies, investigations, reports etc.) -- and counting -- to be exact, we are told. (If avg cost = $100K, total = $29.4M)

"That's an incredible amount of paper," observed Irwin P. Raij, the consultant from Foley & Lardner. (No worry, the consultants were all paid.)

Yes, it is, and the number of trees sacrificed on behalf of a greater understanding of the rusting edifice was supposed to end soon. After all, one of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's first promises upon taking office -- a "definitive decision on Aloha Stadium and any future stadium we might build" -- was contained in his first state of the state speech in January 2011.

The problem with waiting 2 1/2 years to get going is that you might not get a second term, which is, of course, what has happened. And, now it is his eventual successor -- Duke Aiona, David Ige or Mufi Hannemann -- who will have the next say.

read ... Another Political Orphan

Suit accuses UH Foundation exec of conflict of interest

HNN:  In a lawsuit filed in state Circuit Court, Alvin Katahara said his former boss, UH Foundation Vice President Janet Bullard, ordered him to make thousands of dollars in payments to a company headed by her husband.

"I think there was pressure and you know that at times it was hard to administer," said Katahara.

The contract was for developing a fundraising program and website for the UH Alumni Association.

The vendor is a company called HWB Marketing, which is headed by Janet Bullard's husband Patrick Bullard. And according to the lawsuit, the website is not operational.

UH Foundation officials declined comment but Bullard said the foundation ruled that there was no conflict in the matter....

According to the lawsuit, the original contract called for a $2,600 monthly retainer that was later expanded to $4,800 a month. The foundation also paid HWB and its affiliates $50,000 to develop a software program for the site.

Katahara said the payments later ballooned to about $168,000 and that the website has generated no revenue for the alumni association.

read ... Self-Dealing

Not A Great Start For Lassner

MW: I am qualified as a knowledgeable observer of UH politics and internal squabbles over the years to judge the handling of Apple’s dismissal to be a bungling of the highest magnitude, another stain on an institution already heavily stained, an act of instability and not a good start for new president David Lassner.

We again look like a banana republic....

The Apple Affair has become a fox hunt for the news media. I cannot imagine any outside person of high qualifications being willing to step up and become the next fox.

What troubles me (from poring over Apple’s defense of himself) is my nagging feeling that much of this was about the unhappiness of a few Big Money contributors to UH Cancer Center when Apple tried to get rid of center director Michele Carbone....

It’s how this has played out that disappoints and makes me again wish we had done an appropriate presidential search instead of the down-and-dirty one that brought an IT whiz-kid into the Bachman Hall chair with no big-world politics experience.

Bungling of the highest magnitude.

It seems to be what we do best in state government.

PBN: University of Hawaii Athletics Department won't release football ticket numbers

read ... Bob Jones

Asbestos Lawyers Buy Schatz

LN: Baron & Budd ranks No. 1 in money spent in federal elections among major asbestos firms, with a total of $203,950 contributed by the firm and its employees, according to opensecrets.org.

Nearly half of the firm’s donations ($100,000) have been directed to the Senate Majority PAC, a committee dedicated to protecting and expanding the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.

Baron & Budd attorneys have also contributed a total of $32,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, campaign finance reports show.

The top candidates receiving contributions from firm employees include: Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, ($12,600); Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., ($8,900); Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., ($7,100); and Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, ($5,200).

read ... Bought n Paid For

Dirty Ernie Martin Sign Waving for Mayor Already

SA: The Honolulu City Council chairman and his supporters are indeed waving signs that don't just say "Mahalo," but also the word "Mayor"over where it once said "City Council."

Martin told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Wednesday, however, that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to challenge incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell in 2016.

"It's no secret, I've always expressed a desire to run for mayor," Martin said Tuesday. "It's just a matter of timing." He noted that term limits bar him from running for a third, consecutive term on the Council.

Martin won his second four-year term to the 2nd Council District seat Saturday by capturing more than 50 percent of the votes cast, thus avoiding a runoff. The incumbent grabbed an overwhelming 76.3 percent of the vote to Dan Hara's 17.3 percent and Dave Burlew's 6.4 percent.

Like other candidates and their campaign committees, Martin and his supporters took to the streets this week to express their thanks — except that the words "City Council" have been replaced with the word "Mayor."

Caldwell is in the middle of a four-year term and will be up for re-election in 2016.

read ... Dirty Ernie

Electricity: Hawaii Only State Left Where Oil is #1

WSJ: In 2014 more states use natural gas as their main fuel for electricity generation compared to 2001, while several fewer states use coal than at the start of the millennium. Hawaii and Massachusetts were the only states in 2001 to get the majority of their electricity from petroleum. While Q1 data for petroleum usage is Hawaii says it is “not meaningful due to large relative standard error,” previous data shows that petroleum is still the most used fuel for electricity there.

read ... The Wall Street Journal

Eviction letter expected by family of suspected robber

HNN: While the three men suspected of robbing banks remain in jail, their families are now facing eviction.

19-year old Marcus Watson, 19-year old Eddie Allen Danielson, and 18-year old AJ Williander were all reportedly living at the Halawa Housing Complex....

"As a way for the taxpayers to subsidize public housing, there are some strict rules that everybody has to abide with," says Hakim Ouansafi of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, "The head of the household is responsible for the people who live there and the visitors as well."

AJ Williander is the only one who is listed on a lease in the complex. Danielson and Watson are not supposed to be living there but the state is investigating reports that they were squatting with relatives.

read ... Eviction letter expected by family of suspected robber

Maoists, Rep Ing, Osorio Demand Deedy be Lynched

SA: Invoking a litany of recent cases involving young men who lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement, a group of some 50 demonstrators marched through Waikiki on Friday to protest the acquittal of U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy for murder in the shooting death of Kollin Elderts.

"What happened to (Elderts) is very much related to what has been going on the mainland with Eric Garner, who was choked to death by police officers in New York, or the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri," said Liz Rees, a member of Maoist front group 'World Can't Wait', one of several activist groups that are part of the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition. "Enough is enough. These cases exemplify the racist system and people are standing up against this kind of injustice."

State Rep. Kaniela Ing of Maui attended Friday's rally and pledged his support for any legislation that would help to prevent a repeat of the Deedy shooting.  "I have your back," the 25-year-old legislator said....

Jonathan Osorio, a professor with the University of Hawaii's Kamakakuo­kalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, delivered an emotional speech to the assembled demonstrators, expressing his anger at Deedy's acquittal and his guilt at not attending the trial himself because he trusted the system to deliver "justice."

"I'm tired — I'm really (expletive) tired — of having to defend every single thing that's good about this place (you know, like thugs cruising Waiks at 2AM stoned on coke & booze looking for a fight)  to people who don't (expletive) understand it," Osorio said. "They ought to try him again. They ought to try him four times, five times if they need to, until they find him guilty. And we ought to start going down to the courthouse."

read ... Mao Zedong murdered 70M people, Maoists & Ing protest one

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