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Thursday, May 21, 2015
May 21, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:34 PM :: 3216 Views

Three Years of Secret Meetings Behind Feds' DHHL Rules -- What you can do

Hawaii Obamacare Enrolls ZERO People During Special Enrollment Period

Auditor: Federal Land Use Issues Dog Aloha Stadium

A Troubling Excess Of Optimism: Examining the Hawaii State Budget

Hawaii State Capitol: MD on Errors in ‘Politically Correct’ Sex Ed

SB265 Soft on Pimps, Loophole for Child Traffickers

CB: SB 265 would actually hurt efforts to prosecute the lowlifes who profit from sex workers.

They argue that the bill conflicts with existing legislation (making it more difficult for juries to follow and understand) and creates higher barriers for proof, all of which makes prosecuting sex trafficking cases more difficult.

There is also one glaring, unforgivable loophole when it comes to underage victims.

SB 265 may make it difficult to prosecute a pimp for exploiting a minor if the pimp didn’t know — or claims he didn’t know — the victim was younger than 18. Under current law, all that needs to be proved is that the pimp profited from the prostitution of a minor to get a felony conviction.

read ... Veto SB265

Insurgents Demand HSTA certify election victory

SA: Three public schoolteachers who say they won the needed votes to lead the Hawaii State Teachers Association are demanding answers from HSTA over its refusal to certify the election results.

The trio issued a statement Thursday expressing frustration with the HSTA’s lack of transparency regarding the vote. They threatened to sue the union next week to compel HSTA to “accept the results of the election that was conducted.”

Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee, an outspoken advocate for improving teaching conditions, ran for president against current HSTA Vice President Joan Lewis, who teaches at Kapolei High. The winner will replace outgoing President Wil Okabe.

Rosenlee said he won the top post along with his running mates, King Kamehameha III Elementary teacher Justin Hughey for vice president and Mililani High teacher Amy Perusso for secretary-treasurer. Rosenlee said each candidate beat his or her opponent by more than 150 votes, noting that only 26 percent of members voted.

“Suing the HSTA is the last thing we wanted to do but it is our only recourse,” Rosenlee said in a statement released Thursday. “How else can we hope to obtain justice for those who supported us?”

Rosenlee’s group says the union has failed to provide evidence of voting irregularities or specify the need for a new election by way of physical voting at polling locations.

“The new election … lacks transparency and is patently unfair,” Rosenlee said. “It is designed to impede and discourage teachers from voting by making them travel to polling locations that have not even been announced, immediately after the end of their work day, during rush hour, when many of them may need to pick up their own children or may be supervising school activities such as graduation ceremonies, or grading year-end assignments.”

read ... Stolen Election?

Thanks to Fracking, Oahu power bills drop again--causing Panic Among 'Green' Energy Schemers

SA: ...Bills for residential households on the state's most populous island fell in May for the eighth straight month, according to Hawaiian Electric Co., the state's largest utility provider with service to Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island.

The bill for a typical household using 500 kilowatt-hours on Oahu is $140.48 this month, HECO said. The price per kilowatt-hour dropped to 26 cents this month from 26.1 cents in April when the average bill was $140.96.

The reduced bills are due to the falling price of fuel and an adjusted supply contract with Chevron, HECO spokesman Darren Pai said....

SA: Barrel Tax Expanded to Drive Electricity Rates Back Up--Star-Adv Complains it is not Enough

read ... Panic

NextEra Merger: 54% No Opinion or Don't Know

SA: A new survey suggests that most residents served by Hawaiian Electric Industries utilities don't care or know about the bid by Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. to buy HEI and become the biggest power provider in the state.

The poll of 404 adults on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island found that only 19 percent of respondents support the acquisition. Another 28 percent oppose the deal. Most people, though, either don't have an opinion (34 percent) or don't know (20 percent).

The results were considerably less responsive compared with a statewide poll on the same topic in January.

January's poll, conducted by Ward Research for the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, found that 34 percent of Hawaii residents viewed the HEI takeover as good while 43 percent saw it as not good. Some 23 percent were undecided on the issue.  (But that was a Ward Poll....)

The new survey was commissioned by rooftop solar industry trade group Alliance for Solar Choice and conducted online by Hono­lulu-based polling firm SMS.

IM: Inside the NextEra-Heco Merger Tsunami

read ... Not a Ward Poll

Emergency Money Made Easy, If You’re a Democratic Governor

CB: David Ige, like Neil Abercrombie, had no problem securing funding from Hawaii lawmakers to get his new administration up and running — without providing detailed requests. That wasn't the case for Republican Linda Lingle.

read ... Easy

Hawaii Legislature chips away at reforming police

AP: Hawaii lawmakers had hopes for rebuilding public trust in the state's police departments, but a number of bills that aimed to initiate reforms died during the 2015 session.

Several sought to change the way domestic violence is handled by law enforcement, but a number of the proposals were opposed by the Honolulu Police Department and the union that represents its officers.

read ... Reform

Caldwell vetoes sit-lie expansion, offers alternative bill

HNN: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has vetoed a City Council expansion of the current so-called sit-lie laws to parts of Aala and Kapalama Canal....

Along with the vetoed bill, Mayor Caldwell offered to the city council an alternative bill.  Mayor Caldwell urged the city council to pass the legally defensible bill as soon as possible and he committed to sign it into law, if passed....

CB: Can Honolulu’s Sit-Lie Ban Pass Constitutional Muster?

read ... Alternative

While Honolulu dithers, a Canadian city says it has eliminated homelessness, and Utah homelessness is down 91% over 10 years

DN: While the Honolulu City Council busies itself searching for alternatives to doing Housing First (anything, it seems, but what has been proven to work), success continues to be reported elsewhere....

Honolulu ignored its growing housing problem and still has no program in place to fill the huge demand for low-income rentals. It still has no “Housing First” program, and continues to look for distracting alternatives. Anything but Housing First. Logically, and morally, sit-lie bans and other ordinances should follow, not precede, implementation of Housing First....

read ... Aspire to be as Enlightened as Utah

Protesters use claims of sacredness for political agendas

SA: The controversy over Mauna Kea, including the "sacred place" claim, is being used cynically as a ploy for attention. Some young adults in search of personal identity are looking for a cause to believe in and a group to belong to; they are easy prey for charismatic leaders looking to recruit followers. Some people of all ages are recreational protesters — they march, chant and wave signs for fashionable and politically correct causes as a hobby instead of fishing, jogging or cheering for a sports team. Some leaders — the Al Sharptons of Hawaii — insert themselves year after year into whatever controversy grabs attention. These demagogues use manufactured outrage over the TMT project to stir up support for larger agendas. They embarrass us all.

read ... New Religion

“If you want to decolonize it, take it over.”

HTH: An audience member asked Coleman, “What does decolonized science look like?”

“That’s simple,” he responded. “Instead of spending time fighting it, join it.

“Grab every kid you know who is interested in science and make him an astronomer. In 10 years, we can take over astronomy on the islands.”

Coleman added to applause, “If you want to decolonize it, take it over.”

read ... TMT forum highlights

Protest Funder: 'True economic value of observatory sites was never pursued'

SA: ...The UH was never equipped to manage Mauna Kea. It measured success by the evanescent standards of academics: papers published, credit given and international accolades conferred by being connected to some degree to work performed by others because it came out of Mauna Kea.

The true economic value of observatory sites was never pursued and never realized....

Precisely as Explained: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money

read ... The Words of Protest Funder Abigail Kawananakoa

NCAA compliance expert says more sanctions could be added

HNN: The cover up is always worse than the crime itself  and the NCAA does a good job at reinforcing that to the schools its punishing.

The University of Hawaii was proactive in disciplining itself, but now, time will tell if the governing body of collegiate sports is satisfied or still upset after being lied to.

The university's hearing in Indianapolis isn't for another two months and that's when the Committee on Infractions will determine whether to accept all of the self-imposed penalties or add more of their own sanctions.

read ... More Coming

UH Greenhouse Renovation Enters 6th Year

KITV: A $2.4 million dollar project has topped the $3 million mark.

The professors complain they have been shut out of the facility for five years now.

"We would have been in, if everything passed inspection at the end of 2013," said professor emeritus Criley.

From afar, the greenhouses located at the rear of the Manoa campus look great.

"They have redone the plumbing, they have redone the electrical, they have redone the drainage, all the framework for the new glass is in there," said Criley.

But part of the problem is that the new glass on the venting mechanism at the top of the green house structures has begun cracking.

The professors say the health and safety concern has kept them from moving in.

And a solution doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight.

"We would like to find out when we can get it. We would like a targeted date. We would like it sooner than later. We feel we have waited for several years. They have completed it. What does it take to do that last bit to get us inside?" questioned Sipes.

UH says is working to address the glass problems with the contractor.

It says unforseen problems with the drainage system and electric system

added to the delays and added to the cost overruns.

The contractor, All Repair and Maintenance declined to comment about the situation.

The professors question why the company's trucks have been parked at the site for the almost six years now.

The professors are frustrated because the botany department has been able to access part of the facility while they wait for answers....

read ... Greenhouse renovations now two years behind schedule

5 more parcels could be seized for rail

SA: In most of these latest cases, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation would be seeking a partial take of the property.

Four of the five new properties facing possible eminent domain lie along Waiwai Loop, near Keehi Lagoon — and near the future site of the Lagoon Drive rail station.

Several owners along the loop have contested HART's offers, saying the partial take would make their properties unusable and that it would make it difficult for the existing businesses to continue operating there.

read ... Seized

Hawaii Underage smoking decreases

SA: A federal study finds cigarette use fell 3.3 percentage points among isle kids during a 10-year span....

read ... Lost Tax Revenues

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