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Tuesday, March 29, 2016
March 29, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 4397 Views

Official Precinct by Precinct Results: Hawaii Democratic Presidential Caucus

OHA to Fund Kana’iolowalu Roll Again?

Video: Aha Aloha Aina Meetings Protest Nai Aupuni

Bizarre News: Corrupt Language Removed from Bill

Hawaii Legislators: Driving Stoned?

Half of Hawai’i Residents Struggling “Paycheck to Paycheck”

City proposes bill to waive most accessory dwelling unit permit fees

Hawaii Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Vote on Wednesday

Cigarette Taxes: Hawaii 5th Highest in USA

Jones Act Campaign Contributions: Mazie Hirono is Living the Dream

Stevedores Shutdown Matson Oakland Terminal

Rep Mark Takai: Hawaii Should Switch to Presidential Primary System

CB: …Some suggest a solution to a better-run election is to hold a primary rather than a caucus.

The idea has the interest of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, a Clinton supporter, who visited three polling sites Saturday on Oahu.

“It ran better this year than it did in 2008,” he said, noting that when they ran out of ballots in the previous election, some people voted on scraps of paper.

But Takai said the complaints “resonated” with him, and he said it might be better to hold a traditional primary instead. He said that would make Hawaii similar to Illinois and California, where people vote for president but also other offices….

read … Primary

Hawaii Democrat Rip Off: After Sanders Voter Flock to Caucuses, Delegates go to Clinton

HNN: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won 70 percent of votes in Saturday's Democratic presidential poll in Hawaii. But chances are, he won’t get 70 percent of the delegates.

The reason? Superdelegates.

Hawaii has 35 delegates, 10 of whom are superdelegates.

The results of Hawaii's Saturday vote means that 17 of Hawaii Democratic party delegates will go to Sanders, while eight will go to Clinton.

But the superdelegates, who are party leader or elected officials, have an unbound vote in the process. That means superdelegates can assign their votes to whichever candidate they prefer, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote.

"We should be clear, the superdelegate system is not designed to be completely democratic," said Hawaii News Now Political Analyst Colin Moore. "It's designed to give the party elite more influence over the average voter."

In Hawaii, each member of the Congressional delegation is a superdelegate. There are four that come from the party itself, and the governor and lieutenant governor make up the last two.

It's likely that most of Hawaii's superdelegates will support Clinton….

Abercrombie: Hawaii ‘superdelegates’ should not write off Sanders

CB: Takai Says He’s Sticking With Clinton — For Now

read … Hawaii's delegate count for Sanders unlikely to mirror popular vote

Caucus Went According to Arrogant Democrats Bizarre Plan

Borreca: …Back in 2008. the Hawaii Democratic preference poll was a study in chaos and confusion. The party failed to print enough ballots and was swamped with more than 37,000 voters. The late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye stood in line for more than a hour waiting to vote.

Abercrombie, then a congressman, stood on a tabletop in Manoa urging people to just take a sheet of paper and write their own ballot.

The 2016 Democratic presidential poll pulled in almost 34,000 votes and was a whopping victory for Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, winning with 70 percent of the vote. The party was lucky it was such a blow-out, because if it had been close, both sides would be screaming about how the election was conducted.

The Democrats came up with the bizarre plan that the polling would start at 1 p.m. and then go until there didn’t appear to be any more people. There was no accounting for people coming in late or people planning on voting later.

Some party officials, showing more arrogance than savvy, were saying, “We told everyone to come early.”

Yes, if you have nothing else to do on a Saturday, you can stand in line for three hours before getting a chance to vote. But if you are an older voter, or a voter handling two young children, or a voter with a life about more than Democratic preference polls, you were effectively disenfranchised by the arbitrary closing time.

Online comments and even the Democratic Party’s own Facebook pages were filled with complaints from disgruntled Democrats who wanted to vote but were denied because party officials in each precinct randomly decided when to stop the voting.

After the vote, there was no official mention from the party about the problems or even a pledge to do better.

Hawaii’s Democratic Party may have gained 7,000 new members this year, but it has yet to learn how to hold an election….

read … Arrogant Democrats

In Cuba, Hokulea finds Hawaii parallels with the Other One-Party Socialist State Founded in 1959

PBN: …The arrival of the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe was largely overlooked in the buzz over the arrival of another envoy with roots in Hawaii: President Barack Obama.

Obama’s two-day trip to the Caribbean island 90 miles from Florida coincided with the Hawaii crew’s four-day stay. While the commander-in-chief couldn't fit in a visit to the Hokulea, the crew — which had traveled 1,000 nautical miles from the British Virgin Islands — spent the next few days exploring the city that has been largely off limits to U.S. citizens for more than half a century.

With colorful colonial architecture and bustling barrio neighborhoods as their backdrop, the Hawaii contingent discovered striking similarities in the history of the two island nations as well as their economic foundations, from agriculture to tourism.

“There are some fascinating parallels,” said Eric Co, Hokulea crew member and senior program officer for marine conservation at the Harold K. Castle Foundation. “In 1898, Hawaii was overthrown by what ultimately became the U.S. government, and in the same year, Cuba was invaded by the U.S. And auspiciously, in 1959, Hawaii became a state and Cuba became independent [after its revolution] so you have this kind of divergence of realities but parallel tracks."

“It’s interesting since then to look at some of the parallels environmentally and socio-politically with a place like Hawaii," said Co, who hails from Molokai….

read … 1959

Nestor Garcia: Behind-the-scenes-string-puller at KHON

CB: …As the core credential, the journalist’s credibility level typically starts low and gradually grows over time – interview by interview, story by story, year after year. One mistake can blow it all, which is why most journalists so carefully protect their independence and guard against perceptions of conflicts of interest.

What makes Garcia’s hire so absurd is that he not only has been welcomed back to the newsroom – where concerns previously were raised over his coverage of his former colleagues on the Council and in the Legislature – his new role as assignment editor installs him as a behind-the-scenes string-puller at KHON as well as a role model for developing reporters at the station. He actually said: “I see my role as being a mentor to some of these young people.” ….

KHON, for its part, also is violating public trust and the professional code in this decision, through its silence on the matter. The code states: “Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.”

Embedding Garcia back into this organization – in a behind-the-curtain role, without thorough public explanation and discourse – is not a constructive way to build trust and credibility in this media ecosystem. KHON, of course, can do whatever it wants with its business, and Garcia can pursue whatever job he desires.

Yet you, the reader/viewer of local news, also deserve to know who holds sway on the decisions of what you see. In this case, as long as Garcia remains in this puppet-master position, KHON should be viewed with high skepticism, and that skepticism should gradually increase the longer the company remains silent about its motivations and actions in this case….

March 11, 2016: Revolving Door: Politician Nestor Garcia Pays Largest Ethics Fine in History, Gets Hired by KHON

read … KHON Editor’s Transgressions

Experts: State faces worsening shortage of primary care doctors

HNN: Among the issues contributing to the problem:

Low reimbursement rates coupled with cumbersome paperwork required to get paid.

High overhead expenses for rent and utilities, which are always going up.

The state's overall high cost of living, which means physicians' salaries don't go as far.

The problems are driving many younger doctors to move to the mainland. And that's given Hawaii one of the oldest workforces of doctors in the nation.

"We will have more attrition before we begin to catch up," said Jerris Hedges, dean the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

read … Experts: State faces worsening shortage of primary care doctors

Will Hawaii’s Teacher Evaluation System Get Scrapped?

CB:  … Union efforts to scale back Hawaii’s high stakes teacher evaluation system appear to be gaining momentum, with the state Senate Education Committee approving a resolution Monday calling on the Board of Education to abolish the current system and create something new.

The resolution — which cites teacher and principal dissatisfaction with the system, along with recent changes to a federal law that had helped push the Department of Education to create it in the first place — asks the DOE to “discontinue the use of standardized tests in evaluating any public school teacher or administrator.” …

SCR155: Text, Status

read … Scrapped

Actual revenue generated by Pro Bowl questioned

SA: …Recent hearings at the state capitol have questioned the amount of the Pro Bowl’s worth to the state as the single most subsidized sports event. By contract, the NFL receives $5 million plus $152,250 in operational costs, a total that is more than the other 18 sports events the state supports combined.

Overall the HTA said it spends $9 million in support of sports events “for an economic impact value of $144 million.”

The HTA this month listed the Pro Bowl as having produced $26.2 million in “impact” and drawn “15,000 plus” visitors.

But state Rep. Matthew LoPresti (D, Ewa) has questioned whether some of the figures, including a $6.30 per $1 return on investment, were exclusive to visitors or also included local residents.

In an announcement after the 2014 Pro Bowl, which was the last one held at Aloha Stadium prior to this year, the HTA said the game “contributed an estimated $71.9 million in direct visitor spending in the state, not inclusive of of the production costs of the game and events surrounding Pro Bowl week …”

It said the figure included “expenditures by travel companions of Pro Bowl attendees.”

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which describes itself as an “independent think tank,” said, “a survey of flight arrivals during the (2014) period reveals that only about 6,726 non-residents arrived for the Pro Bowl, a fraction of those claimed. Therefore, the revenue supposedly coming into the state from the Pro Bowl is largely local money being transferred from elsewhere in the economy.”

In commenting this month on a bill that would provide task force oversight for the Pro Bowl and other events, Grassroot said, “… numbers provided by the state and NFL have been accepted without question, even though there is substantial research that throws such claims into question. Therefore, the assertion that the Pro Bowl creates significant revenue, worthy of further state subsidies, requires deeper appraisal.”

The HTA also said it spends $1,996,364 to support four PGA Tour events for which the ROI is $32.42 per $1. Two Xterra events each produce returns in excess of $60 per $1 spent….

Under the terms of a 2014 contract with the Hawaii Tourism Authority to bring the game here in 2016 and ’17, the NFL has until “no later than March 31, 2016” to opt out of the agreement and move the annual all-star game away from Aloha Stadium….

read … Questioned

Hyatt Funds Anti-Dairy Farm Activists Search for Kukae

KE: …Now that they've found unicorns, scientists are turning their attention to Mahaulepu, where they're busily hunting for shit. Literally. Actually, they're searching for a smoking gun, some proof that Hawaii Diary Farms forever fouled the aina with Enterococcus when it widened a ditch back in 2014. Not sure how, exactly, that would happen, unless they dug up an ancient kukae deposit. But ya never know.

So how much do you suppose it cost to fly in these “independent scientists from around the nation,” and who is footing the bill. There sure is a lot of dough floating around for activist causes. Maybe the council could slap a tax on agitation. At any rate, I hope the Hyatt was kind enough to comp rooms, since it's suing to stop the dairy.

Of course, they don't actually know nuttin' fer shure yet, but that's no reason why Councilman Gary Hooser shouldn't try, convict and execute the dairy in the press. After all, that strategy worked so well with the seed farms….

KGI: Preconceived Pollution Source Sought

read … Tourism is Environmentalism

HB2166: Boost Renters’ Tax Credit to $150

CB: …In 1981, the Legislature set the amount of this refundable tax credit at $50 per exemption, and made it available to low-income renters earning less than $30,000 annually. The credit has not been adjusted since, and $50 is 1981 dollars is worth only about $19 today.

The LIHRC is a prime example of how the tax code can be used to help address pressing social problems of homelessness, income inequality and the lack of affordable housing.

Approximately 42 percent of our households rent, and a majority of them are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent (the standard definition of housing affordability). Our rate of cost-burdened households is the highest in the nation….

The Legislature is currently considering House Bill 2166, which would adjust the current credit to make up for the inflation since 1981. If adjusted to fully account for inflation, the credit would be worth $150 per exemption for families that earn under $60,000.

The measure has already cleared the House, and if it passes Senate Committee on Ways and Means this morning, it will go before the full Senate for consideration….

read … Tax Cuts for the Poor

Refusing Shelter: Kakaako homeless camps spring up again

HNN: The Kakaako parks at the center of last fall's high profile homeless sweeps are once again filled with tents.

But this time, enforcement of park rules might be more difficult.

The city only has authority to sweep the sidewalks in the area. So homeless have moved their tents to the grass because the state appears to be more lenient with enforcement. But when sheriff's deputies do come, camps on wheels are easily rolled back to the sidewalk.

On Monday, more than 60 tents lined the perimeter of Kakaako Gateway Park, extending from Ala Moana Boulevard to makai of the Children's Discovery Center. Although signs warn campers not to stay in the park after hours, enforcement isn't consistent. The last time sheriff's deputies came through was nearly a week ago.

"The homeless people you see in Kakaako are the hard core group," said state Rep. Scott Saiki, whose district includes the area. "This is the group of individuals who do not want to be in shelters." …

Some believe inconsistent enforcement is only making the problem worse.

"HCDA should be going out on a daily basis to enforce their rules," Saiki said.

Mitchell added, "I really think the frequency in which enforcement happens sends a message. If it doesn't happen that frequently then people will decide that they're going to stay."

In January, HCDA said the agency was working to change park rules to ban tents. Last week, the agency said they're still working on the proposed ban.

Big Q: Tent Cities are ‘A bad idea that will lead to permanent encampments’

read … Lax Enforcement

Bumbling City Permitting Department only Able to Approve Seven ADUs

CB: …When Caldwell signed the bill last September, he told KHON that owners of 20,000 lots were eligible to build second units that could be used as rentals — known as accessory dwelling units — and he thought 5,000 people would apply for permits.

But in the six months since the measure became law, the city only granted permits for seven units….

That’s a far cry from the estimated 22,000 units that the administration suggested the law could produce when it floated the idea in 2014.

Accessory dwelling units are a central part of Caldwell’s strategy to address Honolulu’s housing shortage, which has driven up home prices, compounded homelessness and forced some residents to move away.

Now a new proposal, Bill 27 would “waive all building permit, grading, and inspection fees, and wastewater facility charges, for a two-year period,” according to a press release emailed Monday by city Department of Planning and Permitting Director Curtis Lum.

If the bill passes, homeowners who construct accessory units wouldn’t have to pay park dedication fees, and could save up to $10,000 in total fee waivers, the press release said….

SA: Consider waiving ADU fees to boost affordable housing

read … HGEA Members at ‘Work’

Haters Against Hate?

KGI: …Every time I blog about Donald Trump I lose a friend on Facebook and at times even in real life. I find it very “Trump-fulling.” (The act of losing friends, because you may endorse Donald J. Trump). I just made that word up!

With over 1,300 friends on Facebook I have been trying to downsize for quite awhile. Being a Trump supporter has made downsizing quite easy.

I enjoy meat — however I have many vegan friends. I am heterosexual — however have gay friends. I am a God fearing individual — yet have agnostic and atheist friends. It seems you cannot be a Donald Trump supporter and have Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton friends, not because Trump supporters don’t want to be friends, but because the Sanders and Clinton people are not the peace lovers they claim to be?

Who will be next to either not talk to me or un-friend me because my opinion may be different from yours?

read … Irony

Tied 4-4 after Scalia’s death, high court gives Public Sector unions a win

SA: …The deadlocked vote came in a case that considered whether unions representing government employees can collect fees from workers who choose not to join. California teachers backed by a conservative group said being forced to pay union fees violated the free-speech rights of nonmembers who disagree with the union’s policy positions.

The split vote left in place an appeals court ruling that upheld the collection of “fair share” fees from nonmembers.

The result was an unlikely reprieve for organized labor. It had seemed virtually certain that the high court would rule 5-4 to overturn a system that’s been in place nearly 40 years. But the court now is operating with only eight justices after the Feb. 13 death of Scalia, who had been expected to rule against the unions.

The one-sentence opinion issued today did not identify how each justice voted. It simply upheld a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

But it was a blow to conservative groups that have spent years pushing the court to overrule a 1977 precedent that allows unions to collect fees from members and non-members alike to cover the costs of collective bargaining….

CB: SCOTUS Tie A Win For Hawaii Unions

Jan, 2016: Friedrichs v CTA: Will Supreme Court End Mandatory Union Membership for Government Employees Nationwide?

read … Death

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