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Thursday, May 27, 2010
May 27, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:12 PM :: 10725 Views

Rep. Djou co-sponsors Balanced Budget Amendment

Lingle cites recovery as State Tax refunds pump $64M into economy

Cook Political Report: "Hawaii Democrats are a mess"

Hannemann announces run for governor's seat

Mayor Mufi Hannemann told disc jockey Billy V of KINE-FM 105 this morning that he will announce his intention to run for governor this afternoon.

SB: Hannemann could announce candidacy for governor this afternoon

REALITY: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can

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LINGLE vs ADV: Duke Aiona a wise, trusted partner

Your editorial about Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona couldn't be further off the mark ("Looking for some more heft from Aiona," May 23)….

Duke's advice and counsel have been invaluable to me in the most critical of times, and while he does not feel the need to go to the press with every disagreement, he is not one to shy away from expressing his opinion.

In addition to spearheading the effort to combat illicit drugs in our communities and focusing on initiatives to help strengthen families, Duke spent much of our first term learning about all aspects of state government and working directly with me and my Cabinet on a wide array of issues.

Neither of his potential opponents comes close to possessing his expertise about the current programs, policies and challenges facing the state government.

However, unlike his two potential opponents, Duke has not sought credit or accolades for his work.

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Shapiro: Democrats may find it tough to oust Djou

Democrats who think it'll be easy to dislodge Republican Charles Djou from the seat in Congress he won Saturday need to get a grip on reality before the campaign cranks back up….

Djou deserves credit for running a smart campaign that produced not only a win, but an impressive victory margin.

He started a distant third in the polls because of a perceived lack of congressional stature compared to the two Democrats, but in the campaign he held his own against his more experienced opponents, especially in the head-to-head debates.

Djou preached the Republican gospel of fiscal conservatism, but avoided the tea party rhetoric that is popular with the GOP on the Mainland but doesn't play here.

He made effective use of the fact that he was the only major candidate who lives in the 1st District and could vote in the election, and if one of the Democrats won, we'd be in the somewhat ludicrous position of having a 1st District representative who lives in the 2nd District and a 2nd District representative, Mazie Hirono, who lives in the 1st District.

Winning the district where Obama was born is a bragging point for national Republicans, and Djou will be greeted in Washington with a hero's welcome like Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown received after he won the late Edward Kennedy's seat.

The GOP will give Djou every opportunity to look good and all the funding he needs to compete in November. Democrats in the Hawai'i delegation risk appearing petty if they gang up and try to make the new guy look bad.

There's much still to happen between now and November, but it looks from here like Djou's to lose.

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School Furloughs Not Over Yet

HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Department of Education said Wednesday even though the teachers' union has agreed with the State and the Board of Education to end 17 teacher furlough Fridays next school year, two other unions representing school workers still have not signed off on the deal.

"A lot of this has to be worked out through collective bargaining but our number one intent is to make sure the students get the service they deserve when they are back in school," said Ronn Nozoe, Hawaii acting schools deputy superintendent.

The DOE said even though the governor announced an agreement Tuesday, it only dealt with teachers.

But other school employees such as cafeteria workers, custodians and school principals are in different unions. The workers on 12 month schedules agreed to take 24 school furlough days this fiscal year compared with teachers 17 furloughs to help the state face a projected $1.2 billion shortfall.

Now the schools department and the unions, the United Public Workers and the Hawaii Government Employees Association, must work with the state to make sure non-teaching employees do not take their additional furloughs on the days children are in school.

"We have quite a bit of work to do in collaboration with our unions and this is very complicated and difficult work so stay tuned, " said Nozoe.

ADV: Students saved by the banks that said yes

SB: Don't let furlough fiasco be in vain

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Hawaii schools adopting national curriculum standards

Once the standards are implemented in the 2011-12 school year, the vast majority of public schools in Hawai'i and nationwide will base their teaching on the same set of standards for the first time.  (A curriculum?  In the DoE?  This IS a first…but…)

Hawai'i was among five states to receive an "A" rating in a recent Harvard study on state education standards and their alignment to national expectations and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, the only standardized test that is currently comparable across state lines.  (What?  Hawaii DoE is already a top-ranked system?)

A majority of states received "C" ratings on their proficiency standards and one state — Tennessee — chosen as a recent winner in the federal Race to the Top competition received an "F" for its content standards' alignment to national benchmarks.  (Ahhh.  So the worse a district is at setting standards, the better it is in reality.)

(So this is another system to document failure and thereby gain additional federal funding.  Duh!  No wonder the heads of State DoEs all over the nation—which, unlike Hawaii, do not actually run school systems—love this scheme.)

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Say should be lauded for tenant support (Musubigate)

David Shapiro's May 17 column, "Lawmakers interfering in private business," suggesting that House Speaker Calvin Say is somehow involved in improprieties because he was in the Legislature at the time that Act 189 was passed, is misleading.

(A spin artist speaks up for Musubigate)

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Ethics panel report faults chief Mollway's work habits

Mollway has served as executive director for the past 24 years.

The report says concerns about his work style and habits were brought to the commission's attention in 2009. Concerns focused on his actual time spent in the office and his use of sick leave and vacation time, particularly from September to December.

Time records indicated "a pattern of use of his leave time in such irregular small increments that his time actually spent in the office was very sporadic."

"These issues were negatively affecting office morale," the report said.

(Hawaii Ethics Director spends very little time in the office because he just couldn’t find any ethical violations anywhere because all of Hawai politics and government is so squeaky clean.  It all makes sense.)

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Hawaii transsexuals, Libertarians speak up in defense of human trafficking

Oahu Libertarian Chairman Mr Tracey Ahn Ryan: As passed, SB 2045 turns several currently legal activities into serious felonies with no rationale accept an apparent desire to placate the radical feminist organizations Girlfest and the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.

Operating a strip club may now become a class B felony if anyone is “enticed” to work there….

...there are several first rate agencies in Hawaii with just the right kind of experience that would have been helpful. Anyone of the Life Foundation, The Chow Project, The Youth Outreach Project, or Kulia Na Mamo could have provided input from experienced outreach workers. Good ideas could have come out of the task force if the good people left out had instead been included.

RELATED: Board of Education: the Transsexual-Libertarian Connection , The transsexual agenda for Hawai`i schools

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Hawaii's biggest solar farm proposed for Mililani fields

Castle & Cooke plans to convert roughly 120 acres of an agricultural park it owns just south of Mililani into fields of photovoltaic panels capable of generating 20 megawatts of electricity as early as next year.

If realized, the project would be about 17 times bigger than Hawai'i's largest existing solar farm, a 1.2-megawatt facility on Lāna'i that began operating last year and was developed by Castle & Cooke.

Carrizo Plains, CA: Solar Farm Scrapped after 12 years in operation  PHOTOS: Carrizo, Daggett, others (abandoned to decay after the hype)

REALITY: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Hoku near polysilicon output

ACT 215/221 scam meets ‘clean energy’ scam --  Result: Chinese now own company created with your tax dollars and …

Hoku, which also operates a solar installation business in Hawaii, said its revenue jumped more than sixfold in the quarter to $776,000 from $112,000. All its revenue in each of the last two fiscal years has come from photovoltaic system installation and related services, the sale of electricity and the resale of solar inventory….

Falling Silicon Prices Rearranging The Solar Market

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UH-Hilo plans on 7,000 enrollment by 2020

With a current enrollment of 4,000, the 10-year estimate for UH-Hilo may be a bit on the high side, but it was necessary to plan for such an eventuality, according to Russell Chung, the executive vice president for PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc., the company charged with updating the plan."

It's kind of hard to imagine," he said, "but it eventually could happen. ... You have to think that way in order to plan for the future."

He added the Hilo campus could eventually support an enrollment of 15,000.

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Civic movement: W. Hawaii center progressing

The 85,000-square-foot civic center is taking shape -- the rough outline of the turnaround in front of the main building can be seen, the buildings are in place, the four-story parking garage sits on the north end. Lyman said 30 to 50 workers, many of whom are Big Island residents, are at the site working each day….

County departments were asked to anticipate 20 years of growth. Lyman said 221 employees will move into the office space, but the building can accommodate at least 300 workers.

(Now Kona will receive more of the County’s spending…)

How this happened: 'Lost Malihini Tribe' and PASH Aim to Take Over County Council

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Hawaii labor director quits to run for prosecutor

Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Darwin Ching announced Wednesday that he will resign June 15 to run for Honolulu prosecutor.

Pearl Imada Iboshi, current deputy director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and former state economist, will serve as interim director for the state Labor Department effective July 1, Gov. Linda Lingle's office said Wednesday.

HNN: Labor director Ching stepping down

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Deputy sheriff pleads guilty to sexually assaulting child

Edwin Salinda has been on paid administrative leave. But given his guilty plea, the state Department of Public Safety, which oversees Hawaii's sheriffs, says it's now moving to sever the relationship….

Under the plea agreement, Salinda sidesteps a 10-year prison term and, instead, will be sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation.

KITV: Trial Underway In Alleged YMCA Sex Assault

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OHA takes another bite out of Hawaii’s last sugar plantation, 10,000 upcountry water users

PAIA - State Commission on Water Resource Management members reached a historic compromise Tuesday night, returning some water to six East Maui streams but leaving both sides in the water dispute dissatisfied.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar General Manager Chris Benjamin called it "another bite from the apple," noting that the commission's action came in addition to losing millions of gallons a day in eight other streams in a commission decision two years ago. HC&S also is awaiting a contested case ruling that could mean that Hawaii's last sugar producer will lose another 34.5 million gallons a day in the Central Maui Na Wai Eha, or four great streams, debate.

The complainants' attorney, Alan Murakami, of Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., (fronting for OHA) immediately called for - and had recognized - a contested case hearing request the moment the proceedings ended. That means the plaintiffs will seek binding arbitration for another, more favorable result.

SB: Plan to divert water on Maui criticized

Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares said that the decision appeared to reduce the availability of water from Waikamoi Stream for upcountry users during part of the year.

She said, "A commission-mandated reduction of water could be devastating to nearly 10,000 residents, farmers, ranchers, businesses and schools located in the upcountry areas."

REALITY: OHA Trustees claim ownership of your drinking water

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Hawaii still leads U.S. with highest rate of mixed marriages

Of the 9,401 resident couples married in the Islands in 2007, about 55 percent were among people of different races or ethnicities, according to state statistics. Among 17,945 nonresidents who married in Hawai'i, 17 percent were mixed.

By comparison, 45 percent of resident couples married in 1999 were mixed, while 13 percent of nonresident couples were, the state figures show.

Census figures show the number of interracial marriages nationally has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million — a steep drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent a decade ago.

After Hawai'i, Alaska has the highest percentage of mixed-race marriages — 19 percent. Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada round out the top five, while West Virginia is at the bottom of the list, with 2.9 percent.

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Joe Sestak's lying--or he's protecting a felon in Barack Obama's White House

Well, it looks like we have an answer now to the question raised in that Monday Ticket item here: Obama White House probe of Obama White House finds no Obama White House impropriety on Sestak.

This Joe Sestak/Obama White House job mess does have legs. The public and the media are not buying the White House's self-cleansing, self-serving explanation that everything was appropriate, just move along.

The issue of what Democrat Sestak was offered by an Obama aide to drop out of his ultimately successful Pennsylvania Senate primary challenge of what's-his-name-the-old-former-Democrat-ex-Republican-now-Democrat Specter may well come up this morning at President Obama's first White House news conference in months.

(And, although it may come as a surprise to many Hawaii politicians, that is a felony.)

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