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Saturday, June 12, 2010
June 12, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:23 PM :: 10064 Views

Hannemann’s Pittsburgh Fundraiser planned since April 29

Hannemann in Pittsburgh "Whacking the rail transit piñata"

Philippine Independence Day: Rep. Djou calls for more visas for family reunification

VIDEO: Rep. Djou on Fox Business News

Clean Energy for Hawaii: Djou co-sponsors American Energy Act

RTTT: Prolonging Education's Race to the Bottom

Photos: Kamehameha Day Lei draping ceremony, Washington DC

Shapiro: Will Aiona veto HB 444 (II)?

More panicky gay-atheist “progressive” expressions of fear at the thought that Duke Aiona holding the veto stamp in his hands.  Just imagine four years of them quaking in their boots.  Smile.

Progressives shaking in fear: A beautiful sight to behold.

ALSO--Rabbi vs Rabbi:

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Maui News: Hawaii’s recovery begun, but slow

Hawaii's economy has hit bottom and is bouncing back up, according to a county-by-county forecast by University of Hawaii economists.

It will be a slow bounce, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization in a report issued today.

Visitor arrivals are a key measure, and "all counties will see net growth for the year as a whole," led by "surprisingly consistent growth on Maui."

UHERO notes that the Neighbor Islands went down further and faster than Oahu, so that even though they are rebounding faster than Oahu, the visitor industry on the state's most populated island should remain relatively better off.

Even if, as predicted, Oahu's visitor head count rises only 1.5 percent this year, that will bring it back to within a "few percentage points" of the 2007 record levels.

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Democrat Borreca: Abercrombie proffers idea of single-payer health care

A single-payer system would have either the state or some other entity, instead of private insurers like the Hawaii Medical Service Association or Kaiser Permanente, providing health care.

"The state will have to come to grips as to whether or not it itself will go into a single-payer plan in order to salvage any kind of capacity for the state employees," Abercrombie said, adding "we can't have the insurance companies dictating to us what they will provide."

The state finished in 2006 a one-year study of a single-payer model, which found that if everyone in the state, not just state employees, were in the plan, it would save money for employers but would require workers to pay a special payroll tax of up to 9.5 percent.

State Sen. Josh Green (D, Milolii-Waimea), who chaired the study group, said "it would take a giant leap of faith and political courage" to take the private insurance companies out of the picture.

"The question is, Do you have the guts to transition the system radically away from private insurance models?" Green, a physician, said. (No surprise here.  HFP has for years been alone in understanding and explaining the Sen. Josh Green is a socialist medicine advocate.)

Related: Legislative Report: Convert HHSC to non-profit, dump civil service (full text)

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DCCC still peddling Obamacare:  Charles Djou’s Plan to Re-Open the Medicare Donut Hole

DCCC opens up a new line of attack.

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HR: In Hawaii, Education Reform or Education Conform?

the DOE is viewing this less as a chance to reform, than as a validation and justification of their current ‘efforts’.  This attitude was sparked by a recent study which hailed Hawaii as having standards which accurately resembled and aligned with the new national standards.

According to the Star-Advertiser, Ronn Nozoe the acting deputy superintendent of schools, declared that this was, “…Validation that we’ve been on the right track.”

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SA: State must speed up food stamp processing

This year's Legislature rejected a proposal by the Lingle administration to streamline statewide services to the needy, including food-stamp applicants. Lillian Koller, the state human services director, said Hawaii's "horse-and-buggy system that is labor-intensive, costly and slow" in providing public assistance should replicate changes made in Florida's system.

Florida's 2004 overhaul received national attention and praise by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers food stamps. However, the changes in Hawaii were opposed by the Hawaii Government Employees Association because of the projected laying off of 228 state workers through the efficiency.

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US Supreme Court decision places cloud on publicly funded campaigns

This past Tuesday, all eyes were on some hotly contested primaries, but there was also a decision by the United States Supreme Court that may have an impact on publicly funded campaigns across the country, Hawaii included. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Arizona from distributing matching campaign funds to publicly funded candidates. Here's a link to the CBS News story.

Lower courts are split on the constitutionality of Arizona's matching fund program. In January 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that matching funds discourage privately funded candidates from raising or spending donations because that would trigger the matching government funds for their opponents. That constituted an impact on free speech. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, disagreed and ruled that the impact to free speech was minimal. This week's decision serves to stop Arizona's Clean Elections program at least until the Supreme Court determines whether to hear the opponent's full appeal.

CBS: US Supreme Court Blocks Ariz. Campaign Finance Law

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New law guards gun rights

Soon after the tsunami scare in February reminded Hawaii residents of their vulnerability, Dr. Maxwell Cooper, former director of the Hawaii Rifle Association, called his state representative….

Cooper asked state Rep. Ken Ito (D, Kaneohe) to help revive a bill to prohibit the state from confiscating legal firearms and ammunition during an emergency or disaster. The bill, similar to legislation passed on the mainland after Hurricane Katrina, had been sitting in the state House for a year and was going nowhere.

"The tsunami let everybody focus on why it was a good idea," said Cooper, who is retired and splits his time between Kaneohe and Washington state.

Within weeks the bill - sponsored by state Sen. Sam Slom (R, Kahala-Hawaii Kai) - sailed through the House with little objection. Gov. Linda Lingle signed it into law in May.

The new law is a rare victory for gun-rights advocates in the islands.

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Robbery Suspect Was On Special Probation Program

HONOLULU -- A convicted felon is now accused of robbing an Aiea store, and the store owner wonders how the suspect could even have been free, given his violent past.

The prosecutor said Solomon Kalei Kalani should have been in prison.

Kalani was part of Hawaii's groundbreaking Hope Probation program.

On April 27, prosecutors said, Kalani, 34, entered the Cloud 9 Internet Café in Aiea. Prosecutors said Kalani said he had a gun and cleaned out the cash register.

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Car Thieves Steal Soldier Fundraiser Proceeds

Missing was the entire proceeds of a fundraiser for the soldiers of the 3-25th Aviation Regiment based at Wheeler Army Airfield.

Boxes of T-shirts, bracelets and donated raffle prizes valued at around $3,000 were in the back of William's SUV.

"A lot of people put a lot of time, months, of blood, sweat and tears into helping this battalion of soldiers, and it really felt like a violation," said Williams.

The sale of the T-shirts and money raised from the motorcycle poker run held over the weekend was to be used to host a homecoming ball in October for the 600 soldiers, now serving in Iraq, and their families.

"It would just be a little token of our appreciation of their service, which all military members should be getting," said Chuck Patterson, director of American Legion Riders Post 17.

Thieves took about 170 of the specially designed shirts and about 950 plastic bracelets engraved with the 3-25th Regiment's motto, "Lele makou no na puali", which translated means, "we fly for the troops." Homecoming ball organizers are hoping someone will recognize them and return the items.

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Hawaii Meth Project: Year one

Despite good intentions and positive results from the latest Hawaii Meth Project, there is lingering controversy over the Montana Meth Project, the pilot meth program on which Hawaii and 6 other states are modeled.

In an April 2008 paper, University of Western Australia researcher David Erceg-Hurn highly criticized the Montana Project. Citing problems with constancy of methodology, lack of peer review, and manipulated data, he noted incongruities in the released results of the first two years, ‘05 and ‘06, with ‘07 and ’08. Yet several states, including Hawaii, later used Montana Meth Project statistics dating from 2005 to justify starting their own programs. Although Erceg-Hurn’s critique was published the year prior to the launch of the Hawaii Meth Project, Adams says his findings had no impact on the creation of Hawaii’s surveys.

The ads have also come under scrutiny. Dr. Bill Haning, Director of Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Hawaii’s medical school believes the ads do scare people and isn’t sure that’s a bad thing. “This isn’t a case of Reefer Madness. What concerns me is whether the shock factor has a therapeutic effect or lasting influence on decision making.”

Haning may have the chance to find out. Despite his variant point of view—he has said Erceg-Hurn’s analysis was probably accurate and fair; Haning is now the principal investigator of the next Hawaii follow-up study. He also thinks the message of the ads needs a strategy to help polish refusal skills and address those already in trouble with meth. Adams and Denny say they already get calls from kids who see the ads and want help.

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Maui water ruling affects HC&S

Although the proposed diversion has been reduced, HC&S officials remained concerned that their water needs will not be met and that significant, costly upgrades will be needed. The plantation has diverted water from the streams for sugar irrigation for more than 100 years.

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Verbatim: King Kamehameha Day Presidential Proclamation (Obama denounces America again)

On this bicentennial King Kamehameha Day, we celebrate the history and heritage of the Aloha State, which has immeasurably enriched our national life and culture. The Hawaiian narrative is one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice. It is the story of Native Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom. These grim milestones remind us of an unjust time in our history, as well as the many pitfalls in our Nation’s long and difficult journey to perfect itself. Yet, through the peaks and valleys of our American story, Hawaii’s steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when we are united in a spirit of limitless possibility.

In the decades since their persecution, Native Hawaiians have remained resilient. They are part of the diverse people of Hawaii who, as children of pioneers and immigrants from around the world, carry on the unique cultures and traditions of their forebears. As Americans, we can all admire these traits, as well as the raw natural beauty of the islands themselves. Truly, the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii echoes the American Spirit, representing the opportunities we all have to grow and learn from one another as we carry our Nation toward a brighter day.

REALITY: Prince Kuhio: The bridge from Kingdom to State, Our American Triumph: Civil Rights and Hawaii Statehood, Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American

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Ka Iwi reclassified as conservation zone, but the community’s battle to protect it continues on

The fight now is for the mauka side of the region, which is still part of the urban district and therefore much more vulnerable. Most recently, a proposed development of cabins was met with public opposition and has been thwarted, at least temporarily, since it lacked a clear recreational component. Esterman points out that this opposition “needs to be sustained,”

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Councilman wants complete fireworks ban (snob alert)

Lighting a pack of fireworks could land you in jail and result in a stiff fine under a proposal currently before the Honolulu City Council.

Bill 34, introduced by Councilman Gary Okino, would ban the possession of all fireworks. The only exception would be pyrotechnics used in professional displays….

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Billionaire proposes massive home on grass farm in Kilauea

Steven Dechka is the president and chief executive officer of Canpotex Ltd., a company based in Saskatchewan, Canada, that produces potash. Canpotex is the world’s largest exporter of potash, according to its website. 

(Not politically correct like Omidyar…so the local activists and their media are doing everything they can to stop him.)

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Kauai Council considers sex harassment suits

In the fall of 2008, an unknown individual or individuals hacked into Plaintiffs financial accounts, social networking accounts and various retail merchant accounts. The hacker made unauthorized purchases on Plaintiff's credit cards, and created and posted documents and web-pages online that falsely suggested that Plaintiff was not unable to work for Defendant, but that she was instead making significant money by moonlighting or working for the private sector while she claimed to be suffering from a hostile workplace at the Liquor Department. The hacker(s) took various actions with regard to Plaintiff's accounts, which appear to be designed so as to discredit Plaintiffs claims against the County.

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The GOP's new hue

In the West, where Democrats made significant inroads in the last two election cycles, aside from Martinez Republicans have nominated a pair of women to run for governor and Senate in California, a woman to run for the Senate and an Hispanic to run for governor in Nevada, and there are competitive female gubernatorial and Senate candidates in Arizona and Colorado. In Hawaii Lt Gov. Duke Aiona, who is of Chinese, Portuguese and native Hawaiian descent, is running for governor.

In Florida, 39-year-old Cuban-American Senate hopeful Marco Rubio became such a hit among conservatives that he forced a once-popular governor out of the party and is already being talked about as having a place on a future national ticket.

And after lacking a single black Republican in Congress since 2003, Republicans are fielding a number of African-American House candidate--including one, Tim Scott of South Carolina, who would be the first Deep South black Republican since Reconstruction.

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Birther crackpot hired by Honolulu Election Commission  (Thanks, Mufi) 

A college instructor who worked as a senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in 2008 (thanks, Mufi) is making the stunning claim Barack Obama was definitely not born in Hawaii as the White House maintains, and that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Obama does not even exist in the Aloha State.

"There is no birth certificate," said Tim Adams, a graduate assistant who teaches English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. "It's like an open secret. There isn't one. Everyone in the government there knows this."

Adams, who says he's a Hillary Clinton supporter

(Yup, birtherism was invented by Clinton Democrats and is peddled by 9-11 trooothers.  It’s sucker bait.  Don’t be a sucker.)

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An Energy Strategy for Grown-Ups: Wind power is not a realistic substitute for oil

Stop pretending wind power has anything to do with reducing America’s dependence on oil. Windmills generate electricity—not transportation fuel. Wind has become the energy pet rock of the 21st century and a taxpayer rip-off. According to the Energy Information Administration, wind produces only 1.3% of U.S. electricity but receives federal taxpayer subsidies 25 times as much per megawatt hour as subsidies for all other forms of electricity production combined. Wind can be an energy supplement, but it has nothing to do with ending our dependence on oil.

If we need more green electricity, build nuclear plants. The 100 commercial nuclear plants we already have produce 70% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity. Yet the U.S. has just broken ground on our first new reactor in 30 years, while China starts one every three months and France is 80% nuclear. We wouldn’t mothball our nuclear Navy if we were going to war. We shouldn’t mothball our nuclear plants if we want low-cost, reliable green energy.

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