Church-based voter drive brings 15,000 to polls, powers GOP House gains
Stacey Djou: On the bright side
Shapiro: Sen Donna Mercado Kim to terrorize tourism, witch-hunt Lingle appointees
Of course, some longtime power brokers who helped shape the new coalition will still hold a lot of sway behind the scenes — primarily Sens. Donna Mercado Kim and Rosalyn Baker.
Kim relinquished the Ways and Means chair, but she returns as vice president and will chair a new panel, Investigations and Tourism, that enables her to indulge her two passions — playing “gotcha” with the administration, as former Gov. Ben Cayetano put it, and terrorizing tourism marketers.
One of my correspondents who follows the Legislature closely described the mission of the new Kim committee thusly: “I’m going to get you, my pretties, and your little dog, too. Bwhahahaha!!!” Sounds about right.
A committee assignment that raised eyebrows was Sen. Clayton Hee’s return as Judiciary chairman after he wreaked so much havoc in two previous incarnations that he had to be replaced — once by voters and once by leadership.
Civil Union Supporters Hopeful After General Election
Opponents of civil unions said they would continue their push to let the people decide.
But civil union supporters said the people have already decided in the way they voted last Tuesday. (Even though civil unions was not the center of either campaign's platform.)
“That’s really what showed in the election, is that everybody saw this and took this as something of equality,” Young said.
Young knows more hard work lies ahead when the state legislature convenes in January. She’d like to see lawmakers quickly settle the issue that has long divided a community.
Abercrombie's 17-point victory startles some, despite his union help
According to several political observers in Hawaii, the road to Abercrombie's latest big victory was paved by several factors: avoiding negative messages (getting your union and progressive minions to do the dirty work does not constitute avoiding negative messages); a strong grass-roots effort; targeted appeals to constituencies; significant help from labor unions; and the endorsement of his Democratic primary rival.
Abercrombie helped make Hawaii a rare bright spot for Democrats on a night when Republicans rolled up huge gains in Congress and in governor's offices. He replaces two-term Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, whose popularity has waned in the past two years. (Thanks to the agit-prop show put on by Abercrombie’s unions and Abercrombie’s Kanu Hawaii/SoS activists funded by billionaire Omidyar.)
State Rep. Kimberly Pine (R, Ewa Beach) said Abercrombie appropriated GOP themes, such as a vow not to raise the general excise tax and to steer more education decision-making to the school level. Abercrombie also promised Filipino residents to help bring their families in the Philippines to America, (even thought this is a Congressional issue and he didn’t do squat about it in 20 years) said Pine, whose district includes a significant Filipino community….
Marian Grey, who heads the GOP's House District 18 committee…wanted the state party to focus more on economic rather than religious issues. Party Chairman Jonah Ka'auwai said in August that an Aiona victory would give Hawaii its first "righteous leader." "It turned me off, the party chair calling certain people 'righteous,'" said Grey, who is Jewish. "I will never be what they consider to be 'righteous.'"
Others said the GOP made a tactical error in not getting behind a moderate candidate for lieutenant governor who could better complement Aiona's conservatism than the equally conservative Rep. Lynn Finnegan. They pointed to the moderate Lingle's embrace of Aiona in 2002 as a model. "I had told them, right straight, if you want to win, you need a moderate," said Garret Hashimoto, chairman of the Hawaii Christian Coalition.
Hawaii Progressives thrilled by GOP gadfly Eric Ryan
The enthusiastic response from progressive Ian Lind is everything you need to know about Eric Ryan:
ILind: Ryan then attacks the party’s focus on HB444 and the issue of civil unions. In Ryan’s view, this was at the expense of Republican arguments about the economy, which he says would have carried more weight. (And we progressives want you Republicans to dump church-goers, one of your key constituencies, because then you will be even weaker.)
Ryan says party organization was weak, claiming the GOP’s executive committee and state committee had continuing trouble getting quorums for their meetings, but key individuals put their effort into the top campaigns rather than the Republican ticket. (And we progressives want them to stop running real campaigns for Governor or Congress.)
Ryan also calls for an audit of party finances. (Which us Democrats would love: Watching GOPers tear each other apart. We might even get the DNC to send Ryan some lawyers and accountants.)
Overall, it’s quite an interesting take on the state of the Republican Party (from the standpoint of us progressives who call GOPers “teabaggers” and “bigots”.)
REALITY: Church-based voter drive brings 15,000 to polls, powers GOP House gains
NYT: In Waikiki, Fears That Construction Will Spoil Beach
The main requirement was a 1:1 ratio between height and setback, meaning a building could only be as tall as the open space in front of it was deep.
For decades, the rules remained in place. The Halekulani, a hotel built in 1981, stands far back from the beach, behind landscaped grounds.
But now Kyo-ya, which owns large swaths of Waikiki, is proposing a $700 million redevelopment of its Princess Kaiulani and Moana Surfrider hotels. The plan would include replacing an eight-story wing of the Moana Surfrider with a 26-story hotel and condo tower — at 300 feet, more than twice as tall as the 1976 rules allow.
(Enviros vs Hotel = Abercrombie vs Inouye)
WSJ: Hawaii Local's Inside Play
Welcome to real-estate investment in Hawaii. One of the idiosyncrasies of doing deals in the state is that several Hawaiian property owners still control large chunks of Hawaii that users like the Pagoda Hotel pay to occupy under long-term lease agreements.
Players like Mr. Savio, (the ILWU’s pet investor) who have worked with these arrangements for years, have a bit of a leg up over investors with less experience. Indeed, Mr. Savio already has stabilized the property's future by cutting a deal with the trust that owns the land to extend the lease to 37 years.
"A lot of people are afraid of leaseholds," Mr. Savio says. "I have an advantage because I understand them." (and because of the comfortable relationship I have with KSBE.)
(KSBE/Savio/ILWU hoe like hoe like hoe like with Dan Inouye calling cadence)
The recent transaction is notable in part because it will maintain local ownership in a state where U.S. mainland and Japanese investors' high-end acquisitions have been
criticized for pushing prices beyond the reach of many natives during previous real-estate booms edging out local elites and their political machine. (Now you know why the ILWU endorsed Hannemann)
TOTALLY RELATED: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can change that
Kobayashi to back Garcia for council chair
The nine-member City Council will include newly elected members Ernie Martin (Mililani Mauka, the North Shore and parts of Windward Oahu), Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo (Downtown, Nuuanu, Kalihi Valley), Stanley Chang (Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head, Waikiki) and whomever voters in Apo's District 1 elect to replace him in a special election that will conclude Dec. 29. Apo's district covers Ewa, Ewa Beach, Honouliuli, West Loch, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina and the Leeward Coast.
Garcia said he hopes to be voted permanent chairman after the new members join the board Jan. 3….
Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said she plans to vote today for Garcia, her former colleague in the Legislature, to serve as interim Council chairman.
Kona faction retakes Hawaii Co Council: Yagong Chair, Hoffman V Chair
In an organizational meeting held Sunday at Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong's Honokaa home, Yagong was elected chairman and Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann vice chairman, Yagong confirmed. In addition to Yagong and Hoffmann, the meeting included South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford and councilors-elect Angel Pilago, of North Kona, Fred Blas, of Pahoa, and Brittany Smart, of Ka'u.
Not invited to the meeting were current Chairman J Yoshimoto and Councilmen Dennis "Fresh" Onishi and Donald Ikeda, all of Hilo.
Yagong said tentative committee chair and vice chair assignments, respectively, are: Ford and Yagong, Finance; Hoffmann and Pilago, Planning; Blas and Ford, Parks and Recreation and Public Works; Smart and Pilago, Environmental Management; Pilago and Yoshimoto, Human Services, Social Services and Public Safety; Yoshimoto and Hoffmann, Energy and Water Sustainability; Ikeda and Onishi, Agriculture and Economic Development; Hoffmann and Blas, Housing Agency; Pilago and Smart, Intergovernmental Relations; and Onishi and Ikeda, Mass Transit.
Yagong said the appointments of those present at the meeting are solid. He said the Hilo councilmen's assignments are tentative because he hadn't yet contacted them.
(All of this is preparation for Yagong’s 2012 run for mayor.)
HTH: Council's balance of power shifts to Kona (same article)
HTH: County band's future in doubt (Kenoi pulling out perennial threat as part of budget negotiations. See: "Washington Monument Gambit.")
Hawaii's economy is improving, but the degree of the rebound is uneven (job growth is flat)
The L, U and V characterize the shapes created by graphs depicting how various sectors of the state economy are rebounding. While all the Hawaii economists agree that things are getting better, the degree of improvement is in the eyes of the beholder.
"My observation is that 2010 has revealed more of an alphabet soup," said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics. "Different people will emphasize different aspects of the word 'LUV.' Some focus on the L, others on the V, still others contemplate the width of the U."
Brewbaker says jobs are the most L-shaped, real personal income has kind of a flattish U shape, the visitor arrivals count has a decidedly U shape to it and existing home sales are positively V-shaped.
Kalapa: Just say no to more tax subsidies for business
Here in Hawai‘i not only has state and county government taken on the draconian role of the public regulator, imposing all sorts of licensing and permitting requirements, but in recent years government has taken on the role of trying to direct economic development, deciding which types of activities were preferable by granting all sorts of subsidies and tax breaks for those activities. While politicians like to think that they are helping to provide new employment opportunities and diversifying the economic base, it comes at a price. And that price is a heavier tax burden on all other taxpayers who are not so favored.
So while the favored activities get all sorts of help from state or local government, the rest of the tax- payers struggle to make ends meet or keep their doors open. This gap between the favored and the not so favored became acutely apparent during the past two legislative sessions when lawmakers, faced with a billion-dollar short fall, struggled to find ways to close that gap by raising taxes and fees. At the same time, they attempted to take back some of the subsidies and tax incentives and found themselves accused of going back on their word.
Advocates for these tax breaks and subsidies railed against lawmakers arguing that they had made plans based on the provisions of these laws and to change the rules in the middle of the game was just wrong and would send signals to others that one could not rely on Hawai‘i law.
With the expiration of some of these tax incentives there will, no doubt, be efforts to renew and extend these tax incentives. Lawmakers should be wary that to do so may put them right back into a no-win situation of having to raise revenues while still having to give away the very revenues they need because they extended these tax incentives.
BOE meeting to discuss closing Farrington complex schools
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Board of Education meets Monday to set up a public hearing date on the possibility of consolidating schools in the Farrington complex.
Plus, there will be discussion on student meal prices.
That's Monday afternoon, during the BOE meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Queen Liliuokalani Building on Miller Street.
Here’s what they WILL NOT be shutting down: Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year
Hawaii Mafia enforcer back in court again
John Kalani Lincoln, who once described himself to the FBI as “an enforcer” for organized crime figures in Hawaii, will be back in court in January on five traffic court offenses….
Lincoln’s criminal record includes four felony convictions: having sex with an underage girl in 1966, escape from prison in 1967, attempted second-degree murder for shooting a bar doorman in 1967 and escape from prison in 1981. He was acquitted of killing a fellow inmate in 1974.
Lincoln was acquitted for a 1978 double murder for hire trial on Maui in 1992 after his third trial. He had been found guilty twice before for the gangland-style killing of two men and severely wounding a woman.
Lincoln was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison in 1994 after pleading guilty to charges of possessing and distributing crystal methamphetamine and having loaded firearms on three occasions in 1992 and 1993.
He was released in April 2009 after serving a five-year term for violating the conditions of his supervisory release in June 2004.
He was arrested in December 2004 and given the five-year federal sentence after testing positive for morphine, methamphetamine and codeine and associating with known felons.
Prior to that sentence Lincoln served 13 years in state prison for the 1978 double murder on Maui before he was acquitted in 1992.
Lincoln is an accomplished musician and has composed songs including “My Hawaiian Queen” — a tribute to Queen Liliuokalani — and “Oh Aku”. (Another criminal with “sovereignty” on his mind--what a surprise.)
Kauai County plans meetings on drug treatment programs
Kauai County's Anti-Drug Office will be hosting a series of public meetings, starting tomorrow, on drug treatment and recovery programs, along with options in community settings.
Obvious question: Will OHA AGAIN block Kauai Co from building a drug treatment facility?
REALITY: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii,
Procedure change at Hawaii Community Correctional
HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Procedures are being changed at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center after a man whom police consider dangerous was able to leave the facility while police were there to arrest him on a new warrant.
Efforts to curb use of injection wells continue: Maui Wastewater Working Group doesn’t want work tossed aside
WAILUKU - With a new mayoral administration taking office Jan. 3, several members of Mayor Charmaine Tavares' Maui Wastewater Working Group worried aloud last week that their work over the past 13 months to dramatically reduce Maui County's use of injection wells will be for nothing….
County officials and group members said, for instance, that for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. to be able to use the county's recycled water, it will require an upgrade of the treatment, dedicated pipelines, new pumping stations and potentially as many as five 160-million-gallon storage reservoirs….
"It would be a shame if we all walked out of this room today and did not act in an advisory capacity in the future," said Dan Clegg of Monsanto Co. "We've got to keep this moving."
Write-in candidate Murkowski appears on target to win Alaskan Senate seat
The Senate’s only GOP Akaka Bill backer may survive.
Clinton visits American Samoa after two-week trip to Asia
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is delighted by the gift of a large traditional kava bowl as Governor Togiola Tulafono explains the cultural significance. Kahuku High School graduate, US Congressman Faleomavaega Hunkin looks on from the side, at the Governor's VIP Lounge, Tafuna International Airport, Tutuila, American Samoa.
RELATED: Election Results: Dems hold Samoa, GOP holds Guam