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Friday, November 12, 2010
November 12, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:14 PM :: 6056 Views

CBS News: Hawaii AG Bennett’s suit could be deathknell to drug price manipulation

The Obamacare Burden To Your State Budget

Lingle and Lee honor state's U.S. veterans

"It's been a wonderful privilege to be governor of the great state of Hawaii these past eight years. It's also been an unexpected and unbelievable honor to be the commander in chief of the Hawaii National Guard and to be a friend of America's military here in Hawaii," Lingle said.

Lee thanked Hawaii's veterans and their families for the honor of welcoming them to Veterans Day ceremonies for the past eight years. He also praised Lingle for her commitment to Hawaii veterans and appreciation of the men and women in uniform.

"Gov. Lingle has been present at virtually all of our National Guard send-offs for our soldiers and airmen, and she was there when they came home," he said.

Two Hawaii National Guard units are on deployment in Afghanistan: the 230th Engineer Company and B Company, 171st Aviation Regiment.

Hawaii State Office of Veterans Services Director Mark Moses said there are 120,000 veterans living in Hawaii, the highest per capita population of veterans after Alaska.

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McDermott vs Kahele for Leeward-Ewa Council Seat

As of yesterday, former Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott and failed union leader thug Mel Kahele, of Iron Workers Local 625 Union (after the Teamsters tossed him out), were the only two candidates who had filed the needed paperwork with the city’s Elections Division.

The deadline for candidates to file is next Friday, Nov. 19, and the mail-in vote is scheduled to conclude Dec. 29.

RELATED: Special Election: Former Rep. Bob McDermott to seek Todd Apo’s Honolulu Council seat

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Budget: Abercrombie discovers there is no tooth fairy

This is the week Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie finds out:

A) There is no Santa Claus.

B) No Tooth Fairy either.

C) Easter Bunny never was.

D) The state budget doesn't balance unless you furlough workers, raise taxes or start cutting programs.

Outgoing Budget Director Georgina Kawamura spent Wednesday morning briefing Abercrombie's transition team on the upcoming state budget. She told the new folks that while she is drawing up each department's budget ceilings, making it balance will be up to Abercrombie.

Asked if the budget balances, Kawamura said "No."

"The budget is based on assumptions. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made before this document can be sent to the Legislature," Kawamura told me.

For instance, the upcoming state budget does not include furloughs; they end June 30, 2011. With no furloughs after July, millions more will be needed for worker salaries. That puts at least a $170 million hole in the state budget, according to state Rep. Marcus Oshiro, who has guided the House Finance Committee for the last four years.

Add to that the expectation that the state workers health insurance program will need an extra $63 million because of an unpaid carryover from 2009. Also coming due are outstanding bills for Medicaid of $143 million in 2012 and $175 million in 2013.

Both Oshiro and state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland foresee an additional $100 million in increased Medicaid payments because more people will be using the system.

Wait, it gets worse….

RELATED: The Obamacare Burden To Your State Budget

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Point man for federal stimulus spending in Hawaii sees the benefits -- and limitations

Funniest Quote: “On balance, he said, the spending has stabilized state government….”  Maybe there really IS a tooth fairy, Neil.

The second-funniest part of this article is where he is asked what are the biggest misconceptions about Stimulus and he doesn’t say “Abercrombie’s belief that ‘more federal funds’ will solve everything.”

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DoE/BoE wants to close 5 schools-but opposes Audit

Being considered: Close Kamiloiki or Koko Head elementary school.

Being considered: Close Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School.

Being considered: Close Kalihi and Puuhale elementary schools.

NOT BEING CONSIDERED: Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year

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Hawaii-based Marines leave for 7-month deployment

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 580 Marines and sailors from Marine Corps Base Hawaii are on their way to Afghanistan.

They deployed Thursday for a seven-month mission in the Helmand province….

When these Marines and sailors touchdown in Helmand Province there will be a brief transfer of authority between the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. The 3rd Battalion will return to Hawaii sometime in Mid-December.

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Hope for Hawaii's homeless veterans

When he makes contact with a homeless veteran, Johnson offers food, shelter, and a way out of homelessness.

"I usually state to them that I'm with U.S. Vets," he said.

He asks them if they're familiar with the organization and if they would like to learn more about it….

Johnson has taken scores of them off the street to the Kalaeloa shelter where they get back on their feet.

When the sun comes up tomorrow he'll be making the rounds again.

U.S. Vets holds its Patriot Walk and Run fundraiser Saturday at the Waterfront at Puuloa.

For more information go to

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Star-Advertiser pushes for Homeless tent cities

Camping permits at city parks are intended for people occasionally pitching tents, but many of Oahu's 4,000 homeless have found them to be long-term residences. The growing problem should pressure the city to find other "safe zones" for the homeless (ie Tent Cities) so city beach parks can return to their intended use by residents as places to relax….

The problem, though, of finding a place for the homeless to spend the night will remain. Neither the city nor state can afford to purchase land as "safe zones" for the homeless to lay their heads. As mayor, Mufi Hannemann supported the concept of tent cities but warned that they must come with rules, water, sanitation and private partners to secure them and provide basic services without imposing shelter rules that would result in an exodus.

Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie stated during this year's campaign, "In the short term, we need to partner with community agencies, the private sector and others to get needed services to individuals and families ... As we go forward, we need more housing that working people can actually afford." Upon becoming mayor, Peter Carlisle signed into law a ban on tents and shopping carts on sidewalks, having tactlessly ACCURATELY uttered as a candidate that sprinklers should be turned on in the middle of night in parks where the homeless are camping.  (Excellent idea which will help FORCE the homeless to accept shelter space.)

The Lingle administration opposed legislation that would have enabled campsites as "safe zones" for the homeless on city or state park land. But with new administrations on the state and city levels, renewed efforts must be made for inspired options. In July, three state representatives floated the idea of the public and private sectors coming together to create an outdoor area for homeless tents in the short term. This idea should be explored. The current situation in Waianae in which limited camping permits intended for public enjoyment are co-opted for makeshift homes should not continue.

REALITY: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

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WaPo looks at Lingle’s 2012 plans

Outgoing Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) will take a six-month sabbatical before deciding whether to challenge Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) in 2012, she told the Associated Press.

Lingle's last day in office, after two terms, is Dec. 6, and there have long been questions about what her political future holds.

"I've been in public life for 30 years," Lingle said. "I think it's important for anyone who has lived this kind of a public life and intense life where they are making decisions every day, to have time for reflection, more time for reading, more time to create a context for Hawaii's future."

Still relatively young at 57 years old and having raised $6 million for her most recent reelection campaign in 2006, Lingle is Republicans' best prospect to run against Akaka, Outgoing Rep. Charles Djou (R) is a other option.

Of course, there's also the possibility that the 86-year-old Akaka doesn't seek another term, in which case Lingle would almost certainly be more likely to run.

Making Lingle's task more difficult might be the fact that she would be running on the same ballot as President Obama, who carried his home state with 72 percent of the vote in 2008.

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Overseas ballots arrived too late to vote

According to the postmark, our absentee ballots were mailed to us on Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. from Honolulu using a 39-cent stamp. "Ballots must be received before 6 p.m. Election Day to be counted" warns the absentee balloting material.

I'm teaching this year at our University of Hawaii Maui College's sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, in what is considered rural China. My absentee ballot arrived a day after the U.S. election. Barry's has yet to arrive. It is a good thing that none of our candidates, like Ray Hart, lost by more than two votes or we would be even more upset.

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State refuses to hide suicide's case records

In her letter to Mizuno, Koller wrote, "As an aside, there was only minimal viewing of the Celes foster care records on our Web site until your legislative briefing on Nov. 5. That briefing produced a one-day spike in Web activity."

After leaving foster care on his 19th birthday in March, Celes lived in a number of homes until he hanged himself at his mother's workplace on Sept. 7.

A September autopsy report found that Celes' "ex-girlfriend committed suicide by hanging a few weeks ago. He subsequently said he wanted to kill himself."

The autopsy found that Celes had enough methamphetamine and its "breakdown product," amphetamine, in his system to suggest that he had used methamphetamine around the time he took his life.


SA: Transitional housing to shelter 'gap group'

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Under Wraps: $2M in Contracts to Lychee Production headed by Mufi campaign aide 

After learning that the City & County of Honolulu has awarded nearly $5 million since 2005 on public outreach for the project, Civil Beat was interested to know who was receiving this money. We were especially curious about the biggest recipient: Lychee Production Inc.

We found the company's "principal," Laura Pennington, a one-time campaign aide to former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, but she won't talk.

As we've previously reported, most of the 14 companies hired to do the work have no websites or listed phone numbers, and those that were tracked down were reluctant to talk about their contracts.

Because the work was subcontracted out by the three companies hired to manage the rail project, the outreach contracts aren't directly with the city, although taxpayer dollars are being spent. While the city's Rapid Transit Division says it oversees the work being done, it has told us the contracts and any progress reports aren't available for review by the public.

CB: Mayor Says He's Found "Circle the Wagons" Mentality at Honolulu Hale

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A Council measure is drafted to address lax oversight of breaks for historic properties

Poor Kirk Caldwell.  Jut wait ‘til he gets the same tax bill the peasants get.

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Vote to reclassify Koa Ridge is not valid, the Sierra Club says

The Sierra Club is appealing the state Land Use Commission's decision to reclassify 576 acres of agriculture land in Central Oahu for Castle & Cooke's Koa Ridge housing and commercial development and to conditionally approve the reclassification of another 192 acres of agriculture land nearby for the second phase of the project.

The environmental organization filed its appeal in Circuit Court Wednesday. It claims the commission's Oct. 15 decision did not receive the necessary number of votes for approval because Duane Kanuha was ineligible to serve as a commissioner.

The Hawaii Administrative Rules for the Land Use Commission say approvals of petitions for boundary amendments require six "yes" votes.

The vote was 6-0 in favor with three members excused. Kanuha cast one of the six votes.

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Affordable-housing plan needs county's OK

The state Land Use Commission has provided conditional approval for urbanizing 272 acres on the Big Island, advancing a plan to develop 2,330 homes initiated by the state to provide work-force housing.

Last week's decision, opposed strongly by the property's former owner (Queen Liliuokalani Trust), advances the estimated $734 million master-planned community called Kamakana Villages at Keahuolu for consideration by various Hawaii County entities, including the County Council.

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1,271 Hawaii Foreclosures in October

The mainland research firm Realty Trac counted 1,271 new filings in Hawaii but said there were hundreds fewer than in either August or September.

Realty Trac counted only three actual foreclosure sales across the state.

Of the other filings, many of which are settled before actual foreclosure through short sales or caught-up payments, there were more than 100 in just two hotspots statewide, Honolulu and Kona.

But there were 90 in Ewa, 77 in Kihei, 60 in Kapolei and 59 in Lahaina. And 54 filings were counted in Waianae, showing that foreclosures in some cases include many local homeowners, not only investment buyers from out of state.

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Hawaii remains tops in millionaires

Hawaii - 444,202 total households, 30,793 millionaire households, amounting to 6.93% of total.


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Dope smoking progressives at Maui Time love Eric Ryan

Maui Time: Ryan made similar, if more measured, remarks last year when Ka'auwai, Finnegan and others were tapped as the party's new, "fresh-faced" leaders. "Not one of these officers has ever run a campaign, most have never been on a campaign," he told the AP at the time. 

Now they have, and the results speak for themselves.

PULL QUOTE: You'd be hard-pressed to find a more fragmented, marginalized and ineffectual group than Hawaii Republicans.


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Murderer’s wife identified as UH Prof Rachael Rivers Boulay

The Web site for the college, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, lists Rachel Boulay as a professor there. A woman named Rachel Rivers testified for Boulay at his trial and said he was never violent while they were dating.

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Abercrombie Announces Leader to Plan Inaugural Events

HONOLULU, HI – Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie today announced that Karey Oura Kapoi will be in charge of planning the gubernatorial inaugural events.

In accordance with tradition, the inauguration will take place on the grounds of Iolani Palace on Dec. 6. Abercrombie will be sworn in at 12 p.m. The inauguration will also embrace new events, including ceremonies on the neighbor islands planned before the end of the year.

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Ellsberg in Hawaii: Obama more secretive than Bush

"In all those fields, he (Obama) has really been at least as secretive as (former President George W.) Bush and in some respects, more so," Ellsberg said.

Ellsberg will be a guest tomorrow at the Davis Levin First Amendment Conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The famed whistle-blower said the United States is a country of "diminishing democracy" and that it has been for years.

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Bad Joke: Democrat media finds Hanabusa “crushworthy”

The Hill will soon be crawling with a new crop of freshmen congressmen and women. We can't introduce them all to you, but we were able to comb through the list of newcomers to select the 10 we've found particularly intriguing. Or, as we'll say, crushable. From the outgoing to the athletic, the stylish to the inspiring, (plus the just plain good-looking), here are 10 incoming representatives who we think, for plenty of reasons, will get the most valentines come February….  (And yes, these morons put Colleen Hanabusa on this list….)

REALITY: Everything you need to know about Abercrombie and Hanabusa

RELATED: Shapiro thinks Obama can learn from Abercrombie campaign (hilarious)

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Gay Lobby continues to use school bullying to impose agenda

“Out in the Silence" is being shown in 15 cities across the state this month. The film documents the struggles of a gay teenage boy from a small Pennsylvania town who was harassed and ignored by those around him.

"So we need to work together with communities that are trying to change this kind of environment, change this climate so that all people can feel welcome, included in their communities, and just have a chance at success in school and beyond," said Joe Wilson in "Out in the Silence".

Screenings of the film have taken place in rural areas in Texas, Pennsylvania and Hawaii

RELATED: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

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$824,373 fine sought for damage to coral

The fine, if approved, would be nearly double the $436,460 that the state paid American Marine Corp. for the Keawakapu artificial reef project.

According to a department document, American Marine dropped 125 Z-shaped concrete slabs onto Keawakapu Reef on Dec. 2. The damage covered 312 square meters of living reef well outside the area marked for the slabs.

According to the document, American Marine's barge appeared to drift as much as 300 to 400 feet from its buoy and had to be repositioned at least twice. After 1,452 slabs were sunk, state divers found several landed on coral.

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Republican leader Dick Tuell dies at 75

Richard "Dick" Tuell, a gregarious salesman and sportsman who helped hold the fractious Maui County Republican Party together as chairman in the late 1980s, has died. He was 75.

Former state Sen. Fred Rohlfing recalled that in the 1988 presidential election campaign, the Rev. Pat Robertson's bid inspired a flood of new Republicans into the local party. At the county meeting, chaired by Tuell, the newcomers very nearly prevented then-Mayor Hannibal Tavares, the county's leading Republican, from being a delegate to the state convention.

Tuell, whom Rohlfing described as an "organization" Republican, had to mediate between the old guard and the new party enthusiasts.

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