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Tuesday, November 23, 2010
November 23, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:32 PM :: 10018 Views

Heritage: Don’t Give In To North Korea Demands

The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom

New Biography: The Spirit of Father Damien The Leper Priest-A Saint for Our Times

'You did what?' How anti-trust lawyer broke up Big 5

Full Text: 18 Hawaii Groups call for greater openness at Legislature

Obama’s New START limits anti-missile defense

Last elected BoE to be sworn in Nov 29

Governor Lingle’s official portrait unveiled

Congress: How Hawaii delegation voted Nov 22

Federal Judge Agrees: CAIR Tied to Hamas

Concerned not enough dope is reaching cities, Hawaii Legislators call for expanded marijuana distribution

Top state lawmakers are looking for ways to make more medical marijuana available, especially to people in urban areas….

Owners of medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, including one owned by Hawaii residents, are encouraging Hawaii lawmakers to adopt the Colorado model of privately owned grow houses and dispensaries with heavy regulation and taxation.

Sen. Wil Espero (D-Ewa) said he is interested in hearing how private dispensaries would be kept free of criminal investment and other crime. He said the fear that criminals would dominate dispensary businesses is a major concern among his colleagues.

(This initiative is critical to Hawaii Democrats’ effort to expand their political base.)

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Registration deadline approaches for Special Election

Voters must choose a replacement for the District 1 seat on the Honolulu City Council of Todd Apo, and no fewer than 14 — yes, 14 — candidates will be fighting it out.

The deadline to register for the all-mail special election is Nov. 29. Voting concludes Dec. 29. Recovery begins immediately thereafter.

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Dissident group lining up to tackle House Speaker Say

Say has made enemies by repeatedly trying to cut the budget by trimming state benefits to public workers and refusing to consider raising the general excise tax to balance the budget.

Say has also been a practical politician, forming a political action committee, Citizens for Responsive Government, which raised a total of $262,000 during the last election cycle and doled out $116,000 to Democratic candidates.

Say has been speaker so long that a growing group of dissidents has formed to demand that they have a larger share in running the House. But the Rebel Alliance has not come up with a specific reason for a change except that the current system doesn't include them.

So far there are 19 votes for someone besides Say as speaker, while Say holds 24 votes. A speaker needs at least 26 votes to win.

Rep. Roy Takumi, another legislative veteran, is being boosted by some in the anti-Say block.

Interestingly Takumi is an employee of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO. Although the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state's largest public worker union, isn't actively working to defeat Say, it might find an agreeable legislative climate with someone other than Say

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Hawaii joblessness steady - but your island may vary

Here is how regular unemployment rates, without seasonal adjustment, broke down by operating county (with year-before joblessness in parenthesis):

  • Oahu 5.5% (5.8%)
  • Big Island 9.3% (9.9%)
  • Maui Co. 7.8% (8.7%)
  • Kauai 8.5% (8.7%)

Lanai unemployment, while below year-before levels, rose from 5.5% in September to 6% in October, while Molokai rose three tenths to 13.1%, (Thank you Walter Ritte and Collette Machado) a level that is actually higher than in October 2009.

DLIR said there were 700 more construction jobs in October, 300 more in health services, and 400 more in financial services. Tourism was firm, with steady hospitality employment, though transportation employment eased.

SA: State jobless rate stays at 6.4 percent despite tourism gains

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Responses refute existence of any recent 'Kill Haole Day'

In response to a column last week asserting that "Kill Haole Day" is a much-talked-about but otherwise nonexistent annual exercise in Hawaii schools, there were lots of e-mailed anecdotes that started with phrases like "Back in the 1970s ...," "Back in 1959 ...," "Back in 1968 when me and my brother used to surf on the North Shore." Some were firsthand accounts of last-day-of-school targeting of white kids; others were fables passed down through the years.

There were also a number of people who quoted statistics about recent hate crimes in Hawaii schools or mentioned the incidents in Kona a few years back. While these things do point to problems of racism and bullying that exist in Hawaii schools (and in Hawaii in general, as well as America in general), there was nothing in the avalanche of e-mail that affirmed the contemporary existence of a Kill Haole Day, a day — supposedly the last day of school — where hate crimes are carried out on white kids….

to state that Kill Haole Day is some sort of long-standing tradition in Hawaii schools that continues unchecked year after year up through contemporary times is just wrong. It labels an entire group of people as violent racists and tells an entire group of kids that they can expect to be victimized.

(Those are two excellent points about exactly what is wrong with constantly screaming “racism”.  Now, let’s apply this same logic to the Ethnic Studies department at UH Manoa.)

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Hawaii Welfare Recipients Spend Thousands In Tennessee

The state human services department provided KITV 4 News with a breakdown of two months worth of welfare spending from August and September of this year.

It shows more than 99 percent of cash assistance, $14.5 million, was spent in Hawaii. And just six-tenths of a percent was spent out of the state, equal to $80,563, during those two months….

Out-of-state food stamp expenses were much higher. Hawaii residents spent $848,745 at grocery stores across the country, worth approximately 1.3 percent of state food assistance money during those two months…

There's also this surprising finding: Hawaii families on welfare spent $36,396 in Tennessee over two months on 155 trips to grocers in that southern state, far from the islands.

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Advocates say halting mental-illness treatment leads to more problems

Uchima as well as several other people criticized the state Department of Health's budget-cutting decision in July 2009 to halt treatment of new patients for several mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder and major depression.

The department held a public hearing yesterday after a lawsuit was filed several months ago saying the state failed to follow rule-making procedures prior to making the changes. The lawsuit alleges that procedures require a public hearing before changes are made in eligibility requirements.

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Lingle: “Don’t fire the Cabinet”

…Aiona recalled how he and Lingle did not really know each other very well until they won their primaries and were paired as the GOP ticket in 2002. After the election, they started regular Monday lunches to talk story.

One early lunch, just before Lingle was preparing to leave the state on a trip, was memorable:

She said, `Well, you know I’m going to be leaving.’ I think it was Monday or whatever it was.

She says, `I’m going to be leaving and I just want to know. I want to get your assurance on this: Please, if anything should happen to me, don’t fire the Cabinet.’

(audience laughter)

I chuckled about that also …because that’s exactly what I was going to do….

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Isle artist Christy Fujii paints the state's first female governor

Lingle said she chose Fujii as the artist after seeing portraits of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV on display at the Queen's Medical Center's 150th-anniversary celebration. The governor said she was impressed that Fujii worked off black-and-white photographs of the monarchs.

"And yet, I could feel them," she said. "They were brought to life in this painting that I saw."

The Republican governor joked that she had to vet Fujii first.

"I said, 'Well, I want to meet her first,'" she said. "I have to make sure she's not a big Democrat or something."

Fujii is from South Korea and has lived in Hawaii since the 1970s. She has a gallery in Chinatown and is known mostly for her landscape paintings. She said that while it is ideal for the subject to sit for a portrait, her handful of meetings with the governor helped her interpret Noyle's photograph. She painted the portrait over seven weeks this year.

The commission was a greater opportunity than "any artist could ever ask for," Fujii said. "It was God's blessing."

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Hawaii Stands Alone on Charging For Review of Court Records

Hawaii is the only state in the nation to charge just to review a court file, according to the National Center for State Courts.

"We have not located any states other than Hawaii that charge a fee to view a court file," Greg Hurley, knowledge management analyst with the center, wrote Monday in an e-mail to Larry Webster, principal court management consultant with the center.

The center is a nonprofit court improvement organization whose work is in part informed by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators.

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DoE News: Kahuku Football player commits suicide

KAHUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The communities of Kahuku and Laie are mourning the loss of Keoni Tafuna, a 17-year old Kahuku High School student who took his own life Monday.

Tafuna's suicide has professionals reminding people that suicide help-lines are open 24-hours a day. Suicide prevention organizations are just a click or phone call away. And free suicide intervention workshops are available to people who would like to learn how to recognize people in high risk categories.

Tafuna was a co-captain on the Kahuku Red Raiders football team.

REALITY: Highest suicide rate in US: Hawaii DoE highschoolers

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DoE News: 2 boys arrested after explosion at school

Two Kapolei High School students were arrested, and an employee was sent to a hospital with lightheadedness and nausea after a plastic bottle exploded in a campus restroom just before noon yesterday.

The two 14-year-old males were arrested for investigation of reckless endangering and released pending investigation, a police spokeswoman said.

The explosion, caused by what firefighters described as a "chemical pressure bomb," happened in a boys' restroom in "G" Building.

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Native Hawaiian Can't Live in State Park

The Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld Pratt's conviction.

"Pratt has not established that he is a lawful occupant or tenant of ... Kalalau," Judge Katherine Leonard wrote for the court. "The district court made no factual findings that Pratt or any of his family members lawfully resided, owned, or occupied land in the Kalalau Valley."

Leonard added that Pratt appears to be a "deeply spiritual Hawaiian man," but that state laws "do not go so far as to allow native Hawaiians to reside on state lands, without permission, in order to bring ancient ways and ancient sites back to life."

Judge Craig Nakamura dissented in part, writing that while Pratt's conduct is not exempt from prosecution, the trial court incorrectly weighed the state's interest against the fact that Pratt was not causing actual harm.

(Anyone want to to place bets on the Supreme Court overturning this?)

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Murkowski's opponent contests vote count in Alaskan Senate election

ANCHORAGE >> Alaska's bitterly contested Senate election went to state court Monday when Republican Joe Miller sued the state over the way write-in ballots for his GOP rival have been counted.

Miller is trying to stop the state from using discretion in determining voter intent on write-in ballots cast for Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The Associated Press last week called the race for Murkowski, who had a 10,328-vote lead over Miller. Her total includes 8,159 ballots contested by Miller observers. Excluding those, she had a 2,169-vote lead.

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UH Manoa Study acknowledges that global climate models are “seriously deficient”

Current state-of-the-art global climate models predict substantial warming in response to increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The models, though, disagree widely in the magnitude of the warming we can expect. The disagreement among models is mainly due to the different representation of clouds….

Lead author Axel Lauer at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at UHM notes, "All the global climate models we analyzed have serious deficiencies in simulating the properties of clouds in present-day climate. It is unfortunate that the global models' greatest weakness may be in the one aspect that is most critical for predicting the magnitude of global warming." (Duh)

(You know, there are still some people out there who actually believe in global warming.)

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Insurgent attack kills fifth Schofield soldier

A fifth Hawaii-based Stryker Brigade soldier has been killed in Iraq on the unit's latest deployment, evidence that while violence is down, the war is far from over.

Sgt. David J. Luff Jr., 29, of Hamilton, Ohio, died Sunday in Tikrit of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire, the Pentagon said.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment "Wolfhounds" of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks.

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Muslim terrorist wanna-be arrested in Honolulu in plea deal talks

NYPOST.COM/NEWSCORE - The Staten Island, N.Y., man who authorities say hoped to become a jihadi and operated websites espousing a holy war against the West is now in plea negotiations with government prosecutors, the New York Post reported Monday.

Attorneys for Abdel Hameed Shehadeh revealed the development Monday during a hearing in Brooklyn federal court.

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Hawaii ACLU looks for plaintiffs to file TSA Search lawsuit

The local American Civil Liberties Union has had "several" formal and informal complaints but could not provide a precise number yesterday.

Laurie Temple, an attorney for ACLU Hawaii, said staffers will be at Honolulu Airport from 1 to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

"We will be arming travelers with information on their rights at the airport and directing them to push back against abusive TSA searches," Temple said. "We will advise them to take their complaints to the TSA, members of Congress and the ACLU."

The number of complaints generated from Hawaii to TSA was not immediately available yesterday, but TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said he has heard no indication of any serious issues in Hawaii.

"If there are any protests, it's going to happen in the public area, which shouldn't impact security operations," Melendez said.

A boycott tomorrow spawned from Internet tumult, "National Opt-Out Day," calls for rejecting a full-body X-ray scan. Those who refuse are subject to a pat-down search that includes the crotch and chest.

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One servicemember’s struggle with PTSD but he's not alone

The 21 year old recovered from a concussion and hearing loss after a roadside bomb attack in September, but his invisible injuries are still healing. As part of relaxation therapy, the Wounded Warriors program sends troops to treatments once unheard of in the military, like browsing art galleries.

"I go to do yoga. I also go to pilates," says Brewer. "We have guitar lessons. A lot of stuff to just keep your mind away from everything that happened before."

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Obama condemns N. Korea's 'outrageous act'

Congressional Republicans and Democrats joined the administration in condemning the attack.

"As the people of the Republic of Korea question what new belligerent action may come from the North, they should not have any question that the people and forces of the United States stand ready as a devoted ally committed to the defense of their nation," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement. "I join the president in his strong condemnation of what is sadly just the latest in a long string of hostile actions. North Korea's neighbors should unite in condemning this attack."

RELATED: Heritage: Don’t Give In To North Korea Demands

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Star-Advertiser won’t participate in SPJ’s annual “excellence in journalism” competition

The contest was retooled after the board learned that the Honolulu Star-Advertiser would not be submitting entries next year. In previous contests, the Honolulu Advertiser, which was merged with the Star-Bulletin, and the Star-Bulletin accounted for nearly 45 percent of the entries.  (No excellence, no entries.)

News Release:

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