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Sunday, November 28, 2010
November 28, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:23 PM :: 12422 Views

As debate looms, Honolulu Council Special Election residency challenges multiply

UPDATE: Residency Challenge filed against Kioni Dudley Council Candidacy

Hawaii Anti-Trust Adventures: Rubber hose enforcement

Fragile Urban Families: New findings show just how bad things are for the kids

Who will pick the BOE?

Roth argues that review and nomination panels don't eliminate politics, they just move them behind closed doors. Either the governor chooses his board and is accountable for its actions, or a panel picks the short list for him and again no one is accountable.

"Any governor who knows he's going to personally be held accountable is going to make sure the board is filled with the right people -- and the right mix of people," Roth says. "Everything would be out in the open. And the governor would still have to put his selections up before the Senate for confirmation, if they're worried about checks and balances."….

In the meantime, Roth says, he remains "guardedly optimistic because of what the governor-elect said during the campaign about doing what he could to create mechanisms for accountability.

"I really believe in the public's ability to influence elected officials into doing the right thing as opposed to the politically convenient things to do. I think Gov. Abercrombie could use his bully pulpit to put legislators under the microscope as to whether they were acting in a way that was likely to improve public education in Hawaii or obstruct efforts to improve the situation.

"But we'll have to wait and see. Part of the problem has been that the Legislature has often functioned like a super school board and involved itself in micromanagement. The ballot proposal was a step in the right direction, but the Legislature has been part of the problem in the past."

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Star-Advertiser, Toguchi agree: Colleges to blame for failure of DoE

(This editorial was written by the editorial board of the SA in service to DoE contractors….)

Based on Hawaii P-20's most recent "College and Career Readiness Indicators" data, progress toward those benchmarks should be quickened. Only about half of 2009 public school graduates enrolled in college that fall, and even those who do go run into stumbling blocks. More than a third of those who entered the University of Hawaii system needed remedial instruction in math or English…

Garrett Toguchi, currently the chairman of the state Board of Education, also is watching these trends with concern. In last week's story by Star-Advertiser writer Mary Vorsino, Toguchi observed correctly that part of the problem belongs to the UH system.  (See, UH is to blame for the DoE not teaching high school students what they need to make it in college..  And the Advertiser is agreeing!)  For the short term, community colleges in particular must help students close the gap (That we just blamed them for creating) and enable them to succeed in college beyond the first year or so.  (Except that the P-20 study focuses on the first year performance of DoE graduates, so it is difficult to blame colleges for the DoE failure) Judging by the low graduation rate -- only half of UH freshmen get their degree in six years -- too many students fall through the cracks.  (Notice that they just changed the subject?)

More outreach (federal funds) is needed, and some (federal funds) is in the pipeline. Community college officials are working at doing better at remediation (coming up with excuses to snag even more federal and even private funds). For example, a grant (did they just say grant?) from the Gates Foundation is helping them create a "math emporium" program to fill in some (of the DoE’s) blanks for students effectively without overwhelming them with 16-week courses.  (We fail, they pay!  What a great hustle!)

But on another point, Toguchi is flat wrong. The DOE should focus less on its efforts to raise expectations with tougher graduation requirements, he said, in order to help lower-performing students meet minimum standards.  (SA disagrees with Toguchi because more failure equals more federal money.  This is why the DoE keeps raising requirements while doing little or nothing to raise performance.)

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Private School Enrollment slide continues

Private school enrollment statewide dropped slightly this year -- to a five-year low of 38,155 students -- in the wake of several school closures and as families continued to search for expenses to cut.

Overall, private school enrollment is down 5 percent from 40,272 students statewide in the 2007-08 school year.

This is the third consecutive year enrollment at private schools has declined.

But educators say there are signs of improvement and some schools have seen enrollment rise thanks in large part to more generous financial aid packages and small or no increases to tuition.

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AP Interview: Gov. Lingle defined by struggle

Quarrels over school closures, civil unions and the Hawaii Superferry captured the public's attention, but Gov. Linda Lingle hopes she's remembered more for lower-key accomplishments that may have a longer-lasting impact.

When people look back at Lingle's eight years leading Hawaii, she wants to be known as a governor who made difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions while also promoting renewable energy, science education and Native Hawaiian rights.

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Abercrombie thesis applies Marcuse, Gramsci

(It must be pretty bad, that is why they have waited until AFTER the election to write about it.)

He earned a master's degree in 1964 from UH and then the 1974 doctorate after writing his thesis, "Mumford, Mailer and Machines: Staking a claim for man."

Abercrombie's 230-page effort is available for perusal at UH's Hamilton Library. In his introduction, Abercrombie described the thesis' theme as "the conquest of self versus the conquest of nature."  (Marcuse applied)

It is not for those without a serious political, academic and literary bent.

"The paper depends basically upon a perception of continuity between authority in which the perversion of science is seen as the result of a shift from understanding to assaulting nature. Its ultimate aim will be to illuminate the role of the scholar and artist as an active agent in the drama of our time," (Gramsci applied)

In the conclusion of his paper, Abercrombie discusses the "shift from understanding to assaulting nature" and gives some advice that even governors could heed:

"The truth and the will to believe become synonymous -- even the capacity to lie is lost ... Worse still, lies become acceptable currency. The will to power replaces the will to life."  (And yes, dear reader, in Abercrombie’s Manichean dichotomy, your faith is the lie.  Amazingly, he does not perceive that he is talking about himself here.)

Mrs. Abercrombie’s thesis: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway

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Legislators’ Favorite Convicted Child Molester attacks Rep-elect Fontaine 

After becoming a liability to one of his former employers, Leon Rouse comes out of the woodwork.  Like all convicts, he claims innocence:

“The smear sheet Fontaine sent out to the voters of Kihei against Joe before the Nov. 2 election mentioned my name. The quote was, ‘Bertram's staffer, Leon Rouse, may be the only legislative employee anywhere in the U.S. hired while known to be a convicted child molester.’

“While I was in the Philippines in 1995, some police officers tried to extort money by instigating a child abuse charge against me. They said they would drop the charge for a payoff. Although the allegations against me appeared incriminating, I refused to pay. The case went to trial….” 

(The innocent little child molester is the victim and the Phil authorities are the criminals.  Get it?)

COMPLETE DEBUNK OF MOLESTER ROUSE: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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Back to the bad old days: Takamine to head Labor Dept?  

According to two sources, Abercrombie is considering Big Island Democratic Sens. Dwight Takamine and Russell Kokubun for positions with his new administration.

Takamine is under consideration as head of the state Labor Department and Kokubun would lead the Department of Agriculture.

There had been early speculation that Sen. Josh Green, also a Big Island Democrat and an emergency room physician, was under consideration for a position as the state director of health.

Green would not comment, saying only that he was proud that his Senate colleagues had selected him as chairman of the Senate Health Committee.

Also mentioned for a possible administrative position is long-time Manoa Democrat Sen. Brian Taniguchi, who, according to one Democratic source, is under consideration to the state Labor Relations Board.

RELATED: Gaming Industry Lobbyist, Progressive activist screen Abercrombie cabinet picks

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Abercrombie fundraiser busted with 6oz Marijuana

SIERRA BLANCA, Texas – A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says country singer Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas.

Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks says the bus pulled into the Sierra Blanca, Texas, checkpoint about 9 a.m. Friday. Brooks says an officer smelled pot when a door was opened and a search turned up marijuana.

Brooks says the Hudspeth County sheriff was contacted and Nelson was among three people arrested.  (This is what happens when progressives go into a real jurisdiction.)

RELATED: Abercrombie on Marijuana: “Of course it should be utilized”

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Suspicious vehicle searched for possible explosives; Two men arrested

Federal authorities and military bomb squad were investigating a suspicious car that two men were using to try and access the Aliamanu Military Reserve.

The U.S. Army says earlier Saturday several military bases on the Leeward side of Oahu spotted this same car trying to access secured military properties.

Military police issued a "be on the lookout" for the car and its two occupants.

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New details on two men arrested near military housing

Donnelly says it all started earlier Saturday when two men in the SUV tried to get into several military bases.

We're told the bases included Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter and Fort Shafter Flats, and that the men said they were independent contractors for T-Mobile.

"And the military police put out what we call a "be on the look out" list," said Connelly.

So when the men approached the gate to the Aliamanu Military Reservation around 1:45 this afternoon, authorities apprehended them.

Sources say T-Mobile confirmed the two men worked for the company, but were not sent by the company to the military bases.

"These two individuals are being processed for their intent and they were aiming to do in terms of accessing military bases which is a controlled area for us," said Connelly.

Honolulu police also shut down the Ala Kapuna freeway off-ramp while the bomb squad investigated.

Donnelly would not say if any explosives were found in the SUV, but the vehicle was moved and the off-ramp reopened around 5:30 Saturday evening.

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Hawaii Vendors Prepare For Tax Crackdown

Last month, a surprise drop-in at the Kailua open market by tax agents created quite a commotion when a vendor was fined hundreds of dollars for not showing required transaction records.

Jennifer Banquil said she stayed up until 2 a.m. Friday learning a new cash register system to track all transactions.

“In our business, we can't give out receipts manually because you just don’t have the we had to purchase these registers,” said Banquil.

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War on Agriculture: Proposed hike in Dam and reservoir compliance fees

Increased costs associated with proposed rules for dam and reservoir safety include:  (Notice how they are all about money?)

  • » Safety permits, rising from $25 to 2 percent of the estimated cost of construction, including engineering costs.
  • » Annual fee of $500 per dam, plus $110 per foot of the height of the dam or reservoir.
  • » Fee for certificate of approval to impound water, $400 every five years.
  • » Significant or high-hazard dams may be required to have a stability analysis and pass inflow design standards

Warren Watanabe, executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau, said the proposed rules would raise the cost of maintenance for owners of reservoirs, and that those costs could be passed on to consumers.

Watanabe, whose group has 180 members, said he'd like to see the state absorb the cost of maintaining Upcountry reservoirs operated by the county.

"If we didn't have agriculture, we wouldn't be able to talk about sustainability," he said.  (Actually, the LESS we have agriculture, the MORE the eco-cult will talk about “sustainability.”)

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War on Aquaculture #1: Fish to be covered by Maui animal cruelty laws?  (But who will protect fishermen from eco-cruelty?) 

The proposal, originally introduced by Maui County Council Member Mike Molina, would add to the county's laws on animal cruelty to include provisions on live fish. It would require collectors to provide adequate food and take other steps to treat the fish humanely.

Because the state government has jurisdiction over the ocean, Maui County has no authority to ban fish collection outright or set bag limits. Instead, local officials have looked for ways to increase control and scrutiny over the industry on land.

The county also plans to urge the state to increase restrictions on fish collection as part of its package of recommendations to the state Legislature for 2011.

The Public Services Committee will take up the proposal at 9 a.m. Wednesday in eighth-floor Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui Building.

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War on Aquaculture #2: UH Manoa Prof joins war against local food production, attacks fish farms (He’s a seismologist!)

Typical fear mongering from the eco-cult: “It is surprising that would-be OOA farmers like Bill Spencer ("Isle fish farming good for environment and economy," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Nov. 21) refuse to learn from Hawaiian wisdom. Bill and his friends suffer from what scientists refer to as techno-arrogance -- the belief that modern technology makes ecology irrelevant. They remind me of the Norwegian salmon farmers who took the coast of British Columbia away from its aboriginal peoples. It'll be different here, they promised us. But it wasn't.”

The Cult online:

PDF: Debunking the mythology of the anti-Salmon farming cult

Good comment:

Having read several times Seismologist Neil Frazer’s piece, I see how a hopscotch,narrowly focused can anecdotally paint a picture that is in areas false, and in most misleading, or at odds with scientific observations and papers. …

Neil Frazer shows his arrogance by using a position as seismologist to pontificate on marine biology. I have been working on an integrated approach in mariculture for about 35-40 years. I am not alone. Frazer is way off base referring to our approach as “Techno-arrogance”.

Neil Frazer continues to use studies and anecdotal evidence from his native British Columbia and transposes his ideations and values in a unreflective manner, casting blanket assertions that are neither scientific nor edifying.

Another Good comment:

Open ocean aquaculture has been established for years in South American countries, notably Peru, with no apparent problems. why is it that only in Hawaii there are problems. It seems that at least some of the fish farming problems indicated in this article are from pond and river aquaculture where there is a problem of pcb pickup by the fish which can be transmitted to humans. this is a result of the effluent not being cleaned out by water moving thru the pond or river farms in sufficient volume.

With all the info in this article, I see no reference to any studies conducted on open water farming, no reference to any necropsy studies of the fish, no mention as to what percentage of fish get sick, what types of diseases they contract and how, etc. this article gives no real info but seems to be simply the compilation of all the fears and tears of the environmentalists with no scientific references to back up the claims.

A "scientific" professor at UH should know better than this when presenting such claims and charges against a viable industry. This is like saying tourism in Hawaii should be stopped as they add to the effluent that the island has to clean up and they bring illnesses to the island.

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Fast-tracking eases permitting, approvals for affordable housing in Kihei

Because Kaiwahine Village applied under the state's "fast-track" approval process for affordable housing developments, the Maui County Council has just a few weeks to make a decision on the project….

The project will be reviewed by the council's Public Services Committee at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the eighth-floor Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui Building.

John Sindoni, managing partner of owner and developer Royal Main LLC, said all units in the development would be priced between $185,000 and $245,000….

The state's fast-track approval process for affordable housing projects allows developers to request exemptions from certain land use and other requirements.

Royal Main is asking for a number of such exemptions, including that it not be charged for traffic impact fees that were imposed as a condition of rezoning last year.

Under the rezoning, the developer was required to pay $2,000 per lot to help defray the costs of upgrading nearby roads to accommodate additional traffic. Now the proposal calls for 120 units - not 47 - and asks for the fees to be waived, county Planning Director Kathleen Aoki said.

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Lava Destroys House at Kalapana Gardens 

The flow had been moving slowly but surely toward the vacated home since yesterday, coming within three feet by mid-afternoon. By 5:30, the house was ablaze.

Big Island fire officials said no other structures in the subdivision are currently threatened.

Lava from the vent continues to flow through tubes downslope to the Puhi o Kalaikini ocean entry southwest of Kalapana Gardens, with several breakouts on the coastal plain and cliffs west-northwest of the subdivision.

REALITY: Red Hot Lava Menaces Old-boy Scam

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Am Samoa: Togiola Upstages Faleomavaega with Hillary Clinton

Following his recent re-election, Faleomavaega decided to stick around the island for awhile, because Secretary of State was due through for a refueling stop on the final leg of her recent trip through Asia.  Faleomavaega, of course, is still chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific until January 3, 2011, when he will lose that post as his party sinks into the minority in Congress.  According to press reports, Faleomavaega used the little time he has with Clinton during her 90 minute stop to raise the matter of the Cambodian war debt while Governor Togiola stuck to issues of much more concern to American Samoa.  He was able to extract out of the secretary a promise to look into allowing American Samoa to have observer membership in the Pacific Islands Forum, a desire that every American Samoa governor has had going back to Peter Coleman.   He also asked her to devise a means to allow American Samoa to participate in U.S. policy making on APEC issues, especially fisheries.

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Tuvalu: Christians too intelligent to fall for Gaian Cult of Warming

The director of the tiny nation's Environment Department, Matio Tekinene, says his people are already suffering the ill effects of climate change.

(Nonexistent) Rising sea levels and more frequent king tides are (not) causing coastal erosion and (not) salinating the groundwater, (not) making it hard to grow the traditional subsistence root crop, pulaka. The freshwater supply is now restricted to rainfall, which arrives in unfamiliar patterns at unfamiliar times. Coral bleaching is (not) reducing fish stocks close to shore.

''Food security related to climate change is a very important issue for us,'' Tekinene says. ''Tuvaluan people, we live very much on our limited crops and marine resources. Nowadays there is (not) a great change because we (don’t)have difficulty to grow these natural foods.'' (But they will give us lots of money if we pretend otherwise.)

But Siale, 60, is unconcerned. She does not accept that the sea level is rising. ''I believe there won't be any more floods, because of the covenant between Noah and the Lord God,'' she says, with her daughter-in-law interpreting. ''They made a promise during those days that there won't be another flood in the world.''

It is a belief shared by many of her compatriots. Recently, a survey conducted by the Tuvalu Christian Church found that nearly a third of the population did not believe in climate change, based on their interpretation of the Old Testament.

(But the Gramscian entity continues to peck away at their faith in an effort to convert them from Christianity to Gaianism.)


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