Martin Luther King Jr held these truths. Do you?
Djou: House leadership fight a travesty
This spectacle is unseemly, and the wrong way to lead a democracy.
Nationally and in almost any other state in our country, the leadership of the legislature is determined by the voters, not insiders….
In Hawaii, however, our one-party rule system upends voter control. Rather than having the people decide the leadership, as is done virtually everywhere else in the United States, the Hawaii House speaker's gavel and the associated committee chairmanships are decided by insider deals cut behind closed doors amongst important "power brokers."
No one should be naive enough to think this wheeling-and-dealing is limited to the elected state representatives themselves, as key special-interest groups are heavily involved in selecting the speaker of the state House and the associated chairmanships of important committees.
GOP to push for Fiscal Notes
"By no stretch of the imagination are we out of the woods yet. But hopefully we've turned a corner and at least we can start looking at some positive signs moving forward," said state (delusional) Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Kahului).
Republicans plan to use their minority voices to oppose tax and fee increases, try to reduce the size and scope of government, and encourage an economic climate that helps businesses thrive and create jobs.
State Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom (R, Kahala-Hawaii Kai) said that while tourism has shown signs of a rebound, many businesses are still struggling from the recession. "All of the pundits that have been talking about the economy turning around -- I talk to small-business people every day. As you know, it has not turned around for them, and it's not turning around for them," he said.
Slom said he will ask for fiscal notes that detail the cost of new legislation, term limits for state lawmakers, reductions in state spending for nonprofits, and audits of the state Department of Education and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
State House Minority Leader Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Queen's Gate-Hawaii Kai), who leads an eight-member Republican caucus in the 51-member House, said the emphasis will be on fiscal discipline. "We've got to hold our line on taxes," he said. "When you look at it that way, we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem."
Republicans will also work to create incentives for more homeowners to convert to alternative energy and pressure the Department of Education to direct a greater proportion of its spending to the classroom….
Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, said the state's largest public-sector union wants to work with lawmakers to rein in rising and unsustainable health care costs for state workers. He said the union wants the right to bargain over health plan benefits, like private-sector unions do, instead of just negotiating over the cost-sharing split on premiums.
Perreira said the union has dropped its push for a GET increase to help with the deficit.
SA: Registers rang up in 2010
SA: Model Hawaii anti-nepotism statute on Federal law
Currently, Hawaii law prohibits state employees from giving themselves or others unwarranted benefits or preferential treatment. The Ethics Commission will be asking the Legislature to enact an anti-nepotism law, which is needed because of the lack of specificity of the present law.
Legislators should pattern an anti-nepotism statute after federal law, which forbids federal employees from hiring or benefiting a broad array of relatives, from spouses to children to cousins to in-laws to step-relatives to half-siblings. Exemptions are allowed under certain circumstances, such as scientific, urgent or other special needs and where "merit-related provisions of federal law have been observed."
Any exemptions to a Hawaii nepotism law, however, should be granted only at the level of the department director. In the case of schools, including charter schools, that should ultimately mean the state superintendent of education.
Note to Hawaii: Gambling has failed Nevada
in Nevada, where the gambling industry was supposed to keep everyone employed and happy, higher education is facing a potential 20% budget cut. That’s enough to force not just layoffs but the closing of campuses. So does this mean gaming won’t provide a magic solution to our budget woes here in Hawaii?
William Aila: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
William Aila Jr. has been an environmentalist, a community activist and a native Hawaiian cultural practitioner.
But as interim director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aila says he is aware he is moving from being an outsider to an insider and will be bound by certain restrictions.
"In terms of how it's going to impact me in my official capacity, we're going to follow the law. ... My job right here now as the appointed director is to implement the governor's policies," he said….
Republican state Sen. Sam Slom described Aila as a "forthright" person but feels he is going to face challenges since being an activist is different from being a government insider.
"He has a responsibility to follow the law rather than private interests," Slom said.
Tom Berg hires Eric Ryan
Honolulu City Councilman-elect Tom Berg will bring on Eric Ryan, a conservative activist, as a senior advisor.
The City Council is non-partisan, but Berg has cited the conservative tea party movement as an inspiration, so he and Ryan share philosophies.
Ryan has functioned more as a political agitator than an insider. He has also had infamous public blowups with previous allies such as former state lawmaker and GOP gubernatorial hopeful John Carroll and anti-rail crusaders.
Hirono, Abortion lobby, claim 77% of Hawaii women are pro-abortion
LIHU‘E — When women vote, women win, Jadine Nielsen said Saturday.
The chair of the Patsy T. Mink Political Action Committee and the Hawai‘i Democratic National committeewoman was addressing some three dozen people about the results of a QMark Research poll.
Nielsen, who relocated to Honolulu from Washington, D.C., said the PAC supports progressive pro-choice Democratic women who are committed to the values of the late Patsy Mink. She referred to the QMark survey which revealed that 77 percent of the respondents said they are pro-choice and consider choice an important issue…. (So even though Roe v Wade is “settled law” Democrats have fear mongered large numbers of single women into believing that legal abort is at risk and they must vote according to a candidate’s stance on this issue. This is how constituencies are forged.)
Nielsen defined “affordable housing” as perceived by women who participated in the poll.
“Affordable housing is not about owning homes,” Nielsen said. “Most of the women are single parents with children and their perception of ‘affordable housing’ is housing with affordable rents in a quality neighborhood. Owning a home is out of the picture for them.”
(Home ownership makes people conservative. Shatter the family and you decrease home ownership, and increase the number of pro-abort voters thus improving the electoral chances for liberals.)
More of the same: Ascension of women in workforce is welcome
Homosexual guard raped Hawaii inmate in Arizona
Jonathan Kemona Kamaka sued CCA and Hawaii for breach of duty and negligence. He claims CCA guard Richard Ketland forced him to give Ketland a blow job in his cell in October 2009.
Kamaka claims that as he was waiting to re-enter his cell unit, Ketland told him that he'd "lost some weight," was "looking good," and then asked, "When was the last time you had some dick?"
Kamaka says he was shocked and did not respond, but tried to report the advance to his unit's supervisor, who was busy, so he returned to his cell for lockdown.
Ketland, conducting a head count, let himself into the cell and threatened Kamaka with punishment if he did not comply with his orders, Kamaka says. He says Ketland "unzipped his pants, and ... ordered plaintiff to perform oral sex on Ketland," which he did, under fear of retaliation.
Ketland, 64, was charged with felony unlawful sexual contact, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to probation, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Friday.
SA: Inmate from Hawaii sues prison guard
Two criminals per month released in retaliation for furloughs
LIHU‘E — During a Kaua‘i County Council public hearing Wednesday for a bill that would put an end to county furloughs, County Deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane said the measures to cut the budget have been dangerous and harmful.
“Two felons per month were released because of furloughs,” Delaplane said. “That includes property, drug and sex crimes.”
Because the justice system has a series of timelines for due process, such as 48 hours to determine probable cause and set preliminary hearings, those arrested near the end of a furlough week would sometimes have to be released.
Liberty monopoly offers dialysis clinic space to Kaiser to block competition
WAILUKU - Kaiser Permanente has rejected an offer by Liberty Dialysis to dedicate an area within its dialysis clinic for Kaiser patients only and the physicians who treat them.
The rejection is the latest move in a fight over whether Kaiser's proposed second Maui dialysis treatment facility should be allowed to go forward.
Asia Experiences Huge Birth-Rate Decline
Approximately 6.6 billion people populate the world today, with an estimated 3.7 billion living in Asia. But over the past 50 years, economic and social modernization in the region has been accompanied by a remarkable drop in birth rates. Sociologists, demographers and researchers are following the trend, and new research is providing more details to explain lower birth rates.
Koreans mark more than 100 years of US migration
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Korean immigrants across the United States celebrated a milestone this month, marking more than 100 years since their predecessors first arrived in America to work in the sugarcane fields of Hawaii.
In events from New York to Los Angeles, Koreans observed Jan. 13 — designated in 2003 as Korean American Day by the U.S. Congress — with celebrations and reflections on their changing diaspora.
Cashing in on the “Green” from energy