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Saturday, January 22, 2011
January 22, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:38 PM :: 4304 Views

March for Life planned for Honolulu, Hilo

SB232: Senate Judiciary Committee to hear Civil Unions Tuesday

Speaker Say announces Democrat Leaders, Committee Chairs

Legislative Timetable Published

Lingle receives National Boating Access Award

Secret Court Nominees: Abercrombie refuses to reveal High court hopefuls list

In a departure from the practice of his predecessor, Gov. Neil “transparency” Abercrombie will not release the names of candidates submitted to him this week for a vacancy on the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Abercrombie received the candidate list from the Judicial Selection Commission for his first judicial selection and the first of what could be three appointments to the five-member high court during his four-year term.  (We will be ruled by leftist activist judges for years)

"The governor believes getting the names out is detrimental to attracting prospective judicial applicants," his spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said yesterday, desperately hoping that reporters would believe that someone qualified to be on the Supreme Court would be thin-skinned enough to be bothered by this.  The commission operates in secret under a confidentiality provision of the 1978 state constitutional amendment that created the panel.

Lingle released the names of the candidates from the commission and sought public comment before she made her selections. Her predecessor, Gov. Ben Cayetano, released the names after he made his appointment.  Former Govs. George Ariyoshi and John Waihee did not disclose the names.

Former Chief Justice Ronald Moon, who appointed state district judges, also made the lists public and sought input before making his choices.  Recktenwald, who has yet to appoint a district judge, said he will continue Moon's practice of releasing the names, Judiciary spokesman Mark Santoki said.

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Unions lose 12,000 in isles

(Pounded by the Obama they elected) Union membership in Hawaii declined by 12,000 last year to 123,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hawaii also dropped from being the state with the second-highest percentage of union members in the country to third. In 2010 about 21.8 percent of workers were union members in Hawaii, down from 23.5 in 2009.

The number of workers in unions declined sharply last year across the country, with the national percentage slipping to 11.9 percent, the lowest rate in more than 70 years.

According to the bureau, New York (bi-partisan) had the highest unionization rate of any state, at 24.2 percent, followed by Alaska (Republican) at 22.9 percent and Hawaii (Democrat) at 21.8 percent. Hawaii led Alaska in 2009 with 23.5 percent versus 22.3 percent. North Carolina had the lowest rate last year, at 3.2 percent, with Arkansas and Georgia tied for second lowest at 4 percent.

The report found that the number of workers in unions fell by 612,000 last year to 14.7 million, an even larger decrease than the overall 417,000 decline in the total number of Americans working.

Full BLS Report:

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Civil Union Bills to be Heard Tuesday

Senate Judiciary committee headed by Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahaluu, will hold a hearing Tuesday tentatively set for 9 a.m. in room 016.

On the agenda will be the 2011 redraft of last year’s controversial HB 444, the civil unions bill. The bill numbers will be assigned by the clerk on Monday.

There are actually two separate measures in the Senate. One mirrors exactly the bill that was enacted at the last moment of the last day of the 2010 session, then vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle. Another bill tweaks the first version and adds even more tax and other benefits for unmarried couples.

The chair has indicated that he will introduce only one version to the committee – that is the original draft of the bill.

Hee is hoping for quick action in the 5-member Senate Judiciary Committee and the full 25-member Senate. The bill can then be transmitted to the House where it is expected changes will be made. But this way, the Senate has taken the hot issue and passed it off quickly allowing time for more substantial but less controversial bills.

However, committee member, Senator Les Ihara, D-Kaimuki, wants the enhanced version of the civil unions bill either to be heard on its own on the same day or in conjunction with the original draft. Apparently a majority of committee members may force the chairman’s hand in accomplishing that if Hee does not cooperate.

RELATED: SB232: Senate Judiciary Committee to hear Civil Unions Tuesday

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Gay Civil Unions lobbyists outraged by Abercrombie’s Priest Pick

Key figures in the Gay Civil Unions lobby are very upset about Abercrombie’s pick of suddenly resigned priest Marc Alexander as homeless coordinator.  Why?  Here’s a clue from their discussion:

  • 1.6 million to 2.8 million: The estimated number of homeless youth in the United States.
  • 20 to 40 percent: The portion of the homeless youth population who are gay or transgender.
  • 14.4: The average age that lesbian and gay youth in New York become homeless.
  • 13.5: The average age that transgender youth in New York become homeless.
  • 44 percent: The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who reported being asked by someone on the street to exchange sex for money, food, drugs, shelter, or clothes

With all those gay and trans underage youth running around on the streets 24/7/365 to get their next fix, how could they make a living without adult gays to pay them?  Are they are afraid  a successful homelessness initiative might sop up their supply of underage sex slaves?

IGNORE THIS: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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New state homeless coordinator shares his vision

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On any given day, 6,000 people are homeless in Hawaii. By all counts, it's staggering.

But Marc Alexander, an ex Roman Catholic priest and former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hawaii believes he can help end homelessness.

"Sometimes we feel this problem is so overwhelming and so complicated, because it is that we can't achieve that goal. I believe we can," he said.

But he said money, or the lack of it, is secondary to vision.

"It's getting a clear idea of where we are so we have a base line. It's getting an idea of where we want to go and how we're going to get there, and what are the measurements that are showing that we're moving in the right direction," he said.

Affordable Housing? Big Isle land project loses approval

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Casino Gambling Web: Casino And Lottery Gambling On The Agenda Of Hawaii Lawmakers

Hawaii has held out longer than almost every other state when it comes to gambling expansion, but that resistance may soon be coming to an end. Hawaii lawmakers are planning on discussing gambling expansion after several years of failed attempts.

Former Governor Linda Lingle was opposed to any type of gambling expansion, and each time the issue came up with Lingle in office, it was soundly defeated. Now, with new leadership in the state, lawmakers are again set to discuss the possibilities of bringing a casino resort and the lottery to the tropical paradise.  (In other words Lingle = no gambling, Abercrombie = gambling.)

Hawaii lawmakers are intent on ensuring that the laws are created to keep local gamblers away from the casinos, especially in areas that have low income households. If only one casino is approved, it is expected that developers would be willing to pay upwards of $100 million for the rights to operate the casino.

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Committee extends deadline for Maui Circuit Court applications

The state Judicial Selection Commission has extended the deadline to Feb. 14 for applications to fill the position that will become vacant with the retirement of 2nd Circuit Judge Joel August.

Because of the mandatory retirement at age 70 for state judges, March 18 will be August's last day on the bench.

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Pohakuloa Upgrade in sight

The Army wants to modernize its vast Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island for the 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops who use it each year, and increase high-altitude helicopter training on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa to meet a shift in emphasis to Afghanistan.

An Infantry Platoon Battle Area at 133,000-acre Pohakuloa that also could be used for companies of about 150 soldiers -- and replace past live-fire training at Makua Valley -- is a priority for the Army, with the service hoping it can begin construction in 2013.

Other plans being examined in an environmental impact statement include updating targets and digitizing firing ranges for better evaluation, improving roads and utilities, and demolishing 1950s-era Quonset huts and replacing them with modern structures.

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Abercrombie Admin files brief backing Socialist takeover of health care

Nine state attorney generals file legal brief supporting health care law's constitutionality: Pushing back on challenges to the constitutionality of the Obama administration's healthcare law, attorney generals from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Vermont filed briefs today challenging claims that the law is unconstitutional.

News Release: The State of Hawaii Joins Amicus Brief in Support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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Progressives upset that Star-Advertiser opposes their attack on DHHL

ILind: Another disappointing editorial from the Star-Advertiser, this time staking out a position rejecting the opinion of the Intermediate Court of Appeals regarding the constitutional provision requiring funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (“Ruling on DHHL misses the mark“).

The editorial attacks the court’s decision, but that’s not what I find so disappointing. It’s that the editorial ignores or misstates key facts, mischaracterizes and trivializes the court’s analysis, and then misstates the impact of the decision.

I looked at the decision in an entry last week.

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State House clerk bars live broadcast of House session in which speaker is to be elected

"It's the respective (legislative) house that determines what they want to air and what they don't want to air. It's not an Olelo call," said Olelo's acting chief executive officer, Roy Amemiya.

The decision not to broadcast the afternoon session was criticized by Nikki Love, executive director of Hawaii Common Cause.

There was ample interest in the speakership battle, not only among activists, lobbyists, legislators and aides but the public as well, Love said.

"You'd think this would be the ideal type of proceedings that would be shown on TV and the Web. So it's pretty shocking that they're not showing it," she said.

VIDEO: Watch suppressed video of Hawaii House session selecting Speaker Calvin Say

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Maui Mayor in serious talks with Hollywood media company

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii - Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and his staff today announced that Maui County is in serious discussions with Relativity Media to create a sustainable and more profitable film industry in the Hawaiian islands.

Relativity Media LLC is a media and entertainment company which to date has committed to, produced, and/or financed more than 200 studio-quality motion pictures through 2014. Their released films have accumulated more than US$15 billion worldwide in box office revenue and include Salt, Despicable Me, Grown Ups, Charlie St. Cloud, and Get Him to the Greek.

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Winter White House owner warned against criminal Obama vacation rental

The Maryland man who rented his Kailua home to the Obamas over Christmas is getting a reminder from the city about Honolulu's longtime ban on short-term rentals.

The Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting sent a letter to Glenn Weinberg's Maryland home on Jan. 12.

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Landfill to Stay Closed for Liner Repairs

City officials say Waimanalo Gulch is staying closed until at least Thursday, Jan. 27, which will mark two weeks since heavy rains flooded medical waste from the landfill into the ocean.

"They're still assessing the damage to the liner," Environmental Services spokesman Markus Owens told Civil Beat.

Owens said landfill operator Waste Management has a team from Houston working on repairs. City officials said they won't reopen the landfill until the liner is fixed.

SA: City resists dump deadline

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Grubbing the “Green” from energy


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