Slom: Feds not investigating Palafox
Hawaii Bond Ratings: Fitch joins Moody’s in threating downgrade
Investor discussing Nonstop Flights From China To Hawaii
DBEDT Forecasts Stronger Economic Growth
Recktenwald names Browning to replace McKenna
Gingrich: If Georgia can do it, so can Hawaii (VIDEO)
But he said Hawaii Republicans, a distinct minority in a state dominated by Democrats, have an opportunity to grow. He recalled how Republicans in Georgia were in the minority up until the past decade. The Georgia GOP now controls the state Legislature, the governor's office, both U.S. Senate seats and eight of 13 U.S. House seats.
"My message is cheerful persistence," Gingrich said. "I think the message of freedom, the message of lower taxes — more take-home pay, more jobs — and the message of using science and technology to deliver government services at lower cost with greater satisfaction is a message that the Hawaii Republican Party can carry to every neighborhood, to every ethnic group, to every community."
Dylan Nonaka, executive director of the state GOP, said the dinner was an opportunity for local Republicans to hear from a potential presidential candidate.
"He's somebody who has always had good ideas and has articulated the principles of the Republican Party well and put them into policy," Nonaka said. "So he's the kind of guy who is a good example for any Republican anywhere in the country."
Nonaka said Gingrich is "definitely laying the groundwork, I think, and feeling out how viable a presidential campaign can be. He's been talking to folks."
DePledge: Lingle schools state GOP on religious diversity
Rohlfing: Republicans in Hawaii in better shape than victories of last election suggested
One would ordinarily expect that a 20-plus percent improvement at the top of the ticket would translate into significantly enhanced totals in down-ballot races for members of the same political party. Yet many House Democrats ended up with substantially fewer votes in contested elections in 2010 than they had received in contested elections in 2006….
Reed Shiraki increased his total over his 2006 GOP predecessor by 112.2 percent , Sam Kong by 79.1 percent , Jadeen Myers by 114.3 percent, Beth Fukumoto by 94 percent, Joseph Aiona by 48.1 percent, Shaun Kawakami by 82.2 percent, Sam Curtis by 45.8 percent, George Fontaine by 49.3 percent, and Laurie Rinaldi by 51.2 percent. Ten of the Republicans challenging Democratic incumbents in 2010 garnered more than 40 percent of the votes cast in their races….
If all eight House Republicans remain unified during the current legislative session while working to advance thoughtful proposals addressing fundamental issues facing broad segments of the electorate, Republicans should be in a strong position to build on their successful 2010 efforts during the 2012 election cycle.
Gays take aim at Children, Demand control of sex education
After advocating for same-gender marriage and gay rights for 41 years, Tim Earhart, president of Dignity USA-Honolulu, said the final passage Wednesday of the civil-unions bill by the state Senate was an unequivocal victory….
In response to opponents who are worried that same-sex lifestyles would be taught to public school students with no option for parents to remove their child, Earhart said homosexuality should be part of sex education because some don't see where they fit into a largely heterosexual society.
"It's not going to be one or the other. Now there's only heterosexual relationships (taught). At least 10 percent of us are being left out. It's making us feel bad because it leaves us out of the equation." (And now we’ve got a judge who will rule yes on anything we ask.)
SA: Abercrombie will sign civil unions bill Wednesday
TOTALLY RELATED: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
Gay Leader admits Gay Marriage is a new invention, not a civil right
"I came to Hawaii to minister to gay people" in 1971, Earhart said, as pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Honolulu. It closed its doors in 2005 (due to lack of interest) after other churches (were infiltrated and converted) "picked up the banner" in welcoming gays, said Earhart, an elder of First Christian Church of Honolulu. (And now those churches are dying out.)
"This is what's been missing for gay people," he said of the civil-unions legislation. "We've never had this dimension of a relationship. (True. Going back 1 million years, there has never been gay marriage until it was invented by the “Broken Trust” Hawaii Supreme Court in 1993.) If we could get married, that's so valuable and encouraging for gays and lesbians to do the hard work" of being committed to a long-term relationship. "Many couples sell out for second best by hooking up on a very temporary basis because
there's no protection under the law (they feel like it and our slogan is “If it feels good, do it!”).
(So his purpose is to change gays into something they are not by creating an institution that has never existed. What if it doesn’t feel good?)
"Marriage is a metaphor for our relationship with God. God put it in our hearts to be bonded to another human being so we could see what it is like to have a relationship with a deity, with God.” (Don’t visualize that.)
(Actually all religions say that God has put it in our hearts to be bonded to another human being OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. George Orwell is amazed at how accurate he was.)
Tax The Rich! AARP hedges bet on Pension Tax
Lowell Kalapa, the president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, and Barbara Kim Stanton, the state director of AARP Hawaii, said that basing the income threshold on federal adjusted gross income may not be the best approach. They suggested it might be better to look only at a retirees’ pension income for purposes of taxation.
Most of the testimony sent to the committee, however, (unlike the vacillating ‘leaders’) was overwhelmingly opposed to a pension tax.
“This is a bill of huge magnitude for seniors,” Stanton said.
CB: Senate Slashes Gov's Plan to Tax Pensions
SA: Benefits reform critical
Hawaii legislators are beginning to understand (they are such geniuses) that generous benefits provided to state and county work forces years ago cannot be easily reversed for the current employees or retirees. What they can and should do is make benefits for future employees more realistic — even if, unfortunately, that won't help balance the state's biennium budget now.
Bill on Waikiki casino is voted down
The state House has defeated a proposal to allow a stand-alone casino in Waikiki.
A bipartisan group of 28 representatives opposed the bill on the House floor yesterday, more than the majority necessary to kill the measure. Forty-seven of 51 representatives were present.
The legislation would have granted a license to one casino operator in Waikiki with gross receipts taxed at a rate of 15 percent.
Other bills that would allow bingo, slot machines, a lottery or shipboard gambling remain alive.
Lawmakers sent the casino bill back to the Judiciary Committee. It could be revived next year.
Political Radar: “We just lost” – Radcliffe
HB155: Legislature to exempt Rail, other public works from Burial Laws
Proponents want island burial councils to have a louder voice in determining what happens to bones "inadvertently discovered" during construction. Opponents of the measure said it would put a heavier burden on the all-volunteer boards and would slow down development.
Lawmakers split the baby in half. They've moved the bill forward with one new addition: The law won't apply to "any public-works projects undertaken by state or county agencies."
(This is aimed at shutting down David Frankel’s NHLC lawsuit against Rail.)
That little addition was the largest of a few small changes made to House Bill 155 between the original version and the one reported out of the Water, Land and Ocean and Hawaiian Affairs Committees on Friday.
(Maybe they could use the bones as cross-ties on the railroad.)
Panos: Picket Fake Rail Groundbreaking
On Tuesday after Presidents Day, Carlisle will be having a Ceremonial Groundbreaking of the rail project, which means it is a joke. If it was real, it would be the Groundbreaking Ceremony.
Nevertheless, we plan to picket his fake event. We need you at 9:30 AM in Kapolei. Contact me for details at email@example.com or call 63-PANOS… 637-2667 and leave me a message.
House Appropriations Budget Looks to Cut Rail Outlay
The city’s proposed $5.5 billion rail transit project could be facing a funding setback in the U.S. House of Representatives as the new Republican majority cuts spending.
The House Appropriation Committee has proposed cutting roughly 20 percent of the Honolulu project’s $55 million funding request for fiscal year 2011, according to Congressional sources.
The funding proposal is at this point just that – a measure that still must pass the full House and then an expected showdown with Senate Appropriations Committee headed by Hawaii U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. But the proposed measure adds to the questions raised by critics about the project’s finances and how the Republican-controlled House will treat the project in the future.
“The big issue is how much the city is going to get,” said long-time rail foe Cliff Slater.
“I don’t think the city is going to get the $1.5 billion with all the cutting going on.”
CB: Exact Finances on Rail Hard to Pin Down
Lawmakers eye liquor tax increase
If passed as written, the Senate bill would increase the state tax on a gallon of distilled spirits from $5.98 per gallon to $8.97 per gallon effective July 1, 2011. The tax on a gallon of wine would jump from $1.38 to $2.07. A gallon of non-draft beer would be taxed an additional $.47 from $.93 per gallon to $1.40.
Put in more understandable terms, beer would be hit with an increase of $1.6 per case. That is about 4.4 cents per 12 ounce bottle.
There would be an additional 14-cent tax on every 750 milliliter bottle of wine. The same size bottle of distilled spirits would be taxed an additional 59 cents.
"Once again, it comes back to doing business in Hawaii. They haven't made it any easier for anybody," said Murphy's patron Mark Deaton.
HPD Major Indicted by Federal Grand Jury, still on duty as Legislative Liaison
Honolulu Police Department Major Carlton S. Nishimura has been indicted by a federal grand jury on criminal charges related to illegal game room operations.
The charges against Nishimura, 55, include extortion, attempted witness tampering and making false statements.
The offenses allegedly occurred from 2004-2006, when Nishimura was a captain.
He is the highest-ranking HPD official to be charged with a federal felony offense in recent memory. In 2001, Asst. Chief Rafael Fajardo and Maj. Jeffrey Owens were charged in state court with second-degree theft offenses.
Nishimura was indicted yesterday and surrendered to federal authorities today, making an initial appearance in court this afternoon. He pleaded not guilty and was released pending further court action.
Meanwhile, here’s what the Ethics Commission is working on: A tour for a deputy chief's son and Scout troop required overtime
Censorship: ACLU threats force cancellation of anti-drug rally
In a letter sent to Castillo and KPD Chief Darryl Perry, the ACLU urged the county to cancel or postpone the rally because it believed county employees were “acting outside the scope of their limited, delegated authority, thus exposing the county to litigation,” and faced liability under the First Amendment. The complaint was accompanied by a 16-page-description of an ACLU lawsuit against City and County of Honolulu prosecuting attorney Peter Carlisle regarding a similar matter.
“The issue with the upcoming rally is not about the individual police officers, prosecuting attorneys and other county employees expressing their viewpoints,” the letter states. “It is about the potential use of public resources (including time and labor of county employees) to do so.”
The ACLU letter alleges that neither the police department nor the prosecutor have the authority under the county’s charter to use public funds to advocate for a particular political position; and that using public resources to fund the rally could expose the county to liability under the First Amendment.
The trouble began after the ACLU learned of the county’s first press release regarding its plans to hold the rally.
It includes a quote from County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who stated that if the proposed marijuana bills passed, they would result in increased violent crime, economic crisis, and a higher rate of marijuana usage among children. It also stated that police chiefs and prosecuting attorneys from the four counties stand united against this “dangerous legislation.”
“It cannot be disputed that the overriding purpose of the rally is to persuade constituents to lobby legislators to vote against the pending bills, HB 1169 and SB 58,” the ACLU wrote in its complaint letter.
Citing Stanson v. Mott in the California Supreme Court, the ACLU argued that the expenditures for such matters would raise potentially serious constitutional questions.
“The Stanson court, after reviewing the relevant jurisprudence in other jurisdictions, explicitly limited the department’s campaign activities to neutral informational messages stating … ‘A fundamental precept of this nation’s democratic electoral process is that the government may not ‘take sides’ in election contests or bestow an unfair advantage on one of several competing factions,’” the complaint letter stated.
Paper Chase: Another Setback For Mayor Wright Repairs
But when residents staged public protests and threatened lawsuits in recent weeks, the agency said it was deferring repairs at other projects to finance nearly $1 million in emergency work at the 35-building project off Pua Lane in the Liliha area of Honolulu.
Chief procurement officer Aaron Fujioka then disapproved the agency’s “emergency” procurement request for a $798,000 non-bid contract award to The Gas Company.
Housing officials then submitted a new request that Fujioka promptly disapproved, ruling that the agency hadn’t shown that it had sought competing price quotes from other firms.
An amended request was prepared, but Fujioka rejected it Wednesday, saying that HPHA did not provide “any additional information on whether other prospective vendors were contacted.”
Raped girl for six years, Perfesser gets probation, will keep pension
A former University of Hawaii math professor pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting a young girl over a six-year period, beginning when she was 7 years old.
Stegenga agreed to serve five years of probation, and Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi agreed yesterday to abide by the terms of the plea agreement when Stegenga is sentenced in May.
Stegenga was arrested in September 2009 on the UH-Manoa campus, where he had taught since 1980. Stegenga retired at the end of 2010. (2010 - 1980 = 30 years VESTED)
(Maybe he could get a job as Rida Cabanilla’s office manager.)
Galen Fox tries to re-write history
The woman who sat next to him first intrigued him because she was speaking to her parents across the isle in Cantonese. Later in the flight, while she was buried under a blanket and watching a movie, her arm connected with his on the armrest. When he applied pressure to her arm, she removed hers. But a short time later, she put her arm back on the armrest, and this time when he pressed her arm, she did not pull away. He also touched her leg with his and she did not move.
Though he never spoke a word to her or made eye contact, Fox took this to mean that she could be receptive to his advances. He reached under her blanket to find her hand but it is dark. He ran his hand up one thigh and down the other, then he rubbed her crotch from the outside of her jeans, but quickly stopped because he was “embarrassed” and thought he may have made a mistake. She never moved or responded to his advances.
Just a half hour later when the movie ended, he reached over to touch her arm and apologize. This time she bolted from her seat and yelled loudly “What the fuck are you doing? And why are you touching me?” (ooops….)
Interim administrator named for Honolulu Liquor Commission
Attorney Greg Nishioka has been named interim administrator for the Honolulu Liquor Commission. Nishioka, 52, will serve as interim administrator for one year under a contract agreement with the commission. The position has been vacant since the resignation of Dewey Kim in May 2010. Terms of the contract were not released.
Dopers: Clouds of smoke from California will envelop Hawaii, its inevitable
For the time being, Hawaiians can consider last November’s defeat of Proposition 19, a California ballot initiative to legalize and regulate the personal use of marijuana, as none of their business. But as this debate spreads outward from California it will, sooner or later, reach Hawaii…. (Beeeecause….? Hegel said so, that’s why.)
Proposition 19 nearly passed in 2010 with 46% of the vote. Let’s assume in 2012 a similar initiative wins 51% and California becomes the first state to legalize marijuana.
Shortly thereafter, if Rogers is right, states already familiar with marijuana policy issues — including Hawaii — will take a fresh look at marijuana legalization.
Revolving Door: 46 priors, now charged with credit card offenses
According to court records, Tawnya Domingo, also known as Tawnya Lee Weber, has 30 prior convictions, including 17 felonies mostly theft-related, dating back to 1989. In 1993, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for charges including first-degree burglary. In 2004, she was sentenced to five years in prison for promoting a dangerous drug. In 2005, she was sentenced to five years behind bars for forgery and auto theft.
Court records indicate that Pualani Domingo has been convicted of 16 offenses, mostly misdemeanors. In 2003, she was sentenced to five years in prison for three counts of felony auto theft.
LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: This is a reentry program for inmates about ready to be released back to their communities. It’s funded by the state of Hawaii and the social ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Honolulu. Angela Anderson is one of the fortunate participants. She’s been serving time for drug abuse.
ANGELA ANDERSON: When I had got out of jail before, you know, I went directly back to drugs, because that’s really all there was. But here I got structure. I made great friends. You have classes that you have to attend to. You have to live to a schedule.
KIUC board candidates share views at forum
All candidates raised their hands when asked if they believed CO2 causes global warming.
HECO workers vote against tentative contract
The unionized workers at HECO voted to not ratify their contract agreement with the company, which opens the door to a possible strike.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, which represents the unionized employees of Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company and Hawaii Electric Light Company, released the results of a ratification vote by employees Friday.
Republicans come out in favor of 'birther' control
Mr Rove told Fox News: ''Within our party, we've got to be very careful about allowing these people who are the birthers and the 9/11-deniers to get too high a profile and say too much without setting the record straight.
''Every moment the conservatives talk about this, they marginalize themselves in the minds of independent voters,'' he said.
''Look, he was born in Hawaii.''