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Sunday, July 17, 2011
July 17, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:12 PM :: 16028 Views

 Ms. Lingle goes to Washington -- so is a decision imminent?

The middle of August is a good time to announce. The primary election is Aug. 11, 2012, so an announcement next month gives her one year to clear the decks, define her campaign and get on with general election strategy.

Lingle spent last week in Washington, D.C., ostensibly appearing on a panel as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Governors' Council. It is also where you would be if you were firming up plans for a senatorial campaign.

"She is in Washington right now looking for feedback from powers that be," reports state Rep. Gen Ward, House GOP leader.

The obligatory Washington tour is an important part of any serious major campaign, even in the isolated outpost of Hawaii.

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, the former GOP city councilman, recalls that his trips to Washington were essential in launching his campaign.

Just because you know and are known by the local Honolulu news media doesn't mean anything to the national press corps based in Washington, Djou says. An aspiring member of Congress may not be having a beer with the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza or MSNBC's Chris Matthews, but there are a lot of down-in-the-trenches reporters at Politico, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly and The Hill who cover Congress.

"They are the ones who will be covering your race and it is good to get your face on their map," Djou said.

Related: Governor Lingle to Speak at Grassroot Institute Fundraiser, Sources: Democrats scheming to plant candidate in Republican Senate Primary

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Rep Keith-Agaran: ‘Qualified’ Hawaiians are Politically distinct

…figuring out what constitutes a "significant ... connection to the Hawaiian community" is not clear-cut.

The bill that the governor signed July 7 places the commission under the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for administrative purposes. Asked for further information about who can be a "qualified Native Hawaiian," a spokesman for OHA said Friday that his agency's role was limited to placing advertisements to solicit applicants, and he suggested checking with the governor's office.

A representative from Abercrombie's office referred the question to the office of state Sen. Clayton Hee, who introduced the bill in the Senate in January.

Hee was not available for comment. State Sen. Malama Solomon said that members of the House of Representatives, specifically Rep. Faye Hanohano, insisted on including that language in the bill, to make it more inclusive.

"The House wanted to make it as open as possible," Solomon said. For example, Solomon said, adult members of a hula halau, or a paddling club who have Hawaiian ancestry may be nominated for the commission. The same goes for members of Hawaiian civic clubs, royal societies and royal trusts, and the Hawaiian homestead community associations.

Hanohano was not available for comment, but her colleague, Maui Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, said the effort was intended to create a political distinction, rather than a racial one.

As explained: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe, Hawaiian “Haves” vs “Have-nots” take opposite sides on so-called Hawaiian Recognition Bill, SA: Hawaiians not tribal, State Akaka Tribe is not a Tribe, Many Hawaiians will not be “Qualified”

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Homeless Inundate Convention Center: Abercrombie has No Plan to remove them before APEC

The state's homeless coordinator told the Star-Advertiser there is no plan to address the homeless problem in Waikiki specifically for APEC, when Waikiki will be center stage before the leaders of 21 APEC nations and 2,500 international journalists….

"Every place APEC has been held they always focus on the homeless and problems of the city," Alexander said. "If there's one homeless person on the street, the media's going to find them. APEC is not in our mindset."  (That last sentence does not compute.)

Alexander said he hopes that the 90-day plan helps some homeless people in Waikiki find housing before APEC. "We're just going to keep plugging ahead," Alexander said. "Of course, we want to put the best face forward for the city, but that's other people's challenge. We're going to keep doing the right thing for the right reasons in the right way."

Waikiki Neighborhood Board Member Les Among, who lives across the Ala Wai Canal, frequently sees people sleeping next to the convention center when he comes home at about 1:30 a.m. "They're sleeping there right now and it's getting worse," Among said. "It's going to be a black eye when APEC comes to town. It's terrible."

Donna Davidson recently moved into an apartment next to the convention center and walks her Jack Russell terrier, Z, "20 times a day," Davidson said.

"Instead of a view of the water, I look out to see them sleeping," she said. "They're there all day, every day."

The ACLU of Hawaii plans to train "large numbers of individuals" (arrogant, self-righteous demi-gods) to observe police, protesters and the homeless during APEC and has been meeting with Honolulu police and the Secret Service, said Daniel Gluck, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Hawaii.

"The Honolulu Police Department, Secret Service, and other governmental agencies involved with APEC are well aware that they cannot simply sweep ‘undesirable' people off the street, and they have assured the ACLU — in multiple meetings with our office, beginning in May 2010 — that they will follow the law," Gluck said in a statement. "The government can't suspend the Constitution just to make a good impression on visitors."

The Coming Disaster: Complacent Honolulu out of its league, not ready for APEC

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As DoE Failure becomes more and more evident, Mazie Hirono asks Feds to stop Measuring

State Sen. Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said her concern with the federal law is that it puts a label on a school that may be untrue.

"While many schools might not be making AYP, at the same time those same schools could have been making tremendous gains," she said. "I've shared these concerns from the very beginning, whether or not we'll start to create self-fulfilling prophecies by labeling our schools as failing."

Tanimura, of the DOE, added that NCLB has been positive in many ways: It has put schools and school districts on notice that they have to ensure the progress of all kids, and it has focused attention on persistently low-achieving schools.

The Obama administration and a growing number of states have urged Congress to reauthorize the law, proposing fundamental changes to how schools are rated and given credit for student growth.

So far, though, there has been little action on reauthorization and there's dwindling hope it will happen this year, prompting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to recently propose that the U.S. DOE take matters into its own hands, granting waivers to states that would require agreement on as-yet unspecified accountability standards.

It's unclear if the waiver program will go forward, given some opposition from Congress….

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said she's worried some proposed changes moving through Congress would negatively affect the special subgroups NCLB was meant to help.

She added that she would support administrative relief for states in the absence of changes to the law.

"By 2014, you're going to have a huge number of schools failing," she said. "We need to recognize the reality of what's coming down the pike."

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SA: If HSTA wins, prospects for fiscal sanity are bleak

The complaint before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board filed in the dispute over the Hawaii State Teachers Association contract is certain to leave a lasting imprint on the way government comes to terms with its workforce. The hope in the end is for a legal interpretation that still leaves the employer with a reasonable share of the bargaining power and that doesn't go to the lengths the HSTA seeks.

The labor board should uphold this as a last-ditch option for the government, as it exists in other states. But in California, for example, there is a specific law that spells out how a last, best and final offer is to be implemented unilaterally and its limitations. Even if the option is upheld through the current dispute, Hawaii needs to adopt clear legal language of its own.

…if the HSTA complaint ultimately places harsh constraints on elected leaders who manage the public purse, the long-term prospects for fiscal sanity in this state may be bleak.

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Ratepayers Beware: Green Energy Scammers trying to take over Hawaiian Electric

Marth claims to have 26 investment bankers interested in financing the $35 billion plan. "I'm fighting off the money right now," he said at the Rotary Club meeting.  (yeah, right)

Some observers question whether it's feasible to run a cable along the extremely rough and deep Alenuihaha Channel between Hawaii island and Maui.

Marth says it can be done, though not easily or cheaply. According to Puna Geothermal, the state investigated the feasibility of an Alenuihaha Channel cable in the 1980s and concluded it was possible but too costly without considerable government subsidies. The state estimates it will cost $800 million to $1 billion to install a cable linking Oahu to wind farms on Molokai and Lanai.

Marth has said a company like Hawaiian Electric with public shareholders interested in growing quarterly profits faces a disincentive to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy production.  (Even though the PUC  is obligated to raise rates to cover the investments—even if they are not otherwise financially sound….)

A company like Ku‘oko‘a with private capital focused on long-term returns from renewable energy investments is necessary to make the conversion, he said.

One big concern for local consumers and businesses is whether such a return could be achieved without coming at the expense of ratepayers. Some stock analysts and energy industry experts have expressed doubt about Ku‘oko‘a's plan penciling out….

Marth has said Ku‘oko‘a has been belittled as a plan by a motivational speaker, a tomato farmer and a bureaucrat.

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Berg Fires Chief of Staff Eric Ryan Amid Attacks on State Rep

An aide to Berg told Civil Beat Saturday that chief of staff Eric Ryan had been given the "pink slip" on Thursday or Friday — just before Ryan was set to reveal more information attacking state Rep. Kymberly Pine, who Ryan alleges owes him money for services during the last election cycle.

Neither Berg nor Ryan immediately returned phone messages and emails asking about the firing Saturday.

"Eric was told to turn in his stuff and take his stuff out and we changed the locks in the door and we turned off his computer. So there's no doubt about Tom's intent to fire him," Philmund Lee, Berg's deputy chief of staff and legislative aide, told Civil Beat. He said the paperwork is still being processed.

Earlier in the week, after Ryan promoted the new website,, with a flier comparing Pine to disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner and accused child murderer Casey Anthony….

Best Comment: “Couldn't help but notice that Berg's two campaign websites ( & have already turned into ads for Studio Ryan.  Berg's "" is still the same Ryan produced website...looks like an as-see-on-TV wonder mop commercial. I hope Berg knows where all the images are hosted :)”

Related: Police, Prosecutors to discuss Cybercrime at Capitol

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City waits to increase sludge runs

Hauling would involve three 5,000-gallon trucks making two daily runs — up to 210,000 gallons per week — from Sand Island, which is over capacity, to each of the three outlying plants. It was expected to begin by the end of the month, but officials say details still are being finalized, including test runs of one delivery per day to determine the impact of the sludge transportation.

At least one state lawmaker says a formal environmental assessment is needed before the hauling can begin. City officials, noting that the Department of Environmental Services already hauls more than 200,000 gallons of sludge per week to the plants in Kailua and Honouliuli, said the city corporation counsel is studying the request.

"If the EA is required, we're not going to violate the law," said Tim Steinberger, city environmental services director.

Related: Berg: Restore Funding for Sand Island Wastewater Treatment, Thielen: Environmental Assessment required to truck Sludge from Sand Island to Kailua

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Hawaii has 235 new laws compared to 3,224 bills introduced

Gov. Neil Abercrombie enacted 235 laws compared to 3,224 bills introduced at the beginning of the year, meaning 7.3 percent of introduced bills survived the legislative process and became law.

It's typical for fewer than one-tenth of bills introduced to become law.

Abercrombie this week also vetoed 17 bills of the 252 that cleared both the state House and Senate.

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Wave of change rolls into Wahiawa

This whole block used to be an area most tried to avoid, housing a pornography shop and several bars.

“We want this to be a place where people want to stop, not stay away from ,” said Cindy Bauer Founder of Surfing the Nations.

That's why the non-profit group bought the block and is transforming it into a community center.

“There’s people that have just come by and thanked us with tears in their eyes,” said North Shore resident and STN board member Rick Phillips. “They say they've been praying for change for the community. I feel a very positive impact.”

Now the old Top Hat bar serves as a coffee shop and the organization’s headquarters.

Related: Porn Pastor to appear at former Wahiawa XXX Store, Ministry Group Buying out Porn Shops in Wahiawa

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Motorcycle ride raises funds for law enforcement memorial

Local nonprofit Kaanalike is sponsoring its first Run for Heroes Aug. 6, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Kona Elks Lodge No. 2616 on Pawai Place.

Kaanalike President Nalani Freitas is anticipating about 300 riders to show up for the event that will primarily raise money for the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, which plans to build a monument to the 60 police officers killed in the line of duty in Hawaii.


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Want Some Land?  State has $4.5M available to buy it for you

The state plans to issue grants to organizations seeking to buy and protect Hawaii lands that have environmental, cultural and agricultural importance.

Sept. 16 is the deadline for applying for the grants. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday it would make applications available online at the end of the month.

Legacy Land Conservation Program grants are supported by revenue from the state's land conveyance tax. About $4.5 million might be available in grants for 2011-2012.

Related: Hawaii DLNR gives 11 acres to 9-11 truther group?

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Unions aiming to control workers place a bull's-eye on Target

Until recently the Minneapolis-based discounter largely had avoided the labor disputes and public relations challenges that have plagued Walmart, the world's largest retailer. But now Target could face the same union opposition as its much bigger rival.

Target, which will open its fourth Hawaii store in Hilo on Wednesday and its fifth next July in Kailua, had its first union election in two decades in June amid allegations by workers of skimpy wages and reduced hours at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store. The measure ultimately failed after Target suggested to workers that the store might not survive if they vote to unionize. But the labor dispute — and Target's handling of it — is widely seen as a precursor to a bubbling national battle between Target and labor groups similar to the one Walmart has been locked in for at least a decade….

"Our emphasis is on creating a workplace environment where our team members don't want or need union representation," Snyder said. "Target works to create an environment of mutual trust between Target and our team members — an environment that promotes listening, responding to concerns of team members and always giving honest feedback."

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'Roseanne' paints Hawaii in a strange, surreal light

What do you get when you put Roseanne Barr on 46 acres of Big Island outback, give her a gun, a seashell honu necklace, some grinning local buddies and a wild pig problem?

Not sure. It seems the network execs aren't sure either. The latest TV show to be shot in Hawaii isn't funny, nor sad nor dramatic. It's not particularly revelatory or entertaining. It's just a rich momona lady yelling at her family. You can see that every day at Roy's Restaurant or the airport….

The show doesn't have any obvious marks of a runaway hit: no one is bikini-beautiful, careening from addiction, trying to hook up with someone's spouse or competing to construct the best evening gown, risotto or pop song performance. Even Barr's relentless profanity gets dull fairly quickly.

But it does show what Hawaii looks like from the point of view of a rich lady who buys a chunk of land to "get away from" all the things that made her rich, and who then proceeds to construct a semi-retirement out of batik caftans, homegrown vegetables and satellite dishes on the roof (as well as a camera crew.)

Roseanne's Hawaii is untamed ironwood trees, rascally wild pigs and red ti leaf planted by the screen door. It is wine with sunsets, family lounging about her many indoor and outdoor sofas and trips to the crystal mystic healer. It is declarations of how rich she is and then complaints about how much stuff costs.

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Old cellphones to benefit troops

People with old phones are asked to drop them and batteries in recycle bins at any local AT&T store. The proceeds then help buy pre-paid phone cards for Hawaii troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Late last month, AT&T donated 1,000 pre-paid phone cards to Hawaii active duty, National Guard and reserve troops deployed in war zones….

The organization sells the recycled phones then buys phone cards to send to the troops overseas. AT&T has 14 stores in Hawaii and 2,000 worldwide. Old phones also can be donated by mail using postage-paid labels available through

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An Awakening: Youth Revive Japan's Dying Church

The church in Japan is getting smaller every day. The average Japanese church has 30 people and many have less than 10 members.

Church historian Masakazu Suzuki says traditional churches are dying out.

"After the war, a lot of American GI's who came to Japan are Christians and later came back to Japan as missionaries. So, after the war, the Japanese churches grew a lot," Suzuki told CBN News.

"Now after 50, 60 years, a lot of pastors are getting older, facing retirement," he said. "Also many members are getting older too."

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Trinidad Minister of Foreign Affairs got Ph&D from Hawaii Diploma Mill

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications Surujrattan Rambachan has received a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration by distance education from an institution incorporated in Hawaii and closed down by the US authorities seven years ago. Rambachan told the Sunday Guardian yesterday that he received the doctorate from Pacific Southern University (PSU) in 1989, which would have been when he was serving as T&T’s Ambassador to Brazil. Recently, Rambachan was entrusted with disseminating information to the nation on matters of public interest but has failed to clear the air on his PhD qualification. PSU, which was operating as an unaccredited institution from 1995, was shut down by Hawaiian authorities in April 7, 2004.

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