Medicaid: Abercrombie sides with Big Business
Son-of-a-glitch: Abercrombie defends turning state’s disabled population into second class citizens
Hanabusa Wipes Prince Kuhio --and Robert Wilcox-- out of History Books
HART Director: Feds will not invest in Rail if they have Doubts
Clearly, we must act now before it gets much worse.
We have been in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss the project and to continue to pave the way for an upcoming federal Full-Funding Grant Agreement. It is always encouraging to see the confidence the Federal Transit Administration has repeatedly shown in Honolulu's rail project. The rail project already received $120 million in federal funds and is on track to receive a total of $1.55 billion in federal funding. The FTA would not be investing in our project if they had any doubts that it would succeed.
read … Why Ansaldo is OK Now
Meet Rail’s Million-Dollar Lobbyist
Check the record. Infraconsult LLC, Honolulu’s designated project manager for the rail project, hired the D.C. lobbying firm of Williams & Jensen in April 2008 to press for federal funding, according to Senate lobbying records. The person registered to act as Williams & Jensen’s lobbyist for Infraconsult? Denis Dwyer.
Since 2008, Williams & Jensen has been paid a total of $840,000 in lobbying fees by Infraconsult for Dwyer’s services. He’s currently being paid $80,000 every three months. The total will reach $1 million by the end of this year.
read … Million Dollar Lobbyist
Is Hawaii safe in post 9/11 era?
Hawaii is as far as you can get in the country from New York and Washington DC. Still last year the FBI arrested Abdel Hameed Shehadeh in Hawaii accused of lying about international terrorism. He is currently in New York awaiting trial.
read … 9-11 era
Reapportionment: Hawaii County Can’t Find So-Called Non-Residents Either
The commission Friday voted 6-3 to disregard 918 nonresident students and three nonresident military personnel when drawing County Council districts reflecting population changes since 2000. The official resident population of the county is 184,158 with the changes.
Commission Chairman Rene Siracusa, Vice Chairman Dru Mamo Kanuha and Commissioner Jeffrey Melrose voted no, saying 125 of those nonresident students could be pinpointed only by ZIP code, which could be a Post Office box and not where they actually live.
Eliminating the students is likely to have the most impact on Hilo.
Some commissioners also seemed philosophically opposed to not including the military, but ended up excluding them after some discussion.
Commissioner Mike Middlesworth noted that people are born and die in the districts every day, so there will never be a perfect count.
"Why quibble over three people?" Middlesworth said. "This is silly."
read … Hawaii County
Soft on Crime Activists Demand No New Jail on Maui
Hawaii recently signed a new contract with Corrections Corporation of America for a $45.5 million contract to warehouse even more prisoners from Hawaii - up to 1,956 men at two CCA prisons in Arizona.
And the Department of Public Safety has finally admitted that the state has restarted plans for the proposed Maui prison complex despite the overwhelming majority of public comments in opposition to this project.
Our community must remain vigilant in opposing this project and continuing to demand cost-effective alternatives to building an 843-bed prison complex on Maui.
Why that jail is needed: Judge Steven Alm: Justice Reinvestment and the future of HOPE Probation
read … Abercrombie
State Gives Clayton Hee a Seat at Hoopili’s Table
The state granted the Sierra Club and Sen. Clayton Hee permission to intervene at a hearing on Friday.
The environmental group and state senator, who
is also a farmer likes to play with horses, both oppose the Hoopili development, which involves the reclassification of 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land for urban use. They will join Friends of Makakilo in arguing against the development in front of the quasi-judicial state Land Use Commission.
Hearings begin October 20.
Friday’s hearing, which dragged on for nearly five hours, was "exhausting," said Dan Davidson, executive director of the commission. It began with public testimony. One labor group after another testified against allowing the Sierra Club and Hee to intervene in proceedings….
While granting the Sierra Club’s petition to intervene wasn’t such a surprise, Hee’s position was more contentious. The city Department of Planning and Permitting argued that his intervention was unconstitutional and violated Hawaii's separation of powers doctrine.
The city argued that it was not appropriate for a senator to draft laws, participate in the approval of land use commissioners and then “implement or interpret laws that he helped draft.”
Midway through the hearing, Hee indicated that he would only intervene as a private citizen and not in his capacity as a senator in order to avoid any conflict.
Hee told Civil Beat that he expects to be able to examine witnesses and that his motivation for intervening was to preserve valuable agricultural land.
read … Hee
Pflueger Defaults on Settlement for Victims of His Ka Loko Dam Breach
Retired Auto Dealer Jimmy Pflueger has defaulted on his promise to pay several million dollars to Kauai residents who lost their loved ones - and property - when his Ka Loko dam breached in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 14, 2006.
Pflueger, 85, is one of several defendants in wrongful death and property damage lawsuits filed by those who lost family members and property in disaster….
Pflueger’s attorney William McCorriston did not return calls and emails from Hawaii Reporter about his client's decision not to pay the Ka Loko victims by the September 1 deadline.
However, Pflueger's attorneys have told attorneys for the victims that Pflueger does have the money to pay his share of the undisclosed civil settlement, and that he would like a 2-year extension.
DN: Thinking of buying a Honda in Honolulu? Read this first
read … KaLoko
Hawaii Bottled Water Manufacturer Hit with $5M Fine
West Hawaii-based deep seawater bottler Koyo USA has been fined more than $5 million for reportedly distributing products adulterated with seawater….
Had the company gotten state approval to add food-grade sea salt to its water, and labeled the product correctly, a violation may not have occurred, he explained. The maximum fine for such a violation is $10,000 per day of production.
"With a permit there is a certain process these companies have to conform to, and, if they fail, they are violating their permit," said Gill, who noted Koyo was assessed $6,000 per production day….
However, annual laboratory testing, which has been performed since Koyo received its permit, wouldn't have identified the issue since the company performed a disinfection process prior to distribution, Gill said. Because the final product did not pose a health or safety threat, the state did not recall products or embargo production, he explained.
read … Balance the Budget
Maui County to take Drinking Water from Polluted Well
We do have a choice of what sort of water our families drink: stream water with some organic matter in it, which can be cleaned and otherwise processed by our water treatment plants; or ground water highly contaminated by numerous agricultural chemicals - such as DBCP, TCP and EDP - as well as potential nitrates, which we trust will be decontaminated by charcoal filtration.
read … Its OK when the Government does it
Bhagowalia: Hawaii IT only 20 years Behind
Hawaii has struggled to keep pace with emerging technologies due to the economic turndown and budget cuts the State has faced. Consequently, there are areas where we are up to two decades behind, using manual and paper processes, and other older technologies. But the employees have been doing an amazing job keeping things running given their limited resources.
The State's current IT environment presents us a number of opportunities to implement many technologies that are now available, such as cloud computing, open source collaboration tools, secure mobile computing, Web 2.0/3.0, and enterprise solutions, which will help leap frog our technology into the future.
read … Wangs & Filing Cabinets
Carlisle: Rats are like Homeless
Giant homeless rats are now everywhere according to Mayor Carlisle.
read … Rats
9-11 trooother Roseanne Barr on Medical Marijuana: 'It Works for Me'
Comedian/reality-TV star Roseanne Barr likes her medical marijuana on the sweet side. "I don't smoke," she says during a recent episode of "Roseanne's Nuts," which is based in Hawaii.
Frustrated with the state's lack of dispensaries, Barr flies to L.A. to score a loaded cookie. She uses cannabis for anxiety and anger issues.
read … just a typical and average 9-11 trooother