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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
September 14, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:07 PM :: 5275 Views

Mānoa campus ranked #164 among U.S. News & World Report's 'Best Colleges'

Feds give Abercrombie $7M to Boost Green Energy Scammers

Berg Fighting to Terminate Ansaldo

Malama Solomon: Gimme a District or I’ll Sue!

Attorney Stan Roehrig, retained by Senator Malama Solomon and three other Hawaii County Democrats, told the State Reapportionment Commission that they will face legal action if they do not reconsider their decision on who to count when redrawing district lines. (This is because Solomon is going to lose to Lorraine Inouye in the SD1 Dem Primary in 2012.)

As explained: Military to be Disenfranchised so Meth dealer’s friend can keep Senate Seat?

read … Solomon’s Minions

ILind: Felon “Keanu” Sai gets free ride because of Political Correctness

Sai and others making similar arguments don’t get their fair share of serious criticism, constructive or otherwise. In part, there’s political correctness involved. People are just reluctant to be seen as publicly critical of things Hawaiian. Hawaiians ourselves are usually more inclined to shy away from open criticism and conflict, and just work around differences. It’s an island thing we grow up with. We live on an island, so don’t fight unless absolutely necessary. The media, along with most politicians, also seem to believe Hawaiian issues are another “third rail” of public life to be avoided.

So that’s one reason I think Conklin makes a positive contribution with his point-by-point rebuttals of Sai, even if they lead him (too often) to offensive comments that are easily taken as insensitive at best, racist at worst. Ideally, he would be creating space for others to think and write critically about the issues, but that still hasn’t happened. I’m not saying that we need more anti-Hawaiian criticism, but Hawaiian claims shouldn’t be off-limits for the strict scrutiny we apply to other political arguments.

Related: Convicted Perfect Title Scammer David “Keanu” Sai responds to Hawai`i Free Press


read … Political Correctness

Hawaiians Demand Makua Valley be used for Military Training

Earthjustice's David Henkin and Malama Makua's Fred Dodge, both non-Hawaiians, used Hawaiian culture and religion, plants and contamination in arguments to deny our military live-fire training in Makua Valley.

Hawaii's Veterans of Foreign Wars, especially we VFW Hawaiians, are asking, "Why did the courts let this happen?"

As for the valley being sacred, we ask, "Made sacred by what god or religion?" Didn't Kamehameha II abolish the Hawaiian religion, order god idols burned, heiaus demolished? Does anyone know of any church that prays to these gods?… (So Henkin and Dodge are overthrowing the Hawaiian Kingdom.)

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says Makua is more suited for trench warfare of WWI; that it was acquired in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack in WWII, never intended to be permanent; and its constrained use is not a matter of military necessity.

His comments show his lack of knowledge about Makua's uniqueness for military training and his disregard for what our military leaders have consistently said, that Makua is a vital training area.

Hawaii's National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, wrote of Hawaii's troops having to train in Texas before being deployed to Iraq and Kuwait — training that could have been done in Makua, he said. Doing so would have removed a considerable burden on soldiers and families. And it would have saved the taxpayers a lot of money.

Abercrombie, commander-in-chief of our National Guard, leaves one wondering if he really knows what his military responsibilities are — and why is he unaware that Makua Valley is ceded federal property? (President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 returned 1,500 acres along the roadside to the state. The state immediately leased it back, free, to the Army for 64 years.)

Because of Earthjustice and Malama Makua, our military troops have had to train off island since 2004, at a cost of millions of dollars to transport soldiers, weapons, vehicles, helicopters, support personnel, maintenance equipment, etc. This senseless cost to taxpayers must be stopped.

We, Hawaii's VFW, therefore loudly echo what U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye and Maj. Gen. Lee have said about Makua: "Let them train!"

And we invite all to join us in echoing the call to "let them train."

read … Hawaiians

SA: APEC work pace worrisome

When Honolulu was selected for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting, Hawaii residents' expectations rose pretty high — and we hope they won't come crashing to earth in the coming weeks. The clock is ticking, and a distressing lag has crept into the preparation timetable….

Honolulu simply had never done something of this magnitude before, unlike larger multicultural mainland cities. This was, and is seen as, Honolulu's chance to prove it is more than a sand-and-surf destination and could handle big meetings.

Will that point be proven, when November rolls around?

There's still time, but many people are rightly feeling somewhat nervous….

the problems at the airport, those constitute a big deal.

In general, the Honolulu airport is the hub of the state's bedrock tourism industry and should not have been allowed to lapse to the point where it needs so much remedial work. Particularly where APEC is concerned, the arrivals terminal provides the first impression to these top-tier visitors, all of them sophisticated travelers, and now everybody has to be on tenterhooks about what kind of impression that will be.

You Were Warned: FT: Complacent Honolulu out of its league, not ready for APEC

read … The Coming Disaster

Bombardier Lawsuit Denied

the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said a Circuit Court judge ruled that the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs hearings officer correctly decided that the city did conduct meaningful discussions with Bombardier about the deficiency in its proposal, as required by law….

Bombardier is disappointed in the ruling by the Circuit Court and frustrated because we believe that the Hawaii Procurement law supports our case….

We have not yet made any decisions regarding a further appeal of this ruling to the Hawaii Appellate Court.

Full Text: HART Release 9.13

read … Bombardier

Shapiro: Say, Tsutsui are Demanding Right to Divide the Spoils with Campaign Contributors

When lawmakers gather information by traditional means such as public hearings and workshops, everything is in the open and everybody gets their say.

When the information gathering is turned over to “experts” on shadowy task forces, the chosen few who are appointed have special access to legislators’ ears and everybody else is excluded from having a voice in a key part of the decision-making.

When the “experts” given exclusive access to legislators’ ears are paid lobbyists on the issue and often contributors to lawmakers’ campaigns, we have an ethics problem.

… looks more like campaign donors dividing up the spoils than “experts,” and it invites shady dealings to allow such a group to operate without ethical restrictions.

read … Dividing the Spoils

ILind: Abercrombie, Carlisle more Secretive than Chicago Machine

Hawaii gets to enjoy Governor Abercrombie’s refusal to disclose the names of judicial nominees forwarded to him by the Judicial Selection Commission, and his administration’s somewhat lame defense of his position put forward in court this week. Meanwhile, in Chicago, long thought of as the Mecca of back room deals, its a new era of openness….

Our governor needs some coaching from Rahm Emanuel on the political benefits of this kind of openness, as does Honolulu’s mayor.

read … More Corrupt than Chicago

Legislators not Consulted on Abercrombie’s Unnoticed Emergency Proclamation

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s decision to issue an emergency proclamation in June to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contain discarded military explosives has drawn comparisons to then-Gov. Linda Lingle’s proclamation in 2006 on the homeless.

After Lingle kept extending the emergency, state lawmakers responded with a bill in 2008 that would have restricted the governor’s emergency powers. The bill passed the state House and Senate but was vetoed by Lingle. The Senate voted to override the veto, but the House declined to attempt an override, so the bill failed….

Several state lawmakers said on Tuesday that they wished Abercrombie had consulted them before issuing his emergency proclamation on discarded military explosives, which suspended nearly two dozen state land use and environmental regulations for five years to help with the munitions clean up.

State Rep. Henry Aquino (D, Pearl City-Waipahu), the chairman of the House Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee, was not aware Abercrombie had issued the emergency proclamation until hearing from the news media this week. The governor’s staff posted the proclamation on the governor’s website along with other executive orders, but did not release a public statement.

Carroll Cox: On June 14, 2011, Governor Abercrombie signed a proclamation suspending state statutes protecting the environment, historic sites, public access to recreation areas, and environmental policies. For what reason, and why wasn't the public informed? Link here to the proclamation, and listen to our radio show on Sunday, 9/11, to find out more

SA: Governor suspends laws for arms cleanup, Lawmakers unaware of emergency order

read … Explosive Emergency

Even after District Redrawn to include her Home, Hanabusa claims she will still leave KoOlina

After twice losing in her home 2nd District to opponents from the 1st District, Hanabusa last year became the out-of-district candidate herself by running for the 1st District seat opened when Neil Abercrombie ran for governor.

Republican Charles Djou made a big issue of it, pointing to Hanabusa's statements in 2002 and 2006 about her strong, lifelong ties to the 2nd District and her complaints about candidates who lived in the other district coming in to run.

Hanabusa prevailed, but Djou's pressure forced her to promise to move into the 1st District if she won, which she did by renting a Kakaako apartment.

She hasn't sold her Ko Olina home, which could wind up in the 1st District for the next election under boundary changes proposed by the state Reapportionment Commission, but a Hanabusa spokes­man said she plans to sell the Ko Olina property and buy closer to town either way.

(Yes, but will she leave KoOlina if she’s no longer in Congress?)

read … Residency

Is Rail Already Hurting Hawaii's Economy?

there will only be 350 construction jobs. Should we say that again, just to let it sink in, $5.3 billion spent for 350 construction jobs. The $483 million construction contract for rail went to Kiewit, which said it needed 350 workers to build the first segment.

The same workers would probably end up building the remaining segments, because the plan is to build the system in segments, not all at once.

Another billion or so goes to Ansaldo, an Italian company which has said it will only create 300 local jobs. The city initially claimed that rail would create 17,000 new jobs during the construction phase, but later lowered its estimate to 10,000.

That was what former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said, when he sold all of us this steel-on-steel rail with 52 percent of the popular vote.

The excise tax which has collected $460 million so far is actually costing the state jobs. Since the economy is so bad, the extra excise tax is hurting the market. People are finding that their budget doesn't go as far so they're cutting back. What that means is some businesses don't get that money.

If you want to look at the jobs created by the rail project, you should subtract out the jobs that have been lost from the effect of the excise tax.

read … Already Holding Us Back

GE Tax Take Up 9%, TAT up 24%

According to the Department of Taxation, General Fund deposits increased 9-percent in August.

The state collected nearly $27 million from the hotel room tax, an increase of more than 24 percent.

Related: The cost of saying 'I do' reaches $17,488 in isles, Bags of Cash: Hawaiian Air collected $13.5 million in baggage fees in the first quarter

read … GE Tax Bites

Panel Picks Honolulu Council Redistricting Plan

The one key difference between the proposal and the [existing map}( is that two portions of Makakilo that have been split between Districts 1 and 9 for the last decade will be reunited. To compensate for the rapid growth in Leeward Oahu, the boundary would now slice Ewa in half along Fort Weaver Road.

(You can view an image of the proposal at the top of this article and click here for a PDF file with zoom capabilities.)

read … Honolulu

Obama’s Fake DOA “Jobs” Bill has over $200M in Fake Pork for Hawaii

Farrington High School in Kalihi is well past showing its age now that it's in its 70s….

But this campus, which has its roots in President Roosevelt's New Deal public works spending, could be among the beneficiaries of President Obama's spending plan, a proposed $82.2 million in K-12 infrastructure just for Hawaii….

The bill also proposes more than $122 million in operational funds to avoid layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters.

read … Fake Pork

20% of Hawaii is on Medicaid

Last year, more than 152,000 people in Hawaii earned less than the poverty threshold. Although median income went up, demand increased for low income health insurance and for food stamps, now called SNAP.

"One out of five Hawaii residents is currently a beneficiary of Medicaid. And in those numbers we have not seen any downward trending," said State Human Services director Pat McManaman.

Thanks Obama: Median household income declined 2.3 percent, and the proportion of people living in poverty last year climbed to 15.1 percent, or almost one in six Americans, from 14.3 percent in 2009

KITV: Many Residents Still Fail To Reach Self Sufficiency

read … Hawaii poverty rate reflected in food demand

Kauai Luddites now Claim Hydro Kills Taro

The enviros are doing everything they can to block the two types of renewable energy that actually work—hydro and geothermal.

read … their latest excuse

Maui Housing Project Residents Defend Resident Manager

he letters were sent from a common email address but don’t share the common language or structure found in many organized letter-writing campaigns.

Several of the writers blamed the high vacancies at Honokowai Kauhale on high rental rates assessed new tenants at the project, which was built in 1989….

HHFDC owns 1,437 apartments in nine housing projects on the Big Island, Maui and Oahu. See the list of projects and vacancies here: Housing Projects

read … Maui Housing

Kakaako planners consider updating guidelines

Superblocks with 40-story buildings linked by walkways suspended 45 feet above streets never materialized in Kakaako, but the vision of state planners nearly 30 years ago is about to get updated with more down-to-earth ideas.

Streets featuring wide sidewalks lined by canopy trees that invite pedestrian activity and buffer neighborhoods with slimmer 40-story towers are part of the new vision for the urban Honolulu area.

Directors of a state agency are holding a public hearing today at 9 a.m. to consider adopting updated planning guidelines that have been in place since 1982 for the 450-acre area bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and King, Piikoi and Punchbowl streets.

read … Kakaako

Civil Beat is Wrong Again – This Time Regarding Job Creation

We think Civil Beat’s analysis amounts to quibbling over the placement of the knives, forks, and spoons at a table on which sits an elephant nearly the size of an aircraft carrier.

Our overarching points about the city’s jobs claims are unassailable: the city has led the public to expect that the proposed heavy rail system would increase the number of jobs in Hawaii by at least 10,000, and that number is extremely misleading….

We wonder why Civil Beat continues to quibble over the literal accuracy of metaphors like “pure fiction” and “aircraft carriers in the sky,” and we marvel that a self-proclaimed civic watchdog would be upset about the “fairness” of four individual citizens asking the city to be more honest with the public. Does Civil Beat not understand the implications of our allegations?

We don’t mind having Civil Beat fact check our statements. In fact, when Civil Beat took the “aircraft carriers in the sky” metaphor literally — and actually went to the trouble to compare the measurements of three classes of aircraft carriers to those of the planned rail stations — we were amused. But we could not even smile when Civil Beat insisted that it is neutral on the issue of heavy rail. We believe that statement should be “fact checked.”

read … CB should just give up on Fact Check

AARP Discusses Safety Improvements For Hawaii's Roadways

According to the AARP, based on our population Hawaii is ranked number one in pedestrian fatalities ages 60 and older, with the majority of those deaths occurring in crosswalks.

read … AARP

Har: State, Federal Government Must Collaborate on Monk Seal Protection

While I appreciate Civil Beat's coverage of this issue of great concern to fishermen, environmental groups and anyone who enjoys our state's natural resources, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my testimony as the Vice-Chair of the Hawaii State House of Representatives Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources, which I believe was misconstrued by the headline "State Lawmakers Threaten to Fight Proposed Monk Seal Protections."

As an attorney and a state representative, I understand that federal law will always supersede state law, and therefore, the state does not have the power to supplant any federal protections that may be put in place. Instead, I attended this meeting to ensure that the state of Hawai'i and the federal government collaborate on the important issue of protecting our endangered monk seal population, while balancing the impact upon our waters and other natural resources. Should NOAA decide upon new regulations to further intervene in the fate of the monk seals, the reality is that the state would be forced to bring many laws into line with the new federal protections, whether it be laws relating to aquatic resources, boating and ocean recreation, or shoreline issues. Therefore, it makes sense for the federal government and the state to work together on this issue.

read … Monk Seal

Senate Oceans Caucus launched

With our oceans and coastal resources, and the economies and jobs they support, facing constant and increasingly direct pressure from a variety of sources, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators Tuesday met to form a new Senate Oceans Caucus.

The Caucus will work to increase awareness and find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans and coasts, which support millions of jobs in America and contribute more to the country’s GDP than the entire farm sector, grossing more than $230 billion in 2004.

read … Coming after your rights

Obama Rejected: NYC Congressional Seat goes Republican for first time since 1920s

With the outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke Tuesday when voters in New York elected a conservative Republican to represent a Democratic district that has not been in GOP hands since the 1920s.

Bob Turner, the winner, cast the election as a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy and, in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, which has a large population of Orthodox Jewish voters, the president’s position on Israel.

With 75 percent of the precincts reporting at press time, Turner had a commanding lead, with 53 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Weprin.

Turner, 70, a retired cable TV executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of experience in public service, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

The defeat came as Republicans trounced Democrats in another special House election Tuesday, in northern Nevada, where Republican Mark Amodei led Democrat Kate Marshall, 56 percent to 39 percent almost from the start.

In both contests, the GOP pulled ahead by linking the Democratic candidate to Obama and his handling of the economy. Both Republican contenders urged voters to “send a message” to the president.

read … Voters Reject The Manoa Liberal In Chief



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