How Christmas Came to Hawaii
In Hoc Anno Domini: So the light came into the world
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HB 608: Legislators Could Have Saved HMC Organ Transplant Center Last Session—Bill Was Killed at Last Minute
SA: Lawmakers might fast-track a bill that would authorize state money to help the Queen's Medical Center establish an organ transplant hub after the only facility in the Pacific closed in the Hawaii Medical Center's bankruptcy.
The bill would offer state money that could be matched by Queen's or other private sources to support kidney and liver transplants. Lawmakers, fearful that the Transplant Institute of the Pacific at Hawaii Medical Center's Liliha hospital might close because of HMC's financial difficulties, were close to an agreement on the bill in April. But the bill was one of dozens of casualties in the brinkmanship between the state House and Senate over tax policy at the end of last session.
The Legislature may act on the transplant center bill shortly after the next session opens in January. Advisers to Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the governor would consider an emergency appropriation.
See for Yourself: HB608HD3SD1 “Appropriates funds, subject to dollar-for-dollar private matching funds, to be expended by the Department of Health to support ongoing services provided by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-certified kidney and liver transplant provider in Hawaii, and to support a federally-recognized chronic kidney disease management program.” -- Died in Conference Committee
(HMC was a pro-life force. It is now out of the way.)
read … Having Allowed HMC to die, they now act like heroes
After Lowering Tax Revenue Estimates, Rail Now Claims to Exceed
Longtime rail opponent Cliff Slater said he is skeptical of reports of the increase in rail surcharge tax collections because he isn't certain the statistics provided by HART are accurate. Even if they are, Slater pointed out that the city only exceeded its tax collection projections after the projections were lowered.
"You do get these bumpy years, especially coming out of a recession," Slater said of the recent uptick in excise tax collections. "Now, does it hold going forward? That's another thing altogether when you are looking at a number of years going forward."
Chart: Lowered Expectations
read … lower the bar to get over
Honolulu Rail Costs $7,600 Per Person
Humor has an advantage in exposing reality. 17 Miles in just 78 Minutes! All this inconvenience cost him $5 and another $22 to the taxpayer. Enjoy this short YouTube clip and look at the pop ups.
The U.S. Congress is refusing to fund California’s $100 Billion bullet train. Did you know that:
California's rail at over $100 billion comes to $2,700 per resident, but Hawaii's rail at over $7 billion comes to $7,600 per resident?
read … $7600
Con artists could take advantage of New Mortgage Refinancing Program
While mortgage fraud and mortgage relief fraud have been prevalent in the isles for some time, Hawaii's Better Business Bureau is bracing for a rush of new scammers attempting to take advantage of confusion surrounding this month's implementation of a new Home Affordable Refinance Program.
Changes to the HARP program, which were announced by President Barack Obama in October and became effective Dec. 1, are designed to help struggling homeowners refinance underwater mortgages. However, the BBB warns that along with legitimate banks and mortgage companies, scammers are gearing up to take applications….
Kauai homeowner Paul Gantt is just one of many Hawaii homeowners thought to have been duped by forensic loan audit scams. Gantt paid $900 to Ted Ulan, a forensic loan auditor who said that he worked with St. John's Mortgage Recovery Community Development Corps, a nonprofit ministry affiliated with a Passaic, N.J., church.
"I took (the documents) to a lawyer friend of mine, and he said (they were) useless," he said.
Worse yet, the Rev. William Thiele, pastor of St. John's Church, said the nonprofit had closed on Feb. 11 and was unaware that Ulan was working in Hawaii….
While most scammers keep their cons affordable, Caminos said that he knows of Hawaii people who have lost $40,000 to $60,000.
On Dec. 16 the assistant U.S. attorney concluded a case in Honolulu where conspirators diverted $98,000, $78,000 and $51,000 in equity and fees away from distressed homeowners. A jury found Welton Kalani, 48-year-old owner of New Horizons Financial, and Stephen Balino, 51-year-old co-owner of Accel Mortgage, guilty of mortgage fraud and money laundering. Eight other individuals pled guilty to charges arising out of the same transactions, and testified for the government during the trial.
Kalani, Balino and others conned homeowners facing financial difficulties by offering them the chance to stay in their homes, rent free, by transferring the title to others temporarily.
Be sure to ignore this: Sovereignty Mortgage Scammer Keanu Sai at it again with help from Legislators, Maui Council, University
read … Scams prey on vulnerable homeowners
Aloha Stadium Security Somehow Misses ATM Theft in Broad Daylight
Jason Barnhill, vice president of ATM Unlimited, said the machine disappeared from the parking lot near Section 12, on the mauka side of the stadium closest to H-1 freeway, sometime between 10:36 and 11 a.m. during a busy holiday shopping day….
Barnhill speculates that the ATM got carted off in the bed of a pickup truck with an electronic gate lift given how quickly the incident took place.
"Someone went out there in broad daylight and picked up a 500-pound machine, threw it in the truck and rode off with it," he said.
At 11, the ATM sent him an automatic notification that its cassette portion had been either removed or dislodged. By the time Barnhill arrived at the parking lot location 18 minutes later, all that was left was the blue 5-by-5 pop-up tent that had been shielding it from the sun and two dangling tie-down straps.
"And no ATM," he said….
Barnhill said stadium officials told him the roughly 10 cameras in the parking lot failed to pick up a vehicle leaving with the machine.
How could that be possible: Honolulu Meth-Dealer Protection Racketeer tied to Mehau, politicians
read … Bunch of Crooks
Pelosi Slips Quietly into Big Island Resort
HR: Sheeee’s Baaaack….
read … Pelosi
Hawaii Had Internet First, Blew It
SA: If the Hawaii Big Five had "productized" University of Hawaii ALOHAnet research (a precursor to what is now the Internet) in the late 1970s, Hawaii may have emerged as the global e-commerce center, not Silicon Valley.
For Hawaii to lead with APEC exports, Hawaii must become more Asian in many ways -- and also become more American.
read … Another Lost Opportunity
Chinese Government Propaganda Reporter to Edit Kauai Garden Isle
Many things on the islands nowadays come from China, including The Garden Island’s new managing editor, Renée Haines. Haines joins TGI from her most recent post at China’s largest English-language newspaper, China Daily, in Beijing…..
China Daily Wikipedia: “For the most part, the paper portrays the official policy of the PRC.  The editor of the paper has told foreign editors that the paper's editorial policy was to back the Party line and criticize the authorities only if there was deviation from party policy.” (She should fit right in here in Hawaii.)
Read … Chinese Government Propagandist
Global Warmers Cry Because They Can No Longer Blame Everything on Global Warming
At the end of one of the most bizarre weather years in U.S. history, climate research stands at a crossroads.
Scientists say they could, in theory, do a much better job of answering the question "Did global warming have anything to do with it?" (in the affirmative of course) after extreme weather events like the drought in Texas and the floods in New England.
But for many reasons, efforts to put out prompt (propaganda) reports on the causes of extreme weather are essentially languishing. Chief among the difficulties that scientists face: The political environment for new climate-science initiatives has turned hostile, and with the federal budget crisis, money is tight. (It is always about the money.)
And so, as the weather becomes more erratic by the year, the public is left to wonder what is going on. (Where is Big Brother AlGroe When We need Him Most?)
This year, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tried to push through a reorganization that would have provided better climate
forecasts propaganda to businesses, citizens and local governments, Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked it. (YES!) The idea had originated in the Bush administration, was strongly endorsed by an outside review panel and would have cost no extra money. But the House Republicans, many of whom reject the overwhelming scientific consensus about the causes of global warming, labeled the plan an attempt by the Obama administration to start a "propaganda" arm on climate. (EXACTLY RIGHT!)
read … Propaganda Denied
After Obama Withdraws Troops, Iraq PM Warns of ‘Rivers of Blood’
Iraq's prime minister warned Saturday that efforts to create an autonomous Sunni region within Iraq would divide the country and lead to "rivers of blood."
His comments came as a government crisis has strained ties between two main Muslim sects, Sunnis and Shiites, to the breaking point.
Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister, is engaged in a showdown with the top Sunni political leader in the country. His government has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi for what al-Hashemi says are trumped-up charges that he ran hit squads against government officials.
read … Iraq PM chides Sunni sections pushing for autonomy