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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
January 11, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:37 PM :: 13407 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Romney, Paul, Huntsman: Complete New Hampshire Primary Results

Tesoro to Sell Hawaii Refinery, Gas Stations

House Republican Caucus Proposes Veterans Preference in State Contractingclip_image002

City Brings Backhoe, Removes Homeless’ Trash, Sex Toys, Drug Paraphernalia from Sidewalks

CB: One by one, Honolulu's homeless took down their tents Tuesday.

Some packed their worldly possessions into the beds of pickup trucks, planning to move them elsewhere. (Bad) Others watched as about 15 city workers packed the belongings into green recycling bins, to be stored in Halawa. Some gave permission to have their items head straight to the landfill. (Good) And some just abandoned things on the sidewalk…. (Good)

The law closes a loophole that allowed homeless people to move back and forth between parks during the day and sidewalks at night. Supporters have insisted the law doesn't target the homeless. But the presence of Department of Facility Maintenance Director Westley Chun and leaders from Carlisle's office both yesterday, when notices were posted on tents and shopping carts, as well as today shows that the city knows its handling of the homeless issue is high profile….

The workers, all wearing orange vests and rubber gloves and handling items carefully, seemed to alternate between disgust and amusement at what they found in the abandoned belongings. There was a small bottle of hard alcohol, drug paraphernalia, adult magazines and a sex toy….

KITV: City Eying Iwilei Homeless Encampment

SA: City keeps eye on sidewalks cleared of homeless camps

read … Go to a shelter

Lingle says, if elected, state will be heard in Washington

MN: Former Gov. Linda Lingle said Tuesday that she would work with members of both parties if elected to the U.S. Senate, but also said Hawaii would benefit from having a Republican in its congressional delegation.

Lingle said her relationships with Republican leaders would help the state continue to be heard in Washington, no matter which party is in power.

"The majority in the U.S. Senate goes back and forth. Sometimes the Republicans are in the majority, and sometimes the Democrats," she said. "We need to have a foot in both camps. It's not in Hawaii's interest to have a delegation that's all of one party."

Lingle was on Maui on Tuesday for the local announcement of her endorsement by the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, support she said "means a lot" to her campaign.

read … Lingle says, if elected, state will be heard in Washington

Adopt Census’ ‘permanent resident’ term for districting

Palcic: Both the Hawaii Supreme Court and the Reapportionment Commission make a grave error in attempting to establish legislative districts on the basis of a completely undefined term, "permanent resident." The arguments over whom and how many Hawaii residents to exclude on this elusive premise never addresses the question of why the official United States Census should be discarded and some other count substituted for it.

The official census includes all of Hawaii's "usual residents" based upon extensive and clearly defined criteria which is employed by 48 other states. The sheer impossibility of arriving at accurate counts otherwise has become obvious to the states and they rely upon the census for apportionment to their legislative and Council districts.

The concept of "usual residence," governing census counts since the founding of the nation, is clear: "Usual residence is defined as the place where a person lives and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as the person's voting residence or legal residence." ….

The census rules for determining residency are extensive, but fair. They are clear and easily understood. These rules avoid the arbitrariness of making determinations using vague and inexact standards.

The state House and Senate should end this controversy. They should enact legislation that, for the purposes of reapportionment, defines the term "permanent resident" in the Hawaii Constitution using the exact terminology as does the Census Bureau in reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This act will permit the most fair and equitable apportionment possible in this admittedly imperfect world.

ILind: 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case allowed exclusion of Hawaii’s nonresident military population in apportioning political districts

read … Redistricting

Deputy Superintendent: Large District Slows Race to the Top Progress

CB: The Hawaii Department of Education once touted the islands' single statewide school district as an advantage in the Race to the Top, but now the deputy superintendent says it's a drag on education reforms.

A federal report released Tuesday outlining Hawaii's failure to meet Race to the Top targets suggests the statewide system may have once given Hawaii an edge, but it's not helping the state now….

The centralized DoE was THE key argument for Hawaii winning RTTT: Education Week: If Hawaii Doesn’t Lose its Race to the Top Money, Something is Wrong

CB: Counselors Critical For Implementing Common Core

read … Deputy Superintendent: Large District Slows Race to the Top Progress

Slom: Republicans Excited about Cayetano Run

Sen Sam Slom: “SBH readers reacted positively at last week's SBH news that former Governor Benjamin Cayetano is considering running for Mayor of Honolulu this year. Ben would face Mayor Peter Carlisle and former Acting Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, but would be the only candidate opposed to the tax-sucking, heavy, steel-on-steel, elevated rail. Even Republicans, opposed to rail, are enthusiastic about the former Democrat Governor. A decision is expected soon. Ben is one of 7 plaintiffs-including the SBH Foundation-opposing the rail.”

read … Mayor Ben

School Impact Fees Could Hurt Rail Project

CB: “I urge you to communicate with the Department of Planning and Permitting, and also the Department of Transportation Services, because I think the impact fee would have a detrimental effect on what they’re trying to achieve with rail stations,” he told Board of Education members.

Board member Brian DeLima urged the developers to take their concerns to the Legislature to get the impact fee law — which is, in his words, “a terrible idea” — overturned.

read … School Impact Fees Could Hurt Rail Project

Renewable Energy Push Could Hurt Refineries

CB: Unlike other states that have abundant coal, natural gas and nuclear energy sources, Hawaii is nearly 90 percent dependent on oil to power its overall energy needs. The predicament has spurred a major state policy push to switch to renewable energy sources.

But the switch could actually make Hawaii consumers of electricity, gas and other petroleum products more vulnerable, according to Fereidun Fesharaki, an international oil consultant and a senior fellow at the East-West Center. The point was echoed by other economists.

And Tuesday’s announcement by Tesoro, which owns one of two oil refineries in the state, that it is selling its Hawaii assets, may be an indicator of problems to come….

“The idea that the move to renewables could constrain or impact the profits of Tesoro or Chevron is really something that people have been talking about for quite a while,” said Carl Bonham, an economist and executive director at the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization.

Tesoro would not say specifically whether Hawaii’s target of switching to 40 percent renewables by 2030 to power its electricity needs factored into its decision to pull out of the Hawaii market. The company did point to the high cost of importing crude and the high cost of electricity to operate its refinery.

SA: Tesoro Hawaii for sale

News Release: Tesoro to Sell Hawaii Refinery, Gas Stations

read … Renewable Energy Push Could Hurt Refineries

Hawaii Lawmakers To Introduce Seven New Human Trafficking Bills

CB: "This is a very serious issue — and it's not a partisan issue. There's room for all of us to get involved," said Sen. Sam Slom, one of 10 lawmakers who attended Monday's legislative briefing.

"This is the ugly secret about Hawaii," he said. "It's something that I think far too often people in the community took note of and didn't do anything about, or pretended it didn't exist."

Here's a rundown of all seven proposals:

  • Education in public schools: A requirement that teachers instruct students for at least two hours about human trafficking, including how to identify victims and prevention strategies.
  • Safe harbor bill: Amends existing law to allow for more explicit identification of child sex trafficking victims. Advocates say many child sex trafficking victims are misidentified as prostitutes or runaways.
  • Vacating convictions bill: Allows prostitutes identified as victims of pimps to have their prostitution charges vacated. Advocates say this would help with victims' reintegration into society.
  • Hawaii state plan: Develops a protocol for dealing with child sex trafficking victims. Advocates say there currently is none.
  • Mandatory reporting by health care facilities: Health care providers would be required to report suspected human trafficking victims they encounter to law enforcement. This would require violation of federal Health Information Privacy laws.
  • Creation of a statewide human trafficking steering committee.

HR: Sex Trafficking Victims, Advocates, Lobby Hawaii Legislators for Stronger Laws

read … Trafficking

Steve Forbes to Headline Lingle Fundraiser

SA: Steve Forbes, the chairman of Forbes Media and the editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, is expected to appear at a fundraiser for former Gov. Linda Lingle’s U.S. Senate campaign later this month.

The fundraiser is scheduled at a Jan. 31 luncheon at Oahu Country Club. Donors can pay $2,500 for a reception and photo opportunity with Forbes or $250 for the luncheon

read … Forbes

Ethics Boss Nixes Lobbyist Invites to Lawmakers

CB: The executive director of the State Ethics Commission issued two memos Monday to state legislators informing them that he was advising against accepting invitations to events hosted by lobbyists.

The first event — being held this evening at the Oahu Country Club — is the Pacific Resource Partnership's Annual Reception honoring the recipient of the 2012 Hawaii Carpenters Union Outstanding Union Builder Award.

Kondo said there appeared to be no "state benefit" associated with legislators or other government officials attendance at the reception, which featured "heavy pupus and an open bar."

The commission estimated the cost per person was $100, and not the $40 estimated by Pacific Resource Partnership.

The second event — tomorrow at the Hawaii State Art Museum — is "A Taste of Ag" presented by the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation.

The event, which will feature local produce and products and free drinks, is valued at $50.

HR: Lawmakers Warned Again on Gifts

read … Ethics Boss Nixes Lobbyist Invites to Lawmakers

Shapiro: Chow Salary Secrecy Part of Larger Scheme to Boost Greenwood’s Pay

The suspicion here is that it's more about changing precedent to make it easier for UH to duck criticism by concealing high salaries and pay raises for other top officials in the future.

As noted in this column a few weeks ago, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood has hinted that when she hires a new Manoa chancellor this year to replace the retiring Virginia Hinshaw, she'd like to raise the salary for the position from the $337,762 Hinshaw makes to $425,000 or more.

That would bring the chancellor close to the president's salary of $475,000, which could create pressure on the Board of Regents to increase Greenwood's salary.

HR: Chow says he's paid $550K

Its what she did at UC: Executive compensation at UC: MRC Greenwood and the $871 million dollar secret

read … Greenwood mafia

Stung by a critical review, Charter School education innovators hear a message of hope during their annual conference

SA: Joe Nathan, who helped write the nation's first charter school law, urged Hawaii educators Tuesday to celebrate the expansion and successes of the charter movement even as they grapple with growing pains.

"We will not make progress without agitation," said Nathan, keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Hawaii Charter Schools Conference in Kaneohe. "We will not make progress without mistakes. We can acknowledge them, we can learn from them and we can move on."

Nathan, director of the Center for School Change at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., harked back 20 years to the founding of the country's first charter school, in Minneapolis.

"It was born out of enormous strife," he recalled. "That was one school with less than 50 kids. And today there are more than 2 million students going to charter schools.

"We have had massive growth in this movement. And it's because of the courage and the commitment and creativity of people, including people in this room."

In Hawaii, 5 percent of the state's public school students are enrolled in charter schools -- 9,109 students in 31 schools. The conference attracted about 170 educators and others to the Koolau Ballrooms & Conference Center, with sessions ranging from a primer on the state ethics code to "Managing Math Improvement."

read … Charter School Conference

Judiciary: Make Reporters' Shield Law Permanent

CB: A Hawaii state judiciary committee is recommending that the Hawaii Legislature make permanent the state's shield law that protects journalists from forced disclosure of sources and notes.

That's good news for those who support First Amendment rights. Hawaii's 2008 shield law, known as Act 210, was to have expired last summer, but lawmakers in the 2011 session extended the sunset date until June 30, 2013.

But the Standing Committee on the Rules of Evidence, a judicial committee that includes judges and others, in a December 2011 report to the Legislature, also suggests that lawmakers "take another look" at sections of the law concerning bloggers, defamation and a journalist's unpublished materials.

Jeff Portnoy, the state's most prominent First Amendment attorney who has been a leading advocate of the shield law, said he was pleased with the committee's recommendation to make the shield law permanent. But he is very concerned about other possible changes to the law.

Portnoy said he would be reluctant to revisit substantive provisions of the shield law, other than making it permanent.

"I think that is unwarranted for any number of reasons — not the least of which that all of the issues raised by the Standing Committee were raised and addressed three years ago when the bill was introduced and debated and ultimately passed," he said.

In particular, Portnoy warned that the loss of protection of a journalist's notes "would gut much of the protection provided to journalists."

FULL TEXT: December 2011 report

read … Judiciary

Inouye: An attack on Israel is an attack on US

JP: An Iranian attack on Israel would be tantamount to attacking the United States, US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) told an auditorium full of high school students in Jerusalem on Monday.
Inouye, introduced to the students by former AIPAC president Robert Asher as the best friend Israel has in Congress, said he discussed the Iranian threat in a meeting earlier in the day with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

read … Israel

Navy readies for Chinese power grab on shipping: U.S. boosts forces in Western Pacific

The Navy’s top officer detailed Tuesday the strategy for making sure the South China Sea and Western Pacific remain open to international shipping, saying an emerging China might try to “limit access in the region.”

The remarks by Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, represented a frank assessment of China’s potential power grabs as it continues a military buildup that includes more ships and anti-ship weapons.

Adm. Greenert spoke a week after President Obama presented his military strategy, which states that the armed forces will put renewed focus on Asia and the Middle East. The Obama strategy mentions China as a “regional power” that can affect U.S. security “in a variety of ways.”

read … China

Arms Disposal Cos. End Secrets Row Over Hawaii Army Contract

U.S. Demil LLC on Monday ended its trade secrets suit in Virginia federal court against rival ARA Group Inc. after settling allegations that ARA stole its proprietary demilitarization technology to win a U.S. Army contract to dispose of explosives near Hawaii.
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema signed off on the companies' stipulated dismissal order, tossing the case with prejudice and leaving each side to bear its own costs.

read … ARA Group

Marines on Hawaii looking to turn mountains of trash into handful of ash

Marine Lt. Col. Mike Jernigan knows firsthand what it takes to supply troops in conflict zones. As commander of 12 forward operating bases and combat outposts in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009, he oversaw the delivery of everything from food to ammunition.

But he also learned that what goes in must come out. And that means trash, a mountain of it over time.

BIW: Papaya Power?

read … Stars and Stripes

SA: Fireworks ban did bang-up job

SA: Some of the key facts are now in, and it seems clear that the long-controversial fireworks regulation is delivering on its promise of a safer, saner New Year's Eve celebration….

read … Fireworks Snobs’ Victory Lap

Divorce Law in Hawaii

The popular Divorce Law in Hawai`i informational program assists the public in understanding the state's divorce laws. The free sessions include an overview of custody, visitation, child support, property division, alimony and other issues related to divorce, including mediation. Attendees learn where to get more information on divorce law, how the legal process works, how to file for divorce and where to get the required forms.

View the Divorce Law in Hawai`i seminar. [ADA compliant version of the video transcript ]

read … News release

Safe Routes To School — Alternatives to School Busing?

CB: The Department of Education is considering cutting school bus service on Oahu thanks to skyrocketing costs, but that’s not going to slow the roll of PATH Hawaii parents and students.

PATH Hawaii is holding its Safe Routes to School Summit on Friday, Jan. 20 at Kapiolani Community College, to advocate for safe walking and bicycling routes around schools.

Read the full press release here.

read … PATH

Meth Pipe possession ‘cost’ officer his career — lawyer

MN: A Maui police officer who had a crystal methamphetamine pipe in his bag was sentenced to five years' probation Tuesday.

Second Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto, who was bound to follow a plea agreement in the case, also allowed Ryan Masada to clear his record of the charges if he successfully completes probation.

Masada, an 18-year police veteran, had to resign from his job as part of the plea agreement. The prosecution could not ask for any jail time.

read … Maui News

Big Island puppy farm owners connected to Waimanalo animal cruelty case

HNN: There is a new dog breeding facility in Mountain View on the Big Island where dozens are dogs are housed. It's relevant because the farm is owned by some of the same people connected to 153 counts of animal cruelty and the sentencing in that case is set for February 15, 2012.

Here's the connection and timeline, on February 28, 2011 the Hawaiian Humane Society seized 153 dogs from the farm in Waimanalo. That business was operated by Bradley International where Vernon Luke was an officer. The land is owned by his daughter Sheryl Luke-Kalani who also owns the Aloha Pet Shop in Aiea.

Nine days after the raid on March 9 Sheryl registers a new business called Kulani Estates LLC with the name of her pet store attached. Kulani Estates along with the Vernon Luke, Sheryl Luke-Kalani, Eldiana Kuuleionapua and Paul Lazor buy the Big Island Farm at 17-3864 South Kulani Road and a new breeding operation begins.

read … Big Island Puppy Farm

Democrat Housel announces possible run for State House Dist 6 seat

News Release: If I become a candidate for office, then it will be necessary for me to step back from being president of Community Enterprises, although I will remain a member.

Sherry Eischen, Boardmember, has graciously stepped forward to lead Community Enterprises, which hosts the monthly Kona Town Meeting program.

HTH: Housel seeks state House seat

read … Fred Housel HD6 Kailua Kona

Average Weekly Wage in Honolulu: $830

CB: That figure was up 2.9 percent compared to the same period in 2010. The percent change ranked Honolulu No. 131 among the nation’s largest 322 counties for year-over-year growth.

Honolulu’s figure was below the U.S. average of $891 for that quarter. Santa Clara, Calif., posted the highest average weekly wage of $1,743. Hidalgo, Texas, posted the lowest average weekly wage of $571.

(Honolulu wages below average but cost of living tops nation. No wonder everybody ha 2-3 jobs. And BTW, Hawaii is one of the top states for unionization, apparently all those unions haven’t done much for their members, eh?)

PBN: Honolulu’s 0.9% job growth rate matches U.S. average

read … $830/wk

British Citizen Admits Making Child Pornography Videos

HR: British national Simon Jasper McCarty nearly beat the rap on child pornography charges filed against him here more than three years ago, but finally pleaded guilty in federal court today.

McCarty was arrested at the airport in Hilo in August 2008 after photographs of naked children spilled from his luggage during a routine TSA check for explosives.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright’s initially ruled that much of the evidence against McCarty was inadmissible.

That finding was overturned on a government appeal…

read … Kiddie Porn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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