Washington Times Reporter heads to Hawaii for March 13 Presidential Caucus
Transportation Bill With Honolulu Rail Funds Postponed
Full Text: State of the City Address
Caldwell: ‘I will Work Harder to be Transparent and Honest’
'Descendants' based on Case Family Grab for Grove Farm
HB2193: State Bank to be Controlled by Abercrombie, Insured by Taxpayer
VIDEO: Ilya Shapiro (Cato Institute), In Hawaii Speaking About Obamacare Supreme Court Cases
Book Review: Callies, Regulating Paradise (2d ed. 2010)
"Nonresident" Property Owners Must Employ Property Managers For TVRs?
Rail: Hidden Debt Ceiling Exposed
SA: The mayor's remarks (about transparency, openness) came on the same day the Star-Advertiser reported that city Managing Director Douglas Chin quietly approved a request to suspend city debt guidelines last year to clear the way for significant borrowing needed to finance the project.
Chin's decision in October to put aside "debt affordability guidelines" the City Council adopted was not publicly announced, and Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said she was never notified.
Other Council members also expressed concerns about not being notified.
"He should at least let us know," Councilman Romy Cachola said. "When it comes to transparency, it has to be improved for us to be working together."
Council Chairman Ernie Martin said the administration, in general, has made efforts to be open and transparent, but "sometimes they still miss the boat."
SA: Improve transparency on rail
CB: Just How Deep Will Honolulu Rail's Debt Be?
SA: Debt guidelines suspended to facilitate rail financing
read … State of the City
City asks judge to dismiss rail suit
SA: The motion filed by lawyers for the city on Feb. 17 seeks to dismiss some of the rail opponents' claims, alleging the rail critics failed to properly document that they would suffer harm from any effects the rail project might have on a number of sites.
Those sites include Piers 10/11, the Pacific War Memorial site, the Makalapa Navy Housing Historic District, Keehi Lagoon Park, Queen Street Park and Mother Waldron Park.
Federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima will issue a ruling on the city's motion.
read … Transparency in action, eh?
WSJ: Honolulu Hopeful Has No-Track Mind
WSJ: HONOLULU—The leading mayoral candidate in Hawaii's capital wants to derail plans for the state's first urban rail system, just as major construction is set to begin.
read … Cayetano
Carlisle, Abercrombie demand Taxpayers Pick Up Wife’s Travel Tab
SA: Mayor Peter Carlisle said he is working with the city Ethics Commission to resolve a recommendation that he reimburse the city $3,300 to cover the cost of his wife's trip to China in June, when she accompanied him as part of a city delegation traveling to strengthen cultural and economic ties.
Carlisle, who had until Thursday to respond or take corrective action, disagreed with the recommendation and said he sent a letter toChuck Totto, the executive director of the city's ethics commission.
"Is that something I'm going to roll over and play dead on? No," he told reporters Thursday.
"Frankly, I got a nice call from Gov. (Neil) Abercrombie, who said certain things about Chuck Totto's reasoning, and I happen to agree with him — suggesting that the reasoning was not sound."
read … $3000
Kokua Line Features Hawaii Republican Caucuses
SA: The state Republican Party will hold its first grass-roots presidential caucus 6 to 8 p.m. March 13 in each of the 51 state House districts.
"Any (registered) voter in Hawaii can participate; all they have to do is bring their photo ID, come to the location for their district and fill out a party card right there on the spot," said Andrew Walden, presidential caucus chairman. (Who?)
If you are not registered to vote, you can register that day.
The candidates on the ballot in Hawaii will be Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
The presidential caucuses will not be "mass meetings," but rather "a party-run primary election."
The votes will determine how many of Hawaii's delegates to the Republican National Convention each candidate will get, and it will be "proportional, not winner take all," Walden said.
For more information, including locations of voting places, go to www.gophawaii.com/2012-presidential-caucus, or contact Walden at 640-4782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
read … Kokua Line
Hawaii tops Nation: DoE is #1 in Drug Availability
CB: Hawaii earns the dubious distinction of tying with Nevada for the highest availability of drugs on school campuses.
About 36 percent of Hawaii high schoolers reported that drugs were made available to them on school property in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, according to a school safety report released by the National Center for Education Statistics this week.
(Big congrats to Matayoshi, Horner, and Abercrombie who have finally made the Hawaii DoE #1 in something.)
read … Dumbed down and doped up
HI hotels’ gross pre-tax profits total $928.2M
PBN: Hawaii hotels generated total sales of $4.2 billion in 2011, and gross profit margins improved for the first time in four years….
But the industry’s 22.1 percent average margin for what is known as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was still far below its record-setting year of 2007….
Operating costs such as payroll, utility and room and food and beverage expenses, which climbed as much as 4 percent annually between 2006 and 2011, so far have kept gross profit margins from returning to the 29.3 percent level obtained in 2007….
For example, payroll costs accounted for 33.6 percent of total hotel revenue in 2006. That has since climbed to 41.1 percent of total hotel revenue in 2011, according to the data….
Havre said publicly traded hotels generally are running average profit margins of around 6.4 percent with price-earnings ratios of 28, which he describes as a positive trend.
Hawaii hotels may not have recovered to their most profitable days of 2006 and 2007, but as a group they have consistently outperformed publicly traded hotels. And that disparity is likely to grow as Hawaii hotels continue to raise prices at rates designed to make up for lost time.
(Tourism is the food source for the corporatist state. These numbers detail some of the split between capital, labor, and government.)
read … And then the Legislature takes its cut
Abercrombie has trouble adjusting
Governing: Abercrombie, a longtime U.S. House Member, has had some trouble adjusting to the governorship. By late last year, he was declared the least popular governor in the nation by Public Policy Polling, with an approval rating of just 30 percent. It got to the point where several staffers left Abercrombie, including his chief of staff, his deputy chief of staff and his director of communications. His refusal to reveal the names of his judicial nominees prompted a successful lawsuit by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and he failed in efforts to tax sugary drinks and increase the alcoholic beverage tax.
read … Trouble Adjusting
DHHL Only Assigning 150 leases a Year
Q: What’s been the annual average for placing people in Hawaiian Home Lands homes?
A: It’s been about 150, so we’ve set a target of 200. We believe we can create greater efficiencies and better access with 200 units.
Q: How many people are considered beneficiaries?
A: We have 28,000 individuals on our current waitlist, but we actually have 42,000 applications. (About 200 years at 150/yr)
Related: Ka Pua Makaha: Multi-million dollar giveaway of DHHL assets disguised as “gift”, Will Hanabusa allow DHHL to revert back to the bad old days?
read … Back to the Bad Old Days
Legislation takes aim at human trafficking
SA: Opponents of human trafficking are pushing for passage of a Senate measure that would fine "johns" $5,000 and place the money into a special fund for victims of sex assault and domestic violence.
The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, the International Justice Mission and the Polaris Project held a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol to support the passage of several bills, including Senate Bill 2579, the so-called Safe Harbor Bill….
Senate Bill 2576, introduced by Chun Oakland (D, Kalihi-Pauoa) and others, allows a person convicted of prostitution-related crimes to file a motion to have their convictions expunged if he or she can show they were a victim of human trafficking at the time. House Bill 2235, introduced by Awana (D, Kalaeloa-Nanakuli) and others, calls for the same thing.
read … Human Trafficking
Fake Drivers Licenses: Admitted Fraudster Still on Honolulu City Payroll
SA: Paige Teruya, 47, a driver licensing clerk at the city's satellite city hall on Dillingham Boulevard in Kapalama, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of fraud for producing a Hawaii driver's license for an illegal alien who had not taken or passed a written or driving test nor presented valid identification documents.
The city said Teruya remains an employee but cannot comment further about her status because of a pending personnel matter.
read … HGEA Power
Sexting: ACLU Court Victory helping to Legalize Kiddie Porn
AP: The Senate panel also held a hearing on Senate Bill 2222, which would create a "sexting" offense to stop adults from soliciting nude images from minors sent by computer, cellphone or another device capable of electronic transmission.
Decision-making on that bill has been deferred until Friday.
The attorney general's office strongly supported this measure, noting that electronically transmitted images could be shared with many people instantaneously - with dissemination often beyond the control of the original sender.
Opponents of the legislation questioned whether minors should be penalized for sending the images or protected from exploitation.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii does not condone sexting, but staff attorney Laurie Temple pointed out, "The purpose of child pornography laws is to protect children, not criminalize them for poor judgment."
Temple also said the bill could be unconstitutional because it may criminalize expression protected by the First Amendment. Recently, the ACLU of Pennsylvania successfully defended teenagers charged with taking naked cellphone photos of themselves and sending them to male students.
Judiciary Chairman Clayton Hee, D-Kahuku-Kaneohe, said the committee will vote on a new draft of the bill that would only penalize adults who solicit pornographic images produced by minors
read … Bill calls for stricter state laws on child pornography
Geothermal Possibilities Explored at Ulupalakua
MN: A world leader in the geothermal power industry is exploring the feasibility of harnessing geothermal energy from lands adjacent to Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui.
Ormat Techonolgies Inc. has submitted an application to the Hawai‘i State Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit, mining leases for state and reserved lands, and a request for subzone expansion in the area.
read … Geothermal Possibilities Explored at Ulupalakua
Law Students to Debate Hawaiian Recognition
CB: The William S. Richardson School of Law is host Friday and Saturday (Feb. 24 and 25) for the 20th Annual National Native American Law Students Association’s moot court competition.
Law students from 28 law schools will argue for and against native political recognition and a native government’s right to determine its membership. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a lead sponsor.
A post-competition symposium is set for Sunday; former Gov. John Waihee (who should be in prison) is one of the speakers. (Which is funny because Waihee is ‘Exhibit A’ in the case against the Akaka Tribe.)
read … Crook leads charge to create his own legal jurisdiction
Rep. Ward Discusses the UH Library & Information Science Program
Representative Gene Ward, Ph.D. talks with Andrew Wertheimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor and LIS Program Chair, Library & Information Science Program and Scott Robertson Associate Professor of ICS, HICHI Lab Director. Contact: email@example.com
Watch … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQtQJ4wnmV4
Former Waimea principal will return to Hawaii Prep Academy
SA: John Colson, whose sudden departure from his job as principal of Waimea Middle School ignited a firestorm of protest earlier this month, has found a new job at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, where he once served as headmaster.
"Having a gentleman of John's stature join our administrative team is not an opportunity that comes around every day," said Lindsay Barnes, headmaster of HPA, which is also located in Waimea on the Big Island. "This is not an opportunity I would have predicted, but it's one we were ready to explore when it was confirmed that John was available."
On March 1, Colson will become acting director of development at Hawaii Prep, a college preparatory school. He had worked there as a counselor, coach and teacher for many years, and was its headmaster from 1991 to 2003.
read … Ousted
Update: OHA Salary Commission’s Final Report
CB: Trustees enjoyed 3.5 percent annual raises beginning in 2009 and ending this fiscal year. The report recommends the salaries remain at the 2012 levels — $55,440 for trustees and $63,204 for the chairperson — through June 30, 2015.
The 2015 raises would be the lesser of either: The average of any across the board percentage annual salary increase that may be afforded to OHA staff for the period July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2015 or the annual Honolulu Consumer Price Index (currently at 2.8 percent) for prior year ending Dec. 31, 2013, but not less than zero.
read … Update: OHA Salary Commission’s Final Report
Growth, Big growth Projected for Hawaii Tourism
PBN: major tourism stakeholders seem to agree that the future of Hawaii’s primary economic driver will have to include plenty of growth.
We’re talking big growth, that takes Hawaii as a visitor destination to another level while doing right by the beloved brand.
Hawaii just ended 2011 with 7.3 million total visitor arrivals. In five years, that number could climb to 8.5 million, according to David Uchiyama, HTA’s vice president of brand management.
And tourism officials eventually will have to get on the same page on how much growth they’re willing to push for, in terms of visitor arrivals, before Hawaii’s infrastructure gets overrun and lodging properties run out of rooms.
Uchiyama told HTA board members Thursday that there’s plenty of potential to boost travel during non-peak travel months and spread more visitors out to the Neighbor Islands. That will come with higher spending and arrival numbers, but not at the expense of the infrastructure, he said.
“We can grow without have major impact [on the infrastructure] that everyone is anticipating,” he said
read … Blow Out Top
Bill Calls For 5-Year Moratorium On Opihi Picking
KITV: Many agree Oahu is overfished. Opihi pickers closely guard their special spots. But talk to Guy Tamashiro, who operates a popular fish market in Kalihi. He says state data show that opihi is not in short supply, and certainly not on the Big Island where his suppliers are. Tamashiro thinks the harvest restrictions of just a quart of opihi are unrealistic.
“A quart is ridiculous. Who is going to risk their lives for a quart. That’s like two pounds. That's absolutely ridiculous," Tamashiro said.
Two pounds' worth of opihi fits into a small plastic bag. The delicacy sells for close to $13 a pound because the pickers take great risks to claim their prize.
"Not everyone can go out and pick their own. That's a lot of work," Tamashiro said.
He suggests a three-month closure during high spawning season, as opposed to a five-year ban.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs supported added restrictions but asks for a baseline study of existing stock.
The State Land and Natural Resources cautioned that enforcement could be a problem and suggests that there be different bag limits for recreational and commercial pickers. Lawmakers in the senate take up the opihi bill on Friday.
Read … Opihi Ban
Wanted: Ethics, Campaign Spending Commissioners
CB: The Judicial Council wants to hear from qualified applicants to serve on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission and on the Campaign Spending Commission.
“We’re desperately in need of applicants,” says Judiciary Spokeswoman Marsha Kitagawa. “The response has been very light.”
Click here for applications.
read … Ethics
Mainland Gang Member Indicted in Isle Drug Case
HR: The San Francisco gang “was responsible” for the March 2009 street corner murder of Joseph Peneueta, 35, Brady said in court papers.
Peneueta “was associated with a rival Samoan gang here in Hawaii,” Brady said.
Lefiti will be arraigned on the drug charges here in mid-March.
read … Mainland Gang Member Indicted in Isle Drug Case
EA Required to land a Helicopter
BIVN: The draft environmental assessment for the helicopter landing at Jack Thompson’s property in the otherwise abandoned and lava ravaged Royal Gardens subdivision is now online.
Although helicopters have landed there in the past, the Hawaii County Planning Department is now requiring a Special Permit for the activity.
read … Hope it doesn’t run out of fuel….
Sears Will Close Ala Moana Store
SA: Closing the Sears store at Ala Moana Center next year will come at a big price -- $250 million, to be exact.
That is what mall operator General Growth Properties Inc. will pay to buy Sears Holding Corp.'s lease on the 340,000-square-foot anchor site at one of the top-grossing shopping centers in the country, said Alexander Goldfarb, managing director for New York investment banking and equity research firm Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP.
Chicago-based General Growth will spend another $250 million to redevelop the Sears space and add another 270,000 square feet at Ala Moana for smaller retailers, according to Sandler O'Neill.
read … Sears
Honolulu Police Department, Hawaiian Airlines now hiring
HNN: Thousands of job seekers are hoping to land some highly-coveted positions. The Honolulu Police Department and Hawaiian Airlines are both hiring.
HPD will soon be accepting applications. Aspiring police recruits at an information session on Thursday night learned more about the demanding job.
"The applications, normally we number over 3,000, so quite a few for just a few days," explained Det. Glen Luecke. "It's a long process. It's not easy to get into, but it's a worthwhile career."
Applicants must be at least 20 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent and be able to carry a firearm. Job seekers will be competing for an unknown number of positions.
read … Honolulu Police Department, Hawaiian Airlines now hiring
James Kimo Campbell, activist and college trustee, dies at 65
MIJ: Born Feb. 11, 1947 in Los Angeles, Mr. Campbell was raised in Ewa Beach, Hawaii by his adoptive grandmother, Alice Kamokila Campbell. She was the daughter of industrialist James Campbell, an Irish immigrant who became one of the largest and wealthiest landowners in Hawaii, and Mr. Campbell became one of many descendants who benefited from the family trust….
While at the College of Marin, Mr. Campbell also became involved in student politics, particularly the emerging protest movement against the Vietnam war. He was also active in protests against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans to build a concrete channel through the College of Marin campus to control the flood waters of Corte Madera Creek, going so far as to stand in the path of one of the bulldozers sent to begin the project.
"The one way to insure that you have no political power is not to do anything," Mr. Campbell said in a 1977 interview. "I don't have a lot of patience with people who say there's no use in doing anything because everyone is corrupt. We can't afford to have people on the sidelines."
As a result of his political activities, Mr. Campbell was arrested seven times between 1969 and 1971, and served eight days in Marin County Jail. On one occasion, while working as a reporter for Berkeley radio station KPFA during a 1969 protest, Mr. Campbell was surrounded by armed National Guard troops and taken to the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center in Pleasanton, where he was held for 38 hours….
Mr. Campbell operated a small publishing house in Kentfield, Pueo Press, which specialized in books about Hawaii. He also operated the Pohaku Fund, a donor-advised fund of the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, which supports environmental protection, civil rights and Hawaiian sovereignty.
read … Obituary