SB212 to be Heard Monday: Would End Discrimination Against Military
Ron Paul’s son, Ronnie, to campaign for dad in Hawaii
Proposed HART Chief Leaves Trail of Political Discord
Triple Albatross: HSTA endorses Hirono, Hanabusa, and Hannemann
Secret Rail Debt: Council wants answers over waived budget rules
SA: Kobayashi has scheduled an informational session at the end of Wednesday's regular Budget Committee meeting to discuss the waiving of the city's "debt affordability guidelines."
Managing Director Doug Chin approved a request to waive the guidelines in October. The decision was not publicly announced, and Kobayashi said she was never notified. After Mayor Peter Carlisle's State of the City speech on Thursday, other Council members, including Chairman Ernie Martin, said they also felt the Council should have been formally notified.
There was no legal requirement to notify the Council, and Chin acknowledged the administration never wrote to Council members. However, Chin said Budget Director Mike Hansen provided the Council with budget data last March showing that borrowing for the rail project would cause the city to exceed the Council's debt guidelines in the years ahead.
Carlisle backed Chin, saying the information was sent in March but that he did not know whether Council members missed it or if they did not understand the significance of it at the time.
"The budget documents have nothing to do with waiving the guidelines," Kobayashi said. "The budget documents sent in March have nothing to do with waiving the financial guidelines, but he's combining them, saying that he did notify about the waiving when he didn't. All he did was send the budget documents."
“Transparency and openness, eh?
Read … Council wants answers over waived budget rules
$8B plus $15B = State Debt to Retirees
HR: Today the state taxpayers owe state employees at least $8 billion in pension benefits – and that is the sunny side of the equation, Young said.
Other Post Employment Benefits total as much as $15 billion. That includes healthcare insurance for government retirees, which the state pays as the bills come due rather than having a fund to guarantee the state can continue to cover these promised benefits.
Read … Hawaii's Grim Financial State Set Decades Ago
Usual Crooks, Cronies Show Up for Hanabusa Campaign HQ Opener
CB: Sen. Dan Inouye was a no-show — “under the weather,” said Hanabusa — but those who turned out included Walter Dods, Ron Menor, Bob Nakata, Ben Villaflor and the candidate’s mother, June, and husband, John Souza.
Read … Praise for Hanabusa
HSTA Going to Court to Overturn Laupahoehoe Charter School
SA: The notice of appeal was filed late Thursday in Circuit Court in Hilo by teachers Robert Beekman and Andrea Wilson as well as the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
It contends that the board acted arbitrarily and capriciously in overruling decisions by the Charter School Review Panel, which had insisted that elections be held for a local school board before the campus open as a charter as promised in its application.
"It's a fundamental principle of democracy that people have the right to vote for those people who make decisions on their behalf, and that has been totally denied to the people of Laupahoehoe," said Beekman, faculty representative for HSTA at Laupahoehoe….
Meanwhile, preparations are under way to open the charter in July, despite the fact that most teachers are opting to leave the picturesque campus,
Read … Laupahoehoe teachers seek court ruling on BOE decision
Toll roads a possibility for Oahu transportation future
KHON: A new bill could see private companies building toll roads in Hawaii.
Chairman of the House Transportation Committee Representative Joe Souki, who introduced it with two other representatives, thinks it should be a part of Hawaii's transportation future.
Read … Toll Road?
Mainland Lobbyist Backs Public Bank
HR: A public bank is not a Wall Street-style casino that leverages worthless assets and makes profits on derivatives, credit default swaps, sub-prime mortgage scams and the other toxic financial products that have collapsed the national economy.
(That’s right. A public bank would instead be a Broken Trust-style casino that leverages worthless political assets and makes profits on hostess bars, porno sites, golf course deals, front running, and miscellaneous other corrupt and ignorant doings of the lucky trustees.)
read … Bank of Abercrombie
2nd Marine found not guilty in hazing trial
USA Today: Defense attorney Capt. Aaron Meyer told jurors that government witnesses gave conflicting testimony and Orozco was only trying to keep Lew awake so their base wouldn't be attacked by Taliban fighters.
It's true Orozco had Lew do push-ups and sit ups, he said. But Orozco was authorized to have a Marine in the squad do physical training like push-ups if the purpose was to maintain good order and discipline, there was no malice involved, and the training didn't physical exhaust the Marine, Meyer said.
If Orozco had allowed Lew to fall asleep again, his command would have asked him why he didn't do more to keep him awake, Meyer said.
"We don't let Marines slack because we care about each other," Meyer said.
Read … Not Guilty
Hawaii Hot Spot for Human Trafficking
HR: Hawaii is a hot spot for sex and labor trafficking. So much so, that when Google.org awarded a sizable grant to the Polaris Project and International Justice Mission last year to work on the ground in 5 key states to help establish stronger laws against trafficking, the alliance chose Hawaii as the first stop.
Representatives from these groups who have dedicated $1.8 million to Hawaii's campaign, have joined Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery and Reps. Karen Awana and John Mizuno to push for six new bills they say would help "identify, protect, and offer assistance to victims of human trafficking."
They were at the capitol yesterday, reviewing the need for the proposed measures for 2012
Read … Hawaii Hot Spot for Human Trafficking
OHA Cronies seek to line pockets, bring geothermal power to state
Some who were once strongly opposed to geothermal energy are now saying they'll join the effort.
Taking what some call a gift from Madame Pele to power Hawaii homes resulted in protestors and a lawsuit that made its way to the Supreme Court, former opponents are now saying tapping into the Hawaii energy source is a good alternative to fossil fuels.
"Today we see that geothermal energy is really an asset of our own public trust and that it should be developed for our own energy security but today we will develop it in an appropriate way," said Mililani Trask, from Indigenous Consultants.
So why the change of heart? "I think Hawaii's energy crisis and fiscal crisis had a great deal to do with it," Trask said.
Hawaii-based Innovations Development Group has already established a geothermal power project in Aotearoa, New Zealand. They say they've produced a better model that will work on Maui and Hawaii Island and their purpose is to offer community partnerships.
"We want to avoid what happened the last time the community shut it down because there was no real engagement," said Robbie Cabral, from Innovations Development Group.
"We export somewhere between $7-8 billion, which is a lot of money that could remain in these islands if we took a look at exploring a vast geothermal resource."
Read … Geothermal Shakedown Profiteers
Forged Female Convicted of Further Forgery
SA: An Oahu grand jury indicted (Mr) Denise K. Foster Tuesday for allegedly buying an additional $80,000 worth of goods and services with fake checks. Foster is in custody with bail set at $150,000 for the case involving the kiosks, and bail set separately at another $150,000 on the latest indictment.
During a one-month criminal shopping spree that included trying to buy the business kiosks, new charges allege she (sic) also wrote fake checks for everything from buying cars and purchasing another business, to paying off a loan, said Keith Seto, deputy city prosecutor.
Foster, 41, who legally changed her (sic)name from Godwyn K. Foster, was indicted for first-degree theft and 19 counts of second-degree forgery.
She (sic) is accused of issuing fake Bank of Hawaii checks with the account number of the OCCC inmate trust account.
The inmate trust account is the fund from which inmates draw money to spend in the prison commissary for authorized goods. An inmate can use the fund to draw money deposited into the account by relatives, and money earned working jobs inside the facility.
Foster has 36 state felony convictions over the past 20 years. (Gee What a surprise. A transsexual with a long rap sheet. They’re repressed, you know.)
Read … 100% Fake
Hummer defaced by racial slur near school raises alarm
SA: It was the third time this year that the word, a pejorative used to describe people of African descent, has been spray-painted onto the side of a vehicle parked in the Moanalua Hillside Apartments complex, said Alphonso Braggs, president of the NAACP Hawaii chapter.
The victim is an African-American man who is in the Navy.
One of the other occasions involved another vehicle owned by the Hummer's owner, Braggs said. Unlike the other times, however, the Hummer that was spray-painted over the weekend is parked next to the entrance to Red Hill Elementary, which can be reached only by traveling through the apartment complex.
In addition, three of the Hummer's tires were slashed and flattened….
Several Red Hill Elementary parents said they were disturbed by the incident. About one-third of the school's students are African-American, several parents said. About 70 percent of the student population is made up of military dependents, they said.
(Meanwhile the Reapportionment Commission has been ordered by the State Supreme Court not to count any of these people.)
Read … Eco Terrorism?
Enviro Assaults Turtle Photographer
KHON: Big Island police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man wanted for questioning in connection with an assault at Punaluu Black Sands Beach on January 12.
According to police, a 29-year-old man from Meadow Lake, Oregon, was taking pictures of turtles when another man confronted him and told him to stay away from the turtles. Police say the suspect then punched the cameraman in the left eye and took his camera and wrestled him to the ground. During the ensuing struggle, the victim's girlfriend retrieved the camera.
Read … more eco-terrorism?
Ex-Palma employees accused of abuse
Monterrey CA: His client says it did. Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and a creditor's claim in the bankruptcy case alleging the man was sexually abused by a Crosier priest who taught at Palma in the mid-1980s.
That priest is one of three alleged perpetrators the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says worked at Palma since 1964. The other two alleged offenders will be "outed" at a press conference at 11:45 a.m. Monday outside Palma's grounds.Joelle Casteix, regional director of SNAP, said one of the alleged molesters taught in the 1960s and was once convicted of possessing child pornography. She said at least three former students have alleged molestation by him in lawsuits against the Irish Christian Brothers.
Two of the three men previously taught at Damien Memorial School in Hawaii. Casteix said one of them came to Palma from Damien after allegations of sexual abuse in Hawaii.
Dunne initially said he never heard of that man, but checked and confirmed he worked at Palma in the 1980s. He said his file indicated he was hired with the approval of the Diocese of Monterey and the Crosier provincial and includes no mention of abuse allegations in Hawaii.
Dunne said another of the three was principal of Palma for six years and that he was unaware of any claims of sexual assault against him. Casteix said the former principal has been accused of abuse by at least two boys, one of whom has filed a claim in the bankruptcy court.
Read … Pedo?