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Saturday, March 10, 2012
March 10, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:01 PM :: 9588 Views

Romney Sweeps Pacific: Wins Alaska, Guam, CNMI, heads for Am Samoa, Hawaii

Djou Predicts March 13 Romney Win in Hawaii

Attorney: Discrimination Against 'Non-Residents' is Unconstitutional

Willard Passes Pacific Command’s Reins to Locklear

"Concerning Public Lands" Nine More Executive Orders Suddenly Appear on Abercrombie Website

Abercrombie Signs Unemployment Insurance Bill into Law

Public Invited to Review State Homelessness Strategic Plan

Star-Adv: March 13 Caucuses Focus Welcome Attention on GOP

SA: On Tuesday, the Republican Party will hold rank-and-file caucuses from 6 to 8 p.m. in each of Hawaii's 51 state House districts.

Any registered Hawaii voter with a photo identification may fill out a Republican party card and vote for one of the candidates — Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul.

The votes will determine who will represent Hawaii at the Republican National Convention at Tampa, Fla., to cast 17 of the state's 20 votes (at least three from each state will be by unpledged party leaders).

That may seem trifling in a race involving 2,286 votes, including bonus ballots rewarded to states that have gone red in past elections, but it is enough in a tight race to make participation meaningful.

Romney has more delegates than his competitors combined, but it's not too late for the momentum to change. While 22 states have completed their Republican caucuses or primary elections, two-thirds of the convention votes are yet to be determined, including 413 votes to be decided in California, Texas and New York.

Former Hawaii congressman Charles Djou has endorsed Romney.

Former Gov. Linda Lingle, a candidate for U.S. Senate, has not chosen her favorite candidate. Her primary opponent, John Carroll, has endorsed Paul, who began airing 30-second television ads on Thursday and has scheduled a campaign event today in Waikiki, hosted by oldest son Ronnie and campaign manager John Tate.

Democrats set a record of 37,000 voters four years ago at caucuses supporting Honolulu-born Barack Obama, but a relaxed few will gather Wednesday at precinct meetings to formally back him for a second term as president.

Attention next week will be focused on the GOP, a rare occurrence in Hawaii, and a welcome one, too.

read … Isle caucuses are historic opportunity

Civil Beat: Local Democrats Nervous About Hawaii Republican Caucus?

CB: Maybe local Democrats are nervous in advance of the Hawaii Republican Party's first-ever presidential caucus March 13.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each shelled out the $5,000 to qualify for the ballot.

With GOP primaries that same day in Mississippi and Alabama, Hawaii's caucus could get some national press despite the time zone challenge.

Paul has already run a commercial here, and he, Romney and Santorum are expected to send surrogates to Hawaii to drum up support.

Gingrich has visited the islands several times recently, while Santorum could benefit from the support of groups like the Hawaii Christian Coalition, which is backing his campaign. Romney could be helped by the sizable Mormon population here.

read … Caucus

Big Q: Do you plan to participate in the upcoming Hawaii Republican or Democratic caucuses?

  • B. No (82%, 445 Votes)
  • A. Yes (18%, 101 Votes)

Total Voters: 546

read … Poll Archive

Romney reaches out to Hawaii ahead of caucuses

SA: While none of the candidates have scheduled a campaign stop in Hawaii before the vote, they are sending family members as surrogates. Ronnie Paul, Paul's eldest son, is campaigning in the islands for his father. Elizabeth Santorum, Santorum's eldest daughter, has an appearance set for Sunday. Matt Romney, one of Romney's five sons, has an event on Monday.

David Chang, the state's GOP chairman, said he is estimating a 5,000- to 10,000-voter turnout for the caucuses, which will determine which candidates get 17 of the state's 20 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer. The minority party had previously awarded delegates to presidential candidates at state party conventions, but switched to the caucuses as a potential party-building tool.

Roughly 45,000 Republicans voted in the past few GOP primaries, so the caucuses will involve a much smaller pool of voters. Several Republicans had argued against the caucuses as a waste of the party's limited resources, but Chang said the interest by the presidential campaigns shows it could be worth the effort.

While former Gov. Linda Lingle, the state's most influential Republican, has said she will not endorse until the party convention this summer, other popular Republicans, such as former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou and former U.S. Rep. Pat Saiki, have endorsed Romney. In addition to some solid establishment backing, Romney, a Mormon, is expected to draw strong support from Mormon communities on Oahu and around the state.

There is also a network of GOP activists who for several years have been faithful to Paul, giving the Texas congressman a chance of winning his first contest. Christian conservatives, if they choose to get involved in large numbers, could help Santorum. Gingrich is the only candidate still in the field who has personally appeared in the islands during the campaign.

read … Romney reaches out to Hawaii ahead of caucuses

Shapiro: Inevitable that State Bank Will Be Screwed Up

Shapiro: Despite warnings from economists and regulators, some legislators are still pushing for the creation of a state bank. The idea is ingenious, really. When they inevitably screw it up, it'll bring us millions in federal bailout dollars.

The proposed state bank would be chaired by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and directed by a board appointed by House Speaker Calvin Say, Senate President Shan Tsu­tsui and two labor organizations. It could be scarier: Imagine these guys running a sperm bank.

read … Volcanic Ash

Slom: Projects not as ‘Shovel Ready’ as Claimed, Gambling Not Dead Yet

HR: On a major legislative package meant to expedite $500 million in public works spending, Slom said the projects on the lists are not as “shovel-ready” as state officials claim them to be.

“We’ve heard that term before and what a department or an agency may think is shovel ready turns out to be fraught with a number of problems,” he said.

Slom voted for the spending bill “with reservations” because of his doubts about the timetable for completion.

He also said he doubts the House will wholeheartedly endorse the Senate bill.

Slom also wondered whether another centerpiece bill, aimed at settling a decades-long dispute with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs over “ceded land” revenues, will be enacted into law this year.

The measure, which is supported by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and OHA trustees, calls for transfer of $200 million worth of land to OHA ownership in compensation for lands and revenues ceded to U.S. control from the Kingdom of Hawaii….

The senator also questioned the wisdom of Senate measures forwarding plans for an undersea electric cable and for creation of a state-owned bank.

Slom also predicted that measures supporting legalized gambling in Hawaii may be resurrected this legislative session.

read … Slom Reviews Legislative Actions at Halfway Point Of Session

Soft On Crime: Molester gets ‘Deferred Acceptance’ in Hawaii, Molests two More Girls in California

SA: In January the singer pleaded no contest to sexually molesting the first girl between 1996 and 1998, and sexually molesting her sister between 1997 and 1999.

Both girls tearfully told Hahn in January how Rodriguez had violated their parents' trust.

One victim, now 21, was between 7 and 8 years old at the time of the assault, and her sister, now 23, was between 8 and 9 years old when she was sexually molested. Under California law, charges may be filed for felony sex crimes committed against victims younger than 18 who come forward before their 28th birthday.

This is not the first time Rodriguez has been imprisoned for a sex crime.

Rodriguez was convicted of attempted sexual assault 18 years ago in Hawaii County. He pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree sexual assault in 1994 and was sentenced to one year in jail, 500 hours of community service and mandatory participation in a sex offender treatment program.

As part of his 1994 deferred acceptance plea, which erased the conviction from his record for staying out of trouble for 10 years, he was ordered to avoid employment where he would be with children under 14 without the supervision of an approved adult. He also was prohibited from making contact with any minor child without the permission of his probation officer, according to Hawaii court records….

read … Soft on Crime

Pothole Damage Proves Costly For State, City

KITV: In the past three years, the state has paid more than $320,000 in vehicle damage claims, although amounts have steadily decreased. In 2009, claims totaled $126,518; in 2010, claims fell to $97,230. Last year, claims dropped once more to $86,937.

Drivers whose vehicles suffer pothole damage must complete a "claim for damage or injury" form with the state Department of Accounting and General Services within two years of the incident. The form can be downloaded by going to the State of Hawaii Forms Central website.

Drivers who incur damage to their vehicles are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible, including two estimates or repair bills.

"In the past, we've told people to just go back where the pothole was and take pictures of it," said Kelly.

According to records provided by DAGS, drivers can expect to wait several months before receiving a check from the state. One claim filed in December 2009 wasn't paid out until September of the following year.

Vehicle damage payouts by the city and county of Honolulu in the past three fiscal years are substantially less than those paid by the state, totaling $20,440 from July 2008 until the end of June of last year. Drivers should call the city's Department of the Corporation Counsel at (808) 768-5193 to request a form. Like the state, the form asks for as much detail as possible, including damage estimates.

read … Pothole Damage

Guam PDN: Give noncontiguous territories exemption on U.S.-build requirement

GPDN: The noncontiguous parts of the United States need to be given at least partial exemption from the Jones Act to benefit the economies and help reduce costs for the people of those jurisdictions.

Shipping to the noncontiguous territories -- Guam, American Samoa, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands -- is expensive and competition limited. Last year, Guam lost one of its two domestic shippers when Horizon Lines pulled out, citing high costs….

the world has changed tremendously since the Jones Act became law. Globalization has changed our economy and those of every other nation. The United States no longer relies solely on shipping to transport its armed forces or its equipment and supplies; most of this is done through the air now.

The exemption that would make the most sense is the one on U.S.-built vessels. Guam already has that exemption, but since it only makes sense for shippers bringing goods here to first stop in Hawaii, the exemption is useless -- unless it is extended to all the other noncontiguous parts of the United States as well.

This exemption would preserve the intent of the Jones Act -- ships still would be U.S.-owned, U.S.-crewed and U.S.-flagged. The only change would be to allow shippers to purchase their vessels elsewhere, where they are more inexpensive.

read … Jones Act

Guam PDN: Territorial Legislature ties Jones Act to USMC Buildup

Guam PDN: A resolution passed by the 28th Guam Legislature by the late Speaker Tony Unpingco, then-Sens. Judity Won Pat, Joanne Brown and Jesse Lujan, requested the United States' government properly address the needs of the island before the anticipated military buildup and take into consideration the needs of the civilians on the island: "The Jones Act on Guam only increases the cost of living for the people of Guam; with rising fuel costs and impending increases in demand for consumer goods, relief is needed at all possible fronts and repealing the Jones Act for Guam is a necessary step in establishing equitable trade practices to decrease the cost of living for the people of Guam. The Jones Act prevents foreign carriers from offering competitive rates on Guam-U.S. trade. Thereby effectively increasing the cost of American consumer goods on Guam and stifling economic development of Guam and Micronesia."

Local legislators from Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii, over the years, have been passing resolutions and tried introducing bills asking for a repeal of the Jones Act. Sen. John McCain of Arizona introduced legislation after the deadly Gulf Oil spill to fully repeal the Jones Act. He said the 1920 law, which restricts domestic waterborne transportation to U.S.-flag, U.S.-owned ships that are crewed, built and owned by Americans, "hinders free trade and favors labor unions over consumers." McCain said the law restricts shipping and raises costs to consumers in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam. He cited a 1999 U.S. International Trade Commission Study that suggested Jones Act repeal would cut shipping costs in those markets by 22 percent.

After years of trying, the Jones Act is still there, and most likely will always be there. With the millions if not billions of dollars that unions such as the Seafarers International Union and other various lobbying organizations bring in, there is just no way will it be repealed.

Guam has the largest deep-water port in the Western Pacific. We can be the next Hong Kong or Singapore. Both these places boosted their economies by becoming major shipping hubs. Foreign companies invested billions into the local economies in return for tax-free shipping.

Guam Senator Respicio: Guam needs compromise exemption

read … Marine Buildup

Well Known North Dakota Columnist Rips Off Memminger’s Humor Columns

HR: A few weeks ago, humor and travel writer Dave Fox was Googling some of his columns from Singapore when he discovered a column he had written in 2001 had been republished in 2005 in the Benson County Farmers Press in North Dakota with the byline “Jon Flatland,” a well-known regional newsman.

read … Memminger

Thank Sen. Gabbard for New Plastic and Paper Bag "Fee"

HR: After a cheerful endorsement on the Senate floor Tuesday, Gabbard, wearing a plastic bag hat and lei, pushed the bill through in the Senate with a 24-1 vote. Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, was the only vote in opposition.

The measure was transmitted to the House, where it is expected to pass.

Several stores such as Safeway and the Retail Merchants of Hawaii are supporting the plan, instead of fighting against the new tax on behalf of their customers. The fee cost will be passed on….

The plastic and paper bag fee is just one of several dozens of bills that add or increase fees and taxes to Hawaii products.

That includes increased taxes on loose tobacco and the addition of the so called streamline tax, which would tax all Internet purchases by Hawaii consumers.

Sen. Roz Baker, D-Maui, is the main advocate for increasing taxes on loose tobacco, and Sen. Carol Fukunaga, D-Makiki, has pushed for the streamline tax for a number of years.

read … Bag Tax

Ka Pua Initiative Hosts Waianae Coast Community Education Forums

HR: The forums are open to the public and will take place on:

  • · Thursday, March 15th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Nānākuli High & Intermediate School cafeteria (dinner will be provided)
  • · Tuesday, March 20th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Kamehameha Schools Community Learning Center at Nānākuli
  • · Tuesday March 20th from 2:45 to 5 p.m. at the Kamehameha Schools Community Learning Center at Nānākuli
  • · Wednesday March 21st from 2:45 to 5 p.m. at the Wai‘anae District Park multipurpose room
  • · Thursday, March 22nd from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wai‘anae District Park multipurpose room (dinner will be provided)

“All sessions have the same format and agenda, so people only need to come to one in order to have the voices heard, and we are hopeful that folks can find a session that fits their schedule,” mentions Keli‘ipio-Acoba.

Dinner or light refreshments will be provided at each meeting. RSVPs are not required, but are requested for planning refreshments and materials. RSVP online at or call 808-541-5333.

read … Ka Pua

Saint-to-be was a hero in her own right to Hansen's disease patients, an expert says

SA: "Mother was always in the background," Lau said. "Mother herself did not want the publicity nor the recognition," such as when King Kalakaua decorated her in 1885 for her services to humanity in letters to the St. Francis order's headquarters in New York. "She found the decoration to be of no significance, for she knew that only God's judgment had meaning."

After 50 religious communities in the world turned down pleas by the monarchy of Hawaii in 1883 to help with its leprosy epidemic, Cope was the first to agree to help.

"She told the king, ‘I come with no gifts. I hold your suffering people in my heart,'" Lau said. "She took a dismal situation and made it so alive. She made a big difference."

After treating patients of leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, for five years in Hono­lulu, the government asked Cope to go to Molokai in 1888 when Damien was dying of the disease. "They knew from experience that no other capable woman would be willing to take up such an arduous and dangerous work," Lau said.

Cope worked there for 30 years, and not one sister contracted leprosy, as she promised them, "a miracle in itself," Lau said. Cope died in 1918 of natural causes at age 80….

According to a Dec. 9 story in the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Hanley "was continually defending Mother Marianne against those who negatively compared her humble but resolute ministry against Damien's boisterous charity, who would ‘cheat her legacy by diminishing it.' She bristled against those who implied that Mother Marianne wasn't a saint in her own right, but only by association with Damien."

Lau said, "Mother gave her all, she gave the best she ever had, and was able to care for the people without knowing anything about the culture or the total disease process. She didn't shun the patients like so many did. That example really touches me. So much about her life is a model. She was a risk-taker open to listening to what the needs of the people were."

Cope's legacy includes the establishment of Maui Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony's School in Wai­luku and St. Joseph School in Hilo. Carrying on Cope's work, the Sisters of St. Francis are still at Kalaupapa; they established the groundbreaking programs of St. Francis Healthcare System, organizations that care for seniors and the homeless, and Saint Francis School in Hono­lulu. Their presence also continues in a multitude of schools and parishes. There are 46 St. Francis sisters left today, half of them retired or infirm, Lau said.

read … St Francis


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