Lingle Campaign Raises $3.1M
Not Aimed at Hawaii This Time: N Korea Rocket fails, falls in Ocean
Celebrate Israel Day Hawaii, May 20
Am Samoa Congressional Race: Radewagen, Lancaster Challenge Faleomavaega
Salon: Am Samoa's Congressional Delegate Defends Dictatorship at Behest of Lobbyist
Abercrombie Signs Kakaako Over to OHA, HCDA Maintains Development Control
HB 108- Dog Fighting OK, Dog Breeding Illegal
Payment Protection: State Sues Seven Mainland Credit Card Companies
Akaka: Lingle is ‘Friendly’, Her Role Model is ‘Open-Minded’
CB: Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle says Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is her “role model,” and Lingle wants voters to know she’d look to Collins’ example if she’s elected to replace Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is retiring.
Not surprisingly, Akaka dismisses Lingle’s claims that she’s politically moderate as “part of the strategy” to get elected in a blue state. But he, too, has nice things to say about Collins. She and Akaka serve together on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“Sen. Collins has been — well, let me say pretty open-minded,” Akaka told DC808 in an interview Thursday evening. “Because she has looked at the issues in committee — as you know she’s our ranking member in Homeland Security — and she’s been very helpful with the issues, taking different positions from her party several times.”
Akaka added the caveat that Collins “tries to do as much as she can with her side,” including working to help Republicans regain a majority in the U.S. Senate. Akaka said he is surprised that Collins traveled “so far west” to support a Hawaii candidate, but he acknowledged that one of Lingle’s strengths is her ability to connect with people.
“She is quite friendly,” Akaka said. “The friendly type. I’m sure she’ll be working hard to try to get elected.”
CB: Hirono Campaign Hauls in $1M
SA: Lingle tops Hirono in Senate cash race
News Release: Hannemann campaign collects $250,000
SA: Gabbard Pulls in $213,000
Read … Unlike Hirono
Tipping Point? Isle Democrats lead charge against the environment
Borreca: "Í think these bills will haunt the Democrats at the coming Democratic Party of Hawaii county and state conventions and well into the actual elections," predicted Scott Foster, a Democratic activist, who helped organize the protests.
Tom Coffman, historian, author and journalist, says meddling with environmental legislation is risky.
"Abandoning the environment, mining the irreplaceable resources, will put the Democrats of Hawaii on the wrong side of history. When the public figures it out, there will be a 1954 in reverse," Coffman said.
The Legislature's strongest and most informed environmentalist is not some baby-faced, starry-eyed Democrat, fresh from college who just "wants to give back."
It is 78-year-old GOP Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a veteran environmental attorney who battled the state over the development of the H-3 freeway.
She says the Democrats "are looking at the environment as an inconvenience." She says throw out the four bills, Hawaii's environmental laws are good enough, don't exempt anything more. When asked if the legislation could be amended to compromise, Thielen flatly said, "No."
Meanwhile, Democrats are watching one of their most successful standard-bearers, former two-term Gov. Ben Cayetano, run a populist campaign for mayor of Honolulu that is aimed directly against the Honolulu rail project….
The ongoing $5.3 billion rail project has been everything good to every big shot in the Democratic Party. Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann promised jobs and more jobs; U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye vowed manna from heaven or at least the federal treasury; and the Legislature and the Honolulu City Council pledged our tax money to make it all happen.
Who didn't like it? Democrat Cayetano and the Republicans. And they are joining forces.
Add this to the Democratic activists and the GOP tree-huggers furious at the Legislature's Democrats.
If Gladwell's next book is called "Cascading Failure," Hawaii might be the place to do his research.
read … Isle Democrats lead charge against the environment
Abercrombie Dept of Corrections Appointee Flees State
HR: Joe Booker, Deputy Director of Corrections in the state Public Safety Department, is resigning effective Friday to take a job in New Mexico….
Booker has children living in Texas and Arizona, said Maesaka-Hirata and his new job will allow him to send more time with them, she said.
No replacement has been selected.
Booker’s departure comes as the state is gearing up plans for return to Hawaii of some 1,500 prison inmates now incarcerated in a private prison in Arizona.
read … Like Rats leaping from a Sinking Ship
SA Editors Grasping at Straws Claim: Teacher evaluations within reach
SA: Testimony by Wil Okabe, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, contended that the evaluation system must be developed by educators and is subject to collective bargaining, not a state mandate.
The HSTA has taken issue also with the BOE policy because, Okabe said, it considers probationary teachers as "at will" employees. The union leadership also is worried that the DOE will end up with standardized assessments as the sole indicator of student achievement.
These concerns should not be insurmountable. And although incorporating student achievement measures in teacher evaluations is still a work in progress nationwide, Hawaii needs to make a start at improving the evaluation system it now has.
Further, the union should take the accord the administration has struck with the Hawaii Government Employees Association over similar changes to principals' evaluations as a sign of the state's resolve on this issue.
DOE officials also have reaffirmed their pledge to expand a pilot program to test new evaluations, with no consequences to teachers, and that's a welcome signal, too.
Considering that there's been a state law for eight years requiring new principals' evaluations, with no progress until now, maybe the importance of a mandate has been oversold. What's important is that the people in charge pick up that ball in their court, and run with it now.
read … Bye bye RTTT?
DOE seeks extra funds to preserve Colluding Bus Contactors
SA: The Department of Education is looking at whether funds from other programs could be diverted to student transportation to cover an expected shortfall of about $20 million.
The DOE has warned that school bus service to most Oahu communities and to urban areas of the neighbor islands could be eliminated next school year because of a lack of funds (blablabla)
Reality: Washington Monument Gambit
read … Collusion Pays
Grabbucks: New HART Boss Pulls Down $300K / year
Under the terms of his three-year contract, Grabauskas has an annual base salary of $245,000, plus $42,000 per year for housing and transportation and the possibility of a $35,000 annual performance bonus. Put it all together and it could be in excess of $300,000 per year.
(Wise move on Grab-bucks’ part. Since HART is not long for this world, he should grab as much as he can while he can.)
Read … Grabbucks
Grabbucks vs TheBus: “Rail is the Gift that keeps on Giving”
CB: "In order to access that federal funding, we need to make sure that the federal overseers are satisfied.”
“Long-term investment and job creation is one of the things you're going to hear from me a lot because I know it to be true. ... When I say it's the gift that keeps on giving, it is."
“If more buses would solve the problem, then you'd probably be doing more buses. But more buses is just putting more buses behind more buses.”
SA: Does anyone think if you added 100 more buses, that would solve the problem?
read … No Mo Busses
Inouye: The Only Thing That Will Stop Rail is World War III -- Carlisle: We Need to Build an Army
CB: Carlisle, meanwhile, used the Kiewit press availability to use words like "moving steadily forward," "very close to full funding" and "on the brink of success" to describe rail.
He said there would be "critical decisions" made in the next few days about the project, though he did not elaborate. He argued that support for rail was "unwavering," despite recent polls that suggest the opposite.
Mostly, the mayor urged the Keiwit hui to counter a "backlash of misinformation" coming from Cayetano and Company.
"We need to be the army that builds and sells the project," he said, telling the workers to call everyone they know "and spread the word and register and vote. That will defeat the enemy in a heartbeat."
Reaching his peroration, Carlisle said the completed project will last from 50 to 100 years.
SA: Inouye, Caldwell, Carlisle join rail contractor for rally
read … WW3
Cayetano: "Carlisle prone to Making Stupid Statements"
HR: Carlisle told the workers: “We need you not only to be the army that builds this project, we need you to be the army that sells this project to everybody you know."
Carlisle added: "If we have that kind of army, that will defeat the enemy in a heartbeat.”
Was he calling Cayetano “the enemy” or were all rail opponents tagged with that label?
Carlisle is “prone to making stupid statements,” Cayetano said.
He added the rail project has already been sold to the public with the help of $5 million in taxpayer money, 10 public relations firms hired on the taxpayers dime and the editorial endorsement of the Honolulu Star Bulletin and The Honolulu Advertiser before they merged – and the Honolulu Star Advertiser now that they are one.
“If anyone is putting out misinformation, it is Peter," Cayetano said. “Give me a break.”
He added, “Before I got into this mayor’s race, Peter did not care about the rail. He let Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Interim Director Toru Hamayasu run the project. When Hamayasu authorized a $15 million change order, he never told the administration about it. We all learned about it when Kevin Dayton wrote the article about it in the Star Advertiser. And when the city managing director Doug Chin waved the 20 percent debt ceiling for rail, Carlisle never knew about it. So who is the enemy of misinformation?”
Cayetano said Inouye, Carlisle and Caldwell held the rally yesterday because “they are worried” about the future of rail, the federal lawsuit that is challenging the Environmental Impact of the project in which Cayetano is one of seven plaintiffs, and Cayetano’s campaign for mayor.
read … Carlisle
Caldwell: Carlisle “Crazy” To Build Rail Columns and tear them Down
KITV: "I'm very uncomfortable having someone say build something and tear it down," he said. "I think that's crazy."
read … Crazy
Honolulu Council Keep Rail Budget Intact
CB: Despite some posturing, some threats and lots of questions for new rail chief Dan Grabauskas, the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday advanced three budget bills for the controversial project.
Bills 31, 32 and 33 all advanced — two without amendment and the third with a tentative agreement in place to move forward on construction without delay.
The three bills represent, respectively, the operating and capital budgets for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and a measure that would allow HART to issue and sell bonds for the project. All three go back to the full council for second reading, possibly April 25, then come back to committee again.
Most notably, Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi abandoned her proposed amendment to cut all but 14 of HART's 142 budgeted full-time positions.
"What we're doing is putting our trust in the new director," Kobayashi told the committee.
HR: Council Members Still Waiting for Key Information About City's Controversial Rail Project, But They Move Forward Three Key Funding Bills
SA: Council committee cuts $291M from rail's construction budget (sort of)
read … Honolulu Council Keeps Rail Budget Intact
Malama Solomon Scores Worst Senate Attendance Record
CB: Sen. Malama Solomon missed eight of the first 45 Hawaii Senate floor sessions.
Senate President Shan Tsutsui of Maui and Oahu senator Les Ihara tied for second for worst attendance record, posting five absences each.
A Senate spokeswoman said Solomon, who represents Waimea, Hamakua and Hilo, spent four days "tending to a family matter," three days under a doctor's care for pneumonia and one day when "a meeting ran long."
Seven senators posted perfect floor attendance: Fellow Democrats Rosalyn Baker, Glenn Wakai, Clarence Nishihara, Donna Mercado Kim, Michelle Kidani and Mike Gabbard, and Republican Sam Slom.
read … Missed 18% of Sessions
House OKs charter school bill despite divisive ethics provision
SA: A bill that would overhaul Hawaii's charter school system is headed to conference committee after approval by the House, despite strong resistance to a provision that would exempt such schools from the state Ethics Code.
Rep. Sharon Har called the exemption a "poison pill" that flew in the face of recommendations from the state auditor, who recently blasted the charter school system for a lack of oversight and "unethical and illegal" spending and employment practices on some campuses.
Har (D, Makakilo-Kapolei) joined 10 others in voting against Senate Bill 2115 on Tuesday. Another 15 House members supported it, but with reservations. The House has 51 members.
House Education Chairman Roy Takumi assured his colleagues during the vote that there was no sinister intent behind the provision and that it will be removed. "The intent when we go to conference is to take that section out," said Takumi (D, Pearl City-Pacific Palisades).
Rep. Della Au Belatti (D, Tantalus-Makiki), vice chairwoman of the education committee, shepherded the bill through the House, and the exemption was added as it emerged from her committee. She noted that it mirrored exemptions charter schools already enjoy from the state procurement code and the Sunshine Law…
read … No Ethics
Senate Passes bill Requiring minimum sick leave
WHT: A bill that would require Hawaii businesses to offer their employees a minimum amount of paid sick leave passed its third reading in the Senate on Tuesday.
read … Senate bill would offer minimum sick leave
State deputy sheriff accused of sexually assaulting female detainee
KHON: A state deputy sheriff is accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was in custody.
Benjamin Fonoti was indicted on sexual assault in the second degree and sexual assault in the third degree.
The alleged assault happened in October 2011 at the cellblock at Honolulu U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, Fonoti made the victim touch him inappropriately, and engaged in a sexual act with her.
After learning about the alleged incident, the Department of Public Safety reassigned the 30-year-old deputy sheriff, and began its own internal affairs investigation.
read … State deputy sheriff accused of sexually assaulting female detainee
April electric rates up on all islands except 1
SA: Hawaiian Electric Co. said a typical 600-kilowatt-hour bill for Oahu residential customers rose by 51 cents to $204.25 in April. The effective rate for electricity in Honolulu is 32.6 cents a kilowatt-hour in month, little changed from March.
Elsewhere in the state:
>> Maui Electric Co. customers saw rates rise to 36.5 cents per kilowatt-hour this month from March’s 36.3 cents. The typical Maui bill rose by $1.30 to $226.76.
>> Hawaii island residential rates fell to 40.4 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month's 41.30 cents. The typical bill fell by $6.28 to $252.91 The decline was largely due to a ruling by the state Public Utilities Commission that slightly reduced the amount Hawaii Electric Light Co. was allowed to collect in its latest rate case.
>> On Kauai, the rate rose to 45.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month the rate charged by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was 42.6 cents a kilowatt-hour.
Read … Green Energy Scammers
Crooks, Cronies Squabble over Geothermal Royalties
CB: Four Senate committees will hear a resolution requesting DLNR provide “greater transparency” in the allocation of geothermal royalties.
Read … Snouts in the Trough
Haleiwa Farmer’s Market to Stay open til end of Month
KHON: The State says it will be allowed to operate until the end of the month, on their month-to-month lease.
While negotiating a long-term lease with the market, it was determined that the site is actually part of the highway, and the market cannot operate there due to liability.
The State and organizers met Thursday to discuss a long term solution. 1,200 people have signed a petition to try and keep the market open.
read … Even North Korea Allows Farmers' Markets
DoH Harasses Local Businesses, Cane Fire Gets Fine
MN: Volner said the Kahului field was not supposed to be harvested until 2012. But about half of the field was burned in a malicious fire, and the burned cane was harvested immediately. However, the burned fields led to some confusion about the remaining unburned cane in the Kahului field, and 25 acres were burned until the error was realized and burning was stopped, he said.
Four other Hawaii companies also were cited for air permit violations, including Tesoro Hawai'i Corp., which was fined $26,700 for opacity violations at its distillation facility on Oahu. Other violation notices were issued to: Hawaiian Electric Co. for $6,000; O. Thronas Inc., doing business as Kaua'i Aggregates, for $5,100; and Kohala Coast Concrete and Precast LLC. for $5,300.
HR: HC&S Sugar Responds to Health Department Citation Notice
read … more harassment
Solar Telescope Construction May Begin Despite Permit Challenge
CB: The University of Hawaii says it will begin construction of a controversial $300 million telescope atop Haleakala as soon as next month even though a critical permit has been challenged and a state board hasn't ruled on the case yet.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources issued a conservation district use permit for the project in December 2010. However, the permit was challenged by Kilakila o Haleakala, a Native Hawaiian group, that said it should have never been granted.
The contested case appeared close to closure last month when a hearings officer, who had spent about a year reviewing the case, recommended to the Board of Land and Natural Resources that the permit be upheld. Steven Jacobson said that Kilakila o Haleakala had no authority to intervene in the matter.
But the board tossed out Jacobson's recommendations and dismissed him, saying he'd had improper contact with others about the case. Jacobson had said that he had received pressure from Sen. Daniel Inouye’s office to rule favorably toward the telescope.
read … Solar Telescope Construction May Begin Despite Permit Challenge
SB2402: Dim Bulb Legislators Vote to Block State Use of Fluorescent Bulbs, Stadium Lighting on Edge
DN: This year, legislation (SB2402) to require proper lighting design and installation has made it through its last committee hearing. The bill would require properly designed lighting that shines only on the sports field (for example), and directs almost no light up to the sky.
UH also objected to the bill’s requirement of a color temperature of 4000 degrees Kelvin as too high to protect birds. Yet the final version of the bill did not reduce the color temperature and still carries the effective date of July 1, 2014.
Color of Light: Cool White Fluorescent is 4200 Kelvin, Sodium Vapor lights are 4000 Kelvin (Even worse, Marijuana grow-lamps are 5000 Kelvin. How will they ever open their state-run medicated marijuana farm?)
read … Dim Bulbs
Leading Theocrat Hailed by Billionaire as He Launches Four Day Hawaii Tour
The visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Hawaii, which begins Friday, represents the launch of a new Hawaii Community Foundation initiative entitled "Pillars of Peace Hawaii: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha."
The Pillars of Peace program is essentially an exchange of ideas — an exchange between the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle for Tibet, and the people of Hawaii and the forms of peace that exist here at home.
The Pillars of Peace program is supported by the Omidyar 'Ohana Fund, which is part of the Hawaii Community Foundation, the leading philanthropic institution in the state. In 2009, philanthropists Pierre and Pam Omidyar gave $50 million to the foundation to establish the fund for the purpose of launching community initiatives like Pillars of Peace.
(Full disclosure: Pierre Omidyar is publisher and CEO of Honolulu Civil Beat.)
Click here for more information about the Dalai Lama's schedule in Hawaii.
(Its pretty funny watching all these gay-atheist-progressives welcome one of the world's leading theocrats. They are so fixated on basking in the reflected glory that they don't see the irony in their sponsorship of the tour. Maybe someone needs to go back and re-read a sophomoric little screed titled "Separation of Mosque and State." Meanwhile, here's hoping the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans defeat the murdering atheists who rule over them.)
read … But its OUR Theocracy, so its OK