Islam Day draws heat for isles
Gov. Linda Lingle told a radio interviewer that her office had received "a lot of angry calls from the mainland saying, 'We're not coming to a place that's having an Islam Day.'"
"Here we are, in a very difficult economy, and it was just unnecessary," said Lingle, who had no authority over the resolution. "It didn't make any sense. You know it's going to get this kind of attention."
As of yesterday the Hawaii Tourism Authority had received 14 e-mails and one phone call protesting the resolution. "Hawaii has always been known to be a tolerant and respectful place," said Mike McCartney, HTA president, adding that his agency has no position on the resolution.
Sen. Josh Green (D, Milolii-Waimea), one of just three senators to oppose the resolution, said it violated the separation of church and state, a view shared by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.
Many articles making the rounds on the Internet decry legislators for singling out Islam alone for praise, but a review reveals that at least 10 days with religious overtones have been recognized by the Legislature.
Confucius Day and Islam Day were marked with resolutions, which do not become part of state law or recur annually. Others, such as Buddha Day, Hawaiian Makahiki Commemoration Day and Father Damien De Veuster Day, were recognized in bills that became law, although they are not state holidays. Christmas and Good Friday are official state holidays.
(NOTE: THERE IS NO "CHRISTIANITY DAY" NOR A "BUDDHISM DAY" NOR A "BAHAI DAY")
Muslims are a tiny minority in Hawaii, roughly 4,000 residents, (more like 400) but they feel welcome here, said Hakim Ouansafi, chairman of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, who asked Berg to introduce the resolution. (NOW WE KNOW--MORE LATER)
But Sen. Fred Hemmings (R, Lanikai-Waimanalo) said the resolution went too far. He did not realize other religions had been similarly recognized by the Legislature, but he believes Islam should not be included.
"None of those other religions have a good portion of their followers supporting and perpetrating worldwide terrorism," Hemmings said. "This is a war against civilization in the name of one religion."
"In World War II a great number of German nationals were opposed to what the Nazis were doing," he added. "Nevertheless, the Nazis were doing it in the name of Germany, and they were held accountable."
The initial version of the Hawaii resolution designated Nov. 21 as Islam Day, like the congressional resolution. But it conflicted with Makahiki celebrations, Berg said. So Ouansafi suggested Sept. 24, A.D. 644, (WRONG SB, HE SUGGESTED 622) the date the prophet Mohammad reached Quba, marking the birth of Islam. A few bloggers claim it was a clandestine effort to mark Sept. 11 on the old Julian calendar, but Ouansafi dismissed such conspiracy theories, saying he had never heard of the Julian calendar until now.
(IF OUANSAFI NEVER HEARD OF THE JULIAN CALENDAR THEN WHY DOES THE RESOLUTION SPECIFY THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR? The Star-Bulletin talks down to us and still can't even get the wrong date right. Pathetic propaganda poorly executed--but a sign that the Internet works.)
Abercrombie seeks to transfer campaign funds
The state Campaign Spending Commission is weighing whether to allow U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie to transfer nearly $1 million from his congressional campaign account to his state campaign for governor in 2010.
Barbara Wong, the commission's executive director, has recommended the commission not allow the transfer because the donations were collected under federal campaign finance law, not state law. But attorneys for the Hawai'i Democrat argue Abercrombie should be able to spend the excess funds on his state campaign.
Wong, who took a similar position in an interview with The Advertiser in November when Abercrombie was thinking about running for governor, said the commission has a difficult policy choice. Allowing Abercrombie to transfer the money could set a precedent for any future candidate to transfer money to a Hawai'i campaign, no matter where it was collected. The commission is expected to decide in early June.
(Nobody in Hawaii gives Abercrombie money.)
Hemmings says wife is victim of revenge
State Sen. Fred Hemmings says a person with a vendetta against him is behind a criminal indictment against his wife....Fred Hemmings said a person who had been discharged from the organization and who has a vendetta against him filed a complaint with the state attorney general. He did not name the person.
Advertiser: Hawaii state senator's wife pleads not guilty to felony theft
SB: Don't extinguish tobacco tax hike
What Gov. Linda Lingle regards as flaws in tobacco-tax increases approved by this year's Legislature should not negate intended hikes, despite an unfortunate technical error that will result in a $400,000 "tax holiday for many tobacco products."
The legislators' intent is clear in two separate bills and most, if not all, of the changes made should be implemented.
(Remember, Liberals are smarter than regular people.)
Advertiser: Public process offers key chance for input
Which candidate would do the best job as the new UH president?
Two out of some 600 initial candidates have risen to the final round:
• M.R.C. Greenwood, who reached a career zenith as provost of the University of California system. She drew criticism and an inquiry into charges of favoritism in hiring practices and an ethics investigation.
• Robert J. Jones, the senior vice president for system administration for the University of Minnesota, a smaller system overall than either the UH or UC college networks.
The search should have produced a longer list of finalists, including at least one with local experience. That's an asset in guiding UH through Hawai'i cultural issues and the state's political landscape — elements that can trip up even the most seasoned academic and administrator.
Hawaii Supreme Court Declines to Reconsider Super Ferry Ruling
HONOLULU, Hawaii (Legal Newsline) - The Hawaii Supreme Court has denied the state's request to reconsider its ruling that docked the Hawaii Superferry.
Together, Gov. Linda Lingle and state lawmakers urged the state's high court to reverse its decision that the Hawaii Superferry should remain docked until an environmental impact assessment is completed.
The justices rejected their request in a ruling Wednesday.
Critical Honolulu City Council Vote This Monday Determines Funding Conditions for Rail
The Honolulu rail issue is coming to a critical juncture. There is a City Council budget committee hearing scheduled for this coming Monday, May 18, at 9 AM.
Councilmembers appear ready to vote for a budget containing well over one billion dollars to build a Kapolei to Waipahu rail line without ANY requirement that the Mayor first have a commitment in writing from the federal government that there will be federal funding for rail.
Hawaii Senator Gary Hooser: A Political Hack
To build a political platform based purely on opposition to someone else is like filling a balloon with hot air. Once it’s popped, there’s nothing there.
Ethics Board releases ‘flawed’ attorney opinion
“What does this legal mumbo jumbo mean?”
Arrest unlawful, couple says
A Keaau couple accused of commercial promotion of marijuana claims their arrest was unlawful because both are medical marijuana patients.
Maui Council decides to keep property tax levels same in ’10
Council members said they were proud to be on track to passing a county budget that dealt with a funding shortfall with spending cuts, rather than tax increases. But they warned that if the general economic slump continues, tax hikes may be inevitable next year....Council Member Jo Anne Johnson said she felt the council made the right decision. "I'm very proud of the fact that our membership has been able to hold the line," she said.
Maui, Big Isle may lose car dealers
Chrysler may pull Maui dealership , Chrysler wants to eliminate Maui's Island Dodge dealership (thanks, Obama)
Economy not kind to Island Chevrolet -- Automotive group files notice of closing (thanks, Obama)