FBI investigating? Sex, Lies and Retaliation at Big Island Election Office
Mitsunaga: Hirono Took Same Illegal Contributions Cayetano Did
BLNR: Boater Safety Course Will Be Required
Federal Transit Bill Shifts Funding towards Busses, Away from Rail
Akaka Proposes Tribal Internet Gaming Bill
Honolulu City Lights Display Applications Due Now
LINK: Star-Advertiser Voters Guide
VIDEO: Ed Case Speaks to Smart Business Hawaii
No Polling Place for 2,600 Voters in 17 Precincts
KHON: The August 11th primary is just weeks away and voting has already begun by mail with early walk-in starting Monday.
But for thousands around the state, they'll have no choice but to vote that way because they have no polling place.
Seventeen precincts around the state now have too few registered voters to have a physical polling place on August 11th.
They'll be mailed ballots automatically or they can early vote at any of 9 statewide absentee walk-in sites by August 9th.
When the familiar yellow cards arrived in the mail that confirm voting registration, about 2,600 Hawaii voters saw this where usually they'd read their polling place location: "Please vote by mail. A ballot will be sent to you."
"I don't really trust the mail system, I'd rather have to go in person and do it,” said Austin Lambert of Makiki.
But for these people across 17 precincts, voting in person means getting to an early polling place like City Hall sometime between Monday and August 9th.
"I'd hate to have to go down all the way to City Hall to do it,” said Lambert.
The Office of Elections explains why it happened.
"The legislature actually passed a law that says if their polling place has less than 500 voters it would be an absentee polling place, so those people are mailed absentee ballots automatically, so there is no physical polling place for them to vote on election day,” said Scot Nago of the Office of Elections.
read … Thank a Legislator
Two Agencies Compete for Control of Abercrombie’s Health Takeover
HR: …the Hawaii Health Authority was created under a 2010 law that was passed by the Legislature, vetoed by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, then enacted after lawmakers overrode the veto.
Lingle never appointed members of the Authority, which is based in the state Department of Budget and Finance, http://hawaii.gov/budget/hha so Abercrombie named members last year.
Minutes of HHA board meetings posted on its website provide a fascinating behind-the-curtains look at the machinery of state government where competing interests vie for face time with the governor and financing from lawmakers.
From the start, according to the minutes, the HHA found itself competing for “turf” with Abercrombie’s own health transformation planners at the Hawaii Health Transformation Initiative. http://hawaii.gov/healthcare-transformation/
Members of HHA regularly voiced suspicions that they were losing the bureaucratic turf war to Beth Giesting, Abercrombie’s healthcare transformation coordinator, according to the minutes….
read … HHA Friction
Governor's Campaign Manager Runs Governor's Health Care Project
HR: The chairman of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s political campaign is running a “public-private partnership” with Abercrombie’s office that is soliciting $1.3 million from health care companies for what the governor calls the “Hawaii Healthcare Transformation Initiative.”
The HHTI http://hawaii.gov/healthcare-transformation/ -- recently re-dubbed the Hawaii Healthcare Project -- is contemplating far-reaching changes to how health services are delivered here. Its work is being coordinated by the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, a non-profit organization headed by private attorney William Kaneko, a close Abercrombie associate who chaired the governor’s 2010 election campaign.
Kaneko and HIPA have sent form letters to numerous health care companies soliciting specific sums of money to pay for the HHTI project.
Several of the biggest players in the local health care industry have responded generously to Kaneko’s requests.
read … Cronies Control Your Health
Bipartisan Lingle Supporters: Chamber of Commerce Endorses Democrats in Georgia, Utah
SA: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $750,000 on positive television advertising in Hawaii to help brand former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, as a bipartisan leader.
(Skip 4 paragraphs of “but she’s a Republican”. Then skip references to the Star-Adv poll of 62% Democrats.)
The U.S. Chamber has sponsored positive ads this year for conservative Democrats in Georgia and Utah running for re-election to the U.S. House. The chamber also took an interest in the last competitive Senate campaign in Hawaii. The chamber endorsed and bought automated telephone calls for the moderate Case in his unsuccessful primary against Akaka in 2006.
Neal Milner, a retired University of Hawaii-Manoa political science professor, believes Lingle is closer to the center compared with Republicans nationally and can make the argument that she would be bipartisan… (skip the part where Milner says Lingle will be marginal in Senate.)
"I think she's right politically considering what Hawaii is like," Milner said of Lingle's need to appeal to independents and moderate Democrats.
read … A sign of Hawaii Democrats’ Desperation
Hirono’s Propeller Beanie Buddy
Shapiro: After bashing Linda Lingle for befriending Alaska's former GOP Gov. Sarah Palin, Hirono's new video has her palling around with her own Alaska Republican: U.S. Rep. Don Young, known for ethics probes against him and wearing a propeller beanie to committee meetings….
Related: ‘Kooky’ Congressman Endorses Hirono
read … Hirono’s Propeller Beanie Ethics
Hard on Guns: Gabbard, Hannemann back Gun Control
SA: All six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District said they would support legislation that would make it more difficult to obtain, if not ban outright, high-capacity ammunition magazines for semi-automatic weapons.
The discussion on the KHET-TV show "Insights" Thursday night came less than a week after a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Police recovered a 100-round magazine.
Thursday's hourlong candidate forum was the last of several televised debates in the 2nd District Democratic primary. The primary election is Aug. 11.
read … Enemies of the 2nd Amendment
Soft on Crime: Victim's mom urges stricter sentencing law after killer gets life with parole
SA: Nonohe Botelho says she and other family members of murder victims will ask state lawmakers to increase the penalty for second-degree murder to life in prison without the opportunity for parole, from the current life with parole.
Botelho said that Friday after a state judge rejected the prosecutor's request to give Makuola Collins the higher penalty for killing Botelho's son, Joel.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn said the prosecutor did not prove that for the protection of the public, Collins qualifies for the state's highest penalty. She said Collins, 28, does not have a prior conviction of any kind, not even as a juvenile.
The prosecutor presented testimony Friday from Jose Santos, Collins' former co-worker at the Hawaii State Hospital, who said Collins threatened him the day before Joel Botelho's murder, when he didn't come up with the money he owed Collins.
Ahn sentenced Collins to life in prison with the possibility for parole, plus six years, for the Jan. 2, 2011, shooting death of Joel Botelho, 27, Collins' former Castle High School football teammate, outside Botelho's Kaneohe home. Ahn also ordered Collins to serve at least 15 years before he can seek parole, because he used a firearm to kill Botelho. The Hawaii Paroling Authority can set a higher minimum term. The added six years is for carrying a firearm without a permit.
A state jury found Collins guilty in December of murder for Joel Botelho's death; attempted murder for shooting at Botelho's younger brother Leon; using a firearm to commit the crimes; carrying a firearm without a permit; and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
read … Soft on Crime
Extensive audit targets UH athletics
SA: The University of Hawaii has begun what is described as a wide-ranging operational review of its athletic department, sources in the department said.
The review, officially an operational audit, is said to be charged with looking into all areas of the department's $30 million, 21-sport operation, policies and procedures, not just finances.
It is being overseen by Glenn Shizumura, director of the UH system's Office of Internal Audit, whose staff is said to have already begun requesting documents, sources told the Star-Advertiser.
The audit is said to be separate from a UH-commissioned external investigation of the Stevie Wonder concert controversy, the FBI's inquiry into UH's missing $200,000 concert deposit and the department's annual financial audit, which follows the closing of the books for the just-completed fiscal year.
The external Wonder investigation is being run under contract by the downtown law firm of Cades Schutte while Accuity LLP does the annual financial audit as commissioned by the Board of Regents.
read … Audit
Maui News: Hirono is Part of the Problem
MN: Our problem with Hirono is that as one of the most liberal members of Congress it is hard for us to imagine her making the compromises that are going to be needed to deal with problems like Medicare and Social Security reform, as well as reducing deficits and getting the national debt under control.
We are fairly certain that neither political party is going to have a large enough majority in either house of Congress to dictate solutions to our big problems. And we simply cannot continue the way we have the past couple of years compromises are needed. We cannot keep kicking the can down the street when it comes to fixing Washington.
So we hope Hawaii picks a senator who is going to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. In our view, a Case vs. Lingle matchup would ensure that result.
read … Hirono is part of the Problem
UHPA Buys More Case Ads
PR: The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has invested in additional television advertising and direct mail for former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, the faculty union has spent $237,355 so far this year on behalf of Case….
read … Your UHPA Dues at Work
Matson: New EPA Emission Regs Boost Fuel Cost 40%, Blow Pistons
PBN: Horizon Lines officials said they use steamships to get to and from Hawaii and the new regulations will not affect their Hawaii operations. Pasha Hawaii officials declined comment and Young Bros. Ltd. officials had said previously that the company won’t be affected.
But Matson officials said the new regulations will require them to do some major work on their ships, and the lower-sulfur-content fuel costs 30 percent to 40 percent more than fuel they have been using….
Matson is still determining the cost of the work to its fleet, but its ships will need separate tanks for two types of fuel and piping for another fuel system, Forest said. Experimenting with the lower-sulfur-content fuel has resulted in blown-out pistons and other engine parts because the fuel has lower viscosity….
Officials in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office say the state has no plans to challenge the regulations. However, Alaska is challenging them in court, suing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the EPA, the Coast Guard and other federal entities. Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty also has written to the EPA protesting the regulations.
read … Abercrombie does nothing as consumers and a kamaaina company are attacked
Mele Carroll’s Excuse: Honolulu Bag Lady Had my Financial Disclosure Papers
MN: Carroll's report was filed Thursday, according to the state Campaign Spending Commission.
"The reason for my report being filed late was simply because I misplaced my paper file which had my password to my Internet account, copies of my checks deposited and my expenditures for this period," Carroll said in an email Thursday. "Fortunately for me, I was able to locate the file after looking everywhere, which a friend in Honolulu had my file in her bag and forgot that she had it."
Last year, she was fined $2,608 by the commission for failing to file another five 2010 election finance reports on time. She said she recently paid off the fines.
The Democrat reported raising $1,850 in contributions for the six months that ended June 30.
More than half of her contributions for the period came from donations of $100 or less, which do not require the donor to be identified.
She also received $300 from the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 142; $250 from the Ironworkers for Better Government Local 625; and $250 from the Castle & Cooke Inc. legislative committee.
Her campaign expenditures for the period totaled $662 and went toward two expenses: $412 in late fee fines to the Campaign Spending Commission and a $250 filing fee to run for re-election.
read … Unions Pay Her Fines
Star-Adv Announces Endorsements in Council Races
SA: Pine and Santiago have the most credentials, with years of public service and community activism, including multiple terms in the state House. Either could make an excellent Council member.
SA: Berg apologizes after contentious rail talk (Set up job)
read … Choices for City Council
HD33: House candidates prioritize senior care and sustainability
SA: Reps. Heather Giugni and K. Mark Takai will face off in the Aug. 11 House District 33 primary election. The winner will run in the general election against Republican Sam Kong, who considers the economy as a key issue.
Giugni was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February to fill the District 33 seat (Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights and Aiea Heights) that was vacated by Rep. Tom Okamura, who resigned for health reasons. Takai, who has served as a legislator for 18 years, represented District 34, made up of Newtown and Pearl City….
Kong, 52, owner of Aiea Florist, wants to tackle the economy and reduce the tax burden because families are struggling with Hawaii's high cost of living. Kong said he wants to eliminate the beverage container fee, which will increase to 11⁄2 cents from 1 cent (that plus the deposit will mean a consumer would pay 61⁄2 cents per container) beginning Sept. 1. As a business owner for the past 20 years, Kong wants to help other business owners as well as consumers. "Hopefully, we can get the economy moving in the right direction by removing the nickel-and-dime things," he said.
Education also is a priority for Kong. "The administration wants to take the schools in another direction," he said. "We need to let teachers do what they do best, and that is to teach." Kong has served as a member of the Webling Elementary School Council for the past 14 years and is a member of the Aiea Community Association.
This is the second time Kong is running for the House seat. In 2010 he was defeated by Blake Oshiro, who represented the Aiea community since 2000 and resigned last December to serve as Abercrombie's deputy chief of staff.
read … House candidates prioritize senior care and sustainability
HART Blanks Out Federal Funding, Project Cost Figures
HT: An interesting element of the Draft Full Funding Grant Agreement:
While HART keeps telling us that the federal funding is in the bag, maybe they were not so confident when they sent their Draft FFGA to the FTA recently; they did not enter any dollar amounts:
read … HonoluluTraffic
Finding truth among rail transit myths: Interview with Randal O’Toole
WT: With billions of taxpayer dollars at stake, urban transit planning and construction of rail are often the most hotly debated topics in city councils and state legislatures across the nation. Political careers are forged and broken in the crucible of rail debate, while the obscuring smoke of taxpayer-funded public relations firms and powerful special interest groups all too often deceives voters into giving mandate to bad policy.
Making sense out of the agenda setting spin cycle and exposing the bloated myths of rail is Randal O’Toole, one of the nation’s leading experts on public policy and author of numerous books including The American Nightmare: How Government Undermines The Dream of Home Ownership. I had the opportunity to ask O’Toole a few questions on transit policy to find out just what drives the municipal obsession with rail and what it means for the taxpayer.
read … O’Toole
CCP Cheerleader, Islam Day Author Would like you to Meet $1000/hr ‘Hero of Forgiveness’
SA: three people honored Aug. 5 with a Heroes of Forgiveness Award at the 10th annual Hawaii International Forgiveness Day from 4 to 7 p.m. at the state Capitol Auditorium.
… to be recognized are Maryknoll Sister Joan Chatfield (darling of Honolulu’s religious left) and Chuck Spezzano, a psychologist and author with a worldwide ministry of inner healing. ($1000/hr private coaching sessions for fools not yet parted from their money. If you don’t pay, will he ‘forgive’ your debt?)
Some 300 people are expected to attend the Hawaii Forgiveness Project event, which features a family festival and arts awards presentation, according to co-hosts Roger Epstein (Cades Schutte Sr Partner & tax lawyer) and Michael “Zhou Enlai Peace Institute” North. Lyla “Islam Day” Berg, former state representative, will speak on practical forgiveness in law and politics.
read … Enlightened, Conscious, and Progressive
Punahou Brainwashes the Socialist Leaders of Tomorrow
SA: SGLI's purpose is to develop tomorrow's problem-solvers, specifically a community of international youth leaders who are engaged in shared global challenges and who come together to help effect positive social change. Each year, SGLI focuses on a given theme. The inaugural topic was water security and sustainability. Last year focused on energy. This year's theme is health.
Global health and the global economy are intricately linked.
"As economies become more interdependent, it is not only the opportunity for wealth creation that is multiplied, but also the opportunity for destabilizing shocks to be transmitted from one country to another," according to the Commission of Global Governance.
Global warming, sea levels, air quality and water shortages are growing issues. It's estimated that while each of us requires two to four liters of water daily, it takes from 2,000 to 5,000 liters of water to produce the daily food needs of just one individual, especially for meat eaters.
With 7 billion people on the earth and growing, obviously the numbers are mind-boggling.
The potential for pandemics continues to be a major concern. An article in the United Nations publication UN Chronicle states that had the much-feared avian influenza pandemic materialized, the potential global monetary impact would have been upward of $3 trillion, with the loss of tens of millions of lives.
read … about the next Obama
Military Bans Sailors from Seven Hawaii Stores Accused of Selling Synthetic Drugs
HNN: The stores that are off limits include Smokey's, the Dungeon/Flesh/Sexopolis/After Hours/The Shelter, South Shore Glass, Oahu Glass, Hawaiian Holy Smokes I and II, and Hawaii's Natural High.
"We just stopped fighting it and we just abide by it and go with the flow," said Greg Azus, Hawaii's Natural High Owner. "They want people in the military to go the straight and narrow route and they feel we offer a distraction from that so I can understand where they are coming from."
Hawaii's Natural High says the ban doesn't necessarily hurt business. In some ways it acts as publicity.
"When people come in and they see the list of places that are off limits there is always going to be the few that say oh wow let's see what that's all about that sounds like it must be a cool place if it's off limits," said Azus.
His shop does have plenty of pipes but he does not sell the synthetic drugs like spice, K2, bath salts or herbal incense.
"We're kind of old school we don't mess with any of those fake man made items that are out there like other shops are carrying these days," said Azus.
Hawaiian Holy Smokes used to until yesterday, but pulled it off the shelf when the Drug Enforcement Administration raided hundreds of stores on the mainland seizing millions worth of synthetic drugs. Because the synthetic drugs are manmade the ingredients change often and will reemerge with a new name to skirt the law.
read … Where to get your cannibal conversion