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Saturday, June 6, 2009
June 6, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:30 AM :: 9215 Views

'Crude stereotypes' must be overcome: SB still flogging for "Islam Day'

The vitriolic response to the Legislature designating Sept. 24 as "Islam Day" is a troubling indication that Americans associate international terrorism with Islam. Gov. Linda Lingle remarked on a local radio show that her office had received "ridicule all across the country." She called the resolution "just an expression of them (legislators) being out of touch."  (BUT SB says they ARE in touch--with Islam)

In fact, a Gallup survey last year found that 93 percent of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are moderates, and the radicals condoned the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States for political instead of religious reasons.  (Math: 7% of 1.3B = 91M.  Only 91 million head-choppers!  That's nothing to worry about.)

(Question: When are SB editors going to stop living up to the 'crude stereotype' of a liberal?)

RELATED: Hawaii “Islam Day” secretly marks September 11

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Born identity: SB takes a whack at "Birthers"

Okubo also emphasized the certification form "contains all the information needed by all federal government agencies for transactions requiring a birth certificate."

She added that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the state's current certification of live birth "as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements."

The issue of what constitutes an official Hawaii birth certificate received national attention during last year's presidential campaign. Those who doubted Barack Obama's American citizenship called the copy of the Hawaii birth document posted on his campaign Web site a fake.

Asked about that document, Okubo said, "This is the same certified copy everyone receives when they request a birth certificate."

RELATED: 9/11 Truthers Meet the Birth Certificate Brigade

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Army may restart live-ammo use in Hawaii's Makua Valley

After eight years of efforts, numerous setbacks and court filings, and millions of dollars spent on studies and legal fees, the Army yesterday released a nearly 6,000-page environmental impact statement seeking a return to "full capacity" live-fire training in Makua Valley.

SB: Hawaiian group says EIS on Makua is not complete

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FBI Says Honolulu 6th-Safest U.S. City

Honolulu's crime rates were down in every category from the previous year except one, which was "assault."
But that's up by less than one percent. The safest city by the way was New York, while the most dangerous was Memphis, Tennessee.

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Mysterious bins popping up in Honolulu invite recycling

City recycling coordinator Suzanne Jones said she didn't know. Neither did the city Road Maintenance Division that removes trash from the bus stops.

"Chronic drug users trying to make money," ventured Troy Salas, who was waiting at a bus stop outside King Intermediate School.

Two University of Hawai'i professors tracked down through a Web site listed on the signs acknowledged that they are behind the campaign.

Gaye Chan and Mandita Sharma believed all along that the state's recycling program needed to be simpler and more accessible, and they came up with the baskets idea. 

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Hawaii County auditor praises access

Hawaii County's legislative auditor says she has gained authority, job stability and independence from political influence in the seven months since voters changed how her office operates.

Colleen Schrandt said she can now examine any county department or program. That includes police and fire, which she said have historically had a "no-touch" designation.

"I don't think we would have attempted that before the Charter amendment," Schrandt said of the change Big Island voters approved last November.

Passed by less than a 500-vote margin and 1 percent of the 55,593 ballots cast, the amendment created an Office of the Legislative Auditor. It also established minimum qualifications for the auditor, provided subpoena powers and authorization for "full access to any county employee or record not protected by law."

"In the past," Schrandt said, "the audits were always decided by the (County) Council." Now her office operates independently from the council.

"That was the whole point of the Charter amendment," she said.

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State gives $1 billion Bridge Aina Lea developers another chance

The state Land Use Commission decided yesterday to stay, or hold, a previous decision to reclassify some 1,060 acres of Waikoloa land from urban back to agricultural use.

Members of the commission also decided to schedule a one-day hearing to give the developers a chance to present evidence that the project is on track to meet its affordable-housing requirements.

"It's a workable, practical decision," said Alan Okamoto, attorney for DW Aina Lea LLC, which filed the motion for the stay. "The commission's going to hear everybody out. I think that's a fair way to proceed."

On April 30 the commission, in a rare move, reverted the lands back to agricultural after developer Bridge Aina Lea failed to make progress on 385 affordable homes it is required to complete by Nov. 17, 2010.

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Matson ups fuel surcharge

The state's largest ocean shipper, citing rising bunker fuel prices, said yesterday it will increase its fuel surcharge for its mainland-Hawaii trade by 8 percentage points -- to 28 percent from 20 percent -- beginning on July 5.

Matson's increase is its third in a row following six consecutive decreases and was announced before its previous increase -- 3.5 percentage points to 20 percent -- goes into effect on June 21.

The company also said it is boosting its surcharge for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia service by 8 percentage points to 29.5 percent from 21.5 percent, also effective on July 5. A previously announced 3.5 percentage-point increase to 21.5 percent will be implemented on June 21.

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Target aims for Maui store--unless superstores are banned

(Here's how anti-Superferry protesters handle the economy)

WAILUKU - Trendy retailer Target Corp. is looking to open a store on Maui, but it can't or won't if the County Council passes a proposal that limits the size of so-called "superstores," a company spokesman said Friday.

James Tucker, who testified during a regular council meeting in Council Chambers on behalf of the nation's fifth-largest department store, said that Target is considering a store here, but it hasn't found a suitable location yet.

"They want to build on Maui, but the bill would probably kill their plans," said County Council Member Gladys Baisa.

The superstore bill, which has been swirling around the County Council without gaining traction for a couple of years, would prohibit new retail buildings from being more than 15,000 square feet on Lanai, 75,000 square feet in Hana and 90,000 square feet anywhere else in the county.

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A&B property designated as important ag lands on Maui

MAKENA - The state Land Use Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a request by Alexander & Baldwin to designate more than 27,000 acres on Maui as important agricultural lands.

The designation includes lands currently being used for sugar cane cultivation and other farming activity in Central Maui and Makawao. But it does not include some areas where A&B has previously indicated an interest in development, including lands along the island's north shore and in Maalaea and Haliimaile.

Lands designated as important agricultural lands by the state face more restrictions on development than lands that are merely zoned for agriculture or are in the state's agricultural land-use district. While owners can use a portion of the land to build housing for farm workers, the property cannot be developed into residential subdivisions.

(IAL may have a better defense of its water supply vs OHA?)

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Big Isle soldier is killed

Sgt. Jasper Obakrairur, 26, died on June 1 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Nerkh, Afghanistan.

Obakrairur was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Obakrairur joined the Army in March 2004 and has served at Fort Drum since August 2004.


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