Akaka Tribe: We Can Kick Out Anybody Anytime for Any Reason
Hawaii Health Connector Signs Key Contracts
Star-Adv: DoE Was Right to Obey Atheist Commands
SA: …it is especially laudable that Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii schools superintendent, came down on the right side of the always sticky issue of the separation of church and state.
The problem — which led Matayoshi to cancel last Friday's Christmas concert at Moanalua High School because it was too intertwined with a New Hope Oahu church fundraising effort — stemmed from a change in the "Gift of Hope Charity Concert" since the event's origins several years ago. The Moanalua orchestra had worked with New Hope Oahu's singers in past events, which served as a benefit for Mercy Ships, a charity that provides the world's poor with medical care.
However, this year the beneficiary seemed (SEEMED???) to be the church's own mission. Mitch Kahle, founder of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church, noted (IF MITCH SEZ IT MUST BE SO!) that no charity was listed. When he asked how to get tickets, he was instructed to get them from the church at a service, where he was told to write out the check to New Hope.
(Every bit of this is entirely based on the uncorroborated word of atheist activist Mitch Kahle.)
read … DOE was correct to cancel concert
Teacher: HSTA Protests are Against RTTT
H247: The year the state was given $75 million to improve the quality of education in Hawaii, its educators were working on an expiring contract.
The current contract was not created through negotiation with the state: It was, more or less, imposed upon teachers.
The “agreement” teachers now are honoring a) pays them less, and b) provides them with less planning time than the previous contract.
RTTT, however, requires teachers to plan more. They have to capture and analyze more student data than they did two years ago. They have to learn a new (and more demanding) curriculum too, and devise effective strategies to teach this new curriculum.
And they will be held more accountable for student performance than ever before….
read … Lammerman on teacher contract
FBI Drops Investigation of Hawaii School Bus Company Collusion
CB: The FBI has ended its year-long investigation of Hawaii school bus companies for possible collusion in setting prices.
Hawaii School Bus Association lobbyist John Radcliffe told Civil Beat that he's glad it's over….
The association is comprised of 10 bus companies, the largest being Roberts Hawaii, which holds roughly half of the state's contracts….
Former Attorney General Margery Bronster, who was retained to represent the association, said she and her client were pleased with the decision.
"We believe that that's the appropriate outcome that the investigation should get dropped," she said.
House Speaker Calvin Say referred to the inquiry as an "investigation on Roberts," as in Roberts Hawaii, the largest school bus service provider in the state, saying he recently learned that it had been dismissed….
The study found that Hawaii is paying on average $1,756 per student and $86,520 per bus. The consultant compared this to similar districts, such as Howard County in Maryland, which pays an annual average cost of $676 per student and $76,200 per bus.
Roberts: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
Roberts: Robert Iwamoto trust sued over Maui Ponzi scheme
read … Roberts Influence
Cost of UPW: Hawaii to Pay $52 per Inmate per Day in order to Shut School, Open Prison
SA: Hawaii National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony said the academy has some leads for a new campus and expects to relocate by mid-2014.
The cost of keeping 200 prisoners in Kulani will be $127 per person per day — down slightly from the $139 per day that it cost in 2009.
That is considerably higher than the $75.05 a day at two prisons run by the Corrections Corp. of America in Arizona, public safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said.
But Sakai said the higher costs will be offset by the benefits to “the community” in the form of
locally purchased food and supplies, as well as Hawaii income taxes paid by the restored employees UPW jobs.
Mountain View resident Cory Harden, (a 9-11 troooother) who had opposed the closure, said, "It's really wonderful news after the trauma the community went through and the way it was closed." The former prison "was healing the people, and it was also healing the land," she said, referring to the inmates' work to protect native plant species by fencing out feral pigs.
To view the draft Environmental Assessment, go to www.hawaii.gov/psd.
read … Education No, Incarceration, Yes!
Big losses scar careers of once-elite politicians
SA: U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono beat former Gov. Linda Lingle by a stunning 25 points in November to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. Hirono defeated former Congressman Ed Case by 17 points in the Democratic primary in August. Former City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard drubbed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann by 20 points in the Democratic primary in Hirono's 2nd Congressional District….
"I think that in all three of those cases, their futures are very much limited," said Neal Milner, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
John Hart, a communication professor at Hawaii Pacific University, does not read as much as Milner and other analysts in the margin of the defeats, but agrees all three would have difficulty if they chose to run again.
"Linda lost in the general because of (President Barack) Obama's coattails," said Hart. "I think Mufi's high negatives caught up with him when the PACs decided to throw money behind a more likable candidate. And I think Ed simply ran out of money."
Analysts who have admired Lingle's political acumen and her success — a two-term Republican governor in a traditionally Democratic state — attribute much of her crushing loss to Hirono to Obama's landslide re-election in Hawaii, the threat of a Republican Senate to the power of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and the collapse of the Republican brand in the islands.
"Republicans are deceiving themselves if they think it's the weakness of Lingle," Milner said. "It's the weakness of the Republican Party."
The strategist contends it is doubtful that Lingle could attract significant national Republican help for another Senate campaign because of the perception in Washington that she is "damaged goods," but she could shift to the urban 1st District if there is a vacancy.
The election results suggest a pattern that is also occurring in other states where one party dominates. Blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder, which does not bode well for a Lingle rebound.
A politically bluer Hawaii could also be harsh on any comeback attempt by Case or Hannemann, centrists who have trouble in Democratic primaries. "The people who vote in Democratic primaries don't find either of those candidates very attractive," Milner said.
“(Case is) still loved by certain members of the media, but that's about it," the strategist said. "He's not able to raise money, and he's not able to win partisan races."
"I think (Hannemann is) finished in partisan races," the strategist said.
Lingle, Case and Hannemann did not return telephone calls seeking comment about their political futures. Djou, a Republican who lost to Hanabusa by single digits, said he has no immediate plans to get back into politics.
"Politics, I realize, is a very fluid situation. Things could always change," he said. "But I am very happy being a dad, very happy being a private citizen and very happy to spend a lot more time with my wife now."
read … Big losses scar careers of once-elite politicians
Traffic: Turtle Bay vs Envision Laie
CB: Turtle Bay’s expansion plans will push parts of the highway running through Kahuku, Haleiwa and Kahalulu into the E zone during peak travel times by 2025, generally weekends and certains times on weekdays, according to the new EIS.
The intersection of Kahekili Highway and Kamehameha Highway, currently an A, will be downgraded to an F during the weekend peak hour, according to the study. Absent the traffic generated by a Turtle Bay expansion, it's expected to be rated C, by 2025. Traffic will increase substantially in some areas, such as Kahuku where there will be 60 percent more cars on the road during peak times.
The EIS and traffic analysis took into account expected future development, but excluded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Envision Laie project, the other major development proposal for the North Shore. The project aims to build hundreds of homes, shops, churches and a 200-room hotel in the Mormon enclave of Laie. The EIS notes that the Envision Laie development hasn’t received key state and city approvals and it’s not clear if it will move forward.
Much of the increased traffic from Turtle Bay — 40 percent on weekends — is attributable to benefits that the developer has promised to the community, such as a farmer's market and parks, according to the study.
While traffic will get worse with the expansion of the resort, Drew Stotesbury, CEO of Replay Resorts, notes that traffic is already bad in some areas and will continue to deteriorate with projected growth that is independent of the resort. He hopes the Turtle Bay project will spur the state to embark on long-awaited improvements.
(Key: Don’t build any roads so the price goes up.)
read … Turtle Bay
Ecos: Coastal Property values Will Crash Due to Global Worming
ILind: But as I’ve noted (see “What year will coastal property values crash?“), coastal property values won’t wait to (permanently) fall until sea levels have actually risen 4 or 5 feet, as they almost certainly will by the end this century on our current CO2 emissions path…
(Attention enviros: HawaiiFreePress will generously assist you by buying your oceanfront property at 10% of assessed value. Because we care.)
read … How will Hawaii fare as the climate changes?
Global Worming, Corals, and Excuses
CB: Listing these corals as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act will help. It will mean additional protections for their habitat, a plan charting their recovery, prohibitions on harming or killing corals and, importantly, prohibition of federal actions that could jeopardize the future survival of these species, including drivers of climate change. When the protections are finalized, this won’t close areas off or ban fishing; (watch what they deny) it will mean some federally permitted activities — say, military exercises, pollution discharges, dredging or shoreline development — will need to mitigate harms to corals.
MN: Two corals proposed for protection grow in Maui waters
SA: Climate-change ‘scientists’ predict sea to rise 1 foot by 2050
read … Center for Biological Diversity
Illegal tobacco sales to minors in Hawaii drops to lowest rate ever
HNN: The Hawaii State Department of Health has determined this year's annual statewide survey results for illegal tobacco sales to minors is 4.3 percent, the lowest rate for Hawaii since the first survey was conducted in 1996. Last year's rate was 6.1 percent.
read … Tobacco