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Saturday, October 6, 2012
October 6, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:43 PM :: 5151 Views

UH Regents to Discuss MRC Greenwood's Employment

Apo Reveals Why It’s Time to Replace OHA Trustees

Hawaii Family Forum Releases General Election Voter Guide

VIDEO: Mark Hashem, Jeremy Low, on their run for House 

National Republicans Help Hawaii GOP With Phone Banking

PR: The Target State Victory Fund, an NRSC-connected joint fundraising committee, gave more than $63,800 to the Hawaii Republican Party in late August. David Chang, the chairman of the state GOP, said the money will be used to pay for five NRSC operatives who will set up telephone banking and canvassing on behalf of former Gov. Linda Lingle, the Republican running against U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

Chang said their political work would also benefit Republican candidates down the ballot. “We wanted to make sure that it’s good for all,” he said….

read … $63,800

Bert Kobayashi Power Play: ‘I Have No Respect for Tom Apple’

SA: Attorney Bert T. Kobayashi Jr., a longtime key supporter of the University of Hawaii athletic department, has resigned from the ‘Ahahui Koa Anuenue booster club, citing a lack of respect for embattled Manoa chancellor Tom Apple.

In a letter to members of the Koa Anuenue board of directors dated Thursday and obtained by the Star-Advertiser, Kobayashi wrote, “... I strongly believe in AKA and its mission; however, I find myself in a situation where if I stay with AKA that I would have to work with chancellor Tom Apple, for whom I have no respect.”

What’s Coming: Senate Accountability for Everybody Except Rockne Freitas

read … No Respect

A faction has lost confidence in the university’s current leader and believes she should be fired

SA: Regents Chairman Eric Martinson, who it is believed asked for the special meeting, did not return phone calls asking for more information about the session.

Sources said there is a faction of regents who have lost confidence in Greenwood and believe she should be fired.

It is not clear whether there are enough votes on the 15-member board to do so.

Earlier this week, University of Hawaii spokeswoman Lynne Waters said Greenwood was ill with a 101-degree fever. On Friday, Waters gave the Star-Advertiser a statement related to this week's Senate hearings from John Morton, UH vice president for community colleges but whom the statement referred to as "acting president."

Other UH officials said Greenwood left the state this week and is in California.

Greenwood, under contract through 2015, receives a salary of $427,512 plus a $5,000-a-month housing allowance and other benefits. Under her agreement, she may be bought out without cause for one year's salary.

You Were Warned:

read … The End is Near

Venue Shopping: HSTA Quits Federal Mediation in Favor of Supreme Court

SA: On Thursday, Abercrombie announced that the Hawaii State Teachers Association had walked away from the table, for reasons not entirely clear.

"In the coming weeks, HSTA will provide our teachers and the public a more detailed accounting of what led up to the breakdown in bargaining with the governor," Okabe told the Star-Advertiser. (IE In court asking Supreme Court to order HRLB to give them what they want)

That mediation apparently failed is bad enough. That it could take weeks to learn why just adds insult to injury.

At this point, it would be understandable if teachers despair of resolving this dispute before June 30, when the contract imposed on them runs out….

Abercrombie proposed in August that the dispute be put before the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, noted for its effectiveness, at no charge, in guiding negotiators through deadlocks to settlement.

The mediators have no authority to impose settlements, and neither side is at risk, so the union's agreement to engage in the negotiations was not surprising. What's surprising is that mediation collapsed.

HSTA accused the governor of violating ground rules by issuing a statement to the news media by himself and not jointly with the union. He told Hawaii News Now that ground rules for the mediation included provisos that mediation would be limited to 10 days and "that no statements would be made to the media, unless such statements were made jointly." He said the state had refused to sign onto a "joint statement" written by the union that the mediation sessions concluded Tuesday "with the parties unsuccessful in reaching an accord."

All of these statements, whether proper or not, shared one characteristic — they did not explain why mediation failed. The public is entitled to know that much, and both parties should provide this information sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, the union said that it had asked the state Supreme Court to order the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to issue a decision on its complaint that the state had violated its members' rights by having taken a "take it or leave it" bargaining posture.

Given the length of time this dispute has chewed up already, that sounds like a good idea. This standstill has taken far too long. (So after all that drama, the HSTA has got the Star-Adv editorial board ENDORSING its maneuver. LOL! These sheep are so easily led.)

read … How the HSTA Controls the Kabuki

Coalition moves to stop ‘Smart Grid’ programs

MN: Members of the Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition will answer questions and distribute fliers today at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center as part of a national campaign to stop "Smart Grid" metering programs by power utilities.

Citing what the group says are "thousands of instances of 'smart' meter fires, health problems and violations of privacy laws," the coalition wants an "immediate moratorium on 'smart meter' installations."

Maui Electric Co. has a "smart meter" program ongoing in Maui Meadows in Kihei. There, more than 100 meters have been installed to help MECO reduce peak demand for electricity, improve service, help customers make informed energy-use decisions and integrate renewable energy.

Resident Ken Molina, a volunteer in the program, said he was happy to have his smart meter installed.

"I was unsure at first, but did my homework, weighed the pros and cons, and decided that the positives outweighed the negatives," he said. "I enjoy being able to see my energy usage on an hourly basis. This has made me make better decisions in energy usage."

According to a report by the California Council on Science and Technology, radio frequency exposure from a person standing 3 to 10 feet from a smart meter is 125 to 1,250 times less than a person taking a cellphone call.

MN: Harmful effects of smart meters cannot be denied

read … Smart meters

Legislators Plan Internet Tax Hike, Call it ‘Fairness’

HB: Hawaii Legislature will try again to pass an e-fairness law in 2013, but each competing proposal has drawbacks

read … About their idea of ‘fairness’

Maui Co Council Calls for Overturn of Act 55

MN: Maui County Council members unanimously moved forward Friday a resolution urging the state Legislature to repeal its year-old Public Land Development Corp.

State Senate President Shan Tsutsui of Central Maui said he also wants to see the law, commonly known as Act 55, revoked or at least reined in.

The law setting up the corporation passed in three days with Gov. Neil Abercrombie's support. But some lawmakers and residents maintain that it has wasted ceded state lands on public-private developments with no county oversight.

read … Kauai, Hawaii, now Maui

Child Obesity to be on Legislative Agenda

SA: The Legislature this year established a childhood obesity prevention task force to come up with recommendations.

Members have so far considered a physical exam requirement for public school students entering the sixth and ninth grades.

Under the current policy, students are required to undergo a physical exam only before entering kindergarten, according to task force member Katherine Sakuda, administrator of the Department of Education's School Literacy Improvement and Innovation Section.

Requiring two more physical exams will not only help the student but allow health officials to track the body mass index of Hawaii public school students and provide trend data to pediatricians, she said.

Final recommendations will be presented to lawmakers at next year's legislative session.

read … State health experts work to trim childhood obesity

Sam Slom: Army of One

WT: This is a solidly Democrat state – even Republicans have chosen to switch parties to do better politically. But people forget this was once a one party Republican state from territorial days to 1962. In my view, Hawaii voters are independent and tend to vote for local people they know – or are related to.

Too many Republicans are fearful of using that “R word” and try to be something they’re not, or at least say they’re not. Look at our candidate for U.S. Senator – she says she is a “bipartisan” and never mentions being a Republican. Our major congressional candidate and former congressman insists he is a “centrist” and a “moderate.”

Until Republicans can be proud of what they stand for, what they have accomplished and can articulate differences with Democrats, we will not progress in a meaningful sense.

Read … Army of One

Business leaders are helping guide classes in public high schools that teach students real-world skills

HB: Luckily, many of Hawaii’s students recognize the need for real-world skills and are enrolling in Career and Technical Education courses. Enrollment in Hawaii’s courses has been rising since a federal law in 2006 provided CTE funding to the states, set some rules and formally adopted CTE as the proper term instead of the older phrase, vocational education.

“In 2010-2011, we had over 27,000 kids taking at least one CTE course,” says Sherilyn Lau, a CTE specialist with the state Department of Education. That means nearly 60 percent of Hawaii’s public high school students are learning hands-on and technical skills, demonstrating their proficiency and taking advice from business people who hope to hire them one day.

Russ Ogi, a consultant in 3D printing and direct digital manufacturing, has been a CTE curriculum advisor for the past four years. He remembers discovering firsthand the difference between regular school learning and what’s needed in the real world, much like the difference between learning a language and actually using it.

read … CTE

Waipio: Illegal City-Leased dumpsite being cleared, investigated

KHON: At the time of the discovery, in November 2011, Mayor Peter Carlisle held a press conference to announce it, and said some of the materials could have come from city projects. Carroll Cox with Envirowatch says documents show the stockpiling was happening for years and the city should have been aware.

"The activities were in violation of the lease condition that the Navy had leased this land to the city since 1999," said Carroll Cox.

At this point, the city believes the materials may have been stacking up since 2008, but is investigating who allowed this to happen.

read … Waipio

Hawaii workplaces see methamphetamine use on the rise

PBN: Methamphetamine use in Hawaii workplaces was slightly higher in the third quarter after creeping up over the past year, according to data from Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc.

Use of meth, also known as “ice,” and other amphetamines increased to 0.8 percent in the third quarter, from 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent in the first and second quarters of 2012, respectively, said Carl Linden, scientific director of toxicology at DLS, which conducts drug testing for some 1,000 employers in Hawaii.

Methamphetamine and amphetamine use was at 0.7 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.

read … Meth

‘Organic’ Industry Freaks Out over Study Pointing out Worthlessness of Organic Food

SA: According to a Stanford study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, there is no compelling evidence that eating organic food is healthier than conventional food. The Stanford research team reportedly reviewed thousands of previous studies ….

Related: To be Organic or not to be Organic, Why ask the question?

read … Organic Freak Out

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