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Thursday, July 25, 2013
July 25, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:02 PM :: 2603 Views

Jonesing for Relief from Port Protectionism

CNBC: Slash Fuel Prices, Repeal Jones Act

Full Text: Stop Rail Files Comments on Rail DSEIS

KSBE, ML&P, Grove Farm Plan to Chop Down Thousands of Trees

PETA Attacks Hawaii Man Nearly Killed by Ahi

Abercrombie: Obama Speech Gives Me Excuse to Double Down on Pre-K Scheme

Hawaii Ranks #3 in Solar Installations Per Capita

Hawaii, Guam, Am Samoa, NMI Question Proposed Listing of 66 Coral Species

McKenna: Being Gay is Big Advantage for Judicial Appointments

SA: Three of the seven openly gay or lesbian justices on the nation's state supreme courts, and the first lesbian jurist on the San Francisco Bay Area's federal bench, got together in San Francisco recently and agreed that being a gay judge isn't much of an issue these days....

"I don't think it's a negative anymore," said McKenna, who was appointed to the Hawaii Supreme Court in February 2011. "The powers that be are looking to diversify the bench."  (Translation: Gays are an advantaged group, not disadvantaged.)

Rives Kistler said "nobody blinked an eye" when he was appointed to Oregon's Court of Appeals in 1999....

Also in 2010, U.S. District Court judges in San Francisco appointed Donna Ryu, a civil rights attorney and University of California at Hastings law professor, as a federal magistrate....

Ryu was determined to be as open as possible.

"I wanted people to know that I was lesbian," she said. In the January 2010 news release announcing her appointment, she said, she proposed including her membership on the board of the National Center for Lesbian Rights — only to be told by a clerk that the court's chief judge, Vaughn Walker, was "wondering whether you really want to have that in there." (Vaughn Walker is the homosexual judge who wrote the Prop 8 Decision overturning the vote of the people and legalizing gay 'marriage' in Calif. -- recently upheld by the US Supreme Court)

Ryu agreed to delete the reference, and instead, the release mentioned her female "partner," a local attorney. Nonetheless, it doesn't appear to have generated a single news story.

President Barack Obama has appointed six gays or lesbians to the nation's federal courts. California Gov. Jerry Brown, who in his first term in the 1970s appointed the nation's first openly gay and lesbian judges, named a top legal adviser, James Humes, to a state appeals court in San Francisco last November, making him California's first openly gay appellate justice.

Does it make a difference in judicial decisions?

"That's a dangerous question," Ryu said, ... "I think you bring to it who you are."  (Translation: We follow our 'orientation', not the law--which is why it is a dangerous question.)

(Handy Tip for Lawyers: Fake it so you can make it.)

read ... Being a gay judge no longer 'a negative,' jurist says

Lawsuit: State Diverts Water, Wastes it

SA: Earthjustice, on behalf of Po‘ai Wai Ola/West Kauai Watershed Alliance, filed the complaint Wednesday with the Commission on Water Resource Management against the state-run Agribusiness Development Corporation and its tenant, Kekaha Agricultural Association.

The complaint contends the two entities, which operate the plantation ditch system created by the now-defunct Kekaha Sugar Co., are continuing to divert large amounts of water from the river even though they don't need it.

The commission is accused of failing to establish stream flow standards to protect the Waimea River from excessive diversions.

Po‘ai Wai Ola claims the current agricultural tenants cultivate only a fraction of the former plantation land and with less water-intensive crops. The excess water, instead of being returned to the river, is dumped in gullies and over cliffs, they say.

KGI: Earthjustice files Waimea River complaint

CB: A River Ran Through It: Group Blames State for Wasted Water in Waimea

read ... State Waste

State Rips Up APEC Decorations

KITV: In February of last year, the state spent $319,000 to install bromeliads in concrete planters along the H1 Airport Viaduct. Just 17 months later, the Hawaii Department of Transportation is pulling the plants after a request from the Department of Health.

"It is unfortunate that it has to be taken out, but I think that public health and safety is a priority at this point," said HDOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter.

The drastic move comes after a mosquito known to carry dengue fever was found at Honolulu International Airport the week of July 1. It's the fifth Aedes aegypti mosquito found at the airport since March 5, 2012. Prior to that, the last time the mosquito was found on Oahu was 1949.

"It's just about the worst-case scenario to have a dengue fever mosquito at an airport, because it has the potential of spreading the disease far and wide to anybody who's coming through," said Deputy Health Director Gary Gill.

Read ... State 'Planning' Exemplified

Sidewalk clearing: Objects get a talking-to

KHON: KHON2 observed a city worker reading rights to a chair during one of the first few rounds of sidewalk clearing last week in Kakaako.

That had some onlookers scratching their heads, and viewers who caught a glimpse of this in our story about the cleanup asked: What in the world?

KHON2 took that question to the city.

“I can understand where those comments and opinions may originate from,” Department of Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura said. “But at the same time procedurally we have to ensure the city’s interests are protected, as well as the people that may be involved with getting their items removed.”

The city also pays somebody to videotape the announcement, the items, and their takeaway.

They don’t read the rights just once for the area; they have to read it once per set of belongings.

CB: Will Mayor Caldwell Help Honolulu’s Homeless Book Tickets to the Mainland?

read ... Thank You ACLU

Rules for license-plate scans should be set by legislation

Oi: Advocates for vigilant surveillance will argue that more good than bad emerges, that if people are not engaging in illegal activity, they have nothing to fear.

This doesn’t mean that law enforcement should be allowed a free hand.

To its credit, HPD is devising a set of rules for its data-collecting program. These rules will determine how long information can be held. The department also says it has no plans to share data with other agencies.

That’s a good start to safeguard citizens. However, legislation — not internal rules — should govern these activities to allow people an avenue for redress, to assure their rights are upheld and that procedures and adherence to them are not concealed.

There is need for law enforcement to collect information. But the City Council, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and, more important, citizens should be the main participants in determining police conduct in using a razor-edged tool.

read ... Help the Defense Bar

Now that Rail Has Been Approved, Critical H-1 Freeway Section Will Be Repaired in a Year Long Project

HR: In a special briefing to the legislature on Wednesday, State Department of Transportation officials outlined plans for an extensive upgrade of a 3.5 mile segment of the H1- freeway between Ward Avenue and School Street.

The project is scheduled to start in early September and last a year.

Construction will involve extensive road rebuilding and repaving in at nighttime work.

The DOT has given the contractor permission to completely close the critical artery for up to 120 nights.

read ... Now That Rail is Approved

City to Unveil New Pedestrian Safety Initiatives

SA: Various alternative traffic-management strategies also should be pursued. The expansion earlier this year of one method — a crosswalk pattern that traffic engineers call the "Barnes dance," "diagonal crossing," "pedestrian scramble" or various other names — looks promising for Waikiki and could apply in select areas downtown or other points with heavy foot traffic....The city is due within a few weeks to unveil more ideas identified through a Waikiki traffic study commissioned last year,

read ... Pedestrian Safety

Lawsuit: Defective Pipe Used on Ala Wai Pipe Fix

CB: ...a legal fight brewing in federal court is raising questions about the integrity of the new six-foot-in-diameter pipe that snakes under the Ala Wai.

Here are the basics: The Frank Coluccio Construction Co. installed a pipe that it believes to be substandard. The Seattle-based company wants to be absolved of any blame should the force main fail, and it is seeking more than $10 million from the city for delays and damages resulting from various issues allegedly caused by having to use that pipe.

“We’re not going to be the ones on the hook if it doesn’t perform,” said Scott Batterman, the Honolulu attorney who is representing Frank Coluccio Construction. “We told the city we’ll put it in but that we have issues with it.”

The entire lawsuit stems from U.S. Composite Pipe South LLC, which is the company that provided the fiberglass sewer line, suing Frank Coluccio Construction because it did not pay up for the $3.6 million pipe that curves underneath the canal.

Frank Coluccio Construction then filed a counterclaim against the pipe company, the city and Westchester Fire Insurance Company, as a means of recouping costs that the business says it lost as a result of having to use a force main manufactured by the German company Meyer Rohr + Schacht.

read ... $10M

Oahu Master Specialist designation given to incarcerated criminal

ETN: The travel agent community and vacation customers have seen their world turned into nightmares by a notorious travel agent, Penny Kane, who is currently incarcerated in Oakland County, Michigan. Kane, who has been praised and awarded designations of honor by Stacey Martin Alford, the Director of Travel Industry Sales at Oahu Visitors Bureau, has pleaded nolo contendere (guilty, as interpreted by the courts) to a long list of felonies involving ripping customers off. The number of victims surfacing has become so overwhelming that sentencing for Kane has been postponed to at least August 14.

Kane is accused of promoting vacations to Hawaii at prices that don’t exist, taking deposits for aloha vacations that never happened, and advertising prices for supposed Oahu Island packages that other travel agents allege can’t possibly be legitimate. Kane is accused of systematic fraud, theft, and cheating on taxes, according to her most recent prosecution, 2013-246203-FH in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Her run-ins with the law go back to 2001, when one of her victims filed a personal protection order against her and accused her of being a stalker. For years, area agents who know her allege she is a bully, liar and manipulator. Once at a Tahiti Tiare educational session, fellow agents witnessed the trainer threaten to throw her out of the room if she didn’t stop her rude and disruptive conduct. In the meanwhile, Stacey Martin Alford from the HVCB awarded Kane with accolades and the title “Oahu Master Specialist.”

read ... Criminal

Progressive Activists Thrilled by Opportunity to Hit Hanabusa on NSA Spying

ILind: The amendment failed with 205 in favor and 217 opposed. Those favoring the amendment included the majority of House Democrats and a large minority of Republicans....

Hanabusa’s office did not comment on her pro-surveillance vote, and instead put out a press release extolling her vote on final passage of the underlying Defense Appropriations bill. The roll call vote shows Gabbard also voted in favor of the bill following defeat of the NSA amendment.

KOS: Amash Amendment to Curtail Spying Loses Narrowly

CB: Hanabusa Explains NSA Vote

News Release: Gabbard on NSA funding: Infringing on ‘very liberties, freedoms our troops have fought and died for”

SA: Hawaii House members split votes on NSA surveillance

read ... Happy Activists

RIMPAC 2014: Chinese help plan for huge war game near isles

SA: Twenty nations — including China — sent representatives in May to the first planning conference for 2014 Rim of the Pacific war games off Hawaii, which the Navy said could be bigger than ever next summer....

China has vexed the United States and its partners in the region with territorial claims to the South China Sea and maritime spats with Japan and the Philippines.

It corralled the U.S. surveillance ship USNS Impeccable in 2009, which was searching for submarines, and last month told the ship — sailing in international waters — that it was operating without China's permission. (VIDEO)

The Pentagon said Chinese naval activity now is occurring in the 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zones around Hawaii and Guam — the same thing that China has complained the U.S. is engaging in off China's coast.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines territorial waters as extending 12 nautical miles from shore.

Greenert pointed to RIMPAC as a source of engagement with China, and said he'll be meeting with his Chinese navy counterpart, Adm. Wu Shengli, in September.

read ... Chinese

QUICK HITS:

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Hawaii Council delays contingency fund vote

Cyber range training center blessing at UH Manoa

Senate HCDA Hearing Cancelled

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Plastic bag ban leads to nationwide increase in shoplifting rates

Study links injection wells, nearshore flows

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City citations for violations of sign laws a 'slow' process


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