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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
September 10, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:56 PM :: 3410 Views

Abercrombie Calls Special Session to Force Gay Marriage

Spontaneous Protests Against Gay Marriage

Souki: No Amendments Will be Allowed on Gay Marriage Bill

GOP: Abercrombie Strong-Arms Legislature for Gay Marriage

Abercrombie: Expect Bisexual Polyamorist Lawsuit Within Year

Deadline Sept 27: $30M Available For New Round of Hi-Tech Scam Companies

Expensive Energy Efficiency: Hawaii Top Spender

‘Green’ Energy Lobbyists Rate Hawaii C-

Big Cable at Center of New State Energy Policy

NB to HTA: "Stop Promoting Kailua as a Tourist Destination"

UH System Enrollment Drops 2.2%

When Obamacare 'Navigators' Ask If You're Qualified, You Should Ask Them About Identity Theft

States Offer Tax-Filing Guidance for Same-Sex Couples

Supporting small business and free enterprise on Maui

Honolulu Mayor leading Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony

Rhoads Cheers as Atheists Strip $1.5M from School in his District

CB: A $1.5 million grant that the 2013 Legislature agreed to set aside for a private Hawaii Catholic school is unconstitutional, according to a recent memo from the state deputy attorney general addressed to Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.  (This is part of a witch hunt)

Deputy Attorney General Randall Nishiyama’s memo, dated Sept. 3, 2013, notifies Kim that the grant for Kalihi’s Damien Memorial School violates a provision in Hawaii’s constitution prohibiting the state from contributing public money to private schools.

A spokeswoman for the AG’s office told Civil Beat that means the state won’t end up releasing the grant money, which would’ve subsidized a $12 million construction project that includes a new athletic complex, library and student services building, among other renovations.

“I’m glad someone caught it before it was released,” said Rep. Karl Rhoads whose district includes Kalihi....

Nishiyama’s memo was responding to an inquiry from Kim, who sought the AG's advice after receiving a phone call from someone (atheist activists) questioning the grant’s constitutionality, according to the senate president’s Chief of Staff Terrence Aratani.

read ... Rhoads Cheers as his District Loses Money

Gay Marriage Bill No Longer Recognizes Constitutional Right to Refuse

PR: The bill, which will be considered by the state House and Senate in special session on Oct. 28, does not explicitly say that clergy have a constitutional right to refuse to perform gay weddings, as earlier drafts did. The constitutional right is implied, as it is in the state's civil unions law.

Here is the new language:

Refusal to solemnize a marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any minister, priest, officer of any religious denomination or society, or religious society not having clergy but providing solemnizations that is authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to this chapter to solemnize any marriage, and no such minister, priest, officer of any religious denomination or society, or religious society not having clergy that fails or refuses for any reason to solemnize any marriage under this section shall be subject to any fine, penalty, or other civil action for the failure or refusal.

Here is the old language:

Refusal to solemnize a marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any person authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to this chapter to solemnize any marriage in violation of the person's rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of this State and the United States Constitution. No authorized person who fails or refuses to solemnize any marriage under this section shall be subject to any fine, penalty, injunction, administrative proceeding, or civil liability for the failure or refusal.

read ... Stripped of Constitutional Rights

Rep Oshiro: People of faith need equal protection and freedom, too

SA: Of the 11 jurisdictions that have legislatively recognized same-sex marriage, only New Hampshire does not specifically exempt facilities held by religious organizations. Legislation passed in all states since 2009 have this exemption explicitly spelled out in their laws.

In fact, enabling legislation since 2009 has evolved to include religious exemptions: (a) for fraternal benefit societies (i.e. Shriners Hospital); (b) for church-controlled organizations (such as St. Francis Healthcare System); and (c) for organizations in education, employment and housing (such as Catholic Charities, Inc.)....

So, with due respect to the Star-Advertiser's Aug. 27 editorial ("Don't overreach on church exemptions"), stating that "for Hawaii to approve such (religious) exemptions (to public accommodations) would be a step backward" is not supported under an analysis of recent enacted same-sex legislation.

A majority of states recognize that same-sex marriage should not be a tool to dismantle people's religious beliefs. In this respect, I find it curious that both the editorial board as well as some community leaders would choose to restrict First Amendment freedoms when the trend is in fact the adoption of further safeguards of our fundamental religious liberties as Americans.

In our rush to judgment, the last thing we need is another "Superferry."

read ... People of faith need equal protection and freedom, too

Abercrombie Falsely Claims No Suit Filed Against Civil Unions Exemption

HNN: The Governor says he's confident the proposal achieves a delicate balance that respects the First Amendment because it's the same language used in the Civil Unions bill.

"It's so clear there's not been a single lawsuit.  There's not been a single instance of complaint," Gov. Abercrombie explained.  (Now you know why the gay activists didn't use the Civil Unions law to sue churches.  They were biding their time.)

ABERCROMBIE WRONG: Here is a Complaint Filed Against the Civil Unions Exemption

Jan 5, 2012: Federal District Judge Forces Hawaii Churches to Accommodate Same-Sex Civil Unions

LINK: FULL TEXT OF LAWSUIT

read ... Abercrombie Lying

Abercrombie Calls Special Session to Give Gays a Tax Cut

HTH: Abercrombie said he chose to call a special session rather than allow legislators to consider the issue next year in part because of implications on taxes for this year.

“There are serious, deep and wide-ranging consequences,” Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie said if legislators move quickly and efficiently, the special session could last four to five days.

Background: States Offer Tax-Filing Guidance for Same-Sex Couples

read ... Meanwhile he raises Taxes on the Peasants

Council clears way for restart of rail plan

SA: The Council Zoning and Planning Committee unanimously approved Resolution 13-208, giving the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation a special management area use permit and shoreline setback variance to proceed with construction. The Council Intergovernmental Relations and Human Services Committee, meanwhile, approved Resolution 13-203, authorizing an agreement among the state Department of Transportation, the city and HART that allows the city to develop sections of the rail line on state property from the Kame­ha­meha Highway portion of the project in Pearl City to the Ala Moana area. A previously approved agreement dealt with state properties west of there.

The two approvals on Monday cleared they way for the full Council to take final votes on them Wednesday, the Council's sole scheduled meeting for September....

Several pro-rail organizations testified in favor of the project, while several individuals said they don't believe the city has revealed all the facts about the cost of rail.

Longtime rail opponent Cliff Slater, who heads Hono­lulu­traf­fic.com, did not attend the meeting, but told the Star-Advertiser he doesn't believe it is wise for the Council to expedite the resolutions since his organization's lawsuit against the project is still awaiting a decision before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-member panel of the court heard arguments from the city and Slater's group in late August but has not yet issued a decision.

Told that Grabauskas estimated the city is losing $200,000 each day the project is on hold, Slater replied, "If they lose (the lawsuit), that's peanuts compared to what it would cost them to start up and then shut down again," Slater said.

He said he expects a decision soon because the court expedited the hearing due to the city's concerns about the costs of delays.

read ... Rail Roaded

Claim: Big Cable Will Lower Sister Isle Electric Rates

SA: ...false starts in the past by policymakers and others in Hawaii's energy industry derailed efforts to reduce the state's dependence on imported oil and bring down energy costs.

"This time we are going to take full advantage and press forward relentlessly on our diverse resources such as geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy and biomass," Abercrombie said.

"We believe that connecting the islands through an integrated, modernized grid is the best way to utilize our islands' best resources at a scale that will reduce cost. This means lower rates on the neighbor island as soon as they‘re connected," Abercrombie said.

read ... Big Cable

Kailua family finds resolution after receiving $8K water bill

KHON: “This was really a shocking experience, you know, opening up that envelope and getting seven bills all totaling $8,000,” Saunders said.

She and her husband Ed received a seven-page bill in early August. The Saunders were unaware there had been a leak in their Kailua home for months because their bill had stayed in the $200 range.

When they contacted the Board of Water Supply (BWS), they were told their previous bills were based on an estimate and had since been reconciled. Their new bill was really $3,000. The Saunders say if they were told about the spike in usage, they would have found and corrected the problem sooner.

“After the story was broadcast, other families or people we knew had shared their stories,” Saunders said.

So they continued to question their actual consumption. After further investigation, the BWS adjusted their water usage from 264,000 gallons to 18,000 gallons based on actual meter reads....Their balance was also adjusted from $3,000.72 to $926.51.

ILind: What’s going on at the Board of Water Supply?

read ... $8000

Artist considers legal action against Hawaii Tourism Authority, Osorio Demands Censorship

KITV: "The mural was never meant to be offensive. It underwent scrutiny by many government communities including native Hawaiians," Ladislaus said.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority intends to have it removed and replaced by art by  a native Hawaiian.

But in trying to be the sensitive to the host culture of the islands, the HTA may run afoul of federal law.

A University of Hawaii law professor told KITV, under the Visual Artist Act, Ladislaus may have a case.

"Their work is protected from mutilation and from being covered up, as is done in this case," said University of Hawaii law processor Danielle Conway.

Wannabe Dictator Jon Osorio: "They can not assume a western value like the artist is free to express whatever he wants.  That doesn't work for us and it will never work for us."

Hawaiian Culture: Bones at the Convention Center: Mark Twain vs Mike McCartney 

read ... Free Speech

CD1 Candidates Unanimous against Obama's Syria Strike

PR: There are four announced candidates for Hawaii's urban Oahu congressional district, and there are four no votes for American military action in Syria.

An informal survey shows that City Councilmen Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson, state Sen. Will Espero and state Rep. Mark Takai all would not approve President Barack Obama's congressional call for bombing or attacking Syria.

KHON: MoveOn 9-11 Trooothers Stage Syria Protest

read ... Barack Who?

HHSC Labor Shortage Caused by poor HGEA Representation

CB: In its own Fiscal Year 2011 report: “HHSC's faces many recruitment and retention issues of key clinical personnel. Areas of acute shortage include RNs and LPNs “These shortage are caused by several factors: (I) competition for these same types of positions with private hospitals, which can pay significantly higher wage rates than HHSC. In particular, the shortage of RNs and LPNs results in HHSC having to expend significant amounts for agency nurses, which are paid at significantly higher rates. Agency nurse expenses for fiscal years 2011 and 2010 were $9.1 million and $5.8 million, respectively.”

By time the 2013 arbitration decision, RN’s had endured nearly 4 years of a 5% pay cut on a 2009 wage rate, loss of retention incentives, paying 50% of health benefits, and scorn from the State governor that they were greedy. Meanwhile; Private Hospital RN’s received raises of 6, 9 & 12% with thanks and praise from their employers at Queens, Kuakini & Wilcox.

read ... Hawaii State Hospitals and the Politics of Healthcare

Caldwell Blames Constituents for Tax Hikes

HNN: Rox Anne M Lee: STOP raising OUR Taxes Car Registration Gasoline taxes Property Taxes Beverage Taxes Water Sewage we are all ready paying more taxes for food Why are you continue to increase it Our Kupunas are suffering they paid their Dues there is no Free Programs for them anymore we are living pay checks to pay checks...the voters believed in you there is No Progress from your Administration you Cut the BS and repair our roads parks sewage Before The Building the Rail....

Mayor Caldwell: We are repairing our roads and are on pace to exceed our target of 300 lane miles this year and pave more roads than ever before. The cost of government continues to go up, and people such as yourself demand that government services remain strong. I am very sensitive to the burden this places on our taxpayers and am looking for ways to find fairness and equity in what we do in this area. 

read ... Mayor Caldwell answers viewer questions in 'Ask The Mayor'

Kauai Anti-GMO Bill Soaks County for $4.4M

CB: Up until now, there’s been no formal estimate of the potential cost of Bill 2491. But an assessment released Monday by Council Chair Jay Furfaro puts the price tag at $4.4 million over the first two years. The yearly monitoring cost after that would be $911,000.

It’s still not clear whether the county can afford the bill and, if not, whether they can tap into other possible funding sources that range from federal or state resources to the biotech companies themselves.

What seems clear is that there is not yet any definitive funding plan.

read ... Mindless Fear is Expensive

Anti-GMO Crowd Sees Conspiracy in Council Office Move

HTH: Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan is relocating his district office to the old Pahoa Police Station, a move that will save the county $22,000 annually but displaces community groups and eliminates for several months a satellite site for public council meeting participation.

Ilagan told fellow council members Wednesday that it may be November before the new office is complete. That displeased several members of the public, who questioned the timing of the move to coincide with testimony and deliberations on controversial genetically modified organisms, or GMO, bills. Puna residents now must travel to Hilo or Ocean View to testify on bills and watch the meetings.

“We’re working diligently in making sure the renovations are accomplished (quickly),” Ilagan said.

The move also displaced three neighborhood groups. The chairwoman of one of the groups, Madie Greene, 75, has already printed bumper stickers and plans to run against Ilagan, 27, a first-term councilor, next year. Candidates can’t pick up nomination papers for office until Feb. 3.

read ... Mild Paranoia Caused by Genetically Modified Marijuana, no doubt

Former Waipahu school principal pleads not guilty to record-tampering charges--Represented by Della Au Belatti

SA: Florentina Smith, 69, waived her first appearance in court. Her attorney, Della Au Belatti, entered the pleas on her behalf.

District Court Judge Russel Nagata approved a request for a jury trial. The case will head to trial Sept. 23 in Circuit Court.

read ... Former Waipahu school principal pleads not guilty to record-tampering charges

Work begins on new campus for Hawaii National Guard ChalleNGe Academy

HTH: Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $5.9 million last month to begin construction of a new dormitory facility in Keaukaha to house 100 program cadets. Currently, each class, or “cycle,” lasts 22 weeks and hosts between 40 and 60 cadets, but organizers expect the program to continue growing, as the one on Oahu has done over the past several years.

In fact, Thomas said, the plans for the new building include expansion plans for the future to add room for another 50 beds.

“We anticipate, being a newer program, continuing to grow,” he said, “particularly as the community gets greater awareness of what we’re able to offer.

The program will celebrate groundbreaking for the new dorm building on Friday, Oct. 11. Meanwhile, the $5.9 million released by the state will also fund renovation of Building 621 on the KMR grounds for the addition of restrooms and other facility and infrastructure improvements needed to provide for the academy

read ... Relocated to make way for prison

Koa Ridge development faces hearing

SA: The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Leeward Community College Campus Center Student Lounge in Pearl City....

Bill 48 would rezone 576 acres of former agricultural land just north of Ka Uka Boulevard and the Wai­pio Costco, allowing for up to 3,500 residential units....

The project is the largest housing development to come before the Council since the 1,700-acre, 4,100-unit Maka­iwa Hills project in Maka­kilo, which won zoning approval in 2008.

read ... Hearing

Neighbors contest HCDA on high-rise

SA: Also joining in the effort is a newly formed nonprofit, Kaka­‘ako United, which One Waterfront's association said is made up of Kaka­ako residents and supporters. The organization's address is listed as a One Waterfront unit owned by Galen Fox, a former state legislator and critic of HCDA and the Collection proj­ect.

The petition claims the Comp­USA site is supposed to be used for "predominantly commercial" purposes based on zoning and HCDA rules. The Collection is mostly residential.

The challenge seeks to invalidate HCDA's approval of the Collection, a 467-unit proj­ect by local developer Alexander & Baldwin Inc., and could affect other high-rise proj­ects that HCDA has approved or will consider for approval.

read ... Sierra Club on other Side of this suit

Star-Adv: Illegal Dumping Gives Us Great Opportunity to Tighten Regulations

with a fine as light as $150 per day, assessed against the owner and lessees of the property once they have a chance to get a permit, there is little hope of deterring activity like this from happening in an uncontrolled fashion. And that's a vulnerability government needs to resolve, by ensuring that contractors are held accountable for proper disclosure of what is being moved where, and for fines a lot stiffer than $150 a day.

In this case that's especially important since the owner of SER Silva Equipment Rental, the subcontractor hired to dispose of the sludge, also owns the Waianae property.

There have been assurances from the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association, which had contracted for the marina dredging, that the pulled-up sludge had been analyzed and found to be safe. Those findings should be made clear to the public if the fill material is to remain in place in Waianae Valley, given that runoff could reach nearby Kaupuni Stream and ultimately into the ocean.

City documents show that the property is owned by Silva and leased to Xian Xing and Fanny Huang, who will be on the hook for the fines unless they correct the violation or secure a permit by Oct. 7. This, according to DPP, is standard procedure in issuing violations: Those warned have 30 days to make the correction or get a permit.

Silva had a stockpiling permit but it covered a different kind of material — dirt and rocks — being stored for farming and a gravel driveway. The Hawaii Kai association had the permit it needed to stockpile the material near the marina temporarily.

read ... Noose

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