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Wednesday, November 06, 2013
November 6, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:57 PM :: 6513 Views
 

How They Voted: House Committees Amend, Pass Gay Marriage Bill

Full Text SB1HD1: House Gay Marriage Bill as Amended

Live Testimony on same-sex 'marriage' runs 895 - 137 against

Kauai anti-GMO ‘Witch Trials’ continue, as Mayor faces death threats for bill veto

Gary Hooser Rigs Star-Adv Poll the Pono Way

Hawaii Health Connector Still Refusing to Reveal Sign-up Numbers

HI-5 Program Loses $28M: Audit Points to Fraud and Abuse (for the 4th time)

HECO Pushes 9 Secret Solar Projects at Whopping 15.8 Cents Per KWH

Molokai Ranch Reveals Alt-Energy Plan

City Awards $175M Kaneohe-Kailua Sewer Contract

Mele Carroll Slams Gays on Arrogance, Threats -- Reverses Vote

SA: A tearful Rep. Mele Carroll (D, Lanai-Molokai-Paia-Hana), who many thought would support the bill, explained that she could not because she thinks lawmakers have not given the issue enough time.

Carroll, whose younger sister is a lesbian, scolded what she described as the arrogance of gay rights activists who have pressured and threatened her.

"Shame on you for doing that," she said. "And I am a Democrat. But that's the ugly that came out of this process."

Carroll appealed for healing. "But just remember we're all not perfect, and we all have an agenda," she said. "But the most important thing: We live in Hawaii. And we have to learn to live with one another. So if we can move forward after this day, however it goes, just remember, we love each other. And that's the most important thing that will move us through this issue."

SA: Media continues to seek out arrogant Gays to Attack SHOPO President  

read ... About their anti-Hawaiian arrogance

Religious Freedom Protections: 'Weak and Wobbly'

CB: Carroll, a fellow Democrat who was thought to be in favor of same-sex marriage, voted against it.

Tearing up at times, she said she was upset with "the process" of hearing the bill and angry at some in the LGBT community who had personally threatened her. Carroll also argued that the Legislature had not been "transparent," amounting to a government betrayal of the people.

Har, while calling the SB 1 hearing "a wonderful display of democracy at its finest," also complained about process, saying that SB 1 should have been heard during regular session. She also said the religious exemptions did not go far enough and suggested that the law could turn Hawaii into "a totalitarian state."

Ward, meanwhile, called the exemptions "weak" and "wobbly."

"What we’ve got now is kind of a jalopy of sorts," he said.

Matayoshi: "The DOE does not have marriage as a lesson in its curriculum"

read ... Jalopy

Slom: Will Protesters, Testifiers Stay Active?

SBH News: Still More Same Sex. The State Legislative "Special" Session that began October 28 and was scripted to last 5 days to debate Senate Bill 1 to legalize gay marriage, continues today. The session will go on into next week, with a final vote next Tuesday at the earliest. House members are to be commended because they spent 5 days hearing testimony from 1,032 people who testified in person (895 in opposition and 137 in support). Some 5,000 people signed up to testify.The House will send an amended bill to the Senate, but the Senate may not agree to broad religious exemptions and then this Session will have been for naught. Except that many people who have never been involved and most who don't vote, have become engaged and energized. Maybe they will help me in 2014 pass Initiative, Referendum, Recall and Term Limits so they have more of a voice in their government.

read ... SBH News

Senate President Kim announces run for Congress

SA: She has been in elected office for 31 years, including serving as chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means and Tourism committees. She was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1982 and served on the Honolulu City Council from 1985 until 2000, when she was elected to the Senate.

Kim also chaired a Senate committee looking into the loss of $200,000 by the University of Hawaii Athletic Department in a failed attempt to put on a Stevie Wonder concert as a fundraiser for UH athletics.

Kim does not have to resign her state Senate seat, representing Kalihi Valley, Moanalua and Haleiwa, to run for Congress. Her term expires in 2016.

Kim joins state Sen. Will Espero, state Rep. K. Mark Takai, activist Kathryn Xian, and Honolulu City Councilmen Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson in the primary.

News Release: Kim Announces, Wins IBEW Endorsement

HR: Takai Wins Ironworkers 625, Pledges to fight 'TEA Party'

read ... Run DMK

CGI Bungled DoTax Project 14 Years Ago, Hired Again for Health Connector

SA: The contractor responsible for the troubled Hawaii Health Connector website is the same company the state hired 14 years ago to build a tax collection system that state officials say has never worked properly.

Canadian-based CGI Group Inc. was paid $87.5 million between 1999 and 2011 to modernize the Hawaii Department of Taxation's collection system. Because of flaws in the system CGI built, the state is preparing to spend at least another $32 million to redo the project, Tax Department officials said.

"It's crazy. We wasted $87 million in the previous contract," said Robert Su, the tax system modernization program manager for the state.

A briefing will be held today at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol for lawmakers to get a status update on the tax system.

Lawmakers are also questioning why the Hawaii Health Connector awarded CGI a $53 million contract in January, given the problems related to its work for the Tax Department. The online insurance marketplace failed to launch as scheduled Oct. 1 and has been experiencing difficulties since going live Oct. 15.

Background: Obamacare Website Mess: 2010 Hawaii Audit Should Have Been ‘Red Flag’

read ... Persistent problems plague tax collection system

Study finds Only 29,000 in Hawaii eligible for health-insurance tax credits

PBN: An estimated 29,000 people in Hawaii are eligible for tax credits through the Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance exchange marketplace, making the state one of the smallest markets for the tax credits, according to a new study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation....

To qualify for these tax credits, one’s income must be within a certain percentage of the poverty level. For families of four, for example, eligible households must have an income of between $23,550 and $94,200 annually to qualify, and they also can’t be eligible for coverage from an employer, Medicaid or Medicare.

read ... Stingy Benefits

Hawaii County Stalls Anti-GMO Bill 113, Waiting on State

BIVN: No vote on a bill to prohibit genetically modified organisms on Hawaii Island at the Hawaii County Council, yet. Tuesday’s meeting in Hilo ended earlier than expected, with about sixty testifiers still waiting to speak.

But the special council meeting was not the last time the public will be able to testify on bill 113. The opportunity will once again present itself on November 19, when the council takes up the measure once again during a morning meeting in Kona. And there could be another chance after that, if the bill is substantially amended; which it looks like it will be.

HTH: Hearing on GMO bill ends in recess; testimony resumes Nov. 19

read ... About the Amendments

Crooked Solar Contractors Laying Off, Lying

KITV: "I just spoke with someone this morning and they're laying off 30 employees next week,” said Leslie Cole-Brooks, executive director of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association. “It can't go on. I mean 50, 60 percent of the business is completely stalled out."

Traditionally, the final three months of the year are the busiest for PV installations as customers race to beat the deadline for federal tax credits. But with the new HECO rules hampering speedy PV approvals, some companies have resorted to less the scrupulous tactics.

According to a memo issued Oct. 22 by HECO Senior Vice President of Customer Sales Jim Alberts, some solar companies have been telling potential customers that HECO approval is not required before hooking up a PV system to Oahu’s electrical grid.

CB: FACE Pleads for Solar Scammers to Scam More Victims

read ... HECO warns solar companies about unapproved PV systems

Electricians' Union Demands Control of Solar Installer Jobs

SA: A state licensing board said Tuesday it needs more time to decide on a proposal to increase the number of licensed electricians required for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in Hawaii.

The Board of Electricians and Plumbers voted to defer a decision on the matter until its next meeting in December after several "new issues" were introduced during public testimony Tuesday, according to a spokes­man for the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

The board is considering a proposal from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186, which maintains that because of the electrical wiring involved in the installation of a PV system, there should be a 1-to-1 ratio of licensed electricians to other workers on a job site.

The union contends a licensed electrician must either perform or supervise the "bonding and grounding" of all pieces of a PV system

read ... Board delays its decision on PV installation protocol

TOD: Mayor Wright Residents 'Freedoms Restricted' -- 'Afraid to Speak Up' as Rail Inspired Redevelopment Looms

SA: Occupancy is at 99.5 percent, up from 75 percent in January 2012, because people are no longer afraid to live there.

A few residents and other observers say the security measures have gone too far, restricting everyday freedoms and leaving some of the poverty-stricken residents afraid to speak up.

Housing officials acknowledge that they've received a few complaints, but largely dismiss them.

Rather than dismissing these concerns, though, housing officials would do well to fully address them. More than 1,000 people live in the 364 units of Hawaii's second-largest public housing complex, while another 10,000 low-income families are on waiting lists for public housing throughout Oahu.

Mayor Wright's 20-acre complex of three-story buildings is in line for redevelopment as part of Oahu's huge rail-transit project, situated as it is near a planned rail stop. Any reconstruction is years away, and Ouansafi has assured residents that they will be part of the discussion when it unfolds.

Best Comment: "Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi is acting like a typical dysfunctional bureaucrat when dismissing the residents complaints. Acting on them would mean he is not perfect, needs to change, and this really scares him. He needs to remember he works for the residents. He does not own them, he is not managing a prison."

read ... Rail Lockdown

HCDA Holding Public Hearing on Another Kakaako Project Today

CB: The Hawaii Community Development Authority is holding a public hearing today at noon to present details and get public input about a 7-story building proposed for 803 Waimanu St. in Kakaako. ... Read the full project proposal here.

read ... HCDA Holding Public Hearing on Another Kakaako Project Today

Senate gives financial boost to 2 rural hospitals on Kauai

SA: The bill goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office.

During the floor vote at the state Capitol Tuesday, Slom said he is concerned with constantly "bailing out"the agency and does not consider the appropriation emergency funding if it's sought year after year. Slom said the agency had shown a lack of responsibility, failing to deal with its financial problems for two decades.

"We got to hold them accountable. We can't always give them more money,"he said....

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. had requested a $9 million loan from the state Department of Budget and Finance before seeking extra funds in the special session.

read ... Mo Money

A Century of Looting Ends for Galbraith Trust Heirs

ILind: Sometime before the end of 2013, Bank of Hawaii will distribute the last $5.6 million in assets of the George Galbraith Trust to more than 1,300 current heirs. That final distribution will terminate both the trust and the bank’s own role as trustee, just over 109 years after Mr. Galbraith’s death.

As Hawaii trusts go, Galbraith isn’t near the top tier. But its history provides repeated examples of how, for most of a century, the primary benefits went to everyone but Galbraith’s legal beneficiaries. Instead, the trust and its lawyers, corporate interests with insider connections, and the tax man, all prospered while beneficiaries waited several generations to share in the trust’s good fortunes. All legal. No scandals. But perhaps not what Galbraith imagined

read ... 100 Years of Solitude

Suit seeks to block evictions at Kahuku Village

SA: An attorney representing many Kahuku Village V residents has launched a new salvo in a fight to keep his clients from being evicted from their rental homes -- a 233-page lawsuit filed in state court Monday.

Attorney Tony Locricchio filed the suit in Circuit Court on behalf of 33 families at the village known as KV5.

The suit seeks to halt several eviction proceedings being handled in state District Court, but also alleges a wide array of misdeeds by city and state officials -- including the mayor and governor -- that helped a Florida developer create fee-simple lots at KV5 for sale to village occupants or outsiders if occupants declined to buy.

CP:  Continental Pacific going extra mile at Kahuku Village 5

read ... Lawsuit

University wants telescope leases extended

HTH: University of Hawaii officials want to extend the leases that authorize telescope usage on Mauna Kea by another half century.

Their request, made in August to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, would extend the leases for more than 11,000 acres that include the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and Hale Pohaku, another 45 years beyond the current lease terms, according to documents filed with the board. Board members are scheduled to take up the request, which includes canceling the existing leases and issuing new ones, at their meeting Friday in Honolulu.

The current leases expire in 2033 and 2041. New leases, if approved this year as recommended by Department of Land and Natural Resources staff, would run for 65 years, through 2078.

UH officials offered several reasons for the request, which the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and DLNR’s State Historic Preservation Division expressed some reservations about

read ... About a process which will take til 2033

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