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Monday, November 11, 2013
November 11, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:34 PM :: 2237 Views

NYT to Hawaiians: We Tell You What Your Culture is

KIUC Gets Solar 37% Cheaper than HECO

The Implosion of the PV Industry

Back and Forth with Grants-in-Aid

Veterans Day:

Veterans Day Message from Rep Charles Djou

Aloha,

On behalf of the Hawaii Republican Party, my family and I extend our utmost gratitude to Hawaii and America's active and retired veterans, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Our nation's freedoms rests on the amazing sacrifices given by our country's veterans.

As a veteran, I also understand the sacrifices made by the families of those who serve.  The burden of defending America is a task shouldered, not just by service members, but also by their spouses, children and parents.

America will always be a beacon of light for liberty in the world because of the men and women in our nation's military.

Aloha and Happy Veteran's Day, Charles K. Djou

Former Congressman Djou is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and a veteran of the Afghanistan War.

DoE Buys 6,700 Laptops, 75% go Unused

SA: Eight schools were selected in July to pilot a digital device program that could eventually put laptops in the hands of all public school students, but students at only two of the schools are learning on the devices.

The state Department of Education bought more than 6,700 devices for students and teachers at all eight schools, but teachers at the remaining six schools requested additional time for training before their laptops are delivered. (Question: Which former DoE admins got the commissions on these sales?)

The slow start could suggest legislators were justified in calling for a small-scale pilot and providing less than a third of the costs the department had requested to implement a program statewide.

The department had wanted $29 million for its plan, but lawmakers budgeted $8.2 million for the initial program, citing concerns about the department's ability to manage a statewide rollout and the potential for burdening teachers at a time when the state is undergoing multiple school reforms....

Going the "piecemeal" route, the department spent most of the appropriation — $7.85 million — to buy the devices and software. The department used its own funds to cover $600,000 for professional development and $450,000 for management software, including tracking services.

Shipton said the department allowed the schools to choose the brand and type of device they preferred, which board Chairman Don Hor­ner said worried him.

The schools all opted for Apple MacBook Air laptops, except for Mili­lani Mauka, which requested iPads for its kindergarteners. The department said it paid $824 on average for the laptops and an average of $491 for the iPads.

If the program is expanded and all schools are able to pick MacBooks, it will be an expensive enterprise, Hor­ner cautioned.

Board member Keith Ame­miya questioned whether cheaper devices could have been purchased to spread the money across more schools.

read ... Training Lags

Ethics Comm. Assembling Target List of Pro-Family Groups

ILind: What do you think–are there groups whose activities for or against the same-sex marriage bill constitute lobbying that should be publicly disclosed early in 2014?

It’s not just individual lobbyists who are required to report. Organizations may also have to make public dislcosures of their activities if they engage in lobbying.

Here’s the advice given by the State Ethics Commission as the special session started....

Groups would be required to file a disclosure if they spend $750 or more during a six month period on any or all of these activities.

Anybody want to a list of groups most likely to trigger the reporting requirements?

read ... Reporting expenses for lobbying the special session

Hawaii same-sex marriage and small business

EX: Many small businesses throughout the country, from Oregon to New Jersey have been sued for not providing services to same-sex marriages. These businesses are mainly of the cake decorating industry, where same-sex couples are requesting a particular cake be made for a same-sex wedding reception. Even in Hawaii, this has been an issue from cake decorating to bed & breakfasts.

While the bill now protects many religious organizations itself, it does not protect the people or businesses. This matter affects many small businesses in the state and it has been said that this bill is the worst at protecting religious freedom.

read ... No Protection

Gay Inc Begins Scheduling Weddings

HNN: With the state Legislature poised to pass the controversial same-sex marriage bill, gay and lesbian couples are beginning to line up at wedding podium.

"We hope to be the first but it's okay if we're not. We're just excited," said Renea Stewart of Hawaii Kai.

Stewart and Lisa Veneri plan to get married at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 2, which is the day same-sex marriages are expected to become legal in Hawaii.

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Steven Levinson will preside over the ceremony for the couple....

SA: The civil unions law has prepared the Health Department to take applications

CN: Lesbian Complains of Bathroom Confrontation

read ... Making it look good

HPD wants extra funds to go to recruits

SA: The Honolulu Police Department wants to draw $4.2 million in unspent money from a variety of its accounts to help pay for recruit classes this year.

Police Chief Louis Kealoha, in a letter to the City Council earlier this month seeking approval of the transfer, said the move is necessary "due to insufficient salary funding for police recruits" and "shortages due to lump-sum vacation payouts for personnel."

In August, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that the city needed to trim $4.5 million from HPD's $230 million operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year, primarily from police recruit class funding. It was the largest of $20 million in cuts announced by the mayor to help make up for a shortfall revenue.

The city insisted then that the HPD cut would not affect the agency's services, and police officials last week reiterated that claim.

"There will be no changes (to) programs or services," Assistant Chief Mark Naka­gawa said

read ... Shuffle

Author to lecture on Finnish education

SA: Sahlberg will give a free lecture at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Finland once had a school system much like that of the United States but now bans standardized testing before age 16. While Americans are focused on oversight of teachers, tougher academic standards and testing young children, Finland emphasizes equity, collaboration and autonomy.

read ... Finnish Lessons

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