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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
November 13, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:10 PM :: 4004 Views

Lim on Health Connector: Wrong Managers Hired Wrong Vendor

How They Voted: Senate Passes Gay Marriage 19-4 

IHN: Hours of UnTelevised Video From Special Session

Free Tickets: Ethics Commission Rebukes UH Regents

FULL TEXT: Homeless Service Utilization Report Hawai‘i 2013

It Begins: Same-sex education headed for 30 Hawaii schools

KITV: One of the hot-button issues of the same-sex marriage debate is surfacing tonight... Just before Senators are scheduled to vote on the marriage equality bill .. Will same-sex education make it into the classroom??

The pilot project is called Pono Choices-- and it has been rolled out in some 30 schools across the state. A pilot program at Niu Valley Intermediate is embraced by some- rejected by others.

Pono choices. A pilot sex ed project designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. But language on the worksheets about two boys exchanging a kiss upset some parents who brought it to the attention of house lawmakers last week.

The school superintendent last week tried to clarify where the Department of Education stands on the same sex marriage debate. "It doesn't change our curriculum. It doesn't change our standards," But the pilot program of Pono Choices has some parents concerned. And they aren’t the only ones that are asking questions. Donna Mercado Kim "I am concerned at one age they are going to be taught some of these things and I think that is what at what age that is is going to be taught some of these things and that what the other parents share and what age, I am not sure what age that is."

read ... Pilot Program Targets Middle School Boys

Gay-Atheists Overreach, Wake Sleeping Giant

SA: Leon Dodson was, by his own account, a quiet man. Strong in religious faith and stalwart in his trust that mutual love and respect binds communities, he'd always preferred demonstrating his beliefs through daily personal example rather than overt political action.

That changed Tuesday when the Senate approved a gay marriage bill, paving the way for Hawaii to become the 15th state to allow same-sex marriages.

Like many who opposed the bill, Dodson was left angered and dismayed by a contentious debate that saw opponents of the measure characterized in broad black strokes as religious fanatics or retrograde bigots, and by an expedited legislative process that he and others viewed as political theater designed to deliver a predetermined result.

"I've been a quiet guy on the side, but not anymore," said Dodson, who submitted written testimony opposing the measure. "What this taught me is that I have to be more politically active. Things have gone way too far in the wrong direction."

Dodson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

read ... Sleeping Giant

How Gay Atheists Stacked House Judiciary Committee

PR: An initial vote count by the Star-Advertiser after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that legally married gay couples were entitled to federal benefits had the House Judiciary with 8 votes for gay marriage, 3 votes against, and 2 lawmakers who were undecided.

The initial count -- like others conducted over the past few months -- had Rep. Mele Carroll, a Democrat from Maui, as a `yes' vote.

But House leaders have said privately in recent days that they believed Carroll would vote against the bill, which she ultimately did. Rep. Ken Ito and Rep. Clift Tsuji, who initially said they were undecided, had also shifted to the `no' column.

That means that when Abercrombie called the special session, the actual split on House Judiciary was closer to 7 to 6 in favor of the bill.

But then came an unexpected twist.

Rep. Karen Awana, who had served as the House majority floor leader, was hit with another round of fines by the state Campaign Spending Commission in early October that led her to resign her leadership post.

House leaders named Rep. Rida Cabanilla as Awana's replacement as majority floor leader. Cabanilla, who was a `no' vote on gay marriage, said she did not have to promise to change her vote as a condition of accepting the new post.

(In a curious shift, Cabanilla did subsequently promise House leaders that she would vote `yes' on the bill but was instead excused for the final vote on Friday night.)

House leaders named Rep. Denny Coffman, an unwavering supporter of marriage equality, to replace Cabanilla on House Judiciary.

Had Awana not faced campaign-finance fines that prompted her to resign her leadership post, had Cabanilla not replaced Awana and given up her House Judiciary slot, and had Republicans united in agreement to replace Thielen on House Judiciary, the House Judiciary count could have been 7 to 6 against the bill.

"We would have lost," one House lawmaker on the committee said privately.

AP: Homosexual Serial Rapist Charged

read … Nobody Wants Gay Marriage

Gays Insult Hawaiians One More Time

HNN: Valerie Smith's first child is due today. She and her partner Nathalie Sowers are thrilled he'll be born in a time with marriage equity.

"Nothing means family more than marriage does so in a way this binds us all together," said Valerie Smith, SB1HB1 supporter.

Meanwhile opponents weren't angry but they were disappointed. So will there ever be a time when opponents accept same sex marriage?

"Over time it might be but I think it will be a long healing process and I think both sides have to come together and have some sort of healing," said Walter Yoshimitsu, Catholic Church of Honolulu Deacon, SB1HB1 opponent.

"Accepting same sex marriage no. Accepting homosexuals yes. I think that's already been the case," said Dave Willweber, Mauka Makai Ministries, SB1HB1 opponent.

"I'm disappointed but I'm not surprised. We've already voiced our opposition but we knew from the beginning this was a rushed session. It was already stacked against us," said Klayton Ko, First Assembly of God Pastor, SB1HB1 opponent. "Once the Constitution is not respected then everything else is open for any kind of law that's passed."

"You know we forgive them. I love them still. I'm just a little confused and we'll get over it too. We'll all get over it," said Hoyos.

There was one disrespectful moment. While: supporters sang Aloha 'Oe. 

An opponent repeatedly said 'you don't deserve that song.'

read ... Undeserved

Gays: Kamehameha Was a Homo

BF: In Jan. 1778, Captain Cook arrived in the Hawaiian islands and wrote extensively in his journals about aikāne. The aikāne, Cook wrote, were young men with special sexual and political roles, who functioned as liaisons for the ali’i, including Kamehameha the Great, and Cook and his sailors. Negotiations led by aikāne influenced events at Kealakekua Bay where Cook was killed in Feb. 1778.

Kamehameha the Great was not the only ali’i to have aikāne relationships, Kamehameha III ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii for a period with Kaomi, his half-Tahitian lover, to the horror of Calvinist missionaries.

(Akamai readers will note that this story supports the idea that homosexuality is a behavior and a choice, not an in-born 'identity.'   Oooops.)

read … Gays Claim Everyone Was one of them

Miscellaneous Gay Marriage Articles

Changes to GMO bill nixed, Luddite Mob Targets Papayas, Landscaping

HTH: County Council Chair J Yoshimoto is dropping his proposed amendments to Bill 113 after receiving negative feedback from the public.

The amendments would have exempted the horticulture industry from the bill’s ban on open-air use of transgenic crops, removed a registry for modified plants, and allowed the planning commissions to hear proposals for emergency exemptions....

Yoshimoto said late Monday he filed them to address criticism of the bill from the horticulture industry, papaya growers and other testifiers.

Not Exempted: GMO Marijuana

read ... Luddite Mob Rule 

Private help for public hospitals

SA: The difficulty faced by public facilities under the umbrella of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is partly one that's inherent to rural hospitals. Costs are high and the needs are great, but the population base is too small to support a health system that is not carefully limited. The problem seemed most acute on Kauai but other islands face the same challenge.

There was hope in a privatization plan that had been in negotiations with Banner Health, an Arizona-based nonprofit that runs more than 20 hospitals in several states. (But the HGEA and UPW torpedoed it.) There are reports that the company, which had concerns about the Hawaii system's unionized labor costs, is still interested in acquisitions, said state Sen. Josh Green, the Senate's health chairman.

That option should be pursued. There ought to be reasonable opportunity for concessions that preserve the hospitals' workforce at a fair wage; Green pointed out that retaining trained professionals in neighbor island positions will require decent pay incentives, and he's right about that.

Reality: HHSC: HGEA/UPW Employees Earn Less but Cost More

read ... Private help for public hospitals

Government inflexibility leads to IT nightmares

SA: One has only to review the last decade of government IT awards — and specifically, failures of the Department of Defense IT health care systems — to understand why it's not surprising that companies like CGI and CGI-Federal are having delivery problems with Hawaii's tax system, the Obamacare website and the Hawaii Health Connector.

Several key areas need immediate remediation:

» The morass of guidelines for evaluation and procurement in the competitive IT award process are perfect for large corporations that have the luxury of large staffs to compile the swamp of requirements required for bid submission and award-winning.

More problematic is that these guidelines have traditionally forced the use of archaic "waterfall" design/development methodology requiring that extensive upfront design specifications be put forth in answering the solicitation, which are often far from comprehensive or realistic.

SA: Final decision due today on Honolulu open data initiative

read ... Government inflexibility leads to IT nightmares

Consumer Advocate or Corporate Advocate?

CB: According to the story: “Hawaii’s Consumer Advocate, Jeff Ono, says information on projects and locations should be kept confidential. ‘There could be competitive advantages and disadvantages if that information were being disclosed upfront’ he said.”

I disagree. We (and the Consumer Advocate) should be challenging why all this secrecy to protect corporate interests is good for us consumers.

Would the system coming crashing down if Developer “A” made public its price and place and Developer “B” topped it with a better location and a lower price? Isn’t that the way the market is supposed to work?

Instead, we sit silently by while HECO asks for yet another exemption from the PUC’s required competitive bidding process. If it’s granted, how will we consumers know that we are paying the lowest possible price?

Because the Consumer Advocate says so? Not good enough.

Related: KIUC Gets Solar 37% Cheaper than HECO

read ... Consumer Advocate or Corporate Advocate?

Fujiyama claims rigging of bids in Naniloa Sale

HTH: In a declaration filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Naniloa owner Ken Fujiyama claimed that failed bidders Ramco Properties LLC and America Asian Travel Center Inc. colluded to keep the price low.

Fujiyama, who couldn’t be reached for comment, wrote that AATC agreed to not outbid Ramco Properties in exchange for 5 percent ownership of the hotel.

AATC of Los Angeles had made the initial offer of $3.5 million last month. Ramco Properties of Honolulu later beat it with a bid of $3.7 million. Neither submitted higher bids in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday.

Neither AATC owner Helen Koo nor Ramco manager Gary Oda could be reached for comment.

But if the allegations are true, it could mean jail time for those responsible, said David Farmer, Naniloa’s bankruptcy trustee.

“That’s a serious, even criminal infraction,” he said.

HTH: Naniloa sold

read ... Fujiyama claims rigging of bids

Wife of ex-Oahu prison guard found guilty of fraud

AP: The U.S. Attorney's office in Hawaii says a jury found Michelle Malufau guilty Tuesday after a four-day trial and less than an hour of deliberation. The 47-year-old from Laie is convicted of making false statements on documents and lying under oath in a 2011 bankruptcy proceeding.

Prosecutors say she concealed assets including a North Sore Oahu home, a bank account and rental income while clearing more than $1 million of debt by filing for bankruptcy.

She faces up to five years in prison on each charge when she's sentenced on Feb. 27.

Her husband is a former guard at Halawa Correctional Facility accused in a federal racketeering indictment of taking bribes.

read ... Another Day in the Nei

Kahoolawe 2026 Plan to Shake Loose More Money

KITV: The $44-million trust fund for the island's rehabilitation will run out by 2016. A state audit also found that the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission lacked a comprehensive and measurable restoration project. The agency is working to secure regular funding from the state while developing a strategic plan called "Kahoolawe: 2026."

read ... Kahoolawe

Koa Ridge Rezoning is up for final test today

SA: The Honolulu City Council is scheduled to hold a final vote today on Bill 48, allowing the agriculturally zoned land to be developed into commercial, residential and industrial uses for Koa Ridge Makai, one of three original parts of the Castle & Cooke plan. The project was divided into Koa Ridge Makai, Koa Ridge Mauka and Wai­awa. The Mauka section was never approved by the Land Use Commission, and the Wai­awa portion was conditionally approved by the LUC but has not come up for rezoning.

Councilman Ron Menor, who represents the area, said he continues to have concerns about traffic impacts and the pricing of the homes. He said Tuesday he wants to see the project deferred.

However, he conceded, “the votes are not there to do such an action.”

read ... Koa Ridge Rezoning is up for final test today

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