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Sunday, November 17, 2013
November 17, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:28 PM :: 3476 Views

Forbes: Kaua’i goes rogue, anti-GMO bill passes, legal fight looms

Sometimes Aspects of Property Tax Can Be Confusing

Fukumoto: 'Our Democracy needs Your Voice'

Abercrombie loses support of former ally Cayetano

SA: Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, one of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's closest political allies, says he will not support the veteran Democrat's re-election....

"I'm going to help David Ige; I'm going to help him. He is an underdog and Neil has a lot of money," Cayetano said....

Earlier, former Gov. George Ariyoshi also announced that he would take the unusual political step of opposing a sitting Democratic governor in a primary election battle.

Both Ariyoshi and Cayetano, who had won their own gubernatorial campaigns with the help of organized Hawaii labor, said they were concerned that Abercrombie had given up too much in negotiations with the public worker unions.

Cayetano also said he objected to the state's plans for the high-rise development of Kakaako. "This is going to be a wall of concrete like Manhattan," Cayetano said....

"He has changed completely -- the things he criticized and the principles he was for, he seems like he has abandoned," said Cayetano who served with Abercrombie in the state House and Senate.....

read ... Nobody Wants Neil

Mainland Homosexuals Demand 'Immediate' Changes to Hawaii School Curriculum

Star-Adv: Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii, schools should update their curriculums to reflect that fact, and include more positive depictions of same-sex couples and their children, the contributions of gays and lesbians to society, the history of the gay-rights movement and other topics important to the LGBT community that have been neglected in the past, advocates say.

"One of the things we would expect in terms of an immediate impact on schools is that any curriculum talking about family or family life, relationships, marriage, obviously that curriculum needs to be revised to reflect the law and the recognition of same-sex couples. Teachers in the classroom need to update their definitions, if their definitions are not inclusive," said Robert McGarry, senior director of education and youth programs for GLSEN, the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

The New York-based group, which has a chapter in Hawaii, focuses on ensuring safe schools for all students exploiting anti-bullying programs to impose the gay agenda....

As Predicted: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

read ... Precisely as Predicted

DoE Gay Sex Education to Be Assessed Soon

SA: Approved curricula include "Draw the Line, Respect the Line," for grades 6-8; "Family Life and Sexual Health," for grades 5-12, and "Positive Prevention," for grades 6-12.

A new, proposed curriculum, called Pono Choices, is being piloted among 744 middle-schoolers at 18 public schools statewide. It has drawn some complaints from parents, because the course material includes references to same-sex couples. The curriculum, part of a research project out of the University of Hawaii's Center on Disability Studies, uses (gay-)inclusive language in an attempt to help (homosexuality) reach the broadest cross-section of students. 

The DOE has not approved the curriculum for regular use, and the assessment process won't begin until the study ends and data is delivered, said Leila Hayashida, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and student support.

read ... DOE will maintain sex-education policy

Abercrombie Fails to Save Agriculture: Dying 2491 revived by new council member, voted into law

KGI: While some had urged Chock to recuse himself from the vote because he was so new to the debate, he said that was not an option for him — that he had “been called to act.”

“If I’ve been given the opportunity to make a difference in the health of a child’s life, I’m going to take it,” he said, causing those inside the council chambers to gasp and cry in approval. “So let’s take the step. I’m all for overriding the veto on Bill 2491.” (Even though just yesterday I claimed to be undecided. LOL!)

Carvalho questions its legality. On Saturday, he attempted to explain his position once more, but to no avail.

“The bottom line is this,” he told the council. “I cannot, in good conscience, support 2491 as written, because I do not believe the county has the legal authority to do what is proposed. That has been my message from day one.”

However, he said he would honor the council’s decision and continue to work with his administration to determine how to implement the new law.

“While a legal challenge is expected, and that may prevent us from immediately implementing 2491, I can assure the public that nothing will stop us from moving forward as quickly as possible with the public health study, working with the state to ensure the voluntary program gets off the ground in a timely manner, and lobbying the legislature for additional resources for enforcement on Kauai,” he said in a written statement issued shortly after the council’s decision.

The veto override came just days after the Hawaii Department of Agriculture announced details of a new voluntary program related to pesticide use on Kauai. It is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 and applies to the five companies mentioned in Bill 2491, including DuPont Pioneer, Dow AgroSciences, BASF, Syngenta and Kauai Coffee by asking the companies to voluntarily disclose their pesticide use to the public.

read ... Antis Ringer

Star-Adv Panics over Obamacare Miserable Failure, Has no Solution

SA: It's important to take the long view as competing proposals emerge to address the needs of Americans who are losing coverage despite President Barack Obama's repeated assurances that anyone who liked his or her current insurance plan would be able to keep it. That turned out to be untrue for the 5 percent of individual policyholders whose current coverage lacks the benefits and consumer protections required under the law. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to offer these so-called "junk policies" --some of which offer limited coverage and high out-of-pocket fees -- so they are booting current policyholders. (BS Detector:  These policies lack 'pediatric dental' and are mostly held by expensive older self-employed with grown children.  'Pediatric Dental' was put into Obamacare specifically to create an excuse to invalidate these policies.)

While this problem does not affect 95 per- cent of the people insured in the United States, it is a huge political liability for Obama -- whose basic integrity is being questioned -- and Democrats facing re-election in 2014, (which is what we at the Star-Democrat Advertising Bulletin are worried about.) not to mention the individuals losing their health insurance (who we don't care about at all.)

Obama has proposed the best short-term fix by proposing to temporarily allow insurers to renew "current policies for current enrollees," although even that is sure to disrupt the insurance marketplace and potentially raise the cost of premiums. Worse, though, is a Republican bill just approved in the House -- with the support of 39 Democrats -- that would not only keep the substandard (perfectly good) policies in force now, but allow companies to sell them to new customers next year. This is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act.  (Hence our panic.)

That must not happen. Even with all the missteps on the federal level, state-level health exchanges are clearly attracting the uninsured to purchase affordable, comprehensive coverage. Kentucky (which, unlike Hawaii, has very high uninsured) is enrolling 1,000 people a day via an efficient, state-run system that supplements online access with personal assistance.  (See, see!  It works in ONE state!) 

Too bad the same can't be said for Hawaii, which has enrolled a total of 257 people in six weeks via the online marketplace known as the Hawaii Health Connector....

There's been a lack of accountability at the Connector, a private, nonprofit quasi-governmental agency that is funded by millions of taxpayers' dollars but has been shielded from public scrutiny during its rocky Obamacare rollout. From its inception, organizations such as the League of Women Voters and AARP Hawaii objected to the Connector's nonprofit status -- unique among the nation's health exchanges -- and said it should be subject to Hawaii's ethics and open-government laws. The fact that insurance industry executives whose companies stand to profit from the exchange sit on its board also raised red flags. It's even more obvious now that those concerns were well-grounded.

Greater transparency is overdue.  (Yes it is.  But transparency hasn't fixed the problem in the other 48 states that aren't Kentucky.)

read ... Obamacare needs fixing, not gutting

Shapiro: Hawaii Should Adopt Jungle Primary

Shapiro: If Hawaii's primary elections need reform, we should look at California's system, which replaces party primaries with single open primaries for each office in which all candidates — Democrats, Republicans, third-party members and independents — compete on equal terms.

The top two vote-getters advance to the general election, whether they both come from the same party or both come from no party.

In California, leveling the playing field has meant more candidates for voters to choose from and more healthy challenges of lackluster incumbents by members of their own parties.

No party gets a guaranteed spot in the general election....

Reality: LA Times: California ‘Non-Partisan’ Primary ‘Weakened Democracy’

read ... Shapiro

Lassner's UH 'Maintenance' Scheme Designed to Shift Contract from Inouye/Kobayashi to Abercrombie/Mitsunaga 

SA: With legislators set to take up the state's operating budget starting in January, the university's administration and Board of Regents are considering different approaches to try to eliminate the long-standing backlog.

"Investment was not made in keeping up with capital renewal, (translation: Kobayashi got contracts, Mitsunaga didn't) so as stuff that should have been fixed or replaced wasn't, it built up in a very large backlog," interim UH President David Lassner told the Star-Advertiser at a Board of Regents committee meeting last month. "Some of these projects stretch back to the '90s."  (Mitsunaga has been on the outs that long and he's pissed.)

At that meeting, Lassner first shared a proposal to eliminate the backlog (create contracts for Mitsunaga) by selling revenue bonds that would be paid back with tuition revenue. The regents also are considering a moratorium on new construction projects until the backlog can be whittled down.  (Kobayashi will get zero, payback is a b**ch.)

Missing Details: Mitsunaga Names Names, Slams UH for Favoritism Towards Kobayashi

read ... State of Disrepair

Abercrombie Cashes in on Fort Street Money

PR: Gov. Neil Abercrombie has scheduled a $500 to $1,000 per person fundraiser for his re-election campaign on Monday evening at the Plaza Club.

The governor also had a $500 to $1,000 per person fundraiser on Thursday evening at Oceanit Laboratories.

read ... Holding Fort

Abercrombie Begs Gays not to Primary His Jo Jordan

HuffPo: “She was a lonely voice in this," Abercrombie said, noting that he didn't appoint her believing she would be in "lockstep" with his positions. “I understand it. I disagree with her. She had her reservations about [the bill] sufficient to cause her to vote no. And I'm going to take her at her word. My job now is not to seek retribution or go over the validity of what the motivation was for people’s votes, but to work with them all."

read ... Abercrombie on Jo Jordan, Gay Marriage

183 Bike Stations: Plans for neighborhoods around Oahu rail stations unveiled

KITV: "Some of the plans, people want to restore the existing main streets. People want to build stuff that feels like an old town, but is new, more compact, a different range of housing. Parks that people can hang out in and walk to and to make it real easy to walk and bike in neighborhoods," said Harrison Rue with Transit-Oriented Development Honolulu.

The plan is to have more parks and plazas, creating community outdoor spaces.

Germaine Salim said bike stations are key. She added green stickers to a map at the symposium to show where she thinks they should be. There are plans in place to install 183 bike stations by 2015.

Read ... TOD in Your Future

Lecturer: Elimination of Grades, Tests Is Key to Educational Success

SA: In the 1970s, the Finnish school system was marked by inequity, with students tracked based on family background, Sahlberg said. Its test scores fell below international averages in math and science. Today, Finland vies for first place among countries such as South Korea, Canada and Japan.

Over the past few decades, Finland reoriented its schools to give all children a fine education, no matter their background or where they lived. It focused on equity, he said, and excellence followed.

Teachers don't even give grades until kids reach fifth grade to avoid "unhealthy competition," he said. Collaboration is prized.

"Children should be learning because they want to learn and understand more," Sahlberg said. "The more you standardize, the less room there will be for creativity and risk taking."

Finnish students take no standardized tests before age 16, although a national sample of 15-year-olds is allowed to take part in international benchmark exams. The school curriculum balances academics, arts and music, with lots of time for play. After ninth grade, students choose either an academic high school or vocational school.

read ... Social equity identified as key to school success

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