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Wednesday, February 05, 2014
February 5, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:03 PM :: 2870 Views

Hawaii Shippers Council testifies to Puerto Rico Senate in support Jones Act reform

UHPA Files 'Prohibited Practice' Charges Against UH Administration

"You Brainwashed Me": Victim Confronts Alleged Homosexual Child Molester

Lloyd Lim: A Theory of Business Regulation

Ten Steps for a Market-Oriented Health Care System

Services scheduled for fallen Kapolei soldier

SA:  Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli, 42, called Kapolei home and had dreams of retirement in Hawaii in four years, his family said....

Visitation will be Friday Feb 7th at 9 a.m. at the Schofield Barracks Main Chapel, 712 McCornack Road. A service will begin at 11 a.m.  Burial with full military honors will follow at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

The visitation is open to members of the public wishing to express their condolences, the Army said. Since it's on post, individuals without military ID cards would need to go through Lyman Gate and get a visitor's pass.

SA: Challenging mission ends for 15 Schofield soldiers

read... Services

DoE Announces New Review of Pono Choices Curriculum

SA: The Department of Education will again review Pono Choices after complaints from a state House lawmaker and several parents that the sex education curriculum is medically inaccurate and not age-appropriate for middle-schoolers.

The department informed the state Board of Education on Tuesday that it is in the final stages of putting together a working group of educators, medical and public health professionals, parents and community leaders to review the curriculum....

"Our goal is to have as many parents opt in so that we can ensure that our kids have the best information to make good decisions," Horner said after the board meeting.

Horner said he appreciated the parents who took the time to testify. "We represent the public," he said. "And that was the public voice."

KITV: Pono choices or not?

PR: Marissa Capelouto Testifies Against Pono Choices

read ... Porno Choices

Green Energy Scammers Angered by Abercrombie's Refusal to Sign 242 pages of Rules Which Would Force Gasoline and Electricity Prices Even Higher

CB: Nearly two months ago, new rules that would curb the state's so-called 'greenhouse gas' emissions landed on Gov. Neil Abercrombie's desk for his signature.

The rules are still waiting on the Democratic governor.

And so are environmentalists, (green energy scammers) who worry that Abercrombie's slowness to pick up his pen might be the result of pressure from influential companies that would be affected by the legislation. They're also concerned about two bills introduced last month by state lawmakers that could, they argue, help gut Hawaii’s greenhouse gas law.

“Obviously what is going on here is that some people are unhappy with the way the rules were written, or rather they are unhappy with the greenhouse gas rules, period,” said Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation, a clean (sic) energy advocacy (industry lobby) organization in Honolulu.

"I think what we are seeing is an attempt to undermine our historic greenhouse gas law or make it toothless."  (Excellent News!)

The air pollution control rules that await the governor’s signature would give teeth to Hawaii’s 2007 law on greenhouse gases, known as Act 234, which requires the state to reduce emissions in the air to 1990 levels by the end of this decade. The rules provide a road map for reducing emissions at facilities throughout the state and specify that power plants and refineries must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent or face specific penalties if they don't comply.... (Penalties passed on to the consumer.)

The 242-page rule package, produced by the state Department of Health, lays out in technical detail the steps that owners of fossil fuel-burning power plants and refineries must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  (i.e. shut down)

About two dozen facilities in the state would be affected, including the oil refineries, the electric utilities, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. on Maui and AES Hawaii, the state's sole coal plant. (Close these and electricity goes even higher.)

The governor, Fujioka said by email, "is currently exploring how the proposed rules will affect specific agencies and industries, including refineries, along with his energy policy agenda."... (Translation: If he signs this, he might lose the election.)

A pair of bills, SB3007 and HB2156 introduced by Rep. Mark Hashem and Sen. Kalani English would ostensibly provide the health director “with greater flexibility in creating rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.”....

Mikulina and Harris argue that the bills moving through the Legislature essentially defang Hawaii’s law on greenhouse gases. For one, the state health director would no longer be required to create rules to enforce the law — the word “shall” create rules has been replaced with “may” create rules.

Harris said that the bills would transform the state's legal requirement to implement emission rules for greenhouse gases into a “completely discretionary” decision....

read ... 242 Pages of Rules

PV systems eat into HECO sales, but not Profits

SA: Lost electricity sales on Oahu, Hawaii island and in Maui County totaled 381 million kilowatt-hours in 2013, up from 206 million kilowatt-hours in 2012, HECO disclosed in a report filed last week with the Public Utilities Commission. Although the amount has increased in recent years due to growth in PV installations, it still represents a small fraction of the roughly 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity sold annually by the HECO companies.

The lost kilowatt-hour sales last year meant that the HECO companies were not able to collect an estimated $38.5 million that would have gone to pay for systemwide fixed costs, such as employee salaries and maintenance for transmission lines and power stations, according to the report. That was up from $18.9 million in 2012.

Reality: Decoupling: How HECO's "Money Printing Machine" Causes High Electric Rates

read ... Decoupling Protects profits

Matayoshi Reward for Imposing Gay Agenda: $250K/year

SA: House Bill 2257 and the companion measure set for a hearing Friday, Senate Bill 2806.... Under state law, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi's salary has been capped at $150,000 for the past three years.

The bills moving this session, which would raise the cap to $250,000, comprise the second attempt to increase the pay level. In 2010, the Legislature passed a bill that would have boosted the salaries of the superintendent — as well as the amounts earned by the deputy, assistant and complex area superintendents — but it was vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle.

SB 2806 will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Friday in room 414

read ... Star-Adv: Increase pay for schools chief

SB2837 Would Expand Secrecy of DHHL Leases

ILind: A bill to shield most documents and correspondence relating to residential leases issued by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands from public disclosure will get a second look from the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 2837, which would prevent public disclosure of most lease records except for the actual lease documents, was proposed by DHHL and is included in Gov. Neil Abercrombie's legislative package.

The measure has drawn the support of several Hawaiian organizations, including DHHL and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, but was opposed by the Office of Information Practices. More importantly, perhaps, it was greeted skeptically by Sen. Clayton Hee, vice-chair of the committee and chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor, where the bill will be referred next if it passes this initial hurdle....

The Hawaiian Affairs Committee deferred decision making on the measure to allow DHHL staff to sit down with staff from OIP and the committee in an effort to narrow the proposed exemption by identifying specific personal information requiring additional protections.

The bill will be taken up again on Wednesday, February 5, at 2:45 p.m. in room 224 at the State Capitol.

SA: DHHL wants its documents secret

read ... Abercrombie's Agenda

Child protective cases to stay closed

SA: Court hearings involving children who have allegedly been neglected or abused will remain closed to the public after a flood of testimony helped defeat a bill that would have lifted the veil of confidentiality.

Senate Human Services Chairwoman Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Downtown-Nuu­anu-Li­liha) said she had introduced Senate Bill 2002 just to give the issue a public airing, but she recommended Tuesday that it be deferred indefinitely and her committee agreed.

read ... Closed

Bid to Override County GMO Restrictions Is Dead — for Now

CB: A bid to override county regulations on genetically modified crops failed to make it past a crucial Senate committee Tuesday.

Hawaii Sen. Clarence Nishihara, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, originally introduced the bill amending the state's Right to Farm Act through Senate Bill 3058 last month.

That bill would bar counties from enacting laws that limit farmers’ use of certain biotechnology. Both the Big Island and Kauai approved laws last year that, among other things, imposed regulations on genetically modified crops.

When it became clear that the measure might not move forward before a procedural deadline, a plan was devised to insert the bill's language into another piece of legislation, Senate Bill 110.

But the effort stalled on Tuesday afternoon when Nishihara couldn't gain majority support in the Senate Agriculture Committee to replace the text in SB 110. The vote was split 3-3. Sen. Glenn Wakai was absent.

PR: Backstory on Defeat of Nishihara's Gut n Replace 

KGI: State to hear pro-bono protest   LINK: PDF

KGI: Forever farming bill falters

SA: Split vote kills plan to bolster farm rights

read ... For Now

Biotech-Aided Farming Should Not Be a Crime

CB: We are Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United, a group formed to protect our freedom to farm. We support House Bill 2506 & Senate Bill 3508, which amend Hawaii's Right-To-Farm Act.

At an annual value of $194 million, we produce almost all of the island’s agriculture – 93 percent of the agricultural products grown and raised on the Big Island – and we unhesitatingly, passionately, support these bills.

read ... Biotech-Aided Farming Should Not Be a Crime

Kihei Charter School plans new $21M campus as Maui awaits start on state’s $130M public high school

PBN: Kihei Charter School, a public charter school founded and supported by the nonprofit South Maui Learning Ohana, plans to break ground this year on a $20.7 million project that includes building a new three-story $10.7 million high school in the Maui Research and Technology Park, not far from the site where the Department of Education plans to build a $130 million public high school....

“We’ve grown from 60 students to 550 students with about 35,000 square feet under leases with three different landlords,” South Maui Learning Ohana CEO Gene Zarro said. “With the help of others, we were successful in receiving a $17.7 million financing package from the USDA to build two campuses — one for our elementary and one for our high school.”

The plan is to build the three-story high school on 2.75 acres of land that South Maui Learning Ohana already owns located in the Maui Research and Technology Park. That will be a 36,000-square-foot campus with the top floor allocating about 10,000 rentable square feet to businesses to help offset overhead costs for the school. The high school is on track to break ground this summer with the goal of finishing by 2015....

The new $130 million public high school would be built on 77 acres of land, mauka of Piilani Highway between Kulanihakoi and Waipuilani gulches, and is expected to be open as early as the fall of 2016. A bill moving through the Legislature, Senate Bill 2446, seeks to name the public high school the Patsy Takemoto Mink High School after the late congresswoman, who was from Maui....

read ... Kihei Charter School

Oil Export Debate Renews Fight Over Protections for U.S. Shipping

RC: The debate about lifting 1970s restrictions on crude oil exports has renewed another old fight over a 1920 maritime law known as the Jones Act.

The law requires cargo sent exclusively between domestic ports be moved by ships that are built, owned and operated by United States companies. Refiners say a shortage of American-flagged vessels is inhibiting crude oil shipments from the Gulf Coast to Mid-Atlantic refineries.

“You got to look at the Jones Act,” said Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group that represents refiners and petrochemical companies. “I don’t care if it is crude oil, finished product or Twinkies.”

Drevna said the law should be changed to allow international shipping companies to move oil between U.S. ports. He said the law (PL 66-261) is no longer working.

“That’d be OK if there were enough American-flagged vessels,” Drevna said. “There just aren’t.”

read ... Oil Export Debate Renews Fight Over Protections for U.S. Shipping

Big Cable: PUC Holds Non-Disclosed Legislative Briefing

IM: General Electric (GE) conducted a study which sought to justify the need for the inter-island cable. The GE study looked only at wind and solar resources. It excluded biomass, biofuel, expanded waste-to-energy, wave and ocean thermal. Furthermore the wind resources were confined to land-based systems.  GE found that HECO could not meet its 203o energy goals without the inter-island cable.

The Public Utilities Commission held a non-publicly disclosed Legislative Briefing where the GE Report was presented.

The Public Utilities Commission has also sought to develop its own forecasts of the future.

“Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) was retained by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop a methodology and compare the economics of different renewable generation procurement options. …under direction from the PUC, E3 developed a set of future scenarios where different types and amounts of renewable energy generation are added to each island system. ...To show the impact of different portfolios on the avoided costs of specific technologies, the PUC developed different long-term scenarios for each island.”

MN: Study identifies potential Maui wind farm locales

KHON: HECO on the hot seat at the state legislature

Seeking Alpha:  Hawaiian Electric Industries Could Profit By Supporting Rooftop Solar 

read ... The Hawai`i Energy Dilemma

Hawaii may nudge its people to save early for care

AP: Hawaii may be getting ready to spend half a million dollars to remind its aging population: start saving now for long-term care.

Lawmakers on Tuesday considered a $7.1 million Senate bill for elder care and education (SB2346). If passed, it will put $4.2 million toward the state's kupuna (elder) care program and $1.9 million toward the disability resource center. It will also pay for a $500,000 public education campaign to encourage Hawaii residents to plan for their long-term care.

By 2035, according to the bill, nearly a third of Hawaii residents will be older than 60. Hawaii's private nursing homes are on average the most expensive in the nation, with a median annual cost of $145,000, said Bruce Bottorff, a spokesman for AARP Hawaii, which offered testimony in support of the bill....

Also considered in the Health and Human Services Committee were bills to establish an Alzheimer's disease and dementia services program (SB2434) and a bill requiring minimum sentences for felonies committed against people age 60 or older (SB2507).

read ... Nudge

Hawaii County to Issue New RFP for Waste to Energy

HTH: Kenoi told the County Council on Tuesday he will soon begin to pursue a waste-elimination project to address the Hilo landfill’s capacity problems. That could include a waste-to-energy incinerator, an idea the council rejected in 2008 under a previous administration....

Former Mayor Harry Kim had proposed a $125 million waste-to-energy facility, known as the Wheelabrator. The council killed that proposal over cost concerns.

None of the nine council members criticized Kenoi’s approach, and most praised his plan, which includes issuing a request for qualifications March 3 and signing a contract in April 2015.

“This should have been done in the past, too,” said Council Chair J Yoshimoto, who served on the council in 2008.

read ... Kenoi outlines plan to reduce waste

Proposed drone regulations draw fire from Users

KITV: The first line arguments against restricting drones in Senate Bill 2852 and 2608 come from Honolulu Police....

Police point to the case of a dismembered body found near Ka Uka Boulevard last year. The crime scene stretched over a large area.

"To put a blanket where we need a search warrant over every use of the UAV it doesn't make sense to use. It's cost prohibitive. A helicopter is over $500 an hour," said Maj. Kurt Kendro....

The state's land department wants to be left alone because it believes drones are vital to managing vast resources....

"Our staff can go right back to that location with a precise treatment or control of that weed before it spreads to a great extent in the forest,” said Executive Director Mark Fox....

The Department of Business and Economic Development urged lawmakers to  proceed with caution since the FAA is drafting regulations of its own.

"This would help ensure our laws compliant and comply with federal guidelines currently under development," said Richard Lim, DBED director

Read ... Droning On

Hawaii County police probe death of man in custody

AP: Police said in a statement Tuesday Randall Hatori was a passenger in a car officers pulled over at a Kona gas station at 12:30 a.m.

Police arrested the driver on a warrant for contempt of court, but Hatori fled on foot. Police say Hatori was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders.

Police say officers pursued Hatori, and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. The 39-year-old of Kailua-Kona man became unresponsive while in police custody at the scene.

Firefighters took Hatori to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead before 2 a.m.

HTH: Hatori a Four-Time Convicted Felon

read ... Probe

SB2591: Can Misconduct Bill 'Validate' Public Trust in Hawaii Police?

CB: A bill that would allow Hawaii lawmakers and citizens to better scrutinize police officer misconduct in annual reports to the Legislature cleared its first hurdle Tuesday.

But there were also glimpses of possible future barriers to the measure, particularly from the state’s powerful police union.

The Senate Public Safety Committee passed Senate Bill 2591 late Tuesday afternoon 3-1, with Republican Sen. Sam Slom the only dissenting voice.

No discussion took place during the hearing, although the State of Hawaii Police Organization of Police Officers submitted vague written testimony that said it opposed the measure “in part.”

Slom told Civil Beat after the hearing that he had philosophical problems with the bill, saying it was too narrowly focused on annual reports to the Legislature. Instead, Slom said the best approach would be to revisit the law that allows county police officers to keep their disciplinary files secret.

“My whole point is I certainly think that there should be transparency ... about misconduct,” Slom said. “(But) I don’t know what information coming to the Legislature is going to do. We ask for reports all the time. We don’t follow up on them and we don’t do oversight.”

Now the bill will move on to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Clayton Hee.

read ... Validate Trust?

Violations at federal building where employees claim mold is causing serious illness

HNN: About a half dozen federal employees at the historic U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building downtown blame mold there for asthma and other life-threatening health problems they have suffered for nearly three years.  While federal ICE officials denied there are serious environmental problems with the building, some employees said they have faced retribution for filing illness claims.

The building is located at 595 Ala Moana Boulevard, a historic structure constructed in the early 1930s. It's where federal officers work on customs and immigration investigations as well as enforcement.

read ... Violations

Hilo Bay: Shark Gobbles Up Delicious Turtle in Front of Startled Tourists

WHT: A large shark snatched a sea turtle swimming in the shallows along Naniloa Hilo Hotel on Friday morning, startling guests who were watching the honu from the rocky shore a few feet away.

Kalei Lyman, hotel manager, said he was called out to the scene and saw the shark swim away with the turtle firmly in its jaws.

“It was four feet in front of me,” he said, as he pointed to the rock he stood on.

Lyman said the turtle later washed ashore with a large gash in its side. About half the turtle, including a large chunk of its shell, was missing.

Jennifer Turner, director of the marine turtle research program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said the predator was likely a tiger shark based on descriptions. She estimated its length at 10 feet.

read ... About The Real World

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