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Monday, June 8, 2015
June 8, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:25 PM :: 3059 Views

Can OHA Keep Na'i Aupuni from Stealing $2.6M?

Full Text: Court Dismisses American Samoa Suit for US Citizenship

Travel Assoc: FAA Bill before Congress Should Cut Taxes on Airfares

The Inside Story of How Karl Rhoades Screws up a Bill

CB: ...My first trip for a hearing on the matter was before the House Judiciary Committee Chaired by Karl Rhoades and Vice Chair Joy A. San Buenaventura. I answered all their questions and for reasons known only to their combined brilliance they decreed the new law would only apply to those who had a .08 blood alcohol level. So the change they invented required scientific testing a suspect’s blood alcohol level.

I was confused by their action. It seems to me it would have made a great deal more sense before what appeared to plucking this change out of thin air for the Chair and Vice Chair to have asked me while I was testifying my thoughts about such a change. In the alternative, if the change was done on the spur of the moment I was still sitting directly in front of their noses. They could have easily asked me if their proposed change presented any problems.

The problem they created and overlooked was a small but blindingly obvious flaw. The suspect can refuse scientific testing.

After the bill had been voted on I waited around and during a break I asked them what they planned to do when a suspect refused to have their blood level tested. The Vice Chair didn’t appear capable of comprehending why this was a problem while Chairman Rhoades understanding the issue gave the rough equivalent of an “Oops.”

As the bill moved forward added to the mix was Sen. Will Espero who can put together in short order a witty charming and hilarious poem but doesn’t possess the same level of talent when it comes to effective legislation. Watching Espero and Rhoades working harmoniously together I was reminded of other dynamic duos such as Frick and Frack, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and Flotsam and Jetsam.

Under their tutorage the bill moved forward and become miserably mangled. Even they admitted it was less than perfect legislation. In fact it was so entirely imperfect that I left a message for Joe Souki thanking him for his assistance but due to changes inflicting the legislation I could no longer support it.

I called a whole bunch of other people with the same message and asked them to please kill the now useless bill. Due to their pressure intelligently applied, the bill was shelved and died for this year....

read ... Peter Carlisle

FBI Investigating Oregon Obamacare Exchange, Hawaii Next?

MM: Oregon’s exchange is six feet under — shuttered last year after government overseers squandered $300 million on a failed website and shady consultants who allegedly set up a phony website to trick the feds. The FBI and the Health and Human Services Department inspector general’s office reportedly have been investigating the racket for more than a year now.

In the People’s Republic of Hawaii, which has been a “trailblazer” of socialized medicine for nearly four decades, the profligate state-run exchange demanded a nearly $30 million cash infusion to remain financially viable after securing $205 million for startup costs.

The Hawaii Health Connector accidentally disconnected hundreds of poor patients’ accounts and squandered an estimated 8,000 hours on technological glitches and failures. Enrollment projections were severely overinflated like a reverse Tom Brady scandal.

After failing to secure a bailout, Hawaii announced last week that its exchange would be shut down amid rising debt.

read ... Investigating 

Police investigating bullet shot into Mauna Kea observatory (Update: Hole not from bullet)

HNN: "When officers responded to the scene, they found out that sometime after about 4 p.m., the employees had found something appearing to be a bullet hole in one of the doors," said Hilo patrol Sgt. Paul Kim.

Photos provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, which operates the telescope, show a hole just over 9.5 millimeters in diameter.

The Subaru Telescope is an 8.2 meter optical and infrared telescope, which began operating in the summit area of Mauna Kea in 1999 after seven years of construction.

Japanese astronomers have used the telescope to discover distant primordial galaxies and new solar systems.

The possible gunshot damage comes at a time of heightened controversy atop the mountain, as opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope have blocked its construction since late March, with protests spreading worldwide.

However, police said they don't know who is responsible for the damage at the Subaru Telescope. It's also the first time they've responded to this kind of vandalism atop the mountain.

"As far as I'm aware, I can't think of any previous incident similar to this," said Kim.

Police have currently classified the case as reckless endangering and criminal property damage.

read ... Primordial Galaxies

Star-Adv: Push back against Thieving Administrators Gives UH 'a Bargain'

SA: University of Hawaii President David Lassner's salary last year ranked in the bottom third among 230 public college presidents, according to a new report by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The report, released Sunday, covers the fiscal year that started July 1, 2013. Because Lassner was appointed interim president on Sept. 1, 2013, his salary is listed as "partial-year compensation" at $270,840.

The figure reflects 10 months of pay at the $325,008 annual salary the UH Board of Regents approved for Lassner when naming him to the interim post. At the prorated salary, Lassner's base pay ranks No. 187 out of 227 university presidents in the report....

Overall, the typical public college president earned an average of just over $428,000 last fiscal year, an increase of about 7 percent over the year before. Median base pay was $400,000, and presidents on average made nearly four times more than their average full-time professors, the report found. (The median faculty salary at the flagship Manoa campus is $98,340, according to the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.)....

HNN: Tragedy: Only Two Public University Presidents Score $1M/year

read ... Basis of Comparison

Hawaii: Asian-Based Civility Trampled by Professional Activism

KE: I've got a post on my new website that reflects a bit on my initial impressions of Korea. The people are unfailingly polite, and I was reminded again of the Asian-influenced civility that has so sadly been lost on Kauai in the past few years, trampled by the tactics that characterize the mainland-based anti-GMO movement.

But what do they care if the social fabric of Hawaii has been irrevocably rent? They've got an economic and political agenda, and it doesn't have anything to do with supporting communities, despite all their “good neighbor” rhetoric, which they believe should apply only to seed company actions, and never their own.

SA: More Infighting by Animal Liberation Nuts in Kauai Humane Society

read ... Musings: That Civility Thang

Anti-GMO Boss Developed Marketing Techniques in Manoa

SA: ...Ashley Lukens, 33, is the former co-owner of Baby aWearness ("A gathering place for Mindful Families") in Manoa, a boutique that sells reusable diapers and other products for eco-minded parents. (A marketing strategy based on manipulating the buying decisions of those who see themselves as possessing superior 'mindfulness'.  Perfect training for anti-GMO activism.) She said she was not initially interested in wading into the GMO-labeling debate in Hawaii. She got into the business as a new mom but left to complete her doctorate in political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where her research brainwashing led her to examined (so-called) culturally appropriate strategies for food system transformation (which means whatever she wants it to).

The issue hit home for her when she met a Kauai mom who was debating whether to send her two daughters to a school in Waimea that had been evacuated three times due to (mindless hysteria over alleged) pesticide drift, (among of several such mass-hysteria events staged at schools statewide)....

CB: Homeless Dude gets job as UH Prof, Preaches Population Control

read ... Marketing and Brainwashing meet Mass Hysteria

Hawaii Police Have Killed More People Per Capita Than Most of the U.S.

CB: Hawaii ranks (fifth) in the U.S. for the number of people killed this year by police on a per capita basis, according to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper.

At least four people have died after encounters with law enforcement officers, including fugitive Bruce Zalonka, who was shot by a U.S. Marshals Service deputy in a Chinatown parking garage on May 12.

Zalonka, 46, is believed to have been reaching for a .38 caliber handgun when he was shot and killed by the deputy.

The other three people killed by police this year include Sheldon Haleck, Jeffrey Surnow and Michael Kocher Jr.

Haleck died in March after he was pepper-sprayed and tasered by Honolulu police officers who were trying to stop him from running through the streets around Iolani Palace. Officials have been tight-lipped about the cause of death, and have refused to release his autopsy results.

Both Surnow, 63, and Kocher, 19, were hit by police vehicles. Surnow, who was visiting the Big Island from Michigan, was struck by a Hawaii County Police officer while riding his bicycle around South Kohala.

Kocher was hit by a car while walking along a highway on Kauai in early January. He was reportedly alive immediately following the accident, but was killed when the responding officer hit him for a second time....

read ... Police Shootings

Soft on Crime: Alleged Bisexual Child Molester Caught on Video (Repeat offender)

SA: The wife of a 61-year-old Wai­anae convicted sex offender turned her husband in to police after he was recorded on video fondling a 4-year-old boy, court rec­ords said.... (Amazing: They actually identify the gender of the victim in a same-sex molestation case.  The newsroom gays must have been off-duty last night.  Is this the beginning of a trend or a fluke?)

In 2003, Kozeniewski was sentenced to five years' probation for two counts of third-degree sexual assault.  (Probation.  Soft on crime

A media report of his arrest in that case said he was accused of assaulting four victims between the ages of 5 and 23. Kozeniewski allegedly tried to assault a 5-year-old girl, and after further investigation, three others said they had been assaulted.

read ... Man held in prison cell over molestation of boy

Star-Adv: Push 'Talia's Law' and help save a young child's life

SA: The brutal torture that 5-year-old Talia Williams was forced to endure in her young life is enough to sicken any decent person; the almost-daily punches, whippings or stompings over seven months finally killed her on July 16, 2005. The fact that it came at the hands of her own father and stepmother is beyond heinous; they are now in prison, he for life. That many in their Schofield Barracks community saw signs of Talia's torture but failed to help her is unforgivable. That system must be called to account and improved.

Hawaii's congressional delegation and their colleagues are urged to push legislation — "Talia's Law" — to require "mandatory reporters" on all U.S. military bases to report immediately any suspicions of abuse to the relevant state's child welfare agency....

Typically, the Army handles complaints or suspicions of child mistreatment via its military police or the Army Family Advocacy Program. But court documents showed that even an Army major general noted in an investigation into Talia's death of "a series of missed opportunities to potentially prevent the death of the child." ...

read ... Military Law?

Mandatory tips are subject to state general excise tax

SA: Question: I understand some restaurants have policies to automatically calculate and include gratuity on the meal tab. For example, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot at Ward Centre charges 18 percent gratuity if we have more than six people. However, would the 18 percent gratuity be calculated on the taxable meal only or on the total to include the 4.712 percent general excise tax? In other words, would we pay 18 percent gratuity on the taxes?

Answer: No, but the tip is subject to the tax. If a restaurant charges a mandatory gratuity for its meals, then it must include that amount in its gross receipts, which are subject to the state's general excise tax, said Mallory Fujitani, spokeswoman for the state Department of Taxation.

If tipping is optional, the GET isn't applied.

read ... Mandatory

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