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Thursday, March 24, 2016
March 24, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:56 PM :: 2245 Views

Billy Kenoi Indicted, Arrest Warrant Issued -- Could Get 15 Years in Prison

Nai Aupuni Fundarising: Don’t Give These Scams a Dime

SR16: Hawaii Legislative Resolution Asks Google to Censor Internet

Where to Vote: Hawaii Democrats Presidential Preference Poll March 26

Victory: Lawmakers shelve fuel tax hikes

HNN: The three-part tax increase would have affected everyone who drives. Here's how:

Two cents would have been added to the state's gas tax.

The vehicle registration fee would have jumped from $45 to $76.50.

And the vehicle weight tax would have gone up too, making drivers shell out one cent more per pound.

After hearing testimony from a taxation watchdog group, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee told DOT officials he had doubts about the way the department manages its money. 

"There is a concern about the backlog as well as the DOT's management up until this point," said State Rep. Henry Aquino.

Tom Yamachika, of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, raised questions over whether DOT is spending its current appropriations efficiently. "Not only the money that taxpayers give them," he said. "but also the money from the federal government."

Ed Sniffen, deputy director of highways, said when the current administration took over there was a $750 million backlog of federal funds that hadn't been spent. The department has reduced that to just under $600 million.

SA: Vehicle tax raise shelved, despite push from Ige

read … Lawmakers shelve tax hikes

Haoles Back Sanders in Democrat Vote Saturday

CB: It’s just two days before Hawaii Democrats hold a presidential preference poll, and I’m getting all sorts of different messages from the Hillary for Hawaii team.

It turns out that scores of Japanese-American leaders are backing the former secretary of state for president, including U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, former Gov. George Ariyoshi and Irene Hirano Inouye, the widow of the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye.

I know this because I received a press release titled “Prominent Hawaii Japanese-American Leaders Endorse Hillary Clinton.” …

There are about 30 other names on the list, such as Mark Takai, Colleen Hanabusa, Scott Saiki, Ron Kouchi and Jill Tokuda — even Bob Toyofuku, who I would describe as a lobbyist and not a leader per se. But whatever….

Hillary for Hawaii also informs me that “Nearly 100 Hawaii Filipino-American Leaders Endorse Hillary Clinton for President.” They are led by former Gov. Ben Cayetano and educators like Amy Agbayani and Jeff Acido. TV personality Emme Tomimbang Burns and City and County of Honolulu staffer Nicole Velasco also adorn the list.….

Hillary for Hawaii says “Native Hawaiian Leaders Endorse Hillary Clinton for President.” They include former U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, former Gov. John Waihee and U.S. Interior official Esther Kiaaina…. Former legislator Annelle Amaral and activist Robin Punani Danner are on that list, too….

But wait, there’s more, says another press release: “Hillary for America Announces AAPI Leadership Council.” AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and there are more than 150 of them supporting Clinton, from the grassroots level to high office. They include Hirono, Takai, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois….

read … Hawaii Democrats White Ruling Class

On November Ballot: Police Commission Can Fire Chief

CB: …Oahu voters will have the chance to toughen up the Honolulu Police Commission in light of numerous scandals gripping the Police Department, including a federal investigation of Chief Louis Kealoha.

On Wednesday, the Honolulu Charter Commission adopted a proposal that, if approved by voters Nov. 8, would make it easier for the Police Commission to suspend or fire the chief for a wide range of offenses.

Those would include disregarding public safety or violating professional responsibility through criminal conduct or substance abuse.

Currently, the commission does not have the authority to suspend a police chief. There’s also a high burden of proof that must be met before a chief can be fired that largely hinges on proving “gross or continuous maladministration.”

The proposal would also give the Police Commission subpoena powers and the ability to recommend punishment or corrective actions for officers accused of misconduct. If the chief decided to ignore the commission’s recommendations, he would be required to provide a written explanation.

At least one person at Wednesday’s Charter Commission meeting said the proposal doesn’t go far enough….

Full Text: Charter Comm Proposal

read … Charter Comm

SB3034: Victims’ rights measure advances through House

SA: A bill that would ensure enforcement of crime victims’ rights as an amendment to the state Constitution remains alive at the Legislature.

Senate Bill 3034, known as the Marsy’s Law for Hawaii bill for its relation to the national Marsy’s Law victims rights initiative, would amend the Constitution to establish the right of crime victims or their immediate surviving family to be informed of major developments in the case, the final disposition of a case, and when the accused person is released from custody; to have their safety considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the accused; to be provided with information regarding financial assistance or other services available to victims; and to be notified of all public court proceedings relating to their case.

“This bill is so important because it requires that victims be informed of their rights and it guarantees that they’ll be enforced.” – Iris Kauhane, domestic assault victim

It would further give victims the right to provide information to a probation official conducting a pre-sentence investigation into the impact of the offense on the victim or surviving family, and any sentencing recommendations before the defendant’s sentencing.

Hawaii is one of 18 states that has not adopted such rights as constitutional guarantees.

read … Victims Rights

Stadium’s future could be tied to private-public development

SA: …Next week the Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would lift half of the 49-year-old restriction against commercialization of the property. If approved, the measure would go to the full council April 20.

“This (resolution) is critical in the redevelopment of the Aloha Stadium property,” Council Chair Ernie Martin said Wednesday.

The other half of the restriction, held by the federal government since 1967, took a big step toward resolution earlier this month with the opening of the first stages of the 65-acre Central Maui Regional Sports Complex adjacent to the Wailea development….

read … Stadium Deal

Thousands petition to keep Wahiawa General Hospital open

KHON: Dozens rallied at the State Capitol Wednesday in support of Wahiawa General Hospital as financial troubles threaten to shut it down.

CEO Don Olden previously told KHON2 the hospital was able to survive by digging money out of “reserves,” but that money has since run out.

He believes the hospital could turn things around if the state grants an emergency fund of $6 million over the next two years.

“It’s not that the hospital has been frivolous with the money, it’s just that the reimbursements are down,” said Tammy Kohrer, director of nursing at Wahiawa General Hospital. “It’s pretty hard to stay in existence without being part of a big health system now.”

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Health approved two resolutions, HCR 118and HR 73, that call for “immediate and emergent financial assistance” for the hospital.

Lawmakers also received overwhelming testimony in support of keeping the hospital open….

SA: Supporters push state for $3M in aid to Wahiawa hospital

read … Thousands petition to keep Wahiawa General Hospital open

Hawaii Superferry Headed for Maine-Nova Scotia Route

PH: The new operator of the Portland-Nova Scotia ferry service has finally landed a vessel to run the route, but Portland officials say they don’t want trucks rolling on or off the ship in Maine.

Bay Ferries Ltd. announced Thursday that it will lease a U.S. Navy ship, the Puerto Rico, for the run and it will rename the ship The Cat, which was also the name of a high-speed catamaran ferry that ran between Maine and Nova Scotia from 2006-2009. The new vessel is about two-thirds the length of the Nova Star, a more conventional ferry that ran the route for the last two years, losing so much money that it was held in Portland for a month last fall until its owners paid off creditors in the U.S….

It’s not clear if the city’s opposition to trucks will be a huge impediment to reaching an agreement. A spokesman for the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia said this week that the party wants the new ferry to be able to accommodate large commercial trucks.

The Liberal Party is in power in Nova Scotia and a call to the province’s transportation minister was not returned by Thursday afternoon….

CR: High-speed ferry to run between Portland and Nova Scotia

read … Bye Bye Superferry

Anti-GMO Movement: Deny 3rd World Farmers the Best Seeds

HFD: While the anti-GMO movement continues to unfold here in Hawaii as a fake “grassroots” campaign, the industry funded right to know continues to put political pressure at the federal level.  The developing world is watching what’s happening here and holds the potential tools from the small farmer.  In a world where the majority derives income from agriculture, we are quick to deny them access to improved seeds.  We don’t even allow them the chance to ensure food security to begin with.  It’s cruel to do this. 

read … Paint

Apo: Prince Kuhio Founded Indian Tribe—But Nobody Noticed until recently

CB: …his most notable achievement — the full importance of which wasn’t clear for decades — was his authorship of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the Homestead Act….

This act of the prince unsuspectingly established a federal pathway to self-determination by providing a strategic shield of congressional protection for his people as Native Hawaiians.  It was, and still is, the foundation of congressional recognition that acknowledges and gives standing to Hawaiians as an indigenous people warranting special status.  The Homestead Act, this tiny little window, this gift from a Prince of Hawaii, gave us a vital opportunity for recovery and survival.

The first major congressional reference to the Homestead Act of 1920, that opened the door to a flow of entitlements, was the Native Hawaiian Education Act of 1965. It reaffirmed a special relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians. Then, again in 1988, the milestone Native Hawaiian Health Care Act was passed, reaffirming the distinct land rights, and other rights, of Native Hawaiian people.

So, from the Hawaiian Homestead Act has flowed a genealogy of congressional actions; more than 230 federal entitlement programs have translated into millions of dollars for health care, education, jobs and business opportunities.

read … Making it up as they go along

Soft on Crime: Out on Probation Does it Again and Again and Again

MN: …Gardiner had pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree theft in his latest cases.

He was charged with stealing a bicycle Feb. 12, 2015, in Kaanapali and stealing from NAPA Auto Parts on May 22.

When the thefts occurred, Gardiner was on probation for second-degree unauthorized entry into a dwelling, second-degree theft, second-degree terroristic threatening, attempted third-degree assault and second-degree escape in 2011 and 2013 cases. His probation was revoked in those cases, and he was resentenced to prison terms to be served at the same time as sentences in the 2015 cases.

read … Soft on Crime

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