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Monday, June 28, 2010
June 28, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:45 PM :: 9128 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

Democrat Borreca: Oshiro's future linked to HB 444 (Pressuring House to vote on override)

For Oshiro, when he goes back to his Aiea-Halawa, salt-of-the-Democratic-Party House district, he is careful to explain his position.

"I try to educate them about the issue of civil unions. It is not the same as same-sex marriage. It is about government and the benefits it affords to certain couples and that government should not be discriminating against certain couples," Oshiro says.

"This is something I have always advocated for," Oshiro adds, pointing out that he was also the author of bills on death with dignity, choice, hate crimes and discrimination.

Enter Gary Okino, another Democrat and a City Councilman who wants to run against Oshiro. He is Christian, conservative, says he prays for homosexuals and actually said he doesn't understand gays "because the parts don't fit."

Besides Okino, another Democrat, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, has carved out a political career opposing civil unions and same-sex marriage.

And besides Oshiro, Maui Democrat Rep. Joe Bertram is also openly gay.  (And Bertram is a pedophile rights advocate.)

Passing HB 444 is a plank in the Democratic Party platform, Lingle's possible veto is still on the bubble—but the real test of just how far Hawaii has come will be if Oshiro stays or goes this fall.

(The purpose of this article is to pressure Oshiro to force a vote in the House July 6.  It is implied that his political future rests on this vote.  Hanabusa’s Senate is ready for override but the House is not certain. )

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Criminal defense lawyers accuses Lingle of “Stacking the Court’ if she nominates Nakamura Chief Justice

(They already knocked Bennett off the list, now they are trying to make Lingle settle for 2/5.)

If Gov. Linda Lingle elevates Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald to chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, it will be a race against time as to whether she can fill his vacancy before she leaves office in December.

That uncertainty has led to speculation that Lingle may choose one of the other candidates nominated by the state Judicial Selection Commission to help ensure that she will have appointed three of the five members of the state's highest court.

Lingle has already left her mark on the Hawaii Judiciary, appointing nearly half of the state's 31 circuit judges and five of the six appeals court judges.  (Not enough to clean out the filth at the top—nor the many judges selected by felon Gary Rodrigues.)

Among the five other nominees considered a strong contender for chief justice is former federal prosecutor Craig Nakamura, who the governor appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals in 2004 and elevated to chief judge of the appeals court last year….

(Here is how they would stall the Commission until the next Governor sits….)

…based on the commission's past practice, the panel would first have to announce the vacancy, wait at least several weeks or more for applications, then screen and interview candidates before submitting names to the governor. The panel has only one paid staff member; commissioners work without pay.

Depending on the number of applicants, screening could take weeks or months, which might mean Lingle's successor would make the choice.

The commission, for example, announced the vacancy for the chief justice position in September last year, but didn't send Lingle a list of nominees until last week. On the other hand, the commission acted quickly enough so Lingle was able to appoint Recktenwald to replace Associate Justice Steven Levinson within seven weeks after Levinson left the bench in late 2008.

State Public Defender Jack Tonaki echoed the sentiments of others in the legal community who believe Recktenwald will still get the appointment, particularly because of his administrative skills.

"My guess is that the governor would approach it from that viewpoint rather than ideologically -- how can I say it? -- stacking the court, for lack of a better term," he said.

(Stacking the Court is a Democrat term for any Lingle action which leads to the Governor having appointed a majority of the Supreme Court Justices.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Kubo nomination: Hanabusa, Souza tied to Pali Golf course shooters’ mob  (Does Senate President Hanabusa really want to go another round on judicial nominations?)

SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT: Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina

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SA: Legislature should override veto of DoE Sup’t salary hike

Gov. Linda Lingle is contemplating a veto of a needed measure to improve the pay scale for such an important position. Senate Bill 2434 -- which includes a $10,000 boost in salary to $160,000, with a hefty incentive of an annual performance bonus building to a $90,000 maximum -- is on the potential veto list.

Should the governor kill this measure, lawmakers need to muster the necessary two-thirds vote to override it.

Details on how the performance bonus is awarded are still to be worked out by the board, but the general guidelines in the bill seem right. Student achievement measures will be part of the performance review, as it should be -- as long as the BOE uses a well-established and respected yardstick such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

(Obviously they will base the Sup’ts bonus on her ability to increase spending on education.  She will get a percentage of the DoE’s top-line revenue.)

All this restructuring needs to start with the school board itself. If voters decide to replace the elected board with one that's appointed by and accountable to the governor, there could be an opportunity to draft educators and community leaders who are up to the task.

However they are ultimately chosen, school boards members will have their work cut out for them -- building a school system set up for real progress.  (instead of real failure.)

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Thanks to anti-Superferry protesters, Harbor users will pay tab for Superferry work

Sen. Gary Hooser, D-Kauai-Niihau, said he believes the cost to harbor users will be reflected in higher prices for residents.  And so he wants to place the blame anywhere—except upon anti-Superferry protesters and their allies in the judiciary.

“All of our goods and services come through the harbor, so in effect the citizens pay one way or the other,” Hooser said. “It could have all been avoided if the process was followed properly by both the state and the private operator.”  (Or if my comrades on Kauai had not violated the law with impunity by swimming in the pat  of the boat.)

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CB: Numbers Don't Add Up at New Star-Advertiser

Three Sundays. Three lead stories in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser based on numbers. Three times the figures are misused and don't add up. Once, OK. Twice, a concern. Three times, I'd say that's a problem.

The perception I come away with is that the paper is trying to make a splash every Sunday. Look at this, it shouts. Can you believe how bad this is? But when you look closely, its front-page headlines aren't supported by the numbers.

Here are the lead headlines from the Star-Advertiser on its first three Sundays:

  • "Fresh Costs"
  • "ON OAHU, CRIME UP" (Yes, the headline across the entire width of the front page was in all capital letters.)
  • "Diploma distress"

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Look who’s “Facilitating Justice for All”

How to address Hawaii’s unmet legal needs was the topic of the Access to Justice Commission’s annual summit, held at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law on June 25.

“I’m not a lawyer. I couldn’t afford a lawyer. I didn’t know what to do.” These are the all-too-common words Chief Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra hears from defendants explaining why they failed to respond to foreclosure notices.

IBARRA: Hokulia Settlement Exposed

Circuit Court Judge Michael Town, who also served as a clerk under Chief Justice Richardson, delivered the closing remarks. Town invoked ancient wisdom from Leviticus and Themis (the Greek goddess of justice, whose counterpart is Nemesis), underscoring the age-old mandate to serve society’s disenfranchised. He also shared specific examples from Hawaiian history that reveal a cultural sensibility toward open access.

Most poignantly, he talked about the enduring philosophy of his own mentor, Justice Richardson, who always reminded him to “take care of the people in the waiting room.” It’s the people in that literal and figurative place, Judge Town explained, who need the most support and guidance. He concluded by urging the audience to continue the noble pursuit of serving “the least, the lost, and the left out.”

TOWN:  FBI probed judge in Pali trial, Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina

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Former Sierra Club Leader supports Telescope

…Ho goes on to imply that only those with direct economic interests in the telescope support it. When I was on the Sierra Club board, I never heard of any public opinion survey, formal or informal, on the matter. When I asked to look at all the scientific evidence showing an adverse environmental impact from the existing telescopes, all I saw was a report of a leak of a couple of quarts of hydraulic fluid and a discussion of whether or not a few weiku bugs were being excluded from a very tiny portion of this massive mountain.

As a science teacher, I am thrilled at the idea that the Big Island has become a world leader in astronomical research, astronomy education and even public access to world-class science museums like the Imiloa Center. Ho says we get more jobs from a new Target store than from the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope -- but that is a ridiculous comparison. Let me put it to Nelson Ho or any other Sierra Club member: Would you rather see your child grow up to be an astronomer, or work at Target?

…The Sierra Club is a worthy organization which plays a vital role in protecting our environment. However, in this case, the Sierra Club has made a bad decision.

I implore the Sierra Club to stop threatening to go to court to kill this project and to refocus on more serious threats to our environment.

Matt Binder, Kealakekua

Sierra Club Moku Loa Group board member 2002-2006

ALSO: University of Hawaii considers telescope proposal

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Overcoming meth addiction

When a young person has to go off-island to get drug treatment, the involved, supportive family component often has to be delivered from afar.

“When a child has to go off-island, it makes it hard for parents and families to participate. Relapse is high,” she said, underscoring how hard it can be to overcome some drug addictions.

Most rehabilitation programs stress the need for strong support systems, including support services, and family and friends to help them be strong is “very important,” Adams said. “People are always going to need treatment.”

Among Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s highest priorities, something he pledged to do before his first two years in office were over, was to site an adolescent, residential, drug-treatment facility on the island.

At one time the former Kaua‘i Humane Society building near Salt Pond Beach Park in Hanapepe was a promising locale.

Carvalho did not respond to a request for comment made through Mary Daubert, county public information officer, about where the siting plan rests today.

Theresa Koki, the county anti-drug coordinator in Carvalho’s office, said it’s still a high-priority item.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the county’s dire need for a treatment center, something which our mayor is passionate about resolving,” she said.

REALITY: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Blocks Kauai Drug Treatment Facility

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Public Meeting Set To Discuss State-Funded Youth Homes

A home on Damon Street is one of two Hale Kipa facilities in Manoa set up to house troubled youth.

Residents said they are concerned not enough is done to supervise clients coming in and out of their community.

Just Ignore This: 90 illegal half-way houses in Waianae?

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Kauai Residents discuss meaning of ‘ha`ole’—and get it wrong

Haole — when pronounced as one word — means happy. But when said as ha‘ole, the first part (ha) means “breath” and the second part (‘ole) means “no,” Kauanui said.  (Since when does haole mean haouli?)

This was the term coined to describe the missionaries (false) who ultimately overthrew the monarchy and “changed history” after settling in the Islands in the 1800s, following Captain Cook’s arrival in 1778, he said.

“Missionaries promised everything to royalty,” Kauanui said (falsely). They spoke, but had no meaning: ha‘ole. The royalty “had no choice but to go along,” he said. (Amazing that anybody falls for this line of bs.)

(More revisionist history.  Ha`ole refers to the fact that the first Europeans to arrive here did not participate in the traditional Polynesian greeting which consisted of pressing noses together and exchanging a lungful of air.  To the Polynesians, they were the people who did not exchange breath.)

Kauanui invited all participants to “learn anything about sovereignty” and thanked “all the visitors who have made this their home ... we welcome you,” he said.

“Honor the past, respect the future,” Kauanui said.  (While lying about it to a room full of the “conscious, enlightened, and progressive”—none of who were intelligent enough to spot the deception.)

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Sierra Club/Rep Chris Lee: Gulf disaster is the clearest sign yet we must move beyond our crippling dependence on oil  (Democrat campaign ads #1 & 2)

Already, President Barack Obama has called for sweeping reforms to the agency charged with managing oil drilling, and has halted new plans to drill in the Arctic and Virginia. These are critical steps, and the president deserves our respect for having the courage to take them.

(These steps guarantee that more drilling will occur in foreign waters under less stringent environmental controls.  Thus Rep Lee & Sierra Club advocate a policy which will lead to more oil spills, not less.)

SA: Gary Hooser: Weaning off fossil fuels will take political will -- lacking so far, but Hawaii can lead the way

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State not enforcing night noise-limit law (Democrat campaign ad #3)

Rep. Karl Rhoads, who introduced a similar noise bill, said the law doesn't ask for or require research.

"There's overwhelming research that shows noise that keeps you up at night can be bad for you," he said.

Rhoads (D, Palama-Sheridan) said the law asks the department to measure only the dBC scale, which is below human hearing, along with the audible dBA scale for noise complaints.

He also argued cost is not an issue because the department could use cheaper sound meters, such as a meter he bought at an electronics store for $50. To account for inaccuracies, a little leeway can be added to the reading, he said.

Under the law, the Health Department and the county liquor commissions are to enforce the nighttime noise levels, but the Health Department shall adopt the rules.

Rhoads said the Honolulu Liquor Commission is waiting for the Health Department to create those rules before taking action.

(By planting stories like this, the Star Case Family Advertiser helps Democrats maintain control of the Legislature.)

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Fireworks to light up hearing

Opponents say it would impose on those who set off fireworks as part of their culture and religion. Some have also argued that fireworks-related incidents would decrease if there were simply better enforcement of existing fireworks laws.

The Hawaii Food Industry Association, which represents fireworks retailers and suppliers, and the Consumer Fireworks Safety Association, both oppose a full ban.

Lauren Zirbel, who represents the groups, submitted testimony to the council arguing that a total ban would not solve current problems and only make the situation worse.

"Why should thousands of perfectly law-abiding citizens ... be penalized, or worse, forced to buy culturally necessary products through the black market?" Zirbel said. "A just society does not rob its citizens of their cultural and religious traditions simply because of the irresponsible or illegal acts of a few."

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To some, complaint blackout bill unfair; to others it's anti-consumer

While the state and consumer advocates believe the system provides transparency, many licensed professionals contend it can unfairly harm reputations and have persuaded the state Legislature to limit disclosure to complaints that have been resolved and validated.

Gov. Linda Lingle, however, has placed the bill on her potential veto list. The governor explained that shielding pending complaints could be detrimental to consumers who need such information to make informed decisions.

Lingle has until July 6 to veto, sign or allow the bill to become law without her signature.

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Building Permit tracking system delayed

The operating budget that takes effect July 1 includes about $300,000 to buy a computerized tracking system, said Warren Lee, director of the Department of Public Works, which issues the various types of building permits needed for most construction.

(This would interfere with the smooth functioning of the Hawaii County Department of Retaliation.)

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North Korea squanders 60 years on belligerence, bravado

Ordinary North Koreans, by contrast, lead a grim existence in a state that tolerates no dissent, deifies leader Kim Jong-il (Kim Il-sung's son) and eschews economic development out of fear that it might undermine the regime's control over society.

The Kim Dynasty has amply and irretrievably failed; yet, it refuses to die, because the small group of elites at the top are political survivalists who command the police, the military and the media.

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SA Oi: 'Cost' of war includes priceless American lives

Yes it does.  But what is the cost of defeat or surrender?  Somehow Oi overlooks this question.  American pacifism is the most violent ideology of all.

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Byrd Dead: Inouye now President Pro-Tempore of Senate

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a veteran of World War II and now the longest-serving member of the Senate, will become the president pro tempore of the Senate, replacing the late Sen. Robert Byrd, who died early Monday morning.

The 85-year-old Democrat, with 47 years in the Senate, will soon be sworn into the position by Vice President Joe Biden, aides said Monday.

The position doesn’t give Inouye any additional authority over controlling the Senate’s agenda, which falls to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). But the position puts him in the presidential line of succession behind Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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