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Thursday, July 08, 2010
July 8, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:58 PM :: 5295 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Amended Akaka Bill still excludes 73% of Native Hawaiians from Tribe

Aiona on Akaka Bill: "These changes will help to achieve the broad-based support that this landmark legislation deserves.”

Shapiro: Can the Akaka bill survive legislative ineptitude?

The Akaka bill for Native Hawaiian political recognition is complex  legislation that has the potential to change life in Hawai’i in the most fundamental ways.

That’s why I always took comfort that for most of its life, the bill had the support of virtually all of the state’s political establishment from nearly every ideological stripe; I figured if something was terribly wrong, somebody would blow the whistle. (This is how Hawaii journalists think.  If the political class is nearly 100% for it, it must be OK.  No need check any further.)

For the same reason, it made me uncomfortable when our Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye pulled out major last-minute amendments without bothering to inform Gov. Linda Lingle, costing them her support.

It was highly suspicious that the senators and the Obama administration felt a need to sneak around behind the back of a Republican governor who for seven years had been a solid ally in lobbying for the bill against the grain of national GOP opposition.

The secret changes they made to give a Hawaiian governing entity a high level of immunity from state laws before any negotiations took place were never satisfactorily explained.

Today’s announcement that Akaka and Inouye are amending the bill again to satisfy Lingle’s objections and bring her back on board restores the original political comfort level.

(It shouldn’t.  Think for yourself.)

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Author claims AtomicMonkey blog “Not a Mufi campaign strategy”

 

BY KEITH ROLLMAN – The AtomicMonkey.WordPress site was my personal blog. It was not, as stated by Neil Abercrombie’s recent press release, a Mufi Hannemann campaign strategy.

Several weeks ago the PR agency for Mufi Hannemann expressed their concern that others might try to associate it with the Mayor so I took it down (over two weeks ago).

As far as I know Mayor Hannemann never even saw it and certainly didn’t have anything to do with it. Assertions to the contrary by Abercrombie are simply speculation.

RELATED:

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Gay/Atheist lobby attacks Vili the Warrior

Ilind: An unhappy reader spotted photos of UH football mascot Vili the Warrior carousing with Duke Aiona, GOP candidate for governor, during the 4th of July parade in Kailua. This was a Twitpic photo posted by Aiona’s campaign. There’s also a YouTube video of the same scene.

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How Panos Prevedouros could become mayor

As Honolulu’s five mayoral candidates prepare to square off for their first major debate this year, the rail issue is again likely to be at the forefront.

“I think rail is what will define the candidates,” said mayoral candidate and Honolulu Council Member Donovan Dela Cruz. “There’s obviously going to be pro- or anti-rail candidates, but it’s important to differentiate the pro-rail candidates for how they’re going to proceed.”

One of the reasons Dela Cruz sees differentiation as important is because he’s one of the four candidates popularly described as “pro-rail.” A University of Hawaii engineering professor, Panos Prevedouros, is thus far the only mayoral candidate who is running on a strong anti-rail platform.

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Hannemann still hasn’t come out on civil union decision

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While many have voiced their opinion on House Bill 444, one gubernatorial candidate's stance remained unclear. Mufi Hannemann has said he is for protecting traditional marriage, but also says he's a champion for civil rights.  Today we asked him what exactly he would have done with the civil union decision.

"(House Bill) 444 would have been problematic for me if that bill would have weakened the institution of marriage between a man and a woman," said Mufi Hannemann, Honolulu Mayor.

"So does that mean veto?" I asked.

"Well as I said I don't know. I would have been there, I need to go through there, but obviously there would have been two things for me to have done veto or let it go without my signature. I'd have problems just full on signing it," responded Hannemann….

Abercrombie’s straight forward stance helped Abercrombie gain the support of the gay community.  Today he was endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Caucus.

(An that is why this story is FINALLY working its way into the MSM.  It has Democrat GLBT sponsorship.)

RELATED: Full Text: Hannemann again refuses to take position on HB444, Kaauwai: Hannemann supports HB444 gay civil unions, Gay Civil Unions: Mufi still refuses to oppose HB444

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UPW endorses Hannemann/GLBT Endorses Abercrombie

The United Public Workers, one of the state's most high-profile labor unions, has endorsed Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for governor.

Abercrombie picked up the endorsement of the Democratic Party of Hawaii's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered caucus.

Jonah Kaauwai, the chairman of the state Republican Party, suggested the UPW endorsement means Hannemann would be captive to unions.

"The first of the Big 4 public unions have spoken today in support of Mufi Hannemann, confirming to Hawaii Hannemann is a politician willing to be bought by special interests," he said in a statement. "Hawaii can expect that if union bosses demand higher wages, Hannemann will hand it to them at the expense of Hawaii's families and small businesses through higher taxes. The question is, what and how much did Hannemann promise?"

SA: UPW endorses Hannemann

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Gay sex tourists threaten boycott

"Nine out of 10 seem to be from the mainland. They're angry and they want to boycott their vacation here and will spread the word to their friends not to come," said Alapa between incoming phone calls.

At least one hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki, is booked solid through August. A hotel spokesperson said it's too early to tell if there are any cancellations due to the veto.

RELATED: Gay Murder at Ilikai Hotel

HNN: Businesses brace for civil union veto impact

SA: Civil unions veto backlash begins

SF Chronicle: Should civil union veto mean Hawai'i boycott?

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Inouye Endorses Civil Unions

I’m old enough to remember laws that were part of the United States where it was punishable as a crime if a white person married an Asian, or Polynesian, or an African, and most of those who proposed such laws said, `God dictated that.’

They are saying now that God says same sex should not get together. I think they’re citizens. They’re people of the land. And our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence said `We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

Why should we say it’s limited just for the white folks? It should be for all folks. Big, small, fat, thin, gay, heterosexual, whatever it is.

(Everybody has exactly the same right to marry a willing member of the opposite sex.)

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BOE reform low on candidates' list

Despite the stakes for public education and the attention given to the issue by Gov. Linda Lingle, none of the candidates for governor has made the structure of the state Board of Education a significant part of their education platforms.

Voters could reshape the school board in November by giving the governor the authority to appoint members.

Aiona has called for an independent financial and management audit of the Department of Education. He said he would take the findings from the audit, along with the voters' decision on an appointed or elected school board, and use it to direct restructuring of the school system.

Aiona believes in breaking up the department into local school districts with local school boards, like Lingle had proposed for several years. But he has not made the idea, which was rejected by the Legislature, a component of his education platform. Instead, like Abercrombie, he has called for empowering principals and ensuring more spending decisions are made at the school level. He also is an advocate for charter schools and home schools as alternatives to traditional public schools.

"It's a tough question, simply because I think more should have been done, more can be done," Aiona said of the ballot question. "But I have to say, 'Vote for it.' I'll be in favor of it, because I believe at least it's a step in the right direction."

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Hawaii Island Parent to DOE Superintendent: Don’t Close Our Kohala School

Reading Mr. Randolph G. Moore’s description of Kohala Middle School in his draft letter to you dated June 23, 2010 made me furious! (See enclosure).

He states that the school “does not have fine arts classrooms, a formal music facility or a shower/locker room for physical education, all of which are standard in new middle schools”.

Thanks to the Department of Education implementation of Act 51 (“Reinventing Education”) weighted student formula funding cuts, the school lost its full time art teacher and full time chorus teacher. Some years ago Mr. Randolph G. Moore — as the “Act 51 Implementation Manager” — explained to our teachers that they would just “have to do more with less”. At the time, the high school lost enough positions there was fear students would not be able to have the necessary classes to be able to earn a BOE diploma.  In the light of such cutbacks and loss of staff what good would such music, shop and art classrooms do?  Wasted space, like I saw at the new Kealakehe High School, perhaps.

(So ACT 51 is creating the crisis which the DoE purports to solve by closing schools.  First cut them off, then kill them.)

WHT: Closing school 'desirable' but not yet

KITV: Public Lashes Out Against Public School Consolidation

HR: Hawaii Department of Education Moves to ‘Consolidate’ Rural Schools to Save Money, While Administration Annual Budget Exceeds $2.3 Billion

SA: Hundreds oppose Haleiwa school closure

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Ways and Means Committee Launches Investigation Into Alleged Airport Mismanagement, Contracting Practices, Wasteful Spending and Favoritism

Committee members delved into the subleasing of a building that the state bought during the 1990s on Ualena Street near Honolulu International Airport.

Warehousing Inc. leases the property for $16,000 a month and that space within the property became available in 2007, according to information released by the committee.

Department of Transportation Deputy Director Francis Keeno says the state picked up a $73,000 a month sublease in July 2007 because rental car companies had indicated they could use it to store and stage vehicles.

But the state was left without a tenant when the economy tanked and rental companies withdrew from the plan, Keeno said, adding there had been no written agreement with the rental car companies about using the space.

Kim slammed the DOT taking over the sublease when there had been no agreement. The sublease runs through 2012.

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$394 Million in General Funds Frozen

More than one-third of the $1 billion the state invested in failed auction-rate securities belonged to the general fund and could have been used to help solve the budget crisis, according to a new document obtained by Civil Beat….

We put in a freedom of information act request with the Hawaii Department of Accounting and General Services on May 5 for that document, which Higa says is the best way to track where the money came from.

As it turns out Higa's estimate was conservative: The document indicates that nearly 37 percent, or about $394 million of the invested money belonged to the general fund.

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New Hawaii law aims to put homeless in apartments

A new law aims to get the chronically homeless into their own apartments. Gov. Linda Lingle let House Bill 2318 become law Tuesday without her signature.

Rep. Rida Cabanilla, a Democrat representing Waipahu and Ewa, says the law will help the chronically homeless who can't cope with or aren't accepted to emergency and transitional shelters.

(Meet your new neighbor: A shelter reject.)

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Shapiro: Short of banning fireworks, at least pass a decent law

If Council members aren't ready to eliminate all fireworks except the professional shows because of objections from the industry and cultural groups, they must at least undertake a major crackdown on illegal professional-grade rockets, which cause most of the problems.

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Study: Hawaii second happiest state in the US

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – If you want to be happy, stay right here in the islands or consider a move to one of the Rocky Mountain states, according to an article published on the website Live Science. The study ranks Hawaii second only to Utah in terms the overall happiness of their residents.

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