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Friday, July 16, 2010
July 16, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:25 PM :: 7552 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Furloughs cause dramatic improvement in test scores

Overall percentages of students testing proficient in reading rose from 60% in 2007 to 67% this year. Those testing proficient in math went from 38% three years ago to 49% this year. The biggest gains in reading and math went to eighth-graders, who improved 12 percentage points in reading and 18 points in math.

This year, 141 schools reached the benchmark of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). That's 49% of Hawaii's public schools. In 2009 only 36% of the schools met AYP standards.

The less students are exposed to the DoE environment, the better they do?

HNN: Test results a mixed review for middle school  How did furloughs lead to test scores improving?  Here is a clue:

Saddled with seventeen furlough days, teachers at Niu Valley Middle tutored in the morning, at lunch, and in the afternoon to make up for lost time and prepare 800 students for the annual exams.

"It wasn't that easy. So teachers did a bang up job in looking at the curriculum, looking at the data," Mew said.

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Djou ahead of the pack in campaign fundraising  (Old boys running out of cash)

Quickly recharging their fundraising operations after the special election for Congress in May, U.S. Rep. Charles Djou raised $176,980 in the last weeks of June while state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa brought in $107,224.

Djou, a Republican, had $379,046 in cash on hand at the end of June and had raised $1.6 million overall for his campaign in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, urban Honolulu, according to new federal campaign finance reports. Hanabusa, the leading Democratic candidate, had $211,411 in cash and had raised $1.3 million in total.

"The people of Hawaii showed in the special election that they wanted change," Djou said in a statement. "Their outpouring of support is speaking in a clear voice that they are tired of government spending far too much taxpayer dollars on public programs that aren't working. The concern that our national deficits and debt pose are real. That's what I campaigned on, that's what I won on and that is what I will continue focusing on in Congress."

The Hanabusa campaign declined to comment on fundraising. 

(If the old boys are running short on cash, this bodes well for November.)

Ramsay Wharton, a former television reporter running in the Republican primary in the 2nd District, has raised $16,305. She had $6,850 in cash at the end of June.

John Willoughby, a commercial airline pilot and Navy veteran also running in the Republican primary, said he has raised about $13,000. His campaign finance report was not immediately available.

CB: With Friends Like These ...

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Fulfilling sewer pact to cost city $4.7 billion (Almost as much as another Rail System)

About $3.5 billion in sewer construction projects planned over the next 10 years will help the city comply with a consent decree to settle years of litigation alleging deficiencies in the city's sewage and waste-water treatment systems, officials said.

The amount includes projects already under way and new construction required by the settlement reached between the city, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Health and three environmental groups.

Under the agreement the city has 10 years to renovate and improve sewers, and until 2024 and 2035 to refit its two sewage plants—at Honouliuli and Sand Island, respectively—to meet secondary-treatment standards required by the federal Clean Water Act. Those two plant upgrades are estimated to cost an additional $1.2 billion.

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SA: Stay on track on rail funding

The city ordinance approved by the Council three years ago provided that the project's capital cost and interest "shall be paid entirely from general excise tax and use tax surcharge revenues, interest earned on the revenues, and any federal, state or private revenues."

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson said that any use of general fund money, mainly from property taxes or diversion of TheBus money, would violate the ordinance. That seems to be the case.

However, when Anderson put the question to Wayne Yoshioka, the city transportation director, Yoshioka answered, "Is it even a consideration? Sure, everything's on the table. But I think when we have to look at this issue we're going to really have to look at it comprehensively. It's not really a policy we're following right now." He called dipping into the city's general fund "highly unlikely."

(And now they have to pay for two rail systems.  On for transit and one for sewage.)

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City Council To Set Special Mayoral Election

Council Chairman Todd Apo said Thursday that the council will meet July 22 at 10 a.m. to decide whether to hold the special election in conjunction with the state primary election on Sept. 18, or the general election on Nov. 2.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann is expected to resign Tuesday, as required by the state's "resign-to-run" law, to run for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Prosecutor Peter Carlisle is expected to resign soon after to run for the nonpartisan office of mayor.

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Shapiro: Carlisle gets SHOPO’ed

Carlisle’s early advantage is far greater name recognition and familiarity to voters. Caldwell is a former House majority leader, but didn’t leave much of a footprint there. As managing director, he’s mostly been seen grinning in the background at Hannemann appearances.

But he’s piling up endorsements from Hannemann allies and building a big lead in campaign donations to pay for a major media blitz — much of it coming from the same rail vendors and other city contractors who are fueling Hannemann’s campaign for governor.

Caldwell will have two months to build visibility as acting mayor after Hannemann resigns next week, and it doesn’t hurt that his wife, banker Donna Tanoue, is a longtime associate of senior Sen. Daniel Inouye.

City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz and rail opponent Panos Prevedouros are also mounting energetic campaigns for mayor, but it’s uncertain if either has broad enough support to challenge the big two.

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How Green is Abercrombie? He Won't Show (But he drives a ‘93 Tercel)

Civil Beat asked the three leading governor candidates (some VERY personal questions) to share information about their cars, electricity use, water use, food purchases and recycling habits. The goal: To show not just what they say, but what they do.  (Or is it to make them bow down to the green agenda and worship Goddess Gaia.) Former Rep. Neil Abercrombie said, "No."  But then Abercrombie’s campaign did respond…

(Maybe somebody should take up a collection to buy him a new car.)

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Ward heeler Geo Yokoyama Lionized by Star-Advertiser  (he backs Abercrombie)

Case won Yokoyama's endorsement and support in campaigns for both governor and Congress, although when Case ran against Yokoyama's good friend U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, Yokoyama went with the senator. Today Yokoyama is Neil Abercrombie's biggest Big Island supporter.

To his critics, Yokoyama as the 40-year head of the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council is one of the most flagrant Democratic Party ward heelers funneling government dollars into questionable projects.

His many supporters, who last night were to hold a roast honoring the retiring Yokoyama, point to more than $75 million in grant money that Yokoyama brought to the Big Island to develop projects ranging from raising bull frogs to teaching seniors to use computers.

"He's the Pied Piper of economic development in the war against poverty," says Rep. Clift Tsuji, whom Yokoyama convinced to leave his job to run for a state representative seat in Hilo.

"I first thought it had to be an act, but after you come to know him, you realize that he is doing it all from the heart. A lot of people believe George is one of the pivotal people on the Big Island," state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa says.

Noting that Yokoyama convinced Hawaiian activist Mililani Trask to endorse Case's run for governor, Hanabusa says, "When George calls out the troops, they come. He is an institution in Hilo."

TOTALLY RELATED: Larry Mehau supporting Neil Abercrombie

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Power Struggle in Judiciary?  Moon rescinds all administrative orders

And while looking at the Bar Association information, I noticed another item of interest–A June 9, 2010 order signed by Chief Justice Ronald Moon rescinding all statewide administrative orders and memos issued by the court administration.

Moon’s order affects all statewide circuit, family, and district court administrative orders or memoranda. All were rescinded when the order was filed.

A further clarification was added by the HSBA.

According to Moon’s order, the administrative memos had not been submitted for his review, a procedure which he had called for more than two years ago.

Is this some kind of internal power struggle or simply an administrative screw-up? It seems unusual for the court to have to intervene not once, but twice, regarding these administrative orders, and then take the radical step of throwing them all out, so I’ll bet on the former.

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OHA supports changes to Hawaiian recognition bill

The OHA Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the amendments to the bill, which were made to regain the backing of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

The changes clarify that a future Hawaiian government would be subject to state laws, as well as health and safety negotiations, until negotiations are completed.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona says the bill's modifications will allow the bill to move forward.

The measure could get a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this month (or as late as never). Then it would have to return to the U.S. House for a final vote before heading to President Barack Obama for his signature.

KITV: Hawaiian Recognition Bill Changes Supported

WHT: OHA trustees unanimously back Akaka Bill

Not all Hawaiians are happy with the Akaka Bill.
"This is the worst treaty of surrender I have ever seen. ... We have rights that are being violated. Not just personal rights of the kanaka (native subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii), but government rights," said Keonipaa Choy. "This is a foreign country coming in and dictating to us what we can do and what we cannot do."
That brought agreement, but also a reality check from Trustee Oswald Stender.
"People throughout the world have been unjustly displaced by an occupying country. The question is how do you fix it," Stender said. "Talking about it isn't going to make it right or make it go away unless we have an army bigger than the United States Army -- and that's not going to happen."

HR: Akaka Bill Petition Calls for Congressional Hearings and Vote in Hawaii  You will find the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopakakabill

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A few words from Djou and trash export is approved by Feds

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the go-ahead for the company to begin shipping, provided the business fulfills a compliance agreement.

USDA spokesman Larry Hawkins said federal inspectors suspended a test shipment of several containers last Friday after discovering some plastic-wrapped bales of waste had punctures and tears.

How this happened: Djou pushes Feds to cut red tape blocking Honolulu municipal waste exports

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Mayor imposes trash shipping deadline

"This is a firm position by the city. I personally communicated that last week on July 9 and we said you have one week to bring those documents in," said Mufi Hannemann, Honolulu Mayor.

That week is up Friday, July 16.  Mayor Hannemann wants to see the company's operational documents that show Hawaiian Waste can actually ship, unload and dispose of the rubbish.

"But if we don't get that tomorrow we're prepared to take measures to ensure that basically we sort of end this agreement if you will," said Hannemann.

Forbes: Honolulu mayor wants waste shipping company info

And Mufi is happy to cancel this contract as explained here: Nanakuli Park: Hannemann pounds Hanabusa in proxy fight between Waimanalo Gulch and PVT landfill

RELATED: Djou pushes Feds to cut red tape blocking Honolulu municipal waste exports

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Hawaii's first-time unemployment claims down by 6.3%

Oahu topped the state with 69 new claims filed, bringing its total to 1,562 so far this week, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to last year. Kauai saw 12 new claims filed this week, bringing its total to 187, an increase of 6.9 percent when compared to the same week last year.

Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii both saw decreases in filings for the week. Maui was down to 370 claims last week compared to 547 claims filed during the same week last year, a decrease of 32.4 percent. The Big Island had 103 fewer claims this week than it had a year ago, bringing its total for the week to 500, a decrease of 17.1 percent from the same week last year.

PBN: Hawaii small-business bankruptcies triple

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CB: Is the Bluest of States Bleeding Red?

On July 6, the day the Hawaii civil unions bill was vetoed, the fifth floor of the State Capitol was awash in a sea of pearl. The opponents of House Bill 444, who congregated outside the governor's executive chambers, all wore white. 

Other manifestations of faith were evident as well. Some opponents — gathered there that day by Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian socio-political advocacy group aligned with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu — prayed fervently and sang spiritual songs, while others fell to their knees and lifted their arms in worship.  (How dare they!)

As the appointed hour of 3 p.m. neared — counted down by a ticking clock on the governor's own website — the ivory flock swelled in size, soon dwarfing the rainbow-clad proponents of HB 444 who held court on the ground floor Rotunda five floors below.  (Why aren’t we the majority?)

When the veto announcement came, some shouted, "Hallelujah!"  (THE HORROR!)

And so it was that in an ostensibly liberal state — where Democrats control nearly every lever of power, where the color on the quadrennial electoral map is as blue as the Pacific — Hawaii once again denied full spousal rights and benefits for gays and lesbians.  (And the progressives still can’t figure out why.)

(Is this a Chad Blair’s chapter of  “The Value of Hawaii: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future”?)

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Questions asked of Gov Lingle by media after HB444 Veto

Ragnar Carlson, the editor of the Honolulu Weekly, faulted the press in an editor’s note in this week’s edition for not asking Gov. Linda Lingle “the many obvious historical and constitutional questions raised by her decision” after she vetoed a civil-unions bill.

Carlson, who attended the press conference at the state Capitol and included himself in the criticism, said the people of Hawaii deserved better.

Many of you knew it, and I heard from colleagues and readers ali(k)e. Asked to explain how and why the governor’s veto of an historic piece of social legislation didn’t generate better questions from reporters, I said it was probably the non-confrontational culture of local journalism mixed with group dynamics — if everyone else is being friendly, it’s often difficult to break up the good vibes. Not an excuse, by the way.

We reviewed our recording of the press conference and found that reporters asked the governor 18 questions…

(SA taking a swipe at HW as it sinks beneath the waves?)

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Civil unions supporters launch 'buycott' campaign

HONOLULU (AP) — Three Hawaii groups that support same-sex civil unions are launching a campaign to encourage consumers to buy from companies that also back civil unions….

The effort lists Hawaii businesses that score well on a questionnaire and an evaluation by an advisory board composed of members of Pride Alliance Hawaii.

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New Report Shows 81.3 Percent Of Hawaii Small Businesses Eligible For Health Care Tax Credits

More than 81.3 percent of Hawaii small businesses with fewer than 25 employees will be eligible this year for tax credits to help pay the cost of employee health coverage, according to a new report issued by the consumer health organization Families USA and small business advocacy group Small Business Majority.

The tax credit program, a key element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, targets small employers with up to 25 workers. In Hawaii, this means 16,300 small businesses will qualify. Nationally, more than 4 million small businesses-83.7 percent-are eligible in 2010 for the credit.

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UH Board of Regents approve student athletic fee

The more than 20,000 students attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa will soon pay more in student fees.

The U.H. Board of Regents approved a $50 dollar per semester athletic fee, despite criticism from both students and faculty.

The new fee will go into effect on January 2011 and will apply to only University of Hawaii at Manoa students.

Student athletic fee approved by UH Board of Regents

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'Resignation' bogus, musicians contend

On Sunday the symphony society declared an impasse in the negotiations with the Musicians' Association of Hawaii, Local 677 of the American Federation of Musicians, after the union rejected the society's "best and final" offer. The union subsequently filed a grievance with the local office of the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the society had not negotiated in good faith.

According to yesterday's e-mail announcement, attributed to society Chairperson Kimberly Miyazawa Frank, the musicians are "organizing a new resident symphony orchestra staffed by Honolulu Symphony Orchestra musicians."

"Therefore, HSS has accepted the resignation of these musicians as of July 13, 2010," the statement read.

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Climate theory holds up despite some bad data (Hilarious)

Ideology does not decide how nature behaves. Ask Lysenko.  Trofim Lysenko was a government agronomist under Joseph Stalin. Today his agricultural experimentation and research is largely viewed as fraudulent….  (Which is a good example of why we must reject the Global Warming Cult of Gore)

Climate change is arguably the most significant and difficult problem ever faced by the human race, (or is it Global Cooling?) and we are treating it like a political campaign (And whose campaign is it?). Are we the frogs who won't jump out of the boiling water, or are we the intelligent beings we claim to be who will continue to monitor as we hope for the best and plan for the worst? (And destroy the entire economy and all progress based on this fraud.)

Do I believe in climate change? No, what I believe is that our meager science has not afforded us an adequate understanding of nature, and I'll take the worst verifiable knowledge over the best unfounded speculation whether it supports my beliefs or not.  (So at the end, it boils down to this guy’s OPINION that the Global Warming scam is “verifiable knowledge” and his OPINION that its debunk is “unfounded speculation.”

This sad little opinion piece is designed to coincide with Dan Inouye's mass mailer sent out today titled: "Climate Change Requires Change"

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Founder of ‘THC Ministry' seeking bail on marijuana charges

HONOLULU (AP) - A Big Island man who founded The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry is seeking to be released on bail while he fights major federal marijuana charges. Federal Public Defender Matthew Winter said Thursday that Roger Christie will appear before US District Judge Alan Kay on Friday to appeal an earlier magistrate's ruling that he be held without bail.

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Hawaii County Ethics Commission declines to block Hamakua land sales

Con artists fail with claim to ownership of land.

Last Time they did this: Kuleana Plots Saved from the 'Stewards of Jesus'

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From Midweek…

Who is that with the lollipop?  Rep Rida Cabanilla’s office manager, gay rights pioneer Leon Rouse?  Or is it a friend of Rep Joe Bertram?  Oh, that’s right.  They like boys so it is OK.

TOTALLY RELATED:

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