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Wednesday, July 21, 2010
July 21, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:58 PM :: 5351 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Djou: “We need more private sector jobs, not more public sector programs”

How Charles Djou can do it

Hannemann resigns, Hawaii governor's race officially starts

Hannemann says his upper hand is CEO experience.

First on his budget to-do's is an audit on state spending.

"That doesn't sound like a very confident CEO if you have to conduct an audit, in other words another study," said Abercrombie.

"By the time you have an audit completed, it'll probably be not next year, but the following year, so Mufi is obviously naive in regards to that," said Aiona.

Republican front runner Aiona says his strength is budget experience as Lieutenant Governor.

"We don't have to learn on the job whereas Mufi and Neil will have to learn, you know, they're going to have to get on the job training, and we don't need that right now," said Aiona.

SA: Gubernatorial hopefuls punch, counterpunch as the state's election filing deadline passes

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Off and Running: Hawaii GOP candidates running in nearly every race

All 51 state House seats and 13 of 25 state Senate seats also will be before voters. Just three state lawmakers—state Rep. Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Queen's Gate-Hawaii Kai); state Rep. Barbara Marumoto (R, Kaimuki-Waialae-Kahala); and state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe Bay)—are unopposed in both the September primary and November general election.

The filing period for the two open Senate seats created by Bunda and Hooser's resignations was extended 10 days—to July 30—as required by state law when resignations occur so close to the filing deadline. Gov. Linda Lingle will appoint interim replacements, based on lists of recommendations by the Democratic Party, to fill the two Senate seats until November.

Democrats hold overwhelming majorities over Republicans in the state Legislature—45 to six in the House; 23 to two in the Senate—so the balance of power is unlikely to change in November. The challenge for Democrats is to channel their competing internal factions into a workable leadership model, while Republicans are fighting for survival and relevancy….

Jonah Kaauwai, the state GOP chairman, said Republicans hope to cut away at the Democrats in increments. The goal this year, he said, is to double the GOP's presence in the House to 12 seats and the Senate to four.

Republicans have done a better job recruiting candidates. In 2008, the party failed to field candidates for more than two dozen House and Senate seats. This year, the party is sitting out only three House and Senate races. Democrats, meanwhile, passed on finding contenders to challenge three House Republican incumbents.

HFP: Hawaii Republicans field over 80 candidates, contest nearly every seat in Legislature

KITV: Republicans Push To Fill Vacant Seats

Political Radar:  Free rides (6 unchallenged legislators)

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Caldwell Becomes Acting Honolulu Mayor: He's The Incumbent, But Do Voters Know Who He Is?

Caldwell has been managing director for a year and a half and before that represented Manoa in the state house starting in 2002. But he lacks the name recognition of another candidate for mayor, Peter Carlisle, who's been city prosecutor for 14 years, and re-elected three times.

A KITV4-Honolulu Star-Bulletin poll in January found 35 percent of respondents did not know who Caldwell was.

Captain Kirk more recognizable than Kirk Caldwell?

When we showed a photo of Caldwell from his campaign website to people along Fort Street Mall downtown Tuesday, five of the seven people we spoke with didn’t recognize Caldwell.

SA: Special election needed for mayor (Carlisle says “hurry before I start losing”.  All other say, “time is on my side.”)

Four Seats up for grabs on City Council (Breene Harimoto unopposed for Okino’s seat)

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Shapiro: Dumping trash on Apo is mayor's parting act

Nobody can turn trash into political trash talk faster than Honolulu's elected officials.

Among Mayor Mufi Hannemann's news conferences last week to wrap up loose ends before resigning to run for governor was a session with reporters to dress down Hawaiian Waste Systems for failing to get tons of garbage that have piled up in Campbell Industrial Park for months shipped to Washington state.

A major subplot was shifting the political blame for the mess to the City Council—specifically, to Chairman Todd Apo.

"Let me be clear," Hannemann said, "Council Chair Todd Apo, it was always his idea to force this upon the city and in the interest of collaboration because this was his hot-button issue we tried to make it work."

He went on, "We tried to make Apo's idea work because there seemed to be a way to do it, but when you have a problem with a group like Hawaiian Waste Systems that doesn't live up to what they said they are going to do, it makes it very problematic."

It seemed a gratuitous shot at Apo, who has worked in relative harmony with Hannemann in ending the rancorous relationship between the mayor and Council that existed during the chairmanship of Donovan Dela Cruz. Apo has helped the administration move forward on contentious issues from rail transit to difficult budget choices.

RELATED: Nanakuli Park: Hannemann pounds Hanabusa in proxy fight between Waimanalo Gulch and PVT landfill

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Waihee: Passage of Akaka Bill will benefit all Hawaii my cronies

During the past year, revisions have been made to the bill based on input from groups such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the native Hawaiian Bar Association, the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement, the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii's Department of the Attorney General. Sen. Daniel Akaka revised the bill to give the native Hawaiian government sovereign immunity based on the strong recommendation of the Justice Department lawyers who wanted the bill to be consistent with existing federal policy toward indigenous peoples.

(He is endorsing the instant immunity from prosecution given to tribal officials.  This is exactly his goal--as Hawai`i Free Press has been alone in explaining for years.)

These changes have strengthened the legal foundation of the bill by conforming the structure of the native Hawaiian government to the structure of hundreds of native governments already established across the United States. (And create the tribal jurisdiction needed by the Broken Trust crowd in order to shield their corrupt activities from State law enforcement and much of Federal law enforcement as well.)

Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, who have been consistent supporters of the Akaka Bill and of federal recognition of native Hawaiians as indigenous peoples, wanted some additional clarifications regarding the relationship between the native Hawaiian government and the state of Hawaii during the transitional period, and these clarifications have now been included in additional amendments to the bill. (Uh-huh.)

Obviously, the native Hawaiian government and the state will need to work together during this transitional period, but the bill ensures that native Hawaiians will have rights and responsibilities similar to those of other native peoples in Alaska and the continental United States.

(In other words, Waihee fully intends to ensure that the Akaka Tribe operates as a sovereign government immune from State law enforcement.)

AS EXPLAINED HERE: Reservation for a Broken Trust?

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A national report calls the state's reading and math standards "mediocre"

Reading and math learning goals for Hawaii public schools are "mediocre" and "often vague," says a new national report that gives the state a "C" for its educational standards.

But the report points out that when Hawaii adopts common national standards in the 2011 school year, its standards will improve. The report gives the national standards a B-plus for English and an A-minus for math.

(Meanwhile, since there is no curriculum, and “standards’ are NOT a substitute for a curriculum, the DoE will be able to fail even more, thus raking in millions from the Feds.  These standards are a scheme to grab federal tax payer dollars at the expense of relinquishing local control of the schools.)

RELATED: Obama Admin: Adopt our standards or schools lose $18B

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SA: Clear up doubts about Act 221

Suspicions have festered about Act 221's revenue collections and the use of the credit for unintended purposes. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism now reports that 82 of 141 companies accepting the tax breaks had no full-time employees in 2008.

Many of those companies may be fraudulent, says Tu Duc Pham, a former state tax research officer. Indeed, the Lingle administration calculated six years ago that as many as 20 percent of the claims for research credits could have been illegal, based on an audit of only a portion of them….

The Legislature this year approved a bill that would have suspended Act 221 for three years. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona vetoed the measure, rightly pointing out that changing the tax credit rules retroactively could tarnish Hawaii's already dismal reputation of being unfriendly to business, downgrade the state's bond ratings and invite lawsuits.

Nonetheless, too many years have passed and too little has been done since problems with Act 221 were suspected. State administrators and legislators need to adopt tougher accountability rules for future targeted tax credits, which can provide a useful incentive for economic growth.

Think Tech: Act 221 – whipping boy, like the good old days

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Life Site News: Hawaii Democratic Primary for Governor Splits Over Same-sex 'Marriage'

Hannemann's support for traditional marriage is likely reinforced by the bipartisan reaction on the island against the passage of HB 444, which Lingle vetoed. Many Christians, who also count themselves as socially conservative working-class Democrats, opposed the bill vigorously, and have made no bones about their intention to take down any candidate for governor that would sign legislation affecting the status of marriage.

Former Rep. Annelle Amaral told the Honolulu Star Advertiser earlier in July that the impact of Christian votes at the ballot box could be huge.

"I had all the Christians out with signs saying I voted for same-sex marriage and not to vote for me," Amaral told the journal, explaining that it led to her defeat. She added, "Conservative groups are incredibly strong. The churches are already organized."

Republican Charles K. Djou, the only pro-family candidate in a three-way race with two Democratic opponents, won Hawaii's special election in May, and may have benefited from the anger of pro-family Democrats, when the bill was passed.

Hannemann quit his post today as part of Honolulu's "resign-to-run" law, and will face-off with Abercrombie in the September primary.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican candidate for governor, opposes both same-sex "marriage" and civil unions, but will have a tough uphill climb in this heavily Democratic state to capture the governorship.

However if Abercrombie wins the primary, then the issue of same-sex "marriage" once again will come into play, and could potentially benefit Aiona's chances at winning the election.

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Abercrombie supporters tag Hannemann for use of race card

Five former members of the Hawaii State Commission on Civil Rights — who also happen to be supporters of former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie for governor — have condemned comments former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann made about his ethnic background at a Hawaii Carpenters Union event over the weekend as identity politics.

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Drug-trafficking boss sentenced to 20 years

Prosecutors say Gilberto "Toro" Gonzalez, 35 managed the conspiracy that trafficked in coke and meth between Nevada, California, Alaska and Hawaii.

Other members of the conspiracy previously convicted and sentenced include Alfonso Acosta Ruiz, 32; Mirina Millan Guitierrez, 47; Martin Ochoa Valara, 36; Jose Mata-Linares, 24; and Jose Inoa-Ramos, 34.

Prosecutors say none of the defendants is an American citizen and that Gonzalez is a Mexican citizen who illegally returned to the U.S. after a prior drug-trafficking conviction.

All were ordered deported after serving their sentences.

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Hawaii Superferry fell short on paying required fees long before adverse court decision (Historical Revisionism)

"All along, we felt that the state was carrying this thing, for whatever reasons," said Irene Bowie, executive director for Maui Tomorrow, one of the groups that fought the Superferry in court. "The Superferry was able to play the victim when they never had an operation that made financial sense." (The scum of Maui Tomorrow did everything they could to run up HSF’s expenses and thwart its service plans.  And now they are trying to revise history and act as if they held revealed wisdom?  No this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Maui Tomorow should be forced to pay HSF’s outstanding balance.  They can afford it.)

Hawaii's remaining harbor users don't resent the Superferry's failure or the loss of payments to the state's special fund for harbor improvements, said Gary North, executive director of the Hawaii Harbors Users Group.

"The state was trying to work with Superferry to help Superferry succeed," said North, a former senior vice president for Matson Navigation, the largest shipper between Hawaii and the West Coast. "The Superferry concept would have been a good concept for the state if it worked. Unfortunately it didn't work."

The Hawaii Superferry's operating agreement with the state required a minimum of $191,667 in monthly payments during the first three years of service for various fees including dockage, port entry, passengers and vehicles. The company paid the full amount from the time it started service in December 2007 until July 2008, and then payments gradually declined until March 2009, when it stopped paying altogether.

(The purpose of this article is to make it appear as if the hated and reviled anti-Superferry protesters really were right all along.  They weren’t.)

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Hawaii's oil addiction threatens our island way of life

(Don’t they ever get tired of writing the same column over and over?)

We spend nearly $10 million daily to buy the oil that powers Hawaii—money that simply leaves the state. With Hawaii's abundance of renewable energy sources, if climate and clean energy legislation is passed by Congress, then we could expect 4,000 to 10,000 high-paying clean-energy jobs by 2020, according to a recent study, "Clean Energy and Climate Policy for U.S. Growth and Job Creation," by David Roland-Holst with the University of California, Berkeley.

(All we need is a nuclear reactor.  Hawaii already has one of the world’s highest concentration of nuclear reactors at Pearl Harbor--but State law bans us from using them for civilian purposes.)

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Honolulu irradiation facility still on drawing board

Five years after Pa'ina Hawai'i LLC, Honolulu, announced plans to build a nuclear irradiation facility near Honolulu International Airport, groundbreaking could occur before the end of the year.

Opponents of the project, however, remain adamant. (And are using every type of chemo-phobic excuse.)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled July 8 that Pa’ina Hawai’i must consider the alternative technology of electron beam and other locations.

“I don’t think it will have much of an impact on us,” said Michael Kohn, a Honolulu-based fruit exporter and president of Pa'ina Hawai'i. “All of the points of essence have been dismissed or cleared up. There are only nonmaterial issues left.”

The cobalt 60-based irradiator could be in operation five months after the start of construction, he said.

Among those questioning the safety facility is the Honolulu office of Earthjustice. (Who, as usual, are doing everything they can to disrupt agriculture while babbling endlessly about saving it.)

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Maui groups, county end water plant study dispute

HONOLULU (AP) - Maui County is invalidating the environmental study for a plant that would treat water diverted from central Maui streams.

The move is part of a legal settlement Tuesday between the county and community groups Hui o Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow.

They sued the county last month saying the environmental study for the plant failed to examine the impact it would have on streams the water was diverted from.

(In other words, they are sabotaging the opportunity to re-fill Maui aquifers and re-use ag water in order to make it more difficult for HC&C to survive after the enviros & OHA get their desired surface water diversion ruling.) 

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Plan to truck Hilo waste to Kona stalled

HILO -- A study comparing the cost of trucking garbage to West Hawaii to expanding the Hilo landfill seems to have stalled with the departure of former Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson.

Mayor Billy Kenoi said Monday he hopes to have the position filled by the end of the month. He said the county has advertised for a new director and he's in the process of sifting through applications and talking with interested parties.

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