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Thursday, August 26, 2010
August 26, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:45 PM :: 10387 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

Prevedouros: Fiscal irresponsibility, not the Governor, is blocking Rail

Senate’s Key Republican Akaka Bill backer failing in Alaska primary

Full Text: Hawaii DoE submitted error in first round of Race to The Top application

RTTT “farce”? HSTA, progressives already scheming to fudge accountability requirements

CJ-Appointee Recktenwald's ICA Opinions

ILind Flashback: Hannemann arrested for assaulting police officer

Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann also has some decades old history making the rounds again this year. Several readers have called it to my attention in recent days.

It stems from an incident during a afternoon matinee showing of the blaxploitation film, “Willie Dynamite: Pimp Counsel“, at Honolulu’s old Liberty Theater on July 31, 1974.

According to news stories at the time, Hannemann and his older brother, Nephi, were arrested for allegedly harassing an off-duty police officer, who was at the movie with his wife.

The incident allegedly started when the Hannemann’s sat in front of the officer and his wife, blocking her view of the screen. Words were exchanged. The officer claimed he was threatened several times, and when the movie ended there was a confrontation in the theater lobby that resulted in the officer holding the Hannemann brothers at gunpoint and placing them under arrest.

2005: Mayor irked by questions after wife’s speeding ticket--He characterizes police behavior as "inappropriate"

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ILind: Neil Abercrombie’s 1977 “F*** You” letter

It is on Legislative stationary.  Full text and background….

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RTTT: Consequences for failure unclear 

"We've got the momentum," DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. "We've got to capitalize on that."

What happens if the department fails to meet the goals remains to be seen, she added.

"They're going to want to see our progress," Matayoshi said. "The consequences aren't clear in the application process." (How to fudge it, point 1)

That should become clearer soon, as state and federal officials work out a contract for the funding. The money must be committed by the end of September, Matayoshi said.

One point in the plan is to base 60 percent of a teacher's evaluation on student achievement, Matayoshi said. The executive director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the teachers union, was on board with the plan, but Matayoshi said the department and the union are still working out how student achievement will be measured….  (How to fudge it, point 2)

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Recktenwald tells judiciary committee he 'embraces' strength of Hawaii constitution

(This is code for “I promise to just keep making up new law as needed by Democrat activist groups in the tradition of Moon and Richardson.”  The only real questions: “does he really mean it” or “is he just saying what he knows he must in order to get into the big chair and then turn on us vulnerable Democrats.”)

He refrained from describing any judicial philosophy, saying he doesn’t think one can predict how a judge will rule over a 10-year period, the length of the chief justice’s term.
But he said it’s “well-settled” here that the high court can afford greater rights under the state constitution than the federal constitution.

“I understand and embrace that principle,” he said….

Honolulu attorney Daphne Barbee (who?) was the only one to appear before the committee and testify against the appointment.  She said Recktenwald’s written opinions shows a pattern of going backwards on constitutional rights.

Honolulu criminal defense lawyer Brook Hart said he shares Barbee’s concerns about the direction of the court, but Hart said those decisions aren’t the issue in chosing the next the chief justice.

HR: Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald will be the next Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court

IC: Live Blog Of Justice Recktenwald Senate Hearing

KHON: Chief Justice nominee meets Senate committee

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Lingle says rail approval may have to wait for next governor

Lingle leaves office Dec. 6.

Lingle said she cannot sign off on rail now because the project’s environmental impact statement is still being reviewed by the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. That agency is reviewing whether public comments received through an Aug. 26 deadline are adequate, Lingle said.

Additionally, the state has yet to start its own review of the project’s finances, which can take up to three months.

“I feel its critical to have an objective financial analysis,” Lingle said today following a speech in Kakaako before the Hawaii Chinese Tourism Association.  “I’ve felt all along that an objective look at whether the people could afford it or not was important, but in light of the recent settlement with the (city and the Environmental Protection Agency) that will be billions of dollars, it’s even more important now.

“So this is not going to happen any time soon and perhaps not even while my term in office is still going on.”

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“Don’t look at me” Inouye set to deflect blame for Rail failure

The city is counting on $1.55 billion in federal transit funds, but Inouye noted that the money “is not really in the bank unless we use it as soon as possible.”

He noted that Hawaii is competing with all other states seeking federal transit dollars.
“At this moment, we’re ahead,” he said. “But if we don’t take advantage of the time element, then don’t look at me.”

HNN: Inouye pleads for Lingle to quickly approve Oahu rail

KHON: Inouye begs Lingle to sign EIS for rail transit

SA: Mayors Kenoi, Carvalho endorse Hannemann 

Lobbyist: Rail will help direct growth across Oahu (yawn)

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U.S. visa process gets easier

Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday that long visa wait times and rejections are improving for Chinese travelers who want to come to Hawaii; however, more must be done to ease the way for the state's highest spending visitors.

Lingle, who was the keynote speaker at a Hawaii Chinese Tourism Association luncheon, said she is "optimistic" about China's potential to become a major visitor market to Hawaii. China has the fastest growing visitor outbound market in the world, she said.

"There is high demand and many have the ability to travel," Lingle said. "The U.S. is a preferred destination and Hawaii is one of the top choices."

Although Chinese visitor arrivals to Hawaii grew 47.6 percent during the first half of this year compared with the same time in 2009, Lingle said that arrivals have been limited by a lack of direct flights and by the perception that it is still difficult to obtain the required travel documents. Tourism officials, government leaders and travel operators need to spread the word that visa interview wait times are less than 30 days for nine months out of the year and that the rejection rate is down to 4 out of 5 travelers, she said.

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Poll shows many interested in interisland ferry

KAHULUI - A public opinion survey of state transportation issues revealed a yearning for an interisland ferry, with 83 percent of those polled by SMS on behalf of the state Department of Transportation saying a marine transportation system should be part of the state's overall infrastructure, although pro-ferry sentiment was much weaker on Kauai.

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Hannemann's Honolulu Hale Examined 

 

  • The General Government division grew by 6.6 percent, with salaries up 19 percent, even after an 11 percent cut this year.
  • The Public Safety work force increased 3.4 percent since Hannemann became mayor, while monies for public-safety salaries jumped 36 percent.
  • Highways and Streets staffing remained flat, but salaries jumped 39 percent — despite a decrease of 8 percent this fiscal year.
  • Sanitation staffing grew 4 percent, while salaries soared 35 percent.
  • Human Services staffing grew 15 percent, with salaries going up 20 percent.
  • Culture and Recreation grew 2 percent, with salaries going up 23 percent.
  • The Department of Transportation grew 220 percent, with salaries up 36 percent. (The reason for the disparity is that the department has a low employee count with a high salary count, because the 1,850 employees of TheBus paid from the salary pool aren't included in the work force number.)  

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    Ill-timed negative ad a step backward for Hannemann

    The fracas over Mufi Hannemann's "Compare and Decide" mailer that belittled Democratic opponent Neil Abercrombie's mainland birth, haole wife, UH education and congressional record is reminiscent of the 1994 governor's race that Ben Cayetano won over Pat Saiki and Frank Fasi.

    The Republican Saiki started that campaign with a solid lead in the polls but ended up finishing third.

    In a January 1995 analysis of the campaign from an advertising standpoint, Hawaii Business suggested Saiki's slide started with a TV ad in August 1994 accusing Fasi, who was running a third-party campaign after being jilted by the Republicans, of a "shakedown" in his Kukui Plaza scandal.

    The magazine said the GOP mudslinging appeared "cheap and misleading," while the Democrat Cayetano came out looking statesmanlike by comparison.

    Saiki's media adviser then was Keith Rollman….

    Hamada: Mufi-Neil Feud Goes Way Back

    Boylan: Some Friendly Advice For The Candidates

    HNN: Inouye says Hawaii not a place for mudslinging

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    Business Exec Disavows Anti-Mufi “Smear” Letter As Forgery

    "This is to inform you I did not write that letter, and I have never given anyone permission to use my name in connection with outright lies and negative innuendos made about Mufi Hannemann, Bruce Matsushita, Trudi Saito and others," wrote Figueiroa. "I can only assume this is a despicable smear campaign being used against Mufi Hannemann and his supporters, timed for the coming elections."

    The single-page letter that Figueiroa said was circulated under his name was sent to members of the architectural and engineering community as well as to members of the Waialae Country Club, where Matsushita is the president-elect, Bill McCorriston, an attorney representing Figueiroa, told Civil Beat. (McCorriston is a member of Hannemann's campaign committee.)

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    Abercrombie wants Feds to pick up tab for Malpractice Insurance

    Abercrombie proposed cutting malpractice insurance costs by having the federal or state government cover private doctors who see Medicaid or Medicare patients, similar to coverage now granted community health center doctors.

    (Fascinating.  What did he do about this during his 20 years in Congress?  Would this be a federal give-away to trial lawyers or would this lead to cost-cutting monopoly collusion by the Federal insurer/lawmaker?)

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    Waikiki man charged with forcing a girl into prostitution

    She called Gordon and ended up at his apartment about 7 that night, where he allegedly wouldn't let her see her boyfriend or go for a walk.

    The girl told the officer that Gordon had her work as a prostitute about two months earlier, and a criminal case was pending. She also said that while in the apartment, Gordon wanted her "to walk the street by Pali," an area known for street prostitution, court documents said.

    Gordon also carried a "stick," a whip made of a wire metal hanger, which he repeatedly hit against the bed while saying, "you're doing a good job, don't **** it up," the girl said.

    Gordon has four felony convictions involving drugs and a conviction for trespassing.

    Police said charges are pending against Gordon in connection with a separate kidnapping and sex assault of a 25-year-old woman in Waikiki. The woman told police he held her against her will and sexually assaulted her between Aug. 10 and 11.

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    About-FACE: After Hannemann’s departure, Honolulu is doing a 180 on housing issues

    (While reading this Honolulu Weekly article, keep in mind that HW Publisher Ragnar Carlson’s father is a bought and paid for rail publicist.  That makes even more odd this Caldwell plug/Hannemann slap in which the phrase “Tent Cities” does not occur even once.  HW even printed this letter: Thank you for moking  Has dad’s contract been cut?  Or is Caldwell the boss now--retaliating on Mufi for requiring Honolulu Hale personnel to stick with his Gubernatorial campaign at Caldwell’s expense.)

    It’s created a slightly sticky situation for FACE, which turned to the Council for help after Hannemann blew off their prayer vigil at Honolulu Hale last fall. With the support of Councilmembers Donovan Dela Cruz and Ann Kobayashi, a resolution was introduced in February to put the question of a city housing office to the voters in the form of a charter amendment.

    The measure was headed toward certain passage when the administration changed and Caldwell, who said his passion for housing issues partly prompted his decision to become managing director, was suddenly in a position to implement his own initiatives.</P###2>

    “We need to work with the private sector to see what the city can do to make it easier to build more [city] core housing, because housing is the only way to deal with homelessness,” he told the Weekly….

    While Caldwell’s resolution seems like a surer bet than a ballot initiative, FACE organizers realize that supporting his plan is also something of a gamble, since the mayor’s seat is up for grabs. “If Kirk Caldwell is not re-elected mayor, the restructuring will already have begun,” Yang said. “If the city starts to move in a different direction, we will push back. No matter what, the housing advocates will have to move forward.”

    REALITY:

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    Kauai Democrats sue to oust GOP candidate

    "The gist of it is pretty silly," said Dylan Nonaka, executive director of the state GOP.

    Nonaka said that even if Hamman's paperwork were incomplete, it was an error by the elections clerk who accepted the filing.

    A Circuit Court judge on Oahu ruled earlier this month that a Republican state Senate candidate could stay on the primary ballot even though he did not file the required signatures from district voters to run for office. An elections clerk had accepted the filing. The judge found that the Office of Elections did not present enough evidence to prove the signatures were invalid.

    Hamman said Kauai Democrats and Morita do not want competition.

    Williams said: "I think they are digging pretty deep. I don't see why they want to deny people a choice."

    Morita (an anti-Superferry protester who joined the scrum clogging up Nawiliwili Harbor) said Republicans should not have been allowed to find a replacement candidate for a vacancy she thinks never existed.

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    Hawaii Ethics Commission seeks new director

    HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Ethics Commission is starting its search to replace its director, who was fired in June. The commission advertised for the $109,000-a-year position on its website after its former executive director, Dan Mollway, was dismissed based in part on an investigation faulting his management style and "unpredictable work schedule."

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    Chief Perry wants to keep leading KPD

    Here’s the story of what Perry had to contend with when he took the job: KPD Blue

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    Kahana Valley families living in limbo

    Kahana Valley State Park -- all 5,000-plus acres of it -- is state land, purchased with taxpayer funds.

    As such, all of the Kahana lands are public lands protected by Article XI, Section 5 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

    By a quirk of history, some 28 families, some of whom were living within the confines of Kahana when the state condemned and acquired it several decades ago, were granted leases by the state in the mid-'90s.

    As a resident of Kahana (married to a bona fide lessee) I have attended almost every meeting of the council. It is faced with enormous difficulties. Most of the lessees in Kahana are simply not interested in what the council is trying to do and have boycotted almost all of its meetings.

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    Boat owners on Hawaii's Big Island protesting new fees

    The Hawaii Fishing and Boating Association’s board of directors recently advised its members with boats berthed in Honokohau Harbor on the Big Island’s Kona Coast to protest the state’s decision to increase their mooring fees by as much as 29 percent next month.

    “This matter is of the utmost urgency forcing us to take action immediately,” the board said in an e-mail to its members. “If you are given these higher rates, our attorney advises ‘you pay it under protest.’ What this means is, you should mark your check, ‘Paid Under Protest.’”

    The HFBA claims the new charge “is unfair and illegal,” and that its attorneys agree and have been pressing the harbor administrator on this issue. It notes however, that “as usual, the state is refusing to listen and will not yield.”

    RESPONSE: Thielen: Honokohau is not mismanaged

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    Community college enrollment rises 7 percent

    Lance Matsuda, a political science junior from Kaneohe, could not get into the one section offered of a 300-level political science class. So he's left to take 18 credits "of the wrong classes," he said. "It was a lot better back when I was a freshman." …

    The biggest gains were at Hawaii Community College and Windward Community College (each up 17 percent), followed by West Oahu (10.5 percent increase), Kauai Community College (8.5 percent), Maui College (7.2 percent), Leeward Community College (5.2 percent), Honolulu Community College (4.3 percent), Kapiolani Community College (3.8 percent) and Hilo Community College (2.3 percent).

    Enrollment at UH-Manoa remained essentially the same as last year, with 19,291 students enrolled as of yesterday.

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    Wherever it lands, UH must pony up travel subsidies

    Remember that controversial student athletic fee adopted by the University of Hawaii last month, the $1.85 million windfall designed to help the athletic department take a big step toward solvency?

    Poof!

    Even before athletics gets its hands on so much as a nickel of it, the money might as well have been spent. It is, like a lot of other things, a soon-to-be collateral casualty of the Western Athletic Conference's breakup.

    In whatever direction UH moves -- remaining in the pillaged WAC, wandering into the abyss of independence, joining a new conference or some chop suey combination thereof -- one thing is becoming assured: The price of poker is going up for the nation's most geographically isolated major college program.

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    Two recent escapes from state hospital draw concern

    Three people have escaped this year.  There were eight others last year including David True Seal who has been missing since December.

    The Hawaii State Hospital restricts the use of caffeine and we're told that in some cases patients have tried to sneak away just to get a cup of coffee and then try to come back unnoticed.

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    Honolulu agrees to accept tons of trash

    Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the on-again, off-again trash shipping plan to a dump near a Washington state Indian reservation no longer appears viable.

    Instead, Hawaiian Waste Systems had agreed that the municipal solid waste will mostly be burned in Honolulu's "H-Power" electricity generating station. What can't be burned will be taken to the city's only dump, the 21-year-old Waimanalo Gulch landfill, which is slated to close in 2012.

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

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    Rush Limbaugh Touts Benefits of Hawaii made E-Cigarettes, Slams FDA

    After being spotted recently on his ditto-cam apparently smoking, Rush responded last week to his listeners that he was in fact using a Volcano e-cigarette, not smoking a tobacco cigarette. On today's show, he said that the Aug 25 Wall Street Journal article was an example of how he is on the cutting edge, and how his mention of a new technology immediately brings all sorts of attention to it. Holding up his e-cigarette, he said.

    “This happens to be one from Volcano, in Hawaii... they're made up of three parts, an atomizer, a battery and a cartridge. Now the cartridge has liquid, has nicotine in it, and when you suck on     it the battery powers the atomizer and turns the liquid into a vapor...”

    Rush then began talking about the FDA's bullying of e-cigarette companies,

    http://www.volcanoecigs.com/

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    Judicial Committee Unanimously Confirms California's First Filipina-American Chief Justice

    The hearing before the state Commission on Judicial Appointments focused on the themes of Cantil-Sakauye's humble beginnings, broad-based experience and the historic nature of her confirmation. Cantil-Sakauye, whose parents cut sugar cane in Hawaii and harvested crops in California's Central Valley, would give the Supreme Court a female majority and its first Filipino-American justice.

    (It is amazing what people can do when they escape from the dominion of the old-boy system.)

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    Gaza Flotilla participant brings terrorist agit-prop show to Hilo

    Wright said plans were already underway for another "Freedom Flotilla" to challenge the blockade--and that next time there would be a boat from Hawai'i in the fleet. She said that $160,000 had already been raised to outfit the vessel.
    "We're calling it the Audacity of Hope," she said -- a tweak at President Obama, who has continued to support the Gaza embargo that predecessor George W. Bush helped to put in place.

    REALITY: Honolulu Maoists & Holocaust Deniers protest against Israel: Star-Bulletin calls them ‘peace activists’

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    Liberal activist allegedly flips out, stabs Muslim Cabbie 

    Those who know Michael Enright, 21, a film student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, are "shocked and dumbfounded" by his arrest, said Robert Chase, the executive director of Intersections International.

    Enright volunteered with the nonprofit group, and it partially funded his trip to Afghanistan in the spring, where, as part of his thesis, he shot a film on American soldiers serving there, Chase said. The New York-based organization is aimed at promoting peace across faith and racial boundaries.

    "Everyone was shocked and dumbfounded because of the nature of the crime and because of our experience with him here," Chase said. "It is sadly ironic."

    He said Enright volunteered on Intersections International's Veteran-Civilian Dialogue program, which addresses trauma faced by returning veterans and encourages them to share their stories with civilians as well as each other.

    "He was intrigued by the concept and started participating and then volunteering. Enright became involved in the work we do -- building bridges across race, culture and religion and forging common ground for reconciliation and peace," Chase said.

    "The whole thing is unfathomable. He's a good guy. His work has been responsible. He's been diligent and hardworking."

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    Ground Zero Mosque Developer: Mosque Could Accommodate 1,000 Worshippers

    Supporters of the "Ground Zero mosque" have been oddly obsessed with the idea that the proposed Islamic center shouldn't be called a "mosque." As Frank Rich wrote last Sunday in the New York Times: "It’s not a mosque but an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room."

    But the website for the project, once called the "Cordoba House" and now known as "Park51," explicitly refers to "the mosque," although it tries to minimize the mosque's importance for some reason….

    Sharif El-Gamal, head of Soho Properties, Inc., and developer, of the “Ground Zero mosque,” advertises the project on a Muslim website updated as recently as June 5, 2010, in expansive terms different from those the GZM team has lately addressed to the broader public.   Al-Gamal’s group declares, “We are trying to establish a full fledged Islamic Center in the lower Manhattan, only 2 blocks from World Trade Center, New York City, NY. It is a neat and clean facility and can accomodate [sic] 1,000 people to pray in Jamat [i.e. collectively] at one time.”

    MIDWEEK: NYC Mosque Will Aid Terrorists, The Shinto Shrine Near Pearl Harbor

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