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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
September 15, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:48 PM :: 5834 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

VIDEO: National Democrats criticize Djou for voting against $40B tax hike

Hannemann’s property tax hike forces eviction of Kalihi non-profits

VIDEO: Hanabusa “can’t say no”

New Study Finds Positive Return on Investment for States that Invest in Quit Smoking Treatments

Waikoloa Workforce Housing CEO: How Hawaii County officials sabotaged affordable housing project

Lingle nominates Scheuer to head DLNR water resources

Lingle calls on Republicans to cast GOP ballots

The governor said crossover voting makes it more difficult to achieve a viable two-party system in a state traditionally dominated by Democrats.

State GOP Executive Director Dylan Nonaka last week also urged Republicans not to meddle in the Democratic gubernatorial primary between Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie.

Some Democratic activists also say they worry that GOP voters will cast ballots in the Democratic lieutenant governor contest, where two of the six major candidates are considered socially conservative.

KITV: Gov. Urges Republicans To Vote GOP In Primary

"Yes, I do think these folks have the potential to do some damage," said Ann Freed, of the Democratic Women's Caucus.

Freed is a Democratic Party activist concerned about women's and gay rights. She and others fear an influx of Republican and religious conservatives might be attracted to the Democratic primary by Hannemann's call for crossover voters. Those voters could influence In the lieutenant governor primary, where four Democrats considered "progressive" are facing two more socially conservative Democrats.

"The candidates that the party would select are not selected because there is crossover from the opposite party. It's a real opportunity for mischief," said Jo-Ann Adams, of the Gay Caucus.

RELATED: Hawaii Democratic Convention renews call for closed primary

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Abercrombie pushes for gambling, gay marriage

This time, at the town hall meeting, when asked the question about whether he would support a statewide lottery, Abercrombie said he would not.

"I think you're exercising a bit of revisionism," Hannemann said. "If you care to explain that you can take some of my time."

The difference was that of statewide lotteries and a megalottery, which includes other states. Noting that Hannemann did not distinguish between the two, Abercrombie replied, "I'll be happy to give some time back to you to reflect on what you just said."

Throughout the night both men's answers inspired applause from the packed house. Abercombie got the first round with his response to the same sex marriage issue.

"It's not about categories, it's about fundamental, constitutional rights," he said.  (And only bigots are against this newly invented gay marriage thingy.)

RELATED: Star-Advertiser & Abercrombie sing duet on Religion: Only we the elite may draw lines between right and wrong

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UPW Members protest their leadership again

Outside, about a dozen United Public Workers union members protested across the street from the theater: that their union did not poll rank-and-file before endorsing candidates or making other union decisions.

Specifically, UPW members said they were not protesting their union's endorsement of Hannemann, but only that they would have liked to have been part of the decision-making process.

"Everybody has their own opinion. We want to have input instead of shoving it down our throats," said Maui Community Correctional Center Sgt. Kaleo Cullen. "Let's vote on it."

RELATED: UPW to picket UPW in Hilo, Guards from Hilo jail picket UPW office

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Cayetano, Roth Support Appointed School Board: Say It Would Make School Leaders More Accountable

"We have got a system where everybody is in control which means nobody is in control, and if the buck doesn't stop in a specific place we can expect bad results. But with an appointed board, it is not perfect but I think you are going to have a lot more accountability here with the governor directly responsible," said forum speaker Randy Roth, a University of Hawaii law school professor.

RELATED: Hawaii Children First Note: “More than $100,000 has already been raised.”  This is exactly what must be done to win this vote.  HSTA must be outspent.

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HSTA, HGEA squabble over which insolvent health plan to save

"The forced transfer of the teachers into EUTF is designed to prop up that failing system on the backs of the teachers," said Paul Alston, attorney for the plaintiffs. "What they will get if they are forced to transfer is higher costs and inferior benefits. It is clearly unconstitutional to take away the valuable benefits the teachers have."

The suit contends that the change amounts to a breach of contract and violates the Hawaii Constitution by "diminishing or impairing" accrued benefits in the employees' retirement system. After the switch, teachers will face higher co-payments and curtailed drug coverage and services, it said.

Attorney General Mark Bennett, however, said yesterday he believes the law transferring the health plans is constitutional and that the lawsuit will not succeed.

"I have reviewed the lawsuit and we believe that the statutes passed by the Legislature are constitutional and we will defend them, and thus we believe the lawsuit to be without legal merit," Bennett said. "We disagree with their contentions and their legal theory."

The lawsuit also alleges that the state improperly took $3.96 million from the VEBA trust surplus, which otherwise would have been used as reserves, and put it into the general fund.

The Legislature (aka HGEA) passed a law to phase out the VEBA trust on Dec. 31, and assign teachers to Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust, which covers more than 94,000 state and county employees and retirees.

The court filing included an April 12 letter from Gov. Linda Lingle to legislators in which the governor called the Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust "insolvent," adding that "its governance is untenable." She noted that Aon Consulting, the trust's consultant, warned on March 31 that the trust fund would likely run out of money to cover expenses later this year.

HNN: Hawaii teachers union files lawsuit over health plan

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Mark Recktenwald sworn in as Hawaii chief justice

No muss, no fuss because the ecos, the gays, and the old boys are sure MR will keep the Judiciary busy making up news laws as needed. Are they right?  We will soon see….

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Alexander & Baldwin seeks approval on a 2,500-home project outside Kahului

No muss, no fuss thanks to all that money which goes to the Sierra club etal from the Alexander Gerbode Foundation.  But OHA hasn’t gotten its cut yet…

Isaac Moriwake, an attorney with Earthjustice representing two groups seeking to reclaim water from HC&S, said part of the land A&B proposes to develop has been used in the company's argument to retain water rights. "It's part of their water and land-banking game," he said. 

REALITY: OHA Trustees claim ownership of your drinking water

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Gay-Atheist Democrats demand Okino Expulsion

Okino must face the party's (gay-atheist controlled) Oahu County Committee to explain his actions. He could be reprimanded, censured or expelled from the party.

"We find Gary Okino's e-mail to be anti-American," said Ann Freed, of the Democratic Party's Women's Caucus.

"His recent e-mail diatribe, exhorting his 'brothers and sisters' to vote against a long list of good Democrats is proof in and of itself that he does not support the principles of our party, let alone the U.S. Constitution," she said.

The party's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus also called for his expulsion.

Okino said he would not blame the party for taking action to expel him, but he has stood by his decision to support "candidates who have the right intentions."

RELATED: Star-Advertiser & Abercrombie sing duet on Religion: Only we the elite may draw lines between right and wrong

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Mufi Group says Lingle is stalling rail

Just close your eyes and sign it.  No need read.  No need follow law.

RELATED: Lingle: “Rail EIS is not on my desk as some have incorrectly stated”

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Caldwell tries to pretend he is not Hannemann

Caldwell continued to try to paint himself as different from former Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Caldwell, 57, has been acting mayor since late July. He was Hannemann's managing director for two years before that and was a state representative before that.

Meanwhile, University of Hawaii civil engineer Panos Prevedouros steered much of the discussion back to his staunch opposition to the city's $5.6 billion rail transit project and his promise to end the project through executive power.

Carlisle questioned whether Prevedouros was legally able to stop rail given that excise tax dollars, as well as federal funding, are designated for it. He also questioned whether it was the right thing to do since a majority of voters chose in 2008 to continue with the project.

Prevedouros said he could stop the project because as mayor he would have the executive power to simply not carry out the project. He said that a long-planned bike lane plan has been largely ignored by several mayors despite wide public support.

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Theft, rape cases jump in isles

In Hawaii, the FBI reported that 4,819 cars were stolen last year.

Although larceny thefts declined on the mainland, there were 33,422 cases here in 2009, an increase of 6.4 percent over 2008….

Forcible rape cases in Hawaii had the biggest increase of any crime, 8 percent, with 392 cases.

However, murder and manslaughter crimes dropped 15.4 percent here with 22 cases reported last year.

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Shapiro: Neil Abercrombie = Jack Burns

Let's be honest, no company near the size of the state or city would hire any of the leading candidates for governor or mayor -- much less lieutenant governor -- as its CEO.

Government leadership takes a different set of skills…. (In other words, Mufi’s core argument is rejected, leaving Neil’s.)

The historical consensus would be that the late Gov. John A. Burns was Hawaii's greatest government leader since statehood. He was a former cop and political organizer with no significant executive experience.

He did bring a lot of tangible achievement to the job; he led the 1954 Democratic revolution that fundamentally changed our island society and was credited with winning statehood for Hawaii as a member of Congress.

Burns didn't lead by managerial wonkery, but by having a crystal-clear vision of what he wanted Hawaii to be that he never lost sight of.

Vision: Neil Abercrombie 2009: A year of corruption

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Democrats 90% solution

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is out with what could be the first of many television advertisements against U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, in his likely rematch against state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in urban Honolulu’s 1st Congressional District in November.

The game plan: portray Djou as too Republican for the traditionally Democratic district.

REALITY: VIDEO: National Democrats criticize Djou for voting against $40B tax hike

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Cayetano to Lingle: Check Rail EIS carefully before signing 

Former Democratic Gov. Benjamin Cayetano backed his political rival Republican Gov. Linda Lingle saying she shouldn’t rush to approve the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed $5.5 billion Honolulu rail system without first reviewing the document carefully.

That may seem like common sense, but Hawaii’s most powerful Senior Senator, Daniel K. Inouye, is “begging” Lingle to sign the EIS immediately before it ever reaches her desk.

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Number of absentee voters increasing

Honolulu Elections Administrator Glen Takahashi told KITV on Tuesday that the city saw a 24 percent increase in requests for absentee ballots this year.

About 87,000 people requested absentee ballots this year compared to 70,000 in a typical primary election.

He said all absentee ballots were mailed by Monday to voters who had requested them by Saturday.

Completed absentee ballots must be received by election day for them to be counted.

read more

Civil Beat Shares Hawaii Legislature Salaries

The Legislature provided a list of 296 employees, (The convicted child molester who manages Rep Rida Cabanilla’s office isn’t on the list.)

LINK: Hawaii legislature salaries aug 2010

RELATED: Hanabusa: “Legislators work very hard and deserve the raise”, Hawaii Legislators’ pay tops nation

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FAA to cover cost of Lihue Airport expansion

While state funds had to be used to purchase the lots, Hawai‘i has applied for federal reimbursement through an airport improvement program, Morioka said.

Involved FAA officials have indicated the internal application “will be considered favorably,” allowing the state to recoup 90 to 95 percent of the acquisition costs, he said.

The state also has an option to purchase another lot, just over 40.5 acres for $18.6 million, for consolidation of rental-car companies.

Money for that purchase will come out of customer-facility charge fees, or additional fees tacked onto every car rental, said Morioka.

If that option is exercised, the current airport location of car-rental companies would be available for additional public parking, Morioka said.

Tresler said the FAA was also involved in the negotiations. “We couldn’t do this deal without their participation and approval.”

KGI: State senator seeks answers

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What "The 25 Most Expensive Homes" Reveal About the U.S. Economy

A grand total of three of the 25 made their wealth in technology--software, computers, etc. One Japanese multinational (Toyota) made the list (unsurprising, considering Hawaii's decades-long appeal to wealthy Japanese), as did one Japanese female whose source of wealth wasn't identified. There was one artistic outlier, and the rest were all financial parasites…

(Hey “parasites” why do you keep funding eco-cultists like the guy who wrote this drivel?)

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Company offers plan to install free solar panels in isle homes

San Francisco-based SunRun Inc. is expanding to Hawaii with a business model in which it installs photovoltaic systems at no cost and sells the electricity back to the homeowner at a fixed rate over 20 years.

read more

Interest Groups squabble over endorsements:

HR: Venture Capital Legal Threats and Name Calling

SA: Groups upset with Hannemann's use of slogan

Political Radar: Big country

More candidate Profiles:

Maui Sustainability Core Group: Candidate Evaluations

Maui News:  Hopefuls set apart by distinct platforms

SA: 11 vying for Hawaii's second highest post

HTH: Council hopefuls digging deep

KGI: Meet your candidates for state District 15 representative

HR:  Sammye-Ann Kuualoha Young: Hawaii County Council, District 2 »

HR: Dennis Fowler: Kauai County Council »

HR: Tim Garry: Honolulu City Council Candidate »

HR: Daniel N. Davidson: Candidate for State Senate District 9 (Palolo, St. Louis Heights, and Waikiki) »


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