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Monday, October 11, 2010
October 11, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:38 PM :: 5571 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Neil Abercrombie's slavery problem

Aiona Video: Hawaii economy doesn't need more rhetoric

Kalihi: 2000 rally for Aiona Finnegan

Djou, volunteers adopt Mililani Waena School

Transformative Change Is Needed in Board of Education

Legislators: Abercrombie’s new energy authority “unwise”

Shapiro: In yesterday’s piece on energy policy, Senate energy chairman Mike Gabbard wouldn’t commit to Abercrombie’s centerpiece proposal to establish a new state energy authority, and his House counterpart, Rep. Hermina Morita, suggested it was downright unwise.

Similarly, in the story a couple of weeks ago on education policy, House education chairman Roy Takumi said he doesn’t see much appetite in the Legislature for another Abercrombie centerpiece — a new Department of Early Childhood Education.

It’s a reminder that the possible return of a Democrat to the governor’s office is no guarantee of smooth sailing or an end to the gridlock that has existed between the Legislature and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

We should remember that the last Democratic governor, Ben Cayetano, didn’t have much better luck with the Legislature than Lingle

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Maui News: Abercrombie’s rejection of DoE Audit “startling”

We hope Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie misspoke when he told an event on Maui Wednesday night that the "last thing we need is an audit of the educational system."  (He didn’t.  He’s been campaigning against an audit for weeks now.)

In "Focus 2010: A Gubernatorial Conversation," Abercrombie and his Republican opponent James "Duke" Aiona had a spirited debate about a number of topics.

But, to us, the most startling statement was Abercrombie's assertion that the state Department of Education does not need to be audited. Aiona has said that would be a top priority of an administration led by him.

"If this was the case and it was needed, then why wasn't it done in the last seven-and-a-half years?" Abercrombie asked, referring to Aiona's part in the Lingle administration.

The simple answer is because the Legislature wouldn't approve one. In the last legislative session House District 10 member Angus McKelvey - a Maui Democrat - proposed one. The issue died in the Senate Education Committee.

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Carlisle, Kaneshiro to be sworn into office Monday

Carlisle has a big job to tackle.  He'll be managing the nation's 13th largest municipality, overseeing about 30 departments and 9,000 city employees, with a city budget of about $1.8 billion.

HNN: Kaneshiro swearing in Monday, becomes City-County prosecutor

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Maui Council: Couch hammers developer owned Nishiki

Couch appeared agitated with Nishiki and his governing style, saying he would let anyone into his office to speak to him. He wouldn't wait until a developer or resident comes before his committee and then "berate and disrespect them," Couch said.

Nishiki has repeatedly said he will not meet with developers in private because he wants all those dealings out in the open. No back-room deals.

"People know me. People know that I speak from my heart," Nishiki said.

Couch said he would bring "openness, honesty and common sense" to the seat, which was an apparent reference to Nishiki's accepting a $100,000 loan from a developer when he was not on the council. The loan did not become known to the public until after the last election between Couch and Nishiki was determined.

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Enriques' claims on website called into question

He has time to pick through the details of Enriques’ website, but it sure is funny how Reed Flickinger never got around to checking into Bob Jacobson’s gifts of $20K in taxpayer money to the “Kau Preservation, Inc” group led by a convicted drug dealer.  No bias here, eh?

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Carvalho finally gets around to endorsing Abercrombie

Carvalho, in describing Abercrombie as “a great collaborator and supporter of Kaua‘i,” said the Democratic gubernatorial candidate had to catch a plane back to O‘ahu when the mayor invited him to step up to the stage at Carvalho’s reelection rally.

RELATED: Kauai Mayor Carvalho refuses to endorse Abercrombie

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Isle GOP hopes voters will restore balance

The 2011 Legislative Action Plan, which was unveiled at our unity lunch the Sunday following primary election day, forecasts the 2011 legislative session and our caucus' game plan in addressing some of Hawaii's most challenging issues. It is a clear representation of what the people of Hawaii can expect from Republicans in the 2011 Legislature.

Some of the highlights of the Legislative Action Plan include:

» Passage of legislation that would cut residential electrical bills by making outfitting our homes with photovoltaic systems affordable with no money down and 20-year loan amortization payments largely paid off on energy cost savings;

» A solemn and serious promise not to increase taxes or fees that would raise the cost of living; and

» Term limits for the state Legislature to allow for new ideas and a new generation of leaders in the Legislature.

RELATED: Republican legislative candidates unite behind action plan

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KITV: Human trafficking Victims blackballed, Seitz grabs for their restitution money

Hanusz said some of the immigrant workers are having a hard time finding jobs at other farms in Hawaii because of their involvement in the federal investigations of Aloun Farms in Kapolei, and Global Horizons, the mainland company that recruited them from Thailand.

"They've been branded by some farmers as troublemakers, when they're not trouble makers at all. They're good people trying to earn an honest living," Hanusz said.

Last month, Aloun Farms owners Mike and Alec Sou, who are brothers, withdrew their guilty pleas in a human trafficking conspiracy case, because of a dispute with prosecutors over the factual allegations in their plea agreement.

This Wednesday, the Sous' lawyers (Eric Seitz) will be back in court, asking for them to be refunded $196,000 in restitution money that’s in the custody of the federal court clerk in Honolulu, since their plea agreement has been rejected.

"They had really counted on this money to help in this transitionary period," Hanusz said.

That means $8,000 in restitution that was bound for nearly every one of the men at Sunday night’s meeting likely will not be paid.

"For the victims who still had outstanding debts on their farms, this for most of them, would have paid off the rest of that debt, and this would have gone a long way towards making them whole," said Hanusz….

A Sept. 20 editorial in The New York Times headlined "In An Ugly Human-Trafficking Case, Hawaii Forgets Itself," the newspaper took issue with powerful people in Hawaii supporting the men who've pleaded guilty in the case rather than their victims.

"In an astounding display of amnesia and misplaced sympathy, Hawaii rallied around the defendants," the editorial said.

This week, a crew from the French television network Canal+ is in Honolulu, shooting a documentary segment on the human trafficking cases. The program is similar to ABC's "20/20" or "60 Minutes" on CBS, according to correspondent Sabrina Van Tassel, who has covered Honolulu federal court proceedings, interviewed lawyers, farmers and local reporters who are experts on the case.

RELATED: Neil Abercrombie's slavery problem

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State tests raise bar for students to augment failure rates, rake in bucks

But education officials also say that even with three chances, more students will probably fail under the higher testing bar.

That could mean more schools failing to meet adequate yearly progress goals this school year - and facing sanctions under the No Child Left Behind law.

(Which means more money for the DoE and its crony contractors.)

The new cut scores were set by a committee of 129 teachers, parents and community members, who got training on standards setting by the department's test contractor, the American Institutes for Research.

(Self dealing on display.)

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Local Fishermen Fear Ahi Cap Will Jeopardize Businesses

Hungry? Thank an environmentalist.

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Hawaii Media council still ‘concerned’ about HNN merger

MCH President Chris Conybeare last week said, "The public has a huge stake in this. ... It isn't that people have forgotten or are not unhappy; the lack of response by the FCC has made people think it might be futile."  (And because we the ‘enlightened, conscious, and progressive’ have ‘thoughts’ those ‘thought’ become news items.)

Gerald Kato, UH journalism professor and MCH board member, said, "If allowed to continue, the shared-services agreement here and others across the country will render FCC regulation and rules involving the public interest meaningless. Our community, indeed, our nation, deserves better."

RELATED: Raycom Honolulu TV Deal: Honolulu Community Media Council has its own issues with "media control"

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SA: Help Hawaii teens stay healthy

Hawaii teenagers seem not to be getting the message about safe sex, at least not as clearly as it's been received on the mainland.

A study by Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion last week produced a generally rosy outlook about the nation's young people and their willingness to take steps to avoid unwanted pregnancy and, in particular, the transmission of disease.

(SA editors continue trying to make the case that Hawaii has a much worse sex-ed problem than the mainland.)

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Democrat poll details how to manipulate abortion, apathy 

Ichiyama has been endorsed by the Patsy T. Mink Political Action Committee, which works to support pro-choice, Democrat women.

While walking the district she hopes to represent, Ichiyama found that the biggest political issue confronting women voters is not abortion, but apathy.

"They simply feel that their vote doesn't matter," Ichiyama said. "That's why I'm doing personal outreach."

Getting more Hawaii women to vote falls into the goals of the Patsy T. Mink PAC, said Nielsen, the chairwoman.

"When women vote, women (who are candidates) win," Nielsen said. "So it's real important for us to encourage more women to vote."

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