House Republicans elect Rep Gene Ward Minority Leader
Senate Democrats announce Committee Chairs
Election Results: Dems hold Samoa, GOP holds Guam
Reward for organizing Furlough Agit-Prop: Omidyar operative named Abercrombie’s deputy chief
Abercrombie on Friday named Amy Asselbaye as his chief of staff and Andrew Aoki as his deputy chief of staff.
Asselbaye will be responsible for managing the governor's office and Cabinet. Aoki will oversee policy development and strategic planning.
Abercrombie called them "the heart and soul of the campaign," and he says he's confident in their ability to serve. Asselbaye previously worked in Abercrombie's (incompetent) congressional office for 17 years.
Aoki was formerly a director of (Pierre Omidyar group) Kanu Hawaii.
REALITY: Congress.org: "Abercrombie is a follower" (17 years of this)
Maui's Shan Tsutsui will become the first non-Oahu president in more than 30 years
Democrats who also hold the majority in the House have yet to formally caucus to discuss leadership. Speaker Calvin Say (D, St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise-Palolo Valley) has held the post since 1999.
Democrats control the Senate with a 24-1 majority, but the behind-the-scenes debate focused on how to split the presidency and the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship between competing factions of Democrats. Either group had to line up 13 members — a majority in the 25-member chamber — or team up with another to gain control of the Senate.
The Senate's lone Republican said he was "pleasantly surprised" at Tsutsui's emergence as president.
"I think it's a very good move," said Sen. Sam Slom. "I think he's very bright, he's an able leader ... and I think it's important to have a neighbor island president, so I'm very positive about it.
"I think in many ways we're too Oahu-centric in focus, and I think he will bring more balance."
Maui Chamber of Commerce “disappointed” by Tsutsui
"I think it's absolutely fantastic," said Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa….
Kay Ghean, the Maui County Republican Party secretary and treasurer, said she was concerned that Tsutsui would promote a Democratic Party agenda of "social engineering."
She pointed to what she called talk about legislation on solidifying civil unions and possibly an increase of the general excise tax….
Maui Chamber of Commerce President Pamela Tumpap said she was disappointed this last campaign when Tsutsui for the first time did not engage in the chamber's endorsement process and therefore was not able to hear the business community's concerns. "We haven't seen the alignment we were hoping for on business-specific issues," she said.
Kokubun shut out of Senate presidency
Sen. Dwight Takamine, D-Hilo, Honokaa, Waimea, was stripped of his chairmanship of the Committee on Labor and not granted another committee to lead.
Kokubun characterized the new Senate leadership as a compromise worked out after three factions vying for leadership of the 25-member body couldn't muster the 13 votes needed to get there.
"Reorganization is really a matter of counting to 13," Kokubun said. "We came out on the short end of the stick."
Guard to honor Lee and Lingle in ceremony
More than 800 Hawaii National Guard soldiers and airmen will be in formation to honor Gov. Linda Lingle and Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee in a farewell ceremony this morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The National Guard said the 9:30 a.m. "inspection of command" in a Humvee will allow the governor and Lee, the state adjutant general, to say aloha to Hawaii National Guard troops….
About a half-dozen names have been mentioned as a possible successor to Lee as Neil Abercrombie prepares to become the next governor.
Among the names mentioned is that of Maj. Gen. Darryll D.M. Wong, commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Wong received his commission in 1972 through the Air Force ROTC program at UH. (After Abercrombie’s comrades burned down the ROTC buildings.)
SA: After this time, Hold line on A+ fee hikes
This fee increase is justifiable, granted — but going forward, the line needs to be held. Lawmakers and the DOE must budget prudently to keep costs at this affordable level.
Geee, maybe they should cut some of this, eh? Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year
Kaua‘i gets night game, hosts Kalaheo Saturday
The game had still been awaiting an official start time until the county released a statement Friday saying that an agreement had been reached to amend the current circumstances under which night games are allowed.
“After being approached by the county about the possibility of an additional night game, the Justice Department agreed to amend the conditions in recognition of the current ongoing work conducted pursuant to the terms of probation and the successful results achieved,” read a statement released by the County of Kaua‘i, Friday afternoon.
The county said that Kaua‘i’s efforts to implement the conditions of probation “have avoided any grounding of seabirds related to the use of stadium lights.”
CB: Buck the Firds? Kauai's Championship Football Game Under the Lights (Tears and gnashing of teeth from the eco-religion)
Economist looks to 2011 for sustained recovery in Hawaii
Don’t get too excited. Abercrombie will destroy this recovery just as Cayetano managed to keep Hawaii in depression all the way thru the internet boom 1990s.
SA: Big Isle, Kauai housing hits bumpy spell
LUC denies Ooma development, saves developer from wasting millions on lawyers
"There are a number of things about this project I like," Commissioner Ronald Heller said. "The factor that tips the balance is the airport noise issue. It's going to lead to problems down the road. It's inevitable."
Property owner Dennis Moresco said the project, as presented, is done.
"I had no expectations one way or another," Moresco said after the hearing. "I really had no idea. In terms of this project, it's dead."
Moresco said he planned to return home, think about the land use process and consider his options.
"We gave it our best shot," he said.
(Lawyers from NHLC were seen outside the hearing sniffling, “How will I make my next million if there is no Hokulia to sue?”)
Human Trafficking Charges Against Aloun Farms Owners Multiply
The case, which made the New York Times editorial page, is the subject of a French documentary and is finally making news in Asia, put Hawaii in the international spotlight, especially since two former governors and some of Hawaii’s most influential bankers, agricultural leaders and business people partnering with the Sous, are siding with the brothers via letters to the judge and statements to the news media.
RELATED: Neil Abercrombie's slavery problem
Star Advertiser rate hikes may drive Leg to move legal notices online
Since becoming Hawaii’s only daily statewide newspaper, the Honolulu Star Advertiser has raised advertising rates 762 percent for weekday classified ads and 1,373 percent for Sunday classifieds, according to documents posted on a state website.
Similar steep increases have been imposed for retail and legal advertising.
The base price of a weekday classified ad has jumped from $9.75 to $84. On Sundays, the prices increased from $11 to as much as $216….
Some states have tried to reduce their legal advertising costs by “allowing electronic alternatives” to print publications, Edmonds says. But he adds that newspapers “typically lobby for protection” against such alternatives.
Saito told Hawaii Reporter this afternoon that new legislation may be sought next year that would allow for “new alternatives” in the publication of government advertisements.
KGI: Kawakami dominates coast to coast--Westside strength propels Rapozo back onto council