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Wednesday, November 24, 2010
November 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:31 PM :: 7694 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Aiona: “Maybe run again for Governor in 2014”

Hawaii High Schools ranked by college performance of graduates

The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom

Stop Treating Everyone As An Equal Threat 

Carrier Group heads for Korea

The aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS George Washington left its home port of Yokosuka on Monday. A Pacific Fleet spokesman in Hawaii said the strike group will remain in the region and await any further tasking from senior leaders.

At the Pentagon, Mr. Gates telephoned his South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, and said the United States regarded the North Korean artillery attack as a violation of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.

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Hawaii gets $1.1B settlement from Citi

HONOLULU -- Citigroup Inc. will repay all the money Hawaii lost on $1.1 billion worth of investments in student loan-backed securities, according to a settlement announced Tuesday.

The deal guarantees the state's taxpayers will be made whole by June 2015 plus interest, Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett said.

Citigroup agreed to pay back the difference between the market value and the original value of the investments. As of June 2009, the investments had lost at least $255 million, or about 25 percent of their value, according to a state audit.

"Despite the fact that market value right now may be way down, we will end up getting par for these," Bennett said in an interview. "This was a good settlement for the state and the taxpayers."

SCOT-FREE: UH Manoa activist sold Hawaii controversial Student Loan Bonds

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Clayton Hee, Gary Hooser still in running for DLNR

CB: Sitting Sens. Clayton Hee, a longtime Abercrombie ally, and Russell Kokubun, chair of the Senate Committee on Water and Land, could be asked to join the administration. Hooser (Kauai) and Kokubun (Big Island) have both represented neighbor islands, an experience that some said would be valuable.

They mentioned Waianae Small Boat Harbormaster William Aila, a Democratic governor candidate in 2006, and recently appointed DLNR Deputy Director of Water Resources Jonathan Scheuer as potential candidates. Former Office of Environmental Quality Control Director Gary Gill, who was Gov. Ben Cayetano's deputy director of health for the environment, also has government experience, one source said.1

Some recommended attorney Lea Hong, director of the Hawaiian Islands Program for the Trust for Public Lands. One offered the name of William Tam, an attorney with the firm of Alston, Hunt, Floyd and Ing….

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HB444 Proponent Blake Oshiro mentioned as possible House Speaker

CB: Two possible compromise candidates — Marcus Oshiro and Blake Oshiro — are 51 and 40, respectively. Neither wants the job, but both are respected leaders. Marcus Oshiro values loyalty and relishes running the powerful finance committee, while Blake Oshiro, the House majority leader, is too closely associated by some with Hawaii civil unions.

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City Parks Director Quits over bungled Craft Fair closure

Chang has been city parks director for six years and is one of the holdovers from former Mayor Mufi Hannemann's administration. Chang said he agreed to stay on until January 31 to help in the transition, but is now quitting six weeks early.

Chang said he was further upset when Carlisle singled out dirty conditions at city parks for criticism in his inaugural address last month.

But he said the final straw came last week, when Carlisle held a news conference to announce the city parks department had erroneously cancelled the mayor's arts and crafts fair over tax regulation concerns.

Chang said the mayor told some reporters that Chang had not told Carlisle of his decision to cancel the fair.

"The most disturbing part," Chang said, was that he'd already told members of the Carlisle administration about his decision to cancel the fair.

"The week before, I had told the whole Cabinet," Chang said.  (Comprised mostly of Mufi Holdovers.  Not much loyalty there, eh Peter?)

Problem is, Carlisle did not attend that cabinet meeting, which a Carlisle spokesman confirmed.

Chang and Mufi: Hanauma Dec 29: Did Mufi threaten retaliation against Obama?

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Council members pick committee posts

Councilman-elect Breene Harimoto, a former state Board of Education chairman, will serve as vice chairman, while veteran lawmaker Romy Cachola has been named floor leader….

Council members-elect Ernie Martin and Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo have been tabbed as chairman and vice chairwoman of the Budget Committee, respectively. Martin is the city's acting director of community services, while Tamayo previously served two years in the state House of Representatives.

Other committee chairmen include Romy Cachola, Executive Matters and Legal Affairs; Ann Kobayashi, Planning; Ikaika Anderson, Zoning; Gabbard Tamayo, Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs; Stanley Chang, Public Works and Sustainability; and Harimoto, Transportation and Transit Planning. Chang is a councilman-elect.

Although the Council member from District 1, Todd Apo's former seat, has not yet been selected, Garcia said the incoming member will serve as chairman of the Parks and Human Services Committee, with Anderson as vice chairman.

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Hawaii DoE flew 652 Employees to Disney World “conference”

We thought someone made a mistake. Surely the state Department of Education wouldn't spend over $1 million to send 652 employees to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Maybe six employees, maybe even 65, but 652?

But this is exactly what happened in June 2008. The Hawaii Department of Education spent taxpayer money to send 652 government employees to Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Florida between June 22 and June 25. Hawaii's participants comprised nearly 10 percent of the total 6,954 participants from the entire nation.

This seemingly extravagant expenditure is but one example of why a complete, independent financial and management audit of the DOE is long overdue….

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Shapiro: 1 giant store is to replace another in Kailua, ho-hum

I was a bad Kailuan and didn't show up for last weekend's protest to grumble about the Target store planned to open in 2012 at the Don Quijote site in downtown Kailua between the Safeway and the post office.

If this was an entirely new structure being thrown up in the middle of the congested business district, that might concern me.

But I just can't see the great affront to the town's character if a 130,000-square-foot department store replaces an existing 116,000-square-foot department store -- especially if the Target is tastefully designed and works to mitigate traffic impact, as promised.

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Privately owned Big Isle Hospital beats HHSC Hospitals in survey

HILO -- Patients at North Hawaii Community Hospital are more satisfied with their care than those at Kona Community Hospital, and both are much more satisfied than patients at Hilo Medical Center.
That's according to the most recent hospital surveys by a consortium of public and private organizations, funded by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

LINK: http://www.hcahpsonline.org/home.aspx

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Selling Sex in Honolulu: Unlicensed Massage Parlors Lack Enforcement Scrutiny

At least eight massage parlors in Honolulu have no record of a license to practice, as is required by law, Civil Beat has found.

Civil Beat looked into the licensing of massage parlors because law enforcement officials say the establishments are sometimes used as fronts for prostitution and can be linked to human trafficking.

In our investigation, we went through the phone book and performed Google searches for "Massage Honolulu," "Full body massage Honolulu," "Oriental massage Honolulu," to find establishments.

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Still not offered a job in Legislature, Maui man held on $1M bail on sex assault charges

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A 44-year-old Maui man charged with nearly 200 counts of sexual assault against two children will continue to be held on a $1 million bail.

Circuit Judge Joel August continued bail Monday for William Barrios Jr., who is accused of assaulting the daughter and son of his former girlfriend over a five-year period.

Neither Rida Cabanilla nor Roz Baker have offered this one a job yet.  Perhaps he should file a discrimination complaint.

REALITY: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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2011 Nissan LEAF gets best-in-class 99 mpg EPA rating

After completion of five-cycle testing, the EPA has rated the Nissan LEAF with an MPG equivalent of 106 city, 92 highway for a combined 99 MPGe. This calculation is based on the EPA’s formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. In addition, the label displays a charging time of seven hours on a 240V charge and a driving range of 73 miles,

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HECO continues to push palm oil importation issue

In early 2007, Hawaiian Electric Co. and subsidiary Maui Electric Co. announced plans by BlueEarth Biofuels to construct a mega-sized palm oil refinery on Maui, which would have been the largest in the world. Since that time, several respected Hawaii environmental and cultural groups have raised a red flag against the idea of importing Malaysian palm oil to Hawaii.

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Survey: Honolulu one of country's safest cities

Honolulu received more confirmation it is one of the nation’s safest cities when the CQ Press’ 2010-2011 City Crime Rankings, released Monday, put it at No. 272 of 400.

(This is only because the Legislature, BoE, DoE, and OHA are not counted in the stats.)

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Kauai Council backs Furfaro for chair, organizes committees

NAWILIWILI — The newly elected members of the Kaua‘i County Council met for the first time Monday in Council Chambers for an organizational meeting to discuss committee assignments and other key appointments.

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Contrails or chemtrails?  Free floating Anxiety strikes Kauai dopers, trust fund babies

Some Kaua‘i residents (cross-reference with medical marijuana lists) are growing increasingly concerned over what they call ‘chemtrails’ in the sky, suspecting aircraft of spraying potentially harmful chemicals over populated areas. They have been tracking these trails, disseminating information propaganda and generating (not much) discussion online at kauaisky.blogspot.com.  (Notice what kind of websites quickly and easily get media attention?)

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Memminger: Seven Simple Ways to Reduce the National Debt (Without Convening A Government Commission)

President Obama’s debt commission has finally come out with preliminary ideas on how to reduce the massive, national-hernia-inducing federal deficit but its recommendations are hardly the groundbreaking, innovative and pioneering direction I was hoping for.

I know something about running up deficits, having hobbled,  bent-over, through the last 20 or 30 years of life carrying the agonizing weight of mortgages, home equity lines, credit cards, overdrawn checking accounts, automatic withdrawals, college loans and excessive bar tabs on my back….

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Nature Conservancy gives “scientists” junket to Palmyra in exchange for agit-prop on global warming, plastic

UK Guardian: An established scientist tells us about her recent visit to remote Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef, two specks of land that are located about as far from anywhere as you can get and still remain on Planet Earth….

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