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Wednesday, December 01, 2010
December 1, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:20 PM :: 8782 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

New Hawaii website targets “waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars”

Earmarks: Desperate Inouye lashes out at Obama

UH Manoa Researcher pushes to legalize kiddie porn

Nader Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear His Hawaii Ballot Access Case

Abercrombie Selects Budget Director, Labor Team

Abercrombie names five Cabinet appointees

Abercrombie names communications staff

VIDEO: Newly elected GOP Reps plan for upcoming Legislative session

Quid pro Quo with Mehau?  Takamine, Cayetano retread, to head DLIR

Gov.-Elect Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday announced his choices to head the Departments of Budget and Finance and Labor and Industrial Relations.

Sen. Dwight Takamine will head the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The state senator from the Big Island has served in the Legislature for 26 years.

Audrey Hidano will reprise her position as DLIR deputy director. She held that position from 2000 to 2002. She has been a business owner and the president of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii from 1999 to 2000.

Abercrombie also announced Kalbert Young will be the Department of Budget and Finance director. He is currently the director of finance for Maui County (as a member of the failed administration of Charmaine Tavares). Young has worked for Kapalua Land Co., the state Legislature and Kamehameha Schools.

Takamine Quid pro Quo? Larry Mehau supporting Neil Abercrombie

Maui News: Abercrombie picks county finance chief to be part of growing team

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Kalapa: "This is the worst time. There is no money.”

Lowell Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, said Young and Abercrombie will likely have to make some difficult choices given Abercrombie's campaign promises and the fragile state of the recovery. "This is the worst time. There is no money. The budget has been cut and all the departments are whining," he said….

"Are they yin and yang? Are they going to balance each other out?" Kalapa asked. "Neil has always gone to bat for the unions, so the appointment of someone like Takamine is the M.O."

Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, believes Abercrombie was striving for balance. He said the department under Lingle has been tilted toward management and business views.

"Obviously, all of us in the labor community are very pleased," he said of Takamine's nomination. "It is a dramatic departure from the Lingle administration's selections."

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Shapiro: Legislature not place I’d go for talent

It’ll soften the inevitable cries of political cronyism as Abercrombie moves on to putting fellow elected officials in Cabinet posts, starting with yesterday’s appointment of Sen. Dwight Takamine to head Labor and Industrial Relations.

Sen. Russell Kokubun is reportedly still under consideration for the Department of Agriculture, as is Sen. Brian Taniguchi for the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board and possibly Sen. Josh Green for the Department of Health.

The Legislature isn’t necessarily where I’d look for talent to manage big and complex state departments; I’m having trouble thinking of former legislators who distinguished themselves as department heads

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Shapiro: Abercrombie transplants campaign to Administration

It's worth studying the way Abercrombie ran his campaign, because it seems to be much the same way he intends to run his administration.

For his first Cabinet picks, the governor-elect wisely avoided political types and went with "civilians" with established expertise: Waianae Harbormaster William Aila Jr. for Land and Natural Resources; banker Richard Lim for Business, Economic Development and Tourism; acting Waiawa Correctional Facility Warden Jodie Maesaka-Hirata for Public Safety; and charter schools executive Alapaki Nahale-a for Hawaiian Home Lands.

While these positions are where much policy will originate, if you look at his personal staff -- the key gatekeeper jobs where policy is implemented, priorities are set, alliances are formed and the message is honed -- Abercrombie has virtually transplanted his campaign team.

Amy Asselbaye, his campaign operations director, was named his gubernatorial chief of staff, and deputy campaign manager Andrew Aoki will be her deputy.

Abercrombie said Asselbaye will manage the governor's office and Cabinet to implement state policies, while Aoki will oversee policy development and strategic planning. Clearly, this is where the greatest power will lie….

But a campaign is mostly about figuring out what voters want to hear and telling it to them, while running an administration is often more about persuading the public, legislators and key interest groups to accept needed changes they don't necessarily want to make.

The big test is whether Team Abercrombie can make the leap from one to the other.

(Like everything else Abercrombie has done, in transferring his campaign team to the administration, he is copying Obama.  And how did that work out in the White House?)

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Slom: Say down to one vote, Democrat factionalism will disrupt agenda

Slom says important legislative business is on hold until the speaker question is settled, including setting the Legislature's calendar and appointing a reapportionment commission to address population shifts in the two congressional districts and 76 legislative districts. The speaker would decide those matters along with Senate President Shan Tsutsui.

But Slom also thinks the House's ugly division over speaker means it will be tougher for the majority party to push through tax increases — "and that's good from my standpoint," says the Hawaii Kai senator, who has never met a tax he didn't despise. "I'm going to have fun next session.”

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Carlisle: “I believe furloughs were invented by the devil and should go back to purgatory”

Mayor Peter Carlisle said yesterday he is strongly opposed to public worker furloughs and wants to eliminate them in the next city budget.

"Furloughs were invented by the devil and should go back to the purgatory from where they came from," Carlisle said during a news conference in his office to introduce Cabinet nominees.

Carlisle also announced eight more appointments to his administration, including new directors for the Departments of Parks and Recreation, and Community Services….

Gary Cabato, who served at the Department of Parks and Recreation for 11 years as executive assistant, was nominated as the agency's director. Cabato has been responsible for the parks facilities maintenance program, which earned praise from the National Parks and Recreation Association.

Sam Moku, who has been director of the state Home Ownership Assistance Program since 2005, will head the city Department of Community Services. Under his leadership the state office partnered with the city's Section 8 program to offer the first homeownership opportunity on Hawaiian homelands to a native Hawaiian Section 8 recipient.

Other designees in his administration include:

» Bridget Holthus, as deputy director of Community Services. She has been special assistant and deputy attorney general under state Attorney General Mark Bennett.
» Albert Tufono, who has been chairman of the Hawaii Paroling Authority, will be deputy director of Parks and Recreation.
» William Balfour, a Parks and Recreation director under former Mayor Jeremy Harris, will be special assistant to the department.
» Lori Kahikina-Moniz, acting chief of the city Division of Collection System Maintenance, will be deputy director of the Department of Design and Construction.
» KaiNani Kraut, who has served as a private project manager and a transportation engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, will be deputy director of the Department of Transportation Services.
» Forest Frizzell, who has worked as a private information technology and security account manager in Honolulu and California, will be deputy director of the Department of Information Technology.

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Decimated Democrats forced to pick Hirono for Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

But hey, Abercrombie never got this far in 20 years…

REALITY: Congress.org: "Abercrombie is a follower"

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4,100 in Hawaii to lose jobless benefits as Democrat lame duck supermajority fails to renew

About 4,100 Hawaii residents per month would stop getting unemployment checks if Congress does not approve a continuation of extended jobless benefits, the state labor director said yesterday.

Governor Lingle’s Labor Director Pearl Imada Iboshi also said the state Labor Department has notified the federal government that it might ask to borrow $30 million in December to help the state pay people in their initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.

But it is all the Republicans fault….

AP: Hawaii bankruptcy filings up 49% in November

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Isles' visitor count, spending see double-digit gains in October

MONTH

SPENT

CHANGE

October

$961.5M

+24.7%

September

$880.2M

+22.2%

August

$1.08B

+30.0%

July

$1.11B

+23.3%

June

$948.9M

+16.1%

May

$861.4M

+15.9%

April

$765.8M

-0.7%

March

$877.3M

+12.0%

February

$853.5M

+0.8%

January

$985.8M

+4.1%

YTD total

$9.329B

+14.7%

Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority

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Kauai County clerk job up in air

Council members seem split on whether long-time County Clerk Peter Nakamura — one of the highest paid employees in the county — should continue serving in his current capacity or if they should seek outside candidates.

At an organizational caucus meeting Nov. 22, (anti-Superferry protester) Councilwoman-elect JoAnn Yukimura recommended the council secure the assistance of an executive search firm for the process of choosing the county clerk.

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Arakawa names two top people at Public Works

WAILUKU - Another day and another set of appointments for top Maui County positions from Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa. On Tuesday, he named developer David Goode as director of the county Department of Public Works.

It won't be an unfamiliar position for him. Goode served as both Public Works director and deputy director for about eight years, during the former county administrations of both Linda Lingle and James "Kimo" Apana. And, he's a member of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources….

Arakawa also appointed Rowena Dagdag-Andaya, a 2nd-grade teacher at Kahului Elementary School, to serve as Public Works Department deputy director. Before becoming a teacher, Dagdag-Andaya was a planner at the planning firm of Munekiyo & Hiraga in Wailuku.

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Maui Water Sabotaged again: Piiholo South well deal dead for now

Zachary Franks, co-managing director of Piiholo South, originally proposed selling his well to the Department of Water Supply, but he did not like the way the county responded. Tuesday, he asked the council to allow its resolution to expire.

"It was a complete failure," he said.

He charged that Council Member Wayne Nishiki had introduced the resolution "with the primary, though unstated, purpose of derailing Kula Ridge. Prior to its introduction, Piiholo South, towards whom the resolution was putatively aimed, was not even notified by Mr. Nishiki of the resolution's existence, let alone consulted with regard to its substance."

When he did learn the framework of a proposal, he said it was "a disproportionate and unfair deal" that would have had Piiholo South "hand over" 95 percent of its well for free. That, he told, the committee "could never happen."

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Public Protest blocks County borrowing: $56M bond approval put on hold

The vote came after a three-hour hearing where 21 spoke against the bond issue and nine spoke in favor. Some 24 opponents and two proponents sent letters.

Opponents (mobilized by Kona Democrats’ factional interests) said the council shouldn't rush through such a significant expenditure in its last days in office.

"I don't have to remind the council members this is not their money, and after they leave office they won't be the ones held accountable for the payment of this reckless decision," said (Hokulia plaintiff) Michael Flaherty, of Kailua-Kona.

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S. Kona bypass road bond under advisement

Robert Klein, a bond specialist brought in as special deputy corporation counsel, argued Tuesday morning that American Motorists was falsely claiming it had no knowledge of the many and varied troubles the Hokulia project faced. Further, Klein said, American Motorists continued accepting premium -payments, even as the project was under a seven-year court injunction not to do any work.

"Because of the precarious financial situation (of American Motorists), we would like the court to require them to deposit funds with the court," Klein said.

American Motorists is operating under runoff, meaning it's required to honor existing premiums, but isn't offering new policies.

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Hawaii Ranks Among The Nation's Worst For Meth Abuse

It's a frightening statistic. Hawaii ranks fifth in the nation in methamphetamine use among people age 12 and older, according to a study by the Hawaii Meth Project.

"It's been here so many years, and as a result of that, we have challenges with multi-generational meth use, starting with grandma and grandpa and moving to the children and grandchildren, as well," said Hawaii Meth Project Executive Director Cindy Adams.

Adams is on a mission to change this pattern of abuse. According to the Hawaii Meth Use and Attitudes Survey, released by the Hawaii Meth Project, 1 in 5 young adults says someone has offered them meth, or that they have a close friend who uses the drug.

SA: Dad shares pain of 'ice' addiction

RELATED: http://www.hawaiimethproject.org/index.php

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Planned Parenthood senses opportunity as Hawaii AIDS cases spike

According to the Hawaii Department of Health, there were 863 new diagnosed HIV cases in 2009, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Hawaii to 4,015. This data represents just one part of the epidemic. Of these thousands of people, many remain unaware that they carry the virus.

Alarmingly, Honolulu's Life Foundation reported that in 2010, over a two-month period, seven young people were diagnosed with AIDS while seeking care at local hospitals. None had previously been tested for HIV or were aware of their HIV-positive status.

Funding streams for both HIV prevention and for sexual and reproductive health must be improved in the United States and overseas. Currently, HIV funding streams remain needlessly segregated from other reproductive health programs.  (By joining them together, HIV money can “stream” into Planned Parenthood’s coffers.  Ca-ching!)

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SA: Repeal DADT

Yesterday, Pentagon officials released the long-awaited results of a study showing that gay troops could serve openly without compromising the military mission.  And two day before that a gay atheist private was allegedly responsible for the biggest leak of classified information in US history.  Remember.  If you see any link between these two facts, you are a bigot.  These are the terms of free and open debate in Herbert Marcuse’s Brave New World.

Precisely as Predicted: The Overhauling of Straight America

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KITV helps researcher promote kiddie porn 

Looking over decades of data from countries where pornography was illegal but is now legal, University of Hawaii researcher (and activist) professor Milton Diamond (claims to have) discovered something significant.

"Everywhere that pornography has been introduced sex crimes have gone down," said Diamond. (He bases this on a study of the Czech republic before and after the fall of communism and then associates changes in the crime rate to changes in pornography laws as if that was the only thing happening in Czech in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The research is embarrassingly bad, but the Marcusean editors of  “Archives of Sexual Behavior” are thinking this may be the time for Hawaii Democrats to lead in legalizing child sex just as Hawaii Democrats invented gay marriage in 1993.

For an opposing viewpoint, ITV did not seek out another researcher, but instead sought out a Waimanalo housewife.  Typical media technique designed to initiate the acceptance of a new Marcusean battle front by portraying the researcher promoting child sex as the enlightened defender of humanity vs the ignorant and benighted masses.

See how this is already being heard around the world?  It is our responsibility here in Hawaii to stop allowing our islands to be used as a home base for this type of psychological warfare on the underpinnings of modern civilization. 

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Sex Offender Openly Promoted Child Sex

Registered sex offender Gary Lee Hardeman, 55, was arrested in Waikiki on Wednesday after being indicted in San Francisco on suspicion of illicit activity in a foreign place with a minor. (Clearly this is happening because he isn’t able to get his hands on kiddie porn.  Duh!)

Hardeman’s only felony conviction was 30 years ago, but since then, authorities said, he has shown hostility toward being registered as a sex offender and has openly advocated adult sex with children.

Federal prosecutors in Honolulu who arranged Hardeman’s detention and transfer to San Francisco said they didn’t know how long Hardeman was in Hawaii before his arrest.

Last week’s indictment was for illicit behavior with a minor in a foreign country -- apparently Mexico, where court records said he has a daughter with whom he stays for several months a year.

Maybe this guy could get a job managing Rida Cabanilla or Roz Baker’s office?  REALITY: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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Obama might postpone isle visit

CNN, citing two unidentified senior administration officials, reported yesterday that Obama is considering delaying the start of his trip to work out a deal with congressional Republicans on the Bush tax cuts that expire Dec. 31.

CNN quoted the aides as saying that Obama is willing to stay in Washington until Christmas Eve if necessary to finish the contentious debate over taxes.

But CNN also said senior Republican aides scoffed at the idea that a tax cut deal could not be worked out before Dec. 17, suggesting that White House talk of a vacation delay might be a negotiating ploy to push Republicans into a compromise, since they too have vacations planned.

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Honolulu Startup Weekend Planned

Launching a startup company can be exhilarating, but also a daunting challenge of planning, organizing, and building. Can it be done here in Honolulu… in one weekend? Kailua software developer Dave Pascua hopes to find out. He announced Startup Weekend Honolulu yesterday, tentatively scheduled to take place at Fresh Cafe from January 28-30, 2011.

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