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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
December 15, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:09 PM :: 9163 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

Hawaii Right to Life endorses Dudley, McDermott in Honolulu Council Special Election

Inouye earmark sets goal of developing a mechanism for Hawaii “Indian Tribe”

Djou welcomes GAO audit of Compact of Free Association funds

Abercrombie names Okimoto, Wong, Ono, Ito, Kaahanui to Cabinet

Abercrombie filled of the biggest jobs, the Department of Transportation, by appointing former DOT airports and harbors administrator Glenn Okimoto. Okimoto is currently the budget director for the University of Hawaii Systems.

For the Department of Defense, the governor chose Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, who is currently the chief of staff for the Hawaii Air National Guard.

The new consumer advocate will be Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Ono. Ono is a partner in law firm Galliher, DeRobertis and Ono. He is a graduate of the UH William Richardson School of Law.

Abercrombie is keeping the current insurance commissioner, Gordon Ito. Gov. Linda Lingle appointed Ito to the post in July 2010.

Social worker and Filipino rights leader Mila Kaahanui will become the Office of Community Services director.

SA: Abercrombie nominates Wong to head defense, Okimoto for transportation

Abercrombie also named a slew of deputy directors, most notably the three who will serve under Okimoto in the Department of Transportation: Randy Grune, deputy in charge of harbors; Ford Fuchigami, deputy in charge of airports; and Jadine Urasaki, deputy in charge of capital improvements projects.

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Most effective way to move forward should Akaka Bill be enacted?

Political Radar: A spokesman for Akaka says the senator still is exploring avenues to get the bill passed, adding that the provision in the spending bill basically calls for a report on the most effective way to move forward should the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act be enacted in the future.

CB: As Dan Akaka's spokesman, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, explains, the provision essentially calls for the writing of a report on the best way to move forward should the Akaka bill become law — something that he says remains a priority for Akaka. But the Congress is consumed with myriad other issues as it works through its lame-duck session, he adds.

Of note: Clyde Namuo of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is in D.C. this week. OHA spokeswoman Jennifer Armstrong says one reason for the visit is "to support our Senators in the passing of the Akaka bill. However, their main focus this time around is to meet with respective people on topics that have an important role in supporting our initiatives, specifically involving education, health and human services."

AP: Study requested for Native Hawaiian government

RELATED: Inouye earmark sets goal of developing a mechanism for Hawaii “Indian Tribe”

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Akaka Bill: Dead Horse in a Dead Duck Session

But hold your horses! We just found out today that ol’ “earmarks” Inouye has put provisions for a “Native Hawaiian Study” (a.k.a. Akaka) into the ominous Omnibus Bill, which could be voted on this week.

It seems, dead-ducks or dead-horses matter not to Inouye. You gotta admire the guy, one way or another, he intends to keep this horse in the race, even if he has to cheat by dragging it across the infield to sneak its rotting carcass over the finish line.

RELATED: Inouye earmark sets goal of developing a mechanism for Hawaii “Indian Tribe”

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SA Continues look at Hawaii DoE Special Ed Disaster

Shapiro: Less rant, more rationale needed on cost of rail transit

But the analysis is measured in tone, with ample supporting data, and isn't the "anti-rail rant" that Mayor Peter Carlisle described in his own rant the day after the $350,000 study came out.

He called it an "appalling waste" of taxpayer dollars because one of the consultants has favored buses over rail -- as did the city's primary rail contractor, Parsons Brinckerhoff, when the company advised former Mayor Jeremy Harris on bus rapid transit.

Carlisle now says the city is analyzing the IMG study, but it appears more for the purpose of refutation than a serious attempt to see whether there is anything to be learned.

IMG isn't the first to question whether the city is raising enough to pay for rail from the half-cent excise tax imposed in 2007 -- especially with the $1.5 billion federal share less certain because of Republican gains in Washington.

It's a fair question to ask what Plan B is if the city comes up short, but the administration has avoided a straight answer.

CB: Civil Beat Discovers $227 Million Error in State Consultant's Work

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Hawaii ranks low in emergency preparedness

The report contended that Hawaii was unable to quickly identify and report E. coli infections; cannot adequately increase public health lab staffing in response to an outbreak of an infectious disease; and did not activate its emergency operations center - either as a drill or in response to a real incident - at least twice in 2007 or 2008.

SA: Islands' readiness for crisis doubted

RELATED: Report: Hawaii scores 7 out of 10 on Health Emergency Preparedness

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Arakawa names Johnson to serve on mayoral team

WAILUKU - Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa has chosen Maui County Council Member Jo Anne Johnson as his administration's transportation director.

Marc Takamori was picked to serve as deputy director.

During her tenure as a council member, Johnson served as chairwoman of the Parks and Economic Development and the Economic Development, Agriculture and Recreation committees.

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Shapiro: Dirty districting

Which brings us to the current special election to replace Todd Apo in Council District I, where Makakilo residents Mel Kahele and Kioni Dudley admit to setting up quickie residences elsewhere in order to be eligible to run.

Kahele, who is using his daughter’s address, justifies himself by saying Makakilo used to be part of District I. And South America used to be connected to Africa.

Dudley rented an address after saying he was unable to find any other candidate actually living in the district who represents his concerns, a conceit that tells you something about his concerns.

Their residency is being challenged with the city clerk by one of the 12 other candidates, Matthew LoPresti, himself a short-timer in the district. It’s unlikely there will be a resolution  before the mail-in voting is done, leaving it to voters to sort things out.

RELATED: Honolulu Council Special Election: Mel Kahele, Waimanalo Gulch, and other baggage, Residency Challenge filed against Kioni Dudley Council Candidacy, As debate looms, Honolulu Council Special Election residency challenges multiply

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Kondo selected to head state Ethics Commission

Kondo has served as a member of the state Public Utilities Commission since 2007.

Before that he directed the state Office of Information Practices where he provided guidance on the state's open government laws to officials and the public.

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UPW Thrill ride: Lawyers find 18 Mainland Hawaii prisoners willing to sue

HONOLULU -- Eighteen Hawaii inmates have sued the state of Hawaii and the Corrections Corporation of America.

The inmates claimed they were stripped, beaten and kicked by guards in Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.

The prisoners said they were targeted after a guard was seriously hurt when he tried to break up a prison gang fight at Saguaro Correctional Center where they are incarcerated.

The suit was filed Monday by attorneys Michael Jay Green and John Rapp in Circuit Court in Honolulu.

The inmates are among 1,840 Hawaii prisoners serving sentences at Saguaro in Eloy, Ariz

The prison is run by the Corrections Corporation of America.

Saguaro was build to exclusively house Hawaii offenders because of prison overcrowding in Hawaii…. (And so this lawsuit is designed to create the rationale for what comes next….)

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) promised in his campaign this year to bring Hawaii prisoners home from the mainland.

In a written statement, Abercrombie said today: "The violence involving Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Facility underscores why we need to stop sending prisoners out of state. We are facing many challenges in the state and we need to work together to find solutions that include bringing our inmates home."

Abercrombie said he is committed to building more prisons in Hawaii  (Mmmm contract$.  Mmmmm….) that are safe and set high UPW standards for corrections staff. 

High Standards? Halawa guards are fired over inmate abuse

High Standards? Five DPS Employees Claimed Over 2,000 Hours of Overtime

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Haleiwa Flood Blamed On Dam Failure: Lawsuit Says Uninspected Reservoir Released Torrent

HONOLULU -- A failed agricultural reservoir is being blamed for causing a damaging flood in Haleiwa two years ago.

The reservoir, several miles upland of Haleiwa, is on land owned by Dole Food Company.

The lawsuit said the 350-foot dam and its 5-acre, 29 million- gallon reservoir, was not included in a statewide safety review of all dams, ordered after the Kaloko Dam breech on Kauai killed seven people in March 2006.

Two years after the statewide inspections, on Dec. 11, 2008, the waters from Paukauila Stream near twin bridges in Haleiwa rose so fast people said they had no warning.

The flood heavily damaged property in Haleiwa and downstream in Waialua.

A lawsuit on behalf of homeowners Bart Kai Wainee and Lisa-Ann Ainee claims that's because nature alone was not responsible.

(Key point: This Dam is not being inspected.  Nonetheless, this will be used as an argument for retrofitting of all dams.  After all, there are lots of contract$ to be let.)

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Tax cheat, anti-Superferry protester Gary Hooser on Say speakership: It’s all quid pro quo

“In the big square building, rarely is anything given without something being asked for in return.”

Pseudo-intellectual airhead: Sen. Gary Hooser campaign website linked to Holocaust deniers

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Honolulu Anti-Semite pleads insanity

Police said the threats were made July 13 to Aug. 8. Fiust left multiple telephone messages threatening to kill his neighbor and his family, to blow up their house and to kill all Jews, police said. When the neighbor answered the telephone and asked the caller whether he was Tommy, his neighbor for the past 25 years, Fiust told the neighbor he was no longer Tommy, but God, police said.

The state says Fiust also called his neighbor a "f------ Jew" and told him to "go back to Tel Aviv." The neighbor was so scared he left the island to get away from Fiust, the state said.

The neighbor and two family members sought and were granted temporary restraining orders against Fiust that are in effect for three years.

(Why doesn’t Fiust have a tenured position at UH Manoa?  Is somebody in the faculty recruitment department slacking?)

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AP and Eric Ryan team up in desperate effort to convince suckers that state GOP in turmoil over finances

AP loves Eric Ryans’ annual scam.  And the usual suspects are chiming in as they do every year.  Dull and repetitive this show is.

REALITY: GOP responds to “bizarre, comical” emails from Eric Ryan

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California’s 1st female LG has Kaua‘i roots

LIHU‘E — Mona Pasquil, 49, made history as the first female, first Asian-Pacific islander and first Filipina lieutenant governor in California’s history.

And though the six-month stint was only temporary — as a battle ensued over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s permanent replacement, Abel Maldonado — she made the most of her time in that office by impressing on younger generations that shooting for the stars is what they must do.

She said her grandmother came from Siquijor, a small island in the Visayas islands of the Philippines, and they came to Hawai‘i to work in the sugar plantations.

Hanapepe resident and former Kaua‘i Fire Chief Alejandro “Ale” Lomosad’s mother and Pasquil’s grandmother are cousins. While Lomosad’s family came to Kaua‘i and stayed, members of Pasquil’s family continued to California. Pasquil was born in Sacramento, where she still lives.

MORE: http://www.apaforprogress.org/mona-pasquil-named-interim-lt-governor-ca

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Star-Advertiser trims rate increase for state’s legal ads

Oahu Publications, publisher of the Star-Advertiser, has submitted another contract proposal seeking higher rates for legal advertising placed by state agencies for publication on Oahu, Molokai, and Lanai.

But the new rates are less than in a previous proposal, which was rejected.

The latest proposal, as well as Oahu Publication’s original proposal, became public when they were submitted to the State Procurement Office with a request for exemption from competitive bidding.

SA: Newspaper building near sale

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KITV may be knocked off DirecTV Satellite

If negotiations are not successfully concluded before Jan. 1, 2011, you will not be able to view KITV on DirecTV, but will be able to receive KITV over the air and from other cable and satellite providers.

Click here to read the complete news release.

SA: Hawaii will share in $13.5 million settlement with DirecTV

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Grace Pacific, Mid Pac Petroleum Merge

Grace Pacific is the state's largest road paving company. Mid Pac's parent company, Koko'oha Investments Inc., operates or supplies fuel to all 76 brand gas stations in the state.

The merger takes effect on Jan. 1, the companies said.

The merger creates a single company with revenues of more than $400 million annually and more than 650 employees.

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Hawaii still may hear symphonic music

It also means that when classical music does return to the Blaisdell Concert Hall or other venues, it likely will have new people in charge and a different business model….

Separate from the Honolulu Symphony Society is the Honolulu Symphony Foundation, which has its own board of directors and oversees an endowment estimated at $8 million to $10 million. Its mission is to “provide funding and support for live professional symphonic music in Honolulu.”

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Big Island tops in poverty

Almost 15 percent of Big Island residents lived in poverty last year, compared to just over 10 percent for the state as a whole, according to Census Bureau data released Wednesday.
The numbers are more grim for school-aged children. Last year, 18.9 percent of Hawaii County children and 12.7 percent of children statewide ages 5 to 17 lived in families in poverty.

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Aching for Development, Laie Has Hawaii's Highest Household Size

Koolau Loa residents have listed housing as the top crisis facing their families.

They say they've been forced to rent out their garages to help pay their mortgages and are cramming multiple generations under the same roof.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau say they're right.

(The enviros are achieving their objective.)

SA: Census paints mixed economic landscape

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Abercrombie: Hawaii Needs Federal Help After Micronesian Ruling

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says that a federal district court's order mandating the state restore full health care benefits for Micronesians in Hawaii will be too costly for the state to shoulder alone: Congress needs to help.

"The decision by the federal court to restore comprehensive medical benefits for residents from the Compact of Free Association will have a significant impact on the state's resources," Abercrombie said in a statement Civil Beat. "The responsibility for providing the funds mandated by the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act lies with the White House and the Congress."

(And he should know, having created the mess in the first place—and then failed to get funding for all those years in Congress.)

Cleaning up Abercrombie’s Mess: GAO to investigate lack of funding for Compact of Free Association Migrants

Djou welcomes GAO audit of Compact of Free Association funds

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Triathlete raising money for COFA migrants on Big Isle

Janine Aberg, also of University of the Nations, works with the Marshallese and helps the village. From Aberg, Wee learned the Marshallese, who are legal nonimmigrants under the Compact of Free Association, often live in crowded shelters made of plywood, lacking toilets or water lines. Some sleep on carpets placed on the lava floor.

"They are surviving in an area that is economically, educationally and socially stagnant. Basically, they want jobs, but are unable to find work or can't because they don't have a Social Security card. The jobs they do get consist of fishing or picking coffee beans for very little money," Wee said.

"Some are lacking in skills such as English and the ability to communicate. Of the children, only half of them make it through school and 1 percent have gone to college. Many feel like outsiders."

For more information, visit http://www.breeweehawaii.blogspot.com.

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