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Sunday, February 20, 2011
February 20, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:11 PM :: 9667 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Find it Here: Census Bureau set to Release Local 2010 Census Data for Hawaii

Leading Birther admits conspiracy theory promoted by Obama supporters

Wisconsin Stands With Walker as Democrats flee

SA: Special Session Coming?  GE Tax hike on menu?

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his finance staff have promised this week to deliver the long-awaited budget, in which he must close an $844 million deficit extending through the next biennium. Having this spending plan in hand will be essential in the coming weeks if lawmakers are to reasonably evaluate a mix of proposals to raise revenue and cut government costs….

Abercrombie should continue to resist increases in the general excise tax, as he pledged to do during the campaign….

Chatter in the state Capitol halls indicate some lawmakers may be tempted to postpone the toughest budgetary decisions until a special session, with decisions forged in the interim and when the looming start of a new fiscal year makes those decisions more urgent and thus, more politically palatable….

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Rail Fail: Minimal interest in “Transit Oriented Development”

Many hope Tuesday's groundbreaking for Honolulu's long-debated $5.5 billion rail system will mark the beginning of the end to notorious Oahu traffic woes, but just as critical is the hope that millions of dollars in "transit-oriented development" will spring up around rail stations along the route.

From most indications, interest in development so far has been minimal.

While city officials have touted the prospects of development, no formal announcements have been made about future projects. A spokeswoman for the city told the Star-Advertiser last week that permitting and planning officials were not ready to be interviewed on the subject.

CB: Exact Finances on Rail Hard to Pin Down

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Gambling is not the quick fix Hawaii legislators are looking for

As Hawaii Pacific University professor and First Hawaiian Bank economist Leroy Laney and I pointed out in an article in the book "The Price of Paradise" some years ago, gambling in any form just doesn't pencil out for Hawaii.

Simply put, those 48 other states are not Hawaii. They are not island societies, with all that implies for vulnerability on the one hand and the importance of community on the other. And they don't have our remarkable cultural traditions — the essence of the industry that comprises 25 percent of our economy.

Destinations go to great lengths to differentiate themselves in the global marketplace, to offer something unique. Over the last half-century Hawaii has been more successful than most, creating a brand image of a safe, stunningly beautiful, remarkably welcoming and culturally singular place.

Bringing gambling in any form to the Aloha State would compromise the world's perception of the special and unparalleled nature of Hawaii.

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Superferry Redux: Young Brothers Senator Roz Baker takes aim a Pasha 

At a hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, farmers rallied behind Young Brothers, saying the shipper would be forced to raise rates if it lost revenue to Pasha. (Democrat operative) Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farms went so far as to say, "This has the potential of killing agriculture."  (Yawn.  Just another Democrat hack running his mouth.)

The PUC said such fears were unfounded since Young Brothers could not raise rates without PUC approval.

An infuriated state Sen. Rosalyn Baker of Maui suggested the PUC's decision resulted from "fifth-floor considerations" driven by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, who had tangled with Young Brothers over the state's treatment of the Hawaii Superferry.

This year, Baker has sponsored Senate Bill 99, an act that would change the structure, composition and operational procedures of the PUC, a three-member agency which sets the rules and rates for hundreds of public entities, including energy, shipping, telecommunications and trucking companies. All of that trickles down to what consumers and ratepayers ultimately pay out of pocket.

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Mauna Kea telescope vote slated for Friday

Other conditions: Employees of TMT will be required to attend cultural and natural resource training. TMT should be required to implement an invasive species control program, hire locally "to the greatest extent possible," use energy-saving devices, provide a $1 million annual community benefits package, and pay a "substantial" amount for sublease rent to be used for the management of Mauna Kea.

TMT expects to employ about 140 people, with 24 working at the summit on a daily basis. Ride-sharing policies will be enforced.
Requests for the contested case hearing were made by KAHEA -- The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Clarence "Ku" Ching, Fred Stone and the Sierra Club.

What this is all about: Telescope: The Shakedown begins, Thirty Meter Telescope Selects Mauna Kea -- Let the looting begin!

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Good News: Oshiro copies GOP Journalist Shield Bill, reintroduces it as his own

HB 1376 RELATING TO EVIDENCE.
Makes permanent the limited news media privilege against the compelled disclosure of sources and unpublished information.

HB 194 RELATING TO EVIDENCE.
Makes permanent the limited news media privilege against the compelled disclosure of sources and unpublished information.

HB 1376 was introduced by Blake Oshiro, who was instrumental in the shield law’s original passage. HB194 is a Republican-backed measure. The bills are identical.

(This is good because Dems won’t pass a GOP bill because they feel prejudiced and fearful towards people unlike themselves--the nation’s smallest legislative minority.  So since Oshiro has copied the GOP bill, it is a sign that his bill could be passed into law without giving the GOP any credit.)

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9th Circuit: Obama’s Judicial nominee Ed Chen did not violate Judicial Code of Conduct with anti-American remarks 

Reality from Wa Times: Judge Edward Chen’s words speak for themselves. When the congregation sang “America the Beautiful” at a funeral, Judge Chen told the audience of his “feelings of ambivalence and cynicism when confronted with appeals to patriotism - sometimes I cannot help but feel that there are too much [sic] injustice and too many inequalities that prevent far too many Americans from enjoying the beauty extolled in that anthem.”

In a speech on Sept. 22, 2001, he said that among his first responses to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America was a “sickening feeling in my stomach about what might happen to race relations and religious tolerance on our own soil. … One has to wonder whether the seemingly irresistible forces of racism, nativism and scapegoating which has [sic] recurred so often in our history can be effectively restrained.”

(When will the seemingly irresistible forces of self-loathing and the Stockholm Syndrome be “effectively restrained”?)

Jonathan Turley: It is the statement on the criminalization of immigration laws that I find a bit troubling. I find it rather injudicious for a judicial officer to be speaking out publicly against specific laws — laws that he could have to interpret or enforce.  (But sine he wrapped that up in a bunch of “enlightened, conscious and progressive rhetoric”, he can get away with it.)

SA, protecting its own progressive kind, refuses to name Judge Chen—who Obama has naturally appointed to a Federal Judgeship in Nor Cal but the Senate has been too intelligent to be fooled--and cites the decision as upholding free speech.

HFP is glad Judge Chen has free speech and we hope he stops censoring himself.  All progressives should stop censoring themselves so we can hear them explain that American deserved 9-11.  Without free speech, it is impossible to truly KNOW THY ENEMY.

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Union: Without spending $100B of borrowed Chinese money, you will die

The union representing National Weather Service workers says budget cuts proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives could jeopardize public safety and increase the severity of disaster losses in Hawaii.

"People could die. ... It could be serious," said Barry Hirshon, Pacific region chairman of the National Weather Service Employees Organization.

Yawn.  Who dull and predictable.  Look up >>> Washington Monument Gambit

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China tries to stamp out 'Jasmine Revolution'

Jittery Chinese authorities wary of any domestic dissent staged a show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine Revolution," with only a handful of people joining protests apparently modeled on the pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

Authorities detained activists, increased the number of police on the streets, disconnected some cell phone text messaging services and censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities.

Police took at least three people away in Beijing, one of whom tried to place white jasmine flowers on a planter while hundreds of people milled about the protest gathering spot….

Meanwhile back in Honolulu: Don’t Mock Hu Jintao: Honolulu Councilmembers demand Rush Limbaugh be censored

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Civil Unions projected to produce only 569 couples in 4 years

It will certainly drive more tourism and bring more people to us," said Michael Waddell, general manager for the Maui Sunseeker, a resort catering to gay clientele. "They come here because they can be comfortable and they can be themselves."  (Here is a review from a gay sex tourism website: “Be Gay Somewhere Else!”)

The Maui Sunseeker is expanding from 17 to 30 rooms by the end of the year, which will help it accommodate new visitors, he said. (Wow! Adding 13 whole rooms!)

But the number of couples seeking civil unions may be somewhat modest, according to one study. Between 569 and 1,285 same-sex couples will enter civil unions in the first four years that registration is available, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA estimated last June.  (In other words, almost nobody really wants this.  It was just a game to undermine the nuclear family by inventing a new family structure and giving it equal status.  Who could possibly be dumb enough to fall for the claim that this has something to do with civil rights?  Besides everybody in the media, perfessers, and most politicians…)

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Same-sex marriage bills have mixed results

If Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie follows through on his pledge to sign a same-sex civil union bill, that would make same-sex marriage or civil unions legal in 24 percent of the United States.

Indeed, Americans in general are becoming more accepting of same-sex partnerships, The Washington Post said. Government-sanctioned gay marriages or civil unions were hardly imaginable when the movement began about four decades ago.

But the row remains hard to hoe.

So far, 30 states amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriages or unions by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In 2008, California voters struck down gay-marriage statutes already on the books -- Proposition 8 -- and Maine voters did so the next year. In November, Iowa voters turned out three state Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of gay unions.

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Priorities: Hawaii Legislature to define Dancing?

The state Legislature — through House Bill 1339 and Senate Bill 588 — is working on legislation that would require liquor commissions in each county “to prescribe, by rule, limitations on licensed premises regarding the expression and conduct of patrons therein.”

In other words, the state is asking the counties to define “dancing.” Not even local dance experts could define the term when The Garden Island asked around earlier this week.

We wish Kauai officials the best of luck with this harebrained task.

MEANWHILE: 5 Kaua‘i businesses gone in 2 months

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Veteran police officer pleads no contest to DUI charges, still at work on payroll

The DUI and negligent injury charges came after Kamikawa hit the pedestrian on April 24 in downtown Honolulu. The 61-year-old pedestrian suffered minor injuries.

His arrest for DUI prompted an automatic license revocation, which the state Administrative Drivers License Revocation Office affirmed May 18 after a hearing.

Police caught Kamikawa driving on July 29 and again on July 30….

The Police Department said it has stripped Kamikawa of his police powers, restricting him to desk duty, and is conducting an administrative investigation into his conduct.

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Lingle and staff owed $345K in unused vacation, Democrats to organize circus

That's according to testimony from Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office as he's asking lawmakers for more than $1 million to cover the vacation time, staff hiring and laptop computers.

Lingle would get nearly $17,000 for 299 unused vacation hours during her eight years in office.

The highest amount, more than $43,000, would go to the chief of staff position, which accrued 790 vacation hours. It's unclear whether that money goes to former Chief of Staff Barry Fukunaga or his predecessor, Bob Awana.

(But it is clear that he was mentioned because he was forced out in scandal and the Democrats and their media want to use this to organize a media circus.)

Online: SB1286: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/

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Never-hired employees save isle tax dollars

The county had 2,600 part- and full-time employees and 2,797 positions as of Jan. 31, said Sharon Toriano, the department's deputy director.
The unfilled jobs were spread among 10 departments. They ranged from clerks, equipment operators and student helpers to construction inspectors, police officers and even a Fire Department battalion chief.
Combined wages would have totaled at least $925,000, according to a tabulation of applicable minimum wage amounts the Department of Human Resources provided.
Benefits would have added another 31.88 percent to the salary total, Deputy Finance Director Deanna Sako said.

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Union workers reject Hawaiian Electric pact

Union members had been working under a three-month extension since Oct. 31, when the original contract expired. A tentative agreement on a new labor agreement was reached on Jan. 31, replacing the former extension.

The IBEW represents about 1,280 workers — roughly 54 percent of the company's employees — at HECO on Oahu, at Maui Electric Co. and at Hawaii Electric Light Co. on the Big Island. Those workers perform a range of jobs, including power plant operations, line work, meter reading and customer service.

The union members authorized a strike in a vote last fall before the original contract expired.

This is not the first time negotiations between HECO and Local 1260 have been protracted. The previous contract expired Oct. 31, 2007, but the two sides did not reach agreement on a new pact until March 2008. Union members did not strike during those negotiations.

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Canadian smuggles plastic bags into Maui

And the dirty little secret was that in the suitcases came a large collection of those ubiquitous plastic bags that seem to overflow the recycle bin in Calgary, not because I object to the decision of Maui County Council, but because I’m too cheap to buy garbage bags.

And even someone with no environmental street creds to her name can see the future staring at her. She even has the grace to feel guilty about putting her garbage in “illegal” bags and taking it to the trash room under the cover of darkness.

(And this is from someone who actually believes the law is a good idea.)

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Sea level rises 6 inches—and Global Warming is not blamed!

Dr Ford, who is studying rising sea levels in the Marshall islands, said the weekend's extreme tides of 1.67 metres were exacerbated by La Nina, a weather phenomenon that has caused the base sea level to rise by 15 centimetres in recent months.

"As the sea level is temporarily higher as a result of La Nina and overlies long-term sea level rise, the impacts are magnified," Dr Ford said.

"While these events happen only a handful of times a year at present they will continue to increase in both frequency and magnitude."

Dr Ford said a gauge measuring long-term sea level changes at Majuro indicated the "average sea level is more than six inches above predicted" levels.

(And not a single word about global warming!  They must now realize that their scam is completely discredited.)

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