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Sunday, April 10, 2011
April 10, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:32 PM :: 7525 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

No New Taxes! Rally April 15--Honolulu, Kona, Hilo, Kahului, Lihue

VIDEO: Abercrombie holds fake news Conference to Announce HGEA's fake 'sacrifice'

Abercrombie: State could seize 1/3 of Molokai for Wind Farm

AP: HGEA members gain 9 more days off under contract

The additional paid time off compensates government employees for returning to work on former furlough days. The days couldn't be carried forward from year to year.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said on "Insights" on PBS Hawaii the new time off makes the deal closer to a 3.5 percent pay cut.

Republicans in the Hawaii House said the 5 percent reduction from employees' base pay is actually a raise after furloughs shrunk pay about 10 percent.

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Abercrombie’s Backer Reveals himself: Kenoi Claims Hawaii County will save $3M under HGEA contract

The proposed HGEA contract would save Hawaii County an estimated $3 million during the first year, Deputy Finance Director Deanna Sako said Saturday.
It would apply to roughly 870 county employees, who represent about a third of the county's 2,600 workers, she said.

  1. Now you know where Abercrombie is getting the one mayoral vote he needs to impose this contract on the other Counties.
  2. Now you know the price Abercrombie extracted from Kenoi in exchange for getting back on Abercrombie’s good side after Kenoi backed Mufi in the Dem Primary
  3. Loser in this deal: Dominic Yagong

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Carvalho: Mayors trying to come together on HGEA agreement

Carvalho said he and other mayors in the state are trying to figure out how to come to an agreement to benefit county workers regarding a collective bargain process at Hawai‘i Government Employee Association union.

“The sooner we can come together the better,” he said….

The tentative agreement reached with HGEA calling for up to a 5 percent salary reduction and a cut in the counties’ contribution to the Employer Union Trust Fund concerned Furfaro.

“We’re seeing all these red flags pop up,” Furfaro said. “... We anticipate that there will be a master agreement and then supplemental agreements which will provide us with flexibility for our employees.”

As the administration ended furloughs Jan. 1, it became “very obvious that perhaps it was not the best approach,” said Furfaro, adding that the administration needs to keep on the table the flexibility to negotiate with the unions.

Despite concerns with the budget proposal, Furfaro pledged to work “very closely with the administration.”

Councilman Tim Bynum also had concerns with the HGEA collective bargaining, which may affect the budget.

(This means Carvalho, Carlisle, and Arakawa reject Abercrombie’s settlement, but Kenoi will betray them.)

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Sen. Slom Announces balanced budget with no new taxes

Sen. Sam Slom on Friday proposed eliminating about 1,500 jobs and about 500 vacant positions as a way to reduce government costs.

He said his budget would eliminate programs that don't serve essential government purposes.

He said Medicaid services have expanded too far, the Department of Education employs too many administrators and Department of Health functions are unnecessary.

He would retain high-priority services for law enforcement, medical care, coastal protection and prisons, among other areas.

Slom's bare-bones budget would cost $4.4 billion in general funds, a $500 million decline from the current year's budget and $1 billion less than the House's proposal

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Second Decking Deadline

The House and Senate must get their respective bills in final form today in order for the measures to be voted on next week and make second crossover April 14.

The deadline to get bills to the House Clerk is 10 p.m., but the Senate Clerk had not announced its deadline as of late yesterday.

Next up: conference committee, which will pretty much consume the last two weeks of the month.

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Borreca compares Ed Case to Aaron Burr, praises Case for apologizing, dropping out

In an interview with the Star-Advertiser's Derrick DePledge, Case said last month he met with Hawaii senior Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and apologized.

It is fascinating when one politician apologizes to another pol.

"I apologized," Case said of his conversation with Inouye. "I told him that I regretted very much the circumstances under which he has opposed me. And I apologized for any offense caused there….

Last year, Case was locked up with Inouye in another chapter of a feud not seen since Vice President Aaron Burr shot former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in the famous 1804 duel.

Inouye charged, as he endorsed Colleen Hanabusa for the U.S. House, that Case had misled the Hawaii congressional delegation about his intentions to run against Akaka in 2006.

"I don't mind people changing their mind … but to come out and say ‘no' when all the time you are intended to do otherwise; that's not my kind of guy," said Inouye.

Later Case withdrew from the primary race, giving Hanabusa a clear shot to take on and beat Republican Charles Djou. That prompted Inouye to call Case "a real Democrat."

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Homelessness Industry: State seeks to fill Moiliili Apartments with drug addicts, no treatment required

Anthony Ching, executive director of the state Hawaii Community Development Authority, has marshaled his staff to seek them out. Three with potential to house 150 or more people have been identified in Moiliili.

This is part of what policymakers call the “housing first” approach to aid chronically homeless people, who often have their poverty conditions compounded by mental illness or drug addiction.  (It’s a great way to bring in grant money.  Keep the clients doped up and just string the process along.)

Providing them first with a roof over their heads helps them become more receptive to treatment or other $ervice$, Cabanilla, said.  (See, told you so.)

(Did giving Rouse a job make him more receptive to treatment, Rida?  Just asking.)

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Ansaldo Trains to be Driverless, Company tied to Watts Constructors

Ansaldo Honolulu, a joint venture between Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda, is the worldwide leader in driverless, unattended metro systems that connect neighborhoods to neighborhoods, just like the system planned for Honolulu.

Beyond that, the companies that comprise the Ansaldo Honolulu team have impressive legacies in the U.S. and abroad, and even call Honolulu home with a strong partnership with a local company, Watts Constructors.

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Molester’s friend Bertram sues to seize land from Haleakala Ranch

In court papers, Deputy Attorney General William Wynhoff said the nonprofit group Public Access Trails Hawaii lacks the authority to force the state to spend money to reopen Haleakala Trail.

The group wants the state and Haleakala Ranch to reopen the trail, a popular access route for hikers and horseback riders until the mid-1930s.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled in Maui Circuit Court at 8:30 a.m. May 11.

The group, whose members include former state Rep. (and child molester advocate) Joe Bertram III, said the federal Highways Act of 1892 protects the public's rights to existing trails.

The group alleges the state violated its public trust by failing to resolve a dispute with Haleakala Ranch about the use of the trail. The group wants the courts to assume jurisdiction over the trail and declare it is an ancient trail that provided traditional and customary access to people.

It also wants a permanent injunction against the ranch to halt it from asserting ownership of the trail.

Public Access Trails Hawaii also seeks compensatory damages from the ranch.

Last time Bertram was in Court: Rep Joe Bertram in court supporting Maui child molester

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The new director of the OIP says she was not directed on IDing judicial nominees

Takase was notified in early March she would be out of the job after she wrote a letter to the newspaper and said in an interview that the governor had to release the names under the open records law.

Abercrombie's spokeswoman said the timing of the announcement that Takase would be replaced may appear "questionable," but it was not related to her position on the judicial names.

Park said she also believes Takase wasn't let go because of her position on the names.

"They never told me, ‘You're taking this job and you have to change (the decision),'" she said. "Nobody ever told me that."

Park said Takase was helpful and cooperative in explaining the job.

"She hasn't held a grudge against me or anything like that," Park said.

Takase started work April 1 as a program specialist with the Cable Television Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, according to department spokeswoman Cathy Yasuda.

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Crisis? Hawaii County wastes millions on Garbage

Hawaii County has signed a $199,950 contract for a consultant to compare the cost of trucking garbage to West Hawaii to expanding the Hilo landfill.

The county in 2009 paid consultant CH2MHill $525,000 to create the Integrated Resources and Solid Waste Management Plan, a 10-year plan required by state law. 

An attempt under former Mayor Harry Kim's administration to install a waste-to-energy garbage incinerator was shot shown by the County Council, which balked at the $125 million price tag. Before that happened, however, the county spent more than $1.25 million in consultant fees on the issue.

"Instead of spending $200,000 to study the issue again, we should be utilizing the money for infrastructure for the East Hawaii landfill," Yagong said.

The county has already constructed an $11 million reload facility and sort station, originally planned as a transfer station to load East Hawaii garbage to transport to the West Hawaii landfill. But a reduction in garbage going to the Hilo landfill and a method of piling the sides steeper delayed the need for other alternatives.

The 20,000-square-foot facility with large roll-up doors is currently unused….

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Last blast for the rejected elected: BoE imposes two track Diploma system on DoE

…students will be able to choose one of two diploma tracks.

The "college and career ready" diploma will require students to complete two lab sciences, algebra 2 or an equivalent math course and a senior project.

Another track is designed for students who may not be interested in higher-level math or lab science, and so requires fewer math courses but still mandates that students take algebra 1 and biology to graduate.

The current diploma requires at least three credits in math and three in science, but does not specify what courses students must take.

Critics of the changes worry the new graduation policy could discourage students whose strong suit isn't math or science and push up the dropout rate.

The departing elected Board of Education narrowly passed the new graduation requirements Thursday night in a 7-5 vote, and only after making hefty amendments.

The Department of Education had recommended that the "college and career ready" diploma be the default, requiring parental permission for students to "opt out" of the stiffer standards. Instead, board members created two diploma tracks.

It is unclear whether the department will seek to revisit the diploma requirements with the new appointed BOE, whose members will officially be seated later this month.

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A&B: Ability to navigate Hawai Land Use Process one of our Core Competencies

A&B lists the average cost for its Hawaii land at $150 per acre, or a relatively minuscule $13 million for nearly 88,000 acres. The company regards most of its Hawaii real estate as having relatively low present value because it is incredibly difficult and time-consuming to convert farmland to higher-value uses such as residential or commercial development under state and county land-use regulations.

The company says it has the best keys to unlock the long-term value of its land while also producing significant annual profit from its interrelated operations.

“Hawaii’s multi-tiered entitlement process can be challenging, at times taking years to move a project from application to approval,” A&B said in the report. “Our ability to navigate this process is one of the company’s core competencies.”

RELATED: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

RELATED: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii

Developments proposed by Alexander and Baldwin also seem to evade the protesters’ attention. Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the substantial funds donated to the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Lands, Environment Hawaii, Protect Kahoolawe Fund and others by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode foundation. The Chair of the Board of Directors of the Gerbode Foundation, Maryanna G. Stockholm-Shaw, also sits on the Board of Directors of A&B and Matson.

(Breaking up A&B could effectively destroy the cozy relationship between A&B the enviros.  But there is no guarantee of that.)  

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Legislators propose law to convert consecutive sentences into concurrent, let thousands of criminals out of prison

But not all inmates whose max-out dates DPS recalculated and extended contacted lawyers to have their sentences amended, said state Sen. Maile Shima­bu­kuro, who introduced SB 106.

“It’s an issue of fairness,” she said.

State Rep. Faye Hanohano said she introduced HB 141 because of the expense to the public defender, who winds up with many of the inmates’ requests for amended sentences, for researching the cases, filing the necessary paperwork and going to court. She said there is the added expense for housing inmates longer than perhaps judges intended.

“It’s costing us money,” she said.

The offices of the state attorney general and the Ho­nolulu prosecutor oppose the retroactive application of the 2008 change because they said judges were presumed to have known the law when they handed down sentences.

(The same clowns who said Katherine Leonard is not qualified now say that dozens of ‘qualified’ judges for decades were so stupid that they did not know the difference between concurrent and consecutive.)

The DPS said retroactive application will require the department to review the max-out dates of all of the approximately 6,000 inmates now in custody and 1,800 on parole. The department said it would also expose the state to lawsuits from inmates kept in custody past their original max-out dates.

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Permitting reason for return to public service

WAILUKU - Maui County's new Public Works Director David Goode is no stranger to business leaders, government honchos or the Maui County Council.

After a previous eight-year stint in the post, Goode, 49, has worked as a private developer for the past several years with his company KSD Hawaii, which he said he is now in the process of shuttering. He said his desire to overhaul the county's permitting process was the main reason he decided to return to public service after eight years away.

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4 charged in beating death of gambling house worker

Alexander Nguyen, 31, Maauga Imoa, 24, Manu Tonga, 21, and Sione Vulangi, 26, were each charged with second-degree murder and felony kidnapping. Bail for each man was set at $1 million.

Detectives believe the suspects, who work at various illegal gambling establishments, beat a 42-year-old man on April 1. Police said the man worked at a gambling house and stole money.

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Death toll hits 5 in Hawaii fireworks bunker blast

April 10, 2011 (WAIPAHU, Hawaii) -- The death toll from an explosion at a fireworks storage site in Hawaii rose to five after a bomb squad recovered the bodies of two missing men, officials said.

The blast near the Waikele Business Center at a former military bunker where fireworks were warehoused occurred Friday, killing three people and leaving the two missing.

The bunker burned throughout the day and was too hot and unstable to enter until Saturday, when the bodies of the two missing men were found, Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Gary Lum told The Associated Press.

The five people and a sixth person who had just minor injuries were employees of Donaldson Enterprises, an environmental services and unexploded ordnance disposal company, said Peter Savio, who handles the leases for the facility. The company couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The storage facility was authorized by the fire department to hold fireworks.

Another Fireworks Bunker: Fireworks, dirt, and stolen trucks: Colleen Hanabusa and the Honolulu Raceway Deal

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Fukino Debunks Birther BS --- Again

The first is that the original so-called "long form" birth certificate — described by Hawaiian officials as a "record of live birth" — absolutely exists, located in a bound volume in a file cabinet on the first floor of the state Department of Health. Fukimo said she has personally inspected it — twice. The first time was in late October 2008, during the closing days of the presidential campaign, when the communications director for the state's then Republican governor, Linda Lingle (who appointed Fukino) asked if she could make a public statement in response to claims then circulating on the Internet that Obama was actually born in Kenya.

Before she would do so, Fukino said, she wanted to inspect the files — and did so, taking with her the state official in charge of vital records. She found the original birth record, properly numbered, half typed and half handwritten, and signed by the doctor who delivered Obama, located in the files. She then put out a public statement asserting to the document's validity. She later put out another public statement in July 2009 — after reviewing the original birth record a second time.

"It is real, and no amount of saying it is not, is going to change that," Fukino said. Moreover, she added, her boss at the time, Lingle — who was backing John McCain for president — would presumably have to be in on any cover up since Fukino made her public comment at the governor's office's request. "Why would a Republican governor — who was stumping for the other guy — hold out on a big secret?" she asked.

Her second point — one she made repeatedly in the interview — is that the shorter, computer generated "certification of live birth" that was obtained by the Obama campaign in 2007 and has since been publicly released is the standard document that anybody requesting their birth certificate from the state of Hawaii would receive from the health department.

Hawaiian officials say that the certification is, in fact, only one piece of abundant evidence of Obama's birth in Hawaii. Joshua Wisch, a spokesman for the Hawaii attorney general's office, noted that a public index of vital records, available for inspection in a bound volume at the Health Department's Office of Health Status Monitoring, lists a male child named "Obama II, Barack Hussein" as having been born in the state.

In addition, as Factcheck.org and other media organizations have repeatedly pointed out, both of Honolulu's newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961, and the Honolulu Star Bulletin, on Aug. 14, 1961, both ran birth announcements listing Obama's birth on Aug. 4 of that year.

But Wisch, the spokesman for the attorney general's office, said state law does not in fact permit the release of "vital records," including an original "record of live birth" — even to the individual whose birth it records.

"It's a Department of Health record and it can't be released to anybody," he said. Nor do state laws have any provision that authorizes such records to be photocopied, Wisch said. If Obama wanted to personally visit the state health department, he would be permitted to inspect his birth record, Wisch said.

But if he or anybody else wanted a copy of their birth records, they would be told to fill out the appropriate state form and receive back the same computer generated "certification of live birth" form that everybody else gets — which is exactly what Obama did four years ago.

Thanks, Neil: On second try, Abercrombie makes birtherism mainstream

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