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Saturday, June 11, 2011
June 11, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:38 PM :: 6116 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, DHHL, Maui County News, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

442nd Vet on Redistricting: Military is part of our Community, should be counted

Prophetic Words: Abercrombie was always a loud-mouthed hippie who had all the answers

Abercrombie doubles down against Pro-Bowl: "It's Time We Get Our Priorities Straight"

“Abercrombie is a real nutcase”

His comments were reported across the nation on the Associated Press and on sports media outlets such as ESPN. Even Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative radio talk show host, responded to Abercrombie’s words.

“…Neil Abercrombie [is] a real nut case,” Limbaugh said on air. “…Wait a minute, $4 million that you pay the NFL but what about the economic impact? You’ve got people flying in from all over the mainland to watch the game….What about the economic impact?”

And Fred Hemmings – legendary surfer, former Hawaii Senator and current board member of the Denver Broncos football team – commented on the less-tangible benefits that hosting the Pro Bowl might have on Hawaii.

“You also have to measure the worth of the Pro Bowl by…say, earned media coverage,” Hemmings said. “You have to look at how much Hawaii and the Pro Bowl gets mentioned in prime time coverage across the nation and how that affects our image, our economy.”

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The Selling of The Abercrombie, 2010

(Remember the Gramscian psy-ops that got Abercrombie elected?)

MB--They were more than “fixated” on Mufi’s flyer. They were actively spreading misinformation about it. Their “interpretation” of the contents of the direct mail piece was a tour de force in misdirection propaganda. For example Mufi was portrayed as a “racist “because he used his wife’s middle name which is Japanese juxtaposed to Neil’s wife, who has a Caucasian-sounding surname. Of course in Hawaii, a surname doesn’t necessarily indicate your ethnicity, so the media had to “tell you what to think” so you would come to the conclusion they had predetermined for you. Do your really think Mufi was trying to say “his ‘local” wife is better than Neil’s ‘haole’ wife.” Really? Ditto the innocuous listing of their academic history, which became an “overt” insult to the “proletarian” University of Hawaii from the “elitist” Harvard grad. This is class warfare 101 stuff. Where all the “insults” intended, or manufactured after the fact to create a controversy, and reinforce the negative labels that were prepared for Hannemann months before?

In the end, enough people bought this nonsense: that the indigenous, success story from Kalihi, was the racist and elitist, and the Washington insider from New York represented Hawaiian Values. And that’s how you got Neil Abercrombie as your governor….enjoy it.

DS--Mynah, Abercrombie won so big because voters heard one of his opponents saying you don’t matter if you don’t look like me and the other saying you don’t matter if you don’t worship like me. Dan Inouye called you out on Compare & Decide. You were done in by your own boneheaded tactics. Own it already.

MB--Dave, do you have a link to any backup where anyone said, “you don’t matter if you don’t look like me,” or “you don’t matter if you don’t worship like me?” Or are they your own interpretations of what you think your political adversaries were thinking, presented as pseudo quotes so as to reinforce your hypothesis?

DS--Mynah, Hannemann’s “I look like you, you look like me” speech to the Carpenters and Kaauwai’s appeal to the “Body of Christ” about Aiona being the only “righteous” candidate are among the things that made voters feel as I described.

HR--Abercrombie: “You don’t matter if you don’t think like me.”

(Who will start telling the people they do matter?  Is there even one politician in all of Hawaii with the skill?)

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Former Hawaii Gov. Lingle meets wounded US troops and delivers graduation speech in Germany

Lingle was visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Friday, which treats wounded U.S. soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The hospital near Landstuhl, Germany is the largest military hospital outside the continental U.S.

She also was speaking at the commencement for the graduating class of Kaiserslautern High School, located on Vogelweh Air Station, a base operated by the U.S. Air Force.

The school serves students of the Kaiserslautern Military Community, the largest community of Americans outside of the continental U.S. with about 50,000 Americans.

On Thursday, Lingle toured Ramstein Air Base and met with troops.

Lingle, a Republican, is considering a run for U.S. Senate.

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Hanabusa pays for Kakaako Apartment to fix residency problem, not really moving in

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has rented an apartment in Kakaako, which will serve as her home in the 1st Congressional District.

Hanabusa will make a Queen Street apartment her primary residence while in Honolulu, according to a press release from spokesman Richard Rapoza.

"She also plans to change her voter registration to reflect the move," said the statement….

The statement adds, "Souza and the couple's beloved dog, Little, will remain in the home until it is sold. And while the apartment will be Hanabusa's primary residence during the approximately one week a month that she is in Hawaii, she is also likely to spend some weekends in Ko Olina ... visiting the dog."

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Star-Advertiser lies about “continued growth”

In May, it reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations that its circulation for the six-month period ending March 31 was 119,186 daily and 132,281 on Sundays, lower than the numbers used in its story. (The story says its average circulation is 124,000 daily and 139,000 Sunday.)

Given that the paper touts its "continued growth," I thought it might be worth comparing what it says about its circulation today with what we know from the past.

Pacific Business News helpfully reported recently that the Honolulu Advertiser, the clearly dominant paper before the Star-Bulletin purchased it, said its circulation for the same period ending March 31, 2008 was 140,331 daily and 159,276 Sunday.

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Abercrombie vs Inouye over Guam Marine Base 

Denny Watts, president of Watts Constructors, said teams of contractors are finalizing bids on a $3 billion construction package in Guam that is due June 21. Watts said there also is a $2 billion to $3 billion housing program that will be up for bid early next year.

“So while things are much slower than most of us had anticipated or would like to see, there is nothing that has come from the Navy to us to infer that the program won’t go forward,” Watts said. “We have a lot of other people who aren’t involved who are talking about it. But those who are, we do not see it.”

Watts was referring to calls by three senators that the military re-examine its plans for East Asia, including Guam. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan; John McCain, R-Arizona; and Virginia Democrat Jim Webb said in May that the current Department of Defense realignment plans are “unrealistic, unworkable and unaffordable.”

The senators proposed a stripped-down presence on Guam that would be bolstered by deployed, rotating combat units based elsewhere, including Hawaii.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie agreed with that assessment, and said the U.S. territory doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the move. At a recent speech to the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Abercrombie said Guam also doesn’t have the facilities to provide training for the 8,000-plus Marines.

“They’re going to have to fly off to Saipan or some other place to do training. It’s not going to work,” Abercrombie said. “The only thing that makes any sense is to use Guam as the jumping off point.”

The governor suggested that the Marines use Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island to train. The 108,863-acre area is the largest Department of Defense installation in the state.  (Obvious Question: How will Hunt Building Co profit from this?)

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said the proposals by his three colleagues have merit, but he said any changes that would result in additional Marines being stationed in Hawaii would require “careful analysis.”

AP: Military construction costs for Guam have dropped by 30%

Sure is a good thing that the Guam project isn’t saddled with the last scam Abercrombie wanted to pull: Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor

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Abercrombie, Schatz claiming credit for every penny Hawaii gets from the Feds

Already, a total of $90 million in federal spending for local military projects and $13 million going toward credit for small businesses has been secured. But the federal dollars aren’t coming without strings attached. To get the military construction money, for instance, the state had to secure $10 million. Most of the funds will be used for improvements to the Hawaii National Guard armory and training facilities, said Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Those facilities are in the process of being consolidated. The remaining money, from $20 million to $25 million, will go to operating and maintaining the state’s eight veterans cemeteries. And even with the state’s portion of that investment secured, Hawaii will have to wait for squabbles over the federal budget to be resolved before it sees any of that money. Schatz acknowledged that the federal government’s $90 million share of the so-called “Fair Share Initiative” is tied up in the current budget debate in Congress, but he said he did not see a problem with the funds eventually being released because the money is part of the military construction budget and not an earmark.

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Nonprofits lament HI’s slow-pay status

State agencies award hundreds of contracts to nonprofits to administer public programs that help needy families, the disadvantaged or disabled, just to name a few. But, nonprofits say, over the course of the last year, the state agencies have fallen further and further behind on payments for those contracted services — delays that lag anywhere from one month to one year.

Delays on those payments, which pay for the core of operational expenses, have disrupted cash flow to the point where nonprofits have dipped into their own reserves to front costs normally covered under the state contract they administer, said executives with the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations.

To that end, they pushed lawmakers in the recent legislative session to create a so-called prompt payment task force, whose 12 members, including state comptroller Bruce Coppa, will come up with recommendations to change the status quo so that nonprofits can get paid on time.

The task force, which has yet to have its first meeting and is still organizing members and a facilitator, will submit its findings to lawmakers before the 2012 session….

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Filipinos likely to get bigger say in isle politics

Continuous migration from the Philippines and a high birth rate make Filipinos the fastest-growing ethnic group in Hawaii. It is, however, an underrepresented group in several areas, according to the Center for Philippine Studies at UH.

The study center calls the largely blue-collar group, the "emerging middle class."  (The older union workers are Dems but the younger emerging middle class trends GOP.  This age division among Fil-Am in Hawaii shows up clearly in polling.)

"The Filipino voters are diverse but because of our history in Hawaii and close ties to unions and the Democratic Party, Filipinos generally vote for the Democratic Party candidate," Agbayani says.  (Keep on dreaming of the past.)

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SA: Ensure that public housing serves its intended purpose

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is considering changes to its admissions policy regarding which interest groups move to the front of the preference line on the waiting list. Although federal officials have cleared the authority to start the review, it will be a long process, with community meetings still to be scheduled….

The state already is contemplating one possible change in preference: Homelessness wouldn't necessarily clinch an opening in public housing. Given the immense demand and the short supply, it's understandable why the state feels pressure to loosen or eliminate some of its admission preferences….

But the deeper problem is that public housing here doesn't function as it should. It provides housing for the elderly and disabled, who have little prospect of moving up on the income scale, but it's also supposed to be a temporary solution for able-bodied residents who are in their working years but have fallen on hard times. 

(Really? Public housing has never achieved this anywhere and it won’t work here either.)

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Controversy Over Oahu’s Rail Project Continues

One of the most contentious issues among Oahu residents is the city’s plan to construct a 20-mile, elevated steel on steel rail project from Kapolei to Honolulu.

In an attempt to silence growing doubt about the project spurred in part by a recent lawsuit filed by several prominent Hawaii residents, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle released the results of a city-commissioned poll that showed that a majority of Oahu residents still supported the city’s $5.3 billion dollar rail transit project.

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CT&T Executive Denies Reports of Company’s Poor Health

“Don’t believe what you read,” Joseph J. White, the chief operating officer of CT&T E.V. Sales and Marketing, said Friday in response to recent news reports alleging that the electric vehicle company’s South Korean parent was unable to deliver vehicles, was reneging on announced plans for ambitious North American sales and manufacturing, and was on the verge of financial collapse.

“A lot has changed structurally for us,” Mr. White said Friday in a telephone interview from his offices in Greenville, S.C. “Our parent company in Korea is now a public company, where it was privately held. Our operation here in the United States has morphed into more of a strategic holding company. We are in the process of adapting to those changes.”

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Maui Council considering Property Tax Increase

Maui County Council members will revisit a proposal to lower the property tax home exemption to $200,000…at a meeting next week.

The Budget and Finance Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in eighth floor Council Chambers of the Kalana O Maui building to discuss the measure, which had been deferred by council members last year. Under the plan, the exemption would be reduced from the current level of $300,000….

Also at the meeting, council members will consider a proposal meant to tighten qualifications for the home exemption and make it easier for county Finance Department officials to crack down on taxpayers who don't meet the criteria.

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VIDEO: KIUC Answers Some Frequently Asked Questions about Hydro Power

KIUC President & CEO David Bissell and board members Ben Sullivan, Jan TenBruggencate and Steve M. Rapozo sat down to answer some questions about KIUC proposals to consider hydropower on the island. They also responded to questions that many members have about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and hydropower on Kauai. They also spoke about the upcoming election and the ramifications of a Yes or No vote.

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Kauai Mayor signs bill authorizing budget for fiscal year 2011-2012

LĪHU‘E – Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. today signed the bill that authorizes the county’s operating budget for fiscal year 2011–2012.

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227 Big Island nonprofits lose out

None of the 227 Big Island nonprofits whose revoked status was announced Wednesday by the Internal Revenue Service received taxpayer funding as part of the county grants-in-aid program, a Stephens Media analysis shows.

The local nonprofits were among 1,526 in the state and more than 275,000 nationwide that lost their nonprofit status because they didn't file tax returns for three consecutive years.

"I give credit to the Finance Department for reviewing all the organizations before turning the applications over to us," said Ka'u Councilwoman Brittany Smart, who served on an ad hoc County Council committee that sifted through 92 programs seeking $3.2 million in county funding.

KGI: More than 70 Kaua‘i nonprofits lose tax-exempt status

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TSA fired 36 screeners for non-screening of bags

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), according to a federal probe, said today it plans to fire more than 30 Honolulu International Airport employees in connection with an investigation of not properly screening passenger bags.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said the employees and supervisors were placed on administrative leave as of Friday, June 10, 2011.

HNN:  Lax security at Honolulu Airport results in mass firing

AP: TSA suspends 12 Honolulu workers, plans to fire 36

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VIDEO: Kamehameha Day in Hawaii

The Royal Order of Kamehameha I issued this media release about the Festival to be held on Moku Ola in Hilo on Saturday….

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