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Monday, June 20, 2011
June 20, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:05 PM :: 6939 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Voice Recorder confiscated during Closed Meeting of Reapportionment Commission

SA rejects Unprecedented Hubris: Unwise, Overconfident Abercrombie seeks cronies and rubber stampers for boards

…the chief executive officer needs to have a sound, articulated vision of what those good public policies are beyond a message of “it’s my way or the highway.”  That’s a main missing ingredient as the political drama unfolds over Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s call for resignations from a raft of appointed state boards….

The reason for this unprecedented call, according to letters sent last week by the governor to sitting appointees, is that he wants to transform these boards and commissions to align with his “A New Day in Hawaii” blueprint.

Talk about hubris….

Former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, did not seek wholesale courtesy resignations from board appointees. Neither did former Gov. Ben Cayetano, a Democrat. “I don’t think it’s wise to ask for wholesale resignations,” Cayetano said Friday….

It should not come down to installing cronies (at worst) or rubber-stampers (at best). Hawaii deserves a top state executive who so governs wisely by the will of the people — not by his own overconfidence.

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Abercrombie’s F-U Letters a template for Appointees Response?

While the governor is free to ask for the resignations, the commission members have no legal obligation to honor his wish and it remains to be seen how many will do so….

I have no inside dope on how those asked to resign will respond, but for most I suspect it’ll be along the lines of the two-word letter Abercrombie was noted for sending out as a legislator.

Abercrombie’s F-U Letter: LINK

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Abercrombie’s base slipping away as Activists take aim at Richard Lim

ILind: It’s time to take a look at Richard Lim, Gov. Abercrombie’s appointee to head the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.

Lim made news recently with a speech to the Hawaii Economic Association which revealed some disturbing beliefs and perspectives. If you haven’t read it, you should. And then check Larry Geller’s reaction at Disappeared News.

His vision seems to involve privatization on a grand scale, selling off or leasing out public lands for development by private investors. He doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for those who have fought for Hawaii’s environment and laws to protect the environment.

Lim’s financial disclosure statement filed with the State Ethics Commission is revealing.

Click here to view the list of investments ranked by value.

HFP: Cayetano on DBEDT Pick: “Dobelle thought Richard Lim was trying to intimidate him”

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$50M Telescope Shakedown Litigants cannot Depose Spirit

A guardian spirit of Mauna Kea should not have standing in a pending contested case hearing regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope, a hearings officer found.

Paul Aoki determined that Mo'oinanea lacks standing because she is not a person as defined by law.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will vote on Aoki's recommendations at its next meeting Thursday in Honolulu.

Aoki also recommended that standing be granted to individuals Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, Deborah Ward, Paul Neves and to KAHEA and Mauna Kea Anaina Hou….

Flores also argued that Mo'oinanea is part human, has a genealogy, can manifest herself as a person or a mo'o -- a giant reptile -- and cannot be seen by some because she "resonates at a different vibration."

A $50M vibration: Thirty Meter Telescope Selects Mauna Kea -- Let the looting begin!, Telescope: The Shakedown begins

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No Aloha for Micronesians in Hawaii

The flowing, bright floral skirts are worn by women throughout the thousands of small islands that populate the vast western Pacific.

Aitaoto, who has Hawaiian, Samoan and Yapese ancestry and was raised in Kosrae by Bible translator parents, says she wears the skirts occasionally when she is in Hawaii.

"When I use business wear, I look more Polynesian than Micronesian, but when I put the skirt on, it is just magic. It's like I put a target on," she told Civil Beat. "People treat me differently."

Aitaoto cites examples: changes in voice tone in a doctor's office, nurses not holding the door open for her, a supermarket clerk who assumed she was swiping an EBT card (used by people on public financial assistance) and not a debit card….

Yamada is the author of "Discrimination in Hawaii and the Health of Micronesian," an article published in the March 2011 issue of the Hawaii Journal of Public Health.

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Aloun Farms owners hit with more accusations

The government says a Global Horizons employee visited the Thai workers at Aloun in 2003 to see whether the workers were living in approved housing. The employee found workers living in a metal shipping container lined with floor mats as beds. The government said the container had no kitchen or indoor plumbing.

The Global Horizons employee also saw the workers washing their clothes in a trash bin outside the container and reported her observations in an anonymous letter to the Department of Labor, the government said.

A lawyer for Alec Sou had said in court that the containers had doors, windows and air conditioning and referred to them as modular homes.

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Hawaii Organizations Spent $2.5 million on Lobbying in Four Months—$33,530 per Legislator

Lobbying organizations in Hawaii spent $2,548,277 to influence lawmakers in just 120 days, from Jan. 1 through April 30, according to figures compiled by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.

Earlier this month, Civil Beat reported that lobbying organizations spent about $1 million in the first two months of the year. Between March and April, they upped the ante, spending $1.5 million.

Looking at the full four-month period, the 269 lobbying organizations registered with the ethics commission spent $21,486 per day. If you spread lobbying expenditures over the 76 members of the state Legislature, spending amounts to $33,530 per lawmaker. The session began January 19 and closed May 5.

The top 10 spenders between January and April included several of the state's most powerful organizations, and accounted for almost $900,000 of the total. Some of those organizations included: The Hawaii State Teachers Association, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii Medical Service Association, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Blue Planet Hawaii, to name a few.

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Has The Hawaii Board Of Education Been To School?

Most of the Hawaii State Board of Education's nine new appointees have visited at least one public school since they took office two months ago.

The board members say they haven't visited more mostly because it's summertime and most schools are out of session. But two said they have strategic reasons for putting off school visits.

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Yukimura backs Hydro on Kauai

A “No” vote could set hydroelectric development back for many years-a delay we cannot afford. No one disputes that a “no” vote will cut the contract between KIUC and Free Flow Power. Not only will this cost ratepayers some $300,000 in costs related to contract cancellation, it will deprive KIUC of a partner with expertise in designing and building hydroelectric plants….

A “Yes” vote, on the other hand, will move Kaua‘i toward energy sustainability. By controlling much of the hydroelectric resources on Kaua‘i, KIUC will move toward stabilizing electric rates, allowing families and business to flourish. A “Yes” vote will allow the island to come together and work together under the mandate of KIUC Board Resolution 03-11 to develop hydroelectric power while respecting environmental, agricultural, cultural, recreational and other needs. Look for your ballot and vote “Yes”! Get your friends to find their ballots and vote “Yes”! There will be no better gift for our children.

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Sci Am: Hawaii is most obvious place to build Geothermal

As it stands, geothermal accounts for roughly 0.3 percent of global electricity generation. A big chunk of that comes from one power plant at The Geysers in Northern California. Other hotbeds of geothermal use range from the Philippines and Indonesia to Germany and Mexico. And there is plenty more to come by, for example in the volcanic seamounts of Hawaii, a state which currently relies on burning imported oil for 90 percent of its electricity, or using the heat in onsen (hot springs) as a replacement for nuclear power in Japan. Even California's Google has gotten into the act, sinking roughly $11 million into geothermal drilling research.

The volcanoes of Hawaii and hot springs of Japan are just the most obvious places to put a geothermal power plant. "We should hit the easiest stuff first," Dunn says, noting that the geothermal industry is still learning to prospect for "blind resources," or those for which there is very little or nothing evident on the surface in the way of hot springs, geysers or volcanoes. "We're where the oil and gas industry was in the 1940s and 1950s."

SA: Covering parking at Pearlridge with panels would generate electricity and create shade

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Civil Beat to Open Bureau in Washington, D.C.

Civil Beat will open a Washington, D.C., office next month, making it the only Hawaii-based news organization with a full-time reporter in the nation's capital.  The bureau will be staffed by Adrienne LaFrance, who has distinguished herself as Civil Beat's Honolulu reporter. Before joining Civil Beat, LaFrance also worked for Hawaii Public Radio, the Honolulu Weekly and as a freelance writer.

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Jail time for Parental Discipline?  State high court orders a new trial for a man convicted of assault

A Honolulu man convicted of slugging his 14-year-old stepson in the face and breaking his nose should have been allowed to raise the defense that he was disciplining the teenager, a divided Hawaii Supreme Court ruled this month….

The altercation on the morning of Sept. 30, 2007, involved the father wanting the youth to clean a carpet stain caused by a dog.

Kikuta, who was in a leg cast up to his hip because of a recent surgery, testified that the youth grabbed one of Kikuta's crutches and swung it at him. Kikuta said he blocked the swing and hit the youth twice but was not aiming at his face.

The youth, 14 at the time, testified he didn't swing the crutch. He said he was punched about five times in the face. He testified that after he fell to his knees, Kikuta punched him on the back of the head two or three times.

At the time, the youth was 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighed about 160 pounds, according to the court record. Kikuta was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed as much as 190 pounds.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on the lesser offense of misdemeanor or third-degree assault. Kikuta was sentenced to two months in jail and one year of probation.  (Which is more time than most drug dealers get.)

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Companies Offer Discount Shipping to Hawaii, Guam

Ship & Save is one of a few businesses established to help residents of Hawaii, Alaska and other places save money on shipping of online purchases. Many e-tailers offer free or low-cost shipping to the contiguous mainland states while charging the ever-popular arm/leg/firstborn for shipping to Hawaii and Alaska, not to mention Guam or Puerto Rico.

Ship & Save and Colorado-based AlohaForwarding.com save customers money by accepting parcels on their behalf and forwarding them via the U.S. Postal Service for a small fee. The fees still enable customers to save as much as 40 percent or 50 percent on shipping costs.

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Oahu lunchwagons catch the eye of National TV

Food trucks are quickly becoming the staple of street corners and they're one of the hottest trends in Hawaii. So much so, there's a food truck rally every month in Kakaako.
Soon the entire nation will get a glimpse of our growing selection of gourmet on the go food trucks.
Soul Patrol is one of four food trucks the Cooking Channel's "Eat Street" will be filming this week - to feature this Fall on its show about America's tastiest, messiest and most irresistible street food.

(This prolly will inspire some politician to tax them more….)

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Leaders unveil Jose Rizal square in Chinatown

Civic and political leaders of Filipino ancestry unveiled a sign declaring a tiny patch of Chinatown "Dr. Jose P. Rizal Square" today to honor the Philippine national hero who was born 150 years ago.

Homeless people paused to watch the ceremony and city buses lumbered past as state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz told the gathering that Rizal's writings and actions as a Filipino patriot who inspired revolution through non-violence will help inspire modern-day Filipinos to take a more prominent role in Hawaii society.

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Tsunami lit up the heavens

Japan’s recent monster earthquake did more than jolt the island nation and send a tsunami racing across the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of kilometers overhead, that tsunami also lit up the atmosphere in celestial glowing ripples.

In the first picture of its kind, scientists photographed these “airglow” ripples as they washed over Hawaii hours after the quake. The report will appear in an upcoming Geophysical Research Letters.

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