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Wednesday, July 27, 2011
July 27, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:03 PM :: 8012 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Djou: East-West Center Troubles Points To Need For Bi-Partisan Delegation

Featured on Glen Beck: Wallbuilders’ David Barton to speak at Hilo, Maui, Oahu events

Governor Lingle to Speak at Grassroot Institute Fundraiser

Local leaders step up to support Hawaii International Women’s Conference

Abercrombie creates Interagency Council on Homelessness

“Opportunity to be a family” Hawaii DoE Summer Schools give free breakfast and lunch to non-students

Perreira: If we left it to the Governor and Legislature, things could only get worse

…the manner in which this new administration has addressed collective bargaining has been little different from their predecessors. Much of the focus has been on achieving "labor savings" from employees who at best are modestly paid. The additional burden of having to pay 50 percent of their medical premiums — while many private-sector employees receive medical benefits at little or no cost to them — is putting a tremendous hardship on many families. Despite these concerns, our negotiators believed that if left to the governor and Legislature to resolve the budget without an agreement, things could only get worse for employees….

The action by the governor to take the unprecedented step to unilaterally impose his terms is very troubling. Rightfully, all public sector unions will be monitoring this situation to see what impact it could have for the current outstanding contracts and future bargaining….

To continue to work in such an environment, when the only support you get from your chief executive is a weekly patronizing statement, is truly demoralizing.

Related: Perreira: Working under Patronizing Abercrombie is Demoralizing

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Djou points out weakness of Single-Party Congressional Delegation

“The rhetoric has gotten too heated,” Djou told Civil Beat in a phone interview on Tueday. “I think we need more bipartisan cooperation.”

In almost the same breath, though, Djou blamed Hawaii’s single-party representation for making the state “exceptionally vulnerable and very isolated” in Congress.

“Hawaii’s congressional delegation has been ineffective, and proven utterly incapable of talking to the Republican majority (in the House), which only hurts Hawaii,” Djou said.

More: Djou: East-West Center Troubles Points To Need For Bi-Partisan Delegation

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Hanabusa on defense over debt, admits she is out of the loop in Congress 

For much of the hour-long call, the freshman congresswoman was doing damage control. She assured one caller that interest payments required on a fixed-rate mortgage would not skyrocket, even if the federal government defaults.

"The default will affect interest rates, (but) things like your mortgage interest rates are contractual," Hanabusa said.

When one caller asked Hanabusa whether she believed the Democrats were also using a "stonewalling tactic" to promote their ideology, she said that she and others in Congress aren't privy to higher-level debt negotiations. Many of the discussions are taking place "above where we're viewed in the structure" of government, she said. (In other words, nobody in DC cares what Hanabusa wants for Hawaii. Hanabusa just can’t deliver.)

Hanabusa appeared comfortable with the idea that the president could opt to resolve the issue unilaterally, and raise the debt limit without congressional approval.

"When you think about this, I think it's responsible on the part of the president to say that he will not be held hostage by what he considers to be a ploy to do things to entitlements, especially Medicaid or Medicare or all these cuts," Hanabusa said. "If he chooses to exercise his power, I would have to say that it probably is a sign of leadership. Whether it's correct or not, it's the third branch of government that's going to make that decision — that'll be the courts — and I'm sure it's going to end up there."

SA: Debt Crisis: Isle residents swamp Hanabusa with questions, fears

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Hanabusa Chief refuses to talk About Wu Sex Scandal

Yes, outgoing Congressman David Wu’s former chief of staff is now Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa’s chief of staff. Julie Tippens was one of several Wu staffers who quit earlier this year, according to The Oregonian.

And, no, she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Related: Hanabusa’s Chief of Staff covered for Congressman twice accused of Sex Assault

Atlantic: It's Not Just the 18-Year-Old: A List of Disturbing Stuff David Wu's Done

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Mizuno, Cabanilla: Lets Greet APEC with Giant Homeless Tent City in Kakaako

Rep. Mizuno would like to see a homeless safe zone up and running a full month before APEC possibly in Kakaako.

However there are many challenges ahead - among them who would provide security and who would be liable if someone got injured.

"If we don't have a legislative briefing and talk to the stakeholders and start off with the conversation in that direction, it'll never happen," Mizuno says.

The hearing takes place at 10 a.m. this Thursday at the state capitol.

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Blame has no place in plan for city's sewage problem

It's difficult to understand how the city could have let the Sand Island plant reach its capacity without having an orderly expansion plan in place.

After the Council recently rejected the administration's request for $26 million for a second digester to treat sewage at Sand Island, demanding that the administration first study other technologies,Mayor Peter Carlisle said he'd have no choice but to start shipping up to six truckloads of raw sewage sludge a day to plants in Ewa Beach, Kailua and Waianae.

The only other option, the administration said, would be to shut down new construction from Hawaii Kai to Halawa to reduce pressure on the Sand Island plant.

There's going to be no blaming the other guy and walking away from accountability. If those sludge trucks roll, they'll be ugly, stinking symbols of municipal incompetence, and the stench will stick to the mayor and Council alike.

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Moving 'Big Wind' Project to Maui would Make Money for Mafia-connected First Wind

First Wind, the original developer for the Molokai site, and the state's most prolific wind developer, has been pushing for Maui to be included as a potential site. Up until recently, the developer appeared to be shut out of the project after representatives failed to negotiate a land deal with Molokai Ranch. Pattern Energy subsequently stepped in.

First Wind is currently expanding its wind farm on the leeward side of Maui, but it faces having the energy curtailed because the utility can’t accept all that it produces. This energy, as well as expanded projects, could be fed into the Oahu grid, via a cable.

“Interconnecting Maui to Oahu would allow existing and planned renewable projects on Maui to be more fully utilized,” said John LaMontaigne, a spokesman for First Wind….

Henry Curtis: DBEDT spins Big Wind

Not Mentioned: Hawaii Wind Developer tied to Largest-ever asset seizure by anti-Mafia police

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Panos: Solar Farm produces electricity at $200 per Watt

A description of the same Big Island facility specifies 2 MW for $20 million invested using 1,008 solar concentrating panels on 4 acres of land; see source (2). That's $10 Million per MW which is expensive. It comes to $10 per watt whereas rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panel system costs about $5 per watt (See note 1).

The company’s CEO said to me in person —and in source (3) cited below—that the facility produces 500 KW. That's $40 Million per MW which is absurdly expensive because now the cost is $40 per watt.

The Nevada based electric generator manufacturer who sold the Green Machines that presently operate on the Big Island facility in question specifies two 50 KW generators. So the 4 acre site has a maximum power generation of just 100 KW; source (4). The CEO of the Big Island facility is quoted saying this: “The delivery and performance of the Green Machines have allowed us to fully utilize our solar field…” This means that indeed all that this facility can do on a sunny day without clouds is 100 KW. Now the cost per MW is clearly in the stratosphere at $200 Million per MW or $200 per watt.

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Solar System Costs $1.8M, will produce $500K of electricity over 20 years

The West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona on Tuesday turned on a 250-kilowatt solar power system that is projected to save (sic) the facility $500,000 in electricity costs during the next 20 years.

REC Solar and SunRun partnered to design and install the $1.8 million photovoltaic system that will generate an estimated 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, or the equivalent of 770 barrels of oil, SunRun said in a news release.

(Government at its finest—turning $1.8M of your tax dollars into $500,000.)

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Hawaii Pays $50K For Help In Labor Dispute

“Mr. Katz is uniquely qualified to provide legal and consulting services,” said the procurement proposal, signed by Attorney General David Louie.

“He has expertise with (the) public sector ‘last, best and final offer’ principle in collective bargaining from the employer perspective,” Louie wrote.

“In our department’s memory, the only other time this issue was the center of a controversy was when UHPA (the union that represents University of Hawaii professors) sued the state and in that case Mr. Katz was the lead attorney representing the state,” said the contract proposal.

In that case, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly went to court last year to block UH President M.R.C. Greenwood’s threat to impose a “last best and final offer” in contract talks with professors.

The state and UHPA settled the issue when a new contract was approved by union members.

Louie’s non-bid contract proposal, submitted to the state Procurement Office, said the state doesn’t have time to competitively award the contract.

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After Hawaii Inmates fight with Arizona Guards, they hire lawyers to do it for them

Five Hawaiian inmates serving their sentences on the mainland say the co-defendant Hawaii Department of Public Safety is failing to protect Hawaiian prisoners from brutal private prison guards.
The five inmates at CCA's Saguaro prison in Eloy, Ariz., say they have suffered continuing retaliation and physical abuse from CCA guards, after the July 2010 prison fight that led to the original lawsuit.
Eighteen Hawaiian inmates
sued CCA in December 2010, seeking a protective injunction; the five inmates who sued this week have asked one too.
The new complaints echo the complaints made in the first lawsuit, involving a fight in which "a lieutenant or other employee of CCA was injured."

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Excited Honolulu gays stiffen resolve to Openly Penetrate Military

A leader in the OutServe group he is excited, but a little scared for the day the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t tell policy ends. He is cautioning others to play it low key.

“Lay low for a while and wait until the Sept 20 date passes that way we can gauge the environment,” said the sailor.

No one knows if there will be a backlash and those who do come out will be harassed. The group maintains it is all about the professionalism of the force. Their members range from pilots to linguists, to doctors and nurses.

Read more

Inouye’s Central Pacific Bank Stock value drops below $50K

Inouye had between $1,000 and $15,000 in a Morgan Stanley money market fund, between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock with Central Pacific Financial Corporation (Inouye is a co-founder of CPB) and between $50,000 and $100,000 in a Suntrust checking account.

Related: After Call From Senator Inouye’s Office, Small Hawaii Bank Got U.S. Aid (June, 2009)  “Inouye reported ownership of Central Pacific shares worth $350,000 to $700,000, some held by his wife, at the end of 2007 [5]. The shares represented at least two-thirds of Inouye's total reported assets. Inouye has requested a delay in filing his annual financial disclosure for 2008, which was due this spring, and he declined to provide the current value of his investment. Since the end of 2007, the bank's stock has lost 79 percent of its value.”  .21 x $350K = $73,500

PBN: Central Pacific Financial posts $8.2M Q2 profit

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Honolulu realtor pleads guilty to bank fraud

A Honolulu realtor accused of embezzling nearly $300,000 pleaded guilty to bank fraud Tuesday.

As part of a plea deal, 33-year-old Scott Kamiya admitted he took the money, but the judge was not happy about his testimony in court.

Kamiya admitted to embezzling more than $284,000 from a real estate trust, where he worked as a part-time bookkeeper.

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Inouye's chief of staff, Patrick DeLeon, to retire

DeLeon has been an aide to the Hawaii Democrat since Inouye served on the committee investigating the Watergate scandal in 1973. A clinical psychologist, DeLeon also served as president of the American Psychological Association.

Marie Blanco, the deputy chief of staff, will replace DeLeon.

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Sierra Club Moves to intervene in D.R. Horton’s massive Ho‘opili development

Thus killing the project, of course.  So why are we building a railroad into a farm field?

CB: Hoopili and Koa Ridge Just Aren't Pono

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Leeward Bikeway: Berg Emails give Insight into Political Infighting in Ewa

I need to defend the Leeward Bikeway and work on the vote- the audio DVD we have to expose Espero since Celeste and Gollner refused to defend my vote and Espero's voting to condone this delay of the bikeway- I need to stay home tomorrow and do my own letter /article writing to cover this bikeway issue since Celeste and Gollner lack the guts to call Espero out....so no one bother me Friday- I have to fend for myself and my values and priorities- I am very disappointed in the ENB to play chicken shit games with Espero and failing to call him out for being the very one to consistently vote to delay the bikeway....for shame not one board member spoke up to challenge Espero and congratulate me for standing up to defend the bikeway....

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After 20 years of talking, a one mile long road gets built

Saturday morning, county officials and grateful community association members will bless that solution, the mile-long Kalopa Bypass. Built for $2.5 million by Loeffler Construction, the new road ends a two-decade battle that has been taken up at different times by different mayors, council representatives and directors of the Paauilo Mauka Kalopa Community Association.

"This road has been in the works for 20 years, and what brought it forward was the earthquake," said association president Dolores Ramos. "After the earthquake, we started asking for it."

Officials kept saying the money was there, Ramos said, and then didn't spend it on the road.

"We needed another road that goes out of the mountain, for people who live on the mountain," Ramos said.

Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said he worked on the road in his first term in office, which started in 1996.

"It's been an ongoing thing," he said….

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UH athletics ends year in the black; $322,000 in hand

The $322,000 would be the biggest surplus since 2000 when the athletics department produced a $721,752 windfall. Since then, the department's budget has grown by more than $10 million to $28.7 million.

The latest surplus will go toward paring down the $9.58 million accumulated net deficit the department had amassed since 2002, according to the last auditor's report.

Two years ago the UH Board of Regents charged Donovan with running the department "more like a business." Greenwood said Donovan, who took over in 2008, "obviously came into a situation where there already was a pretty significant budget deficit and we've had the very bad luck of tough financial times, which makes it really hard to (retire) the deficit."

UH's reversal of fortunes for the just-completed fiscal year was aided by $816,142 from the first installment of student-paid athletic fees, which began in January; $132,256 in Western Athletic Conference payouts Boise State forfeits by jumping to the Mountain West Conference this year; and spikes in ticket revenue for baseball, men's basketball and football; plus cost containment. In addition, UH has realized about $200,000 in savings from salary reductions, and Aloha Stadium has worked with the department to trim expenses.

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