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Saturday, July 30, 2011
July 30, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:53 PM :: 8722 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Hawaii Federal Stimulus Funds: $650K per job

Djou: Honolulu Board of Water Supply is out of control

DLNR, Corps of Engineers agree on Kawainui Marsh Environmental Restoration Project

Full Text: State LUC moves for dismissal of Bridge Aina Lea Suit

WSJ Video: How US Debt Downgrade would affect States, Cities, Banks, Mortgage rates

Abercrombie: Federal Gravy Train coming to a stop, State can cover for only a short time

The Maui Chamber of Commerce applauded loudly (and breathed a sigh of relief) Friday when Gov. Neil Abercrombie said, whatever happens with the U.S. debt ceiling in Washington next week, "This state is going to be fiscally stable, the state is ready to pay its bills." (Including those owed to his audience.)

He compared the national government's situation to a lush who decides to stop drinking. "That doesn't mean he doesn't have to pay the bartender" for what he's already drunk, the governor said.

He said Congress should first raise the debt ceiling (order another round of drinks) and then get serious about cutting spending….

In answer to a question at the end of his talk, he defended asking the Legislature to raid the Hurricane Relief Fund and the rainy day fund to cover a $200 million to $250 million shortfall that was recognized in the biennial budget in December (created by his giveaways to Gov’t Employee Unions).

He also warned that the state is going to have to look more and more to its own resources. Till now, for every dollar Hawaii sends to Washington, it gets back $2.38.

"That gravy train is coming to a halt," he said, no matter how the deficit-default-debt limit fight turns out.

He said his preference would be to increase revenues by putting more people back to work, which means investing public money in projects that have "social utility" (spending even more money we don’t have to give CIP contracts to contributors.)

He chided critics in the Neighbor Islands who gripe about Big Wind (which is another big taxpayer ripoff)

He also said he is puzzled by the criticism he has gotten (from Hanabusa) for getting the state government prepared to deal with a national default if it happens. (And he said no matter what happens by Tuesday, the government has effectively defaulted anyway.)

He said he does not understand complaints that being prepared "creates anxiety," as if people are not aware of what's about to happen.

The state is prepared to cover federally funded state programs for a short time, and it is consulting with businesses, especially banks, to get ready for a partial shutdown.

Related: WSJ Video: How US Debt Downgrade would affect States, Cities, Banks, Mortgage rates, Default? Bankers, State pool money to keep Cash flowing to Federally Funded Cronies

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SA: Hanabusa is wrong to criticize State’s US Default Backup Plan

freshman U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on Wednesday did venture a comment on Abercrombie's contingency planning, questioning the wisdom of announcing it publicly.

What she's missing is that greater insecurity would have resulted had Abercrombie given the public the silent treatment. Right now it's more comforting for Hawaii citizens to know the rough outlines of the contingency plan than to be left uninformed.

Ignorance can be bliss, but not in these circumstances. Hawaii residents need the confidence that leaders here are setting up the means to get through potentially rough seas, and the administration has been saying the right things.

That's more than anyone can say about the noise coming from the nation's capital for the past few excruciating weeks.

Related: Default? Bankers, State pool money to keep Cash flowing to Federally Funded Cronies

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Lingle: D.C. Dysfunction 'Encourages' Senate Run

Sounding more and more like a candidate for the U.S. Senate, former Gov. Linda Lingle said Friday that the partisan impasse over raising the national debt ceiling is edging her closer to running.

"What we have watched over the past couple of months has encouraged me to look even closer to the race," Lingle said at a Grassroot Hawaii forum at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in Moiiliili….

Those in attendance included Sen. Sam Slom and state House Rep. Gene Ward, the Republican leaders in the Hawaii Legislature. Ed Case, who is running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, was also there.

Lingle's direct comments on a Senate run came during a question period afterwards.

She reiterated that she is still thinking "very seriously" about a run, saying, "I am more enthusiastic about it when I see the terrible situation going on in Washington. Bringing common sense to Washington is important."…

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Djou Back in the Game?

Former Congressman Charles Djou said he is seriously considering another run at elective office.

Djou said today he has not made a formal decision, and may not in the near future, but that he is seriously considering another campaign in urban Honolulu’s 1st Congressional District.

A run at CD1 would pit him against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in a rematch of last year’s general election contest in which Djou was the incumbent. Djou had won the seat last May in a special election to fill the final seven months of the term vacated by Neil Abercrombie, who stepped down to run for governor.

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Abercrombie to face off with Angry HGEA nurses at Hilo Hospital

Best Comment: The Governor's taking quite a chance at attending anything going on at Hilo Medical Center.........lot's of unhappy nurses.....who can blame them?.......cut their pay (lifesavers) and raising their insurance premiums 25%.......especially when the overindulged Uh 'educators' are getting whatever they desire. Of course, HGEA is of no help or friend of the nurses......just overpaid, useless slugs. It's time for the nurses to decertify HGEA and shop for a better union.....also UPW is of no help either.

RELATED: VIDEO: Abercrombie squares off with Maui Nurses

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After 25 years, Hauula Church Agrees To Stop Feeding Homeless At Aala Park

The Instititute of Human Services, which started a peanut butter ministry feeding the homeless saw a 15 percent increase in the demand for services from June to July.

On Friday it kicked off a new relationship with a Hauula church which has decided to bring food to feed the hungry to the nearby emergency shelter instead of at Aala Park. “When the governor approached me, I was a little tentative at first,” said Brother Sadrian Sage Chee.

But Chee said the move brings many of the clients they feed closer to the support they need.

LN: Light Bringers seek site for drop-in shelter

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Aloun Farms Slavery Trial Begins

Hearings Set For Teachers' Complaint Against State

The Hawaii Labor Relations Board has set a pre-hearing settlement conference for the parties at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5. The conference is closed to the public.

The three-member board will hold a public hearing the following Wednesday, Aug. 10, on whether to grant the union relief from the conditions of the new contract. That hearing is to take place at 9 a.m.

Scheduled hearings for the main labor complaint will begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 15 in the Hawaii Labor Relations board room at 830 Punchbowl St.

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ORI On The Agenda

As promised, the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee will pick up where the Parks and Community Services Committee left off last month.

Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi's agenda for Wednesday's meeting includes the following discussion item:  “ISSUES RELATING TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT FUNDING FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE RETARDED, INC. (ORI) AND ORI ANUENUE HALE, INC.”

The ORI controversy will be on Inside Honolulu's radar next week for a couple of other reasons: the deadline for the city to respond to HUD, and the deadline for the city to respond to our UIPA request filed last week.

Related: Resignation call after Audit reveals “ward heeler’s slush fund” overseen by Honolulu Councilman

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Honolulu Rail in Illegal Pact with Local Unions?

The Code of Federal Regulations 23 CFR. §635.117 part (b) reads as follows: “No procedures or requirement shall be imposed by any State which will operate to discriminate against the employment of labor from any other State, possession or territory of the United States, in the construction of a Federal-aid project.” The rail project is clearly a Federal-aid project.

Contrast the facts above this fact from the recent past: Labor Unions Sign Rail Agreement with Honolulu City Officials. The goals of the RTSA include utilizing local labor for high quality work, on time and on budget.

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Frequent-Flying Mayor Makes Japan Next Stop

You wouldn't know it by looking at his public schedule, which is totally blank from Monday through Friday, but Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle will be in Japan all next week.

A spokesman Friday said he's going to be fostering sister-city relationships and promoting economic development opportunities.

The mayor's weekly public schedule is the avenue he uses to tell the media and citizens where they can find him — and the Japan trip wasn't mentioned this week. We only found out about it by looking at the memo he sent to the Honolulu City Council Friday informing it that Managing Director Doug Chin would be steering the ship in the mayor's absence, from Aug. 1 - 7.

Memo: Carlisle Traveling to Japan

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Officials continue to support amnesty program for illegal snakes, rodents

In spite of the fact than no legislators have turned themselves in…

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Has Green Harvest Returned to the Big Island?

Dopers provide handy links for other dopers to file bogus complaints….

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Kahala post office renamed to honor Rep. Cec Heftel

Hanabusa's predecessor, Republican Rep. Charles Djou, had introduced a proposal to rename the Makiki Post Office after Heftel, saying it was custom, after a member of Congress dies, that the successor to the seat introduce a bill to rename a post office after that person.

The practice is usually uncontroversial but requires unanimous consent from the state's delegation.

Heftel, who represented the 1st Congressional District, died Feb. 4, 2010, weeks before then-Rep. Neil Abercrombie resigned the seat to concentrate on his campaign for governor. Djou won a special election in May to fill the remainder of the term.

After Djou introduced the bill to rename the Makiki Post Office, Heftel's widow, Rebecca, objected, saying she believed her husband would have wanted such a bill sponsored by someone whose politics were more aligned with his own.

The rift within the family prompted Hirono to back away from the legislation.

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$29M for Hawaii electronic medical records

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation has finalized a $28.7 million contract to implement an electronic medical records system across the state.

The public hospital system announced Thursday Siemens Healthcare was selected after a yearlong process of evaluating many qualified vendors.

Implementation of the system is to begin with Maui Memorial Medical Center, which is expected to be in place by November of next year.

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DNA gets rape charges dismissed

On July 21 Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza approved a motion to dismiss four counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and first-degree burglary against Jardine for the December 1990 sexual assault case involving a 25-year-old Haiku woman.

The dismissal came six months after Maui Circuit Judge Joel August overturned convictions against Jardine based on DNA evidence obtained by the Hawaii Innocence Project….

"We made a decision not to go forward after consulting with the victim, and we made a determination that it was in the best interest of her and her family that they not go through a fourth trial and not be re-traumatized 20 years later," Rivera said.

He added, "The victim has not wavered in her identification of the defendant as the man who sexually assaulted her 20 years ago."

Rivera contends the DNA results did not have much relevance to the case because there was no evidence or testimony that any sexual assault occurred on the tablecloth. "Our office rebuts any inference that the DNA results exonerates or exculpates the defendant in this case," he said.

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After 55 years, front door open at Lahaina Public Library

Lahaina Public Library this month opened its main entryway for patrons on Front Street for the first time in 55 years.
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund for a new security system, library visitors can now enter from the Front Street side as well as the old main entrance facing Lahaina Harbor.
According to Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, the library never used the front door entrance, fearing people would walk away with books without checking them out.

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Euro-Socialists pay Pacific Island Officials to Oppose Deep Sea Mining

Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals is already planning a deep-sea copper and gold mine at the Solwara 1 site near Papua New Guinea from 2013. And last week (19 July), the UN's International Seabed Authority approved applications from China and Russia, and companies sponsored by Nauru and Tonga, to explore deposits around hydrothermal vents in the eastern central Pacific Ocean.
But inadequate international legal safeguards for such mining are causing concern that it could damage the unique
biodiversity surrounding deep-sea vents, which spew hot, sulphurous water into the ocean, forming deposits that contain economically important metallic minerals.
Member countries of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) established a Deep Sea Minerals project in March under its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) and met last month (6–8 June) to begin developing policy and legislation.
The project is funded by a grant of €7.7 million (US$11.1 million) from the European Union and will be implemented by 2014 in 15 Pacific states.

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