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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
December 21, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:44 PM :: 9524 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

KOS: Ed Case is Vile Mockery

We've had a long litany of Democratic villains at Daily Kos over the years—candidates so bad, we had to do everything we could in the primaries to knock them out. There has been Ed Case in Hawaii, Katrina Swett in New Hampshire, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, Henry Cuellar in Texas, and of course, Joe Lieberman in Connecticut.

These are Democrats so vile that they made a mockery of our efforts to elect "more" Democrats. With friends like those, who needed Republicans?

read … a vile mockery

Hirono, Hanabusa: Goebbels is not Proud of Us

The U.S. House or Representatives today dismissed a resolution that would have admonished Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) for saying Joseph Goebbels would be “very proud” of the Democratic Party’s messaging efforts.

The vote to table the resolution, introduced by Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), was 231-188….

(For those with short memories, Google “Bush is a fascist”)

Big Lie Technique: PolitiFact Lie of the Year 2011: 'Republicans voted to end Medicare'

No Goebbels here: Hawaii Reps Blast Obama Administration on 'Plan B', Hanabusa: What Are Republicans Afraid Of?, Hirono: Taxpayers Must Buy Dope For the Jobless

read … Goebbels not proud of Democrats

Hawaii One of Only Seven States Where Unemployment is not Dropping

WSJ: Unemployment rates dropped in 43 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. in November from a month earlier, the Labor Department reported, but job growth remained relatively subdued.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined to 8.6% last month from 9% in October. Nineteen states and Washington have rates higher than the national average. Just three states — New York, Rhode Island and Wyoming — reported increases in their unemployment rates, while four — Hawaii, New Jersey, Indiana and Oklahoma — were unchanged.

read … Great Work, Neil!

Wall Street Journal John Fund Heading to Hawaii for Smart Business Hawaii Conference

HR: Wall Street Journal Editorial Writer John Fund will be the keynote speaker at the Smart Business Hawaii annual business conference on Wednesday, January 11, at the Ala Moana Hotel.

There will be a number of Hawaii leaders speaking as well including Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Mark Dunkerly of Hawaiian Airlines. The conference is sponsored by McDonalds of Hawaii.

Sign up today by calling SBH at 396-1724.

read … SBH

HMC Closure Challenges Abercrombie Administration, Congressional Delegation

One application is for clearance by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national credentialing organization that ensures high standards. Another is to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, while at the local level, the State Health Planning & Development Agency must issue a certificate of need.

Two of the physicians heading the medical team, Drs. Whitney Limm and Linda Wong, expressed their hope that permits can be expedited so that services can resume in two months. That is lightning speed by state standards; Department of Health officials, who already have indicated plans to streamline the certificate of need review, should work to meet that high bar.

The reason: The longer that transplant services are on hiatus, the likelier it is that the care for Hawaii transplants, and the lives of their families, will be disrupted.

"We're 2,500 miles from the next transplant center," Wong told the Star-Advertiser in a recent interview. "Even if you wait in Hawaii, when they call you, you have to fly there quickly in order to get your transplant. And if you're a liver patient, you're probably too sick to get on the plane at the moment you need the liver. So that's why you probably have to relocate and live there."

All of that adds costs and upheaval to households, many of which already are under considerable financial stress.

As far as federal reviews are concerned, the doctors are hopeful that speedy approvals are possible, citing precedent in the quick turnaround to reestablish hospital care in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But while what happened to HMC seems disastrous in the islands, it's not a typical federal emergency. Hawaii's congressional delegation must step up to grease the wheels of government.

Here at home, lawmakers and the Abercrombie administration will have their hands full, seeing where the state might reinforce the health network; the possibility of financial aid for the startup should be explored.

Overall, this crisis presents the state with a test of its capacity to solve problems. The stakes could not be higher. Hawaii needs to ace this test.

Related: Abercrombie Doubles Down on Policies Which Killed HMC Hospitals

read … Don’t Worry, Neil is in charge

EMS Makes Heroic Effort, Kuakini Admissions up 150%

The emergency room at Kuakini has seen a dramatic jump in cases over the last two days. It is up 150 percent, according the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. Staffers at the Liliha facility told KITV, the ambulances have been coming steadily and they are glad to help. They said they feel for the emergency medical technicians who are under added pressure. Toby Clairmont, Director of Emergency Services for the Healthcare Association said he was out at Hawaii Medical Center West when the ER closed Monday morning. He said he wasn’t sure what to expect.

"We also saw heroic things in my opinion. EMS parked an ambulance and began screening patients themselves in some cases, and directing them to hospitals and in some cases taking them by ambulance to the hospitals. People were being served but not at the hospital," said Clairmont….

He said the void of long relied on services will be felt throughout the community. It will boil down to this: Patients will have to travel farther for treatment.

"These are things we hear from neighbors in the Pacific. They come to Hawaii or go to the mainland for treatment, and now we will experience that ourselves locally," Clairmont said.

Governor Neil Abercrombie called together heath care providers from the various hospitals Tuesday afternoon asking for a status report and wanting to know what the state could do to help.

HNN: Emergency rooms filling void left by HMC

Related:

Read … Resign

St. Francis Healthcare CEO will retire

SA: Sister Agnelle Ching, who has served in executive roles at St. Francis for 14 years -- most recently as president and CEO -- will be replaced by Jerry Correa Jr., the first layman to hold the position.

"It is part of the leadership succession plan established years ago by Sister Agnelle as a result of the declining number of sisters of St. Francis who have health care leadership experience," St. Francis said in a statement Tuesday….

Blessed Marianne Cope, recently approved for canonization, founded the Franciscan Sisters' health care ministry in the islands in 1883. St. Francis was established in 1927.

SA: State offers assistance to HMC workers losing their jobs

read … CEO

Shan Tsutsui Tries to Explain Bond Sale

SA: “…despite what has been depicted, it is my understanding that the recapitalization of the Rainy Day Fund and the Hurricane Relief Fund is not from monies derived from additional long-term debt, as some that are apparently unfamiliar with the details of the transaction, have misstated. Instead, the monies are the result of additional proceeds from the bond sale. The strength of Hawaii’s transaction actually allowed for the bonds to be sold at a premium collecting more than $100 million in additional proceeds– meaning, that the State was able to collect $900 million in funds while garnering $800 million in debt….”

Related: Abercrombie’s Bond Sale Like setting up savings account by charging credit card

read … Tsutsui

Auditor Reviews Public Libraries, DOE, OHA Funds

CB: Hawaii Auditor Marion Higa has released a new set of reports focusing on trust funds and revolving funds under five state offices.

The audits, required every five years, cover the:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Office of the Lieutenant Governor
  • Department of Education
  • Hawaii State Public Library System
  • Office of Hawaiian Affairs

read … More Audits

HSTA Fails Teachers so badly they must seek second jobs

SA: Two-thirds of Hawaii public school teachers who responded to a recent union poll said they hold one or more outside jobs, and 41 percent of those earning supplemental incomes said they started working another job in the last one to three years…..

The HSTA poll, conducted online this month, had 787 respondents. Some teachers reported holding multiple jobs: 27 percent of those who said they worked outside the classroom had two jobs to earn supplemental income, while 3 percent had three jobs. (In spite of their failure to raise wages, union leaders take solace in their ability to kill education reform.)

Also, many teachers appear to have sought extra income after recent reductions in salaries. About 41 percent said they have held a job outside teaching for three years or less, while 20 percent said they've had a second job for a decade or more.

Among Hawaii teachers with outside jobs, 44 percent spent 10 hours or less a week earning extra income, while 30 percent reported spending 11 to 15 hours a week on jobs elsewhere and 18 percent worked 16 to 20 hours a week outside the classroom.

(Funny, they didn’t mention DoE Contracting as being one of the second jobs.)

read … HSTA does lousy job

Inouye Slips Full E-W Center Funding into Appropriations Bill

East-West Center funding was on the chopping block just three months ago, with House Republicans looking for what they deemed wasteful federal spending.

As Civil Beat reported, however, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye worked to get the center's $16.7 million reinstated in an appropriations bill.

The $16.7 million for the East-West Center is now part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 that is headed to President Barack Obama's desk for signature. The money is part of $490 million that will fund an array of programs and projects in the state, most them military. (Gee, that $16.7M would have bridged the gap between buyer and seller to keep HMC open. Priorities, priorities.)

read … E-W Center is 87 Years Old

Legislators Plan Whole New Charter School System

HR: Hawaii legislators are planning a complete overhaul of the state’s charter school system in the wake of “glaring concerns” about lack of accountability and even possible fraud at some schools.

A task force has been studying proposed changes to the law that will result in “essentially a new charter school system,” said Sen. Jill Tokuda, D-24th (Kaneohe, Kaneohe MCAB, Kailua, Enchanted Lake), chair of the Senate Education Committee.

Her comments came at the close of briefing yesterday from Hawaii Auditor Marion on serious problems uncovered at charter schools.

Higa’s report, charter schools audit, found that charter schools enjoy “autonomy without accountability” in how they spend nearly $50 million in state general funds annually.

The state’s Charter School Review Panel has “delegated core monitoring and reporting responsibilities to the local school boards, removing itself—and outside oversight—from the charter school system,” Higa reported.

read … Charters

Shakedown: Ritte Demands “Profit Sharing” With Molokai Cruise Yacht Operator

Ritte, a longtime Molokai activist, said the community meetings are supposed to result in a document that reflects the community's concerns. Among other things, Ritte said it is important to establish the carrying capacity for Molokai.

Guidelines developed from those meetings should be incorporated into the Molokai Community Plan, which is being formed, he said.

Ritte also wants to see administrative rules or a law that mandates that the state Department of Transportation engage in some kind of consultation with the community. That might take the form of a permit process for would-be boat operators to offer an opportunity for community input, Ritte said.

He also said there should be "profit-sharing," meaning the companies that make money bringing tourism to Molokai should share their profits beyond merely hiring Molokai residents.

"We need to talk about this. It's a huge impact," Ritte said. (If you are surprised by this, you haven’t been paying attention.)

CB: Rule of Law — Does it Really Exist on Molokai?

MN: Did Ritte’s Non-Profit get paid to host meetings, do Survey, write Report?

read … Gimme the Money

Big Island County Council to Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

The Hawaii County Council will vote Wednesday on a bill that would ban merchants from giving customers plastic bags. Businesses would have to put purchases into paper bags, or customers would have to bring their own.

But during recent public hearings there were more testimonials against Bill 17 than for it, said Council Chair Dominic Yagong.

Yagong said the main complaint against the bill is that there are some practical secondary uses for plastic bags. Many are recycled for things like church sales and even used to hold rubbish. If the bill passed, people said they were concerned that they would have to start buying plastic bags instead.

If the bill passes, Hawaii would be the third county to adopt a ban on merchants giving out plastic bags.

Related: Pilago Seen as Swing Vote on Hawaii County Bag Ban

read … Stop Harassing the Public

SA: Keep domestic violence victims in our hearts

SA: A sustained commitment and investment in domestic violence programs, resources, initiatives and opportunities to do our best is imperative to bring peace to our island families.

The New Year will see significant progress for domestic violence prevention. Act 206 becomes law Jan. 1. This will prohibit discrimination of domestic violence victims by employers, and requires that companies make reasonable accommodations for them. This is very good.

The workplace can be a supportive environment, and provide the necessary income to increase options for victims and their families. In the coming year, the Domestic Violence Action Center will launch DV Action Ready to help employers be prepared to notice and effectively address their employees' needs at work.

Next year also signals the time for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was first enacted in 1994. VAWA 2011 will build on efforts to prevent violence before it begins and teach the next generation that violence is always wrong. (When are they going to face up to gay domestic violence?)

read … Domestic Violence

Schizophrenic Stabs Board and Care Home Operator After Fridge is Padlocked

Laronal has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but would not have qualified to stay there had he not also been diagnosed as diabetic, Oscar Anunciacion said.

"I wish they would do better," Emelyn Anunciacion remarked.

Kayla Rosenfeld, DHS spokeswoman, said the department is reviewing Laronal's case.

"If he's mentally unstable or violent, these homes are not the right place for him," she said.

The Anunciacions said they first noticed something odd about a week after Laronal moved into their facility three months ago.

They had noticed food and other items missing and couldn't figure out where they had gone, they said.

Then they found Laronal cooking with a gas stove on the porch during early mornings. Laronal denied taking the items.

They found more items missing and then finally caught him cooking in the middle of the night.

"I went outside and seen him cooking raw meat," Oscar Anunciacion said, noting that he recognized the packaging was from meat the family had purchased.

When padlocking their refrigerators didn't work -- Laronal broke the locks twice -- Anunciacion began sleeping in the living room that separates the clients' rooms from the kitchen.

Oscar Anunciacion said Laronal grunted but said nothing during the attack.

read … Hawaii’s Magnificent Mental health System

Global Horizons Trafficking Trial Set for February 2012 Delayed Seven Months

HR: Orian’s attorney William Kopeny aggressively challenged the federal prosecutors’ multiple attempts to delay his client's trial another nine months.

Orian said he is confident that he will be found innocent of the long list of charges against him and wants the trial, which has already been delayed several months, to be over.

But U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi, who first agreed with Kopeny that the trial should go on as scheduled, granted the government a nearly 7-month extension in a December 20 order.

The trial, which has garnered international attention, has been continued until August 28, 2012, at 9 a.m., with a final pretrial conference set for July 30, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

read … Slavery

Civil Beat Still Crying About Extra Police Patrols in Waikiki

CB: The business group says it got the idea for a donation to the HPD after looking at similar programs elsewhere, specifically Atlanta's Midtown Improvement District. Its first donation came in 2006.

The nonprofit association evaluated its "base line services agreement" with the HPD and other city government agencies. For example, HPD Capt. Andrew Lum on Tuesday said there are 12 assigned beats in Waikiki, and one officer is typically assigned to each beat. The business group has targeted "streetscape maintenance" and hospitality and safety as programs it wants to supplement.

About a dozen "Aloha Ambassadors" in bright green shirts answer visitors' questions in Waikiki every day, and can even help keep the area safe and secure. But they're not police officers and don't have enforcement powers, and the business association decided regular gifts of $75,000 or $150,000 to the police department would be a good idea.

The association specifically asked HPD to enforce laws that limit activity on Waikiki sidewalks. Violations include aggressive panhandling, unlicensed peddling, animal solicitation and prostitution.

Lum in October told Civil Beat the gift is used to staff officers in Waikiki on their off-duty time "to address security issues that could affect business activity in the area."

read … Maybe the cops should start selling weed

Civil Beat Still Crying about Imprisoned Multi-Kilo Dope Dealer

CB: An ordained (sic) Hilo minister (sic) who believes (sic) marijuana is a religious sacrament is about to spend his second Christmas in federal lockup awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, a federal judge on Monday released on bail a Honolulu police captain found with more than a half pound of methamphetamine (FALSE) and other drug-dealing paraphernalia in his home.

Where's the equity?

(The equity is there. Both defendants were originally granted bail. Both had their bail revoked when they were arrested again for dealing drugs while on bail. The justification for Nishimura being released a second time is that the meth may have been planted by Imose. In contrast, Christie is 'proud' of his 'sacrament' and nobody has suggested that he was 'set up' by anybody other than himself.

Marijuana makes perfectly good people into liberals.)

read … Christie in Jail Still

North Korea, budget cuts among topics at military conference

PBN: Commanders from U.S. Pacific Command, the Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Forces, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard are slated to speak to a crowd of dignitaries and business leaders during the 11th-annual Hawaii Military Partnership Conference, slated for Jan. 5. Consider it The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii 411 session with the commanders. Attendees will include Gov. Neil Abercrombie, members of the Aloha State’s congressional delegation, other bigwigs, and me.

“The military is an important player [in Hawaii],” said David Carey, chairman of the chamber’s Military Affairs Council.

“Budget cuts are big on the list, so we’ll ask about it,” Carey said.

read … 9-1-1 session?

Chow says nothing is official on Hawaii

ABC: …after practice Tuesday, Chow said nothing is official.

"There's obviously a couple things going on, but we're here," said Chow. "There's some talk, a lot of rumors and that kind of stuff. We just have to wait and see. I don't know what the reports are saying, but there's nothing finalized and nothing done. I haven't signed a piece of paper and nobody's told me that."

"He's very interested in the job," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "It's a good opportunity. But, in this profession, nothing is ever a done deal until it's a done deal. So, right now, he's our offensive coordinator.

Whittingham added that if Chow did take the Hawaii job, he would want him to stay and coach the Utes against Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl December 31st.

"That would be my plan," Whittingham said. "If in fact it happens, it would be my desire to finish the season the way we started it and have him coordinate and call the game."

If Chow takes the job, it's being rumored that Utes defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake would go with him to Hawaii….

SA: UH plans to pay Norm Chow up to $800,000 per year as the Warriors' football coach

HNN: UH Warrior arrested for vehicle prowling

read … Not Chow Time Yet

Kailua Neighbors Give Obama Thumbs Down on Job Performance

LAT: Neighbors seemed ambivalent about the inconvenience that goes with having the first family move onto your street, if only temporarily. Mary Bibby, whose house is opposite the security checkpoint, is spending her fourth straight Christmas in proximity to the Obamas. One year, she says, she shook the president’s hand at a nearby church service.

Bibby could live without the bomb-sniffing dogs constantly checking her car. Asked about Obama's performance in office, she pointed a thumb earthward. “I don’t think he’s healing any of the ails that bother people so much,’’ she said.

Ruth Bessinger, 45, who recently moved into the neighborhood, said she was excited to have caught the first lady’s glance as the motorcade returned home one day. She looked at one of the passing cars, realized she was staring straight at Michelle Obama through the window, and smiled and waved. She said she was delighted when the first lady smiled and waved in return.

Bessinger said she has one regret: she was holding bag from McDonald's. Knowing the first lady is a stickler about nutrition, she said she felt a bit “embarrassed.’’ (But she can buy indulgences by making a campaign contribution.)

CB: Michelle Obama Brings Daughters, Sam Kass To MA’O Organic Farms

The Hill: Obama's Hawaii Christmas dilemma

read … LA Times

Kiwis, Omidyar team up to Launch Dairy

The venture is backed by Dairy Solutionz (USA) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dairy Solutionz (NZ) Ltd.; Ulupono Initiative LLC; Finistere Ventures, LLC; and Atlantic Dairy Consulting, LLC.

Tropical Dairy Solutions, LLC was formed to develop grass-fed dairy farms and processing facilities to produce a wide variety of dairy products in the state of Hawaii, including yogurt, cheese and ice cream.

Currently, the total amount of locally produced milk is less than 9 percent of the entire market with the rest imported from the Mainland.

The consortium aims to create sustainable dairy farms using proven, world-class methods that provide high quality, local dairy products at a competitive cost.

read … Another Big Scheme?

Need A Job? AP Wants You in the Legislature

Poynter: Newsperson - Temporary Statehouse Reporter, Honolulu

read … Legislature

Rolling waves not joints

Another surfer admits they are all on drugs.

read … Rolling waves not joints


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