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Friday, December 23, 2011
December 23, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:17 PM :: 12638 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

AG Louie: Assisted Suicide Not Legal in Hawaii

Pacific Command studying negative attitudes toward Hawaii's public schools

Abercrombie's "Surplus" Comes out of Your Pocket

National Journal: Hawaii Democrats Running Scared Through Primary Minefield

In Defense of the Plastic Bag

A Primer on Bridge Aina Lea Case

City Has Two Multiple-Convicted Felons Working Crime Scenes

KITV: The office, which has been without a permanent chief medical examiner for more than two years, is described by former and current employees as “dysfunctional.”

The city awarded its corpse transportation contract to Memorial Transport of Hawaii in December of 2010.

The city's contract language prohibited the winning bidder from having employees with a “record conviction of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.”

But in January, MTH got the city to waive that prohibition after it reported two of its employees, Lord Jaralba, had felony drug, theft and assault convictions from 2002 and 2003.

A second MTH employee has a record of 20 felony convictions, for robbery, promoting dangerous drugs, sexual assault and kidnapping….

A reporter asked City Managing Director Doug Chin if the public would be concerned to know that a convicted felon was allowed in people's homes at death scenes.  

read … Felon Works Crime Scenes

 U.S. Education Secretary: Hawaii Lacks 'Sense of Urgency'

CB: Hawaii lacks a "sense of urgency" about meeting the commitments it made to secure $75 million in federal education funding, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday.

"If a state is making progress, I think were we're willing to be a little bit flexible," Duncan said. "We just haven't seen anywhere near the type of progress we need from Hawaii."

Duncan's comments came on the heels of the Department of Education's revelation that Hawaii has been placed on "high-risk" status for "unsatisfactory" delays in implementing Race to the Top programs. He spoke to reporters as he was announcing the next wave of recipients.

The delays can be traced back to the standoff between the state and the teachers union over a new contract.

read … All About Abercrombie’s Massive Failure

Victory Achieved, so End in Sight for HSTA's Complaint Against Hawaii?

CB: Nicholson had started the 1:30 hearing by calling for a bench conference with just the union and the state's representatives. The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly — an intervener in the case — could stay, while this reporter and HLRB staff were told to step outside the room.

The door opened less than 10 minutes later. Takahashi, Okabe and another HSTA attorney headed for a hallway to speak privately.

When the trio returned to the hearing room, Nicholson and HLRB member Rock Ley were booted, along with the university's union representatives, leaving the two parties alone.

A few minutes later, the HSTA trio headed back to the hallway.

HSTA then asked to meet privately with Nicholson and Ley in the hearing room. Following that conversation, Nicholson announced the hearing would resume next month. (Jan 5)

Could Have done this 8 days ago….

Related:

read … HSTA Has achieved its goal of Destroying RTTT, therefore no need more hearings 

Hawaii unlikely to absorb all HMC employees

PBN: While many of those employees are no doubt applying for work at Hawaii’s other health-care facilities, it’s unlikely that every single one of those HMC workers will find comparable, high-paying jobs within the health-care industry here on the Islands.

The Neighbor Islands have long struggled with a shortage of physicians and specialists, while the whole state struggles with a shortage of skilled nurses.

But, how many of HMC’s health-care workers will have to leave Hawaii for higher-paying jobs on the Mainland?

read … Hawaii unlikely to absorb all HMC employees

Medved Show – 12/21/2011 -H2 – Lesbian couple’s lawsuit claims discrimination by Hawaii BnB

December 21, 2011 by Michael Medved Hour 2 – Lesbian couple’s lawsuit claims discrimination by Hawaii Bed and Breakfast….

Link … Click to Listen

Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin to Push Plastic Bag Ban

When the bill was deferred, Public Infrastructure Committee Chair Ann Kobayashi said she wanted to look at the whole issue relating to plastics, including plastic foam, beverage cups and plastic bag recycling, according to meeting minutes and the KITV report.

  • 1 metric tonne bagged up by kilo = 1000 baggies
  • 1 kilo bagged by gram = 1000 baggies
  • 1 gram bagged by rock = 10 baggies
  • total 11,001,000 plastic baggies per tonne.

Totally Unrelated: Convicted Cocaine Dealer replaces Advertiser columnist as Ernie Martin’s Campaign Treasurer

read … Baggie ban

Gary Hooser Demands We Keep the Homeless Homeless

SA: We have more or less successfully cleared our parks of the homeless and now are determined to sweep the remaining stragglers off our streets and into the shelters where they belong. We have done our best to criminalize (save) the poor and mentally ill (from keep-‘em-on-the-streets doo-gooders like me) by banning from public places first their shopping carts, then their tents and now virtually all of their personal belongings.

Push them into the shelters, seems to be the mantra. Do not feed the homeless. Make them go to the shelters, if they want to eat. This is tough love. Withhold the feedings, send police to dismantle their camps, take away and destroy their personal items and make them go into the shelters, where they can be fed, monitored, cared for, and (insert red herring here) warehoused properly.

Put them away for their own good and (insert red herring here) so we don't have to look at them anymore.

I am hoping that this is not the case and that there is more.

I am hoping that both the public and the private sector will step up to the plate and provide for dramatically increased mental health services. (but only on the streets, not in shelters)

I am hoping that government, landowners and developers will create and build affordable housing that is accessible to all and that our state, city and federal government strengthens the social safety net while increasing employment and rebuilding core public infrastructure. (And as an anti-development protester, I did my best to thwart them.)

I am hopeful but not optimistic, so therefore I am angry. (And my feelings rule you, or at least they used to….)

read … More pure unadulterated hypocrisy

Clean Energy Scammers Rejoice: To Stampede Legislature and Justify High Electric Rates, HECO Begins Running TV Propaganda

SA: Hawaiian Electric Co. is launching its first-ever public awareness disinformation campaign telling customers to brace for an extended period of high electricity prices.

"For the first time in our history, we're going to essentially alert people to the fact that these high bills are going to continue," said Robbie Alm, HECO executive vice president…. (in order to justify more green energy scammers)

The ads will be paid for with shareholder funds so the cost will not be borne by ratepayers, Alm said. (Sure. We are paying them to brainwash us.)

Most of the petroleum-based fuel that HECO buys from Hawaii's two refineries originates in Asia, where crude oil products have been trading at a substantial premium to crude available in mainland U.S. and Middle Eastern markets. (A LIE! Oil Price in Singapore exchange approx same as New York: LINK AP Article)

Several factors have caused the pricing disparity between Asia and the rest of the world, including the fact that Japan has increased its fuel oil imports after curtailing its nuclear energy production in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami there in March, said Kang Wu, a senior fellow at the East-West Center. High economic growth rates in Asia, led by China, also have put upward pressure on oil prices in the region, he said. (THERE IS NO DISPARITY)

Low-sulfur fuel oil, which is the predominant fuel burned by HECO in its power plants on Oahu, was trading at about 95 dollars a barrel at the start of this year, about $5 a barrel above the price of West Texas Intermediate crude traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. By July, HECO was paying more (Did you notice they stopped saying ‘was trading at’?) than $130 a barrel for LSFO, about $35 more than what WTI was trading for on NYMEX. The LSFO price has remained above $130 a barrel since then while WTI has bounced around between $85 and $95 a barrel. (And Yet the close for low sulfur oil on Singapore market yesterday was $99, not $130. HECO is lying and the Star-Advertiser is printing it without question.)

Alm said part of HECO's goal is to (stampede the Legislature) correct the (accurate) misperception of many of its customers that when they see crude prices fall on the mainland, they should expect to see a commensurate decline in their electricity bills.

The EWC's Wu said that while demand for crude oil in general has been higher in the Asia region than the rest of the world, the premium for LSFO has been particularly significant because it is what Japan's power producers have been buying to make up for the shortfall in nuclear power production. He also noted that Hawaii's two refineries, operated by Tesoro and Chevron, can't buy crude oil with higher sulfur content because they lack desulfurization equipment.

Alm said the utility will run four different 60-second commercials in the coming months, (ie during the entire Legislative session) the first of which will be an overview of the current situation. The initial spot will consist of a "straight talk" conversation between Alm and former television journalist Jade Moon, who has appeared in previous HECO commercials as a "clean energy spokesperson."

Subsequent commercials will address things such as what conservation measures consumers and businesses can undertake to cut their electricity bills. The ads also will talk about the importance of pursuing renewable energy sources as a way to reduce the state's reliance on oil for electricity production.

HECO Propaganda Chart

Reuters Dec 19: The low-sulphur fuel oil market (LSFO) remains strong, as it has been since July due to pervasively strong demand from post-Fukushima Japan, as Taiwan's CPC awarded its term tender for nine cargoes of 80,000 tonnes each to Shell at higher premiums of $110.00-$120.00 a tonne to Singapore spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis.

2007: Tesoro Corp. turning to higher-sulfur crude

read … A bunch of lies from HECO happily repeated by the Star-Advertiser

23.6/kwh Hawaii Solar Developer Laughs All the Way to the Bank

SA: Government and private-sector officials dedicated Oahu's first utility-scale solar energy facility Thursday, a 1.2-megawatt project built on a former industrial waste site near Campbell Industrial Park.

The $7 million Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park, developed by Forest City Hawaii and designed by Hoku Solar, features 4,200 solar panels on four acres. The panels will generate enough energy each year to supply the needs of 150 to 250 homes. Forest City negotiated a power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric Co. under which it will sell the electricity to the utility at a fixed rate of 23.6 cents a kilowatt-hour over the next 20 years….

The project began supplying electricity to the HECO grid last week. It is one of several solar projects being planned for West Oahu.

HECO already has signed power purchase agreements for two other photovoltaic projects of 5 megawatts each being developed by two mainland companies.

In addition, Honolulu-based Sopogy Inc. has broken ground on a 5-megawatt project on a state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands site that will generate energy using micro-concentrated solar power technology. Sopogy's system uses mirrored troughs to concentrate solar energy and create steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity.

read … Kapolei

Omidyar Front Group Seeks to Unite TEA Party, Occupy behind Push for Higher Fuel, Electricity Prices

SA: Beyond pledges, Kanu leaders hope its members build on their personal pledges and turn to a more vocal form of advocacy. (For instance Kanu’s call for a barrel tax to jack prices up to $100/barrel) The context provided by populist movements such as the tea party and Occupy Wall Street, though arising from divergent political philosophies, is encouraging, Koshiba added.

"I think that's great," he said. "The pain and frustration that's out there is finally giving rise to this.

"I think the thing the tea party and Occupy have in common is a belief in people power, and a common frustration that the people power hasn't been a reality in a system that's claimed that it responds to people power."

History of Cooptation: Furloughs: How Unions and the DoE aim to co-opt protesting parents

read … Another Kanu Hawaii Fluff Piece

Federal Judge Throws Out Discrimination Complaint Against Six Hawaii Farms

HR: U.S. District Judge David Ezra dismissed a complaint today filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on April 20, 2011, against six Hawaii farms, saying the government agency that is charged with prohibiting employment discrimination has not been specific enough in its allegations. He gave the agency's Los Angeles-based attorneys 45 days to refile its lawsuit and one more chance to get their filing right.

The Hawaii farms named in the complaint, including Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii, and Maui Pineapple Farms, all contracted with the Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Company between 2003 and 2007, to bring in workers from Thailand to work on their farms.

Six Global Horizons employees were indicted criminally in September 2010, including its president, three executives and two Thai labor contractors, in what justice officials said was the biggest human-trafficking case ever brought by federal authorities. On January 14, a 10-count superseding indictment charged two other people in Los Angeles, Joseph Knoller and Bruce Schwartz, as co-conspirators. Three people have pled guilty in federal court.

read … Another Slavery Case Goes Sideways

Legislators Again Consider State-Run Superferry

PBN: Love’s Bakery Inc. President and CEO Mike Walters said he is on board with the idea of establishing an interisland ferry system in Hawaii.

Walters said his company now uses Aloha Air Cargo, Young Bros. shipping and other means to deliver his company’s products. And when one of those shippers raises its prices, his company has to absorb those costs….

Walters estimated that using the Superferry saved his company more than $200,000 a year.

State Rep. Joseph Souki, D-Wailuku-Waihee-Waiehu, is trying to make an interisland ferry a reality once again. Toward that end, last year he introduced House Bill 1239, which is still working its way through the Senate….

State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl agrees.

“If people had a different way of getting to other islands, it could force other modes of transportation to drop prices,” he said. “Who knows what kind of economic impact it could have?”

The Mind Wobbles: Why Hawaii Lost the Superferry

read … Socialism in Action

Navy gets OK to buy two Hawaii Superferries

Congress has given the Navy the green light to spend up to $35 million to acquire two Hawaiian superferries from the U.S. Maritime Administration.

A provision in the recently approved defense authorization bill will allow the transfer of the Huakai and the Alakai to the Navy, where they will become Department of Defense sealift vessels.

read … Thank the Sierra Club, Don’t Contribute

Documents about Eric Lighter from a lost archive

ILind: For example, here’s a list of business names registered by Lighter as of March 1999.

And then there’s this gem, a 1987 memo filed in bankruptcy court by Les Iczkovitz, attorney for the Association of Apartment Owners of the Hawaiian Colony Condominium. It describes what may have been the first time Lighter was publicly accused of substantial criminal fraud….

The memo concludes with some questions that remain relevant today.

The Time-Share Operation is no longer in business, but no action has yet been taken against Eric Lighter for his illegal conversion of funds. The question remains why hasn’t the State or the Federal authorities done anything with regard to Eric Lighter so as to protect the time-share owners? The ultimate question is why isn’t Eric Lighter in jail? As a side question, why does Eric Lighter still have his real estate broker’s license?

read … Lighter

Mufi Operative Complains that Republicans Support Lingle

HR: Blablabla…

Reality: Mufi Operative launches “fringe” GOP Senate Campaign

read … Keith Rollman

Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions is requesting 41 additional Fees

PBN: The Division of Financial Institutions is proposing 41 new fees for all state-chartered banks in addition to an increase in annual fees amounting to more than 700 percent for the state’s smallest financial institutions….

It would mandate a $5,000 annual fee for institutions with assets of less than $10 million, $7,500 for institutions with assets of less than $100 million, $10,000 for institutions with assets of less than $750 million, $12,500 for institutions with assets of less than $5 billion and $15,000 for institutions with assets of at least $5 billion. Those fees currently range from $600 to $7,700.

read … More Fees from the ‘Surplus’ Government

Hawaii REIT to Launch IPO

CommonWealth REIT today announced that its subsidiary, Select Income REIT, or SIR, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, for an initial public offering of common shares. SIR will primarily own and invest in net leased, single tenant properties, and it will own substantially all of CWH's commercial and industrial properties located in Hawaii as well as 25 suburban office and industrial properties located throughout the U.S. Upon completion of the public offering, it is expected that CWH will continue to own a substantial majority of SIR's outstanding common shares.

read … REIT Hawaii

Alexander & Baldwin's CEO Discusses Separation Plan Announcement - Conference Call Transcript

Seeking Alpha: Slides from this presentation are available for your download at our website www.alexanderbaldwin.com. You’ll see an icon at the top of the website to direct you to the appropriate section for download.

read … A&B

Hawaii Cracks Down on Beachfront Property Owners in Kahala

CB: To combat the problem, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Thursday it has issued warnings to nine property owners who have until the end of January to trim the vegetation or face thousands of dollars of potential fines.

Six of the homes are owned by billionaire Japanese real estate investor, Genshiro Kawamoto, who has gained notoriety in Hawaii for his dilapidated mansions and string of city housing violations.

read … Natural growth Must be restrained

How To Donate To Philippine Typhoon Relief

KITV: The "Philippine Disaster Relief Fund Drive: Typhoon Sendong" has been organized by several groups within the Filipino community.

Donations are now being accepted at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu via cash or check (with memo "Typhoon Sendong Relief").

The phone bank fund drive is scheduled for December 26 at the Filipino Community Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact the Filipino Community Center at (808) 680-0451.

read … Philippines

Prosecutor had no grounds to charge officers of puppy mill's corporate owner

SA: The Star-Advertiser editorial "Puppy mill case demands justice" is uninformed when it declares that the prosecutor's office could — and should — have filed animal cruelty charges against the officers of Bradley International rather than the corporation that owned the Waimanalo puppy mill (Star-Advertiser, Our View, Dec. 19).

If Vernon Luke and Shannon Luke could have been charged individually, the prosecutor's office would have done so in an instant. Animal cruelty cases have always been among Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro's stated priorities. However, a thorough investigation found no evidence that proved the Lukes were either actively involved in the operation of the puppy mill or had direct knowledge of mistreatment of the animals at the time the puppies were seized.

Humane Society: Puppy mill case is first in which forfeiture law successfully utilized

read … Animal Liberation Nuts Prolly Melted their Telephones

Obamacare will Hike Insurance Rates 14% per year

Source: Health Affairs study


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