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Monday, December 26, 2011
December 26, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:58 PM :: 10547 Views :: Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Big Wind, Big Cable: To Stampede Legislature, HECO Trumpets High Rates 

Land Swap: City Hedges its Rail Bet

SA: The city and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are planning a land swap worth an estimated $30 million to provide the city with a site for a rail maintenance facility in Waipahu.

In exchange, Hawaiian Home Lands will get two parcels from the city totaling about 52 acres near the Varona Village plantation community in East Kapolei.

One of the two parcels included in the Varona property adjoins the site of the planned Ka Makana Ali‘i commercial complex, a $400 million project on 67 acres of agency land…. (Looks like DHHL comes out ahead)

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, meanwhile, has already awarded a $195 million construction contract to build the rail maintenance facility on the 56-acre Hawaiian Homes property in Waipahu that the city plans to acquire….

The city in October began soils testing and other work at the planned rail maintenance yard site, which was formerly used as a Navy fueling yard…. (Fuel = Mandatory soils remediation.)

However, Hawaiian Homes does not expect to actually complete the swap for another two years, according to minutes of the August commission meeting. Toru Hamayasu, interim executive director of HART, said he hopes to formally complete the transaction sooner.

Hamayasu said the city decided to begin construction before it actually owns the land because an agreement is already in place that provides for the land swap, and because Hawaiian Homes consented. (Because that gives the City an out if Rail collapses.)

The city has been eyeing the Waipahu site as a likely rail maintenance yard since 1990, Hamayasu said. (And yet, they still don’t want to pull the trigger.)

read … Hedging their Bet

DoE, HSTA Begin Finger Pointing over Loss of Race to the Top Funds

SA: When federal authorities visit in January for an extensive review to determine whether Hawaii can deliver on its Race to the Top education pledges, the state will acknowledge stumbling in key initiatives but argue the school system has seen great progress…. (Just words. Notice the absence of actions?)

But it's not yet clear whether the state will be able to show movement in one of the biggest areas of concern for federal officials: a continuing labor dispute with the teachers union that has stalled several major projects, including efforts to reach a collective bargaining agreement on improved teacher evaluations….. (DOE bosses are preparing to blame the HSTA for the failure.)

"I think if the state is ready to look at this with urgency, we are very open in the discussions," said Wil Okabe, HSTA president. "It would be more advantageous to the state if we can resolve this conflict and think about the priorities." (In other words, he is trying to avoid being held responsible for the failure of RTTT.)….

Duncan said he is "less concerned about time frames than I am about momentum and movement. We haven't seen anywhere near the type of progress we need from Hawaii."

Another federal education official noted, during a conference call with reporters, that Hawaii has not met the "vast majority" of its commitments in the first year of the grant.

No other recipients are in danger of being put in "high-risk" status, the education agency said….

2009 WE TOLD YOU HSTA WOULD KILL RTTT:

read … Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Freight Train

Obama Admin: Hawaii DoE in Danger of Losing Funding

AP: Last week, nine states were announced as winners of a share of $500 million in grants under a similar competition focused on improving early learning programs.

Duncan also said federal officials are monitoring states to ensure that they follow through on their plans to improve schools with Race to the Top money. For example, he said he has warned Hawaii that it’s in danger of losing funding.

“We’re going to look for some pretty significant improvements early in the new year,” Duncan said. “There’s not a hard-and-fast date. If we see things turning around, that would be fantastic. If we don’t see things turning around, then we’ve got some tough decisions to make.”

Related: Big Victory for HSTA: Obama Admin Seizes Control of Hawaii RTTT Funds, Education Week: If Hawaii Doesn’t Lose its Race to the Top Money, Something is Wrong

read … Obama Admin Begins to Get Real about Hawaii DoE

Advertiser suddenly Likes School Sports

Hawaii's public education system joined a national program in the last school year to provide after-school activities to middle school students. Now it is taking a positive step in injecting sports into the program at several participating schools next fall. The addition is badly needed, as physical education classes too often have taken a back seat to other facets of growth in recent years….

With a combination of federal grants and private donations, Hawaii began taking part at the beginning of the last school year, with activities offered from 3 to 6 p.m.

The national program is aimed at benefiting the 70 percent of U.S. children whose parents work outside the home, leaving their children unsupervised by (enlightened, conscious, and progressive) adults at the end of the school day….

2009: Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires against “Save our Sports”

read … About Face

Inouye Orders Obama to Come up With Micronesia Action Plan

SA: President Barack Obama will have to come up with an action plan to address the economic impact of Pacific migration in Hawaii and other states and U.S. territories.

The requirement is part of an (Inouye) appropriations bill approved by Congress. Within 45 days the president must convene a committee to develop the action plan.

Related: Micronesians: “Its just better in Arkansas”, China’s Startling Strategic Play in Micronesia, US Micronesia Aid Crowds out Private Investment, Local Decision Making

read … Obey!

Coast Guard enforcing Oahu security zone

News Release: Coast Guard law enforcement officers are enforcing a temporary security zone in the waters of Kailua Bay. …

The security zone went into effect 2 p.m. Dec. 23 and runs through 8 p.m. Jan. 7, unless canceled earlier by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu, Capt. Joanna Nunan.

For a map of the restricted area, visit: LINK

read … Coast Guard

Nuns describe what life was like for Mother Marianne Cope

MN: Cope became known for demanding money from the monarchy and later the territorial governments, who exiled thousands there. She wasn't "afraid to pursue anything for her people," said Sister Davilyn Ah Chick of Honolulu, a Cope expert.

Cope also had to deal with those who didn't want her in charge because she was a woman, her supporters said.

"But she was very determined," Ah Chick said. "She knew very well the needs."

She didn't stay in her own little convent, Ahuna said. She made daily visits everywhere.

HR: Saint Damien Church Opens on Molokai in Time for Christmas

read … Molokai

CATO Institute: Ron Paul is Abhorrent

AP: The American Free Press, which markets books like "The Invention of the Jewish People" and "March of the Titans: A History of the White Race," is urging its subscribers to help it send hundreds of copies of Ron Paul's collected speeches to voters in New Hampshire. The book, it promises, will "Help Dr. Ron Paul Win the GOP Nomination in 2012!"

Don Black, the director of the white nationalist website Stormfront, said in an interview that dozens of his members were volunteering for Paul's campaign, and a site forum titled "Why is Ron Paul such a favorite here?" has no fewer than 24 pages of comments….

The white supremacists, survivalists and anti-Zionists who have rallied behind his candidacy have not exactly been warmly welcomed. "I wouldn't be happy with that," Paul said in an interview Friday when asked about getting help from volunteers with anti-Jewish or anti-black views….

In the mid-1990s, between his two stints as a congressman from Texas, Paul produced a newsletter called The Ron Paul Survival Report, which only months before the Oklahoma City bombings encouraged militias to seek out and expel FBI or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents in their midst. That edition was titled "Why Militias Scare the Striped Pants Off Big Government."

Paul has long repudiated the newsletters, contending they were written by the staff of his company, Ron Paul & Associates, while he was tending to his obstetrician's practice, and that he did not see some of them until 10 years later. "I disavow those positions," he said in the interview. "They're not my positions, and anybody who knows me, they've never heard a word of it."

But production of the newsletters was partly overseen by Lew Rockwell, a libertarian activist who has been a close political aide and adviser to Paul over the course of decades. At the same time that he was working for Paul's company, Rockwell called on libertarians to reach out to "cultural and moral traditionalists," who "reject not only affirmative action, set-asides and quotas, but the 1964 Civil Rights Act and all subsequent laws that force property owners to act against their will."

Rockwell and Paul came to know each other as followers of the free-market Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek, who argued against socialism and centralized economic planning, a spokesman for Paul said. They joined with the libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard in the 1970s and 1980s during the early attempts to forge libertarianism into a national party.

In the Rothbard-Rockwell Report that they started in 1990, Rothbard called for a "Right Wing Populism," suggesting that the campaign for governor of Louisiana by David Duke, the founder of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, was a model for "paleolibertarianism."

"It is fascinating that there was nothing in Duke's current program or campaign that could not also be embraced by paleoconservatives or paleolibertarians," he wrote.

Arguing that too many libertarians were embracing a misplaced egalitarianism, Rockwell wrote in Liberty magazine: "There is nothing wrong with blacks preferring the ‘black thing.' But paleolibertarians would say the same about whites preferring the ‘white thing' or Asians the ‘Asian thing.'"

Their thinking was hardly embraced by all libertarians. "It was just something that we found abhorrent, and so there was a huge divide," said Edward H. Crane, the founder of the Cato Institute, a prominent libertarian research center….

Paul is not unaware of that strain among his supporters. Crane of the Cato Institute recalled comparing notes with Paul in the early 1980s about direct mail solicitations for money. When Crane said that mailing lists of people with the most extreme views seemed to draw the best response, Paul responded that he found the same thing with a list of subscribers to the Spotlight, a now-defunct publication founded by the Holocaust denier Willis A. Carto.

Related: YAF: Ron Paul “Blames America for 9-11”

read … Fascinating


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