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Sunday, January 01, 2012
January 1, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:00 PM :: 6799 Views :: Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Broken Trust Gang finally Imposes Gay Unions on Hawaii

Barrel Tax: When Can Taxpayers Believe What They Hear?

Hawai’i Free Press Editor to Address Pro-Life Group Jan 17

John Fund to Headline Smart Business Hawaii Conference Jan. 11

Hawaii March for Life Jan 22

Exclusive Hawaii Premiere: Battle for Brooklyn, Academy Award Contending Documentary About Eminent Domain

Hawaii Ct App Upholds Attorneys Fees For Eminent Domain Appeals

Cayetano to Run for Mayor?

UPDATE: Panos No Mayoral Campaign in 2012 1-1-2012

SA: Former Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano says he is considering running for Honolulu mayor this year, citing concerns that Honolulu rail transit is far too expensive, and is being "rammed down people's throats."

Cayetano, 72, acknowledged that time is short and raising money for a bid for the mayor's office may be a challenge, but said he has come from behind in almost every election in his 28 years in political office.

"If I enter, I enter to win. I've never lost an election, because that's always been my attitude," Cayetano said.

He said people have been urging him to run….

Rather than build rail, Cayetano said, he wants to focus on fixing Honolulu's aging water and sewer infrastructure. He said he favors an enhanced bus system with dedicated lanes to speed bus traffic because buses in a dedicated lane "will beat the train all the time."

Building dedicated bus lanes across Oahu would require close coordination between the state and the city, and "I can talk to the governor," Cayetano said. Cayetano and Gov. Neil Abercrombie are longtime political allies dating back to their years together in the state Senate.

As for the jobs that would be created by the rail project, Cayetano said: "Jobs? Tell that to the 1,000 workers who lost their jobs when two hospitals went bankrupt. If we want to create jobs, (let's) build new schools, renovate old ones, build public housing, (which will create) jobs we know will go to local construction workers."

read … Cayetano to be Anti-Rail Candidate

Hawaii 2012: Pivotal Year Could Draw Record Political Spending

Rail transit for Honolulu.

A rare open U.S. Senate seat.

A turning point for public schools.

The next year could be a pivotal one for Hawaii, with decisions ahead that could influence the state's course for a generation.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's retirement has created the first open U.S. Senate seat since 1976. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are competing in the Democratic primary to replace Akaka, while former Gov. Linda Lingle is the leading Republican candidate. With the political balance of the Senate at stake, the Hawaii campaign will likely receive national attention and draw a record amount of political money….

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a liberal, and former congressman Ed Case, a moderate, are expected to have a contentious August primary in which the issues are likely to be the economy, job creation and which Democrat is better suited to eventually succeed U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye as Hawaii's senior senator. Hirono has built an early fundraising lead and has secured establishment and labor endorsements, while Case has focused on grass-roots outreach at "talk story" events across the state.

Lingle, who faces attorney and former state lawmaker John Carroll in the primary, has portrayed herself as a moderate who would look for bipartisan solutions to end Washington gridlock. She has said she could raise a record $8 million to $10 million and will likely be able to conserve her financial resources until the November general election.

The campaign is a potential replay of the 2002 governor's race, when Hirono narrowly defeated Case in the primary and Lingle beat Hirono in the general election to become the first Republican to capture Washington Place in 40 years.

SA: Turn hope into change (Regurgitated Obama campaign slogan.)

read … 2012 Pivot

Star-Adv: Hawaii GOP sees March 13 caucus as recruiting opportunity

SA: For the first time, Hawaii Republicans will hold caucuses to determine which presidential candidates are awarded the state's delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August. GOP activists hope the March 13 vote will help grow the minority party and give the islands a voice -- however small -- in selecting the nominee….

Republicans want to … build some momentum behind a nominee that can hold Obama's victory margin down in November. Former Gov. Linda Lingle, the leading Republican contender for U.S. Senate, and other Republican candidates would likely suffer if the president matches the 72 percent of the vote he took in Hawaii over U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2008.

Like in Iowa, where polls show that Republicans are divided, there is no clear Republican front-runner in Hawaii. Businessman Herman Cain, who has suspended his campaign, led former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Hawaii in a Public Policy Polling survey taken in October. A straw poll taken at the state party convention on Kauai in May also had Cain up over Romney.

In presidential fundraising, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, has raised more than $40,000 in Hawaii -- the highest among Republicans -- while Romney has raised more than $35,000, according to the Federal Election Commission. Obama has collected more than $165,000.

Former congressman Charles Djou has endorsed Romney, but Lingle -- the state's most influential Republican -- and none of the nine Republicans who serve in the state House and Senate have publicly chosen a candidate….

Romney and Paul have paid the $5,000 fee to enter the Hawaii caucuses. Chang said former congressman Newt Gingrich's campaign has indicated that Gingrich will likely enter. He has also heard from former senator Rick Santorum's campaign. Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., are the only Republican candidates who have personally campaigned in Hawaii.

read … March 13

200 Long Term Care Patients Left With No Place to go

SA: In recent years there were as many as 200 chronically ill patients like Ida inappropriately placed in more costly acute-care hospitals, while waiting for a long-term care bed to become available. They live in acute-care hospitals for months -- sometimes years -- because of inadequate long-term care services in Hawaii….

Long-term care facilities, such as the Leahi Hospital in Kaimuki, focus on patients who stay more than 25 days. Acute-care hospitals are for patients who need intensive treatment and will stay only a short time.

There's also a difference in reimbursements. Long-term care, which involves a lower level of assistance, is reimbursed at a substantially lower rate than around-the-clock acute care. Even though Ida is in an acute-care hospital, the facility is reimbursed only at long-term rates.

According to a 2009 Healthcare Association report, the estimated uncompensated cost for long-term care patients staying in acute-care hospitals in Hawaii totaled approximately $72.5 million in 2008.

The problem for hospitals can be compounded when the patient is on government insurance.

"When someone's on government insurance, it doesn't pay the full cost of care," Clairmont said. "If you have too many in your hospital, you lose money every single day and eventually end up in trouble. That's what a lot of community hospitals are facing today, especially as the population ages."

HMC has said its financial troubles were largely due to a high population of patients on government insurance.

Abercrombie’s Solution? Cut them off after 30 days in Hospital

read … Hawaii plans to dump LTC Patients on Mainland

Activists: Out-of State Gay Marriages Now Recognized in Hawaii

SA: "This new law gives (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) couples, as well as straight couples, the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities as those in traditional marriage and it allows them to protect their families in a civil manner," said organizer Tambry Young, a member of Citizens for Equal Rights. "These four couples are here because they want these rights and they want to show their commitment to each other."

Young, who married partner Suzanne King in Massachusetts in 2010, also benefits from the new law, which automatically recognizes their union.

“…First it was reciprocal beneficiaries. Now it's civil unions. The next step will be full marriage equality.” (And the 1993 Broken Trust Hawaii Supreme Court couldn’t be prouder.)

Related: Broken Trust Gang finally Imposes Gay Unions on Hawaii

read … Gay Marriage is Here

Judge Steven Alm's probation program brings change

SA: I started HOPE with 34 offenders on Oct. 1, 2004. I currently supervise more than 1,950 felony probationers, nearly one out of four on Oahu.

How well is HOPE working? The offenders in HOPE are getting arrested for new crimes 55 percent less frequently than those on regular probation. They are also getting their probation revoked 53 percent less often. As a result, they are being sent to 48 percent fewer days in prison….

…. Regular probation costs $1,000 per probationer per year. HOPE costs less than $2,000 per year. But prison in Hawaii costs taxpayers $50,000 per year per offender….

HOPE is not a miracle.

But it does mean public employees working smarter and harder in order to bring swift and certain consequences for the offenders. Along with our partners in the drug treatment community (e.g., Hina Mauka, Salvation Army Addiction Treatment Services, Sand Island Treatment Center, Habilitat and Ho'omau Ke Ola), all of the people who make HOPE work are city, state and federal employees.

That is a great message for all in Hawaii. With the right leadership, government can work and can be effective. All of our partners -- judges, court staff, probation, prosecutors, defense attorneys, sheriffs, corrections, police, and the U.S. Marshals Service -- have stepped up to work smarter and harder. They are committed to doing business a new way, working together to fix our broken probation system.

I applaud all these government workers who are helping to give our probationers a new beginning in their lives….

Related: Judge Steven Alm: Justice Reinvestment and the future of HOPE Probation

read … HOPE Probation

New Law Requires Employers Make Accommodation for TRO Filings

SA: Baker said employers will now be required to provide employees who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse with reasonable accommodations in the work place, such as allowing them an excused day off work to testify in court to obtain a temporary restraining order against their abuser.

Baker cited an instance that spurred her to start drawing up the original bill about two years ago. A Maui woman was released from her job because it was determined she had "too much going on in her life" after she asked permission to receive a fax at work dealing with a temporary restraining order she was filing.

read … Drama

Maoists, Anti-Semites Protest Outside Obama Vacation Hope

SA: The gathering was organized by a local faction of World Can’t Wait, a national activist front group of the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party against alleged crimes by the U.S. government.

Protestors held up signs for a variety of issues, from supporting Wikileaks to ending U.S. support for Israel. Some motorists honked in support, while a few showed their opposition with hand gestures or shouting out the window….

Liz Rees, a World Can’t Wait organizer, (RCP Front Group) said the group wanted to focus on torture because Obama has not kept his campaign promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. (The Maoists are PO-ed because Obama didn’t hire them to run the camp. They have lots of experience.)

Robert Stiver, 68, of Pearl City, carried a handwritten sign that said, “Stop enabling zionist Israel’s genocidal oppression of the Palestinians.”

He said he has opposed U.S. support of Israel since taking Arabic language and culture courses as a young man ….

read … Anti-Israel Since 1960?

Snobs Suppress New Years Celebrations

Franchette Ilovino, 14, previously used ground spinner fireworks and sparklers to celebrate with her family. "It's kind of like boring now," she said. "I can't really have that much fun like I used to, just popping. I really don't know what else to do, but just eat."

Albert Abellanosa, 45, of Lohilani Street said he understood how it could be frustrating for Filipinos who he said have a penchant for fireworks at New Year's.

"It's a tradition to these people," said Abellanosa, who is Filipino. "Everybody wants to get loud for New Year. What's new if (it's) only silent? You have to mean it."

On Gulick Avenue, Cross Martinez was grilling shrimp at his uncle's house, where about 20 people were gathering. He said the family usually spends about $1,000 on fireworks, but spent only about $250 for this new year because of the law.

"It sucks," said Martinez, whose daughter likes to use the novelty fireworks. "We're still celebrating, but without the fireworks it's not as good."

read … Fireworks law leads to quieter revelry

Medical miracle

SA: Audrey Toguchi's faith through cancer buoyed her spirits, as well as the cause of St. Damien….

read … Medical miracle

'Lost Kingdom': How Hawaii became part of U.S.

Expansionism, Manifest Destiny, imperialism — no matter what you call it, its just another example of politically correct revisionism ….

read … Some more PC Drivel

Two Hawaii Ships On Most Endangered List

Falls of ClydeFalls of Clyde (Honolulu) – Launched in Scotland in 1878, the iron-hulled, four-masted Falls of Clyde is the only surviving oil tanker powered by sail in the world. The ship also served as a general cargo vessel under the ownership of the Matson Navigation Company, which today operates container vessels on runs between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Donated to the Bishop Museum in 1968, the vessel was ignored until 2008, when the museum said it would sink the National Historic Landmark as a reef for divers. That same year, a preservation group purchased the ship, and it is attempting to restore Falls of Clyde with limited funds, though the vessel’s hull is in very poor condition.

Kula KaiKula Kai (Honolulu) – Developed by Hawaiian fisherman for local waters, the “aku” or “sampan” type fishing boat is one of only two boat designs indigenous to Hawaii (the other is a canoe), and the Kula Kai is last remaining boat in this style. In 2010, the Coast Guard pulled its certification for the vessel, and the wooden ship now languishes at a Honolulu wharf. According to local media, the owners are willing to sell the boat to a non-profit for preservation, but they would also like to work her again in the seas around Hawaii. [Local TV report.]

SA: Isle vessels make list of endangered U.S. ships

read … Most Endangered

NYT: China's Shaky Economic Foundation

The Wukan incident reveals the shaky foundation of China’s rise to economic super power: it is built upon an unresolved land struggle with hundreds of millions of lives in the balance. Anything that negatively alters the quality of life of China’s rural majority has the potential to impact the already fragile global economy, sending ripples across the world.

As I have seen first-hand during nearly 30 years of research in rural China, land grabs have been central to China’s economic “miracle.” Local governments take over land for real estate development, industrial expansion, roads, dams and power plants.

Having government and party connections to get a hold of prime real estate in urban cores and suburban fringes has enabled massive fortunes in property development. Eight out of China’s top 10 billionaires made their fortunes through land grabs.

Similar land grabs have occurred in China’s rural hinterlands where there is little oversight by the central government. Of the 1.1 million hectares taken away in 2011, according to China’s State Council, 700,000 were transferred illegally. The result is the complete loss of land for approximately 75 million peasants, who join the over 200 million rural residents migrating around China daily in search of work.

read … China's Shaky Economic Foundation


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