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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
January 18, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:28 PM :: 10037 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Hawaii March for Life Jan 22

Do-Over Sought In Hawaii Reapportionment Case

Rep Gene Ward: We Need to Brag About Hawaii

HSTA Contract: Little Room for Error, Lots of Missing Details

FULL TEXT: Justice Reinvestment Working Group Policy Recommendations

Governor Appoints Carmen ‘Hulu’ Lindsey to OHA Board of Trustees

Senate Democrats Set Priorities for the 2012 Legislative Session

HSTA Outlines Plans to Control Teacher Accountability

CB: One selling point for this evaluation, she says, is that HSTA will be involved in designing and approving it. (Stop right there. If RTTT funds are not yanked, the entire program is a fraud.)

“The PATH evaluations that some of us remember and the current PEP-T evaluations were not something we had anything to do with,” she says.

But HSTA did in fact participate in work groups for both the PATH and PEP-T….

HSTA secretary/treasurer Joan Lewis tells teachers that evaluations were in no way a concession to Race to the Top, but a recognition that professionals deserve regular feedback.

“Professionals are treated professionally, and one of the things that professionals are entitled to is feedback on a regular basis,” she says. “We have had our own concerns about the previous evaluation used by the Department of Education.

“One of those concerns was that an evaluation every five years — particularly if our salary increments align to that — is not a way to treat professionals….

Okabe shared that HSTA plans to negotiate the impact of a longer school year….“IN order for the state or Department of Education to increase any minutes, or increase any school year, it has to have compensation,” he said. There is a memorandum of understanding in the proposed contract to discuss those things in the future….

HSTA leaders are now taking questions from their audience — both live at the Hawaii Convention Center and from the live stream online.

“What is the worst that could happen if we vote ‘no’?” asked one.

Lewis said it would signal to the state that teachers don’t appreciate being treated as professionals.

Vice President Karolyn Mossman said the state would likely not return to negotiations if teachers reject this agreement….

Okabe tells teachers that Race to the Top played a significant role in getting the union and state back to bargaining.

The catalyst? Not just the letter from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, but a letter from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye.

CB: HSTA Agrees To Withdraw Labor Board Complaint If Members Ratify Contract

read … All About How HSTA plant to turn Accountability into an automatic pay raises

Cayetano confirms he is running for Honolulu mayor

PBN: Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano confirmed on Tuesday that he will run for mayor of Honolulu this year, setting up a three-way race that could determine the future of the city’s $5.1 billion rail project.

“I’m going to make the [formal] announcement in the next few days. Yeah, I’m going to do it,” Cayetano told PBN. “I never expected to run for this office.”

Cayetano, a Democrat, said he is working to set up a press conference on Thursday to formally announce his candidacy for the non-partisan primary on Aug. 11….

HR: Former Governor Cayetano Will Run for Honolulu Mayor in 2012

read … Cayetano Mayor, Abercrombie Governor

Construction Alliance endorses Hannemann

SA: The Alliance is comprised of the Operating Engineers, along with the Hawaii Laborers' Union, Local 368, Hawaii Masons' Union, Local 1 and Local 630, and Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, formerly the Hawaii Carpenters Union. Their endorsement was announced at a rally in Kapolei.

Hannemann is running in the race against Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard and former Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chief Advocate Esther Kiaaina

read … No Surprise Here

Kaneshiro: "These guys don't want supervision. They are dangerous. You've got to keep them incarcerated"

CB: The PowerPoint presentation was at about the halfway mark when Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro decided he couldn't sit quietly anymore.

Responding to a slide that suggested some sentenced felons could be released under supervision before the end of their prison term, Kaneshiro said, "These guys don't want supervision. They are dangerous. You've got to keep them incarcerated."

Perceived threats to public safety, it seems, is one of the hurdles of implementing the recommendations of the "Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii" analysis….

Kaneshiro, a member of the Justice Reinvestment — or JRI — working group, is not opposed to everything in the report, which can be viewed here. But he made it clear that he will oppose legislation he thinks would harm public safety.

Kaneshiro's concerns are shared by others in the working group, including county prosecutors, parole officials and at least one state senator, Republican Sam Slom.

"Sometimes we get caught up in statistics and saying that only a few individuals are likely to reoffend," said Slom. "From the public's position, they will reoffend. That's why the public gets so frustrated when someone with 75 priors is still doing the same thing."

read … JRI cover for Soft on Crime?

Justice Reinvestment Could Cut Number of Mainland Prisoners

CB: If Hawaii can increase efficiency in its prison system, reduce recidivism rates and ensure accountability in parole supervision, the number of Hawaii prisoners incarcerated in Arizona could drop from 1,750 today to fewer than 600 by the year 2018.

That comes from “Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii” analysis that was presented this morning (Jan. 17) at the Capitol.

HR: State Unveils Plan To Reduce Prison, Jail Populations

read … How To Bring Arizona Prisoners Home

Hawaii Pension System Proposes New OT Rules

CB: Machida said that between 2008 and 2010, pension spiking has added an estimated $39.6 million to the ERS' unfunded liability. An estimated 674 employees have spiked their pensions over the same time period, according to an analysis by the system's actuary.

LINK: ERS pension spiking charts

read … Overtime

Chamber: Avoid Tax Increases During Fragile Economic Times

CB: In an attempt to avoid unnecessary and potentially detrimental burdens upon Hawaii’s business community, the Chamber will support efforts to mitigate the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax increase, oppose a General Excise Tax (GET) increase and other tax increases, and not support any new workplace mandates and regulations, such as those relating to workers’ compensation….

In addition to possible tax increases, there is HB 466, a bill relating to Worker’s Compensation: Independent Medical Examination (IME). While it is important to have directives in place to protect the health and safety of employees, there must also be consideration of the employers as well. The proposed legislation will undermine the employer’s ability to meaningfully participate in the selection of an independent medication examination physician. In addition, the pool of physicians willing to perform IMEs will shrink drastically. Essentially, this measure will change the way employers and employees voluntarily agree to an IME physician, and increase the cost of workers’ compensation.

HNN: LINK: Hawaii State Legislature Web Site

read … Chamber of Commerce

Legislators Plan Raid on Charter School Funds

CB: There's an account overflowing with money, and the Hawaii Charter School Administrative Office wants to use it to help fund school facilities. But lawmakers have their eye on some of that $5 million for other things.

The account is actually a reservoir in the state treasury for any legislative appropriation to public charter schools, based on projected enrollment, that exceeds the actual enrollment in a given school year. The fund is capped at $5 million. That money is to be used whenever the projected enrollment actually exceeds the legislative appropriation in a given year.

But the over-projected enrollment fund is overflowing its $5 million cap, which means any excess is redirected back to the state's general fund.

read … Charter Schools

Laupahoehoe Charter Conversion ruling delayed

HTH: Hilo attorney Brian DeLima, the Big Island's representative on the governor-appointed BOE, said Tuesday afternoon that board members opted to render a decision at a later date following an hour of closed deliberations, due to the complicated nature of the issue and the specific wording that would be required in their ruling.

"It needs to be drafted, there needs to be finding of fact, and finding of conclusions," he said. "It can't be done in a short period of time. The members need a chance to review the wording."…

During the testimony portion of the hearing, Laupahoehoe interim board member and Hilo attorney Steven Strauss accused the review panel of trying to revoke the school's charter by delaying the school's opening, according to submitted written testimony.

"By delaying the charter school's opening by 18 months from today, the (Charter School Review Panel) thinks it found a way to revoke that charter, while trying to avoid direct oversight by the Board of Education," he wrote. "If allowed to stand, this delay is the equivalent of revocation."

(If approved, the new HSTA contract eliminates teachers loss of seniority with charter conversion. Thais had been a key issue.)

read … Laupahoehoe

OHA Salaries Posted Online

CB: OHA is spending a total of $8.9 million on salaries for its 150 employees this year.

OHA's nine-member board of trustees, who are elected by Hawaii voters, saw their salaries increase 3.5 percent to $55,440 on July 1, the start of the 2012 fiscal year. The chairperson's salary also went up 3.5 percent to $63,204….

OHA's highest paid employee is its CEO, a position that pays $129,000. Long-time CEO Clyde Namuo retired Dec. 31, and Chief Operating Officer Richard Pezzulo has been named interim CEO as the organization searches for a permanent replacement….

Below is a searchable database of all OHA employees for the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. You can search by first and last name, department, job title, salary range and year.

read … OHA Salaries

Rep. Fontaine Briefs Rotary on Maui Issues

MN: He also warned that lowered projections by Hawaii’s Council of Revenues could pack a wallop. The council which projects the figures that lawmakers use to make appropriation recently revised their estimates downward by 3%. “Each percentage point is valued about $40 million, so if they’re right, three points means $120 million less coming in,” he said.

“There is no money tree,” he continued, pointing to Hawaii’s state debt of over $11 billion – or about $25,000 for every Hawaii voter.

Fontaine told his audience that one of the most contentious issues in the last session was the attempt to tax the pensions of senior citizens. He said in the beginning only Republicans were against this measure, but due to aggressive lobbying by AARP and other groups, an increasing number from both parties voiced opposition. In the end, he said, the proposal died when it failed to come out of committee.

read … Fontaine

Time with Kymberly Pine - features the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and NFIB

Representative Kymberly Pine speaks with Jim Tollefson - President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Melissa Teves Pavlicek the NFIB Hawaii State Director
Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp_OhDrnog4

Kenoi OKs bag ban

HTH: Hawaii County has joined its two Neighbor Island counterparts in outlawing businesses' long-standing practice of providing free plastic shopping bags at the checkout line.

"I signed it," Mayor Billy Kenoi said Tuesday regarding one of his most-anticipated actions since becoming the county's chief executive a little more than three years ago….

The new law won't take effect for a year, however, which still will be too soon for many shoppers.

"He got a lot of calls asking him to veto it," said Managing Director William Takaba, who is serving as acting mayor until Kenoi returns.

read … Kenoi Bag Ban

UH Seeks Another $15 Million From Legislature

CB: Money would reward performance in key areas including graduation rates and increased local attendance.

read … Greenwood Wants More Money, Surprise, Surprise

Army to maintain force level in Asia and Pacific, chief of staff says

SA: The Army maintains about 28,500 soldiers in South Korea, 23,000 in Hawaii, 2,700 in Japan and 13,000 in Alaska, according to U.S. Army Pacific.

Hawaii is "critical" to the Army, Odierno said repeatedly, and "the plan right now" is to maintain Stryker armored vehicle, infantry and aviation brigades at Schofield Barracks.

Hawaii is used to "engage throughout the Pacific region, so it's critical to what we do," Odierno said. "It enables us to have forces forward-stationed and it enables us to deploy forces even farther forward if necessary, so it will be critical."

read … Defense

Hawaiian Sees Demand Rise in First Year of Seoul-Honolulu Service

One year after Hawaiian Airlines introduced service between Seoul and Honolulu and brought its distinctive "Hawaii Flies With Us" inflight hospitality to Korea, its impact can be seen in the growth of this developing market for both Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii.

Hawaiian marked the one-year anniversary of its inaugural flight from Seoul to Honolulu on January 14, 2012. The airline introduced more than 50,000 new air seats onto the route in 2011 with four flights per week and saw its average load factor increase to more than 80% in the fourth quarter.

read … Demand

Hawaii’s average credit card debt down 11%

PBN: Hawaii consumers apparently left the plastic at home while holiday shopping, as the state’s average credit card debt in December fell to $7,527, according to new data from CreditKarma.com.

That represented an 11 percent decrease from December 2010, when the average credit card debt was $8,456. Hawaii followed the national trend in that respect — overall consumer credit card debt fell 11 percent in December to an average of $6,576, CreditKarma.com said….

Hawaii consumers had an average home mortgage of $307,508 in December, far higher than $173,876 nationally, and second only to California. Auto-loan debt in Hawaii averaged $15,552, compared to $15,504 nationally, while student loan debt in Hawaii averaged $24,418, compared to $26,272 nationally.

read … Credit

Daily Beast: Honolulu Second Most ‘Tolerant’ City in USA

Hate crime incidents per 100,000 residents: 0.5
State tolerance rank (out of 50): 16
Diversity:

Same-sex couples per 1,000 households: 6.2
White percent of population: 20.8 percent
Black percent of population: 2.0 percent
Asian percent of population: 44.5 percent
Most prevalent religion: Catholic, 17.5 percent

Meet Mr Tolerance: The Atheist Declaration of War on Hawaii Churches

read … anti-family

Honolulu Zoo's elephant exhibit ranked one of ten worst

HNN: It took a year and a-half to build the new elephant enclosure at the Honolulu Zoo. It took one survey from an animal rights organization to rank it in the Bottom Ten of elephant exhibits in the United States.

read … Zoo

Ron Paul to Focus TV Ad Buys on Caucus States

ABC: Flush with cash from a $13 million fundraising haul last quarter, the Paul campaign will focus winning delegates from caucus states, where TV advertising is usually cheaper and it’s easier for independents to vote.

read … Caucus States

Danny DeGracia on Obama and Rejection

WT: Hawaii men pretend to talk to Obama on their cell phones as a means to impress women.
While previous generations of men used dogs at the beach as an accessory for dating, in Hawaii single men have "BlackBerry One" on speed dial to save them from rejection from women, especially since several cell phone apps allow the user to "fake a call" from the President.

It's not an uncommon sight in Hawaii to see men pretending to talk or text Obama in clubs and other social settings. As if that weren't bad enough, prospective candidates for local office all have stories of how they helped Obama become President or knew him when he was little.

read … Reject

Kaneohe Marines Train Afghan Police

When U.S. Marines with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, arrived here in early November, they met an Afghan National Police force primed for development.
Their Afghan National Army counterparts were proficient and ready for transition, but the ANP were ready to grow.
Instead of simply replacing the police mentoring team of their predecessors — fellow Hawaii-based 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment — Kilo’s infantrymen dispersed along an 80-kilometer stretch to partner with ANP at each of the district’s five police precincts.

read … Kaneohe

1893: How NYT Covered Overthrow of Monarchy

CB: Here’s how The New York Times’ 1893 article about the overthrow begins: “The Hawaiian steamer Claudine arrived at this port at 2 o’clock this morning with the news of a revolution at Honolulu. The revolutionists have succeeded in overthrowing the Government of Hawaii, and United States troops have been landed.”

Click here to read the complete article, and check out a screenshot of the page as it appeared (the bold outline is around the article about the overthrow) in 1893:

read … NYT


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