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Saturday, January 21, 2012
January 21, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:56 PM :: 7426 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Abercrombie: State Ready to Negotiate Further with HSTA

HB127: Legislature to Force Doctors, Hospitals to Provide Abortion Pill?

VIDEO: House GOP Caucus Discusses 2012 Legislative Package

Marumoto Legislation to Include Two Snake Bills

Farm to School Program Introduced by Rep. Cynthia Thielen 

Feds: HSTA Contract Rejection is a Big Step in the Wrong Direction

SA: When asked Friday morning by state Rep. Gene Ward in a House Finance Committee meeting whether the Race grant was in greater danger because of the contract rejection, Matayoshi said the situation creates another "hurdle" for the state's education reform initiatives, which have been plagued by delays.

The U.S. Department of Education declined comment on the rejection of the contract but pointed the Star-Advertiser to a previous comment from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in which he congratulated Hawaii for reaching a tentative agreement.

"They took a big step in the right direction" with the deal, Duncan told Education Week earlier this month. "But there's still a lot of hard work to go there." (In other words, Duncan is now saying that rejection of the contract is a big step in the WRONG direction.)

read … Governor stands firm on school reforms

Teachers Feared Undefined Evaluations

KHON: Others wanted to know more about possible evaluations.

"Three pilot years where the department would work with the teachers on the various aspects of the evaluation and we would bring the data back and meet. See what was working. Is it reliable? Is it not?" said Matayoshi.

Other teachers wondered how you would measure success in such different classroom settings, from traditional math, to special education, to English second language.

Superintendent Matayoshi said it would take a dynamic evaluation process to cover the diverse things teachers do and to help them improve.

"I think one of the things we really want to shift is looking at evaluation as somehow just a gotcha. We're trying to use evaluation to get rid of teachers. And we cannot, we cannot fire our way to the top,” said Matayoshi.

What will the Hawaii State Teacher's Association's next move be? One teacher has a suggestion.

"I would like to see more transparency and openness. I would like to have more details,” said Little.

read … Bye-Bye RTTT

SA: Mayoral Race cannot Be Single-Issue

SA: As much as this has dominated city politics, these candidates, as well as anyone else entering the race, are asking the voters for a job that will last a full, four-year term. Rail is a central, even predominant issue, but simply favoring or opposing it can't be the sole criterion for voter judgment.

Cayetano took care to avoid at least the appearance of being a one-issue candidate in his announcement on Thursday, and he pledges next week to begin outlining his plans for a range of city projects, such as the city's sewage and secondary treatment plant upgrades, road maintenance and other priorities.

We'll hold him to that pledge — and expect his rivals similarly to come forward with their plans for Honolulu's future.

The city faces enormous challenges in the coming years, not the least of which is a blueprint for managing its unfunded liabilities for its retired workforce. Balancing that responsibility against the creation of tax policy that provides adequate resources for city operations without weighing too heavily on the payers of property taxes is crucial, especially at this point in a fragile economic recovery.

Regardless of an individual candidate's position on rail, each needs to articulate a vision on how transportation can be developed to serve the needs of Oahu residents, one that meshes well with a concept of urban growth, density and land use.

That's what voters need to hear between now and November — not more of the same single-issue rhetoric that, up to this point, has overwhelmed all else.

SA: Abercrombie Declines to Saddle Either Candidate With his Endorsement – both Abercrombie and Carpenter believe this will not be a single-issue race

read … A guide to Campaign Messaging

Supreme Court Rejects Motion to Reconsider Reapportionment Case

CB: the commission staff attorney said no law was violated because the commission didn’t meet to come up with the decision to file the motions. Instead he filed on their behalf. The motions were later rejected by the Supreme Court….

(Now the only hope is to go to federal court. If this is going to happen, it must happen now.)

SA: New data will come too late for redistricting fixes

read … No Consideration

68% Say Hold Line on Spending, Taxes

What should be the 2012 Legislature's top priority?

  • A. Hold line on taxes and spending (68%, 591 Votes)
  • C. Improve business climate (16%, 144 Votes)
  • B. Protect social safety net programs (11%, 99 Votes)
  • D. Other (5%, 41 Votes)

read … Polling Results

HB2103: Crony Capitalist State Bank of Hawaii Now Pitched as ‘Solution’ to Foreclosures

SA: One, House Bill 1875, was drafted by a task force that submitted a report to the Legislature last month recommending numerous revisions to the law.

The task force suggests that the law specify about 20 violations that would constitute unfair or deceptive acts subject to invalidation of a foreclosure sale.

The other, House Bill 2018, proposes other changes to the unfair or deceptive acts language in the law.

Two other House bills -- HB 1862 and HB 1863 -- propose technical changes to parts of the law.

Three bills address foreclosure not directly related to Act 48.

House Bill 2033 would prohibit lender agents from repossessing a home unless it is abandoned for more than 30 days in nonjudicial foreclosure cases. The bill also would impose stiff penalties if lender agents breach a loan modification agreement or use knowingly false evidence in a home foreclosure proceeding.

House Bill 2019 would prohibit lenders from trying to have a borrower pay for the difference between what they owe on their mortgage and what a property sells for at a judicial foreclosure auction or a short sale before foreclosure.

Perhaps the most unorthodox bill is House Bill 2103, which would have the state become a sort of home mortgage lender by establishing the Bank of the State of Hawaii.

The bill proposes using state general funds to buy troubled mortgages at a discount, then sell the home back to its occupant for less than the occupant owed on the original mortgage but more than the state paid. If the occupant can't afford repurchasing the home, the state bank could rent it to the occupant for fair market value.

(So the State Bank will be founded on loans to people who don’t pay their bills. This is the kind of thinking which demonstrates the complete incompetence of the Legislature to run bank.)

read … State Bank of Hawaii

 

Council Race: Manahan, Mizuno Play Chicken

CB: Hawaii House Vice Speaker Joey Manahan (left) and Rep. John Mizuno (right) both say they’re considering a run for the Honolulu City Council seat that will become vacant when Romy Cachola finishes his second term this year.

But each will only take the plunge if the other does not.

read … Chicken

Three Republicans, one Democrat to Run for Hawaii Council Dist 9

Oliver "Sonny" Shimaoka, a pastor and longtime Big Island resident, said he has considered seeking political office for years, after growing concerned about increasing divisiveness in Hawaii County.

"There doesn't seem to be any kind of continuity or solidarity, harmony or collaboration," Shimaoka said Friday. "I'd like to build some kind of cohesiveness, not us versus them."

County Council members should represent the entire island, not just one district, in their actions, he said. As in Hawaiian culture, when residents of one district would pool their resources to help residents of another district during hard times, Shimaoka said he wants to see county residents helping each other in times of need.

"I don't know if that's idealistic thinking," he said.

District 9 includes Waimea, Kohala and Waikoloa.

He said he plans to limit his activities as pastor of New Hope Waimea Christian Fellowship during his campaign and his term in office if elected. His congregation supports his decision to run for office, he said….

Other likely candidates for the District 9 seat include former Councilman Leningrad Elarionoff-R, Margaret Wille-D and William Sanborn-R. Candidates may officially file their nomination papers beginning Feb. 1.

read … Idealistic Thinking

Fired Hawaii County Elections Worker Sues for $500K

HTH: The county's lease agreement for the roughly 2,000-square-foot space includes two designated parking stalls in a lot containing about a dozen parking spots. The lot is secured with a heavy-duty gate when the building, which includes other tenants, is closed.

Hong insisted that no alcohol consumption occurred within the county's two parking stalls — he had asked both his clients and the investigator to confirm that claim — and that use of the other private stalls for a party didn't constitute "county property."

Full bottles of beer found within the warehouse were left by party attendees, while those discovered in a refrigerator had been there for at least two years because Shikuma "forgot to throw them out," Hong said.

Also, empty beer bottles inside the warehouse belonged to Shikuma, who was "waiting to take them to the redemption center," Hong said.

One of Hilo's largest redemption centers is located on Makaala Street a few blocks from the elections warehouse.

As for the alleged business activity, Hong said Shikuma closed his business and removed the company's name from the phone book before becoming a county employee.

County clerks, council chairs and other officials knew Shikuma used the warehouse to store printing equipment, which he used to make official county T-shirts, signs and banners for free, Hong said.

"Mr. Shikuma did do some small jobs for friends, who were also former clients, on his machines, on his own time and only charged costs and his time," Hong said, adding that work occurred in June 2006, December 2007 and January 2010. (Maybe Billy Kenoi will make these beer & t-shirt guys ‘exhibit A’ in his campaign against Dominic Yagong.)

News Release: Terminated election employees claim damages of $500,000 each

read … Parties, Beer Bottles, and a T-Shirt Factory

Senate approves nomination of Mimi DesJardins as district court judge

SA: The state Senate unanimously approved today the nomination of Mimi DesJardins, a private attorney specializing in family law and criminal defense, as a new district court judge on Maui.

She succeeds Judge Rhonda Lai Loo, who was confirmed as a Circuit Court judge last year.

read … Approved

Bingo for Nonprofits?

CB: That’s what House Bill 1825 calls for….House Speaker Calvin Say introduced the bill “by request,” meaning we’re not exactly sure whose idea it is.

read … Bingo for Nonprofits?

Anti-Superferry Protester: “Acts by a legislative body are exempt from HEPA."

Brad Parsons: In the Jan. 13 Viewpoint on plastic bags, the writer questions whether an environmental impact statement is required for a plastic bag ban. On the Mainland, state Environmental Quality Acts have required what they call EIRs (environmental impact reports), but the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act does not require an EIS for plastic bag bans.

Furthermore, in Hawaii the case law is that "acts by a legislative body are exempt from HEPA." See Mogilefsky v. County of Maui. There is no EIS required for plastic bag bans in Hawaii.

Forestry: $2M to Large Landowner for Tree Planting

read … they can’t keep track of their lies

House Labor Wants Salary, Names To Remain Public

CB: But committee recommends excluding educational background and hiring dates of government employees….

read … Public, unless amended further

Unwilling to Arrest Ritte, Police, Coast Guard Clear Businesses from Kaunakakai Harbor

KITV: While county officials said rules allowing the ship to dock will be enforced, businesses at the wharf said they're being forced out.

Photos taken at the dock at Kaunakakai Harbor show how state and county officials are prepared to make sure the American Safari Cruises tour ship makes it into port this time.

Read … Just Arrest Ritte

Runway options would halt Mainland flights for weeks

MN: More details are surfacing about state Department of Transportation alternatives for repairing Kahului Airport's 70-year-old main runway.

Those include the costs of the three options being considered and the amount of time the runway would be closed to wide-bodied jets in each alternative.

Plans for a major overhaul of the runway stemmed from a 2009 notice by the Federal Aviation Administration that federal funds would no longer be available for piecemeal patching of the tarmac.

read … Maui Tourism Shut Down

Dope Grower Gets 10 years for Guns, Explosives

KITV: According to the Hawaii Prosecutor's office, 39-year-old Christopher Robinson was arrested on Nov. 4, 2011 from his Pahoa home after police found 131 marijuana plants, 470 grams of marijuana, a rifle with ammunition and an improvised explosive device while serving a search warrant.

Robinson has an extensive prior criminal record and was prohibited from owning a firearm.

read … Doper

Officers sentenced in Afghanistan bribery probe

AP: The U.S. Department of Defense said retired Sgt. Charles Finch, of Mililani, Hawaii, received a 51-month sentence Thursday and Sgt. Major Gary Canteen, of Delaware, received a 31-month sentence Friday.

The two men pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in August.

Federal prosecutors say Finch and Canteen agreed to accept money from AZ Corporation in return for recommending the company for a contract to transport goods to U.S. soldiers and coalition forces throughout Afghanistan. The bribe was put into a bank account Canteen maintained for a souvenir shop he owned in Hawaii.

read … Bribery


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