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Wednesday, March 07, 2012
March 7, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:52 PM :: 2861 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party
 

Lingle Campaign: Hirono Rhetoric Embarrassing Hawaii

Super Tuesday: Romney Wins 6, Santorum 3, Gingrich 1

HB2227 Fake Hawaii Birth Certificate: Allows Male to Claim Female Without Surgery

Hawaii lawsuit shows civil unions help redefine marriage

Trustees See Dollar Signs as Kakaako Settlement Passes Senate

Emergency Repairs to Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei School Flooded

New voting districts retain incumbent pairings

SA: A final vote on proposals for the redistricting plans is set for Thursday.

The new maps make some changes from a proposal presented last week but still place seven pairs of incumbents in the same districts — six in the House, one in the Senate.

The commission reviewed the House maps after a dissident faction of House Demo­crats accused it of gerrymandering by drawing new districts favorable to Speaker Calvin Say.

The dissident faction, which has been trying to oust Say as speaker, said new districts placed more of their members in races against other incumbents and inserted more of their members into districts with large numbers of constituents new to them.

Nonaka dismissed that criticism, saying, "That should not be the goal or purpose of redistricting — to preserve as many voters as possible for an incumbent."

Dissidents say they plan to study the latest maps in detail and that they continue to weigh all options, including a lawsuit. The commission rejected a proposal dissidents submitted.

read … Still Unconstitutional

350 Ward: Prominent Local Lawyer Controls Building Full of Massage Parlors

HR: The property under 350 Ward Avenue is owned by Victoria Ward Centers, a prominent Hawaii company that owns land under several shopping centers, theatres and restaurants in the Honolulu area.

A company controlled by prominent Hawaii lawyer Rick Fried has held the master lease for the building since the 1980s and subleases to a number of small businesses, including Rappongi, Golden Queen and Pink through his property manager, Nelson Jones….

local and federal law enforcement have made several busts at 350 Ward Avenue in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011, according to police records and personal stories, the relaxation parlors continue to operate openly.

HR: Vaimili Case Exposes Ugly, Violent World of Sex Trafficking in Honolulu

read … About how & why this stuff never gets shut down

Prosecutor: Do proper groundwork before bringing prisoners back to isles

Kaneshiro: JRI's recommendations relied on these findings:

  • » Crime and victimization rates had declined 18 percent from 1997 to 2010.
  • » The state's prison and jail population rates grew by 18 percent.
  • » Inmates released on parole declined by 6 percent.
  • » Offenders who didn't go to prison were spending longer amounts of time being supervised on probation.
  • » Offenders sent to jail and prison were spending longer times there.

The last four findings were actually major contributors to the lower crime and victimization rates. Yet among JRI's recommendations is a mandate that releases inmates from prison to parole, or supervision outside of prison. Further, if the parole board brings back a parolee for violating conditions of parole, it cannot keep that offender in prison for longer than six months.

read … Kaneshiro

Civil Beat Poll - 44% of Honolulu Voters Perceive Bias in Rail Coverage

CB: The Civil Beat Poll asked voters to grade the performance of the agency responsible for the rail project, but it also asked voters about the performance of local media.

Thirty-six percent of likely voters said rail coverage has been fair. But a larger group, 44 percent said it had been biased, with 12 percent saying it was biased against the project and 32 percent saying it was biased for the project. Twenty percent of voters were unsure.

The question we asked was, "What do you think about local media coverage of the rail project? Has it generally been fair or biased?"

CB: Cb february 2012 poll results media

read … Only 44%?

Less Pressure for Tax Hikes: Council on Revenues increases growth forecast to 12%

PBN: The Hawaii Council on Revenues has increased its revenue growth projection for the fiscal year ending June 30 by 0.5 percent to 12 percent.

It also raised its forecasts for revenue growth for the next several fiscal years.

The Council projected that in fiscal year 2013 the growth will be 7.5 percent, up from 6.5 percent. And the council expects a 4 percent increase in revenues for 2014.

HR: Council on Revenues Increases State's Economic Forecast by Half Percent

SA: Legislators' focus pivots on revenue projections--If the numbers drop, lawmakers will have to shift attention to balancing the budget

read … Less Pressure for More Taxes

Linda Lingle, Hawaii GOP Senate Candidate, Comes Out Against Blunt Amendment

HuffPo: "If the Hirono camp had done its homework, it would have known that Governor Lingle and Mazie Hirono share the same position on the Blunt Amendment -- neither supports the broadly crafted language of the amendment," he wrote. "But this is where the comparison stops. Governor Lingle knows it hurts the state of Hawaii to make the kind of personal attacks Hirono has made against United States Senator Roy Blunt."

Lingle recently said that she would like to be a moderate lawmaker in the mold of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who will not be seeking reelection in 2012.

Snowe voted against the Blunt Amendment. She was the only Republican to do so, although Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) -- who is also considered to be one of the GOP senators most supportive of access to abortion services -- said on Sunday that she regretted voting for it.

In 2006, Lingle signed a pro-abortion rights bill removing a "90-day residential requirement for women seeking an abortion in Hawaii and a requirement that all abortions be performed only in a hospital."

ILind: Blunt headlines Lingle fundraiser a week after attack on women’s health (She touched somebody who touched somebody who said something once—therefore GUILTY!)

Related: Lingle Campaign: Hirono Rhetoric Embarrassing Hawaii, Lingle Salutes Retiring Sen Olympia Snowe

read … Lingle Moderate

Rush Listeners Complain to KPUA

“Apparently, we were the first (only) in the country to cancel and it has generated a fair amount of national attention, which was certainly not our intent, and we have received a ton of feedback on both sides of the issue over the past several hours,” he noted. “We’ve heard a lot from Rush listeners who are disappointed in our decision and we’ve also heard from a lot of people who are very happy about the decision.”

On Wednesday, Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congressional Democrats in favor of their national health care policy that would require her Jesuit school’s health plan to cover birth control.

read … KPUA

Hawaii Republicans ‘Excited’ About March 13 Caucuses

WT: The one word that that was on the lips of nearly every Hawaii Republican I spoke to regarding the March 13 caucus was "excited."

"I am very excited for the upcoming caucus and I think it puts more power into the hands of voters and allows people to actually see their neighbors, friends and everybody showing up in a public place to have their vote heard," Honolulu resident Russell McGuire said proudly.

"As for the presidential race, I have made my mind up. I'm planning on voting for the only fiscal conservative, the only one who is talking about monetary reform, which is my biggest issue – and that's Ron Paul."

Local entrepreneur Chris Wong was also extremely excited about the upcoming caucus. "It's been a long time coming, I'm happy they're actually doing it now," he said.

"I really like Romney and I always liked Paul. I am leaning towards Romney though," Wong continued. "I am a businessman, and I do believe even though I describe myself as a conservative that there needs to be a bit of moderate thoughts and ideals going into the national stage, especially since we have what I consider a president that is extreme left in regards to my ideals."

"I believe we need to bring it back towards the center-right. We also need someone who has the credentials—and I'm someone who believes that actions speak louder than words—and Romney really does have the good business background that can go towards saving our economy and getting our country back on track."

Ryan Markham, a Honolulu resident and graduate of the local William S. Richardson School of Law was equally upbeat. "This is very exciting," he said. "It helps energize a lot of Republicans to get out their vote and support the candidate they prefer. It energizes the base a whole lot more than if we had not had this and hopefully, we'll see a surge in Republican voting this upcoming election."

"I was leaning pretty heavily Newt at first," he explained. "I thought he was doing a great job in the debates hitting all the key issues, but since then I think I’m seeing Romney emerging as the frontrunner and he seems pretty wonderful. He just has a very presidential look and feel about him. I'm not 100% onboard with his policies, I think I tend to agree even with someone like Ron Paul more than Romney, but Romney is the strongest candidate against Obama, so for that reason I'm probably going to vote for him."

HR: Veterans from Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui Counties Support Fellow Veteran Ron Paul

read … Republicans Excited

Hawaii Democrats to Hold Presidential Poll

CB: It’s set for Wednesday (March 7) evening at designated precincts around the state. The choices for the Presidential Preference Poll are Barack Obama or uncommitted.

read … Democratic Caucuses

Put time limit on short-term hires

SA: When is an 89-day temporary job contract not a temporary job contract? In Hawaii, it's when the contract gets extended time and time again for the same government worker, sometimes to the tune of 10 or 11 years. This practice has allowed some government retirees to keep their union pensions and generous medical benefits intact, while picking up lucrative "short-term" contracts that extend for years. Like cases of overtime "spiking" near the end of a career to boost pension pay, this is another galling example of gaming the system that needs to be limited.

read … Star-Adv Editorial

Governor, union leaders, to Control State Bank ‘Green’

HR: Most of us have heard of the store, Abercrombie and Fitch, and of course, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, but what about the Bank of Abercrombie?

House Bill 1033, which, according to House Minority Leader Gene Ward, recently had its contents “gutted and replaced” by House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro, would create a state bank that would put Gov. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, as its chairman.

The bank would actually be called the Clean Economy Bank of the State of Hawaii. There would be six other members on the board, including two appointees by Gov. Abercrombie, one by House Speaker Calvin Say, D-Palolo, and another by Senate President Shan Tsutsui, D-Maui.

Bankers and businesses and Republicans in the legislature would have no representation on the state bank’s politically appointed board of directors, but union leaders from the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Federation would get to appoint one member each.

The bill, which passed the House Finance committee on Friday, March 2, and is expected to pass the final reading in the House, would deposit money from the state general fund into the state bank.

The state taxpayers would guarantee the funds….

Related: Hawaii Credit Unions: State Bank ‘Enormous Risk’ to General Fund

read … State Bank ‘Green’

DOE must upgrade thinking and implement laptop plan

Shapiro: I feel bad when my 15-year-old grandson trudges off to high school with a backpack heavy with textbooks, notebooks and other school supplies.

I lifted it to hand to him, and it must have weighed 40 pounds.

I told him, "When your sister (now 8) is your age, all she'll carry is a 1-pound tablet computer that holds all of her textbooks, notebooks, lessons and calculators."

Well, maybe not after the Department of Education chokes the idea in red tape….

The DOE said a laptop for every student would take a decade to implement and cost up to $63 million a year — and then $50 million a year more to sustain.

There's no question computers for all would be expensive; a measure in the state House for a $1 million pilot project involving 1,500 students would cost $666 per student, translating to $113 million for the state's 170,000 students.

What's baffling is how DOE gets from there to 10 years, $600 million and counting.

It appears DOE's thinking is led by information technology people instead of educators, and techs are stuck on complex Windows and Mac notebooks that require intense training and large-scale technical support to deal with endless things that go wrong with PC hardware and software. (CONTRACTS!)

read … Upgrade

MD: Death with dignity bill goes against medical ethics

MN: I am not in favor of this bill. This goes against my medical ethics and duty to my patients. -- Reginald G. Buesa, M.D., Kahului

read … Physician

Dopers Want Medicated Marijuana for ‘Pain’

HTH: A bill that would make chronic pain a qualifying condition under Hawaii’s medical marijuana law has been passed by the state Senate, while another that would eliminate chronic pain as a qualifying condition is dead for this year’s legislative session.

Senate Bill 2262, which would make medical marijuana part of the “pain patients bill of rights” in state law passed its third and final required reading by the full Senate on Tuesday, the “cross over” deadline. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.

“If we can get this measure regarding the pain patient’s bill of rights (passed into law), that would be progress,” Sen. Will Espero, a Leeward Oahu Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said Tuesday….

Meanwhile, House Bill 1963, which would eliminate chronic pain as a qualifying condition, unless it is associated with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s Disease, died without a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill, written by NED, which administers the state’s medical marijuana program, had the support of Hawaii’s law enforcement officials, who contend that its passage would have closed loopholes that create abuse of the medical marijuana law….

read … Medicated Marijuana

House Passes "Official Microbe" Bill

HR: A bill that would recognize an “official microbe” of the state of Hawaii was passed by the House of Representatives today.

No other state in the union has officially adopted a germ.

Wisconsin lawmakers tried in 2010 to recognize a microbe found in cheese, but never managed to pass the legislation.

HB2079 would adopt a bacterium called Nesiotobacter exalbescens Neil Abercrombie as Hawaii’s official microbe.

read … About the Legislature’s Effort to Honor Neil Abercrombie

HGEA announces endorsement of Mufi Hannemann for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2

News Release: The HGEA State Board of Directors has approved the HGEA State Political Action Committee’s recommendation to endorse Mufi Hannemann for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2 and Billy Kenoi for Hawaii County Mayor.

SA: Two of a kind--Hannemann and Kenoi get support of HGEA

read … Mufi

Hearing scheduled on Hawaii employee overpayment

AP: Hawaii's Senate Special Committee on Accountability has scheduled a hearing in response to an investigation that found the state overpaid employees by more than $2 million.

Some reasons for the overpayments include failure to report employee terminations, reduced hours and leave without pay in a timely manner.

The committee will consider two resolutions requesting that the State Auditor conduct a financial and management audit of state agencies to assess the scope of the overpayments to public employees.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/07/4318591/hearing-scheduled-on-hawaii-employee.html#storylink=cpy

read … Funny, they never Under-Pay

DoE Hires Private Investigator to Look into Waipahu Molestation Charges

SA: The state will hire an investigator to look into concerns over how Wai­pahu High School administrators responded, including reportedly failing to call police, after a student told them she had been sexually assaulted by her coach.

Schools Superintendent Kathryn Mata­yo­shi told the Board of Education on Tuesday that the investigator will also look into "the underlying actions of the coach." Mata­yo­shi said the findings will be used to determine whether revisions to policies or procedures are needed.

"We're looking at what happened. Is there something that we need to change?" Mata­yo­shi said after the meeting Tuesday. She said the DOE is hiring an investigator because "we want to make it a top priority." It's not yet clear how much the investigation will cost, when it will begin or how long it will take, she said.

Matayoshi said the department's practice in such cases is to hire an outside investigator to move quickly and to ensure an independent inquiry….

The Waipahu High student's father said the department's decision to hire an investigator is a "little late" for his daughter. But he said that if the investigation helps other kids, then he supports it. "We have a system that needs to be fixed," he said.

The student reportedly told Wai­pahu High officials in October that Tamura had sexually assaulted her three times over a two-year period, beginning when she was 15.

Her father has said the school did not call police following the allegations. Administrators instead conducted an internal investigation and found the coach had not done anything wrong, a letter to the family from Wai­pahu Principal Keith Haya­shi said. Tamura continued to oversee his accuser at practices, even after he had been arrested and had appeared in court.

Where is the investigator for this? No Gag Order in Hawaii Blind-Deaf School Homosexual Rape Gang Case

read … Investigate the DoE

 

 

Hawaii Air National Guard to cut personnel numbers

 

KHON: Hawaii's Air National Guard will be impacted by military cutbacks happening nationwide. There are about 2,500 Air National Guard members in Hawaii.

With the Air Force budget cuts, Hawaii will lose about 30 of those positions….

Nationwide, about 5,100 Air National Guard positions are being cut starting in the next fiscal year.

read … Hawaii Air National Guard to cut personnel numbers

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comment By Hawaii Free Press @ Sunday, May 06, 2012 1:46 PM
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