Djou Outlines Strategy for Congressional Race
Challenge to Democratic Party Bosses: Laura Thielen Launches State Senate Campaign
No Natural Gas for Hawaii with Jones Act Ships
Malulani Hospital seeks Mainland Partner
Hawaii Bishop at Vatican, Prays for Courage to Defend Religious Liberty
Akaka Hospitalized over weekend? Misses Key Vote
CB: … his family sought medical attention for him … over the weekend, a spokesman said.
“He was diagnosed with dehydration,” Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said in an email.
… Akaka was one of four senators to miss a key vote in Washington on Monday. Asked if Akaka was hospitalized, Broder Van Dyke said the senator’s family is not releasing any more information …
KHON: Senator Akaka healthy, heading back to D.C.
CB: Akaka Misses Vote on Buffett Rule
read … Akaka Hospitalized
KHON Retracts Story About Inouye Hospitalization
KHON: Senator Daniel Inouye's office says he returns to Washington, D.C. today (Monday) and is perfectly healthy.
Saturday night, KHON2 News reported that Sen. Inouye had been hospitalized at The Queen's Medical Center, when in fact his office says he left Honolulu on Friday.
CB: KHON Story on Inouye Hospitalization False, Spokesman Says
read … KHON?
Hawaii Marines Lead Offensive Against Jihadi Dope Farms
MT: Marines are running heliborne operations and other raids this spring to stem the flow of stored poppy out of the country ahead of the next harvest, said the two-star general overseeing ground operations here.
The interdiction has taken place in several districts of Helmand province, where about 17,000 Marines are deployed. The poppy — used to make heroin and other narcotics — has been confiscated after it leaves the hands of regular farmers, so as not to affect their day-to-day lives.
“Right now, it’s just before the harvest, so whatever they buried and kept from last year has to be moved now [before] the next harvest comes,” said Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, commander of Task Force Leatherneck and 1st Marine Division (Forward). “It’s like corn or wheat or anything else. Opium stores for a very long time under the ground. Every year, it seems to be they have to move that stuff now, before the next harvest comes in.”
read … Raids, helo ops hit Afghan drug smugglers
Election plans move ahead despite pending lawsuit
WHT: Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said state elections officials told her during an April 10 meeting to proceed with the map the reapportionment committee approved that gave Hawaii Island an additional state senator. That map was filed and approved after several Big Island residents challenged an earlier version. The Hawaii Supreme Court upheld Hawaii Island residents’ request to throw out the committee’s first plan, on the grounds that the committee counted nonresident military members. Counting those nonresidents allowed Oahu to retain its current number of senators.
The decision angered many Oahu legislators, where redrawn district lines pitted incumbents against each other.
“We are proceeding according to the latest rendition of the map,” Kawauchi said. “I don’t have any other instructions.”
Her office will be mailing out updated voter registration cards, reflecting the new district boundary lines, in early summer, she said. The yellow cards will inform each voter of voting districts and precinct information for Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 6 general election.
read … Kona Boys Creating Facts
Were Political Signs Printed at Hawaii County Elections Commission Warehouse?
HND: Fired elections division employee Glen Shikuma was the owner of the printing equipment. According to Ted Hong, Shikuma’s printing business was widely known among county officials, because he routinely provided ‘free’ printing services to county employees. (And perhaps candidates???)
It also appears that Shikuma — in his role as a diligent purveyor of free printing services to the county — kept a logbook of his printing operations.
The name “Ashida” is said to appear in Glen Shikuma’s logbook.
Is this the “conflict of interest” which prevented Lincoln Ashida from performing his lawful duties as Hawaii County’s Corporation Counsel?
Hawaii County Elections Commission: Alcohol, Parties, and Sign panting Business run out of Elections Warehouse
read … Conflict of Interest
Borreca: Solving Natatorium issue could be Governor's legacy
Borreca: Our fanatic interest and support for volleyball is part of the reason Gov. Neil Abercrombie is quietly embarking on one of his most daring plans.
According to a number of sources, Abercrombie is considering rescinding an old executive order to essentially take back the Waikiki Natatorium property.
Both government and private sources say Abercrombie is considering redoing the pool, perhaps replacing it with a sand volleyball court. The area is actually large enough for two courts….
If Abercrombie, who has been a strong supporter of the memorial, jumped into the fray, he would be doing both the city administration and the City Council a major favor. If Abercrombie became the point of conflict for the endless debates on the Natatorium, then the city would have one less controversy to deal with…. (Whereas Abercrombie would have one more, but apparently all those years of smoking marijuana have left The Abercrombie too stupid to figure this out. Borreca is toying with him here. It is funny to watch.)
…if Abercrombie were actually able to bring closure to the controversy, provide the university team with a world-class venue, make ESPN forget the Pro Bowl, (teach pigs to fly) and ignite new tourist interest in Hawaii, it would go a long way toward remaking his own political image.
read … Sucker Bait for The Abercrombie
Hannemann has $631K to Gabbard’s $465K
CB: Hannemann reported having about $631,000 in the bank as of March 31, the end of the quarterly reporting period. Gabbard said she had about $465,000 cash on hand, according to reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
read … CD2 Fund Race
State Refuses to Enact Tax Credits for the Poor
SA: The poverty line's dollar amount is approximately $25,000 income a year for a family of four. It's difficult for many of us to conceive of keeping a family together on this amount. How can they get along, let alone get ahead? For those whose income is near this range, Hawaii tax burdens create added barriers to moving out of poverty and "charges them higher tax bills than all but four other states," says the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities.
Almost half the states — 24 — now offer an earned income tax credit (EITC). The state Legislature has refused to pass a state EITC year after year for more than a decade. A refundable tax credit for working-poor families can give them a boost of income that will go right back into the community, spent on family needs and education savings.
Of course, Hawaii does offer an increasing number of tax credits to corporations and businesses, but they rarely include any required or evaluative measures to assure benefits to Hawaii workers or the local economy. Federal corporate tax loopholes and rebates allow the richest companies to pay no taxes and keep profits and reserves in foreign, tax-free shelters.
read .. Earned Income?
Bill to speed development at rail depots moves ahead
SA: Since the state is a major landowner along the rail line, Dela Cruz said new development could also generate income for the state "so you can lower the taxes, so you can provide services."
"We're the biggest landowner, the state," he said. "So why aren't we looking at it in those terms?"
The bill would allow the City or County Councils to designate "planning districts" in areas earmarked for urban development to encourage transit-oriented developments or "main street" redevelopment projects.
The bill would specifically apply to bus transit stations and rail stations planned for Kapolei, Waipahu, West Loch, Leeward Community College and University of Hawaii at West Oahu.
The City or County Councils would create rules to govern developments in the new planning districts, and developers who propose projects in them would apply to be processed as "exceptional planning projects" under the new rules.
The city Department of Planning and Permitting would have up to 55 days to process an application by a would-be "exceptional" project, and the City Council would have another 45 days to consider the application. These exceptional projects would be exempt from the normal zoning process.
Dela Cruz's plan won support from the city permitting department as well as construction industry advocates such as the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO.
read … TOD Party Time for the Cronies
TEA Party Rally Draws few to Capitol
PR: Tea party inspired protests against taxes and big government had drawn hundreds to the state Capitol in recent years, but on Monday, only a couple of dozen conservatives came out to hear speeches by state Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom and other Republicans.
Related: Honolulu TEA Party Rally April 16
read … Adrienne King and Willes Lee
Star-Adv: Haleiwa Farmers Market Should Move to make Way for State Paper Shufflers
SA: Conflicts over two big issues — land use and liability — are all but inevitable in a state where both can add so much to the cost of doing business. But it doesn't have to be a fight to the death, and it's good to see the state and the owners of the Haleiwa Farmers Market on the path toward a negotiated solution to their particular problem.
For the past three years, the Haleiwa business, one of three farmers markets managed by Pamela Boyar and Annie Suite, has brought vendors of local produce and crafts to a triangular lot at the junction of Kamehameha Highway and Joseph P. Leong Highway, also known as the Haleiwa bypass road. It is bounded on the makai side by the remnant of Kamehameha that was abandoned when the bypass junction was completed.
But it still borders a state highway, and under Hawaii Revised Statutes 264-101, vending from a highway is prohibited. The remnant portion of Kamehameha, state attorneys discovered, is still classified as a highway. Until it is formally redesignated, they have decided it's unwise to put the state in a legally liable position should there ever be a mishap, and they're right to be cautious.
Dan Meisenzahl, state transportation spokesman, said redesignation would take a year. Until that accommodation can happen, it makes sense to give the market a little time to find a suitable place to relocate.
read … Bureaucrats First!
Hawaii Whistleblowers Not Protected from Retaliation
CB: State law is supposed to protect people who report instances of corruption from negative consequences. However, the opposite has happened. There are examples of whistleblowers’ actions backfiring against them. For example, in 2003 Honolulu Police Department Detective Kenneth Kamakana was transferred to the auto theft detail, after filing a whistleblower lawsuit, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. Kamakana's fellow officers and bosses retaliated, after he reported their alleged misconduct to the FBI, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. In another instance, KITV4 reported in 2005 that an airport official complained to the Transportation Safety Agency about safety problems at the Honolulu International Airport. However, managers reduced his hours, so he lost his medical benefits, according to KITV4. According to the Honolulu Advertiser's 2006 story, an employee at Kailua Wastewater Treatment Plant reported abuses and suffered retaliation. A former Honolulu Liquor Commission investigator testified against eight investigators, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. However, employees told the Honolulu Advertiser they could avoid potential retaliation by reporting anonymously, which may not be taken seriously.
- Honolulu Advertiser, Jim Dooley, 7/6/03, "Whistleblower says he never wanted to sue".
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Mary Vorsino, 12/4/03, "City settles officer’s lawsuit for $650,000".
- KITV4, staff, 6/25/05, "Airport Whistleblower Says TSA Retaliating Against Him".
- Honolulu Advertiser, Rob Perez, 8/20/2006, "Whistleblowers say ordeal not worth it".
read … Dep’t of Retaliation
EPA Working Hard to Make Sure Nobody Saves Money with Seawater Air Conditioning
CB: A company that has been working for years to develop a seawater air-conditioning system for downtown Honolulu still needs numerous permits before it can proceed.
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning told Civil Beat last week that it expects to break ground on the project that could cool up to 40 percent of Oahu’s urban core by the end of June
But state and federal agencies indicate the project still has a ways to go.
The company has yet to complete its federal environmental impact statement and still needs to obtain more than a half dozen permits. It’s unclear if environmental concerns, such as the possibility of monk seals and sea turtles getting sucked into an intake pipe, have been resolved. And a pipe that discharges large amounts of water into the ocean may have to be extended, adding considerable cost to the project.
Whether customers will end up saving money on the air conditioning, a long touted benefit of the systems, is also questionable….
Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the draft version of the federal EIS a low rating….
read … Seawater Air Conditioning Project Still Struggling
Waimanalo Gulch Hearing Today
From Tom Berg: Expansion of Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill - contested case hearing continues tomorrow - click here for agenda.
Click here to see agenda - for the April 20 meeting - to stay on top of the situation about where the next landfill might be situated.
read … Landfill
Enviros Sue Maui County over Wastewater Again
CN: The Hawaii Wildlife Fund claims Maui County has been polluting the ocean for years by injecting sewage, without permits, into wells that flow underground into the Pacific, in Federal Court. LINK: PDF
read … Courthouse News
Hawaiian Airlines Inaugural Flies Jewel Smugglers to Japan and back
Best Comment: While Ariyoshi was governor from 1974 to 1986, he and his wife made freuqent trips to Asia on "official business". while there, Mrs. Ariyoshi used to buy jade jewelry and bring it back to the islands in her carry-on bag and not pay duty on it. Mr. and Mrs. Ariyoshi used to have official receptions at Washington Place. During the reception, Jean Ariyoshi would invite the women upstairs to the private family quarters and peddle the jade to them (kind of like a Tupperware party). I know this for a fact since my wife and I went to one of these receptions and my wife got invited upstairs to the sale. She was shocked and told told me later that she'd never go back--the thought of Jean Ariyoshi peddling jade out of Queen Liliuokalani's bedroom was so moelepo ("low class").
read … Ariyoshi
As City Cleans up Last Big Waianae Coast Homeless Camp, Some Finally Accept Shelter
SA: A woman who would only identify herself as "Elle" said she is set to move into a Victory Outreach shelter in Waipahu where the only restriction, she said, is no illegal drugs. Elle said she's been clean of all drugs, including marijuana, for several months now.
"I want to change," she said, surveying her encampment. "I'm going to be a better person. I was getting sick and tired of this."
Across Farrington Highway from the Bush, the nuns from Our Lady of Kea‘au have agreed to allow a dozen homeless people to establish a self-sustaining camp on a parcel within their 58-acre complex, which its website describes as "a Franciscan place of prayer, refuge and recreation."
Marianne Hatori, who has lived at the Bush for nearly seven years, and Paul Opunui, who has been at Keaau about a year, are among the lucky dozen.
The group is expected to stay drug-free, keep to a one-pet-per-person limit, say prayers and help establish a farm.
read … Forcing them into shelters
VIDEO: Homelessness Industry Activist Harasses Makaha Beach Cleanup Volunteers
DN: Check out (for example) this streaming video of Saturday evictions of the encampment in Makaha, made from an iPhone: The Pineapple Glitch recorded live on 4/14/12 at 10:38 a.m. on RebelutionNova’s Ustream channel.
read … Desperate to keep the homeless homeless
MD Busted for Selling Dope
SA: A federal grand jury Thursday returned an indictment against Dr. Shepard Ginandes, charging him with 22 counts of distributing methadone, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and the anti-anxiety drugs alprazolam and diazepam outside the course of professional medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose from May 2007 to January 2009.
When the Drug Enforcement Administration moved to revoke Ginandes' license to prescribe controlled substances in September 2009, the agency said he gave prescriptions to law enforcement personnel on 24 occasions between March 2007 and January 2009.
The DEA said Ginandes did not take the officers' medical histories or require them to fill out any paperwork and did not conduct physical examinations. His office at 1188 Bishop St. didn't even have an exam room or medical equipment. All the officers had to do was simply write their name, address and the drug they were seeking on a piece of paper, which Ginandes used to prepare their prescriptions, the DEA said.
read … Pharma
SB2579 Encourages Underage Prostitution?
CB: SB2579 waives prosecution for underage persons charged with selling sex. Despite worthy intentions what this bill actually does is put underage sex workers at a competitive advantage in the marketplace over adults. It is a wrong-headed way to approach the stated problem.
read … Underage?