Considering a Run for Office? Free Candidate Training in Hawaii
Hawaii Falls Short, May Still Lose RTTT Money: Hirono, Hanabusa Pleased
Statement from Gov. Linda Lingle on the Legacy of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
Rep. Kymberly Pine Pulls Papers Today to Run for City Council
Full Text: Supreme Court Ruling Allows Waimanalo Gulch to Remain Open
DBEDT: April, 2012 Monthly Energy Report
Senate Democrats: Highlights of 2012 Legislative Session
Rail Contractors Demand Ben Cayetano Stop Telling the Truth about Inouye and his Cronies
HNN: Construction lobbying firm and rail proponent Pacific Resource Partnership, unveiled a website today called Beniceben.com. It comes in reaction to this comment from mayoral candidate, Ben Cayetano, about Senator Dan Inouye's backing of rail – during that debate.
"Senator Inouye is up at the 30,000 foot level - dealing with national and international affairs. The Senator should take time and go around to McDonald's and talk to the retirees who go there to eat breakfast because it's cheap. You know he's out of touch, as far as I am concerned."
PRP calls the comment "mean-spirited" and is petitioning names - urging Cayetano to be more respectful. Executive Director John White says "To hear a fellow democrat, Ben Cayetano, insult him in the way he did, is very disappointing and quite frankly, unbecoming of a person who wants to be leader of the city."
Cayetano calls the site a desperate, amateurish move by rail advocates because they're "scared stiff" they'll lose the election. He says, "What's there to apologize about? This is a campaign. I said some things, and I don't think what I said should be taken by anyone who is as experienced as the Senator, as offensive."
Cayetano kicked the argument even further - claiming PRP hired a mainland company to do a telephone "push poll". That's a technique used to influence a respondent's view by giving negative information under the façade of conducting a poll.
"We know that they have been behind an attempt to smear us. Not only me, but (Honolulu City Councilman) Tom Berg and everyone else who questions the viability of the rail project," Cayetano explains.
HR: Cayetano Takes On Critics, Ponders Lawsuit to Counter 'Smear Campaign' Being Waged by Pacific Resource Partnership Via Push Polls
KITV: Cayetano stands by remarks about Sen. Inouye
Shapiro: Mayoral race heats up as legislators clock out
read … “We Demand Your Silence!” – PRP
Meheula: Archaeological Studies Would Put Federal Rail Funding At Risk
SA: A less-sensitive approach would be to conduct widespread subsurface testing throughout downtown Honolulu and then select the route.
However, this type of plan would increase construction costs, delay the project and put federal funding at risk.
Those who complain that the selected route runs through "Burial Central" fail to consider that the project needs to deliver passengers to and from downtown
read …. Bury this rail project
Case: Hirono Hurt Hawaii Farmers With Vote Against Free Trade With S Korea
HNN: But Ed Case, who is running against Hirono in the primary election for the U.S. Senate, said her plan for helping farmers disagrees with what she did in Congress.
"Congresswoman Hirono voted against the Korean free-trade agreement that would be a prime export destination for our agricultural products," he said….
Ted Liu, policy advisor for former Governor Linda Lingle's Republican bid for the Senate, said Lingle's record on energy and agriculture development is proven.
"She launched the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative," he said. "All the progress you're seeing now is a result of that policy. On the federal level she will build on that experience."
read … Hirono unveils sustainability strategy
Hirono’s past actions don’t show support for kupuna
MN: Hirono and her colleagues seem to forget that they have been chipping away at our Social Security funds since 1965. There are absolutely no funds left. Social Security's unfunded liabilities are $15.6 trillion and Medicare's unfunded liabilities are a whopping $82.3 trillion.
Furthermore, she supported the payroll tax holiday, where lawmakers have forced us taxpayers to rob our own imaginary Social Security funds to the tune of $143 billion instead of actually lowering personal income taxes.
Quite the scam - a scam Bernie Madoff would be proud of….
Either Hirono is feeling guilty or she's totally inept. Now she's a candidate for the U.S. Senate?
read … Hirono Indictment
Mitt Romney's run for president brings church into the spotlight
AP: Steve Shaw, a political scientist at Northwest Nazarene University and co-author of "The Presidents and Their Faith," compares this election to the 1960 campaign of John F. Kennedy, who confronted religious bias to become the first Roman Catholic president. Kennedy's election marked a move for Catholics more firmly into the American mainstream, a potential shift for Mormons as well in 2012.
read … Mormons gird for campaign
Takata Challenges Kaneshiro for Prosecutor
HR: Kaneshiro said last year that Takata "has an axe to grind because I didn’t re-appoint him.”
Takata is a friend and longtime associate of Franklin “Don” Pacarro, another former deputy prosecutor who was defeated by Kaneshiro in the 2010 election.
According to papers filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission, Pacarro is chairman of Takata’s new campaign committee, Takata for Honolulu.
Former deputy prosecutor Megan Kau is listed as Takata’s campaign treasurer.
Takata was hired as a deputy attorney general within a week of leaving the prosecutor’s office.
His duties have included prosecution of internet crimes and the pending manslaughter case against car dealer and real estate developer James Pflueger.
He successfully prosecuted a former public school employee who pleaded guilty this week to stealing some $15,000 in school funds.
Takata said today he will remain on staff in the Attorney General’s office while he campaigns for prosecutor.
read … Takata
Hawaii County Police Refused to Arrest Escaped Coke Dealer
SA: …things began to unravel after Hawaii County police arrested James Harold Sargent on March 13, 2011, and later charged him with drunken driving.
Police ran his fingerprints through a national criminal database. That's when the U.S. Marshals Service contacted police and informed them Sargent was actually Eugene Esposito.
But somehow Esposito managed to remain free after that, even traveling outside the country.
Hawaii County Police Department spokeswoman Chris Loos said the Marshals Service never requested extradition after the 2011 arrest.
State court records indicate "Sargent" complied with sentencing requirements — enrolled in an alcohol rehab program, paid fines and completed driver education by July 1.
However, Laura Vega, spokeswoman for the Marshals Service for the Central District of California, said the agency "put a detainer on him, had spoken on the phone to police, but he still was released. We don't know why he was released."
Once the marshals learned Esposito was traveling to and from Thailand, they contacted the State Department, had him arrested when he went into the embassy and extradited him from there.
The Chiangrai Times reported that in March, Thai police detained Sargent, who entered Thailand in October with a tourist visa before changing to a retirement visa.
read … Just another day in the nei….
Feds Indict HPD Narcotics Officer for Revealing Identity of Undercover Officer
HNN: A nineteen year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department was indicted on Wednesday for lying to the F.B.I. and disclosing the identity of an H.P.D. undercover officer.
Officer Richard Wayne Raquino is charged with revealing the identity of an undercover officer and disclosing the description of an undercover police vehicle last June. The indictment also accuses Raquino of telling the same individual about how to identify and elude police surveillance during active investigations.
Sources tell Hawaii News Now that the illegal disclosure involved a drug-related case. A police spokeswoman says Raquino was assigned to H.P.D.'s Narcotics Vice unit.
LINK: Click here to read the entire indictment.
read … Undercover Officer
Lawsuit: Fire captain's statements About Woman’s Death led to retaliation
SA: A 23-year veteran fire captain is alleging retaliation for speaking out in December that the death of a woman whom he carried out of a burning house could have been prevented had several critical errors not been made by the Honolulu Fire Department.
Attorney Venetia Carpenter-Asui filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Capt. George K. Kaopuiki against HFD and Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva in which he alleges a violation of his free-speech rights and violation of the Hawaii Whistleblowers' Protection Act.
The complaint, filed in Circuit Court, says Kaopuiki verbally reported that fire personnel made numerous serious mistakes that could have caused the death of the woman from a fire at her single-family home.
The mistakes include not hooking up to a fire hydrant to ensure an ample water supply, and not starting a rescue search sooner because a sufficient water supply had not been secured early on, Kaopuiki told five fire captains and an acting battalion chief during a December meeting….
Fire personnel did not call Emergency Medical Services for 19 minutes after Kaopuiki carried the woman out of the fire, alive and breathing, he said at the meeting. He blamed the department's lack of training for the errors.
"Acting Battalion Chief Mark Nakagawa cautioned everyone present, ‘This is an internal meeting. This information stays in-house with lessons learned,'" the lawsuit said.
The suit alleges Kaopuiki was retaliated against when he was subjected to an investigation Jan. 16 for false allegations of mistreating a firefighter at the Kakaako station, which he was told was at the direction of Silva. That firefighter told Kaopuiki he never made a complaint against him
read … Retaliation, Coverup
Are Alleged Lottery Operators Eligible For Welfare, Public Housing?
HR: Sources told Hawaii Reporter that the sisters, Khemma Pannga Xoumanivong, 63, and Bounkouam Khamphilavanh, 47, are receiving welfare benefits administered through the state Department of Human Services. Neighbors at the housing complex said one of the sisters formerly drove a BMW automobile and more recently has been parking a 2012 Mercedes Benz at her unit.
Law enforcement also found and opened a portable safe inside one of the units, Hawaii Reporter learned.
Similar raids were conducted Monday and Tuesday at retail businesses in Chinatown and the Thai House restaurant in Kaimuki.
The sisters have family ties to the restaurant, sources said.
HR: Chinatown Store Owner Raided By FBI Worked as An Advocate for Asian Immigrants
VIDEO: Hawaii Reporter Undercover Investigation Exposes Illegal Chinatown Lottery
VIDEO: Federal investigators raid Chinatown gambling ring
read … Thai Lottery
Missouri AG sues files suit over school band trip to Hawaii
AP: Attorney General Chris Koster has sued a Utah-based travel agency to recover about $360,000 for a southwestern Missouri high school band.
Koster's office says Present America Tours LLC accepted the money from the Willard High School band for a planned summer trip to Hawaii. But the school canceled the trip after the company stopped returning phone calls and emails.
A phone number for the company — with a Hawaii area code — was disconnected Friday.
read … Lawsuit
This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—May 5
1993—In Baehr v. Lewin, the Hawaii Supreme Court rules that traditional marriage is presumptively unconstitutional and orders the state to demonstrate a “compelling state interest” for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 1998, the people of Hawaii respond by amending the state constitution to confirm that the legislature has the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples, and the legislature amends the constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
read … Activist Court
Maui Electric Bills Going Up Another 1.5%
MN: The state Public Utilities Commission gave final approval for Maui Electric Co. to raise rates by 1.5 percent, less than the 2.7 percent increase the PUC had previously authorized MECO to collect on an interim basis.
The 1.5 percent increase approved Wednesday works out to $4.7 million in additional revenue for MECO. The rate hike will help pay for more than $122 million in capital improvements, including an upgrade of power plant control systems at the Maalaea Generating Station, construction of new substations and the expansion of existing ones, MECO said in a news release issued Friday.
read… Another Rate Hike
Lack of inspectors delays the approval of PV systems
Question: The city is constantly encouraging us to conserve energy. In response, more people have been installing photovoltaic systems as part of Hawaiian Electric Co.'s Net Energy Metering program. After a PV system is installed, it has to be approved by a city electrical inspector before the homeowner can take advantage of the NEM program. Unfortunately, an inspector on the Windward side has been very slow in approving PV systems, saying it is a low priority for him. Some installed last year have still not been approved. Why does the city encourage homeowners to install PV systems while an inspector delays approving them?
Question: I had solar panels put on my roof back in December. I have been waiting more than four months to get the new net metering panel from HECO, but the city has not completed the electrical inspection, which needs to be done before they can put in the new meter. Who can I call to speed this up? I live in Kailua.
There's been a nearly fivefold increase in the number of PV permits issued between 2009 and 2011: 631 in fiscal year 2009 compared with 3,102 in fiscal year 2011.
But while the number of permits has risen significantly, the number of electrical inspectors has not because of
budget constraints (Rail) Challacombe said….
One option is amending the electrical code to allow "contractor certification," which would eliminate the need for an inspector to visit a home.
"We expect to go to the City Council with a new electrical code later this month," Challacombe said. "The city appreciates the overwhelming response by residents to calls for energy conservation."
read … Lack of inspectors delays the approval of PV systems
Construction subcontractors can’t withstand prolonged downturn
PBN: The recent closure of cabinetry firms Darcey Builders Inc. and Hawaii Woodcrafts Inc. has raised new concerns about how subcontractors are faring after years of a downturn in the construction industry.
State labor analysts say the most recent data show the number of subcontractors declined in 2010 and is likely to show a decline in 2011 once final data are available, but the worst may be over.
“Preliminary data in 2011 show that it is still declining, but it’s a smaller decline,” Francisco Corpuz, state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations research and statistics officer, told PBN. “So we are cautiously optimistic that it will rebound as government projects are expected to expand.”
read … Construction subcontractors can’t withstand prolonged downturn
Poll: Do Hawaiians Get Enough Benefits?
CB: According to The Civil Beat Poll survey of 1,162 registered voters1, 36 percent of respondents said the level of benefits is just right. Twenty-seven percent of voters said Hawaiians get "too many" benefits and 23 percent said "not enough." The margin of error was 2.9 percent.
The poll was conducted in mid-April and comes on the heels of the Hawaii Legislature settling a decades-old $200 million ceded land debt by deeding 25 acres of prime Kakaako real estate to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The fight for federal recognition continues, and a Native Hawaiian Roll Commission has been created to that end. OHA, a state agency, provides scholarships and small business loans to Native Hawaiians. But the list of those in line for Hawaiian homesteads is still so long that some people die waiting.
read … Bennies
Gun toting resident fights, captures attempted murder suspect
HNN: An attempted murder suspect trying to make a getaway tries to break into a Kalihi apartment but the man on the other side of the door wasn't having it and it turned into a wild scene.
While getting away one suspect made it to an apartment on Robello Lane in Kalihi and picked the wrong door. Michael Napeahi, 35, was allegedly trying to kick down the door using a rock and his foot. He was getting close to breaking through when the owner inside, known as BG opened the door armed with his shotgun. He says Napeahi charged in anyway and threatened to kill BG and his girlfriend yet he didn't shoot. Instead they got into an intense fist fight. Blood can be seen splattered on the door, the floor and the American flag hanging on the wall.
"I think it's a classic case of an everyday citizen defending himself and his family. I think he used great constraint that he didn't fire the firearm," said Harvey Gerwig, Lessons In Firearms Education (LIFE) and Hawaii Rifle Association President.
read … Gun toting resident fights, captures attempted murder suspect
Abercrombie Appoints Socialist Propagandist as ‘Poet Laureate’
SA: The governor's office says Steven Kealohapau'ole Hong-Ming Wong will occasionally perform as Hawaii Poet Laureate at official state events.
He will represent the Hawaii at similar ceremonial events around the country and world.
read … ‘poetry’
Big Square Building: Legislators Leave, Occupy Arrives
CB: Their timing is a little odd given yesterday was the Legislature’s big closing day. The Capitol’s a bit of a ghost town today.
Occupy Honolulu is searching for new direction after its May Day celebration earlier this week. Don’t miss our earlier coverage of that story: Occupy Honolulu Draws a Big Crowd, But What Next?
read … Occupy Honolulu Pitches Camp Outside the State Capitol