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Thursday, May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 3015 Views :: Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party
 

SB2424: Veto the PEO Bill

NOAA Reminds Hawaii -- Delicious Turtles Still Protected

Akaka, Inouye Vote Against Obama Budget

Insolvent Horizon refits old Jones Act ships in foreign shipyards

Hanabusa Campaign Director Paid as Congressional Staff

CB: Richard Rapoza handles both office and campaign duties for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. He is director of communications for the campaign and communications director for Hanabusa's office.

"I really try to keep it separate, but of course the same issues come up on both sides," he said. "But I don't talk to the same reporter about congressional stuff and campaign stuff in the same conversation."

Like Fulton, Rapoza will physically leave the office — or use different emails — to talk about campaign matters. He also uses just one cell phone for both jobs — his own, rather than the one issued by Hanabusa's office.

"It works out, and reporters respect that distinction," he said. "We are careful about this stuff."

One other example to underscore the division of government and politics: In 2010, when Hanabusa was state Senate president and running for Congress and Rapoza ran Senate Communications, he took a leave of absence and went off the public payroll to focus on the campaign full time in the weeks leading up to election.

read… You’re Paying for her Campaign

HMSA Execs Control Hirono Campaign

Tim Johns, Sr. VP at HMSA, is Hirono’s campaign chair…and Elisa Yadao, VP at HMSA, is “helping with communications and debates”…. Question: are HMSA subscribers paying for the time these guys are spending on a political campaign? Isn’t HMSA a nonprofit mutual benefit org that operates for the benefit of its subscribers? Just asking questions.

read … anything to take control of your health care

VIDEO: Omidyar Operatives, Progressive Democrats Shift Focus to Electoral Issues

CB: Watch as a whos-who of the Progressive Democrats meet at Civil Beat editorial offices to prepare for the election season.

Civil Beat invents non existent rumor: Pat Saiki for Governor?

read … Your Unbiased Media At Work

First concrete pours for rail project underway

HNN: Rail project gets foothold in Kapolei as first concrete footings are poured

read … Future Demolition Work

No Rules in Place for DoE $10K ‘Incentive’ Bonus

SA: Current research does not support the notion that a bonus alone is enough to improve student achievement, which has to be the bottom-line goal of any educational system.

However, assuming the bar is set high for such merit payments, it should be part of the professional supports put in place as a part of school reform.

A basic agreement between the DOE and the Hawaii Government Employees Association was reached in April for a pilot program that will involve about 82 schools, making each qualified principal eligible for a one-time, $10,000 bonus, based on their employee evaluation.

The precise qualifications are still under discussion, according to the DOE, but the memorandum of understanding spells out the basic percentages. For the coming pilot program, effective in the 2012-2013 school year, 40 percent of the evaluation score would be linked to growth in achievement by students in their schools. The "intent," according to the memorandum, is that the student-achievement portion of the score will rise to 50 percent when the program is rolled out to all principals the following school year.

How many principal bonuses will go out is unknown, but what is clear is that some of these funds must be reserved to incentivize teachers as well.

read … Just a $10K giveaway

Gays Attack Manny Paquiao Because He Won’t Support Gay ‘Marriage’

AP: The world champion boxer and Filipino congressman has been criticized ever since he gave an interview to the examiner.com website in which he opposed President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage.

Pacquiao said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that he doesn't support gay marriage because of his Roman Catholic beliefs. But he said he has gay friends and relatives, and supports their rights.

"I'm not against the gay people," Pacquiao said. "I'm not condemning them. ... I have a cousin (who is) gay. I have relatives (who are) gay. I have a lot of friends (who are) gay, so I'm not condemning gays. What I said is I'm not in favor of same-sex marriage. That's the one thing I said to the guy.

"I told (the reporter) I'm against same-sex marriage," Pacquiao added. "He said, 'Why?' I said, 'It's the law of God.' That's all I said."…

Pacquiao was banned from a popular Hollywood shopping mall after the article was publicized Tuesday, and an online petition encouraging sponsor Nike to drop Pacquiao received 4,868 signatures before it was suspended Wednesday morning. The petition site, change.org, posted a note saying that the author of the original article had clarified that Pacquiao didn't cite the Bible passage.

Although Pacquiao has some conservative social views, he also has ties to progressive American politicians, including Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. The boxer campaigned for the Democratic majority leader during his tough re-election victory over Sharron Angle in 2010.

Pacquiao also visited Obama at the White House last year, discussing basketball and boxing. The fighter says he enjoyed meeting Obama, but didn't share his views on same-sex marriage.

News Release: Hawaii Senator Applauds Bill Providing Domestic Partnership Benefits

read … All about gay ‘tolerance’

Blessing opens doors on Lingle headquarters

MN: Kahu Kalani Wong was one of four ministers representing Hawaiian, Christian, Jewish and Buddhist faiths, who blessed former Gov. Linda Lingle’s Maui campaign headquarters at its grand opening Tuesday in Wailuku. The Republican candidate is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Akaka. There was a choir group, a hula halau and music at the event. Lingle’s headquarters is located at 2086 Main St.

read … Blessings

HMSA Squeezes HPH on Health Care Costs

Hawaii Pacific Health, the state's largest health care provider, has reached a five-year agreement with Hawaii Medical Service Association that ties more than 50 percent of HMSA's insurance reimbursements to and investments in HPH on the provider's ability to achieve or exceed standards in improving quality of care, controlling costs and expanding access to care. (This is a private Obamacare)

The agreement, which begins Jan. 1, 2014, expands the current 35-month contract between the two organizations that rewards HPH's hospitals and physicians under HMSA's pay-for-performance reimbursement model. HPH comprises four hospitals — Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center and Straub Clinic & Hospital on Oahu, and Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Kauai — as well as 49 outpatient clinics and service sites and more than 1,300 affiliated physicians. (Who needs the State or the Feds, HMSA is part of a duopoly and can do it themselves.)

read … Profits at your expense

Easy for Hawaii Legislators to Be Paid off by Private Interests

CB: There are post employment restrictions for former state legislators on matters they participated on during legislative session. For 12 months at the end of their employment, state lawmakers are not allowed to represent any business or person for a fee on issues they participated on.

Hawaii legislators are also permitted to hold private sector positions while in office.

Sources: Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 84 Standards of Conduct, Part II. Code of Ethics, §84-18 Restrictions on post employment. Visit http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol02_Ch0046-0115/HRS0084/HRS_0084-0018.htm for details.

read … Bought n paid for

Legislature: Congress Should Release Head Choppers, Bus Bombers

ACLU: BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, the Senate concurring, that the United States Congress is urged to restore the system of checks and balances in the United States by repealing sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012….

More of the same: Marx: Indefinite detention violates civil rights

read … Let the Head choppers Run Rampant

Retired Hawaii County Prison Guard Allegedly Shot Woman, Threatened Family

HTH: A 55-year-old woman allegedly shot numerous times on Sunday by a retired Hawaii Community Correctional Center guard was the man’s girlfriend, according to court documents.

The victim, June Shirshac, told police that 72-year-old Joseph Amormino of Hawaiian Beaches was “the male party that had shot her with a handgun several times.” The documents said that officers responding to a late Sunday afternoon report of gunshots at 1197 Auwae Road in Panaewa found Shirshac “bleeding on the kitchen floor with numerous gunshot wounds to her right knee, left thigh, right hand and right shoulder.”….

Amormino is charged with first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, burglary, use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, three other firearms violations and three counts of terroristic threatening. He made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Hilo District Court. Judge David Kuwahara scheduled a preliminary hearing for Friday at 9:30 a.m. The judge also maintained Amormino’s $656,000 bail. He remained in custody Wednesday evening at Hawaii Community Correctional Center….

One victim, identified as 52-year-old Darlene Peneku, was driving toward Keaau when, according to documents “she observe(d) a red Ford pickup truck tailgating her vehicle and driving reckless(ly).” The report states that the pickup overtook Peneku’s vehicle on the right shoulder of the road and pulled up next to her vehicle. The pickup’s driver then “brandished a silver colored handgun and pointed at” Peneku, her 48-year-old husband, Samson, and their 14-year-old granddaughter.

read … Guard

Acoba: Prosecutor Said ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ So Alleged Killer Gets New Trial

SA: But in a lengthy 86-page majority opinion written by Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, the court held that the prosecutor's remarks during closing arguments violated Schnabel's rights to have the case proven against him beyond a reasonable doubt.

Deputy Prosecutor Darrell Wong told the jury not to "get too caught up in the mumbo jumbo of all the words (of the jury instructions)."

He went on to urge them to rely on the "gut feeling we talk about deep down inside."

Schnabel's trial lawyer objected, arguing that the jurors should not be permitted to decide guilt "on their gut."

The majority said the deputy prosecutor "essentially suggested to the jury that the jury instructions were incomprehensible gibberish, thereby denigrating statements of law on which the jury had been or would be instructed."

In a 51-page dissent, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald agreed the remarks were "improper," but said they didn't harm Schnabel because the judge gave curative instructions reminding the jurors that they have the definition of reasonable doubt and they shouldn't be influenced by "pity, passion and prejudice."

City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said Wednesday he "strongly" agrees with Recktenwald's dissent.

read … If there’s anybody who knows Mumbo Jumbo its Acoba

Census: Hawaii population growing older faster

PBN: The analysis by the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism found that while the total state population increased by less than 1 percent between July 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, the population of people age 65 and older grew by 3.1 percent.

read … Older

Ex-St. Francis exec, Calif. firm offer to buy 2 Oahu hospitals

PBN: Former St. Francis Healthcare executive Eugene Tiwanak and a California-based medical group have submitted an offer to buy the two former Hawaii Medical Center facilities from St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii for an undisclosed price, setting up a possible bidding war with the owner of The Queen’s Medical Center for one of the hospitals.

The offer submitted by Tiwanak and Hampton Health Ltd. Hawaii LLC comes less than a week after The Queen’s Health Systems said it had signed a letter of intent with St. Francis Healthcare to explore the feasibility of acquiring the Hawaii Medical Center West….

SA: Buyers emerge for 2 hospitals

read … St Francis

DoE Teacher Hopes Principles Will Save Him from Evaluations

MN: The pilot venture has some major flaws. One of which is the program’s in-class observation system for evaluating teachers.

In order for a teacher to score highly during mandatory classroom monitoring sessions, they have to ace the invitingly named “Pilot Classroom Observation Rubric Version 1.0”.

To make this easy, let’s call it “Ruby.”

Ruby expects teachers to enthusiastically praise the content and learning objectives for a course (decided in part by administrators), and convince students that the material they are about to eagerly absorb is critical to their future success….

textbooks aren’t perfect. In fact many of them are embarrassingly bad, and the very best teachers often spend hours at the copy machine busily generating better learning materials. If the tools provided to teach a class are awful, teachers should have the right to make note of it. Many already feel a moral obligation to replace them, and should be fully supported when trying to do so….

If an 11 year old dreams of a career in neurology, that’s awesome. But he or she is more likely focused on more important matters, like lunch….

if a science teacher manages to do the near-impossible, and hold at least half of a class’s attention for the better part of an hour, then to hell with Ruby. Put the guidelines in the shredder, and give that teacher a raise….

educators are also expected to sing the praises of an “everyone is a winner” approach to learning. To get high marks, they must convince their students that with hard work, every single one of them is capable of completing course objectives.

This means one of two things: Either the teacher is being forced to lie about human nature, or the course objectives are mind-numbingly easy. Ruby is big on student “buy in,” but few things will turn kids off faster than a visibly dishonest instructor, or uselessly easy learning assignments.

The saving grace of this review process is that observation sessions will likely be performed by principles (SIC), most of whom have spent a respectable amount of time in a classroom.

read … A rant from a DoE Teacher

Honolulu Elected, Appointed Executives In Line For July Pay Raises

HR: "If raises are approved for the mayor and his top leaders, the unions may ask, how can the administration take the position that its civil servants should be subject to a pay reduction?" Chin said in a letter to the commission.

"This is a highly sensitive issue now and I am concerned your decisions might complicate matters during a critical time," Chin wrote.

Many rank-and-file City workers have accepted five per cent pay cuts and the mayor is still negotiating similar contracts with others, including police officers and firefighters.

The raises will take effect July 1 unless three-quarters of the City Council (seven of nine members) vote against them.

read … Mine Goes Up, Yours Goes Down

Hirono to Speak to Nutroots Nation in Rhode Island

CB: It’s scheduled for June in Providence, R.I.

The left-embracing Netroots Nation is “an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate.”

here’s the program ….

read … Maybe they will keep her

Sierra Club: Sustainability = No Electricity

WHT: Hawaiians set the model for sustainable aquaculture, with traditional fish ponds, a Sierra Club member said Wednesday evening.

“They didn’t use electricity,” Sierra Club Marine Action Team member Dave Raney said during a presentation at the West Hawaii Civic Center. “They didn’t use pumps, they didn’t use plastic.

read … Sustainability Defined

Foreclosures Down 68%

PBN: The number of Hawaii homes in foreclosure plummeted 68 percent last month, according to monthly data from RealtyTrac.

There were a total of 314 foreclosure filings — notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — on Hawaii properties received in April, or one for every 1,654 housing units, which was 68.19 percent fewer than the number received in April 2011, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac said.

 

read … Foreclosures

Lottery Vendors Reveal Details Of Illegal Gambling Network Operating in Chinatown, Throughout Oahu

HR: Two vendors involved in an illegal gambling operation that extends from Palolo Public Housing to stores and restaurants in Chinatown and throughout Oahu have confessed to Hawaii Reporter that they sold lottery numbers in a black market operation, but said their motivation was love of gambling, not making money.

read … Its Chinatown

Hawaii gets $74K from Skechers settlement

KHON: The footwear company will pay $40 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that Skechers made unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight and strengthen their butt, leg and stomach muscles…

Skechers will pay $5 million to the states. Hawaii's share of $74,907 will be used to fund consumer education and enforcement of consumer protection laws in Hawaii create one more HGEA position.

read … Lawyers give State Peanuts

Geothermal: Punatics Seek Relief Shelter to Escape Non-Existent Problem

BIVN: With a newly resurgent opposition to plan for increased geothermal development, there has also been increased scrutiny over the relocation process. Puna residents like Aurora Martinovitch have said the current process is failing the residents most effected by the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

Yagong’s bill will also atempt to tighten up the rules for relocation.

Yagong admits the council made a mistake in the past by altering the language of the program. He says its a wrong he intends to fix.

But thats not the only geothermal measure coming down the pike. At a recent, well attended hearing in Pahoa, residents described the community confusion (these morons are always confused, how did they know the difference?) when the well blew out in 1991. Yagong says his next bill will mandate that Civil Defense must create a specific emergency plan for the community located near the geothermal industrial sites.

That could include a relief shelter built on land donated by the Leilani Estates Community Association subdivision,

read … Geothermal

Green Party of Hawai‘i convention Saturday

MN: Saturday on the Big Island the Green Party of Hawai'i will be hold its annual State Convention at Hawaiian Acres Community Center beginning at 1 p.m. State party officers, four delegates and four alternates to the

Green Party of the United States national convention, being held this year in Baltimore in July, along with two members to represent Hawaii on the National Committee will be elected.

Once again, the GPH was successful in our petition drive to secure a ballot line for state and national partisan races for the elections this year, thus obtaining ballot access for the next 10 years.

read … Green Party

US's dolphin-safe tuna labels banned by court calling them 'unfair' to Mexico

UKG: Trade court gives US 18 months to do away with labels, saying they give 'less favourable treatment' to Mexican products

read … Dolphin

Hawaii to become first U.S. state to ban plastic bags at checkout in every county

NYDN: Hawaii is slated to become the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags at checkouts in every county.

“This is groundbreaking,” said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, according to msnbc.com.

Carlisle signed off on the ban last week, joining Honolulu County with the state’s three other counties, which had already passed the ban.

“By signing this environmentally friendly bill, Honolulu joined our neighbor island countries. Hawaii has become the only state in the United States where every county has plastic bag legislation.” Carlisle said.

Read … A Case Study Eco-Hypesters will use Nationwide

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