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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
June 25, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:54 PM :: 3475 Views

Productivity and Innovation: Hawaii Tumbles from ‘A’ to ‘F’

Governor plans to hand OHA 2014 to incumbents 

Governor Signs School Readiness Bill, Early Learning Director Quits

Abercrombie Sends Notice of ‘Intent to Veto’ 9 Bills, Line-Item 10th

Honolulu Traffic: Most ‘Lane-Deficient’ City in USA

Schatz “Mind Numbingly Stupid”

Akaka Bill Back Door?  Schatz, Danner, Obama Push DoI to Oversee DHHL

SA: For the first time in nearly 100 years, the U.S. government may soon have formal rules for the federal law designed to put eligible Native Hawaiians onto homestead lots.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday notified the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of its intent to establish rules related to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which set up a trust comprising roughly 200,000 acres throughout the islands for homesteading purposes....

Masagatani said in a statement to the Star-Advertiser that "DHHL looks forward to continuing its ongoing discussions and productive working relationship with U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh and her staff.

"In the next few days, we will transmit our formal response to the assistant secretary's letter to address her specific issues related to our loan portfolio, revocable permits and federal rule-making."

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, whose office provided the Star-Advertiser with a copy of Suh's letter, said he has been meeting with her to discuss how the federal government can best deal with issues at DHHL, and "we are off to a good start." The Hawaii Demo­crat said the Interior Department is moving forward on several measures to provide more aggressive oversight and assistance to DHHL.

"We understand that these problems are long-standing and challenging," Schatz said in a statement to the newspaper. "However, these are the first steps forward toward providing transparency and accountability on behalf of Hawaiian families."...

In a May meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, Danner, representing the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, asked him to authorize the Interior Department to start the process for rule-making.

The council for the past two years has identified the establishment of federal rules as a top public policy priority and specifically called for regulations in the two areas Suh mentioned in her letter.

Interior's request for information and the move to establish rules indicates that the Obama administration — unlike previous ones — intends to become more engaged with oversight of the trust, Danner said.

"This is fantastic," she said. "I couldn't be happier. Who is in the White House really does matter."

An Interior spokes­woman said the specific process for initiating rules has yet to be defined but that the public will have an opportunity — usually 60 to 90 days — to comment on any proposals. She said the process likely will begin in the next couple of months.

Letter to DHHL from Dept. of Interior

read ... Akaka Bill Back Door?

Waikiki Hotels Flooded With Homeless Up to 3rd Floor

KHON: “Once the park closed the homeless shifted from the parks all through the corridor of Waikiki all the benches as well as through all the hotels,” Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association president and CEO George Szigeti said.

Szigeti said many hotels have increased security to deal with the homeless coming onto hotel property.

“The Hyatt has been inundated. The Marriott has been inundated. The Pacific Beach Hotel has been inundated. The Westin Moana-Surfrider,” Szigeti said.

Complaints range from homeless people taking a shower in hotel bathrooms, to them sleeping in hotel lobbies, and trespassing at private hotel functions.

“We’re finding them in using all the restrooms where the hotels are now having to lock up their restrooms. We’re finding them in banquet lines up on the third floor of the hotel. They find where the food is.”

Visitors are noticing the problem and speaking up.

“We know from letters to the editor by tourists. I know as the Mayor. I’ve gotten letters from tourists complaining and I’ve written letters back apologizing,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

Visitors have also complained to police officers at the Waikiki substation.

“There’s no less than six to 15 per day of visitors coming into District 6 in Waikiki complaining that you have a homeless problem and we’re not coming back,” Szigeti said.

Szigeti says they’ve identified about 400 homeless people in Waikiki alone.

“I think it’s epidemic throughout Waikiki right now. Really it’s throughout the state. But really, it’s become Waikiki’s epidemic,” Szigeti said.

To fix the problem, tourism officials have been meeting monthly with the mayor to figure out a solution.

One (moronic) idea is to build a homeless shelter in Waikiki (so we can get the count up to 800 or even higher). 

Another idea is to hogtie the ACLU and give the police cattle prods.

read ... Hotels partner with government to deal with homelessness in Waikiki

"Compassionate disruption" to Drive Bums off Streets into Shelters

KITV: "We're going to go to the places where we've received a lot of complaints. No one area is going to be targeted," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "We'll do it broadly. We're going to the areas with the largest problems first and then work it from there."

"I've been told continuously that our shelters do, in fact, have dozens of beds available on any given night to shelter those folks who need the shelter," said Councilman Ikaika Anderson.

The ACLU of Hawaii has come out against the new law saying, "...enforcement will likely result in violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments."'

KITV: Enforcement of sidewalk nuisance law begins Monday

read ... Long Overdue thanks to ACLU

New law falls short of the governor's call for a universal education readiness initiative

SA: "It's a start. That's all it is, is a start. But it's everything," Abercrombie said at a news conference Monday at Washington Place. "For the first time, the state will be codifying into law a commitment to preparing young children for success in school and in life."

Hawaii is one of 11 states without a state-funded early learning program to help children prepare for kindergarten.

Abercrombie had made the creation of a school readiness program the top priority in his two-year budget draft, asking for $2.9 million for planning in fiscal year 2014 and $28.2 million to serve about 3,500 at-risk 4-year-olds in fiscal year 2015.

read ... Pre-K

Bills Abercrombie Plans to Sign 

CB: There is a bill to protect seniors from financial abuse, and legislation requiring the Department of Health to post the inspection reports of adult care homes online. (With an aging population, the state is trying to be more proactive in protecting its most vulnerable citizens.)

On the education front, a bill to generate money to fix dilapidated public schools by leasing underutilized school lands to private companies will become law. Education officials will be able to see if the concept works by developing up to three properties.

An effort to bring down soaring electric rates while reducing Hawaii’s reliance on oil could get some legs when a progressive “green infrastructure” bill goes into effect. The legislation enables low-cost loans so that renters can take advantage of solar water-heating systems, for instance.

There is a law to require Hawaii to pay off an increasing share of its multi-billion dollar unfunded liabilities starting next year. That legislation overhauls how the state and counties pay for public worker pension benefits, an issue that has been neglected for years but that could have far-reaching consequences for all residents.

These laws will join 170 other bills that Abercrombie has already signed, the most recent being a school readiness bill.

HTH: Governor to sign pot bills "Josh Green...expressed relief in the bills’ pending enactment into law"

SA: Override session unlikely despite vetoes

SA: Governor's veto list includes feral birds nuisance bill

read ... Not on Veto List

Solar Scammers: PUC Decision Means More Money for Us

REW: They may have to start adapting to the changing market however. For instance, Maui Electric Co. (MECO) in Hawaii, recently had their guaranteed return on investment snipped down to 9 percent from 10 percent. “What just happened in Hawaii is that the regulator there said to MECO: ‘You don't have satisfied customers, you don't have a plan to integrate distributed generation, you keep showing up here for handouts and we don't like it’,” Fenster says. “It was a message from a regulator that said it you're not willing to learn and deal with distributed generation, then we're going to take it out of your pocketbook.”

read ... Sunrun to Utilities: It's Time to Innovate with Rooftop Solar

Gabbard: Joe Trippi Saved me from Myself many Times

Borreca: Gabbard, who must really like getting up early, has already been on CNN's "State of the Union," NBC's "Meet the Press," and "Up with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC. She was snagged for a sit-down interview at the Democratic National Convention before her national address to the convention.

ABC's "This Week" also had her on the show, and on Sunday she was featured in another profile on ABC with George Stephanopoulos.

The network added that Gabbard is expected also to be "featured in the upcoming issue of Vogue magazine, which hits newsstands on June 25."

Learning how to give your pitch on TV is not easy: Some of it is knowing how to self-edit before talking, part of it is quickly hitting the interesting part of your concerns, and part of it is knowing how to learn.

After her campaign against Mufi Hannemann, Gabbard explained that she was helped by Joe Trippi, who ran Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.

"We had many heated debates throughout the campaign about what to do, what not to do — but I give him so much credit because he saved me from myself many times," Gabbard said in her MSNBC interview.

read ... Saved from Myself

Sam Slom Gets Trippi

PR: Sam Slom: "WHO gets the final credit for thinking about and choosing Trippi? ... For the first time since we began celebrating Friedman's birth, neither SBH nor I will not be attending or participating."

Richard Rowland, the chairman and founder of the Grassroot Institute, sent this response:

Thanks for your recommendation and thoughts. For us to make actual progress for parents and children in our government school system we must have support from Democrats and others who do not yet support us in the community. Milton Friedman was always welcoming to people who endorsed one of his positions even if they disagreed on many others. The Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation are about as close as we can get to find approval in implementing Milton’s desires. They are active co-sponsors of the event in question and actually recommended Mr Trippi to be the speaker. Along the same vein as this action of GRIH, please note that SBH just had Ben Cayetano, dedicated Democrat, as keynote speaker. Why? Because he is helpful in getting a job done that will help our society. He disagrees on other things but is on board for the rail issue. The fact that he was SBH speaker is good! If you want real change for the positive in our Hawaii for our school children, you need to attend the event and make a point of then using Trippi to make progress among disbelievers. We need to all get under a big tent to make the changes heading toward individual liberty needed by our society.

read ... Trippi 

Babes Against Biotech Flip Out

The latest from BAB:

Why are the lobbyist all fat, and look like they have beginning stages of heart disease??

Idk but she looks like she eats GMO and other processed foods

This woman has eaten one GMO too many!!

He looks like GMO pork

He doesnt look very healthy.

Somebody grafted a human nose on this PIG!

One observer who is close to the seed industry described the comments as "ugly" and "offensive," while another noted that some of the targets of the Babes' contempt are fellow women.

read ... Babble On

Proposed pesticide regulation by Kauai County draws fire

SA: Councilman Gary Hooser introduced Bill 2491, which would prohibit pesticide use near schools, hospitals and rivers. The measure was prompted by community concerns about the effects of pesticides in neighborhoods, he said.

But agricultural companies on Kauai and the state have raised legal questions about the bill.

Scott McFarland, vice president of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, said, "We now have a county government starting to become involved in an area that has traditionally been federal and state matters."

Tom Matsuda, pesticides program manager of the state Department of Agriculture, questioned how Kauai County will regulate pesticide use. "We're talking about overregulation," he said.

Federal law governs the state's pesticide use by controlling instructions on the label. "If you follow the label, that is the law. Now the county is saying you got to do more than that," he said.

Agricultural research company Syngenta Hawaii doesn't support the Kauai bill. "We are reviewing the ordinance and the potential impacts it would have on our Kauai operations," spokes­man Mark Phillipson said. "Company officials plan to testify against the bill at the hearing."

McFarland said, "You're almost taking away tools for farmers both large and small to improve the quality and performance of the crop they are growing."

read ... Fear Mongering Luddites

Councilmember questions fairness of water billing fee

KITV:  ...Miyasato is perplexed over why his bill dropped dramatically, then soared the next month. What's up with that, he asks.

"When they send me one so low and the next so high, I question how accurate it is," said Miyasato.

At a Board of Water Supply meeting today members took the city's chief engineer to task. Trying to make sure people understand what's happening with their bills.

And this week, the city council takes up a resolution calling for the Board Water Supply's to re-examine its billing charge.

Councilmemeber Joey Monahan wonders whether single family users are paying more than their fair share, dishing out a flat fee of $7.50 every month which he says is the same billing fee for larger users.

read ...  Resolution calls for Board of Water Supply to reexamine fee

Embattled Hawaii Nonprofit Enjoyed Tens of Millions in Military Dollars

CB: A nonprofit group under investigation for possible misuse of federal grant money received nearly $30 million in contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense between 2000 and 2012....

ORI has made a lucrative career out of government largesse. In addition to the nearly $10 million the group has received in federal grants and loans, ORI has won a number of substantial government contracts.

Since 2000, ORI has received $32.6 million in federal contracts, according to FedSpending.org, a website run by the nonprofit Center for Effective Government.

Many of these contracts involved janitorial and food services for the military, mainly the Navy and Army. But ORI has also received about $6.5 million worth of contracts to provide landscaping and grounds-keeping services, also largely for the military.

ORI has also seen the size of its contracts grow. In 2000, the nonprofit brought in $635,979 in federal funds, but by 2012, that amount had skyrocketed up to $9.3 million.

read ... Money

Nobody Interested in Abercrombie's Sequestration Task Force

HNN: On March 1, Gov. Neil Abercrombie called for the formation of a Sequestration Impact Response Team to address nationwide federal spending reductions. The team is still trying to fill the 25 slots with people from government, the military, business and non-profits.

"Thus far we've received less than one-half of the responses from all the organizations that have been solicited," team chairman Kalbert Young said.

He said the state is still waiting on the federal government's final assessment of how much sequestration will cost, so there's breathing room to get his team together.

"With 90 days left to go in the federal fiscal year, I think we have enough time," Young said.

The state anticipates up to $45 million in federal funding reductions. It has $15 million in appropriated funds to help state programs.

read ... Nobody Cares

Brainwashing: Students Learn to Support Gay 'Marriage' But they Don't Know What a 'State' is

CB: One day, while editing argument papers, I came across the work of one student who chose to write about gay marriage. The student wrote:

“I believe that the government we live by is over taking people’s happiness. As human beings we grew up with human rights, by making our own decisions based on our interests and who we are. But in this case, marriage equality is one of many controversial issues that governments in many countries are debating about. Gay marriage is a marriage between two people of the same sex gender. Some countries like Columbia Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Hew Hampshire, New York, Washington, Mane and Maryland had banned same sex in their country. Till today, marriage equality supports are still protesting. (sic)”

The next day, I called the student over to my desk. I asked, “Do you know what a country is?”

There was a headshake, no.

“Can you give me an example of a country?” I asked

“Hawai'i?”

“How ‘bout a state?”

“The United States,” the student said.

CB: In Bid for Mainland Gay Money, Hanabusa Poses With Duct Tape on Mouth

read ... Brainwashed

Newsflash: Waikiki, HNL Airport Built by Global Warming Deniers

CB: Close your eyes and picture waves lapping at the first-floor facades of high-rise hotels. The golden sands along Waikiki have long been submerged by the surging Pacific Ocean, as has the nearby Kalakaua Avenue.

A few late-returning tourists in this future Honolulu lap through the low tide and past the partially submerged check-in desk of their hotel, before climbing up several flights of stairs to their electricity-less rooms.

They cannot fly home because, in this storm-tide future, commercial planes remain idle on the runway at the low-lying Honolulu International Airport, their landing gear deep in a dark pond of water and their lighting and navigation systems in need of repairs.

Call it Waikiki’s Venetian nightmare.

read ... Record of Accomplishment

Bills would expand smoking bans

SA: A committee will hear the three measures covering bus stops and all city-operated parks

read ... Smoking Bans

Kauai Councilor Proposes 833% Hike in Dog Taxes

KGI: Under Draft Bill 2490, a license would cost $50 for each unaltered or unspayed dog, and $15 for each altered dog. Currently, dog licenses are $6 for unaltered dogs, and $2 for altered dogs. Licenses are good for two years, and the proposal keeps the same time frame.

Hunters who hold a current hunting license pay $6 for the first hunting dog and $2 for each additional dog. The bill proposes to delete the entire paragraph that gives hunters this exemption. If it goes through unchanged, licensing for 20 unaltered hunting dogs would cost $1,000 rather than $44.

“That is the most likely controversial part of the bill,” Bynum said. “This in not my bill, it’s by request … I’m keeping an open mind.”

An additional $2 would be charged for a metal tag containing the dog owner’s information, a serial number and the date of the license payment.

read ... Dog Taxes

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