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Saturday, August 20, 2011
August 20, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 PM :: 3048 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party
 

Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American

Prince Kuhio: The bridge from Kingdom to State

Our American Triumph: Civil Rights and Hawaii Statehood

WaPo: Hawaii to be Squeezed by Super Committee

Half Billion Dollars for Solar on Hawaii Navy Bases

Abercrombie Spends Statehood Day Addressing Sovereignty Activists

"We're the 50th state, but where in Hawaii do we belong as a native people? That was difficult to answer," said Kamaki Kanahele, chair of the executive council of the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly.

There are some 200 homeland residents from around the state attending the 24th annual assembly of the Councils. Besides starting on Statehood Day, it also comes at a time when Hawaiians are being given more sovereignty, thanks to Act 195, which basically recognizes Native Hawaiians.

"That's what Act 195 is all about, to say, okay, you natives are the original people, so we'll pass it into a law and make it official," said Kanahele.

It's not a frivolous as it sounds. From a legal standpoint, Hawaiians say it gives them more leverage, and more power than ever to govern themselves. And it comes after years of struggle.

"If we had not taken the role of activism to say, 'by the way, we need to be counted, and you need to be reminded,'" it would not have happened, Kanahele said. "And it took 52 years, up until the act was signed, that allowed that to occur. So it was a difficult time."

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who signed the act into law, was the keynote speaker at the assembly.

"I try to explain to my friends on the mainland, yes, they were a kingdom. And then there was a shotgun republic. And then an annexed territory. And now, there's a state," Abercrombie told the gathering.

Reality:

read … On Statehood Day, more talk of sovereignty

Star-Advertiser lets Mufi Hannemann, Ernie Marin off the hook, demands Jamila’s Head

The story of Andrew Jamila Jr. provides a textbook case for the study of ethics in government, illustrating with painful clarity where things can go wrong. In this instance, things went wrong because of a lax attitude about conflicts of interest — demonstrated in particular by Jamila.

He now sits on the city Planning Commission, but Mayor Peter Carlisle has the power to remove him from that position, an action that would be well justified.

However, other officers of the city — including, at a minimum, other members of the commission — have no reason to feel proud about the $650 fine slapped on Jamila by the Honolulu Ethics Commission.

Jamila's ethical lapse happened in the context of a city-directed community benefits program, and all should have been aware of how his public duty intersected with his private interests and forced the issue. At best, people were asleep at the switch; at worst, they were looking the other way.It was only due to a complaint filed by activist Carroll Cox that resulted in the Ethics Commission's fine.

(And yet, the Star-Advertiser is looking the other way by not mentioning the fact that Jamila says Hannemann and Martin told him not to recuse himself.)

Reality: Waimanalo Gulch Cover-up: Hannemann, Martin fingered in Ethics Commission Report

read … Jamila got off too lightly for ethics lapse

Abercrombie update spurs 'Snooze Day in Hawaii'

Gov. Neil Abercrombie updated his "New Day" plan with a speech warning of a "gathering storm" around state finances. The wind component of the storm was the collective yawn of his constituents….

read … Snooze Day

Aberconomy: Unemployment jumps to 6.1%

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Friday the state's unemployment rate in July increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent.

That number is compared to the rate of 6 percent in May and June.

There were 594,000 employed and 38,400 unemployed in July.

Construction declined by 300 jobs in July….

SA: Hawaii jobless rate rises for first time in 2 years

read … Seasonally adjusted unemployment

Substitute Teachers waiting for as much as $100 million in back pay

As many as 30,000 substitute or part-time teachers are affected by the class-action lawsuits, which argued that the state failed to calculate their wage correctly and didn't come through on pay raises. Though the state cannot appeal the case involving substitute teachers, it may still pursue an appeal in the case involving part-time teachers….

The substitute class action stems from a 2002 complaint from Maui teacher David Garner, who claimed the state violated a 1996 law pegging pay for substitutes to rates for Class II teachers — those who have a bachelor's degree but no advanced training.

From 1996 to 2005, for example, pay for substitute teachers increased 11 percent, compared with 40 percent for Class II teachers. Although substitute teachers claimed they were illegally underpaid from 1996, the courts ruled they could only receive back pay for the period from November 2000 to June 2005, when the state changed pay guidelines.

In court the state argued the law on substitute teacher pay was unclear.

The class action for part-time teachers is related to the one for substitute teachers because part-time teachers are paid an hourly rate tied to what substitutes get. The suit, filed by teacher Dianne Kawashima in 2006, was decided in favor of teachers in April.

Underpaid for 15 years and the Union didn’t do anything. Maybe this gives a clue why the HSTA is such a sorry excuse for a union: HSTA Leaders see Conspiracy by Other Unions?

SA: UH faculty union slams HSTA's actions

read … Teachers waiting for as much as $100 million in back pay

Private School Success: Top Students continue to Beat National Averages

The ACT average scores reported for the entire state this week show that the 3,259 students who took the ACT exam this year earned a composite score of 21.3 out of a possible 36.0, compared with the national average of 21.1.

(And yet the DoE continues to top the nation is failure.)

SA: Encouraging girls in STEM fields

read … Hawaii's ACT Scores Stay Steady

90-Day Homeless Plan: Take Credit for Pre-Existing Efforts

The outcome, the governor said, included an "unprecedented coordination and focus" among government agencies and private groups, and the moving of 530 people from the street or emergency shelters into transitional or permanent housing….

"Some people are wondering what was accomplished, because in the press conference there was no baseline," said Doran Porter, CEO of the Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance. "We are not sure if the same accomplishment would have happened if the 90-day plan was in place or not."

The nonprofit alliance has resource centers for homeless people throughout Oahu. But it was not one of the statewide organizations involved with the 90-day plan. Porter said the alliance had not seen a significant reduction in the number of clients it helps.

As Explained: Abercrombie’s 90-Day Plan: Take Credit for Homeless Shelters “doing the work they always have done”

read … 90-Day-Plan

Hawaii Gov’t Tech: Old, Older, Oldest

If you've been to any state office in the last 20 years, you may have noticed that the way our government works is outdated and ineffective….

"We are sitting in analog and paper government in a lot of places, and that's a problem because there's inefficiencies," says Bhagowalia….

"For example there are certain hardware computers, mainframes and other things and in some areas they are just older technology, older firm wear, older software versions," says Bhagowalia.

read … New State IT Chief plans to make government more efficient

Global Horizons and two California farms ordered to pay $2 million to farm workers

A federal appeals court awarded nearly $2 million on Wednesday to more than 600 Latino farm workers who accused a farm labor contractor and two Washington state growers of violating federal labor laws.

The Yakima Valley farm workers claimed that Valley Fruit Orchards and Green Acre Farms illegally and intentionally displaced them by hiring Los Angeles-based Global Horizons to bring in foreign workers in 2004.

[AP, Court: Farm workers entitled to nearly $2 million, 8/17/2011]

read … Global Horizons and two California farms ordered to pay $2 million to farm workers

Association for Ko Olina condos sues over fees

 

The lawsuit could have implications for how much real property tax the city collects.

Most of the units in the project are taxed at the hotel and resort rate, but some owners have had the classification for their individual units changed to the residential rate, which is less than a third of the hotel rate….

The lawsuit is only one of several legal issues surrounding the Beach Villas at Ko Olina project.

The association and Stone are embroiled in disputes regarding the commercial condo units in the project, which include the lobby and front desk, a bar, the pool, the gym and a club room.

An entity controlled by Stone assumed ownership of the commercial condos from Centex for $1 last year, after the project was completed and Pulte assumed ownership of Centex.

When Stone’s company sold the land in 2006, the project was supposed to be branded as a Ritz-Carlton resort, he said. But that deal fell through, and the Beach Villas were built without a hotel flag or brand.

“After Centex sold the company to Pulte, there was a trigger — any commercial condominiums would have to revert back to me,” Stone said. “You can’t own those as an [association of apartment owners].”

Owners at the Beach Villas are now permitted to use the lobby, bar, pool, gym and club room for a fee of $195 per month, and about 60 people have signed up, Stone said.

Related: Fraud, Threats, and bathrooms: Hanabusa's Jeff Stone dukes it out with Ko Olina condo owners

read … Association for Ko Olina condos sues over fees

Anti-Americans take stand against Free Trade with Korea

In a state dependent on trade and tourism, Kyle Kajihiro of AFSC claims: “Proponents of the Korea deal also like to cite only the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) projected increase in U.S. exports to Korea, without mentioning the projected increase in imports.”

What he doesn’t mention is that the KORUS agreement lowers Korean tariffs and non-tariff barriers against US Trade. The US has long ago eliminated these barriers to Korean imports.

The Obama administration says KORUS will add $10B to the US economy >>> LINK

The AFSC in Hawaii: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

read … Trade agreement with South Korea would just intensify America's devastating job crisis

Hostel underpaid working guests, suit alleges

Since Sept. 4, 2008, the hostel and Reiter paid worker/guests less than the minimum wage and failed to pay overtime, the lawsuit says.

The Labor Department submitted with the lawsuit a list of 114 names of former worker/guests. All but one worked at the hostel for room and board, said Leanne Amaden, Department of Labor spokeswoman.

The lawsuit also alleges that the company and Reiter fired one employee for filing a complaint about wages with the secretary of labor.

read … Hostel underpaid working guests, suit alleges

TSA Manager Targeted For Firing Speaks Out

The TSA in Honolulu fired Ware in 2003, claiming he failed a certification test, but managers refused to show him the results of the test, he said. He sued the TSA in federal court, claiming he was the victim of discrimination because he was black and came from Texas, so he wasn't given promotional opportunities enjoyed by Hawaii residents, especially those formerly from the Honolulu Police Department.

"I've been discriminated against, treated unfairly and treated differently than the rest of the managers and supervisors since I've been here," Ware told KITV 4 News in an interview Friday at the Honolulu office of his attorney, Daphne Barbee-Wooten.

In 2008, federal Judge Helen Gillmor ordered the TSA to rehire Ware, give him a promotion from supervisor to manager, and give him pay and interest of nearly $500,000, Barbee-Wooten said.

"It was extremely frustrating. It took five years in order for me to get justice to get to the level where I am today," Ware said.

On June 10, the TSA fired him again, this time in the baggage-checking scandal.

read … TSA Manager Targeted For Firing Speaks Out

Anonymous Complaint investigated against Hickam Firefighters

"There is an on-going investigation being conducted by the Inspector General for Navy Region Hawaii which began in July," said Agnes T. Tauyan, public affairs director for Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Mid-Pacific. "Federal Fire Department officials hold a position of trust and are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity."

Tauyan's email Friday continued: "In the interest of good order and discipline, the Navy is moving quickly to verify these serious allegations and take any necessary actions."….

The complaint, an Aug. 8 letter from a "Concerned Citizen of the United States" to three Hickam commanders and the federal fire chief at Pearl Harbor, was sent to Civil Beat earlier this month.

The letter indicates that copies were also sent to other Hawaii media, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the U.S. Secret Service and other military and government officials.

read … Sex, Booze and Firefighting

Little League: Hilo All Stars surge past Italy to reach final

Almost immediately after completing a 10-0, five-inning victory over Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, in Friday’s Senior League World Series semifinal at Mansfield Stadium, the Hilo, Hawaii, all-stars turned their attention to the immediate future.

First they won the coin flip with the Rose Capital East Little League of Tyler, Texas, to be the home team for Saturday’s 2 p.m. world championship game, then they began focusing on that next opponent, which advanced earlier in the day with a 10-5 victory over defending SLWS champion San Nicolas, Aruba.

read … Hawaii surges past Italy to reach final

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