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Wednesday, October 05, 2011
October 5, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:15 PM :: 4736 Views

VIDEO: Lingle at Djou Fundraiser in Manoa

Back to the Future: Hilo Girl leads 12 Army Cooks replacing 84 Contractors in Iraq

Hawaii DoE Launches Anti-Bullying Campaign

Hawaii Public Schools to Offer Surfing as Official Sport

HB: Data on Women and Money in Hawaii and Nationally

Bob Jones: Hirono, Hanabusa, Abercrombie Least Inspirational in History

Bob Jones: I think it’s fair to say that we have the least inspirational president, Congress, District 1 and 2 U.S. representatives, Legislature, local union leaders and Hawaii governor in recent history.

We are dangling over the fires of recession and revenue shortfall that cannot easily be quenched. We could be inspired to tighten our belts and reach for solutions if we had inspirational leaders. We do not.

President Obama is the great disappointment of my liberal Democrat life….

Don’t know about most Hawaii voters, but I’m unimpressed with the work of Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa. I smell Inouye-rubber-stamp….

Then there’s Neil-TheEnigma Abercrombie who talks before he thinks. He talks platitudes about canoes and imua. He seems to play it on the fly. He’s unable to inspire anybody but his sister-of-a-senator press secretary Donalyn Dela Cruz. Makes many of us yearn for Cayetano and Waihee or even Ariyoshi but not Lingle. She could be inspirational, but her philosophies were screwed on like George Bush’s.

Governor, are you politically tone deaf?

No, I’m not getting ready to run for some office and doing slap-down prep work. I’m just mad as hell about our uninspirational leaders, and most of them happen to be Democrats.

I’ve always expected better from Dems….

We’re unlikely to have Obama, Congress, our Legislature and our governor give us even close to pay-as-you-go budgets.

read … Inspiration

Roll Call: Lingle is most high profile candidate not yet announced

The conventional wisdom is that odds favor Republicans winning control of the Senate next year. But an examination of the 2012 landscape at the end of the third quarter shows the chamber’s majority could go either way.

The overall numbers favor Republicans — Democrats are defending 23 seats to the GOP’s 10 — but controlling at least 50 seats may once again hinge on how some primaries shake out.

Several races still have maturing to do, and the third-quarter reports due Oct. 15 will offer the latest clues about the Republican primaries in states such as Indiana, Missouri and Florida, where the nomination is up for grabs. It will be months before GOP nominees are selected in those states, and in some cases, the primary winner could change the race’s outlook….

The most high-profile potential candidate still sitting on the sidelines is former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R), who has said she will announce her plans this fall. While the two-term governor would have a tough road to win Obama’s home state in a presidential cycle, her entrance would help the NRSC expand the map.

“The goal is always to expand the playing field as much as possible, especially if you’re on offense,” LaCivita said.

No Primary Problem Here: Democrats scheming to plant candidate in Republican Senate Primary

read … Lingle

Inouye: “Case knows why I’m not too happy with him”

"This sounds silly to some but I have not used the word 'endorse,' so I can say with a straight face that I have not endorsed anyone, but I'm friendly to Mazie," Inouye said in an interview in his U.S. Capitol office. "I've been to her fundraisers."

Asked if it would be fair to say that he hopes Hirono wins, the senator replied: 
"I think so. I'm being honest with you."

"He knows why I'm not too happy with him," Inouye said of Case.

Related: Daniel Inouye's 1959 Guide To Getting Elected

read … Down With Case

Hamada: Kaauwai Was Good For GOP

Here is why Kaauwai was forced out. It’s because he scared key people in the GOP. And that fear was not based on personality or performance, but it was a fear that Linda Lingle, Charles Djou and other GOP incumbents or candidates would not win their contests because Kaauwai was religiously controversial. He was too conservative. He was an extremist. And this did not fit well with a GOP contingent who wants to emphasize “moderation.”

But wait, Kaauwai was elected twice to the chairmanship. You knew what you were getting with him. In the last election, he ran unopposed (which is an anathema to GOP objectives). It seems that would have been the opportune time to run an alternative candidate. Or, was he actually popular because he was doing a good job and the majority of delegates appreciated his accomplishments?

Let’s face it, before Kaauwai the Hawaii Republican Party was facing the worst political condition: irrelevance. Willis Lee, the previous chairman, was assumedly taking a stealth approach to leadership when, in 2008, Democrats ran for 29 seats unopposed by a Republican. In 2010 under Kaauwai, all but three seats were filled with GOP candidates. And although the overall numbers are anemic, there was still an increase in the number of state representatives in 2010 that stemmed the flow of losses over previous chairmanships. Plus, there were overall gains in party membership under Kaauwai’s watch.

So when you hear criticisms of his stewardship of the party, there is a record of performance that many would deem successful.

Flashback March, 2011: Conservatives lead Hawaii GOP--but will they pay for it?

read … Kaauwai Was Good For GOP

Duke Aiona Responsible for GOP’s Poor 2010 Performance

But his efforts went unrewarded. Republicans picked up but a single seat in the 51-member House of Representatives while losing one in the 25 member state Senate, leaving them with a caucus of eight in the House and one, “Lonely Sam” Slom, in the Senate.

The results proved particularly discouraging for local Republicans because 2010 seemed oh-so-much like a Republican year. In April former state representative and city councilman Charles Djou beat two well-known Democrats to fill the unexpired 1st District term of Neil Abercrombie, and throughout the general election season polls indicated that Republicans across the country would win in 2010.

Which, of course, they did, seizing control of one house of Congress and governorships and legislative majorities in key states north, south, east and west.

But not in Hawaii. Despite the battering Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann had given each other in the Democratic primary, Republican gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona lost to Abercrombie by a whopping 17 percentage points.

Flashback March, 2011: Conservatives lead Hawaii GOP--but will they pay for it?

read … Boylan stumbles over the truth

Sovereignty Activist Tied to Two Other Possible Elder Abuse Cases

Hans M. Kanuha was adopted by millionaire Laurence H. Dorcy on April 4, just two months before Dorcy died at Straub Clinic & Hospital at the age of 76, leaving his fortune to his newly adopted son.

Nine years before, according to court documents, Kanuha met an 82-year-old Kula woman named Margot Heeseman "who was a recluse and completely isolated from her family."

On Nov. 12, 2002, Heeseman deeded her residence to Kanuha and gave him power of attorney, according to the documents.

The same year, Kanuha discovered that his friend Toby Rogoff was diagnosed with stomach cancer, according to documents. Kanuha was earning about $1,000 a month in gross income at the time, according to the documents.

Within a year, Rogoff died, and Kanuha ended up with Rogoff's leasehold interest in her Kula business, Calasa's Gas Station.

"In effect," according to court documents, "Mrs. Heeseman and Ms. Rogoff were 'dry runs' for Mr. Dorcy."

Background: Naming names: Who are the alleged Sovereignty-mortgage scammers?

read … Just another typical Sovereignty Activist

Child Deaths: DHS Director Blames Media for Controversy over DHS Secrecy

There has been some confusion over the facts that were reported in recent news stories and an editorial by the Star-Advertiser ("Improve reporting of isle child deaths," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Sept. 29).

We do our best to fulfill requests for information on reporters' deadlines, and what ended up happening in this case was that the news media reported incomplete information to the public.

To be clear, there were 30 children who died while in the state's custody over the last 10 years. Of those 30, one child was abused while in state custody, and the perpetrator and cause of death could not be determined. Two other children died while in state custody as a result of abuse that occurred before they entered our custody.

read … Blame the Media

SA Defends Reapportionment Plan

The commission came up with a credible solution to its knottiest challenge: whether or not to count out-of-state college students and military personnel who are not permanent residents of Hawaii. After initially including them, the commission later opted to remove 16,458 from the population base. Those removed are students known to spend most of their time out of state or, in the case of the military, known to be registered voters in other states.

As for the remainder of the state's nearly 72,000 nonresident military, until there is better data available, it's wrong simply to assume that they cast absentee ballots elsewhere and, thus, should be discounted. Military residents often are active members of the community whose interests should be part of the mix in legislative debate. If the military adds more heft to the Oahu population, then the reapportionment plan should reflect that, regardless of threats of legal challenges.

SA … Political boundaries fit together well

Hawaii County moves closer to vote-by-mail

Yoshimoto said the measure would decrease ballot access, not increase it. He noted that currently, voters can choose to vote at the polls on election day, to vote absentee by mail or to vote absentee by coming to certain polling places prior to election day.

"People have three choices to vote," Yoshimoto said. "This proposal chooses to eliminate two of those options and just have vote by mail. ... I just want to give people sufficient opportunities to vote."

Onishi said he had discussed this issue with a county councilman from Oregon, who he said reported that voter participation first spiked, then dropped under the vote-by-mail program. He urged fellow council members to talk with Oregon officials before proceeding.

Besides, Onishi added, "It's the candidates. If there are good candidates out there, people are going to vote."

Reality: Vote By Mail: “Tool of choice for voter fraud”

read … Tool Of Choice

Dela Cruz: Hotels, Energy Projects to be Facilitated by State Land Corporation

One of those laws, formerly known as Senate Bill 2, directs the Department of Land and Natural Resources to make an inventory of lands in the public trust….

During his presentation to the County Council's Governmental Relations Committee, Dela Cruz singled out the state of the cabins of the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area, where only six of the 24 or so cabins are in operation.

"Right now, this isn't working. Twenty-four cabins, only six in operation, that's not acceptable," Dela Cruz said.

The solution is to identify state lands and make them begin generating revenue by entering into agreements with private companies. The Public Land Development Corp. will be the lead agency to accomplish this.

State land could be used for office space, vehicle parking, commercial uses, hotel, residential and timeshare uses, gas stations, storage and repair facilities, and seawater air conditioning plants, among other things, according to Dela Cruz' bill, which Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law as Act 55. The idea is to emulate the public-private agreement system followed by the National Park Service, Dela Cruz said.

Initially, the corporation will focus on developing small boat harbors, state parks and other state facilities. Dela Cruz hopes his bill will make DLNR more self-sufficient, improve the condition of state-owned properties and create jobs….

"I read Bill 1555, and I got to tell you, frankly, it terrifies me," said Councilwoman Brenda Ford. She asked the senator whether "we the people have no control over it (the land)" after it's transferred to the corporation. Dela Cruz said that the corporation is subject to Sunshine Law meeting requirements, and he emphasized the need for cooperation with Hawaii County.

read … Inventory, Sale of Land

Abercrombie gets lead out when cashing tax checks

Under former Gov. Ben Cayetano, $500 checks I was writing to one state agency went uncashed for four or five months before they were finally deposited.

It was particularly annoying at a time the administration was cutting services because of a then-$200 million budget deficit; I wondered how much of that $200 million was laying around on somebody's desk in uncashed checks.

With former Gov. Linda Lingle, the issue was uncashed income tax checks….

My first estimated tax payment on Abercrombie's watch, in January, was deposited just short of a month after I mailed it, about the same as my final payment to the Lingle administration last September.

But the new administration has shown impressive progress since then. My April tax check was deposited 16 days after I mailed it, compared with a month for my final April payment under Lingle.

The deposit lag was down to 10 days for my June estimated tax payment and eight days for my recent September payment, which approaches IRS speed considering that a weekend was involved.

Related: $134 Million Mystery: DoTax suddenly admits “unusual reporting, systemic problems, inconsistencies”

read .. DoTax Cash

HNN: Two HPD officers charged in alleged workers comp fraud scheme

Hawaii News Now has learned that two Honolulu police officers have been charged with criminal wrongdoing for an alleged workers compensation fraud scheme.

One of the defendants, a sergeant, has been with HPD for 25 years. The other, an officer, is a 15-year police veteran. Their first court hearing on charges of tampering with a government record took place without them Tuesday morning.

read … Another Day, Another Cop

Judge grants restricted bail to Shack extortion suspect

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang granted Yoshino's release last week on $200,000 bail.

The government asked Seabright to overturn Chang's order and asked him to look at a video it claims shows Yoshino carrying out an unprovoked, violent attack on one of the original owners of the Waikiki restaurant last November….

The other two defendants, Curtis Swanson and Tory Winward, remain in custody without the opportunity for bail.

read … The Shack

Aloun Farms: Another Slavery Conviction Overturned

A federal judge set aside Tuesday the conviction of a man who pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to the prosecution that the government dropped against Alec and Mike Sou of Aloun Farms.

Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway granted the request by Matee Chowsanitphon to vacate the conviction based on what his lawyer said was new evidence that surfaced during the Sous' trial.

Department of Justice civil rights prosecutors who were handling the cases did not oppose the request.

Related: Human Trafficking: Did the US DoJ Purposefully lose the Aloun Farms Case?

read … Connections Pay Off

Open Enrollment but EUTF Premiums Still Not Known

ILind: … Although the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund, or EUTF, started holding informational meetings on Monday to explain the choices and tradeoffs, critical information needed to make the choice has yet to be provided.

Actual premiums for each of the health insurance plans, including medical, drug, vision, and dental plans, have been delayed and are still unavailable.

A memo from EUTF administrator Barbara Coriell, dated Monday, October 3, said the agency hopes to make most rates public by today, Wednesday, October 5. Premiums for the prescription drug plan remain uncertain because of a challenge to the new contract awarded CVS by an unsuccessful bidder, so the actual drug premium depends on the outcome of that appeal.

As of early this morning, rates are still listed on the EUTF web site as “coming soon.” …

EUTF has information meetings scheduled daily at locations across the state, continuing right up to the October 21 deadline.

read … EUTF

Inouye: Protectionist Senate Bill A Risk to Hawaii Tourism

The Senate advanced the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 in a 79-19 vote on Monday evening.1

Economists estimate that the Chinese yuan is undervalued by about 30 percent. The practice artificially lowers the cost of exporting Chinese goods and puts American competitors at a disadvantage.

But Inouye argues that the outcome would be worse if Congress angers the Chinese. Indeed, Chinese officials reacted swiftly against the Senate vote on Monday. Inouye said the situation is of particular concern for Hawaii.

"I'll be honest with you, the Chinese are now an important element in our tourism business," Inouye said. "Their numbers are increasing."

read … Protectionism

After Prosecutors Drop pre-APEC Prep Case, ACLU goes to Plan B

The American Civil Liberties Union says it wants better training for Honolulu police on how to handle protesters before next month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The ACLU issued the request Tuesday in reaction to a decision to drop charges against two University of Hawaii students who were cited after going topless during a gender discrimination protest. Jamie and Tess Meier of Maui were cited for failing to get a parks department permit for the demonstration….

The prosecutor's spokesman, Dave Koga, declined to comment on the ACLU's request for more police training.

read … Plan B

City clears out homeless in Haleiwa

City workers and volunteers, accompanied by Honolulu police, took apart what was left behind. It's an area across from Haleiwa Beach Park, hidden behind the bushes. Those who were kicked out wonder why they're being forced out when they've essentially stayed out of the way.

"We've been tucked away back here for a while, why are you just gonna take us out of the bushes and put us on the streets where we're more visible?" said another person being kicked out of the area.

The city says it received numerous complaints about the homeless, and wanted to get rid of the debris that has accumulated in this area. A spokesman says notices were given out so it should come as no surprise.

read … Homeless

Mililani Trask to Headline Geothermal Forum at Bellows

This is how geothermal is kept sidelined for the last few months of the solar bubble economy.

read … Protesting for profit

Fidell: Big Wind = Superferry Redux

The Superferry was tragic in the sense that activists, unopposed by the silent majority, stopped a project that would have benefited the state in general. If they now stop Big Wind three years later, that would be a tragedy of even greater proportions. Not only because we would lose the clean energy Big Wind could contribute, but also because the will of the state was hijacked. (The State already HAS been hijacked—by mainland green energy scammers.)

read … Desperate times call for desperate Arguments

Abercrombie Admin to “Invest” $6M in High Tech Companies

A new $6 million round of venture capital funding will provide a major push in the campaign to develop commercial applications for research being done at the University of Hawaii.

The state-run High Technology Development Corp. will combine $3 million of federal funding with $3 million from the University of Hawaii Foundation to help develop companies based on research and development being done at UH, Karl Fooks, HTDC president, said Tuesday. The fund will be jointly managed by the two entities….

The $6 million will be used to provide seed capital for four to five startup companies a year for a period of five years. The fund will be a second generation of the much smaller Upside Fund launched by the HTDC 18 months ago, which provided capital for three UH research projects.

read … Be sure to make the right campaign contributions

TAU: Hordes of Developers Descend on Kauai County Council

Last year former Kaua‘i County Council Chair Kaipo Asing, finishing his last term as a council member after 28 years of public service, noted that some real estate developers are clever in the ways they find loopholes in laws.

Council members have been on their toes in recent weeks fending off this threat as they continue to craft legislation regulating growth of the island’s transient accommodation units.

With Bill 2410 coming to a head today before the full council, it could be interesting to watch how the seven-member lawmaking body deals with the lawyers and landowner representatives who packed Council Chambers last week hoping to influence the bill at the committee level.

 

read … Locusts

#2 Man at Civil Defense Steps Down over Power Grab by State DoD

After 15 years with Hawaii State Civil Defense, Ed Teixeira left with a heavy heart, but he said he felt it was time for him to go. "There's been changes in the wind that were forthcoming that I don't totally agree with. When you get to that point, something has to give, someone has to go so I turned in my resignation to General Wong."

Some of the changes Teixeira disagreed with came from Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, who took as over as the Director of State Civil Defense earlier this year.

One change includes removing the ability of Civil Defense to get government grants, money that could be spent on equipment. That part of the operation would be turned over to the Department of Defense. "The grants program has been so successful. We've managed to apply for and gather $200 million in 8 years in Homeland Security money," said Teixeira.

 

read … An actual announcement!

Likelike on Hold: As Campus closure policy is under review

The board's policy says a school should be considered for closure if one-third or more of the square footage on the campus needs improvements, one-third or more of classrooms are not used for teaching or the school is not offering the range of opportunities at other schools.

BOE member Jim Williams noted that the current policy does not mention student achievement, (Successful schools seem to be targeted for closure.) and questioned whether the department was following the policy in the case of Likelike. He said all but two classrooms at the school are being used and that it has had a host of improvements in recent years to bring it up to standard.

He also said it would be a "waste of time" to pursue a consolidation review of Likelike Elementary. "The energy that the school would spend to fight closure would be much better spent" at the school, he said.

read … Likelike

Teachers Fight 'Take It or Leave It' Deal

The Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the union's request to compel the board to provide teachers with immediate relief from a new contract imposed by the state.

The union says state Supreme Court order denying its complaint was "in violation of constitutional and statutory provisions, in excess of statutory authority or jurisdiction of the agency, made upon unlawful procedure, affected by other error of law, clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative and substantive evidence on the whole records, and/or arbitrary, capricious, and characterized by abuse of discretion and a clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion."

read … Courthouse News

Hawaii Ed Board Passes Graduation Policy — Again

What was supposed to be a routine revote on Hawaii's graduation policy Tuesday turned into a showdown between school board members and the Department of Education.

A seemingly simple language change — from the word "and" to the word "or" — stretched into a lengthy and emotional discussion among board members and department officials. It lasted into the evening and, at times, seemed as if Hawaii's new graduation policy had imploded — despite the fact that two weeks ago it had become, for all intents and purposes, policy.

In the end, the simple wording change changed nothing. Hawaii high schoolers will still have to take a third math course: Algebra 2 or a proficiency-based equivalent.

read … Sunshine

Ground-based interceptor missiles hit targets over Hawaii

The test marked the first time the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system detected and struck two different targets using two interceptors, Lockheed Martin said in a press release.

The first Thaad missile intercepted an air-launched short- range ballistic missile target in the test conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The second missile then intercepted a sea-launched short-range missile, according to the company statement.

read … THAAD

Obama policy setting troop killers free in Iraq

Under the Iraq Security Agreement signed by the Bush administration in 2008, all detainees left in Iraq by the end of 2011 have to be turned over to the Iraqis. For the most part, the Bush White House was giving the pickpockets and common criminals over to the Iraqis but moving dangerous terrorists who had killed Americans to places like Guantanamo Bay to be held for military trials.

The Obama administration wanted to shutter Gitmo and believed that enemy combatants captured on overseas battlefields deserved federal civilian trials. When American public opinion thwarted this policy, Obama found himself boxed into a self-created ideological corner. Rather than adjust the flawed position, the administration began turning over to the Iraqis even non-Iraqi terrorists who killed Americans in Iraq.

In July, the administration tried quietly to transfer Ali Mousa Daqduq, a Lebanese Hezbollah commander working at the behest of the Iranians, over to Iraqi authorities. Among other acts of terror, Daqduq masterminded the killing of five American soldiers. A group of U.S. senators wrote the Pentagon to prevent Daqduq's transfer because it was almost certain he'd be released or allowed to escape. The administration has yet to turn him over, but remains committed to doing so by year's end.

Most media reports about Daqduq and other dangerous detainees being transferred to Iraqi authorities give the impression that this is an aberration, and that the Obama administration's hands are tied by the agreement signed by the previous administration. Nonsense. The Obama administration can still detain terrorist outside Iraq, rather than hand them over to the Iraqis so they can be turned loose to kill again.

read … Terrorists Walk


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