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Thursday, December 29, 2011
December 29, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:33 PM :: 10807 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Assisted suicide still a no-go in Aloha State

Berg Wins Backing for New Waianae Access Road Study

Full Text: US DoJ Memo Suddenly Legalizes In-State Online Gaming

Hawaii's Civil Union Law Greeted With Lawsuit

Lingle Ranked #2 in Construction Job Growth, Abercrombie Ranks #38

CB: Gov. Neil Abercrombie says his administration is "doing infrastructure smarter" by heavily investing in capital projects across the state.

The result, he says, is a direct boost to Hawaii's construction industry.

"These projects are contributing to Hawaii having the nation's second highest rate of growth in construction jobs over the last year," Abercrombie said in a recent posting to his website, "First Year Actions & Accomplishments", which wraps up his first year in office….

Has the Abercrombie administration's capital works plan spurred construction jobs at a higher rate than most states?

Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz pointed Civil Beat to the source of the claim: a monthly ranking by the Associated General Contractors of America. The association says its rankings are based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Turns out Hawaii did at one time rank No. 2 among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for construction employment growth. That was back in May, based on the preceding 12 months. Over that time period, Hawaii had posted a 4.2 percent gain, or 1,200 construction jobs.

The latest ranking, however, has Hawaii in the No. 38 spot for construction job growth between November 2010 and November 2011. (Abercrombie took office in December 2010.) The state's construction industry lost 700 jobs during that time period.

(Abercrombie is doing a better job of running on Lingle’s record than Duke Aiona did.)

Background: Stimulus? Abercrombie CIP Contract Awards Drop by 86% from Lingle

read … Abercrombie at #38

Under Lingle State Saved $20M in Electricity Costs, Abercrombie Claims Credit

CB: The total electricity bill for the state was $145 million for fiscal year 2010, according to the report. The total bill for 2009 was $165 million.

So, he's right as far as that goes.

But electricity rates were higher in 2009 than they were in 2010. They actually went down in 2010 (Lingle’s last year). So part of the $20 million reduction in state spending was based on the change in electricity rates.

A 2.8 percent reduction in electricity use actually meant that the state saved about $4 million, not $20 million. The rest of the savings came from the lower price.

Abercrombie also says the state saved money on electricity through energy efficiency practices, such as "turning off lights and computer screens."

However, the report concludes that it's "difficult to determine the primary reasons" for the reduction in electricity use. The state has taken many actions to reduce electricity consumption, including encouraging office workers to reduce their usage, retrofitting lights and switching out old energy-intensive air conditioners. But it's likely that other factors, related to the poor economy, contributed to the reduction in electricity use, such as furlough days, reduced operating budgets and staff cuts. Cooler weather may also have cut back on air conditioning use.

(Abercrombie is doing a better job of running on Lingle’s record than Duke Aiona did.)

read … Abercrombie Strategy, Run on Lingle’s record

Pali Momi, Wahiawa General: ‘Standing Room Only’

KHON: The Pearl City Urgent Care Center helped relieve some of her stress. The new facility which handles broken bones, blood tests and burns has seen the number of patients double in the last week.

"Yesterday we saw 34 to 32 patients, so we've been very busy," said Lisa Cooke, Medial Assistant and Technician at Pearl City Urgent Care.

Other emergency rooms and urgent care centers in the area are getting up to triple the number of patients.

"I guess they've been going to Pali Momi and I don't know how they're coping with all this busyness that's been going on," said Cooke.

According to reports Wednesday, at one point the patient waiting room at Pali Momi overflowed into the employee dining hall. Kepa says it was standing room only.

"I think every seat is full and people standing."

At Wahiawa General, patients spilled into the hallways.

"Every medical facility is feeling the brunt of this change," said Kepa.

Related: Abercrombie Doubles Down on Policies Which Killed HMC Hospitals

Hawaii Health Care Jobs Listing: http://hawaii.gov/labor/HMC%20Job%20Listing_122311.pdf

read … Last five patients at HMC- West transferred out

Republican National Committee Ted Liu vs Willes Lee

Ted Liu, a former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, is up against Willes Lee, a former state party chairman.

Liu has the backing of former Gov. Linda Lingle’s dominant faction within the party. Lee has been a voice for Republicans critical of the party’s leadership and financial management.

The GOP’s state committee is expected to vote in January.

read … RNC

Organic Cultists Shocked: Aloun Farms Growing GMO Corn

HW: “They’re growing a lot of melons, some sweet corn, some cabbages and stuff like that,” says Nekota. “But what people don’t realize is that they also grow a whole bunch of GMO seed corn.”

According to Nekota, Aloun Farms produces 300 to 400 acres of GMO seed corn for Pioneer, a subsidiary of DuPont. They also sublease almost 100 acres to a company growing basil to be shipped off island….

Yes, they do grow seed corn there,” says Sierra Club Hawaii director Robert Harris. “That’s not necessarily something that many people would like to see, or want, but that doesn’t make the land less valuable.”

Harris continues, “I do not think Aloun Farms is a model for the types of projects that many progressives would like to see (at Ho’opili).…” (That’s not what the organic-holistic-sustainable crowd was saying when Aloun Farms was facing slavery charges….)

DN: Honolulu Weekly: Aloun Farms growing GMO corn, export basil

Organic Cultists Defended Aloun Farms against Slavery Charges: Neil Abercrombie's slavery problem (The Organic-Progressives betrayed the Thai workers and now Aloun Farms betrays the Progressives. Karma.)

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

read … Honolulu Weekly 

Wanna-Be Hawaii Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Goes Bankrupt In Korea

DN: CT&T has just asked the Seoul Central District Court to place the company under court management. In its third quarter the company reported sales of 8.8 billion won, an operating loss of 22 billion won, and a net loss of 26.9 billion won, according to Korean-language reports on the Web earlier this month.

Related: Electric Vehicles Lack a Spark – and soon will lack funding

read … CT&T BK in RoK

Wasted In Hawaii Site Satires Obama Vacation

Use our tweet buttons to tell the President that you made sacrifices for your holiday vacation. Maybe it will sober him up.

Let President Obama know that you don't appreciate him spending $40 every 15 seconds on his Hawaii trip.

(For the sake of accuracy it should be pointed out that Obama isn’t a big drinker. He always preferred cocaine and marijuana. Or at least that’s what he says about himself in his first autobiography.)

read … Wasted in Hawaii 

Hawaii Kai Realtor Fired for Challenging Gay Lords

SBH: The well publicized story of a Hawaii Kai vacation rental owner who declined to rent to a lesbian couple resulted in a civil rights lawsuit. What wasn't publicized was that the owner was a successful local Realtor®. Her ownership of the rental is disallowed and was apparently not known by the firm she worked for. When they found out, she was let go. A follow up survey found six more of the firm's associates also had personal vacation rentals and they too have been dispatched as of the end of this week.

News Release: Californian Gay Couple Sue Hawaiian Bed And Breakfast For Discrimination – “There are also doubts about whether Ms Young’s business even holds the required license to operate. Aloha Bed and Breakfast cannot be found on a list of properties approved for bed and breakfast use that have been issued with the appropriate certificates by the Department of Planning and Permitting in Honolulu.” (Yup, 6 realtors are out of work because two lesbians think they have the right to force their way into a private home.)

CB: Website Announced for Civil Union Applications

read … Obey your masters or be punished

Gays Demand Catholics Hand over Children

SA: Catholic Charities in Illinois has served for more than 40 years as a major link in the state's social service network for poor and neglected children. But now most of the Catholic Charities affiliates in Illinois are closing down rather than comply with a new requirement that says they can no longer receive state money if they turn away same-sex couples as potential foster care and adoptive parents.

read … Like ‘em young

Put state on spending diet rather than impose soda tax

SA: Though Hawaii has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country, still it has doubled in the last 15 years — making it difficult to argue against a policy that promises a reduction in waistlines.

But the best and most effective way to reduce obesity is personal responsibility. Taxing sugary drinks is simply government overreach bound to leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Let's first dispense with the exaggerated rhetoric that surrounds soda consumption. Nutritional research suggests that soda consumption alone contributes little to the American obesity epidemic. In fact, writing recently in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Purdue University criticized the media for exaggerating the consequences of normal soda drinking….

This intuition is backed up by the evidence, which indicates that taxes would barely nudge portly residents of Hawaii enough to transform them into much slimmer people. For example, recent economic research conclude that even an enormous 58 percent tax on soda would drop the average body mass by only 0.16 points — a trivial effect given that obesity is defined as a body mass index of at least 30.0….

(Laziness and dependence on government handouts make people fat.)

read … Soda Tax

Rep Fontaine Leading Charge for Kihei High School Project

MN: South Maui state Rep. George Fontaine said money has not been appropriated for construction.

"We're looking at all the various ways of how to fund this," Fontaine said. "There's different ways to skin a cat."

One option would be for the state to float a general obligation bond, which would be repaid over 20 years, he said. Or, the state Department of Education could lease the school from the project developer, eventually purchasing it through amortized payments.

"All those things have been discussed, but nothing has been decided yet," he said Wednesday.

Fontaine said he has been participating with a citizens' group called the Kihei High Action Team, which has been working to make "sure the state stays on track to get the school built."

The school is "long overdue," he said. "It's been a long process even to get to this point."

Already, the state is 20 months behind its original schedule, Fontaine said. The original target date for opening the school was in 2014.

"We want to get it done quickly. We want a quality product, and we want it done at a good price," he said.

read … Kihei High School

Hawaii loses 3,200 retail jobs in five years

PBN: Despite the addition of a number of new shopping centers and stores, Hawaii lost 3,200 retail jobs over the past five years….

read … Hawaii loses 3,200 retail jobs in five years

Hawaii sheds 1,000 government jobs since 2006

PBN: Government employment increased in 30 states and the District of Columbia between November 2006 and last month, according to the analysis by On Numbers, an affiliate of Pacific Business News.

Hawaii had 125,700 federal, state and local government jobs in November 2006, and 124,700 government jobs as of last month, which ranked the state No. 33 in terms of raw numbers of jobs.

read … 1000 Jobs

DOE Substitutes Must Have College Degrees In 2012

KITV: As Many As 350 Public School Subs Could Be Dropped

Read … 350 more jobs lost

SA: Plague of Frogs unless Fees hikes, positions created

SA: The annual tax n spend pre-legislative warmup propaganda is here….

read … Coqui

Maui: 30 Eco-Faddists Protest Because Aquarium Fish Dies

Upwards of 30 protesters held signs along Dairy Road in Kahului today over a three hour period, in a demonstration against a nearby tenant for the sale of reef fish.

“Today we’re demonstrating against Petco,” said Rene Umberger, environmental enthusiast with forthefishes.org and organizer of today’s event. “We learned last week that one of their baby yellow tangs had died,” a claim store officials could not confirm when asked about the alleged finding today….

read … Get a life

Another Monk Seal Found Dead on Molokai

CB: A monk seal pup was found dead on Molokai Wednesday, according to Guy Kaulukukui, deputy director of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The death comes on the heels of an announcement last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that it was investigating the deaths of two other monk seals believed to have died under suspicious circumstances

read … Another Monk Seal Found Dead on Molokai

Hawaii teamsters endorse Mufi Hannemann for congress

HNN: "I have had a long-time association with the Teamsters Union, as my father Gustav valued his membership with the union as a Foremost Dairies employee. As Mayor, my City Hall team and I prioritized TheBus and Handi-Van operations to ensure that Honolulu had one of the best bus systems in America. I am, therefore, extremely pleased and honored to receive this strong and solid endorsement from President Ron Kozuma and the Teamsters in my quest to serve Hawaii in the United States Congress," stated Mufi Hannemann.

A little History: Honolulu Council Special Election: Mel Kahele, Waimanalo Gulch, and other baggage

read … Hawaii teamsters endorse Mufi Hannemann for congress

Hawaii ranked tops for energy investment savings

PBN: Per capita, Hawaii is No. 1 for investment in energy savings performance contracting for public buildings, according to the Energy Services Coalition, a national nonprofit network working at the state and local level to increase energy efficiency through building upgrades.

The Energy Services Coalition uses guaranteed future energy and water utility bill savings to pay for the up-front capital costs of facility improvements.

In Hawaii, where overall conservation investment exceeds $150 million, the State Energy Office has been providing technical assistance on performance contracting to state agencies and the counties, upon request, since 1996.

read … Hawaii ranked tops for energy investment savings

Island seniors encouraged to weigh in on long-term care report

WHT: The graying of the so-called Baby Boom generation will "soon trigger a tsunami-like demand for long-term care services that the state and its residents are not prepared for."

That's AARP's reaction to the final draft report of the Hawaii Long-Term Care Commission, which will take public input on its findings in a hearing Friday, Jan. 6, 2-4 p.m. at the State Capitol Conference Room 229 in Honolulu.

The public can review the report online and email comments to administrator David Nixon at dnixon@hawaii.edu until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5….

Commission's report online at www.publicpolicycenter.hawaii.edu/ltcc.html.

read … Island seniors encouraged to weigh in on long-term care report

Obama nominates new chief of US Pacific Command

US President Barack Obama has nominated a four-star admiral who played a key role in the Libya air war as the new chief of the military's vast Pacific Command, the Pentagon has said

If confirmed by the Senate, Admiral Samuel Locklear would oversee more than 300,000 service members and a fleet of aircraft and warships over an area spanning the west coast of the United States to the western border of India….

Locklear would replace the current chief of Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, who was appointed in October 2009.

Read … Obama nominates new chief of US Pacific Command

Amid Arlington Grave Issues, VA Says Punchbowl Review 'Not Necessary'

CB: A long-awaited Army report released just before Christmas revealed that more than 64,000 grave markers in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery have possible problems like name misspellings, incorrect dates of birth and death, and inaccurate rank and service branch.

But the federal government says that a similar review at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl is "not necessary" because the two cemeteries are managed by different entities.

The Department of the Army maintains Arlington and its approximately 300,000 graves; the Department of Veterans Affairs manages Punchbowl, which is estimated to have the remains of about 35,000 people.

read … Punchbowl

Hawaii Supreme Court to Convene in Kapolei to Hear Arguments Involving Marital Property Dispute

NR: The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Kakinami v. Kakinami on Thursday, January 5, at 10 a.m. in the courtroom on the first floor of the Ronald T. Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. It will be the second time that the state’s highest court convenes in the Judiciary’s newest courthouse, which opened to the public in 2010.

read … News Release

Stephens Media owner in deal to buy 16 papers from NY Times

WHT: A Florida-based company whose majority owner also is a major stakeholder in Stephens Media has agreed to buy 16 newspapers and other related businesses from the New York Times Co., for about $143 million.

The transaction between the Times and Halifax Media Holdings LLC is expected to close within a few weeks. Stephens Capital Partners, owned by Warren Stephens of Little Rock, is majority owner of Halifax.

Warren Stephens, along with other members of the Stephens family, also owns Stephens Media, which owns West Hawaii Today and 10 other daily newspapers, 64 weekly newspapers and an Arkansas news website….

The Regional Media Group includes Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla.; The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif.; The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.; Star-News in Wilmington, N.C.; Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C.; Star-Banner in Ocala, Fla.; The Gainesville Sun in Gainesville, Fla.; and The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Also, The Gadsden Times in Gadsden, Ala.; The Courier in Houma, La.; Times-News in Hendersonville, N.C.; Daily Comet in Thibodaux, La.; The Dispatch in Lexington, N.C.; Petaluma Argus-Courier in Petaluma, Calif.; News Chief in Winter Haven, Fla.; and North Bay Business Journal in Santa Rosa, Calif.

read … Stephens Media owner in deal to buy 16 papers

MF Global chief missing $1.2B is financial adviser to EPA

WT: During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared from MF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.

Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow’s role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.

Even as he finds himself the public face of a bankruptcy and admitted to lawmakers that he had no idea how client funds disappeared, Congress and the administration have voiced no public concern about Mr. Abelow’s role advising the $8.6 billion government agency on its finances.

read … MF Global chief missing $1.2B is financial adviser to EPA


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