After Dumping Goldman Sachs, Hawaii ERS Quietly Seeks New Managers for $1.2B
Jobs? Hanabusa Votes Against Tax Cut for 97% of Hawaii’s Employers
Lesson from Hawaii: Is the GOP really the party of fiscal responsibility?
HSTA Lawsuit against Laupahoehoe Charter School Dismissed
US News and World Report Ranks UH Manoa
Akaka Co-Sponsors Bill to Protect Civil Rights of Military Personnel
Federal Correctional Officer Charged with Sexual Abuse of Detainee
Three Convicted in Looting of Am Samoa Non-Profit
Abercrombie Appoints Jo Ann Uchida Takeuchi DCCA Deputy Director
Abercrombie Releases $34.2 Million for CIP
Listening Sessions for Ocean Resources Management Plan
Well written and thoughtful letters from young Hawaiians
Six University of Hawaii Regents named
Stiglitz: Jones Act, Young Bros and High Electricity Cripple Hawaii
CB: …a lecture given at UH Manoa on March 13 by Economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. He discussed three key “man-made impediments” to a more sustainable economy here in Hawaii: the Jones Act (restricting shipping between American ports to American ships), the lack of competition in inter-island transportation, and (surprise!) our extremely high electricity prices….
Echoing Professor Stigliz, local economist Jim Roumasset thinks that “high subsidies funded by tax and rate payers, monopolistic pricing, and picking-the-winners will shrink the economy. Since labor’s share of an economy’s product remains roughly constant, this means that employment or wages or both will decline as a result of these policies.” He says following “correct economic policies” would result in “adoption of renewables in due time, possibly with natural gas acting as bridge” to a low-cost renewable future.
But with the current scheme? “As I understand it, the taxpayer could pay up to 70% of the cost of the system via tax credits, but they get zero equity. The cable construction company could then turn around and sell the cable system to HECO, which under the current regulatory system could in turn greatly increase HEI profits. This is Robin Hood in reverse – take from the poor consumer/taxpayer and give to the rich contractors and power companies. It would be much cheaper to just give them a chunk of tax revenues directly, with no strings attached.” ….
Now if we can just get the rest of the Democrats in the Ledge to pay attention to the economists.
Watch: Video of Lecture (Skip past the Glass-Stiegel analysis and the pitch to ‘retrofit the economy for global warming’ to the 53 minute mark to hear this Democrat economist comment on Hawaii. He then veers off into a pitch for more money to the ‘green’ energy scammers, before coming back to the Jones Act at 1:03 mark.)
RELATED: 'You did what?' How anti-trust lawyer broke up Big 5
read … High Electricity Prices
SA: Reveal credit union executives’ pay
SA: This week, Star-Advertiser writer Rob Perez approached Hawaii's top 10 federal credit unions for the compensation and benefits package of their five highest paid executives and was either refused or received no response. The law doesn't require it and they were unwilling to offer up the information voluntarily.
There's good reason for concern about the lack of transparency from Hawaii's federally chartered credit unions. Although the 42 nonprofit federal credit unions receive a significant public subsidy — paying no state or federal income taxes and deeply discounted, even nominal, county property taxes — they don't have to report what their executives are paid.
The City Council is considering overhauling its entire exemption system, and its budget chairwoman, Ann Kobayashi, said the credit union exemptions could be at risk if the credit union compensation data is not disclosed. That's a good idea, considering that FCUs now pay only $300 for each Oahu parcel they own, in lieu of regular property taxes, and so far there's been insufficient pushback from other government agencies on this matter….
Link: Hawaii Credit Union Watch
read … Reveal credit union executives’ pay
Alcohol and Sign Printing at the Hawaii Co Elections Office
BIVN: The terminations were the result of an uncovered, so-called election warehouse scandal, which all took place at 210 Makaala Street. The warehouse was supposed to store voting equipment. However, the building was allegedly used for years to house a sign-printing business and store alcohol. Also, employees were said to be involved in post election-night parties in the parking lot, where alcohol was consumed; a violation of the county’s no alcohol policy.
In July 2011, when the situation was made public in the newspaper, Council chair Dominic Yagong and County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi – heads of the Legislative branch that oversees the elections program – ordered the locks changed and an investigation be conducted. Four employees were terminated in the months that followed….
With all this controversy swirling around the elections division with a big primary only a few months away, some residents have wondered how the election will be run.
At a recent Kona Town Meeting, someone asked Council Chair Yagong that very question. He answered that the positions have been filled, and promised a smooth election.
WHT: Attorney representing fired election workers claims lawsuit forthcoming
read … Alcohol and Sign Printing at the Hawaii Co Elections Office
Secret Budget Negotiations Continue Until Monday
PR: State House and Senate budget negotiators moved through several of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s spending adjustments on Thursday night but still have work to do on the supplemental state budget.
Negotiators adjourned the public portion of the conference committee until Monday night.
read … Sunshine? Ha!
Tax Credits Don’t Pay Off but Bogus Last Minute ’Studies’ Sure Do
PBN: Hawaii’s renewable energy tax credits, which are credited with helping the state’s solar energy industry to reach new heights, are now backed by a report saying that they yield a clear, significant net fiscal benefit to the state.
According to the Blue Planet Foundation’s Solar Tax Credit Economic Impact Study, every commercial solar tax credit dollar invested yields $13.37 that stays in Hawaii and $44.70 in additional sales, which generates $3.17 in new tax revenue. (And if you believe this, we have some lava fields in Puna to sell you….)
Blue Planet Foundation: Figures Don’t Lie but Liars Sure Can Figure
Reality: Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit
read … Desperate Last Ditch Effort
Chong: Solar Tax Credits Siphon Money from State
CB: Critics, including Rep. Pono Chong as well as the state tax department, say that companies have been taking advantage, or misinterpreting, the intent of the tax law by installing multiple systems on a single rooftop so customers can take more than one tax credit.
Chong has argued that the practice is siphoning money from the state at a time when Hawaii is struggling with budget cuts affecting health care services for the poor and bus service for elementary and high school students, among other things.
Frenzy: Leone plans to build 50 solar farms, A&B, KIUC break ground on Kauai solar farm
read … Siphon
Rail contractor's request for $15.9M Change Order first of Many to Come
SA: A major rail contractor won approval for a $15.9 million change order Thursday to cover increasing prices for steel and other materials for the 20-mile Honolulu rail system.
Kiewit/Kobayashi, a Joint Venture, made the claim for additional money because prices for steel and other materials escalated during the 23 months since the joint venture originally expected to begin work on the project.
The joint venture is also seeking additional money for profit and overhead costs related to the steel and materials purchases, but that issue is still being negotiated, city officials said.
Kiewit/Kobayashi has a $195 million contract to build a maintenance and storage facility for rail cars near Leeward Community College. As part of that contract, the joint venture will also purchase the steel for train tracks for the entire 20-mile rail line.
The cost of steel and other materials, such as concrete ties, fasteners and aluminum, as well as shipping costs, escalated from $61.5 million in 2010 to $77.4 million in new price quotes, according to the change order proposal made public Thursday by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
The final cost of the steel could increase again later depending on exactly when the steel is actually milled, city officials said….
Horner appeared to become angry Thursday while questioning city officials about the possibility that the cost of concrete could also escalate, triggering new change orders for construction of the 20-mile elevated guideway.
"There will be potential for that, yes," said Frank Doyle, HART deputy project officer.
"Not ‘potential,' that's unacceptable," said Horner, who said he wants the city to nail down how much increase in the cost of concrete and other materials is likely. "We should have a pretty good handle on our exposure."
Sing this to the tune of: “When the world is running down, make the best of what's still around”
read … Get it while the getting is good
$250 million for rail Likely to Die in US House
HNN: The check isn't in the mail, but the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has passed a measure that includes $250 million for Oahu's rail project….
The announcement Thursday from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the bill 28 to 1. …
President Barack Obama requested the money for rail in his 2013 budget, the most for any rail project in the country.
But rail critics said HART shouldn't count on the cash. The bill faces a tough test when it goes to the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives, where the focus is on cutting the deficit.
"You've got this perception, I think a correct perception, but a perception in the House that this rail project in Hawaii is never going to get built," Randal Roth said.
PRP’s John White: Still saying the rail project would create 10,000 jobs a year (Do they ever get punished for spouting bs?)
read … We’ll never see a penny
HART vs. LIUNA: Whose Responsibility it is to Blackmail Council Candidates?
CB: Morita, who’s assistant director of the Hawaii Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, said he’s already started trying to wrangle enough votes to put the $292 million back in the capital budget when the Budget Committee meets again.
That’s hardly unexpected, but the response from HART board member William “Buzz” Hong was noteworthy. He said he followed rail closely in the 1990s, when it died by one vote at the council. He said unions went after those who voted rail down, and that it’s important to twist arms and elect people who will be friendly to the project.
Hong’s a union leader too — former executive director of the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, per his official bio. But considering HART was supposed to take rail one step away from politics, is it appropriate for members to talk about influencing City Council decision and elections?
read … A falling out amongst Thieves
School Busses: Legislators Push Back Against DoE’s “Irresponsible Fear-Mongering”
CB: Hawaii lawmakers are on the verge of lopping off some $22 million from the Department of Education's school bus budget, which officials say will force thousands of students to find new ways to get to class.
But unlike in previous years when parents and bus drivers waved signs in protest, this time the public has been quiet. Instead, filling the void has been a flurry of doomsday memos and emails between educators and legislators.
House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro penned a letter Thursday that called the DOE's tactics "irresponsible fear-mongering."
"Your Department has taken the extreme and inflammatory position that if the status quo is not continued, your Department will cease services to communities throughout the State," he wrote.
The letter was addressed to Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi but CC'd the governor, Board of Education and the entire Legislature. It notes the "numerous communications" that the DOE issued over the past week.
SA: Oshiro says school leaders fueling fear on bus funds
read … Hawaii School Bus Cuts Imminent
Laura Thielen: “People think I am a Republican; I would have a tremendous amount of support in the Republican Party”
SA: "If I were an opportunist, I would run as a Republican. People think I am a Republican; I would have a tremendous amount of support in the Republican Party. The district has historically been Republican, but I am not," she said in an interview this week….
The course is stranger still because the Democratic Party says she can't run as a Democrat because she hasn't been a Democrat long enough.
That's the reason the party gave when its central committee formally ruled that Thielen had not met the six-month membership test.
Everyone knows that's not the real reason. The Democrats don't want her running because there is a Democratic incumbent in the seat, Sen. Pohai Ryan, who won last year after GOP standard-bearer Fred Hemmings declined to run for another term.
Democrats also don't want her to run because her mother is long-time GOP state House Rep. Cynthia Thielen. And daughter Laura, a former member of the state school board, backed former GOP Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to divvy up the public school system in different school districts. To make it even more suspicious, Thielen served as Lingle's director of the Land and Natural Resources Department….
Of course in general elections, Thielen the younger voted for Thielen the elder….
The Democrats meeting in convention next month are expected to chew again on the Thielen decision to say she can't run, although Thielen has filed for office and says it is up to the Democrats to do something to take her name off the ballot.
read … Thielen takes her best shot against 25th’s heavy hitters
Price: Is there an Upside to SB2858?
Larry Price: Simply put, SB2858 would allow state agencies to delay the release of publicly requested records under the Uniform Information Practice Act and make it more difficult for the public to ensure agencies meet the Sunshine Law requirements. This is because the law would now allow agencies to challenge an OIP decision in the courts. According to the UH law school, which did an analysis of Chapter 92 of the Hawaii Revised Statues, it was the intent of the law to not permit OIP decisions to be adjudicated and to clearly promote promptness and uniformity in the manner in which such requests for information were handled.
This means that opinions and rulings of the OIP shall be admissible in an action brought under this new part of the law and shall be considered as precedent unless found to be palpably erroneous. Which means anything readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, obvious, evident; a palpable lie; palpable absurdity, capable of being touched or felt; tangible.
So an individual may bring a civil action against an agency in a circuit court of the state whenever an agency fails to comply with any provision of the law. The upside of this new law will give agencies the right to challenge an OIP opinion and provides a uniform process for doing so.
One agency bringing a suit against another agency is possible. The good news is that this bill relieves OIP of the need to go to court to defend its prior opinions, just as a judge is not required to appear on appeal to defend his or her decision. The bill’s effective date is Jan. 1, 2013, and it looks like it will become law.
read … Clouding Up The Sunshine Law
State Demotes Securities Regulator
HR: Peter Hsieh, the newly-hired head of enforcement in the state office that regulates financial securities, has been demoted following news stories in Hawaii Reporter about his serious personal financial problems, the state said today.
Brent Suyama, spokesman for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said an investigation of Hsieh is ongoing.
Since the demotion, Hsieh “is doing research,” said Suyama.
“He’s not in charge of any cases,” Suyama said.
Hsieh (pronounced Shay) did not disclose to DCCA authorities that he filed bankruptcy last year, listing some $900,000 in tax and child support debts.
read … So sad, he would have been perfect to oversee Securities issued by the Bank of Abercrombie
State Agencies Ignore Auditor’s Reports
CB: Hawaii's auditor is independent and protected from political interference. But state agencies can ignore her reports, according to the State Integrity Investigation.
Hawaii received an overall A, or 92 percent, grade for Internal Auditing. That placed the state 22nd. Tied for first place were Mississippi and Texas. At the bottom was Nevada.
Hawaii did so well in large part because of the independence and sweeping authority of the auditor to initiate investigations. It got a 100-percent score for its law establishing the auditor position.
Yet the office is still vulnerable to budget cuts. State agencies can also ignore the auditor's reports. There's no requirement that state agencies follow the auditor's recommendations or comply with the audit's proposals.
read … Just Ignore
First Honolulu Mayoral Debate Set
CB: The debate is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. No word yet on the format. Get the rest of the particulars here.
read … First Honolulu Mayoral Debate Set
Yoshioka Beginning to Choke on Bus Service Cuts
SA: One proposed change includes reduced service on Route C (Ala Moana Center to Makaha), scheduled to run every half-hour, to once every hour on weekends.
"If you miss the last bus leaving Ala Moana at 8:30 p.m. and need to go to Makaha, you are out of luck," she said. "I missed the last Ala Moana C and had to take the 40 to Makaha Valley Road. At 2 a.m., after waiting for two hours for a 40 to the beach, I gave up and just walked the one mile home."
One controversial change — cutting Kahala and Kapahulu from Route 14 — might be a mistake, Yoshioka acknowledged.
"After hearing from people, that's one of those we don't think we got quite right," he said. "We're missing something in here."
He said they will rework Route 14 and might alter other routes. Despite very low patronage, "we heard that those few people who do use it are really dependent upon it," he said.
The city also won't touch some low-patronage areas such as along ridgelines because they provide what is considered "lifeline service": if cut, residents would have no service.
Routes that currently circle the island will be sacrificed for improved service to Wahiawa.
Routes 55 and 52 will be delinked so the 52 will travel only between the Wahiawa Transit Center and Ala Moana Center, whereas the 55 will travel between Ala Moana Center, Kaneohe and Wahiawa, and turn back around to Ala Moana Center.
Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus, will not lay off any of its 900 or so bus drivers, but will reduce numbers through attrition.
Each year, OTS hires 90 to 100 bus operators, but won't be hiring as many in the future, Yoshioka said.
read … About something that has absolutely positively nothing to do with Rail. Really.
Despite Warnings and Pleas, Honolulu Rail Headed for 'Burials Central'
HR: As early as 2005, the Oʻahu Island Burial Council (OIBC) raised red flags. The rail project would undoubtedly impact Hawaiian burials.
Three years later, when the OIBC had not received promised communications from the City and County of Honolulu, the council asked for an update.
At that time, and at many meetings thereafter, the OIBC called into question the planned rail alignment, which would directly collide with concentrations of burials.
Joining the council's strong objections were the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hui Mālama i Nā Kūpuna O Hawaiʻi Nei, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and Hawaiian families.
But City planners did not listen or did not care.
A growing chorus implored transit officials to shift the project route, thereby avoiding known burial areas. Still the City ignored efforts to avoid conflict and prevent costly litigation, delays and project modifications that would ensue once burials were encountered.
Despite these warnings and pleas, the railway is headed straight for an area that could be called “Burials Central.”
read … Burials Central
PUC Delinks Oil and Wind: Wind Scammers Lose $330,000/yr
MN: The amended contract delinks the price of wind energy from the price of oil in accordance with HRS Chapter 269 and HRS 269-27.2(c), which was enacted after the original MECO wind contract was negotiated.
Under the new legislation, payments for renewable energy projects are no longer tied to the price of fossil fuels.
According to the PUC, the amended contract will eventually save Maui’s 67,700 residential and business customers about $330,000 a year, or roughly $5 per customer. It also gives them long-term price certainty, protecting them from volatile oil prices.
read … less free money
Eco-Faddists Demand Bag Tax to Harass People into Obeying Their Religious Dogma
KITV: Supporters said as far as they know, there's no visible opposition blocking the bill's passage.
"We're wondering who is this invisible opposition and why aren't they standing up?" asked Joy Leilei Shih from the Bamboo Bike Project. (That’s a scheme to saddle third world people with inferior wooden bicycles instead of good metal ones like the rich world gets.)
SA: The bill has been called a "money grab" by the Hawaii Tax Foundation and some state lawmakers
read … We’re invisible, but we’re winning
Double Header: Two Sheriffs On Trial This Month
SA: According to the two-page indictment, Fonoti forced the victim to perform a sexual act on him while she was in his custody in the cellblock in an unspecified District Court on Oahu.
Fonoti has been with the state Department of Public Safety since 2009. A department spokeswoman said an internal investigation was initiated after the department learned of the alleged incident.
Fonoti will be the second Department of Pubic Safety law enforcement official facing serious criminal charges in June.
Damon Pavao, a 49-year-old watch commander at Waiawa Correctional Facility, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree reckless endangering, promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia at an April 5 arraignment in Circuit Court. He is free after posting $25,000 bail. Pavao's trial is scheduled to begin the week of June 4 before Circuit Judge Randal Lee.
Pavao, who is charged with firing a pistol and a shotgun at his Pearl City home, said he was "testing a friend's gun" by shooting at the ground and at chickens in his backyard, according to police affidavits filed in Circuit Court. Police found 25 spent 9 mm cartridge casings and four spent 12-gauge shotgun shells at Pavao's home.
Pavao has been with the Department of Public Safety since 1998. He was promoted to sergeant in 2003 and elevated to lieutenant last year.
Any surprise? Hanabusa’s husband used to be the Sheriff.
read … Deputy sheriff's trial is set after he denies sex assault
After Stabbing, Ouansafi Praises Security
HNN: "We have confirmed that this incident has nothing to do with our housing or with our organization in general. Neither the suspect nor the victim are residents of ours or have any association with our housing," said Hakim Ouansafi, HPHA Executive Director.
There was a fatal stabbing at Mayor Wright in September, 2011 and another in January 2012. Since then the housing authority has hired a new security firm to patrol the grounds and man the guard shack where vehicles enter the property.
"They're doing a great job. We had a meeting just yesterday with all the tenants of Mayor Wright (invited) and it was a unanimous verdict that security has improved tremendously," Ouansafi said.
read … A great Job
Stoned Drunk Driver Drives over Cliff, State to Pay $3M
CB: As the car's front right tire neared the makai edge of the lookout, the rock wall gave way and collapsed, causing the car to rock before side-rolling over the edge and down a steep incline. The car then plunged over a cliff, landing on the rocky shoreline about 200 feet below.
Callo, 34, the driver, was killed in the accident. Her body was found crushed in the vehicle. Makekau, 16, who was in the back seat, was ejected or escaped during the fall. His lifeless body was found on the rocky shoreline.
Romena, who was in the front seat, was ejected as the car began to roll down, and escaped with minor injuries. Her three-month-old daughter, Kyla, was in the car as it plunged over the cliff, but she survived.
Blood tests would later show the driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 — more than three times the legal limit — and was also under the influence of marijuana.
The families of Callo, Makekau and Romena sued the state for negligence and for not warning the public of the hazardous area. The area falls under the responsibility of the state Department of Transportation's highway division.
read … Hawaii Owes $3 Million for Hazardous Scenic Lookout
First Hawaiian Continues to Profit by Refusing to Lend to Deadbeats
SA: First Hawaiian’s percentage of nonperforming assets — loans overdue by 90 days or more — to total assets remained one of the lowest in the United States at 0.22 percent compared with 0.25 percent a year ago. The bank’s $16.1 billion in total assets was up 6.5 percent from $15.2 billion a year ago.
The bank’s efficiency ratio, which measures how much it costs the bank to make a dollar of revenue, stayed strong at 42.8 cents compared with 43.3 cents a year earlier.
First Hawaiian’s capital, or net worth, at the end of the quarter was in excess of $2.6 billion and remained in the top quartile nationally as a percentage of total assets.
read … Avoiding Deadbeat Loans, What a Concept!
State Income Tax Due Today
KITV: The fastest way to file a tax return and receive a refund is through e-filing, which is free by visiting www.hawaii.gov/tax.
Mailed tax returns must be postmarked or dropped off in one of the following District Tax Office collection boxes by midnight on April 20 :
Oahu District Office 830 Punchbowl St. Honolulu, Hawaii
Maui District Office State Office Building 54 S. High St. Wailuku, Hawaii
read … State Tax Returns
Senate confirms 3 Board of Education members
SA: The members — Keith Amemiya, Cheryl Lupenui and Nancy Budd — were initially confirmed in 2011 for one-year terms.
The Senate unanimously confirmed the appointees Thursday, allowing them to remain on the all-volunteer board.
Amemiya, executive administrator and secretary of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, holds an at-large seat.
Lupenui is chairwoman of the BOE's Student Achievement Committee and former president and CEO of the YWCA of Oahu. She holds an Oahu seat on the BOE.
Budd, a lawyer in private practice, is the BOE's Kauai appointee.
read … Senate confirms 3 Board of Education members
Community school could turn into state's first adult charter school
KHON: Kaimuki Community School for Adults offers more than 130 classes each session and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 adult students every year. It offers GED classes for those who decide to come back to get their high school diploma.
Kaimuki School board member Vanessa Escajeda said, "it's a huge thing for folks who want to move forward in their lives when they decide they want to go back to school. It will better the community in many ways."
But school officials say state funding for all community schools is about to be cut to less than half starting next school year.
"We strongly believe that Kaimuki Community School for Adults will probably face closure come July 1, 2012," said Principal Randal Tanaka.
Tanaka says Kaimuki is already unique from other community schools because in addition to academics, it also offers special interest program with English as a second language and computer classes.
"We also have cultural classes, hula, slack key guitar, ukulele, and so on," Tanaka said.
read … Charter Up to Escape Closing Down
‘Pregnant Man,’ Splits From Wife Of 9 Years, Going Through ‘Rough Patch’
Thomas Beatie, a.k.a. "Pregnant Man," who made headlines in 2008 as the world's first legal transgendered man to give birth, has separated from his wife of nine years.
Beatie, 38 revealed his split from Nancy during a taping of the syndicated TV show 'The Doctors,' reported People magazine….
Beatie also said he had undergone his final female-to-male gender reassignment surgery. Yet his newly estranged wife "hasn't seen the new me yet."
He made headlines in 2007 when pictures of his pregnant form surfaced on the web. Beatie was shown shirtless with a full a beard.
Beatie was born Tracy Lagondino in Hawaii in 1974 as a female but he said he always felt like a man.
He began undergoing testosterone injections in his twenties, which gave him facial hair, a lowered voice, and altered his sexual organs.
In 2002 he had a mastectomy and legally became a man. Yet he opted to keep his vagina, uterus, and other female organs so the couple could have children.
'I wanted to have a child one day. I didn't know how. It was just a dream," he said on the Oprah Winfrey show 4 years ago according to the Daily Mail.
Nancy, 49, underwent a hysterectomy after having two children from a previous relationship
read … About What Happens if you do not accept that Biology is Destiny
Hawaii One of Few Places in US With No Licensed Aerial Drones
Forbes: If you don’t like drones, it’s time to move to Hawaii. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where no licenses have been issued for unmanned air flights. If you prefer the mainland, North Carolina, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa are a few of your options. Consult this interactive map via EFF for relocation planning purposes.
After suing the Federal Aviation Administration for its failure to respond to a FOIA, civil liberties group EFF finally got a response to its inquiry about who in the U.S. has authorization to fly drones. We already knew a bit about how public sector players (such as sheriff’s departments) were starting to use drones, but the documents shed new light on who in the private industry is currently living the drone dream in the U.S.
read … No Drones
Retirement Fund Bankruptcy: Worst time in CNMI history
ST: About 20 people, mostly retirees, watched the proceedings in court.
Coffey first explained to the court about the Fund, then provided a background of the case as well as its financial situation. Coffey and Pohl argued the Fund's motions.
Coffey said that many Fund members are frightened with the filing of the Chapter 11 petition as they think it means shutting off their benefits.
“This is an emotionally charged issue,” Coffey said. He then picked up a copy of the Saipan Tribune and showed the judge the front page, which carried the headline “Worst time in CNMI history.”
read … all about Hawaii’s future