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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
June 12, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 6427 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

VIDEO: Lingle Releases First TV Ad

Last Case-Hirono Debates This Week

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: How They Voted June 11, 2012

LaFrance Announces Campaign for SD3 Kona, Kau

After 40 Years Without a Plan, NELHA Claims Pork is Good for Kona

GRIH: Up and Down on Rail

GRIH: Federal Indian Policy: Challenges to Hawaii

Feds Investigating Bay Clinic as Pill Mill

HTH: Phillips started at Bay Clinic on Sept. 1, 2010. According to Bay Clinic’s annual report for 2009-2010, Phillips’ “impressive professional history includes serving as Director of Occupational Health Support for NASA, Medical Director for Boeing and General Motors, and Director of Health Services for the US Army.”

The report stated that Phillips “has already begun to implement what she describes as a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to her new position.”

“We couldn’t be happier to have Dr. Phillips on board,” said Paul Strauss, who was Bay Clinic’s CEO at the time. “She comes to us with a wealth of training and experience, extensive medical knowledge and a strong track record of leadership. She is passionate, determined, committed, and has already become an indispensable addition to our extraordinary team of providers.”

Apparently, that happiness didn’t last for long. The suit said that Phillips “became aware of a pre-existing problem concerning the over-prescription of highly addictive narcotics to Bay Clinic patients” and “directed Bay Clinic Staff to monitor the status of seventeen (17) Bay Clinic patients who overdosed on prescription medication they received from Bay Clinic.”

The suit states that Phillips “conducted an investigation and found some Bay Clinic patients were given prescriptions for multiple, highly addictive narcotics at high doses.”

The filing alleges that Phillips implemented “a policy of weaning down high dose prescription pain medication patients” and that the clinic’s management team approved of the plan. It also states that in December 2010, Phillips “met with federal and state law enforcement representatives to discuss and report on the excessive quantities of narcotics being prescribed by Bay Clinic physicians and being sold on the street to drug addicts.”

“They (law enforcement) actually came to her,” Hong said. “She had to meet with them to address that.”

read … About one of the free clinics driving the Abercrombie Administration’s Health Agenda

Poll Case Support in Dem Primary Comes from Non-Democrats, Hirono Support comes from Obamabots

CB: Ed Case and Mazie Hirono each sit at 46 percent in a new Civil Beat Poll of likely Democratic primary voters. Eight percent are undecided.

The survey of 731 voters statewide is a snapshot of voter opinion at the time the poll was taken, between June 5 to June 7.1 The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percent.

The results are nearly identical to numbers released by Case's campaign last month showing a 46-45 lead over Hirono. Hirono's team and national Democrats who support her dismissed those results, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chief saying he believed Hirono was up by "double digits."

In January, The Civil Beat Poll found a statistical dead heat, though Hirono blasted those results as well….

Statewide, 49 percent of all likely primary voters said long-term debt problems were most important versus 37 percent who said they'd prefer a candidate who would work to create jobs right now.

Of the likely Democratic primary voters who said solving long-term debt was paramount, 52 percent said they'd vote for Case versus 41 percent for Hirono. Of those who said creating jobs now was the key, 53 percent backed Hirono versus 37 percent for Case.

Hirono draws the majority of those who identify as liberals and progressives and those who say they belong to the Democratic Party. Case is stronger among those moderates and conservatives and Republicans and independents who say they intend to cross over and pick up a Democratic primary ballot.

Those crossover voters make up a not-insignificant portion of the electorate. Thirty percent of self-identified Republicans said they intended to vote in the Democratic Party primary in August. Of the voters who plan to vote in that primary, 24 percent are self-identified independents.

That helps explain why Case's voters are almost identical to average Hawaii voters when it comes to support of President Barack Obama. Sixty-three percent of those who said they'd vote for Case said they approve of Obama's job performance; the statewide mark is 62 percent. And those who are most opposed to Obama, saying they strongly disapprove of his job, are the most likely to back Case — 92 percent versus 3 percent for Hirono. By contrast, Hirono voters overwhelmingly support Obama at a 95 percent clip.

When Will Democrats Stop Allowing Non-Democrats to Pick their Candidates? Both Sides in Thielen Dispute Aim For Democrats-Only Primary Elections

read … Tied

Broke, Democrats Chicken Out of Lawsuit to Challenge Thielen

SA: Dante Carpenter, the party's chairman, said today that the party's state central committee will instead consider whether to reprimand, censure or expel Thielen. "We're going to pursue our own internal cause of action within our rules, from censure to expulsion," he said….

The party's state central committee had authorized Carpenter to bring a legal challenge. The deadline for the party to object to Thielen's candidacy in Circuit Court is Tuesday.

"We think we're obviously right, " Carpenter said. "We just want to honor our rules."

But he said the party did not have the financial resources to expend on a court challenge. He said that if the party did take internal action to punish Thielen, it could have an influence on voters before the August primary. "I certainly think it might," he said.

read … broke and scared

HGEA Boss Fears Lack of Leadership After Octogenarians, Septuagenarians Gone

Borreca: "Our community is sorely in need of leaders who are able to step up," said Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state's largest union.

Perreira is also president of the Hawaii AFL-CIO and meets regularly with other community leaders such as Tim Johns, senior vice president of HMSA, and Mike McCartney, executive director of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"The three of us are of the same age (early 50s); our generation felt left aside politically. Today, look who is running for office — and this is not a knock; I don't want to sound like I am discriminating against seniors — but look who is running today.

"It is people who served 15 or 20 years ago," Perreira said.

Indeed, in legislative races this year, five Senate candidates are former legislators and 11 House races include out-of-office lawmakers.

For many different reasons, Perreira said, "the elected folks today have not done enough to get their generation and the generation behind them into politics."

Perreira acknowledged that he and his buddies are all part of Honolulu's insiders network: "We are not exactly outsiders, you know."

So if the politicians won't do it, someone else has to bring about a new group.

"Irrespective of party, there isn't a strong bench for future leaders because I don't think the leaders who remain in power today have nurtured the younger leaders or given them the opportunity to step up," Perreira said in an interview.

"Those of us in the community are going to have to step up to provide a different level of guidance and leadership because generally speaking, it is not coming from the elected people," he said.

read … Who Wants to grow up to be a Union Toady?

9% of Hawaii Teens Attempted Suicide Last Year

WHT: The survey found the percentage of Hawaii high school students who reported attempting suicide in the past 12 months decreased significantly from 13 percent in 2009 to 9 percent last year.

Fewer high school students are drinking alcohol or binge drinking, but 29 percent still report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. However marijuana use remains steady with 22 percent of high school students reporting use in the past 30 days, according to the survey.

Hawaii high school students (37 percent) are less likely to have ever had sex than students nationally (47 percent).

2011: Hawaii Survey Results Full Text

2010:

KGI: Hawai‘i high school students making better choices

read … Suicide

OHA ‘Accomplishments’ Include Blocking Drug Treatment Center on Kauai

 

CB: Cataluna, who was appointed to the board in 2000 and elected outright that year, and again in 2004 and 2008, is the father of Lee Cataluna, the popular author and columnist….

Cataluna has also participated in OHA board meetings on Oahu via video-conferencing, and sent faxes. And OHA has two staff on Kauai that are continuing its work, including community resource coordinator Kaliko Santos, one of the 11 candidates in the race.

Reach by telephone Monday, Cataluna, 76, told Civil Beat that he is proud of the work he has done for OHA and Kauai. But, after 13 years on the job, he felt it was time to step down….

Machado suggests that the fact that former and current OHA staff are running to be trustee is evidence that the agency is valued in the Kauai community. The problem may be that not enough people on Kauai are aware of OHA's contributions. According to a list provided by her staff, they include hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, mostly for schools; $30,000 for homeless services; $25,000 for domestic violence intervention program; and advocating for protection of the Hanapepe Salt Pans that were threatened by construction pollution.

Salt Pans: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Blocks Kauai Drug Treatment Facility

read … Poi Factory

Lieutenant in alleged OT scam was previously fired by HPD

HNN: After completing the work in six hours on evening, the officers spent another two hours drinking between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. at Side Street Inn, a popular restaurant-bar off Pensacola Street near Ala Moana Center, sources said….

An HPD spokeswoman said the lieutenant, sergeant and four officers had their guns and badges taken away last month. All six have been recalled from the field and re-assigned to desk duty, with their police powers restricted while the investigations are underway, the HPD spokeswoman said.

The man in charge of the special enforcement team was Lt. Randall Arakaki, a 28-year HPD veteran, according to sources familiar with the case.

A sergeant and four other officers under Arakaki have told superiors Arakaki approved overtime for the drinking escapade at Side Street Inn, sources said.

Arakaki was previously fired by the police department for wrongdoing of a different sort, but he successfully challenged his firing, was reinstated and awarded back pay, sources said.

read … Drunk on Overtime

Roz Baker Behind Attack on PEOs

SA: "You need to be able to show that you have the financial wherewithal to be in this business," said state Sen. Rosa­lyn Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui), chairwoman of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee….

ProService Hawaii and Altres, the industry leaders, were open to state regulation two years ago and suggested draft language for the new bill. Altres, for example, told the House Finance Committee in April that its industry representatives were working "hand in hand" with lawmakers and regulators on the draft. Altres recommended the $500,000-to-$1 million bond threshold for medium and large firms. ProService, however, did caution lawmakers that the fees were too high and could negatively affect Hawaii businesses due to the lack of market competition.

"I think it's to protect the consumers. We definitely take in a lot of payroll. The client can trust us with a lot of funds," Nelson Befitel, chief compliance officer at ProService Hawaii, said of the need for regulation.

None of the smaller firms was involved at the Legislature when the bill was being drafted, but many are now urging Abercrombie to veto the bill, warning that it could force some out of business. The firms have created a website — Stop SB2424 — describing the bill as a "disaster."

Jack Schneider, president of JS Services Inc., said he doubts many smaller firms can get bonds from surety companies and would have to put up cash as collateral with banks.

"You might as well close up and walk away, which I think is the idea," he said.

Matthew Delaney, president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Human Resources Inc., said lawmakers should have consulted with others in the industry beyond ProService Hawaii and Altres. He believes the industry needs to be regulated but insists that even the existing $250,000 bond threshold is too high.

Some lawmakers also want Abercrombie to veto the bill. State Rep. Joseph Souki (D, Wai­hee-Wai­ehu-Wai­luku) had tried to kill the bill by sending it back to committee on the final day of the session in May.

"The bill could be a lot of trouble for the small companies," he said.

Baker said the fees are needed to finance state regulation and that the bonds are necessary to ensure that professional employer organizations are financially accountable. But she said she is willing to discuss whether the bill — if it becomes law — should be tweaked, either in implementation or by lawmakers next session. She rejected any suggestion that the bill was written to benefit ProService Hawaii and Altres.

read … Baker Again

ACT 221 Scammers Gather for ‘Clean Energy’ Forum

Fidell: This fourth year of the Clean Energy Initiative is a good time for the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum to look at what's working and what's not. That's what HEPF will do at its fourth Clean Energy Day at Laniakea on July 6.

This Clean Energy Day will be the most interesting one so far. HEPF wants to reveal the sea changes and bottlenecks, and to identify the "game changers" that have emerged and also the "long shots" less likely to stay on the field….

I'm pleased to be a member of HEPF and a moderator of this program. It will provide a great framework to let us get a bearing on where we are….

read … Same Players, Same Game, Different Name

Syed Qadri to be sentenced in $100M Honolulu Fraud

HR: The papers were filed in a federal fraud case pending here against a group of defendants headed by businessman Syed Qadri….

Qadri and his codefendants, including his wife, Patricia Roszkowski, were originally accused of operating a $100 million fraud here through two companies, Amassse Capital and Solomon & Co., from offices in downtown Honolulu.

Qadri, Roszkowski and two other defendants have pleaded guilty in their case and are due to be sentenced later this month by U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi.

Court records filed in the case show that FBI agents were assisted in the Qadri investigation by a convicted con man, Michael Miller of Texas, who worked as “confidential source” for the government after serving time for fraud and other offenses in Texas and South Carolina, court records show.

read … Con Artists Frequently Fleece Each Other

LWV: Bus Cuts are Racist

CB: Hawai‘i residents are being locked out of opportunities for education, employment, healthcare, social and other essential or governmental services because our Oah‘u bus routes and headways are being changed with no consideration to current ridership and transportation requirements. The changes reducing bus routes and headways are a classic example of transportation discrimination.

Dispersed development patterns are particularly hard on low income residents, who are transit dependent. An article called “Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity” notes that

read … Racist Rail

 

 

Hannemann Final Radio Show Prompts Opponent To Seek Equal Time

 

CB: Mufi Hannemann stopped spinning songs by Frankie Avalon, the Platters, Neil Diamond and countless other artists on his "oldies" radio program Saturday.

That's because, as Civil Beat reported, the Federal Communications Commission requires candidates to give up the airtime once they are officially certified, or else their opponents qualify for equal time.

Problem is, Hannemann, the former Honolulu mayor running as a Democrat for the Hawaii Second Congressional District seat, filed June 4 but still did a last program Saturday, June 9.

Hannemann, who called it "a special aloha show as I hit the campaign trail," made clear it was his last installment of "Mufi's JukeBox Jamboree" and shortened the program from two hours to one….

On Monday, an FCC spokesman said Hannemann had broken no law in having airtime once he became an official candidate. But his opponents have the right to ask KKOL for equal time.

Here it gets a little more complicated.

For one, Hannemann paid for his program, though he would not disclose how much. That suggests that Marx would have to pay for his airtime, too.

For another, Marx would only be allowed the amount of "talk time" that Hannemann had.

read … Equal Time

Star-Adv: Out of Control Beach Weddings must be regulated, taxed

SA: Hawaii's beaches are out of bounds for commercial activity without a permit, and a federal appeals court has ruled that includes weddings, as small as those limited to a minister, bride and groom. The matrimonial rules on sand were adopted by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the broad regulations are justified and were long in coming only a decade ago.

Last week's ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a timely reminder that the public has first rights to Hawaii's beaches. No longer can they be commercially congested, and beginning in 2002, a business is rightfully required to buy a state permit to make a profit on the beach, with certain limitations. Beach weddings continue to be popular on Oahu and the neighbor islands, as more than 7,000 vows were made by couples during the first year of the permit requirements….

read … If it moves, tax it

Feds Propose Adding 40 More Endangered Species in Maui County

HNN: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing adding 40 plants and snails on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai to the endangered species list. It's also proposing designating critical habitat for 135 species on the three islands and Kahoolawe.

In 2010, the agency added 48 species from Kauai to the list and designated more than 40 square miles of the island as critical habitat.

Last year it proposed doing something similar for 23 shrubs, trees and flies on Oahu.

The agency said Monday it will accept public comment on the idea until Aug. 10.

read … Endangered

Matson lowering fuel surcharge

SA: The reduction of 3.5 percentage points follows an increase of 5 percentage points in February that put the surcharge at its second-highest level ever despite three consecutive decreases in the later half of last year.

Even with the latest reduction, the surcharge will remain at an exceptionally high level — over 40 percent — where it has stubbornly resided for two years.

Matson also implemented a general rate increase in January that added $225 to the cost of a container shipped from the mainland to Hawaii, so for the average consumer, the fuel surcharge decrease will spell little relief and may be difficult to recognize.

read … Matson

Marines' copter plan raises fear of noise

SA: The public has nearly a month to weigh in on Marine Corps plans to station MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey and H-1 Cobra and Huey attack-utility helicopter squadrons at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, but any community opposition likely will boil down to a single topic, according to the secretary of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board.

"In one word," said Bill Sager, "it's the noise."

The Osprey can take off vertically, switch to airplane mode for forward flight, then switch back to helicopter mode for landing.

But Kaneohe neighbors have no idea how the Osprey will sound when the noise from its engines and rotors bounce off of the Pali cliffs, Sager said.

read … Something to complain about


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