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Friday, August 17, 2012
August 17, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:05 PM :: 4881 Views

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

AUDIO: Abercrombie Voicemail Message to HSTA, Mediation Proposed

DBEDT: Tourism Only Thing Holding Economy Together

No Need MEADS: Sens. Inouye Porker of the Month

Hirono Finally Finds Something She's Willing to Debate

Maui Council Votes Lipoa Point Out of Preservation

Hirono on Green Energy: Shallow Knowledge, Lack of Effort

HELCO Requests $19.8M Rate Hike to Pay for Solar, Wind

Hanabusa Invokes Gestapo, One-Party State

No HiroNo

Hirono, Lingle set first debate in US Senate race

HNN: The contenders to replace retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka will appear together at a Sept. 6 lunch forum hosted by the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

The forum will be moderated by Dan Boylan, who writes a column for MidWeek and is a retired history professor at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu.

Chamber officials say topics will include the U.S. economy, jobs, real estate, foreign policy and health care.

CB: Lingle's Post-Primary Ads Stand Alone — For Now

read … Debate

Kauaians Remember Spontaneous Celebrations of Statehood

KGI: On Aug. 29, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill making Hawai‘i the 50th state.

“I was working at my first job at Lihu‘e Plantation,” said Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano of the Kaua‘i United Way at its launch of the 69th Annual Campaign. “We had a meeting about the Lihu‘e Shopping Center (that Lihu‘e Plantation built), but it was short because nobody’s mind was on work after we found out. We didn’t do anything special, but there was a feeling of celebration in the air.”

“I was in the sixth grade at Kapa‘a Elementary School,” said Mike Kano, retired from the Kaua‘i Fire Department and a leader with the Kaua‘i United Way. “We went to the park and had a field day.”

“I was in the eighth grade at the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School in 1959,” said John Wada of FM97. “We were only the second graduating class from the school, which stands where it is today, and when we got the news, everyone went over to the Lihu‘e County Park, marched around the park and ended with a field day.”

HR: Statehood Day Goes without Celebration in Hawaii - Again

read … Celebrated in 1959

HRS 19-3: Romy Cachola Could be Denied Office

CB: Election offenses are covered under Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 19, with Chapter 19-3 specifically addressing election fraud.

Section 4 of HRS 19-3 reads as follows (we've bolded the pertinent line):

Every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, makes use of, or threatens to make use of, any force, violence, or restraint; or inflicts or threatens to inflict any injury, damage, or loss in any manner, or in any way practices intimidation upon or against any person in order to induce or compel the person to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or party, at any election, or on account of the person having voted or refrained from voting, or voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or party; or who by abduction, distress, or any device or contrivance impedes, prevents, or otherwise interferes with the free exercise of the elective franchise.

Penalties for voter intimidation range from $1,000 to $5,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. Those convicted are also disqualified from voting and from being "elected to, holding or occupying any office, elective or appointive."

According to Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney Chris Van Marter, his office has not received a referral regarding HRS 19-3 from the state Elections Office, Campaign Spending Commission or the Honolulu Police Department since at least 2005….

Another law, HRS 11-137, says, "No person shall look at or ask to see the contents of the ballot or the choice of party or nonpartisan ballot of any voter," unless authorized.

There have been incidents of election fraud that have led to convictions.

In 1992, a House candidate was convicted of election fraud, criminal solicitation and evidence tampering. A former state senator and his aide were convicted of conspiring to illegally register voters to help that candidate.

In 1993, a former Kalihi lawmaker was convicted of voter registration fraud.

In 1998, concerns were raised about the accuracy of voting machines used in the primary and general elections.

SA: Borreca Pushes for Vote by Mail

Don’t Read This: Vote By Mail: “Tool of choice for voter fraud”

read … Hawaii Law Prohibits Voter Intimidation

Special Election for Maui OHA Seat—Abercrombie Appointed Goes Back on Word

MN: Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey announced last night that she will run for the open Office of Hawaiian Affairs Maui residency seat that she previously agreed to fill only temporarily.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Lindsey in January to fill the vacancy created when former trustee Boyd Mossman resigned late last year.

She was to serve on an interim basis until a November special election to fill the remaining two years of Mossman's term. The special election will be held in conjunction with the Nov. 6 general election…

Abercrombie, by law, was tasked with making an appointment after the OHA board was unable to agree last year on a Maui nominee and declared an impasse.

Abercrombie's office said at the time that one condition of the appointment was that Lindsey agree not to run as a candidate for the seat in November.

Interested candidates for the Maui seat can file nomination papers at the state Office of Elections in Pearl City on Oahu or with the Maui County Clerk's office in Wailuku between Aug. 28 and Sept. 7.

No signatures are required on nomination papers for candidates filing to run in a special election to fill a vacancy, according to the elections office.

Mossman resigned his Maui seat last November to take a three-year unpaid position as president of the Kona Hawai'i Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The election winner will fill his unexpired term that ends Nov. 4, 2014.

read … Two Faced

Rail Suit to be Heard Tuesday

PBN: But before voters go to the polls again, the federal lawsuit against the rail project could be decided.

The lawsuit, in which Cayetano is one of the defendants, is supposed to be heard Tuesday in U.S. District Court District of Hawaii. Other plaintiffs include University of Hawaii law professor Randy Roth and anti-rail activist Cliff Slater, among others. Their main argument is that the environmental impact statement does not include what alternatives to elevated rail the city considered before deciding on a final version of the project. No one interviewed for this story would say on the record when the judge in the case is expected to rule.

But political experts say the lawsuit is only one factor that could impact the outcome of the Honolulu mayor’s race, and as a result the future of rail.

read … Rail Suit

Pro-Rail Star-Advertiser: TheBus is an ‘Unaffordable Operation’

SA: (Bus service cuts are) an unpopular step to take during an election year, no doubt. But if city officials are serious about reinforcing the bus service to make it both truly useful and sustainable, simply reinstating an unaffordable operation and pricing scheme is not the answer

read … But Spending $5.5B Makes Perfect Sense

Company Will Build Free Digester in Exchange for License to Sell Electricity

PBN: BioRenewables LLC, a local waste-to-energy company, is in discussions with the City and County of Honolulu on a $30 million project designed to resolve the capacity problem at its Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Bill Rhodes, managing member of BioRenewables, told PBN that his company wants to build, own and operate a second egg-shaped, solid-waste digester that would add much-needed capacity to the Sand Island plant. He said his plan would cost the city no upfront capital money.

If approved, BioRenewables would sign a power-purchase agreement with the city that would allow it to partner with Houston-based Synagro-WWT Inc. to run the wastewater treatment facility….

The city planned to purchase a second egg-shaped solid-waste digester to relieve the over capacity at the first plant, which has been operated by the Synagro since 2008. In fact, the money was included in a proposed $317 million budget for sanitation, of which more than $95 million was earmarked for expansion of the Sand Island plant.

But the City Council last year deleted $26 million to fund the second digester at the request of the councilman for the district, Romy Cachola. … (ooops!)

read … BioRenewables Touts Fix 

Sam Aiona to Run for Council District 6?

HNN: Gabbard's resignation created a buzz in Oahu politics. Now council candidates are getting ready for a sprint to the general election. The deadline to file is August 31. With so many potential candidates 20 percent of the vote could be enough for the winner take all race.

In a political twist Esther Kia'aina, who just lost to Gabbard in the congressional primary, has not ruled out running for her council seat. She lives in Nanakuli, but owns a condo within District 6. The renters moved out in July and the unit is currently vacant.

Kia'aina says she has been recuperating from the primary and has not given much thought to running for council. However she says since Saturday she has been inundated with calls from supporters urging her to run. She will make a decision before the August 31 deadline.

Former city councilmember Jon Yoshimura says he is definitely running and will have a press conference tomorrow.

State Senator Carol Fukunaga who lost her primary election as a redistricting casualty is also "seriously exploring a run."

"Many supporters have encouraged me to step forward to continue serving the people of Hawaii on important issues like job creation, community revitalization and enhanced government services. It's an important opportunity to serve a broader constituency that has unique community needs," said Fukunaga, in a written statement.

John Mizuno and Karl Rhoads, both of whom are current State House of Representatives, are also thinking about running.

"I'm seriously considering it. I'll have to make a decision very quickly because of the short deadline and because I have to start campaigning if I'm going to do it," said Rep. Karl Rhoads, (D) Chinatown, Downtown, Palama. "I have a good chance of winning, probably 50/50 or better but you have to balance that with being in the House of Representatives which is an interesting and productive job too."

"We're very excited. I didn't think about this at all. It's our supporters you see me with that asked me to step up and that's what I'm doing," said Rep. John Mizuno, (D) Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, Fort Shafter, who was flanked by several sign waiving supporters during the interview.

Both Rhoads and Mizuno won their primary elections. Rhoads is unchallenged in the general election and won his seat outright. Mizuno will face a Republican challenger in the general.

They would need to resign from the state office to run for the county which Mizuno won't do.

"If I did have to resign I wouldn't because I gave my word," said Mizuno, who hadn't received confirmation that he would need to resign from the House to run for Council.

Former Republican Party Chair Sam Aiona is considering running. He is expecting a crowded field and will weigh financial resources and the other candidates in his decision making process.

Two current city administrators have also been mentioned as potential candidates. They include Gail Haraguchi, Director of Customer Services and Gordon Bruce, Director of Information Technology.

"I think I could give a fresh new look at how we can run the city and I have eight years of experience on the other side of the table so I have an understanding what the other agencies are up against. I think I can bring a balanced approach," said Bruce.

Gabbard says she will not endorse any candidate.

read … Sam Aiona for Council

Council Candidate? Karl Rhoades Married to Pro-Rail Lobbyist

ILind: Rhoads is married to public relations whiz Cindy McMillan, who left her position as an executive vice president at Communications Pacific to take a major role in the pro-rail lobbying campaign.

McMillan’s bio can be found on the I Mua Rail website:

Cindy McMillan currently serves as the Project Manager for Strategic Initiatives at the Pacific Resource Partnership. Her areas of focus are transportation and land-use projects. She is currently spearheading the organization’s I Mua Rail campaign.

According to the City Charter:

No elected or appointed officer or employee shall…

… (c) Engage in any business transaction or activity or have a financial interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of such person’s official duties or which may tend to impair the independence of judgment in the performance of such person’s official duties.

Although council members are not prohibited from voting as long as such conflicts are disclosed, McMillan’s high profile position on this key issue would put Rhoads under an immediate cloud if elected to the council.

Also: Rep Karl Rhoads, wife tied to Andy Mirkitani kickback scheme

read … Conflict of Interest

Some 10 candidates may seek Gabbard's just-relinquished Council seat

SA: Former Honolulu City Councilman Jon Yoshimura said he will run in a special election to fill out the two remaining years of Gabbard’s term.

A number of people prominent in the Oahu political scene also are considering placing their names on the ballot, including outgoing state Sen. Carol Fukunaga; state Reps. John Mizuno and Karl Rhoads, unsuccessful congressional candidate Esther Kia‘aina, former state Rep. Sam Aiona, former state Sen. Dennis Nakasato, city Information Technology Director Gordon Bruce, city Customer Service Director Gail Haraguchi, and Democratic Party Oahu County Secretary Bixby Ho.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin said candidates will have from Wednesday to Aug. 31 to submit nomination papers to run in the winner-take-all sprint to the general election finish line on Nov. 6.

read … Winner take all

Court correct to affirm marriage is between a man and woman

Hochberg: Why is government in the marriage business?

A federal judge answered that question Aug. 8 consistently with how it's long been answered: Government can "rationally conclude that, other things being equal, it is best for children to be raised by a parent of each sex."

The court was right and in line with what most Americans believe. Hawaii's law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman can and does exist for good and rational reasons. It doesn't exist to unlawfully "discriminate" against anyone. This is especially true in light of how long the existing definition of marriage has been understood by societies everywhere.

read … Marriage

SA: What do you think about a federal judge upholding Hawaii's ban on same-sex marriage?

· Agree; state should be allowed to ban (73%, 1,264 Votes)

· Disagree; gay marriage is U.S. constitutional right (27%, 463 Votes)

· Total Voters: 1,724

i's children uninterrupted by DLOP which is the Democrat word for furlough, we want binding arbitration to settle our labor dispute and not a strike. If I can spin it this good in ten seconds in a post, how well should our overpaid union staff be able to spin it on Channel 2? BINDING ARBITRATION -- why can't we have it? WE'RE GOING NOWHERE NOW.

SURVEY: Hawaii DoE HS Students Above Average Rates of Suicide, Drug Use 

Mystery still surrounds Larry Ellison’s purchase of Lanai

PBN: His public relations staff at California-based Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) seem to be avoiding media requests like a well-skilled dodgeball player.

Calls and emails on a rather frequent basis have still gone unanswered.

Life-long Lanai resident and well-known woodworker Warren Osako told PBN on Tuesday — at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit & Expo in Honolulu — that there have been no changes whatsoever.

But he also noted that although he hasn’t seen Ellison himself, there have been whispers that “his people” have been “coming and going” on Lanai.

read … Lanai 

Office Full of Attorneys Cannot Reach HECO to Pay Bills

HNN: A Hawaii News Now investigation into problems with Hawaiian Electric Company's new billing system and the resulting backlog of complaint calls to customer service has prompted a flood of new horror stories, and many people are worried that they will lose power for failing to reach HECO with their billing concerns.

Honolulu Attorney Kamaile Maldonado discovered that she was locked out of her own online account when she logged onto HECO's website to pay her bill.

"We had no idea what was happening on their side because there was absolutely no communication. We were trying for so many weeks and months to just pay our bill," she said, venting her frustration.

Since HECO switched to its new computer system back in May, Maldonado claims to have had nothing but problems. Since she does everything paperless, she had no record of her account number and had no idea how much she owed. Other attorneys in her office had similar problems and teamed up in attempt to reach a live person.

read … HECO Troubles Mount

What rising cost concerns you the most due to inflation?

  • A. Electricity (35%, 253 Votes)
  • B. Gasoline (28%, 203 Votes)
  • C. Food (28%, 198 Votes)
  • D. Education (5%, 35 Votes)
  • E. Other (4%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 719

Complaints flood HECO and PUC

HNN: Irrate Hawaiian Electric Co. customers have flooded the local utility and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission about the company's new billing system.

Consumers said they're being overcharged -- sometimes by as much as hundreds of dollars. But when they call the company to complain, they find themselves on hold for long periods.

The new billing system replaces HECO's decade's old payment processing system and will allow the company to install advanced smart-grid technologies and bring on new sources of renewable energy.

HECO maintains that its bills are accurate but now confirms it was unprepared for the influx of billing complaints….

read … More Complaints

Discrepancy: Nago 13 Late, Kawauchi 4

BINC: Kawauchi met with Karin Stanton of Wednesday evening just before 6 p.m. and told her she now can confirm that only 4 or 5 polling places opened late on Saturday morning. She identified the late-openers as Kona Vista, Kahakai School, Waikoloa, Kona Palisades, and possibly Hawaiian Paradise Park in Kea’au. Hawaii News Now’s Rick Daysog reported Wednesday that the State Office of Elections confirmed with him that they had personally contacted the Precinct Chiefs for all 40 Hawaii Island polling places and determined that 10 out of 40 had opened late, with the latest being around 90 minutes…

read … Update

Hawaii economy plodding along despite tourism boom

SA: Hawaii’s economy is growing slower than previously thought despite a better-than-expected performance by the visitor industry, according to a new report released by the state today.

Various economic indicators for 2012, including job growth, personal income and gross domestic product, were revised downward from the last forecast released in May by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

read … Hawaii economy plodding along despite tourism boom

Black Hawk that crashed in Afghanistan was from Schofield

SA: A Schofield Barracks Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan today, and at least some of the seven Americans on board who were killed were based out of Hawaii, sources said.

In addition to the Americans, four Afghans were killed.

Lt. Col. Derrick W. Cheng, a Schofield spokesman, said he could not confirm that the helicopter was based out of Hawaii.

“At this time I can’t release any of the information. We’re still awaiting the formal (family) notification process,” Cheng said.

U.S. officials said three of the seven American troops killed were special operations forces — two Navy SEALs and a Navy explosives expert. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information.

read … Schofield

Revolving Door: Top PUC Official Joins HawaiiGas

SA: Josh Strickler, chief researcher at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission who has been a leader in renewable energy policy, is joining HawaiiGas at the end of the month.

He told Civil Beat that he was leaving the state regulatory office to aid efforts to bring natural gas to Hawaii and help reduce electricity costs for Hawaii residents.

The state currently has a goal of achieving 40 percent renewable energy by 2030

read … Revolving Door



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