Full Text: Supreme Court Decision Will Halt Rail Construction
Fired Hilo Election Worker was Making Campaign Signs at Elections Office, Died Tuesday
HTH: “I was very shocked. … He was in very good health up to when he got terminated,” said James Arakaki, a friend and former County Council chairman. “When I saw him last, he was under tremendous stress. He looked terrible.”
Arakaki said he’d hoped the union grievance process and legal proceedings could have moved more quickly, as Shikuma was under a doctor’s care and taking blood pressure medication, and his wife, Karen, was also under a lot of stress. Shikuma, who was in his 50s, apparently died Tuesday of a stroke, he said.
Arakaki praised Shikuma as a talented sign-maker, hard worker and all-around good person who was the “behind-the-scenes backbone” of the local junior golf program….
Acting County Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi on Wednesday said her office is still investigating evidence provided by the Hawaii Police Department to see if it meets the standard required for it to be
admissible in court used against her old-boy cronies.
Police Capt. Mitchell Kanehailua, who oversees the Hilo area Criminal Investigations Division, had told Stephens Media in June that police collected materials and information related to three allegations: trademark violations associated with possible counterfeit labels, second-degree theft of county resources and a county ethics code violation of fair treatment of county officers and employees, an allegation related to using county resources for campaign purposes.
Among the materials found in the county warehouse were stencils to make Arakaki campaign signs, Kevin Anthony of Corporate Specialized Intelligence & Investigations LLC, an investigator hired by the county clerk, had said in June. Shikuma was paid $975 on Sept. 11, 2002, to make signs for Arakaki’s re-election bid, according to Arakaki’s campaign report filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission….
When questioned through his attorney, Ted Hong, about the Arakaki signs in June, Shikuma provided Stephens Media a sworn declaration under oath that he didn’t move his sign-making equipment into the county warehouse at 210 Makaala St. until 2003.
Between 2000, when he first started work for the county, and 2003, he stored his sign-making equipment at a warehouse at 231 Makaala St., across the road from the elections warehouse, he said. There is no record of Shikuma as a leaseholder for that property, Carol Ginoza, owner of property management company Ginoza Realty, said in June….
Caldwell’s Pothead Daughter Steals Cayetano Signs, Lights them With Bong
HNN: Hawaii News Now has obtained photos showing two girls setting fire to a Ben Cayetano campaign sign, and Caldwell has confirmed that one of the girls is his 18-year-old daughter Maya.
One of the photos, which were posted to the social networking application Instagram, shows Maya, using a lighter, and a friend, seen holding a bong, lighting the signs on fire. The other photo, in which a girl appears to throw a Cayetano campaign sign but Maya Caldwell is not actually seen, is captioned "bestest frwens a gurl cud have" [sic] by the Instagram user @mayacaldwell.
The photos have since been removed from Instagram.
When asked for his response to the incident, Kirk Caldwell expressed his disappointment in Maya and said that he planned on having a serious "father-daughter" talk with her tonight. Maya is scheduled to leave for college in Massachusetts tomorrow. (Nothing here about criminal charges of course. She is ‘enlightened, conscious, and progressive’ and therefore exempt from the laws which apply to us peasants.)
Hirono a no-show when she’s supposed to be working
MN: According to Government Track, Hirono missed voting on bills more than 75 percent of the time. Not there. No show, over and over.
So how did our other representatives fare? The 1st Congressional District representative only missed 1 percent of the votes and she was running a re-election campaign. They continue to work full time for the residents of Hawaii.
Obviously, it is not important to Mazie to do her job. If you didn't show up for your job 75 percent of the time, what do you think your boss would do? 'Nuff said
Pro-rail group might continue anti-Cayetano ads, Cayetano Threatens Lawsuit
SA: John White said PRP considers the ads were effective and accomplished the goal of extending the campaign into the general election, but he is unsure whether they will continue.
“We just had the election, so we have to kind of look at, between now and election day, what are issues that voters care about that we have an opportunity to lend a voice to and talk about?” White said in an interview. “What and how we do it, we haven’t defined yet.”....
“My lawyers believe that John White, PRP and the Carpenters Union crossed the line when they spent more than $1 million to attack me with falsehoods and distortions about my record,” Cayetano said Wednesday. “They were well aware of the truth, and yet they went ahead. They hurt my family and damaged my reputation.
“Win or lose, once the election is over, I will take legal action to hold John White, the PRP trustees, its members and the Carpenters Union accountable for the dirty campaign they launched against me,” he added. “If they are not held accountable for their actions in this election, one can only guess what they will do to political candidates who do not do their bidding in future elections.”
Unions leading increase in Hawaii campaign spending
ILind: I spent a couple of hours compiling this little table of reported spending by groups that were politically active during both the 1986 and 2010 election cycles. Both were elections in which Hawaii voted for a new governor, so they should be somewhat comparable.
The businesses and unions weren’t selected on any other criteria than ease of identifying them in the two lists.
There appear to be a few conclusions that can be drawn from this limited sample.
First, there’s a lot more money being spent today by PACs and other interest groups than there was in 1986. Overall, the amount spent by this sample of groups increased 493.9 percent. During the same period, the Honolulu’s consumer price index was up 115 percent, if I read the data correctly.
UH flubbed concert planning from start
SA: “Prior to making the ($200,000 wire) transfer … it does not appear that an effort was made by anyone at UH to investigate or evaluate (blank) or to determine whether (blank) was the agent for (Wonder).”
IRS Attacks Honolulu TEA Party
HR: Adrienne King, an attorney who ran for lieutenant governor on the 2010 Republican ticket, was so inspired by the grassroots Tea Party movement, she volunteered to head the Honolulu Tea Party two years ago.
After holding two successful “April 15” rallies at the state capitol in 2011 and 2012, King followed in the footsteps of many other tea party organizers across the country and applied to the Internal Revenue Service for a 501-c-4 tax status so she could more easily fundraise.
But King was shocked and angered when she received a response from the IRS demanding she provide detailed information on tea party activities, materials, pictures, videos, names of speakers and attendees as well as copies and recordings of actual speeches made at the events.
The July 27, 2012 IRS letter said: “Please provide details of your tax rally and confirm whether this is an accurate list (of speakers). How were these speakers selected? How much time was devoted to each speaker? What topics were discussed? Please provided any other information about the speakers that you think would be helpful to us in processing your application as well as copies of any materials or recordings from the speeches.”
The Maui Tea Party received a similar letter from the IRS as have many other tea party leaders across the country, King said.
Owner: Kahuku Fire Burned 12,000 Lead Batteries, Produced no Environmental Impact
SA: The Aug. 1 fire destroyed 12,000 lead-acid batteries in the battery energy storage system (BESS) building, according to a report from the local office of Enpro Environmental, which was subcontracted by LVI Services to do the air and soil testing. First Wind's nearby operations and maintenance building was not damaged in the fire.
Ten soil samples (at what depth?) and two air samples were taken within 36 hours of the fire by Enpro Environmental staff. Materials in the BESS building were still smoldering and producing smoke when the samples were taken. (Question: Were they standing upwind when they took the two air samples?)
(Here’s another question: At what depth were the soil samples taken? It doesn’t take a genius to know that if the samples were even 1 inch below the surface, 36-hour-old lead would not have yet time to percolate down. What a scam.)
"Based on the results of Enpro's sampling and analysis of air samples for lead, it is Enpro's opinion that there is no airborne lead risk hazard within the (operations and maintenance) building or in the area immediately adjacent and downwind of the BESS building," according to the report.
The conclusion was similar for the soil testing.
"Based on these results it is Enpro's opinion that the surface soils in the locations sampled at the project do not contain lead soil contaminants which represent a risk to human health or the environment," according to the Enpro report.
However, the Enpro report cautioned that preventive measures should be taken to prevent exposure to lead dust when the remnants of the burned-out BESS building are removed. (Oooops)
Angry HECO Customers Flood Star-Advertiser with Complaints
SA: HECO says to go online to avoid long delays in reaching a customer service representative by phone. On July 23 I emailed regarding my account number. It’s Aug. 16, and I still haven’t received a response. The website is not an alternative that anyone who is not registered can use. Thousands of websites allow customers to register online, but HECO can’t? I sent emails in May, June and July, but there was no reply. I spent over seven hours in the middle of work days to contact HECO for service. Going “in person” to HECO’s downtown, no-parking, traffic nightmare office from Mililani to start electrical service is absurd!
Gays Wage War to Capture Control of Honolulu Jewish Temple
SA: When the man who pulled Friedman's hair denied any involvement to police, Schaktman said, another member of the congregation disputed the account and touched a female officer. That man was arrested for investigation of harassing a police officer, according to police.
After members ended up in handcuffs and hospitals, the vote ended up 141-138 to not renew (gay rabbi) Schaktman's contract.
But temple members continue to argue about missing ballots, abstentions and whether temple bylaws ban — or allow — the kind of language that members voted on.
"This current board has not been the most effective of boards in the temple's history," said current board member Hank Trapido-Rosenthal, who is running for re-election Sunday on the slate that includes Tucker. "It's a tough congregation to lead and an even much tougher congregation to belong to."
The sudden departure of an estimated 60 families in the past year, Trapido-Rosenthal said, "has to do with the relatively poor relations between the current board and the rabbi. Most of them are waiting to see what will happen next. If we don't rebuild the membership, the financial situation will make it difficult to hire and maintain staff."
Two Long-Dead Priests Accused of Molestation
HNN: "When I was about 8 or 9 years old Father Henry raped me and it was very violent and very intense and of course as an elementary school fourth grader it's very difficult to process that kind of stuff," said Mark Pinkosh, who filed a civil suit against the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii.
Pinkosh was told to keep it to himself and initially didn't tell his family but did go to others in the church.
"Simultaneously I told another priest. Nothing happened. I told a nun. I told another nun, so now four adults at my church know about this. Two nuns and two priests and nothing stopped the abuse," said Pinkosh.
Another priest then came to the church. His name was Father Joseph Ferrario.
"I told him about the abuse that took place. He counseled me that it was a secret, I shouldn't tell anybody and then he proceeded to rape me as well," said Pinkosh.
When Pinkosh was in his late 20's he says he told everyone, his family, friends, and co-workers but was told too much time had passed to prosecute.
Father Henry and Bishop Ferrario have both been accused of abuse before. Claims in the past were dismissed because of the statute of limitations.
Both priests are now deceased.
Pre-kindergarten education should be free or subsidized, 77% of voters report
SA: Cox said Hawaii is one of 11 states that do not offer state-funded preschool. While the state has been running a junior kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, lawmakers voted this past legislative session to eliminate it by 2014.
State Sen. Jill Tokuda, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said establishing the Executive Office on Early Learning this past session has laid the foundation for the first phases of state-funded preschool to begin rolling out in the 2014-2015 school year — when junior kindergarten is set to run out.
"These poll results definitely show that we're on the right track," Tokuda said. "This is just the beginning for us, and we're going to need to have that support and public will to be able to take us to that next level."
In general, 51 percent of survey respondents said they would strongly support a state program that gives all 4-year-olds access to preschool, and 23 percent said they would somewhat support statewide access to preschool. Another 23 percent would rather keep the current system of having parents pay for their own child's early education.
When asked which funding source for statewide preschool they most strongly supported, 21 percent of respondents chose revenues generated from a state lottery — making it the most popular funding option — while 18 percent sided with a tax increase for households that have an annual income greater than $500,000, and 16 percent favored a 5-cent tax on soda and other sugary beverages. (Manufactured Consent)
Woman told to repay stolen DLNR funds
MN: A Wailuku woman was ordered to pay back $23,710 she stole over a two-year period while she worked for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources….
She had pleaded guilty to first-degree theft of the money from July 2009 to July 2011 while she worked as a clerk taking payments for commercial marine licenses at the DLNR office on Maui.
As part of her job, Gonsalves was supposed to collect the fees and deposit them into the bank, said Deputy Attorney General Christopher Young. (And who was supposed to audit her? Nobody.) Instead, he said, she took the cash payments and held onto checks. She resigned from the job after the thefts were discovered, Young said.
Jones Act draws fiery debate in Hawaii
PBN: The law, which places several regulations on U.S.-flagged vessels and shipping, was the topic at the Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s luncheon. The panelists, including U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, who supports it, argued that it is key for national defense because it guarantees the military access to U.S. merchant ships in times of war while opponents’ main arguments were that it hinders trade and increases costs of having goods shipped in to Hawaii.
The 1920 law regulates shipping with its requirements for what it takes to be a U.S.-flagged vessel and what is required to operate such a ship.
It has come up here in Hawaii in recent years in the cruise-line industry when Sen. Daniel Inouye worked to get Norwegian Cruise Line an exemption to help it operate in Hawaii. And with shipping being such a big part of Hawaii’s lifeline for survival, it will probably always be an issue here.
As Jones Act opponent and (former) congressional candidate Matt Digeronimo said, “the Jones Act is here to stay.” ….
By Getting Rid of Aloha, Hawaiian Built Foundation of Profitable Monopoly
PBN: Brad DiFiore, managing partner at Ailevon Air Service Consulting said today’s average one-way $70 inter-island fare may seem high in comparison to the average fare at half that cost about five years ago, but it’s no where near equivalent to what the average fare on the Mainland to travel similar distances.
“Airlines can’t make money at $35 average fares, and it’s not typical of what you would see elsewhere,” DiFiore told a packed conference room at the Hawaii Tourism Authority conference on Aug. 23. “The airline business unfortunately is a private business, so they’ve got to price in their own best interests.”
In 2007, Hawaiian Airlines, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: HA) had 47 percent of the interisland market, the year before Aloha Airlines shut down operations.
With much of the interisland competition out of business, capacity was reduced and fares — and revenue — began to rise. In the first quarter of 2012, Hawaiian Airlines had 81 percent of the interisland market.
The stability caused by the higher fares and lower capacity in the interisland market has enabled Hawaiian Airlines to expand, DiFiore said, adding, “That stability has allowed Hawaiian to build the business they’ve built in the last couple years.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“BREAKING: “Recent polls in several swing states show Romney asserting a lead or closing the gap in a way he hadn’t before.” The Washington Post, 8/23
“friend — Mitt is ahead by two in Ohio, three in Virginia, one in Wisconsin, and one in Florida.
“He has outraised President Obama for three straight months, and his non-stop attack ad rampage put him ahead in these swing states. No matter how we slice and dice the numbers, we know that President Obama will lose the election and Democrats will lose the Senate if Mitt wins these four key states.” – Jason Rosenbaum, DSCC Online Communications Director