Election Day Tuesday Nov 6 -- Find Your Polling Place, Sample Ballot
PRP: Fukunaga Running to Continue Act 221 Tax Credit Scams
Giving Judges a Chance to Double Dip
Djou Releases Final TV Ad
Former Pearl Harbor Official Endorses Lingle
Lingle Camp: Race in Dead Heat, Hirono Panics
Majority PAC Ad Plagiarizes Lingle Ads and Deceives Voters
Abercrombie: I don’t Want to Preserve Ag Land, I want to Use it
WHT: “The role of the governor is to cheerlead, to articulate it to the greater public,” Abercrombie said after looking at the farm and a large plot of land the DHHL community intends to use for community agricultural lots.
“Why should we help people in other countries exploit their own people when we can help ourselves?”
“I’m up to here with having to listen to people talk when they don’t have anything to say about agriculture,” he said. “I don’t want to preserve ag land. I want to use it.”
People who have plans to preserve ag land or turn it into a museum piece should “go to Bishop Museum,” he added.
“What’s the major export for Hawaii?” Abercrombie asked as the tour wrapped up. “Dollars. Dollars for oil, dollars for food, dollars for prisoners. That money should stay in Hawaii.”
read … Abercrombie Visits WoW Farm
Kim: Greenwood Cleverly Twisted, Shapiro Cynical Half-Truths
SA: President Greenwood and her PR consultants have cleverly twisted the issue of accountability into an issue of "political interference and micromanagement." Yet, she testified at our hearings that no one ordered her to create the $200,000 new position for Jim Donovan and that the governor only provided advice that she had solicited.
It should be noted that Greenwood has been very visible at the Legislature during her tenure, more so than any recent UH leader. When I was Ways and Means Committee chairwoman, she called often for my counsel on myriad UH concerns. It's ironic that she's now construing well-meaning advice to be inappropriate political meddling.
The president needs to take responsibility for what has happened at the UH rather than deflect blame with innuendos of her being the victim of a "campaign of false statements." Please, president, in the interest of openness, elaborate on these so-called false statements.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist David Shapiro's assertion on this matter regarding my disagreement with former UH President Evan Dobelle was vintage Shapiro: a cynical half-truth. What riled legislators, and UH insiders, was that Dobelle squandered $1 million for renovations to College Hill, pledged to raise private funds to deflect criticism, and failed to do so. He promised and failed to raise $150 million in private funds for the Kakaako medical school. He appointed friends or former associates to highly paid UH positions and hired others as consultants. I was very candid about these problems in a report, entitled "Dangerous Equations," which I co-authored with Amy Agbayani, Ralph Moberly and state Rep. Mark Takai.
Personally, I feel that Greenwood should be retained and held accountable to correct the UH's problems. While I can't speak for other legislators, I can tell you unequivocally that there's been no call from the Senate committee to remove Greenwood or interfere with the school's autonomy.
read … Accountability?
Democrats Scramble to Save Hirono as GOP Aims for 56-44 Senate Majority
WSJ: Seven Senate seats now held by Democrats—Connecticut, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin—are rated as toss-ups by Real Clear Politics, a political website. With Democrats holding a slim 51-47 majority plus two independents who caucus with them, control of the Senate is at stake in the outcome of these races.
Although the Hawaii Senate race isn't as uncertain, Democrats here aren't taking anything for granted—a sign of how seriously the resurgence of the Republican Party is being taken even in blue strongholds.
The Democratic-backed Majority PAC just put more money for television advertising supporting Ms. Hirono, to counter a similar move by the Republican-backed Fund for Freedom Committee last week, said a Hirono aide.
read … 56-44
Low Voter Turnout Tied to Unappealing Candidates
SA: “We were at the top of the list for voter turnout for 40 years," he said. "And for a decade after statehood we had turnout over 75 percent. (Then the Hawaii GOP disintegrated in the 1968 election and never recovered.) Now it's below half … and that's not due to the fact that voting got harder. (It is because the GOP is barely contesting the elections.)
"Over the last four decades, people have gotten more frustrated, cynical and really disappointed about politics and government as a way to make change."
The inconvenience of voting does stop some people, but for many more the complaint was the lack of reliable data on the issues and the candidates.
"Part of the problem is information — they said, ‘I don't want to just check a box,'" he added. "These are people who are used to having stuff like that at their fingertips. And they're skeptical of canned information."
And then there's the sense that monied interests have overrun the whole process, he said.
"One thing that we heard at the door a lot was about campaign ads, stuff that insulted people's intelligence," Koshiba added. "They think, ‘Politics is for people who have an axe to grind, an issue to push and the money to do it — it's not for me.'"
KHON: Hawaii voters break record for this election season
Borreca: After weeks of surveys and ads, it’s now all up to voters
read … Unappealing candidates
Mayoral Race: Most Voters Decided Long Time Ago
SA: For undecideds who think the rail project is too costly, and that other transportation solutions need to be explored to allow tax dollars to go toward long-standing unmet infrastructure needs, former Gov. Ben Cayetano is walking the community and laying out the case for why the project should be stopped.
The arguments may be falling on deaf ears, one political analyst says.
"There's not really many undecided," said Neal Milner, University of Hawaii emeritus professor of political science. "This is an election in which folks decided pretty early one way or the other."
He added: "It's been pretty stable all along, actually. It's been a low level of undecided for a long period of time."
(Therefore) Cayetano said. "I think that what's important is the turnout."
He said the campaign is doing all it can to increase turnout, with more sign-waving rallies and personal appearances at community events.
read … Turnout
Connection to community key in race for District 11
MN: South Maui residents will be deciding Maui's most hotly contested race: the face-off between incumbent Republican state House Rep. George Fontaine and Democratic hopeful Kaniela Ing.
Fontaine, 52, has held the seat the past two years and touts his longevity and involvement in the South Maui community - having lived there for more than two decades - for setting him apart from his opponent.
"I've been actively working in the community here for well over 20 years in South Maui," said
Fontaine, a retired captain with the Maui Police Department. "Kaniela moved into the district in April. . . . I've been here all this time, working with this community and building partnerships and friendships here to try to address issues and to solve problems. And I think that's the big difference; there's no comparison."
He cited his involvement with the Kihei Community Association, Na Hale O Maui and a homelessness alliance, among others.
Last week, the commission fined Ing $375 for three violations. He has the right to appeal, although he acknowledged making "simple mistakes" in reporting his campaign's activities to the commission.
read … Fontaine
Parents say high school is needed in Kihei
MN: Biegel said that the sign-waving rallies were successful in drawing attention to the issue. Politicians with constituents in South Maui who turned out in support of the Kihei high school were Democratic South and West Maui state Sen. Roz Baker, Republican South Maui Rep. George Fontaine, Democratic South Maui House candidate Kaniela Ing and Council Member Don Couch, who holds the council's South Maui residency seat.
More than 75 people showed up to wave signs Friday afternoon and at least 50 people turned out Saturday morning, Biegel said.
"We've had a lot of success," she said. "I love that it's a nonpartisan event. People are supporting it."…
The Kihei High School Action Team, which is a subcommittee of the Kihei Community Association's Education Committee, has requested by letter and email a personal meeting with Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the hope that he would include money to build the high school in the state's next budget. The group had not received a response from the Governor's Office as of Saturday morning.
A final environmental impact statement for the Kihei high school project has been completed, with the campus' cost estimated at $120 million. The group says architectural plans have been approved by public schools officials but two years of construction won't begin until funding is available.
The action team has created another group called the Friends of Kihei High School. Its website can be found at www.friendsofkihei.com.
read … Friends of Kihei
Mulvihill vs Baker in Maui Senate Race
MN: Republican state Senate hopeful Bart Mulvihill contends that Democratic state Sen. Roz Baker's backing of mortgage reform has been a "total disaster," with lenders choosing to take delinquent homeowners straight to judicial foreclosures and leaving them with ruined credit….
On Tuesday, Mulvihill, 60, will make a second attempt to unseat Baker, 66, from the Senate district that serves residents of West and South Maui. In 2008, Mulvihill ran as a Democrat against Baker, who won the party primary with 67.2 percent of the votes to Mulvihill's 25.1 percent.
Mulvihill said there are 12,000 delinquent home mortgage cases pending in Hawaii courts.
Baker noted that she, and not Mulvihill, has been endorsed by the Hawaii Association of Realtors.
Mulvihill attempts to take Baker to task for having a website, rozbaker.com, that he said inaccurately reported for four years that the senator continued to hold the chairmanship of the Legislature's powerful Ways and Means Committee.
He said Baker was "bumped down" in 2008 to the chairmanship of the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, a move that showed she has "lost friends, lost influence and upset people" at the state Capitol.
MN: Mulvihill, McLaughlin fined for late reports
read … Mulvihill
Mele Carroll: Everybody Thinks I voted for Act 55, But I didn’t Show Up to Vote
MN: "We're always worried about development and this is public lands. It gives the state too much leeway," said Carroll, a Democrat representing the 13th House District including East Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. "Everybody thinks I voted for it, but I didn't. I was in the hospital at the time. If I was there, I would have voted no on it.
"The community is always worried about transparency in the process. Any time you have a development corporation and it gives a lot of exemptions in the process, from the public's perception, it's not a good bill."
Republican challenger Simon Russell also supports repeal of the law, which was passed in three days in 2011 and allows for commercial projects to be developed on public lands with no county oversight.
"People did things that were not the will of the people," Russell said. "I haven't spoken to one person who thinks we should have a hotel at Waianapanapa. They could build a hotel at Polipoli or put an airstrip up there. I'd rather just repeal the whole thing, start all over again."…
When Act 55 was voted on in the 2011 legislative session, Carroll said she was hospitalized for staph infections. But she said she feels "better than I've felt in the last year and a half" and is in remission from breast cancer….
Act 55 Votes
read … Pity Play, no questions about free I pads
Early Voting Boosts Importance of Doorknocking
SA: "I think that the more typical early voter is someone who is engaged in the election and is not likely to change their mind," Milner said. "I think a peripheral voter is less likely to vote early."
What data allows to happen is a more focused grassroots door-knocking campaign, so that the candidate wastes as little time as possible, he said. The Pacific Resource Partnership advertising campaign for the rail project applies some of this researched approach. As for the door-to-door canvassing, now a storied element in well-organized presidential campaigns, Milner said that was always the core of Hawaii electioneering.
Most of the smaller legislative races here are a long way from needing to do a data dive. But the early-voting dynamic does help candidates frame their campaign more efficiently, said Bernice Mau, Honolulu's city clerk.
"The main thing a lot of the candidates wanted to know is when the ballots are mailed," she said. "Some are concerned with how many did we get back — the ones that already voted."
Takahashi added: "We have been consistently mailing 20 days prior to the election for more than a half-dozen years, just to establish a certain amount of consistency for those stakeholders, the campaigns, so they have something they can count on."
read … Reinventing how we vote
Isle Guard brings aloha to Afghans
SA: The aloha shown to Afghan role-players by the Hawaii soldiers was noted during training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., said Col. Kenneth Hara, who commands the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and is one of the deploying soldiers.
"They highlighted that the soldiers from Hawaii did way better than the average military unit, Guard or Reserve, and that's tied to the culture of Hawaii," Hara said. "We're kind of a multinational culture, open to different cultures, and more understanding and empathetic, and they say it was clearly noticed by the Afghan role-players and the observer controllers."
"I think everyone's still apprehensive because the amount of green-on-blue attacks has increased, I think exponentially, in the last year and a half or so, so it's still a concern," Hara said.
"It's on my mind," said 1st Sgt. Jeremy Chang, 36, a Honolulu police officer who is deploying. "I think about it. During our (mobilization) training, we trained for that kind of stuff. To me, the way I train my guys is, expect the unexpected, and just to be ready for anything."
Keeping and eye on Afghans who are supposed to be allies while also being alert for roadside bombs and attacks that may come around the next bend just adds to the stress, Chang said….
"She knows what to do and what to expect," he said. "But then again, on the other hand, she's like any other spouse. She doesn't want me to go and she gave me a lecture, (saying) this is my last one."
read … Isle Guard brings aloha to Afghans
Patients pack Insane Asylum After budget cuts
SA: Overcrowding at the Kaneohe facility, the only state-run psychiatric hospital in the islands, grew so acute during the summer that the governor convened a task force to deal with the problem.
Virtually all of the patients at the hospital are "forensic admissions," which means they were ordered there by the courts after an arrest.
Last week, the hospital had 188 patients, 20 more than its budgeted capacity. Another 40 patients were being cared for at a private facility at public expense. The daily per-person cost for those contracted beds is about $750.
Loretta Fuddy, director of the state Health Department, said she believes eliminating adult mental health services in 2009 because of budget shortfalls are behind the increased number of patients.
"One could have predicted that when you cut the safety net, it doesn't appear overnight, in terms of increases for demands for services," Fuddy said in an interview last week. "People really try to manage as best they can and then it bubbles up to a crisis. I think what we were seeing (at the hospital) was basically a crisis, the tipping point."
To tackle the problem, the department has partially restored some services — and is considering the possibility of more expansions.
read … Asylum
Panos: EPA and Caldwell Are Costing Honolulu $4.5 Billion for Sewers
HR: The U.S. Conference of Mayors brings up as an example Lima, Ohio, a town of 39,000 residents. To comply with the Clean Water Act, Lima devised a $60-million long-term control plan, but in 2005 the EPA rejected the plan, and has sought to impose a consent decree that would entail $104 million in capital costs. As a result, Lima’s total population, will face sewer rates amounting to 4% to 7% of their household income. The CWA compliance costs come to about $2,700 per Lima resident.
Honolulu is in a similar predicament with the overreaching consent decree that Mayor Mufi Hannemann signed with the EPA for secondary sewage treatment which is expected to cost no less than $2 billion (The $1.2 billion figure in this article is old and partial.) The same consent decree mandates a number of other replacements and upgrades that will cost about $2.5 billion. (This article states a $3.5 billion total cost, but this estimate is old and low.) The CWA compliance costs come to about $4,600 per Oahu resident, almost twice those for Lima residents.
read … $4.5B Sewers
We win in lawsuit: FTA/City guilty on three counts, not guilty on 20
HT: Judge Wallace Tashima yesterday issued his ruling in the federal lawsuit, Honolulutraffic.com et al. vs. Federal Transit Administration and the City of Honolulu.
In his conclusion, he granted our “Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to: (1) their Section 4(f) claims that Defendants [City/FTA] arbitrarily and capriciously failed to complete reasonable efforts to identify above-ground TCPs [Traditional Cultural Properties] prior to issuing the ROD [Record of Decision]; (2) Defendants’ failure adequately to consider the Beretania Street Tunnel alternative prior to eliminating it as imprudent; and (3) Defendants’ failure adequately to consider whether the Project will constructively use Mother Waldron Park. The Court grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to all other claims raised in said motion.”
The City is claiming victory with a win of 20 claims to our 3. However, this is not a football game, nor an election. A better analogy is that of someone charged with 23 counts of murder and found guilty of three of them. The murderer could claim that he won in court 20-3 but that would avail him little when he mounts the gallows.
The three issues on which we won require the City/FTA to do their homework on several issues and then amend the FEIS and the Record of Decision and on one count may possibly have to redo them in their entirety.
At the least, there will be further months of delay. We will have a clearer view of the future when Judge Tashima considers a Permanent Injunction against the Project in a hearing on December 12.
read … www.HonoluluTraffic.com
Election lawsuits going to court
HTH: Defamation lawsuits against Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi will begin playing out in a Kona courtroom later this month as 3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance considers a county motion to dismiss.
Strance took over the cases after the two Hilo judges recused themselves. Judges do not have to specify why they’re stepping down from a case, but it’s likely they feared potential conflicts in the small political town that is Hilo.
At issue are lawsuits filed by fired Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto and Senior Elections Clerk Shyla Ayau, alleging false and misleading information was leaked to the media about an investigation into drinking parties and a private business operation at the elections warehouse that led to their termination.
read … Election lawsuits going to court