UH Federalist Society: "Litigating for Liberty: Non-traditional Public Interest Law"
Commission Approves Charter School Accountability Contract
HCR 189: "No Big Wind, No Big Cable"
List of Tax Measures Moving in Legislature Totals Seven Pages
Honolulu County Republican Party Convention
Alleged Homosexual Child Predator at Kamehameha “could have been going on for years”
KHON: Attorney for the boys says the alleged perpetrator may have been seeking out possible victims because they all had something in common -- something he says pedophiles often look for….
"I'm concerned about the type of victim that was being approached here or was being groomed in my view," Green said. "Every single young man I'm aware of came from a broken home or a home where the parents were separated at least for a period of time. That can't possibly be by happenstance that this happened, and I think that's part of the culture when we deal with people that are pedophiles." (Now you know why the gay movement is undermining the nuclear family. To enhance availability.)
The suspect has not yet been arrested; the police have yet to interview all alleged victims.
"You even smell something like this much less see photographs of it, you tell whoever it is down there, get a squad up here now and get in here and do whatever you gotta do," Green said. "When I'm asking what materials detectives have at this point, and they may have whatever Kamehameha decided to give them, I don't get it, but I can tell you I'm going to find out."
According to neighbors the teacher moved out of housing over the weekend with the help of friends. No police presence was noticed. The property is just outside of the school's back gate.
"I'm concerned about a crime scene that was tampered with, and when I use the words 'tampered with' I'm not saying they intentionally did that, but you'd think the first people in that house after he was out would be the police," Green said.
"There was a computer there. I don't know where that is. I don't know what images or depictions are on the computer. Police don't have anything other than what was turned over to them, I don't think they seized anything themselves."
"Photographs, depictions or one or more people in an undressed state, naked, and maybe in a shower, so 'alarming' is probably a decent word to use," Green said. "I'm hoping it's not going to grow into anything as ugly as what we've seen at Penn State."
Green says his clients believe the alleged improprieties could have been going on for years.
Totally Related: Gays Attack Hawaiian Culture, ‘Multi-Generational Families’
read … Preying on Hawaiian Kids
Legislator, Perfesser Claim Molesters Have no Friends Here
KITV: "Aloha, Bill. The only thing I can tell you is basically what they say. And I think it's a case of misplaced compassion, compassion for perpetrators and there's also an underlying cultural problem here where some of our diverse cultures actually don't see any problem or any crime in having sexual relations with young children," said Slom.
Slom's remarks are stirring the local community.
"No one is saying that it's acceptable to have sexual relations with children -- with minors. And no one is saying we need to be more lenient on the perpetrators of these horrific crimes," said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.
Was that a Legislator speaking? OK, here’s a relevant article: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature
There was a much a stronger statement from University of Hawaii professor and Department of Sociology Chair Valli Kalei Kanuha. She said, "Clearly the Senator was referring to racial, ethnic and national groups in his use of the term, 'diverse cultures' in the Hawaii context. However, there is absolutely no evidence that child sexual abuse is viewed as acceptable in any social group or community, and is in fact considered an aberration across most societies in this and in every period in history."
Was that a UH Manoa perfesser speaking? OK, here’s a relevant article: UH Manoa Researcher pushes to legalize kiddie porn
How Many Decades did this go on? -- “People at the very top knew”: Sexual Abuse Arrests made at Hawaii's school for Deaf and Blind
read … Sen. Slom explains controversial comment
Hawaii ERS to Become Captive Insurance Company?
SA: The bill approved today creates a task force to study the issue and a captive insurance company to manage the benefits.
The Senate voted last week to establish a separate trust fund for employee benefits and give each government agency its own account.
Hawaii Finance Director Kalbert Young has pointed out problems with both approaches.
He told members of the House Finance Committee that he is not sure whether placing the management of state funds under a captive insurance company will save the state any money.
AP: The Hawaii House labor committee is straying from the Senate's approach
LINK: SB946 SD1
read … And so very quietly!
Hawaii House committee advances gun control bill
MN: The Hawaii House Committee on Public Safety is advancing a bill to require background checks for people who bring in guns from outside the state.
The measure is the only remaining gun control proposal this legislative session….
Hearing after hearing consistently generated testimony from hundreds of opponents largely organized by the Hawaii Rifle Association. Many said they see Hawaii's existing firearm laws as extremely restrictive and fear further limits on their Second Amendment rights.
"All the firearms supporters are galvanized by what's happening nationally and locally," said Max Cooper, legislative coordinator for the Hawaii Rifle Association. "This is the worst year we've seen for firearms rights."
The National Rifle Association is fighting attempts by President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers to tighten federal gun-related laws.
Cooper said good advice from sympathetic lawmakers and passionate firearms supporters have led the organization, which has about 2,400 members, to be successful on the state level….
One legislator Cooper describes as "anti-gun" is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Karl Rhoads.
read … Hawaii House committee advances gun control bill
Josh Green Committee Rejects hospital privatization, Approves Worthless Task Force Instead
AP: The Senate passed a separate bill last week that would give state hospitals a pathway to become private. The bill considered Friday was the House’s version of the proposal, a more cautious approach that assigns a task force to study the issue.
Senators voted to expand the task force and chose not to align the measure with the Senate’s more ambitious version. Health Committee Chairman Josh Green says there are still many unanswered questions that the task force could help answer.
read … To Be Settled in Conference Committee
Will Clayton Hee Kill ‘Shield’ Law
ILind: If Hawaii’s journalist “shield” law is repealed by the legislature, ranked by many as one of the best in the county, a lot of the blame (or credit, if you’re on the other side of this First Amendment issue) will go to Senator Clayton Hee and, perhaps, Governor Neil Abercrombie….
Although the law failed to trigger any significant problems or issues, Hee extended the review period for two additional years and invited further review and comment by a committee of the State Judiciary.
Now Hee is the gatekeeper. HB622, which would make the law permanent, crossed over from the House in a weakened form and has a single referral to Hee’s Committee on Judiciary and Labor. Bills with a single referral are often considered last, since they don’t have to meet other internal legislative deadlines. So far, Hee hasn’t given any indication of his views of the measure.
The House version would no longer protect journalists in civil cases and an expanded number of criminal cases, if their confidential or unpublished information is found to be “necessary and relevant to the charge, claim, or defense asserted.”
The provisions designed to weaken protections for journalists were pushed by the administration of Gov. Neil Abercrombie through its attorney general.
CB: Hawaii Shield Law: Journalists Struggle To Hold On To Legal Rights
ILind: Second Amendment, Calvin Say Supporters Defend ‘Shield Law’
read … Journalists shield law facing uncertain future
New UH Librarian's $195K salary brings criticism
HNN: University of Hawaii administrators are asking the Board of Regents to approve a salary of $195,000 for the UH Manoa's next head librarian, a pay level that's being criticized as "out of line" and "appalling" by some librarians, their union and a state lawmaker who's been critical of UH spending choices.
Irene Herold is the dean of Mason Library at Keene State College in New Hampshire, a small state school with about 5,200 students, roughly a quarter the student population of UH Manoa.
Next week, the UH Regents will vote on a proposal to hire Herold as UH Manoa's university librarian, overseeing three libraries, an $15 million annual budget and about 145 faculty and staff.
Herold's proposed annual salary is $195,000 for three years and she'll be granted tenure automatically, under the deal set to go before the regents in a vote March 21.
That's $50,000 higher than the interim UH librarian is being paid now and $52,536 more than the last permanent university librarian was paid before she left UH in December of 2006. The permanent position has been vacant for more than six years.
"I think the salary is out of line," said State Sen. Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai, Kahala), a critic of many management and spending decisions by UH administrators. "And it says to me that again the university is not taking seriously the recommendations the legislature made."
Irene Harold Twitter Account: “Transcript of US President @BarackObama's 2nd Inaugural address: http://bit.ly/13YUAGy #inaug2013” So inspiring. Make equal pay a reality.”
read … ‘Equal Pay and then some’
Obama Library Push Creates Excuses for 13 UH Junkets
AP: In Honolulu, where the president was born, University of Hawaii officials have visited nearly all the 13 official presidential libraries to talk to officials involved in setting them up. An American studies professor, Robert Perkinson, is leading a statewide effort coordinated by the university, with support from Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other state and federal officials. The state Legislature has passed two resolutions urging Obama to pick Hawaii; one resolution calls it "a matter of great state pride that President Obama is the first Hawaii-born citizen to hold that high office."
read … Free Vacations
Homelessness Industry to ‘Occupy’ Honolulu Hale
KITV: Occupiers plan on making themselves visible before and after a hearing of the full City Council Wednesday morning. Council members are scheduled to hear public testimony on Bill 7, which would allow tents and other personal property to be removed from city sidewalks without warning.
"I think we need to come to them, because they're not seeming to come to us as a majority of the houseless population," said Sugar Russell, an Occupy Honolulu member who often speaks to the media.
Bill 7 was introduced by Council Chairman Ernie Martin and two colleagues, Ann Kobayashi and Ikaika Anderson.
Anderson said Occupy organizers have every right to protest at the Hale, but he drew a line on erecting tents and other items on city grounds.
"If we do start to see bedding and tents and other personal belongings strewn about the grounds of Honolulu Hale, I'm hopeful that the mayor will take swift action," Anderson told KITV4.
(In Oklahoma, they have oil derricks on the lawn of the state capitol, demonstrating what their major industry is. In Hawaii, we will have our major industry on the lawn of Honolulu Hale.)
DN: US Supreme Court has been asked to rule on a 9th Circuit decision banning Los Angeles from seizing property of the homeless
read … Tents expected outside City Hall Tuesday evening
US to beef up missile defense as Norks Fire Missiles into Sea of Japan
AP: The Pentagon announced Friday it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to an Alaska-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.
NHK: N.Korea fires missiles into Sea of Japan
read … Missile Defense
Land acquisition for rail could face legal action down the track
PBN: Local attorneys are predicting an increase in legal action as the City and County of Honolulu attempts to buy the land it will need to complete its 20-mile rail mass-transit system.
The rail’s elevated right of way is designed to pass through 139 parcels of land that the city does not currently own, including 16 full parcels and 123 partial parcels.
read … HART Suit
Counties risk losing revenue from public utility franchise tax
MN: While the state's four mayors and county councils worry about retaining transient accommodations tax revenue, the counties also face another threat - the loss of half their current public utility franchise tax revenues.
In fiscal 2012, Maui County's estimated share of franchise taxes is more than $8 million, according to a revenue overview. (A reduction proposed under Senate Bill 1213 would amount to about $4 million.) The full amount of $8 million represents 21.6 percent of total highway fund revenue and 1.5 percent of total county income.
Introduced by Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, the measure would divert to the state Department of Transportation half of all franchise tax revenues now paid to the counties. An amended version of the bill would put off its implementation until July 2050.
DOT Director Glenn Okimoto supported the measure in written testimony last month, saying it would provide for 1.25 percent of the gross receipts from franchise utility companies to the Transportation Department for their use of the state highway right of way. (Now, utilities pay 2.5 percent of their gross receipts only to the counties for the use of county road systems.)
read … Franchise Tax
Board of Water Supply looking for developers to take over its location
HNN: Most of the six-acre site is currently used for parking.
The only building that must be kept under any development plan is the pumping station. Everything else, including the familiar main office building with the fountain fronting Beretania, could be demolished if the plan is right.
The board said the development idea came from the Honolulu City Council. "It's intended for us to look for additional ways to raise revenue without totally relying on water rates for our customers," said board spokesman Dymian Racoma.
KITV: Board of Water Supply downtown offices up for development
read … BWS
Rand Paul mocks federally funded study on menus for astronauts
VIDEO: A Hawaii research project to choose cuisine for astronauts? Count us in!
During a speech to the conservative CPAC conference, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made fun of a number of scientific research projects funded by the federal government, suggesting that they were a waste of taxpayer money. Here’s one of them:
"For any of you college students looking for jobs, Uncle Sam’s got a job for you," said Paul during the March 14, 2013, speech. "The pay’s $5,000, all expenses paid. The study is in Hawaii. But the requirements are onerous. Only a few can qualify. You have to like food. The study is to develop a menu for when we colonize Mars. I’m not making this up. Guess what a bunch of college students came up with for the menu. Pizza!"
HNN: UH defends Mars food mission mocked by Rand Paul
read … PolitiFact
DOA: Hanabusa Proposes Two no-hope COFA Funding Measures
CB: One bill, similar to legislation she’s introduced in the past, would increase the Compact Impact funding from $30 million to $185 million annually.
The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Madeleine Bordallo, D-Gu., and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, D-A.S.
A second bill, which may have a better chance of passage because it calls for less money, would ease the burden on states by restoring Medicaid coverage for COFA migrants.
That group lost their eligibility as part of welfare reform in 1996.
Nov 2, 2010: Abercrombie admits responsibility for costing Hawaii millions under Compact of Free Association
read … No Hope
PGV operations back to normal
HTH: The fault, which could have been caused by a tree branch, disconnected the line from the rest of the grid, leaving PGV with nowhere for its electricity to go.
The plant in Pohoiki automatically shutdown in response. With the plant offline, steam produced from the geothermal process was released as a safety measure.
About 20,000 customers lost power for about 15 minutes, Beck said. HELCO turned on its backup diesel generators to make up for the temporary loss of PGV.
The plant was operating again by midnight, said Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaiian affairs for Ormat Technologies, PGV’s parent company.
The steam plume, visible to nearby residents, was not considered a health risk, though a few elevated readings of hydrogen sulfide were detected.
The gas is also a byproduct of the geothermal operation, and is contained during normal operations, according to plant operators.
Readings conducted by the Hawaii County Fire Department detected levels of the gas at 3 parts per million on Pohoiki Road between Hinalo Street and Leilani Avenue, said county Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira.
That area is downwind of the plant and is just outside its property line.
Another reading detected the gas at a level of 1 ppm on Pohoiki Road farther away from the plant, Oliveira said.
Other readings did not detect the gas.
Hydrogen sulfide is denser than air, and at least one of the two readings were recorded in a dip in the road, he said.
Oliveira said Civil Defense would not issue an evacuation order unless PGV could not contain the release and if sustained readings of at least 10 ppm were detected.
read … No Danger at all
KIUC Candidates Reject Rate Cuts, Waste to Energy
KGI: Regarding turning the Kekaha Landfill into a garbage-to-energy facility, the overall consensus was that it is not sustainable for Kaua‘i.
“Garbage to energy is not for our island,” Bain said. “We just can’t size that type of project.”
“A recycling center is more appropriate than just burning our trash,” Smith said.
TenBruggencate believes the best idea would be to build a facility to begin collecting and burning the methane coming off the landfill.
Regarding lowering electric bills, Jay said the No. 1 residential expense in a typical home is heating hot water.
“The first thing you want to do is stop that and get some solar hot water panels on your roof right away,” he said.
Burley said the first line of defense is the users themselves and suggested turning off appliances, drying clothes outside instead of using a dryer, washing clothes in cold water instead of hot and switching to energy efficient light bulbs.
read … KIUC candidates wrap up discussions, voting deadline approaches