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Monday, July 26, 2010
July 26, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:11 PM :: 6073 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

DoE spends $50M for free software

Eleven Opinions: Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee Katherine Leonard

Aiona sees objectivity as key to election win

Aiona sees himself winning in the fall, not just because of his eight years serving as lieutenant governor in the Lingle administration, but his prior 12 years as a district and circuit judge.

"I am objective, I am analytical, I am dispassionate, but that doesn't mean I am not compassionate," Aiona says, added that his judicial training leads him to look for ways to bring warring parties together to find a compromise. (In other words, the warring Mufi vs Neil, Inouye vs Cayetano, Case vs Hanabusa, Democrat factions are incapable of governing and they need adult supervision to keep them from tearing each other to shreds.)

"It is always a better closure to a case, as opposed to having a judge or jury decide the case, because this way one party doesn't feel cheated," Aiona said.

Under Lingle the Republicans in the Legislature have dwindled to just eight from 22, so Aiona says a Republican governor is necessary for balance.

"A two-party system is essential for the people, and the only option would be if I ran as governor," he says.

As a Republican governor, Aiona says he would be "fiscally prudent, balance the budget and not increase taxes or spending."

Asked to compare himself with Abercrombie and Hannemann, Aiona says, "Hawaii can't afford either of those guys."

"The Democrats on the other side may be a bit more towards raising taxes and not reining in spending, like a Republican would," Aiona says.

Poinography: Records show whose comments were solicited during the Governor’s consideration of pending legislation in 2009 (Doug White, without realizing it, provides a list which shows the Lingle/Aiona “adult supervision” model in action.  Compare the broadly inclusive list of people asked to submit comments to the list which might come from a highly factional administration such a Abercrombie or Hannemann.) 

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Abercrombie stresses support for civil unions measure (Single issue candidate?)

Former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie is sending the message to gay activists that they could have to wait four years or longer for civil unions if he is not elected governor.

Abercrombie supports a civil unions bill vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle that would have given same-sex and heterosexual couples the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as marriage under state law. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, his opponent in the September primary, opposes civil unions. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the leading Republican candidate, is also against civil unions.

"It's quite clear that the other two candidates have no intention of moving forward on civil unions legislation," Abercrombie said last week.

(This is Abercrombie’s entire sales pitch for the Democratic primary Sept 18.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Secret "DSAer"? Abercrombie’s Denial Raises More Questions, AtomicMonkey Reincarnated, picks up Abercrombie DSA story: Abercrombie supporters--“Its just going to get nastier”, America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

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Mufi’s wreckage: Repairs tab may top $32B

Hawaii taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars in construction projects over the next few decades, ranging from sewer upgrades to undersea power cables. (and a rail road)

When unfunded liabilities for state pension and health benefits are included, the tab tops $32 billion, or an average of $781 per person per year for 30 years.

(That’s $23,430 per person or $93,720 for a family of four.  But Mufi is worth that much to you, right?  Don’t worry.  There’s more….)

Overall the state had about $4.7 billion in tax-supported debt in 2008, according to a state debt survey released earlier this year by Forbes Magazine. Based on that figure, Hawaii had the third-highest debt per capita among all states at $3,675. Only Massachusetts and Connecticut ranked higher, the magazine reported.

That debt figure excludes billions in unfunded pension and health care liabilities. As of December the state had an unfunded liability of $6.24 billion in its public employee retirement plan. In the past the plan has suffered because contributions were diverted to other uses and because of declining stock values.

Separately the state had $10.8 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care in part because workers were living longer, according to a February study by the Pew Center.

RELATED: States That Pay The Most Taxes: Hawaii is #1

ALSO RELATED: Will rail plan collapse before November?, Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Shapiro: Do or Die for Hawaii GOP

State Republican Chairman Jonah Ka’auwai is making some good moves in trying to dig back from the GOP’s disastrous 2008 legislative elections, when the party failed to field candidates in 40 percent of the races and ended up with an irrelevant minority of six of 51 House seats and two of 25 Senate seats.

Ka’auwai recruited candidates for nearly all open seats this year, an important statement that Republicans will fight to retain their status as a major political party in Hawai’i.

Just as important, he recognized that he can’t win ‘em all and set a reasonable goal of doubling up this year to 12 House seats and four Senate seats and building from there in future elections.

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Teachers head back to ‘full’ school year

The 3rd-grade teacher at Kihei Elementary School said that this school year there will be less "catch up" for students, especially with the elimination of the periodic three-day weekends caused by Furlough Fridays.

"We can do much more," she said.  (More means less.)

Besides looking forward to a "full" school year, the 19-year teaching veteran is excited about the school's new mobile computer lab with laptops for students. She said students will be able to do more computer-based learning.

Mukai said furlough days made teachers and students rush to get things done. The teacher with 22 years of experience said that even though the furloughs meant a loss of instructional time, she felt personally responsible to make sure each child learned the needed skills.

(They have accidentally explained why and how furloughs CAUSED the increase in test scores last year.)

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Hawaii illegal alien worker law could be affected by Supreme Court case

In Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Candelaria, No. 09-115, the Supreme Court will decide whether an Arizona law that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens and that requires participation in an electronic employment verification system (that is merely voluntary under federal law) is preempted by federal immigration law. The Ninth Circuit held that the Legal Arizona Workers Act—which allows Arizona courts to revoke the business licenses of employers that knowingly hire unauthorized aliens and requires employers to use a federal verification system known as E-Verify—was not preempted. The Court’s decision will have effects on several states other than Arizona: in 2009 alone, twenty-one laws relating to the hiring of unauthorized workers, employment eligibility verification requirements, and penalties for employer non-compliance were enacted in twelve states. Some of these laws address the same issues that will be tackled in Candelaria. A Hawaii law, for example, authorizes revocation of the business licenses of businesses that employ an unauthorized worker on a public works project, while a new Illinois law prohibits state and local governments from requiring that employers use E-Verify. The ruling could be particularly significant for employers that operate in multiple states: such businesses are often forced to navigate the confusing patchwork of state laws that regulate the employment of unauthorized workers.

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AP: Life's a beach for some homeless in Hawaii  (Seattle Homelessness Industry demands Tent City in Hawaii)

The idea is being scolded from afar.

"It's basically a callous, 'let's turn our back on the problem' approach to expect other cities to pick up and assume the responsibilities," said John Fox, director of the Seattle Displacement Coalition.

(These are the clowns who set up Seattle’s disastrous Tent Cities—and they want to copy this model in Hawaii.  Will they ship in their own homeless?)   "In your community, you're responsible and need to deal with the problem."

Help for the homeless shouldn't end with moving them out of sight, said Connie Mitchell, executive director for the Institute for Human Services, which runs two emergency shelters and offers support services.

"We need to find out what these people need to end their homelessness, not just put them in a place where people can't see them," Mitchell said.  "What do these people need to make their lives better?" …

A more immediate solution would set aside "safe-zones" on government land where the homeless could camp in tents and have basic sanitary facilities.

Lawmakers are proposing that nonprofit organizations could offer social services in one place and security could be provided - as long as it's away from the tourist beaches.

"It's one thing to get people a place to stay, but we need to improve the quality of their lives," said Darlene Hein of the Waikiki Health Center, which provides homeless outreach. "We worry about it being a magnet, that people will come to Hawaii because there's a campground for them."

REALITY: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

MORE REALITY: Kapiolani Park: Homelessness industry takes Hawaii tourism hostage, Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

Take a look at how the Seattle Displacement Coalition has made itself a force in Seattle area politics: http://zipcon.net/~jvf4119/index2.html  Do you want them interfering in Hawaii?

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NYC flies homeless to Hawaii

And then there's the irony that at least some of Hawaii's vagrants have already taken advantage of another state's fly-them-out-of-here program: It seems New York's Project Reconnect paid for at least five people's flight to Honolulu.

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Dry conditions leave isle farms parched

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said that in the long term the islands need to develop more sources of agricultural water to provide producers with some margin of security.

Hirono said the House Appropriations Subcommittee has supported rehabilitation of the Lower Hamakua Ditch to farmers and ranchers on the Big Island, but the needs of agricultural producers far outstrip available federal resources.

(More money for the Hamakua Ditch.  Is anybody surprised by this?  Will Hirono and the Hamakua mafia ever get tired of milking it for federal dollars?)

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Project to convert carbon dioxide emissions into fuel slated for Hawaii

The department said in a Washington news release that a $24 million grant has gone to Phycal LLC of Ohio. It will design, build and operate a CO2-to-algae-to-biofuels facility in Central Oahu.

Officials say Hawaiian Electric Co. will qualify the biocrude for boiler use, and Tesoro will supply CO2 and evaluate fuel products.

The biocrude can be blended with other fuels for power generation or processed into renewable replacement fuels such as jet fuel and biodiesel.

NYT: Exploring Algae as Fuel

HFP: Science Defeats Superstition, So They Sue

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Lingle Appoints Ito As Insurance Commissioner

"We are fortunate to have Gordon Ito accept the important position of insurance commissioner," Lingle said. "Mr. Ito has been with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for more than 17 years, and is highly experienced in all areas of insurance."

"The Insurance Division is faced with many challenges due to the current economic climate, health care reform, and the financial services reform on the horizon," said Ito.

He takes over for J.P. Schmidt who resigned in June.

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Gallup: More States "Competitive" in Terms of Party Identification

For Democrats, Hawaii is 11th with a 13 point Democrat party identification advantage over Republicans.

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Hawaii GOP Senate candidate calls self 'crazy'

Cam Cavasso is one of three Republicans vying for their party's nomination. He's recently aired a television ad poking fun at what spokeswoman Shawnette Osborne says everyone is thinking — to wit, Cavasso is crazy for wanting a shot at Inouye.
In the ad, titled "Crazy," Cavasso says it's crazy to vote against family values, produce a huge national debt and for voters to expect Inouye to change his ways. The ad also is on YouTube.

VIDEO: GOP Senate candidate Cam Cavasso launches “Crazy” TV ad

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Heftel's widow stops post office renaming

Before announcing the measure, Djou's office had contacted Heftel's adult children, and all seven of them supported the measure. But early last week, after a story about the proposal in the Star-Advertiser, Heftel's widow, Rebecca, sent a letter to Djou saying she was surprised by his plan because he had never asked her. She asked him to stop the effort.

"A wife knows her husband better and deeper than anyone else," she wrote in a second letter to Djou asking him to give up on the measure. "Appreciating Mr. Heftel as I did and still do, I am positive he would have wanted me to thank Mr. Djou for his thoughtfulness but also tell him that Mr. Heftel would want such an honor initiated by someone whose politics were more closely aligned with his own."

Hirono said she initially backed the bill in the spirit of bipartisanship.

"I was assured of the Heftel family's full support of this bill," Hirono said in a e-mail. "However, since this renaming has caused such a public rift within the Heftel family, I do not believe that this matter should move forward at this time."

Late last week, Heftel's daughter Catharine Rolph said she does not know Rebecca Heftel well and met her for the first time at her father's funeral.

"I think it would be a great honor for my father. ... I don't think this is partisan at all," she said. "I think the important thing is that Dad be honored."

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Trial of Census Worker Arrested pushed back to Aug 5, moved to Honolulu federal Court

The trial was originally scheduled for July  22nd, however, it has been pushed back.

I can’t say much as I am subpoenaed for this pending trial.

The date for the pending trial is August 5th at the Federal Building over in Honolulu

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