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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
July 27, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:53 PM :: 6752 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Featured on Glen Beck: Wallbuilders’ David Barton to speak at Maui, Oahu, Hilo, Kona events

Full Text: Day v Apoliona Decision

Campaign contributions: Inouye pushing for more Sandwich Isles Communications funding?

VIDEO: Djou on Fox Business News

Adrienne King on DoE: “The system is broken”

Hawaii named as one of 19 Race To The Top Finalists

In all, 35 states and the District of Columbia applied for the second round of the application. The 19 finalists have asked for $6.2 billion, though only $3.4 billion is available.

Dozens of states passed new education policies to make themselves more attractive to the judges.

New York, which was a finalist in the first round but did not win money, lifted its cap on the number of charter schools that can open annually from 200 to 460. Colorado passed laws that would pay teachers based on student performance and can strip tenure from low performing instructors.

Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round.

Their applications were praised for merit pay policies that link teacher pay to student performance and for garnering the support of teachers' unions. Tennessee and Delaware also have laws that are welcoming to charter schools.

(Don’t worry.  There is still time for the HSTA to sabotage this.)

WSJ: White House Names Race to the Top Finalists

Education Week: 18 States & DC Named Race to Top Round 2 Finalists

read more

From civil unions to taxes, Calvin Say keeps his cool (Case family Advertiser launches war on Calvin Say)

Using the premise that flashing an agenda too early just makes you a target, Say is most comfortable in the caucus room without the spotlights.

After 11 years as speaker of the House, Say rarely brags, so his new self-assessment is worth noting.

"If people are mad at you, you must be doing something right, you touched a nerve," Say said in an interview last week.

Mad at you, indeed. This year is likely to be Say's most controversial.

It started with both those advocating and fighting a civil union bill fuming at Say because he refused to allow a recorded vote on a motion to kill the bill….

This year, Say appears to have a strong Democratic opponent, Dwight Synan, who, if he doesn't get an outright labor endorsement, will benefit from labor not endorsing Say.

In the larger view, Say's re-election is not just about Say, but about changing the direction of the House away from the anti-GET increase stance it has held in past years.

PROGRESSIVE, pro-labor members of the Senate have clamored for a GET increase. Opponents have been able to kill it only because they could argue that "it would never pass the House."

Say frames the campaign and the organization of the House as "If not Calvin, then who?"

This fall, voters in Say's working class Palolo-St. Louis district (working class???) will find themselves answering with results that could set state tax policy far into the future.

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Chief justice appointee 'unqualified,' defense lawyer says

Seitz wrote that Leonard lacks the administrative experience to head the Judiciary and is "ill equipped and unqualified" for the job.  (Unlike all the “well qualified” predecessors who knew how to roll sushi for campaign fundraisers.)

Lyn Flanigan, executive director of the bar association, said the 20-member board of the bar association hopes to submit a recommendation to the Senate committee by next Tuesday.

The bar association's board gave Leonard a "qualified" rating for her appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals in 2008. The board was almost evenly split between "qualified" and "highly qualified."

Some senators expressed concerns at the time about Leonard's lack of judicial experience (typical confirmation hearing shibai), but the Senate ended up voting 23-0 confirming the appointment.

Since then the association has dropped the "highly qualified" rating. The recommendation for Leonard this time will be either "qualified" or "not qualified," according to Flanigan.

(If the Dems stall long enough, they might be ale to block Lingle from nominating this third justice.  But it will take a lot of stalling.)

RELATED: Eleven Opinions: Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee Katherine Leonard 

read more 

 

OHA hopes Akaka Tribe can be taken up as “filler” by busy Senate 

As far as a timeline for passage goes, supporters say they hope it passes through the Senate before they go into recess the entire month of August.

Now if it does pass the senate, it would go back to the house for a final vote and with the president's support, it's possible the measure could become law this year.

"There are a lot of issues on the plate of the Senate, but if there is a little bit of downtime, of course, this bill would be the perfect filler and we certainly hope they would consider doing that," OHA CEO Clyde Namuo said. 

(Not very optimistic.)

SA: Hawaiian Homes Commission backs new version of Akaka Bill

REALITY: Akaka Bill: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe, Amended Akaka Bill: A Trojan horse for Tribal immunity?

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VIDEO: Duke Aiona 30 minute interview with Sherry Bracken

The Big Island News Center and Mahalo Broadcasting had a chance to interview candidate for Hawaii Governor, Duke Aiona. Sherry Bracken the host of a 30-minute program called “Island Issues” which airs weekly on Mahalo Broadcasting stations, had a chance to interview Duke Aiona on Friday, July 16, 2010. This interview is in two parts below.

ALSO: BINC Interviews Mufi Hannemann Candidate for Governor, BINC Interviews Neil Abercrombie Candidate for Governor

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Hannemann Wants To Revive Hawaii Superferry: Abercrombie tags plan as “fantasy”

"I think it got off on the wrong foot," said Hannemann. "One of the biggest missteps was not doing the EIS first."  (WRONG.  Nobody had EVER required an EIS to put a boat in the water.)

Robert Harris executive director of Sierra Club Hawaii said Monday, if the Superferry is revived, the EIS should be very thorough and include concerns of residents anti-Superferry scum from all the different islands.

REALITY: Why Hawaii Lost the Superferry  “So, who is responsible for the demise of the Superferry?  Senate President Hanabusa, House Speaker Calvin Say and all the other legislators who did nothing to solve the mess.”

More REALITY:  Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can ...

Volcanic Ash: Mufi embraces Superferry

A reborn Superferry would likely require heavy state involvement and steep public subsidies. So in essence, after running out of town the private operators who proposed to pay their own way, we’d come back with ferries floated on the backs of taxpayers.

Only in Hawai’i.

HNN: Mufi announces his 10-point action plan

HNN: Abercrombie and Hannemann trade shots on proposed audit

SA: Hannemann describes economic plan

Abercrombie mocked the idea of "angel investors" helping with the state's economy. "The Superferry is a good project, but it's not a plan," he said. "I don't know about angel investors. If we're going to depend on the angels for the economy, I don't think that is much of a plan at all. It sounds more like a prayer to me."

Hannemann campaign: Hannemann Announces Economic Action Plan

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CB to BoE: Show us the data

The policies of the Hawaii State Board of Education are clear: Decisions are supposed to be based on data.

That's written in black and white.

But the reality is a lot more gray. Let me share with you what I've experienced in response to requests and tell you why I think you should care.

read more

NRO: Latest from the Frontlines

• In Hawaii, the Grassroot Institute just published a study demonstrating that the state could help reduce unemployment by liberalizing the state's licensing and certification laws that make it too expensive for jobless residents to change professions. This is a significant impediment to the efficient operation of labor markets in most states, by the way.

GRIH: State Certification Process Perpetuates Unemployment

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Hawaii child welfare rankings drop

*The six states with the biggest improvements in their rankings between 2000-2007 (health data) and 2000-2008 (economic data) are New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon and Wyoming.

* The five states with the biggest drop in rankings between 2000-2007 and 2000-2008 are Montana, South Dakota, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center provides online access to the latest child well-being data on hundreds of indicators by state, county, city and school district. You can see it by clicking here.

LINK>>>Hawaii data

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Post office naming Makes trouble in paradise

In an odd twist, Heftel’s children initially gave Djou permission to move forward, according to the paper.

Reached for comment, Hirono told ITK she initially supported the bill “in the spirit of bipartisanship” because post office-naming bills are not passed without the support of the entire state delegation in which the facility is located.

But now that Heftel’s widow made her opposition public, Hirono says the bill should not come before the House for a vote….

Congressman Djou repeatedly reached out to Congressman Heftel’s widow, [and] she still has not returned his messages,” said Djou spokesman Daniel Son.

Son also implied that the source of the controversy might be political: Djou is the first Republican to hold the congressional seat in more than 20 years. “If party affiliation is the cause for Mrs. Heftel’s opposition, Congressman Djou is willing to step aside and allow Congresswoman Hirono to lead the way in honoring the life of a devoted public servant.”

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Honolulu exports worth more than $2 billion annually

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jet fuel, bottled water, pineapples and vacation services add up to billions of dollars in export value for Honolulu, according to a national report released Monday.

The Brookings Institution tallied export values in 2008 for the 100 top U.S. metros, and placed Honolulu 84th with $2.4 billion in export sales, which means Hawaii escaped being in the bottom 15% despite having an economy with very little manufacturing.

FUL TEXT: “Export Nation: How U.S. Metros Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness.”

SA: Export report has Honolulu near bottom

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Admitted Human Traffickers Got Federal Aid

The owners Kapolei's Aloun Farms -- who've already pleaded guilty to human trafficking some of their farm workers -- received a multimillion dollar federal loan to buy an apartment in which to house their farm employees.

Now, KITV4 News has learned a nonprofit corporation set up by the Sou brothers, the Aloun Foundation, received $2.1 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Agriculture Department to buy a four-story Wahiawa apartment complex to house low-income farm workers.

The mortgage for 104 Lakeview Circle shows the loan deal was signed in July 2008, just before the FBI began its federal human trafficking investigation.

Tax returns filed by the nonprofit Aloun Foundation list Alec Sou as president, and his brother Mike and their mother and father as directors. The nonprofit “supports cultural and historic agricultural activities in Hawaii through providing low cost living assistance to employees working in those organizations,” according to its 2008 tax return.

Sources told KITV4 News the state attorney general's office is investigating to determine whether the Sous are using the apartment owned by their nonprofit organization as an extension of their for-profit farm.  (Are Waihee and Cayetano running interference?  If Cayetano’s boy Abercrombie is elected will Abercrombie’s AG shut down the investigation?  Hawaii progressives love slavery as long as it is ‘organic’ slavery.)

SA: Farm owners describe wrongdoing

Former Govs. John Waihee and Ben Cayetano were among scores who submitted letters to the judge in support of the brothers. But they and other community leaders last week were not in the courtroom, packed with Sous' relatives and supporters, including Aloun Farm workers.

read more

Thai Workers Forced into Labor at Oahu Farm Wait for Justice

A delay in sentencing two brothers who plead guilty in federal court to forced labor charges at their Oahu farm operation will put the workers’ impoverished families in Thailand six weeks closer to losing their farms and homes.

RELATED: Green hypocrites: Case & Omidyar's Maui Land & Pine tied to human trafficking

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