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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
August 12, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:07 PM :: 14115 Views

Kuwait thwarts bomb plot at base where Hawaii troops stationed

The Pentagon yesterday said six al-Qaida operatives were arrested in the planned attack, which was scheduled to be carried out at Camp Arifjan next week during the opening days of Ramadan.

Two suspects confessed to the plan to attack the base, which is outside Kuwait City, near the border with Saudi Arabia. It's used as a logistical base and transit point for U.S. troops deploying to and from Iraq, the Pentagon said.

About 1,700 Hawai'i soldiers with the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are at the tail end of a nine-month deployment to Kuwait.

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Kaneohe Marines leading new assault in Afghanistan

DAHANEH, Afghanistan — Helicopter-borne U.S. Marines, backed by Harrier jets stormed a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan before dawn Wednesday, launching a new operation to uproot Taliban fighters from a longtime base and provide security for next week's presidential election.

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Abercrombie not allowed to transfer $900,000 to gubernatorial campaign

The Campaign Spending Commission today voted 4-0 to bar Congressman Neil Abercrombie from transferring approximately $900,000 from his federal campaign war chest to his gubernatorial campaign.

Abercrombie's federal campaign committee can refund contributions to those making them and contributions may be solicited from those persons for his gubernatorial bid, the advisory opinion said.

(But those donors paid good money for a Congressman, what do they need a Hawaii Governor for?)

SB: Commission rejects Abercrombie bid to transfer funds

Source of the money Abercrombie won't be able to transfer:  Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor

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WTO win could open China's door to US companies

The verdict Wednesday finds definitively against China for forcing America media producers to route their business in China through Chinese state-owned companies. It could also set a larger precedent for others such as U.S. automakers claiming to be hampered by cumbersome Chinese distribution rules.

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Industrial tenants rebelling over rents

The largest private owner of industrial land in Hawai'i has begun to feel the sting from a controversial new law intended to give its tenants more leverage renegotiating rents.

The law requires that a unique phrase in HRPT's Hawai'i leases referring to "fair and reasonable" rent be construed as being fair and reasonable to the lessor and the lessee.

The language was created by prior landowner Damon Estate, and inherited by HRPT when the company bought roughly 10 million square feet of land in Mapunapuna and Kalihi Kai plus a few other parcels from Damon in 2003 for $480 million.

Damon had maintained that its lease language stating "rent shall be such fair and reasonable annual rent for the demised land" means fair market rent for the property. But arbitrators have long argued over the meaning of the phrase

(Unlike Damon, HRPT is from Massachusetts, so when they bought out Damon the Legislature naturally crafted this law especially to target HRPT.  They have no recourse because this is Hawaii and the judges are just like the Legislators.  The really funny thing is that companies like HRPT usually hire local consultants for big $$$ to advise them on deals like this.  But the local consultants are just like the legislators and the judges.) 

However, the extent of the law's impact is still questionable because the measure is set to be repealed June 10, 2010. The tenant's association said it will be back at the Legislature next year asking to reinstate or modify the law if HRPT doesn't relax its aggressive campaign to raise rents.

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Tenant councils can boost residents' safety

Most recently, such an initiative has paid out dividends in neighborhood safety at Kalihi Valley Homes, where crime and property damage had been on the rise. Residents teamed up with police and managers to form a patrol that walks the project at nights, often making its rounds after midnight to deter lawless behavior.

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Massive development planned for Ewa Plain could have big impact

The estimated $4.6 billion project by the local Schuler Division of Texas-based homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. initially came to wide public attention three years ago as a conceptual plan. But despite its massive scope and acute effect on traffic, farming and the city's rail plan, relatively few public comments were submitted as part of an environmental impact statement completed a year ago.

Early this year, the Land Use Commission began hearings to consider reclassifying the Ho'opili site from agricultural to urban use. Reclassification is the first of two major regulatory hurdles the project faces. The second is county rezoning decided by the City Council.

The hearings before the commission's nine members are expected to last to the end of the year.

Through April, almost all submitted public testimony supported Ho'opili. But since June, public testimony has mostly opposed the project.

Overall, testimony received to date by the LUC is split roughly 45 in favor and 35 against.

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Down to Earth plans new stores  (economy tanking but eco-nuts are still growing)

The dominant retailer in the local natural-foods market — Down to Earth All Vegetarian Organic and Natural — is expanding in the face of a battered economy and delayed growth by bigger rival Whole Foods Market.

Down to Earth has signed a lease to open a store in Hilo, Hawai'i, in October or November, giving the 32-year-old kama'aina chain five stores on three islands.

The company also anticipates reaching a lease agreement in the next few months to open a store in Central or West O'ahu.

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Ka Loko Dam suits may be settled soon

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — A potential settlement of eight lawsuits relating to the deadly 2006 Kaloko Dam breach is gaining momentum, according to recent court filings and information from lawyers involved.

But final agreement among all the parties has not been achieved and negotiations continue.

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Layoffs: Testimony AgitProp sought by Senators on Isle impacts

We think it is clearly worth the effort to go to the Big Island and hear from the people who will be directly impacted by the proposed reductions in services," Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said in a statement. "Agriculture is a primary industry on the Big Island. What effect will the staffing cuts have on the long-term viability of the industry and our exports? And for those who have concerns about the Kulani prisoners, how are their concerns being addressed? The answers are in the community."

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Maui News Poll: On-line commenters are "unsavory protesters"?

Since the poll comments section is repeatedly being abused by mostly the same group of unsavory posters, should the comments section again be shut down?

(That's not a joke, it is the friends of Dennis Kucinich in the Hawaii media standing up for free speech.)

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Soft on Crime: Sex Offender sets up "castle" in Kaneohe 


Mew's website:

Mew was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the 1980s after his conviction for a series of burglaries in the Kahala area that led to his being known as the "Kahala Panty Burglar."

Those crimes began as low-level thefts but increased in seriousness to break-ins, stalkings and disturbing phone calls to female victims, according to prosecutors.

After serving a prison and parole term, Mew was indicted in 1999 on new sex charges. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault after police discovered a videotape showing Mew and a co-defendant assaulting a 19-year-old woman who was too drunk to stand without help.

That crime occurred in Mew's Pearl City auto air-conditioning repair shop.

In 2007, he was sentenced to a new five-year probation term for failure to fully comply with Hawai'i's sex offender registration laws.

Police confiscated a large cache of pornography from Mew's home and office in 2006, according to court records in the 2007 case.

He was brought into court yesterday on the new probation violation charges.

Mew told Alm that he forgot to tell his probation officer about his contacts with the police.

"My family has a history of dementia and Alzheimer's," Mew said.

"I'm getting up there in age," he continued.

"You're only a year older than me, Mr. Mew," the judge told him. "That's not going to cut it."

Alm ordered Mew to spend the next two months behind bars, and then complete a sex offender treatment program.

Excerpts of Harrison Mew's Craigslist housing ad:
$800 Nice spacious room in executive mansion (Kaneohe)

(After his two months, this criminal could be back to living in this Kaneohe mansion.  How are YOU doing?)

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