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Thursday, August 22, 2013
August 22, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:54 PM :: 3826 Views

Hawaii’s election chief won’t be getting a pay hike

Martin Luther King Jr Recommends Gay Conversion Therapy

Discriminatory GMO Hearing: Kauai Farmers Expose Hooser, Media

LendingTree: Hawaii Borrowers 3rd Best Credit Profile

Study: Obesity Soaring in State, but Hawaii Ranks 47th

ACT Scores Fall: Only 30% of Hawaii Students Meet Benchmark

Materials From Today's Eminent Domain In Hawaii Conference

The Next 100 MW Power Plant for Oahu

House Soft on Gay 'Marriage' 28-23

SA: State House Speaker Joseph Souki said Wednesday that a majority of House lawmakers supports gay marriage, but he wants to make certain the vote count is firm before informing Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The governor is waiting for word from the House before deciding whether to call a special session on gay marriage. The state Senate has the votes to pass a gay marriage bill.

Several House sources say that 28 House lawmakers support gay marriage — two more than the 26 needed to pass a bill in the 51-member chamber — but Souki described the count as "soft." House leaders, who met privately on Wednesday, want a cushion of at least a few more votes before signing off on a special session.

"We had a nice meeting today. Good, strong discussion on both sides. We have a diverse group. People feel strongly for and others strongly against," Souki (D, Waihee-Waiehu-Wailuku) said. "As was said before, the soft numbers are there. I just got to make sure it's tightened up."

House Democrats will meet privately in caucus on Wednesday to discuss the draft of a gay marriage bill. Souki's staff and House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (D, Downtown-Kakaako-McCully) are expected to tally votes leading up to the caucus....

Rep. Richard Fale (R, Waialua-Kahuku-Waiahole), who was among several lawmakers who attended a private fellowship at the state Capitol on Wednesday with religious leaders, including Catholic Bishop Larry Silva, where gay marriage was discussed, said lawmakers should not hold a special session.

Fale, a Mormon who opposes gay marriage, questioned the state's priorities and said lawmakers have never discussed a special session to deal with issues such as children in poverty. He believes mainland interests are influencing the push for gay marriage in Hawaii.

"We look at other communities that have been in poverty for decades now. Decades. Have we ever called a special session to get those kids out of poverty? Have we ever called a special session to work on those communities? No," he said.

PR: 28

Oi: Gay-marriage backers wary of failing in special session

PBN Vote: Should Gov. Abercrombie convene a special session to consider legalizing gay marriage in Hawaii?

read ... Gay marriage vote awaits more vigorous majority

Caldwell Admin Rehashes Debunked Claim $20M Budget Hole Created by SHOPO Settlement

CB: Budget Director Nelson Koyanagi said the city based its budget estimates for what it might have to pay SHOPO and other unions on a collective bargaining agreement that the United Public Workers union had already signed. That was for a 3 percent increase. They assumed that the negotiations with other unions would result in similar agreements. But when SHOPO’s award came in higher — and with the additional perks — the city needed to “substantially” modify other spending plans.

“The feeling was the other unions would be looking at (UPW) as a measure [of] what they would settle at,” Koyanagi said. “But most of the other unions came in at higher than 3 percent so consequently the collective bargaining was very expensive.”

The city initially estimated collective bargaining would cost $20 million in the current fiscal year. That figure is now closer to $40 million, Koyanagi said.

Debunked July 10, 2013: "The city's $2.16 billion budget for fiscal 2014 included $40 million for police pay raises on the mayor's and Council's belief that officers would get 4 percent a year...."

SA: Council challenges Caldwell on cutting services

read ... Who's Really to Blame for Honolulu's Budget Woes?

HTA: We've Squeezed All We Can out of Tourists

SA: Hawaii Tourism Authority Vice President David Uchiyama said today he expects 8.75 million visitors will come to Hawaii in 2014.

That's about 3 percent more than the 8.48 million visitors projected to arrive this year.

But it's less than the 5 percent increase in visitors the industry is expected to get this year. It's also significantly less than 2012's 10 percent climb in visitor arrivals.

Uchiyama says average daily spending should rise 2.6 percent to more than $200 a person in 2014. But he says prices are starting to hit the upward limits of what leisure travelers are willing to spend.

read ... Blood Turnip

Jones: Kauai Anti-GMO Bonkers

Bob Jones: Kauai is going bonkers over that proposed genetically modified organism-pesticide county ordinance. Citizen against citizen. And it’s all unnecessary, because there is existing state and federal regulation.

The noisy “argle-bargle” (as the Brits call it) is mostly because of those who disdain the predominant science and insist that GMO foodstuff and pesticide use are making us sick or killing us....

An amazing letter to the editor from recent Hawaii resident Roseanne Barr (the actress) claimed we had no papaya ringspot virus here until we started experimenting with anti-virus trees on the Big Island.

That’s like saying we had no polio until we experimented with the polio vaccine....

I saw a point-of-view article suggesting that a chemical being used by Dow on West Kauai “is known to cause impaired brain and nervous system functions in children and fetuses, even in minute amounts. Other pesticides being used affect (sic) brain cancer, autism and heart and liver problems.”

Well, we also have people who steadfastly believe that Earth was created 4,000 years ago and that dinosaurs and humans were created on the same day and lived together until the dinosaurs died out.

CB: Another Anti-GMO screed

Pritchett: Signs of the Times

read ... Say No To GMOs: Folly Or Fact?

Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea

SA: GMO-label legislation is pending in at least 20 states. Such debates are about so much more than slapping ostensibly simple labels on our food to satisfy a segment of American consumers. Ultimately, we are deciding whether we will continue to develop an immensely beneficial technology or shun it based on unfounded fears.

EdNote: The medium is the message.  Labels are for warning of health hazard.  The use of a label itself conveys the false message that GMOs are harmful.  Since there is not a single incidence of humans being harmed by GMOs anywhere, ever, to label GMOs is to lie to the consumer.  Unable to prove their case scientifically, the antis are demanding that the government require companies to lie to consumers on every food package. 

read ... Scientific American

Former leader of UH regents steps down before term ends

SA: University of Hawaii Board of Regents member Eric Martinson has resigned, a year before his term was set to expire.

Martinson was appointed to the board in 2009, and was elected chairman in 2011 and again in 2012. John Holzman was named chairman in July.

Martinson was at the helm during last year's so-called "Wonder blunder" — a plan to hold a Stevie Wonder concert to benefit the cash-strapped athletic department that ended with the university being scammed out of more than $200,000.

LINK: Eric Martinson's resignation letter

SA: UH consultant will cost up to $50,000

read ... Quits

Former PUC chief in dubious position

SA: In a 2-1 vote in November 2010, the PUC commissioners exempted Hawaiian Electric Co. from normal competitive bidding to secure 400 megawatts of wind energy-generating capacity on Lanai and Molokai as part of the "Big Wind" project. The proposal included Castle & Cooke developing the Lanai part of the project for electricity to be transmitted to Oahu by undersea cable. Caliboso cast one of the two affirmative votes.

Since leaving the PUC for a local law firm representing Castle & Cooke, Caliboso has been active in his interactions with the PUC. Morita noted that Caliboso filed nine documents on behalf of Castle & Cooke in a new docket opened last month. That docket was opened to review several major developments in the Lanai project, including Castle & Cooke's sale of its majority ownership at stake in Lanai to billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

An important question is whether Caliboso, as the PUC chairman, was part of conversations that included "inside information" to which the public lacked access, said Randy Roth, a University of Hawaii law professor whose specialties include lawyers' professional responsibility. Or, Roth said, whether Caliboso's 2010 vote in favor of Castle & Cooke was "influenced by an expectation that he would be hired."

"There is some irony, and no small amount of poetic justice, that the guy who gave Castle & Cooke a waiver from competitive bidding … is now being paid by Castle & Cooke to defend it," said Sally Kaye, a member of Friends of Lanai, which opposes the Big Wind project.

read ... Former PUC chief in dubious position

Hawaii Co Council kills gambling resolution 7-2

HTH: Hawaii County Council members have a lot of suggestions for the state Legislature to consider when it meets in January, but allowing the counties to opt into high-stakes bingo won’t be one of them.

The council, meeting in Kona, voted 7-2 Wednesday to strike that resolution from a list approved to submit to the Hawaii State Association of Counties for presentation to the Legislature.

Council members rejecting the resolution that was submitted by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille cited a likely increase in social ills and the need to protect islanders from gambling addictions as their main reasons.

As Explained: Resolution 158-13, A High Stakes Game

read ... No Bingo

Kauai Council Cttee Advances 750% Dog Fee Hike

KGI: Bill 2490, which would provide more funds to the Kauai Humane Society, now goes to full council for second and final reading next week. The bill would raise to $15 from $2 the two-year dog license fee for spayed or neutered animals. For unaltered dogs, a license would increase to $50 from $6.

The proposal originally intended to eliminate an exemption that allowed hunters to pay $6 for their first dog, and $2 for each subsequent dog, regardless if the animal had been altered.

The bill’s amended version reinstates the hunters’ exemption, and sets their fees at $15 for the first dog, and $7 for each subsequent dog, whether it has been spayed or neutered.

When the bill was first introduced weeks ago, it took harsh criticism from hunters, who usually have many dogs, with some of them unaltered to keep a bloodline going.

For an average hunter with 20 dogs, the original bill could mean a $1,000 per year in fees. The amended bill brings the cost down to $39.50 per year for a hunter with 20 dogs.

read ... Split committee OKs license fee increase

Schatz Camp Squeezes Hanabusa on Spying

CB: The stakes are arguably highest for Inouye's replacement, Brian Schatz, and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who are pitted against each other in next year’s Senate election.

Hanabusa is a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has crossed party lines to support defense funding, and it’s not surprising that she has, more than any other member of the delegation, placed a strong emphasis on national security interests.

It's a somewhat nuanced difference, but Schatz, as he suggested in a recent interview with Civil Beat, is placing greater emphasis on privacy concerns, which is clear from a bill that he is co-sponsoring to reform oversight of National Security Agency domestic surveillance activities. While Hanabusa, commended President Barack Obama for supporting those reforms, she also seemed to stop short of supporting them herself. And she made it a point to underscore what she sees as the surveillance program's crucial role in thwarting terrorism.

Bradley Manning: I want to live as a woman (Call me Chelsea)

Army: No gender reassignment for Bradley Manning

read ... NSA Domestic Surveillance Debate Reveals Differences in Hawaii Delegation

State Social Services Facility Looks Like Geneshiro Kawamoto Property

SA: Question: What is the situation with the old Alder Street Juvenile Detention Home? Talk about Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto not maintaining his properties, this is just as bad. It looks deserted and run-down.

Residential properties owners are responsible for maintaining their “sidewalk areas,” keeping the grass cut, picking up litter, etc. If not, they get fined.

To me, this is a residential area and I see a big patch of 2-foot-high weeds. Who is responsible for keeping this cut?

Answer: The state Judiciary still retains jurisdiction over the property bounded by Alder, Elm and Piikoi streets.

read ... Art imitates life

QUICK HITS:

Gabbard: ‘Choose that hard right over the easy wrong’  NYT: Origin of quote

Pawn database: Two City Council bills would require buyers of used goods to file transaction reports to help HPD recover stolen items

Officer injured in trap placed in marijuana patch

HCDA OKs two Kakaako condo towers for Howard Hughes Corp.

Hawaii’s not attractive market to Southwest and other budget airlines

Frank Coluccio Construction sues Honolulu for $10M over sewer project

Maui's Kulanihakoi Bridge in Kihei to close for emergency repairs

The Filipino Community Center Celebrates Its Monthly FILCOM Sundays on August 25, 2013

Insider Buying: Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Major Shareholder Acquires 15,301 Shares of Stock

2899 Record cold temps vs 667 record warm temps in U.S.


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