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Sunday, August 25, 2013
August 25, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:43 PM :: 5636 Views

Placing Check-off Designations on Tax Form Paid for by All Taxpayers

Would you play ethics limbo with Senator Ruderman?

29.4 million in Tax Revenue by Seed Companies in Hawaii

SB1369: Mainland Gays take aim at Kawaiahao Church 

SA: ...several state lawmakers who are uncomfortable with gay marriage are calling for a broader exemption for churches that do not want religious facilities used for gay weddings....

churches could decline to make religious facilities available (only) if the churches restrict weddings to members and do not operate the facilities as for-profit businesses. Churches with religious facilities that are considered public accommodations would not be able to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation be ordered by the State to submit to gay domination....

Several churches (including Kawaiahao) allow couples that are not members to use religious facilities to commemorate their wedding vows. Couples purchase packages that can include ministers, organists, singers and the use of cathedrals, sanctuaries and chapels....

State Rep. Sharon Har (D, Kapolei-Makakilo), a Christian who opposes gay marriage, is among several lawmakers who maintain the draft "does not provide the protections that the churches are seeking," adding, "With the current language, you're still mandating that church facilities as well as clergy be forced into supporting marriages that go against their religious beliefs."

Two Oahu churches filed a federal lawsuit challenging the civil unions law, contending that, despite the limited religious exemption, churches could be forced to make religious facilities available for civil unions. But the suit was dismissed last year after a federal judge ruled the churches did not have standing because no one had (YET) approached the churches to hold civil union ceremonies.

Attorneys for religious groups have already predicted legal challenges if a gay marriage law does not include a broader religious exemption for churches....

Reality: Gays Attack Hawaiian Culture, ‘Multi-Generational Families’--Use Feds to Pressure Hawaii DoE Bullying Programs 

Link: SB1369 

read ... Wider exemptions sought for churches

Gay 'Marriage' to Force Change on Asians

SA: Among Asians in Hawaii, the topic of homosexuality was an absolute taboo," former Gov. Ben Cayetano wrote in his 2009 autobiography, "Ben: A Memoir."

In discussing dealing with what he called his brother Ken's gayness, Cayetano wrote of his difficulty.

"We were not a family that knew how to discuss problems. … More than 35 years passed before Ken and I talked openly about his homosexuality. We were both in our 60s by then — both old enough to collect Social Security....

(Clue: Get a front man to do your dirty work for you.)

This week the state Legislature may talk about whether Hawaii will become the 14th state to make same-sex marriage legal....

"The entire paradigm of marriage will change; we will never go back," said one Democrat who requested anonymity....

Reality: Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos Oppose Gay Marriage

Reality: Gays Attack Hawaiian Culture, ‘Multi-Generational Families’ Use Feds to Pressure Hawaii DoE Bullying Programs 

read ... Cultural Imperialism

Atheist Hype, Insults Show No Class

Shapiro: Atheist Mitch Kahle hyped his lawsuit against five churches for allegedly underpaying to use school facilities by appearing at a Board of Education meeting to insult the religious faith of Chairman Don Horner. What a great country: You can file a class-action suit even if you don't have any.

Best Comment: "Well said. The Kahle/Huber hateful pogrom only exposes their fear of something greater than themselves."

read ... Shapiro

Obamacare: Taxpayers' Millions Flow only to HMSA, Kaiser

SA: Some are now raising the alarm that the Hawaii Health Connector, which is Hawaii's private nonprofit exchange, is attracting too few competitors to keep premium costs in check. So far only the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and Kaiser Permanente have confirmed they will sell medical plans on the exchange, with Hawaii Dental Service being the third Connector entity so far.

The counterargument begins with Coral Andrews, the Connector's executive director, who maintains that the Oct. 1 opening-day roster won't be released until the end of August. She added that there have been enough inquiries to indicate that participation can grow.

"What I can say is there's a lot of interest, beyond just those you've named, both for medical plans and dental plans," Andrews said. "They may wait and see how the market plays out the first year and plan to play."  (Translation: We're keeping them out so HMSA and Kaiser get all the business.)

But there are others who plainly are far from bullish about the prospects for robust competition, at least during the earlier stages of the full "Obamacare" rollout. 

The crystal ball offers little clarity about how consumer costs will play out, although about three-fourths of the population can take hope from projections that they will qualify for some subsidies under the federal law....

"Hawaii falls into the category where it is less competitive," said Schmidt, who now heads Family Health Hawaii, a new insurance carrier that is going through the process of reviews before it could enter the Connector marketplace.

He pointed to evidence from New York and California, where there is substantial competition on their state exchanges, of downward pressure on premium prices.

"You can get facts that show that yes, if you have more competition, it will have an advantage in pricing," Schmidt said....

And because the PHCA mandates richer benefits than the federal law, she added, employers who purchase health insurance for their workers on the exchange in order to claim the ACA tax credits won't find the less comprehensive, lower-price plans that may be available in other state exchanges.

That disappointed Schmidt, who hoped to sell a lower-priced plan on the exchange as another option.

(And when they repeal PHCA, thousands will lose their employer provided coverage and be thrown onto Medicaid.  Remember: You Were Warned.)

Propaganda: HMSA's 'quality programs' helping slow increases in health care costs

read ... Sneaky Repeal PHCA Argument

HMSA Claims 'quality programs' helping slow increases in health care costs

SA: A neighbor island doctor told me recently that he sometimes feels like he cares more about his patients' health than they do.  I often think about that comment....

read ... A Justification for Throwing Recalcitrant patients Out of the System

Obamacare: 191 Community Organizers to be Hired in Hawaii

SA: The federal government allotted $6.7 million to fund the hiring of 191 assisters; this will happen through grants issued to 34 nonprofits selected to do the work.

The checks are not yet in the mail, though; Coral Andrews, the Connector's executive director, said the groups will undergo training first to get up to speed on the health law and on the workings of the exchange in particular.

Andrews acknowledged that some of the nonprofits on the Hii Ola list are small, but their selection was based on a belief that their connection to the communities of the uninsured was the most critical. That may be especially true on the neighbor island where many residents feel disenfranchised from the Oahu powers-that-be, she said.

read ... Organizing

Stung by Pre-K Cuts, Isle schools need $34 million boost, committee finds

SA: Public schools will need an additional $34 million next year to help meet increasing demands with new teacher evaluations, tougher curriculum and other initiatives, according to a committee that analyzes the per-pupil funding Hawaii schools receive.

The money is spent at the school level and is mainly used for payroll. It also can cover special projects and programs or supplies and equipment.

More than 50 percent of the Department of Education's general fund budget goes toward the so-called weighted student formula. This year, the funding amounts to $761 million based on enrollment of about 178,000 students. (Charter schools do not receive allocations.)

Next year, schools are expected to get fewer dollars when the state raises the age requirement for kindergarten and eliminates junior kindergarten. The move — expected to lower overall enrollment by about 5,100 students — will shrink the funding pot that pays out the per-pupil funds to 252 schools.

Background: Abercrombie 'School Readiness' Plan Based on Proven Failure

read ... Cost of Accountability

State Rep. Neil Abercrombie spoke against the HCDA in 1976

DN: Although he wasn’t the first out of his seat, Rep. Neil Abercrombie did speak against SB2394 on that same 61st day of the Legislature in 1976. He spoke mostly about how University of Hawaii and Hawaiian Homes Commission land would be used—see the full text below. A small snip of his more general remarks:

… I think we have much too much administrative authority over us now, in terms of Boards and Commissions, that are not subject to the will of the people in terms of having to seek re-election,  or election in the first place. And such a development authority, as has been indicated, as would be put together under the bill, probably will have no better luck than previous development authority throughout the country, which have failed miserably in this respect.

Link: Download 1976 House Journal SB2394 from Disappeared News

read ... Hippie-Crite

(de) Occupy Honolulu plaintiffs ask that City be held in contempt for violating court order

DN: Attorneys for (de) Occupy Honolulu filed a motion in federal court today asking that defendants City and County of Honolulu et. al. be held in contempt and that they be sanctioned for violating the court’s June 6, 2013 preliminary injunction order. The motion asks that the injunction be enforced against the City. Technically, it is a “motion to show cause.”

Plaintiffs cited three raids conducted by the City on the (de) Occupy encampment: July 25, 2013, at approximately 10:40 pm, July 31, 2013, at approximately 4:15 am, on August 2, 2013, at 4:24 am, and again on August 22, 2013. The motion states that:

City officials, without a warrant, seized a wide variety of property both inside and outside of tents without giving the owners an opportunity to remove the property from the area.

The raids were conducted under Honolulu’s latest ordinance, Bill 7, which does not require tagging or notice before property is seized.

The plaintiffs requested a hearing be held on the motion in October.

read ... Occupy

AARP: Almost 20 percent of Hawaii seniors live in poverty

HTH: By standard measurements, about 8 percent of Hawaii’s senior citizens live in poverty, but recent reviews of poverty rates, including new supplemental criteria, more than double that rate for Hawaii’s kupuna, a national AARP official said.

Under the new measurements, based on information the U.S. Census Bureau collected and the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed earlier this year, 19 percent — one in five — Hawaii seniors live in poverty, AARP Senior Principal and Counsel Cheryl Matheis said during a visit to Kona this week.

“There are more people in Hawaii (in poverty) under that supplemental measurement than in most other states,” she said. “That was notable.”

AARP: Supplemental Poverty Measure Finds More Seniors Struggling in Hawaii

read ... AARP: Almost 20 percent of Hawaii seniors live in poverty

Pastors unite, call for God’s healing of Hanamaulu park

KGI: Men, and a few woman, parked, got out, and walked to the locked gates. As the crowd of 15 or so slowly mingled together, they shook hands,  shared smiles and hugs, and exchanges greetings.

A minute later, the conversations fell quiet as the gates were opened at 6 a.m.

“Let’s all enter and bless the park,” said Pastor Roy “Rocky” Sasaki.

“Bless this place,” added Pastor Tom Iannucci.

Soon, the pastors of several of Kauai’s eastside churches stood and sat under the pavilion, and for the next hour, they prayed. They sang. They read Scripture. They raised their hands.

The pastors came from different churches with the same goal: They called for God’s healing of Hanamaulu Beach Park, recently closed to the public overnight because of growing concerns of crime, drugs and homelessness there.

read ... Pastors unite, call for God’s healing of Hanamaulu park

Star-Adv Gets Religion: Promotes Giant Pagan Worship Service

SA: Once a year, tens of thousands of adventurers from all over the world converge at Burning Man, a communal camp-out and temporary society in the high Nevada desert.

Hawaii's presence at the weeklong event is relatively limited, given the expense and difficulty of attending, but Mac Kaul, coordinator for Ka Pilina Interactive Arts Society, Oahu's Burning Man-sanctioned nonprofit group, estimates that more than 200 "Burners" from the islands attend either Burning Man or regional events each year.

Kaul, a retired emergency room nurse who relocated from Nevada to Oahu, is marking her 11th "Burn" this year.

"I like the idea that no matter who I am or what I do, people will accept me," she said. "We all tend to open our hearts a little bit more, invite people to join us in this craziness. I think the biggest thing is to be part of a community."....

Oahu's Alani Apio, a community consultant, playwright ("Kamau A‘e") and artist, is one of the first-timers planning to attend Burning Man, where he expects to encounter "divine insanity."

Apio, 48, said half-jokingly that his focus will be "trying to survive."

"I've done extreme camping," he said, as part of the grassroots Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana. "But not on an alkaline salt bed, and not with 60,000 people."

read ... Trying to Survive Divine Insanity



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