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Wednesday, September 2, 2009
September 2, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:09 AM :: 8472 Views

Rep. Abercrombie & Rep. Hirono Hold Meeting on Health Care Reform (by conference call)

Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono held a town hall meeting on health care reform on Tuesday.  (And now for the punch line....)  There were only a handful of people in the room because the meeting was held by conference call. 

(In one of the most liberal states of the union, Reps are afraid to meet their constituents to discuss Obamacare.) 

RELATED: Charles Djou: Hawaii Deserves Better Congressional Representation Than a Healthcare Teleconference

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Court blocks Hawaii from cutting health benefits for Micronesians (Obamacare Preview)

In U.S. District Court yesterday morning, Judge Michael Seabright issued a temporary restraining order against the state, requiring it to continue providing the same level of medical care to Micronesians until a decision on whether the state followed the law on the proposed cuts is made or a new order is issued.

The state's planned cuts to medical services for Micronesians come in the form of a new health care plan, which is aimed at saving the state about $15 million a year.

The new plan, called Basic Health Hawai'i, was to replace comprehensive health care benefits the state started providing to low-income adult Micronesians in 1996.

The state spends about $28 million a year on health care for adult Micronesians (excluding pregnant women). The state gets about $11 million a year in federal grants to compensate.... 

(Of course the HGEA could just take furloughs any time now....)

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"Karen's Law" Case: Suspect seeks to nullify confession, murder count

Bartley's lawyer, Jeffrey Hawk, said Bartley gave police a confession because he did not understand his constitutional rights to a lawyer and to remain silent. He said Bartley was born in American Samoa and that his first language in Samoan, not English. And he said Bartley had just an eighth-grade education at the time.

Police said Bartley confessed to strangling Ertell in her garage, dragging her body inside her home and driving off in her car. Police said Bartley also sexually assaulted Ertell, used her computer to access pornography, stole her wallet and tried to use her credit card to get cash from an automated teller machine.

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Perry: Misconduct ‘a failure of leadership’

Even a minuscule ratio of 32 complaints in 107,000 contacts isn’t acceptable to Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry, he said last week....

“KPD is one of the finest departments in the state of Hawai‘i, and things aren’t the same as in the ‘KPD Blue’ days,” said Perry, referring to a book written by a former Kaua‘i newspaper journalist chronicling alleged KPD officer misconduct and corruption. “I hope citizens out there back us up. We have some outstanding employees.”

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Lender keeps Makena open

Wells Fargo Bank, the trustee of the mortgage lender for Makena Resort, said it will keep the distressed property running and wants a team in place soon to help turn the operation around.

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Opposition grows in Ewa

Opponents contend that the development between Kapolei and Waipahu would pave over some of the most productive agricultural soil in the state, with lots of sun, gentle winds and cheap water, preferable to land at higher levels.  (Home to the bucolic Aioun Farms a happy place for Thai laborers)

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Hawaii libraries to seek donations to keep branches open

The fundraising effort, "Keep Your Library Open!," is set to be announced this morning by the Hawaii State Public Library System and the Friends of the Library of Hawai'i. Each entity will conduct its own fundraising drive, and the combined effort is intended to ensure that no library will be closed permanently because of projected budget shortfalls.

The Friends of the Library hopes to raise $3 million by getting 1 million library users statewide to donate $3 each. Donations will be accepted through the Friends of the Library office in Kaka'ako and through its Web site and at Bank of Hawaii branches, said Keith Fujio, administrative services director for the library system.

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Bag ban bill moves forward

The Kaua‘i County Council last week took another step forward and is now on the verge of passing a bill that would ban the use of plastic bags at retail stores’ checkout counters.

A single-use biodegradable bag will now also be a bag that “conforms to the European Standard EN13432, which was established by the European Committee for Normalisation” and “contains no-petroleum-derived content.”

The new restriction rules out certain types of bags that, while not entirely plastic, still featured some plastic.

RELATED: Six Million paper bags

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Trials With the Hawaii Department of Education Include Putting Our Son in a Dirty Isolation Room

Our son, Matthew D'Alessandro, was enrolled at Horizons Academy in April of 2009.

We placed him there because the Hawaii public school system had him in isolation in a small room with a boarded up window, two un-upholstered cushions on a dirty floor, a small desk, a half door locked from the outside with a dead bolt and two Educational assistants stationed outside his room.

Matthew's behavior was aggressive and Wailuku Elementary told us we "had no choice" but to sign off on restraints. There was even talk by a Department doctor of "injections to calm him." We had no alternative but to remove Matthew from this situation.

Happily, Matthew is at Horizons and he is fully integrated with the general population, his behaviors have improved by over 90%.

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Molokai: Firefighters battle blaze on difficult forest terrain

KAUNAKAKAI, Molokai » State and county firefighters appeared to have a brush fire under control near residential areas in central Molokai yesterday but were continuing to battle its spread into difficult mountain terrain.

Related: Weather service warns of dangerous brushfire conditions

Weather, fire advisories:

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