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Monday, September 14, 2009
September 14, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:06 PM :: 10300 Views

7.8% in Hawaii are uninsured

The news, along with the disclosure that there are 46.3 million uninsured nationally, was more fodder in the debate for health care reform.

It also provided a fresh spotlight on one of the more debated ideas being proposed by President Obama: a government-sponsored health plan that would help provide coverage for the uninsured.

"I'm very concerned about a public plan," said John Henry Felix, chairman and chief executive officer of Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, a Honolulu-based insurer.

"As one who's been in government, I'm very pessimistic about their ability to operate an efficient health care system."

TOTALLY RELATED: 9-12 March on Washington: Thousands in D.C. Protest Gov't Spending, Obamacare

RELATED: 'Reset' a positive look at meltdown (Obamabots celebrate the opportunities the Obama crash is creating)

Criticism of Obama health plan softening  (Self-explanatory AP feed in Hon Adv after March on Washington--Obamabot media: "March?? What March?")

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SB: Tort reform worth trying  (Prep work for next Legislative session)

Two ways have been suggested in dealing with the issue without capping awards. One is known as "early disclosure," or "Sorry Works," in which doctors admit their mistakes, apologize to families and make restitution through mediation. That has been adopted by hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky and other states.

The other notable alternative requires the potential plaintiff to put the case before an expert or a panel to stop frivolous cases from proceeding to court. That has been adopted in Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

Tennessee adopted that approach last year and its number of malpractice cases has decreased by 69 percent. Its insurance premiums are expected to drop this year by 2.5 percent.

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No pot task force this year (now THIS proves the crisis is SERIOUS)

Lawmakers believe a medical marijuana task force is necessary to study the obstacles patients encounter when trying to obtain the drug to ease cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, severe nausea and seizures feel medicated.

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Increase in food demand overwhelms soup kitchens

During the summer the Lihue Salvation Army soup kitchen has doubled the number of people served from roughly 50 to more than 100 per day, according to Salvation Army Envoy Larry Groenleer. The number is slightly smaller now that school is in session, he said.

The Institute for Human Services, Oahu's largest homeless shelter, saw an increase last month of 50 or more people a day requesting meals, said spokeswoman Kate Bepko.

"We're seeing all kinds of different people," she said. "Some people have college degrees, and they're coming to stay at the shelter. Some people are just coming for meals. Some are coming with kids."

EFFECT...CAUSE: Honolulu Meth-Dealer Protection Racketeer tied to Mehau, politicians

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Kobayashi spent $88,475 to win seat

That means for the second time this year, the candidate spending the most money did not finish in the top two in a City Council special election race. 

The biggest spender in the 14-person race was third-place finisher Nathaniel Kinney, a political newcomer and legal counsel for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 50.

Kinney spent $118,322.67, or $31.05 for each of the 3,811 votes he received.

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Consumption up 15% since conservation goal set 2 years ago

In 2007, Honolulu officials announced a plan to reduce the city's power consumption by 10 percent by 2017.

The city also pledged to make energy efficiency a priority when Mayor Mufi Hannemann signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2005.

But the conservation effort is off to a rough start.

Over the past two years, the city's use of electricity has climbed nearly 15 percent.

"It's going in the wrong direction," said City Council member Charles Djou, who sponsored a bill passed by the council last year that requires the city to annually report its energy consumption.

"We want the overall path of energy use to be going down not up," Djou said.

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Tower of trouble

For nearly 83 years the 185-foot-tall Aloha Tower lighthouse has stood watch over picturesque Honolulu Harbor, a beacon for tourists and cruise ship visitors.

For some here it stands today as a symbol of government ineptitude. The state agency created nearly 30 years ago to develop the tower and the adjacent waterfront area into an iconic, world-class harbor has floundered, critics say.

"It would have acted as a wonderful front door for Hawaii," said Kenneth Hughes, president and owner of Dallas-based Hughes Development, which wanted to upgrade some of the harbor's more unsightly land. "The private sector should expect that government is held to a higher standard, and in this instance they did not do that."

Hughes' plans called for residential condominiums, stores, hotel and new parking at a cost of about $300 million. The project started in 2004 and ended earlier this year with the arbitrator's decision supporting Hughes' claims that ATDC torpedoed the deal by failing to negotiate.

(In other words, politicians tied to Hughes are creating a stink in the press)

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Hokulia furloughs most of its staff (destroyed by OHA greenmail--finished off by the Obama economy)

for 80 of Hokulia's 100 employees whose numbers are up, it's the loss of a paycheck and their livelihoods.
The firm sent out furlough notices Friday afternoon, with Hokulia Chief Executive Officer John De Fries citing the financial difficulties of developer Oceanside 1250.

(Result: Kona greens chalk up a victory against Hilo unions in the ongoing battle for which gang of Democrats control Hawaii County)

RELATED: Las Campanas club closes

Members of the Club at Las Campanas have been notified that most of the employees have been put on furlough and "access to all amenities at the club have been suspended."

Members pay an initiation fee of $90,000 and monthly dues of about $700 to belong to the club, which normally affords them the use of tennis courts, a spa, a club house and two golf courses.

Club member Bob Buddendorf said the membership had some forewarning that Las Campanas was having problems when financial backers for the luxury subdivision replaced developer Lyle Anderson with a management company in 2008, after Anderson defaulted on loan payments.

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West Hi Today vs Cnty of Hawaii: 9/12 Update

Here is West Hawaii Today's 9/4 Response to County of Hawaii's Opposition to allowing WHT to File Second Amended Complaint

County of Hawaii's 9/8 Opposition is below: The Court ruled in favor of allowing West Hawaii Today to file the Second Amended Complaint. NEXT COURT HEARING IS THURSDAY: SEPT 24TH

Original court filings by both sides available at link: 

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Kauai: Vacation rental owners ‘beg’ county for help

“I beg you humbly” to let us keep renting while you figure which are good and which are bad ag lands, said part-time Kaua‘i resident Gigi Gaston, who owns a three-acre lot on Larsen’s Beach Road.
Gaston, a writer-director who also spends time near Los Angeles, said five people who help her maintain the land — for example, mowing the grass and cleaning the Jacuzzi — could lose their jobs or she could lose the land if something is not done. She said it was her “life’s dream to retire” on Kaua‘i and she is “not a wealthy person,” but avocado, tangerine and mango trees on the property were found dead when she returned from visiting an ailing family member in California, and such farming simply does not pay the bills.

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South Point resort development eyed

The head of 'Aiea-based general contractor SteelTech Inc., Val Peroff, is preparing an environmental impact statement for the project envisioned for up to 1,970 homes or residential lots, 950 resort hotel or condominium units, a 36-hole golf course and an airstrip.

A shoreline preserve, land for agriculture or renewable energy production, a commercial village with schools and a cultural research and demonstration center are also part of the plan, called Kahuku Villages, slated for the site covering 16,457 acres, or nearly 26 square miles, of mostly barren lava.

(These "developers" are not going to build anything. This is just a hustle to get the National Parks Service, Nature Conservancy, or Trust for Public Land to buy them out.)

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