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Monday, January 6, 2014
January 6, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:44 PM :: 2699 Views

New Republic: Hawaii Anti-GMO Protesters ‘Objectively Crazy’

Hawaii Rifle Association 2014 Sen. Sam Slom Fundraiser

Budget Hearings Coming up this week

ILind: Here are a few of the public meetings taking place this week.

First, check out the full slate of budget briefings scheduled by the House Finance Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee, as they review budget requests from all departments and agencies.

In addition, here are a few highlights of other things on the official state calendar. You can also review the whole calendar for the week....

SA: Legislators set to hear requests for funding

read ... Coming up this week

New Obamacare health plans may leave some 'underinsured'

AP: For working people making modest wages and struggling with high medical bills from chronic disease, President Barack Obama's health care plan sounds like long-awaited relief. But the promise could go unfulfilled.

It's true that patients with cancer and difficult conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease will be able to get insurance and financial help with monthly premiums.

But their annual out-of-pocket costs could still be so high they'll have trouble staying out of debt.

You couldn't call them uninsured any longer. You might say they're "underinsured."

read ... Bronze Plan

Tobacco Smoking Will Soon be Effectively Outlawed

CB: With all the laws in Hawaii regulating tobacco use, it might be only a matter of time before smoking is pretty much outlawed throughout the islands.

For now, most people in the state can still light up in their cars and homes (unless their condominium or townhouse association doesn't allow it). A few bar owners still look the other way when a patron wants a ciggie or stogie with his whiskey.

But the trend is clear: when it comes to tobacco, Hawaii is burned out ....

read ... Tobacco Illegal, Marijuana Legal

Trees Die as Big Island gets ready for ban on plastic bags

SA: In California about one-third of the population is now living in municipalities with a ban on single-use grocery bags. Los Angeles is one of the latest.

"It's amazing," said Cali­for­nia Assemblyman Marc Levine. "We've seen local governments take the lead … and the sky hasn't fallen yet." (Just some trees, that's all.)

When the ban begins, Hawaii island customers will be able to use paper bags which are made out of murdered trees....

Sierra Club Hawaii, representing some 12,000 members and supporters, backed a state legislative measure that would have imposed a 5-to-10-cent charge on consumers per plastic or paper grocery bag, with part of the proceeds going to restore and expand watershed areas.

He said his group is waiting to see the impact of the counties' ban on plastic bags and to reassess the legislative measure.

Lauren Zirbel, executive director of the Hawaii Food Industry Association, said because retail food chains have stores in different counties in Hawaii, her group would prefer a statewide legislative solution, rather than a county-by-county ban.

Zirbel said her group supports the ordinances passed by municipalities in Cali­for­nia discouraging the use of single-use plastic as well as paper bags.

She said paper bags are about 10 times more expensive than plastic bags.

read ... Where are the tree huggers?

Honolulu Forgoes Federal Funds to Manage Coastal Development

CB: Every year, the City and County of Honolulu lets slide an opportunity to get more than a quarter of a million dollars in federal funding to promote sustainable coastal development.

The funds, which the other three counties in Hawaii receive, is mostly used to hire staff to implement the Coastal Zone Management Act, which is federal legislation that was passed in 1972 to balance the needs of environmental conservation with coastal development.

Honolulu county was receiving about $280,000 a year from the program until 2007, when Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting concluded that increased federal oversight and stricter reporting requirements were too onerous.

“The funding comes with a lot of strings attached to it,” said George Atta, director for the county planning department. “It was creating a lot of headaches for us from an administrative standpoint.”

read ... Federal Funds

Searching for the Searcher: UH regents to discuss bids from search firms

SA: The Board of Regents' presidential selection committee — which first began meeting last June — will discuss search firm bids Wednesday afternoon at the UH-Manoa campus, according to the committee's meeting agenda.

While the bid discussions will take place behind closed doors in executive session, the selection and approval of contract terms are scheduled for the public portion of the meeting.

The selection committee sent bid invitations to about 40 search firms in October and said that month that it would be asking three finalist firms to make in-person presentations.

UH has said it expects to spend an estimated $75,000 to $125,000 on a search firm ... The university wants to make a job offer by the spring or summer.

read ... Searching

UH Dept of Anti-American Studies Leads Obama Library Pitch

NYT: With his Shetland sheepdog, Kanoa, at his side, Mr. Abercrombie made his case: “I don’t know how sophisticated this looks back in Washington, but my pitch to the president is: ‘I’m here with Kanoa. Why don’t you bring Sunny and Bo out and we can sit on the beach?’ ”....

If Hawaii does end up with some piece of Mr. Obama’s presidential library or a future foundation, the state will have Robert Perkinson to thank. Mr. Perkinson, a boyish-looking 44-year-old with close-cropped brown hair and blue, owlish eyes, is an associate professor of anti-American studies at the University of Hawaii, and the driving force behind the Barack Obama Hawaii Presidential Center Initiative....

So Mr. Perkinson is staking out an underdog claim, making it clear that Hawaii would be happy to share with Chicago some portion of Mr. Obama’s postpresidential legacy. (A potential model, he said, is that of former President Bill Clinton, whose presidential library is in Arkansas, but whose foundation and global initiative are based in New York.)

“We came into this less as a zero-sum game with Chicago than to give the president a set of options that would allow him to host his center in more than one city,” Mr. Perkinson said. “Our strategy was to come up with a program that would be compelling on its merits, rather than depending on insider whispers.”

“Some people consider us to be an American state in Asia,” Mr. Schatz said. Instead, he said, the state is the “fulcrum” of what the Obama administration is calling a rebalancing, or a new focus, on the Asia-Pacific region.

read ... Anti-American Studies Department

Prominent Auto Dealer Alan Pflueger Serving Time For Tax Fraud, While Father Awaits Sentencing

HR: Hawaii auto dealer Charles Alan Pflueger is scheduled to spend the next 15 months in federal prison, beginning January 6, court records show. The prominent auto dealer, who heads Pacific Honda (formerly Pflueger Honda), was sentenced on federal....

read ... Pflueger

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