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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
January 14, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:20 PM :: 3493 Views

CD2: Marissa Capelouto Launches Republican Congressional Bid

Os Stender Questions Hawaiians’ Support for Native Hawaiian Roll

KITV: Waihee Pushes Last Week of Enrollment

UPDATE: Hawaii Co Dems Release Abercrombie's Secret HD5 Nomination List

Mainland Group Criticizes Lack of Hawaiian Population Control

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted January 13, 2014

Former KITV Weatherman to Head Abercrombie Communications

More Local Media Fraud on Faleomavaega?

Heritage Experts Weigh In On Massive Omnibus Spending Bill

Budget Solvency: Hawaii Ranks 47th

Counties Push GE Tax Hike in Grab for State Surplus

Borreca: Top of the list for the mayors will be HB 1606, introduced by the Council of Mayors. It would let the neighbor island counties raise their own general excise tax, up to 1 percentage point more, meaning that the tax you pay on Maui or Kauai could go from 4 percent to 5 percent.

The professed reason the mayors would want this is because the state has cut back payments to the counties. Remember that back when the Legislature didn't have any money, one of the ways it got money was by not giving it to the counties.

The state allowed the GET to increase on Oahu to pay for the rail transit program, but the state also skimmed 10 percent of the collection to "administer the tax collection."

Of course that was nothing but a money grab by the state, but if most of it was going for the rail transit system, there was little complaint, except from the taxpayers.

Now the counties want the Oahu skim cut from 10 percent to 2 percent.

Of course, the big jujitsu moment is that the counties do not want to go through the agony of defending a tax increase. If you think property tax hearings are torture, just wait to see what it would be like if the counties forced a new tax increase on the voters.

County services are reduced across the board, with parks and roads suffering the most.

So the real push-pull that is going on is that counties simply want more money from the state, or at least a restoration of the old payment system.

read ... Jujitsu might help counties avoid increasing their taxes

More Mainland Money Buying Hawaii Anti-GMO Protesters

PR: Wealthy mainland philanthropists continued to help underwrite the anti-genetically modified organism movement in Hawaii in 2012.

The Ceres Trust, a Northfield, Minn.-based private foundation led by Kent Whealy, a seed preservation activist, and Judith Kern, a philanthropist, donated $228,550 to Hawaii SEED in 2012, federal tax records show.

The Koloa-based Hawaii SEED is behind groups such as GMO-Free Kauai, which was among the leaders in the push for a GMO and pesticide regulation law on Kauai last year....

The Ceres Trust had donated $145,490 to Hawaii SEED in 2011.

Whealy and Kern are also major donors to the Center for Food Safety, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that has challenged the biotechnology industry. The Center for Food Safety has offered legal help to defend Kauai County from a federal lawsuit from biotech companies.....

Sept, 2013: Illegal Mainland Campaign Contributions Flow to anti-GMO activist Ritte

read ... Seed money

Excellent News! New homeless proposal will involve police enforcement

HNN: "It will also allow for more swift and immediate action in removing tents from sidewalks without making the act in and of itself criminal," said Councilmember Ikaika Anderson.

With his idea frustrated residents can call Police instead of the city to get homeless off sidewalks. Anderson's original idea called for arresting the homeless, but now it would be a citation if the illegal campers didn't get off the sidewalk and leave.

"This is a society that has to be based on compassion. If we don't have compassion then what are we all about?" said Marya Grambs, Mental Health America of Hawaii Executive Director.

"We want to have compassion in the sense that we don't want to be arresting people but the citizens of Honolulu do deserve access to their sidewalks," said Councilman Anderson....

The city has had some victories. Thomas Square was tent free today. The sidewalk at Old Stadium Park was clear and free of homeless. There were even families playing on the playground.

Councilman Anderson's bill that would've arrested homeless is scheduled to be heard in committee meetings tomorrow, but he says he is going to defer that one and instead introduce the new bill calling on police involvement and fines. 

(Any policy which pushes the homeless to accept shelter is more humane than the status quo.)

read ... Force Them Into Shelters

GMOs, Minimum Wage and More

CB: This year may be quieter and more predictable. GMO aside (more on that soon), there is broad consensus that raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 or more will be a major issue, if lawmakers can figure out how to handle the matter of tip credits. That's what held up Senate Bill 331 in conference committee last year. Will lawmakers resume negotiations or start with a clean bill?

"There is talk that we should fast-track it, but there are still some differences on the tip credit," said Rep. John Mizuno, the House vice speaker. "We don't want to hurt the mom-and-pops. One possibility is for the House to move a clean bill without the tip credit, let the Senate put that in, then move to agree."

Other issues sure to take priority, lawmakers tell Civil Beat, include expanding clean-energy initiatives, addressing climate change, taking greater oversight over the Hawaii Community Development Authority, funding early education and scrutinizing agency spending. On opening day Wednesday, majority and minority party leaders will flesh out their respective agendas.

read ... Will Lawmakers Play It Safe in an Election Year?

Bill Would Mandate 100% Alt Energy

CB: Leaders of Hawaii’s energy and environmental committees hope to pass a law requiring the state to derive 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050. The current goal is 40 percent renewable energy by 2030.

The new energy mandate would aid long-term energy planning and ensure that liquefied natural gas, if it is imported to Hawaii, is eventually phased out, said Rep. Chris Lee, chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

The state has been moving forward on plans to import LNG in hopes of lowering consumer electricity bills. The new energy mandate would ensure that LNG remains a “bridge fuel” to more renewables.

Other top legislative priorities this year include modernizing the state’s electricity grids so they can accommodate more renewable energy, advancing clean energy transportation goals, extending the oil tax and a community renewable energy program that would allow more people to take advantage of solar energy.

read ... Energy Legislation Focuses on Hawaii's Clean Energy Obstacles

With Kahuku Surrounded, Wind farm firm to bring doctor to meeting

SA: A developer proposing to build a second wind energy project in Kahuku has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday at which a Harvard Medical School physician will brief community members on the health effects of wind turbines.  (Bought n paid for.)

The first phase of the project planned by Cali­for­nia-based Champlin GEI Wind Holdings calls for eight wind turbines to be erected in the hills mauka of Kame­ha­meha Highway, with the closest turbine about 2,000 feet from homes in Kahuku's Mauka Village neighborhood.

The close proximity of the turbines to homes, and the potential health effects of the devices, was one of the concerns expressed by some of the 25 area residents who attended a community meeting held by Champlin on Friday night in Kahuku.

IM: Accept One Wind Project and You Might Get Two

read ... Surrounded

Legislature has Chance to Dump Worthless Manoa 'Tech' Center

SA: Unless the Legislature reconvening Wednesday does something to prevent it, Oahu's first and only innovation and business incubation facility likely will soon find itself homeless, and for no good reason.

Lawmakers should act to preserve the home the facility already has and, at least for the near term, postpone the proposed investment in a new $22 million complex, an expenditure that would strain the state's fiscal condition.

(Better Idea: Dump the building and don't build another one.)

The Manoa Innovation Center now operates out of a Woodlawn Drive facility that its developer, the High Technology Development Corp. (HTDC), leases for a nominal fee from the University of Hawaii, an arrangement due to expire in 2015.

The Legislature last year held a bill that would have extended the lease of the Manoa center, at the urging of UH administrators who want the property to revert to university control. That measure, House Bill 71, passed the House and was recommended for passage by the Senate higher education and economic development committees, but stalled in the Ways and Means Committee.

Background: Tax Credit Scammers Find a New Home in HSDC

read ... Tech center at Manoa

HB1512 Writes Sea Level Change into Land Use Planning

IM: HB 1512 would amend Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §26-1.  “The lieutenant governor shall coordinate public and private sector resources and develop a strategic plan for directing statewide growth and development that takes into account a predicted sea level rise in 2050 to one foot above the current sea level and any resultant climate change."

read ... Last Gorebots

Hawaii watchdog groups to highlight changed bills

AP: Common Cause Hawaii and the League of Women Voters of Hawaii have created a new award for these so-called "gut and replace" amendments during the upcoming 2014 legislative session.

The groups cite 2013 session examples, including a measure about the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission but ended up with unrelated language about geothermal energy.

The groups say their "Rusty Scalpel" award is an attempt to curb the practice. The League of Women Voters says it will be using Twitter to highlight the bills.

read ... Rusty Scalpel

TOD Support for Car Sharing, Pushing Legislation to Change Rental Tax

SA: The company participated in an information briefing Monday at the Legislature and shared its interest in establishing service here possibly with up to 150 cars based within a 15- to 20-square-mile area of Hono­lulu where cars would be available for pickup and drop-off in public parking spaces.

Walter Rosenkranz, a Car2go business development manager, said Hono­lulu is viewed as a ripe market because of its density, public transit options and the high cost of operating cars.

"We think Hono­lulu is a terrific market," he said, noting that the exploration is in a relatively early stage with no timetable or certainty for launching service.

A significant roadblock for the industry in Hawaii is the application of a $3-a-day state rental car surcharge to car-sharing. Industry supporters say the fee allows taxing the same car multiple times a day, and that the fee represents a major portion of a typical customer charge that discourages use.

In each of the last two years, bills were introduced at the Legislature proposing to prorate or exempt the daily rental car fee for car-sharing, but they did not pass. Car2go intends to lobby for a bill this year proposing an alternate fee that makes car-sharing more viable.

Shem Lawlor, a planner with the city's transit-oriented-development division, expects Hawaii will attract more interest from car-share operators without the rental car surcharge applying per trip.

read ... Tax Cut Needed

HB1487 Would Make Kindergarten Mandatory

MTVN: State House of Representative Roy Takumi (D, Pearl City-Waipio-Pearl Harbor) has introduced HB1487 to amend the compulsory education law to make kindergarten mandatory.

read ... Kindergarten

Honolulu Not Ready to Accept $3M Deal To Settle Nonprofit Scandal

CB: Last week, we reported on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development asking the city of Honolulu to cough up $3 million to make up for the mismanagement of federal grant dollars given to ORI Anuenue Hale.

Honolulu spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said at the time that the city didn’t plan to comment on HUD’s demand due to legal concerns.

LINK: City Letter to HUD

read ... Not Ready

1,100 family abuse cases to be dismissed over procedural errors

HNN: All defendants appearing in Family District Court who demanded a jury trial and were not re-arraigned within 14 days in Circuit Court had their case dismissed.

The state expects about 1,100 cases to be thrown out.

So far, 36 cases have been re-filed.

read ... Abusers Walk

Alleged Homosexual Child molester Caught Living with more adopted boys

HTH: A former Hakalau resident accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing five of his adopted sons has been located in Florida.

Jay Ram was served with the lawsuit, filed in Honolulu Circuit Court in March, earlier this month after being tracked to the rural community of Odessa, outside Tampa, Fla., said Honolulu attorney Mark Gallagher, who is representing the plaintiffs. He had recently moved there from Saipan.

Gallagher said Ram, now going by the name Jay Mizraha, is living with three other males, either teenagers or young men. The youngest is believed to be a teenager from Hilo, said Joelle Casteix of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Casteix is acting as an advocate for the five unnamed plaintiffs, though Ram was not part of a religious organization.

Ram is facing civil charges over the alleged abuse of the plaintiffs, who lived with him in the 1980s and early 1990s in California or on a farm in Hakalau.

The statute of limitations has prevented criminal charges from being sought.

read ... Alleged molester located in Florida

Mainland Homosexuals take to Billionaire's Website to Demand Hawaii Children be Indoctrinated by Tranny

CB: The description of Mrs. Wong-Kalu by the Republican Assembly publication, which was reprinted in the Hawai'i Free Press, is truly vicious. They refer to her (sic) as a "him," despite the obvious evidence to the contrary, (What part of 'Y-Chromosome' do these guys not understand?) not to mention her (sic) legal status as a married woman (sic). And they refer to this cultural icon -- a woman (sic) fluent in the Hawaiian language who has chanted for innumerable important occasions, including the most recent opening of the Hawaii State Legislature — as a "transvestite drag queen."

Reality: Pono Choices not medically accurate, age appropriate, or complete on STD risks 

read ... Your Rulers Demand Your Obedience

Sentencing Delayed for 'Gutless' Jimmy Pflueger in Ka Loko Dam Breach Case

HR: Pflueger’s attorneys informed the deputy attorney general prosecuting the case that Pflueger is too sick to travel due to a serious medical condition.

Bruce Fehring released this statement to Hawaii News Now today:  "I am uncertain what may, or may not, be wrong with Jimmy Pflueger's health, but, speaking on behalf of myself and my family, although we remain traumatized and broken-hearted, we planned on being at the scheduled sentencing hearing. I doubt the problem is with Mr. Pflueger's guts, as it appears he is lacking entirely in that department. Otherwise, he would not be hiding for all these years behind his lawyers and doctors, and would have, long ago, owned up to what he did to the Ka Loko Dam emergency spillway."

read ... Clock Running Down

Halawa guard faces drug smuggling charges

SA: A 31-year-old Halawa Correctional Facility guard will be arraigned in federal court this afternoon accused of smuggling more than 50 grams of methamphetamine on at least three occasions during a two-month period beginning in October into the prison....

Sanders was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday on three counts of possessing and distributing methamphetamine and receiving more than $5,000.

The indictment said that more than 50 grams of the drug was smuggled into Halawa over two months beginning in October.

Sanders has worked as a prison guard since Jan. 20, 2012.

Public Safety Director Ted Sakai, who administers the state’s prison system, said his agency is working with county and federal officials to weed out “corrupt employees in our prisons.”

HR: State Corrections Officer Indicted for Methamphetamine Trafficking

read ... Corruption

HPD Lt. accused of DUI returns to court, Gets Another Delay

HNN: It's the third time Lt. Colin Wong's case was re-filed.

Two other hearings were canceled because the arresting officer was (ahem) 'not available'.

Wong was arrested in March 2013 after police say he crashed into a parked car near The Modern Hotel. He was off-duty at the time.

Since then, Wong has been on restricted duty. (Racking up pension.)

SA: Another trial delay granted to officer accused of DUI 

read ... DUI

Hawaii News Orgs Ask Judge to Unseal Deedy Transcripts

CB: Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser asked Judge Karen Ahn on Monday to release transcripts from the Christopher Deedy murder trial citing the public’s First Amendment right to access court proceedings....

The Hawaii Supreme Court recently ruled that Ahn must provide a reason for shuttering various proceedings from public view.

You can read the latest court papers >>> HERE

read ... Hawaii News Orgs Ask Judge to Unseal Deedy Transcripts

After Burning $200K, Michelle Leaving Hawaii Tuesday

WHD: Michelle, who has been holed up at Oprah Winfrey’s fabulous spread on Maui since President Obama and their daughters departed Hawaii January 4, has an event – a White House screening of an educational movie – scheduled for Wednesday at 4 pm. That means she’ll leave Hawaii Tuesday night at the latest.

The first lady’s decision to extend her vacation will probably cost taxpayers in excess of $200,000, including the cost of a special flight aboard an Air Force jet.

Link: National Enquirer Obama Divorce Bombshell

read ... $200,000

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