Tax Foundation of Hawaii: We are Still Here, and Life Goes On
Kauai: 74% Vote to Make Anti-Smart Meter Protesters pay for their own Paranoia
Hee, Ihara Introduce Competing Media Shield Bills
Whitewash: State of State Transcript Deletes Reference to Big Cable Deal
IM: Hawai`i Governor Abercrombie gave his 2014 State of the State address to the Legislature.
The official transcript was whitewashed.
Some statements were added, some were deleted and some were altered.
All told, there were over 75 modifications....
Abercrombie stated the NextEra, the company that wants to build the inter-island high voltage transmission line, will be given government support to build a renewable energy facility on O`ahu’s North Shore.
“I am requesting general obligation funds to enable the state to work with a renewable energy company, NextEra, to purchase agricultural and conservation lands currently owned by the Dole Company – nearly 20,000 acres of open space between Wahiawa and Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu.”
In the written transcript, the company named, “NextEra,” was deleted from the sentence.
read ... Re-Writing and White-Washing the Official Record
AKP Biofuel Scheme tied to Abercrombie Admin
IM: In 2011 Aina Koa Pono thanked Governor Abercrombie for his support of their project.
“We appreciate the support from Governor Abercrombie—this is a tremendous opportunity to create a ‘new day’ in Hawaii by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels and expanding our state’s green energy initiative.”
AKP is very connected to Abercrombie.
Sennet Capital is a major investor in Aina Koa Pono. Sennet Capital was co-founded by DBEDT Director Richard Lim and AKP Executive VP Kenton Eldridge.
Honolulu attorney Paul Alston is a lawyer for HECO and General Counsel for AKP.
Bill Kaneko is a central figure in the governor’s inner circle of advisors and was a registered lobbyist for Aina Koa Pono.
Kaneko is the founder, President and CEO of the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA). HIPA Board Members include HECO Executive Vice President Alan Oshima and retired HECO Executive Vice President Robbie Alm.
Kaneko headed Abercrombie’s working group created to fend off attacks against Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC).
Robert Clarke is on the AKP Board of Advisors and is a Board Member of Sennet Capital. He served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Electric Industries (1991-2006)
read ... Undue Influence Over Regulators
Have the Senators who are authoring SB2754 spoken with the Molokai Community?
IAM: Perhaps Senators English, Gabbard and Baker have spoken with Molokai community members about SB 2754-2014, but I Aloha Molokai has not been contacted. In fact, Senator English still refuses to speak to anyone from IAM. Why are we giving public money to a California company that has not gone through any kind of open or competitive bidding process?
LINK: Click here to read SB 2754
read ... Molokai
Wooley Refusing to Hear Bills Designed to Save Agriculture from Anti-GMO Mobs
KGI: A pair of bills introduced Friday in the Hawaii House and Senate seek to prevent counties from restricting farming beyond state and federal laws.
“It’s a right to farm bill,” said Rep. Dee Morikawa, D-Koloa-Niihau, who co-introduced the measure along with Rep. James “Jimmy” Tokioka, D-Koloa-Wailua.
“It has nothing to do with pesticides or GMOs.”
But others, including Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser, don’t buy it.
“Both of these bills take away 100 percent of the authority of the county to regulate agriculture, which includes pesticides,” he said. “It is without question an attempt to nullify Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491), as well as the ordinance passed on the Big Island.”
(Good. This is why the Lege should pass these bills.)
The bill may have an especially difficult path in the House. Chairwoman Jessica Wooley of the House Agriculture Committee said she doesn’t plan to hear the bill....
read ... Farming Forever
Gubernatorial race focuses on state's financial health
Borreca: Saying that "we have strategically managed our resources," Abercrombie told lawmakers the state now has a general fund balance of $844 million.
If the state has money today, says Ige, it came not from any Abercrombie strategy, but from the budget cuts ordered by legislative leaders, including Ige's own Ways and Means Committee.
"In the past three years, I have worked with my colleagues in the Legislature to make tough decisions to build a responsible financial plan," Ige said. "The $844 million surplus is a direct result of the nearly $800 million in cuts that the Legislature has made from the governor's proposed budgets during his tenure."
Figures produced by WAM show that the 2011 Legislature cut the Abercrombie budget by $619 million and last year it sliced another $254 million from Abercrombie's spending plan.
Ige appears cautious in his budget approach, saying, "We must address the unfunded liabilities of public employees before we can truly begin talking about a surplus in the budget."
Abercrombie has said that he is already working on that in a "sustainable" manner, but there is still much in the budget that both Ige and his House counterpart, state Rep. Sylvia Luke, question.
Watch for this year's political interpretation of how much of the state's money is saved, and how its spent, to be the first flash point in the race for governor.
read ... Gubernatorial race focuses on state's financial health
Abercrombie's Political Preoccupations
Shapiro: In his State of the State, Gov. Neil Abercrombie urged lawmakers to "set aside our political preoccupations," then used the speech as a launch pad for his first political ads for re-election. It's the Foghorn J. Leghorn school of leadership.
» The governor's initial campaign ad set a theme of "Moving Up," and he held a fundraiser in Kahala to prove it. Attendees had to kick in $2,000 and call him Fresh Prince.
» TV meteorologist Justin Fujioka was named Abercrombie's press secretary. He's the first governor to generate so much hot air that he needs a weatherman to explain it.
read ... There's so much folly to find just a month into new year
Dismissal of 750 Domestic Abuse cases likely
SA: For more than a decade at least, Oahu's Family Court judges ignored court rules in handling thousands of misdemeanor domestic abuse cases without holding a second arraignment for defendants when required.
Defense attorneys didn't complain, but when Honolulu lawyer Steven Barta realized his client charged with domestic abuse didn't receive the second arraignment, he challenged the process.
"I think this is the first time anybody raised it," he said. "It was real clear to me the rules had not been followed."
Last month, the Hawaii Supreme Court agreed with Barta and overturned the domestic abuse conviction of one of his clients, Susil Basnet.
The ruling sent shock waves through Family Court in Honolulu and set in motion the dismissal of hundreds of cases for defendants who didn't get the second arraignment.
City prosecutors now estimate that about 750 misdemeanor cases involving domestic abuse and violations of protective orders will be tossed out.
read ... 750 Walk
Hanabusa: Schatz' Budget Vote Bad for Hawaii
SA: THE BUDGET DEAL extends a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers, which was set to expire in 2021 under the Budget Control Act, for an additional two years, cuts that Hanabusa worries will be passed down to seniors. The agreement also requires new federal workers to contribute more to their pension plans and reduces cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees under 62, provisions that the congresswoman contends are unfair and disproportionately impact Hawaii, which has a large federal workforce and military retiree population.
Hanabusa — along with the rest of the congressional delegation — has also protested the increase in the aviation passenger security fee that was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The agreement more than doubled the fee — to $5.60 for a one-way flight, up from $2.50 — inflating the costs for Hawaii residents who are more dependent on air travel than mainland consumers.
"So to me, it's bad for Hawaii because we have such a large kupuna population. It's bad for Hawaii because of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration fee). It's bad for the huge veterans retirement group, as well," she said.
read ... State vs Party
Schatz backs plan to raise federal minimum wage
WHT: Schatz is giving his support to a package of proposals that includes a significant raise to the minimum wage.
Part of the “Opportunity Plan” promoted by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, the federal minimum wage bill would receive a boost to $10.10 an hour over three years. It is currently $7.25.
USDoL: Federal Tip Credit = $2.13
read ... Federal Minimum Wage
Hawaii’s Population Increases 38 People Per Day
CB: • 52 births per day;
• 31 deaths per day;
• 20 more people moving into Hawaii from foreign countries than those moving out per day;
• 4 more people moving out of Hawaii to other states in the U.S. than those moving in from other states per day;
• 16 more people moving into Hawaii than those moving out per day (including both movement from foreign countries and movement from other states in the U.S.).
read ... Hawaii’s Population Increases 38 People Per Day
New rules address isle dentists' use of oral sedatives, including drugs allegedly given to a 3-year-old Kailua girl
SA: "Most states do address all types of sedation, all the way through general anesthesia, and the required training and documentation for each of those," said Dr. Joel Berg, immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Hawaii Administrative Rules on Dentistry have long required dentists to get advanced training and written authorization from the state Board of Dental Examiners to administer general anesthesia and intravenous-conscious sedation. They also require dentists to have proper facilities and staff to handle problems and emergencies in such cases.
But the regulations had been silent on oral sedatives, which can induce mild or moderate sedation, depressing the central nervous system.
On Jan. 16, however, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed new rules requiring dentists to complete comprehensive postgraduate training that meets American Dental Association guidelines and obtain permits before administering "moderate conscious sedation," whatever the mode of drug delivery. The rules were approved by the Board of Dental Examiners in July and have been undergoing administrative review since then.
SA: U.S. lacks data on deaths due to dental sedatives
Background: Finley Boyle Tragedy Exposes Danger of Primary Care Dentists Operating as Pediatric Dental Specialists
read ... New Rules
Laniakea Beach Highway Realignment Proposed
KHON: The city and county and Kamehameha schools own the land mauka of this stretch of highway in front of Laniakea Beach, a popular tourist and surfer attraction. The state placed concrete barriers here to prevent cars from parking – and pedestrians crossing the busy highway.
“Look, we don’t want these barriers. We just don’t want them. We’re losing a beautiful beach and if the governor can get behind this. And Senator Hee and with this park we could move this forward, we can just get everything done very, very quickly – I think within the year,” North shore resident Bill Quinlan said. (Suddenly, they want a solution. Must be an election coming up.)
Quinlan and others propose moving this portion of the highway mauka and creating a parking area and wayside park on the makai side – something Senator Clayton Hee is proposing in the form a legislation.
“People no longer have to cross the highway. But it will be driven by the community and driven by the Department of Land and Natural Resources because the creation of the legislation would be a park, a wayside park,” Senator Clayton Hee said....
Senator Hee is also introducing legislation that would provide for long-term beach management, especially in light of severe erosion at Rocky Point over the past few weeks.
“Global warming, rising sea levels and the fact of the matter is we have been, for the last several years, working on shoreline setbacks – primarily driven by Sierra Club and environmental communities,” Senator Hee stated.
The legislation would call for a cooperative effort among DLNR, the UH School of Engineering and the Sea Grant College. The answer will not be simple.
“It’s very site-specific. So it’s hard to say what would work well everywhere. It really just depends on the geology and the situation where the erosion is occurring,” Dolan Eversole with Sea Grant College said....
read ... Laniakea Beach
‘Dog’ speaks out: Duane Chapman calls for tougher bounty hunter regs
HTH: The 60-year-old Chapman is the owner of Da Kine Bail Bonds and has been a bail bondsman and bounty hunter in Hawaii since 1989. A convicted felon himself, for what authorities said was a minor role in a 1976 murder in Texas, he said there should be mandatory licensing and training for bounty hunters, as there is for bail bondsmen, and recent felons should not be allowed to be bounty hunters.
“There’s really no training right now in Hawaii; there’s no laws about that,” Chapman said. “And Beth and I and a few other bondsmen are trying to get to the Legislature and introduce some legislation. In most states, you have to be a licensed bail bondsman to bounty hunt. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you have to have 10 years from the date of conviction and/or from the date of discharge from parole or probation before you can even apply.
“Most of the time, when there are problems, it’s because somebody’s been convicted of a felony within the past year and is trying to turn his life around and he decided to bounty hunt, or something like that. … There are ex-convicts who want to completely change their lives and flip around. So, they want to go bounty hunt, thinking this will completely clean the slate with the state, America and God.
“Where there are no regulations, you see guys who are recent felons going out there and acting like muscle, grabbin’ the guys wrong, beatin’ ’em up, takin’ payoffs (and) lettin’ ’em go. It’s hard when you’re making $150 to bring someone in and the guy’s got $500 in his pocket and he says, ‘Listen, let me go, I’ll give you $500.’ If you don’t have some sort of morality, it’s hard to turn that sort of money down. We’ve had problems where these felons who have just done time last year with the fugitive have become friends with the guy. And they let ’em go.
read ... Dog Speaks
Lifelong Criminal faces no charges for alleged gunshot at Police
SA: The 32-year-old man arrested for allegedly firing a gun at police Thursday was not charged with any crimes he reportedly committed that night.
Police arrested him Thursday on suspicion of three counts of first-degree attempted murder, six firearms violations, resisting arrest and failure to render aid.
The suspect was released from police custody for all those offenses Saturday afternoon pending further investigation.
However, police said he remains in custody on a parole retake warrant.
Police would not divulge his location including whether he remains hospitalized, but Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said he was not in custody late Saturday afternoon at any of its facilities.
read ... Man faces no charges for alleged gunshot