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Sunday, February 16, 2014
February 16, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:35 PM :: 5302 Views

Election 2014: Candidate Filing List Now Totals 14 Pages

Caldwell's Latest Scheme: Garbage Tax

13 Nominated for UH Board of Regents

Applicants Sought for Ethics Commission

Die on Medicaid? State Could Seize Your House

Poll Shows Deep Ethnic Divide: Hanabusa 48% -- Schatz 40%

SA: U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has a gap over U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, a new Hawaii Poll has found, and a quarter of voters interviewed did not know enough about Schatz to form an opinion about the senator.

Hanabusa was at 48 percent and Schatz was at 40 percent in the poll of Democratic primary voters. Eleven percent were undecided.

In a potentially promising development for Hanabusa, the congresswoman led among union, senior and Japanese-American voters who historically vote in higher proportion in primary elections.

Hanabusa also had a 62 percent favorable rating, the second highest — behind U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — of all the politicians tested.

Schatz's favorable rating was 51 percent. More importantly, 13 percent of voters had never heard of the senator, while 12 percent had heard of him but did not know enough to draw a conclusion.

News Release: Stung by Star-Adv Poll, Schatz Releases his Own Numbers

KHON: Brian Schatz opens campaign headquarters in re-election bid


PDF: Poll Readout

read ... Brian Who?

Poll: Kim Leads Pack for CD1

SA: Kim, who's spent more years in elective office than five other candidates in the poll, scored 10 percentage points better than the second top finisher, state Rep. Mark Takai.

City Council members Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson, despite having spent the most money to date on the race, are in a statistical dead heat at 11 points behind Takai, according to the poll, which surveyed 272 voters in the district Feb. 1-11. The margin of error is plus/minus 5.9 points.

State Sen. Will Espero finished fifth among those polled, while community activist Kathryn Xian was last. The poll did not include Councilman Joey Manahan, who announced Friday he is also seeking the seat.

A substantial 21 percent of those polled, more than 1 in 5, either said they are undecided on the race or declined to answer.

Kim fared better among those who identified themselves as Filipino, winning 50 percent of that category, while Takai was chosen by 40 percent of those who described themselves as Japanese. Kim was the candidate with the most votes among Caucasians with 27 percent, but more than one-third of people in that category, 35 percent, said they are undecided or declined to answer.

Kim did best among those identifying themselves as 55 years old or older. Takai topped the under-35 group with 16 percent while Chang had 15 percent, but 41 percent in that category said they are undecided or declined to answer.

PDF: Poll Readout

PR: Gabbard 76% Popularity -- 61% among GOPers

read ... Kim?

Poll reveals Profound Ethnic Split

Borreca: ...Here are four things to take away from the poll data.

The first is that a major cog in Schatz's campaign strategy, massive labor support, has not developed. In fact, Hanabusa enjoys nearly two-to-one support among voters who say they are union members.

During the fall, Schatz sent out a campaign memo noting that Hawaii has "one of the highest percentages of unionized workers in the country," boasting that his campaign held a strong lead in union endorsements. As former Mayor Mufi Hannemann's loss four years ago in the Democratic gubernatorial primary shows, the blessing of labor's head honchos does not always translate into support among the rank and file.

No. 2: There is a profound split in ethnic support. Schatz has 61 percent of the Caucasian voters and Hanabusa has 55 percent of the Japanese-American voters. By way of comparison, even during the hard-fought Democratic primary four years ago, Neil Abercrombie and Hannemann almost split the Caucasian voters and among AJA voters, Abercrombie had only a 39 to 29 percent advantage, so the ethic divide among Schatz and Hanabusa is all the more startling and could make for a volatile closing campaign....

News Release: Ige: Polls, Endorsements Show Momentum

read ... Poll reveals early thinking among key voting blocs

Once a beacon, UH dulled by the dim bulbs in politics

Shapiro: ...Legislators squeeze the UH budget and micromanage to an extent that has paralyzed school regents and administrators.

Those new buildings from 1958 have been neglected and left crumbling to the tune of a nearly $500 million maintenance backlog.

The Asia-Pacific vision never jelled and it's an annual budget struggle to keep the East-West Center open.

Many students still study hard, but others act more entitled than privileged. The faculty is among the most politicized.

Athletics was recently forgiven a $14 million deficit and has already run up $2 million more flying in football opponents so UH can play in a conference in which it isn't competitive.

What hasn't changed from 1958 is that UH is as important to Hawaii's future as ever.

What will it take to shame us into parking the politics and restoring this state treasure we inherited?

read ... Dim Bulbs

State budget depends on continued private-sector growth -- which has slowed

Brewbaker: Federal government now is exerting the fiscal drag previously exerted by the state and counties. Seasonally adjusted federal civilian employment in Hawaii declined 4.5 percent over the last five quarters.

Seasonally adjusted monthly visitor arrivals, visitor days and real inflation-adjusted visitor expenditures did not rise in the last year. They declined.

Real inflation-adjusted construction spending did not rise in the last 18 months, and what spending was there wasn't on new building, but on equipment installation like solar photovoltaic systems.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in Hawaii stopped improving at the end of last year.

Adjusted for inflation, seasonally adjusted real Hawaii general fund revenues declined in four of the last five quarters.

I'm not saying the economic expansion is over, but if this is halftime and Bruno Mars is about to perform, how you feel about the second half depends on which team you're backing. Exports (tourism), investment (construction), and federal government in Hawaii -- collectively nearly two-fifths of gross product -- have not grown in a year.

Kalbert Young: Spending = Sustainability

VIDEO: Budget: Kalbert Young Talks to Grassroot Institute

read ...  A healthy state budget depends on continued private-sector growth

Star-Adv: Let Kakaako Get Crowded with Skyscrapers, But Give Lawyers a Chance, too

SA: ...trying to micromanage the whole planning and land-use process ultimately won't work, either. For example, House Bill 1867 would strictly enforce the height of towers at 400 feet and require their separation by 300 feet.  This bill should be defeated. ...

» HB 1866 would limit the governor's power to appoint HCDA board members. Currently, the governor designates six and chooses three from a list submitted by county officials. The idea of having the governor pick two on his own and tap the rest from lists submitted by other state officials should yield a more diverse leadership group.

» HB 1865, which originally sought a moratorium on agency approvals, has been overhauled and now, more reasonably, would require a management and financial audit of HCDA.

» HB 1863 would allow citizens to sue HCDA. Legal challenges are never the hoped-for outcome in a process that's supposed to be collaborative, but it should help to define a more potent means of public representation. 

These bills deserve to move ahead for further discussion and refinement.

read ... Lawyers and Skyscrapers

5 things ahead in the Hawaii Legislature this week

AP: -- PUBLIC HOUSING SMOKING: A bill that would ban smoking in and near public housing under penalty of eviction for a third offense (SB651, SD1) goes before a joint committee Thursday. The debate pits public health advocates against the real-world prospect of evicting older or lower-income people from their homes for lighting up.

-- PHONE CRAMMING: Not sure where those charges on your phone bill came from, or why they're so high? A proposed measure (SB 2748) would restrict telecom companies to billing for services that the customer specifically requests. It'll also be in committee on Thursday.

-- TRANSPORTING INVASIVES: Nurseries or landscapers who move plants infested with little fire ants or coqui frogs, both pernicious invasive species, would face the prospect of paying for extermination costs if those pests infest other properties under a bill (SB2347) up for consideration Thursday.

-- PRISON UPKEEP: The Department of Public Safety will offer an informational briefing Wednesday about maintaining, building and improving prisons and jails in Hawaii.

-- DRONE PRIVACY: A bill (SB 2608) aimed at ensuring that unmanned aircraft aren't used to impinge on the privacy of Hawaii residents will be in committee on Tuesday. It will prohibit anyone but law enforcement to use drones to gather information and curtails law enforcement's latitude to do so.

read ... 5 things ahead in the Hawaii Legislature this week

600 Homeowners Victimized by Solar Scammers: Paying $305/mo for Nothing

SA: Last August, my wife and I signed a contract to install 18 solar panels on our roof. We've lived on the Leeward side for years and were desperate to cut our monthly $250-$300 electric bill.

The panels were installed Oct. 7. But HECO refuses to let us activate them -- even though we're forking out $305 monthly to pay off the loan. You see, on Sept. 6, HECO announced that vast sections of the grid were "saturated" and couldn't handle more solar energy. It ordered solar companies not to install any more systems without first obtaining a net metering agreement that allows homeowners to sell the power they generate. At the time we signed our contract, a net metering agreement was the final step in a PV installation, not the first. We were blindsided.

Our contractor shares some blame: He should have reacted faster to HECO's announcement and warned us. But (insert excuse for the guy who ripped me off here) he couldn't believe HECO would force him to void contracts already signed, and immediately requested a meeting to get clarification. HECO waited a month to speak with him. I've also found it nearly impossible to speak to anyone at HECO. When I did finally get through, they wouldn't answer my questions (because they already have.  The answer is 'no'.).

In November, HECO sent a form letter to some 600 customers like me who had bought PV systems before the moratorium: We'll be grandfathered-in and eventually able to activate our systems without having to pay a penalty. But last month we got another letter: We won't be connected until improvements to the circuit are made. HECO won't say when. For now, we're in limbo....

Best Comment: "As an investigator you lack skill. You were not blindsided, anyone could see this coming for the last 2 years."

Reality: No Blackout: RevoluSun Exposed

read ... About the Victims

SB3049 Ruderman Panders to a Key Constituency -- Fukushima Radiation Conspiracy Theorists

SA: Two state Senate committees have passed a bill calling for the Hawaii Department of Health to launch a pilot project to monitor radiation levels for five years because some people are concerned about fallout from the March 11, 2011, nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

Senate Bill 3049 has received some lawmakers' support, despite opposition from state health officials who say the department doesn't see a concern and already has a radiation surveillance system in response to the disaster.

The committees on Health, Energy and the Environment have sent the bill on to the Ways and Means Committee....

(Anti-GMO profiteer) Sen. Russell Ruderman (D, Puna), who co-sponsored the bill, said the committee heard from dozens of (drug-addled Punatics) residents who are concerned. 

(Next: Chemtrails)

read ... Marijuana induced Paranoia Impacts the Body Politic

The Misnamed State Agency: The Consumer Advocate

IM: Who is a Party on more Public Utilities Commission (PUC) dockets than anyone else?

read ... The Misnamed State Agency

Governor Lingle Regales Students Over Shabbat Dinner

Chabad: Rabbi Chaim Brook was planning a special Italian-themed Shabbat at the Rohr Chabad House at California State University-Northridge. But when the former two-term Jewish governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, agreed to join the students at the Friday-night meal, out went the Italian theme and in came a full Hawaiian-style dinner, complete with little umbrellas and hula skirts decorating the tables.

“It was very exciting for all of us here to be joined by Governor Lingle,” says Brook, who along with his wife, Raizel, has directed the Rohr Chabad at CSUN for the last eight years. “We had 120 students join us, and when they saw a Jewish woman who was a governor of a state and is proud of her Jewishness, it’s really an inspiration.”

read ... Linda Lingle

Medical Marijuana Triples Auto Crash Fatality Rate

NBC: As medical marijuana sales expanded into 20 states, legal weed was detected in the bodies of dead drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to those who died behind the wheel in 1999, according to a new study from Columbia University published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

“The trend suggests that marijuana is playing an increased role in fatal crashes,” said Dr. Guohua Li, a co-author and director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers examined data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), spanning more than 23,000 drivers killed during that 11-year period.

Alcohol remains, by far, the most common mind-altering substance detected in dead drivers, observed in the blood of nearly 40 percent of those who perished across six states during 2010, the Columbia study notes. (That rate remained stable between 1999 and 2010.)

Cannabinol, a remnant of marijuana, was found in 12.2 percent of those deceased drivers during 2010, (up from 4.2 percent in 1999). Pot was the most common non-alcoholic drug detected by those toxicology screenings.

read ... Drugs Kill

The Interconnection Nightmare in Hawaii and Why It Matters to the US Residential PV Industry

REW: The sudden shift left thousands of consumers stranded in “solar limbo” and caused large-scale lay-offs. Yet for all the media attention the ongoing fiasco has received, its primary lessons remain poorly understood.

Paradoxically, the changes that caused the current crisis appear, on paper, to expand interconnection opportunities. To understand how this is possible, we need to go back to September 6th of 2013 when HECO sent PV contractors an email announcing the immediate implementation of the following interconnection policy changes:

read ... Solar Nightmare

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