Finding Probable Violations, Ethics Commission Seeks Jurisdiction Over HART
Earmarks: East-West Center Stars in 2014 Congressional Pig Book
Aiona: Republicans Will Win Statewide This November
Slom: Daily Prayer Could Be Restored for Hawaii State Senate Sessions
Johnsrud Explains how Regents Manipulated Presidential Selection Process to keep her Out
HNN: A veteran former University of Hawaii administrator who wanted to be UH president said she might still be a candidate for the job if the Board of Regents hadn't changed the rules during the search process.
Linda Johnsrud, a highly-respected academic, has left UH after a long career for a top job at a bigger university.
Johnsrud was the top academic officer in the UH system as provost for academic affairs and spent 25 years at the university.
After MRC Greenwood announced her plans to step down last year, Johnsrud said Board of Regents Chair John Holzman told her last June that whoever became interim UH president would not be considered for the permanent position.
"It was made clear that if I were the interim, I couldn't be a candidate for the permanent position, and so I declined being the interim," Johnsrud said.
2009: Engineered choice: How to pick a Greenwood
read ... How Lassner's Competition Was Eliminated
Puppets on a String: Usual Suspects Stage Anti-Military Protest at UH Manoa
HNN: A majority of the audience gathered to question whether Wiercinski's military career makes him an appropriate candidate to lead the University.
"That background is inherently at odds with the kind of institution of higher learning we want to be a part of and that we're proud to be a part of," said Tina Grandinetti, a UH Manoa student who helped organize the protest. "I was really proud and moved by how many people showed up in solidarity to each other to show -- send a message to the Board of Regents -- that their decision making process so far has not been in line with our vision for our University."
Grandinetti says the university has made a commitment to being a Hawaiian place of learning, but that promise is contradicted by selecting someone with such an extensive military background given Hawai'i's complicated history as an occupied nation.
"It was kind of tough to field the opposition and the tension in the room but I think it was really necessary to call into question and to challenge UH's ongoing connections with the U.S. military industrial complex," Grandinetti said.
Ilima Ho-Lastimosa agrees.
"He talks about malama 'aina and taking care of the natural resources but they never cleaned Kanaloa, they didn't clean Kaho'olawe," Ho-Lastimosa, a Master student at the School of Social Work. "He keeps on talking about malama 'aina, aloha and whatever, but in his previous position with the job that he had -- it was the total opposite."
Others questioned his lack of experience in academia.
"He has no knowledge of what we need to do and the sorts of solutions we need and the strategies we need to come through this time of crisis and that really bothers me. None of the answers, nothing he said in there today, assured any of us. He really is ignorant of the fundamental problems that we have," said Noel Kent, a UH Manoa professor of Ethics Studies, who has been at the university for 40 years.
KITV: Video Features more smug protesters
read ... Lassner is Pre-Determined Choice
Tobacco, Gays, ACLU, Developers, Big Oil Top Lobbying List
PR: Here are the top five spenders on lobbying during the first portion of this year's legislative session, according to reports filed with the state Ethics Commission....
read ... List of Lobby Spenders
34 Years Pushing Big Cable
CB: ...what’s most interesting about this PEIS is what’s not in it. Although there is a lot of chatter about an undersea cable as a potential transmission opportunity, DOE utterly fails to mention that this is not a new idea.
In fact — with significant DOE support — we have been trying to take energy from one island and ship it to another by undersea cable for just about 34 years now. (Fortunately, someone had the foresight to capture this rich history. (See The Geothermal Collection and Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism).
But is there any mention in this PEIS that we have been here and tried to do this before? No, not even a footnote.
So here are a few points to consider as you prepare for the public hearings:
-Between 1973 and 1981, the DOE contributed $10.8 million to geothermal exploration efforts, but it wasn’t until 1980 that Hawaiian Electric (HECO) and the state submitted an “Unsolicited Proposal” to DOE to conduct the “Hawaii Deep Water Cable” program; they wanted to explore sending excess geothermal energy to Oahu.
DOE’s estimated contribution to study the feasibility of the deep water cable was said to be $22 million.
-In 1982 Parsons Hawaii prepared a program definition and schedule for the Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism (now DBEDT, then DBED), that noted $1,208,831 in federal funds would be required in phase two of the deep water project; Parsons thought the cable would take 5 years to complete and be operational by 1990.
-In 1986 and 1987 both DBEDT and HECO acknowledged significant support provided by the DOE to the deep water cable project.
-In 1988 the Washington Post printed a front-page story, “Congress and a Company: An Alliance Fed by Money,” by Dan Morgan, detailing efforts by HECO and an Italian cable company, Pirelli, to secure millions in congressional earmarks for the project.
Morgan wrote that business and political entities in Hawaii — with “financial help from the Department of Energy” — had settled on producing geothermal energy and exporting it via the deep water cable as a “centerpiece” of the state’s energy strategy.
At least one source, Northwest Economic Associates of Vancouver Washington, estimated the geothermal-cable project could cost close to $4 billion.
In 2009, Robert Kaiser’s book, “So Damn Much Money,” devoted most of chapter 13 to the Morgan story and noted that the Pirelli cable company stood to gain millions if the cable deal had gone through.
-Then, in 1990, several environmental groups sued the DOE (Blue Ocean Preservation Society v. Watkins), claiming the government should have prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) for what they described as a “major federal action;” they argued the geothermal Deepwater Cable project had been improperly characterized in four phases to avoid environmental assessment.
The court agreed this was a “major” action, and subsequently stopped any further expenditure or participation in the project by the federal government until an EIS was prepared. The court estimated that a total of $49.7 million in government funds had either been spent or earmarked, $24 million of which was for the deep water cable phase.
-By 1995, litigation at the state level ended with a settlement, in which the state terminated the project and agreed to “not support, proceed with, participate in, or directly facilitate” any geothermal project that might be exported from the Big Island during Gov. Ben Cayetano’s term(s) of office.
And that’s how things stood, until Gov. Linda Lingle, HECO, DBEDT and Hawaii’s Consumer Advocate signed — with DOE’s Bill Parks looking on — the Energy Agreement of 2008.
This agreement effectively displaced geothermal with wind, but kept the undersea cable.
read ... Sally Kaye, Friends of Lanai
Hawaii Health Systems Corp. executives look for efficiencies as they face $48 million shortfall for state's public hospitals
PBN: The funding issue is the reason the state hospital system has been trying to privatize for years. A bill that failed to pass in this year's legislative session would have allowed it to restructure and partner with a local, private entity to bring in new expertise and capital. As a result, its regional CEOs are looking at possible efficiencies before turning to program cuts and layoffs as a last resort.
“We didn’t get the bill for a public-private partnership, but then we didn’t get the funding we needed. We needed both, but we got neither,” said Jay Kreuzer, CEO for the West Hawaii Region, which includes the Big Island’s Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital. “Our state subsidy requests have gone up over the years for various reasons, such as collective bargaining settlements, Medicare cuts, and we’ve limited our ability to increase our revenue without new facilities and new physicians. We are looking for solutions, not just asking for more money all the time. The public-private partnership would bring us expertise, outside capital and dollars — part of the solution.”
read ... $48 million shortfall for state's public hospitals
Carroll Cox Attacked by Masked Men in Kalaeloa
HNN: The attack occurred around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon in Kalaeloa while Cox was sitting in his parked car.
He said two men wearing hoodies and a white mask in separate cars that had missing license plates pulled up along side of him.
One of them began to swing a metal pipe at him and was hit on the head. The blow was partially blunted by Cox, who used his arm to shield himself.
The attackers left the scene when a witness drove by, he said.
Cox said he was in the area to do a follow up investigation into illegal dumping and questionable leases on land owned by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
SA: He said he has also filed complaints with the Department of Health over dumping of a chemical on the property.
read ... Environmental activist attacked
Star-Adv: Gore Cult Helps Hype TOD
SA: That needs to trickle down more definitively to the policymakers who decide how much development to allow, how much shoreline setback to require, what kind of water-conservation efforts to demand.
The shift away from fossil fuels must proceed steadily, and research into potentially crucial adaptation strategies such as desalinization should accelerate.
Further complicating matters, the chronic housing supply gap in the state is growing wider, with construction not keeping pace with growth. Narrowing the deficit, through more resource-efficient patterns of urban development (Translation: TOD Condos at rail stations starting with Kakaako), will be necessary, but always with a recognition that an island's carrying capacity is not infinite.
read ... Climate change a planning reality
Which Hawaii Senators Got the Most Bills Passed?
CB: Roz Baker 18, Clayton Hee 12, and the rest ....
read ... Which Hawaii Senators Got the Most Bills Passed?
Protest Planned Over HECO solar rules
HNN: Oahu residents who say they are upset with the Hawaiian Electric Company's restrictive rules on solar panel installations are planning a protest in Downtown Honolulu on Wednesday 9am.
ILind: Could HECO Fade Like Evening Newspapers and Ma Bell?
read ... HECO Solar
Bird Deaths Spur Call for Hawaii Windfarm Moratorium
KITV: According to data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 195 birds and bats and one moth were killed by five of the largest wind farms on Maui and Oahu since August 2007. KITV4 obtained the information after filling a Freedom of Information request with the agency.
"Unfortunately, that may just be the price we have to pay for wind energy, renewable energy," said Angela Huntemer, a North Shore resident who has been working to promote wildlife conservation at Turtle Bay Resort.
According to statistics examined by KITV4, Kaheawa Wind Power 1, located on a ridge above Maalaea in southwest Maui, had the largest number of birds and bats killed, with 81. That was followed by the Kawailoa Wind Farm on Oahu's North Shore with 54 kills, the Kahuku Wind Farm in Koolauloa with 30 kills, Kaheawa Wind Power 2 with 17 kills, and Auwahi Wind on Ulupalakua Ranch in southeast Maui with 13 kills. At Auwahi Wind, an endangered Blackburn's sphinx moth was also killed, but the death is not believed to be the result of a windmill strike.
However most concerning is the number of endangered birds and bats killed by wind turbines over a period of six years and seven months. According to statistics examined by KITV4, 25 Hawaiian hoary bats, 20 nene and four Hawaiian petrels have fallen victim to wind turbines.
Seventeen of the nene, Hawaii's state bird, were killed at Kaheawa Wind Power 1, while three died at Kaheawa Wind Power 2. Nene are mostly found on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, although a nesting pair recently hatched chicks in Kahuku.
Meanwhile the largest number of Hawaiian hoary bats killed, 12, died at the Kawailoa Wind Farm. That was followed by seven at Kaheawa Wind Power 1, three at Kahuku Wind Power, two at Kaheawa Wind Power 2 and one at Auwahi Wind Farm.
"I would definitely like to see a moratorium on wind power, at least in our area on Oahu and perhaps around the islands where there are birds that frequent the areas that are protected," said Huntemer.
Under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it's illegal to kill an endangered or protected species. However wind farms are allowed to operate under waivers
For a complete list of birds and animals killed by wind turbines in Hawaii, click here
Read ... Wind Farms Get Away with Murder
Dairy Farm Continues to Play Defense Against Tourism Industry, Eco-Protesters
SA: With the knowledge of how global influences jeopardize our food supply and security, energy independence and tourism-dominant economy, why would we not embrace and support the efforts of those who are diligently working to strengthen Hawaii's resiliency?
The emerging tension of the proposed Mahaulepu dairy farm on Kauai is a perfect opportunity. The issues, however, are broader than those discussed in the article, "Diverse interests join up to oppose Kauai dairy plan" (Star-Advertiser, April 14).
The article details visitor industry concerns over possible negative visitor experiences as a result of dairy farm operations — visual blight and odor — in the Koloa area, and the possible blogging on travel media outlets, specifically TripAdvisor.
Then there's the alliance of the visitor industry's concerns with the possible environmental concerns of special interest groups on surface water runoff pollution. We need to go deeper.
Basing land-use decisions on speculative social media blogs and postings are questionable at best.
read ... Proposed dairy can overcome externalities issue
Report: Hawaii 10th worst in nation for patient safety
HNN: The rankings are based on twelve indicators such as post-op complications, pain control, cleanliness and patient satisfaction.
For overall hospital care, Straub Clinic and Hospital received the highest rating, followed by The Queen's Medical Center and Kaiser Foundation Hospital.
Click here for the complete findings: http://www.carechex.com/
read ... Hawaii 10th worst in nation for patient safety
Hawaii Insurance Division opts to extend 2013 'grandmother' plans into 2016
PBN: The State Insurance Division has been considering whether to allow the extension after the Obama Administration gave states the option to do so in March. The 2013 plans, which do not comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, were initially supposed to be extended for just one year into 2014.
Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito told PBN in an email that small businesses now have the option of staying with their 2013 plans, nicknamed “grandmother” plans, or purchase Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “ACA” 2014 plans.
"To provide the best options for small businesses, we are extending the grandmother policies into 2016,” Ito said in his email. “What this means is that our small businesses can continue with their 2013 plans through 2016 and potentially into 2017, depending on their renewal. For small businesses, it is important for them to understand the differences now between the benefits and potential downside of staying with their 2013 plans, or moving to an ACA 2014 plan.”
The extension also applies to individuals.
read ... Grandmother
Hawaii Department of Health recruits Colorado administrator to lead state's psychiatric hospital
PBN: William May, currently the superintendent of the Colorado Mental Health Institute, a 451-bed psychiatric hospital, will begin work in Hawaii on July 7.
Hawaii State Health Director Linda Rosen said May was chosen following a nationwide search.
“Mr. May has the level of experience needed to manage the complex operations of the only psychiatric hospital in the state,” she said.
May will replace acting administrator Bill Elliott, who will return to his previous job as associate director — a role he juggled with acting administrator for more than a year. Elliott’s leadership came under scrutiny recently from state senators during a hearing to investigate alleged violence, mismanagement and possible nepotism at the Kaneohe hospital, as PBN media partner KITV4 reported.
At the Colorado Mental Health Institute, May was able to reduce the wait time for hospital services and admission, reduce the use of seclusion and restraint, improve the civil patient discharge process, and redesign clinical operations to focus on patient needs. Under his leadership, the institution was recognized by the Colorado Department. of Human Services for significant performance improvements.
May previously held chief executive positions in New Jersey at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Ewing Residential Treatment Center and the Woodbridge Developmental Center.
read ... New Administrator
VIDEO: Pohakuloa not expanding, says Lt. Col. Shwedo
BIVN: Commander Lt. Col. Eric Shwedo recently spoke to the community about the Pohakuloa Training Area, insisting that the facility is not in the midst of an expansion.
read ... VIDEO: Pohakuloa not expanding, says Lt. Col. Shwedo
NIT League Doesn’t Expect ILWU Strike But Warns of Slowdowns
JOC: The largest U.S. shipper group doesn’t expect a strike or lockout at the nation’s West Coast ports but is telling members to expect picketing and even labor slowdowns.
Bruce Carlton, president and CEO of the National Industrial Transportation League, said he was encouraged that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association were behaving like adults....
Although more optimistic on the road ahead, Carlton isn’t expecting an easy lift, either. The ILWU could hold occasional emergency meetings, turning one-hour lunches into three-hour stoppages, as a way to remind waterfront employers they have power, he said. The likelihood of the ILWU pushing on those “pressure points” will increase as the union and the PMA get deeper into negotiations.
Carlton doesn’t expect the two parties, which are set to start contract negotiations May 12, will reach a labor deal before the existing six-year contract expires June 30. With this in mind, many NIT League members are importing goods on the front end, he said....
read ... ILWU Contract
UH Leads the Way in Feminizing Fight Songs
AP: In 2007, the university revised the last line of its fight song - played at each athletic events - to acknowledge women athletes, the U.S. Fed News reported that year. Officials and student leaders changed a line from "Here's to each valiant son" to "Here's to each valiant one."
read ... Brainwashing