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Sunday, June 29, 2014
June 29, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:19 PM :: 4249 Views

Ethics: Caldwell Admin Blocks Investigation of No-Show City Workers

MOVIE: ‘Persecuted’ Opens in Hawaii July 18

We’ve Been Bracket Creeped!

Ige, Abercrombie Blame Each Other for Bringing Obamacare to State

Borreca: "If the Legislature is upset with how the Connector is working, I suggest they get a mirror," Abercrombie said, barely able to contain his laughter.

The audience, heavily seeded with Abercrombie staffers and supporters, applauded.

If there are mirrors to be passed out, someone should make sure Washington Place has an ample supply, because the Hawaii Health Connector exists because Abercrombie willed it into being, not the Legislature.

Hawaii was the first state to go with a state-based health insurance exchange. It was Abercrombie's decision to decide whether Hawaii would go with its own plan or let the federal government handle it.

Not only was Hawaii the first state to jump on the Obamacare bandwagon, the Abercrombie administration worked with the 2011 Legislature to draft the Hawaii Health Connector law....

Abercrombie is correct: The flawed Health Connector did not arise from spontaneous combustion -- but he should check his own hand for the matches.

2010: Health Insurance? No need: Abercrombie promises to dump Prepaid Health Care Act

SA: Legislators should probe DHS snafus

read ... Leading Democrats Blame Each Other for Obamacare

Ige, Abercrombie Both to Blame

Shapiro: At their first face-to-face campaign appearance, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. David Ige, each blamed the other for the state's problems. It was one of those rare occasions when both candidates were right.

» Ige has surged ahead in some polls despite lacking the millions of dollars in campaign funds Abercrombie has amassed. The challenger's appeal seems to be, "Why pay so much for bad leadership when you can get it for free?"

» The Hawaii teachers union filed a grievance to invalidate performance reviews that teachers agreed to in their last contract. Teachers do labor negotiations in two phases: First they sign a contract, then they hire lawyers to renege on it....

From Neil Abercrombie: "We're back, we're on track, we're in the black." You know he's in trouble when his new sound bite rings like a gambler's incantation before he rolls the dice.

read ... Both Right

Molokai, Lanai Say No to Akaka Tribe

SA: The Native Hawaiian community on Molokai added its voice to the growing chorus of those who are rejecting a federal proposal that could lead to a formal U.S. relationship with a potential Native Hawaiian government.

More than 125 people attended a hearing at Kaunakakai Elementary School and the vast majority of the more than 40 people who testified offered a resounding repudiation of federal recognition.

"It has become painfully obvious from these hearings that those Hawaiian leaders who have called you here in hopes of protecting our entitlements and federal funding have done so without consulting their people," declared veteran Molokai activist Walter Ritte. "The majority is in no mood to continue a subservient relationship with the United States."

The hearing featured raised voices, anger and tears but, for the most part, audience members and speakers were courteous in contrast to last week's Oahu hearings, which were punctuated by intimidating testimony, boos and jeers.

The same relatively cordial tone was seen at Friday's hearing on Lanai, where about 50 people attended and a handful testified primarily against federal recognition....

Not everyone spoke against federal recognition. Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli was one of the few who supported it, saying it would ensure federal funds are available to improve Native Hawaiian health.

"We need more resources," he said.

After the hearing, Colette Machado, Office of Hawaiian Affairs chairwoman and Molokai resident, said she was proud of the way her fellow Molokai islanders were respectful to the panel.

But Machado, who on Oahu described federal recognition as "essential" for securing funds for Native Hawaiian programs, conceded that there needs to be more education on the topic.

read ... Emotions run high but remain in check at Molokai hearing

Abercrombie's argument that a transparency bill will harm women is sexist

CB: Abercrombie was quoted as saying: “Absolutely this is going to work against women … the discrimination against women in the workplace, is rampant. It’ll be, ‘Oh, she’s married to the second cousin of the guy who’s the head of this department’… and someone will say it’s a conflict.”

Amusing: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway

read ... Sexist New Day

Hanabusa Camp Goes After Winer, Schatz Whines About Negative Campaigning

SA: U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Saturday knocked U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for what he called the first negative advertisement in their Democratic primary, a postcard that reminds voters of Schatz's support for the Bipartisan Budget Act, which extended cuts in Medicare.

The postcard describes Hanabusa as a champion for Social Security and Medicare. It paraphrases an article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in March that dissected the candidate's views on Social Security, an issue Schatz has sought to make a theme in the campaign.

Rather than quote the newspaper, the Schatz campaign says, the postcard essentially repeats Hanabusa's argument from the article that the Bipartisan Budget Act extended Medicare cuts and reduced the cost-of-living allowance for working-age military retirees....

The congresswoman had initially voted for the cuts to Medicare providers as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011....

Peter Boylan, a spokesman for the Hanabusa campaign, said it was the Schatz campaign that first went negative with a status memo released last October that disparaged the Hanabusa campaign as "badly foundering."

Boylan described the postcard as comparative, not negative, and said the Schatz campaign and its allies "have been trying to distort Colleen's position on Social Security from the start."

Boylan also took a swipe at Andy Winer, Schatz's chief of staff, who was a consultant to Pacific Resource Partnership when the group conducted a negative advertising campaign against former Gov. Ben Cayetano during the mayoral election in 2012....


read ... Both Wrong

Milk Price Controls Destroyed Hawaii Dairy Farms

SA: A minimum wholesale milk price was established through the Milk Control Act of 1967. The law was set up to eliminate "unfair, destructive and demoralizing trade practices" in the industry where milk producers and processors had been at odds over production supply and prices.

At the time the law was created, local farmers supplied all the milk consumed in Hawaii. ... Minimum prices, however, did not prevent numerous dairy farms from going out of business over the decades....

Milk imported from the mainland began flowing in 1985 and since then has poured into Hawaii in greater amounts as local dairies faced more challenges.

Since 1999 eight Hawaii dairy farms closed....

Today imported milk mainly from California accounts for roughly 80 percent of Hawaii's supply. Tomita said Big Island Dairy's planned expansion could reduce imports to 60 percent. The planned startup on Kauai called Hawai'i Dairy Farms and backed by investment firm Ulupono Initiative could cut imports to 40 percent.

The minimum price, however, could get in the way of the envisioned rebound, Tomita said....

The hearings are set for 9 a.m. July 14 in Honolulu and 10 a.m. July 15 in Waimea on Hawaii island.

read ... Dairy pushes for lower milk prices

State still ponders ‘Pono Choices’

KGI: Donalyn Dela Cruz, director of Community Affairs for DOE, wrote that Pono Choices is not approved for the next school year. She said if UH writers of the curriculum make the recommended changes and the DOE approves, then the program will be approved for 2014-15 school year. 

The DOE formed a Stakeholders Panel to look into complaints about Pono Choices earlier this year. The panel made a series of 11 recommended changes.

read ... State still ponders ‘Pono Choices’

Dept. of Health fails nursing home inspections

SA: The state has failed to inspect more than a third of Hawaii's 45 nursing homes within the time frame required by federal law, reflecting an oversight gap that some experts say could come at the expense of the facilities' vulnerable residents.

Concerned about the problem, the federal government is threatening to fine the state as much as $121,000 if the timeliness requirements are not met by the end of September.

LINK: Chart of Failures

read ... Dept. of Health fails nursing home inspections

Even Mollway Thinks Ethics Comm. Should Oversee Legislative Allowances

SA: The commission's recent issuance of extensive and thorough guidelines on the proper use of the legislative allowance (by a close 3-2 vote), is not only proper, but shows that the commission is being proactive in combating unethical behavior.

What is disturbing, however, is that two of the five commissioners believe that issuing guidelines and guidance to legislators is outside the commission's proper role. Had one more commissioner been swayed to this erroneous way of thinking, no guidelines would have been issued, and the commission would have made a 180-degree turn from its long-standing and well-established practice of issuing guidelines and guidance, a practice that started in the 1970s with brochures on gifts and campaigning without using state resources.

It is the commission's legal duty to give advice regarding the application of the State Ethics Code, along with enforcing violations of that code. There is no basis for the notion that the commission should not issue guidance or guidelines.

read ... Mollway

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