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Thursday, November 19, 2009
November 19, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:57 PM :: 9458 Views

Sen Roz Baker vs TEA Party

After the meeting, Marc Hodges of the Maui TEA Party said the state should look at addressing the school budget shortfall by cutting Department of Education waste rather than raiding the rainy day fund or raising taxes.

He pointed to a report by state Auditor Marion Higa in February that found fraud and impropriety in the awarding of DOE contracts.

"Before we look at raising taxes, we need to look at what they're already doing with our money," said Hodges, whose group supports smaller government, tax cuts and personal responsibility.

Ultimately, the state needed to decentralize the DOE and form local school boards, he said.

Baker (who knowingly hired convicted child molester Leon Rouse as a legislative committee aide) noted separately that the audit Hodges and others had cited dealt with school procurements - not operations - so any money identified through waste in construction or consulting contracts could not be used to keep schools running.  (So bond sales are free money to be wasted gratuitously, eh?  And we shouldn't worry about "fraud" nor should we get the idea that OTHER departments of the DoE are operating EXACTLY the way Procurement is.)

"You get the emotion and rhetoric, and people aren't necessarily looking at the facts," she said.  (Just ignore the State Auditor, look at me.  I can block hospitals and hire child molesters.  I am superwoman.)

RELATED: DoE Procurement audit: Millions wasted by "fraudulent unethical behavior", HGEA vs HSTA: The coming legislative budget crisis

HR: Tax Foundation's Lowell Kalapa: Use of the Rainy Day Fund to Stop Public School Furloughs, Not Fiscally Sound

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EBay founder plans Island news propaganda service

Omidyar said yesterday that he plans to launch a local online news service covering public interest and civic matters affecting Hawai'i's communities.

The yet-to-be named venture, which will debut early next year, (just in time for Legislative session) could serve as a test for other markets, said spokeswoman Sara Steven.

"So, we're starting something up in our own backyard. We are creating a Honolulu-based local news service that will produce original, in-depth (activist-class) reporting and analysis of local issues in Hawai'i," Omidyar said in an online post yesterday.

The news operation will be a for-profit business and will include content generated by (paid activists) staff writers and (unpaid activists) citizen journalists (who will promote Kanu Hawaii, tax credits for green billionaires, tax increases to fund the DoE, and other "double bottom-line" eco-scams being hustled by Omidyar in an effort to resuscitate some version of ACT 215/221.)

It's part of the Peer News Inc. operation, the Hawai'i-based company that Omidyar and former eBay executive Randy Ching set up in 2008.

Here are some articles that won't be appearing on "Peer News"

RELATED: Venture capital group honors 6 Hawaii entrepreneurs

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SEC says Mantria ran massive fraud (ACT 215/221)

A Pennsylvania company that wrestled control of a Hawai'i biochar manufacturing firm from local owners two months ago has been accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of running a $30 million Ponzi scheme.

The case is being followed closely by Michael Lurvey, who headed Waipahu-based Carbon Diversion Inc. until late September but lost the company when Mantria produced documents it said were stock certificates in the firm.  (Sold 2-1 to idiot mainlanders while Hawaii "investors" got tax credits 2-1)  Carbon Diversion had taken some Mantria investment money in developing ways to turn trash and green waste into a form of charcoal, known as biochar, which can be returned to the soil to increase agricultural productivity.

Mantria took control of Carbon Diversion after alleging financial mismanagement and replacing Lurvey and other executives with their own staff. Lurvey said Mantria got a court order forcing Carbon Diversion to hold a stockholder meeting at which it took over.

Carbon Diversion testifies against weakening ACT 215/221 in last session:

RELATED: Venture capital group honors 6 Hawaii entrepreneurs

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Pasha bid comes under fire (Superferry Redux?)

When Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC announced plans to enter the interisland shipping business and challenge Young Brothers Ltd.'s decades-old regulated monopoly, it received a warm reception from Gov. Linda Lingle.

Local car dealers, equipment leasing companies and construction companies also testified that Pasha's proposed new service would benefit local businesses and consumers.

In PUC testimony submitted by Young Brothers, trade groups such as the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council and the Hawaii Foodservice Alliance LLC said that Pasha's new service will only serve a limited segment of the interisland market, won't reduce shipping rates and could lead to reduced services to smaller ports such as Kaua'i, Lana'i and Moloka'i.

Economists Sumner La Croix and Paul Brewbaker, who are serving as consultants to Young Brothers, said that allowing Pasha to "cherry pick" the most lucrative routes could have disasterous results for consumers and many businesses.  (Blablabla--typical monoploists' arguments)

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Louis Kealoha named HPD chief (Fix NOT in???)

Capt. Louis M. Kealoha was the unanimous choice of the Honolulu Police Commission to lead one of the largest city departments, employing 2,100 police officers and 550 support staff.

"There's going to be big cuts," said Kealoha, interviewed later. "I believe this is the time we're going to demonstrate who we are. ... We're going to succeed through this, without compromising service to the community."

Kealoha said the budget restraints and cuts will give the department an opportunity to re-examine its structure to see where there is duplication of effort and to see what services might be transferred to civilians or the private sector....

"Everybody is saying morale just went up everywhere," said Sgt. Ryan Sato with the Juvenile Services Division. "I wouldn't be surprised if there are parties all over the station.

"He's very well-respected, well-liked, always tells everybody hello, unlike other candidates," Sato said.

Police union leader Tenari Maafala said he was happy to see the selection.

SB: Some Council members displeased with selection process , KHON: New Police Chief Taking Over During One of the Toughest Times for Honolulu , KITV: Commission Chooses Kealoha To Lead HPD

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Mentally ill losing key service  (HGEA -- "what about us???")

The psychosocial rehabilitation program, which costs the state about $1 million a year, teaches people a wide range of things, from job skills and personal hygiene to how to cook. Advocates say the program is vital to keeping some clients stable. Without it, they say, some severely mentally ill people wouldn't leave their homes.

At the end of the month, many of those in psychosocial rehab programs will be transferred to state-run mental health clubhouses, which also offer day treatment for people statewide with severe mental illness. The biggest difference is that the clubhouses don't offer transportation, which could be a big challenge for rural clients.

RELATED: HGEA vs HSTA: The coming legislative budget crisis

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Honolulu police plan to post photos of those charged with DUI

Thousands of O'ahu motorists are charged with driving under the influence every year, and last year DUI was a contributing factor in about one of every five fatal traffic accidents.

The hope is that the potential for public embarrassment under this new pilot program will serve as a deterrent to those who may be tempted to drink and drive, said Maj. Thomas Nitta, head of HPD's Traffic Division.

(Look out Legislators!)

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Vote postponed on cutting Kona meetings

Ikeda, in a rare lengthy and impassioned speech, said he remembers when Kona was just catchment water systems and outhouses, and the county put a lot of money into the district. He said money raised by the county should go where it's needed, not where it's generated.

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Hawaii County moves forward on land sale

HILO -- The sale of 737 acres in Hamakua will go forward without a transparency amendment, thanks to County Council flip-flops Wednesday.
The council voted 6-3 to allow the mayor to sell the land and 5-4 against an amendment that would allow the public know the proposed buyer, the price and the purpose before the sale is finalized.  ...North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell changed his vote and this week supported the Hamakua sale, after previously voting against it.

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County still roadblocked in progress on Hokulia bypass

Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela said Wednesday an attorney for 1250 Oceanside is still negotiating with the remaining property owners along the planned route for the Mamalahoa bypass, which would run from Alii Drive in Keauhou to Napoopoo Road in South Kona. He is also waiting to work with a legal consultant to determine how to proceed with calling 1250 Oceanside's bonds, which were made as insurance for the road's costs.
"Once we get some word (from 1250 Oceanside), the next step would be a lawsuit," Kamelamela said. "The deadline I'm looking at is the end of the year."

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Kaua‘i Coffee objects to landfill site

KALAHEO — As the county moves forward with plans to construct a new landfill on a Kalaheo property currently in agricultural production, Kaua‘i Coffee Company this week renewed its objections to the proposal in advance of an important community meeting.
“From a branded food product to treating solid waste is so incongruent as to being impossible to understand,” Kaua‘i Coffee Company President Wayne Katayama said Tuesday at his office, calling the idea “mind-boggling,” “illogical” and “inconceivable.”

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