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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
September 23, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:25 PM :: 4235 Views

Hawaii GE Tax Bites Into 99% of Personal Income

Debate: Ige Touts Legislative Mismanagement

TV Ad Claims Ige Stands For ‘Government Living Within its Means’ (LOL!)

Ige Purposefully Underfunded State Hospitals

Fact Check: Attack Ads from Mainland Progressive Group "False and Nasty"

HSTA Launches Campaign Against Preschool Voucher program

Hawaii Department of Human Services Released from Federal Injunction

Senators Ask for Hearings on DoH Proposed Cesspool Ban

Survey: Hawaii Top ‘Hedonometer’ Score in USA

Djou Up By 4 Points Over Takai in CD1

CB: Charles Djou leads Mark Takai 46 percent to 42 percent in Civil Beat’s latest poll. Just 12 percent of voters are undecided....

“Djou is a real known quantity, and he’s well regarded,” said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted The Civil Beat Poll. “And he regularly finishes closer than you might expect....

Civil Beat surveyed 551 registered voters in the 1st Congressional District — essentially urban Oahu — Sept. 11-14. The poll, which sampled 75 percent land lines versus 25 percent cell phones, has a margin of error of 4.2 percent.

Takai, who is Japanese-American, draws more support from Japanese-Americans while Djou, who is Chinese-Thai, draws strong support from Chinese, Filipinos and Hawaiians.

Djou does better with voters under 50 but he and Takai split among older voters. There was not much difference, however, in terms of gender, income, military or union demographics.

read ... Djou Ahead

Aiona: "My opponent has been a part of this system for 30 years."

SA: Aiona, a retired state judge and two-term lieutenant governor, said people are longing for change from the high cost of living and a poorly run public education system.

"My opponent has been a part of this system for 30 years," said Aiona, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 against Abercrombie. "When people ask, do they want more of the same, I think they say no."

On dealing with homelessness, Aiona said he would call on the National Guard to employ "peer-to-peer outreach" to reach out to homeless veterans and establish a Homeless Court that would get the homeless off the streets and into programs.

Aiona said he and his running mate, Elwin Ahu, would give highest priority to the economy and jobs.

"When we're elected, you're gonna get a sign that says Hawaii is now open for business, because we give instant balance to state government," he said.

KHON: Only Libertarian Supports Gambling

read ... A Legislator for Governor, in Hawaii?  You've got to be kidding

Big Money Crowd Not Flocking to Ige's Side

SA: There are no plans to raise $2 million, nothing about getting the fastest-talking, most-savvy mainland political whiz, and nothing in the daily planner about winning each news cycle.

Of course, if you had just trashed an incumbent governor packing a $5 million campaign bristling with seasoned campaign experts, you had to win with a different plan.

If there is anything audacious about Ige's "keep it low-profile" campaign, it is the assumption that if the simple strategy worked against Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the primary, it should also work against both former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and former GOP Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the general.

Ige's campaign officials, who spoke on background, see the general election as a refinement of the unassuming "coffee-hour strategy" that worked so well against Abercrombie.

Of course, Abercrombie's bombastic style and divisive four years as governor made the veteran politician ready for an upset.

read ... Big Money Bereft, Wandering in the Wastelands of Defeat

HGEA's Latest Scam: Transfer HHSC Hospitals to Counties

WHT: Just before she adjourned an informational briefing at Kona Community Hospital, House Health Committee Chairwoman Della Belatti offered one final insight into how the Legislature may try to address state health system (HGEA-UPW job trust) woes.

“There are some notions that maybe the hospitals should just be devolved back to the counties,” Belatti said. “I’m sure the mayor would not want that fiscal responsibility.”

Even if Mayor Billy Kenoi and his three counterparts on Oahu, Maui and Kauai aren’t interested, Belatti raised the idea of tying increased Transient Accommodations Tax revenues to asking counties to foot the bill for hospital construction. Belatti had just finished a tour of Kona Community Hospital and noted how cramped the facility is.

“Maybe that’s another fruitful area of conversation to have,” she added.

read ... Stuck Between HGEA and a Hard Place

Cronies Risk Losing $12 million in annual transportation funds

SA: OMPO prioritizes, plans and coordinates most major road projects on the island, particularly those that are federally funded. The federal government requires all urbanized areas with a population of 50,000 or more to have such an agency if it wants to receive federal transportation dollars.

The final draft report concludes that OMPO is out of step with many of the requirements set at the federal level in recent years, said Brian Gibson, OMPO executive director.

"There's a pretty wide gap between what the feds are expecting and the way things are actually getting done."

One fundamental change the agencies want is for the Legislature to amend the law to say explicitly that OMPO is a decision-making panel like other metropolitan planning areas, Gibson said. State law currently says it is merely advisory.

Many of the other issues deal with a lack of written criteria. For instance, OMPO "lacks adequate documentation of the procedures used to develop, amend or modify key metropolitan planning products," the final draft report's executive summary states. Even OMPO's policy, executive and technical advisory committees "do not have defined or documented governance," the final draft report says.

"These aren't superficial changes," Gibson said. "They go to the core of how we do business, of how we operate." ...

"For quite a while this MPO was allowed to do things differently than other MPOs," Formby said.

read ... $12 million in annual transportation funds in jeopardy

Anti-GMO Hypesters Disappointed by Lack of Birth defects

KE: It was so odd reading Councilman Gary Hooser's letter to the editor today, like he actually wants and hopes to learn that westside Kauai babies are being born with defects, just so he can advance his political agenda.

Instead of welcoming the news from westside ob/gyn Dr. Graham Chelius, who last week publicly assured us, “There is not an increased rate of cardiac defects of any kind on the Westside of Kauai,” Gary disputes it.

Well, he doesn't actually come right out and dispute it, because he's not a doctor, and he doesn't have one tiny shred of proof that Dr. Chelius is wrong. But in the smarmy, deceptive rhetoric that is so typical of Gary and his followers — most notably Andrea Brower, who used the same tactics in a guest editorial on Saturday — he casts vague aspersions on Dr. Chelius' report before noting: "I sincerely hope Dr. Chelius is correct."

read ... Musings: Fleeced

Mainland Dope Pushers Set Sites on Hawaii

WaPo: MPP has set its sights on passing legalization in about a dozen states by 2017. It plans to focus on legalizing marijuana legislatively in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the coming years, while the group hopes to use the initiative process to achieve the same goal in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

Recreational marijuana use legalization is already on the ballot this November in Alaska, Oregon and D.C., following successful efforts in Washington state and Colorado. An early-August Public Policy Polling survey found that 49 percent of Alaska voters oppose the measure while 44 percent support it. Support in Oregon was pegged at 51 percent in a June poll by Survey USA.

read ... Dope Pushers Coming

3,000 Solar Jobs Gone as Quick Money Evaporates

HNN: Experts in Hawaii's photovoltaic industry estimate that last year there were more than 5,000 electricians and installers working for solar companies. That number has plummeted to about 2,000.

read ... 3000 Jobs Gone

Kona: Gabbard Opposes Federal Water Grab

HTH: Hawaii Island’s Congressional representative told state officials this week she doesn’t see a scientific need to designate the Keauhou Aquifer as a water management area.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sent her opinion Monday to the state’s Commission on Water Resource Management.

“There is no scientific evidence supporting the need for a designation, and numerous stakeholder organizations and individuals in the community strongly oppose it,” Gabbard wrote. “While we must always be cognizant of our use and preservation of natural resources, we cannot destabilize a community’s planned growth and access to water without clear scientific evidence that such action is necessary.

“I share the community’s concerns about the long-term impact that the designation of a Water Management Area for the Keauhou Aquifer System would have on the West Hawaii community.”

read ... Water Grab 

Activists Fight to Keep Homeless on Public Display 

SA: The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, in its request for a contested case hearing on the matter, argued that the board erred in allowing the no-cost lease without seeing an environmental assessment examining the impacts such a project might have to the area or the people who are to stay there, PASS executive director Kathryn Xian said....

BLNR officials have indicated that contested case proceedings, a process where all sides present their arguments in a quasi-judicial setting before a hearing officer, do not apply to leases, only land use decisions the agency gives.

The BLNR approval of the lease on Sept. 12 was conditional on several things, including a decision on an expected contested case filling.

read ... Activists Fight to Keep Homeless on Public Display 

City's Handi-Van meeting draws capacity crowd

SA: A meeting held by Honolulu transportation officials on Monday to discuss a new scheduling system that aims to provide Handi-Van riders with more precise pickup times was attended by scores of people using canes, walkers and wheelchairs, filling the meeting room to capacity.

Rather than focusing on the new system, which is set to take effect Oct. 16, several people in attendance focused on long waits tied to the current system, said Julia Belisario, who represents a group with disabilities.

"During peak rush hour they can have a one, two, three-hour wait," Belisario said after the meeting held in a training room at the Handi-Van facility near Middle Street.

Currently, only hourly pickups are offered. City Transportation Services Director Michael Formby has said under the new system, if a rider wants a 10 a.m. pickup time, and that time isn't available, the rider may ask for 9:30, 9:45, 10:30 or 10:45 a.m. A reservationist will see how many vans and spaces are available and check the locations of the vans.

read ... Handi-Van

MPD Suspended Two Officers

MN: Two Maui Police Department officers received five-day suspensions as part of internal investigations that concluded in August, police reported.

Police said one suspension was for exercising "poor judgment in disclosing information considered confidential" in November. In addition to the suspension, the officer was transferred, police said.

The other five-day suspension was for failing to properly investigate and to document an incident in December....

The names of the officers were not made public.

read ... Maui Suspensions

Records of sex abuse allegations against doctor destroyed

HNN: Donald Nicol who was charged last week for sexually assaulting two women and a child was accused of committing a similar crime more than 25 years ago.

But records of that alleged assault -- and whether Nicol was found guilty or acquitted -- were purged by the state Judiciary.

Victim's rights advocates are in disbelief.

"It's shocking that any organization would destroy criminal evidence. We don't know if this evidence is evidence of crimes that have active statues of limitations," said Joelle Casteix, western regional director for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

"It's a severe failure of the justice system."

Added Nanci Kreidman of the Domestic Violence Action Center:

"Without the information, how does a judge hold a perpetrator accountable?"

The destruction was largely done to make room. The judiciary said the records included about 1,200 cubic feet of documents, or enough paperwork to fill a small bedroom.

They were stored in more than 1,000, four- to five-inch binders contained records of all misdemeanors and traffic crimes committed in the Honolulu District from 1939 to 1985.

Back then, the crime that Nicol was being accused of was a misdemeanor.

SA: Doctor denies touching patients improperly

read ... Misdemeanor

Hawaii Among Best States to raise Black Children

ABS: In April, the Annie E. Casey Foundation set out to study the best and worst states in America for raising Black children by using statistics for “babies born at normal birth weight,” “young adults ages 19 to 26 who are in school or working,” and 10 other statistical metrics.

Each state could have scored a possible 1,000 points.

All the states that had the necessary information available earned scores lower than 600.

As for the highest-ranked states of Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah and Alaska, their Black populations come in at less than 4 percent, according to the U.S. Census.

read ... Black Star

US Supreme Court asked to take Micronesian health care case

MV: Three Micronesians living in Hawaii are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case about being denied health benefits by the state.

The appeal, which was submitted Sept. 9, is being described by attorneys for the plaintiffs as an urgent matter.

“We are hopeful that the court will understand that this is truly a matter of life and death for some of the class members,” said attorney Margery Bronster.

Paul Alston, another attorney in the case, agrees.

“Why should the court take this? The answer is very simple,” Alston said. “People are going to die if they implement Basic Health Hawaii. This is not something that we can simply ignore.”

read ... US Supreme Court asked to take Micronesian health care case

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