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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
December 10, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:33 PM :: 5350 Views

OHA Trustees Elect Robert Lindsey Chair

Video: Do Right-Wingers Support a Free Hawaii?

Oahu churches seek dismissal of atheist lawsuit

Made in China Solar Panels Costly for Planet

Hawaii Supreme Court In Aina Lea: The Rationales Behind The Opinion

Hawaii Ranks No. 1 Among All U.S. States in Overall Health

Hawaii DoH: Significant Increase in E-Cigarette Use among Public School Teens

Is it wasteful or watchful government spending?

Os Stender: 'OHA Leadership Not up to the Task'

SA: ...Lindsey said Oswald Stender was irresponsible and unfair when he told Hawaii News Now on Monday that OHA is not working for its beneficiaries as it should and that the fault lies with its leadership.

The former Kamehameha Schools trustee and retiring 14-year OHA trustee added that the current board is incapable of fixing the problem....

While there was no controversy over Lindsey's selection Tuesday, there was a bit of a dustup when it came to the 5-4 vote that installed Lindsey's slate of committee leadership positions.

Rowena Akana will lead the Committee on Asset and Resource Management, along with committee Vice Chairman John Waihee IV. Waihee will also lead the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment with Vice Chairman Peter Apo. Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey will continue to head the Committee on Land and Property, with Ahuna as vice chairman.

Machado expressed disappointment that she and others who didn't get a leadership role were frozen out. She and trustee Haunani Apoliona objected to Akana's chairmanship, citing her litigation against the board alleging open-meeting and public records violations....

HNN: Watch Video Here  (Transcript below)

HNN: Are they (OHA) in good hands?

Os: No....

The sad thing about OHA and Hawaiian Homes--same dilemma--it's the selection process of the leadership.  They'll never be fixed until you fix the head.  And I don't think anybody on the board is capable of doing that.  So I think this first year is going to be very difficult....

(OHA Trustee Rowena) Akana, she's a wild person.  She doesn't tell the truth....

In fact you look at OHA--it's a popularity contest....  

Restoring the Kingdom doesn't do it--at least for me--and many Hawaiians today.  We need to move on from where we are today and move forward and not keep crying in our beer.  

BACKGROUND: Galuteria Pushed Kakaako Makai Bill While on Payroll of OHA Trustee Robert Lindsey

read ... OHA on Defensive as New Faction Takes Over

The Greatest Energy Event in Hawaiian History

IM: Nextera proposed the acquisition of Hawaiian Electric (HECO) on December 3, 2014. They want to complete the deal by December 3, 2015 with a possible six-month extension....

The Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976...requires a period of time (30 or 60 days) between the announcement of a major corporate merger or acquisition and the start of regulatory proceedings.

A review of Nextera and their 2005-06 attempt to buy Baltimore Gas and Electric Company can shed light on the issues that may be analyzed and the type of players that might intervened in their current bid to buy HECO....

read ... The Greatest Energy Event in Hawaiian History

Will Honolulu Police Commission Hold Chief Kealoha Accountable?

CB:  Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha should face tough questions next week from the people who control the fate of his job.

If he doesn’t, state lawmakers are poised to rewrite the rules to ensure there’s more accountability for him and his department.

Kealoha is scheduled to go before the Honolulu Police Commission during a meeting Dec. 17.

It will be his first time talking with commissioners since making headlines last week when he made improper statements in a federal criminal case involving family members, causing a mistrial and sparking calls for a full-blown corruption investigation of the Honolulu Police Department.

read ... Will Honolulu Police Commission Hold Chief Kealoha Accountable?

Hawaii Health Connector Still Paying Controversial Tech Company to Fix its own Mistakes

SA: CGI Group Inc., the embattled information technology vendor for the Hawaii Health Connector, will continue its contract with the state's health insurance exchange for at least another year.

However, the online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has reduced the scope and price of its contract with Montreal-based CGI, which originally built the faulty federal exchange.

The Connector said it has cut CGI's maintenance contract down to $1 million from $2.6 million through Sept. 30. CGI's primary job is to integrate about 40 different computer systems both internally and outside the exchange, including those of insurance companies and federal and state agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and Medicaid to verify identity and financial information.

The Connector put out a bid for a new IT vendor this summer.

Optum, an affiliate of United­Health Group Inc., the nation's largest medical insurer, bid on the contract but ultimately couldn't reach an agreement with the nonprofit insurance exchange.

Optum was hired to fix the federal healthcare.gov website, which was built by CGI, and has salvaged exchanges for several different states, including Maryland, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

read ... The Disaster Continues

Sit-lie ban expansion on hold for now

SA: The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday held up a final vote on a bill that would ban lying and sitting on five Chinatown malls.

Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, Bill 62's author, said she asked for the measure to be sent back to the Council Zoning and Planning Committee to address concerns raised by the administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell and others.

read ... Sit-Lie

Several States Could Regulate and Tax Short-Term Rentals in 2015

SK:  ...That’s the word from the Travel Technology Association, which has a membership that includes major online travel agencies such as Expedia and Orbitz, global distribution systems like Amadeus and Travelport– and HomeAway and Airbnb.

Philip Minardi, who heads public affairs for the association, says California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and Utah are expect to take up legislation at the state level to regulate the short-term rental industry in 2015.

“Most are discussing two different, but obviously related issues,” Minardi says. “How to legalize short-term rentals, but also, as states try to squeeze out funds wherever they can, how to tax short-term rentals.”

The association has expressed opposition to the numerous lawsuits around the country filed by cities, counties and states seeking to recoup from online travel agencies what the plaintiffs view as unpaid hotel occupancy taxes....

read ... Several States Could Regulate and Tax Short-Term Rentals in 2015

Jay’s resignation won’t cost UH, questions surround search for replacement

KHON: ...Jay’s contract is different than his coaches, because he does not have a buyout provision. That means he leaves his contract six months early without any extra costs.

That’s good news for the university, which is already facing another year of losses.

Last month, Jay told the UH Board of Regents that he is anticipating a $3.5 million deficit this year, citing dismal football ticket sales and lack of fundraising as the major reasons.

The school is also paying Gib Arnold $344,000 for the final year of his contract after firing the basketball coach two months ago, and announced a $100,000 payout to former chancellor Tom Apple this past summer.

Bley-Vroman did not know too much about what the search for a new athletics director would entail and whether a search committee or firm would be used. But he did say he hoped to learn and share more in the next few weeks.

A search committee helped with hiring Jay and the entire process cost $90,000....

read ... Cost

Anti-GMO Activists Tee Off on Kauai Charter Commission

KGI: ...Charter Commission nominee Allan Parachini was raked over the coals in The Garden Island today by "reporter" Chris D'Angelo. Splashy top of the fold coverage, no less.

And why? Because failed Council candidate Felicia Cowden, who praised Chris on Facebook for covering Bill 2491 in a style favorable to the anti-GMO red-shirts, doesn't like Allan.

Mmmm, who gives a rip what Felicia thinks? Is that worthy of a story that claims "some say" when only one disgruntled person does? Especially since she wrote her own nasty letter to the editor, which is printed today under a headline that inexplicably describes him as a "recent arrival," even though her letter makes no reference to that.

When was the last time you saw any TGI coverage of commission nominees, much less 30 inches worth?

Felicia dug up some old, discredited dirt, which Chris rehashed, in a pathetic attempt to tarnish Allan's character.

She then moved on to his true sins: He — gasp — criticized her Council campaign and the anti-GMO movement. And in the lock-step world of the red-shirts, anyone who is not 100% with them is obviously in the employ of the seed companies, if not the Devil....

Here's the real reason why Felicia doesn't want Allan: She knows she doesn't have a prayer of getting elected unless the Charter Commission approves Council districts, and she can't count on Allan to make that happen.

So she went crying to Chris, who obliged her with a hatchet job on poor Alan, who dares to be an independent thinker on an island of red-shirted sheeple....

Google: Allan Parachini Los Angeles County Superior Court

read ... Allan Parachini

Ritte Defends Thugs Accused of Attacking Fishermen

HNN: ...Four Molokai men are out on bail Tuesday night accused of boarding a Honolulu boat and attacking everyone on board.

Floyd Kumukoa Kapuni, Kaiula Kalawe English, Robin Wainuhea Dudoit and Albert Keakahi Dudoit Jr. are all facing felony charges.

This comes after a confrontation between five Oahu divers in the waters off of Molokai in May.

The Oahu group was led by Dr. Daryl Wong who is well known for his diving and custom hand-crafted spear guns.

An indictment says the four Molokai men illegally entered their boat, robbed, threatened, and harassed them....

Ritte says it's an on-going dispute and it's frustrating.  (Yes.  We all know this kind of thing has happened many times before.)

"The only reason why they're here is because they depleted their own resources and it's not fair for us on Molokai taking the brunt of everyone on Oahu coming here and taking our resources now their resources are gone," Ritte said.  (Ritte's rhetoric manipulate few.  Does anybody believe that there are no fish to be caught around Oahu?)   

Aila is encouraging Molokai residents to come forward with proposed regulations.

Ritte says they are trying to make community-based fishing areas to protect resources and still allow residents to make their catch.

read ... Imaginary Depletion of Resources

The Problem With Lobbyists — and Their Regulators

CB: A week before Thanksgiving, the State Ethics Commission quietly announced it had fined an unnamed nonprofit organization and two of its top staff after an investigation found they actively lobbied at the Legislature without complying with the registration and disclosure requirements of the state’s lobbyist law.

After determining that the unregistered lobbying “likely” violated state law and extended over a period of years, the commission fined the organization $2,000. The group’s CEO, who acknowledged lobbying during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, was fined $1,000.  A second employee, who lobbied over a longer period, was fined $2,000. Publication of a sanitized description of the matter was included as a condition of settling the case....

Despite the commission’s announcement, the public remains in the dark about who and what was involved. We don’t know the name of the organization or its staff members, as their identities were carefully scrubbed from the commission’s public findings. That means we don’t know whether the group’s illegal lobbying contributed in any significant way to the passage or defeat of the bills it had targeted, and we don’t know to what extent those bills may have impacted the public. Without additional accountability and transparency, the public is left guessing.

The case illustrates at least three separate problems with the state’s regulation of lobbyists....

Background: Ethics Commission Fines Non-Profit for Illegal Lobbying

read ... Weak Regulation

Honolulu 7th Least Affordable for Millennials

WaPo: Millennials tend to gravitate to certain cities. They're more likely to live in San Diego than Newark, in Austin than Cleveland, in Washington than Tampa. But these geographic patterns bode poorly for their homeownership prospects: Millennials make up a larger share of the population in many metropolitan areas where they're least likely to afford the housing.

Jed Kolko, the chief economist at Trulia, illustrates this mismatch

read ... Unaffordable

New Plastic Bag Laws Benefit Lahaina Company

NR: While the ban may seem like a nuisance to customers and retailers, one business is thriving because of it. Local Hawaiian company Maui Brown Bag, a producer of 100% recycled paper bags, has seen an increase in business since the laws have been introduced....

According to a company representative, "our bags meet, and even exceed, the Maui County Ordinance #587, which regulates use of plastic bags, while encouraging recycled and reusable bags in a commercial setting."

As more and more laws are introduced in Hawaii and other coastal states, Maui Brown Bag believes it will encourage eco-friendly retail practices. When asked about the impact recycling could have on businesses, company officials point to facts and figures.

They have thoroughly studied and researched the benefits of paper over plastic and believe the future of retail will soon be 100 percent recyclable paper. Company representatives believe the demand for recycled paper in ten years will exceed the available supply by 1.5 million tons. As the website says, "The easiest way to support community recycling efforts is to look for products created from high percentages of post-consumer waste, such as Maui Brown Bag."

As new bans on plastics continue to be implemented throughout Hawaii, California, and other states and counties, Maui Brown Bag believes it's important for both consumers and retailers to focus on how they can become more environmentally friendly and green....

read ... News Release

China's New Submarine Can Nuke Hawaii

WHT: ...In comparison to the land-based launchers, nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines that rarely need to surface are much better at hiding.

Right now, China has three of those — the JIN class — and is likely to add two more by 2020, according to the Commission’s report. Each could carry 12 JL-2 missiles, which after a decade of development “appear to have reached initial operational capability,” it said.

The JL-2’s range of about 4,598 miles means China could conduct nuclear strikes against Alaska if it unleashed the missiles from waters near China; against Alaska and Hawaii if launched from waters south of Japan; against Alaska, Hawaii, and western continental U.S. if fired from waters west of Hawaii; and against all 50 U.S. states if launched from waters east of Hawaii, the report said.

“The big scoop would be determining where those submarine patrols will take place,” said Chang.

The submarines are expected to initially confine themselves to China’s coastal waters and the South China Sea where they could roam with little chance of detection. For the missiles to reach Hawaii or the continental U.S. the submarines would need to foray into the western Pacific and beyond, which Davis from Bond University said would be “more challenging because they’d have to run the gauntlet of U.S. anti-submarine capabilities.”

read ... Nuke Hawaii

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