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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
May 26, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:03 PM :: 9321 Views

VIDEO: Djou introduced to Congress by Rep. Hirono, sworn in

Ed Case: “Colleen’s goal was not to beat Charles….We can expect far more of the same”

National Democrats portray Dan Inouye as Republican plaything

Campaign message strategy: How the Case was closed

Unique deal brings an end to Hawaii's school furlough crisis

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Furlough Fridays are over. Governor Linda Lingle made the announcement around 4:15 Tuesday afternoon. It's the news parents and teachers have been waiting for, but it took more than state money to end furlough Fridays in schools.

The governor's office was packed not only with education leaders but even some former foes that faced off with the state over the furlough Fridays, all in agreement over the four-part plan to get kids back in school next year.

ADV: Hawaii teachers originally chose furloughs to avert pay cuts

SB: Abercrombie, Aiona cheer school furlough accord,

RELATED: Governor Lingle negotiates end to Furlough Fridays, Furloughs: Aiona, Finnegan praise all sides for “coming together and getting the job done”

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DoE at work: School may close despite academic turnaround

Kohala Middle School may become the first Hawaii school to exit restructuring and return to good standing, if the students' test scores follow a recent upward trend.
But parents and community members say the Department of Education has decided the school should be closed, despite a report from a local task force that said consolidating the region's schools doesn't make academic or financial sense

SB: Education panel studies bill raising administrators' pay

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Principal hailed for turnaround at Maui Waena

Math proficiency at the Kahului school jumped from 18 percent of all students to 41 percent in the most recent Hawaii State Assessment results, while reading proficiency improved from 58 percent to 67 percent.

Although initial steps toward an academic revamping were taken in the 2007-2008 school year, Yap indicated the effort gained real traction the following year when Maui Waena entered into a partnership with EdisonLearning, a private education consulting firm first contracted by the state Department of Education in 2005 to work with underperforming schools.

Leading up to that point, the prevailing middle school philosophy was aimed at nurturing "the whole child" by applying equal focus on students' emotional and academic needs, according to Yap.

"It became apparent we weren't doing a good job academically. We needed to have a shift in focus," he said.

Under the partnership with EdisonLearning, "professional learning communities" were created to allow teachers in the core subjects of mathematics, science, reading and social studies to meet several times a week with their respective counterparts in all three grade levels to discuss curriculum and instructional strategies.

Common "pacing guides" provide a framework to ensure that benchmarks are covered in class in a timely fashion. Monthly tests let teachers know whether students are on track for the Hawaii State Assessment administered annually in March and help teachers decide topics that may need to be revisited beforehand.

Teachers also work with students on their test-taking skills.

"It gave us a structure to follow," Yap said of the EdisonLearning partnership.

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At least 5 seek to succeed Djou (includes gay marriage activist)

They are, alphabetically:

  • Jo-Ann Adams, an estate and probate attorney. She is a member of the Waikīkī Neighborhood Board and has been active in lobbying for civil unions.
  • Francis M. "Scotty" Anderson, chairman of the Wai'alae-Kāhala Neighborhood Board and chairman of the state Contractors Licensing Board.
  • Jonathan Lai, a partner in the law firm Watanabe Ing LLC, as well as a close friend and Punahou School classmate of Djou's.
  • Jeremy Low, a laid-off state research analyst.
  • Lori Wingard, chief of staff to Djou for five of his seven years on the council. She currently works for a science technology company.

SB: City Council to pick Djou's replacement

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Rego: Civil Unions= Gay Marriage

I, and other attorneys, disagree with Levinson's opinion that the Hawaii Constitution forbids Hawaii courts from ruling otherwise. In fact, I find myself in that regard in unusual company, being in agreement with Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Gary Hooser, who both argued that if HB 444 passes, the Hawaii Supreme Court might hold it unconstitutional because it uses the term "civil unions" rather than "marriage."

We agree that the Hawaii Supreme Court can find that civil unions fall short of providing gays and lesbians with equal rights and therefore are in violation of the Hawaii equal protection clause, which is also part of Hawaii's Constitution.

Action by the state Legislature is always—always—subject to judicial scrutiny under the equal protection clause of Hawaii's Constitution, even if the Constitution allows the Legislature to have the power to reserve marriages to opposite-sex marriages. Here, Hawaii's Legislature is clearly changing the substance of marriage rights and benefits, when HB 444 states in paragraph 9 thereof that "{p}artners to a civil union lawfully entered into pursuant to this chapter shall have all the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative rules, court decisions, the common law, or any other source of civil law, as are granted to those who contract, obtain a license, and are solemnized pursuant to chapter 572," (the chapter of Hawaii law that pertains to marriage). All these rights and benefits are given, despite HB 444's preamble, which states the Legislature does not intend to revise the definition of marriage.

As the saying goes, "If it looks like a duck ..."

The governor is right: It is same-sex marriage by another name.

RELATED: Hooser, Hanabusa predict HB444 will bring gay marriage back before courts

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Governor hears from supporters of civil unions bill

"It was a good, it was a very good meeting," Civil unions supporter Tambry Young said. "We shared our ideas, our thoughts, our perspective in support of what we hope that she feels is all about equal rights."

SB: Civil Debate: HB 444 accommodates equality and religion

ADV: Having listened, Lingle shouldn't block 444

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Sexy dance after $40 drinks was not prostitution, high court rules

the Hawaii Supreme Court said because the woman did not offer to "dirty dance" with the undercover officer in exchange for the $40 drink and there was no agreement between the two that the drink was a fee for the dance, the woman did not commit prostitution.

The justices also pointed out that the woman did not indicate after the dance that she performed it in exchange for the drink and that she did not dance with the officer after he bought her a third $40 drink.

(Supreme Court steps up to invent law protecting Hostess Clubs which are integrally tied to illegal gambling, drugs, and prostitution on Oahu ….  If they will do this for the mob, why should we expect them not to invent gay marriage again?)

ADV:  High court overturns bar-dance conviction

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4,000 fridges sell on first day of $250 stimulus rebate program

The first-come, first-served program, officially called Trade Up for Cool Cash, offers buyers $250 to replace their old refrigerators with new models that carry the Energy Star designation. Purchases must be from authorized dealers, who arrange for delivery and pickup. Paperwork must be submitted by July 31 to receive the rebate.

The program began Monday and runs through June 23 or until funds run out. Asakura said he expects that to happen quickly. "We sold a month's worth of refrigerators on the first day," he said. "We had lines out the door and out to Zippy's."

According to Hawaii Energy, which has contracted with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to administer the program in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties, almost 4,000 refrigerators were sold on the program's first day.

RELATED: VIDEO: Aiona, Finnegan team up on electric vehicles, refrigerator rebates

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SB: Investigate Hale Kipa 

Hale Kipa Chief Executive Officer Punky Pletan-Cross insists the organization has met all the obligations of its state contracts and has cooperated in the police investigation of Tang's slaying. But he refused to discuss specifics, or even to acknowledge that the suspects lived at the Damon Street home, citing confidentiality requirements.

Hale Kipa's website describes its therapeutic group homes, which number about 20 on four islands, as places that provide 24-hour care for youths ages 12 through 20 whose emotional and behavioral disturbances are so severe that they cannot be safely managed in a less restrictive setting.

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Vandals Cut Down 400 Papaya Trees

MILILANI, Hawaii -- Jerry Punzal stands before his two acres and surveys his sea of stumps.

"To have somebody come in and do something like this, yeah, it doesn't make you feel good at all," said Punzal.

Sometime between 5 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday, someone destroyed more than a year of hard labor.

HNN: Vandals wreck Mililani farm

SB: Sowing destruction

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Yagong: Revoke authority to sell Hamakua land

HILO -- With the administration giving up for now on selling Hamakua lands, one councilman wants to revoke the county's authority to do so without future council approval.
Mayor Billy Kenoi announced Monday the administration has canceled a bid opening scheduled for that day and will hold off on future sales attempts until the market improves.

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Kauai CRC weighs questions for 2010 election (term limits for Council?)

Assuming the measures are finalized by election officials, voters will be asked if they agree in extending the time in which firms represented by former county employees can enter into a contract with the county, after such employee’s separation from the county’s payroll. Currently it is six months, but it could be extended to one year.

The other proposed amendment the commission approved relates to financial procedures. Voters can expect to see this question on the ballot: “Shall the charter provisions relating to centralized purchasing and disposition of surplus property be changed to conform with the State law and the Hawai‘i Administrative Rules?”

The commission is considering putting several other questions before voters this fall, including one related to council term limits.

Kaua‘i County Council members currently serve two-year terms. If the commission approves a proposed amendment, voters will be asked if they think council members should serve four-year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms. The commission deferred action on this item until next meeting.

Other questions related to the county Code of Ethics.

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