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Wednesday, June 2, 2010
June 2, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:49 PM :: 8075 Views

Honolulu Maoists & Holocaust Deniers protest against Israel: Star-Bulletin calls them ‘peace activists’

Case 'showed he was a Democrat.' So what's Inouye?  (Is Dan Inouye a Democrat?)

The great irony of the Democratic convention was when U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who used all of his political muscle to prop up Hanabusa and drive Case from the race, intoned about Case's departure: "He showed that he was a Democrat."

Well, let's see. In the last four years, Inouye has:

• Supported independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut over the Democratic candidate in 2006 as Democrats battled to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP.

• Traveled to Alaska in 2008 to campaign for Republican Sen. Ted Stevens over the Democratic candidate when Democrats were fighting to win a filibuster-proof majority.

• Bucked U.S. House leadership and the White House in the recent special election by engineering a split Democratic vote because of his personal grudge against Case, handing a safe Democratic seat to the Republican Djou.

If a Democrat is what a Democrat does, was Case really the one who needed to show he was a Democrat?

Now that Case has cleared the way for Hanabusa, Inouye will have some unhappy colleagues in Washington if she doesn't win the seat back from Djou in November to help the Democrats retain control of Congress.

And a Hanabusa win is no sure thing even with the strong Democratic majority in a district that voted 72 percent for Barack Obama in 2008.

Case gave her a generous endorsement, but it remains to be seen if his supporters will fall in line or if enough will swing to Djou to give Inouye the smackdown they think he deserves.

RELATED: Ed Case quits race: “Dream of a better way forward” crushed by Hawaii Democrat old boys (again)

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Borreca: Face of isle Democrats older (and whiter) but issues thrive

White hair and white faces, that's the new element in Hawaii's super political majority, the Democratic Party.

At their biennial convention this weekend, the changes were obvious.

"This is the Tom Gill Party," remarked former state Rep. David Hagino, now a labor lawyer and part-time political strategist….

"There's more haoles in the party now," says Heen.

The party also appears a lot older. Observers couldn't escape the political war-horses now fitted out with walkers and canes. Hawaii's two octogenarian senators, Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka, are both readying preparations for their 86th birthdays and upcoming re-election campaigns.

What hasn't aged are the party's issues. Last weekend the Democrats voted for Internet neutrality (CENSORSHIP), publicly funded state elections (So they can be paid to run for office) and banning corporations from donating to state or county campaigns (but not unions).  (All three designed to tilt the electoral field in their favor.)

Somehow Hawaii's Democrats always find a way to re-invent themselves just before a critical election.  (Now they’ve reinvented themselves as the party of old white people?)

TOTALLY RELATED: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can'Lost Malihini Tribe' and PASH Aim to Take Over County Council

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Lingle to reveal final decision on civil unions after Asia trip

"It's a difficult decision but I think it's made much more difficult because of how it's going to affect people on both sides," the governor said. "I want to be able to take my time and communicate in what I hope will be an effective way, while realizing one side or the other is not going to be very happy."

Speaking at a state Capitol news conference, Lingle said she likely will take until June 21, the deadline by which she must tell the Legislature which bills she may veto. She then has until July 6 to veto those measures if that is the action she chooses.

Measures not on the June 21 list would become law, either with or without her signature.

Lingle's trip to Asia begins Friday and she is due to return June 19.

ADV: No early decision on civil unions

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Shapiro: Carlisle invisible on campaign trail

The conventional wisdom is that Carlisle is the man to beat because of his name recognition, general popularity and experience in islandwide races, but I’m not sure that’s true unless invisibility on the campaign trail has suddenly become a political asset.

Caldwell, who has the backing of Team Hannemann, has been busy raising money and lining up institutional support. He’ll have a couple of months to make himself look good as acting mayor after Hannemann steps down.

Dela Cruz and Prevedouros have been traveling all over O’ahu meeting voters and outlining their positions on a wide range of issues.

By contrast, Carlisle has been relatively little seen or heard from and his stands on issues other than crime are vague. The best quote Pang could get out of him was, “The most pressing issue is getting the fiscal house of the city and county in order. We can no longer afford government that we cannot afford.”

If he wants to win, he’s going to have to get out and campaign.

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Musubigate: Federal judge rules law targeting HRPT's Hawaii leases is unconstitutional  (Calvin Say not mentioned in article)

A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a Hawaii law that aimed to limit rent increases on commercial and industrial lands in Honolulu owned by Massachusetts-based HRPT Properties Trust.

U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway, ruling in the case brought by HRPT (NYSE: HRP), Hawaii’s largest industrial landowner, said Act 189 violates the U.S. Constitution

But Mollway said the law singled out the Newton, Mass.-based real estate investment trust and put the company at a disadvantage in negotiations.

“By imposing a change in the lease that deliberately favors HRPT’s lessees and disadvantages HRPT and that is applicable to a single landowner, Act 189 runs afoul of the Contract Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Mollway wrote.

Citizens for Fair Valuation Executive Director Michael Steiner said in a prepared statement that his group believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal.

The state hasn't decided yet whether it would appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

(Calvin Say has earned his $1000/mo.)

ADV: Judge sides with industrial landlord

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SB: Trash deal is valuable lesson

The mainland shipments and recycling will not enable the closing of Waimanalo Gulch. Under current plans, the island's only landfill was to be limited to ash and residue from the HPOWER waste-to-energy facility. City officials have said the landfill may have to stay open for 15 years.

The city should approve any alterations needed in the contract to expedite the shipment. While the company was at fault for piling the refuse while awaiting federal approval, the city was derelict for allowing the premature activity and needs to get the shipments going.

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Honolulu City Council has 27 contenders for Djou's empty seat

Former Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue is among those interested in filling Djou's unexpired term, while others include former state lawmakers Donna Ikeda, Carl Takamura and Brian Yamane.

Ikeda is also an elected member of the state Board of Education whose term expires Nov. 2. She may need to resign from the board if she is chosen as a council member, because state law bars elected officials from holding two offices simultaneously.

Also in the running are civil rights advocate Marsha Rose Joyner and other community activists, including so-called "bicycle mom" Natalie Iwasa, veterinarian Frank De Giacomo, Wai'alae-Kāhala Neighborhood Board member Lucinda Pyles and attorney Judy Sobin.

Seven names had previously surfaced: Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board Chairman Greg Knudsen, attorney Jonathan Lai, former 'Āina Haina Neighborhood Board member Warner "Kimo" Sutton and Lori Wingard, Djou's former chief of staff.

Several council members have told The Advertiser that Djou lobbied on behalf of Lai, a Punahou classmate and fellow University of Southern California law school graduate, before leaving for Washington last week.  (Lai would be a ‘caretaker’ who has promised not to seek election in November.)

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ADV: Vote-by-mail offers a better way to ballot

What's sacrificed is the absolute security of the ballots. They leave the custody of government for their sojourn through the postal system and onto the tabletops of voters' homes — or more precisely, the address that was at one point the home of a voter — before returning….

If the only standard of success were participation, then the special election earns only fair grades. A 53 percent turnout this time beat the return rate of past mail-ins, but clearly it takes more than at-home convenience to draw in the voters….

There are other advantages, though, cost savings being the most evident. Hawai'i spent about $900,000 on this special election, about a third less than it would have using regular polling stations. Don Hamilton, a spokesman for Oregon's elections office, cited typical savings closer to 40 percent.

The downside is security. Hamilton said that in its 12-year experience there has been no fraud of the scale that could force a revote. Voters must sign and have their signatures checked by trained staff, who do follow up on irregularities.

But things can go wrong. It's simply too tempting to fill in grandma's ballot when she's in the hospital, or send in that ballot sent to the people who moved out of the apartment six months ago. A 1998 mayoral election in Miami was invalidated after a probe found falsified signatures…. 


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Hotel workers protest Kyo-ya Co. Ltd.'s plans for Moana Surfrider

The Kyo-ya project, the largest in Waikiki since Outrigger’s $585 million Waikiki Beach Walk makeover, calls for redeveloping almost all of the Princess Kaiulani property on the mauka side of Kalakaua Avenue and replacing the 58-year-old, eight-story, 140-room beachfront Diamond Head tower of the Moana Surfrider Hotel with a 282-foot tower, the first new hotel on Waikiki Beach in 30 years. Construction is expected to start April 2012.

ADV: Union fears loss of jobs in hotel plan

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Hawaii bankruptcy filings up 34.4%

Total bankruptcy filings rose by 34.4 percent in May compared to the year-earlier period, from 250 cases to 336, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii.

If there’s a glimmer of good news in the report, it was that May’s filings were fewer than April (391) and March (357).

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Hawaii cuts result in 10% fewer families taking preschool aid

The number of families receiving state subsidies to cover preschool tuition costs has dropped by about 10 percent after the state's decision to decrease the amount of help families can get, and providers say parents appear to instead be opting for cheaper, unlicensed care or leaving their children with relatives….

Some 7,026 low- and moderate-income families now receive the childcare subsidies, down 10 percent — 700 families — from January.

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Group works to set up a charter school in Keanae

KEANAE - A fledgling nonprofit has set a goal to establish a charter school in Keanae.

The group includes parents and grandparents of Keanae and Waialua schoolchildren who endure a one-hour bus ride on weekdays along narrow and winding Hana Highway to reach Hana High and Elementary School.

Keanae School stopped holding classes in 2005, but it wasn't until this year that the Board of Education deemed the campus officially closed and voted to accept a recommendation to consolidate Keanae School with the Hana School campus.

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