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Monday, July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:59 AM :: 10519 Views

Abercrombie denies membership in Democratic Socialists of America, blames ‘birthers’

Djou “Rapidly becoming one of most active and outspoken US Reps”

Cayetano, Waihee, Progressives speak up for slavery:  Call for lenient sentencing

Two former governors and community leaders have submitted letters to a federal judge in support of two brothers facing sentencing today for employing Thai immigrants under forced labor conditions in 2004 and 2005 at the well-known Aloun Farms.

John Waihee and Ben Cayetano, former Land Board Chairman William Paty, Hawaii Foodbank President Richard Grimm and dozens of others sent letters to U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway on behalf of Alec and Mike Sou, who hope to avoid a prison term.

Aloun Farms, a major agricultural business in the state, produces Asian vegetables (missing key word: “Organic”) and other crops on about 3,000 acres in the Kapolei area. Alec Sou, president and general manager, and Mike Sou, vice president and operations manager, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge after they helped bring in 44 laborers from Thailand in 2003. They admitted they told workers they would be sent back to Thailand if they were disobedient or if they tried to leave.  (Which would cause local recruiters to seize the workers’ ancestral lands and attack their family in Thailand to extract payment, a form of debt peonage.)

(Aren’t these progressives always complaining “America was founded on slavery”?  Did they mean it as a complement?)

More Hawaii Progressives and their slavery problem: Green hypocrites: Case & Omidyar's Maui Land & Pine tied to human trafficking

ALSO: Obama, the Akaka Bill, and the abolition of slavery in Hawaii
Samuel Gompers: Book, NYT  

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Boylan: “I think the Republicans have a shot at Governor”

The two men are not exactly best buddies, having wrestled in 1986 for a congressional seat in a campaign most remembered for Hannemann's stinging TV and print ads.

The ads suggested Abercrombie was soft on drugs and "enjoys marijuana" -- assertions Abercrombie called untrue. Hannemann won the primary but lost in the general election to Republican Pat Saiki.

James "Duke" Aiona, meanwhile, hopes that lightning strikes twice. The Republican lieutenant governor is sitting on the sidelines with weak primary opposition, husbanding his dollars and hoping Hannemann and Abercrombie bloody each other's nose.

"What you will get, I think, is more and more of the sniping back and forth" between the two Democrats, said Dan Boylan, emeritus professor of history at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu.

If independent voters end up repelled, he added, "I think the Republicans have a shot at this."

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CB: No, Mufi, That Wasn't "A Right Thing To Say"  (Mufi plays several race cards)

I was taken aback when I read what Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann told union carpenters at their convention this weekend.

"I can identify with you. When I look in the audience, I look like you, you look like me," he told the gathering, according to a thorough story by Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Derrick DePledge, confirmed by Civil Beat's Chad Blair, who was also there.

"Is that a right thing to say? And even for our Caucasian brothers in the audience, I'm local to the max. My name is Hannemann. That's German. My middle name is Francis. English. So I'm Samoan-German-English, born and raised in Hawaii, and married to a katonk, a Japanese-American woman. So I've got it all in my household, baby. I can relate to each and every one of you."

Look For the Union Label (Abercrombie plays the “I organized UHPA” card)  Neither gets the endorsement….

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Honolulu Mayor: Carlisle tops poll, Panos second--Captain Kirk tries to stall Mayoral election ‘til November

Here are two tweets with more info than the usual Star-Advertiser article:

Chad Blair: Carlisle claims there is a move to push Honolulu mayor special election from Sept to Nov, which he opposes.

Chad Blair: Peter Carlisle says he's polling between 30-50% in Honolulu mayor race, with UH prof Prevedouros in second.

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Elected BoE member supports Appointed Board

As a mom, state legislator, and finally an elected board member, Donna Ikeda has spent nearly three decades trying to improve Hawaii's schools. Her conclusion: Students need an appointed education board.

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Gallup: Obama 68% approval in Hawaii

PRINCETON, NJ -- During the first half of 2010, residents of Hawaii and the District of Columbia were most likely to approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. His lowest approval ratings came from Wyoming residents. All told, there is a 56 percentage-point gap between Obama's highest and lowest state ratings.

RCP: GOP to gain 15 Governor races

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Inouye hinting at new round of funding for Sandwich Isles Communications? 

I recently had the privilege of sharing Hawaii with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski  (oh-oh!). My goal was to show him the many challenges we face as an island state, as well as our exciting cutting-edge opportunities.

An enhanced broadband investment is critical to Hawaii's economic, educational and social well-being. It is H-4—Hawaii's information superhighway—our connection to the world, our lifeline to the future.…

Without a sufficient population base, there is little commercial interest in making any significant investment. That is why government resources are critical to help buy down a part of the private risk, and to encourage sustaining partnerships. A pending application for federal stimulus dollars was jointly submitted by our three neighbor island counties. Such a broadband investment, while targeted for public safety, will also enhance distance learning, tele-health, and economic opportunities….

We journeyed to Waimea for a native roundtable on the importance of broadband deployment on tribal lands, including Hawaiian Homelands. (We already forked out $500M for Al Hee’s Sandwich Isles Communications to do this, now he wants to fork out more???)  The comments were amazingly similar, whether from Barrow, Alaska, the Apache in New Mexico, to Hawaiian homesteaders in rural Waimea.

Here is what happened last time Inouye got the Feds “invested” in Hawaii broadband: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

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Attacked by OHA, Kauai County: Kaua‘i Springs struggling

…the county Planning Commission appealed 5th Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s September 2008 order to issue the company a special permit, along with a use permit and zoning permit by the Planning Department, Minken said.

One of the reasons for the appeal include the Circuit Court’s failure to take into consideration the water as a public resource, he said.

The court was “hands down in our favor,” Satterfield said regarding the 2008 ruling.

The longer this appeal “sits on the shelf,” he said, the more people will lose their jobs at Kaua‘i Springs, which employees some 8 individuals.

If the appeal were lifted, the business would be able to hire 10 to 15 employees and “go forward” with producing glass bottles for export, he said.

RELATED: OHA Trustees claim ownership of your drinking water

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Nanakuli parcel needed for a construction landfill, not a park

With so many reasons to keep the Leeward site as a landfill -- and with no need for a regional park on Leeward's land or planning documents to recommend it -- why did the mayor suddenly to push the park through the City Council?

Some say taking the Leeward site out of play gives the city the argument it needs to push to expand Waimanalo Gulch. Others say influential supporters were factors.

It's not too late to rethink the regional park. Maybe the solution is as simple as putting the park elsewhere on the west side and keeping the Leeward site as a potential C&D landfill for the good of Hawaii's economic future.

RELATED: Nanakuli Park: Hannemann pounds Hanabusa in proxy fight between Waimanalo Gulch and PVT Landfill

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With curfew rule expiring, officials will meet residents

The state public housing authority will meet with residents of Kalihi Valley Homes next week as authorities prepare to lift a four-month curfew.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority instated the curfew after a man was shot in the face at Kalihi Valley Homes in March.

The regulation was approved under a state law allowing for a temporary rule to protect public safety, lasting up to 120 days. Denise Wise, HPHA executive director, said that period would end Aug. 1 and cannot be renewed.

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Private tuition rises 'the bare minimum'

It is the second year in a row that private schools, sensitive to strained family budgets, have opted for smaller increases.

Most larger private schools are increasing tuition by $300 to $500. In better times, annual tuition increases ranged from $1,000 to $1,500.

Private schools say enrollments appear to be holding steady, after a dip at some schools last year. But they are also getting more requests for tuition assistance. And some families say they are having to cut other household expenses to cover tuition.

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Seed Corn, Not Food or Fuel, Is Hawaii's Biggest Crop

Despite goals of food and energy self-sufficiency, Hawaii's largest crop is not mango, papaya, banana or taro. It's not biomass or biofuel crops, either. Seed corn reigns supreme.

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Shapiro: UH sports fee wakes up students

The depth of anger over the athletic fee among some students was reflected in an e-mail I received from one of the leaders of the opposition, who said students plan to protest by using their free admission to attend nationally televised UH football games and cheer loudly for the opposing team.

“The irony of alienating students with an undemocratic major fee, and then
handing them tickets and even free transportation to an event with major
media attention is easy to grasp, I think,” the student said.

The eyebrow-raiser is the vitriol in the suggested cheer, a rewording of the UH fight song:

Let’s go, to-day’s Visitors! Smash up the Green and White!
Break their bones and faces. Crush them with all your might.
Right! Right! Right!
Snap their fragile ankles. Infect them with disease
Then when the team is, completely cream-ed; Repeal the unfair fees!

As one of my favorite sportscasters Dick Enberg says, “Oh, my.”

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U Hawaii Data Breach Echoes 2009 Incident

Up to 53,000 people may have been affected by a recent data breach at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. The university system discovered the break-in during a routine audit June 15, 2010. The breach had taken place May 30, 2010 on a server used by the main campus' parking office. The university isolated the affected server and began an investigation, which included notifying the Honolulu Police Department and the FBI. IT has also retained a forensic computer expert to do further investigation.


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