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Sunday, July 25, 2010
July 25, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:48 PM :: 7828 Views

Shapiro: Aiona is “the one who isn’t covered in mud yet”

» As Mufi Hannemann departed Honolulu Hale to run for governor, he gave himself an A-minus for his 5 1/2 years as mayor. He graded himself down the half-point for excessive modesty.

» His Democratic opponent, Neil Abercrombie, called Hannemann's final week of city hall news conferences "an orgy of self-promotion." Reminds me of what Erica Jong said: "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had."

» Hannemann accused Abercrombie of wanting to retire to Washington Place after serving in Congress. Hannemann, on the other hand, is hoping to retire to Congress after serving in Washington Place.

» Abercrombie ripped Hannemann for bickering with the governor on rail transit and the federal government on sewage treatment. These kids. Neil hates it when Mufi doesn't bicker exclusively with him.

» James "Duke" Aiona, the leading Republican candidate for governor, reminded voters he's there for the general election and offers a different look from the two Democrats. He's the one who isn't covered in mud yet.

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Borreca: Abercrombie in audience throwing tomatoes

(Borreca earning his pay with some free advice to the Abercrombie campaign.)

When Hannemann finally stepped down as mayor, Abercrombie delivered a 30-minute screed detailing what he called "Hannemann's broken record."

If Abercrombie's decision to make the election a referendum on Hannemann's stewardship of City Hall, he could be making two mistakes.

The first flaw with an anti-Hannemann campaign goes to Hannemann's criticism of Abercrombie, that the veteran public servant has no executive experience either in the public or private sector. Hannemann likes to contrast that with his own time working in private business and for the state before becoming mayor.

And that is the second fault with Abercrombie's strategy: It excludes voters from voting on his own record. It makes the race for governor a popularity contest with just Hannemann up for judgment. Abercrombie is out of the equation. Voters can either vote for Hannemann or against Hannemann, without any reason to vote for Abercrombie.

Abercrombie answers that he is defending himself against Hannemann's own attacks, even if it comes across like someone in the audience throwing tomatoes.

(The words “Duke Aiona” occur nowhere in this article.)

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Surprise Lingle appointee Leonard will be looked at closely by the state Senate

Hanabusa said senators will await a recommendation from the Hawaii State Bar Association as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on the appointment before the Senate deadline of Aug. 23. If the Senate does not act by then, the appointment is deemed confirmed.

Hanabusa said she has not made up her mind, but "I have not heard anything yet that would lead me to be against confirmation."

Hanabusa joined many in the legal community who were surprised by Lingle's announcement.

RELATED: Eleven Opinions: Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee Katherine Leonard

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City Lawyers Reluctant On Whether Mayor Violated Ordinance

HONOLULU -- Mufi Hannemann may not be mayor anymore, but a controversy sparked by his travels still remains.

Last week, Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi raised questions about whether Hannemann violated city laws by failing to tell the council when he traveled to neighbor islands. The heart of the issue appears to be the language used in the city charter and a city ordinance, which is inconsistent.

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DoE Immersion schools want to abandon English-language standardized tests

About 2,000 students in nearly two dozen Hawaii schools are in immersion programs in which instruction is carried out in the Hawaiian language.

Last week, dozens of native leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to push for changes to the law, saying language-immersion schools are struggling to meet NCLB requirements—which include testing their students in English—while adhering to their mission of perpetuating native languages and culture.

The advocates also say NCLB conflicts with the Native American Languages Act, which encourages the use of indigenous languages "as a medium of instruction."

"Part of what's going on is an incredible inflexibility and an expectation that one size fits all, when by definition immersion is not of that size," said Colin Kippen, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council.

He added that immersion schools shouldn't be penalized if their students don't do well on English-language tests if students don't learn in English.

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Kamehameha Litigants anonymity claim may get “en banc” hearing

The following year, the four non-Hawaiian students filed a similar civil rights challenge, but Kamehameha objected to the students pressing their case anonymously. In the first lawsuit, the schools did not object.

The students' lawyers contended their clients feared for their safety if their identities were disclosed, but federal judges here denied their request to proceed anonymously.

The attorneys took their case to the appeals court, which wrestled with the school's admissions practices when it granted a rare "en banc" hearing in 2006 in the earlier case.

The issue this time did not deal with admissions, but a three-judge panel still considered it significant….

This time, it's the challengers to the admissions policy who are asking for a larger "en banc" rehearing.

The court rarely grants rehearings and it's even rarer that the judges overturn the panels' rulings, especially when the decisions are unanimous.

But Rosen and Sacramento lawyer Eric Grant filed their request March 23. Kamehameha filed its opposition May 5.

The appeals court will grant the request only by a majority vote of its 25 members. Judge Richard Clifton from Hawaii has taken himself out of any involvement in the case.

The vote would be triggered if at least one of the judges requests the balloting.

It's unclear when a decision on the rehearing will be made. But the passage of time since the final papers were filed May 5 suggests that at least some of the judges might be considering asking for a vote.

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SA: Tent cities for homeless could be stopgap solution (for a decade or so)

Although city and state governments should have a role in this, particularly where security provisions are concerned, a tent city is far from a simple solution and will bring costs that government can't bear alone. (Too expensive?  Nonsense.  This is an excuse given to the feeble-minded so they will fall for the next line.)  A cooperative venture with private partners (i.e Homelessness Industry ‘organizers’ who know how to use bands of tented tweekers for political and financial gain) would be needed to make it sustainable  (Sustainable means they create enough guilt and political blackmail that the money flows to the organizers to ‘sustain’ the production of guilt and blackmail) —and, if the economy remains fragile for the foreseeable future, it will need to remain a viable option for some time.  (It’s been a decade in Seattle.)

The National Coalition for the Homeless (ie The Homelessness Industry)  published a report on tent cities in March. A survey of West Coast safe zones showed that successful (lucrative) models often involved participation of churches or other private entities that can contribute land and services. Some tent cities rotate among various locations for limited periods.  All are options to be explored. On Oahu, land is at a premium and a suitable camp site may be off the beaten track, but finding ways to connect working families with the grid of workplaces and schools will be essential.

In the waning days of his administration, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann indicated some interest in this partnership approach. It ought to be a point of discussion during the coming mayoral and gubernatorial campaigns.  (Progressives such as the Star-Advertiser’s editors desperately want a roving gang of meth addicts to be used to promote their favored candidates in the electoral arena.  If Hawaii falls for this scam, we will never see the end of it.)

REALITY: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

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Man Accused of Deadly Shooting in American Samoa has Hawaii Connection

KHJ Radio says Lt. Brown had been investigating several cases involving the Siaumau family. And a police affidavit claims Siaumau came to the courthouse to confront him.

"He said this was personal, he blamed the officer for arresting his mom on an outstanding arrest warrant from 2001 on drug charges," said Monica Miller, KHJ Radio News Director.

Honolulu Police Union (SHOPO) President Tenari Maafala who has relatives in American Samoa says Siaumau had been associated with illegal activity on Oahu.

"He was definitely associated with the Samoan gangs out here and then of course with the drug arena out here in Honolulu," said Maafala.

"I know him very good, I know him," said Siaumau's friend in Hawaii, Alma Savea.

He says Siaumau frequented Kuhio Park Terrace while living in Honolulu.

"He was thinking like the officer is picking on the family.  Because a few weeks ago I heard they got raided, got busted big time back home.  And the whole family got involved fighting with the officer." said Savea.

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State's biggest public housing complex tries to close the door on bad perceptions

The state's biggest public housing complex, known for its unsafe conditions, is trying to make a change.

A huge celebration Saturday is just another step in that direction.

Hundreds gathered at Kuhio Park Terrace for a celebration to not only bring the community together, but to show others who don't live there, that it's not a dangerous place after all.

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Foreclosures: Hawaii 1874 law seen as helping lenders, hurting consumers

Big Island consumer attorney George Zweibel said the non-judicial process is so defective that homeowners have even fewer rights than renters in Hawaii.

When a landlord wants to take back an apartment from a tenant, the landlord has to go to court and get a judge to approve the request, based on an evaluation of the evidence. Not so with non-judicial foreclosures, Zweibel said.

"This process allows lenders to take people's homes in a fast way without giving them an opportunity to be heard," he said. "In many cases, the homeowners have done nothing wrong."

Hawaii is one of 30 states that permit non-judicial foreclosures, according to Walsh, the consumer law center attorney.

Although the center's study panned the non-judicial system overall for depriving homeowners of basic protections, Walsh said Hawaii's 1874 law is particularly lacking. Once the foreclosure process starts, for instance, the Hawaii homeowner does not have the right to cure the default, something common in other states, Walsh said.

"It makes it really difficult to stop the foreclosure sale while (the process) is going on," he said.

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$32 Million Earmarked For Green Energy Work

 

The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations recently approved a measure that includes $32 million for 19 energy and water projects run by his cronies in the state.

The projects would pretend to involve sustainable energy research and development, flood control and bioenergy while directing fat salaries to their management teams.

Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye said the state is too dependent on imported oil. He said the funding will help the islands his cronies get “greener” with more clean (sic) and renewable sources of energy money.

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KGI: First ‘foul’ called in 2010 elections

Anti-Superferry protester State Rep. Mina Morita whines and cries because she actually has an opponent on the November ballot.  KGI does its job and repeats story.

RESPONSE: Hamman “Outsmarts” Opponents / Allows Opportunity for Equitable Election Process

RELATED: Hamman files for state Senate

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Few UH officials disclose protocol spending

Back on July 12, I noted that UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw had not yet filed the annual gift disclosure required by the state ethics law. The disclosure statement was due on June 30.

Hinshaw’s statement was eventually received, signed at dated July 14, two weeks after the filing deadline….

Absent is any accounting of expenditures from so-called “protocol accounts” provided through the UH Foundation, which can be expended at the discretion of the chancellor.

This is an ongoing issue that is yet to be resolved.

A number of administrators throughout the UH system are provided these slush funds via the foundation, including Hinshaw.

I believe the only administrators to disclose these as gifts are UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, former president David McClain, and Engineering Dean Peter Crouch.

In 2004, an opinion by the State Ethics Commission considered the question of protocol funds controlled by then-UH President Evan Dobelle.

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The public option

Best Comment: “At least Mr. Payne has the sense to enclose "fair elections" in quotation marks, since nothing about public funding ensures same. He recites a litany of bogus/distorted banking, environmental, education, and energy issues, all embraced by various political interest groups lacking popular support. The "public option" is simply a means to help impose the will of these groups upon the majority of our citizens.”

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