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Sunday, August 1, 2010
August 1, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:12 PM :: 8042 Views

“Birthers” smell profit in an Abercrombie governorship?

PAPAHĀNAUMOKUĀKEA Designated a World Heritage Site

Lambda: Hawaii Civil Unions suit demands recognition of new family structures, not “equality”

'Culture war' engulfs Hawaii Democrats

Civil union, same-sex marriage, the sanctity of marriage, freedom of religion and civil rights are all on the battlefield in the Democratic primary. The touchstone among conservative and liberal groups is the just-vetoed House Bill 444, the civil union bill.

It becomes most obvious in the polarizing campaign between former Rep. Neil Abercrombie and former Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Local groups, including the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender caucus of the Democratic party, and the national Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, have all endorsed Abercrombie

There is the same sort of rich division in Democratic candidates running for lieutenant governor. Civil union supporters include Reps. Lyla Berg and Jon Riki Karamatsu, plus former Sen. Gary Hooser and former Democratic party chairman Brian Schatz. Those opposed to civil unions include former Sen. Bobby Bunda and Sen. Norman Sakamoto.

In the Halawa-Aiea state House district, civil union supporter Rep. Blake Oshiro is defending his seat against City Councilman Gary Okino, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage.

Finally, the culture war battlefield includes the primary campaign of House Speaker Calvin Say, facing Dwight Synan, who just won GLBT Democratic caucus support.

(And don’t forget Mr Kim Coco Iwamoto, transsexual foster parent of ‘transgender children’ seized from their ‘transphobic parents’. He is running for re-election to the BoE.)

RELATED: Antonio Gramsci Reading List, The transsexual agenda for Hawai`i schools

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Mufi: “Neil has never spent a day in a serious private sector job”

Without mentioning Abercrombie by name, Hannemann hit at his primary election opponent's lack of executive experience.  "When you are in the Congress, you are one of 435," he said. "You don't manage projects. You don't implement projects. You don't balance budgets. You don't do collective bargaining. You don't do private-public partnerships." …
Speaking about Abercrombie, Hannemann said that 20 years in Congress is "not the kind of experience for this job."  "This is an executive job," he said. "Neil has never spent a day in the private sector, in a serious private sector job."  "My record is very clear," he said.

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Leonard: Antidote to the activist Supreme court which invented gay marriage, killed Superferry?

(Here is why Seitz is panicking…will the eco-shake down Democrats follow?) 

SA: Appeals Judge Katherine Leonard is a self-described judicial "moderate" nominated to lead a state Supreme Court known for sweeping decisions that have altered Hawaii's legal and political landscapes.

Her approach to law, as seen from her legal opinions and her own words, indicates that if confirmed as chief justice she would try to steer a new course for a court that has sometimes stymied Gov. Linda Lingle.

Lingle, who nominated Leonard last month, has made it clear she wants a high court that does not try to legislate from the bench….

Still, Leonard's description of herself as a "modest" and "moderate" judge is in line with Lingle's expressed view that she wants a Judiciary that follows the law rather than tries to make new laws.

Lingle made it clear when she announced her appointment that she wants a chief justice to head a court that respects the principle that "we rely on three co-equal branches of government."

LONG DOMINATED by (corrupt) appointees by Democratic governors, (many selected via a commission which included felon Gary Rodrigues) the Supreme Court has a history of interpreting the Hawaii Constitution in what critics (ie truth-tellers) decry as an overly expansive way, striking down state laws and intruding on the legislative and executive functions. (And that little Broken Trust thingy.)

In 1993, for example, the high court declared unconstitutional the state's prohibition against same-sex marriages.  (Overturning 1m years of human history, they invented gay marriage.) More recently, the justices last year struck down a state law sought by the Lingle administration to exempt the Superferry from extensive environmental review.

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Think Tech: “Some people would like to keep the seat empty until Linda Lingle is gone”

There’s nothing in Seitz’s strained opposition that should affect Kate Leonard’s confirmation. Sure, some people would like to keep the seat empty until Linda Lingle is gone, but that’s no reason to play sport politics. Kate Leonard is a quality candidate, among the best we’ve seen. She should be confirmed with honor and appreciation, not with red-herring reports like the one on Tuesday.

Anyone in the Judicial Selection Commission can tell you how hard it is to get good candidates for judicial posts. No one wants to run the gauntlet against this kind of inappropriate attack. So let’s take the high road. Kate Leonard is eminently qualified. Let’s confirm her and have the court get on with its work.

SHAPIRO: Leonard backed by OHA’s Klein, Women’s Bar Assn

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Sweet Justice: Superferry protesters projects stymied by lack of EIS

Part of the delay is that the state body that could grant UH an exemption to the EIS requirement has not met since Aug. 17 of last year.

The volunteer Environmental Council suspended work last August, complaining, among other things, that the state was not providing it with adequate resources such as meeting rooms and staff support.  (This council existed for the purpose of granting EIS exemptions to environmentalists so they don’t have to live by the same rules the rest of us have to live by.)

Steiner said council members have expressed concern that the group is being penalized possibly for ruling in 2007 that the state Department of Transportation erred when it exempted Superferry harbor improvements from an environmental review. That decision was later supported by a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that eventually led to the demise of the interisland ferry. (Such a penalty is insufficient considering the magnitude of their crime.)

A federal stimulus-funded, $3.4 million deal with the Nature Conservancy to remove invasive algae from East Oahu's Maunalua Bay was scaled back in part because an exemption was not available. (Sweet justice.)

That project involves removing mudweed from about 22 acres in the bay. A project subcontractor initially sought a special activity permit for the work, which could have triggered an environmental study, said David Ziemann, the program manager for the Nature Conservancy.  (Just makes me wanna cry.)

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AP: Hawaii: Haven for the homeless?  (Honolulu tent City being promoted all over mainland)

A more immediate solution would set aside "safe-zones" on government land where the homeless could camp in tents and have basic sanitary facilities.

Lawmakers are proposing that nonprofit organizations could offer social services in one place and security could be provided -- as long as it's away from the tourist beaches.

"It's one thing to get people a place to stay, but we need to improve the quality of their lives," said Darlene Hein, of the Waikiki Health Center, which provides homeless outreach. "We worry about it being a magnet, that people will come to Hawaii because there's a campground for them." (And this AP article is designed to bring them here.)

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

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FACE: A city housing office could help … homelessness industry

ACE (Faith Action for Community Equity) has been pressing for a city housing office to bring an intense focus in the city on affordable housing, which is the true solution to the growing affordable housing and homeless crisis we face. 

The renewed focus on safe zones (Tent Cities) for the homeless is needed and necessary in this crisis, but we should never view them as the endpoint solution for homelessness.

A concerted, focused and integrated effort in both homelessness and affordable housing is desperately needed among all levels of government, private sector developers (for-profit and nonprofit), service providers and advocacy groups. (Ca-ching!!!)

Leadership on Oahu should come from the city (so we can use homeless camps to blackmail politicians) because so many pieces of the possible solutions for these issues lie with the city.

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SA: Sewer pact negotiations need more transparency

SEE WHAT THE DECREE SAYS: Click here to download the proposed consent decree on upgrades to the city's sewage system.

(The words “Mufi Hannemann” appear nowhere in this editorial.  That takes skill.)

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Kaneohe charter school evicted to make way for long-term care facility

"The state doesn't have a lot of choices for a location and to build something on the Hawaii State Hospital grounds that we can transition patients from Hawaii State Hospital to the facility is the best possible solution," State Health Department spokesperson Janice Okubo said. "We do need that land, we don't have a formal agreement with the school and we felt that it was pretty clear in 2005, when we had asked them to look for another location."

But it's not the solution Hakipuu officials were hoping for. The school filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health, saying the proper steps to eviction weren't taken. Just yesterday, a judge ruled in favor of the state, keeping the eviction up.

KHON: Hakipu'u Learning Center evicted from state-owned property

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Hawaii Progressives continue to pump their “Values” book

American Samoa tuna cannery may reopen

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — Negotiations being conducted in American Samoa could lead to the reopening of a tuna cannery that closed last year, costing the jobs of more than 2,000 workers in the U.S. territory.

Gov. Togiola Tulafono is part of the talks involving Tri Marine International's effort to acquire the COS Samoa Packing plant owned by Chicken of the Sea.

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