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Saturday, August 7, 2010
August 7, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:58 PM :: 5297 Views

Lingle: “Senators revealed their true colors”

Aiona challenges Hannemann and Abercrombie to speak up on Leonard confirmation

Rejected 14-8 by Senate Democrats: Judge Leonard had more judicial experience than Elena Kagan

April 7, 2010: Hawaii Senate “Urging Governor to use and consider gender equity when appointing judges”

This Day in History: Truman Announces Hiroshima Bombing

Abercrombie: “The only thing Hawai‘i exports right now is garbage”

KGI: With local concurrence, the Hawai‘i Superferry needs to come back into the discussion, Hannemann said, adding that he would not bypass an Environmental Impact Statement.

Supporters of Abercrombie booed Hannemann when he brought up the Superferry.  (Abercrombie is the candidate favored by anti-Superferry protesters.)

When Abercrombie spoke, however, he did not mention the Superferry, despite having said days earlier he would welcome private investors to bring back the company if they had sufficient financial backing and a solid business plan.

The former congressman said the only thing Hawai‘i exports right now is garbage.

Abercrombie said he believes he is the only one running for governor who has a “background in education,” because he attended University of Hawai‘i and helped form what is now the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly, the professors’ union.

Hannemann, however, countered by saying he is the only one who attended a Hawai‘i public school, therefore is familiar with the system. He has also been a history teacher and basketball coach at O‘ahu’s ‘Iolani School. (Mufi busts an Abercrombie lie for a change.)

What KGI didn’t report: Mufi does it again in Debate: “Screaming, yelling, ranting, raving, finger pointing, name-calling” Abercrombie: I am Dan Inouye

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ILind: Kyo-ya execs campaigned for Hannemann while seeking city variances for new Waikiki hotel

While lobbying hard this year to garner city approval of its plan to redevelop the Moana Surfrider Hotel with a new highrise tower on Waikiki Beach, officials of Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts managed to find time to be active in the campaign of then-mayor Mufi Hannemann.

In March, Victor Kimura, a director and corporate officer of several Kyo-ya companies, paid $1,503 for campaign t-shirts and was reimbursed by the campaign.

On May 27, 2010, Hannemann’s campaign threw a $1,000 per person fundraiser at the home of Greg Dickhens, Kyo-ya executive vice-president, campaign records show. Several people were reimbursed for fundraiser food and drinks, including Keala Dickhens, Greg Dickhens’ wife; Robert Iopa, project architect for the company’s Waikiki tower; Adam Wong, who Hannemann appointed to the Board of Water Supply in early 2010; and event organizer William “Billy” Pieper, a Bank of Hawaii vice-president.

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Hanabusa’s Senate rejects high court pick

The 14-8 vote was the first time the Senate has turned down a governor's chief justice nomination and the first time in 17 years that the senators rejected a gubernatorial appointment to the five-member Hawaii Supreme Court.

The other five candidates are Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald, Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Appellate Judge Daniel Foley and Circuit Judges Richard Pollack and Bert Ayabe.

"I think all five are qualified," Sen. Brian Taniguchi (D, Moiliili-Manoa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said this week. "We have to see what comes up and, again, vet that candidate."

Taniguchi's committee voted 4-1 to recommend that the full Senate reject Leonard. The five-member committee will hold hearings on the new appointee.

Recktenwald had been considered by many in the legal community as Lingle's choice before she chose Leonard. He served in her Cabinet as head of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs before she named him chief judge of the appeals court in 2007 and to the high court last year.

Nakamura, a former assistant U.S. attorney, was appointed by Lingle to the appeals court in 2004 and as chief judge last year, when Recktenwald went to the high court.

Bert Ayabe, a former partner in Dandar & Ayabe, was named to the Circuit Court by Lingle in 2004. The other two were appointed by former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Daniel Foley, former American Civil Liberties Union legal director, was appointed to the appeals court in 2000. Richard Pollack, former state public defender, was named to the Circuit Court in 2000….

The last time the Senate rejected a Supreme Court nominee was in 1993. Senators voted down then-Gov. John Waihee's appointment of Sharon Himeno, wife of his attorney general, Warren Price.  (So the Senate has a track record of voting down female appointees.)

(This article was written without using the words “Colleen Hanabusa” even once, so we put it in the headline.)

HR: Hawaii Women Lawyers: Judge Leonard Eminently ‘Qualified’ to be Chief Justice

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Woman with Hawaii roots likely to lead California courts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It's difficult to find anyone with a gripe against Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the daughter of a plantation worker from Hawaii. Even two former boyfriends couldn't think of one negative thing to say about the woman destined to become California's next Supreme Court chief justice.

"She always wanted to study and I always wanted to go out," said Sacramento City Councilman Rob Fong in an attempt to relay a flaw from when the two dated in law school. "It's pretty obvious how that's worked out for us."

The likability of Cantil-Sakauye will serve the 50-year-old well at the helm of the largest judicial system in the world, with more than 1,700 judges, 4,000 court commissioners, 21,000 court employees and a $4 billion budget.

She is expected to be confirmed Aug. 25 by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and approved by voters in November to become the second woman and the first racial minority to hold the position of California chief justice.

(There sure are a lot of people who have to leave Hawaii in order to achieve their potential.)

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Shapiro: Senate, Bar Association “drive-by shooting” of Leonard

The state Senate rejected Katherine Leonard's nomination to be the first woman to head the Supreme Court after the Hawaii State Bar Association torpedoed her in a secret vote and refused to disclose its reasons. The technical term for this form of justice is "drive-by shooting."

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Gay Advertiser still trying to use Walker’s decision to create gay marriage in Hawaii

Lingle said civil unions were the same as marriage under state law in the bill passed by the state Legislature. The governor also said the issue should go before voters in a ballot question.

Judge Walker, however, found that domestic partnerships — which are available in California and are similar to civil unions — lack the social meaning of marriage. Domestic partnerships, the judge said, are not equivalent to marriage because they intentionally withhold the social and cultural status of marriage to gay couples….

Judge Walker also scoffed at the fact that California’s ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters.

That a majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as `fundamental rights may not be submitted to (a) vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.’

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Blow to anti-Superferry activists: Maui Council puts brakes on district voting

(Leading the charge, anti-Superferry) Attorney Lance Collins, who is secretary of the West Maui Charter Working Group that also has proposed district voting, said it commissioned a recent telephone survey of 500 registered voters, and the results indicated that the majority of residents support the charter amendment. On Lanai and Molokai, the numbers are more than 60 percent and about 70 percent, respectively, he said.

But Mateo said he didn't believe that the people surveyed would have supported the measure if they knew district voting could lead to them losing their own elected officials.

Council Member Mike Molina said there is some value in these ideas. But he wants people to have more "time to digest it," and that's why he supported giving the proposals to the Charter Commission for further study, he said.

But Baisa, who holds the Upcountry residency seat, (area is infested with anti-Superferry activists) said her constituents have made it very clear to her that they want this on the upcoming ballot in November. 

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KITV Exclusive: Kauai Airport Supervisor Admits To Theft

The woman admitted to stealing about $13,000 over several months before being discovered, sources told KITV4 News. She is on administrative leave while two investigations are underway, according to state transportation department officials.

The woman, who is a business services supervisor at Lihue Airport and oversees four other people, admitted in writing to stealing checks and cash from the state, sources said….

Even though Lihue handles far fewer passengers and flights than Kahului and Honolulu airports, it was the only airport in Hawaii to pay security fines to the Transportation Security Administration for security lapses between March of 2009 and March of 2010.

Lihue Airport paid the TSA $75,000 for 15 different security incidents, according to state DOT records.

Then there's the case of the airport operations controller at Lihue who walked off the job at the end of 2008. No one bothered to notify personnel officials to stop his paycheck for weeks, so he was overpaid at least $5,000, according to officials familiar with the case.

Earlier this year, the man was allowed to return to work and signed an agreement allowing him to keep the extra $5,000 and 880 hours of accrued sick leave, as if he had never walked off the job, according to a settlement agreement obtained by KITV4 News….

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Cronies cheer as Hamakua farm project takes shape

The working group was put together by the mayor, state Sen. Dwight Takamine, D-Hamakua, South Hilo, and Rep. Mark Nakashima, D-Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo. In addition to Cain and the Farm Bureau, the group includes William Steiner, dean of the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hamakua farmer Richard Ha and Matthew Wung, district conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The short-term goal is to move "cull cows" (owned by these insiders’ cronies) -- female cattle past the age for calving but still a good meat product if they're fattened up a bit -- onto the tall guinea grass to graze it down. Project planners will accept cattle from all over the island, provided they meet criteria such as vaccinations and ear tags.

"We keep talking about being sustainable and we keep talking about growing our own food," said Hamakua Farm Bureau President Jill Mattos. "Nobody has tried something like this. The idea is instead of selecting certain ranchers to participate, to do it to benefit everybody."

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'Birthers' fade after passage of law against them

The law has never even been put to use, said Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo. The number of people seeking proof that Obama was born outside of Hawaii and the United States diminished without the law being invoked.

Only about two or three e-mails now seek verification of Obama's birth each week, compared to between 10 and 20 weekly requests earlier this year….

Many of their inquiries pursue "birth index data," which includes a list of names of all people born in the state. Obama's name is included among those born in Honolulu in 1961, according to the state….

In response, the Department of Health has offered to provide hundreds of sheets of index data if requesters will pay for it. At 25 cents per page, the 1961 birth index data would cost $98.75. So far, no one has paid for the papers.

The state's offer to hand over index data may not last. The department is asking the state attorney general for a ruling on whether it should give out that information, Okubo said.

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Israeli diplomat arrives to help state with water and geothermal projects

Israel's senior diplomat in the Southwestern United States is visiting Hawaii to meet with government and community leaders.

Los Angeles-based Consul General Jacob Dayan intends to discuss ways Israel is working with Hawaii on projects including water desalination and extracting geothermal power.

(This will be a magnet for the usual anti-America professional protesters.)

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Hawaii National Guard helicopter unit to deploy

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii National Guard helicopter unit is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.
About 150 soldiers in Company B, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment are due to leave Hawaii for training at Fort Hood, Texas, within the week.
In Afghanistan, the Chinook heavy lift helicopter unit is due to deployed to Regional Command South.

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Still time to Register to vote in next month's primary election

Voter registration forms will be accepted until Thursday, August 19 at 4:30 p.m.

Hawaii's primary election will be held on Saturday, September 18

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