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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
December 8, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:06 PM :: 9866 Views

Abercrombie’s first-day furlough fakery

Abercrombie: Release fulfills agreement, does not end teacher furloughs

Judge Samuel P King remembered

US Civil Rights Commission warns against Akaka Bill Sneak Attack

Djou applauds tax compromise

Complete factional breakdown in State House

In addition to Ichiyama, Say is supported by Henry Aquino, Karen Awana, Rida Cabanilla, Jerry Chang, Pono Chong, Isaac Choy, Ty Cullen, Sharon Har, Mark Hashem, Bob Herkes, Ken Ito, Marilyn Lee, Joey Manahan, Angus McKelvey, John Mizuno, Marcus Oshiro, Blake Oshiro, Karl Rhoads, Joe Souki, Jimmy Tokioka, Clift Tsuji, Ryan Yamane and Kyle Yamashita.

Luke is supported by Della Au Belatti, Tom Brower, Mele Carroll, Denny Coffman, Faye Hanohano, Gil Keith-Agaran, Chris Lee, Dee Morikawa, Mina Morita, Mark Nakashima, Scott Nishimoto, Scott Saiki, Maile Shimabukuro and Mark Takai.

Cindy Evans, Jessica Wooley and Roy Takumi want Takumi.

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Abercrombie’s Democrat youth movement

Four of his initial Cabinet appointees are in their early 40s -- Sunshine Topping, 40  (Sandwich Isles crony), at Human Resources Development; Kalbert Young, 41, at Budget and Finance; Alapaki Nahale-a, 42, at Hawaiian Home Lands; and Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, 44, at Public Safety.

Abercrombie's chief of staff, Amy Asselbaye, is 40 (been in Hawaii since 2003), and her deputy, Andrew Aoki, is 41. The new governor's communications team is Josh Levinson, 34, Laurie Au, 26, and Donalyn Dela Cruz, 35.

The primary symbol of youth in the new administration is Brian Schatz, elected Hawaii's second-youngest lieutenant governor at 38.  (Here’s a great photo of Schatz in Larry Mehau’s barn)

"Hawaii was built by people our age," Schatz declared in an inaugural speech in which he called his generation to service. "Democracy is not what we have, it's what we do. We need to step up and lead in whatever way we are able."

Schatz has been an example, serving four terms in the Legislature, running a major nonprofit group and chairing the Hawaii Democratic Party.

He organized the local "draft Obama" movement around members of his generation who, in many cases, were taking their first steps into politics. The fresh enthusiasm they generated carried forward to this year and was a significant factor in the sweeping victories of both Abercrombie and Schatz.

The new lieutenant governor is bright, articulate, forward-looking and plays well with others (like Mehau). He's politically ambitious, but not in a way that threatens the boss he genuinely admires, and he could break the mold of previous No. 2s regarded as fringe players in a job that has few official responsibilities.  (Or maybe he won’t.  They all start of like this.)

Abercrombie has assigned Schatz to lead his Hawaii Fair Share Initiative to draw more public and private investment to Hawaii, (help him build his own political machine) and Schatz will play a leading role in the planning for next year's pivotal APEC summit in Honolulu (which will make him look like he has abilities he doesn’t).

REALITY: Abercrombie: Brian Schatz would control which nonprofits get federal funds, Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off, Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau Hosts Community Rally for Sen. Akaka

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SA begins process of making Hawaii’s nutty First Lady acceptable

"I think it's unavoidable. She is a person who, I think, will make her presence known," (because she’s nuttier than a fruitcake) said Manfred Henningsen, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who also was chairman of Caraway's Ph.D. committee.

Caraway was not made available for interviews prior to the inauguration. (because she’s nuttier than a fruitcake)

"They're really good partners because he has never asked her to be anything other than what she is -- doesn't want her to change or to behave or look like anyone else," said Maya Soetoro-Ng, the sister of President Barack Obama who has known the couple since 2003.

Henningsen has had them over for dinner several times, and while a lot of terms could be used to describe the table conversation, "boring" would not be among them. "They are very vivacious," he said. "Fireworks go off and Nancie is very often more outspoken than Neil is." (because she’s nuttier than a fruitcake)

He added: "She has a political head on her shoulders. I felt she was, later on, Neil's political conscience. She was sometimes more principled than Neil; Neil was more pragmatic. Certain issues she didn't let go."

REALITY: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway  Typical Quotes: 

“I speak as a white feminist political theorist…” P1

“I view the book as my own strategy of intervention in the troubled authority of whiteness in feminist scholarship and politics.” P2

“I needed to start with the paralysis I often felt and the rage I imagined would be directed at me—as the repository of “white racism”—by women of color. I felt urges toward self-erasure.” P16

“I had reified and entrapped myself within a rigid ‘white’ identity, which is one of the ways guilt depoliticizes us by instilling a sense of fatalism.” P 16

“I could subvert what (Marxist “third-worldist” theoretician Franz) Fanon called ‘the all-white truth’ of my life.” P 17

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Lingle: Welfare Rolls Decreased 40 Percent Under My Watch

According to the DHS Annual Report for fiscal year 2010, the caseload for the combined programs decreased from 16,940 in 2002 (when Lingle took office) to 9,448 in 2010. This is a drop of about 44 percent. The table below shows the caseload for the programs since 1997.

(One more message that didn’t get out during the recent Gubernatorial campaign)

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Shapiro complains that Lingle backed Republicans for president

Shaprio: I’ve been asked why I didn’t join in analyzing the legacy of outgoing Gov. Linda Lingle. In all honesty, I don’t think she’s left one that will be judged of much significance.

I hate to be uncharitable, but 25 years from now, I doubt that the Republican Lingle’s eight-year break from Democratic rule will be remembered much more than Eileen Anderson’s brief stint as Honolulu mayor between Frank Fasi’s two extended terms.

(Next Shapiro writes up an intelligence test for Republicans.  maybe if he wites this, they won’t notice what is really going on.)

Lingle didn’t understand — or didn’t care — that her only chance of shaping state policy and changing Hawai‘i’s political culture was to break the Democratic super-majority in the Legislature in order to force her bills to the floor and have her vetoes sustained. Without that leverage, the Democrats could, and did, walk over her at will.

(Then Shapiro gets to the real problem with has with Lingle….)

Lingle was busy padding her own nest in national GOP politics by spending more time than any other governor from either party out of state on the presidential campaign trail.  (How dare she campaign for McCain and Bush!  And does anybody really believe Shapiro has figures handy measuring the amount of time various Governors spent on the Presidential campaign trail in 2004 and 2008?)

Waihee: …She gravitated toward the kind of mainland conservatism that has proved unpopular in the islands and “ended up, at the end of her term, palling around with (former Alaska Gov. Sarah) Palin.”

(Besides campaigning for McCain/Palin in 2008, when was Lingle ever “palling around” with Palin?  Moderate GOPer Lingle “mainland conservatism”???  What we have here are two Democrats, Shapiro and Waihee, complaining that Lingle dared to campaign for McCain in 2008.  They are complaining that she didn’t back Obama.)

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AP Finds Republicans quoteworthy When they are supporting a Democrat

Nor did it occur to Carol Mitsuda-Bagnell, who as a University of Hawaii student in the mid-1960s took a class with then-professor Abercrombie, several years before his first political race.

''He was just a hippie, a dissident,'' said Mitsuda-Bagnell of The Woodlands, Texas, who was in town visiting her 91-year-old mother when she learned Abercrombie would be sworn in. ''He was one of the agitators.''

But Mitsuda-Bagnell, 61, said she was pleased that Abercrombie had made it to the governor's office. ''I'm amazed at how high he's gotten in the political realm,'' she added.

Another onlooker, Rose Benjamin, of Honolulu, said she voted for Republican James ''Duke'' Aiona in the November general election because his opposition to abortion rights and same-sex civil unions mirrors her own.

But she said she postponed an important medical appointment to attend the inauguration because Abercrombie ''was the best leader for our state. He's been serving Hawaii for so many years.'' She cited his work while in Congress to get troops better chemical warfare gear.

''So I come to honor this man,'' added Benjamin, 55, who is retired from the Air Force.

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SA: Tighten schools' nepotism rules

Diana Oshiro told the Star-Advertiser's Susan Essoyan that she picks "certain people with certain characteristics and blind loyalty" to work under her. "I don't know how to explain it except that's the way it is."

That way has been lucrative for Oshiro and her relatives. Salaries for school principals under the Hawaii union contract range from $72,500 to $162,400 for principals and $58,400 to $130,900 for vice principals. Each of two of her sister's sons, neither of whom has more than a high school diploma, is paid $28,800 a year for his part-time job, while the clerk brings in $22,100.

The fact that Thompson Academy's own school board was unaware of the situation casts serious questions on accountability and standards, use of taxpayer funds and best practices on behalf of charter-school students.

Hawaii's charter schools have their own school boards, which hire the principals, who choose the staffs. Maunalei Love, the Charter School Administrative Office's executive director, said the office has no policy on nepotism "because we're not trying to tell them what to do." After the Star-Advertiser began its inquiry, Ruth Tschumy, chairwoman of the Charter School Review Panel, said she asked Love's office to "write a sample best hiring practice that schools might use."

That is a start, but not enough. Hawaii law bans state employees from taking discretionary action that affects their own financial interests or those of their spouses or dependent children. At the very least, that prohibition should be extended to charter school principals.

RELATED: Rep. Ward: If DoE won’t ban nepotism, insist on WASC Accreditation, Lynn Finnegan named executive director of Hawaii Charter School Network

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OHA’s Stender: Captain Cook to blame for DoE’s failures

Today Oz Stender writes in response to this Nov 14 commentary in the Star-Advertiser: Hawaiian students, including part-Hawaiian students, are underachieving and failing at alarming rates. This is nothing new and can be seen at virtually every school in the state. Hawaiian students are also overrepresented in truancy, disciplinary issues, special education and dropouts. This has been happening year after year, to the tune of thousands of students. While we can blame and dismiss the Hawaiians -- and let's face it, we have -- at what point do we accept that there is something wrong with a system that allows failure of this magnitude to continue?

Stender’s answer?

“Sadly, the deterioration of a once-proud and strong race of people began with the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778 and continues to this day.”

(Actually there were no people who saw themselves as Hawaiians until Kamehameha united the islands.  So according to Stender, the creation of Hawaiians was the destruction of Hawaiians.  But hey, don’t let a few facts get in the way of justifying half-billion dollar pork barrel projects for the Hee brothers and other race hustlers…. (see next article)

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Qwest, Verizon, ATT challenge taxpayer giveaway to Al Hee’s Sandwich Isles Scam Company

Qwest Communications International Inc. and Verizon Communications/Verizon Wireless filed comments in support of (here, and here) AT&T’s recent application requesting the FCC to withdraw their recent partially favorable Sandwich Isles Communication decision. In addition, Sandwich Isles Communications submitted comments in support of their petition urging the FCC to reconsider their September 29th, 2010 ruling and reject AT&T’s application.

RELATED: Abercrombie appoints five more directors (one from SIC)

REALITY: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

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Discounts lure more to hotels

Occupancy rates at Hawaii hotels in October and the same month last year:

 

2010

2009

Oahu

78.2%

75.6%

Kauai

61.2%

60.2%

Maui

67.1%

56.1%

Big Island

57.6%

55.3%

Statewide

Totals

70.9%

66.4%

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Religious war: Mormons vs Enviros duke it out over Laie

Enviro cultist ILind: Mormons are expected to pack a meeting Dec 7 at Kahuku High School to press for approval of the city’s controversial draft Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan.

Scuttlebutt is that the church is holding a community dinner to attract its members to attend the meeting.  (The horror!)

SA: Community plan awash in controversy

REALITY: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

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Isle initiative fuels hydrogen cars

Hawaii has put the pieces in place for an infrastructure that could bring hydrogen-powered vehicles to the state by 2015.

Automaker General Motors Corp. and The Gas Co., which teamed up in May, will announce today they have been joined by 10 other companies, agencies and universities in an initiative to support the integration of hydrogen as part of the state's plan to decrease dependency on imported oil. GM said 20 to 25 hydrogen stations will be installed around Oahu….

GM says its hydrogen-fueled vehicles will get the equivalent of 58 miles per gallon, have 2.3 times the efficiency (converting fuel to energy) of an internal combustion engine and have no emissions other than water vapor….

Jeff Kissell, president and chief executive officer of The Gas Co., said the utility has had hydrogen production facilities in place since 1974 so there will be minimal incremental cost for The Gas Co. to separate hydrogen from the synthetic natural gas it now produces and delivers in its utility gas stream. Kissell said The Gas Co. will let existing fuel station operators, such as Chevron, Shell 76 and Aloha, build the pumps to dispense the hydrogen.

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Two Council Candidates Face Residency Challenges

“I knew that I would be called a liar,” LoPresti said. “So I documented it.”

He walked up to Dudley’s house in Makakilo and found Doris Dudley, Kioni’s wife, outside. On the tape LoPresti asks if this is Dudley’s home and whether he can speak to him. When she confirms that Dudley is in the house, Lopresti asks again, “So he does live here?” and Mrs. Dudley says “Yes.”….

LoPresti also filed a complaint about union executive Mel Kahele, also a longtime resident of Makakilo. Kahele told KITV he left Makakilo for his daughter's house in Ewa Beach to be eligible for the race. He said that is justified because Makakilo was part of the first district until reapportionment changed the district boundaries….

Meanwhile, the open government advocacy group Common Cause said the elections laws need to be changed to ensure voters have key information about the candidates before they vote.

Even though voting will begin as soon as voters receive their ballots this week, the first campaign spending reports are not due until Dec. 20. That means the public will not know who is funding the candidates’ campaigns until well into the voting period.

RELATED:

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Kauai County Worker allegedly threatens supervisor, then gets promoted

LIHU‘E — A long-time county plumber says he lost his job after being threatened by a subordinate.

Roy Hashimoto, represented by Honolulu attorney Dean Choy, is suing the county for wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

He claims in a lawsuit that he was verbally threatened after giving an employee he supervised, Thomas Matsuyoshi, a written reprimand for insubordination. Matsuyoshi, who denies the allegations, was promoted after the January 2007 incident….

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