NCSL: Hawaii budget short $200M for 2012, $145M for 2013
Child porn survivor denounces UH Prof’s call for legalization
County to bulldoze December 7 Battlefield?
Rail Financial Report co-authored by former Controller of So Cal Rapid Transit
Turnabout: Hawaii GOP calls on Hirono, Hanabusa to support Obama Tax Bill
US House Democratic Caucus: “F*** the President …. We can’t trust him…. Just say no!”
Olbermann Video: “President may not be re-nominated. Get a new man. Or woman.”
Study: Hawaii ranks 5th in overall health
24% of Hawaii residents spend more than they earn
Hawaii: 147K on Food Stamps, up 15.7%
EIS Begins for Undersea Power Cable Project
Rally for Imprisoned Noble Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo
Budget: DLNR demands $50M/year
The Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing that lawmakers set aside an annual $50 million over five years to fix the "deplorable condition" of state parks.
The department has listed a $240 million backlog of construction that was delayed as a result of slashed budgets, user fees that have not been increased in years, and constant raiding of special fund revenues.
In her final days as chairwoman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources last week, Laura Thielen released "State of the State Recreational Places," a 62-page report saying the state parks are "in deplorable condition" and asking "how come they look so junk."
Slavery: Global Horizon Trafficking Defendants Likely Face Additional Charges
The U.S. Justice Department in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigations is interviewing up to 100 more witnesses in preparation for convening another grand jury in the Global Horizon/Manpower human trafficking case to issue super ceding indictments.
That federal government’s plan came to light today in U.S. District Court, Honolulu District, during the appearance of defendant Mordechai Yosef Orian, Chief Executive Officer of Global Horizons/Manpower….
The Justice Department says that after arrival in the United States, the defendants took the Thai nationals’ passports, did not honor their employment contracts, but keep the workers in line by threatening to send them home to Thailand, “knowing they would face serious economic harms created by the debts.”
The indictment also alleges that the defendants held a group of Thai workers at Maui Pineapple Farm, demanding $3,750 in addition to money already paid to keep their jobs with Global Horizons. Workers who did not pay were sent to Thailand with debts unpaid, which the government says put the workers at “high risk” of losing their family homes and land.
REALITY: Neil Abercrombie's slavery problem, Green hypocrites: Case & Omidyar’s Maui Land & Pine tied to human trafficking case
Rail Critics Say State Report Will Go To Congress, Feds
A state study that casts doubt on financial projections for the city’s rail transit project may yet be used in examining the project despite being lambasted by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle as shoddy and biased work.
Two well-known opponents to the city’s proposed rail project say they believe the report released last week will carry more weight at the Federal Transit Administration, which has federal oversight of the project, and in Congress, where a Republican-controlled House of Representatives is looking for ways to cut spending.
SA: Tax-cut deal is best for now
Reluctantly but correctly, Hawaii's congressional delegation has agreed to support President Barack Obama's deal with Republicans to extend the federal tax cuts that were a main cause of the nation's economic abyss. The alternative would have been unacceptable: higher taxes for all Americans and an ill-timed cutoff of unemployment compensation that millions rely upon to pay their housing bills and put food on their plates.
While liberal Democrats denounced and vowed to oppose the agreement in House and Senate chambers, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye said he "will hold my nose and vote for it." Sen. Daniel Akaka said he will support it with "strong reservations," while Rep. Mazie Hirono said she is "still hoping that we vote on a better package." Not surprisingly, outgoing Rep. Charles Djou, the delegation's only Republican, said he will support what liberal Democrats are likening to a surrender by Obama.
Hirono? Not exactly: Hirono: Tax cut plan should not reach House floor
HPD officer charged in theft: Honolulu's police chief offers no explanation for the five recent arrests of policemen
The chief said he cannot explain the recent spate of officer arrests. He said he is continuing his quest of visiting each watch of every HPD station and office during the holiday season.
"I'm reinforcing the importance of making good personal decisions," Kealoha said. "There's no substitute for that. There's no excuse for stealing. You don't have to be a police officer to understand that stealing is wrong."
Judge King describes Democrat Borreca
First the reader must endure 17 paragraphs describing Judge King as a “Multicultural… social thinker…” (Progressives always try to claim the dead as their own…but then we get this beauty….)
"A free press is not necessarily an angelic press," wrote King, noting that politicians hold news conferences to serve their own purpose, not the public's.
"Manipulation of the news is a highly developed technique, utilizing staff news specialists, self-serving handouts, programmed appearances, and positive and negative reinforcement in dealing with reporters and news media," wrote King, who had his own experiences as a candidate for office four years earlier.
Denby Fawcett quits KITV after helping Abercrombie pretend to be Episcopalian
She has a knowledge of Hawaii and Hawaii politics that will be missed here and across the state…. (Especially on the 5th floor)
Speaker Say: Will Abercrombie appointments manipulate balance of power in House?
Big Island Sen. Dwight Takamine resigned Dec. 6 to take a job in the administration, while another Big Isle senator, Russell Kokubun, has yet to officially resign to also go to work in the administration, according to Party Chairman Dante Carpenter.
Carpenter said it was likely both men would be replaced before the Legislature opens for business Jan. 19, adding that the new members represent an "interesting dynamic" because all three new senators are not part of the existing leadership structure in the Senate. And, should any of the three Senate seats be filled by a sitting state House member (say, Maile Shimabukuro filling Hanabusa's shoes), a new House member's vote could impact the ongoing leadership struggle in that chamber.
Takamine, Kokubun domino effect
The senators' moves into administration will likely create a domino effect of openings for other elected officials and hopefuls. Already two state representatives, a former state representative and a County Council member have said they'd like to be considered for the Senate seat openings.
Faye “Islam Day’ Hanohano ready to quit House for Senate
Democratic state Rep. Faye “Islam Day” Hanohano of Puna will apply to succeed Sen. Russell Kokubun of Hilo, who plans to leave his post to become director of the state Department of Agriculture.
Former Big Island City Council Chairman (and convicted felon) Gary Safarik previously expressed interest in Kokubun's seat.
Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda (Mufi supporter, no chance here) says he wants the post held until Monday by ex-Sen. Dwight Takamine of Hilo. Takamine resigned to become the state labor director.
Rep Morikawa breaks ranks with dissidents, sort of
State Rep. Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, (D-Niihau, Lehua, Waimea), says she is open to backing state House Speaker Calvin Say but does not want to be the only dissident to break ranks.
Morikawa told Hawaii Public Radio’s Wayne Yoshioka on Tuesday – and us today – that she would prefer that more than 26 lawmakers resolve the stalemate. She said she would consider supporting Say if she is joined by at least a few others, but preferably more.
She said she is going away on vacation for a week and would assess the situation when she returns. “I want to see what goes on with the negotiations,” she said….
State Rep. Scott Saiki, (D-Moiliili, McCully, Kaimuki), one of the dissidents, said the dissidents — including Morikawa — have agreed to vote for speaker as a group.
Ethics Commission Gives Senators OK for Taiwan Trip
Next Tuesday, seven Democratic state senators will leave for a weeklong visit to Taiwan for meetings, tours and conferences.
The $5,000 trip — for coach airfare, hotel costs and ground transportation — will be paid by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The focus of the trip is international relations, trade, energy and tourism, and the Hawaii State Ethics Commission has given the senators its blessing.
Gov. Abercrombie Agrees To Disclose List Of Gala Donors
Abercrombie Communications Deputy Director Laurie Au intially said Abercrombie would not be revealing the names of his inaugural ball donors because the donors were not told their names would be made public when they purchased tickets to the ball.
Later in the day, the Abercrombie Administration said it was still deciding if it would make the names of inaugural ball donors public.
By the time the ball got underway Thursday Governor Abercrombie made his decision. He said he saw no problem with disclosing the information.
Dopers to protest arrest of Abercrombie fundraiser on dope charges
Willie Nelson was recently arrested again, the third time for possession of cannabis and he has had enough. He is calling for Americans to band together and form a new national Teapot political party. Millions of Americans support responsible use of marijuana. Millions of Americans that work, we pay our taxes and we vote. Thousands have already responded to Willie’s call and Teapot Parties have literally appeared overnight across the country.
Weekly jobless claims top 17,000
The Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations counted 17,152 total claims for the seven days ending Dec. 4, of which 2,457 were first-time filings for unemployment compensation. The week before there had been only 1,565 new claims and 15,201 total.
Nobody comes: Hotel Occupancy drops to 38%
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The week after Thanksgiving turned out to be the softest hotel week of 2010, Hospitality Advisors LLC reported Friday.
Kauai hotel occupancy fell to an astonishing 38% as neighbor island resorts took it on the chin at the bottom of the off-season. That 38% was eight points lower than last year at the same time and nine points lower than the previous week.
Big Island hotels were 43% full, down from 50% the previous week but five points better than last year at the same time.
Maui saw occupancy plunge from 70% to 53% last week, slightly better than last year.
Oahu, immune to most downturns, held fast at 70% full, about the same as last year.
Hawaiian again tops on-time arrivals
According to data recently released by the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report ( airconsumer.dot.gov/reports/atcr10.htm ), the major carriers showed significant improvement in service in October as compared with the previous year, but could not match the numbers from the previous month….
Surprisingly, the airlines we love the most also inconvenienced us the most: JetBlue took last place with 76.7 percent, and Southwest nabbed the second-lowest rung with 77.5 percent. Hawaiian Airlines scored highest with 95.4 percent, proving once again that Hawaii is paradise.
Must A Property Owner Seek To Change The Law To Ripen A Federal Regulatory Takings Claim?
The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals Dec 8 heard oral arguments in a case we've been following that involves federal regulatory takings claims, Williamson County ripeness, the practical effect of the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in GATRI v. Blane, 88 Haw. 108, 962 P.2d 367 (1998) regarding zoning and planning for land in the Special Management Area.
Leone v. County of Maui, No. 2969 is a case that has U.S. Supreme Court potential if the Hawaii courts don't get it right and is definitely one to watch.
Disclosure: we filed an amicus brief supporting the property owners in this case, available here.
Book Review – Island Son: The Life and Times of Hawaii’s Republican Reformer (coming to Hilo)
Who: Former Hawaii state senator Fred Rohlfing
What: Rohlfing will hold a Big Island book signing for his memoir, Island Son: The Life and Times of Hawaii’s Republican Reformer
When/Where: Saturday, December 11 at Basically Books (160 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo), 808-961-0144.
Molesters’ buddies continue attack on Fontaine
These arrogant … are demanding an apology because Fontaine dared to point out that Rep Bertram employed convicted child molester Leon Rouse.
REALITY: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature
Given these levels of support one might expect that Rouse had an exculpatory story, but even the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a July, 2005 report on an appeal by Rouse – a report which Rouse claims proves his innocence – describes the circumstances of Rouse’s arrest in damning terms:
Around noon on the day of arrest, he [Rouse] arrived at Pichay Lodging House, where he saw Harty Dancel, a former acquaintance, accompanied by two individuals, Pedro Augustin and Godfrey Domingo. The four of them had lunch in a restaurant, where Dancel offered Godfrey to have sex with the author. The author refused, arguing that the latter was too young, even after Dancel insisted and assured him he had reached the age of majority.
Later in the day, the same three persons waited for the author at his hotel. Dancel had them invited to the author’s room. After the author [Rouse] had taken a shower, Dancel and Augustin left the room, leaving him alone with Godfrey. The latter requested to use the bathroom, where he undressed. When there were knocks on the door, the author opened, and police officers entered. At that moment, neither the author nor Godfrey wore clothes.
In the initial Philippine court decision the events are described thus:
On or about the 4th day of October 1995, in the City of Laoag, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously by using his adult influence and promising to pay 200 pesos ($3.79 US), engage one Godfrey Domingo, a male child who is below 18 years of age, as in fact he is 15 years old, for lascivious acts and committed said acts by masturbating and sucking the penis of the child and inserting his penis into the anus of the child all of which acts were committed by the accused on said child at Room 205 of the Pichay Lodging House at Laoag City, but which acts although already performed by the accused on the child was discontinued due to the intervention of the police who apprehended the accused who was then naked and in the company of Godfrey Domingo who was also naked in Room 205 of the Pichay Lodging House.
Rouse appealed all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court where his appeal was denied on April 23, 2003. He served eight years of a 10-to-15-year sentence in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. After complaining of kidney stones, Rouse was released by the Philippine authorities on September 29, 2003 and immediately deported and banished for life from the Philippines.
Lahaina News: Jo Anne Johnson represented us well
The dirty cloud even reached the Valley Isle to a certain extent, though tinged to a Maui red. References to candidates’ connections to sexual predators on down to big money developers soiled the election landscape. (Really? But apparently this writer was not bothered by the connections themselves. Disgusting. Those who expose and denounce child molesters are being portrayed as worse than the molesters. Who could possibly be stupide enough to be manipulated by this rhetorical sleight-of-hand?)
Yet, several Maui County politicians stood above the swamp (Joe Bertram and his molester buddies are not a swamp, those who tell the truth about him are. Hello? Anybody home?) to maintain a level of dignity that is often lost during these election times.
As she has done throughout her ten years as the West Side’s representative on the Maui County Council, Jo Anne Johnson maintained the political integrity we have come to admire and appreciate during her tenure. Whether it was a vote on development issues, county ordinances, tax structures or funding channels, Councilwoman Johnson could be counted on to cast her support based on her research to find the way to benefit the constituents of the district she represented.
To this day, I do not know if she is a Democrat or a Republican.
(She was a Republican. And this is written by a progressive once again trying to shape the opposition into the desired mold. Who will be suckered by this game?)
Waikiki vigil honors Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
HONOLULU (AP) — A candlelight vigil in Waikiki is planned to honor imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and other human rights defenders.
The vigil will be held on Friday, the 60th anniversary of International Human Rights Day.
RELATED: Rally for Imprisoned Noble Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo
WH: Obama won't leave DC until nuke deal is done
Good news for Oahu air-tour operators.