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Thursday, December 16, 2010
December 16, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:14 PM :: 11776 Views

EPA: Sharp decrease in Hawaii air, water pollution

Punished for success? BoE to consider closing two of State’s most successful schools

Feds to loan $25M/month as Hawaii Unemployment Compensation fund runs dry

Star-Advertiser endorses McDermott in Special Election

One candidate stands out as best equipped to finish out the remaining two years left in Todd Apo's term. Although some of his opponents have neighborhood board experience, six years of service in the state House should help Bob McDermott to hit the ground running at Honolulu Hale. He merits the Star-Advertiser's endorsement in the race, which ends with mail-in balloting Dec. 29.

McDermott formerly represented the House district that encompasses lower Pearlridge, Aiea and Halawa, a seat he surrendered in 2002 in an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Congress. Shortly after that race he and his family moved to Ewa Beach, and the former Marine officer turned his professional attention to his post as executive director of the Navy League, a civilian organization that supports the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. In the past year he also has served as a member of the city's Civil Service Commission….

McDermott is on the road to surmounting it, studying the issues and providing some thoughtful positions:

  • Rail transit plans should be allowed to proceed as soon as possible to enable his district's long-sought transportation alternative, and the redevelopment of the urban corridor along its route.
  • On housing problems, the city should step up the direction of the homeless from city parks to shelters that can provide medical and social services and referrals that these families need; affordable housing is best provided privately through partnerships enabled by the city's new housing office.
  • On solid-waste management, the expansion of HPOWER should be expedited and new technologies that further reduce the waste stream should be pursued.

McDermott was elected as part of the House Republican minority; his reputation for a collegial approach there should serve him well in the rough-and-tumble arena of the Council.

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Aiona appointed Exec VP of St Louis School

CB: Duke Aiona has given Saint Louis High School a two-year commitment as its new executive VP for development and recruitment. His job, beginning Jan. 3, is to rustle up money and students, and to market the all-boys school, which Aiona attended and where he later coached varsity basketball.

Aiona said he would evaluate his political future following the 2012 elections, reiterating that the only office he covets is the governorship.

KHON: In a statement from the school, officials say "Duke Aiona will formally accept a new position that will enable him to continue his passion of working with young people to develop Hawaii's future leaders."

Eric Ryan’s annual anti-GOP scam makes Star-Advertiser, Kauai Garden Isle and Maui News

The article starts with a false statement (corrections added) and goes downhill from there….

“Weeks after a lackluster performance in the November election, the Hawaii Republican Party is (not) undergoing turmoil over its finances and (is not discussing) whether it should sell its Honolulu headquarters.” 

REALITY: GOP responds to “bizarre, comical” emails from Eric Ryan

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Hundreds Oppose Consolidation of Hawaii Kai Schools

Students, parents and other supporters of the two elementary schools which could be consolidated said both of them should stay open, in spite of low enrollment.

Opponents of consolidation point out that both Kamiloiki and Koko Head Elementary Schools have seen math and reading achievement scores increase each of the last three years, in spite of school furloughs and budget cuts.

SA: Public slams school closure

RELATED: Punished for success? BoE to consider closing two of State’s most successful schools

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Kia’aina Abercrombie?

CB: Kia’aina means "governor" in Hawaiian, and Hawaii's new governor referred to the title several times during his press availability this morning.

Actually Kia ‘aina is a compound word meaning Ke kia o ka ‘aina.  ‘Aina is obvious, but kia meanings include: “To concentrate or direct, especially in sorcery; evil force of black magic; a sorcerer might concentrate his prayers (kia i ka pule) to the destruction of an individual or object; to aim, as a gun.”       

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Abercrombie already using Saguro lawsuit as excuse to bulk up UPW positions with new prison

"I intend to work as quickly as I can to bring all the prisoners back. I don't want to send anybody out of the state. It is dysfunctional," said Abercrombie.

Abercrombie said, "I will be working with the Department of Public Safety, and with the Judiciary and the Legislature to forge a comprehensive and integrated program to deal with the question of incarceration."

Abercrombie initially spoke of his dedication to bringing the Hawaii prisoners home Tuesday, when KITV4 asked him for a response to a lawsuit filed this week by 18 Hawaii inmates alleging brutality at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona where they are housed.

KITV4 was the first to report on the lawsuit. (And Hawai’i Free Press was the first to predict that it would be used to line the UPW’s pockets like this.  The next step will be an audit of the private prisons contract, coming late Dec. or early Jan.)

SA: Abercrombie pledges isle inmates' return: A suit against an Arizona prison spurs the move 

(Key talking point: Only UPW members should be allowed to beat prisoners.  It’s in the contract.)

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DUI overtime fraud: 7 Officers charged want city to pay their legal bills

The seven officers work for the Selective Enforcement Unit, part of the department's Traffic Division, which organizes roadblock checkpoints to catch motorists under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The court cases involve allegations that police reports were written to say the two sergeants were at DUI checkpoints when they were not -- a ploy to gain overtime pay.

Bernal and Zoller were charged with theft. All seven were charged with tampering with a government record.

They all have denied wrongdoing and the cases are scheduled to go to court next month.

Prosecutors say the actions of the officers resulted in the dismissal of more than 200 DUI cases.

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Honolulu one of the most secure places to live

Honolulu is the seventh most secure place to live in the United States among large metropolitan areas, according to the Seventh Annual Farmers Insurance Group of Companies study.

The rankings, compiled by database experts at www.bestplaces.net, took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, air quality, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 114 U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.

Honolulu has appeared among the top 20 in each of the seven years of the Farmers study.

http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/secure.aspx

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Inouye: Polynesians guided by Earmarks, Pork

Daniel K. Inouye this morning tweeted Hawaii News Now's story on John McCain going ballistic over a $300,000 earmark for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

The tweet includes a statement from Inouye's office: "Rather than learn anything about the Hokulea, how the Pacific was populated by Polynesians sailing with nothing more than the stars, wind, sun, moon and currents earmarks as their guide, Sen. McCain wants to vilify the Polynesian Voyaging Society as emblematic of wasteful government spending."

For some reason Inouye did not mention that the Polynesians carried live pigs with then rather than dead pork. 

Economist continues to descend into swamp, now defends earmarks: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/12/americas_budget_deficit

Earmarks must be abolished to kill the one-party corporatist State.

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OHA officials conspire with US Education Secretary Duncan

Senior Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials have met with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Washington, D.C. to discuss boosting education brainwashing for Native Hawaiians.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona and Chief Executive Officer Clyde Namuo on Wednesday asked Duncan for continued and increased funding (did they mention funding?) of the Native Hawaiian Education Act, which develops educational programs to brainwash future OHA cronies.

They also asked that the department assign specific representatives to develop closer working relationships on Native Hawaiian education matters with OHA so they will have even greater control over your child.

OHA officials also plan to meet with Hawaii's congressional delegation on the status of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka bill (Which has been called deader than dead.)

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Djou, Hirono vote to repeal 'don't ask' law

Djou, a Republican, and Hirono, a Democrat, on Wednesday voted aye on a stand-alone measure that would eliminate a 1993 law prohibiting military personnel from acknowledging they are gay.

The bill passed the House 250 to 175 and was sent to the Senate, where the language stalled in recent weeks when it was part of a larger defense measure.

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Change order disclosure: Council advances transparency, notification bill

With little fanfare, and even less argument, the Hawaii County Council passed on first reading a bill that requires the administration to report all contract change orders every 30 days.

Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, after reviewing an audit of county contracting procedures, introduced the measure, which isn't finalized until it passes during a second reading at an upcoming meeting. That audit showed that the county paid 116 percent more for professional services in the 2006-07 fiscal year than those services were originally contracted to cost, Yagong said. Construction contracts that year ended up costing about 33 percent more than the original contracted amount, he said, adding that the industry standard for change orders increasing project costs is about 6 to 10 percent.

"I am in no way saying anything has been done illegal or not kosher," Yagong said. "The only thing I do not like with the process is, when there's an increase in the contract, there's no way of the public knowing that or the council knowing that."

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Clerk’s salary still stirring controversy

Council members Tim Bynum and (anti-Superferry protester) JoAnn Yukimura have alleged procedural errors in the process that gave Nakamura a 7 percent pay raise on Dec. 1, 2009.

“To me, it’s really clear,” Bynum said. “The Salary Commission requires certain criteria to be met. Those criteria were not met.”

But Council Chair Jay Furfaro says due process was followed — including two council votes on the matter — and Nakamura’s pay raise was appropriately approved by the appointing authority. He has asked the county attorney to review the legality of the matter.

KGI: Clerk not only officer to get pay raise

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UH-Hilo drops lecturer known for his colorful language

Meanwhile 9-11 trooothers, anti-Semites, and Maoists get tenure….

Inside Higher Ed: He Won't Censor Himself, Tim Jahraus needs to be [censored] in the [censored] with a [censored], hard'Shit Happens' School of Philosophy Rejected by University

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9oz of dope OK on flight, charges dropped

Donna Goldsworthy, a nurse and well-known Red Cross volunteer, and the other defendant, Alan R. Lee, were not in the courtroom. Both were fighting second-degree misdemeanor charges of promoting a dangerous drug.

Belinda Hill, the public defender representing Goldsworthy and Lee, filed motions to dismiss the charges, although both defendants signed stipulations admitting they were in possession of marijuana.

Son, on the other side of the case, conceded in the stipulation the two had valid medical marijuana certificates, known as "blue cards," when they were charged and their marijuana confiscated.

The Transportation Security Administration, the federal agency that screens passengers at airports, doesn't arrest passengers on drug charges, but detains them and turns them over to local law enforcement.  (So the dopers used this fact to have Hawai State courts let them off on the charge, thus setting a precedent.  This is just the beginning of a move to legalize dope transport on airplanes.)

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Larger planes could mean Southwest flights to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines could be heading as far southwest as the U.S. goes — to Hawaii.

The airline’s chairman, president and CEO said in New York on Wednesday that Southwest would substitute 20 of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft orders to 800-series jets, opening the door to potential long over-water and international flights.

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Hawaii snags $425K from Dannon yogurt settlement

The makers of Dannon yogurt and Dan Active drinks will pay $21 million to Hawaii and 38 other states to settle an investigation into claims that its products can help ward off colds and help with irregularity.

Hawaii will get $425,000 as its share of the settlement to resolve deceptive-advertising complaints, said Stephen H. Levins, executive director of the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection. "The money will be used for consumer protection purposes."

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Flight rules to be less strict during Obama visit

KGMB-TV reported this evening that the rules will still include a 10-mile no-fly zone centered on Kailua and a less restrictive 30-mile zone beyond that.

But the agreement also will allow flight schools and air tour firms to continue operating with certain limitations, including the mandatory screening of pilots, students and passengers, the filing of flight plans and a ban on introductory lessons for foreign students.

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How Christmas developed in Hawaii

The Western version of the holidays came to Hawaii on Dec. 25, 1786. The British ship Queen Charlotte was anchored off present-day Waimea, on the west side Kauai. This was eight years after Capt. James Cook had come into Waimea Bay and "discovered" what he would call the Sandwich Islands, after the Earl of Sandwich, the Lord of the Admiralty.

According to the accounts of the Queen Charlotte's captain, George Dixon, a search party was sent ashore. The group caught a wild pig, which was roasted by the ship's cooks. Sailors mixed their traditional rum ration with the milk of coconuts taken from the island in what may be the first recorded piña colada in history.

HFP: How Christmas Came to Hawaii

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Shapiro: The night before the holiday we don’t mention

I had a lovely time last night at my grandkids’ school Christmas show, which was actually called Winter Fest because you can’t say Christmas in public anymore without getting the PC police all up in your business….

The sanitization has gone too far, and I can understand why it ticks Christians off. Nobody would blink at a slipped mention of Hannukah or Kwanzaa, and you can invoke the Dalai Lama until the cows come home. Putting a lot of religious dogma in these shows would be inappropriate, but the avoidance of mentioning Christmas at all is ridiculous….

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