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Thursday, December 23, 2010
December 23, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:20 PM :: 6237 Views

DoE #1 in failure: 38% of Hawaii students flunk Military Aptitude tests

Census reapportionment data to be released in February

It's not yet known where in the state the biggest population gains occurred. The population counts for counties and other geographical breakdowns will be released on a state-by-state basis beginning in February.

Earlier Census Bureau figures underestimated the state's population growth. In fact, the 2009 estimate showed Hawaii growing by 83,641 residents, rather than the 148,764 shown by the actual count. Estimates did, however, predict that neighbor islands would account for 62.4 percent of the new residents….

Reapportionment is considered as much an art as a science, but there's a lot of politics involved as well. The state House and Senate majority and minority leaders each select two members of the commission. Those eight members, in turn, select the ninth member, who acts as the chairman of the commission.

The state commission has 100 days to produce its maps, which then go through a public vetting process for 50 days. The final legislative reapportionment plan must be submitted to the chief elections officer of the state within 150 days of the certification of commission members.

The state constitution requires districts to be contiguous, compact and nonsubmergent. Submergence is when a district is drawn so that a minority group's voting power is submerged in a larger district.

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Unbiased Media: Abercrombie aides “walk on water”

The press reports about Asselbaye and Aoki have been glowing: They are sharp, talented, calm, dedicated, well-informed; they practically walk on water.

Such comments pair with what Civil Beat has learned as well.

Negative comments about Asselbaye and Aoki appear to be nonexistent, and neither has attracted much media scrutiny.

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Aides nervous when Abercrombie goes off script

Jeff Mikulina …says Asselbaye sat in… meetings and kept Abercrombie to his agenda.

"Neil always does his thing — talking expressively, lost in ideas, going off on tangents — and she would always keep him on schedule," he said. "She would look ahead, ask questions and then follow through. She translates what he wants into what is practical. In that role she has become very savvy about issues but also about how government works."

Mikulina added: "Neil considers her a peer with a similar ideology….

Aoki and Asselbaye also seem quite aware that their boss is notorious for speaking his mind on any topic.

When Abercrombie begins riffing in press conferences, cracking jokes and telling stories — as he did three times last week when he introduced Cabinet picks — Aoki, Asselbaye and his communications team standing nearby sometimes laugh nervously (because he might reveal to the public what they already know about him.  For instance here’s what happened when Abercrombie showed up without his handlers for a Maui Time interview ….  Abercrombie on Marijuana: “Of course it should be utilized” )

(Of course the eagerness of the Hawaii media to not play this up is even more important than Aoki or Asselbaye.  They all  share “a similar ideology”)

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Ed Case campaign website gets extreme makeover

The official website for Ed Case just had an extreme makeover, and it's clear politics is at the core of Ed Case.

Highlights of the homepage include a Featured News section (which actually consists of Case's statements on the elections), an Ed Case on Facebook section ("490 people like Ed Case Hawaii"), a nine-minute Meet Ed and Audrey YouTube clip (Ed: "We both had prior marriages ... ") and a Twitter feed ("Inauguration Day. Hope, opportunity, change, pride, awe, Hawaii. http://ow.ly/3kTtj").

LINK: http://www.edcase.com/

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Hawaii taxes could rise but not on GET

House Speaker Calvin Say says a bill to repeal tax exemptions and credits will be debated again after it failed to pass last legislative session.

Hawaii is facing a $410 million budget deficit next year, and rolling back exemptions could generate about $100 million for the state government if it mirrors last year's initial proposal.

That bill would have killed off 37 tax breaks including for community maintenance fees, airlines and ship repair, replacing them with a 1 percent tax.

Before the measure died last year, it was changed to restore some exemptions and would have raised $25 million.

Here are the tax bills Calvin Say pushed in 2010: House Finance Committee Advances 12 Tax Bills

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Toguchi blames private schools for Hawaii’s 38% ASVAP failure

Garrett Toguchi, chairman of Hawaii's Board of Education, says the report is "unclear whether applicants came from public or private school, whether they were Hawaii residents or how long they attended school in Hawaii, if at all."  Of course, that can pertain to any state, and Toguchi's suggestion of such a sheer unlikelihood in Hawaii is lame.

RELATED: DoE #1 in failure: 38% of Hawaii students flunk Military Aptitude tests

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DoE brainwashes second graders against Christmas

While we adults debate the point, the kids who will carry our traditions forward are buying into the notion that it's the world's job to cater to the sensitivities of the most easily offended among us.

After showing my second-grader the video I took of her performance in the school show, I asked if she was looking forward to her Christmas vacation.

She gave me a scolding look and corrected, "It's called 'winter break.'

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Cited 53 times, City does not fine Genesiro Kawamoto

It is extremely important that our city agencies and City Council take action to protect us from investors who degrade our neighborhoods. There are city ordinances that exist which should protect our neighborhoods. Honolulu's Housing Code Section 27-9.1(k) requires that houses and yards be adequately maintained.

City investigators from the Department of Planning and Permitting have cited the mega-billionaire 53 times up to October 2009, but he has gotten off the hook big time. The civil fines can range from $50 to $1,000 daily. For Kawamoto, the fines inexplicably have remained at $50, despite the fact that the requirements for the imposition of $1,000 fines have been met; namely that the violations have been recurring or are a threat to health and safety.

The leniency shown by the city's Department of Planning and Permitting to the offender has served as little deterrent to his unneighborly behavior.

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Furloughs stir 2 moms' push for minimum of school days

Melanie Bailey and Kathy Bryant-Hunter drafted a bill to require a minimum of 180 days in a school year and increase student instructional hours.

They spent countless hours researching and making calls to legislators before their lobbying paid off. House Bill 2486, signed into law, will bring student instructional hours up to the national average and, over time, exceed it. The new law will take effect in the 2011-2012 school year….

Bailey and another parent made calls to public elementary and high schools around the country and learned Hawaii was the only state where the number of days in a school year is not set by law, but done through collective bargaining with the teachers union. They also learned Hawaii had the lowest number of student instructional hours of any state.

"That's when we became very concerned," said Bryant-Hunter.

(The article doesn’t make it clear, but this was a completely separate effort from the SoS union scammers who occupied the governor’s office in order to help Abercrombie get elected.)

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Maui News: Gov. Abercrombie says one of his priorities is to return all Hawaii prisoners from the Mainland. Do you agree?

  1. Yes, it should be a priority
    13%
  2. Yes, but not a priority; other issues more important
    33%
  3. No, don't return them
    48%
  4. Don't know enough about it
    6%

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Censorship: Progressives look for ways to silence Mufi supporters

The plaintiff’s lawyer laments the content of the offending website: “The Web site was vicious,” said Richard Spencer. “It lied about the identity of its sponsors and it contained gross distortions and misrepresentations about Eliot Cutler.”

This sounds like a standard rebuttal smoke screen.

More alarmingly, Ian Lind picks up this rhetoric and reports it as fact: “an anonymous web site set up to viciously attack a candidate for governor…”

(Party unity, eh?)

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Gaza victimized by Ann Wright, Star-Advertiser

Honolulu friend of the Maoists Ann Wright continues with the old lies about her Gaza flotilla and the SA gives her a platform.  The word “Hamas” appears nowhere in her column.

Reality: 

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Temporary spending bill ends Hawaii earmarks: Inouye cronies cut off until March 4 at earliest

A temporary spending bill for the current fiscal year will discontinue all earmarked funding for projects sponsored by members of Congress, including Hawaii's delegation.

The continuing resolution that was passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the House Tuesday will keep spending at current levels through March 4, almost six months into the 2011 fiscal year.

Peter Boylan, a spokesman for Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, says allocations for earmarked projects last only one year.

He says all such projects that were financed through earmarks during the 2010 federal fiscal year that ended September 30 won't receive similar funding over the next three months.

Boylan says those programs will be forced to seek alternate sources of funding.

(Proposed alternate funding source: Get a job.)

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Akaka complains about failure of Akaka Bill

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is a Hawaii-specific measure.   In the long traditions of the U.S. Senate, it was considered a courtesy to stand with your colleagues on matters specifically addressing the needs of their home state.  This civility seems to have vanished from this chamber.  (Good riddance.)

It is frustrating to me that some of my colleagues have worked aggressively to block this bill.  For some reason, they have made it a priority to prevent the people of my state from moving forward to resolve issues caused by the illegal overthrow of the Native Hawaiian government in 1893 avarice of OHA cronies. 

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Army vet discharged under DADT "shocked" by repeal

Smith was trained as an intelligence officer and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004. He looked forward to a career in military intelligence. But after his return from deployment, he started dating a man who is now his partner. And he decided to come out, because he wanted to be honest about who he was with the people he was serving with.

"Nobody had any problems with how I was doing my job," Smith said. "For the most part, people didn't care when they found out I was gay.

"I honestly didn't ask to be kicked out, so if they had allowed me to stay in being open, I would probably still be there today," he added.

KHON: Former Hawaii Navy officer applauds repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

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Development ideas contradict General Plan

The 2010 draft of the Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP) contradicts the values and vision as outlined in the Oahu General Plan and Hawaii 2050, the recent statewide vision plan. I shall very briefly highlight a few contradictions and discrepancies.

Oahu's General Plan extols Koolauloa's special sense of "Old Hawaii." It states that "agricultural lands are preserved for agricultural uses," "the 'ahupuaa concept is used as the organizing basis for land use planning and natural resource management in Ko'olau Loa."

The General Plan further specifies Koolauloa's natural resources and predominantly "country" character should be maintained by allowing only limited development in established communities, and that agricultural lands along the windward, North Shore and Waianae coasts be maintained for diversified agriculture.

Do "old Hawaii" and diversified agriculture fit with five hotels, 1,000 condominiums, and a new Envision Laie plan with 875 homes, a regional commercial center, industrial and technology parks on 900 acres of ag land?

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Crackdown on fireworks leads to 3 arrests in 2 days

Two Makakilo residents were arrested yesterday afternoon in the Kapolei 16 Theatre parking lot for attempting to sell aerial fireworks without permits.

Officers from the Pearl City District arranged to meet with a man and a woman after receiving information that the two had been selling illegal aerials.

Jacqueline S.Y. Lee, 38, and Ikaikaalii K. Smith, 24, both of a Palahia Street address, were arrested and charged with selling fireworks without a license, a Class C felony. They were released on $100 bail.

A Kalihi man was arrested Tuesday night in Kalihi after patrol officers heard and then witnessed him setting off illegal aerials.

The suspect, 20, ran from the scene, but was then arrested for using prohibited aerials, a petty misdemeanor. Ranie Ranga of Kealoha Street was released on $1,000 bail.

…meanwhile, the Legislature, BoE, OHA, and HSTA have not been apprehended….

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Young Bros. Monopoly loses business, hikes rates 24%

Meanwhile, Young Brothers said its proposed rate hike is the result of a sharp decline in cargo volumes since 2008, as well as Pasha’s entry into the inter-island market. Young Brothers President Glenn Hong said the volume drop-off is reflected in the company’s rate of return, which he said was less than 1 percent in 2009, with similar results so far this year.

“The company is clearly at a point where either rates have to increase or service has to decrease,” Hong said.

Young Brothers Vice President Roy Catalani said the drop in volume accounts for 18 percentage points of the proposed 24 percent increase. He said the remaining 6 percentage points are the direct result of the start of Pasha’s service.

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A 2011 Rebirth of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion?

Ocean thermal energy conversion, sometimes called OTEC, is a form of ocean energy extraction that is subtle yet potentially significant. The temperature difference between warmer shallow water and cooler deep water can drive a heat engine, usually using the Rankine cycle. The basic concept isn't new; the idea appears to have been first proposed in France in 1881, with the first operating plant (22 kW) built in Cuba in 1930. Since then, a number of small projects have been developed, mostly as research or demonstration projects, but the technology hasn't seen widespread adoption. Cost is the key driver here; because OTEC facilities generally have a high cost per unit of power produced, interest in OTEC tends to follow cost spikes in oil and energy pricing.

So we had to find somewhere that was spending Other People’s Money—and that led us inexorably towards (drumroll please) Honolulu (cymbals clash).

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Mitt Romney Also in Hawaii, Expected to Talk 2012 Plans with Family

HONOLULU, HAWAII -- President Obama isn't the only politician who will be in Hawaii over the holidays. Potential 2012 Republican candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is also spending time in the tropical destination.

Romney is spending time with his five kids and their families for a two week vacation, Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom tells Fox News.

It's unlikely that the two families will run into each other though, as they are staying on different islands --with the Romneys in Maui and the Obamas in Oahu.

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Dante Carpenter: Obama up to his eyeballs in horse manure

Who are we to argue?

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