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Thursday, December 30, 2010
December 30, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:41 PM :: 7543 Views

Republican Tom Berg wins Council Special Election

GOP: Berg's years of service to community recognized

2011 Legislative Agenda: ERS benefits to be slashed, “all eligible members to retire”

Theme of Prison Audit lifted from Kat Brady commentary

Audit fuels “clinically psychotic” HGEA effort to strangle tax collection

Hawaii’s Leftist Governor Seeks Birther Revival

Abercrombie’s Birther Crusade: Day Five

HuffPo: Abercrombie on a fool’s errand

Hawaii Legislature doesn’t know difference between entrepreneurs and Crony Moguls

Council on Revenues forecasts $44M more revenue

Reaction to Tom Berg Victory

The Micromanagement begins; Takamine asked to intervene in bakery dispute

House Labor and Public Employment Committee Chairman Karl Rhoads has asked Dwight Takamine and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to look into a workers' wage dispute against Bishop Street bakery Gourmet Delite.

Six employees who used to work at the company's Iwilei bakery told Rhoads they are due $24,000 in back pay, and that other employees who still work there are having trouble cashing paychecks. The company may also have failed to provide health care benefits as is required by state law.

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‘Green” Energy: Residential electric bills going up next month

The Public Utilities Commission has already approved the hike, which calls for the new fees to be put into a public benefits fund.

The fund pays for rebates for buying solar water heaters, energy-efficient appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The PUC expects the fund will raise about $36 million next year…Residential payments to the fund averaged $1.19 a month when it was launched in 2009. After the rate hike, the average is $3.51 monthly.

(And they’re just getting warmed up.)

SA: Power bills going up a few cents

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State auditor: "Quick and dirty" management of inmates on the mainland

The campaign to grow the UPW continues…

REALITY:Theme of Prison Audit lifted from Kat Brady commentary

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Panel advocates foreclosure protections

Hawaii homeowners should have the right to have a state judge oversee foreclosure actions and should be notified in person at least 21 days in advance if their home is going to be put up for auction.

Those are two recommendations from a state task force representing the mortgage industry and consumers. The group delivered a report to the Legislature this week with initial suggestions for improving Hawaii's foreclosure process.

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State tax forecast up: The Council on Revenues predicts 3 percent growth this fiscal year

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Council on Revenues to Change Reports Because of 'Media Confusion'

At its most recent meeting Wednesday, the council decided it will change the way it reports its numbers, citing media "confusion" over which numbers should be attributed to the council.

The forecasts previously have included detailed charts of revenue estimates seven years out for everything from licenses and permits to fines and 14 different taxes. (See pages 5-9 of the council's September report.)

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State Sen. Kokubun resigns for administration post

Among those who have expressed an interest in succeeding Kokubun are (Larry Mehau associate and Islam day co-sponsor) state Rep. Faye Hanohano of Puna and former Big Island City Council Chairman (and convicted felon) Gary Safarik.

Big Island Democratic leaders are to submit a list of three nominees for the office, from which Gov. Neil Abercrombie will choose a replacement. 

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Solomon Withdrawing From Lawsuit

“I will be withdrawing from the suit,” Solomon said. “I kind of forgot about it.”

The case involves a dispute over water usage on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands pastoral property leased to a group of Native Hawaiians including Solomon’s mother.

Solomon said her mother will remain as a plaintiff in the case.

RELATED: Malama Solomon’s meth connection

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No action by Kenoi on 'greatest environmental risk'

That, South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford said, will just increase the amount of waste running through the sewer main, which has been corroded during years of use. She had asked former Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson and Wastewater Division Chief Dora Beck for a prioritized list of projects; that sewer main was the kind that gave environmental management officials nightmares, Ford said, though Tyson didn't want to panic the public.
"What annoyed me was that they're going to put in a huge development and the sewage is going to go down the same sewer main that is close to collapse," Ford said. "People should panic."
Tyson resigned from the post earlier this year to move to Australia.

(More free advertising for the Dominic Yagong 2012 campaign.)

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Hoffmann takes on affordable housing

"Good Lord, we know we haven't done a good job of that," he said.

Here’s an example: Waikoloa Workforce Housing CEO: How Hawaii County officials sabotaged affordable housing project

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SA editors back Young Bros monopoly, demand “clarity”

But looking further into the future, lawmakers and others must confront the reality of a changed landscape. Young Brothers and farmers have a rational concern. If its status as a regulated monopoly serving as a utility is going to change into one as a player in a competitive market, lowered revenue prospects may cause investors to be less willing to put up capital for upgrades to vessels that are badly needed. And if regulation gives way to a profit-driven free market, the farmers are worried that lower-profit routes won't attract a reliable carrier to bring their goods to Oahu consumers.

The PUC won't have the last word. The state's political leaders will have to determine which shipping model -- a lone utility, an unfettered free market or some kind of hybrid -- brings the best results to all Hawaii's residents, wherever they live.

(In other words, Pasha will get the Superferry treatment.)

REALITY: Why Hawaii Lost the Superferry

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Roth:  A strong sense of justice, and his good humor, made Judge King special

The first thing people noticed about Judge Sam King was that he cared -- about everybody. He acknowledged just about everyone he happened upon and they loved talking to him. Government, business and legal leaders, waiters, janitors and friends: Everyone whose lives he had touched, from a single courtroom encounter to a long-term association, enjoyed his company.

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1971 House Leadership fight decided by Republicans

In 1971, state Rep. Hidoshi Kato’s challenge to Speaker Tadao Beppu went unresolved for nearly two weeks after session convened — 10 legislative days — before Republicans broke the deadlock by siding with Beppu.

The first break came when Beppu agreed to a House rules package suggested by the Republicans. Kato alleged that Beppu was forming a coalition with the rival party, which Beppu denied.

But on the 10th legislative day all Republicans agreed to vote for Beppu, who also lured one of the dissidents, who would become vice speaker. The vote to keep Beppu as speaker was 40 to 11.

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3 medicated marijuana patients caught with 643 plants, 7 lbs

We discovered an indoor grow and there were 643 marijuana plants and approximately seven pounds of dried marijuana recovered, a smoking pipe, lamps -- and there were four persons arrested, three males and one female," Sherlock said.
"The interesting part is that they claimed to have three medical marijuana permits, with 643 marijuana plants."

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Woman who stole $13K in schools funds avoids jail time

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins granted Janel Echiberi's request for a deferral, which means the crime will be wiped off her record if she stays out of trouble for the next five years.

"The state is very disappointed," Christopher Young, deputy attorney general, said. "This was a multiple, very sophisticated theft and she should not have been given that break."

Echiberi, 35, was an administrator at Lehua Elementary. State prosecutors say she was issued a Sam's Club charge card to make purchases for the school, such as supplies, but bought more than $12,700 worth of merchandise for herself instead.

Her personal shopping list included a king-sized bed, a high-definition television, a digital camera, tires for her vehicle, clothing, dog food, beer and wine, and prescription contact lenses.

Prosecutors say she also put herself on the school's payroll as a tutor, even though she was not, and paid herself $738.88.

This is why there must NEVER be an audit of the DoE.  if we caught al the crooks, we wouldn’t have enough courts to try them in.

SA: Woman gets plea deferred in school thefts

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Chromium: Where’s The Balanced Reporting?

Hinkley, California, the town made famous in the Oscar-winning Julia Roberts movie Erin Brockovich, does not show any evidence of an increased or unusual rate of cancers….

“You know what I think is interesting”, asks American Council on Science and Health’s Dr. Gilbert Ross. “That The New York Times failed to cover the story. If the survey showed that there was an increased risk of cancer in Hinkley, you’d find the headline on page A1. We’ve seen this over and over again: whenever there’s good news about health, The Times in particular, and many other media outlets tend to bury it; but if there’s any bad news, it becomes a blaring headline.” (3)

Then a strange thing happened a week later, almost seemingly by design intent. On December 20 a number of major media outlets headlined a study that found ‘cancer-causing chromium’ in tap water. The New York Times was prominent in the coverage. (4-7)

Honolulu was listed as one of the worst offenders in terms of chromium levels in the drinking water.

Here it is: Honolulu is #2 on Erin Brockovich hexavalent chromium hit list

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