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Friday, February 27, 2009
February 27, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 8:20 PM :: 8211 Views

'Hawaiians only' issue not raised at hearing by Supreme Court

Read between the lines to see how the AG and OHA worked together to make it so...

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Star-Bulletin Editors finally figure out that OHA's ceded lands claim is toast 

Related: Advertiser editors figure it out, too! 

"Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gave every indication through their questioning of lawyers this week that they will overturn the state high court's freeze on the transfer or sale of ceded lands by the state. What looks to be an end to the 14-year court battle should lead to fair negotiations following establishment of Hawaiian sovereignty."  No, it should lead to the abolition of OHA.

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Anti-Superferry filth reaches Nation

(If one edits the article a lot, the truth comes out...)  It all started in 2001 as a purportedly modest "local" effort to offer inter-island ferry service to "help local people more easily visit their relatives on other islands, and carry their farm produce to market." Most locals liked the idea ... (but) a contingent of New Age haoles (recent white settlers seeking Shangri-La)--showed up at Nawiliwili Harbor to protest the Superferry's maiden voyage from Honolulu to Kauai.

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Pflueger lawyers challenge dam case

In the latest disqualification motion, McCorriston said the state appears to be pursuing the theory that Pflueger, a retired auto dealer, filled in a key safety feature on the dam known as a spillway when he was conducting grading work on his land in 1997.  ...Bennett yesterday called the filing a "rehash" of the previous challenge and said his office plans to file a response shortly.  "We don't believe it has merit," Bennett said.

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Where's Jeremy Harris?

Harris' assets, meanwhile, included an extensive amount of land that he amassed during his three decades-plus of public service. In addition to his primary residence in upper Kalihi Valley, Harris owns an apartment in Waikiki, two properties on Kauai, two raw land parcels in Maine, real estate in Clayoquot, British Columbia, Canada and vacant land in Costa Rica.

Bob Watada, former state Campaign Spending Commission, reminded me that his investigator looked into Harris’ acquisition of the Maine and Costa Rica properties as part of the commission’s long-running probe into illegal campaign donations to Harris’ campaign. But Watada said no action was taken on the Maine and Costa Rica investments.

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Hawaii tourism agency turns down Pro Bowl offer

Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr. today released the following statement regarding the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s decision today to reject an NFL offer and continue negotiations to bring the Pro Bowl back to Hawai‘i in 2011 and 2012:

“The Pro Bowl belongs in Hawai‘i.  While I recognize the merit of keeping open the option of when the game will be played, I strongly encourage the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to continue negotiations with the goal of bringing the Pro Bowl back to Hawai‘i in 2011 and 2012.  “The people of Hawai‘i want an agreement, and it is time to deliver.”

Media Note: According to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, visitors who came to Hawai‘i in 2009 for the Pro Bowl spent $28.6 million and generated $2.9 million in state taxes. ###

(Tourism is down so what does the HTA do?) The HTA board came up one vote shy of the seven needed to accept the NFL's offer to bring the game back to Hawai'i during the week before the Super Bowl for $4 million a year. The vote was 6-4 in favor of accepting.  "There is sufficient reason to be concerned that this second rejection of the NFL's offer is a risk," said Kelvin Bloom, chairman of the HTA board, who voted to accept the offer. "There is a demonstrated benefit to the state ... to industry and certainly to the community."

Related: HTA newest sinecure for McCartney

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Rental car shortages frustrate visitors

(How is this happening if tourism is down?)  LIHU‘E — Visitors are facing long lines and tough times trying to find available rental cars on Kaua‘i and elsewhere in the state.

Continuing poor SUV and truck sales forced the major auto companies to call for massive employee lay-offs and the production lines quickly dried up. As auto production slowed, fewer cars became available for the rental car market.

Bill Gaus, who has managed Hanalei Inn for the past four years, said occupancy numbers there have been the same or better than last year but guests are now calling in from the Mainland to cancel their reservations because of the car rental shortage.

Most car rental companies lease their fleets from the auto manufacturers and must turn back the leased vehicle somewhere around 30,000 miles. With no new vehicles to replace the ones returned, the car rental fleets were soon reduced and counter sales clerks are now facing angry customers due to unavailability.

Although the price of gas has dropped back to around $2.50 a gallon and the cost of oil has fallen below $40 a barrel, the economy remains in a recession.
Nationwide, car rental companies must address the compound problem of serving customers with smaller fleets. Sales clerks are calling it the “reservation situation.”

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Proposed West Maui hospital clears hurdle

(And how is this different than Malulani?---MMMC support!)  "Maui Memorial Chief Executive Officer Wesley Lo reiterated yesterday his "generally supportive" stance of the West Maui hospital application and his desire to discuss details with Hoyle about how the two facilities can cooperatively co-exist. The West Maui hospital proposal received widespread support yesterday, including written testimony from Gov. Linda Lingle and the in-person backing of West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey, who said the entire Maui legislative delegation supports the project." 

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Waimea bypass plans stall (wash, rinse, repeat...for 40 years)

Waimea attorney Margaret Wille, who brought a lawsuit against parties involved in planning a connector road often referred to as the Parker Ranch connector and who follows Waimea's road issues closely, said the homesteaders had questioned the route from the beginning.
"One of the issues that bothers me is that Hawaiian Home Lands had been asking to address that delineation right from the beginning," she said. "I do think it's a legitimate concern on their part. ... It really is (DOT) saying, 'We haven't addressed these legitimate concerns.'"
Wille -- and Waimea resident Bob Hunter, who has also followed the plans for proposed bypasses and connector roads in South Kohala -- are both concerned about the impact delaying the Waimea bypass will have on other roads.  "The Waimea bypass has always been the controversial one," Hunter said. "There's been a consistent failure, decade after decade, to solve the transportation problem."

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Kenoi: No property tax increase

Although he wouldn't go into all the details because he wants to wait until after his budget message is released Friday, Kenoi said his proposal calls for cutting 42 of the county's 481 vacant positions out of the budget to save money.
Also, he said his proposal will cut the County Council's contingency relief account funding and continue his hiring freeze.

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