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Friday, July 22, 2011
July 22, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:37 PM :: 16705 Views

Military to be Disenfranchised so Meth dealer’s friend can keep Senate Seat?

Scientists Overruled by Energy Industry Pressure, Proposed Wind Guidelines a Step Backwards for Wildlife

Takamine’s DLIR directs money back to his Cronies in Honokaa

 Kaneohe Marine to receive Medal of Honor

Even though he was wounded in the elbow, Meyer sprinted into what had become a kill zone to help his friends, Marine Corps Times reported.

He found the three Marines and a corpsman dead, but while still under fire, Meyer carried the bodies back to a Humvee with the aid of Afghan troops, the newspaper said.

Meyer, 22, who has since left the Marines and returned home to Kentucky, said in November by phone that he considered himself “the farthest thing from a hero.”

“Of course, it would be an honor” to receive the Medal of Honor, he said at the time, “but it would be for my guys — it’s not for me.”

Only two living recipients — Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry — have received the award for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Associated Press said.

Dakota Meyer was contacted by President Obama on Monday, Marine Corps Times reported. The newspaper said Meyer will be the first living Marine recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor since now-retired Sgt. Maj. Allan Kellogg received the medal for his actions in Vietnam.

Kellogg, who now lives in Kailua, threw himself on a grenade in combat in 1970, saving about six of his fellow Marines.

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Hawaii: HSTA Has Pattern of Bad-Faith Bargaining

Among the key claims made in the state's defense:

  • HSTA President Wil Okabe reassured state negotiators he would recommend the state's "last, best and final" offer, but later voted against it with the union's board of directors, thus denying HSTA membership a ratification vote.
  • HSTA failed to bargain in good faith and failed to exhaust all available remedies during negotiations.
  • The state never implemented a statewide government "policy" of 5 percent salary cuts.
  • The state acknowledges that HSTA never agreed that negotiations had reached an impasse. (The state has said that talks had reached an impasse, and HSTA has denied that.) It also states that HSTA rejected offers for mediation.
  • The union's rejection of the "last, best and final" offer meant there were no proposals left on the table. It was that offer the state imposed.

Political Radar: Common law

SA: State charges 'bad faith' against teachers union

Abercrombie, Matayoshi, Horner: Joint Statement on Response to HSTA Complaint

PDF: Joint HLRB response

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Perreira: Working under Patronizing Abercrombie is Demoralizing

The action by the governor to take the unprecedented step to unilaterally impose his terms is very troubling. Rightfully, all public sector unions will be monitoring this situation to see what impact it could have for the current outstanding contracts and future bargaining….

the manner in which this new administration has addressed collective bargaining has been little different from their predecessors. Much of the focus has been on achieving "labor savings" from employees who at best are modestly paid….

To continue to work in such an environment, when the only support you get from your chief executive is a weekly patronizing statement, is truly demoralizing….

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Borreca: Abercrombie not doing so well engaging public, takes Credit for Lingle’s Work

The "I am an imperfect vessel, shaped only by your desires for a better life" is always a good opening gambit, although eventually politicians have to either deliver the goods or get off the stump.

Afterward, critics faulted the governor for holding a "staged campaign rally" instead of a public information session. To this observer, the meeting was more "unstaged" than staged. Abercrombie avoided getting free air time by doing live shots with the three assembled TV stations at 6 p.m. and then wasted a half-hour with presentations, poetry readings and dancing with the kids.

Abercrombie this week made an effort at exploring his own administration by providing written, public answers to the questions posed during that meeting.

Now all the questions and administration answers are on-line on his state web page,

Abercrombie also split the difference with questions about the controversial Ho‘opili development case that would take prime Oahu agricultural land for housing. And when asked about supporting local farmers Abercrombie urged consumers to "tell the grocer or produce manager that you want to buy more local produce." The idea is certainly not new: former Gov. Linda Lingle highlighted buying local agriculture in her 2009 State of the State speech.

Ditto for the state's prison problems. Lingle, like her predecessor Gov. Ben Cayetano, had tried to build more local prisons with little success…. Abercrombie …added that he was working on a new prison on Maui, neglecting to add that Lingle had been working since 2008 to build the new facility at Puunene.

LINK: Community Conversation Questions & Answers

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Abercrombie: UH Hilo will lead the state into Utopia. I am your friend….

"I think Hilo and its sister college over on the west side of the island are going to be the centerpiece of a dynamic renewal of prosperity, and a dynamic understanding of the future of the Big Island," he said.

"I think the Big Island is going to be the engine that's going to be driving the next 10 years in this state in terms of optimism, in terms of reversing the ... recession and reversing the cynicism and skepticism that has prevailed to this time.

"There's going to be a new sense of optimism, a new sense of possibility out there, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo is going to be leading that charge."

Abercrombie added that it would take partnership and understanding among the people of Hawaii to reach his goals for the state.

"If I had the chance, I'd sit right next to each and every one of you and say 'You have a partner, you have a friend,'" Abercrombie said. "That's what this new day is all about. Heart to heart in Hawaii. ... We're not going to be isolated from each other anymore.

"Yes, this is not going to be an Oahu-centric organization. It's not going to be centric anything. It's going to be about all of us."

Reality: Takamine’s DLIR directs money back to his Cronies in Honokaa

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Hirono Campaign: Frustrated Case should focus on getting his own story straight

"Especially since he's already attacking Mazie Hirono out on the campaign trail, it seems like Ed Case should really focus on getting his own story straight first," Jadine Nielsen, the Hirono campaign's finance director, wrote in an email. "It's never a good idea to mislead the people of Hawaii, even if it's frustrating to Mr. Case that so many people are joining our grassroots campaign because they agree with Mazie's progressive agenda of protecting Medicare and Social Security, creating jobs, and strengthening Hawaii's public schools."

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is also considering a Senate campaign, raised $228,000 during the last quarter, so Case had the worst fundraising performance over the past three months among the Democratic contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

Neal Milner, a retired University of Hawaii-Manoa political science professor, said the initial hurdle for Case, who appeals to moderates, is to demonstrate fundraising and political support among the traditional Democrats most likely to vote in the primary.

"This is all about showing people that he can raise money and compete in a Democratic primary," Milner said. 

Daily Kos: HI-Sen: Mazie momentum

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Schatz Chief of Staff In Charge of Campaign Fundraiser

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz held his own $500 per person fundraiser at Morton’s Steak House back on May 31, 2011. The person in charge of the fundraiser was his chief of staff, Kimberley Yoshimoto, who is also listed as Schatz’s campaign chairperson on his campaign’s latest organizational report. That seems like it’s just asking for trouble, given the requirement that campaign activities be carefully separated from official business.

Abercrombie and Schatz were not the first candidates to hold fundraisers for their 2014 reelection bids. That “honor” apparently went to City Council member and now chairman, Ernie Martin, who has already had three fundraisers this year.

The first was a $1,000 a person event on March 15 at the Tantalus home of Linda Wong, lobbyist for Kamehameha Schools.  (Coke dealer responsible for fundraiser as KSBE Lobbyist’s home.)

The second, on April 21, was a $500 per person event at Assaggio Italian Restaurant at Ala Moana. (Convicted cocaine dealer and ex-con) Chad Tsuneyoshi, now Martin’s campaign treasurer, was the person in charge of the first two events. The third, a $50 per ticket affair, was held at the Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room on June 27.

Related: Convicted Cocaine Dealer replaces Advertiser columnist as Ernie Martin’s Campaign Treasurer

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EW Center: Hanabusa admits that she is easy to Ignore in Congress

"You certainly shouldn't be writing an obituary," East-West Center president Charles Morrison said. "This is an action of one committee. It will not be accepted by the Senate side when it goes over there."

The center has survived other threats of funding cuts from congressional Republicans. Hawaii Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa calls their vision shortsighted.

"Clearly, they are not, one, either aware of what's going on there or it's significance, or two, just choose to ignore it," she said.

(This is the price Hawaii pays for sending a couple of low-budget partisan Democrat hacks to a Republican Congress.  Without Inouye, these clowns would deliver nothing, so who needs them?)

SA: U.S. House committee votes to eliminate East-West Center

PBN: East-West Center confident it will survive budget cuts (Having one functional member of the Congressional Delegation is still enough.)

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As Federal Budget Cuts Loom, East West Center President Gets A Raise

As the very existence of the East West Center is threatened by Republican budget cutters in Congress, the 51-year-old institution has given its president a raise and continues to pay more than $1.5 million a year for a Washington D.C. office.

The Center, headquartered on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus, awarded president Dr. Charles Morrison a new five-year compensation package last year that reportedly includes a $2 million “golden parachute” provision to be paid if his contract is terminated prematurely.

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Obama Presidential Library Narrowed to Chicago, Honolulu

After he’s thrown out of office next year, he could put it in the former East-West Center building.

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Tax Cut: Cost of flights to drop 20% at Midnight Friday as Republicans defend America against Democrat Pork, Union bill

A partial shutdown looks increasingly likely because Congress hasn't been able to agree on legislation to extend the FAA's operating authority, which expires at midnight Friday. Whatever happens in Washington, airlines will still operate as normal and air traffic controllers would remain on the job.

But airlines would no longer have authority to collect a (average $60)  federal tax on tickets, which could be a temporary financial boon for passengers. About 4,000 FAA workers, whose jobs are funded with ticket tax revenues would be furloughed, LaHood told reporters at a news conference. The FAA employs more than 47,000 people overall.

The main obstacle is a provision sought by House Republicans and the airline industry that would make it more difficult for airline and railroad workers to unionize. House Republicans also want to eliminate government subsidies for airline service to 13 rural airports, a $16 million provision that Senate Democrats say is unacceptable. The union provision was added to a long-term FAA funding bill earlier this year, but negotiations on that bill have stalled. Without long-term legislation, an extension bill is necessary to keep the agency operating.

The federal tax on a $300 round-trip airfare is about $61, according to the Air Transport Association. Airlines would still collect airport fees.

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Brewbaker leaves Council of Revenues

Joining the Hawaii Council on Revenues when it meets next Thursday are Christopher Grandy, Ronald Migita and Marilyn Niwao.

Grandy is an associate professor in the University of Hawaii College of Social Sciences Public Administration. Migita is the former chairman of Central Pacific Financial Corp. Niwao, a lawyer and CPA, is president of Niwao and Roberts CPA on Maui.

Niwao and Migita will serve two-year terms, while Grandy was appointed to a four-year term.

They will join returning members Carl Bonham, Avery Aoki, Richard Kahle Jr. and Jack Suyderhoud. Bonham and Suyderhoud are serving four-year terms, while the terms for Aoki and Kahle will expire on June 30, 2013.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Grandy, Bonham and Suyderhoud. Senate President Shan Tsustui named Migita and Kahle, and House Speaker Calvin Say appointed Aoki and Niwao.

Gone from the seven-member panel are Paul Brewbaker, who served as council chairman, Pearl Imada Iboshi and Albert Yamada. Their terms expired at the end of June.

The council will select a chair and vice chair Thursday but is not scheduled to make an economic forecast at that meeting.

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City rail tax revenues are ahead of projections

The state collected $49.8 million in revenue from the 0.5 percent general excise surcharge for the last quarter of this fiscal year, totaling $179.1 million for this fiscal year.

That's 9 percent more than the $163.9 million HART officials projected, said HART spokeswoman Jeanne Belding.

The surcharge collections to date total $715 million, $15 million more than the city projected.

SA: Isle unemployment rate remains flat at 6 percent

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Rail Projects create Debt Problem in China

President Obama won't put high-speed rail on the block to ease the debt crisis. He insists we need to keep up with China. But its’ rail has become a $300 billion boondoggle.

Yes, that's billion with a ‘B’. China's Railway Ministry continues to lose money and is now an eye-popping $267 billion in the hole.

With its grandiose bullet trains, which largely run empty, Beijing has created a hidden debt bomb threatening its banking system. Almost all the funds to build the communist state's high-speed lines have been borrowed from Chinese banks.

"In China, we will have a debt crisis — a high-speed rail debt crisis," Zhao Jian, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, recently told the Washington Post.

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Honolulu Shuts Freeways Longer Than Other Cities

In Honolulu, police are quick to shut down an entire freeway for three to five hours to investigate a bad accident or a shooting.

But that's not standard practice in other major cities.

Highway patrol officers in California, Texas and Arizona say closing freeways is a last resort. And if they do shut down a freeway, it's rarely for more than one or two hours.

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Hawaii Needs Method to Evaluate Teacher Effectiveness, Expert Tells Lawmakers

Goe recommended a hybrid system that could track individual teacher-created “learning objectives” from the beginning of the school year to the end, combined with teacher collaboration within subjects to form more standardized overall measurements. On the flip side, she discouraged evaluation systems that placed too much emphasis on standardized test results.

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Social studies teachers claim they are at risk of losing jobs if graduation requirements change

The group calls itself Aloha Posse or preserve our social studies education and its mission is simple.

"We need Social Studies teachers to offer Social Studies courses, if policy 4540 passes, Hawaii is in grave danger of losing those Social Studies electives that sets our public education experience apart from other areas of the United States,” said public school teacher Amber Makaiau.

"We all have a responsibility for future generations and it does not take an educator to know that fulfillment of that responsibility will take foresight,” said Mililani High School teacher Amy Perruso.

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HELCO considers producing more geothermal power

"Geothermal on Hualalai is one of the options we are considering," Ignacio said. "Hualalai actually does have an area of potential geothermal resources, so it might be a possibility we could have geothermal here on the west side."

HELCO doesn't have any concrete plans for new geothermal energy production.

Ignacio said the company and interested parties have discussed geothermal projects, which would require investors willing to take on a financially risky undertaking and be able to reach an agreement with the community.

"There is a lot of potential, but no real project yet," he said.

(This will not happen unless OHA gets a cut of the action.  Subterranean resources are considered Ceded Lands.)

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210,000-fold return on Honolulu Hundred?

The $21m item is supposedly a silver-embossed choir-conducting podium, owned by Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii. It first turned up in a collection of sketches by noted Arts & Crafts furniture designer William Cowie, in 2005. In 2006, the actual cabinet turned up at a sale in Honolulu – priced at $100!

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Tongan Nautilus unit granted eastern Pacific exploration licenses

Sponsored by the Tongan Government, TOML has been granted approximately 75,000 sq kms of prime exploration territory in the CCZ, which lies in international waters between Hawaii and Mexico.

Exploration conducted in the 1980s confirmed that the CCZ has significant deposits of polymetallic nodules, which are golf ball sized nuggets, rich in copper, nickel, manganese and cobalt, lying on the seafloor in water depths starting at 4500 metres.

The International Seabed Authority, which is the organisation responsible for administering activity on the seafloor in international territory, made the historic decision to grant the TOML licence at its annual meeting in Jamaica this week.

The license is for an initial period of 15 years.


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Report: China building electromagnetic pulse weapons for use against U.S. carriers

China's military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.

Portions of a National Ground Intelligence Centerstudy on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal - weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

PBS: A Very Scary Light Show: Exploding H-Bombs In Space

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