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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
August 9, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:08 PM :: 16659 Views

After Abercrombie puts Videotaped Foot in Mouth, he rejects Binding Arbitration with HSTA

Berg: Showdown on Landfill

Molesters, Cocaine, and Bribery ignored--but Maui Democrats Frothing at Mouth over Cybercrime Briefing

Maui Democrats didn’t complain when Mau Sen. J Kalani English was busted for selling cocaine. They didn’t complain when Maui Rep Mele Carroll took a $500 tablet computer as a bribe gift from a Lobbyist seeking tax credits for a movie studio. They didn’t say a word when Maui Ex-Rep Joe Bertram and Maui Sen Roz Baker employed convicted child molester Leon Rouse as a legislative aide. But now the very same Maui Democrats who led the charge against the Superferry are trying to gin up fake controversy because Maui’s only-non-Democrat, Rep George Fontaine hosted a “cybercrime briefing” at the State Capitol. The Horror!

Failed 2010 Democrat legislative candidate Netra Halperin—who touted her legislative experience working under the management of the molester Rouse—says that Fontaine is engaged in “stunning trickery.

Maui Dem Chair Todd Craine rants and raves about “hypocrisy” and calls the cybercrime briefing “a threat to the values we hold dear in Hawaii.”

And the Maui News gives both of them a soapbox from which to spout off.

All because Democrat Speaker Calvin Say didn’t like Rep Fontaine and Rep Kym Pine’s use of the words “Chair” and “Vice-Chair” in an email announcing the briefing.

read … Speaker Wrist Slaps Fontaine, Pine

HSTA slams state for rejecting arbitration stunt

Richard Rand, a labor attorney with Marr Jones & Wang, a Honolulu law firm, said the union will have to "show something more than economic injury" to be granted the motion. "They're going to be sledding uphill with the HLRB," he said.

Labor attorney Michael Nauyokas agreed, saying, "In my opinion, they're not going to meet the burden" of irreparable harm.

In its motion for interlocutory relief, the union argued that imposing a contract could pose irreparable injury "to the integrity of the collective bargaining process" and the HSTA.

The state's decision to unilaterally implement its "last, best" contract "affects the very essence of the employers' free choice of the union (and) hampers collective bargaining," HSTA said.

In a response to the labor relations board, the state called the union's arguments "illogical" and argued granting the injunction would instead not be in the public's interest, since the Department of Education would need to find savings elsewhere and could be forced to lay off as many as 700 employees, including teachers.

Meanwhile, teachers had mixed reactions to HSTA's call for arbitration, with some expressing displeasure over the prospect of giving up their right to strike or accepting an arbitrated deal.

Okabe recognized not everyone is happy, saying, "We have teachers who want to strike. We have teachers who want to settle."

Related: After Abercrombie puts Videotaped Foot in Mouth, he rejects Binding Arbitration with HSTA

read … HSTA

Inouye: Akaka Should Serve out Term

That his colleague, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, serve his entire term of office rather than step down prior to his announced retirement date next year. “Look at it from the standpoint of Mr. Akaka,” Inouye said. “After all, he got elected and he wants to finish his term. I would not be the one to tell him he should cut it short. I would hate to have someone tell me that.”

(Inouye doesn’t want Abercrombie to appoint Case)

read … Inouye

Hirono Supporters at Civil Beat debunk Borreca Column attacking Akaka

Borreca slammed Akaka, writing that there were "new concerns" from Washington about the senator's "ability to function at the age of 86." The headline was, "Political wisdom suggests Akaka should take early retirement."

The article piqued our interest because it appeared days after Civil Beat sat down with Akaka in his Washington office. Still fresh off the plane from Hawaii, we paid the senator's office an unannounced visit in the days leading up to the formal opening of Civil Beat's Washington bureau.

To our surprise, Akaka agreed to sit down with us that afternoon. He was gracious, quick-witted and talkative. He told stories about parties at the White House — President Barack Obama's are the best, the Democrat said — and showed us photos of his great grandchildren. It was a casual visit, and the senator's spokesman agreed to set up a longer, formal interview our first official week on the Hill.

Akaka's once-black hair is now a shock of white and gray, but he looks younger than 86. Leaving Akaka's office that day, I remember thinking how much younger he seemed, too.

The column that ran in the Star-Advertiser days later described a vastly different man.

For starters, Borreca claimed that Akaka had not talked to reporters since before he announced his retirement in February. This was not true. In addition to meeting with me, Civil Beat's Chad Blair interviewed the senator in April. A spokesman said the senator also gave several interviews to television reporters in recent months.

Borreca wrote of an Associated Press story in which Akaka was described as "so inactive at 86 that staffers joke that Hawaii is the only state with one senator, although the state's other Democratic senator, Daniel Inouye, is also 86."

That description didn't seem accurate.

So we looked for the AP story in question. Turns out, the quote actually came from a July 6 column in the San Francisco Chronicle.

(It looks like Hirono’s team doesn’t want Abercrombie to make the appointment either.)


read … Akaka Carries On

Former Gov. Lingle talks leadership with service members

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle was the guest speaker at a Learn from the Leaders event at the Ford Island Conference Center at Joint Base Pearl HarborHickam Aug. 2, where she shared her experiences as a leader.

Service members learned how traits such as having a vision, good communication skills and the ability to inspire, as well as surrounding yourself with the right people, are all important steps in being a leader.

read … Lingle

DSCC Blames Lingle for DoE/BoE/HSTA Choice to put School Furlough Days on Instructional Days

“As governor, potential U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle agreed to a disastrous plan to cut state expenses on the backs of Hawaii students by closing schools on 17 different Fridays. Lingle's plan cut hundreds of hours of classroom time for students, left educators unpaid and majorly inconvenienced thousands of families who had to make alternate arrangements for their kids.”


read … Another DSCC Attack on Lingle

Inouye Attacking Windfarm Subsidies? Inouye Claims Hawaii Rail Funding Is Safe

Honolulu should “count on” full federal funding for its rapid transit project, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye said in a press conference today.

He sided with President Barack Obama in advocating increased tax revenues as a partial solution to the nation’s debt problems.

“Not necessarily raising taxes but closing loopholes,” Inouye said.

“Why should I be able to use interest deductions for the purchase of my second home by purchasing a 150-foot yacht?” Inouye said.

And he assailed the use of international “tax havens” by American corporations.

One such haven in the Cayman Islands is used by 9,000 American companies to avoid federal taxes, he said.

“It’s true that we tax corporations 35 per cent. But then you look at General Electric and they pay zero (taxes),” the senator continued. (GE is a BIG supporter of Obama…and Windfarms are a key part of why GE Pays no taxes.)

(So is Inouye suggesting the we should get rid of tax credits and incentives for green energy projects??? Several federal incentives are expiring Dec 31.)

CB: Inouye: Tax Loopholes for Corporations Must End

Related: Troubled Honolulu rail Contractor owned by Gaddafi--Libyan Revolt causing Financial Losses

read … Rail Funds

Bombardier considers further legal action on rail contract

Bombardier Vice President Andy Robbins said he was disappointed that Karlen made the ruling without holding evidentiary hearings. He said Bombardier is considering whether to file a new appeal.

“Bombardier is hugely disappointed it was never afforded the chance for a full hearing to present evidence and testimony to tell the real story of what happened and to show clearly that the city never had any meaningful discussions in regard to the issue on which it would disqualify our proposal at the last moment,” Robbins said.

Related: Troubled Honolulu rail Contractor owned by Gaddafi--Libyan Revolt causing Financial Losses

read … Bombardier

Another Failed HECO Deal

Here’s another one to add to Hawaiian Electric’s series of procurement foul-ups, along with BlueEarth and Imperium, that ended up in court.

At issue here was a 2006 contract with Peace Software, Inc. for a new Customer Information System….

HECO said the new owners interfered with the contract and failed to perform, while Peace alleged “breach of contract.”

Then it was off to federal court. Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s opinion can be found here.

Meanwhile, I guess the improved customer service that the new system was supposed to bring went by the wayside until the smoke cleared. In November 2010, four and a half years after the Peace contract with signed, Hawaiian Electric finally entered into a new contract with another vendor for that customer information system.

read … Another failed HECO deal

New QUEST Medicaid contracts to Implement Abercrombie Plan

Health care providers are bidding to participate in state of Hawaii Medicaid programs for low-income residents, known as QUEST.

The Department of Human Services said Monday it will issue new contracts by the end of the year that are aimed at lowering costs to the state, improving health access and increasing the use of technology.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says changing the way Medicaid programs operate will help address the soaring costs of health care.

Reality: Abercrombie’s Medical Homes … or Medical Closets?

read … Medicaid health providers bidding to participate in Hawaii

Slom: S&P Downgrade a result of Debt Agreement

A month ago, I wrote an editorial in Hawaii Reporter in opposition to raising the debt ceiling and conducting government business as usual.

Several professional people, including some friends, argued that I was wrong. if we didn’t take action, we would face a lowered credit rating, a plunging stock market and higher interest rates, they said.

It was the same argument that was used to force passage of the failed TARP bailout in the last days of the Bush Administration and TARP 2 and stimulus subsidies and grants subsequently.

So, at the last minute, a bi-partisan political agreement on our debt was cobbled together. It pleased neither the right nor the left. In my humble opinion, it was a phony agreement with more promises and no meaningful reform. A “super” Congressional Committee? Really?

The ink wasn’t even dry on the new law when the President, true to his beliefs, authorized billions in new spending and more debt. I said publicly that our credit rating would decrease and there would be huge losses in the markets because we did not address the causeof our fiscal problems: excessive government taxation, spending and debt.

In spite of that “grand” debt agreement, or because of it, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating last Friday, from AAA to AA+, the stock market plummeted (again), and interest rates will increase.

Larry Helm: U.S. Government Finances Impact Residents of Molokai and Others Throughout the World

read … The Government Plan

Democrat Donor Orly Taitz comes to Hawaii with her latest Birther Stunt

Birferism is a Democrat scam designed to help Obama get reelected by discrediting his opponents. Don’t be a sucker. Obama was born in Hawaii.

DoE Aide pleads not guilty in Sexting case

He's charged with promotion of child abuse and violating a restraining order. Onizuka is accused of exchanging sexual text messages with a 12-year-old student he allegedly met at Niu Valley Middle School.

Onizuka is a former educational assistant at Niu Valley Middle School. His trial is set for October, he remains free on $11,000 bail.

read … Cody Onizuka pleads not guilty

CNHA Conf: 500 OHA cronies seeking Free Money

Hawaii's congressional delegates, the governor and officials with the Obama White House Initiative on Pacific Islanders are among those expected to attend.

Issues to be discussed include cultural preservation, education, housing, economic development, and self-determination.

read … 500 register

3 MPD officers face suspensions

Suspensions of two to 10 days were ordered for three Maui Police Department officers in internal investigations that concluded in June, police reported.

The 10-day suspension was for failing to properly report and submit evidence in May 2010….

read … 3 MPD officers

Visiting priest acquitted of sexual assault

A Circuit Court jury deliberated for about two hours Monday before acquitting a priest of charges that he kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman on the grounds of an East Honolulu church this year.

The Rev. Bothdan Borowic, 56, was found not guilty of all charges following the trial in Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi's courtroom….

Borowic was charged in the case only two weeks after arriving here.

read … Holy Trinity

Hawaii enters growing group of states with asset protection trusts

The costs of entry were simply too high before the recent change, which were effective in July. Lawmakers lifted a 1% tax on the amount of money used to create the trust, and on any additional funds that went into it. They lifted a rule that said only 25% of one's net worth could go into it. And, they did away with a restriction that said a trust could hold only cash or marketable securities.

Honolulu attorney Ethan Okura said he didn't think the trust was worth establishing under the rules last year, but that now "Hawaii has jumped into the game," he expects it will hold more appeal.

Many states already have dynasty trusts, but the same can't be said of asset protection trusts….

Oshins maintains a chart showing various states' asset protection laws, ranking them in terms of effectiveness. Hawaii was listed as number 12, but Oshins says he plans to raise the state to eighth place, just ahead of Wyoming, now that it has made changes.

read … Hawaii enters

Fake Developers Pretend to Re-Start Scam Development on side of Volcano

The developers -- in a draft environmental impact statement released Monday -- said they will be going to the state Land Use Commission to have those 1,600 acres converted from conservation district to urban and rural district designations. The project is on the site of the defunct Hawaiian Riviera Resort. (Which was a scam.)

The company plans to bid the resort in four stages over 12 years -- the first stage would consist of building 76 homes and much of the infrastructure. During the first stage, the developers said they would also build the 500-acre Kahuku Hawaiian Heritage Center -- a nonprofit entity on Pohue Bay the developers would staff.

Like neighboring Hawaiian Ocean View Estates and Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos, the site sits on the southwest rift zone of Mauna Loa.

The U.S. Geological Survey lists the Kahuku Village site as part of lava flow hazard zone No. 2. That ranking is reserved for areas rated the second-most vulnerable to volcanic flows. (Wooo-hooo!)

(The purpose of this exercise is to get the National Parks Service and/or TPL/Nature Conservancy to buy the land.)

read … Big Island resort area planned


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