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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
August 31, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 PM :: 4987 Views

HSTA responds to Perreira: We won’t allow others to ignore, take advantage of, or disrespect our Sacrifice

NY Judge orders Waikiki Edition Returned to Marriott by 2:30PM Today

Mufi’s Losing Ways: Mufi Hannemann has a very unique distinction of having lost a special election for Congress (to Neil Abercrombie), a general election for Congress (to Pat Saiki) and a primary election for Congress (to Patsy Mink). Is there any other way to lose an election for Congress?

CB: People call Hannemann a Bully

WASHINGTON — Over the years, former Honolulu Mayor and newly announced congressional candidate Mufi Hannemann has developed the reputation of being a bully….

People called him a bully at City Hall, where city workers still swap stories about his short temper. They called him a bully during his fierce and ultimately unsuccessful campaign for governor last year, with some claiming that his negative campaign tactics ultimately cost him the election.

KITV: "It's not clear that he can hold on to the Democratic support"

read … Bully for Congress

Mufi: My experience with Rail prepares me to deal with Federal Deficit

He said his experience as mayor would help him work on addressing the federal deficit. (By making it larger….)

(Then he demanded more federal spending) More could be done at the federal level to support agriculture and the film industry in Hawaii, he said. There should be opportunities for federal assistance for "any industry that puts people to work," he added.

Ignore this: Honolulu 5th most indebted US city

read … Railroading the Budget

SA Touts Cheating as Key to DoE Success

One success story is Kalihi Uka Elementary, where more than half the children come from disadvantaged homes and where, in 2010, only 53 percent of the third-graders tested proficient in reading.

What a difference a year can make. Star-Advertiser writer Mary Vorsino reported this week that about 74 percent proficiency was achieved in 2011, owing to the school's focus on tracking the children's HAS test scores) reading progress year-round. Students who need the help get it, in the form of extra tutoring during recess. (So they can pass the HSA on the second or third try.)

Reality: DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students

read … Give kids reading help they need

HSTA Lawyer Grills Former HSTA President over his Role in Negotiations

During some three hours of testimony, Williams discussed his recollection of key bargaining sessions, his role as a BOE member and his understanding of how the collective bargaining process works….

Williams was one of two BOE members to participate in the contract talks. Also representing the state were BOE Chairman Don Horner, chief negotiator Neil Dietz and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Takahashi said he expected to spend at least two more hours questioning Williams today. Dietz and Horner will be called next.

At times Tuesday, the back-and-forth between Takahashi and Williams became heated. Labor Board Chairman James Nicholson twice told Takahashi not to "make a sermon" out of his questions and to give Williams a chance to answer before interrupting him with another….

Throughout the hearing, Takahashi spent a considerable amount of time going over Williams' former roles at HSTA. In the 1970s, Williams served as an HSTA representative while working as a teacher on Molokai. He was the union's president from 1980 to 1982. Last year he served a brief stint as executive director.

read … HSTA Eating its own

Hawaii Hurricane Fund raided, FEMA funds nearly gone

The government's disaster aid fund is already low. FEMA has less than $800 million in its disaster coffers. Now there's squabbling on Capitol Hill over how to get money back into the fund. We still have 3 more months left in hurricane season. Looking back at what happened with Irene and knowing Hawaii's history, how worried should we be? If we need to cut projects to put money in there, what should get cut?

Former Congressmen Ed Case and Charles Djou are here to discuss this.

read … Obama and Abercrombie spent all the money

Poll: Only 39% have Favorable Opinion of The Abercrombie

The poll (taken for the Mufi Campaign) found that 39 percent of registered voters interviewed in the 2nd Congressional District had a favorable perception of the governor, while 40 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 20 percent had no opinion.

The poll was taken by telephone among 400 registered voters in the 2nd District, which covers rural Oahu and the neighbor islands, from July 28 to Aug. 1. The margin or error was 4.9 percentage points.

A Hawaii Poll taken statewide in May found Abercrombie’s favorability score at 55 percent. Fifty percent gave the governor a positive job approval rating.

(Abercrombie, Obama; All DSAers are the same. They just can’t get their poll numbers back up.)

read … Dipped

CD2: Three Democrats, no Republican yet

Hannemann, Gabbard and Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kiaaina are all Democrats.

So far no Republicans have entered the race to succeed Mazie Hirono, who's leaving the House to run for Daniel Akaka's Senate seat.

Democratic ex-congressman Ed Case was the first to jump into that race. The ticket is lopsided because no Republicans have jumped in to join them.

"There's a list of people. Of course they haven't publicly announced yet. But there's many people on the Republican side looking to run for these seats," Hawaii Republican Party chairman Jonah Kaauwai said.

The only Republican who has declared for Congress is Charles Djou. He'll face Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who opted not to run for Akaka's seat.

read … Busy August for Hawaii politics

Gabbard's Six Unions backed Abercrombie Last Time

Between Honolulu City Council committee meetings, congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard and some of her city staffers, taking an early lunch break, walked over to the Sun Yat-Sen Park to make a campaign announcement: Tulsi is the working man's choice for Congress.

The event, where Gabbard unveiled support from six local labor unions, came hours after former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann officially announced his candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

The assembled union leaders spoke glowingly of Gabbard as a "new face" for Hawaii and said they'd reached their conclusions after conversations with her, but they likely didn't need to think twice about Hannemann's candidacy. Of the six, none had endorsed Hannemann's unsuccessful bid for governor last year, so none had to switch allegiances.

Electrical workers, plumbers and pipefitters and boilermakers all endorsed Neil Abercrombie's candidacy last year.

KITV: Former Mayor Says He's Already Leading Gabbard

read … Gabbard

Suit targets police chief for denying gun permit

The head of a new organization dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment has sued Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha in federal court after Kealoha denied him in September 2010 a permit to carry and conceal a semiautomatic pistol.

Chris Baker, a 27-year-old firearms instructor, filed the suit. The Hawaii Defense Foundation president was working as a process server at the time and said he wanted to carry a pistol to protect himself and his wife on the job, Baker said Tuesday.

Related: City, State sued over restrictive "License to Carry" Firearms

read … Second Amendment

Push Back against Laupahoehoe Charter Conversion

According to the group's organizer, Noralyn Pajimola -- the mother of three boys at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary and a 1995 graduate -- community members weren't given the whole story when they were asked to vote in support of the charter school in 2010.

"Back in 2008, there was a possibility that they might close the school," she said, "and the charter committee used that and said, 'You know, the school's either going to close, or go charter.'" ….

Nakashima said he has been involved in helping the struggling Laupahoehoe school since it was put on the list of schools being studied for closure, and both he and former state Sen. Dwight Takamine, D-Hilo, Hamakua, Waimea, maintained that it would not be closed.

Both men made efforts to get the correct information out about Laupahoehoe's situation before the vote to pursue the charter, Nakashima said, and he disagreed that the public had been misinformed….

Thursday's meeting is open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Laupahoehoe High and Elementary band room.


read … Laupahoehoe

Crisis? Abercrombie begins Creating Positions with 50 Hires at DoT

The State Department of Transportation is looking to hire fifty people.

The mass hiring is part of Governor Abercrombie's New Day Plan for immediate job growth.

Specifically, the DOT wants to hire fifty engineers, of all different levels.

This help wanted ad was recently posted on the State's website….

When Governor Abercrombie gave his New Day Status Report speech two weeks ago, he said one of the immediate goals is to create jobs by doing things like "bringing our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century."

read … Creating Positions

Lack of Computers, Failure to Outsource causes 75% of Elevators to lack inspection

75 percent of Hawaii's 6,700 elevators have expired operating permits….

In the meantime, building owners needing an elevator inspection cannot hire a private company to perform that task, Kunstman said.

Those owners are not at risk of being fined "because it's our responsibility to do inspections," he said.

"Sometimes contractors pay for inspectors to come to the Big Island and conduct tests especially for new buildings or new or refurbished elevators so they may be operable," he said.

New buildings cannot be used until the elevators pass inspection, said Gray Horton, Hawaii manager for KONE Inc., which sells, installs and maintains elevators.

The opening of a Kauai timeshare was delayed due to the lack of an elevator permit, he said of one of the company's projects.

"It's an ongoing problem," Horton said of the delays, noting some insurance companies won't insure buildings lacking an approved elevator.

Horton, who tells his customers to document their inspection requests, suggested using tablet computers would expedite processing, but the best solution is hiring more inspectors. (Surprise, surprise.)

read … Elevators

WaPo: Federal lawsuit against American Samoa’s government claims age discrimination of workers

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hawaii, is the first time the EEOC is suing the government of American Samoa.

Evelyn Langford, director of the territory’s department of human resources, conducted a meeting in 2009 where she told employees that those 50 and older should retire to make room for the younger generation, according to the complaint. The EEOC claims those who did not retire were reassigned to undesirable positions.

read … Samoa

Desperate for Wind Scam, Murdock Threatens to Sell Lanai

Murdock’s story was told most recently by an article in the August edition of Lanai Today, written by its publisher Alberta de Jetley. She wrote about an interview she had had with Murdock, and her article is a touching statement of who he is and how most people on Lanai feel about him.

Beyond that, it’s a poignant (so sayeth Act 221 mouthpiece Jay Fidell) insight into what Murdock may do in the future. That, of course, affects everyone on the island.

He told de Jetley that he “may be leaving Lanai,” that he had three choices: to stay and “sustain the animosity,” to “sell off parts of the island,” or “close it all down and leave.”

These unhappy prospects don’t bode well for the people of Lanai. And don’t forget that Murdock’s successors are likely to be far less enthusiastic than Murdock about saving Lanai, as I wrote in December.

De Jetley asked him what it would take to get him to stay, “to rejuvenate the passion he once had for Lanai,” “to reassure him that the anti-wind farm faction is a small minority,” and to show him that the people of Lanai appreciate all that he’s done for them.

His answer was only a smile, and with that de Jetley concluded that “the animosity he perceives from our community are like wounds, too deep to heal easily with spoken words.”

read … A touching interview with David Murdock

AKP Claims Giant Microwave Biofuel processor is not Pie in the Sky

I welcome the opportunity to discuss the workings and overall process of the proposed Aina Koa Pono (AKP) biofuels plant on the Big Island, and believe a healthy debate will assist everyone with understanding the process.

AECOM is program manager under a master services agreement (MSA) with Aina Koa Pono for the Kau project on Hawaii island.

AECOM will also enter into the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for AKP's project when all necessary approvals are received and a permit to construct is issued pending a mutually agreeable contract ("Critics of Hawaiian Electric's biofuels plan fear high bills," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 11).

Prior to the master agreement, the energy group of AECOM in Oakland, Calif., and Honolulu performed an at-risk assessment of the "microwave depolymerization process" technology, which has taken six months and many hundreds of hours to complete.

AECOM has performed a due-diligence effort on the technology. We went to this expense thinking like many of the processes we see that this was another "pie in the sky" technology tweak that had little or no merit.

…The next step is to prove our assumptions by test data, currently in progress, which will bring the level of understanding down to the ground and ready for prime time.

The process has two phases of operation: the first phase is water removal, which is run at approximately 356 degrees Fahrenheit; the second phase is the "Syn-crude" extraction phase running at about 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

Several weeks ago I visited the facility and witnessed the 5 Ton Per Day (TPD) demonstration unit operate through the first phase of water extraction, which appears to be working within the design parameters. (Uh-huh…and the second phase?) Because the process is linear in nature, the scale-up from the current 5 TPD unit to a 75 or 100 TPD commercial scale unit is relatively simple; the process equipment (pie) will be larger and fully tested at the manufacturing facility prior to delivery in (the sky) Kau.

(Does it use more energy than it produces?)

read … Big Nuke OK’d

FARCE: Mililani Trask squabbles with 9-11 Trooother over Profits from Geothermal

A large and varied panel of specialists discussed the sustainable energy that is abundant on Hawaii Island, a growing candidate to lead the Hawaii towards energy independence.

Many faces seen in previous forums were present: including Richard Ha, local farmer and co-chair of the Geothermal Working Group, back from a recent trip to Iceland were he gathered information of that nation’s use of geothermal power.

A mix of government and utility officials, and business persons rounded out the panel…

Ormat, the company behind Puna Geothermal Venture, was in attendance, as were other geothermal business interests, like Mililani Trask and Kristine Kubat. Kubat, a long-time grassroots activist, is now representing Moku Power, which seeks to use PowerTube technology for geothermal energy distribution.

Both Trask and Kubat stood in opposition to geothermal projects in the past… now, they are pushing forward with their ideas; possible competitors in a future industry.

As competitors, the two had plenty of questions for one another, and a heated exchange took place during a panel Q and A session.

Kubat: Big Island Weekly joins 9-11 deniers

read … Fruit Loops Seek Profit

Big Island Dope Dealer Founded Dope Church in Back of Police Car

The boyfriend of defendant Nancy Harris took the witness stand in her marijuana trial Tuesday -- for both the prosecution and defense.

Kenneth Miyamoto-Slaughter, like Harris a self-described "cannabis minister," testified that he conceived his First Hawaiian Church of the Holy Smoke "in 1993, in the back of a police cruiser" after he'd been arrested for commercial promotion of marijuana.

"I told the police officers, 'You think I'm promoting marijuana? I'll show you how to promote marijuana,'" Miyamoto-Slaughter testified. "After that, I investigated marijuana churches per se, so to speak."

read … Just another doper

Evicted by UH Manoa, PBS Hawaii gets $5m grant, moving to new digs

PBS says the funds were needed because it is losing its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

PBS Hawaii's future home will be located along Nimitz Highway at 315 Sand Island Access Road and will be named The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus.

The public television station will renovate and expand an existing one-story building on the site and re-locate operations in 2014. The site, purchased in January 2009, formerly housed the KHNL/KFVE Newsplex.

read … Evicted

Hawaii AG Joins Newspaper war against Free Online Classifieds

Attorneys general in 45 states, including Hawaii, are asking a classified ads website to explain how it handles postings for adult services.

The officials said in a letter to on Wednesday that hundreds of ads on the site are for prostitution, and the site attracts people seeking to exploit minors.

They want to prove it is monitoring the site to prevent illegal activity and to willingly provide information in lieu of a subpoena….

Carl Ferrer, a spokesman for Backpage owner Village Voice Media, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Craigslist closed its adult services section last year after attorneys general and others raised concerns it could not effectively screen out illegal ads.

read … Knocking down classified competitors


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