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Monday, September 5, 2011
September 5, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:47 PM :: 11735 Views

DoE Boosts AYP Standing by Kicking Students off Testing Roster

Abercrombie Booed at UH Game

Report from a member of the audience: We went to the Hawaiian Airlines Volleyball tournament tonight. Before the UH Wahine came out to play in the championship game, Neil Abercrombie was introduced to the crowd and he was shown on the big screen for all to see. He was loudly booed. His face quickly became puzzled and frowning. Sorry, Neil - we just don't like you.

No Mention by SA, natch: UCLA tops Hawaii in volleyball

Abercrombie’s AG Tries to Block Burns, Case, Moon, and Bennett from holding Private Debate of Judicial Secrecy

A committee has been set up to address issues in the ongoing controversy over Gov. Neil Abercrombie's refusal to disclose the names of the finalists for judiciary vacancies.

The Hawaii chapter of the American Judicature Society has named 15 judges, lawyers and members of the public to consider whether the names should be released, and if so, at what point in the appointment process….

Attorney General David Louie, one of the committee members, has raised concerns in a letter to the committee about whether the AJS should be involved in a matter now in litigation.

But retired state Judge James Burns, chairman of AJS Hawaii chapter, said the court is faced with the issue of what is the law. The committee will deal with a separate question of what the law should require, he said.

The committee will have its first meeting Sept. 14. The panel's meetings, Burns said, will be private….

In addition to Louie, whose office will be defending the lawsuit against the governor, the committee includes Daniel Case, a Honolulu lawyer who wrote an opinion article defending the governor's decision to keep the names confidential.

Other committee members are Moon and Lingle's attorney general, Mark Bennett, who both served on the 2005 committee that recommended disclosure.

read … Louie, Moon, Case, Bennett, Burns

SA: HSTA Heading In Exactly the Wrong Direction

In a state with a strong labor history and where unemployment had been traditionally low, it's been a tough slog. Tight economic times have squeezed people out of jobs and recovery is still elusive; meanwhile, it's increasingly clear that ballooning government labor costs will be unsustainable at the status quo. The perfect storm has converged for fundamental changes in how Hawaii does business, and flexibility will be key to survival….

…there is little in the way of job creation or public labor-cost savings on the horizon….

long-term labor issues are looming large here.

Escalating costs of government retirement benefits are adding to the strain on the state's budget, as are underfunded health insurance liabilities. Lawmakers had opportunities to start addressing these issues last session but made scant inroads.

Unfortunately, entrenchment will not work. A case in point in unproductive conflict is the one now unfolding between the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association, which has headed in exactly the opposition direction than what's needed. Collaboration, fueled by today's harsh realities, must be the path if Hawaii is to have a chance at making strides toward more-efficient job roles, downsizing via attrition and limiting seniority "bumping" practices and other possible stonewalls to productivity.

read … Time to transform how Hawaii works

Extortion case is the latest incident in a string of suits, violence and fines at The Shack

Since opening in mid-2008, Shack Waikiki has been fined five times by the Honolulu Liquor Commission, including twice for failing to suppress violence against a customer. It has been the scene of several violent incidents, has been named in at least a half-dozen lawsuits accusing its staff of assault and is part of a three-club concentration at the Waikiki Trade Center where police repeatedly have been summoned on assault and disorderly conduct calls….

In 2009, officers responded to 113 assault cases at 2255 Kuhio, including 14 cases of aggravated assault, which involves severe bodily injury or dangerous weapons or both, the data show. In 2010, officers handled 80 cases, including nine of the more serious ones. So far this year, police have responded to 25 assaults, including five aggravated ones.

When attorney Michael Cruise, who represents Kauhi, the former bouncer, checked the names of 17 people listed as Shack "doormen" in commission records, he found 11 with criminal histories, according to Cruise and court documents he filed.

The 11 collectively were convicted of more than 140 charges ranging from kidnapping and felony drug offenses to petty mis­demeanors such as harassment, the court documents show. The convictions ranged from the 1980s to as recently as 2008.

read … Checkered history haunts Waikiki club

Waikiki Event aims to show union members they "are not forgotten"

Organizers of Sunday's annual Labor Unity Picnic at the Waikiki Shell drew even more union supporters than last year, when they served 5,209 meals.

Before the doors to the Shell opened on Sunday, people were driving up with armfuls of canned goods to donate to needy families.

Children ran around the grounds of the Waikiki Shell as event chairman Gino Soquena said, "Union families stick together. They know it's important to help one another."

Even though times remain hard for many unions, organizers estimated the crowd at 7,500 by early evening. The picnic was scheduled to end at 10 p.m.

HGEA Pres: Many of us are struggling to stay afloat

read … Union Bosses try to make it look good

Haleakala Telescope to kick in $20M for Science Education, OHA Cronies demand theirs

The National Science Foundation will sponsor a $20 million award for science study benefiting Native Hawaiian students at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

The grant is part of a mitigation plan offered by developers of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope at the summit of Haleakala. Through the program, the NSF will distribute $2 million a year for 10 years for programs and scholarships….

Maberry said this is the first NSF astronomy scholarship in Hawaii and the largest in its history.

UH-Maui College associate professor of Hawaiian Studies Kiope Raymond is a member of Kilakila O Haleakala, a group opposing the telescope's construction.

When asked about the new program during the July hearing, Raymond testified: "It does not matter if a few Hawaiians think that a few other Hawaiians will benefit. The overwhelming majority of Hawaiians (ie me and my cronies) believe it will have long-term, major, adverse impacts." (unless WE get paid, not those other Hawaiians)

The Other Telescope: Thirty Meter Telescope Selects Mauna Kea -- Let the looting begin!, Telescope: The Shakedown begins

read … Telescope Payoffs

Ethics Rules Selectively Enforced against Legislative Republican

Use any public elevator at the state Capitol when the Hawaii Legislature is in session and chances are you'll see a host of fliers and posters on the walls advertising for a charitable cause.

A bake sale out of a lawmakers' office to benefit the Foodbank. A plate lunch deal to benefit the Salvation Army. A blood drive for the Hawaii Blood Bank.

But the Hawaii State Ethics Commission's recent rebuke of a rookie (GOP) lawmaker for using a legislative aide to email a plea to raise money for a girls' softball team raises fresh questions about even these charity causes.

The Red Cross? Heart Walk? The Girl Scouts?

According to Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo, all of those are private charities — and the state ethics code forbids the use of state resources — including legislative staff and office equipment — for those private business purposes.

read … Selective Enforcement against Republican

Chinatown drenched in Urine by Homeless

"They use my front door as their restroom," he says….

"Feces. The smell, not only us, a lot of vendors around here we have to sweep, have to clean," says Say.

She says it gets worse on weekends….

Shubert-Kwock says the River of Life Mission public restroom on Pauahi street is closed on Saturdays and Sundays and so homeless have no where to go.

"It's gotten to a point where we cannot breath anymore," she says.

read … Chinatown

After NW Hawaiian Isles Fishing Ban cause Seals to be crowded out, Officials want to bring them here

Monk seals eat crustaceans, octopus, squid, eels and small fish, food that is eight inches or smaller and near the ocean bottom. They tend to interact well with coral, sharks and ulua; (Actually the ulua are stealing the food which monk seals scrounge from the bottom) however, presenters spoke of an anomaly on a NWHI atoll where sharks are taking seal pups in as little as eight inches of water….

Removing ulua or sharks, or tampering with an ecosystem may present a short-term boost for the seals, but could result in a long-term ecological disaster. (Translation: You must not restore NW Hawaiian Isles fishing because we say so.) There is no data to move forward that would satisfy regulations for that type of environmental activity, he added. (Nonsense. The data is the record of NW Hawaiian islands fisheries)

Greg Holzman, who spoke at the Saturday meeting as a fisherman, was upset that the Federal Registry is reporting potential impacts on fishing as more significant than “negligible” in the NOAA proposal.

He said the Critical Habitat designation is a genuine threat to commercial fishermen when the government has the right to exercise options that will require additional barriers for licensing or blocking off areas entirely where there are seal pups or to close off areas for fishing altogether. (In other words, the fishing ban causes monk seals to starve because of increased competition from ulua and sharks so they move the seals to the main islands and …[drumroll please] institute a fishing ban here [clash cymbals])

“That to me is outrageous,” he said.

The critical habitat designation is a layer that changes the intent and purpose of the monk seal recovery project, he added.

Read … Seals are just an excuse

Hawaiian Monk seals to soon have better Medical Care than Humans

The Hawaiian monk seal — the nation's most imperiled marine mammal — is on the verge of getting its own emergency room.

A California-based nonprofit with decades of experience caring for marine mammals aims to break ground next year on a hospital and rehabilitation center in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island capable of holding up to 10 monk seals at a time.

The facility would be the first such center in the islands. Right now, the only place scientists can take a monk seal needing surgery to remove a fish hook or other medical care is the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, and it has limited space.

read … Hawaiian monk seals to get "emergency room"

Panos: Ten Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Necessary For Another 50 Years

Power is the key ingredient for prosperity. Without adequate and affordable power, our life-style, health and well-being cannot be maintained. Power fundamentally affects our basic needs such as water distribution, sanitation, food production and transportation for covering essential needs. Once it is understood that every 750,000 population requires approximately 1,000 MW per day, the production of affordable energy by existing solar and wind technologies appears only on the lists of severely math (and reality) incompetent individuals.

read … Panos

Hawaii health officials plan events for National Suicide Prevention Week

Hawaii health officials are sponsoring events statewide to coincide with National Suicide Prevention Week.

The events starting Sunday are meant to spread awareness of suicide prevention.

Related: Highest suicide rate in US: Hawaii DoE highschoolers

read … Suicide

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