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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
September 20, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:01 PM :: 4501 Views

Ed Case, Brian Schatz back Obama’s Call for Massive Tax Hikes

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: How They Voted September 19, 2011

Hawaii GOP Leaders Call for Ouster of Party Chair 

Hawaii Redistricting Panel Excludes Some Military—But Malama Solomon Still Out of Luck

The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission has reversed its decision to count non-permanent military and college students as residents for determining Hawaii's political boundaries.

The commission on Monday voted 5-3 in favor of a model that would remove 16,458 active-duty military and out-of-state college students from the state's population base. The so-called extraction would not affect the number of Hawaii House and Senate seats assigned to each island.

The group is working toward a Friday deadline to file final proposals with the Chief Elections Officer, who then has until Oct. 10 to publish the plans. Revised maps reflecting the new base population should be available online by Tuesday afternoon.

AP: 16K residents cut from Hawaii population base

What this is about: Military to be Disenfranchised so Meth dealer’s friend can keep Senate Seat?

read … Military Disenfranchised?

Labor Board to HSTA: "We just need to get this case over with"

Monday marked the ninth session before the Labor Relations Board. It was the third day that Horner, only the second witness, sat in the hot seat. There are more than 80 witnesses on the subpoena request list.

It was evident during the questioning, which at times was argumentative, that patience is already wearing thin among the parties involved in the case, including the two remaining labor members. The deputy attorney general lost his temper with HSTA attorney Herb Takahashi's redundant approach. The labor board chairman practically gave up trying to harness Takahashi's questioning.

Frustrated, board chairman Jim Nicholson told Takahashi, "We just need to get this case over with."

read … Backup Plan

Bank CEO Horner announces retirement—Will Continue as Chairman

A local banker who is also active on several state and city boards has announced plans to retire from First Hawaiian Bank at the end of the year.

Don Horner has been the Chief Executive Officer of FHB since 2005. Upon his retirement, he will continue to serve as the bank's Chairman.

Bob Harrison, 51, who currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Horner as Chief Executive Officer at year-end. Ray Ono, who is Vice Chairman and Chief Banking Officer, will assume Harrison's title as Chief Operating Officer….

In his role as board chairman, Horner will continue to be involved in bank strategy and oversight while Harrison, as chief executive officer, will take over the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the bank, effective January 1, 2012.

read … Walter Dodds with better hair

Hawaii State Salaries 2012: Fewer Employees, Higher Costs

Despite growing its operating budget this year, Hawaii state government has yet to restore its work force to pre-recession levels, according to an analysis by Civil Beat.

Lawmakers agreed on an $11 billion operating budget for the year that started July 1 — an 8 percent increase over the previous year's budget.

But last year's smaller budget included salaries, health and pension benefits for a total of 45,241 full-time employees. This year's larger budget covers almost 500 fewer full-time workers, or 44,747 total. The current employee count is down by more than 1,750 compared with the fiscal 2009 budget year, which started July 1, 2008, before the global financial crisis took its toll.

While there are fewer employees in state government, the state is spending more taxpayer money on salaries and retirement benefits this year as a result of ending twice-monthly furloughs on July 1.

About 20 percent of the overall budget increase is tied to the cost of putting people back to work on furlough days. (Other causes of the increase include higher costs for social services like Medicaid and debt service.)

read … New Day

Hawaii State Salaries 2012: Highest Paid Employees

This is part of an ongoing series on Hawaii government salaries. Go here to use a searchable database of more than 14,000 state employees and their salaries.

read … Highest Paid

Hawaii County Council prepares to soak Homebuilders

The single-family home classification is split into six categories, depending on the size of the structure. A house that's less than 1,000 square feet, for example, would be charged an impact fee of $4,471, while one 3,500 square feet or more would be charged $7,026.

A duplex or multifamily dwelling would cost from $3,314 to $5,207 and a hotel or motel unit would be assessed $4,210, according to the bill.

Fees for construction of retail, commercial, office, industrial, warehouse, church, school, hospital, nursing home structures or other institutions would be assessed per 1,000 square feet with fees ranging from $1,080 to $5,451.

Related: Hawaii County Impact Fees Unfair To Those Building Their Own Homes

read … Anti-Local

Hawaii Tourism Boosted as Canadians Flee Global Cooling

If you like rainy, cold weather, you're in luck. After an unusually wet spring and a cool summer, Comox Valley residents can look forward to an equally dismal winter season, according to Environment Canada. The agency is predicting that the Valley will see average temperatures this year and above average precipitation, courtesy of La Nina.

Despite all the doom and gloom, some of the Valley's many clouds may still have a silver lining; Mount Washington saw a light dusting of snow on Friday and Saturday and hopes are high for another long ski season.

This summer was not the worst on record, but it certainly wasn't the best. Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips said that the rainy spring, followed by the cooler summer months, may have left people feeling as if they'd been cheated….

"The situation doesn't look that great," he said. "It may be time to book a holiday in Hawaii."

read … Global Cooling

Feds, State Team up to Attack Restaurants, Hotels, and Homebuilders

The Labor Department is signing agreements to share information with nearly a dozen states, including Hawaii, and the Internal Revenue Service as it gets more aggressive in its program to crack down on businesses that cheat workers out of their wages.

The information will help Labor officials target businesses that improperly label workers as independent contractors or as nonemployees to deprive workers of minimum wage and overtime pay. Misclassifying workers also lets companies avoid paying workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and federal taxes….

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has made increased enforcement of federal wage-and-hour laws a top priority since she took office in 2009. The department has focused on industries where so-called "wage theft" is considered a problem, including the hotel, restaurant, janitorial, health care and day care industries.

Last month the agency began targeting large U.S. homebuilders to see whether they failed to pay workers the minimum wage or overtime.

read … Back Wages?

Two Boobs Provide ACLU with A Pre-APEC Disruption warm-up Trial

Two University of Hawaii students on Monday were arraigned in Oahu District Court on charges that they protested in Waikiki without a permit.1

The Honolulu Prosecutor's Office was granted a continuance on the case, so the Meiers were not required to enter a plea at this point.

Jamie and Tess Meier, both Maui residents attending UH Manoa, were cited by the Honolulu Police Department Aug. 21 on Kalakaua Avenue, where they held signs and circulated a petition advocating for gender equality as part of a nationwide protest, "National Go Topless Day." Neither was wearing a top during their demonstration.

"We are appalled that this close to APEC, with hundreds and perhaps thousands of protesters, and the eyes of the world on Honolulu, that HPD still does not understand or respect the rights of protesters," said Laurie A. Temple, a staff Attorney for the ACLU of Hawaii, which is also representing the Meiers.

Long winded neo-Marxist rant: How APEC Hurts

read … It’s a set-up

Four Blockheads Handle Niu Valley Boulder

The acting governor watched boulder removal from Niu Valley yesterday and tweeted out (@brianschatz, 2,590 followers) what he saw.

Excerpt: “Adjutant General Wong, CD Chief Texeira, DLNR Chief Aila all on site making sure operation is smooth.”

read … Big Four

Will Convicted Killer get “Contested Case” over Kau Oceanfront Squat?

Abel Simeona Lui (convicted of a 1976 manslaughter) is threatening to sue the Board of Land and Natural Resources if it denies his contested case request.

The Land Board voted at its May 27 meeting to accept $1 million in federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Recovery Land Acquisition grant program to acquire 551 acres around Kawa Bay in Ka'u. This money would then be given to Hawaii County to buy the lands from the Edmund Olson Trust for preservation….

The county is buying the 551-acre oceanfront parcel for $3.9 million, with $1.5 million coming from the state, $1 million from the federal government and $1.4 million from the open space land fund, which is funded by property taxes. But Lui claims hereditary ownership of this property, as well as an adjacent 235-acre parcel the county bought in 2008 with $1.9 million in state and county funds. Lui has long said the lands are not for sale.

The BLNR will discuss whether to grant Lui a contested case hearing at its meeting Friday in Honolulu.

read … Political Correctness

10 p.m. "quiet time" now enforced at Mayor Wright Homes

The murder of a young man at Mayor Wright Homes in Kalihi has prompted some changes and new rules at the public housing project, including a 10pm "quiet time" that's going into effect right now.

The leader of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority has been meeting with members of the Tenants Association since the fatal stabbing a week ago, but tonight was the first time she met with the tenants en mass.

read … Time Out

Kamehameha Schools names finalists for Head of School

The three finalists, all of who are originally from Hawaii are:

Lee Ann DeLima: Currently, the Headmaster of Kamehameha Schools' Maui Campus. DeLima received a Master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is a member of the National Education Association, and sits on the Native Hawaiian Education Council – Maui Association.

J. Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ôpua, PhD: Is a professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Goodyear-Ka‘ôpua received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also co-founder of the Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School.

Earl T. Kim: Is the Superintendent of Schools of the Montgomery School District in New Jersey. He has been awarded the New Jersey Principal of the Year and School Leader Award and has a master's degree from Princeton University.

read … KSBE

Residents Demand EIS from Aina Koa Pono

Honolulu-based Aina Koa Pono plans to convert 13,000 acres of grasses into biodiesel by microwaving it and distilling it before shipping it to Kona to be burned at Hawaii Electric Light Co.'s Keahole power plant to generate electricity. (How much electricity will be used to microwave the grass? Does this scam even produce net inflow of electricity?)

Many at a District 6 Matters Meeting hosted by Ka'u Councilwoman Brittany Smart on Monday said an environmental assessment is not enough.

They want the company that plans to build the $400 million plant a mile and a half above Pahala to conduct an environmental impact statement. Neighbors said they were concerned about a number of issues.

They are worried about potential emissions from the plant, the possible effects of earthquakes on the facility and how the grasses grown for the plant -- and the trucks hauling the crops and finished product -- would affect the area environment.

"Why don't you want to have an EIS?," asked Sophia Hanoa of Pahala.

AKP partner Chris Eldridge said simply that the company wasn't required to do one. (…because they have not tied a barge to a dock, perhaps?)

read … Not Pono

Confirmed: Pattern Energy JV will bid on 'Big Wind' project

A joint venture including Pattern Energy will bid on the proposed 200-megawatt wind farm on Molokai as part of the so-called “Big Wind” project, PBN has been told.

Molokai Renewables, a joint venture between Pattern Energy and Bio-Logical Capital, plans on submitting a bid when the final request for proposals is issued by Hawaiian Electric Co. next month, according to Bio-Logical Capital Hawaii Vice President Keiki-Pua Dancil.

read … Going for the Green

BMW Dealer gets a Bunch of Solar Panels

The 153.6 megawatt photovoltaic system is being designed and installed by Kailua-based Sunetric and will generate about 21,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, Sunetric said in a news release.

Once the Honolulu dealership installation is completed BMW of Hawaii will have PV systems running at two out of three of its locations. The first system was installed by Sunetric in November of 2010 at BMW of Hawaii’s Kailua-Kona dealership, where Sunetric installed a 113.8 kilowatt roof-mounted PV system.

The amount of electricity to be generated by the system will save am estimated 420 barrels oil a year that would have otherwise been imported to Hawaii and burned to make electricity, according to Sunetric.

LINK: Here’s a different 150mw PV installation which uses 22,000,000 lbs of aluminum mounting racks. 6kwh is required to smelt 1lb of Aluminum. Do the math. It equals 102.5 8 hr days of production. Because some days are cloudy, basically one year of production is required to equal the electricity used just to smelt the aluminum.

read … A paltry 420 Barrels?

Enviros Demand Bomb Squad File for EIS before Acting

Today, eight community groups representing a variety of statewide environmental and cultural interests, issued a joint letter calling for Governor Abercrombie to withdraw recent Proclamations suspending many of Hawai‘i environmental and cultural protections.

CB: Abercrombie Defends Emergency Cleanup Order

read … UXO is not an Emergency

2012 Congressional Medal of Honor convention in Honolulu

The City and County of Honolulu and the Honolulu Medal of Honor 2012 host committee are pleased to announce that the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has selected Honolulu to host its 2012 national convention….

read … Medal of Honor

UH Manoa Perfesser: Alcoholism, Drug Use will make you a self-worshipping Atheist

According to University of Hawaii neuroscientist Bruce E. Morton, "Personal transformations causing increased intelligence have been reported to occur from many apparently unrelated phenomena."

These include: near-death experiences; religious conversions; hitting bottom in Alcoholics Anonymous type organizations; hallucinogen-induced ego death and transcendence; some holotropic breath work altered states; certain ancient meditation practices; and some tribal coming of age initiations.

read … Typical Urban Atheist


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