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Friday, October 7, 2011
October 7, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:46 PM :: 10293 Views

Inouye Slams Ed Case: “I don’t want to deal with a person like that”

Asselbaye, Aoki Resign from Abercrombie Administration

KIUC: In Race for Tax Credits, Solar Beats Wind, Biofuel

State of Hawaii to SCOTUS: Protect Property Rights from "Overreaching Federal Regulation"

ALA: 1909 Law Does Not Allow Assisted Suicide

Like Hawaii, Alaskan Native Corps Front for Government Contractors while Natives Get Short-Changed

Hawaii has lowest level of Serious Mental Illness in US

Abercrombie plans push for Soda Taxes and gambling

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is telling lawmakers he is willing to consider gambling next year.

At the same time, he is again considering a state income tax on pensions and taxing soft drinks with sugar. Some legislators think it will come down to a decision of either raising taxes or legalizing gambling.

Right now the governor is quietly letting it be known that he will "look favorably" on legislation to legalize casino gambling in Hawaii.

Senate President Shan Tsutsui said Abercrombie told him he wants action on gambling next year.

"He tells me he is going to do something," Tsutsui said.

"I said it would be better if we put a commission together to discuss it and hold hearings, but he said, ‘We can take care of this right away.'" ….

Gambling has been strongly opposed by Hawaii's senior Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, although he supportsgambling in Native American jurisdictions.

In Hawaii, gambling would face opposition from police and religious organizations and also the Boyd Gaming Corp., which operates the California, Fremont and Main Street Station hotels in Las Vegas, which are popular with Hawaii residents.

Other lawmakers doubt that Abercrombie would win approval for any of his tax increase ideas next year.

"His sugar tax was not well-received last session," said Tsutsui. "This time it will be an uphill battle."

read … Gambling

Abercrombie’s New Chief of Staff is Old Boy Insider

Coppa, a New Jersey native whose family originally came from Sicily, has spent the past 36 years in Hawaii. He graduated from high school in 1971, and three years later earned a business administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson College. He also holds a master's degree in Business Administration Global Management from the University of Phoenix.

Coppa started his Hawaii career on Maui, climbing the corporate ladder of construction company E.E. Black Construction. He spent 18 years with the firm.

He then served as executive director for 11 years for the Pacific Resource Partnership, an organization representing contractors and the carpenters union. He spent five years as chief operating officer for Communications Pacific, one of Hawaii's top public relations firms, before launching Coppa Consulting, a boutique management-consulting firm.

Coppa's (previous) nomination to the comptroller position received overwhelming support from labor union leaders, construction firms, real estate developers, and heavyweights in Hawaii's business and nonprofit communities.

His nomination, which required Senate confirmation, received about 100 pieces of testimony in support.

read … Bruce Coppa

State Civil Defense Workers Sign Petition Asking For Vice-Director’s Reinstatement

"There've been changes in the wind and they are changes I don’t totally agree with,” said Teixeira on the day he resigned.

The changes he alluded to revolve around the realignment of a division that manages federal homeland security grants. The proposal would have taken it out of the hands of civil defense and directly under the Department of Defense.

About 40 of some 65 employees of the department signed the petition. The letter raised concerns that Teixeira's departure and the organizational rift threatens the state’s preparedness, and operational response capability.

Those who signed the letter strongly encouraged Ajutant General Darryll Wong to reconsider the matter.

“It is not really the general's place to consider that. The resignation has already been tendered and the department is going to leave it at that,” said Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, director affairs director of the Hawaii National Guard.

Read …

Djou's Campaign Objective To Reach Congress

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou ran a first-rate campaign in his 2010 Congressional race against Colleen Hanabusa. For him that's a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that his positions were clear and forthright.

As a campaigner, Djou worked his okole off. He ran an intense, very energetic, visible candidate campaign, enough to get national attention, which for a Hawaii Congressional candidate is as rare as a monk seal. Republicans were solidly behind him because he is a staunch fiscal conservative and because he did a clever job of finessing hot button issues that are so important to social conservatives but less so to others.

The curse is that Djou lost because of his campaign. He lost because he presented a clear, consistent Republican message in a state where there are too few people who believe in that message.

(WRONG. Djou lost because Duke Aiona ran a lousy campaign, thus forcing Djou to overcome a 17% deficit at the top of the ticket.)

read … Djou

Case: Hirono is Status Quo Candidate, Senate Race Mirrors 2002

Case told Civil Beat that he had three fundraisers on the East Coast this week: two in Washington, one in Boston (a fourth event in Washington was a "meet and greet," not a fundraiser, he said).1 In an interview Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill, Case spoke matter-of-factly about what he sees as Hirono's shortcomings, revealing the message he wants voters to get from his campaign.

"Mazie cannot speak to change," Case said. "She is not an agent of change. Never has been, never will be. And in a change election, you're going to have change with a 'D' or change with an 'R.' I want it to be 'D' because I believe my party has the better overall answers for this country."

Case also reiterated the results of a poll that his campaign released in August. The poll found that Case would defeat former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican who is widely expected to run for the Senate seat, but that Lingle would defeat Hirono.

If the latter scenario sounds eerily familiar, it's because that's how the 2002 campaign for Hawaii governor played out. A decade ago, Hirono defeated Case in the Democratic primary but lost to Lingle in the gubernatorial general election. Hirono went on to win the 2nd Congressional District seat after Case gave it up to challenge Akaka in the 2006 Democratic primary.

"There are so many parallels," Case said. "If anybody thinks that this race is not roughly about the same things that happened in '02, I don't think they really understand what '02 was about. Same basic program. Mazie represented the status quo. I represented a change with a 'D.'

read … Status Quo

Case Says he’s Too Honest, But then Won’t Tell

He was matter of fact in pointing out what he sees as Hirono’s shortcomings, but Case also talked about one of his own weaknesses.

“Like being honest with folks about what the challenges are — even if it comes back to haunt you in some sound bite used against you in the next campaign — is worth it and necessary in the long run to get things solved,” Case said.

Asked for an example of such a sound bite, Case laughed.

I’m not going to tell you what they are,” he said.

read … I am lying

Hanabusa Scrounging Contracts for Akaka Gang, CNHA

Hanabusa’s office announced that the group will tomorrow hold a Defense Business Panel hearing on Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States.

The goal of the trip will be to meet with local officials and employers about the obstacles that small businesses face when vying for military contracts.

What this is about: Like Hawaii, Alaskan Native Corps Front for Government Contractors while Natives Get Short-Changed

read … Rock Island Arsenal

SA: Let free speech ring out during APEC

…security concerns cannot trump the First Amendment. The APEC conference is only a month away and the city needs to make every effort within its authority to ensure that meaningful, peaceful demonstrations are not summarily blocked.

The city has promised "to provide opportunities for the exercise of First Amendment rights" during APEC, and that's encouraging. So was the agreement after the May 9-11, 2001, Asian Development Bank conference at the Hawaii Convention Center and barely a month following 9/11. Five months after the conference, the city agreed in the future to reduce the time for groups to obtain permits for parade permits from 40 days to five days and public park gatherings from three weeks to three days.

A week before the 2001 banking group convened, and responding to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, the city made concessions allowing protestors to march, distribute materials and try to converse with bank attendees. The city's concessions were encouraging in that they followed nasty confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcers at international conventions in Seattle and Quebec City. Even more promising was the post-Asia Development Bank federal court settlement in October 2001 between the city of Honolulu and the ACLU. It contained a series of changes allowing demonstrators to gain timely permits without paying general liability insurance, which the city had required.

(Maoist boss) Carolyn Hadfield of World Can't Wait-Hawaii said her group applied several weeks ago to demonstrate at the promenade behind the convention center along Ala Wai Canal, where protestors were allowed to demonstrate in May 2001. (Yes! Let ‘em rip. The crazier, the better!)

read … Yes, lets all take a good hard look at Obama’s base

Rail Price Drops Again In New Draft Financial Plan

Construction of the rail system is now projected to cost $5.174 billion, down $143 million from the $5.317 billion figure found in the April 2011 draft. An earlier financial plan submitted with the Final Environmental Impact Statement in August 2009 had the cost projected at $5.513 billion.

None of those figures include operations and maintenance. It's expected that it will cost $1.3 billion more to run the system through 2030. That number did not change in the updated plan.

The city is waiting for final approval from the Federal Transit Administration and $1.5 billion in federal grants before starting construction in earnest. Meantime, it's doing preliminary construction work and this week started archaeological inventory work in the downtown area.

The September 2011 draft financial plan for entry into final design came up during the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation meetings Thursday morning.

read … Making it up as they go along

Big Wind has Secret Plan to Cover all of Molokai?

The Governor’s hare-brained wind scheme is triggering a lot of jaw dropping and head scratching — and not just on Molokai and Lanai.

The reason is not just the grim cost of his plan, but also a growing realization that we’re not getting the whole story. Apparently, we’ve seen only Phase 1. It seems there are also plans for Phase 2 (central Molokai) and Phase 3 (east Molokai.) Are there further phases planned for Lanai as well? Until the Governor shows his cards, we will just have to guess. Comparing wind farms elsewhere, the complete blanketing of both islands with giant turbines would be no real surprise. If a big enough cable is installed, any number of turbines can be added.

read … Story Behind Big Wind Project Needs To Be Told

State boosts “Big Wind” EIS contract by 70%

The state is quietly proposing a 70% increase in a contract with a Los Angeles engineering firm to provide environmental studies in support of the proposed “Big Wind” project of industrial-scale wind farms on Molokai and Lanai, and a deep sea interisland cable to transmit power to Oahu. The move could force the reopening of the public scoping process required by the National Environmental Policy Act, according to an application for exemption from competitive bidding submitted to the State Procurement Office last week.

The increased spending was disclosed in an exemption request filed by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism on September 28. It is seeking permission to boost the contract value by $2.1 million, to a total of $5.1 million, up from the original $2.9 million contract awarded in June 2010.

The previously selected contractor is AECOM Technical Services, Inc., part of the publicly-traded AECOM Technology Corporation….

The proposed revision would add “impact analyses at additional areas in Maui County that are suitable for two other renewable energy technologies: solar/photovoltaic and geothermal.”

read … More Money sent to mainland

Judge: HSTA Attorney 'Promoted Confusion' to ‘Boost Attorney’s Fees’

By now it's no secret that the lawyer representing the Hawaii State Teachers Association has engaged in a curious and confusing legal strategy in the union's high-profile labor dispute with the state.

But attorney Herb Takahashi's bewildering tactics are nothing new, a court order issued earlier this year in an unrelated arbitration case suggests.

In that case, Takahashi filed a series of "premature and unnecessary" motions, according to the judge's ruling, that at best, caused confusion and, at worst, cost the state (and Takahashi's client) a lot of money. The motions may have been an attempt to boost attorney's fees, the judge said.

read … Organized Chaos

School lunch price going higher

The state is seeking an 85-cent increase to the price of a school lunch under a plan that would bring the cost for a high school student to $3.35, more than double what students paid in 2006.

The price increase, which is expected to take effect next school year, would push the cost of school lunches in the islands to well above the national average of $2.20 and, advocates say, likely spurring many families to opt out of the school meal program and instead pack a lunch from home.

read … Out to lunch

Private North Hawaii Hospital to Join HHSC???

When one audience member asked about North Hawaii Community Hospital's ability to maintain itself as a private, nonprofit entity, Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Chief Executive Officer and President Bruce Anderson said the two entities, which have some of the same doctors working in their facilities, are looking for ways to support each another.

"We have a good working relationship with North Hawaii Community Hospital and would like to see if there were ways we could work better with them," Anderson said about the possibility of the Waimea hospital becoming part of the HHSC, which carries a $600 million annual budget. "This is a difficult decision and obviously there is a little bit of push and pull to become affiliated with the HHSC as well as the fear of losing independence in favor of financial the support."

Currently, North Hawaii Community Hospital is looking at a $3.5 million loss this year, which is down from 2008 when the hospital experienced a $10 million-plus loss, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bill Park. Despite the projected loss, Park said the hospital is not looking at any layoffs, but rather at expanding services.

Contradiction: Legislative Report: Convert HHSC to non-profit, dump civil service (full text)

read … HHSC?

Durbin Tax to Hit Hawaii Bank Customers

First Hawaiian Bank, for instance, says it doesn’t plan to start charging customers for debit-card use, and BOH says it hasn’t decided whether it will make any changes to its free checking account service. It has raised the fee on its current debit card rewards program.

SA: Central Pacific Bank settles suit opposing improper fees

read … Democrats enact tax so you will blame banks

Revolving Door: Suspect in Zales jewelry robbery in trouble again (Arrest #24)

Akana-Pulido was charged in the Zales smash and grab with four felony crimes, including first degree robbery and arson - for torching the getaway car.

While awaiting trial, Akana-Pulido posted $150,000 bail and was released from police custody. But less than 2 months later, he is back behind bars arrested and charged as the driver of a stolen car that hit a police vehicle on Beretania street this past Tuesday.

"I think we need to have something stronger in the statute that deters people on bail from committing crimes," says Representative Sylvia Luke.

Rep. Luke, is an Attorney and member of the House Judiciary Committee. She says Akana-Pulido's case raises concern.

"Robbery is a major offense and a serious offense and if a person is committing robbery or committing other crimes than clearly you are a threat and you are a danger to society," she says.

According to the Prosecutors Office, Akana-Pulido has 23 prior arrests, not counting Tuesday's car theft.

read … Soft on Crime

Anti Capitalist 'OccupyHawaii' Site Sponsored by Businesses, Conservative Group Ads, an anti-capitalists web site linking itself with the Occupy Wall Street movement now entering its third week in New York City, has this to say about its reason for wanting to protest the wealthy in Hawaii:

"We are the 99%! Occupy Hawaii is a local resistance protesting the 1% that own 50% of everything. We will not be intimidated and silent anymore with our civil resistance and street protests. We will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We represent people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. We have lost our jobs, houses, future, everything...while the fat cats on Wall Street get richer and drink their champagne."


Ironically, on the Hawaii web site, the protesters are accepting a number of ads from capitalists organizations, such as Ford, Solar Energy Hawaii, Aston Resorts, Pond5 (the world stock media market place), and college recruitment groups.

read … Morons and Hypocrites

‘Enlightened’ Mocks Conscious and Progressive

First she abandons her senses and accuses her married boss, Damon (Charles Esten), of punishing her because they've slept together. She then abandons the company to go to a place called Open Air in Hawaii, where she supposedly learns to be more accepting of the real world by memorizing all kinds of New Age aphorisms in place of actual psychological growth.

Aglow with her newfound inner peace, and armed with books about embracing change, she returns to the company, expecting to get her old job back, but nothing works out the way she planned, which leads her to abandon her newfound tranquility, at least temporarily.

Between disappointments at work, continuing struggles with her detached, disapproving mother, Helen (Dern's real-life mom Diane Ladd), and her druggie ex-husband, Levi ( Luke Wilson), unwilling to give her room to change, Amy keeps slipping back into her old habits, and then trying to regain some equilibrium by spouting airy philosophy….

Unlike other shows, "Enlightened" doesn't give you obvious guidelines to when you're supposed to laugh and when you're supposed to feel something else. If Amy really was enlightened, there'd be no show, but the fact that she's wearing her enlightenment like an ill-fitting coat gives the show both its comedic and plot trajectories.

read … Long Overdue


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