Governor’s New Communications director Is Chairman Of Unity House, Owner of Troubled Nightclub, Gambling Advocate
Star-Advertiser: Boersema, 66, has significant connections in the business and labor communities. He is chairman of Unity House, a nonprofit labor organization that is going through bankruptcy. He is chairman of the board of directors at ‘Olelo Community Media, the community access cable network. He is on the board at Pacific Historic Parks, which helps with educational materials and museum exhibits at national parks at Pearl Harbor, Kalaupapa, Saipan and Guam.
Boersema is also one of five owners of Zanzabar, a popular nightclub in Waikiki.
Boersema has been among the advocates for casino gambling on Oahu. He and Jack Seigle — a principal at Starr Seigle, which has since been acquired and absorbed into the Anthology Marketing Group — were involved with the Coalition for Economic Diversity, which made an aggressive pitch to legalize gambling a decade ago.
Boersema, along with then-Gov. Cayetano and Charles Toguchi — Cayetano's former chief of staff and a close ally to Abercrombie — visited the Atlantis resort and casino in the Bahamas in 2000. Sun International Hotels, which developed Atlantis, at the time wanted to open a casino in West Oahu.
This year, while serving as Senate communications director, Boersema favored the concept of establishing a casino at a Waikiki hotel.
Zanzibar pops up at the end of this story about The Shack: A "Culture Of Violence" At Waikiki Nightspot
More Zanzibar: Waikiki night clubs address after hours crime
Related: Top Abercrombie Advisor Tied to Honolulu Liquor Commission Boss forced out by FBI Investigation
read … Another Adult
Hawaii Agency Tasked with Developing State Lands Could Grind to a Halt
The Department of Land and Natural Resources says the law creating the PLDC was passed by the Legislature earlier this year without a key provision that allows for the land transfer.
The attorney general's office says at best the law is ambiguous and may need to be clarified in order to avoid litigation.
But Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who sponsored the legislation creating the PLDC, says the law is adequate and development projects can move ahead. He is pushing the PLDC to move more quickly after a series of missteps caused the cancelation of two of its three meetings.
The law establishing the PLDC doesn’t specify that the agency can hold the lease to the lands, according to Morris Atta, a special projects coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
“The statute talks about the transfer of development rights, but development rights without control of the underlying land interest is essentially useless,” said Atta.
read … No Surprise Here
Like GOP, Hawaii Democrats Also In Debt
On Sept. 26, under criticism for his handling of party finances (among other things), Jonah Kaauwai resigned as chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.
As Civil Beat reported, the GOP was $94,000 in debt in August, mostly for credit card use and the printing and design of political mailers.
So, how is the Democratic Party of Hawaii doing financially?
According to its latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, Democrats are $74,000 in debt. Most of it is for accounting services and fundraising consultation.
Unlike with Kaauwai and the GOP, no one has publicly raised any concerns about the Dems' debt or Dante Carpenter, who was enthusiastically re-elected in May 2010 to another term as party chair.
read … Excuse removed after the fact
FACE: We need Rail Because America Needs Yet Another ‘Stimulus’ Bill
Our whole country seems mired in a debate between investing in infrastructure and cutting the deficit. Locally that debate is playing out in the argument over rail. To FACE members, the debate is ahistorical. Large scale government projects are exactly what the state and the country need right now to shake off the recession.
WSJ: A Jobs Bill That Boggles the Mind
read … Obamanomics
Movie company’s gifts face continuing ethics probe
Relatively initially said the DVDs cost about $290 per set. However, in an amended lobbyist report, the company says the actual cost of each set was just $6.30, which was the cost of the box itself and a printed label. The company now says the cost of the DVDs was $0 because “contractually we are allotted DVD’s of each film we are credited on.”
The company has reported spending $218,220.50 lobbying for the measure between January 1 and April 30, 2011. See its amended lobbyist expenditure reports for January-February and March-April.
In a letter first emailed to all lawmakers on Friday, commission director Les Kondo said the commission is now “investigating to determine who else may have received the DVDs.”….
Relativity Media held two meetings with legislators on February 1, according to Kondo’s letter. One meeting was attended by “approximately fifteen to twenty members of the House of Representatives an legislative staff, while the second was with four senators and staff.
The company also hosted an event on February 14 attended by about 100 people, including 30-50 legislators. The company reported spending $15,000 on the event, which was disclosed to the ethics commission last month.
read … Bribes
53% of isle children taught there really IS a free lunch
>> Children from families earning up to 130 percent of the federal poverty income level qualify for free school lunches. In Hawaii that income threshold is $33,423 a year for a family of four.
>> Kids are eligible for reduced-cost lunches if they’re from families earning from 131 percent to 185 percent of the federal poverty level — $47,564 in Hawaii for a family of four.
read … there’s no such thing as a free lunch
Overrun by Bums, Night closure endorsed for King Kalakaua Park
The smell of human waste and images of vagrants loaded down with shopping carts, street kids, prostitutes and crystal meth users dancing to the beat of an unheard tune round out the daytime urban experience for park users.
In the evenings it's even worse, said Waikiki Gateway Hotel Manager Brad Anderson, who is spearheading a movement to limit access to the park. Closing the park late at night when the risk of crime grows would improve safety and the area's image, he said.
read … Ready for APEC? Not!
It Begins: Philippine Paper Looks at Sex Tourism in Hawaii
According to reports, sex workers are brought in from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Atlanta by pimps, who also pick up local runaways and girls with misdemeanors and send them to work as sex slaves in other states. Some visitors have voiced their concern about the blatant soliciting by prostitutes working the streets. Wearing their killer stiletto heels, skimpy shorts or skirts and barely-there tops, these women walk the streets and loiter along boutiques, hotels, shopping centers and business establishments, with some even doing it a block from police substations.
Worse, many of these women are targeting teenage boys, like the grade-schoolers walking to the Central Middle School in Honolulu. Aside from sex, the prostitutes also accost the boys offering drugs in exchange for money – and this has become such a problem that it’s no longer surprising to see mothers walking their teenage boys to and from school. Lawmakers are also proposing stiffer penalties for “johns” who hire prostitutes within 750 feet of schools or public parks. The proposed law, said local authorities, will mainly target customers and not the sex workers – since many of them are either victims of sex traffickers or simply do it for survival…..
CB: APEC Gives Hawaii a Chance to Redefine its Image
read … APEC Coverage
Local 5, Anti-APEC Groups, Sovereignty Scammers Make Overtures To 'Occupy Honolulu' Organizers
A Heald College student who attended the gatherings all three days, said it’s not clear who orchestrated the demonstration at the Chinatown Gateway Park.
“Nobody came out to say they created the page. It's pretty anonymous. Everyday a different person led the group. Since there are a number of homeless people in this area, they felt it was a good representation of the 99 percent of those people who are fighting to pay bills or don’t have jobs," said Justin Witinghausen.
A group of about 40 people met for more than three hours, talking about what happens going forward. Two people led the meeting, calling it a general assembly, open to all….
Here in Hawaii there have already been overtures from Local Five, the hotel workers union. Last year, police arrested close to 100 union members for staging a sit-in on the streets of Waikiki….
The Occupy Honolulu group plans to meet again Monday at Magic Island at 6 p.m.
UK Daily Mail: Sex and drugs on tap, who says it's not a political partaaay? Occupy Wall Street protesters make love as well as class war
NY Post: Sex, drugs and hiding from the law at Wall Street protests
Read … Hotel Workers Local 5 Behind the Scenes
Carlisle Travels 64 days in First Year
Tuesday marks exactly one year to the day since Peter Carlisle was officially sworn in as the 13th mayor of Honolulu. It's been an interesting year for the former prosecutor, not least because he's spent a fair amount of time off-island promoting Honolulu issues.
In fact, Tuesday is also the day Carlisle departs on his 10th official out-of-state business trip since he took office. By Civil Beat's count, Carlisle's nine previous out-of-state trips encompassed part or all of 64 days. (Our total doesn't include personal travel, vacation time or official business on neighbor islands because those don't require written notice to the Honolulu City Council.) That's more than one-sixth of all the days since he became mayor.
The frequent travels have become a running joke among some members of the Council and some of their staffers around Honolulu Hale. When the Council last week approved a gift from the city of Incheon to cover Carlisle's upcoming trip there, Romy Cachola gave Office of Economic Development Executive Director Ann Chung a tough time about it. She'll be joining Carlisle in Korea.
read … On Vacation
CB: Time to Write a Glowing History of the Sovereignty Movement
Leading academics now say Hawaii is past due for major exhibits and collections to record and preserve photos, documents, letters to newspaper editors, filmed footage, T-shirts and other artifacts from that era and the contemporary sovereignty movement it spurred.
"It's been a generation since this renaissance has happened, and you have a new generation now coming forward and assuming leading roles in the community and business and politics," said Davianna McGregor, one of the founding members of the University of Hawaii's Ethnic Studies Department. "So much of what we have now in terms of a flourishing language, Kahhoolawe itself being rescued, even accomplishments in the political realm, entitlements that Hawaiians have recognized in terms of access rights — the new generation takes it for granted because they haven't gone through the struggle to gain these rights, to have the culture be recognized."
read … Akaka Gang Fluff
Hawaii Military Researchers Make Breakthrough towards AIDS Vaccine
Three researchers with Hawaii ties are leading a U.S. military team that took center stage in the global arena last month with a breakthrough in the search for an effective AIDS vaccine.
Hawaii-born Col. Jerome Kim — a University of Hawaii adjunct professor and deputy director for science at the U.S. Military HIV Research Program who graduated from ‘Iolani School in 1977 and the University of Hawaii in 1980 — presented new research at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 Conference in Bangkok, confirming the efficacy of a potential AIDS vaccine discovered in 2009.
Kim was joined on the project by Nelson Michael, director of the Military HIV Research Program, a 1975 Punahou School graduate and son of the former UH School of Public Health Dean Jerrold Michael; and Merlin Robb, the program's deputy director of clinical research and a 1973 Radford High School alumnus.
read … Military in Hawaii
Department of Education Launches Its First-ever Redesign Initiative in Hawaii
Windward District Office Government officials and business leaders, educators, students and parents attended the Castle Complex Redesign Initiative orientation on Sept. 29. The project will ultimately define and create a plan for the two Castle secondary schools based on school community input and best practice in order to ready all students for colleges and careers.
The meeting at the Kokokahi YWCA in Kaneohe introduced the effort to about 70 handpicked movers and shakers, who were invited to join the program. Among those attending were Senator Jill Tokuda; Michael Broderick, YMCA Honolulu President and CEO; Kaneohe Business Group President Ned Busch; and Board of Education member Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on the event and Olelo filmed it.
read … Failure Redesign Failure
Sheriff Division adds 18 deputies
The first class of recruits since 2009 graduated Friday. Six will work on the Big Island, two are going to Maui and one is going to Kauai. The others will protect Circuit Court, District Court and the state Capitol.
Sheriff Shawn Tsuha says the division has 314 sworn personnel and about 24 vacancies remain.
read … Deputies
SA: Require bikers to wear helmets
Most motorcyclists in Hawaii have said they wear helmets for safety, but an overwhelming majority oppose enactment of a law requiring that they do so. Twenty motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in Hawaii last year, and 12 of them were not wearing helmets. Legislators should follow 20 states that require helmets to be worn by all motorcyclists.
On the Sunday before last, three motorcyclists were involved in accidents in Hawaii. Two of them, who were not wearing helmets, died. The third, who wore a helmet, was hospitalized but survived injuries.
In addition, nearly 400 head injuries during a year in Hawaii are related to motorcycle crashes that require hospital care, according to the state Department of Health. Still, many motorcyclists know better than to drive bareheaded but do so anyway.
read … Helmet Law
Kauai Council Rejects Solar Water Heater Mandate
The Kaua‘i County Council has decided that choice and money may speak louder than the environment when it comes to a state law mandating solar water heaters on new home construction.
In a 5-2 vote Wednesday at the Historic County Building, the legislative body effectively ratified an exemption that has meant a 50 percent rate of
failure gas water heaters on Kaua‘i in terms of how often loopholes are used to get around the 2008 law. This is 10 times more than Honolulu and Maui counties, officials said.
(In other words, 50% choose gas over solar.)
read … Tankless Job
Gay CNN Reporter tries to use Bullying to Change Human Nature
A new study commissioned by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" found that the stereotype of the schoolyard bully preying on the weak doesn't reflect reality in schools.
Instead, the research shows that many students are involved in "social combat" -- a constant verbal, physical and cyber fight to the top of the school social hierarchy.
"Kids are caught up in patterns of cruelty and aggression that have to do with jockeying for status," explains Robert Faris, a sociologist who "Anderson Cooper 360°" partnered with for the pilot study. "It's really not the kids that are psychologically troubled who are on the margins or the fringes of the school's social life. It's the kids right in the middle, at the heart of things ... often, typically highly, well-liked popular kids who are engaging in these behaviors."
Read … Research Shows Many Students Involved In 'Social Combat'
NY Post: Aimless Obama walks alone
The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.
The president’s workdays are said to end early, often at 4 p.m. He usually has dinner in the family residence with his wife and daughters, then retreats to a private office. One person said he takes a stack of briefing books. Others aren’t sure what he does.
If the reports are accurate, and I believe they are, they paint a picture of an isolated man trapped in a collapsing presidency. While there is no indication Obama is walking the halls of the White House late at night, talking to the portraits of former presidents, as Richard Nixon did during Watergate, the reports help explain his odd public remarks.
Obama conceded in one television interview recently that Americans are not “better off than they were four years ago” and said in another that the nation had “gotten a little soft.” Both smacked of a man who feels discouraged and alienated and sparked comparisons to Jimmy Carter, never a good sign.
Blaming the country is political heresy, of course, yet Obama is running out of scapegoats. His allies rarely make affirmative arguments on his behalf anymore, limiting themselves to making excuses for his failure. He and they attack Republicans, George W. Bush, European leaders and Chinese currency manipulation -- and that was just last week.
The blame game isn’t much of a defense for Solyndra and “Fast and Furious,” the emerging twin scandals that paint a picture of incompetence at best.
read … Aimless Obama