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Saturday, October 29, 2011
October 29, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:24 PM :: 21262 Views

Superferry: Honolulu Lawyer Dissects Civil Beat’s Latest “Fact Check” Debacle

Hawaii's Unemployment Trust Fund Out of Debt

Imagine the Outrage if a Private Insurer Cut Benefits the way Abercrombie Does

Akaka: Act 195 Allows Streamlining of Akaka Bill

Hawaii and the Hawaiians in the American Civil War

Fundamentals Matter: Capitalism not the Problem

'Occupy’ Protest loses permit due to public masturbation…and More

Maui News Survey: 64% ‘Extremely Dissatisfied’ with Abercrombie

And 79% are ‘dissatisfied’…. only 7% are ‘extremely satisfied’, which is fewer than believe Elvis is still alive.

read … The Survey

Boylan: Abercrombie did not want Aides to Resign, but they were Disillusioned

They grew disillusioned. I’m told Abercrombie didn’t want his four key aides to leave. But those who grow enthralled with political candidates hate to discover their heroes’ flaws. They kick and scream their way into recognition. When they invest as much as Asselbaye, Aoki, Levinson and Au did in Abercrombie, they hate to see him cave to the forces of old so much so, that they clean out their desks and head for the door.

read … Disillusioned

Akaka Tribe to Replace Pork Barrel?

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is maneuvering to insert language into a congressional appropriations bill that would designate Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe. If he can't have his pork barrel anymore, he'll bring home the wampum.

read … Volcanic Ash

Hawaiian Telcom union voting to authorize strike During APEC, Fighting for 26 weeks paid annual sick leave

Union workers at Hawaiian Telcom, the state's largest telephone company, are taking a vote to authorize a strike just one week before Hawaii hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting of world leaders.

Union leaders are recommending members vote against a new contract the company has offered and vote to authorize a strike….

Employees currently may take up to 26 weeks fully paid sick leave each year. The company's offer provides up to 8 weeks fully-paid sick leave annually, plus adds company-paid long-term disability and long-term care insurance.

KHON: Hawaiian Telcom preparing for potential strike (IBEW 1357)

Remember HECO Strike? (IBEW 1260)

read … Telecom Strike?

Governor's lawyers ask judge to toss Judicial Secrecy suit

Gov. Neil Abercrombie cites the lists of judicial candidates disclosed by his predecessor to support his position that he shouldn't have to disclose the names, according to a request filed Friday by state lawyers to dismiss the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's lawsuit against the governor.

Unlike his predecessors, Abercrombie has refused to disclose the names on the lists of the judicial candidates submitted to him by the state Judicial Selection Commission, saying the disclosure would discourage people from applying to the bench.

In his request to dismiss the suit, he said the lists of judicial names that former Gov. Linda Lingle disclosed "suggest that the disclosure could have had an adverse effect" on who was willing to apply to be a state judge.

read … Judicial Secrecy

Court: Charter Schools Are State Entities, Cannot Sue Other State Entities

The governing board of Waters of Life Public Charter School, which sued successfully against a decision to revoke its charter, actually had no standing to file suit, the Intermediate Court of Appeals has ruled.

The decision affirms that charter schools and their local school boards are state entities and therefore cannot sue other state entities. But it is not expected to affect the status of the school, which was taken off probation in June and is operating as usual in Mountain View, outside Hilo, with 100 students in kindergarten through grade seven….

Meanwhile, the panel, Charter School Administrative Office, Board of Education and Department of Education had appealed the case over the jurisdictional question. In a decision issued Oct. 21, the appeals court ruled that the Circuit Court had mistakenly allowed the local school board to file suit as the law prohibits charter schools, as public schools and entities of the state, from suing other state entities.

"Hawaii Revised Statutes 302B-9(d) precludes Waters of Life School and Waters of Life board from bringing suit against any entity or agency of the state of Hawaii, and therefore the circuit court erred when it did not dismiss plaintiffs' complaint for lack of jurisdiction," the court wrote. The local school board (LSB) "is not 'an entity separate and apart' from the charter school, but instead, the LSB and the charter school jointly are the charter school."

"The LSB is created to govern its charter school and does not exist absent a duly authorized charter school to govern. Conversely, the charter school cannot exist without an LSB governing body. ... As part of a state entity administratively attached to DOE, the LSB is considered an arm of the state." The decision was signed by Judges Daniel Foley, Alexa Fujise and Katherine Leonard.

The ruling could have a bearing on two other lawsuits filed by a different charter school in Hawaii County. Connections Public Charter School and one of its employees, William Eric Boyd, sued the state Ethics Commission as well as the Charter School Review Panel in August. The suit against the Ethics Commission claims that Boyd is not a state employee and thus not subject to state ethics laws. The other suit alleges that the review panel violated the Sunshine Law with an agenda item. Those cases are pending.

read … Charter Suit

‘Occupy’ To Set up Camp Just in time for APEC

…there are bigger plans in store, if everyone agrees. The online bulletin board (deoccupyhonolulu.org) includes a discussion thread titled "Are you ready to encamp?" The folks are contemplating setting down tent stakes starting in about a week. Place TBA. (This operation is being run by Local 5)

read … No surprise here

Brewbaker: Economy Worse than mid-1990s For Big Island

Brewbaker disputed reports that Hawaii is going through a jobless recovery, although he acknowledged that is somewhat true on the neighbor islands.

The Great Recession, as he called it, hit the Big Island harder than the mid-1990s recession. That wasn't the case for the rest of the state, he said.

"The jobs just haven't come back," he said.

read … Brewbaker




Poll: Carlisle Leaves 'Em Wondering

CB: The Civil Beat Poll found that 25 percent of likely voters on Oahu still haven't formed an opinion about Carlisle's job performance during the past year.

Civil Beat interviewed 901 likely voters on Oahu on Oct. 20 and 23 using automated telephone technology. The sampling margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

The poll found that 39 percent of likely voters have a positive opinion of Carlisle's job performance, while 36 percent have a negative opinion.

Carlisle's ratings are better than Gov. Neil Abercrombie's, 24 percent, but far lower than President Barack Obama's, 63 percent.

However he might not want to take too much comfort in his approval ratings, because The Civil Beat Poll found that more people thought he was doing a worse job as mayor than they expected when he was elected last year.

Just 26 percent of likely voters said the mayor is doing a better job than they expected, with 36 percent saying he was doing a worse job. Twenty-two percent said he was doing about the same as they expected, and 16 percent were unsure.

read … Poll

Muslim Student Slipping Away from the Fold?

"I always thought Islam gave lots of rights to women. I had a positive view of Islam," said Faizunnisa, a University of Hawaii sociology student, who is from a well-educated family which she said is more progressive than the general population.

There are aspects of the Muslim faith that she does not agree with, such as segregating women during worship, or delegating them to the back of the mosque when a separate room isn't available.

"I'm not OK with it, but I don't want to start challenging it and ranting about it. I want to find out what the actual (Quran) text says, and I'm doing research on it" as part of her doctoral dissertation on Pakistani youth, she said….

"You don't have to follow one religion to be a good human being — you can be agnostic or atheist or follow any religion. I read about other religions and found there are lots of similarities in the teachings about ethics and societal good. I can still be a good Muslim and feel all religions are equally good," she said.

Her Future: Brookings: Muslims expel reformer from Manoa mosque

read … Another one Slipping from Hakim’s Grip


Hawaii Union Member moves to Idaho, Suddenly Begins Speaking Freely


As a retired member of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and past member of the Newspaper Guild in Honolulu, I must admit I’ve been taken aback by the antics of my union brothers and sisters, from the use of students here in Idaho to demonstrate in front of their schools to the boorishness exhibited by the public service unions in Wisconsin to the vulgarity of kidnapping and unlawful occupation of port facilities in Tacoma.

But worst were the comments by Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa. He assured President Obama the teamsters were his army, ready to“take out the Tea Party.”


What’s happened to our once-proud labor movement Has boorishness, vulgarity, violence and bullying replaced the ballot box?

read … pent-up Truths

Gabbard Encouraged by ‘Occupy’ Protests: “Two Weeks in Afghanistan Would pay for Honolulu Rail”

"We can't afford to be the world's police," she said. "We spend $2.5 billion every week in Afghanistan. Two weeks in Afghanistan would pay for the Honolulu rail project." ….

As Gabbard continues her campaign, she said she is encouraged by the Occupy Wall Street movement that has swept across the nation and the world.

"They've been criticized for lacking a clear goal or message, but I think it's based on a feeling that Congress have forgotten who they're serving," she said. "People need to be more aware, there needs to be change. Just the diversity of people that you see there -- professionals, students -- it's very telling of the general dissatisfaction with government.

read … Occupy Gabbard


Mufi Campaign is For the Birds

Email from Mufi for Congress Campaign: Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Council Chairman Danny Mateo have proclaimed the kioea, the bristle-thighed curlew, as the official bird of Kaunakakai. That declaration was inspired by Mufi's designation of the manu-o-Ku, the white tern, as Oahu's official bird during his stint as mayor, all part of his 21st Century Ahupuaa initiative.

read … Bird Brain

‘Playing off Occupy’ draws Professional Protesters to Turtle Bay

"Those of us in Kahaluu were linking with people in Waialua (and) Haleiwa to keep this whole coastline clear," said the Rev. Bob Nakata (FACE) with Occupy Honolulu, who also is a former state senator who fought against development. "This is the one we haven't won yet," he said.

Meantime, Occupy Honolulu members also raised their voices against corporate greed.

"Occupy Honolulu has their own interests with that," said Fonoimoana. "We're kinda playing off the occupy movement. However, we've been at this for five and-a-half years."

read … Turtle Bay

New Bail Conditions In Waikiki Extortion Case

Before being released, Winward must post $250,000 bail and wear an electronic device that tracks movements.

Ezra added the personal monitor requirement, warning that “it’s going to be very expensive” and can’t be satisfied by the hiring of one of Winward’s “cronies.”

He said he had imposed a similar arrangement when flamboyant Indonesian businessman Sukamto Sia was awaiting trial here on bank and bankruptcy fraud charges.

read … Waikiki

Backed by City, Atheist’s Companion Harasses Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman over Height of Gate on Driveway

The gate is literally "over the top" according to the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting, which says the gate is 8 feet high, 2 feet higher than allowed by city ordinance. The city also said the gate was built without a permit nearly a year ago….

“The sign at Mr. Chapman's property is like a big billboard its promoting him its promoting his persona, his business, his television show,” said Nuuanu resident Holly Huber. (Busybody Huber also pops up in this story about Atheists forcing the removal of crosses in Honolulu.)

Huber is not as concerned with the size of the gate, as she with the advertising on it, which the city says is also illegal.

“If you look at the ordinances they are very lengthy. They are very detailed and that’s so that they can protect our beautiful island from this visual blight,” said Huber.

The city is fining the homeowners $50 a day until the gate is taken down. If the gate is not taken down within 30 days, the city says it will place a lien on the home and take further action, including possible foreclosure.

Read … Atheist Harassment

Supreme Court stops arbitrary cuts in legal fees for court-appointed counsel

ILind: Judges can no longer arbitrarily reduce the legal fees owed to private attorneys appointed to represent criminal defendants without justifying their action and facing possible appellate review, according to a ruling last week by the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s decision puts an end to a practice that has drawn complaints from defense lawyers for years.

The ruling resulted from an appeal filed by veteran attorney David Bettencourt, who represented a Honolulu teenager who faced charges of attempted murder and firearms violations in a 2008 freeway shooting. The teen, Joshua Gonda, was found not guilty on all charges after a three-week jury trial.

read … Legal fees

Homeless in Lihue Petition for Right to be Drunk in Public, Urinate on County Building

“Stop Police Harassment of People who are Homeless” has gathered 664 signatures so far. Caley said the petition was crafted with the help of staff at Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i in Lihu‘e.

“The police should be helping us instead of trying to exploit us like animals and like we are less than humans,” said Kingston in a written statement Oct. 13 to the Kaua‘i Police Commission. “We are people too, we are not expandable. The police should be working with us, not running us around like cattle.”

Kingston said he is a witness to a KPD officer telling Caley he was willing to buy him a plane ticket to return to the mainland.

Caley filed a complaint on Oct. 14 with the commission, the day after he alleges the KPD officer made the offer. Caley could not name the officer…. (Vision blurred?)

On Oct. 19 Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. wrote a letter to Caley and Kingston, stating that he had received the petition. County spokeswoman Beth Tokioka said Carvalho did not sign the petition.

He did sign two bills the council unanimously approved on Oct. 19, Tokioka said.

One of the bills bans drinking alcohol or possessing open containers of alcohol on the grounds immediately adjacent to the Historic County Building. The other bill outlaws urinating and defecating in the same area. Violating each of the new laws could mean fines up to $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail.

Some of the people who testified at the council meeting thought the bills targeted the homeless. When the bills were still in first reading, Council Chair Jay Furfaro, who introduced both bills, said the bills were not targeting the homeless, but everyone who would break the law.

On a letter to Carvalho, Caley asked for the creation of an outdoor area for the homeless, where they can rest, use portable toilets and be allowed to drink alcohol.

The truth is that the prohibition on open alcohol containers is an excuse for police officers to harass people of their choice, including people who are homeless,” said Caley, adding that an outdoor area for the homeless would go a long way to curtail police harassment.

Reality: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

Read … Just a bunch of alkies

Kona Middle Schoolers Busted for Fake Bomb at School

Two middle school students have been charged with terroristic threatening in connection with a fake homemade bomb confiscated at Konawaena Middle School on Wednesday, October 26.
Kona patrol officers responded to the school the next day in response to a report that school officials had confiscated a homemade bomb from a student.

Police investigation revealed that the device consisted of an aluminum can with electronic parts and numerous wires.

read … Just another Day in the DoE

Proposed Water Rate Hike Being Revised, Start Date Likely To Be Delayed

Honolulu Board of Water Supply customers who were bracing to pay more for water in January 2012, may get a temporary reprieve.

The board asked for a 70 percent hike in water rates over a five year period to pay for an overhaul of Oahu’s aging water collections system.

Directors of the board put off a vote and this week asked staff for more information and different scenarios to finance the cost. At a Board of Water Supply hearing two months ago, water users lamented the huge hike on top of hikes in sewer fees and other utilities….

Board of Water Supply spokesman Kurt Tsue said depending on when and what kind of rate schedule the directors decide on, another public hearing will have to be held. He said that could push any hike possibly into the next fiscal cycle which would be in July 2012.

Related: Djou: Honolulu Board of Water Supply is out of control

Read … Water

Hawaii lost 2,900 retail jobs during the recession

Hawaii had 69,700 retail jobs in September 2007, before the recession started. That number fell to 66,800 by this year, a loss of 2,900 jobs, which ranked the state No. 12 in the nation behind the states that either gained or lost fewer jobs, according to the analysis by On Numbers, an affiliate of Pacific Business News.

read … 2900

Search committee formed to find next UH Manoa chancellor

Klaus Keil, a planetary scientist with the University of Hawaii University of Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, and Servco Pacific Chairman and CEO Mark Fukunaga will head up the search committee charged with finding a successor to Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.

The committee of about two dozen faculty members, students, deans, administrative staff, alumni and business leaders held its first meeting on Friday. The university has retained the Mainland-based executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to help with the search.

read … Search and Destroy

Former Assisted Suicide Opponent to talk on Palliative Care


Hospice Hawaii is sponsoring a community talk by Dr. Ira Byock, one of the country's foremost palliative care physicians:

» What: "The Best Care Possible Through the End of Life"
» When: Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m.
» Where: Oahu Country Club
» Cost: Free
» RSVP: Hospice Hawaii, 924-9255

Byock: Both sides are wrong in suicide debate, Hospice Response to Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

read … Hospice Hawaii helps child, family deal with end of life


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