Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Hawaii Daily News Read

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
February 1, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:36 PM :: 8351 Views

Gallup: Obama Approval Plummets in Hawaii, Down to 56.1%

Ed Case: Dear Mazie, Lets Set Up Debates Excluding Lingle

'School Quality Survey' seeks parent’s feedback

Registration Begins for 2012-2013 Kindergarten and Junior K in February

UPDATE: Snake Bill Now HB1943

POLITICO: Ron Paul Expects to be a Top Finisher in Hawaii

Carlisle Loots Sewer Project Funds to Bolster Rail Finances

SA: Mayor Peter Carlisle said he plans to earmark a $450 million city-backed line of credit for the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to demonstrate to federal authorities that the rail project has the resources it needs to complete construction.

That line of credit would only be used in a "worst-case scenario," and Carlisle said Tuesday it would be the responsibility of the rail authority to repay all of the debt in the event that it needs to draw on that money.

The City Council has already established a program to allow the city to borrow up to $350 million for water, sewer or other city projects using "commercial paper," or short-term debt that is sold on financial markets.

Carlisle said he will soon ask the Council for a $100 million increase of the program for borrowing using commercial paper, and to make that credit available for the rail project

read … Grab your Wallet!

Only One Bidder For New $33.4 Million Honolulu Rail Contract

HR: The city has awarded a new, $33.4 million contract to Infraconsult LLC, the company that has already received nearly $50 million in contracts to oversee the $5.2 billion Honolulu rapid transit project.

Award of the new job to Infraconsult was posted yesterday on the city’s procurement website.

Although the city sought competitive bids for the project management contract, only Infraconsult submitted an offer, according to the procurement posting.

The same thing happened the last time the city put the rapid transit management contract out for bid in 2009.

read … Only One Bidder For New $33.4 Million Honolulu Rail Contract

Kaneshiro: SB2776 is About Releasing Prisoners

SA: Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro cautioned legislators that the initiative puts too much emphasis on releasing prisoners at the expense of public safety and relies too heavily on mandates, taking away discretion from the Hawaii Paroling Authority on when certain inmates are set free.

Testifying on Senate Bill 2776, one of the two measures, Kaneshiro said, "This bill is basically about releasing prisoners." …

The second measure, Senate Bill 2777, was passed by the Public Safety Committee. That measure would, among other things, limit probation periods for most Class B and C felony offenses to three years instead of five and increase the dollar threshold for determining what is felony theft to $750, from the current $300.

State Circuit Judge Steve Alm, who attended Tuesday's hearing, was asked by a legislator for his feedback. Alm told the committees that he supports supervised release of low-risk prisoners once they've served their minimum sentences.

If they stay in prison, "they're surrounded by criminals, and that's not going to do them any good," said Alm, who participated in a working group that helped craft the initiative.

read … Justice reform bills garner support

Poll - Hawaii Voters Don't Want Gambling, Single Casino

CB: The Hawaii Legislature keeps coming back to gambling as a way to raise revenues, but the Civil Beat Poll found that 59 percent of likely voters think that gambling should remain illegal in Hawaii.

It follows, then, that 62 percent of voters opposed the idea of allowing a single casino in Waikiki, a proposal that has the backing of a group called Citizens for a Better Way. Gov. Neil Abercrombie didn't mention gambling or a casino in this year's State of the State speech, but he's made it public that he's willing to consider the possibility, with some saying he's told them that he would "look favorably" at it.

Civil Beat's automated telephone survey of 1,358 likely voters1 found that just 33 percent said gambling should be legal, with 5 percent saying it doesn't matter and 2 percent unsure. The poll was conducted on January 18 and 19 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent….

SB2210, sponsored by Sen. Clayton Hee, would grant a 20-year license for one casino in Waikiki, not in a hotel. It would also establish a Hawaii Gaming Control Comission and impose a 15 percent wagering tax. Perhaps the most likely bill to emerge from this year's session is SB2893, which would create a task force to study the gambling issue and push a decision on next steps to 2013, after the election.

The Waikiki Improvement Association recently released the findings of a survey it commissioned about the possibility of a Waikiki casino. A statewide sampling of 1,000 "local residents" showed that 58 percent said they felt it would have a positive economic impact, while 37 percent disagreed. At the same time, 54 said that legalized gambling would have a negative impact, while 42 percent said it wouldn't.

One major difference between that survey and the Civil Beat Poll is that we only interviewed likely voters, the segment of the adult population that actually goes to the polls and helps decide the future of the state….

HNN: House Ctte Defers gaming on Hawaiian Home Lands

Results: Civil Beat January 2012 Poll - Gambling

read … Poll

Islanders pay 80% more per kilowatt-hour than a decade ago, a report finds 

SA: Hawaii's electric bills rose at nearly double the national rate from 2000 through 2010 even as local residents and businesses did more to conserve electricity than the country as a whole, according to a report released Tuesday.

Electricity costs in Hawaii topped the nation at 25.12 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2010, up 79 percent from 14.03 cents a kilowatt-hour in 2000, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

During the same period the average price of electricity nationally rose to 9.83 cents a kilowatt-hour from 6.81 cents a kilowatt-hour, an increase of 41.9 percent.

The gap between the average U.S. price and Hawaii rates has grown even larger in the past 11 months. The report covered 2010, but as of November Hawaii's average electric rate had climbed to 33.43 cents a kilowatt-hour, while the national average declined to 9.67 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to the latest monthly data published by the energy agency….

Hawaii also fared better than the nation as a whole in terms of alternative energy production other than hydropower. Hawaii generated 6.9 percent of its power from renewable sources, including wind, solar and garbage-to-energy in 2010. That compared with 4.1 percent nationally.

Hawaii's second-largest source of electricity generation after petroleum in 2010 was coal at 14.3 percent of the total. Nationally, coal was the largest single source of electricity generation at 44.8 percent of the total.

read … And the green energy scammers are trying to drive them even higher

SB2785 Would Saddle Ratepayers, taxpayers for Billion Dollar Cable

Friends of Lanai: Here we go again. Senate Bill 367, last session’s failed attempt to facilitate financing and construction for an interisland undersea cable, ended the year deferred in Conference Committee. Its proposed replacement, SB2785, remains a seriously flawed legislative effort to establish those same regulations and financing arrangements.

SB2785 is premature, opaque, would prove obscenely expensive for Hawaii’s ratepayers and all taxpayers, while turning an indifferent eye to the fundamental foundation of Hawaiian culture: the social and environmental impact on its communities. It is simply the wrong answer to the right question….

In truth, the entire process surrounding this cable has been opaque and riddled for years with hidden reports and documents, kept private by HECO and the administration. Representative Cynthia Thielen, Senator Roz Baker and Friends of Lana`i have asked for the release of the taxpayer funded financial analysis of this project, prepared by Booz-Allen, for well over a year. Senator Roz Baker was assured by Department of Energy representatives at the beginning of last year’s legislative session that it would be released no later than February, 2011.

Today is February, 2012, and Senator Baker still hasn’t seen it; no one has. HECO documents remain unavailable to the public eye. Costs are hidden. Deals made are hidden. This proposed legislation compounds that opacity; it does not provide the necessary transparency that should be the underpinning of our state policy-making…. A Draft Programmatic EIS, initiated almost two years ago and scheduled to be released in December, 2011, has still not seen the light of day. Not a single environmental impact statement has been completed or published; not a single permit has been applied for or issued.

read … Billion Dollar Cable

24 hour notice issued to "Occupy Honolulu" at Thomas Square

KHON: City crews are warning the dozen people who are part of "Occupy Honolulu" that they have 24 hours to move their belongings off the sidewalks.

SA: City tells Occupy Honolulu protesters to pack up tents

The Beginning: Occupy Honolulu: Waikiki Shooting was “Round One”

read … Occupy

Okinawa Marines may Relocate to Hawaii, not Guam

Koyodo: The U.S. Defense Department is considering shifting some of the 8,000 marines stationed in Okinawa to Hawaii and other Pacific areas instead of Guam, according to Pentagon sources. 

The sources said Tuesday officials are contemplating transferring about 3,000 marines to those locations because Guam, which is geographically close to China, is vulnerable to a catastrophic attack.

Realignment of the Okinawa marines is part of a package deal involving the relocation of the Futenma air base from Ginowan to a less-populated part of Okinawa Island.

The Pentagon recently released a new defense strategy with more focus on the Asia-Pacific area.

In the face of growing military activity by China, the Pentagon believes it is better to disperse the marines across a wide area, the sources said.

Another factor behind the change in the realignment plan is growing congressional pressure on the Obama administration to address rising construction costs amid budgetary constraints in the United States.

It is believed that Hawaii, home of the Pacific Command, can easily accept some marines from Okinawa because it already hosts about 10,000 of the amphibious troops, compared with Guam, where infrastructure is lacking and massive spending would be required to accommodate such a large influx.

read … U.S. rethinks Guam marine transfer

Fidell: Why Were HMC Hospitals Allowed to fail?

ThinkTech: Let's not look back at why these hospitals failed in the first place, but let's look at the fact that nobody bailed them out. No other buyer, government, private or non-profit organization was willing to take them over. They were seen more as black holes than community assets.

Surely something could have been done. Couldn’t the federal and/or state government or a consortium of other hospitals have kept them open? Was there no creative solution possible? It's disappointing to see institutions so important go away without a sound. We are all the losers.

No we have two large hospital properties lying dormant. We have thousands of skilled staff without jobs, many of whom will not be able to work or stay here, and who will have to leave or lose their skill over time. Once they move on they will be irreplaceable, lost to our community.

The way it works out is that we’ll have more unemployment, more pressure on the economy, more sick people who will have greater difficulty finding access to healthcare, and we’ll also have emergency transfers stuck on the freeway. All of this will require additional state funding and one way or the other we’ll all have to pay for it. It’s hard to find a bright side.

Suppose another hospital goes down. It’s not outside the realm of possibility. These two were apparently not too big to fail, but perhaps the next one will be too big to fail. Maybe next time somebody will step forward. We hope so because we can’t keep on losing critical services.

Read … The closing of two hospitals in our community is chilling

Okabe Pretends to Fight for tenure, Legislators Pretend to Challenge it

SA: This is Okabe’s HSTA President reelection strategy. He is trying to make himself look like a hero after contract debacle. Who could possibly be fooled?

Okabe’s best line: “…are a few legislators playing some political game?”

CB: Labor Board Expedites Teachers Union Case

CB: Live Blog: Hawaii Labor Board Hears Teachers' Complaints Against State

read … Eliminating tenure for teachers would strip them of due process

Fundraising Totals Reported

Ewa Beach Man Sues To Stop New City Council Districts

CB: An Ewa Beach resident named Glen Oamilda filed a petition for a writ of mandamus late Monday afternoon challenging the legality of the city’s reapportionment plan that divides about 950,000 Oahu residents into nine council districts.

Oamilda complains that Commissioner Mike Kido should have been barred from participating because he’s a lifelong Democrat. All county jobs are ostensibly nonpartisan.

In another section, Oamilda writes that the population base includes “non-residents, non-voters, military, tourists, hobos, etc.” He filed the request pro se and asks the Hawaii Supreme Court to give him a lawyer.

Ewa Beach was split among two districts under the new plan, and one of the commissioners claimed it was a political decision. Read that story here: A Cry of ‘Politics’ As City Council Districts Finalized

City officials have said all along that the successful lawsuit against the state’s reapportionment plan — particularly the inclusion of nonresident military and students — did not necessary mean trouble for the city. That’s because the Hawaii Constitution and Honolulu Charter have different language on residency for the purposes of redistricting.

CB: City Lawyers Unsure If Council Candidates Can File

CB: City reapportionment lawsuit

read … Ewa Beach Man Sues To Stop New City Council Districts

Relatives of fallen Honolulu officers testify in favor of 'move over' bill

SA: The sister of Honolulu police Officer Garret Davis and wife of Officer Eric Fontes testified at the state Capitol this morning in support of a bill requiring drivers to move over or slow down whenever they approach a stopped police or other emergency vehicle.

read … Move Over

Amid Progress, Sick Leave Abuse Plagues Hawaii Juvenile Detention Home

CB: Three years after a scathing report outlined "grave" shortcomings at Hawaii's juvenile detention home, the facility still suffers from chronic understaffing and sick leave abuse, according to a new assessment released this week.

But the report also notes many improvements made in how Hawaii's youth are confined.

"The current self-assessment shows the (juvenile detention facility) has made significant strides in remedying issues raised in the 2009 self-assessment report," the report states. "The 2009 self-assessment was a catalyst for improving the conditions of confinement."

Full Text: Self Assessment Report

read … Amid Progress, Sick Leave Abuse Plagues Hawaii Juvenile Detention Home

Bill sets limits on physical discipline of minors

AP: Current Hawaii law calls for parents and guardians to use reason when punishing their children. That means taking into account the child's age and size, as well as taking care not to cause substantial injury.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would establish stricter regulations on what types of physical force aren't justified.

The list includes throwing, kicking, burning, biting, punching, interfering with breathing and striking children in the face.

(Mom can’t slap the kids any more or she will lose them and they will be given to gay foster parents.)

Read … State Control of your Family

Condo Associations Push Legislation to Allow Individual Metering

KITV: The maintenance fees in Harbor Square are now up to $1,100 a month.

More than half of that is for utilities, according to the association treasurer James Vrechek.

"We had people commercial cooking where they were cooking 24-7. We had people doing commercial laundry," said Vrechek.

He also said there are many absentee condo owners.

"They leave for months at a time and they keep the air conditioning on and the window open. These are just things that they're not held accountable for at this point in time," Vrechek said.

That’s why board members have been pushing for legislation to give them the power to install individual meters.

Right now the association needs a two-thirds vote of the property owners.

With more than 300 units in the complex, Vrechek said it has had a hard time getting that number just to return ballots.

What's key they say is that new technology has made installation more affordable, around $200 dollars for each apartment.

Read … Individual metering

HB2065: Farmers Beat Back Bureaucracy

SA: Over the past several years, a food safety certification program was quickly cobbled together by commercial companies such as Primus Labs to take advantage of the hysteria that grew out of the E. coli outbreak in packaged spinach.

This farm inspection-based program was quickly adopted by the large retail grocery chains like Safeway, Costco and hotels and restaurants to force local farmer compliance.

It has had the opposite effect, certifying only 0.5 percent of our farms and excluding the rest from their markets shelves and your home kitchens.

The new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) directs the FDA to develop science-based preventives of food-borne illness and apply them to producers throughout the entire food system, including farms. This FSMA will also exempt many small farmers from regulation because they pose much less risk than huge mono-cropping combines.

But that exemption will not solve our problems of corporate-mandated barriers, or over-regulation by anti-farmer extremists imbedded in our state institutions. There are already more than a dozen new "food safety" bills, plus a half-dozen 2011 carry-over bills that will impose even more regulation on farmers, resulting in less local food and more imported food on grocery shelves.

read … HB2065

Legislature Considers More Bureaucracy for Pet Stores

SA: The House Economic Revitalization will vote Feb. 9 on a bill calling for Hawaii dog sellers to provide customers with medical records and a health certificate issued within 21 business days of the sale.

The proposal would require sellers to disclose any disease, illness or condition the dog has been afflicted with.

They would also need a veterinarian to certify that the dog is apparently free of contagious disease and congenital and hereditary defects.

read … Bureaucracy and Red Tape

Kalihi tenants urged to work together after fatal stabbing

SA: Tenants of Mayor Wright Homes need to work together to create a stronger and safer community, a board member of the tenants association said in the wake of Friday's fatal stabbing of a Mililani man who was visiting the Kalihi public housing complex.

"Where do we go from here as residents?" Marleen Lafaele, secretary of the Mayor Wright Tenants Association, said during a prayer vigil Tuesday. "For anything to change, we need to come together as one."

Lafaele was among about 30 people, including Mayor Wright tenants as well as clergy from the Faith Action for Community Equity group, who participated in the vigil, which was held to pray for change in the community.

read … Public Housing

The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawaii

…Misinformation and terror ran rampant throughout the Micronesian community as the impact of the cuts on the lives of so many became evident. At that point, about 110 Micronesians were receiving life-sustaining dialysis treatment for kidney failure on an average of 3 times a week. Without the treatment, patients suffer an excruciating death within 10 days. Another 150 Micronesians were receiving chemotherapy and without it, most would die a slow death from cancer.

A few days after the announcement, I met my first-ever Micronesian client when Manny Sounds, a former Lieutenant Governor of Chuuk, asked for our help at the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. Hawaii Appleseed is a nonprofit law firm created to advocate on behalf of low income individuals and families in Hawai`i on civil legal issues of statewide importance. Our core mission is to help our clients gain access to the resources, services, and fair treatment that they need to realize their opportunities for self-achievement and economic security.

Manny was 69 years old and had been suffering from kidney failure since 2001. He had been receiving dialysis treatment three times a week for the past nine years. The elimination of dialysis for Manny and the 110 other Micronesians receiving the treatment was nothing less than a death sentence since no dialysis facilities existed in Micronesia. Fortunately, a courageous Federal District Court judge in Hawaii agreed with our request for an injunction against the implementation of the health care cuts finding that the state’s ambiguous and late notice violated basic constitutionally protected rights to due process….

While this battle between our state and federal governments continues, Micronesains are being further marginalized by being held hostage to the current political posturing….

read … The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawaii

Carlisle spent 2 months on official travel in 2011

HNN: City records show Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle was out of the state two months last year for official travel, something one of his rivals in the mayor's race calls "excessive."

Carlisle went on eight business trips in 2011, traveling away from Hawaii for 60 days last year, according to documents the mayor's staff filed with the Honolulu City Council.

That's significantly more than former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who preceded Carlisle at Honolulu Hale. During Hannemann's last full year in office in 2009, Hannemann was away for 46 days on seven trips and in 2008 Hannemann was out of state 35 days on official travel.

read … Carlisle

City Council considers metered parking rate increases at Oahu parks

HNN: The Honolulu City Council is considering metered parking rate increases at Oahu parks, a proposal that isn't sitting well with many park users.

A surfer popped a couple of coins into a parking meter at Kapiolani Park, having no problem with a proposal to increase the hourly fee from 50 cents to $1….

Nearly 200 people have signed an online petition opposing City Council Bill 30, which also calls for the doubled rate to be enforced 24 hours a day. Right now, many residents of nearby apartment buildings enjoy free overnight parking in the metered stalls.

read … Parking Meters

Two assistant chiefs of police placed on leave

KGI: Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry has placed Assistant Chief Roy Asher and Assistant Chief Ale Quibilan on leave effective Tuesday. The county confirmed the action, but did not release details and described it as a personnel matter.

Read … Leave

Dispute over Election of Hawaii GOP National Committee Man

Political Radar: Liu, the former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism under Lingle, beat Willes Lee, a former state party chairman, by a single vote in the Jan. 21 election at party headquarters.

The challengers claim that the party improperly allowed votes by proxy and email, tipping the election to Liu, who won 31 to 30.

“As mentioned, the challenges are presented because we believe in fair and honest elections, not one that is cheated or stolen to win,” one Republican said in an email. “It’s about the entire Republican Party having a voice for the `everyday people’ and not just about one person controlling every single aspect of the party.”

Related: Ted Liu Elected to Republican National Committee

read … One vote

US forces give the nod to biofuels

Don't laugh! The United States military is dead serious about being able to fly its combat and cargo planes on jet fuel derived from algae and plants, and to power many of its warships on biodiesel from used cooking oil and non-food-grade animal fats.

The home-grown biofuel program, which has been under way for several years, is part of a broader strategy to increase US military fuel security and reduce reliance on foreign oil by raising energy efficiency levels in the armed forces and finding cost-effective alternatives to fuel refined from oil.

To demonstrate the strides made, the US Navy says it will deploy a ''green strike group'' when the US and partner navies gather later this year for the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the world's largest international maritime manoeuvres. The last RIMPAC in June and July 2010 in the central Pacific off Hawaii brought together units and personnel from 14 countries, including Australia. It involved 32 surface ships, five submarines, over 170 aircraft and 20,000 service men and women.

This time, planes on the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, along with two escorting destroyers and a cruiser, will run on a 50-50 blend of biofuel and regular petroleum fuel during the sea exercises.

read … Biofuels

Dopers Thrilled by Upcoming Visit by Pro-Dope Cop

BIW: Retired Maryland police Major Neill Franklin has been on the front lines in the War on Drugs. And he thinks it’s time to declare the war a failure.

Franklin is head of an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, whose 50,000 supporters include “a few thousand from the criminal justice system”: active and retired police, judges, prosecutors, FBI agents, corrections officials, even one active prison warden and a number of retired DEA agents. The group, which has active chapters in the U.S., Brazil, Poland, Costa Rica and Canada and more chapters organizing in at least three more countries, advocates abandoning the prohibition of illegal drugs and regulating them instead, making them available from licensed suppliers and treating drug addiction as “a health problem, rather than a law enforcement problem,” according to Franklin.

Franklin is coming to the islands for a series of speaking engagements, including two public appearances in Hilo on February 3 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at UH-Hilo’s Central Plaza, and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the East Hawai’i Cultural Center.

Franklin told Big Island Weekly that his organization began ten years ago when five cops, four American and one Canadian, got together and decided that, “They’d spent a couple of decades fighting the War on Drugs, and didn’t see the results that were promised.” In fact, the campaign against illegal drugs had been “counterproductive in many ways. The first thing they realized was the violence: the cartels, the murders, the kids being recruited into the organizations….” Franklin himself, who’d worked undercover on drug busts as a Maryland state police officer, began rethinking the drug war after a close friend was assassinated while working undercover on an FBI drug case.

read … Lemme get a hit of that stuff


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii