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Saturday, February 18, 2012
February 18, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:47 AM :: 15608 Views

HSTA Agrees to Longer Days, 20% Raise

Alternatives to Rail: Cato Institute, Local Leaders Speak Out

Abercrombie Appoints Transsexual Activist to Civil Rights Commission

JSC Names 11 Candidates for Honolulu District Court

Reapportionment Public Comment Meeting Wednesday

Marumoto Cheers Passage of ATV Safety Bill

Hawaii: NRA Instructor Liability Bill Advances

‘Green’ Energy Scammers Push Hawaii Inflation rate to 4%

SA: Honolulu's inflation rate in the second half of 2011 rose at the fastest clip in four years, led by sharp increases in electricity and gasoline prices, according to a report released Friday.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by 4 percent in the last six months of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The increase in the index was the largest since the second half of 2007, when it rose by 4.8 percent. Hono­­lulu's increase also trumped the national average increase of 2.4 percent in the second half of 2011.

For Honolulu consumers the biggest increase was in electricity costs, which rose 34.3 percent during the period. Gasoline prices rose 19 percent.

Both of those increases came as no surprise to many Honolulu residents, who have watched prices at the pump and on their electric bill climb steadily over the past year. Electricity rates on Oahu hit a record 35.1 cents a kilowatt-hour in December, while gasoline prices reached $3.91 a gallon, up from $3.47 in December 2010.

(And the green energy scammers are doing everything they can to drive these prices even higher.)

read … Gas, electricity boost Honolulu inflation rate

Bag Tax Killed by House — Senate Bill Still Alive

CB: The House has killed a popular moronic bill that would impose fees on single-use paper and plastic bags.

Robert Harris, director of the Hawaii Sierra Club, told Civil Beat the following: “It’s shocking. I’m not sure I have any good answers,” he said in regards to why the bill was derailed.

Update: Pono Chong says it was a mistake and House will consider the Seante Bill after 'accidentally' killing the bag tax

read … Single-Use Bag Bill Killed by House — Shocks Supporters

Mother Marianne's Sainthood Date Set Oct 21

KITV: Mother Marianne will be canonized along with six others on Oct. 21st.

Cope came to Hawaii to help care for people with Hansen's disease. After Father Damien's death, she carried on his work on Kalaupapa.

"I love her compassion. She is like my role model and mentor, in a sense, working with people here in Hawaii," said Sister Alicia Damien Lau, with the Sisters of St. Francis.

Mother Marianne was a Sister of St. Francis. The order continues to work in the islands, including on Kalaupapa, where a few patients remain.

"Mother Marianne was a champion of human rights. She provided for all creeds, even the marginalized of society to uplift all races," said Sister Davilyn Ah Chick, with the Sisters of St. Francis.

Mother Marianne worked in Hawaii for 40 years, making a difference in countless lives. She also made a difference after her death. The Catholic Church attributed two healing miracles to Mother Marianne, which are part of the requirements for Sainthood.

LINK: Official Oct 21 Tour Site


HFP: Colette Machado: I look at Kalaupapa--Native Hawaiians will fight against Assisted Suicide

read … Canonization

Past controversies hound 2 charter school panel picks

SA: A teacher who serves on the local school board of Myron B. Thompson Academy and a principal who suddenly departed from Wai­mea Middle School are among the nominees to fill vacancies on the Charter School Review Panel.

Three candidates proposed by Board of Education Chairman Don Horner will be considered at a board meeting Tuesday to serve on the volunteer panel that oversees Hawaii's charter school system. They are:

  • Jerelyn Watanabe, assistant registrar and math/science teacher at Thompson Academy. She was elected to its local school board last May by her peers.
  • John Colson, principal at Wai­mea Middle until its school board, Ho‘o­ka­ko‘o Corp., abruptly announced his departure on Feb. 7 without explanation.
  • Gary Kai, executive director of the Hawaii Business Round Table and a longtime banker.

The nomination of Wata­nabe, made public in a board meeting agenda, is already causing some consternation because of concerns about Thompson Academy's management. In December the state auditor lambasted the school, calling some of its use of public money "possibly fraudulent" and citing its "failure to adhere to ethical fiscal management principles." The allegations were dismissed by Thompson's local school board.

read … Controversy

"Barack Obama requests $250M for Honolulu's rail project"?

That's a headline in today's Star Advertiser lifted directly from Senator Inouye's press release. It's the truth but it's not the whole truth. Such a headline gives the impression that the President has personally involved himself in this process. On the other hand, the Federal Transit Administration release said,

"As part of the President’s proposed FY2013 budget, the Federal Transit Administration today released the Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for FY 2013. A total of $2.2 billion in federal funding is recommended to advance or build 29 significant rail, BRT projects in 15 states. See full report: "

In other words, we are just one of 29 projects that's in a budget that was dead on arrival anyway; the article needed a more modest, and less inouying headline.

read … Honolulu Traffic



Air Australia's grounding a blow to tourism

SA: The grounding Thursday of Air Australia marked a major reversal in the recent expansion of one of Hawaii's most promising growth areas for tourists.

Australia was the fastest-growing major market to Hawaii last year with 32 percent growth in arrivals. Air Australia was due to add 79,170 air seats this year from Melbourne and Brisbane, the second- and third-largest cities in Australia behind Sydney.

read … Bust

Officer hits pedestrian in road, cited for DUI and negligent injury

KHON: A Honolulu Police officer spent part of Saturday morning locked up after he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and negligent injury.

Traffic investigators say Honolulu Police Sergeant Andrew Tsukano hit a pedestrian Saturday around 2 a.m.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

read … DUI in a Police Car

Progressive Blogger Cheered by GOP Dispute

ILind: Several challenges are apparently pending before the party’s rules committee, including challenges from Oahu, Maui, and Kailua, along with a challenge to a proxy vote that was allowed to provide the final margin.

read … Progressive Blogger Cheered by GOP Dispute

Rep. Pine's Town Hall Meeting - Hawaii Medical Center Closure



Representative Kymberly Pine bring together professionals to discuss the Hawaii Medical Center closure, healthcare options, plans to re-open and plans for a much-needed emergency room on the West side of the island. Representative Kymberly Pine, healthcare professionals and government officials hosted a town hall meeting Thursday, February 9, 2012. contact:


Rep Bob Herkes to Run for Senate

SA: State Rep. Robert Herkes (D, Volcano-Kainaliu) will run for the newly created state Senate seat in the Puna region of the Big Island.

read … Herkes opens door to election of Green Whackjob from Kau

Campaign signs irk some over early start, but law is on candidates' side

HNN: Communities across the state are starting to see campaign signs and banners pop up, even though the elections aren't until August for the primary and November for the general.
There is no law against getting a head start even this soon before the first votes will be cast. Some say it's a necessity to build name recognition;

read … Democracy is Beautiful

City Steps Closer To Finding Buyer For 12 Affordable Housing Projects

KITV: After three tries by three mayors, the city is finally moving on a plan to sell a dozen affordable complexes to a single buyer. Ernie Endrina has lived at the Chinatown Gateway Plaza for the past decade. He and his neighbors worry if a new buyer emerges, the affordable units might not be so affordable. But under the city's bid terms, those units would stay affordable….

Read … Privatization

Hoku reaches agreement with Idaho Power Co.

PBN: The changes in the contract include:

•Hoku Corp.’s monthly billed minimum energy charge is reduced from about $2 million to approximately $800,000, retroactive to Jan. 1 and continuing through June 30, 2013. This 18-month period is referred to as the “deferral period.”

•Hoku will pay Idaho Power an additional one-time payment of $3.8 million to amend the contract. The first $2 million will be paid by a deduction from the $4 million deposit previously paid by Hoku Corp., and the remaining $1.8 million balance will be paid in equal installments over 18 months.

•On July 1, 2013, the minimum payments of approximately $2 million per month will resume.

read … Hoku reaches agreement with Idaho Power Co.

U.S. focus on the Pacific could avert military cuts in Hawaii

PBN: No doubt, Hawaii’s business and military leaders took note of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s efforts to keep military spending strong when he urged Congress earlier this to scrap the idea of cutting more than $500 billion from the Defense Department’s budget over the next 10 years staring in January. The automatic cuts were triggered by a congressional super committee’s failure to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in spending cuts in government spending last November.

Panetta cautioned Congress that the cuts to the military, added on top of previously announced reductions, were not good.

“Let me be very clear. When you take a half a trillion dollars out of the defense budget, it comes with risks,” Panetta was quoted as telling Congress by American Forces Press Service, which is controlled by the Department of the Defense.

One thing that is clear so far is that maybe the Department of Defense isn’t yanking our chain when its leaders say that despite all these cutbacks, the U.S. is going to focus on the Pacific, which has seemingly had to compete with Europe for defense dollars since World War II.

Sizable troop cuts have already been announced in Europe, but so far we really haven’t heard a peep about anything major here.

read … U.S. focus on the Pacific could avert military cuts in Hawaii

Hawaii welcomes sailors returning from tough deployment

KITV: The sailors played a critical role the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq. They also provided aviation support to Coalition forces in Afghanistan.

"We launched over 1,000 combat missions over Afghanistan in support of our soldier, sailors, airmen, marines and coalition forces," explained Faller.

"Everybody took part in Afghanistan and Iraq. We spent about two or three months in each theatre. So we closed out Iraq which was a good honor for us. It's kind of nice to know that we'll be a part of history there," said Lt. Commander Julio Ledesma.

The strike group also stopped a pirate attack on a cargo vessel and freed a group of Iranian mariners being held captive.

read … Tough Deployment

Dalai Lama to visit Oahu in April

HNN: The Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) Friday announced that it will sponsor two public talks in Honolulu featuring Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, April 14th and 15th.

The talks are part of the Dalai Lama's three-day stay on O'ahu (April 14-16), where he will participate in a series of conversations with local leaders and visits to important cultural and historical sites. The Dalai Lama is visiting O'ahu at the invitation of Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Support is being provided by a lead grant from the Omidyar Ohana Fund in addition to other partners providing in-kind and cash donations.

The public events are slated for the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Tickets are available through the Pillars of Peace website.

read … Dalai Lama

Law would protect driver's license data

HNN: "A drivers license contains significant personal information: your weight, your height, whether you wear contact lenses, whether you're an organ donor," said Laurie Temple, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

The date is buried in the black and white bar code on the back. Currently, Hawaii has no regulations on which businesses can scan licenses for verification purposes, and how long they can hold onto the data they collect

Temple said there needs to be a state law to protect people's privacy.

read … Privacy

CN: 9th Circuit Seems to See Thru Title IX Claims

CN: he 9th Circuit seemed unlikely on Tuesday to side with a college basketball coach who was fired either for supporting women's rights or kicking a player in the rear hard enough to make her cry, depending on whose story is to be believed.

After four years of coaching the University of Hawaii women's basketball team, James Bolla says he presented demands to the school's new athletic director, co-defendant James Donovan, for equal footing with the men's basketball program.

"Bolla wanted things like a secretary, more coaches, increased budget, the ability to use buses instead of cars, and summer school for the student athletes," according to the District of Hawaii's summary of the case. The court noted that Donovan disputes whether Bolla ever raised Title IX issues.

Though the university had historically felt that Bolla had an effective coaching style, Donovan says he began hearing complaints from the team shortly after this 2008 meeting.

Donovan ultimately issued a written reprimand to Bolla in August 2008 for "inappropriate" conduct, including verbal abuse of the athletes. Bolla got another warning in January 2009 for making critical comments about the community to a local newspaper, and shortly thereafter Donovan learned that Bolla had allegedly kicked an athlete in the buttocks after threatening her by saying, "I'm gonna put my foot up your ass."

Bolla characterized the incident differently, claiming to have said he would "stick it where the sun don't shine," and then "tapp[ing]" her with his foot, causing her eyes to tear up.

read … Made her cry

Nevada Approves Regulations For Self-Driving Cars

CBS: Nevada is envisioning a day when taxicabs might shuttle fares without a driver, or people with medical conditions that make them ineligible for a license could get around with a virtual chauffeur.

The concept took a big step when Nevada became the first state to approve regulations that spell out requirements for companies to test driverless cars on state roads.

“Then they have to take us out and prove that they can do it,” Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, said of the autonomous vehicles. “They’re not ready to go to market yet.”

HFP: Rep Ward: Legalize Driverless Cars

read … Nevada Shows Hawaii the Future?


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