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Monday, February 20, 2012
February 20, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:32 PM :: 14322 Views

In Hawaii, it’s 1984 all over again

Ten Tax Increases on the Move in Legislature

ECONOMY Survey -- The Economist and Hawaii Results

Hawaii Homeschoolers Speak up Against Mandatory Kindergarten

Bag Tax is a Business Deal between State, Stores, Enviros

Star-Adv: in order to aid the environment while also giving retailers a hand in absorbing costs. Under House Bill 2260 and Senate Bill 2511, the dime-per-plastic bag fee would largely go toward a fund for watershed protection, with up to 2 cents per to the retailer…..

(If I could get a 10 cent fee every time somebody starts fear-mongering over a new baseless environmental scare, I'd be a millionaire.)

Indeed, Robert D. Harris, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii chapter, told legislators that a supermarket can spend up to $6,000 a month "just to provide single-use bags to their customers at the check-out." Supermarkets and other retailers would be smart to offer discounts to customers who come with their own bags, but charging a fee for paper bags could have a similar effect….

The Hawaii Food Industry Association points out that paper bags are environmentally worse than plastic bags and cost as much as 10 times more than plastic bags purchased by stores. Most of the fee revenues from both plastic and paper bags by the Hawaii state legislation would go to needed watershed protection but the remainder appropriately would return to the businesses that buy the bags.

(The enviros are proving to the State and to business that they too can be revenue generators. Fear-mongering is profitable.)

read … Split the loot!

HB1511: More High Tech Tax Credits for the Act 221 Scammers

>> Entertainment tax credits (HB 2869): Extends a tax credit for motion picture, digital media and film production by nine years, to January 2025. Raises the production credit ceiling to $10 million from $8 million, and the credit for production costs on Oahu to 20 percent from 15 percent. Provides separate credits for production costs (20 percent) and staff wages (20 percent on neighbor islands, 15 percent on Oahu). Provides a 5 percent credit for wages to state residents.

>> Venture accelerator program (HB 2319): Provides $5 million for a Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. program that would advise entrepreneurs on renewable energy, broadband, aerospace, film and digital media.

>> High-tech research tax credit (HB 1511): Revives a dormant income tax credit for research activities at high-tech businesses for five years.

>> Aerospace research (HB 2873): Transfers the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism from the University of Hawaii. The project includes an aerospace research technology park in Hawaii County.

>> Ten for Ten (HB 2145): Makes it state policy to promote major projects during the next decade in renewable energy, broadband, infrastructure and construction, aerospace, tourism, film and digital media, and the military.

>> Procurement/time limits (HB 1671): Imposes time limits for administrative and judicial review of procurement decisions. Limits protests to those that meet minimum thresholds of contract value. Requires protest bonds that would be forfeited if protesters do not prevail.

>> Procurement/judicial review (HB 1894): Suspends judicial review of procurement decisions for two years.

>> Environmental review (HB 1893): Lets the governor or county mayors exempt certain state and county construction projects from environmental review for two years

(Hawaii has the most regressive tax structure in the nation and we are giving money to wealthy hi-tech fraudsters.)

read … Grab your Wallet!

Obama’s War on Inouye Earmarks ‘Not A Deathblow, but….”

SA: Bishop Museum was cut off from $2.2 million in funding from earmarks — funding requests for specific programs made by members of Congress — and on Feb. 8 told 13 employees that they will lose their jobs.

The state Department of Agriculture is preparing for the loss of $900,000 in the fall, when it expects to eliminate nine agricultural inspectors at Kahului Airport on Maui. Only four inspectors will be left to catch invasive species entering the island….

Leroy Laney, a professor of economics and finance at Hawaii Pacific University, said the loss of $321 million in earmarks "wouldn't be a deathblow to the economy, but we could certainly feel it. Jobs are only barely now creeping into positive territory. With the fragility of the recovery, anything that results in any job loss is important. At this particular juncture it is not a good time."

The University of Hawaii has been able to provide "bridge funding" to sustain projects funded through federal earmarks, said Jim Gaines, UH's vice president for research.

"In cases where earmark funding covered construction and equipment purchase, we just didn't do the construction or we put off purchasing equipment and kept personnel employed doing other jobs within the specific programs," Gaines said. "Last year, in 2011, the losses were not large, and the bridge funding we provided or the delays in construction or purchasing allowed us to not lay off any employees. This year there has been no impact to date, and we have not laid any workers off."

The East-West Center anticipated its loss of $4.2 million in federal funding and terminated eight employees in a voluntary reduction in force in mid-2011, spokes­woman Karen Knudsen said.

read … All about the clown Hawaii Elected President


Former Member of Charter School Panel Speaks out

MN: One of those three people is Pualani Akaka, a 23-year teaching veteran and fifth grade teacher at Kualapu’u Elementary, Molokai’s only charter school. The other two resigning members were Chairman Carl Takamura and former Chairwoman Ruth Tschumy. All three stated that the BOE’s reversal on appeal of two different decisions concerning Laupahoehoe undermined the Panel’s authority.

In her Jan. 26 letter of resignation, Akaka stated: “I have difficulty believing you considered the children of Laupahoehoe, Hamakua, and Honomu at all. In these decisions, you have undermined six years of work in two months. So, I am done and moving on.”

read … BOE reversal on Laupahoehoe decision drives local teacher from state Charter School Review Panel

Felony Child Abuse is Now Politically Correct: Sex-change treatment for kids

AP: Completely typical and average liberals--to prove how politically correct they are--are allowing MDs to administer sex-change hormones and even surgery to their children. Obviously the parents are guilty of felony child abuse and the doctors are guilty of quackery. All of them should be thrown in prison and their children should be taken to a caring home. Any questions?

read … Just how sick liberals are

HB2742 Would Exempt County Councils from Sunshine Law

DN: Should our Honolulu City Council be allowed to hold secret meetings and withhold documents from the public?

I can’t even imagine. But that’s what HB2742 says!

ILind: Bill to shield county councils from the sunshine law up for House hearing on Tuesday

read … Scary tweet nails state legislators trying to exempt county councils from Sunshine Laws

A Creeping Attempt To Shut Down Hawaii Court Records

CB: SB2517 and HB2636 both carry the same seemingly innocuous description: "Beginning on December 1, 2012, requires the removal of certain certified traffic abstracts records of all alleged moving violations for which the disposition of the case was 'dismissed with prejudice' or 'not guilty', or that occurred more than ten years prior to the date of the request for the abstract, with exceptions."

But what that description doesn't tell you is that anybody requesting court records about traffic violations will have to have more personal information about the subject of their inquiry than they would to obtain any other court record.

read … A Creeping Attempt To Shut Down Hawaii Court Records

Not So Public: Auditor Stonewalled On Prison Job

CB: Our audit was marked by numerous roadblocks to our access to information.

Department officials repeatedly attempted to deny us direct access to individuals and documents, define our audit scope, and stop us from conducting an audit at all, among other issues.

At the onset of our audit, we provided our request for information to the department, a standard procedure during the preliminary planning phase of an audit. Our first request for documents was made to the department on June 22, 2010. We repeated this request on July 13, 2010 and July 21, 2010.

Documents were provided piecemeal and oftentimes, had been filtered through management, as opposed to directly by the responsible individual. For requests specific to Offendertrak, the department’s inmate tracking system, the deputy director of administration questioned our need for the information, maintaining that it was not pertinent to the scope of our audit. The management information system administrator was instructed not to meet with our analyst or provide answers to questions about Offendertrak. Instead, all inquiries were directed to the business management officer and the deputy director of administration ...

(Translation: Higa thinks Lingle won’t win so she’s placing her bets on Hirono.)

read … Not So Public: Auditor Stonewalled On Prison Job

Governor's Emails Auto-Deleted After 60 Days

CB: The question of email retention arose after Civil Beat learned that the Abercrombie administration says it received only 15 emails regarding the controversial appointment of Marc Alexander a year ago to be the state's homeless coordinator.

The email retention policy appears to have been issued in July 2002, the last year of the Cayetano administration. It's contained in a memorandum (which can be viewed at the end of this article) from then State Comptroller Glenn Okimoto to all department heads.

read … Atheists Frustrated with Sixty Days to Doom

Independent Expenditures Tough to Track in Hawaii Elections

CB: This election, three independent-expenditure-only PACs have so far been registered with the commission. Officials said it's unclear how many were registered last election because its website did not flag these special PACs back then.

Now, with a new form in place that requires committees to identify as independent-expenditure-only groups, the commission has begun listing these committees separately, allowing the public to easily access reports of contributions and expenses.

The commission wants to take transparency a step further.

Under a proposal introduced by the commission this legislative session, reporting of independent expenditures would need to include the name of the candidate and whether the expense was used to support or oppose that candidate.

House Bill 1756 cleared the House Judiciary Committee and has been referred to the Finance Committee.

Another bill, HB 2174, addresses the same issue, and would require that independent expenditures "include the name of any candidate referenced." The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, who passed it out of his Judiciary Committee recently.

read … Independent Expenditures Tough to Track in Hawaii Elections

KIUC: Industrial Solar gets go-ahead, but homeowners denied

KGI: The award was presented at Solar Power Generation’s annual energy industry conference in Las Vegas in recognition of KIUC’s planned 12-megawatt Anahola solar project.

The Anahola project is a key part of KIUC’s strategic plan to become 50 percent renewable by 2023, the news release states.

To date, KIUC has installed 106 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic, which is located atop the co-op’s Port Allen facilities and some power poles, said KIUC production manager Brad Rockwell.

He said approximately 2 percent of the utility’s total energy in 2011 came from solar power through a power purchase agreement with a one-megawatt solar farm in Kapa‘a and through net metering.

Net metering is a statewide program that gives residential customers and small-scale electricity producers the opportunity to generate solar, wind, biomass or hydro power to offset their electricity bill.

“KIUC has a net metering program, which is fully subscribed and is not currently accepting new agreements,” said KIUC spokeswoman Shelley Paik.

read … Industrial Solar Gets Favored Treatment

Pearlridge to give away Free Electricity to Electric Car Drivers

KITV: Pearlridge Center is installing two charging stations at the popular shopping mall for customers who drive electric vehicles.

Pearlridge customers will be the first in the country to be offered complimentary charging service for their electric cars during shopping hours, Pearlridge said.

"Our owners, Glimcher Realty Trust, are really big on alternative fuels throughout the country, not just for Pearlridge. So they backed us on this," said Pearlridge Center General Manager, Fred Paine.

Read … Free Juice for the PC Crowd

Omidyar Money Buys Five Local Nonprofits

SA: Five local nonprofits have been awarded a combined $480,591 in a second round of grants through a fund established to encourage innovation among local nonprofits doing more with less in the unstable economy.

The Island Innovation Fund was created in 2010 as a part of a $50 million pledge by eBay founder and billionaire philanthropist Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam. The fund is managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

The selection committee picked five nonprofits with projects aimed at eliminating Hawaii's energy dependency on imported oil, increasing public participation in policymaking, reducing waste, improving health and increasing public awareness and access to historic trails. The projects were culled from 98 proposals. (Four of the five winning proposals are about brainwashing the public so green energy scammers will have an easier go of it.)

read … Daddy Green Bucks

Hawaii: 8 years to rebuild a Boat Ramp

SA: As we reported in 2010 (is.gd/kokua­line­08032010), the commission had given the developer 43 months from July 2009 to build the ramp inside Ko Olina Marina, replacing the ramp that was closed in 2005.

While those who used the old ramp were happy, it was a bitter victory because of the time given Ko Olina to build the replacement ramp.

“Yes, we’re going to get the boat ramp,” but it will be eight years, from 2005 to 2013, that public access to a ramp will be denied, Creighton Chang, a spokes­man for about 300 fishermen and boaters, told us back then.

Chang, who has been monitoring the progress of the ramp, said recently the city Department of Planning and Permitting has approved the ramp, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers is now reviewing plans and permits.

Still, “In my opinion, the public has been denied public access to this facility for over eight years, which I consider illegal,” he said.

read … Life is Short


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