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Thursday, April 19, 2012
April 19, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:57 PM :: 14678 Views

Legislators Voting to Release 1,100 Criminals on Streets of Hawaii

HB425 Opens Door to Natural Gas, Mandates Diversity of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources

Save Kakaako: Rally to Stop HB2819

Hanabusa Scores $284,000 in special interest money

DoE Announces Public School Graduation Dates

US Energy Dep't: 300 Open Criminal Investigations of Green Energy Scammers

Star-Adv Editorial: Census should guide election boundaries

SA: The state Supreme Court's ruling in January that determined how boundary lines should be drawn for this year's election in August made scant reference to the agency created primarily for that purpose: the U.S. Census Bureau. That is why a lawsuit in federal court should result in the prompt ordering of the lines to be redrawn to conform with the nationally customary method of including military and out-of-town students in the population count, in time for the upcoming elections.

The candidate filing period for the Aug. 11 primary election runs until June 5, so the redistricting lines must be drawn by that time to allow ballots to be sent to citizens overseas. Both sides in the case will argue back and forth on paper over the next three weeks and are to make final arguments on May 11 before three federal judges. A quick appeal would go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the latest twist in Hawaii's reapportionment saga, a state legislator and five other Hawaii registered voters on April 6 challenged the state high court's ruling and asked for a three-judge panel in federal court. In its narrow ruling, the Hawaii Supreme Court made no mention of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which forbids any state from depriving anyone of equal protection of the law.

Such deprivation came via a 1992 amendment to the Hawaii Constitution, which required that only "permanent residents" be counted in determining where lines should be drawn for the state's political districts. That definition led Hawaii's Supreme Court to rule this January that the total of the state's residents should exclude more than 100,000 military members, their families and university students from out of town, from the state's population. That ruling sent the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission back to the drawing board; the commission, appreciative of the U.S. Constitution, had initially excluded from the population only 16,458 members of the military for lack of data.

The commission noted in its final report last year that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1962 that a state could not exclude military people from the population base "based solely on the nature of their employment," but that seems to be what the state's high court mistakenly has done.

ILind Gets it Wrong: Star-Advertiser editorial boldly wrong on reapportionment analysis

read … Learn This

Hawaii Co Elections Office: Alcohol, Parties, and Sign-making Business

WHT: Three fired election workers who threatened a $1.5 million lawsuit were willing to accept $10,000 each, a public apology and their jobs back, according to a settlement offer obtained Wednesday by West Hawaii Today.

The County Council on Tuesday by a 4-4 vote rejected the March 19 offer by Hilo attorney Ted Hong. Hong plans a news conference today to outline his next step….

The employees were fired after an investigation by the Clerk’s Office reportedly found alcohol and privately owned sign-making equipment in the elections warehouse. The equipment led investigators to believe that Shikuma, who previously owned a sign-making company, was continuing his private business on county time and in county facilities.

It is a violation of county code for employees to run private businesses out of county facilities and to drink or have alcohol at job sites. But Hong, while acknowledging that drinking and sign-making was going on, contends the employees were falsely accused, wrongly fired and then publicly embarrassed when their names were released to the public.

read … Making Political Signs?

Rail? Cayetano? Abercrombie Spokesperson Gives Non-Denial Denial

CB: Dela Cruz said her boss has not formally endorsed Cayetano for mayor. Asked about whether he opposes the current Honolulu rail project, she said the governor has “long supported mass transit.”

DN: Abercrombie pro-business? Sure. Anti-environment? Seems so. Against Rail? Really?? Good grief…

Yesterday: Abercrombie Comes out Against Rail, Backs Cayetano

read …TheBus is Mass Transit

Bus Ridership Jumps as City Considers Service Cuts

Riders are complaining of crowded conditions as more people turn to the bus.

Anthony Barcenilla comes into town by bus every day from Kapolei.

"I noticed especially on the express bus that I catch, a lot of times in the morning it is standing room only," said Barcenilla.

His hunch about more bus riders was confirmed by the latest ridership figures released Wednesday.
Oahu Transit Services said ridership is up 2.5 percent over the same time last year, with an additional 5,396 daily riders.

OTS says other factors that could have affected lower ridership in March 2011 include bad weather, and the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami when there were fewer visitors from Asia.

Nanakuli resident Kahle Miller gave up driving to Honolulu because of the cost of gas.
But she said the bus ride has been rougher, because of the crowds.

"Two of our buses were taken out of our route so people are complaining. We have a long commute and it’s not easy to do when you have to stand the whole ride," Miller said.

Related: Yoshioka: Bus Service Cuts Have no Connection With Rail

read … So they are cutting back on service

Rail Project Cases Argued in Federal, State Court

HR: A motion to dismiss portions of a federal lawsuit challenging Honolulu’s $5.3 billion rail project was argued in court this morning, with U.S. Senior Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima to issue a ruling later.

Read … Rail Project Cases Argued in Federal, State Court

Desperate Green Energy Scammers Now Claim their Baksheesh Benefits Economy 44-1

The Blue Planet Foundation on Thursday will release the results of a new study that claims every dollar the state provides through a renewable energy tax credit for photovoltaic turns into as much as $44 circulating through the state’s economy. (Who could possibly be stupid enough to believe this?)

Lawmakers are debating whether to restrict the state’s 35 percent tax credit for solar after concerns that the incentive may be too generous and reports that the tax credit has been misused. Consumers are also eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

read … 44-1 long shot, or is it ‘Hail Mary’?

Legislature Voting to Let Lots of Criminals out of Prison

KHON: In addition to reforming pretrial, prison treatment, parole & even payment of restitution, JRI would change the future of 1,700 Hawaii inmates on the mainland.
The JRI measures have moved easily at the capitol so far with broad house and senate support, but at least one high profile critic -- Honolulu's prosecutor.
"We're gonna let them out, give them a chance. If they reoffend then, ok, we can always bring them back in. But the problem there is when they reoffend we have an additional victim. You don't want to be that victim," says Keith Kaneshiro, Honolulu prosecutor.

Related: Legislators Voting to Release 1,100 Criminals on Streets of Hawaii

read … Kaneshiro

Lawsuit Settlement Will Cover up Homosexual Rape Gang stretching back to 1970s at Blind-Deaf School

HNN: Two employees at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind have been removed from their positions following allegations of years of sexual assault and other misconduct by students against other students at the school. …

That means most of the new details of this case will never be disclosed in a court room. By participating in mediation, the state is looking to pay the families of victimized students money settle the case, sources said….

A class-action lawsuit filed in August claimed for more than ten years the school has been terrorized by some of its students who called themselves "the ringleaders."

The lawsuit said older students routinely attacked younger and smaller students at the school, assaulting, robbing, bullying and even raping and gang raping them on a regular basis.

The lawsuit said the school's administrator was informed in 2007 that some boys at the school were raping other boys on school grounds, but she failed to take action to stop the activity.

A source familiar with the case says the school's administrator -- a 23-year DOE employee -- has been removed from her position and is on department-directed leave.

The lawsuit also accused a male counselor at the school of engaging in inappropriate and questionable activities with male students, including having them stay with him overnight at his home off campus.

Sources said that counselor -- who was a contractor and not a DOE employee -- has been terminated.

One source said school officials made a cosmetic change to the campus that didn't get to the root of the problem, according to one source. In one case, when administrators found out that students were using a set of bushes to meet to have sex, they had the bushes removed.

Some former students have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct at the school stretching back to the 1970s, a source said.

In a separate criminal case, police arrested several juveniles last year. But since they're minors, their cases were heard in secret family court proceedings, and the outcomes of their cases will never be released.

A state DOE spokeswoman declined comment on the case, as did attorney Michael Green, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of at least 35 former students of the school who he claimed were victims of wrongdoing by other students.

Members of the deaf and blind community said students allowed this kind of behavior to continue for years because they were scared of being ostracized by their peers and were frightened by school officials who claimed their school would close if the allegations were made public.

read … Coverup

Hawaii Kevorkian Taunts Police

Five doctors in Hawaii say they’re willing to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The only problem — it isn’t legal.

Dr. Robert “Nate” Nathanson, 78, is willing to risk prison and the loss of his medical license in order to write lethal prescriptions for dying patients, reports American Medical News.

“That’s the thing — I’m retired,” he told AMN. “I think the worst that would happen is that they’d take my license away. I don’t think I’m going to put in any jail time. … My livelihood doesn’t depend on it, so I can be very brave.”

Read … N Y Daily News

Pathetic Hawaii Supreme Court Gives Alleged Attempted Babykiller New Trial

CN: A man convicted of nearly killing his infant daughter in a minivan parked at the beach can get a new trial, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled, finding that police asked him to make a statement before reading the suspect his rights.

Pulumata'ala Eli was convicted in Oahu First Circuit Court in 2010 for assaulting and injuring his 7-month-old daughter in a minivan at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Eli turned himself in to police three days after the October 2007 attack. At the station, police read him his rights and recorded the statement that Eli gave. But before that interview, a detective had obtained Eli's consent to make the statement….

Eli's attorney tried to exclude the statement by arguing that "the Miranda warning could not 'undo the taint' of the pre-Miranda waiver because Detective 'got the mind set of Defendant ... to talk rather than not to talk,'" according to the court. (Feeeelings. The alleged attempted baby-killer has feeeelings.)

But the trial judge ruled the statement admissible, and the jury convicted Eli of attempted manslaughter….

"In the taped statement, Defendant told Detective that on the day of the incident, he had been 'trying to work things out' with his girlfriend in their minivan at Ala Moana Beach Park," the decision states. "Defendant said he was frustrated at the time, and that his daughter, who was sitting in the back seat, would not stop crying. He stated that he hit his daughter on the feet and slapped her on the head four times. Defendant then told Detective that he took his daughter out of her car seat and dropped her by accident. He subsequently admitted to throwing his daughter on the car seat '[f]ace first' two times."

SA: Majority justices cite a violation of Eli's rights against self-incrimination

read … Utterly Pathetic

Hanabusa Pays Herself $51K from Campaign Funds

CB: Federal Election Commission reports filed earlier this week show the two candidates for 1st Congressional District took in hefty contributions in the reporting quarter that ended March 31. Hanabusa, a Democrat, collected $224,420, nearly three times the $84,232 what Djou deposited. But then again, Djou was in Afghanistan for much of the quarter and was not actively campaigning.

Neither has a serious opponent for the Aug. 11 primary and are able to save their cash to spend closer to the Nov. 6 general election.

Djou's report shows he spent just $10,439 which left him with $387,246 in the bank, including money he rolled over from a previous campaign. He received no financial support from political action committees during the quarter.

Significant expenditures included $1,260 for a fundraiser at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and $1,759 for consulting services from the Washington, D.C.-based Catalyst Group.

Hanabusa, taking advantage of the PAC contributions that flow to most incumbents, collected more than $63,000 from political special interests, including those who have business before the committees she serves on, according to her report. Individuals contributed about $161,000 to her campaign.

Hanabusa spent just $84,831 this quarter — she's spent more than $365,000 since the election cycle began last year. And much of the money she collected from political supports this quarter — more than $51,000 — went to Hanabusa herself to pay off a loan she'd made to her own campaign for her 2010 election. That money runs through a separate committee, called Colleen for Congress, records show. She still owes herself about $40,000 from that campaign.

SA: Djou trails Hanabusa in US House campaign fundraising

Reality: Hanabusa: I am not a Loan Shark

read … Hanabusa

‘Buzzy G’ Coordinates Senate Democrat Fundraisers so Lobbyists Can Avoid Scheduling Conflicts

Majority Democrats in the Hawaii state Senate often vote together as a bloc.

This session, many of them are helping each other raise money for their expected re-election campaigns.

A March 26 email from Majority Leader Brickwood ‘Buzzy G’ Galuteria to his 23 colleagues details plans for a "Majority Master Calendar" that lists fundraisers for senators.

"We'll begin with are [sic] initial fundraising dates and eventually add significant events that we can support each other on," Galuteria wrote. "Please relay your dates and locations, neighbor islands included and we'll add as we go."

Reached by phone Wednesday, Galuteria explained, "We just started it — it's just informational and all through personal emails. We are not using state technology."

Asked about the awkward appearance of group fundraising while senators are still deliberating over legislation that will likely involve many campaign donors, Galuteria said, "That has been going on for ages. There is no law against it."….

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 29 state legislatures restrict giving and receiving campaign contributions during session.

"Of those, 15, including Virginia, prohibit any contributions during legislative sessions," according to a recent news report. "Fourteen others, including Kentucky, restrict donations from lobbyists."

Galuteria defended Hawaii's practice.

"We work all year round, too, not only during session," said Galuteria.

The Majority Master Calendar is intended to make sure senator fundraisers "don't bump up against each other — it's so we don't conflict with each other's dates. We want to support them all."

read … Senate Democrats Help Each Other Raise Campaign Cash

Tsunami alert: Don't cut that program

LATimes: President Obama is proposing small but damaging cuts to the tsunami warning system. Congress needs to step in.

read … Obama

President Obama signs Hawaii disaster declaration

HNN: The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, and landslides during the period of March 3-11, 2012.

read … Another Disaster

Stimulated? Hawaii Burns Thru $1.5B in ‘Recovery’ Funds

SA: Hawaii receiving 188 awards totaling nearly $1.772 billion, with about $1.5 billion spent as of Dec. 31.

That $1.772 billion reflects the final amount that the state is expected to receive, with the unspent funds to go for such things as education, transportation and university research, said Mark Anderson, the state’s lead ARRA coordinator.

More than $750 billion has been awarded to the 50 states and territories since ARRA was enacted, according to the federal Recovery Act website,

That website shows about $1.606 billion awarded to Hawaii, with the funds falling into these broad categories as of March 14: Infrastructure, $603,045,452; education, $358,585,304; transportation, $208,238,402; research and development/science, $80,101,565; energy/environment, $79,288,314; other programs, $63,882,218; public safety, $63,713,585; health, $57,934,411; housing, $51,580,045; job training/unemployment, $21,260,876; family, $18,004,018; and agriculture, $30,700.

We noticed that state and federal figures don’t exactly agree….

read … Don’t Agree

Business chiefs try to ride to the rescue of rail project

Oi: …the organization will raise funds and mount a public relations campaign to bring the unenlightened around to its point of view. Its members apparently believe that citizens just need reassurances — no worries, brah — to embrace rail….

Even having ventilated the scent of condescension wafting from the group’s announcement last week, its effort will likely add to the conflict over rail because no one — not even the esteemed U.S. senator who has declared that only a third world war will stop this train from running — can say with any certainty how well or how badly the project will affect Oahu.

read … Condescension

Failure to Block: Hanabusa, Hirono Vote Against Small Business Tax Cuts

CB: In a vote Thursday (April 19) heavily along party lines, Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa voted against Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s small-business tax cuts.

The measure passed anyway in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

read … Failures


Rep. Pono Chong on SB 755, Environmental Protection & the Public Trust

DN: I have seen many cases, where people who don’t want, a project or a development nearby, use the environmental permitting process, in the legal tiddlywinks, to kill, another project nearby. They know there’s no environmental impact, but yet, they use the process, to kill the project. And, its ironic that we want to protect the environment but we have no problem, abusing, the laws, when it suits us.

read … Tiddlywinks

Bag Tax in Political Death Throes

CB: Once touted as one the biggest environmental measures of the year, a bill that would charge consumers for single-use bags at the check-out counter appears to be on its deathbed.

House Speaker Calvin Say has elected not to assign House Bill 2483 to conference committee, effectively killing it, according to Sen. Mike Gabbard who sponsored the legislation.

Gabbard said he "had no idea" why Say wouldn't send it on to conference committee and Say didn't return a call for comment.

But a coalition of environmental groups is holding a press conference Thursday in support of the measure in a last-ditch effort to save it.

The Sierra Club Hawaii, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Council of Hawaii and Surfrider Foundation will be rallying support for the bill at 10 a.m. in front of Iolani Palace. They have enlisted the help of the governor's wife, Nancie Caraway, who will be speaking at the event.

"There is still some hope there," said Robert Harris, executive director of the Sierra Club, who made the bill a major focus of the environmental group's agenda this year. He said he hopes that the press conference will help put political pressure on Say to assign conference committee members to the bill, which must happen by next week.

The bill started off with much promise at the beginning of the legislative session, attracting broad support among lawmakers, supermarkets and the Girl Scouts. But it's had a torturous path.

In the beginning, there was a House version of the bill and a Senate version. The Senate version sailed through several committees and was passed on to the House.

But the House version never made it through the process. After passing three committees, the full House voted unanimously to kill the bill — by mistake.

Members had convened to deal with more than a hundred bills that had passed at least one committee. The votes were mere formalities. The House bag bill was supposed to be sent on to the Finance Committee where it would have a final vote before it could be sent over to the Senate. But instead it was sent to the bottom of the agenda where Rep. Pono Chong motioned to have it re-committed to the Economic Revitalization and Business Committee where it had just passed. It's a rare move, and members of the House unwittingly voted in favor of the motion.

Chong said afterward that it was a mistake. (Good work!)

AP: Nancie Caraway Rallies for Bag Tax

KHON: Environmentalists calling for bag bill vote

read … Ecos Fail to Harass the people with feeel-good Bag Tax

City Employees Travel to Germany to Oversee Sewer Pipe Manufacturing

HR: The city selected Germany's Meyer company and paid half of the $3.6 million contract upfront for special 72 inch Inside Diameter concrete polymer pipe that will go along a curved section of the Beach Walk force main.

But when the company filed for bankruptcy, and shut down the factory for more than three weeks this Spring, city officials began to worry the piping would never be delivered, and the sewer repairs, would not be completed on time by December 31, 2012.

The city opted to send two city employees, two design consultants and a geotech consultant to Germany in the last week of March to check out the situation firsthand.

read … Germany

Council Spends on Travel and TVs

CB: Televisions for staff use. International travel. Monthly cell phone bills into the hundreds of dollars and $3,000 per member per year for the use of their personal cars.

These are among the items the Honolulu City Council purchased with taxpayer funds so far this fiscal year. With three months still remaining, some members have already burned through their $16,000 kitties.

The so-called "allotments" are on top of the part-time council members' regular salaries — $49,824 apiece and $55,666 for the chair — and could be growing next year. The council's Budget Committee last week amended the legislative budget so that each member would have more than $19,000 at their disposal to pay for work-related incidentals….

Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang each purchased a 32-inch television. Anderson's cost $581 and Chang's $283; Anderson chalked the difference up to the fact that he also bought two wall mounts.

read … Its your money

GSA Watchdog Says Employees Are Reporting Abuse

NM: The General Services Administration's internal watchdog said Wednesday that employees are heeding his call to report wrongdoing and messages on his hotline have triggered new investigations beyond an $823,000 Las Vegas conference and junkets to resorts.

"I don't know what we're going to find but it has not been pretty," Inspector General Brian Miller told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Miller previously revealed that GSA officials in Western states went on taxpayer-financed junkets to Hawaii, South Pacific islands, California's Napa Valley and Palm Springs; stayed in resort hotel suites, and threw lavish parties. His April 2 report detailed how four Western regions partied at their Las Vegas conference in 2010, which featured a clown, a mind-reader, a team-building exercise to build bicycles and a rap video making fun of the spending.

Miller previously said that employees would not blow the whistle on the misconduct because they believed they would be "squashed like a bug" for doing so.

"The result of the release of the report is that people are coming forward now," he said. "They are calling the (inspector general's) hotline.

Read … GSA Watchdog Says Employees Are Reporting Abuse

Hawaii Could Establish a Veterans Court modeled on Drug Court

CB: Veterans who commit crimes in Hawaii could be eligible for mental health and medical treatment programs instead of prison, under a bill before the Hawaii Legislature.

House Bill 2798 would establish a temporary veterans court — Hawaii's first — within the state judiciary system. The conference committee hearing for the measure has yet to be scheduled.

The court would serve veterans who have committed crimes and who have suffered psychological or mental disorders as a result of serving in the military.

Supporters say a veterans treatment court can relieve pressure on Hawaii's maxed-out prison system while giving vets an opportunity to get proper treatment and become productive members of the community. But Honolulu's prosecutor says the cost is too great and other programs exist to serve the same purpose.

More than 100 such courts have been established across the nation since 2008. Veterans courts provide medical and mental health treatment, housing, transportation and even help vets find jobs.

Keith Kaneshiro argued that veterans can already access drug and mental health treatment through Drug Court. He also said there's a lack of funding for an additional court….

But other than Kaneshiro, the bill has seen relatively little opposition.

(The idea here is to treat veterans as a mentally-impaired class, like drug addicts. This is another step in the Marcusean scheme to therapize the military and transform it from a fighting force to a therapized force.)

AT: JAG pushes UCMJ to embrace vets treatment court

read … Hawaii Could Establish a Veterans Court

Act 208 Blocks Crazy Stupid Criminals from Working as Security Guards

KITV: Under existing Hawaii regulations, security guards are required to have an eighth-grade education before being deployed to a job site.

But, under legislation known as Act 208, anyone in the security profession will be required to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent. They must also be free of any psychiatric or psychological disorders that may impact their work and complete a nationwide FBI background check….

In 2010, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations estimated the number of security guards in the state at 10,700. However, the number may be much greater when including bouncers, loss prevention officers and private security guards who work at condominiums and home associations.

read … Crazy stupid Criminals

Bank Fees don’t Pass Legislature

PBN: Senate Bill 2761, had proposed annual fees of $5,000 for financial institutions with less than $150 million in assets, $10,000 for institutions with less than $750 million in assets, $12,500 for institutions with less than $5 billion in assets, and $15,000 for financial institutions with more than $5 billion in assets.

Its companion, House Bill 2499, proposed slightly different fees that would have meant more financial institutions with more than $10 million but less than $150 million in assets would be required to pay higher fees.

The DFI also proposed 40 new fees for services such as review and approval to relocate or open a new branch.

read … Too Busy to Raise Taxes!

NELHA Aquaculture Pays Off

LA Times: What started out as a futuristic experiment in generating electricity is now generating something completely different –- abalone and lobster. Near the Kona airport on the big island of Hawaii, the awkwardly named National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority still houses a plant for making electricity, but there’s some serious aquaculture going on, too.

When the authority was planned in 1974, the plan was to pull cold water from the ocean depths and warm water from the shore and use the temperature difference to turn a turbine and generate electricity.
That effort is still ongoing and may yet pay off. But what’s already drawing dividends are a couple of forward-thinking aquaculture projects at the site.
Big Island Abalone Corporation uses that nutrient-rich deep water and the area’s nearly constant sunshine to feed its Japanese breed of abalone. They’re now producing nearly 60 tons per year and thanks to recent expansion hope to hit 100 tons by the end of 2012.

read … Don’t worry, the enviros will find a way to stop this after Dan Inouye Dies

City Council committee approves measure to Create Kayak Rental Monopoly in Kailua

HNN: More than 200 people, including current and former area state lawmakers, came to support the bill….

"Many people have a deep spiritual connection to Kailua Beach," said resident Lisa Cates.

"The biggest vendor of kayaks is just across the street from the park, out of the reach of this bill, so what this bill will do is put us and two other companies out of business," said Bob Twogood of Twogood Kayaks Hawaii.

"Making this illegal isn't going to make the vendors go away, it's going to increase the illegality," said attorney Les Iczkovitz. "It's going to create a monopoly, as Mr. Twogood said, for one vendor. It's going to triple the amount of kayaks that are crossing the road.

read … Help form a Monopoly

Lahainaluna HS to Celebrate David Malo Day

MN: David Malo was born on the Big Island and grew up in association with people of high rank, as his father was a soldier in the army of King Kamehameha I.

He moved to Lahaina in 1823 and then became one of the original students at Lahainaluna Seminary - later to become Lahainaluna Technical and High School.

He became a renowned religious leader of the Christian faith, an educator, historian, writer, politician and entrepreneur. He wrote several books on the history of Hawaii that detailed the ancient history, religion and customs of the Hawaiian people.

William Alexander, who was often associated with Malo in his work on Maui, referred to him as "one of the brightest trophies of the gospel in the islands. Many of his predictions have come true. But his efforts for righteousness and justice have borne fruit and will continue to do so. For, that kind of seed does not die."

read … David Malo Day

NMI Retirement Fund Bankruptcy Goes to Court

CHIEF Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Faris will hold the first day motions today in federal court in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy submitted by the Retirement Fund on Tuesday.

“The debtor’s goal is to emerge from reorganization in the next for to six months (or sooner if it is possible to quickly build consensus amongst its creditors). If payments to beneficiaries were to be reduced by 58 percent, debtor believes it would be able to move forward with little further reduction. Further, if through additional efforts, the debtor were able to realize upon its judgment against the commonwealth, or otherwise improve its level of funding, the debtor would then be in a position to increase benefits to a higher sustainable level,” stated Fund Administrator Richard A. Villagomez in his 20-page declaration submitted in federal court.

Villagomez said: “I believe it is imperative all interested parties be informed that the debtor is not seeking to eliminated beneficiaries’ right to receive their benefits, rather, the debtor has sought Chapter 11 relief in order to align its current payouts with its current funding level, in an effect to preserve its ability to distribute payments beyond 2014.”

read … About Hawaii’s Future


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