Is the UH-USC Game ‘Really’ Booked?
Dear Editor, August 29, 2012
In light of Stevie Wonder Blunder-gate, UH Football Coach Norm Chow should check to see if the USC football game has actually been booked! Maybe some lowly athletic department student help merely “booked” the USC game through a friend of a cousin of the mom of someone who had “good contacts” with the USC athletic department!
While UH President M.R.C. Greenwood says that the Jim Donovan removal decision was made beforehand, it certainly seems like a last minute knee jerk decision in response to an emergency. You would think a carefully planned decision would have Donovan at least end up with a cooler title like “Assistant Vice Director of Da Kine” or something instead of untitled person in charge of unnamed and unknown projects. But Donovan is lucky, if it had been a panicky decision, UH would have given him the death penalty, made him State Employee of the Year AND recommended that he apply for the UH Presidency – all at the same time!
Significantly overlooked and buried in the investigative report is that several times the investigators, in effect, state that there was no clear policy or authority in various matters regarding Wonder Blunder. In other words, there is no wrongdoing if a (clear) policy has not been violated. This is the legal dilemma in which UH finds itself. While this may sound odd, it is more and more common among large bureaucracies because of the multiple policies that develop over time by multiple various entities involved with the organization (your boss may have a policy but your boss’ boss may have another). If Donovan is guilty of not supervising his subordinates then higher officials are guilty of not supervising him.
Interesting to note is that Donovan’s lawyer defended him by saying that he had almost nothing to do with Wonder Blunder. But this is both damning as well as defense because perhaps he should have had a lot to do with this Athletic Department $200,000 expenditure decision.
Actually though, the post handling of the Wonder Blunder may be overall appropriate given the political and legal realities. The initial “no comment” stance while the investigation continued makes sense. Suspending (with pay) Donovan and Sheriff during the investigation is a judgment call but a relatively normal procedure. Avoiding a lawsuit from Donovan by giving him another job could be considered part of their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer. Installing a new AD that will not lose $200,000 is reasonable.
This situation is in stark contrast to the handling of Hawaii County Election-gate. Surprisingly, one public official publicly and personally accused another of incompetence. Blame was fixed rather quickly and the counter charges flew. While this may be more fun than watching a lover’s quarrel in a Korean Soap Opera, it does not necessarily promote the public welfare/interest good. Normally, the problems should be quietly analyzed and corrective procedures are put in place and eventually the person “at fault” is quietly removed (allowed to resign or promoted!). Basically, when an employee is at fault, the manager is usually suppose to have a “private” meeting with him – not scold him in front of the whole office.
But anyway, I sure hope USC knows we’re coming! Wouldn’t want to have another investigation into No Game Now Chow-gate!
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The History of July 4th in Hawaii
Dear Editor: August 27, 2012
In light of your recent article about statehood I thought I¹d share something that may interest you.
History Education Hawaii recently started the first of what I hope will be a series of open-access historical blog sites. This one focuses on how the July 4 American Independence Day holiday was celebrated in the Islands: http://july4inhawaii.blogspot.com/
All the items posted are transcriptions of text articles from various print news sources. These include The Friend, The Polynesian, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, and so forth.
All this is part of a larger project, the Hawaii Lyceum of History. It will be totally online and include an online journal of history, online-based paper presentations, webinars and topic-focused history blogs such as the one listed above. Future topic include the American Civil War and Reconstruction in Hawaii, the U.S. Exploratory Expedition (this led in part to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution), and so on. We¹ve received no funds for this (yet...) so this is entirely a volunteer effort. Of course, we¹re always looking for volunteer transcribers!
Enjoy the July 4 blog site. Have a great day,
Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Related: Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American
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Tom Berg Prophet?
Aloha, August 27, 2012
HART was so arrogant and disrespectful of the process, they now have to admit that they got caught acting in bad faith by the Hawaii State Supreme Court.
Now the question is, who will pay for any delays in construction? Should the taxpayer pay for HART's negligence, or should the officials who rammed this rail project through have to pay themselves if any costs are involved? That is what this youtube is about below.
Will HART simply drain more money from the rail's contingency fund (compiled from our GET rail surcharge collections) to pay for any delays, or will HART have to tap into a line of credit if need be should that scenario come into play?
Nobody called it better in Honolulu City Government than District 1 Councilman Tom Berg- Watch these two videos to see how RIGHT he got it!
Tom Berg questioned HART on May 23, 2012 on this matter BEFORE the court case was even heard on May 24. Link: YouTube
And in this YouTube, Tom Berg made his concerns known on my first day at the City Council- January 26, 2011, that the IWI needed to be resolved FIRST!
Tom Berg was RIGHT- and if more had listened to him early on, Honolulu tax-payers would have been saved a massive amount of money that HART and the City NEEDLESSY threw down the drain in a reckless and irresponsible rush to build BEFORE getting the FTA Full Funding Grant Agreement!
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Maui Council Votes Lipoa Point Out of Preservation
Dear Editor, August 16, 2012
Recently, Maui County Council voted Lipoa Point at Honolua Bay out of preservation. The Save Honolua Coalition (SHC), a non-profit organization, has been working tirelessly for years, fighting for preservation and protection of this beautiful, sacred land. Thousands of signatures to petitions by the community and years of hard work have been canceled out by five council members who obviously have an agenda besides the voice of the people.
Future development will undoubtedly cause irreparable damage. Honolua stream has been diverted, hindering native plant and animal species to thrive. Honolua Bay is a marine conservation district that has already been negatively affected by development of the south side of The Bay. Hawaiian Division of Aquatic Resources claims that the coral coverage of Honolua Bay decreased from 42% to 9% over a ten year span and a recent study has also shown that Honolua Bay is rated highest level of bacteria in Hawaii. More development means more pollutants in the water.
The more SHC and the community have to fight politicians and ML&P, the less time and energy can be VOLUNTEERED to help solve some of the existing problems. Join the fight: www.savehonolua.org
Freddy Von Essen
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Stop Bus Cuts Testify August 15
Dear Editor, August 11, 2012
Unhappy bus riders have circulated petitions all over the island asking that reduced service be restored in areas such as Manoa, Diamond Head, St. Louis Heights and Ewa Beach. Several petition against bus cuts have had over 600 signatures, but they still went ahead and cut the routes anyway.
Now, additional students are also causing new and uncomfortable crowding on routes. Yet the city will impose another round of bus cutbacks and changes on Aug. 19. TheBus service is a service for the people, and it shouldn't be cut.
The city says they are cutting services to curb growth in operating costs, including the cost of labor and diesel fuel. The changes run fewer buses with more passengers on board each run. In response to public protest over bus cuts, Councilman Tom Berg co-authored Resolution 12-173 to urge Mayor Carlisle to restore bus cuts and Resolution 12-177 to suspend the fare box recovery policy. If you want city bus service restored and no more cuts to it, come testify August 15 to the City Council at Honolulu Hale.
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Oil Cannot be Blamed for High Cost of Hawaii Electricity
This letter has been sent to Richard Rosenblum, President, Hawaii Electric:
Dear Sir, August 1, 2012
Regarding your response letter of June 27; I asked you the reasons for the high cost of electricity in Hawaii and how much oil had been saved as a result of Maalaea wind-farm operations. You failed to answer either question.
You did state, “The cost of fuel to run generating units represent about 50% of the typical family’s electrical bill.” This statement has no relationship with the truth. Oil is a fungible commodity traded worldwide, of which we have plentiful supply.
You suggest, “The solution is to replace oil with local, renewable energy to the greatest degree possible. This would help stabilize and reduce electric bills.” Unfortunately not a single energy program of the type you suggest has ever proven to be reliable or cost efficient. Not one!
In 2008, 250 prominent scientists from forty countries signed the Manhattan Declaration stating, ”Weather is independent of human activity and that CO2 is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all human life.” Subsequently the Manhattan Declaration has more than 1000 signatories.
They have also affirmed, “Costly regulations on industry and individual citizens will slow development while having no impact on future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources.”
Sir, as the expert tell us why we pay three times the American national average for our electricity?
Related: Letter to HECO CEO: Windmills Keep Generators Idling at 70%
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Hawaii County Geothermal Bill 256, Hindering Success
Dear Editor, August 1, 2012
I am writing to share my concerns regarding Bill 256, which the County Council is considering overriding the Mayor's recent veto. This bill will change the purpose of the Geothermal Relocation and Community Benefits Program by removing any references to community benefits and focusing solely on studies and purchasing equipment. Studies have already been done in the past and have indicated no adverse health effects caused by the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.
The Geothermal Relocation and Community Benefits Program has provided funding to pave roads and provide a satellite County office in Puna when the County did not have the funding available for such purposes. Why does the County Council want to change a successful program that has helped the community in Puna, especially at a time when revenues are down?
If the County Council overrides the Mayor's veto, then this will create an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding other community benefit programs, such as was recently offered by Aina Koa Pono that wanted to build a biofuel plant in Kau. The community will be less likely to accept such programs if they believe that at a later date the County Council will come along and change the program to suit their needs.
I hope that the County Council will realize the wisdom in the Mayor's veto of Bill 256.
Lee McIntosh, Council Candidate
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Unfair to Berg
Aloha, August 1, 2012
Councilman Tom Berg seems to be treated unfairly by the Pro Rail Councilmembers. This is an injustice to the taxpayers. All of the facts need to be known, and all of the over spending, propaganda over spending, and premature contract spending needs t be stopped. The Iwi needs to be discussed.
I thought the City Council was a brotherhood as stated by Councilman Ernie Martin.