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Thursday, August 2, 2012
August 2, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:04 PM :: 10080 Views

Gallup: Obama losing in 37 states, gets 63% Approval in Hawaii

Hawaii Congressional Candidates on the Jones Act

DCCA: Let your auto insurer spy on you and save money

Hawaii DoD Launches ‘Hawaii Civic Justice Corps’

Hawaii-Based Task Force Stems Chemical Trafficking in Asia-Pacific

Hawaii Firefighter Fatality Report Examines Cardiac Death

9th Annual Navy League Golf Tourney

Forbes: The Hawaii Marxist Who Mentored President Obama On General Motors

Ono Good! NOAA to Conduct Status Review of Green Turtles

Hawaii County Election: It’s the Girlfriend, Stupid

WHT: County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Wednesday assured Hawaii County voters the election is under control, even as the attorney for fired Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto said his client should be reinstated immediately to ensure voting goes off without a hitch….

But Ted Hong, who monitored the news conference, characterized the voter registry problem as minimal, something only an inexperienced worker would worry about, especially this close to the Aug. 11 primary.

“At this late stage, the only way to determine (that the office is ready for the election) is to bring in someone that knows what’s going on and can set a priority list of what’s important,” Hong said. “This is a position where you need an experienced hand.”

Nakamoto is on paid leave after winning a union employee grievance process following her firing in January. Also fired were warehouse manager Glen Shikuma and two other employees following an investigation that alleged drinking, storage of alcohol and the operation of a private business out of the county elections warehouse on Makaala Street.

Kawauchi has been subjected since then to a barrage of questions and negative comments from Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi; members of the state Elections Commission; and finally the state’s chief elections officer, Scott Nago, himself. Nago, in fact, wrote a letter to Mayor Billy Kenoi April 17 as a private individual, urging the mayor to expedite Nakamoto’s grievance so she could return to her duties before the election. Nakamoto’s live-in boyfriend, former state Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina, is Nago’s former boss.

“It absolutely was political,” Council Chairman Dominic Yagong said Tuesday night, adding, however, that Kawauchi’s secrecy about what was going on didn’t help her in the public’s eye.

Does Kawauchi think the personal relationships played a role in the criticism of her office?

“I appreciated the fact that we had a very good meeting and all the issues we might have had have been resolved,” she said Wednesday about a meeting the day before with Nago and the clerks of the other counties.

WHT July 19, 2012:  A pawn, perhaps, a player most definitely

WHT: (Pat Nakamoto) has been publicly visible in political activities supporting former County Clerk Kenny Goodenow, who is seeking a Hilo district County Council seat, running against incumbent J Yoshimoto. As we reported, Goodenow’s campaign website had displayed several photos of Nakamoto and her boyfriend, former state Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina, attending an April 14 volunteer meeting for Goodenow’s campaign. Both were wearing name badges, seated at a table covered with campaign materials.

Federal laws exercise oversight of the elections process and they ensure we have individual rights, as well, including First Amendment rights — rights to vote for whom we choose and the liberty to express ourselves toward that end. Nakamoto is not exempt from those protections.

Nakamoto’s actions, while not illegal, potentially may throw into question the ability of the elections office to ensure fairness. Her federally protected ability to choose a candidate whom she will support is not in question. A public display of that partiality is, however….

Nakamoto, in exercising her protected rights, knowing she was seeking reinstatement to her job as Hawaii County Elections Office administrator, sacrificed that public trust and created the perception she is indeed a political piece — taking on the chessboard a position of her own choosing.

read … It's the girlfriend, stupid

Kahuku Wind farm Catches Fire AGAIN, Battery Building Burns Down

HNN: Seelig said a fire at the same building in April 2011 burned itself out. The latest one didn't, so crews entered the facility more than seven hours after the blaze began. They used dry chemicals from Hawaiian Electric Company to try to extinguish the flames. Firefighters faced thick smoke, toxic fumes and other hazards.

"The fire had spread through some of the batteries and was now in front of the door so the use of the dry chemical was not sufficient to knock down the fire to the point where we could extinguish," Seelig said.

Parts of the building collapsed, but crews kept the flames from spreading to other structures. The facility's innovative battery system helped to secure a $117 million loan guarantee for construction from the U.S. Department of Energy, but the new technology also created special challenges.

view … $117 US DoE Loan Guarantee Goes Up in Smoke Again

Lanai: Murdock Keeps Elephant Tusks, Used Volkswagen, Windfarm and other Junk

PBN: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison owns 98 percent of the island and its components, but fellow billionaire and Castle & Cooke Inc. owner Murdock is retaining his private residence in Manele and the lot across the street from it as well as vehicles he uses, such as a Toyota 4Runner, a Land Rover, a GEM electric car and a Volkswagen.

In addition, Murdock is keeping two carved elephant tusks and two carved Balinese sculptures that are located in the Manele Bay Resort, as well as 1,000 orchid plants in the greenhouse at the Lodge at Koele.

Other excluded items not part of the sale include two businesses: Richard’s Market and the property it sits on, and the Woodworking Shop, including all koa furniture made in it as well as rights to fallen koa wood for the purpose of using it in the woodworking factory.

Murdock also retains several apartment units at The Pines at Koele and properties at the Manele Terrace.

And, as previously reported, Murdock is keeping the right to develop the so-called “Big Wind” project, a wind farm planned for about 7,000 acres on the northwest corner of Lanai with the capacity to produce between 200 and 400 megawatts of renewable energy.

read … Murdock

Gabbard Ad Hammers Hannemann over $700M Pay to Play

CB: Tulsi Gabbard is trying to make political hay out of pay-to-play and leaving it to voters to find the connection to Mufi Hannemann, her main opponent in the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary. A new commercial released last week is titled and starts with those three ominous words.

It's a game to them. Pay-to-play. Self-serving politicians take thousands from their contributors, then give them sweetheart deals, tax loopholes and bailouts. Tulsi Gabbard offers a fresh approach. 'I'll fight to end pay-to-play, focus on Hawaii's economy and middle class, end the war in Afghanistan now, and invest in jobs here at home and protect Medicare and Social Security. I'm Tulsi Gabbard and I approve this message and no matter what I'll always fight for you.

Watch the spot here:

Hannemann is neither mentioned by name nor pictured in the ad, but Gabbard has directly linked him to pay-to-play corruption before.

At a debate July 12, Gabbard asked Hannemann about news reports that he awarded $700 million in contracts to those who'd contributed to his campaign.

CB: Mufi's Last Chance?

read … Pay to Play

Hawaii Full of Bullies

CB: Regarding School Bullies and the statement that "The Legislature has tried for years to do something to address the issue."

Trying to legislate a social norm? "Fail"

Please ... come on.

Hawaii is full of bullies, and not just in the schools.

read … Bully!

PRP Burns $900K for Rail

HR: PRP’s spending came from a political action committee formed this year called Pacific Resource

Partnership PAC. PRP spending report

The PRP PAC gave no direct contributions to political candidates. Two separate political committees financed with Carpenters money, The Hawaii Carpenters Political Action Fund and the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund, gave some $87,000 in donations to a variety of Isle political campaigns from January through July of this year, according to newly-filed reports. Carpenters PAC, Market Recovery report

The primary source of all the spending is the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund, a non-profit trust that had assets of $17.2 million as of August 31, 2011, according to an IRS tax return filed last year. 2010 tax return

Trustees are appointed by the Carpenters Union, the General Contractors Association and the Building Industry Labor Association.

The purpose of the fund, according to the trust’s tax return, is “to study and explore ways of eliminating potential problems that inhibit the economic development of the carpentry industry in Hawaii.”

As reported earlier this month, PRP and the Carpenters Union together spent some $1.5 million from 2008 to 2010 promoting Honolulu’s proposed 20-mile, $5.2 billion rapid transit project

ILind: It appears that almost all of the Market Recovery Fund’s $3+ million income during the year came from employer contribution

read … your dues money at work

Cayetano is focused on Campaigning While Carlisle, Caldwell Scramble for Contributions

CB: With many contributors maxing out during the first half of the year, the former governor raised just $58,000 between July 1 and July 27. That's less than the $274,000 Kirk Caldwell raised — including a $50,000 personal loan to his campaign — and $101,000 Peter Carlisle collected in the same period, according to reports filed Wednesday with the Campaign Spending Commission.

SA: Every vote counts, especially this year (high turnout would favor Cayetano)

read … Cayetano Cruises

HD19: Yamane vs Kobayashi Two Old Boys Fight to Get Back In House

SA: Two former Democratic legislators hope to fill the 19th House District seat held by longtime Republican legislator Barbara Marumoto, who is not seeking re-election.

Bertrand "Bert" Koba­yashi, 68, and Brian Yamane, 65, are the two Democrats in the Aug. 11 primary election for the district covering Kapahulu, Kaimuki and Diamond Head.

Each hopes to advance to the general election, where they will face newcomer Darrell Young, the only Republican candidate.

Kobayashi, a Kaimuki resident for 59 years and a former administrator for the state's 12 community hospitals, served in the state House from 1978 to 1982 and in the Senate from 1982 to 1994, representing the same general area as the current 19th District.

Yamane, a Kaimuki resident for 27 years and father of state Rep. Ryan Yamane (D, Waipahu-Mililani), has been a business insurance agent for 35 years. He represented the 19th House District from 1994 to 2000. (Marumoto represented the adjoining 17th District, which was reconstituted as the 19th District in the 2002 reapportionment.)….

On other issues, Kobayashi said he favors same-sex marriages, while Yamane said he isn't opposed to it, but wouldn't vote for it.

On the city's rail project, both said they favor it, although Kobayashi said he would like to see improvements and Yamane said he was concerned about the costs.

Both favor federal recognition of Native Hawaiians under the Akaka Bill.

Kobayashi said that as of last week, he has raised $18,000 to $19,000 for the campaign, including his own donation of about $11,000. He had about $3,000 left.

Yamane said he raised about $10,000 to $11,000, including about $6,000 he lent to the campaign. He had about $7,000 left.

Kobayashi has received endorsements from the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, the Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers, he said. Yamane did not cite any endorsements.

The winner of the primary will face Young, 48, in the general election. Young is working full time on his first campaign for public office.

Young's job history includes working as an aide to City Councilman Charles Djou in 2010 and as an intern for Marumoto last year.

read … Old Boys

Maui Council Races

Facing Ban, Tobacco Users Claim Religious Rights

KGI: …chewing tobacco or using it for different purposes would still be legal in county parks, as long as there is no fire or smoking involved. However, the bill, once a straight ban, would still allow smoking in a designated area in county parks — the parking lot. But smokers would have to move “at least 20 feet farthest downwind from the nearest park user who is using the park area adjacent to the parking lot,” according to the bill.

And if a park’s parking lot is being used as the primary venue for an event, such as Wednesday’s Sunshine Market at Kapa‘a New Town Park, there would be no smoking allowed there.

First offenders would be fined at least $100. The fine grows to at least $200 on a second offense and between $300 and $500 on subsequent offenses.

Valerie Saiki, representing the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawai‘i, had opposed the bill’s final version when it had reached full council July 11.

On Wednesday, she was willing to compromise.

Some members of the audience who testified, however, were not too happy with the bill, even with the amendment giving the parking lot to smokers.

Mary Pat Mills said the bill was discriminatory, and that she would rather see a resolution. Also, she said a ban may infringe on religious rights of Native Americans, who use tobacco in their ceremonies.

Tina Sakamoto said the bill was muddled and not easy to follow. It also lacks enforceability, she said. She, too, called for a resolution rather than an ordinance.

Tessie Kinnaman was another member of the audience who testified in opposition to the bill.

Public testimony in favor of the bill outnumbered the opposition 4 to 3.

Council members Mel Rapozo and KipuKai Kuali‘i have opposed the bill since it was first sent to committee back in June.

related: SF Considers Strict Outdoor Smoking Ban – Except For Medical Pot

read … Prohibition

Hounded and Harassed by Abercrombie, Haleiwa Farmers Market Finds Refuge in Waimea Valley

KHON: Organizers announced Wednesday the farmers market will now be held at Waimea Valley and no longer on Sundays.
The wait is over for North Shore farmers and vendors eager to find a new place to call their own.
"It's been more than a waiting game here,” said Jeanne Vana. “And we're so thrilled about Waimea being a beautiful setting that's culturally inspired and very spiritual over there."
Beginning August 9 the Haleiwa Farmers Market will re-open at the Waimea Valley Pikake Pavilion and main lawn every Thursday from 3 -7 p.m.

read … Hounded and Harassed by Abercrombie

HECO Gets $217, Ratepayers Get $0.91

Hawaiian Electric says the average bill on Oahu last month was nearly $217 dollars. That's up $17 from July 2011. …

HECO customers will be receiving a small refund as the result of the public utilities commission's final decision on a 2011 rate hike.

The typical customer will receive about $0.91 credited in their September bill.

read … Relationship of forces

Home Health Care Provider Owes $5M in Taxes

SA: De Harne shut down her company, Hawaii Healthcare Professionals Inc. — also known as Hawaii Professional HomeCare Services Inc. — with more than $5 million in unpaid federal and state taxes, according to claims filed with the state Bureau of Conveyances. Former employees have filed complaints with the state, saying they are owed $39,700 in back wages, and last month the EEOC won an age discrimination judgment against Hawaii Healthcare and is attempting to collect $193,236 from de Harne.

The Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday that de Harne registered a trade name for a new business, Oahu Beach Wedding Packages, with the state in November. The company's website says it coordinates weddings on Waimanalo Beach. The site provides contact information, including a street address and phone number.

"In light of this new information, we will be assessing our options," said Christine Park-Gonzalez, EEOC program analyst.

"We do intend on collecting on this ($193,236) judgment."

read … About the kind of operator to be rewarded under Abercrombie Care

AG Louie Fights to Steal Land from Bridge Aina Lea

CB: Hawaii’s attorney general is fighting back against a recent decision by a Big Island judge that critics say weakens the power of the state to hold developers to their promises.

Attorney General David Louie recently filed a notice of appeal challenging Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance's ruling that the state Land Use Commission couldn’t revert a property’s urban land use classification back to agricultural because the developer had repeatedly failed to build affordable housing that the state required as a condition of its approval of the project.

The LUC’s decision last year to change the land slated for the Villages of Aina Lea back to ag halted development of the $250 million resort community and put in limbo housing that had already been built on the property.

read … State Theft

After a Decade, State is Allegedly Ready to Renovate Empty Downtown Office Building

SA: The Princess Victoria Kamamalu Building across from ‘Iolani Palace and Hawaiian Electric Co. was vacated for renovations in 2003 and remains empty today, although plans are finally under way to complete the project.

Renovations were supposed to begin in 2005, but an increase in costs for both labor and construction materials prevented the state from moving forward.

However, in May Gov. Neil Abercrombie and labor union leaders announced a project labor agreement that was created to prevent conflicts like labor stoppages and budget issues from affecting large, overdue state projects like the renovation of the Kamamalu Building.

The estimated cost to renovate Kamamalu is $32.9 million and includes electrical and plumbing repairs, asbestos removal and tackling infrastructure problems.

read … Believe it when you see it

But First, State Builds Brand New Empty Building

KITV: "It's the most beautiful parking structure in the city, and it's sitting empty, and nobody can park there. So what's the deal?" asked one woman who says she walks by the structure at least twice a week.

It's a question being asked by many, particularly since the Alapai Bus Transit Center has been operating since May 25.

The parking structure at Alapai and King streets is the first phase of the Joint Traffic Management Center, which will bring together the city and state transportation agencies for a more unified management of traffic operation and incidents.

Right now, parking is reserved for employees who will work at the center, when it's built. (ie shortly after pigs fly, but just before hell freezes over)

read … Alapai parking structure stays empty - for now

Desmond Tutu Live Stream?

DN: Last night it was announced that there would be live video streaming coverage from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew website. Neither the website nor the event website have been updated yet to indicated video streaming—the announcement was sent in an email to those on their mailing list yesterday.

For detailed information on the events, see the event website.

Related: Psychiatrists Boycott Honolulu Meeting Over Desmond Tutu Invitation

read … Tutu

Agit-Prop: Nobody killed in Hilo ‘Massacre’

KITV: The Hilo Massacre on Aug. 1, 1938 marked a turning point in Hawaii's labor movement, however, few of the state's 1.4 million residents even know it took place.

Dr. William Puette of the University of Hawaii – West Oahu, who chronicled the event in his 1988 book, The Hilo Massacre: Hawaii's Bloody Monday, said the event helped sway public opinion to the plight of organized labor.

Although no one died in the massacre, at least 50 protesters were shot by police and national guardsmen as they marched to Hilo Harbor in a show of solidarity with striking ILWU dock workers in Honolulu. The strike against the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Co. had already stretched for several weeks, and the company was anxious to stand firm against union demands for better pay.

"A small army of about 60 officers armed to the teeth ended up throwing tear gas at them and then hosing them," said Puette.

Still, the crowd of over 200 people did not disperse, and instead, began sitting down on the pavement.

Through his research, Puette discovered that protest organizer Harry Lehua Kamoku had instructed the crowd on the practice of passive resistance.

"They coached each other about what would happen if you were hit by a billy club," said Puette. "Not to respond in kind (and) just to fall down. A lot of people think that those kinds of tactics were developed for the civil rights movement in the United States, but actually we see it at the Hilo Massacre in 1938."

Hawaii Island Sheriff Henry K. Martin eventually gave the order for officers to fire upon the peaceful gathering. Puette says the shooting began after hooligans hired by the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Co. threatened to clear the crowd on their own, a common practice during the labor struggles of the 1930's.

Totally Unrelated: July 7, 1935: Moscow orders first Communists to Hawaii

read … Agit-Prop




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