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Sunday, September 16, 2012
September 16, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:13 PM :: 5928 Views

Rod Tam Rule: Court Change Would Help Criminals Run for Office

Elusive Tax Credit Data Raises Important Concerns

New DoTax 'Composite' -- Apply for $5M in Solar Credits on One Form

DoTax Issues 12 Tax Announcements

Hawaii Ranks 39th in 'Automotive Misery'

VIDEO: Watch the 'Muhammad' Movie Islamists are Using as their Latest Excuse 

Chinese Bubble? Hawaii projects to be Financed by Selling EB-5 Green Cards

SA: …there is new interest in Chinese investors buying up local golf courses via an international company called Pacific Links.

That company is owned by Du Sha, who bought four Honolulu courses and is eyeing more on Maui. In Hawaii, the firm is run by Micah Kane, the Kamehameha Schools trustee, who is also a big wheel in local GOP circles after serving in the Lingle administration and as chairman of the state Republican Party.

If all this sounds familiar, it is. Hawaii went through something similar more than 30 years ago with heavy Japanese investment that started with foreign investors picking up golf courses….

Perhaps one instance of this already being adopted is a new round of investment in the University of Hawaii at West Oahu.

A group of 36 Chinese investors are putting up $18 million to help finish the construction of the new campus. The investors are doing it through the federal EB-5 visa program, in which foreign investors who put more than $500,000 into a targeted investment that creates new jobs in America, are given green-card visas to the U.S. for themselves and their families.

"The money is sitting in escrow: $18 million to facilitate the completion of West Oahu," said Tom Rosenfeld, president of CanAm Enterprises, the firm coordinating the EB-5 program for Hawaii.


read … Government should prepare for foreign-investment wave

Hawaii Defense Contractors Face 18% Cuts

PBN: One would think that Hawaii is in pretty good shape to weather this storm with plans to bring in new Osprey and other aircraft to Marine Corps Base Hawaii and work on F-22 stealth fighter facilities, but according to a report by the Center for Security Policy, the state isn’t immune to the cuts.

The report indicates that defense contractors here could face an 18 percent loss in revenues, which would be more than $398 million. Although defense contractors haven’t told me about any layoffs recently, the report indicates that could be part of the fall out from the Department of Defense’s cuts. It projects that a total of 5,314 people will lose their jobs.

read … Hawaii to be hit hard

Agnew-crombe Takes on the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

SA: Our Spiro-esque governor takes the nattering nabobs of negativism to task as we plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» Gov. Neil Abercrombie said we should pay no attention to critics of the controversial Public Land Development Corp., calling them "the usual suspects" who "vilify my directors" and "try to demoralize people." Funny, that's what Gov. John A. Burns used to say about him.

» Detractors pressed their complaint that loose bidding requirements in the PLDC's proposed rules for widespread development of state lands could result in favoritism and bloated contracts. In other words, it's modeled after the Oahu rail project.

» Abercrombie says he wants to hear Kauai's concerns at his first "Governor's Cabinet in Your Community" event this week in Lihue. Garden Islanders will get to see the governor's nifty trick of listening with his lips moving.

read … Neil, I am Your Father

Star-Advertiser/AARP/Hawaii Democrats Continue to Babble about Medicare

SA: As part of the continuing effort to scare seniors into voting for the Dazed Hirono, we offer the following: “Lingle = Ryan.” But we dressed it up reel gud so people will think it represents actual thought and analysis.

Yesterday: Star-Adv Pushes AARP Democrat Get Out the Vote Effort

Sept 13: AARP Rallies at Hawaii Dem HQ to Turn out the Vote

read … it if you must  

State tax collections are up 11.9%

SA: General excise and use taxes, the largest single category, are up 12.8 percent through August. Hotel-room taxes are up 12.2 percent. Individual income taxes are up 7.8 percent.

The state Council on Revenues has projected 4.9 percent revenue growth for the fiscal year that ends in June.

read … State tax collections are up 11.9%

Geniuses at DoH Discover that Lingle Solved their Problem Back in 2009

PBN: The state permit, which is overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is reissued every five years with the deadline looming on Oct. 21.

But according to Gary Gill, deputy director for the Department of Health, it actually amended other clean water rules in 2009, which is sufficient enough to give it the authority to issue stormwater permits.

“We had a rules package that was approved in 2009,” he told PBN. “So that extends us to 2014.”

read … Lingle saves Hawaii from Abercrombie

Cayetano, Caldwell Squabble over Debate

SA: Less than eight weeks before the general election, there's still no deal yet between Honolulu's mayoral candidates for a major live televised debate.
Kirk Caldwell says he's willing to face Ben Cayetano on any or all three major local television stations--with no strings attached.
"The only way they are going to learn about who has the best ability to answer these questions is in debates," he said.
But Cayetano - the leading vote getter in the August primary -- is noncommittal and says he will only debate if the stations agreed to a list of conditions.
Cayetano doesn't want to debate before a live audience and prefers an informal setting where the candidates are sitting at a table and not before a podium.
He also doesn't want live questions from the public via Twitter or Facebook, and is insisting on longer rebuttal periods.

read … Debate?

DoE Focuses CIP Spending on “Zones of School Innovation”

SA: A cooler classroom and a cleaner campus might not make all the difference, but the state is hoping it will help boost student achievement at 17 schools in Wai­anae and on Hawaii island.

As part of a unique initiative to "level the playing field" through facilities upgrades, the Department of Education is spending about $18 million to tackle backlogged repairs at the schools.

The work includes everything from painting to new ceiling fans to carpeting to revamped science labs.

By the coming school year, when all the repairs are expected to be finished, 12 of the schools will have received new roofing, new windows will have been installed at three schools, and carpeting or tile flooring will have been replaced at eight schools.

The DOE decided to address the repairs — all at once — as part of ongoing efforts to offer intensive supports to schools in two "zones of school innovation."

The zones, which include campuses along the Wai­anae Coast and in the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa area of Hawaii island, contain most of the state's "priority," or chronically low-performing schools.

While this isn't the first time that the DOE has bundled repairs projects — tackling like issues at once, for example — it hasn't before explicitly tied the issue of facilities maintenance to student achievement.

read … Incentives

Kauai Co Completes Seizure of 100-year old Boat Yard

KGI: “In America you can’t steal things without paying for it,” said Sheehan, who has two lawsuits pending against the Kaua‘i Planning Commission and the county.

The first suit was filed at Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals, after 5th Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe upheld the commission’s decision to revoke Sheehan’s permits to operate the boatyard.

The second suit, filed at Federal Court in Honolulu, claims the unconstitutionality of the commission’s action without a compensation for the revoked permits.

“Those permits are worth as much as the boatyard real estate is,” Sheehan said. “They basically stole my permits through a vote by the Planning Commission.”

He said he is due for a preliminary hearing at Federal Court in about five months.

How much?

Sheehan said that about two years ago, county Finance Director Wally Rezentes Jr. asked him if he would agree to the appraised value of $10 million. He said he would have agreed to that upon certain conditions, including no overnight camping, no alcohol and no commercial uses. In addition, Sheehan said he and his former wife offered an extra 6.5 acres at no cost to the county.

“They could’ve had 10 acres for the price of three-and-a-half,” said Sheehan, adding that the additional property is worth between $10 million and $15 million, and that his offer was reasonable.

“The mayor chose to not accept that,” he said. “Somebody should ask him, ‘How come?’”

read … Because the Malihini Don’t like it

Rappers Held on Attempted Murder Charges After Waikiki Brawl

BET: Diggs and his entourage got into a brawl with security guards after being kicked out of the Big Kahuna Bar and Grill in Waikiki. In the scuffle, Diggs admits he attacked two guards with a board and says another man had his throat cut.

“The security punched [one] of my dudes in the jaw as the police were pulling up, so we went across the street and posted on the strip," Diggs explained in a statement. "Four large island security guards came across the street demanding us to get off the strip and that’s when it turned into an all-out brawl on Waikiki beach...I was charged with slapping and beating a 6 foot 4, 320 pound security [guard] and his friend with a board...another dude['s] throat is cut...and three out of the four went to the hospital with major head back and neck wounds. The dudes wrote statements against us and we were all charged."

Diggs and his three associates are currently being held in prison, each on $150,000 bail.

read … Rap: For, by, and about criminals

Maui County Ready to be Ripped Off Again

MN: This county has been very generous in giving money to private nonprofits. Isn't it embarrassing it took an internal conflict in WMSA to bring this shame to light? WMSA received more than $2 million over the last 10 years and no one in the county asked meaningful questions or audited the organization.

The county gives more than $24 million in grants annually. With the WMSA brouhaha in mind, did the county establish a procedure by which all grantees must submit meaningful data and measurable objectives by which the county can determine if the nonprofits are meeting the stated objectives?

read … Profitable Nonprofits

Occupy, Ant-Geothermal Luddites Boo Kenoi

YT: Mayor of Hawaii Island Billy Kenoi addresses the crowd during the question and answer period of the Dept. of Energy's public meeting about the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement .

watch … YouTube

End of the World Comes as Boy Scouts Practice Firearms Safety

SA: …no one has been arrested or cited over the 10 years that David Thielen has welcomed everyone from what he says are off-duty police officers and active-duty military members to even a Boy Scout troop to his picturesque and otherwise quiet corner of Oahu where Thielen built what he calls a "private, family, outdoor shooting range."

Friends and acquaintances come to Thielen's property off Puhuli Street to shoot twice a month — "at the most," Thielen said. But the rate has dropped to "once a month lately," he said.

The presence of gunfire on Thielen's property, while apparently legal, raises questions about his neighbors' right to peace and serenity versus Thielen's right to shoot legally registered firearms on his own property.

Thielen — who said he is not related to the Windward Oahu political family of the same name — is a 51-year-old married father of four, a contractor/developer and self-described "survivalist" who is proud to slaughter his own cows, grow his own produce and drink water from the well that he dug himself on 30 acres of agriculturally zoned land.

"We just wish America is the way it used to be," he said.

"Do I think the world's going to end?" Thielen said in response to a question about his firearms philosophy. (Yes, a Star-Adv reporter naturally and unashamedly asked this guy if he thought the world was going to end.)

read … Private shooting range stirs worry




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