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Thursday, September 20, 2012
September 20, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:32 PM :: 7491 Views

How HMSA Used Health Care Advisory Council to Establish Medical Monopoly

VIDEO: Djou Launches First TV Ad

Bronster: Secret Tape Recordings Show Kauai Prosecutors Plotting Perjury

9th Circuit Hears Abercrombie Appeal Against Micronesians

Beth Fukumoto: Supporting the Leaders of Tomorrow

Lauren Cheape: Organic and Genuine Representation

Public Comment Sought on Revised Environmental Review Process

Honolulu: Best 100 Communities for Young People

DHHL to Build Houses for Non-Hawaiians?

Activists Pressure DHHL to Stop Self-Funding

Did Honolulu Council Ban All Commercial Activity in All Parks?

Council to Return Medal of Honor Names to Kalaeloa Roads?

“Repeal Act 55 or Pink Slip”: Bodyguards Shield Abercrombie from Angry Crowd

KGI: Gov. Neil Abercrombie is not getting many kudos from Kaua‘i residents lately. Heavily criticized for signing Act 55 last year, Abercrombie was booed several times at a meeting at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in Puhi Wednesday evening, attended by approximately 200 people.

“I suggest you take a look at what the children have put on the walls around here, about respect and about self-discipline,” said Abercrombie, making a reference to posters around the school while reacting to being interrupted several times….

Kaua‘i resident Rich Hoeppner said when you combine government and corporation it’s called fascism….

Councilman Mel Rapozo said Act 55 may accomplish good things such as new schools, but it also allows for hotels and timeshares, because it took away county jurisdiction over zoning.

The five-member PLDC board doesn’t know Kaua‘i, the people do, he said. If they decide to put a hotel in Koke‘e, they could. Seeing Abercrombie shake his head, Rapozo said the idea may seem ridiculous but they won’t be around forever to stop that.

Aila again took the heat, defending Act 55, only to be repeatedly interrupted. “Would you just listen please,” said Aila a couple of times, while trying to explain the bill’s intent.

As DelaCruz was wrapping up the meeting at the scheduled time at 6:30 p.m., Yukimura stood in front of Abercrombie attempting to speak once more. The applause for the governor was muffled by boos. Yukimura grabbed the microphone and said that a hotel had already been proposed for Koke‘e. But Abercrombie got up and walked away while she was speaking.

He left the building shielded by bodyguards, as the boos got louder.

CB: Dozens of people holding up pink fliers that read "Repeal Act 55 ... or pink slip"

read … Abercrombie leaves public meeting amid boos

Fishermen Walk out on Abercrombie

KGI: About 40 minutes into the meeting, a fisherman representing the Kaua‘i Ocean Users group said there were 7,000 signatures against the whale sanctuary expansion. He wanted to know why the DLNR was negotiating behind closed doors with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the owners of Ni‘ihau about the expansion of the boundaries of the sanctuary.

“No negotiations are going behind closed doors,” said Aila, adding that DLNR was following the proper process, including the upcoming Saturday’s meeting.

Fisherman shouted slogans against the federal government stepping in and taking over the state waters. The KOU group representative asked why the staff hired to represent the fishermen was federally funded. Abercrombie said the funding may come from the federal government, but the department is in control of the position.

“Before we get too quick to say, ‘let’s get rid of federal funding for positions of concern,’ let me tell you a good number of people on Kaua‘i would be out of work,” Abercrombie said.

About an hour into the meeting, about 50 fishermen, the majority wearing white shirts, walked out. Westside fisherman Greg Holzman said they left the meeting as protest for not having their questions answered….

read … Fishermen Walk Out

Muslim Association of Hawaii Calls for Blasphemy Laws in US

SA: The head of the Muslim Association of Hawai‘i said he is disgusted by the film that has sparked anti-American protests abroad, and is fearful (because) that all Muslims may wrongfully be (are) associated with the ongoing violence.

Although persecuted throughout his lifetime, the prophet Muhammad who founded Islam never retaliated (wow. just … wow) and would never have approved of the violence (another whopper) that has erupted in anti-American protests across Muslim countries since Sept. 11, said Ismail Elshikh, the imam or leader of the Muslim Association of Hawai‘i.

Abdul-Karim Khan, Islamic history professor at Leeward Community College, agreed that “demonstrating peacefully is anybody’s right but if you damage anything or kill anyone, it is against Islam and the Quran.”

It was a small minority of "thugs" and "gangsters" who "did horrible, horrible things like the Benghazi killings," Khan said. "(But) it is not the Islamic way to get violent, burn cars and trucks and property of other people. … That's why the greater Muslim world population is sick and tired of demonstrations. Peaceful, yes; violent, no!"

Khan said Islam teaches Muslims to respect diplomats and foreign representatives. "You may not agree with them, but you do not have the right to kill them. They are guests in your country; you never harm them." (Judge us by what we say not what we do.).

…"And if still not satisfied, it could also be by filing a lawsuit against the producers of that movie for the unfounded defamation (of Mohammed)," Elshikh said. In other words, he demands we throw away the First Amendment and outlaw Blasphemy.

Related: Hawaii “Islam Day” secretly marks September 11

read … Blasphemy to be outlawed?

Anderson: HART Doesn’t Sound Intelligent

KITV: Committee members had two main questions for Arakaki, who was hired in June according to her Linkedin profile: How much contingency funding does the $5.3 billion project actually have left? And, how much are construction delays costing taxpayers after a unanimous decision last month by the Hawaii Supreme Court put a stop to construction?

To both questions, Arakaki said she would have to get back to council members, or, she was not in a position to say.

“She tried, and she is the CFO, so I thought there would be more information. Especially, when you're coming to the hearing, at least the information should be there,” Ann Kobayashi, Budget Committee chair, told KITV4.

“What worries me is when we have taxpayers calling our offices wondering what's going on (and) we don't have answers that make us sound intelligent,” said Anderson.

HT: Lets Not Dig any Deeper

Read … Stupid

Revealed Name of Undercover Officer: Ex-HPD Officer Pleads Guilty to 3 Federal Felony Counts

SA: Former Honolulu police officer Richard Raquino pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this afternoon to lying to the FBI when agents asked him if he had revealed the identity of an undercover police officer.

Raquino, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of making false statements to government agents. He faces up to five years in prison on each count when he is sentenced in January.

Federal prosecutor Mark Inciong said the government has an audio recording of a conversation between Raquino and another person in which Raquino discusses the name and identity of an undercover police officer.

CB: According to HPD Spokeswoman Michelle Yu, Raquino was with the department from 1992 to last month when he was no longer employed. Yu declined to comment on whether Raquino was fired or if he resigned.

read … Another day, another crooked HPD officer

$481M in New Taxes

GRIH: Here are the important tax increases, along with the additional revenues in the first year:

Increase the GET to 4.5% (that would be 5.0% onOahu): +$350 million

Tax pension income for taxpayers reporting over $50 thousand AGI: +$166 million

Restore the surcharge on rental cars: +$65 million

Make corporate income tax a flat 9% rate: +$35 million

Eliminate the property tax deduction: +$25 million

Increase cigarette and alcohol taxes: +$12 million

If you are surprised that PFM doesn’t advocate raising individual income tax rates, even PFM recognizes that Hawaii ties for highest marginal rate at 11% and that the brackets yield very high rates at very low levels of income. Actually, PFM recommends more “tax equity” by exempting the first $20 thousand AGI from the income tax (a reduction of $17 million), and by doubling the low income food credit (a reduction of $20 million). PFM also recommends eliminating the 0.5% GET on business to business transactions. This is actually sensible since taxes on such transactions constitute double taxation, and larger businesses can organize to avoid them while smaller businesses cannot do so. Still, this will reduce revenues by $135 million, and it will be interesting whether this part of the program actually makes it into the final legislative proposal.

The net result of the proposed changes = $481 million.

read … Tax Action

Welfare recipients double

HTH: More than twice as many Hawaii County households were on welfare last year as were in 2010, and a full 17.4 percent received food stamps, according to data released late Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data, part of a nationwide release from the 2011 American Community Survey, pegged Hawaii County’s median household income at $46,479, compared to $66,146 in the City and County of Honolulu, $60,147 in Maui County and $60,751 in Kauai County.

The U.S. median household income for 2011 was $50,502, with state medians ranging from a low of $36,919 in Mississippi to a high of $70,004 in Maryland.

Hawaii County also had the lowest per capita income, at $22,079, compared to $28,432 in Honolulu City and County, $28,281 in Maui County and $24,365 in Kauai County.

NR: Census Bureau Releases 2011 American Community Survey Estimates

read … Dependency

U.S. Chamber Spends At Least $170K On Lingle Ads

CB: Until last week, not a cent of post-primary super PAC money had shown up in broadcast stations’ public files.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week spent at least $170,500 on ads endorsing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle. The buys could have totaled as much as $250,000, according to data from the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group.

That’s on top of the roughly $730,000 that the Chamber spent on pro-Lingle spots before the primary.

The new spots were purchased on several stations, including KHON, KGMB and KHNL. They are scheduled to air starting Sept. 21.

The Chamber’s spending comes on the heels of the roughly $64,000 that Working Families for Hawaii spent on ads endorsing Hirono.

Another group, Workers for a Better Hawaii, also spent about $16,000 on pro-Hirono ads.

And, just for the record, EMILY’s List’s Women Vote! has spent $75,000 on ads attacking Lingle, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

PR: Women, vote

read … U.S. Chamber Spends At Least $170K On Lingle Ads

Lingle Criticizes Romney 47% Remark

SA: "I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney," Lingle said in an email. "With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either."

read … Lingle criticizing Romney for remarks 

 

Hirono Scrambles to Distract Voters 

PR: Lingle also said that U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, her Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate, is attempting to use Romney’s comments to nationalize the election.

Lingle: “Despite Mazie Hirono’s best efforts, the people of Hawaii know that this election for the U.S. Senate is about she and I, not Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, President Obama or Vice President Biden. Mitt Romney is running his national campaign, and I am running my campaign here at home. Mazie Hirono’s repeated attempts to nationalize this election are proof that she does not have a record of accomplishment for the people of Hawaii and she must campaign on fear tactics and national party talking points, rather than her own plans for our future.

“I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney. With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either.”

read … More Desperate Democrat Games

Democrats Become Crazed, Delirious as Massive Election Defeat Looms

 

Fontaine’s record shows he deserves re-election

MN: Because of his 30-year residency in South Maui and decades of public service, George has an extensive knowledge of the issues of his community and Maui County. He has a deep commitment to all the residents of our county. As a Rotarian, he gave years of community service, earning statewide leadership recognition.

Fontaine has a proved record of public service in the Maui Police Department as evidenced by the endorsement of the police union. As a former police captain, Fontaine has vital knowledge of public safety issues. Fontaine believes that good values develop strong families, which build strong communities.

The Hawaii Chapter of National Federation of Independent Businesses has endorsed Fontaine because it is confident he will vigorously advocate for not just small-business survival but also success so we can retain, hire and provide better benefits for our employees. George recognizes that small businesses account for 80 percent of all local jobs.

read … Fontaine 

 

A friend of feds last hearing; Akaka retiring

WP: “Senator Akaka, I know you will be missed by all of your colleagues in Congress, every staff member, and everyone who has had the pleasure of working with you here in Washington and throughout America during your dedicated years of service,” Johnson told the chairman. “In particular, I will miss you.”

That’s no doubt true of the other senators on the panel, but it’s hard to say for sure because they weren’t there. Attending Akaka’s last hearing as chairman would have been the decent thing for his colleagues to do….

Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service (which has a content-sharing relationship with The Washington Post), noted that while “many do not consider federal workforce issues to be ‘sexy,’ ” Akaka has been “a true hero for federal workers.”

read … B Bye

No decision on outside firm in AD search

SA: UH had originally said it would begin reviewing applications Sept. 21 but on Wednesday Chang said, "Review of applications would depend on the recommendation of the subcommittee to engage a search firm. If a search firm is engaged, the search firm would be used to facilitate the initial application review process."

UH said there have been no changes to the committee, which remains at 11 voting members since the resignations of Norm Chow, Dave Shoji and Laura Beeman.

UH has pledged to name a successor to Jim Donovan by Nov. 1. Rockne Freitas has served as acting AD since July 11.

read … No Decision

UH hires law firm to help prepare for Senate hearing on concert

SA: The University of Hawaii has retained Honolulu attorney Robert S. Katz and his firm, Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris, to help prepare for Monday's state Senate hearing, the school confirmed today.

Katz specializes in employment law and has more than 40 years experience, according to the firm's website.

A UH spokeswoman said she was not immediately able to say how much the firm is being paid.

read … Lawyering Up

Alaska LNG Summit woos buyers, producers

VS: Young urged Alaskan communities to band together, decide on a gasline project and demand elected officials band with the communities.

“You cannot run the state divided,” Young said.

Senators Begich and Murkowski also addressed the audience through a live feed from DC last week, urging Alaskans to develop the state’s resources.

Barbara Laflin Treat, a representative from the Hawaii Gas LNG Program, outlined her state’s ambitious plans to replace much of its fuel demand with natural gas and suggested a partnership with Alaska made perfect sense - if Alaska can bring its gas to market in the foreseeable future.

Bob Gibb, an associate director with Navigant Consulting, a company that helps negotiate large, long-term energy contracts, added urgency to the matter of developing the state’s stranded North Slope gas now, before other producers sign contracts that are often good for over 20 years.

“Urgency is the name of the game here,” Gibb said.

read … Hawaii LNG Program

Small Biz Hawaii Awards Dinner

SBH: Final call: there's still time for you to reserve to attend the 5th annual business leadership awards banquet sponsored by Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) and the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation, this Friday, September 21 at the Waialae Country Club. Piano stylings by Don Conover. Silent Auction. Surprise guests! Come show your support for our business colleagues. The Lex Brodie SBH Business Persons of the Year are Bobbie & Cliff Slater. The SBH Jean Fukuda Civic Leadership Awardee for 2012 is Mike Palcic of MGP Consulting and the SBH George Mason Outstanding Business Reporting awardee is Andrew Pereira of KITV-TV. Also: Dale Evans (Charley's Taxi) SBH Business Booster; SBH Success All Stars: Bill Comerford (O'Tooles/Hawaii Bar Owners Association), Peter Kim (Yummy Korean BBQ) and Bob Sigall, "The Companies we Keep" and Rear View Mirror (in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser); SBH Educators of the Year are Justin Mew (Niu Valley Middle) and Jed Gaines, Read Aloud America. Details? Sponsorships? Come join us. Call Darlyn: 808-396-1724.

read … SBH Awards

VIDEO: Kahuku Residents Protest Treatment of Iwi

CB: Dawn Wasson stood in front of a large, green metal storage container Wednesday evening in Kahuku with tears running down her face. A Native Hawaiian skull has been sitting in the container, surrounded by construction trucks and equipment, for the past two months….

Brent Raymond, a worker for Johansen Contracting, which is conducting the work, said that the city had approved all required permits, including one for grading and grubbing.

"Once the permits get issued, we start work," he said.

The Kahuku controversy is fueling more concerns over SHPD, which has been at the center of criticism over the way it operates. The agency, which is part of DLNR, is in danger of losing its federal funding and certification because of problems with staffing, management and a backlog of permits that require processing.

State Sen. Clayton Hee, who attended the rally and represents the district, says SHPD isn't handling the situation well, especially in light of the recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision that sidetracked Honolulu's $5.26 billion rail project. The high court said SHPD had violated its own rules when it allowed construction of the rail project to begin without finishing a full archaeological inventory survey.

"SHPD’s track record is so dismal that no one should be surprised that the situation is as it is today," Hee said.

Now, members of the Kahuku Plantation Residents Association are calling for the construction work to stop.

And they want the skull taken out of storage and given a proper burial.

read … Continental Pacific

Comments Sought on False Killer Whales

EH: The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting comments from the public -- for just two weeks -- on new information that it says might have a bearing on the agency's decision on a petition to give the Hawaiian insular population of false killer protection under the Endangered Species Act.

That petition was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council three years ago and still awaits a final determination.

Read … http://www.environment-hawaii.org

Move would free $500,000 to restore bus services

SA: A bill that would repeal the discount given to companies that recycle materials and dispose of nonrecyclable residue at Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill or the HPOWER waste-to-energy plant moved out of the City Council's Budget Committee Wednesday.

Council members said they want the savings gained from eliminating the discount to go toward restoring bus service that was axed by recent budget cuts.

City Budget Director Michael Hansen said the administration supports Bill 61.

The 35 percent discount, which is applied to the "tipping fee" charged per ton to the company delivering the waste material, was designed to provide an incentive for the commercial sector to recycle.

Deputy Environmental Services Director Manny Lanuevo said projections show the city could save more than $500,000 in the final six months of the current fiscal year if the law took effect on Jan. 1. That's based on 27,500 tons a year, he said.

read … $500,000

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