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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
September 25, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:18 PM :: 5284 Views

Lingle Hosting Campaign Rallies at Six Oahu Schools

Big Island Doctors Panel to Discuss Effect of Obamacare on Hawaii

Full Text: Over 1500 Pages of UH Documents on Wonder Blunder

Akaka Bill: Let Hawaii do the Dirty Work?

Big Island 'Clean' Energy Plant Sued over Air Pollution

ILWU Business Agent Elected to Board of Laupahoehoe Charter School

Cause? Any Cause -- Fire Greenwood, Regents

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: How They Voted September 24, 2012

Hirono No Show As Lingle Talks to Kona, Kohala Voters

WHT: The hour-and-a-half-long event featured a variety of topics….

A top priority for Lingle is getting a subcommittee on tourism created in the U.S. Senate. She called not having such a subcommittee on important industry that employs millions of people “a gross oversight.” She envisions chairing the subcommittee, helping streamlining the visa process and supporting measures that attract and keep businesses strong.

Other priorities included making sure the U.S. Pacific Command is well funded and staffed strong; eliminating the tax loopholes and special tax treatment that resulted in $1.1 trillion a year in revenue loss to the federal government; and simplifying the tax code.

When it comes to Medicare, Lingle shared her support and enthusiasm for an idea recommended by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a national policy and advocacy think tank. She revealed she’s one of six founding members of the center’s governors’ council, and she favors preserving traditional Medicare, but also offering seniors in Medicare a premium-support payment

Lingle repeatedly focused on her bipartisan approach to national problems and ending the gridlock in Washington, D.C.; her commitment to putting Hawaii’s people first and possessing an understanding of the important issues facing neighbor island communities; and her ability to make tough decisions. She said she can best articulate Hawaii’s needs, including why money spent on the Big Island is in the country’s best interests. She pledged to not be held to the Republican Party and not go to work for the next president. Instead, she expressed her duty to propose and support legislation that’s good for Hawaii. She said she wants to be more like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, “who votes 62 percent with the party,” and “doesn’t vote based on whose idea it was, but who benefits.”

Meanwhile: Professor from San Francisco endorses Hirono

read … Hirono No Show

Lingle: Amend Obamacare

WP: Lingle, who was Hawaii’s quite popular governor from 2003 to 2011, is running to succeed Sen. Daniel Akaka, a Democrat who’s retiring after 22 years. Unlike most Republican candidates, she doesn’t call for the Affordable Care Act’s complete repeal, instead proposing a more modest set of changes (though she does support repeal over retaining the whole law). Specifically, she wants to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an independent panel that would evaluate the effectiveness of Medicare treatments, the taxes on medical device manufacturers and the cuts to Medicare advantage. She also wants to see more medical malpractice reform and allow catastrophic care and high deductible plans in the state health exchanges. None of these is new, per se, but it’s interesting to see a Republican candidate taking a “mend it, don’t end it” approach to the ACA.

read … Amend Obamacare

Abercrombie, Say, Tsutsui Called for Donovan to be Retained

HR: “Football gets to be very much more important than any other kind of program in many universities. You get a lot of external influences,” Greenwood said.

She told senators said that after she removed UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan in July, she received “advice” from the governor and “pressure” from the state Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to put Donovan back in the job.

“I don’t get that when we’re trying to select a new Dean of Natural Sciences,” Greenwood told senators in a remarkable six-hour public hearing on recent contoversies at the UH Manoa campus.

During the course of the hearing, Kim asked Greenwood if she or her representatives had asked members of the business community to try to “delay or cancel” the senate briefing.

Greenwood said that had probably happened….

Several times she returned to the theme of the headaches that division one football programs create at public universities.

Such programs create political pressures for university administrators, and she felt them after she removed Donovan, Greenwood said.

“In fact, I was told that I would be (put) in front of a legislative committee, and here I am,” Greenwood told the senators.

KHON: Former UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan grilled by Senators

KHON: Hot seats, cold shoulders in Stevie Wonder UH briefing

read … Pressure

UH Blows $4.7M on Buyouts, Lawyers

HNN: On Monday, the state Senate Committee on Accountability released more than 1,700 pages of UH documents that also show that the university has paid more than $2.5 million in buyouts to six former UH officials during the past 12 years….

The documents released Monday also included emails and testimony by UH's Chief Financial Officer Howard Todo, who raised concerns with Manoa campus officials about the concert nearly two weeks before it was canceled.

Todo later met with UH President MRC Greenwood and both concluded that all they could do at that point is "hope the concert would be successfully conducted."

The documents also show that the UH spent lavishly for outside legal work -- before and after -- the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco. These lawyers billed the UH nearly $2.2 million between April 2011 and March 2012.

read … Senate committee releases UH concert documents

UH Paid Lawyer $50K to Cover for Greenwood, Another got $25K to Cover for Everybody Else

HNN: University of Hawaii President M.R.C Greenwood told a special State Senate committee Monday that she knows more about the law enforcement investigation and the possible whereabouts of the $200,000 UH lost in the failed Stevie Wonder concert than she can disclose publicly. (She admits to a lie of omission, but has an excuse.)

Click HERE to watch the live steam

One of the two attorneys who conducted an investigation for UH into the bungled concert said he did not interview Greenwood as part of that probe. (He then admits to pre-judging the investigation to justify covering up for Greenwood.)

That's because Greenwood involvement in the planning and management leading up to the concert was "non existent," limited to just one email, said Dennis Chong Kee, a partner in the law firm Cades Schutte (and he was paid good money to make sure it stayed that way.)….

Senators also questioned attorney Robert Katz, whose law firm got a $25,000 contract to redact UH documents, sanitizing them of information his firm felt needed to be protected from public view for legal reasons. (Question: Why is one person worth $50K and others are worth only a fraction of $25K?)

Katz said his firm removed the names of non-UH employees to avoid potential legal action by them and to avoid interfering in the law enforcement investigation.

But senators said the lawyers removed names from some contracts with the university that should be public under state law. Katz said his office never checked with the state's Office of Information Practices, the entity that makes rulings on information and documents that should be disclosed to the public and the media.

read … $50K to cover for MRC and $25K to cover for everybody else

Unity House Felon Rakes in $500K/Year

CB: Aaron Rutledge likely makes more money than any of his opponents, reporting a gross family income as high as $535,000, depending on where the family's earnings fall on the given ranges. Rutledge is the vice president of Star-Beachboys, Inc., a position that earns him between $400,000 and $499,999 each year. Star-Beachboys operates numerous beach concession stands.

His wife earns between $10,000 and $24,999 each year as Star-Beachboys' administrative assistant and his son or daughter makes between $1,000 and $9,999 each year as a company cashier.

Rutledge owns 20 percent of Star-Beachboys — an interest valued between $100,000 and $149,999 each year. As it happens, Rutledge and his father, Anthony Rutledge, back in 2005 pleaded guilty to charges related to false tax returns for Star-Beachboys. Anthony Rutledge was a well-known local labor leader.

Rutledge also owns a home in the Nuuanu area valued at more than $1 million.

read … Crime Pays

Cayetano, Caldwell Agree: HART Should Know How Much Rail Delays Cost

HNN: Cayetano shot back, saying the rail project impacts almost every aspect of city government and will increase the cost of living for seniors. He also accused Caldwell of being rail-centric during his time in the Hannemann administration.

“The problem is that administration focused mainly on the rail project,” said Cayetano. “That's why the buses are being short-changed, and that's why the focus has been on rail to the exclusion of the sewers, the water and everything else.”

After the forum, the candidates did agree on at least one issue related to rail transit: Both said one month after a Hawaii Supreme Court decision halted construction of the project, the transit authority needs to tell taxpayers exactly how much delays are costing.

“That's something they should've been able to provide,” said Cayetano.

“I think they need to provide that updated estimate," Caldwell added.

Audio of the forum can be heard on the Kokua Council website, at The forum was held at Harris United Methodist Church on Vineyard Boulevard.

CB: Caldwell Against Gov's Natatorium Plan, Cayetano Wants More Info

CB: Caldwell: Honolulu On Cutting Edge Of Driverless Rail Systems

Read … Debate

Progressives: Give up hope before entering the voting booth

DN: “We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered.”

read … Demoralized, Depressed Progressives

Hawaii County Clerk Replaces More Old Boy Election Workers

HTH: Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said Monday that she has replaced Arlene Boteilho, made acting elections program administrator after the firing of Pat Nakamoto in January, with Elizabeth Lehua Iopa.

Iopa has worked for the elections division, part of the County Clerk’s Office, since February 2008. She was most recently an elections specialist….

It’s unclear if Boteilho still works for the office.

Kawauchi said three other positions have also recently been “filled” as part of preparations for the Nov. 6 general election.

WHT: Hilo judges recused in elections office cases

read … Old Boy Saboteurs Swept Away

Campaign Sign-Making Took 25% of Hawaii County Election Warehouse

WHT: The controversy started in July 2011 when Kawauchi and Yagong reportedly discovered alcohol and private sign-making equipment in the Makaala Street warehouse. Yagong hired the private investigator after county Human Resources Director Ronald Takahashi recused himself from the case, citing a long-standing friendship with Shikuma.

The investigator found that roughly a quarter of the 3,000-square-foot warehouse was taken up with Shikuma’s sign-making equipment, materials and records, according to a Sept. 6, 2011 investigative report made part of the court record. In addition to two bottles of beer in the refrigerator, an unopened bottle of wine and an opened bottle of beer nearby, the investigator found numerous empty bottles of beer covered with bedsheets and a photo showing Shikuma and other people (WHICH POLITICIANS ARE IN THAT PHOTO?) sitting in the warehouse with open containers of beer in front of them, according to the report. The county has a zero-tolerance alcohol policy.

Investigators also found invoices sent for private sign-making work faxed (TO WHICH CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES?) from county fax machines during business hours and evidence that individuals brought privately owned vehicles to the elections warehouse to have signs placed on them for profit, according to the report.

read … Much Bigger Scandal Still Lurking Beneath Surface

Gabbard ducking debate, Crowley says

HTH: The upstart Republican said Monday that Gabbard’s campaign has ignored repeated requests for a televised debate, and he’s assuming they don’t intend to respond.

“This is a slap in the face not only to me but the good people of the 2nd Congressional district,” he said Monday morning, before holding a press conference on the issue in Honolulu.

Multiple calls to a spokesman for the Gabbard campaign weren’t returned Monday.

Gabbard, a 31-year-old Iraq war veteran who has served both in the state Legislature and Honolulu City Council, has been largely seen as a shoe-in for the Nov. 6 general election after her come-from-behind win against Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary.

But Crowley, who garnered his own surprise win in the Republican primary while living in a van on Oahu, isn’t calling it quits.

Despite running an unconventional and low-budget campaign (he estimated he has raised $1,600 and relies on friends to house him while campaigning), Crowley, 61, said that he is still a legitimate candidate.

read … Crowley

Ashida, Roth differ on prosecutorial philosophy

WHT: Mitch Roth, a nine-year deputy prosecutor, says limited prison space and limited resources mean the Prosecutor’s Office needs to “think smarter, not just tougher.” Preventing crimes cuts the number of tragic deaths, and leaves prison space for serious offenders, he says….

A community-oriented prosecution plan that closes down drug houses, prevents driving under the influence through education and employs devices such as ignition interlock systems and GPS ankle bracelets is the best approach, he said.

“It’s all of our responsibilities. You can reduce the amount of burglaries through community programs,” Roth said, citing successful programs in Leilani Estates and Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

“If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems are nails,” he said. “We just can’t look and say the only thing we’re going to do as prosecutor is prosecute cases.”

Roth said limited jail space makes it more important than ever to work toward preventing crime.

“Our system is broken,” Roth said. “I do not want to put low-level offenders in prison to kick out the murderers, the rapists.”

read … Roth for Prosecutor

Big Turnout For Molokai Energy Meeting But No One Likes Big Wind

CB: Aloha. On behalf of I Aloha Molokai I would like to personally thank the nearly 200 people who turned out last Thursday for the Hawaii Clean Energy PEIS meeting here on Molokai.

A total of 68 people testified against the proposed Big Wind/Undersea Cable project on Molokai and Lanai, and not one person spoke in favor. In eight public meetings on six islands hundreds of Hawaii citizens have testified against the Big Wind/Cable project.

At this point it appears that no one is willing to state publicly that they think it's a good idea. The more people become informed, the more the opposition grows.

IAM would also like to thank Jane Summerson and the other U.S. Department of Energy staff, as well as Mark Eckenrode of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, for abandoning the narrow industrial wind focus of the earlier PEIS and for now analyzing a broad variety of clean energy alternatives ….

IAM: Workshops on writing questions to PEIS

read … No One Likes Big Wind

Honolulu issues more than 300 solar permits in first day of online system

PBN: The city’s Department of Planning and Permitting launched the new system for submitting permit applications for photovoltaic systems online on Thursday as a way to cut down on the number of people who wait in line each day at the city’s permit center.

The department had been overwhelmed by the popularity of PV systems, and the permit applications for them were causing delays for other types of building permits, officials said.

read … 300 x $5000 = $1.5M

Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), making House bid: Break up the big banks

WP: Gabbard, a 31-year-old Honolulu city councilor who’d be the first Hindu in Congress, is running to succeed Rep. Mazie Hirono (who’s challenging Lingle for the Senate). The 2nd District covers all of the state except the urban sections of Honolulu. While many candidates, especially Democrats support bringing back the Glass-Steagall law that separated commercial and investment banks, Gabbard goes a step further and calls for a cap on bank size that would break up firms like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. She also wants a ban on naked credit default swaps, which allow banks to bet on mortgages they don’t actually own.

read … OK, Start With First Hawaiian/BNP-Paribas

Hawaii's Federal Judge David Ezra to Quadruple Caseload in Southwest Border State

HR: U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra, the longest serving active federal judge in Hawaii’s history, took senior status as of June 27 when he turned 65 years old, but he has no intention of slowing his pace.

In January, Ezra will move to a southwest border state (for security purposes, his location will not be disclosed) to oversee cases there.

Judges along the southwest border are overwhelmed with as many as 1,000 cases each year, making it challenging to give a speedy trial to alleged criminals as is required under the U.S. Constitution or to hear civil cases within a reasonable period of time.

In his new position, Ezra will increase his case load by as much as four times and he will be at 130 percent capacity.

read … Quadruple

Hawaii Fluoride Debate Idle Despite Major Policy Shifts On Mainland

CB: Grand Rapids, Mich. in 1945 became the first city in the world to implement community water fluoridation. The practice entails adding a small amount of the mineral to the public water supply so that the fluoride concentration reaches 0.7 parts per million, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation. (Most drinking water sources already contain a small amount of naturally occurring fluoride.)

Studies, including those conducted at Grand Rapids, show that water fluoridation decreases tooth decay by about 25 percent over an individual’s lifetime, according to the CDC.

Proponents also say that community water fluoridation is cost-saving. The CDC states that every dollar invested in such a system yields roughly $38 savings in dental treatment costs. According to the American Dental Association, which has endorsed community water fluoridation since 1950, an individual can have access to a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of a dental filling.

The ADA estimates that the cost of fluoridating public water ranges from 50 cents to $3 per person per year.

But the custom has its fair share of critics, not least in Hawaii. Indeed, water fluoridation has long been the subject of an emotionally charged debate — much like that over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The sides have stuck to their guns as interest in the issue has waxed and waned both locally and across the country.

None of Hawaii’s four counties fluoridate its water, though Honolulu is the only county to explicitly prohibit fluoridation. The state Department of Health in the past promoted fluoridating the water supplies in Lanai and Molokai, but its initiatives were met with fierce opposition.

Earlier this month, after more than six hours of mostly negative testimony, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to add fluoride to the city’s water supply starting in early 2014.

Until then, Portland was the largest U.S. city to decline community water fluoridation. The city was long opposed to it because of liberal ideologies that reject adding chemicals to the public water supply.

read … Hawaii Fluoride Debate Idle Despite Major Policy Shifts On Mainland



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