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Thursday, September 27, 2012
September 27, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:29 PM :: 5955 Views

Hanabusa Campaign Exploits Forced ‘Volunteers’, Contributors

VIDEO: PRP Renews Pay for Play Attack on Cayetano

Western Association of Schools and Colleges ‘Impressed’ With Greenwood’s Careful Attention to Finances

HC&S: End to Cane Burning Tied to Acceptance of BioFuel

RFP Posted for Hawaii LNG Study

FEMA Sends Tsunami of Cash to American Samoa

PBS Debate: Council Berg vs Pine and House Au vs Saiki

Duke Aiona Endorses Richard Fale for HD 47

Hawaii Family Forum Needs Your Help

UPDATE: Oahu Democrats Vote Against Dela Cruz Censure

CB: Oahu Democrats on Saturday (Sept. 29) voted overwhelmingly to reject a complaint against state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz.

The complaint by Lynn Marie Sager and 11 other party members charged that Dela Cruz had violated sections of the party platform by supporting controversial legislation they said was harmful to the environment.

The senator countered that the legislation, Senate Bill 2927 — which did not pass the Hawaii Legislature this year — actually supported platform goals of job creation and economic growth.

read … Oahu Democrats Vote Against Dela Cruz Censure

Vote: Democrats to Censure Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz?

CB: The complaint is centered on Dela Cruz's sponsorship of a controversial, broad-ranging bill addressing planning districts, permitting and fee exemptions and transportation-oriented development (TOD).

Senate Bill 2927 died in the last week of the 2012 Hawaii Legislature.

But Windward Democrat Lynn Marie Sager and 11 other party members say in their April 30 complaint to the Oahu County Committee (OCC) that SB 2927 "is in direct opposition to our party platform."

The platform, according to the complaint, states in part that "preservation and restoration of our natural environment is essential" and "we believe in integrated approaches, practices, and support public policies that create and maintain a sustainable way of life in Hawaii."

The OCC investigative committee that looked into Sager's complaint agrees that Dela Cruz may have crossed a line — several, in fact.

In a July 24 report, the committee determined that Dela Cruz's actions "are sufficiently direct, serious or egregious to constitute a violation" of Democratic Party of Hawaii bylaws.

As a chief architect of the creation of the Public Land Development Corporation, he has been pilloried by opponents of the agency who argue it has too much power and too little accountability to decide use of state lands.

Dela Cruz also is running for re-election for a seat that he has held for only two years. While he defeated Republican Charles "Bo" Aki by a more than 2-to-1 margin in 2010, Aki is running against him again this year for the District 22 seat that includes Wahiawa, Whitmore Village and Mililani Mauka.

A groundswell of anger over legislation viewed as sacrificing the environment in favor of economic development helped defeat House Majority Leader Pono Chong in the primary.

That said, as influential as the environmental wing of the Democratic Party may be, it is a very big tent and there are many constituencies. Construction trades and labor groups have their own ideas about how legislation can help fast-track projects that could stimulate job growth.

Among those who will be at the Democratic Party's Ward Warehouse headquarters Saturday is lobbyist John Radcliffe, who told Civil Beat there would be other "longstanding credible Democrats" making the case to dismiss the complaint against Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz, 39, is a former Honolulu City Council chair. He briefly toyed with running for mayor in 2012 and is seen as a young rising star in the party.

read … Dela Cruz

Sovereignty Activists Stole $468K from Hawaiians

ILInd: John Oliver and Leatrice Lehua Hoy quietly entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Honolulu in May 2012. The two agreed to forfeit money, vehicles, and other property seized during raids on several homes in 2009, and also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against the remaining defendants in any future trial. The pledge of cooperation includes providing testimony against their spouses.

Oliver pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, while Hoy pleaded to a single count, based on a superseding indictment filed last year. In exchange, the government agreed to drop all remaining charges.

The two face penalties of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine on each count when they are sentenced in March 2013. They also face court-ordered restitution of money lost by their victims in the scheme.

Lehua Hoy’s husband, Peter Hoy, also asked to change his plea to guilty in exchange for dropping additional charges contained in the indictment. However, Judge Michael Seabright questioned “whether defendant has sufficient ability to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of understanding.”

Seabright then ordered a psychological evaluation to determine whether Hoy is competent to stand trial or face additional proceedings in the case….

The government alleges the defendants, through the Hawaiiloa Foundation, collected approximately $468,573.65 in fees from more than 100 participants in its programs during the 12 months ending March 4, 2009.

Related: Naming names: Who are the alleged Sovereignty-mortgage scammers?

Next Scam: Sovereignty Mortgage Scammer Keanu Sai at it again with help from Legislators, Maui Council, University

read … Sovereignty Activists Stealing from Hawaiians Again

Hirono is attempting to make her candidacy about anything but her own record in Congress

Civil Beat: “Hirono has been pretty quiet about her six years in Congress [...] ‘Bragging about one’s voting record used to be a staple of political advertising, and a career in Congress was worn as a badge of honor. But this year, many House candidates are deciding not to mention their service here, a blunt acknowledgment of the dim view that a vast majority of voters have of Congress.’”

Hirono has nothing to brag about, having not a single bill she authored become law. She also wants the people of Hawaii to forget about the 144 votes she missed this year. Hawaii needs and deserves an effective Senator that doesn’t hide from her record.

Unbearable Smugness of Being: Maya Soetoro-Ng Endorses Hirono

Hirono: “Lingle Supports Romney” (That’s her closing argument?)

read … No HiroNo

On the Trail of the University of Hawaii’s Missing $200,000 … in Florida

HR: Barriero lists his business address at 14359 Miamar Parkway in Miramar, Florida, but a visit to that location revealed it is actually a UPS store with more than 400 mailbox drops in that location, none of them belonging to Barriero, according to the store clerk. The store clerk confirmed he had never heard of Barriero or his company.

Sannise Crosby, who goes by Sunny, lists her address as 18800 NW 29th Street in Miami Gardens, Florida.

That address is a small home in a run-down neighborhood just outside Miami where many of the home owners use bars to protect their windows and doors from thieves.

Hawaii Reporter spoke to Sannise Crosby’s uncle, who answered the door at the home. He said he knows nothing about his niece's job or a promotion business representing international celebrities that she helps run.

He contacted Sannise Crosby by cell phone for Hawaii Reporter. Sannise told Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman she would call in 45 minutes to arrange a meeting for later Wednesday night to discuss Epic Talent LLC’s services, but she never followed through.

During the brief conversation, Sannise Crosby confirmed Epic Talent has no Miami office, operates exclusively from a mailbox drop, and rents a conference room if its executives need to meet with potential clients….

read … Mailbox

Sam Aiona Running Flat Out as Anti-Rail Candidate for Honolulu Council 6

Civil Beat narrowed the long list of District 6 hopefuls down to the four candidates seen to have the best chances of winning the race: former Republican state Rep. Sam Aiona, Democratic state Sen. Carol Fukunaga, May Mizuno (wife of Democratic state Sen. John Mizuno) and former Honolulu City Council Chair Jon Yoshimura….

Still, hopefuls who either are already well-known, have well-established campaigns or are running on a single, critical issue (read: rail) have the best chances at winning the race, according to Hart.

“They need to be people who already have prime name recognition, people who already have a campaign apparatus set up,” he said. “Or single-issue candidates. Sam Aiona is running flat-out anti-rail. Normally that might not help you, but in a race where you only need 10 percent, he could get 10 percent of the people to come out and say they’re voting for him because of that.”

Aiona says he’s one of the only candidates to oppose the $5.26 billion rail project. He promised to ask “the tough questions” about the plan if elected. (Mizuno also opposes the project, according to her survey answers.)

“I’m opposed to the process in which this rail project is being conducted,” said Aiona. “For example, when the Supreme Court says that you must complete archeological findings, the city says ‘yes, we’ll do it’ but then goes full speed ahead. That’s disrespectful of the voters.”

Aiona also said the rail would be too costly to maintain.

But Aiona said he has other, more nitty-gritty concerns, too.

Borrowing a page from mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano's playbook, Aiona says that rail has taken money away from Honolulu's other important infrastructure needs.

Finding money to repair the district’s roads, sewers and the like is the first of three issues he plans to tackle if elected.

Homelessness comes second. As the vice chair of Hope Services, Inc. — a Catholic nonprofit that provides services for the homeless — Aiona said encouraging partnerships between charitable organizations and the city would best solve the problem.

read … Sam Aiona

Cayetano outlines his rail alternatives, at one-fifth the price

SA: Former Gov. Ben Cayetano unveiled a transportation plan today that features new Bus Rapid Transit routes, high-tech traffic signal systems to instantly respond to traffic snarls and plans for two-lane underpasses to ease the flow of traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard and other thoroughfares.

The Cayetano plan would also feature a two-lane extension of the double-decked segment of Nimitz Highway, and would route express buses along a newly created dedicated bus shoulder lane on the Moanalua Freeway.

Cayetano estimates his plan, dubbed the Flexible Affordable Smart Transportation or FAST, would cost $1.1 billion, or about one-fifth the cost of the Honolulu rail transit project….

The Cayetano camp estimates his package of traffic solutions will reduce the average Oahu commute time from 27 minutes to 20 minutes.

read … Just a Billion

Mayoral hopefuls will debate on TV twice next week

SA: They will appear in a live debate on KITV from 8 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and then on the more relaxed, forum-style "Insights on PBS Hawaii" program from 8 to 9 p.m. the following night.

read … Debates

Hawaii Supreme Court denies Honolulu rail motion, Invalidates SMA Permit

SA: The Hawaii Supreme Court today denied a request by the city to reconsider the court’s unanimous Aug. 24 court ruling that stopped all construction on the $5.26 billion rail project.

The court ruled in August that the State Historic Preservation Division violated its own rules when it allowed construction to begin before the city had completed an archaeological inventory survey for the entire 20-mile rail route.

The court also invalidated a special management area permit issued by the city for the rail project.

No Surprise: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

read … Rail Still Stopped

Abercrombie May Kill Welfare Work Requirement

KITV: A White House waiver issued in July would allow states to develop their own welfare-to-work programs under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, or TANF. The current rules were developed under welfare reform legislation passed by a Republican-controlled Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

KITV4 has learned Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration is considering whether to accept the waiver, with a decision expected by the Department of Human Services (DHS) as soon as November.

“The DHS is currently considering a waiver request for the TANF program, but nothing has been submitted at this time,” DHS spokesperson Kayla Rosenfeld, said in an email.

Under current rules, certain TANF recipients are required to meet a 30-hour per week work schedule, either through employment, job training or community service. Nine core activities can be used to meet work requirements, and three supplemental activities, job skills training and education directly related to employment, and completion of a secondary school program.

Although Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have traded heated barbs about what the federal waiver means, there is bipartisan concern in Hawaii that changing welfare-to-work rules could threaten 16 years of progress….

When asked last week whether Hawaii would accept the federal waiver, Abercrombie told KITV4 it would strengthen, not weaken, welfare-to-work rules.

“You have to decide. Are we going to invest in one another (and) take the dollars that we have, and see to it that we create a positive condition for people so that they become taxpayers instead of tax takers,” said the governor. (Do you trust Abercrombie to ‘strengthen’ welfare to work?)

Still, Rep, Mizuno is uneasy enough about the possibility of changing welfare-to-work rules that he may convene a legislative briefing.

“This is not a done deal yet, and many times a legislative briefing will do wonders for policy,” said Mizuno, “So it will be on tap.”

read … Bye bye Welfare Reform?

Nago Schedules Another Retaliation Session

BIVN: Kawauchi has scheduled a second round of meetings with precinct officials. Precinct Chairs and Voter Assistance Officials received a letter in the mail asking them to attend mandatory meetings the week of October 8, just four weeks prior to the November 6 General Election. The letter bills each meeting as “a mandatory Primary Election Debriefing to discuss any suggestions, concerns, and/or problems that may have occurred in the Primary Election to prepare for the upcoming 2012 General Election.” Some of the precinct officials have said since they already attended a Primary Elections Debrief Meeting the week of September 10 and shared everything they could about the August 11 Primary, they’re not certain what they can add at this point.

Related: Hawaii County Election: It’s the Girlfriend, Stupid

read … More Retaliation by Nago

Three quarters of Hawaii families fit 'mom and pop' definition

PBN: Honolulu had the greatest percentage of families with a husband and wife living together at 74 percent, followed by Kauai, the Big Island and Maui County, which were all around 72 percent, according to the analysis by On Numbers, an affiliate of Pacific Business News.

Nationally, 73 percent of families fit the husband-wife definition, On Numbers found.

Oahu had the lowest percentage of families with a male householder and no wife present, 8 percent, while the three Neighbor Island counties were just under 10 percent.

All four counties had between 18 percent and 19 percent of families headed by a woman with no husband present, with Honolulu at 18.1 percent and Maui County at 18.66 percent.

read … Power of Nuclear Family

Judicial records should remain open to public

SA: Lesser instances go unnoticed unless the recipient of a plea agreement commits a crime after completing the period of lawfulness set by the judge. If those initial cases are to be removed from the record, reporters relying on court files would be in the dark about the offender's criminal history.

The lack of recorded history also would hamper state agencies from linking recipients of deferrals to subsequent crimes in conducting background checks on volunteers or employees dealing with Hawaii's "vulnerable population," according to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. The center would have to "manually request the cases be unlocked, requiring the use of more resources from both the HCJDC and Judiciary staff," said center administrator Liane Moriyama. Private companies would lack such a screening of potential employees' criminal past altogether.

Documenting the information by the media would be more difficult. Ed Lynch, the Star-Advertiser's managing editor for news, calls the proposal "an affront to the public's right to an open and transparent judicial system." The online Hawaii Reporter, the Big Island Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists' Hawaii chapter have registered similar concerns.

During a period of increased openness to public records, the Judiciary has proposed a troublesome reduction of access. Instead, the courts should reject any proposal to condense the information that is important to the public.

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

read … Secret Criminals

Pro-Rail Star-Advertiser Continues Effort to Remove Lane from H-1

SA: We passed on all the comments and concerns to the DOT, which says it is monitoring the effects of the restriping demonstration project and is not planning any immediate changes.

The public is asked to send comments to dotpao@hawaii.gov, the public affairs office, which will forward them to the Highways Division.

The $200,000 project, which began in June, will be monitored for a year.

read … More Traffic = More Support for Rail

Native Hawaiian minors arrested more than other ethnic groups

KHON: …for Native Hawaiians the statistics are sobering. They make up nearly 42% of all juvenile arrests across the state in the past decade.

Of the 56 kids housed at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, and 63 percent of them are from the Neighbor Islands.

"Like I said it's very confounding," said Hipp. "It's, why are the Hawaiian kids more truant, twice as likely to be arrested for a status offense than Caucasians."

The numbers from the latest study are basically unchanged from the last significant study of minors. And are similar to adult numbers, according to an OHA study from two years ago that found the largest ethnic group in Hawaii prisons was Native Hawaiians.

What we see is a lot of dysfunctional families, a lot of substance abuse, and a lot of running. Hawaii has a problem with kids running away from home. And kids are running to something or from something," said Hipp.

Hipp was quick to say the vast majority of juvenile arrests are for offenses like truancy and running away.

"On the mainland you have 14 year-olds carrying guns," said Hipp. "Here in Hawaii we have 14 year-olds carrying spray cans. So, we're very fortunate at that."

read … Arresting News

State places Dillingham Airfield in limbo

HNN: Once considered an end-of-the-road airport, the Dillingham Airfield on Oahu's North Shore has emerged as a Mecca of sorts for skydiving enthusiasts and other commercial aviation ventures.
But Hawaii News Now has learned that the state is considering giving back the 65-acre property to the U.S. Army, in a move that puts the future of several thriving businesses up in the air.
The state said it's losing $700,000 to $1.5 million a year on the airport, which it has operated since 1962.

read … Dillingham

Program to repay loans will help field doctors

SA: State officials and health industry executives will announce today Hawaii's first loan repayment program for primary care providers who pledge to work in underserved communities.

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine will launch the program next month to attract and retain doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to work in rural areas statewide.

The program is partially funded by $300,000 in seed money from the Queen's Medical Center and the Hawaii Medical Service Association, and a matching federal grant through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law.

The average debt of a UH medical student upon graduation is $105,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. UH said 48 of 66 first-year students already owe a combined $2.2 million in debt.

read … Doctors

Enviros Wrong on Bottled Water

HW: We at Hawaiian Springs take offense to Honolulu Weekly’s cover story titled, “Bottled Water: A Drink Against Nature.” [Sept. 5]

Despite your citing statistics and predictions that indicate “drier than normal conditions…during the winter,” Hawaiian Springs water is sourced from an aquifer that captures approximately 200 inches of rainwater per year and recharges at a rate of 117 million gallons per day [gpd], while we bottle only about 16,000 gpd.

When the replenishing volume (more than could be consumed on Oahu each day) exceeds what the aquifer can hold, it simply returns to nature through evaporation or as clean runoff into Hilo Bay. [E]ven though we’ve initiated distribution in other markets, approximately 80 percent of Hawaiian Springs Water is still sold in the Hawaiian Islands.

read … Complete Debunk of Eco-Babble

Occu-De’s Upset Because Media Not Around to Photograph Latest Arrest

SA: Smith said that city officials backed by Honolulu police officers went to Thomas Square about 11 a.m. to clear out tents, chairs and other items that were tagged under the city’s store property ordinance.

Phillips-Frankie and Russell, and a third (de)Occupy Honolulu member chained themselves to a pallet and a tent and then refused to follow demands by police and city officials to vacate the tent, Smith said.

City employees then left but police returned about 3:45 and arrested Phillps-Frankie and Russell, who had by then stepped out of the tent, Smith said.

Smith said police could have handled the situation better and that it was “really shady” that HPD returned to make the arrests after television news crews had left the scene.

read … Budding Young Leaders of Hawaii Democratic Party

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