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Saturday, September 29, 2012
September 29, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:19 PM :: 5082 Views

Zoning Enforcement On Kauai - A Rice Cooker Is A Kitchen?

Honolulu Homeless Law Not Affected by Court Ruling

Pine Campaign Victim of On-Line Impersonator?

Obamacare Maven Discovers Socialized Medicine 'Not Idyllic'

Ira Zunin: But closer inspection reveals that countries with universal health care have their own struggles. I am currently in New Zealand on a medical service mission with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and find that the health care system here is far from idyllic.

It turns out that private health insurance is in high demand. While New Zealand spends 10.1 percent of GDP on health care, according to the Southern Cross Health Society, 1.35 million people currently seek private, elective care each year. That is almost one-third of the population.

New Zealanders are not alone in their growing demand for private health care. The problem is comparable in England, Japan and Canada.

As birthrates decline and populations age, chronic conditions requiring elective procedures continue to mount. Joint replacements and cardiac bypass surgery are two of the biggest culprits.

With national budget constraints, waiting lists continue to grow. For those with osteoarthritis who need a joint replacement, the result is more pain and a prolonged period of disability. Waiting for cardiac bypass surgery increases the chance that the patient will have a heart attack before definitive care is rendered.

With lower national budgets for health care, diagnostics work-ups may be slower and less likely to employ costly imaging. Missed diagnoses not only affect outcomes, but also the cost to the system, because care for advanced disease is usually more expensive.

Perceived shortcomings of national health care systems have resulted not only in increased demand for private health insurance; people also look abroad for care.

Today, health tourism is booming in Thailand, India and Malaysia. Faced with the need for a total knee replacement and now uninsurable for this condition in the private sector, patients look to pay out of pocket.

read … Hope and Change

Ethics, Conflict of Interest Questions Dog Regents Committee on Wonder Blunder

HNN: The accountability panel is made up of five regents and four experts from the accounting and auditing industry, and is charged with evaluating the UH's operational and financial controls as well as its oversight practices.

The regents voted unanimously to make the non regents non-voting members of the committee while the State Ethics Commission determines if those business people have conflicts of interest because they also have contracts with the university.

The regents have hired accounting firm KMH on a contract, not to exceed $50,000, to do the "leg work" of the accountability group, said UH Regents Chair Eric Martinson.

KMH already holds another contract with UH for different services, regents said.

"I have a problem with this," said Regent Benjamin Kudo, a member of the accountability task group. "We should have somebody who's cleaner, who doesn't have a contract with the UH," he said in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Cory Kubota, of Accuity, which is hired as UH's external auditor, also serves on the panel. He volunteered to serve as a non-voting member to clear up any ethical questions.

"We've got to move forward and start doing some stuff," Kubota said.

Regent John Dean said as long as any potential conflict is fully disclosed, "I just don't see any conflict."

KHON: Costs continue to mount after failed Stevie Wonder concert

SA: KMH LLP will be paid up to $50,000 for its help in a probe by a regents task group

HNN: Doctor: Promoter hospitalized with an amputation, he can't testify

read … Accountability

Donovan will be in charge of marketing UH brand

SA: Former athletic director Jim Donovan’s new $200,640-year-job will focus on branding and marketing the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chancellor Tom Apple said Friday.

“I want us to have a brand,” Apple said. “I don’t want Hawaii students to go to Oregon or Washington when they can get a better education here.”

As director of external affairs and community relations, Dono­van will work on getting the university’s brand message to students of “Find Your Passion,” (pure Marcuse) and promote the idea that UH-Manoa is a place that conducts “Research that Matters,” Apple said, referring to another branding phrase.

read … How about, “Get a Brain

Latest Batch of Brain Washed Ethnic Studies Students Emerges from UN Manoa

CB: Currently, the U.S. military is proposing to station 24 MV-22 Osprey aircraft to train over the densely populated area of Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu, and on our sacred Mauna a Wākea at the Pōhakuloa Training Area on Hawaiʻi island. This is double the number of aircraft that Japan is protesting against. Building a movement and strengthened voice focused on love for the land, aloha ʻāina, is absolutely critical to curbing the continuation of military expansion in Hawaiʻi, which will only work to consume the economic, environmental, and social values of this, our home.

This Saturday a group of students and community members will gather at the intersection of Likelike and Kamehameha Highway between 8 and 9am to demonstrate our solidarity with those who envision an independent and de-militarized Hawaiʻi whose lands, traditions, natural resources, people and deities are respected, allowed to flourish, and are protected from exploitation as training grounds for U.S. military activities around the world.

read … Your Tuition and Tax Dollars at work

Based on Rail Decision, Court orders halt to Kawaiahao Church construction

HNN: The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals' ruling comes after the state Supreme Court in August put a temporary stop to the city's $5.3 billion rail transit project.

"The wheels of justice are starting to turn slowly but now it's turning in the right direction," said Dana Naone Hall, a Maui cultural practitioner who sued to stop construction at the church.

"Now, we have a chance to prevent ... the excavation of many hundreds more."

Hawaii News Now first reported last month that the church had unearthed as many as 579 remains at the site of its $17.5 million multipurpose center.

The Kawaiahao Church discovery -- which comes after the church unearthed more than 69 remains in 2009 -- is one of the largest ever, experts have said.

read … Rail Ramifications

Patsy Mink used for Self-Promotion by the Usual Suspects

SA: Gabbard, a Democrat who faces homeless handyman Kawika Crowley, a Republican, to replace Hirono in rural Oahu and the neighbor islands' 2nd Congressional District, did not know the Maui-born Mink personally, but said the seat "will always be Patsy's seat."

Hanabusa said Mink would likely be on the House floor, blasting her opponents. "I think the one thing she would tell us here is that the job is not done," she said. "The job is just not done. And that for every step forward, you know, they seem to shove us back."

(In Congress, with only a homeless dude as an opponent, but they are still claiming to be oppressed. The job will not be done until the last homeless dude bows before them.)

read … We need to be oppressed to win

Latest Anti-GMO ‘Research” Featured Rats bred to Develop Tumors

DN: Discover Magazine, Under Controlled: Why the New GMO Panic Is More Sensational Than Sense, 9/21/2012[ For one thing, the sample size was much too small in each group, as the linked article points out. Another problem is that the rats chosen were special rats that have a high incidence of tumors (the Sprague Dawley rat strain used for biomedical research). The control group suffered a 30% death rate, a problem not discussed, apparently. (ooops!)

Related: The Future of Fraud

read … Anti-GMO Hype Exposed Again

Kawauchi, Five Others Attend Election Workshop

BIN: As she said she would, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Thursday attended an elections workshop on Maui.

The workshop was the second of three scheduled by the state Office of Elections to allow election workers from around the state an opportunity to view how Maui, Kauai and Oahu handled duties during the Aug. 11 primary.

State elections spokesman Rex Quidilla said that Kawauchi was one of six representatives from the Big Island to attend the workshop. The group also included Elizabeth Lehua Iopa, who this week was named as interim administrator of the county’s Election Division.

WHT: Councilmen seek to avoid Election Day strife Onishi, Pilago resolve to change the way Clerk conducts voting

read … Election Workshop

State Running Out of Money to Give Away to Politicians

HTH: Hawaii County’s public campaign financing pilot project may have a shorter shelf life than anticipated.

Started in 2010, and set up to end after the 2014 elections, the program was the first in the state to provide full funding to candidates.

But after two election cycles, Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao is doubtful there will be enough money to continue offering that funding option after this year.

The issue is a requirement that the commission have at least $3.5 million left in its trust fund to continue the program. It nearly reached that amount at the end of this last fiscal year (June 30), helped in part by dwindling contributions from the state’s general fund, she said.

“Next year will we have that money? Not likely if you just look at the numbers,” Izumi-Nitao said.

The program is funded through a $3 optional check-off on state income tax forms.

read … Welfare Begins at Campaign Time

Obama Lifestyle Criticized as 'Royal': Author Documents Presidential Vacations, Staffing as Costing $1.4 Billion Annually

HR: President Barack Obama and his family have taken a $4 million vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, each Christmas, since 2008, courtesy of the nation’s taxpayers.

According to a new book - “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” –by Author Robert Keith Gray, Hawaii Reporter’s investigation into the vacation expenses on the island of Oahu merely scratches the surface of the $1.4 billion the taxpayers spend in just one year for transportation, housing, staffing, security and entertainment for President Obama and first family.

Gray, who worked within the White House under three presidents and had close ties with two more, notes that while other presidents have taken advantage of perks, the amount of money spent on the first family has risen substantially under the Obama administration….

read … The Obama

Medal of Honor recipients to be honored in Hawaii

SAS: Recipients of the U.S. military’s highest honor are converging on Honolulu for the 2012 Medal of Honor Convention, which begins on Monday.

Organizers expect 54 of the 81 living awardees will attend the convention. They span the generations, from Afghanistan-era recipients Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Salvatore Giunta, to World War II veterans like George Sakato and Walter Ehlers. Among all expected attendees, 42 earned their awards in Vietnam, six during the Korean War, four during WWII and two in Afghanistan. There are no living recipients from the war in Iraq.

read … Starting Monday

Star-Adv: Suicide Rate in Military A Great Anti-War Argument

SA: So, too, are the obligations on the civilian side: Given the unique stresses placed on armed services members during times of war, political leaders must commit resources and other support to reduce suicides in the ranks. One way would be to consider all the consequences of putting our young men and women in harm's way, and then reconsidering the efficacy of war.

(Actually the suicide rate for military personnel is lower than that of civilians of comparable demographics.)

read … Any excuse for propaganda

Nanny Law Coming to Hawaii?

ALBANY, New York (AP) Allison Julien worked for more than two decades as a nanny in New York, toiling 50 to 60 hours a week without overtime pay until the state enacted the nation's first bill of rights for domestic workers two years ago.

Since then, the Barbados immigrant says her job has changed dramatically. She still dedicates long hours to caring for children in Brooklyn's upscale Park Slope neighborhood but she now has a written contract with the parents who hired her, guaranteeing overtime. She is also assured one day off a week and three paid personal days yearly.

California could become the next state to adopt such legislation if the governor signs a similar bill in the next few days. Supporters, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state lawmakers and labor and immigrant rights organizations planned to hold a rally in Los Angeles on Saturday to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the measure.

Other states could follow, with efforts under way in Illinois, Washington, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Maryland for their own domestic worker bill of rights.

read … Nanny Law

Sex Trafficking Legislative Agenda

HNN: The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass a Safe harbor Bill which would give minors immunity from prosecution and refer these victimized children to proper rehabilitative and healing services rather than to incarceration.

PASS is also urging the legislature to pass an End Demand Bill which seeks to increase penalties for patrons of prostitution/sex-trafficking, commonly referred to as “johns.” The existing penalty for johns is a petty misdemeanor, equivalent to the fine of riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. The penalty for the offense of fueling prostitution/sex-trafficking, by providing the demand, has not been updated in Hawaii since the law was created in the early 70s.

read … Hawaii Needs a Safe Harbor Bill to Protect Juvenile Sex Trafficking Victims

Man Faces Jail, $210,000 Fine for Keeping Snake, Piranhas

SA: The alleged owner of a boa constrictor and four piranhas found by firefighters in an Alewa Heights home failed to show up in state court twice this month to answer to charges of possessing illegal animals.

Ricardo S. Newcomb Jr. failed to show up for his arraignment Sept. 20 and again Thursday….

Newcomb is facing jail time and a mandatory fine of up to $10,000 for possessing a snake, and a fine of between $50,000 and $200,000 for possessing the fish with the intent to propagate them.

read … Overkill?

Enviros Push to Cut off Molokai Ranch Water

EH: Moloka`i Properties Limited wants to continue using the Moloka`I Irrigation System to transport water from its Well 17 to the island's west side, but it hasn't had a valid transmission agreement with the state Department of Agriculture since 1975.

Before the DOA can issue a new agreement, MPL must complete an environmental assessment evaluating potential environmental impacts.

Last week, the company released its draft environmental assessment for public comment. Comments to the DOA must be received by October 23.

For more background on this, see "Homesteaders Ask Water Commission toRestrict Moloka`i Ranch's Well Use," in our October issue.

read … Trying to finish the job

Gaming Machine Raids ‘Not Over Yet’

HNN: The "Winner's Zone" arcades that were targeted are located in Ewa Beach, Kakaako, Pearl City, Wahiawa, Waikiki, and Waipio.

HPD Assistant Chief Susan Dowsett says "The gambling devices were seized, along with gambling records. All of the seized devices were product-direct sweepstakes machines. The total value of the machines is over $250,000."

The raids are part of a seven month investigation that authorities say is not over yet. They believe dozens more arcades and what are called "Internet Sweepstakes Shops" are spread throughout the island, if not the state. Hilo police, for instance, raided three arcades back in July. Honolulu's city attorney says they've got legal ground here to enforce anti-gambling laws.

read … HPD raids arcades, seize dozens of gaming machines




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