VIDEO: Hirono Collects $1M Salary, Accomplishes Nothing
Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Can the Government Censor Sermons?
VIDEO: Kawika Crowley for Congress
Pollster off by 20 Points claims Lingle Down by 16
CB: Mazie Hirono has a double-digit lead over Linda Lingle in the first independent survey of the U.S. Senate race since the August primary election.
The Civil Beat Poll shows Hirono, a Democratic congresswoman, with a 55 percent to 39 percent advantage over the two-term Republican Hawaii governor. The survey of 1,684 likely general election voters was conducted between Sept. 26 and Sept. 28.1 The poll's margin of error is 2.4 percent. Six percent said they were undecided.
The poll also digs into education issues like furlough Fridays and the ongoing teacher contract dispute. It finds Hirono's lead was built largely with support from voters who don't have kids in Hawaii's public school system….
In the last survey before the August primary election, The Civil Beat Poll showed Hirono in a dead heat with Case, but she ended up winning by more than 20 points….
(NOTE: Civil Beat has chosen not to reveal the % of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in the baseline sample. CB is also concealing the married/unmarried balance and the liberal/moderate/conservative balance of the poll sample group. With a lot of work, this info can be extrapolated from the crosstabs.)
Response: Lingle Campaign Debunks Civil Beat Poll
Typical Hirono Supporter Reacts: Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead (Hirono 55, Lingle 39)
read … Secret Baseline
Djou Was Hawaii's Most Moderate Congressman
CB: In a recent debate with Democratic opponent Colleen Hanabusa, Republican Charles Djou said that he is proud of his record as a moderate representative.
“I am proud of the National Journal ranking me as one of the only 10 moderates left in Congress when I was there in the 111th Congress,” Djou said during the Sept. 25 1st Congressional District debate on Hawaii Public Radio. “I was the most independent member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation and broke ranks with pretty much almost any — more so than almost any other Republican and I’m proud of that.”
Djou, who served in Congress for seven months after winning a 2010 May special election, is only the third Republican Hawaii has ever sent to Congress. After losing to Hanabusa in November 2010, he's trying to regain the seat by emphasizing his bipartisanship.
The ability to work across party lines has become a major selling point this election both in Hawaii and nationally. Given the degree of political polarization in D.C., candidates like Djou have sought to prove that they'll be different through their willingness to think beyond their party's ideology.
read … Moderate
UH regents evaluate Greenwood in secret
SA: The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is beginning its annual evaluation of UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, the fourth since she was hired in 2009 and the first since the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco.
The evaluation, which will likely continue until May, the end of the academic year, is conducted by a task group of three board members. The group meets behind closed doors and does not solicit comments from the public, faculty, staff or students.
Greenwood's performance has been "exceptional" every year, according to the task group memos to the board obtained by the Star-Advertiser through the Freedom of Information Act.
The public may not be aware of Greenwood's evaluations because the board does not post the president's evaluation on its agenda, an apparent violation of the state sunshine law.A review of the board's agendas for the last three years shows no mention of an annual evaluation of the president.
The board's July 15, 2010, and May 19, 2011, agendas do list "executive evaluations" in its closed-door executive sessions. But Greenwood's name is not listed in the attachments detailing the personnel actions before the board.
ILind: Promoter lacked funds to put on Wonder concert without early access to UH money
read … MRCs Secrets
Senators Push For Unredacted Fact-Finder's Report From University
CB: The investigation, headed by Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, continues Tuesday at the Capitol.
In addition to concerns about how the UH operates, lawmakers are frustrated that a fact-finders' report into the matter was heavily redacted, leaving the media and the public in the dark about what exactly happened.
Kim and Sen. Les Ihara, who also sits on the Senate Special Committee on Accountability, have asked the state's Office of Information Practices to determine whether the redactions were valid. OIP is tasked with promoting open and transparent government.
"I have read much of the unredacted material, and it's somewhat revealing," Ihara told Civil Beat Saturday. "It shows what might be the relationships and about what's going on amongst the competing national and international agents for Stevie Wonder."
read … Unredacted
Buffeted by opposition, Navy blinks on solar site
SA: In the face of opposition from historic preservation groups, the Navy has eased off plans to install photovoltaic panels on the historic Ford Island runway in Pearl Harbor.
In an email Thursday to the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, the service said it would consider alternate sites for the solar array, and that it was suspending consultation with the historic parties for the time being on its Ford Island plan.
"I think they are being responsive to the input they've been given," said Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the foundation. "So from Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, from the National Trust (for Historic Preservation), from the Pacific Aviation Museum and from the National Park Service — all these consulting parties have said, ‘We believe the Navy needs to look more closely at alternates rather than putting it on the Ford Island runway.'"
USA Today: Navy's green plan for Pearl Harbor runway draws fire
read … Solar Scammers Busted
Ono: More oversight of Solar Startups Needed
KGI: The business model is changing and liquefied natural gas could be a game-changer, but not without an infrastructure investment, she said. The 50-year-old refinery model is struggling with cost and efficiency problems, and most are for sale, she added.
Morita and Ono see potential with LNG as a real solution to lower prices.
A question regarding photovoltaic as an emerging model expressed concern that a low-income or rental property homeowners are not keeping pace because they can’t get financing.
Ono said he is reviewing ideas for a restructured financing arrangement based on electric bill payments rather than a standard income and asset-based loan. He said there should also be more oversight of PV startups when there is no track record.
Incentives for early adoption have passed and the state needs to move into the affordability issue, Ono said.
read … PUC Morita, Ono
Complaint dismissed against prosecutor 10 months ago
SA: An ethics complaint filed by former city Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Takata against city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro alleging that he directed deputies to withhold evidence from the defense has been dismissed.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel notified Kaneshiro in a letter in December that the complaint was dropped following a "thorough review" of submissions by Takata and the prosecutor.
The office said it has been determined there is "insufficient evidence" that Kaneshiro violated disciplinary rules governing lawyers.
SA: Candidate challenges former boss
read … But were just reporting it now because it will make more impact on the election
Eric Ryan Finally Busted
HR: Yes, Eric Ryan the man who harasses his “enemies” with phony charges of illegal activities, has become the first one to get cuffed and hauled off by the police for actual illegal activities. Seems that he has learned the hard way that when state judges issue restraining orders to stop you from harassing someone they actually mean it.
In September, he arrived, in his “Citizen Patrol” T-shirt and derogatory banner to “protest” a Kym Pine sign-waving group. Previously, however, Pine had won a TRO to keep the cyber thug, Ryan, at arms length. Apparently, thumbing his nose at the state court system is a no no and get’s the full attention of HPD.
AM: Eric Ryan Finally Busted
read … Eric Ryan Finally Busted
UH Manoa Perfesser Demands Affirmative Action Quota for Illegals in Hawaii
SA: Altogether the court received 767 cases in fiscal year 2011, with Chinese nationals involved in 24 percent, followed by Mexicans at 22 percent and Filipinos at 20 percent. The court had been handling an average of 700 cases per year in the first part of the decade, but the numbers surged suddenly to 1,395 in 2008 and 1,113 in 2009 before dropping back to previous levels.
During the peak years, Mexicans predominated at 36 percent of the total in 2008 and 30 percent the following year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice. Virtually all of the cases are removal proceedings, but the figures include asylum requests and other "court proceedings." They do not include bond hearings and motions for reconsideration.
Monisha Das Gupta, associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has studied the Mexican community in Hawaii and said her research shows Mexicans have been disproportionately targeted for detention and deportation….
While federal agents show some immigrants the exit door, other foreigners are winning permanent residence in the islands. In fiscal year 2011, 7,296 foreign nationals were granted legal permanent residence in Hawaii, largely on the basis of family sponsorship or because they are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Most of those new permanent residents — 4,399 — were from the Philippines, with 864 from China, 493 from Japan, 233 from South Korea and 158 from Vietnam. Just 53 were from Mexico.
(Newsflash: Immigration targets foreigners for deportation!)
Totally Related: Is College a Lousy Investment?
read … Affirmative Action Quota for Illegals
100 Gather to Plan Amnesty for 2,380 Hawaii Illegals
SA: …the path to citizenship still is not open to him. But a new Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is giving him hope that he will be able to land a job and use the engineering degree he earned from the University of Hawaii.
The policy is aimed at people who came to the United States as children without legal permission and pose no threat to public safety. Those who meet certain conditions may avoid deportation and work legally in the United States for two years, with renewals possible. Applicants must have arrived in the country before age 16, lived here continuously for at least five years and be age 30 or younger on June 15, 2012. They must be in school or have graduated, or have an honorable discharge from the military, and not be convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
An estimated 2,380 people in Hawaii between 15 and 30 years old fall into that category, according to an analysis by the Immigration Policy Center, which used data from the Office of Immigration Statistics and the American Community Survey to make its projections.
A workshop held to educate applicants drew a full house of about 100 people at First United Methodist Church on Aug. 29. Another free session is scheduled for Saturday. The event is sponsored by Faith Action for Community Equity, Catholic Charities Hawaii, the Hawaii chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Hawaii Alliance for Local Immigrant Voices and Empowerment.
(BTW: If your family is still waiting in the Phil…tough luck!)
read … Amnesty
Waikiki 20/20 Conference
SA: Waikiki is no stranger to planning, and the Waikiki Improvement Association correctly believes it's time for another round. This visioning process, the Waikiki 20/20 Conference set for Oct. 16, should be less constrained than those of the past, with changes primarily in city regulations allowing developers greater flexibility in remaking the district for the 21st century.
"Looking Back, Looking Forward" is the theme, and the association will look back to review progress since its previous conference 20 years ago. The look-ahead portion will include discussions among two dozen speakers on the district's next 20 years. Organizers hope the conference will yield basic principles to guide the development of an action plan in six to eight months after the conference.
For those tempted to dismiss such events as crystal-ball gazing, considerable the strides that have been taken in Waikiki improvement since the 1992 meeting, including more than $4 billion invested since 2001, said the association's president, Rick Egged. Renovations at the Royal Hawaiian Center and the Waikiki Beach Walk redevelopment are standout examples.
In recent years, the 1976 Waikiki Special Design Land Use Ordinance was relaxed through City Council amendments. While the original ordinance had been designed to bring greater continuity to development across the resort district, its rules were very restrictive. The landowners most constrained were those with small lots, Egged said.
read … Planning
Sales of electric vehicles stall
SA: …a less heralded piece of the plan, which aims to reduce the use of oil used in ground transportation, is in danger of missing its 2015 goals in part because electric vehicle sales are running below targets.
When policymakers drafted the clean energy plan in 2008, they set a short-term goal of having 10,000 electric vehicles on Hawaii's roadways by 2015. The goals are in addition to other transportation objectives for reductions in vehicle miles traveled, increased efficiency of gas-powered vehicles and incorporation of more renewable fuels.
EV sales got off to a promising start last year with the introduction here of the first mass-marketed plug-in cars — the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi MiEV. The roughly 400 EVs sold last year was in line with the Hawaii Auto Dealers Association forecast of 380 sales for 2011.
Dealers expect EV sales to steadily increase to the point where there will be 5,200 electric vehicles on island roads in 2015. But that's only half of the volume anticipated in the initiative….
Related: Electric Vehicles Cost the Taxpayer More than $7 per Gallon
read … Electric