Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, October 8
Hawaii Survey: Ethics, Honesty, and Corruption in Government are Top Election Issues
Lingle: Taiwan Visa Waivers will help Hawaii's Economy
Painters' Union Burns $70K to Prop Up Hirono
51% Fail, But Six More DoE Schools Make AYP
Rail: Star-Advertiser Editorial Just a Yoshioka Mouthpiece
Council Honors Rail Iwi Plaintiff Paulette Kaleikini
Cayetano Could Change Ewa Development Plan
Hawaii Web Surfers Steal Less Music than Most
Hawaii Citrus Quarantined
Hirono Received Illegal Pay for Play Donations
Shapiro: PRP Executive Director John White conveniently doesn't mention that his former boss, Mazie Hirono, also received the same kind of illegal donations he attacks Cayetano for.
Selective use of data to weave a web of innuendo that falsely trashes the integrity of an honest man is sleazy and malicious politics….
Rail is about more than building a commuter train from Kapolei to Honolulu; it's also about transferring $5.26 billion from taxpayers' pockets into the pockets of unions, contractors, landowners, developers and banks.
These interests like heavy rail better than less expensive bus-based transit alternatives because rail spreads around far more money.
And they're willing to pay plenty to get in on the action. Rail-related donations helped fuel Mufi Hannemann's campaigns for mayor and governor and the two campaigns of his managing director, Kirk Caldwell, to succeed him as mayor.
Rail critics note that the much-ballyhooed $1.55 billion federal check for rail — if it materializes — will effectively be endorsed by the city and sent off to the Italian company Ansaldo, which pulled out the political stops to win the lucrative contract to build rail cars for the system.
PRP, which is backing Caldwell against Cayetano, refuses to disclose the donors financing its lavish spending on TV ads and canvassing, hiding behind a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing political action committees to spend unlimited amounts from secret contributors.
While the voting public will never know who's paying for PRP's extravagant efforts on Caldwell's behalf, you can bet the Caldwell camp will know who the donors are and will be expected to take care of the benefactors if he's elected.
Did somebody say pay to play?
Related: Pay to Play: Will Cayetano Retaliate Against Hirono?, Pay to Play Fines Unpaid: Hirono for Governor Campaign Closes Owing State Elections Fund Over $98,000.
read … Hirono Guilty
Legislature should study tax policy, not tax hikes
Rep Gene Ward: PFM developed and recommended a shopping list of ways for the state to make more money. Most of these recommendations were tax increases and looked like incentives for legislators to grow government during bad economic times.
A major legal flaw in the report was that the commission was supposed to evaluate and make recommendations on the state's tax system. However, the PFM report forecasts state services and expenditures and could be treated as targets or goals, emboldening the "tax and spend" members of the government, including the governor, to pursue future actions or justify favored tax increases.
While the PFM report makes numerous tax increase recommendations, four of them stand out. These include the recommendation to increase the general excise tax (GET) rate from 4.0 percent to 4.5 percent (on Oahu this would be an increase from 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent), implement income tax on pension income, increase the corporate income tax rate, and eliminate the deduction for property taxes paid….
While the PFM report explains ways to increase state revenue, it should have been more than just a shopping list of taxes that legislators had already considered and rejected in the past. I believe more intellectual rigor was needed in the PFM report to be taken seriously by legislators. The Legislature knows very little about tax credit policy and this would have been a good opportunity to enlighten legislators about solar, photovoltaics and high-tech credits and their burdens or blessings on our state budget. Instead, there was little new information in the report except the usual laundry list on how to tax the people of Hawaii.
read … No Tax Hike
Abercrombie is Moses, Spoke to HMSA in Burning Bush
HR: …the new federal law will require that some 83,000 Hawaii residents who don’t have health coverage now will have to buy it by 2014.
The federal law requires that certain benefits must be offered and yesterday was the milestone for states to pick a model plan that supplies those minimum benefits, which Abercrombie called “the 10 commandments.”….
read … Moses
Stacked Poll Still Finds only 62% for Obama in Hawaii
CB: Obama, a Democrat born and schooled in Honolulu who still vacations on the Windward Coast, leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney 62 percent to 30 percent among likely Hawaii voters, according to The Civil Beat Poll. Three percent said they'll vote for another candidate and 6 percent said they were undecided. The survey was conducted between Sept. 26 and Sept. 28 and its sample size of 1,648 yielded a margin of error of 2.4 percent.1
Obama's 32-point advantage, if it held steady through Nov. 6, would actually represent a downward turn for the president, who beat John McCain by more than 45 percent in Hawaii four years ago. But while many across the country are frustrated with the state of the economy and critical of Obama's role in it, island voters are not yet ready for a change in national leadership.
read … Larded with Democrats, and Obama still loses 13%
Wonder Blunder: Did UH Give $200K to Florida Child Molester?
HR: Alvin Crosby is a sex offender, who was convicted of "child molestation" and "lewd lascivious" acts in April 1995, and according to his sentence must continue to register as a sex offender. Public records in Florida show he uses Sannise Crosby’s home as his last known address.
read … Child Molester
Wonder Blunder Update: Sheriff "surprised" was put on leave
HNN: UH Stan Sheriff Center Arena Manager Rich Sheriff told state senators Tuesday he was "surprised" when UH put him on leave after the university canceled its Stevie Wonder concert on July 10….
“To me, nobody should have been put on leave. We should have worked together," Sheriff told the State Senate panel investigating the failed concert…
Sheriff said the Stevie Wonder concert was the first show he worked on with Peyton, who had promoted events in Hawaii for about 40 years.
"My superiors said they had checked out Peyton, and had good reviews," Sheriff said. He told senators no one spoke about Peyton's financial problems, which included a recent Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and foreclosure on his Kailua home filed in the fall of 2011.
Peyton's lawyer said the promoter has been hospitalized at Castle Medical Center since Aug. 17 and in recent weeks had a leg amputated. Peyton was unable to appear before the Senate panel, his lawyer said.
Click the link to watch our live stream http://bit.ly/uhprobe (not available on mobile devices)
KHON: Senators Put $1.1M Price Tag on Botched Concert
CB: Senate Hearings on UH: What Did We Learn?
ILind: UH administration gets a black eye from its own $300/hour lawyer
read … Nobody on Leave
Cayetano’s BRT Plan $1.5B, not $1.1B
CB: Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano’s alternative to elevated rail has a $1.5 billion budget, which is $400 million more than the cost estimate he revealed last week.
The former governor’s advisers say the new figure is supposed to be a more accurate comparison to the $5.26 billion rail budget because it includes money for contingency funds as well as the cost of financing.
It also assumes significant contributions from state and federal government as well as from the general excise tax collections that have been paying for rail.
Cayetano is expected to release a full budget for his transportation plan later this week, which will be the first time anyone outside of his inner circle will get a detailed glimpse into the numbers that support his transit alternative.
read … Settling in at about 50% of County GET collections
Civil Beat/KITV Mayoral Debate on Wednesday
CB: CIvil Beat and KITV are co-hosting a televised debate between mayoral candidates Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano. It’ll be their only joint appearance on network TV.
It’s from 8 to 9 p.m.
The panelists are Civil Beat’s Chad Blair and KITV reporters Catherine Cruz and Andrew Pereira, with KITV evening news anchor Yunji de Nies moderating.
read … Mayoral Debate
Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission Is Not Really 'Public'
FoL: Let’s look at how “transparency” works at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Can you find a list of current commissioners on the PUC’s website: http://puc.hawaii.gov? No.
Can you find a list of current staff? Not on your life.
Can you find a document with a simple keyword search? Nuh-uh.
Can you find a document without a docket number? Only if you have lots and lots and lots of time.
read … Friends of Lanai
Romney Supports Path to Citizenship
SA: More than 2,300 young Hawaii residents who were born abroad and lack U.S. citizenship may be encouraged by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's promise to honor President Barack Obama's program to protect them. This is good news, assuming it indicates a real change in Romney's views on immigration reform.
In Denver for tonight's presidential debate, Romney told The Denver Post in a sit-down interview Monday night aboard his campaign bus that people "who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid" if he is elected.
Referring to the $465 visa enrollment fee, he added, "I'm not going to take something that they've purchased."
read … Citizenship
Ellison plans to experiment on Lanai
PBN: Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison spoke publicly about the island of Lanai Tuesday for the first time since buying the Hawaiian island in June, saying he plans to turn it into a laboratory for sustainability.
Ellison, appearing on the CNBC show “Closing Bell,” talked mostly about the future of his software business, noting that Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) is focusing on growing organically and not planning to make any large acquisitions over the next couple of years.
Of his purchase of Lanai, Ellison told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo: “It’s going to be [a] model for sustainable enterprise.”
He went on to say that he hopes to run the island on solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.
“We have drip irrigation where we are going to have organic farms all over the island,” he said. “Hopefully we are going to export produce — really, the best organic produce to Japan and elsewhere.”
Ellison also said he wants more electric cars on the island and eventually turn it into a laboratory for sustainability of small scale.
“We are going to support the local people and help them start these businesses,” he said….
read … Experiment
Medal of Honor Week
SBH: This is Medal of Honor Week in Hawaii and Honolulu is proud to be the host for the annual Medal of Honor recipients' convention. Of the 85 living Medal winners-our Nation's top honor-54 are here this week. Also a good time to appreciate and salute ALL of our men and women in uniform. Many events scheduled this week; check KHVH radio and the MOH web site.
High School Essay Winners. In conjunction with the Medal of Honor activities, SBH Foundation sponsored a high school (10-12 grades) Medal of Honor essay contest. The winners, as judged by the Oahu Veterans Center, are: Sierra-lyn Rodrigues - 1st place; Amanda Hutchinson - 2nd place;
Harley Broyles - 3rd place; James Kei Palmer - Honorable mention and Mariah DeLong-Wright - Honorable mention. Congratulations to our winners and all entrants. Winning essays will be published on www.sbhfoundation.org and HawaiiReporter.com next week.
HNN: Washington Place welcomes Medal of Honor recipients
read ... Small Business News
Hawaiians gear up for Rome for Blessed Marianne Cope's canonization
CNS: More than 225 people from Hawaii are on the official Honolulu diocesan tour to see Blessed Marianne Cope become a saint Oct. 21 in St. Peter's Square.
The group was advised to get their euros ready, buy a good pair of walking shoes and break them in, and pack cool weather clothes to layer.
Randy King, president of Seawind Tours and Travel, offered these tips Sept. 18 to the canonization pilgrims who gathered at St. Augustine Church in Waikiki.
The travelers, scheduled to arrive in Rome Oct. 16, will be given about a week of spiritual and cultural activities leading up to the canonization.
"It's special -- once in a lifetime," said Jean Maria, a parishioner from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Ewa Beach, who will be traveling with her husband, Stan.
read … Blessed Marianne
Isles prepare for visitors from Taiwan
SA: Starting Nov. 1 the U.S. will begin permitting visa-free travel for eligible Taiwanese travelers who are visiting for up to 90 days for business or tourism. The move is expected to bring additional Taiwanese tourists to Hawaii and increase the chances there will be direct flights between the destinations. Eventually it also could foster additional opportunities for business and trade, clean energy and economic development initiatives, film, study-aboard programs and governmental relationships….
Following the Visa Waiver Program with Korea in 2008, Korean arrivals increased by 35 percent in 2009 and have continued to increase by double digits since then, McCartney said. Visitor expenditures have also increased to $194 million last year from $79.4 million in 2008, he said.
"Korea has become one of the fastest-growing markets for our tourism economy. We anticipate seeing similar growth out of Taiwan following their entrance to the visa waiver program," McCartney said.
read … Tourism
1960: Campbell HS Field Soil Dug from Waipahu Cemetery
HR: Story around Ewa Beach was the dirt for the field was from an excavation to prepare a site for a new apartment building on Waikele Road mid-block between Farrington Highway and Waipahu Street (at the time named King Apartments).
The new apartment building was to be built on part of the old cemetery.
Families of those buried at the cemetery were contacted to remove their loved one's remains. It was suggested the new Mililani Cemetery be the place for reburial.
Those remains, which were not repatriated, were dug up along with the soil and trucked to the site of the new James Campbell High School football field that was at the time also under construction.
I recall as a teenager seeing the field as it was being constructed.
After the soil was grated level to create the new athletic field, I remember seeing a pile of approximately fifty to seventy grave headstones and wooden cross markers with human bones sticking out bulldozed in a pile of dirt at the far Honolulu side of the new field.
This would be in the area of the present day Honolulu sideline bleachers. Wow! Desecration in the first degree.
And now outrage, no comment from community leaders.
In fact it was the butt of jokes, such as ‘Campbell High School colors orange and black, Halloween colors because of dead bodies in their field’ and ‘that’s why their football team don't win because of bad luck 'cause bodies in the field.’
Students from the area were warned by teachers and parents to stay away from the area and not tamper with the human remains as no telling what contagious decease the person whose remains were there had died from.
When the school opened student athletes spoke of seeing bones protruding from the ground as the dirt on the new football field settled.
read … Desecration
Colorado Man Sues North Dakota Diocese, alleges Hawaii Abuse by Michigan Priest
AP: A 49-year-old Colorado man is suing the Catholic diocese serving western North Dakota, alleging one of its priests sexually abused him when he was a child in Hawaii decades ago.
A lawsuit filed in state court in Honolulu on Tuesday alleges a military chaplain sexually abused the plaintiff at an Army base around 1974 to 1975.
The plaintiff was an 11-to-12 year-old altar boy at a Fort Shafter chapel where the priest ministered to soldiers and their families. The priest now lives in Michigan.
The lawsuit accuses the Diocese of Bismarck of negligence.
read … Latest Suit