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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
October 30, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:53 PM :: 5309 Views

Hirono Joins HSTA Protest Against Abercrombie

AKP Biofuel Scam Finds Only 20 Supporters in Survey of 300

Civil Beat Poll: Cayetano 50%, Caldwell 45%

CB: Cayetano led Caldwell, 50 percent to 45 percent, in a survey of 886 likely general election voters on Oahu.1 The poll, conducted on the nights of Oct. 24 to Oct. 26, after early voting had already begun, had a margin of error of 3.3 percent. Five percent were undecided.

Among the 30 percent who said they'd already voted, Cayetano, a 72-year-old retired two-term governor, was leading 54 percent to 45 percent. Early walk-in voting began Oct. 23, and absentee mail ballots were delivered to voters around the same time.

But the gap was much narrower among the 70 percent of respondents who said they hadn't yet voted but definitely will. Caldwell was down just 48 percent to 46 percent. The race is also slightly tighter among those who say they're locked in for their candidate, with Cayetano having more of the softer support among those who are leaning one way or another.

Ward Research/Star-Adv: Caldwell leads 53 percent to 42 percent, with 5 percent undecided (exactly 8% off for each candidate)

read … More Evidence that Ward Research is a Joke

Even With 60% Dems, Abercrombie Approval only 41%

SA: Gov. Neil Abercrombie's job approval rating has slipped as his administration struggles to find footing after nearly two years in power.

Forty-one percent of voters in a new Hawaii Poll approve of Abercrombie's job performance, down from 43 percent in July. The Demo­cratic governor has not been over 50 percent in any of the four surveys taken since he took control of Washington Place in December 2010.

Just 51 percent of voters who usually vote Demo­cratic approve of Abercrombie's performance, the same as in July, while 39 percent of union households give the governor a positive rating, up slightly from July….

Boylan, like other political analysts, said Abercrombie still has a tendency to self-inflict damage with often rash public statements.

"I think he's got to watch what he says. He's been awfully blunt and caused a lot of his own trouble, I think, in that first year in office in particular," he said.

read … Imagine what a real poll would show

Poll: Hawaii Non-Democrats only 36.5% Approve of Obama

SA: President Barack Obama's job approval rating in Hawaii is 68 percent, the poll found. In contrast to Abercrombie, the Hawaii-born Demo­crat received high marks among traditional Demo­crats and union households, the party's political base. Eighty-nine percent of Demo­crats approve of the president's performance, while 75 percent of union voters do.

(Do the math: The Ward Research poll sample is 60% Democrats. 89% of Dems approve of Obama. 60 x .89 = 53.4% of Obama approvers are Democrats. 68-53.4 = 14.6% of Obama approvers are non-Democrats. 14.6 / 40 = 36.5% approval of Obama among Hawaii non-Democrats.)

Oct 2012 Hawaii Ward Research Poll Tables

Hirono’s $52B Defense cuts will hit every state, including Hawaii in January

PBN: Pentagon officials have told me the military will have to cut its budget this fiscal year by $52 billion if lawmakers don’t come up with a deal this year, and those cuts will go into effect in early January….

“I don’t know if we can do it during a lame duck session of Congress,” Hirono told PBN in an interview with reporters and editors on Monday.

read … Cost of Hirono

Hanabusa Voted Against Small Business Tax Relief

CB: In August, Hanabusa voted against a resolution (pdf) that called for comprehensive tax reform in 2013, according to her voting record on OpenCongress.org.

The vote on the resolution, H.R. 6169, was divided sharply along partisan lines. No Democrats voted for the bill, compared with 232 Republicans. Only three Republicans opposed the bill, along with 186 Democrats.

The resolution specifically noted the importance of decreasing tax burdens held by small businesses, addressing the cost of tax-related paperwork and the role of small businesses in job creation.

read … Hanabusa Against Small Business

Hawaii early-voting turnout Doubles for General Election

KHON: "Seventeen thousand people vote early. If you look back at the primary election there was only about 9,000, so it's roughly almost double," said Scott Nago of the State Office of Elections. "General turnout is normally higher, but I haven't seen any where it's doubled."

That's the state count just through the weekend, since early walk-in voting started last week. The majority of those so far have been on Oahu.

"As far as the walk-in voting goes, through Saturday we had over 10,000 persons walk in and vote over our three sites on Oahu," said elections administrator Glen Takahashi. "In the primary election, we did just under 13,000 for the primary election, with the walk-in voting. So we'll probably get close to 20,000 if the pace continues like this."

Tens of thousands more have already voted early by mail.

"We've mailed out over 125,000 absentee mail ballots and as of the weekend, 62,000 have already been returned," said Takahashi. "The last general election, if I remember, we mailed 104,000 pieces in total."

read … Early Voting

Federal Election officer appointed in Hawaii as part of Election Day program

HNN: United States Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni announced Monday that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Leslie E. Osborne, Jr. will lead the efforts of her Office in connection with the Justice Department's nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6 general elections.

AUSA Osborne has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the District of Hawaii and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District's handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Nakakuni stated that AUSA/DEO Osborne will be on duty in this District 2while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at the following telephone number: (808) 541-2850.

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at (808) 566-4300.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division's Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767

read … Federal Oversight

Caldwell Outspends Cayetano 2-1 As General Election Nears

HR: Caldwell raked in just over $600,000 since the primary election and also took in $238,000 in loans. His campaign reported spending $552,000 and closed the reporting period with a $162,000 cash deficit.

Cayetano took in $339,000 and spent $271,000, closing the reporting period with a $126,000 cash surplus.

read … 2-1

New Pro-Rail Super PAC Spends $676,000

HR: Called "Workers for a Better Hawaii," the political action committee reported spending nearly $676,000 in the four-week period ending October 17.

In an organizational report filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission earlier this month, the Super PAC listed its treasurer as ILWU official Guy Fujimura but said it received $700,000 in contributions from the Hawaii Regional Conference of Carpenters.

The mother ship of pro-rail spenders, Pacific Resource Partnership PAC, hasn’t filed its pre-general election spending report yet, but revealed two months ago it had spent more than $1.2 million this year to promote Honolulu’s rapid transit project and to attack anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano

read … New Pro-Rail Super PAC Spends $676,000

Caldwell Will Push for Big Wind, Big Cable

CB: Caldwell said he wants to take on a leadership role in installing undersea cables that would transmit electricity from Molokai and Lanai should the state finally realize its Big Wind aspirations. He believes it’s only fair that neighbor islands share their resources with Oahu.

read … Keeping the Lights On at Honolulu Hale

Kaneshiro Spends More Money, Raises More Money Than Takata

CB: Takata raised $108,219 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 22, spending $86,416, according to his latest reports. This included $50,000 from his immediate family, and $7,500 in loans and donations to himself.

Friends For A Safer Honolulu, a noncandidate committee chaired by attorney Kory Young, has provided an extra boost to Takata's campaign. The political action committee, or super PAC, raised $50,100 from Aug. 12 to Oct. 22 and spent $42,833.

The group was funded by Takata's brother, a New York investment banker who wrote a check for $50,000 on Aug. 27. This was the second big contribution from his brother, the first being a $42,000 donation directly to the campaign in June.

Meanwhile, Kaneshiro has raised $193,197 this election period, without loans or super PACs, according to his latest campaign reports. Kaneshiro raised most of his campaign money, $122,374, since the August primary.

He has spent $185,768 since January, mostly on advertising and campaign materials but also fundraiser food and raffle prizes. He spent the bulk of his war chest over the course of the most recent campaign reporting period, which ran from Aug. 12 to Oct. 22.

read ... Honolulu Prosecutor

Ward Rent-a-Poll Looks Bad for Greenwood, Regents

HNN: Former UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan got the highest ratings of the UH officials in a telephone poll conducted earlier this month with 26 percent of the respondents giving Donovan a favorable rating compared to a 32 percent unfavorable rating.

Just 18 percent of the respondents gave favorable ratings to UH President MRC Greenwood, while 37 percent of them rated her as unfavorable.

The Board of Regents -- Greenwood's bosses -- didn't fare well either. Poll respondents gave them a 17 percent favorable rating and a 34 percent unfavorable….

The poll found a high percentage – 43- to 49-percent – of people who said they either never heard of or didn't know enough to have an opinion of Donovan, Greenwood and the regents.

read … Rent a Poll

Iwasa: Greenwood’s UH Misuses Autonomy

SA: Lessons of experience tell us not to regard the hearings as legislative interference. More than anything, the hearings were part of our American system of checks and balances. The university has autonomy, but autonomy has not improved the university. The Board of Regents is empowered to act. Its failure to act invited legislative oversight.

Sen. Kim lifted the veil on how the university is run. She now needs to follow up at the next legislative session. It's time to put the big questions on the table:

· >> Has UH misused autonomy, and should it be temporarily withdrawn?

· >> What is the proper role of athletics at UH-Manoa?

· >> Is UH's research agenda — hiring 50 new high-profile faculty members, for example — being carried out at the expense of quality undergraduate education?

· >> As UH tuition and fees are raised, how will the baccalaureate experience be improved?

· >> Have generous administration salaries resulted in measurable benefits for UH students?

I wonder if others who viewed the Senate hearings felt, as I did, that well-prepared, clear-headed, no-nonsense Sen. Kim threw a touchdown pass on behalf of higher-education reform in Hawaii.

read … Lifting of UH veil reveals more questions

Did HTH Reporter Hunter Bishop Attempt to Suppress $100K Gasoline Theft Investigation?

WHT: A year after county officials discovered that more than $100,000 worth of fuel had been illegally siphoned from the Waimea baseyard pumps, allegedly by Department of Environmental Management employees, the suspects remain free and taxpayers have not been reimbursed for the loss.

The theft of gasoline and diesel fuel had been going on for as long as two years, with DEM Solid Waste Division employees using Department of Public Works gas keys to fill 55-gallon drums with fuel, according to county documents obtained by Stephens Media. A DPW bookkeeper noticed the increase in county fuel purchases, and county employees cooperated with police in a surveillance investigation, according to the documents.

But documents indicate that top DEM officials resisted the investigation and then verbally abused the West Hawaii employee who cooperated with DPW and the police. In March, then DEM Deputy Director Hunter Bishop had also refused to answer West Hawaii Today’s questions about the thefts, although at that time two employees had already been arrested and left the county’s employ…. (Bishop now works as a HTH reporter.)

DEM employees Donald Wilbur, 39, and Billy Colliado, 41, were arrested Oct. 29, 2011….

Wilbur, who was an equipment operator, and Colliado, a Solid Waste Division facility attendant, “separated” from the county in December, said Deputy Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano. She declined to say whether they quit or were fired….

“From the first awareness of the huge amounts of gas and diesel being pumped from the Waimea gas boy pump … I was instructed to look into this matter by (Division Chief) Greg Goodale,” the employee said in his report. “I didn’t get any support from DEM. I couldn’t even obtain a motion camera to put near the pumps.”

The employee described how immediately after the arrests he was called to Hilo to a meeting with Beck, Bishop and other top DEM officials.

“So many questions were thrown at me, as if I were the villain,” he said in his report. “I said that I really thought I did the right thing. We caught the guys red-handed and this stealing is being stopped and this loss of money will end. As far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished.”

Totally Related: FBI investigating? Sex, Lies and Retaliation at Big Island Election Office

read … The Beginning of the End?

HELCO Proposal Under Fire from 200 at PUC Hearing

BIN: Noe Kalipi, a member of the Big Island Community Coalition, a recently formed group seeking to lower Big Island electricity costs, said HELCO’s rate of 40 cents per kilowatt hour is four times the national average.

Bill Walter, president of Shipman Co. and another member of the group, said that the proposal “misses the point” when it comes to adding only a dollar or so a month to an electrical bill. He said the high cost of electricity is already making it very difficult for companies to succeed on the Big Island.

“It’s important to remember that there are other alternatives,” Walter said.

Mililani Trask said while HECO President Constance Lau is receiving a reported $5.2 million in compensation annually, there have been house fires caused by candles used by residents who cannot afford to buy electricity.

Others said the technology AKP wants to use, microwave catalytic depolymerization, has never been done on the scale proposed.

“There is no way this proposal can work,” said Ka`u resident Ronald Self. “They’re also trying to finance this proposal on the backs of the people in this state.”

While most of the several dozen people testifying were opposed to the project, about a half-dozen were in favor.

HR: Ratepayers on Oahu, Hawaii Island, Should Not Be Forced to Pay for Pricey, Experimental Power

WHT: Kenoi said the proposal reportedly fixed the price of the biodiesel at roughly $200 per barrel

read … No Corporate Welfare

Military Responsible for Growth of AP Programs in Hawaii DoE Schools

CB: Hawaii public high schools that participated in a new, federally funded program aimed at improving students’ Advanced Placement (AP) scores reported record results in its first year.

The schools announced a combined 68 percent increase in qualifying scores for AP math, science and English exams. AP scores determine whether the students — who voluntarily enroll in the year-long classes — can receive college credit for the courses taken.

But the program, launched in Hawaii last year, was only implemented at four public high schools with large percentages of students from military families. In fact, the program is designated for military dependents, though the program is open to all students at those schools.

read … Military Dependents

Bio-Logical Capital had interest in buying island of Lanai before Ellison’s purchase

PBN: The new head of Bio-Logical Capital’s Hawaii operations confirms that the Colorado-based land investment company had been interested in purchasing the island of Lanai before Larry Ellison bought it.

There was wide speculation that Bio-Logical Capital was one of a few bidders on the purchase of 98 percent of the Pineapple Island, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the eventual owner, Ellison CEO of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL).

…For now, Bio-Logical Capital is putting most of its focus on finalizing the purchase of the 4,500-acre Hana Ranch on Maui.

“Hana is taking all of our time,” Kaulukukui said.

Related: ‘Lodging Development’ Planned for Hana Ranch?

read … Wind Scammers Grab Land

Alinsky’s ‘Radical Rules’ a way of life

MN: In fact, a simple summary of the new rules of our politics is that the winner is the one who stays on the attack. The loser is the one who pauses to consider the other side's view.

read … ‘Radical Rules’ a way of life

Couch says lot of work ahead; Kay offers real life experience

MN: Kay said she started a newspaper for the Tea Party but is no longer with the organization "because my beliefs don't align well enough."

read … Maui Council Race

Kauai Council OKs additional $15K for case of Police Commission vs. Carvalho

KGI: The money approved by the Kaua‘i County Council to be used in private attorney fees in a Kaua‘i Police Commission versus Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. lawsuit now amounts to $55,000, after last week’s approval by the council of an additional $15,000 to the administration.

Civil complaint No. 12-1-0229, filed June 27 by Honolulu-based attorneys Corlis Chang, Edmund Saffery and Marissa Owens on behalf of the commission, is schedule to go before 5th Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano today at 1 p.m….

On Feb. 2, Carvalho suspended Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry for seven days, and then put him on administrative leave. The commission unanimously voted to put Perry back on his post by Feb. 22. But Carvalho refused to reinstate Perry, and told that the chief was still on administrative leave, according to the complaint. On March 12, Carvalho officially reinstated Perry.

read … Mayor harassing Chief

Horizon Lines sails to profit amid higher volume in Hawaii

SA: The Charlotte, N.C.-based company announced Monday that it earned $1.4 million in the three-month period ended Sept. 23, a major turnaround from a $111.7 million loss in the comparable period last year.

The positive earnings also followed two quarters of losses, each between $25 million and $30 million.

Horizon said improvements to shipping volume, fuel-cost recovery and container rates helped the company turn a profit in the third quarter.

Shipping volume rose 3.4 percent and was driven by added business in Hawaii and Alaska that offset volume weakness in Puerto Rico, the company said.

read … Bleeding stops

Isle foreclosures drop by 85 percent

SA: The 51 cases filed last month is a low not seen since 2006 when the housing market was strong….

read … Foreclosures

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