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Saturday, November 3, 2012
November 3, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:19 PM :: 5185 Views

OHA for Everyone

Honolulu Rail: Set Phasers On Stun

Hirono's Only Education Accomplishment, Siding With Union Bosses

Hirono, HSTA Celebrate Three Years of Furloughs

Case: If PRP Wins, Negative Will be the New Normal

UHERO: Renewable Energy Tax Credit is Significant Weight on State Budget

UHERO Deploys Latest Excuses For Big Wind, Big Cable

Obama: Vote for Revenge

Romney: Vote for Love of Country

Complete Rundown of Legislative Races

SA: This is our final rundown of potentially competitive state House and Senate campaigns before Tuesday’s election.

The overview remains the same, but we have added the latest campaign-finance figures and have made some other changes:

*We have moved Senate District 25 between Laura H. Thielen, the former director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and former Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings from `tossup’ to `leans Democratic’ because of a late push by the Sierra Club Hawaii chapter for Thielen.

*We have changed House District 20 between House Speaker Calvin Say and Green activist Keiko Bonk from `Democratic’ to `leans Democratic’ because of negative ads by the Sierra Club and door-to-door outreach from Unite Here! Local 5 against Say.

*We have added House District 27 between Rep. Corinne Ching and public-school teacher Takashi Ohno because Ohno has raised more money than Ching and could benefit from a Democratic tilt statewide in a presidential election year.

read … Rundown

Calles: Ruling Doesn’t do a Whole Lot to Stop Rail

"This ruling doesn't do a whole lot to stop the rail. The best it can do is delay it because environmental impact law both at the federal and state levels are informational laws," said David Callies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, William S. Richardson School of Law Professor. (TRANSLATION: Only the Election Can Solve This)

That delay could be to satisfy three issues still on the table. The first deals with Traditional Cultural Properties. A TCP is important to maintaining the cultural identity of the community. The city identified Chinatown as the only one along the 20 mile rail route. The judge said before continuing with the project in any way the city must finish identifying more cultural properties.

Cayetano: Judge's rail lawsuit ruling 'not the complete victory we wanted' 

SA Editors: Ruling affirms choice of rail

read … Legal expert examines rail lawsuit judgment

Ansaldo finishing phase one design work -- HART will get presentation on rail cars later this month

PBN: Construction on Honolulu’s elevated-rail mass-transit project may have stopped more than two months ago because of a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, but a lot of other work related to the project is continuing as planned. Materials to build rail are on the way from the Mainland, and millions of dollars continues to be spent even though the future of the controversial project remains uncertain….

Ansaldo Honolulu JV, which has the $1.4 billion contract to design the trains and control systems, is finishing the first of three phases of its design and engineering work. Company officials said they plan on meeting with HART in a few weeks to review it, and any changes will be completed by the end of the year….

“We have submitted to HART almost 300 documents,” said Enrico Fontana, Ansaldo project manager and managing director, in reference to phase one design work. “These documents explain the conceptual design of the systems. For example, we are describing the fiber optic communications networks, train layouts and dimensions, electrical substation designs, train components and train control equipment.”

read … Money Keeps Pouring Out

Civil Beat Poll - Full Questionnaire and Results

Mrs Abercrombie Gives $3000 to Cayetano

SA: Notable post-primary donations to Caye­tano also included a $1,000 contribution from Nancie Cara­way, wife of Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Cara­way has donated $3,000 to Caye­tano's mayoral campaign this year.

Related: To Stop Mufi, Mrs Abercrombie Joins the Chris Butler Cult

Totally Related: New extra lane opens on H1 (As part of the effort to support Cayetano, Abercrombie opens a 4th lane to reduce traffic and thereby reduce demand for rail. Conversely pro-rail politicos have stifled traffic innovation in hopes of creating demand for rail.)

read … Firms linked to rail donate to Caldwell; lawyers boost rival 

PRP Hawaii Aims to Elect All Pro-Rail Honolulu City Council

HR: Council member Tom Berg and Council member hopeful Sam Aiona also are on the hit list.

The Carpenters Union and Pacific Resource Partnership want to ensure an all pro-rail city council is elected. There are 9 members on the council, and currently two, City Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi and City Council Member Tom Berg, are critical of the project. Council member Tulsi Gabbard resigned from the council to run for Congress, leaving an open seat.

PRP Hawaii and Carpenters are backing Rep. Kymberly Pine, a Republican, who is running against Berg, and Sen. Carol Fukunaga, a Democrat, who is running against anti-rail candidate and former State Rep. Sam Aiona for Gabbard's seat. Pine and Fukunaga are benefitting from Pacific resource Partnership sponsored mailers and campaign volunteers.

Polls show Aiona is slightly ahead of Fukunaga in the polls. Aiona told Hawaii Reporter he received seven mailers sponsored by PRP all advocating for Fukunaga in the Council Dist 6 race. Each mailer costs about $10,000.

Because rail is not popular in District 6, the mailers have not mentioned their support of rail….

read … PRP

PRP Cash Slipping Through the Cracks?

CB: What we found is that PRP told the Campaign Spending Commission that it spent around $1.1 million on television advertising from Jan. 1 to Oct. 22. But that amount falls short when compared to the information we gathered from the TV stations. According to those documents, PRP spent more than $2 million on advertising.

PRP refused to comment for this story or answer questions about the reports. PRP also refused to share any of its records that might explain the discrepancies.

One reason may be a provision in Hawaii’s campaign spending law that says “an expenditure is deemed to be made or incurred when the services are rendered or the product is delivered.”

Essentially this means if an ad didn’t run before the Oct. 22 campaign finance filing deadline it didn’t need to be reported.

PRP also has a non-political arm called I Mua Rail that isn’t required to report how much it spends on advertising as long as it doesn’t support a specific candidate.

read … PRP Cash Slipping Through the Cracks?

Kauai Ruling stuns police panel, prosecutor

SA: Ernest Kanekoa Jr., chairman of the Police Commission, said commissioners were surprised by Valenciano's ruling. "We're not so pleased with it," he said.

"That's how the judge ruled, and we have to abide by it," he said.

The charter states the commission can hire or terminate the police chief, Kane­koa said, adding the questionable area is whether the commission can discipline or suspend the police chief.

It's unknown at this time whether the commission will appeal Valen­ci­ano's ruling.

Perry would not comment at this time.

Deputy Prosecutor Jake Dela­plane said he was also surprised by the ruling. "From my reading of the charter and a lot of respected attorneys' reading of the charter, it appears the Police Commission has the authority to remove, suspend or discipline the police chief."

Delaplane said he thinks the county's charter is clear. "When the mayor removed the police chief by suspending him indefinitely, I believe he violated the charter," he said. "I would hope that the counsel for the Police Commission appeals this ruling because of the ramifications that a ruling like this would have in our county and statewide."

read … go to ICA get a real judge

Teachers Union Launches Website for New Contract

CB: The new website, contractforthefuture.org, provides a timeline of what brought HSTA to this point. The governor has his own version via hawaii.gov. A side-by-side look at the two histories highlights their distinct positions and perceptions….

read … Political Strike Preparations

2 workplace violence complaints at HPD's training academy

HNN: Sources said the most recent alleged incident of workplace violence happened in September at the indoor firing range at the academy.

That's where witnesses reported two firearms trainers got into an argument and one officer hit another in the chest in front of about a half-dozen witnesses.

The officer accused of hitting the other has since retired from the force, a source said.

A second reported incident happened this past summer when witnesses said a training lieutenant -- the third highest ranking officer at the facility -- got into a dispute with another training officer and the lieutenant grabbed the officer by his throat.

The police department confirmed there are separate internal affairs investigations in both cases and released a one-sentence statement.

read … Workplace Violence

Lawsuit: Lawyers Conspire With KoOlina Developers to Shortchange Homeowners

L360: A proposed class of residential property owners has accused McGuireWoods LLP of keeping them from a portion of $100 million in claims in an underlying dispute with a real estate developer, according to a malpractice suit removed to Hawaii federal court Thursday. (Those fools though they were getting a Mainland lawfirm with no conflicts. Hahahahaha!)

Property owners of the Beach Villas at Ko Olina in Oahu, Hawaii, claim that the law firm and one of its attorneys, Sidney Kanazawa, entered into a settlement agreement with the property's developer, Centex Homes, that allegedly deprived them of the claims they could...

Surprise, Surprise: Sidney Kanazawa is from Honolulu, former ASUH Pres at UH Manoa

read … Lawyers Conspire With Jeff Stone

Hawaii’s 11,466 Missing Voters

CNN: 11,466. That's Hawaii's magic number on Election Day.

If voter turnout stayed exactly as it did in 2008 (impossible, I know, but hear me out) then 11,000-some new voters would push the Aloha State out of last place for voter participation. Watch out West Virginia, Hawaii is coming for you. If 11,466 more people voted in the presidential election in Hawaii, then the state's turnout rate would hit 50% of the eligible population, based on numbers compiled by George Mason University's Michael McDonald on a site called the United States Election Project. That would push Hawaii past West Virginia, which had a 49.9% turnout.

read … 11,466 New Voters

Solar Scammers Turn $2.69M Cash into $1M in Subprime Loans

SA: A public-private partnership working to lower upfront costs for renewable energy systems and more efficient household appliances in Hawaii announced that it has made $1 million in loans since the program was launched a year ago.

The initiative, called GreenSun Hawaii, is using $2.69 million in federal stimulus money to create a "credit enhancement" fund that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to borrow money for such investments. The program reduces interest rates for some borrowers and helps others qualify for loans that lenders might not otherwise approve.

GreenSun Hawaii, administered by the Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corp….

Quick Math Problem: 2.69 – 1 = 1.69

read … Turn $2.69M into $1M

After Dumping Pie-In-The-Sky Windfarm Scheme, Ellison Boosts Lanai Tourism

PBN: The island of Lanai’s transformation under Larry Ellison has so far included plans for, among other things, injecting about a hundred new jobs into the Pineapple Isle’s economy.

With many of these positions already added at the two resorts and beyond, it appears that Oracle Corp.’s billionaire CEO is taking a more aggressive approach to boosting Lanai’s visitor industry than did Lanai’s former owner, David Murdock, who eventually cut jobs at the Four Seasons resorts and acknowledged losing tens of millions of dollars on the properties….

But economic growth will present new challenges for Lanai residents, starting with the need for more affordable housing. Help may be on the way, though, as the Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns has plans to work with a developer to build a substantial residential project on Lanai that would include about 200 new lots.

Lanai, which has roughly 3,000 residents, had a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 1.6 percent in September, down from 5.4 percent the same time last year, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Meanwhile, the number of visitors traveling by air to Lanai as their only destination during a trip to Hawaii rose 43.4 percent to 919 in September, up from 641 during the same period last year, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. So far this year, there were 8,444 visitors to Lanai, down 3 percent from the same time last year.

read … Simple Plans, not Big Schemes

LUC revisiting approvals for malls, hears testimony

MN: A meeting room at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Kahului was transformed into a courtroom Thursday as the state Land Use Commission heard opening arguments in a case that will determine whether two planned retail centers and 250 affordable housing units can proceed on lands mauka of Piilani Highway in Kihei….

"The county intends to show that based on a review of the project's history . . . the developer represented, and the commission understood, that the uses in the county's M-1 Light Industrial zoning district would be permitted for this project," Hopper said. "Both commercial and apartment uses are allowed in this district."

Jesse Souki, director of the state Office of Planning, took issue with the county's argument, saying that the matter before the commission is "not whether the proposed project today is consistent with county zoning and other county entitlements."

"It is about whether the proposed project is substantially compliant with the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision and Order issued over 17 years ago on February 10, 1995," Souki said.

"The state will show that if the petitioners are to proceed with their proposed Piilani Promenade and housing developments, as indicated for the first time in approvals drawn from the county, they would not be acting in accordance with the representations they made to the LUC in 1994 and '95," he said.

Souki added: "Consequently, the question for the commission is not whether a shopping mall is a good idea for the region or whether affordable housing is needed in the region. . . . The crux of the matter is that the commission, the parties and the community were never presented with the project that the petitioners are proposing today. We shouldn't be trying to avoid the process."

read … Piilani Promenade

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