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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
December 5, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:06 PM :: 4822 Views

Greenwood to Kim: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Over 200 Hawaii Teams in Blaisdell Robotics Tourney

Hawaii Medicaid Spends Least on Long Term Care

Atheist Threat Shuts Down Charity Concert

HNN: For the past six years, the award-winning group and volunteers from the New Hope Church have raised more than $200,000 for a charity that treats poor people in Hawaii.

Concert volunteer Chad Brownstein said that this year's event has sold more than 600 tickets and would have generated about $30,000 in sales and donations.

But that all came to a halt on Monday when the Department of Education decided to cancel the concert just four days before the event.

In a letter to the Department of Education, Mitch Kahle, founder of the Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church, took issue with the involvement of New Hope Church, which handles ticket sales and sells those tickets at it's services.

"The issue here is an entanglement between a public school and a Christian church," said Kahle.

"And one of the things about the constitution is that it prohibits the involvement of public schools and churches." (WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!)

SA: “The plan was to give 100 percent of ticket sales and donations received to Mercy Ships,” Brownstein said. “Our goal was to raise $30,000, which in West Africa can go a really long way.”

read … Atheist Trash

Mainland Lawyer in Hawaii Conspiring to Impose Gay Marriage

CB: The … attorney considered "the architect" of the national marriage equality movement, Evan Wolfson, is in Honolulu this week to talk about recent ballot victories in four states, the status of the movement and the possibilities for Hawaii.

Wolfson is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, which is working to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act, push gay marriage in more states ….

Wolfson will give a talk, titled "Winning The Freedom To Marry In Hawaii," at 7.m. Wednesday at Aloha Tower's Pier Ten.

The talk is sponsored by Equality Hawaii, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Hawaii Pacific University Student Government Association. The event includes a Q&A with Tony Wagner of HRC and Equality Hawaii. Click here for more information.

read … Mainland Lawyer

Wind Scammers Blame Fire Department for Kahuku Fire, Same Technology Now Used on Maui

CB: Alan Gotcher, president and CEO of Xtreme Power …said the fire department could have acted more quickly to put out the blaze. Meantime, lawmakers grilled state health officials for accepting results of the wind farm developers' own tests for chemical pollution after the fire….

Gotcher said that the company had ruled out 28 out of 30 potential causes of the fire. He said that right now officials were looking into whether the problem stemmed from the battery ground fault or foreign material left between the inverters and battery access.

First Wind has installed similar battery storage technology at its Kawailoa II wind farm on Maui that went online in July, according to Tom Siegel, vice president of transmission for First Wind….

Gotcher said that the fire could have been easily contained with only minor damage if fire department officials had used a couple of carbon dioxide fire extinguishers that were onsite to put out the blaze….

The fire department held an impromptu press conference a few hours later refuting Gotcher’s comments.

“When our firefighters first arrived there, there was smoke coming out of the larger warehouse and there was no way that was a small fire, where going in with an extinguisher would have been successful,” sad Terry Seelig, the fire department's public information officer….

The wind farm developers were not the only ones under scrutiny. The senators also grilled state health department officials about studies that were conducted to determine whether toxic chemicals released during the fire posed a health risk.

The health department instructed First Wind and XTreme Power to hire a company to conduct studies on air, soil and surface quality. The results indicated that lead levels, the major concern, were well within safe levels, according Elizabeth Galvez, an official with the health department’s hazard evaluation and emergency response office.

But Hee said he was very concerned that the state health department didn’t conduct its own studies, or at least choose the contractor for the studies.

“Don’t you see that it is a potential conflict in terms of the perception of who is doing the reporting?” he said, noting that he wasn’t suggesting that the wind developers were involved in anything nefarious.

“What confidence does the public have knowing that the fox asked whomever to guard the hen house?”…

Repairs to the Kahuku wind farm are not expected to be completed until the third quarter of 2013, according to Siegel, who said that a decision had not yet been made as to whether it will again include battery storage.

As Explained: Xtreme Power: A Pig-in-a-poke For Hawaii Wind Farm

read … Lying Wind Scammers

Shapiro: Return Election Control to LG

SA: Hawaii elections have been exercises in ineptitude since the Legislature decided in 1995 that it was a bad idea for voting to be supervised by a partisan elected official and took the job away from the lieutenant governor.

Elections were put under the control of an unaccountable commission appointed by the House speaker, Senate president and minority leaders from both houses.

The irony is that in the 36 years the lieutenant governor ran Hawaii elections, there were few major foul-ups in the balloting or serious allegations of political manipulation.

In the 17 years since the LG’s involvement ended, one problem after another has shaken public confidence in the integrity of our elections.

read … Backwards

Akaka Bill backers trying to make end run around Congress

SA: Three of the largest Native Hawaiian advocacy organizations have announced their intention to bring together their networks on Dec. 6, 2013, at the "Your Money-Your Land-Your Self Determination" convention. The agenda will include discussion of a role for the U.S. federal government via the Department of the Interior in the establishment of a Native Hawaiians-only nation.

The organizations convening the gathering are the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands, and the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homeland Assembly….

involvement of the Department of Interior is an attempt to end-run the failure of the Akaka Bill in Congress through the assertion of presidential executive authority….

read … Akaka Tribe

Progressives: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ is an Opportunity to Trash Military

ILind: The fiscal cliff isn’t just a problem, it’s also an opportunity to realize that long-term cuts in the military budget, including the share that trickles down to Hawaii, are indeed likely. Factor in the loss within a few years of Dan Inouye’s clout in the U.S. Senate and his ability to steer federal dollars into Hawaii’s economy, and those cuts appear even more likely.

How do we move forward in a proactive way? The first task is to challenge the military’s status as a sacred cow, and subject the it to the same level of scrutiny given other major institutions in our community, including the costs, as well as economic benefits, of the extensive military presence. This is the prerequisite to all further changes.

With persistence, we can create space to debate and discuss the military’s economic role as well as it’s broader political impact, and begin developing plans for alternative civilian uses of at least some of the 118 separate military facilities and 230,939 acres of military-controlled land in the state.

This type of planning can end up creating a self-fulfilling prophesy, as contingency plans begin to demonstrate the viability of alternatives to continued military dependence.

read … Never Let a Crisis go to Waste

Hawaii Medical Association Opposes Physician-Assisted Suicide

CB: The Hawaii Medical Association, along with the American Medical Association, oppose any bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide or death. We believe physician-assisted suicide to be unethical and fundamentally inconsistent with the pledge all physicians take to devote themselves to healing and life.

The AMA Board of Trustees Report (#48) issued in 1996 articulates well the HMA’s views on this issue. It states:

Physicians, by nature of their calling, have compassion for those who suffer pain and indignity at the end of life. Instead of assisting those patients in committing suicide, this compassion and respect for patient dignity instills a demand on the profession to focus on the quality of care at the end of life….the cost to society of physician-assisted suicide is simply too high. The physician’s primary obligation is to advocate for the individual patient. At the end of life, this means that the physician must strive to understand and assist patients with various and unique existential, psychological and physiological factors that play out over the course of end-of-life care. Permitting physician involvement in assisted suicide would impose a significant and irreversible course change in the patient/physician relationship.

…The words of ethicist Hans Jonas summarize well the consequences of embarking upon the dangerous path of legalized physician-assisted suicide: “The role of taker of life must never be assigned to a physician; in any case, the law must never permit him to perform it, for this would jeopardize and perhaps destroy the physician’s role in society. A patient must never have to suspect that his physician might become his executioner. (Hastings Center Report, Vol 25, No 7 – Special Issue 1995).

read … Suicide

Souki Snags Two More Dems, Still Needs GOP

PR: State Rep. Joseph Souki has a 23 to 21 advantage over Speaker Calvin Say among Democrats in their House leadership fight.

Rep. John Mizuno, who had been in Say’s camp, has joined Souki and his coalition of dissidents and Republicans. Mizuno would be vice speaker if Souki takes power.

Newly-elected Rep. Takashi Ohno said Monday that he, too, is cooperating with Souki. Ohno had been undecided.

Souki, the dissidents, and the Republicans have 30 votes, four more than the 26 necessary to control the House. Most significantly, however, Souki has the edge over Say among Democrats….

Say said that he was disappointed that Mizuno had left but predicted others in his faction would hold, forcing Souki to follow through on his pledge to organize with Republicans when the session opens in January.

read … 23-21

BoE: ‘Rules’ Say Teachers Work More Than Seven Hours

KHON: Some teachers statewide have been participating in protests, only working their obligated seven-hour work day.

According to the BOE memo, "If the teacher normally arrives in advance of the start of his/her work day or stays beyond the end of his/her seven-hour work day he/she can choose not to be available to assist students outside of those hours."

But it also says: "teachers, as part of their professional obligations, must devote considerable time outside of school hours to prepare for instruction."

In fact, if there are no volunteers to cover school-related activities beyond the school day, the contract "allows the principal to assign such work on a fair and equitable basis."

"Teachers are professional, the hours in the contract are minimal in recognition of their professionalism in recognition of the fact that regardless of the hours, they're going to put in extra time," Williams said.

Teachers are fighting for a new contract that includes more compensation. The state and teachers' union are scheduled to resume negotiations tomorrow.

"We do our best to give them the best compensation we can," he said.

The BOE is also looking to change the calendar for the next school year. It would give teachers professional days back and restore 3.5 percent of their pay.

The BOE will vote on that next month.

SA: Teachers must work after class, state says

KGI: Kapa‘a Middle, Kalaheo teachers rally

read … Work to Rule?

Board Members Want More Answers From Consultant's Bus Study

CB: perhaps the biggest problem facing the state as it moves forward with the consultants' plan is the lack of critical data, even things as simple as who is getting on each bus and how often they are riding it.

Board members Brian De Lima and Jim Williams had to practically sidestep Chair Don Horner to get MPS' Tim Ammon and Tom Platt to answer their questions about why the 63-page report — which the DOE released Friday — lacked a more specific implementation plan and cost assessment.

After trying multiple times to ask the consultants what data they needed to help them provide a more detailed analysis, De Lima threw up his hands in frustration as Horner again sidetracked the questioning. Eventually, Williams was able to get De Lima's questions answered for him.

Part of the reason the data doesn't exist is the department is not collecting it in any consistent format right now, Ammon said.

KITV: Overhaul of school bus transportation, report recommends

SA: Board tells state to deal with bus costs

SA: School bus overhaul overdue

read … Bus Study

Now that Rail is Approved, State Suddenly Acts to Reduce Traffic Jams

KHON: Starting Sunday, December 9th at night, crews will begin the process of re-striping the lanes to add an extra westbound lane, which will start at the Stadium/Halawa/Camp Smith exit.

"So right here, instead of having this merge lane there will actually be four lanes, and you won't have to merge right there when the project's finished. It'll continue on," said Sluyter.

And it'll continue on all the way to the Aiea - H1 split.

Currently only one lane of traffic gets off at Aiea/Pearlridge, but once they add a 4th lane, he two left lanes will exit at Aiea/Pearlridge, and the other two will still continue on to the H1 Freeway towards Pearl City.

Each of the four lanes will be eleven feet wide, just a foot smaller than the current lanes.

And again -- the project will begin this coming Sunday, and is scheduled to take seven days to complete.

(Translation: They needed to create demand for rail by jamming traffic unnecessarily.)

read … State adding extra lane to freeway in Red Hill area

Gov: Hawaii taking cautious view on fiscal cliff

HNN: Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says his budget planning is cautiously anticipating the state may need to make up anywhere from $25 million to $40 million in lost federal funds depending on how Washington acts on the so-called fiscal cliff.

Abercrombie said Tuesday at a news conference to announce a state bond sale that his administration is taking the approach that if federal lawmakers can't come through, Hawaii will plan for added costs.

Abercrombie declined to be more specific about which programs could be affected…

Nov 27, 2012: Chaos: Abercrombie Budget Assumes no Federal Budget Cuts

CB: Abercrombie: Hawaii Heading In 'Other Direction' of Fiscal Cliff

KITV: Abercrombie Reassures on Fiscal Cliff

read … Changing Tune

Audio of Abercrombie Threatening Greenwood

HR: "So, uh, again, um, I realize that, uh, for whatever set of reasons my, uh, advice and counsel, to this point, uh, hasn’t, um, been the path taken. But I am suggesting, on behalf of the University’s interests, on behalf of your interests, and Chan… Chancellor Apple’s interests, which, in all, I’m, I’m certain you understand, and I certainly hope you do understand, is, is.. are, are the interests I would like to support and defend, as best I can.

"Uh, that you, uh, cause to be, uh, posted tomorrow. No later than tomorrow. Uh, in fact, I think if you could post it tonight, it would be an even better idea… Uh, to have a meeting, uh, on this issue…. Regardless of what happens, uh, on, on Wednesday. You should do it by Thursday.

"Yeah, uh, I reiterate to you my, uh, my uh, projection is… not... I can’t say for certain, but… um, what I told you was gonna happen, and what I thought would happen, has happened."

"And I am, again, what I think is gonna happen, if this, if this suggestion isn’t, uh, acted on, is that, uh, by Wednesday evening or whenever that Regents meeting ends…"

"If there’s not a satisfactory, uh, and decisive conclusion to that, um, um… there will be a full fledged effort, uh, by, uh, the Legislature, uh, members of the Legislature, to bring it to a conclusion, um, themselves."

ILind: Faculty pushing back on administrative salary bloat on some mainland campuses

Listen … Audio of Governor's August 16 call to MRC Greenwood

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano hospitalized overnight

HNN: Cayetano reportedly checked into The Queens Medical Center late Monday night and stayed until early Tuesday afternoon.

The reason for his recent hospital stay is reportedly flu-like symptoms.

Cayetano was hospitalized in August of 2012 for two days after complaining of symptoms consistent with a bleeding ulcer.

And 15 years ago, then-Governor Cayetano collapsed from a bleeding ulcer. He was hospitalized at that time for five days.

read … Hospital

DLNR to Waste $100K on ‘Large Yellow Object’?

HTH: The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is still unsure when a large container can be removed from a Ka‘u shoreline.

Deborah Ward, agency spokeswoman, said the 10-foot high and 20-foot wide yellow object, resting on state land, will have to be removed through private property.

Ward said DLNR is talking to the landowner about gaining access but no agreements have been made.

The agency has budgeted $100,000 to remove the container. Ward said that may be much more than it needs.

read … $100K

Mayor Mafiaboi Sets off Fireworks

WHT: … the surprise aerial show at 7 p.m. was the kicker to a post-inauguration shindig for Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Wainaku Executive Center. (Know what they do by what they deny.)

Kenoi spokesman Ilihia Gionson said the party was “a campaign event, not a county event” and that the fireworks were set off on the grounds of the center. Denial #1

Kenoi said in a voicemail message Tuesday afternoon that the fireworks show was donated by Hawaii Explosives and Pyrotechnics of Mountain View.

“I know they got all the required permits,” Kenoi said. “They notified all adjoining properties within a 1,000-square-foot radius.” Denial #2

Police Capt. Robert Wagner, commander of the South Hilo Patrol Division, said police dispatchers logged only two calls on the event.

Wagner said that since no roads were closed, a police permit wasn’t required. Denial #3

read … Three Strikes


Hawaii Business BOSS Survey - December 2012

PBN: Overall Economy Maintains Momentum…Most Optimism Since 2004….

read … BOSS Survey

Federal Lawsuit Claims Jones Act Violates the U.S. Constitution

HR: Most Hawaii residents haven’t heard of the Jones Act, but one Hawaii lawyer and several business owners say the 1920 federal shipping law has a major negative impact on virtually ever resident and business in the state, and they are challenging the law in U.S. District Court.

John Carroll, an attorney and former state lawmaker, has filed a class action suit against the federal government on behalf of his clients. They maintain the Jones Act violates the Commerce Clause by restricting shipping between states to American-owned and manned ships and thereby hurting businesses and residents by inflating the cost of goods.

read … Jones Act

Global Worming: More Doom and Gloom from the Gore Cult

CB: Among the report’s highlights:

  • - Decreased freshwater supplies in the future
  • - Higher air temperatures, especially at high elevations
  • - Higher sea-surface temperatures causing coral bleaching and linked to the increased prevalence of certain coral diseases
  • - Threats to traditional lifestyles of indigenous Pacific Island communities
  • - Rising sea levels, causing coastal flooding and erosion that are likely to damage coastal infrastructure and agriculture, impact tourism, and negatively affect ecosystems and endangered species.

There will be a free public forum about the report’s findings on December 10 at the East-West Center.

Meantime, checkout the full report.

read … Get a Massage




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