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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
June 30, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:10 AM :: 5557 Views

July 4: Hawaii Churches to kick off massive voter registration drive

Kickoff announcement at legislature.

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Kelly Hu: Abercrombie is like God

Abercrombie also emphasized his plans to use the so-called "netroots" (nutroots) political network of Internet-based social media that Obama used to raise funds and unite supporters.

Abercrombie was introduced by Honolulu-born actress Kelly Hu, who said she would work as much as she could to elect the Democrat as governor.

"Listening to Neil speak is like going to church," Hu said about the congressman....  (Does Abercrombie have the stuff to build a campaign on obsessed fans as Obama did?)

Attending were several labor leaders including Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and J.N. Musto, University of Hawaii Professional Assembly executive director, although they said it was too early in the campaign season to make an endorsement.

Leading Abercrombie's campaign will be former Gov. Ben Cayetano, Amy Agbayani and Walter Heen, former state appellate judge and Hawaii Democratic Party chairman.

Hannemann's exploratory committee released a statement while the Abercrombie event was just starting, noting that Hannemann has drawn the support of hotel businessman David Carey, Queen's Health System executive Ruth Ono and George Paris, Iron Workers executive director.  (Dem fight: Private sector unions vs public sector unions?)

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Candidate faults Lingle's leadership Panders to unions

Pitting "the private sector against public employees and bashing unions might score some political points, but it's done nothing to stop economic bleeding. It has only made people more angry and disengaged," Abercrombie said at his birthday fundraiser for his governor's campaign at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa....

"We need a governor who can reconcile differences and not seek to impose his or her will, who can forge consensus and not pronounce unilateral decisions, who can solve problems and not just take positions," Abercrombie said.

The Hawai'i Democrat said after his speech that he was not trying to insert himself into the dispute, only describing how he would approach such conflicts if elected governor.

"We have to bring people together and we have to resolve problems that have been festering for a long time," the congressman said. "However they manifest themselves currently, it's a result of not having the leadership there all along.  (AND HIS SOLUTION?  DRUM ROLL PLEASE....)

"How it's going to be resolved now is something I can't do anything about until I have the opportunity."  (ta-duh, followed by one cymbal clash)

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Audit cited DoE ex-administrator in questionable dealings

Former Assistant Schools Superintendent Rae Loui is among the people at the center of a state's auditor's report that criticized questionable procurement practices at the Department of Education.

While the report does not identify persons and companies by name, it recommended the department look into a $300,000 contract that the Star-Bulletin has learned was awarded to M&E Pacific Inc., an engineering company that employs Loui as a vice president of operations.

Elsewhere in the report, she is clearly identified as a female former assistant superintendent who left the department in December 2005.

As assistant superintendent of business services since February 2003, Loui supervised workers in charge of procuring facility contracts.

Before leaving the department, she was actively involved in working with M&E Pacific and listed as the contact person in the department on at least three M&E Pacific contracts totaling more than $1.7 million, the report said....

On April 24, 2007, as part of its good-conduct declaration, M&E Pacific stated it was not represented "on matters related to this contract for fee or other consideration by an individual who, within the past 12 months, has been an agency employee."...

Loui, who has served in a number of government administrative posts on Maui and Oahu, had to defend the procurement process for contracts when she was director of the Department of Design and Construction under Mayor Jeremy Harris.  (No surprise there)

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SB: Suspect contracts deserve scrutiny

What the state auditor described as "a culture of indifference" within the Department of Education appears to have resulted in egregious behavior in the handling of contracts. To her credit, schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto has begun to remedy the problem and has asked the attorney general to investigate possible occurrence of criminal fraud.

The cozy relationships between state education officials and private contractors resulted in many instances of noncompliance with procurement rules and "possible instances of procurement fraud," Auditor Marion Higa reported this spring. Hamamoto told the Star-Bulletin's Gary T. Kubota that the department has completed its own investigation and made changes, including application of "checks and balances" in awarding contracts.

Before 2005, school construction contracts were handled by the state Department of Accounting and General Services, and Hamamoto asked the Legislature to transfer the authority to her department. She later asked for an audit of the first year procurement process by "an external construction management firm," which found no impropriety.

Hamamoto then asked for the Higa audit, which found that the superintendent's delegation of the authority to those beneath her lacked "an adequate control system." Hamamoto acknowledged in a letter to Higa that she sets the "tone at the top."

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State attorney general defends furloughs as legal

In papers filed Monday with Circuit Judge Karl K. Sakamoto, Bennett says state law and past court cases preserve management’s right to furlough workers.

He also contends furloughs are constitutional.

Sakamoto is set to hold a hearing on the unions request for an injunction on Thursday.

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University of Hawaii sports down $2.58M (UHM Academic Marxists too stupid to make a profit at athletics like all the other Univs do)

Based upon unaudited figures through May 31, Donovan said UH forecasts spending of $28.34 million on the 19-team program and revenue of $25.75 million

The deficit will add to what independent auditors said earlier this year was $5.4 million in debt accumulated over the previous five years.

UH had a $300,000 surplus for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, thanks to the football team's appearance in the Jan. 1, 2008, Sugar Bowl. It was the school's most prosperous finish in seven years and helped pare down the accumulated debt from $5.7 million.

RELATED: U-M athletic department projects budget surplus of nearly $9 million

Presenting its fiscal year budget today to the U-M Regents, athletic director Bill Martin projected another surplus - of nearly $9 million - after funding all scholarships to the limit and covering the capital expenditures.

For the year concluding this month, U-M department chief financial officer Jason Winters expects a surplus of $10.2 million.

"We are pleased to project another operating surplus for FY 2010, the ninth straight year of operating surpluses," Martin said in a released statement.

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Ex-reporter faults UH paper's staff in source scandal (Naked Editor with wings still blaming everyone but himself)

"He's a very smart guy," said Jay Hartwell, the paper's editorial adviser.  (Feel the love?) "All we're asking for is verification, which is the reporter's basic responsibility."

Hartwell previously spoke with DeRego about verifying sources when DeRego was commentary editor a year earlier. Some letters to the editor didn't appear to be written by students.

"I told him as commentary editor he needed to verify who was writing letters and that they were actual people," Hartwell said. "At that time, he denied writing those letters."

One letter whose author could not be confirmed commented on a DeRego story, saying "it takes courage to write an article like that." Another unconfirmed author wrote, "Not all of Ka Leo's readers share his (DeRego's) intelligence."  (Sensing a theme here?)

Still, DeRego maintains his innocence.

"I'm a little hurt by it," he said. "I feel as though I've been mistreated by the current editor in chief. I feel like my concerns have been dismissed."  (Oh come now.  Who would dismiss the 'concerns' of a naked guy with wings?)

(He'll soon be a UH professor, or a State Leg candidate)

RELATED: Allegedly Naked Editor with Wings allegedly fabricated sources (endorsed twice by Advertiser!)

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Modified taro varieties ignite farmers' fears (OHA preparing phony controversy to demand 'rent')

Native Hawaiian Lyn Scott said she fears genetically modified taro could contaminate the Hawaiian taro grown by her family for generations in East Maui.

"I prefer we stick to the indigenous taro," said Scott, whose family grows taro in Honopou.

"We don't want that GMO (genetically modified organism) stuff contaminating our plants and valley."

(Of course since taro is propagated by cuttings, it is impossible to 'contaminate', but that won't matter to the Maui Co Council)

RELATED: Councilors want more data on GMO taro ban , Council takes up a ban on GMO taro

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Washington Times: Obama bluffs on defending Hawaii (We're not worth $50M)

July 4 could be another day that will live in infamy. The Obama administration seized headlines June 18 when the Defense Department stated that the United States would deploy ground- and sea-based missile-defense assets to protect Hawaii. This was a response to North Korea's threat to launch a long-range missile on July 4 toward the islands. However, new information suggests that the administration is bluffing and our defenses are inadequate to get the job done.

Missile-defense expert Taylor Dinerman told us that the sea-based SM-3 missiles now deployed to "protect" Hawaii are not equipped with adequate software and communications to intercept a missile traveling from North Korea to Hawaii, which would reach a terminal velocity of Mach 23 to 25. The SM-3s are effective only against targets traveling at up to half that speed. It would take about $50 million to upgrade the software to enable a Mach 25 intercept. The Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile, which also has been activated after successful tests at Barking Sands on Kauai, "doesn't come close" to being effective against this type of threat, Mr. Dinerman said.

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