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Thursday, February 21, 2013
February 21, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:35 PM :: 4856 Views

Heritage: Protectionist Jones Act Harms Puerto Ricans

Upcoming Event: The PLDC and Property Rights in Hawaii

Washington Legislator to Address Maui TEA Party

Long Lines to Vote? Not for the Vast Majority of Americans

Only 11.4% of DoE Graduates Score on AP Exam

 

Impeach Hawaii's Governor? State Senate Establishes Causes

CB: Senate Bill 229 would spell out possible causes for impeachment of a governor, lieutenant governor and appointed officers.

SB 229 passed Senate Judiciary and Labor on Thursday and now awaits a floor vote and likely crossover to the House of Representatives for consideration….

Article III, section 19 of the Hawaii State Constitution addresses impeachment but says very little….

Under the proposed legislation, the causes of possible impeachment would be as follows:

• treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors;
• misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance; or
• moral turpitude

The Hawaii chief justice would preside over any trials, and a two-thirds Senate vote would be required for conviction….

Ihara said the legislation had nothing to do with Abercrombie.

Totally Unrelated >>> Governor’s Funeral Planned: “Rep. K. Mark Takai introduced a House resolution that suggests granting military funeral honors and burial benefits to Hawaii’s governors, even if they have not served in the military….”

read … Qualifications for Holding Office to Become Reasons for Impeachment

61% Raise on Tap? State leader pay to jump double-digits; next round of raises drafted

KHON: The state's top elected and appointed officials are going to see big pay hikes this summer, with more likely to come.

Effective July 1 … that means total raises of between 25 and 38 percent compared to current pay.

"It looks like it's a big raise, but in reality it's just they're actually getting what they should have gotten that they didn't get over the course of this time," said Michael Irish, chairman of the state Commission on Salaries.  (Wow.  Just … wow.)

House and Senate leadership said in a joint statement: "Steady improvement in the health of our economy and forecasts for increasing economic performance enable us to make whole our state employees, judges, and members of the governor's cabinet."

Additionally, the state salary commission, which meets every six years, is weeks away from presenting its next round of recommendations.

The commission's draft proposal has no additional raises this fiscal year, then 2 percent each year from 2014 through 2018 for the executive branch. Judges would see 4% annual raises over the same period. Lawmakers would get 2% annual hikes from 2016 through 2019.

(1.38 x 1.04 x 1.04 x 1.04 x 1.04 x 1.04 = 1.61% by 2018)

read … Pay Hikes

NYT: Hawaii Democratic Senate Primary ‘Could be Competitive’

NYT: Hawaii (special election). The Democratic primary could be competitive in Hawaii after Gov. Neil Abercrombie, facing a choice of several qualified candidates, appointed his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to the seat in December. But there is no indication that the Republicans will be viable in the general election, especially after the former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, lost her Senate race by 25 percentage points in 2012.

read … Nate Silver 535

Sheriff: Proper Procedures Not Followed With Escapee

FOX: Hawaii Sheriff Shawn Tsuha said his department was reviewing the chain of events leading to Munet's escape, and it did not appear proper protocol had been followed for transporting inmates in his case.

Tsuha said similar inmates would normally be shackled by their ankles during transport.

The sheriff also said two of the four vans went into a holding area that is enclosed by a gate, but the other two unloaded passengers outside the gate, including the van holding Munet. Outside the gate, a loading area and small ramp leads up to a normal street.

When asked whether deputies took adequate measures with Munet for transporting inmates, Tsuha said: "My estimation, no."

Read … ooops!

Star-Adv: AG Louie Should Hound Greenwood from Office 

SA: recently lawmakers and the university's current chief executive, M.R.C. Greenwood, have clashed. Last summer's massive fumble over the bogus Stevie Wonder fundraiser showed oversight and accountability at UH to be weak. It severely damaged the trust placed in the university to run its own affairs.

Now new allegations have emerged: that construction projects were mismanaged and that at least one UH official was playing favorites with contracts. Dennis Mitsunaga, owner of an engineering firm and a major Democratic Party donor, has accused Brian Minaai, associate vice president for capital improvements, with steering subcontracts to firms operated by Minaai's friends. According to Mitsunaga, who made the explosive charges in written testimony to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing, millions of dollars could have been wasted.

These are still only allegations, but Greenwood is already aware that UH is skating on thin ice. One telling sign: The regents are also considering clamping down on executive sabbatical benefits, another recognition of the public trust deficit. In the Minaai case, Greenwood has asked the attorney general's office to assist in an investigation of the charges.

In fact, the AG must take the lead in this inquiry and put a high priority on its completion. And the inquiry should be broad enough to uncover any systematic problem with oversight (Translation: It starts at the top) that may exist, beyond the issues concerning Minaai….

Greenwood's various support offices should be enlisted in making this data accessible. If UH officials don't move quickly to correct the perception of secretive, slovenly management, the Legislature seems ready to force their hand.

Sigh… You WERE warned it would end this way: Executive compensation at UC: MRC Greenwood and the $871 million dollar secret, MRC Greenwood and "A Powerful Coterie of larcenous. . . ." (UH's next system President?)

read … About the end?

19,000 Hawaii Defense Workers At Risk Of Being Furloughed

CB: Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told Civil Beat there are about 19,000 civilian DOD workers in Hawaii, who would be subject to furlough.

Robert Lillis, president of Machinists Union Local 1998, said about 850 workers represented by his union in Hawaii are among those facing a 22-day furlough. Those workers include mechanics at Pearl Harbor and hospital employees at Tripler Medical Center, he said.

“They’re dreading it,” Lillis said. “These guys don’t know if they should look for other jobs. This is not a good economy, and these are decent paying jobs — jobs people line up around the block for.”

In addition to defense workers, The Wall Street Journal reported a variety of other federal workers would have to take unpaid lead, including food inspectors and TSA agents. USA Today added that air traffic controllers would also see their hours cut….

read … 19,000

 

 

Surfeit of myths complicates teacher contract negotiations

Jim Williams: Myth: The LBFO forced a 5 percent temporary pay cut on teachers and a 50 percent employee contribution for health benefits.

Reality: Twice prior to July 1, 2011, and several times afterward, HSTA negotiators accepted both. Even the terms the teachers first rejected but then approved last year included both. There is nothing in the LBFO that HSTA didn't already agree to.

Myth: Starting pay for qualified teachers under the LBFO is $31,000 per year.

Reality: The HSTA contract (prior to 2011) and the LBFO provide for an annual salary of $43,157 for fully qualified, entry-level teachers with a bachelor's degree. The temporary wage reduction HSTA agreed to adjusts this amount to $40,999.

Myth: New hires, including many teachers at most schools, are paid $31,000 to $33,000.

Reality: Only teachers who have not completed a state-approved teacher education program receive less than the regular entry-level salary ($43,157/$40,999). Excluding special hires from Teach for America and other unique programs, last year only 140 new teachers were paid at the lower rates, ranging from $31,077 to $32,970.

read … Surfeit of myths complicates teacher contract negotiations

 

 

Hawaii DOE Not Spending Race To The Top Money Fast Enough

 

CB: Hawaii has spent $25 million of its $75 million federal grant, but should be halfway through it by now, said Amy Kunz, DOE chief financial officer.

“It’s not an option not to expend these funds,” she said. “We’re going to make it happen.”

Board member Jim Williams said he appreciates the “heightened awareness” the department is giving the issue, but remains disappointed in the results.

read … No joke!

Legislature votes 23-1 to Protect Child Molesters

PR: Slom offered a floor amendment to Senate Bill 880, which increases mandatory minimums for sexual assaults against minors under 12, to require mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years without the possibility of parole. The bill sets the mandatory minimum at six years, eight months for the most egregious sexual assaults on minors.

"If we don't protect the children, who does?" Slom asked.

But other senators said Slom's proposal would have interfered with judicial discretion. Some also warned that it would have applied to situations where such long prison terms could be overly harsh, such as assaults by developmentally disabled teenagers on minors or sexual acts between minors who are in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.

Sen. Rosalyn Baker said that while it may be tempting to yield to a "lock them up, throw away the key" impulse, longer sentences are not always appropriate….

Who Roz Hired: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

read … They Love Molesters

Homeless Industry Wins Control of Waikiki

Oi: The letter moves on to discuss the overwhelming problem of homelessness, but from a visitor’s point of view. Tourism and hotel industry leaders would agree with the couple that the sight of portable toilets and indigent people gathered or sleeping on Waikiki’s main drag spoils the paradise vacation experience. The letter suggests that police walk down Kalakaua every night, roust homeless people “and have them go elsewhere.” (Great idea, but it is not being implemented.  Instead….)

“Elsewhere” is the problem. Scattered shelters, sparse aid and services and an inability to aggressively tackle homelessness with all of its wide-ranging causes and facets eliminate elsewheres. (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently.)

Not that there aren’t fine attempts, but half measures — like purging tents and sofas from Thomas Square sidewalks, cutting off the poor from legally camping in city parks with an online permit system and fees, shuttering restrooms at park and harbor facilities and shortchanging programs that have potential to help mentally ill street people —work to the negative.  (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently.)

The few successful efforts, such as the Waikiki Health Center’s program to identify and find lodging for Oahu’s most chronic homeless people and the center’s health clinics and other outreach services, show potential.  (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently.)

Even the state’s appointment of a coordinator on homelessness is a good step, acknowledging that the threads of homelessness need a weaver to form solutions. (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently.)

What may be hampering larger success is a mindset that homelessness cannot be solved. For sure, there will always be people who live out of the mainstream and who have difficulties that keep them at the edges, which is acceptable in small numbers. (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently.)

Identifying needs, such as living wages, cheaper rentals, employment training and effective education, and adequate funding for programs and aid would point to improvements, but most important is finding the will to stem homelessness. (Translation: Let them stay homeless permanently—until we achieve Utopia.)

How we got here: Atheist Extortion, Blackmail forced Marc Alexander to Resign

read … Homelessness is Utopian Propaganda

Abercrombie Administration Cuts Deaf Services, then Lies About it

SA: Deaf people and advocates are fighting to preserve state-funded interpreter referral and independent living services, saying they are vital to helping members of the deaf community operate in the hearing world.

But the Department of Human Services says it's too early to worry.

An announcement from the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation that the services would end on June 30 was premature, officials said, and DHS continues to search for funds to pay for the programs.

"The programs are still operating and the department is optimistic it will re-procure these valued services in the next fiscal year," DHS Director Patricia McManaman said in a statement. "We are making every effort to ensure continuity of these services."

Advocates and members of the deaf community aren't convinced that there is no cause for concern.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation told them in early February that two contracts would be terminated because of lack of funds: one to provide the interpreter referral service and the second for services to help with the adjustment to becoming deaf and/or blind.

After public outcry, DHS said the contracts were in fact still being reviewed.

The Record: $5M Settlement in Homosexual Rape Gang case at DoE Blind-Deaf School, Homosexual Rape Gang May Have Claimed 35 Victims at Blind-Deaf School

read … Cover story Still being reviewed

Local 5 Blocks Limited Service Hotel Construction Bill

SA: A bill allowing limited service hotels in lower density, mixed-use neighborhoods of West and Central Oahu was sent back to the City Council Planning and Zoning Committee for retinkering on Wednesday.

Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who heads the committee, said after the meeting that the latest version of the bill would also require any request for a limited service hotel with more than 180 rooms to gain approval from the Council, in addition to the Department of Planning and Permitting. A majority of Council members appear to support such a proposal but just want to make sure the committee can make the change, he said.

Supporters of the bill say limited service hotels would fill a badly needed void in the fast-growing West Oahu and Central Oahu regions. The low-key hotels cater to business- and family-oriented travelers not out for a resort experience. University of Hawaii at West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni said faculty member recruits, visiting scholars and others visiting his campus for a few days or weeks have to stay in Waikiki.

But Unite Here! Local 5, a union that represents hotel and restaurant workers, has led opposition to the measure. Local 5 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Eric Gill said limited service hotels would result in the loss of jobs that typically come with standard or luxury service hotels.

read … High End or Nothing

7 Caldwell cabinet appointees approved by Council

SA: Approved 9-0 were: Mark Rigg as emergency services director; Clarke Bright as Royal Hawaiian Band director; Sherilyn Kajiwara as customer services director; Ross Sasamura as chief engineer and director of facility maintenance; Lori Kahikina as director of environmental services; Chris Takashige as director of design and construction; and Michael Formby as director of transportation services.

Bright is continuing on in the post he was appointed to by former Mayor Peter Carlisle. Sasamura served as chief engineer more than a decade ago under former Mayor Jeremy Harris

read … Mattson’s Picks

Court Blocks Greens’ Challenge to Rep. Say’s Residency

CB: Nakasone instead granted Say his motion to dismiss the petition, concluding that her court doesn’t have jurisdiction over Say’s residency and eligibility to represent the district. That authority lies with the city clerk, who oversees voter registration, she said.

Hawaii law states that someone can represent a district if he or she is a registered voter in that district.

Collins argues voter registration doesn’t translate into residency and that residency is a prerequisite for holding office.

The plaintiffs say it’s clear Say doesn’t live in the Palolo home, located on 10th Avenue. Two plaintiffs said they drive by the house everyday. Very rarely is anyone home, they said.

They also pointed out that Say’s wife and children are registered to vote in Pauoa.

Roughly 11 people, including the plaintiffs and other community members — among them former District 20 Green Party candidate Keiko Bonk — attended today’s hearing in support of the petition. Some said that, though they were surprised by the ruling, they aren’t giving up.

Collins plans to appeal.

read … Court Blocks Greens’ Challenge to Rep. Say’s Residency

Which Ethics Director To Believe?

CB: Conflicting testimony by the current and former directors of the State Ethics Commission before a Senate committee earlier this month exposed different perspectives on the interpretation of a key conflict of interest provision and of the ethics laws more generally. The differences between the two approaches to interpreting and implementing the ethics law also suggests why the commission’s more aggressive stance over the past two years has drawn repeated push-back from legislators.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo and former director Dan Mollway both testified on SB893, a bill to clarify a previous measure exempting certain temporary advisory task forces or committees from conflict of interest provisions of the state’s ethics law. It amended a bill passed last year by extending it retroactively to June 30, 2010, in order to clearly cover members of the legislatively-created mortgage foreclosure task force.

read … Ethics

Are Hawaii Schools Doing Enough to Prevent Youth Sports Concussions?

CB: Cathy Todd draws a single sheet of paper from her purse and slides it across the table, pointing to a diagram. It’s a detailed picture of the human brain, courtesy of WebMD, along with a bullet-point list describing the brain’s parts.

“You see this?,” she asks, tapping her finger on one of the organ’s dark grooves. It’s the temple, the side of the head between the forehead and ear. “That’s where she got hit.”

Todd is referring to her daughter — a 16-year-old Punahou cheerleader who during an October 2011 practice session hit her head on a teammate’s shoulder while trying to do a tumble.

read … Concussions

Honolulu to be Inundated by Global Worming—NOT!

MSNBC: Melting ice in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere will push up seas unevenly around the world, according to a new study that finds some of the highest waters will inundate Honolulu, Hawaii. (Uh-huh)

At the poles, sea levels will actually fall because of the way sea, land and ice interact. For example, the sheer mass of water held in ice in Greenland and Antarctica generates a gravitational field that pulls in the surrounding water. As ice there melts, the gravitational pull weakens and the water is redistributed. (LOL!)

In addition, the melting ice on Antarctica and Greenland will lighten the load on the land beneath it, allowing the land to rebound up and the seafloor to drop a corresponding amount. (In formerly glaciated areas both seafloor and land surface have been rebounding since the last ice age ended.) 

"Meaning that as the seafloor deepens, there is another component of sea-level fall, ironically, around these piles of ice," Charles Fletcher, a geologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explained to NBC News.  (So the seafloor gets deeper, the land gets higher and somehow this equals sea level rise.)

The MSNBC Journo-activist? An unemployed English Teacher

Reality, for those who can handle it: Sea Level? Oahu Rising Two Feet Every 1000 Years, No sea level rise: Pacific islands growing not shrinking, says study

Global Cooling -- Snowstorm in Tucson, AZ: PHOTOS

read … More Profitable Nonsense from the GoreCult

Greenfellas: The Italian Mafia Muscles In On Green Energy Racket

IBD: For an industry all puffed up about its supposed environmental virtue, green energy sure is attracting a dirty crowd. Witness its latest entrant, Italy's Mafia. The mob knows a good fraud when it sees one.

Along with pay-for-play subsidies that have rolled into politically tied companies like Solyndra, green Mafia scams have reached the Netherlands, Britain, Ireland and Spain. Meanwhile, in Germany, carbon trading has drawn corruption of its own.

Italian blogger Pasquale Trivisonne denounced the waste of these scams in Italy — with wasted farmland and noisy windmills, but zero jobs and no energy.

It's money in the pockets of criminals. Green millionaires such as Vigorito got their seed capital from U.S. sources, Trivisonne noted. Vigorito, for one, had ties to Bryan Caffyn, founder of the "Cape Wind Project" in Massachusetts, which has been criticized for giving taxpayers little value for their money.

As Explained: Hawaii Wind Developer tied to Largest-ever asset seizure by anti-Mafia police , Anti-Mafia Police Seize More Property Tied to Hawaii Windfarm Developer

read … Greenfellas

Will Chinese Communists Close Slave Labor Camps?

HR: China appears to be on the verge of closing, or, at minimum, seriously reforming its 350 forced labor camps, together with injecting due process into its system. It is an historic development, one under-reported in the mainstream Western media. The New York Times and Reuters, but far too few other media, are on this story.

read … Labor Camps?

Ex-Con, Felon, 9-11 Truther Relays Third-Hand Account of ‘Threats’

ILind: 9/11 Truther, federal felon, and ex-con Jim Albertini said he was informed of the cancellation late Wednesday afternoon by Joseph Watts, the teacher who extended the invitation and organized presentations to several classes.

1) Albertini, in a press release, said 2) Watts “informed him that in the last 24 hours 3) Principal Dircks received threats and decided to cancel my speaking because ‘it was going to disrupt the school.’”

(With the help of Ian Lind, Albertini has been in a frenzy all week, claiming that the first amendment gives him the right to force his way into the classroom/library of a teacher/military mom who wants no part of his ravings and conspiracy theories.) 

read … Another Conspiracy Theory  

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