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Monday, February 25, 2013
February 25, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:12 PM :: 4407 Views

Reapportionment: Plaintiffs Attorneys Back SB286

Bill 4 to Create New Honolulu Council Slush Fund?

CIP: $113M New Spending at Airports, Harbors

What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct

CB: In 1997, Honolulu police officer Russell Won went to federal prison for his involvement in beating an inmate at the Pearl City police station.

A year later, he was back in Honolulu — and back in police work. The federal prison sentence didn’t cause the Honolulu Police Department to fire him. Instead, he was put on leave without pay while he did his time.

When his sentence was over he was assigned to train new recruits at the academy. He kept his gun and badge and went on to become a detective ….

CB: Only A Few Honolulu Cops Have Lost Their Jobs

CB: Analysis Of Honolulu Police Misconduct

CB: INFOGRAPHIC: Honolulu Police Misconduct Through The Years

read … In the Name of the Law- What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct

Reapportionment: Trade Canoe for Census Base?

ILind: SB286, introduced by Sam Slom, the Senate’s lone Republican, would define “permanent resident” as “any individual counted as a usual resident in the last preceding U.S. census within the State of Hawaii.”

…it is also the subject of a pending federal lawsuit which alleges the exclusion of military and other non-residents violates the U.S. Constitution.

I’m told the bill appears to have the backing of other senators, reps and perhaps the AG’s office as part of a deal with the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against the reapportionment plan. There are apparently negotiations going on behind the scenes to have the plaintiffs withdraw their suit in exchange for a promise all future reapportionments will be based upon total population, including non-resident military, their dependents and out-of-state students.

Dropping the lawsuit would also mean the ban on canoe districts would remain in place.

read … ILind: Trade Canoe for Census Base?

HB603: Calvin Say ‘Castle Doctrine’ Bill

CB: Allows the use of deadly force when protecting one’s primary dwelling against an intruder who enters the primary dwelling without invitation. Exempts the actor from civil liability for injuries or damages resulting from the use of deadly force.

House Bill 603, introduced by Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say at the request of another party, has a hearing Tuesday (Feb. 26) in House Judiciary.

read … Castle Doctrine

A soda tax would hurt business revenues and cause worker layoffs

SA: As an employee of Ball Hawaii Can Plant, a company with a long and well-regarded history in the state, the consequences of taxing soft drinks could put my job, and that of my 45 fellow employees, in jeopardy.

A tax on soft drinks is estimated to cause a 10 percent drop in volume — a dramatic enough hit that would force Ball Hawaii Can Plant, which has provided good jobs on the island since 1979, to shut down production and close its doors for good.

We are the only can manufacturing plant in Hawaii. If you are holding a canned soda, fruit drink, punch or any other beverage made here in Hawaii, you are holding a can we made locally. If our plant shuts down, not only would 46 hard-working people be out of a job, cans would have to be shipped in from the mainland. This would add significant cost to the entire supply chain that would eventually be passed to the consumer….When the deposit bill became law in 2005, we lost about 8 percent of our volume, and we had to lay off an entire crew.

SA: A fee on sugary drinks? More Details Needed

read … Soda Tax

$5.75 Million Settlement Awarded to Deaf and Blind Students Sexually Assaulted by Gang at Hawaii Public School

HR: For more than a decade, some of the school’s administrators and students covered up a terrible secret – young children between 12 and 16 years old were being terrorized - robbed, raped, sodomized and even gang raped on campus and on the school buses – not by employees, but by other children. There are just 80 children enrolled in the school, which is located on the edge of Waikiki, Hawaii’s main tourism hub, and just across the street from the Honolulu Zoo….

"We're talking about instances where boys are sodomized, girls are raped. We're talking about digital penetration, we're talking about oral sex, and it's all over the place, whether it's in school buses, it's in dorms. Some people who can't see so they can’t be witnesses, we have people who can't hear so they can't hear outcries. There's no question that people in the highest places of D.O.E. knew about this. They knew about it at the very latest in 2009 and probably before,” Green said in August 2011 when he announced the class action lawsuit.

Read … Homosexual Rape Gang

Taxpayers Owe $550K After Kids Are Put in ‘House of Horror’ with Sovereignty Activist

CB: State social workers in the late 1990s placed five siblings in a home with their aunt and her husband, a convicted rapist who was later pardoned.

And when Department of Human Services officials realized their error and tried to correct it, they should have opposed the family’s wish to put the kids in the care of that same aunt’s adult children, attorneys later argued. It was too close in proximity to a dangerous environment.

The kids endured years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of the aunt, Rita Makekau, and the couple that in 2000 became their legal guardians, Gabriel and Barbara Kalama. The abuse didn’t stop until the oldest boy confided in a classmate who then told a teacher.

Criminal charges were filed and the case went to court, where attorneys described the kids’ living conditions as a “house of horror.” Vicious beatings. Dog food for dinner. Sexual assault.

The abuse allegedly started in 2004 and persisted until the kids were removed in 2006, attorneys said.

A judge decided to put the aunt, Rita Makekau, and the guardians, Gabriel and Barbara Kalama, behind bars — at least for a little while.

A subsequent civil case to get the children some financial relief ended in a $550,000 settlement with the state, which is where we’re at today in this sad saga.

The Legislature is in the process of deciding whether to approve the claim…Three new claims were added this month to House Bill 775, bringing the total request up to $4.85 million.

What Civil Beat Left Out: Sovereignty activist 'tortures' children

read … Just another typical sovereignty activist

Pathways needed to help homeless

SA Editorial: There have been assorted efforts to broaden the range of emergency and traditional housing options, but not all the challenges arise from the number of rooms available.

One aspect, which the stalled project known as Pathways was designed to remedy, lies in persuading some of the most troubled members of the population — including those with substance-abuse and mental-illness problems — that they can and should come in and get back on the path to more independent living….

The principal impediment was revealed recently when Sheila Beckham, chief executive officer of the Waikiki Health Center, said the clinic had to withdraw its offer to operate Pathways. The problem, she said, was that the 18-month subsidy offered by the city would have covered construction but not operations of the facility. And the center administrators are right to feel concerned that the expense of running the programs would strain the agency's finances and threaten its principal mission as a federally certified health center….

The problem may reach the point where a stopgap solution, such as creating a sanctioned campsite for people who won't go to shelters, may have to be considered. But most of the experts in the field believe that this amounts to sweeping the problem under the rug and that homelessness won't be solved until the community at large works at steering unsheltered families and individuals toward the help they need….

Related: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

read … Pathways needed to help homeless

Hawaii lawmakers debate geothermal energy proposal

KHON: The House Committee on Finance is considering a proposal Monday that would require county approval of geothermal energy projects.
Advocates say the proposal adds important environmental safeguards and community input.
But opponents say that the bill doesn't provide enough protections. The original version of the bill established stricter regulations on development but was opposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

read … Bill Number?

 

Abercrombie: I Want $20M to Turn the Bourgeoisie into Welfare Queens

 

SA: Looking to drive throttle entrepreneurship in an economy dominated by tourism and the military, the Abercrombie administration is willing to spend $20 million over two years to help local startup companies take ideas to market become welfare queens, not entrepreneurs.

The misnamed Hawaii Growth Initiative would be a state investment giveaway program that would help prevent the commercialization of any research being conducted in the islands, mentor nip budding entrepreneurs and de-mobilize startup investment capital. The administration contends the state money would attract additional private-sector investment and hatch new companies that would create higher-paying jobs and diversify the state's economy—and they say it with a straight face.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has wanted to nurture destroy an innovation economy as part of his "New Day" agenda, but this is the first year since the governor was elected that the state has some money available for that purpose.

The state's track record on economic diversification has been meager, however. Financial incentives have benefited a few private interests — most notably investors in film production and solar power — but have not transformed the economy.

State lawmakers will likely not agree to the administration's request — $10 million each in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 — without some safeguards to protect taxpayers' money.

Ignore: "State can neither measure nor ensure the effectiveness of the nearly $1 billion in tax credits." -- Hawaii State Auditor Marion Higa, July, 2012

read … Abercrombie wants to give $20 million to business entrepreneurs

Whale Worshippers Hit Whales, Then Demand Ferry Slow Down

SA: A spate of collisions between (Whale-Watching) vessels and endangered humpback whales has prompted some ‘scientists’ to call for stricter rules — including boating speed limits — in the animals' winter migratory waters in Hawaii. (Translation: They are attacking another ferry.)

But some commercial vessel operators argue the rules are unnecessary because the humpbacks are thriving. One estimate, the number of whales migrating between Alaska and Hawaii, has increased at least 15 times in a little more than 30 years.

"The bottom line really is the whales have recovered fabulously," said David Jung, who has operated his Molokai Princess ferry for 25 years (without hitting any whales). "And what is the sense of piling on more laws that are absolutely not needed?"

In late January a (whale-watching) vessel struck a humpback whale about a half-mile out of Lahaina Harbor, leaving blood in the water. A second whale strike by a (whale-watching) boat was reported the next morning off Maalaea, Maui. That whale also disappeared.

read … Scientists seek to slow boats to spare whales

Caldwell: Five-year plan for Potholes

SA: Caldwell will discuss the goal during a 1 p.m. news conference at a road construction site on Kewalo Street near Wilder Avenue. His five-year plan calls on work crews to repave several thousand street segments worn down by the island's wet weather and strained with heavy traffic. In 2013 it aims to repave about 290 lane-miles of road. Some 310 lane-miles would be repaved in 2014 and again in 2015.

The move follows years of road repair neglect across Oahu, where city and state officials have often failed to keep pace with routine maintenance and have only recently started making pushes to catch up.

LINK: Searchable road repair database

read … ‘Five Year Plan’

Foreclosure law has Hawaii homeowners associations covering maintenance costs

SA: The problem, according to condo associations, is that dramatic changes to state foreclosure law in each of the past two years have prolonged foreclosures — a period during which delinquent owners typically don’t pay maintenance fees needed to maintain or repair buildings and common areas.

What’s resulted are some gaping maintenance fee holes for condos with significant numbers of owners facing foreclosure.

State law, however, limits homeowners associations on what they can recover from new owners of troubled units after foreclosure. And often those new owners are the lenders that initiated foreclosure.

Edward Taylor, a Kaha Lani condo owner, calls the situation a “major consumer and citizen protection flaw” in Hawaii foreclosure law….

House Bill 21 would let homeowners associations collect all unpaid association fees in foreclosures before lenders get their proceeds from a sale.

About 50 people, many of them condo owners, submitted written testimony in support of the bill….

The Hawaii Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association of Hawaii and the Hawaii Financial Services Association oppose HB 21….

read … Foreclosure law has Hawaii homeowners associations covering maintenance costs

Transportation and Economy

Panos: This is a 22 minute lecture on the very many facets of Transportation and its effect in the regional, national and world Economy.

It's in the format of a movie for my public access TV show Panos 2050: Sustainable Solutions for Hawaii on Transportation and Economy.

Click the link and wait a few seconds for the movie to load.

read … Fix Oahu!

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