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Thursday, August 6, 2009
August 6, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:21 PM :: 10728 Views

Hanabusa readies run for Abercrombie's seat

"I assume she will have a great deal of support from organized labor, women and consumer groups," said the strategist, who asked not to be identified.

the strategist said a Hanabusa campaign is expected to generate "a great deal of enthusiasm and will get support from some of the major political leaders in the state."

Hawaii's Sen. Dan Inouye has held several meetings with Hanabusa here and in Washington. At Inouye's request, Hanabusa ran the local Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

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Unions must do their part to resolve crisis

When Gov. Linda Lingle announced Tuesday that layoff notices are being delivered to 1,100 employees, she still was awaiting the unions' formal response to a settlement proposal handed to them more than two weeks ago. Earlier, a negotiation session was called off because one of the union leaders was said to be on the mainland.

(With their old contracts guaranteed to remain in place by the Judiciary, and any layoffs possibly to be dissipated in a flurry of lawsuits, what incentive do the union bosses have to negotiate?)

Lingle said the "elaborate procedures" of layoffs make it impossible to estimate the savings at this point. The layoffs will be based on how to keep "high-priority" or "core" functions operating, but seniority will allow "bumping."

Although the governor is empowered to cut jobs to balance the budget, the administration also appreciates the difficulty Ben Cayetano experienced as governor trying to lay off employees 15 years ago. In his memoirs, Cayetano wrote about trying to lay off 1,300 employees during a budget crisis and being able to eliminate only 150 jobs.

(Hence the lack of interest in advancing negotiations.  They are protected by their pet Judiciary.)

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Felicia Upgraded to Cat 4, expected to weaken

The National Hurricane Center says Felicia's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph, making it a Category 4 storm and a major hurricane. More »

Special Senate Session Set to Consider Hawaii Judicial Nomination

HONOLULU, HAWAII - A special Senate session will be called on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and Wednesday, Aug. 19 to review the governor's nomination of Craig Nakamura for the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Prior to that, the Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing on Monday, Aug. 17, where the public is invited to offer their support or opposition to his nomination.

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Electricity rates jolt customers

August  $140.05  +14.3%

July   $122.58   +1.8%

June   $120.36  +2.5%

May   $117.45

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State regulators kill HECO's plans to supply biofuel to new plant

State regulators today nixed Hawaiian Electric Co.'s biofuel supply plans for its new Campbell Industrial Park generating unit, saying they were potentially too costly for HECO customers.  (Good.  Biofuel is a environmentally destructive scam anyway.)

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SB: Lingle picks new director for DHHL

Park has been with the department since 2003, including a stint as executive assistant to the chairman of DHHL.

In July 2006, Lingle appointed Park to lead the administration’s efforts to coordinate solutions to the state’s homelessness, according to the governor’s office. He oversaw the development of three emergency homeless shelters and two transitional shelters along Oahu’s Leeward Coast. 

Park also has served as manager of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund, and worked in banking.

HA: Kaulana Park named new Hawaiian Home Lands director

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Preservation unit under probe (Maneuver by Hee, Abercrombie?)

In 2007, the Historic Preservation Division was under scrutiny for its management of native Hawaiian burials and the treatment of ancestral bones. As a result of the pressure, then-administrator Melanie Chinen resigned. According to a Star-Bulletin article, former employees and several community organizations criticized her management style, which drove away qualified employees and possibly resulted in 19 employees leaving the division.

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Former judge linked to stripper pleads guilty to bank fraud in Ewa Beach home buy

TAMPA, Fla. — A former Florida appeals court judge whose esteemed legal career ended amid accusations that he helped a stripper hide money from creditors pleaded guilty to bank fraud today.  (THAT'S why the headline is so clear--its not a Hawaii Judge.)

Thomas E. Stringer admitted that he lied about the source of funds for a down payment on a home in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. He had listed himself as the sole owner, even though he was jointly investing in the house with Christy Yamanaka, an exotic dancer with whom he was involved.


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Waimanalo is a safer place because of the beach brigade

"We just watch them," said Margaret Pekelo, their ringleader since she chased down a couple of thieves 12 years ago. She also has a big bark and is not afraid to get in anyone's face.

"They think I'm a stinker," she said about the kids who are up to no good, while laughing. "I'm just taking care of my community. I love my community. When I see these kids -- my own kind -- I want to kick their butts. They're Hawaiian. It makes me look bad!"

"They say, 'Auntie, you Hawaiian. I'm Hawaiian.' I say, 'That don't cut no ice!' They say, 'But Auntie, I need the money.' I say, 'Go work and go support yourself,'" said Pekelo.

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Mayapple McCullough, Big Island victims' advocate, dies at 62

McCullough, who was born in Little Rock, became well known on the Big Island during the 1990s as a vocal critic of the Police Department and for her efforts to bring killers to justice in at least two high-profile murder cases.

"She was very vocal in her advocacy for victims, especially in the Yvonne Mathison case," said county prosecutor Jay Kimura. "She represented the victims the best she could in trying to get more services for victims. "I'm very sorry about her passing; my thoughts are with her family."

Mathison, who was a hostess at Ken's House of Pancakes, was killed Nov. 27, 1992, after she was bludgeoned with a lead pipe and struck with a van. Mathison's husband, Kenneth, a police sergeant, was convicted of murdering his wife to collect an insurance policy worth over a half-million dollars. He was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison with the possibility of parole.

McCullough and Citizens for Justice were also instrumental in helping to keep the Christmas Eve 1991 murder of Dana Ireland in the media and before the public until the case was resolved.

It took nearly a decade to convict Frank Pauline Jr., Albert Ian Schweitzer and Shawn Schweitzer for the killing of Ireland, a 23-year-old college graduate from Virginia who was run over by a car, raped and beaten with a tire iron in the Waa Waa area of lower Puna.

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Hawaii Co Council undoes reorganization, reconsiders nullified votes

The public will get another chance to speak at 9 a.m. Wednesday, however, when the council considers a redo of changes that replaced Hoffmann with Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole as vice chairman. It also rearranged committee assignments, stripping Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong and South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford of the chairmanships they wanted and assigned them others.

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Hamakua land sale delayed

HILO -- Faced with Native Hawaiians claiming an interest in the land, Hawaii County Council members Tuesday unanimously postponed acting on county administration's plan to sell thousands of acres in Hamakua to help balance the budget.
The Finance Committee will take up the measure again Aug. 18.
A handful of opponents from the public spoke on the measure, with several claiming the lands rightly belong to the Hawaiian people and are not for the county to sell.

Haa said the lands were leased from his great-great-great-grandfather. There is a cloud on the title and there have been court cases pertaining to some of the parcels for at least nine years, he said.
"Show me a signature of my tutu giving these lands to someone else," Haa said. "Your job is to protect that land and my people; not sell it just because you mismanaged something."
Shelley Stephens, of Mountain View, added that "the baby sitter shouldn't sell the baby."

(Same crowd that always shows up at "quiet title" hearings.)

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33 missing after ferry sinks off Tonga

The ferry sank fast "but we don't know why," New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center spokesman Neville Blackmore.

He said the ferry was carrying 45 passengers and 30 crew members when it went down about 54 miles northeast of the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa.

RELATED: Dozens missing after Tonga ferry sinks , One dead, 40 missing after Tongan ferry sinks , Dozens missing after Tongan ferry sinks ,

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Senate confirms Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor today as the first (sic) Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.

(WRONG: Ben Cardozo was the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court.)

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