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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
October 2, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:15 PM :: 4726 Views

Hawaii State Debt Tops Nation: $83,815 per Private Sector Worker

Nago Orders State Takeover of Hawaii County Elections

HMSA, Queens, Healthways Take Aim at Chronic Disease Cost-Cutting

Hawaii Health Exchange: HMSA Plan Selected by Board HMSA Sits On

Medal of Honor Ceremony at MCAS Ewa Field

Grassroot Institute Responds to Latest Version of Akaka Bill

Hawaii Family Forum Announces Leadership Change

Hanabusa 14th Most Partisan in Congress

Lingle Campaign Debunks Civil Beat Poll

Cook: Lingle Has Been an Exceptionally Good Candidate

WT: “Lingle has been an exceptionally good candidate so [the race] is worth watching for the time being,” said Jennifer Duffy, who covers Senate races for the Cook Political Report.

Only one independent poll has been taken since the race’s August primaries — a survey commissioned by Hawaii’s Civil Beat news organization released Monday that showed Mrs. Hirono with a 16-point advantage over Ms. Lingle. The Democrat also led the former governor in all major independent polling in pre-primary surveys that asked voters which of the two would win a head-to-head general election contest.

But polling in Hawaii has been notoriously off the mark in recent elections, making the race trickier to handicap, said Todd Belt, chairman of the University of Hawaii political science department.

“We tend to be pretty skeptical of the polling here,” he said.

CB Thrilled: Conservative Washington Times: Lingle a ‘Long Shot’

read … Just go to sleep, nothing to see here

Poll: Cayetano 51-Caldwell 42

CB: The Civil Beat Poll shows Cayetano holding a 51 percent to 42 percent advantage over Kirk Caldwell with a little more than a month before Election Day. The survey of 1,257 likely general election voters on Oahu was conducted between Sept. 26 and Sept. 28.1 The poll's margin of error is 2.8 percent. Seven percent said they were undecided.

NOTE: This poll has a skew towards old, over educated, high earners: 28% have graduate degrees, 27% over 100K income, only 21% conservative/26% liberal, 54% female, 46% over 65, only 8% Filipino, only 3% Hapa, 3% Hawaiian, 0% Hispanic

read … Another Questionable Civil Beat Poll

Wonder Blunder: Senate to Core Apple Today

SA: Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple is expected to face questioning about the reassignment of former University of Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan today when the State Senate Special Committee on Accountability holds its second hearing into issues surrounding the ill-fated Stevie Wonder concert.

Stan Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff and three members of the UH Board of Regents — vice chairmen James Lee and Carl Carlson, and member Coralie Matayoshi — are also scheduled to appear before the five-member committee.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. in room 211 of the state Capitol. It will be shown live of ‘Olelo, channel 52, and streamed on the Star-Advertiser website, staradvertiser.com/uh-state-senate-hearing

Apple is expected to face questioning about the decision not to retain Donovan as athletic director while offering him a three-year, $211,000-a-year marketing post in the Manoa Chancellor's office.

In addition, Apple will likely be asked about the process to replace Donovan. State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, the committee’s chairwoman, said the panel is interested in, "the justification for why we have to spend $90,000 more on a search (firm)." The 11-member AD search advisory committee has "identified" a firm it hopes to use for assistance in the process. UH said it is soliciting private funds to underwrite the cost.

Kim said the committee hopes to wrap up the hearings today. "That certainly is our goal," Kim said, "but whether we'll be able to remains to be seen."

The hearing will be cablecast live on Olelo Channel O‘AHU 52.

ILind: Follow the money

read … Wonder hearings continue today 

Akana Slams OHA Spending on Akaka Bill

CB: For nine-and-a-half years, Ms. Apoliona was unable to reach any settlement with the state on ceded lands. Further, Apoliona spent millions and millions of OHA Trust dollars trying unsuccessfully to pass the Akaka bill. Certainly, there were many factors that prevented the bill from passing.

However, Apoliona sponsored, through the OHA Administrative office, travel all over the U.S. using Trust dollars. Apoliona put her sister in charge of the outreach for the continental efforts to gain support for the Akaka bill. Her sister then paid for expensive first-class tickets and lavish parties in order to get beneficiaries to sign up for the “Kau Inoa” registration. The Trust dollars spent in Washington, D.C. on lobbying efforts were astronomical.

Under Apoliona’s so-called leadership, all programs that OHA sponsored for many years were cancelled! For example, (1) Aha Opio, a leadership experience for high school students, and (2) Aha Kupuna, an annual convention for kupuna featuring cultural as well as medicinal workshops using ancient Hawaiian methods of healing.

The OHA housing division also disappeared under Apoliona’s watch. It produced many self-help housing projects, partnerships with DHHL, and other initiatives.

OHA has no “direct” services that we offer our beneficiaries anymore. Our “Emergency Fund,” which was handled in house, was given to Alu Like, Inc. to administer, which we continue to get complaints on because beneficiaries are not getting their emergency funds the way that OHA was distributing them. Instead, they are told to go to the welfare department.

read … No Direct Services to Beneficiaries

Coordination? PRP, WBH Attack Cayetano with Same Video

CB: The Pacific Resource Partnership’s political action committee isn’t the only group to use old footage of Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell in a recent television advertisement.

Union-backed Workers for a Better Hawaii also purchased video of Caldwell that it has been using in its own ad that aims to convince voters that former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is not the best candidate for Honolulu.

Some of the Caldwell footage in the ad is that same as that found in PRP’s most recent TV spot that lauds him for being trustworthy while at the same time targeting Cayetano for accepting illegal campaign contributions and being associated with pay-to-play politics while governor.

… these correlations continue to raise questions about whether any campaign finance laws have been shirked ….

… there are still questions about the origin of Caldwell videos that have appeared in PRP’s latest attack ad.

Caldwell’s camp has been surprised by the resurfacing of the footage, saying it comes from his 2010 mayoral campaign and that he has not authorized its use. This stance has not changed, even with that footage now appearing in a Workers for a Better Hawaii commercial supporting Caldwell.

But while PRP has been tight-lipped about the origin of the Caldwell footage — a spokesman said it was “commercially available” — Randy Perreira, the head of the Hawaii Government Employees Association that is heavily involved with Workers for a Better Hawaii, has been more open about where the group got the Caldwell videos.

“The Workers for a Better Hawaii ad for Kirk Caldwell uses the footage as well, but we purchased it,” Perreira said. “The footage was purchased from the person who shot the video ... We paid $1,000 a minute for five minutes.”

read … Coordination

Activists: Wonderblunder ‘Just a Warmup’ for 2013 Attack on Military Research at UH

CB: Wonderblunder is just a warm-up. The Senate Accountability Committee should leap into the big-leagues and expand its investigation into UH’s lack of accountability and transparency on a more critical issue: signing a contract with the U.S. Navy’s war-fighting arm to establish system-wide a military research center, originally called a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) and now called an ARL (Applied Research Laboratory)….

Since letting the contract, UH announced in 2008 three defense-related contracts, totaling around $2 million—but then has invoked silence about the touted $50 million.

Lastly, will the five-year contract be renewed in 2013 and, if so, why, and, if not, why not? Will the public be allowed to comment?

SA: Let sun shine on Greenwood review

read … Just a Warmup

Following the Trail of the University of Hawaii's Missing $200,000 - to North Carolina

HR: Before Epic Talent LLC of Miami opened under its current name in February 2012, its web site said was known for 15 years as BAB Productions.

BAB Productions is also the name used by Charles D. Harrison, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, when he scammed 200 investors of $13 million through a Ponzi scheme, a crime for which he is serving 14 years in prison and must pay $13 million in restitution, beginning in 2009.

Like Epic Talent, Harrison claimed to have ties to celebrities, and said investors’ money would be used to fund concerts for nonprofits including churches, colleges and universities.

However, in reality, the investor funds were diverted back to other investors in Ponzi-fashion and investors, many in their senior years, lost their entire investment despite his promise of a 10 percent return.

Hawaii Reporter has learned law enforcement is looking into a possible connection between Florida’s operation and North Carolina, but it is unconfirmed whether that ties back to BAB Productions of North Carolina or a principal in Epic Talent LLC.

read … Where the $200,000 Went

HSTA Mediation Not Fruitful, Asks Supreme Court Order HRLB to Issue Decision

SA: It has been four months since the teachers union wrapped up a prohibited-practice case before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board — more than enough time, the union argues, for the board to decide whether the state violated members' rights when it imposed a contract in July 2011.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has asked the state Supreme Court to compel the labor board to issue a quick ruling in the case.

HSTA officials say in the absence of a ruling, the union can't move forward —with either taking the case to state Circuit Court or exercising members' right to strike, or both….

The call for a ruling in the labor board case comes as the state and HSTA remain mum about the status of federal mediation.

The two sides agreed not to speak publicly about the status of contract talks when they entered mediation in late August.

But word has been spreading through the teaching ranks that mediation appears to have been a bust.

Several teachers said they have been informed mediation produced no results, and a HSTA-Windward chapter newsletter from last month appears to bolster those claims.

The newsletter said that as of Sept. 7, "mediation did not prove fruitful and concluded without resolution."

(They are setting up for another political strike in time for the 2014 gubernatorial election) 

FULL TEXT: View Petition Mandamus 9-28-12 on Scribd

read … Union wants ruling on teachers' rights

PLDC Opponents to Abercrombie: "Delineate actual projects and explain how they would be handled"

SA: Kauai and Hawaii island, are more sensitive to any change. The opposition to the Superferry stands as a good example, although the ferry was an actual, functioning object and had its own supporters.

The PLDC is just a concept, so opponents are free to color in all the spaces.

JoAnn Yukimura, Kauai County Council vice chairwoman and former Kauai mayor, called the PLDC "a recipe for disaster.

Another Kauai political leader, Gary Hooser, who is running for the County Council, said in testimony urging the PLDC's repeal that the problem with the law is its broad list of exemptions….

As shown by his letter in the Kauai paper, Abercrombie is not giving any ground in his support for the PLDC. He, along with Dela Cruz and Solomon, are urging that the PLDC adopt a "strategic plan" that would spell out "its vision, mission, goals and values."

Back on Kauai, Yukimura says the Abercrombie letter sounds like "he didn't get the message," and urged that to build trust, the PLDC would have to "delineate actual projects and explain how they would be handled."

read … Delineate Actual Projects

Act 221 Scammers: Boost Wind, Solar, Biofool

Fidell: The Lingle administration (THANKFULLY!) took apart Act 221 before the tech industry (scammers) could reach critical mass, (steal everything) and the industry stopped short. If we do this for solar tax credits, we can expect a similar result in the solar industry.

In the past year our initiative has somehow moved from Clean Energy to Cheap Energy. Instead of trying harder, we've capitulated to spend less. (The peasants must give us their money.)

After wincing at electrical bills, we make a leap of logic to believe (recognize) that renewables, not oil, are at fault. The news discards what we knew (scammers tried to brainwash the peasants into thinking) before. We forget our plan to make a plan, then find there is no plan.

How about this: Do energy permits and approvals quickly; design new and better tax credits; move ahead with Big Wind right now; take the glass ceiling off geothermal; approve agricultural biofuel; expand energy efficiency incentives; start on-bill financing already; generously support local energy R&D; replenish the electric vehicle incentives; beef up energy administration; encourage "Friends of Clean Energy" to work with anti-energy groups.

(Now you know what the crooks want.)

read … What the scammers want

Council will vote on a deal to offer 12 affordable complexes to a private company

SA: The Carlisle administration's plan to sell the city's 12 affordable housing complexes to a private company for $142 million in cash and an additional $42 million in improvements at those facilities takes center stage with the City Council this week.

The Council Budget Committee is scheduled to discuss four resolutions related to the sale to Hono­lulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC at a special meeting at 5 p.m. today at the Mission Memorial Auditorium.

If approved, the measures will be up for a final vote before the Council at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Administration officials say the proposal will take the city out of the affordable housing business, give the city a much-needed cash infusion and assure the continued viability of the badly needed housing units.

Keith Ishida, executive director for the city Office of Housing, called the agreement with the company a "unique opportunity," noting that several mayors have tried unsuccessfully to have a private developer take over the city's housing inventory.

But Faith Action Community Equity, one of the early advocates for the city's divestiture of affordable housing, is raising questions.

"Our main concern is protection of the residents from displacement," said the Rev. Bob Nakata, a FACE member.

read … City poised to sell housing units

James Pflueger Last Remaining Defendant In Federal Tax Case

HR: According to Nakakuni’s office, Duban knew from 2003 that personal expenses of Charles Alan Pflueger were paid by the family company and were illegally deducted on corporate income tax returns as business expenses.

“Duban also knew that some personal expenses of another co-defendant were being paid for and illegally deducted by Pflueger, Inc.,” Nakakuni’s office said.

Duban also assisted in filing a income tax return in 2007 which falsely reported information about the sale of Pflueger Properties, Inc. real estate in California, the government said.

Proceeds of the sale were sent to a Swiss bank account and were not properly reported to the IRS, Duban admitted.

Duban also failed to report other foreign bank accounts in which he held interests, the government said.

As part of his plea agreement, “Duban admitted that the tax loss associated with his criminal conduct is at least $1 million,” Nakakuni sai

read … Pflueger Running Down the Clock

Kawauchi Describes Impact of Old Boy Media Assault

SA: But Kawauchi still feels she was made a scapegoat for the trouble during the primary.

"If the state model is to roll you over and blame you and throw you out the door when the going gets tough, what does that say to the entry-level person?" she said.

Her staff took all the criticism especially hard, she said.

"The way I've been treated in the press … they found what was reported as being so painful that they wanted to leave the state," Kawa­uchi said. "I told them, ‘Please don't go, because I'm not leaving.'"

Meanwhile, state Elections Commission Chairman Bill Marston said he has decided not to launch a special investigation into the primary as requested by the League of Women Voters.

"We as a commission felt that to do anything at this time to cause more friction would not be healthy for having a good election," he said. "This state ranks last in all the 50 states in voter turnout, and that's sad. The commission would love to see that improve."

Related: Nago Orders State Takeover of Hawaii County Elections

read … Kawauchi

Big Island Residents Given Chance to Comment on Bio Fuel, Rate Hikes

CB: According to the Companies, the application of the biofuel surcharge will add about $0.84 to $1.00 per month to a typical residential customer’s bill (typical residential use varies between 500 to 600 kWh a month for Hawaii island and Oahu customers). The Companies assert that, in effect, the proposed Biofuel Surcharge Provision will: (1) support the State’s move toward energy independence; (2) increase energy security; and (3) reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of the State’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.

October 29, 2012, 6:00 p.m.* Hilo High School cafeteria 556 Waianuenue Avenue Hilo, Hawaii

October 30, 2012, 6:00 p.m.* Kealakehe High School cafeteria 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

PUC Docket: 2012-0185 Application for Approval of Biodiesel Supply Contract with Aina Koa Pono-Ka'u LLC & to Establish A Biofuel Surcharge Provision and to Include Biodiesel Supply Contract Costs in HELCO's Energy Cost Adjustment Clause & Biofuel Surcharge Provision

read … Comment on Biofuel Contract

DoE Hot Dog Prices Double, Supplier Grabs Monopoly

CB: Although the cost of frankfurters was already rising, between 2009 and 2010 there was a noticeable jump of more than $0.13. On Molokai and Lanai, the cost of each hot dog serving increased by more than $0.21.

The jump occurred when the state switched from mixed-meat hot dogs to all-beef hot dogs.

Dane Yamasaki, who sold Sugardale hot dogs to schools on Oahu in 2009, said that he was confused about why the state decided to make the switch.

“I can understand if it’s there was a problem [with my hot dog],” he said. “What I don’t understand is why they’re going to all beef.”

He said that education department officials refuse to answer his questions about why they decided to change to all-beef dogs.

School Food Services Director Glenna Owens said that she does not know why the state changed its hot dog preferences. She said the decision was made by the school menu planning committee.

The cost to the state per lunch was $4.20 in 2009. Today the cost is $5.00, according to Sandy Goya, spokeswoman for the Department of Education.

That price increase was passed on to students. School lunch prices in Hawaii most recently increased last year.

In 2009 students paid $1.25, now secondary students pay $2.50. Costs have also been rising nationally.

(Since the switch to beef appears to have led to a Kelly Eisenberg monopoly, it is logical to suspect that KE had an advantage in beef hot dog prices and KE's local sales rep is a retired DoE insider. Step 1: Convince your buddies on the ‘School Menu Planning Committee’ to switch to beef Step 2: Grab all the contracts.)

read … How Its Done over and over again

Hawaii Up 8% as Home prices post strongest growth in 6 years

PR: All U.S. states but six showed home price gains in August. The five states with the highest annual price appreciation were Arizona (18.2 percent), Idaho (10.4 percent), Nevada (9 percent), Utah (8.9 percent) and Hawaii (8 percent).

read … Real Estate is Baaack

Solar energy not among Hawaii’s top three renewable resources

PBN: The first three spots are filled by biomass, which produces about 4 percent of Hawaii’s renewable energy, followed by wind at 3.6 percent and geothermal at 2.4 percent.

Then, it’s photovoltaic energy, with 1 percent, in fourth.

Biofuels and hydro fill out the last two slots at about 0.5 percent each.

In total, Hawaii is approaching 13 percent renewable with a need to be at 15 percent by 2015, according to Mark Glick, administrator of the State Energy Office.

read … Expensive, Small Potatoes

Carmel Partners plans to invest $820M real estate fund in more multifamily housing

PBN: San Francisco-based Carmel Partners plans to use the fund to invest in multifamily properties "in the country’s supply-constrained markets with high barriers to entry," the company said.

Carmel closed in August on a $311 million deal to purchase The Waterfront, a 1,461-unit former Navy housing community in Ewa Beach once known as Iroquois Point, from Hunt Cos. Inc. and recently told PBN that it is looking to acquire more multifamily projects on Oahu.

Carmel Partners also owns the the 106-unit Palms of Kilani in Wahiawa, more than 500 former Navy Homes at Kalaeloa, and the Waena Apartments, which was formerly part of the Kukui Gardens near downtown Honolulu.

read … Barriers to Entry 

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