Bipartisanship: Senate Energy Committee to Move on Natural Gas?
Fact Check: Hirono stumbles, shows lack of understanding of key issues
Lingle v Hirono Debate: PBS Insights Live Streaming Video
Obama on Comedy Central: 'If four Americans get killed, it's not OPTIMAL'
REALCLEAR MAP: Romney takes first lead in electoral college...
GALLUP: R 52% O 45%...
Tsutsui to Introduce Bills to Repeal, Amend Act 55, Abercrombie Threatens Veto
SA: Senate President Shan Tsutsui recognizes Act 55 is a troublesome issue.
"People say it is too broad and has too many exemptions," Tsutsui said in an interview. "Many legislators, including myself, have a lot of concerns."
The Maui Democrat said that to start the discussion, he would introduce legislation to both repeal and amend the act. When he told Abercrombie about his plans, Tsutsui said the governor's office was strongly opposed.
"They said they didn't want me to do that — it sends a bad message," Tsutsui said.
Asked for comment, Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie's deputy director of communications, said, "What the governor has said to various lawmakers is they should take a look at the law before being quick to repeal.
"The governor sees the potential of the PLDC," Dela Cruz said.
The issue may become a test of political wills because Abercrombie, when asked in a September interview if he would veto a repeal of Act 55, said: "Of course I would."
Tsutsui said he hoped Abercrombie and the Act 55 supporters would come up with a compromise: perhaps suggest a specific target project at a special school and see if the idea would work, instead of the broadside exemptions to state and county laws and ordinances.
read … PLDC could divide state like Superferry once did
Lingle grills Hirono over possible cuts to national defense
SA: Former Gov. Linda Lingle challenged U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Thursday to explain why she voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling and avoided a government default but also created the possibility of automatic spending cuts to national defense.
Automatic cuts to federal programs are scheduled to take effect in January unless Congress and the White House take other action to help with the federal deficit. The potential cuts were included in the law to press Congress toward a bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction.
Lingle said the automatic cuts could put the nation’s defense at risk.
“So how could you go along, regardless of who voted for it or not, why didn’t you do the right thing?” the Republican asked during a one-hour U.S. Senate debate on PBS Hawaii.
read … And Hirono says, I’m a Democrats so vote for me anyway
After watching the KITV/Civilbeat.com U.S. Senate debate, which candidate will you vote for?
- Mazie Hirono. - 41% (207 votes)
- Linda Lingle. - 56% (281 votes)
- Undecided. - 3% (16 votes)
- Total Votes: 504
Read ... KITV Survey
Lingle Rejected “Greatest President” Comment Back in 2002
SA: Lingle sent Shapiro an email the day the column appeared in the newspaper.
"Thanks for covering my speech at the convention and the generally upbeat piece," she wrote. "You would have to pick up on the ‘greatest President ever' line that I misspoke. It was not in my notes and I meant to say a great president. It was fair comment nonetheless, and I appreciate your continued interest in the race."
Lenny Klompus, deputy campaign manger for Lingle's Republican U.S. Senate campaign, said Thursday that Lingle would have no immediate comment. "The email speaks for itself," he said.
read … Dull Democrat Talking Points
Honolulu rail agency expects to finish archaeological digs ahead of schedule
PBN: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said Thursday they have 100 trenches left to dig for the archaeological surveys of the proposed rail transit route.
HART officials also said they expect the work — which was accelerated after a Hawaii Supreme Court decision halted construction nearly two months ago — to be completed ahead of schedule.
HART Executive Director and CEO Daniel Grabauskas told the agency’s board of directors during their regular meeting Thursday that the delays associated with the ruling are costing the project an additional $7.1 million a month.
Of the 100 trenches HART expects to dig to complete the survey, 95 are in the city center, which includes downtown and Kakaako. HART is required to do 232 trenches in the city center. The other five trenches that need to be dug are near Honolulu International Airport.
read … They've done the easy part first
HART Pays for Rail for Entire Length of Project
PBN: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said they have purchased all of the tracks for the $5.16 billion rail transit project.
Daniel Grabauskas, HART’s executive director and CEO, told the agency’s board of directors during their meeting Thursday that the rails were purchased to lock in the price (lock in the project) and that the first 3,000 tons of rail should be received sometime in November.
(Handy tip: Store them in California so they will be easier to re-sell.)
read … Making it more expensive to cancel
Cayetano Threatens Lawsuit to Silence Critics
PBN: In an interview with PBN, Cayetano described as false and defamatory the PRP-sponsored radio and TV ads alleging that he took more than $500,000 in illegal campaign contributions as governor and had a policy of “pay-to-play” in which contractors who contributed to his campaigns were given work without having to bid on it.
He said his lawyers would file the lawsuit as soon as today and would ask for a jury trial….
Whether or not PRP’s claims are accurate may have no bearing on Cayetano’s lawsuit, one legal expert said. The former governor could have a hard time winning such a lawsuit because he is a public figure, said Peter Olson, a partner with the Honolulu law firm Cades Schutte.
“Our defamation laws make suits by public officials and public figures pretty difficult because there is a higher burden of proof,” Olson said. “A public figure or public official has to demonstrate it is actual malice, which means either the statement is false or the person who made it did it with reckless disregard of the truth.”
It’s also a constitutional issue involving freedom of speech by PRP, Olson added. However, the discovery process could require that PRP disclose how much it is paying for the advertisements, and that could be part of Cayetano’s motivation.
“It’s difficult with it being a First Amendment case,” Cayetano admitted.
read … Cayetano says he’ll sue PRP for defamation
Pro-Rail Advertiser Endorses Council Candidates
SA: Pine, Fukunaga, Kobayashi (no surprises here at all)
read … Pro-Rail Advertiser
Manoa Voters Asked to Destroy Double Ballots
SA: They said they are also sure the problem was confined to the 5th precinct of the 23rd House district, which votes out of Manoa Elementary School.
Those mailed two ballots were registered voters with the surnames starting with the letters M through Z, and had requested absentee ballot early.
The 817 voters are being asked to destroy the double ballots. They will receive new, distinguishable ballots in the mail next week, Takahashi said.
HNN: Manoa residents receive hundreds of duplicate absentee ballots
WHT: Meanwhile … State prepares to run county’s election
read … Printer blamed for mailing of duplicate ballots to Manoa
UH regents hire Dobelle lawyer to help determine Greenwood's fate
HNN: McCorriston is considered to be one of the best litigators in the state and was hired by a previous regents panel in 2004 to represent the university when it fired then-UH president Evan Dobelle.
McCorriston's hiring should not been seen as a strong signal that the regents plan to terminate Greenwood, only that they want the best legal advice from someone who's represented the UH in several high-profile cases, sources said….
UH paid McCorriston's law firm, McCorriston Miller Mukai, $589,375 to defend the university in a lawsuit by Townsend Capital, a Maryland company, which charged UH replaced the firm as developer of the $120 million Cancer Research Center of Hawaii for reasons of cronyism. The lawsuit said the UH instead hired Kobayashi Group, a Honolulu company which had "close personal ties to university administrators and regents." UH settled the case for $2.5 million in 2010.
UH records show the university also paid McCorriston's firm $8,484 to handle a bid protest in a project involving the school's Cooke Field, and UH paid the firm another $59,086 to handle a case involving UH Manoa housing.
SA: A lawyer who speaks privately with the board previously dealt with departures
ILind: Faculty hits Greenwood for lack of communication, consultation
read … UH regents hire lawyer to help determine Greenwood's fate
Regents Approve $1.4B Budget, No Decision on Greenwood Expected Today
HR: Today was the normal monthly meeting of the board and more closed-door talk about Greenwood’s employment began about 3:30 p.m.
The regents approved a $1.4 billion proposed budget for the university for the next two years, deciding not to further increase a $30 million line item for new programs targeting Native Hawaiian students and new faculty hires at West Oahu College.
Additional spending in those areas could be included in supplementary budget requests next year.
The proposed budget will be submitted to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for inclusion in the executive branch’s financial plan to be submitted to the Legislature next year.
Greenwood drew laughs at today’s meeting when she wryly observed that the Legislature can always change the university's budget plan.
KHON: UH Board of Regents approve biennium budget
SA: UH regents have no comment after meeting on Greenwood's future
read … No Decision
Green Energy Scammers Dream of Separating Ellison from his Money
PBN: Businesses in Hawaii dealing with fish farms, green roofs, wastewater treatment, water recycling and developing farms are hoping to get front and center with Ellison or his associates to pitch their plans for Lanai.
read … Energy leaders want to help Ellison make Lanai ‘greener’
New Homeless Czar Talks About Everything EXCEPT Getting Homeless off Streets into Shelters
SA: Colin Kippen sees Hawaii’s homelessness problem as a dartboard, with the central issue occupying the bull’s-eye spot, encircled by an array of wedge-shaped pieces leading into it. Those pieces, said the state’s new homelessness czar, have labels such as employment, affordable housing, health, mental stability, family support … all the things that, left unguarded, can land people out on the streets.
We met three weeks ago (in mid-September). I called that group together, and we adopted the goals, the objectives and the strategies for a plan to end homelessness.
There are four big parts to this plan: to retool the homelessness response system; to increase access to stable and affordable housing; the third is to increase economic stability and self-sufficiency; and the fourth is to improve the health and stability of people who are homeless….
…when I came back here and worked at OHA, the mission of OHA is to better the condition of Hawaiians. We’re always faced with the data on Native Hawaiians, and that data is sobering. You see certain kinds of health and other maladies that indicate that something is very wrong, and we need to address them, through education, through health programs.
What I realized when I was doing that is that education is really one of those keys, that it’s really something that offers the greatest hope for moving out of the circumstances that they’re in, into a better life, both economically and socially.
So I was always involved in these issues of trying to change people’s lives, trying to give them the tools to change their own lives.
(TRANSLATION: You’re going to start seeing a lot more bums on the streets.)
read … Money for Homeless Industry
Mayor inks deal to sell off affordable public housing
SA: A losing bidder for the sale last week warned City Council members that the HAHP deal would result in the loss of 700 units for gap group or "workforce" families, who earn between 80 percent and 120 percent of median income.
But both the company and city officials said there is language that requires all affordable units to stay within federally established affordable housing rates based on household income, which allows rents of up to 30 percent of a renter's income.
Gap group residents are currently paying about half of the 30 percent limit. Such renters won't be paying the maximum 30 percent of income allowed for another seven to nine years, he said.The agreement allows the company to transfer three of the least profitable properties to a nonprofit that would be better able to manage them, a prospect that has bothered some of the tenants there.
HAHP partner Bill Rice said the group is "looking to partner with strategic local nonprofits that can make a transformative difference on these properties."
Even if such a partner cannot be found, Rice said, "Highland and the Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners are committed to making sure that these assets are protected."
City officials have also said there are subsidy programs in place to help those who cannot afford rent hikes.
read … Privatization
Misconduct by Maui liquor control supervisors in field, suit says
MN: In one incident in December 2010, Dobbs reported entering the front door of a Waiehu business and seeing "what looked like underage females run to a room in the front of the establishment and close the door." Dobbs began walking to the room and was stopped by a liquor field supervisor who told Dobbs, "we do not regulate the back rooms because there is no liquor served there," according to the lawsuit. The supervisor prohibited Dobbs from investigating or entering the room, the complaint alleges, even though it is a violation for people under age 21 to be in liquor premises.
The owners or managers of the business delivered weekly gifts of food, including sushi rolls, pastries and doughnuts, to the Department of Liquor Control front office, according to the lawsuit.
In another incident in January 2011, the lawsuit alleges that a field supervisor "engaged in sexual contact with an intoxicated patron" in front of a Kihei restaurant and bar while Dobbs, three other trainees and another field supervisor were inspecting the premises.
The lawsuit also describes a July 2011 incident at a Wailuku bar where a liquor field supervisor ate and drank for free and allowed several hostesses to sit on his lap and sexually touch him while he was on duty, according to the lawsuit. Liquor commissioners were at the bar and also allowed hostesses to sit on their laps, the lawsuit alleges.
The bar's owners or managers also delivered weekly food gifts to the Department of Liquor Control, according to the lawsuit, which names five establishments providing such regular gifts of food. All department employees would eat the food gifts, according to the lawsuit.
read … Liquor Control
News From Hilo: Bisexual Rapist Croaks
HTH: …in February 1990, when Medeiros pleaded no contest to attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old boy “with intent to subject (the victim) to a sexual offense.” He was sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation, was ordered to register as a sex offender and remained on the registry for the rest of his life.
Medeiros was granted work release and allowed to return to his radio show on KIPA a month after sentencing, while still incarcerated, provoking outrage….he used his radio program to proclaim his innocence….
read … Molester on the Radio
Star-Adv, AP, National Consultant Bungles Medicaid Story
Reality: This story is false. Effective July 1, 2012 DHS DECREASED Medicaid Eligibility from 200% of federal poverty level to 133% of Federal poverty level. Here is the link:
read … Hawaii one of 13 states expanding Medicaid coverage
South Park Ridicules Kauai Malihini
ML: Are Parker and Stone somehow also having some fun with Argo producer George Clooney? One of the subplots of the South Park episode is about residents of Kaua'i claiming to be natives of Hawaii when they're just longtime residents who got there before the more recent tourists, whom they despise. Although Clooney's name is not mentioned in the episode, I was reminded of the plot of Alexander Payne's 2011 movie The Descendants, which starred the actor and got him an Best Actor Oscar nomination. In the movie, Clooney plays a genuine Hawaii native who's grappling with selling his family's 25,000 acres of pristine Kaua'i land to a developer.
read … Movieline
9-11 Trooother Masquerading as Patriot Suddenly Able to Fly Again
HR: After Hicks' story went viral on the Internet, even landing in a Russian news report, Hicks received a call on Thursday, October 18, from a Customs agent telling him he was removed from the "No Fly list." There was no apology and no explanation for why he was put on the list or why he was cleared to fly.
"I guess all the pressure from lawmakers, my congressmen and the media built up, and they had to back peddle and let me go," Hicks told Hawaii Reporter on Thursday evening.
Hicks is a military dependent and he was on his way to visit his wife, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, stationed in Okinawa. On Friday, October 19, instead of going to Japan from Hawaii as originally planned, Hicks will fly back to California where his wife's family lives. His wife, who he married just 8 months ago, will join him there on Saturday.
"There are civil unrest issues in Okinawa, so we decided it was best to head back to California," Hicks said. (Huh?)
He’s expressed his concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the 9-11 attack on America and said publicly he believes there is much more to the story than the official version Americans are being told.
“I, like many architects and engineers, believe the official version of 9-11 warrants more investigation,” he added. (Translation: Those nice Muslims from al Qaeda are innocent, Bush is guilty.)
(Notice that none of this story comes from any source other than the 9-11 trooother himself?)
read … No Patriot