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Sunday, October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:19 PM :: 6364 Views

Streaming Video: Canonization of Molokai’s Mother Marianne Cope

Secret Letters Show Nago Timed Attack on Hilo Election Office with Workers Planning Sickout

HSTA’s Okabe ‘Extremely Pleased’ With Supreme Court Order

Sierra Club Doing the Dirty Work for the Power Brokers

Learn about UH Law School's accessible Part-Time/Evening Program

Billionaire Resort Developer Paid Operatives to Swing Election Against Pono Chong

CNN: (Pierre Omidyar front group) Kanu Hawaii is trying to increase voter turnout in the state in two ways: by registering people to vote and by going door to door, telling people why voting matters. The group's goal was to register 900 new voters by November; as of this meeting in late September, they had hit 800. Clipboard-toting volunteers had knocked on 312 doors.

Listening to the presentation, I couldn't help but be inspired. The numbers do get in the way, though. How can knocking on 312 doors matter in a state of 1.4 million people?

As if reading my mind, Koshiba addressed this point.

When volunteers go door to door, asking people what issues matter to them as well as asking them to vote, they're "re-knitting" the fabric of communities in Hawaii, he said, some of which has long been fraying. They're giving anonymous residents a voice.

It seems to be working. Kanu didn't start working on voter turnout until this year. During the primary, the group targeted House District 48 on Oahu. While voter turnout dropped 1% for the state as a whole, it increased more than 4% in that district, where volunteers canvassed 980 homes, sent 1,000 e-mails and registered 621 new voters. (HD 48 Dem Primary was Pono Chong vs Jessica Wooley)

Results: HD48 pg 3

Background:

read … About How Wooley Won

Hirono Bill Designed to Create Chinese Bubble like Japanese Bubble

SA: In Hawaii, however, where the housing supply is low, and high prices have kept homeownership out of reach for many middle-class families, incentives for foreign investors who have the resources to pay cash up front could drive up prices.

"That's going to create tremendous pressure here in Hawaii on housing prices," Lingle, a Republican, said Thursday in a debate with Hirono, a Demo­crat. "It's a very bad aspect of that bill that hasn't been talked about yet."

The median price for previously owned single-family homes on Oahu was $637,000 in September, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, while the median selling price for a condominium was $319,500.

Hirono and the bill's other sponsors have said foreign homebuyers who receive residential visas would not be eligible to work or have a new path to citizenship. (So they will have to buy and sell homes for a living. Real smart, Mazie.)

Ted Liu, who was director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism when Lingle was governor, and who still advises Lingle on economic issues, said he is a big proponent of encouraging more Chinese to visit and invest in Hawaii. But he said Hawaii has had prior experience with foreign investors who helped create real estate "bubbles."

"To me, the question is why would a Hawaii legislative representative do this to Hawaii?"

read … Just like the 1980s

PRP Goes off Deep End: Mailer Implies Cayetano is Communist Republican

Borreca: …when the fiction factory at the Pacific Resource Partnership starts mailing out expensive, slick cards announcing that Cayetano is a tool of the state Republican Party, I started to see how people could believe in an "alternate universe."

"Hawaii Republicans have 2 goals on Nov. 6: Defeat President Obama, and elect Ben Cayetano," reads one mailing that includes a bizarre montage of signs endorsing former GOP Gov. Linda Lingle, the coiled snake "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden flag and a Communist Party hammer and sickle. (Any doubt who designed this mailer? Same guy who did ‘Compare and Decide.’)

David Chang, state GOP chairman, said PRP was way off base.

"I have always found it interesting that instead of asking for votes based on what a candidate will do and their record, they try to convince voters to vote for them just because they are not Republican! It may have helped in previous elections, but I believe that many voters are beginning to see through that tactic," Chang said in an emailed response.

SA: U.S. Senate, mayoral races top November election

SA: Caldwell for mayor of Honolulu

read … Misleading attack ads bear real risk of backfiring

Feds: Rail Contingency Fund Below Acceptable Levels Before Supreme Court Shutdown

SA: Newly released reports show federal monitors were warning that contingency cash reserves for the $5.26 billion Honolulu rail project had dropped "below accepted control levels" even before a costly ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court halted construction in August.

That disclosure in documents related to the city's application for federal funding underscores continuing concerns about the size of the cash cushion maintained by the largest public works project in Hawaii history.

The reports released by the city last week and earlier this month show that consultant Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. was sounding the alarm as early as April about the "rapid use of cost contingency funds."…

Now the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation estimates the new delays caused by that court ruling will cost the city an extra $64 million to $95 million, which are expenses the city never planned to pay….

Grabauskas said last week the first month of delays from the ruling cost the city about $7.1 million.

read … Almost Spent it all With Nothing to Show

Proposal Will Give Chief Justice Opportunity to Hand Pick Crony Judges for Cases

SA: The proposed amendment would allow the state chief justice to select Hawaii judges age 70 and older for three-month appointments and to a level no higher than the position they reached before retirement.

The chief justice has been appointing judges younger than 70 to temporary positions when vacancies arise and until they are permanently filled.

State Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui), who introduced the proposal, said allowing the temporary appointments would give the chief justice more flexibility to draw from a larger pool of judges.

She said the temporary appointments could be used to pick experienced and "vital" judges to deal….

State Public Defender John "Jack" Tonaki said the proposed amendment is "too vague" as to when appointments could be made.

"It's not clearly spelled out," he said.

In 2006, voters rejected a proposed amendment that would have repealed the age 70 retirement rule….

read … About the latest Scheme to Politicize the Judiciary

Simple Solution for UH: Just Let Sen Kim Have Whatever She Wants

Shapiro: University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood accused the state Senate of inappropriate pressure in its investigation of the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, but Sen. Donna Mercado Kim denied it was political interference. It was more like a political mugging.

UH regents paid $15,000 to bring in a management consultant from the mainland to advise them on how to govern the university with less disruption. That's easy, just let Donna Kim have her way.

The management expert's fee was on top of tens of thousands of dollars more UH has paid to outside lawyers, accountants, search firms and PR consultants in the wake of the "Wonder blunder." If this keeps up, we'll have the first outsourced state university.

read … Shapiro

Esther Kiaaina to Lead Charge for PLDC

ILind: The job is deputy director at DLNR. And I’ve heard this means she’s expected to be the point person in the Abercrombie administration’s defense of the Public Land Development Corporation, putting her immediately at odds with a lot of her former supporters and Hawaiian constituents.

read … About another typical and average ‘Progressive’

Pro-Rail Canvassers Work Voter List in Kahala

ILind: I was at my mother’s house in Kahala yesterday when a woman came to the door asking for Helen. She was a canvasser from the Carpenters Union soliciting support for President Obama and Kirk Caldwell. Since she asked for my mom by name, it was obvious that she had walking cards listing registered voters at each address along her route. She was nice, but very insistent about wanting to speak with Helen. I didn’t get specific–why should I explain that she’s 98, extremely hard of hearing, less than fully mobile, etc., etc., etc. I just said she was unavailable, an answer that didn’t sit well with the woman from the carpenters, but she finally moved on–without making any pitch about rail–following my assurances that Helen would be voting for the president. My sister later told me that her absentee ballot was already voted. That could have ended the conversation quickly. My point here, though, is that the carpenters are taking their ground game into places like Kahala, and with pretty well trained canvasers, if this one was typical. This is the most effective kind of campaigning, so it will be interesting to see if Caldwell’s campaign gets a bounce from it.

read … Canvassers

UCLA expert weighs in on transit debate

KITV: "When you look at the size of Honolulu (and) you look at the transportation problem they're seeking to solve, BRT is almost certainly a better investment," Taylor said Friday in a telephone interview with KITV4.

Taylor said heavy rail is much better suited for large, metropolitan cities like Tokyo, New York and London, which generate extremely large numbers of riders. The professor points to Mexico City as yet another example, where trains 10 cars deep run on 90-second headways with "crush-loads" at almost all hours of the day.

Taylor told KITV4 rail systems often get mired in politics, as elected leaders point to shiny new rail lines as status symbols for their respective cities.

"When it comes to rail transit investments, there's sort of an aspirational quality," said Taylor. "It means we're running with the big dogs. Elected officials say, 'I don't want to cut a ribbon in front of some new BRT system, when I could cut it in front of a rail system.'"

Taylor said with bus rapid transit, the system can expand as demand for public transportation increases. However, he cautions the cost of such systems tend to escalate with the construction of exclusive lanes for express buses.

"A big part of it is the amount of right of way that's exclusive," he said. "The more it's exclusive, the faster operation you have, but the more you have to pay for it."

read … Expert Opinion

Profiteers, Suicide Lobby Sense Opportunity in Case of 98 Year Old Woman

SA People around the country are watching Hawaii for a court decision concerning Karen Okada. In 1998, the now-95- year-old woman had drawn up a document known informally as a "living will," declining efforts to prolong her life artificially. The problem: That document clashed with what her family said would be her current wishes.

Those who file the current version of what's now called an "advance care directive" may not have this problem because of revisions in the law, but the Okada documents predated all that. The interesting legal question the Hawaii Circuit Court must decide is: What directive will prevail?

SA: Some advice on advance directives

Reality: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii

read … Opportunity

PUC Surcharge Vacuums $58.5M from Phone Customers’ Pockets

HR: This surcharge is for the purpose of recovering a revenue increase of $23.6 million authorized in Decision and Order No. 15345 in Docket No. 94-0298 and Docket No. 95-0194 (consolidated), and $1.3 million authorized in Order No. 15999 in the same dockets. The $1.3 million recovers the rural Customers’ portion of the cost of the Rural Service Plan.

Effective October 13, 1997, a surcharge of 11.23% will apply to all regulated intrastate rates and charges except interisland toll services, intrastate switched access, public and Convenience Pay Telephone Services, miscellaneous services and other surcharges.

A look at PUC document that was sent to me says the charge is to recover $23.6 million and $1.3 million for a total of $24.9 million. If this charge is temporary and effective since October of 1997 that is 15 temporary years.

The population of Oahu is over 900,000 but if only 100,000 customers were charged $3.25 for 15 years that is around $58.5 million. That is almost double the $24.9 million that was authorized to be recovered.

read … Is Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Colluding With Utility Companies To Overcharge Customers?

After Gay Marriage, Polygamy

SA: The Browns, who fled to Nevada after facing the threat of legal prosecution in Utah, said they empathize with proponents of same-sex marriage.

"I believe that I was able to choose our family structure," Kody Brown said. "It should be the right of every citizen in this country to be able to choose their family structure."

Monday night's panel discussion marked the first major public speaking engagement in Las Vegas for Brown and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, the Las Vegas Sun reported (http://bit.ly/V6iRtw ).

The event was co-sponsored by UNLV's Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity, and Office of Diversity Initiatives. The family was invited to take part after speaking to three psychology classes as part of a student project.

"Everyone's house is different," UNLV assistant professor Markie Blumer said, whether because of sexual orientation or cultural, economic and religious backgrounds. "We believe it is a community value to welcome diversity in all its forms."

The Browns have sued Utah and the county they fled from, hoping to persuade a federal judge to overturn the state's bigamy law as unconstitutional.

LVS: ‘Sister Wives’ clan finds accepting home in Las Vegas

read … About Why Gay Marriage is not a Civil Rights issue

 

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