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Thursday, November 15, 2012
November 15, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:03 PM :: 6032 Views

Hundreds Turn Out for NRA President in Hawaii

Abercrombie Rushes to Negotiating Table as HSTA Protest Looms

DoE Releases School by School Enrollment Figures

Honolulu Council Calls for Investigation of Election

Obama Nominates Environmental Lawyer to Rule Over Hawaii

Inouye hospitalized after fall

Fiscal Cliff: $3453 Tax Increase for Average Hawaii Family

Donovan to Interview for AD Position at Cal State Fullerton

Japanese Magazine Fight Gets Nasty in Hawaii

Election Sabotage: Nago calls Marston a Liar

KHON: A hearing over the ballot shortage across Oahu on Election Day was almost pushed into December, past the deadline for candidates to challenge election results.

Now, there's a dispute over who initiated the scheduling.

The Elections Commission, which is appointed by lawmakers, says the chief election officer asked for the board's meeting to be set after the election lawsuit period expired on Nov. 26….

"The commission meeting is being scheduled as we speak for the 13th of December," chair William Marston said.

As to why it would be more than a month after the General...

"There is a period following the elections where protests can be filed and so forth," Marston said. "They asked that we wait til that period expire before we go ahead with the commission meeting, and I said fine."

Scott Nago, the chief election officer, denies that.

"He basically told me their next meeting was scheduled for Dec. 9, and I just noted that was after the challenge period, and it was never our recommendation that they hold the meeting at that date, that was all them," Nago said. "We don't tell them when to hold meetings."

The Office of Elections also pointed out that the August post-primary meeting date was pre-set, and the agenda just had to be updated to include the late-poll issues. It's not yet clear why the commission did not pre-schedule a post-general meeting.

Within hours of our first interview and after calls to elections, leaders and lawmakers, we got an update.

"I got a call from Bruce Coppa who is chief of staff," Marston said."Basically the governor's asked him to find out why we can't couldn't have a meeting sooner."

Now, they're working on what will likely be a November date, but not clear yet if it will beat the Nov. 26 deadline for election lawsuits.

"I'm not saying there was something in proper but it's something that needs to be looked into," said Kawauchi. "I've been trying to contact the state office of election to follow up on that and I have not been successful."

"It was a precinct official writing names of people coming into the polls into the poll book and when we found out we pulled him offline and corrected the situation," Nago explained.

I asked Nago, were the 11 people registered or unregistered? Nago replied, "I'm not sure I didn't get that far." I followed up, asking if that is being investigated. "We're looking at that but I'm not sure what that is."

The Hawaii County Clerk says the person in charge of the state take-over of voting functions on the Big Island confirmed to her that the write-ins were not registered.

Election Commission: http://hawaii.gov/elections/ec/

Reality: Election Sabotage: Is Jamae Kawauchi Kevin Cronin?

read … Post-election meeting date prompts finger pointing

Inouye Angered by Leak Attacking His Pick Greenwood

HR: U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye’s office said today that release of the letter and its contents, first reported yesterday by Hawaii News Now, “was obviously intended to ignite emotions and tempers” before tomorrow’s regents meeting on Maui.

The regents are scheduled to continue closed-door discussions of Greenwood’s employment contract, first begun after receipt of her letter, tomorrow.

“It is most unfortunate that this demand letter, written when emotions were running high, would be leaked to the press a week after it was withdrawn, just as practical discussions were beginning relating to the future of the University of Hawaii,” Inouye spokesman Peter Boylan said today.

As of yesterday, a majority of regents reportedly had been leaning toward a continuation of Greenwood’s presidency, two sources told Hawaii Reporter. Her $427,512-per-year contract expires in mid- 2015.

But public exposure of her letter, which impugned the integrity of the most powerful figures in state government and sought $2 million from the university, may change the calculus of the decision, said the sources.

And the irony of Greenwood drawing support from Inouye while complaining about unwarranted political pressure from state elected officials is not lost on members of the board of regents, one of the sources said.

Inouye wrote a letter of support for Greenwood to the regents before they met last week to again discuss her future at the university.

SA: Public calls spurred UH hearings, state senator says

read … Greenwood's Future At the University In Jeopardy?

Financial consultant: "Baffling" UH errors in Wonder scam

KHON: Consultants told the board they found noncompliance including skipping a required chancellor signature on the facility use agreement, and failing to require BPE Productions to place a deposit for the center rental.

Other key failures: lack of cancellation insurance, due to diligence on BPE lacking or undocumented, no documentation of who authorized printing and sales of tickets which consultant calls "baffling", and invoice format issues.

Consultants said BPE should have been on the hook for ticket refunds, but UH ended up taking responsibility for it via their announcement that they would.

FULL TEXT: Report to the Regents Committee on University Audits

KITV: Accused 'Stevie Wonder Blunder' con-man Fraud charges date back decades

read … Financial consultant: "Baffling" UH errors in Wonder scam

Civil Rights Complaints Filed Over Botched Election

SBH News: Formal complaints have been filed with the state office of Elections and the Civil Rights Commission for the abysmal performance by the Elections Officer in delaying and denying ballots to Hawaii voters in last week's General Election. The Governor made noise the night of the election but since has indicated an apology is acceptable. Not so. Action needs to be taken; changes must be made.

Related: Election Sabotage: Is Jamae Kawauchi Kevin Cronin?

CB: Hawaii's Election Holiday Cost Taxpayers Millions

read … Ballot Blahs

SA: PLDC Should Wait on Legislature Before Making Rules

SA: …they demand at the very least a major revision of the entire PLDC statute in the next Legislature.

For that reason, the PLDC should not act on its proposed rules, a decision that had been scheduled for later this month.

First, further hearings should be scheduled on the neighbor islands — many of the potential projects of PLDC could involve underutilized public land on those islands — to give residents there a voice on the rules and on the agency itself.

But any vote should be deferred until after state lawmakers take up legislation to make needed changes to Act 55, a law that passed in 2011 with insufficient public debate and scrutiny.

read … PLDC should wait on making rules

Hawaii 7th Highest Poverty Rate in Nation

SA: A new federal calculation that takes into account Hawaii's high cost of living significantly boosts the state's poverty rate — from the 18th lowest in the nation to the seventh highest.

About 17 percent of Hawaii residents live in poverty, according to the new U.S. Census Bureau estimate, which is based on 2009-2011 averages.

The figure stands in contrast to the Census Bureau's official poverty rate for the islands: 12.5 percent for the same period.

The new calculation, called the "supplemental poverty measure," is expected to eventually become the official way that poverty is measured in the United States.

And for Hawaii, that could have big implications.

It may mean eligibility requirements for government subsidies could significantly change, expanding to include more people, service providers say.

And it will no doubt tarnish the image of a state that has long touted its relatively low poverty numbers compared with the rest of the nation.

read … High Cost of Living 

HART: Iwi Finds ‘Overwhelming’—Changes Needed 

KHON: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit told the Oahu Island Burial Council on Wednesday that it is looking at whether it will relocate columns and some rail station layouts.

If the route is not changed, there could be additional trenching near already discovered iwi kupuna in test digs along the route….

Separately, the board chair urged the many Kakaako developers with plans in-the-works to communicate and stay on top of the many discoveries, calling the scope of iwi finds "overwhelming."

SA: The city has excavated more than 350 trenches as part of the survey, and has about 35 more trenches to go

read … Trouble for TOD

Horse, Three bodies, Skull

KITV: "We do not want the iwi removed, period," said Paulette Kaleikini.

Kaleikini successfully sued to block construction of the rail project until after an archeological survey of the route is completed.

This weekend, Kaleikini was called to a site where archeologists discovered a human skull bone in a parking lot behind the Sports Authority and Ross stores. It is where a transit station is planned.

"I would ask for further trenching or testing in the area. Just because you found the cranial doesn't mean the rest of the body isn’t there," said Kaleikini.

In other trenches in Chinatown, McDermott told the burial council his team found the complete remains of a horse, well as human remains of an adult, a juvenile and an infant.

Read … More Iwi

Hilo Old Boys Grab Control of Hawaii Co Council

WHT: J Yoshimoto, a three-term councilman from Hilo, was selected chairman Sunday in a closed-door session attended by most of the incumbent and incoming council members. Yoshimoto was chairman during the 2008-2010 session.

North Kona Councilwoman-elect Karen Eoff was named vice chairwoman. Eoff has worked for years as legislative aide to outgoing North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago….

Political newcomer Greggor Ilagan, Puna Makai councilman-elect, who attended the meeting Sunday at Hamakua Councilwoman-elect Valerie Poindexter’s house, called it an eye-opening experience….

Brenda Ford, the only other three-term councilor, now representing a sprawling newly redistricted South Kona/Ka‘u district, declined comment Wednesday. (She’s pissed.)

While the council has in the past has made an effort to have both an East Hawaii and West Hawaii council member in the top two spots, Yoshimoto said that wasn’t necessarily the case in the selection of Eoff.

Ford was named chairwoman of the Mass Transit and Public Safety Committee, with Kohala Councilwoman-elect Margaret Wille vice charwoman. (Siberia)

(Old boy) Poindexter was named chairwoman of the Finance Committee… (power)

(Old boy) Central Kona Councilman-elect Dru Kanuha will head the Public Works Committee (power)

(Kanuha and Poindexter are Kenoi cronies who drew the apportionment lines and then ran for the seats they created. Now Hilo has re-taken control of the council and nobody in Kona has noticed, except Ford. The malihini are so easily manipulated.)

2006: 'Lost Malihini Tribe' and PASH Aim to Take Over County Council

Poindexter: Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau Hosts Community Rally for Sen. Akaka

read … Yoshimoto takes council chair

EPA Regs to Soak Big Island Ratepayers for Another $8M/year

WHT: Hawaii Electric Light Co. must take measures to cap emissions from three East Hawaii oil-fueled boilers by 2018 to reduce impacts on the state’s two national parks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quietly rolled out the rule Oct. 9, following public hearings on the topic in May and June. As stated in a 30-page final rule in the Federal Register, the EPA issued a final federal implementation plan capping emissions at 3,550 tons of sulfur dioxide per year from HELCO’s Hill, Shipman and Puna power plants.

“If HELCO chooses to meet the cap by switching to cleaner fuel, then the EPA estimates that the costs will be no more than approximately $7.9 million (per) year,” the EPA said. “This cap represents a reduction of 1,400 tons per year of sulfur dioxide from the total projected 2018 annual emissions from these facilities.”

Ignacio said HELCO was evaluating the switch from bunker fuel, with its maximum 2 percent sulfur content, to diesel fuel, which is more expensive but has a sulfur content of no more than 0.4 percent. This is one of many alternatives being considered, he said. The $7.9 million figure represents the cost of switching completely from bunker to diesel fuel.

May, 2012: Got Electricity? EPA May Force Shutdown of HECO Plants

EPA: Cap emissions at Big Island power plants

2010: EPA to adjust emission standards for Hawaii

Former Councilman Rod Tam fined for misuse of city funds

SA: The city Ethics Commission fined former City Councilman Rod Tam $813.53 today for misusing city funds to buy city employees appreciation lunches and for a Chinese dinner for foreign delegates.

The cases date back to 2009 and 2010, but hearings had been delayed while Tam faced criminal prosecution and sentencing for previous misuse of city funds.

In a news release, the Ethics Commission said Tam was unable to present any credible evidence that the expenses were related to his Council work or any legitimate city business.

Tam, who had served 32 years in elected office, has been out of office since 2010….

Related: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore development hui

read … Rod Tam

Ethics Commission found that Tatsuyama gave preferential treatment for Son’s Scouting event

KITV: Deputy Chief Tatsuyama’s son was a member of the affected Scout group, according to the commission. Almost 30 police officers worked the event, 10 of whom were on overtime. The overtime expense was $2,673.49 and Mr. Tatsuyama has agreed to reimburse the city.

According to the commission, Deputy Chief Tatsuyama went outside normal procedures to have HPD sponsor the "Say Hi" event. He directly contacted the commands of divisions, including the Ke Kula Makai Training Facility and asked for the academy to be opened on a Sunday, when it was normally closed. He actively oversaw and arranged for HPD to feature some of its most sophisticated and

interesting services and equipment -- helicopter, armored vehicle, bomb robots, bomb truck, and Canine unit -- along with two Bicycle Details for the 28 scouts present during the two-and-a-half-hour presentation that was conducted by 26 HPD officers.

During the planning of the event, Deputy Chief Tatsuyama was warned that the event would require significant overtime and that other small Scout groups had been denied when they asked for weekend events with similar police demonstrations.

Click here for the full advisory opinion.

Read … Another Day in the Nei

Half-Way Houses for Felons: Return to the Heyday

WHT: Kona could become the newest home to a clean and sober house for Department of Public Safety felony inmates making the transition back into the community.

The facility would annually provide housing and case management services to up to 50 adult male and female felony inmates in the Kona area, according to the department’s Corrections’ Institutions Division Nov. 7 request for information posted on the state Procurement Office website. The facility would serve inmates transitioning from incarceration at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo….

Currently, the department offers one reintegration program on the Big Island — Hale Nani in Panaewa. Other organizations provide such services but do not fall under the department, Schwartz said, noting such a housing program in Kona would help bring back some services that have been cut, as well as free up bed space.

“Since the heyday 12 years ago many of these programs had been cut,” she said. “Now, we are trying to bring them back.”

The initial contract term would run from March 1, 2013, to Feb. 28, 2015, and the provider would receive a two-year, $200,000 contract with the option for a one-year extension.

It is unknown when the public will have a say in the matter, however, the request said the facility is in the very early stages of planning. Respondents have until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 27 to provide the division information; an orientation for prospective applicants is Nov. 21 in Honolulu.

read … State seeking 411 on Kona halfway house

Wind power causes more pollution, not less

MN: Wind farm supporters believe industrial wind power is green. But the reality of the electric grid is that intermittent power causes more pollution, not less. Electricity on the grid cannot be stored. It is generated the instant it is used.

If an electricity generator stops generating (that is, the wind stops blowing), a backup source must start up. That backup is invariably oil fired in Hawaii. That causes the backup plant to act like a car in busy traffic, emitting more pollutants than a car cruising on the highway. And that negates the hoped-for positive effect of wind to reduce emissions.

So why would we take tens of thousands of acres of land in Hawaii to build these turbines? It's because of the federal laws that give the developers more money than they have invested for each project in the the way of guaranteed loans, tax subsidies and credits and the ability to sell these assets over and over at your expense.

If you could invest someone else's money and be guaranteed a huge profit with no risk to yourself, why wouldn't you do it? Many of our politicians receive large campaign contributions for supporting these mega projects. It's called follow the money.

read … Wind power causes more pollution, not less

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