Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


November 21st, 2014

Memo to Hawaii's news media: Civil Beat thinks you are lazy!

The online news site, financed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, is hiring an investigative reporter. An ad posted on Nov. 6 on the Investigative Reporters and Editors website described the job opportunity and offered the following assessment:

Hawaii has many problems that are ripe for reporting. The islands have too long suffered from a lazy media effort and Civil Beat is leading the way to change that.

Curiously, that line has since been deleted from the ad.

Patti Epler, the news site's editor, did not respond to an email asking why the line had been removed.

`Out of the shadows'

November 20th, 2014

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, the only immigrant in the U.S. Senate, on Thursday praised President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

The Hawaii Democrat, who as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee was responsible for several provisions in a Senate immigration reform bill that stalled in the U.S. House, made an appearance on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes."

I think this was a really big step for all of the advocates for immigration reform. And what the president did tonight gives all of us hope.

And as you mentioned, I came here with a very courageous mother when I was not yet 8 years old. We were very poor. I certainly didn't speak any English. But she had a dream that by bringing us to this country and working hard, that she could make a better life for herself and her children. And that is the dream that immigrants have.

And comprehensive immigration reform was purposeful work for me as a member of the Judiciary Committee. And what the president did tonight, as a I said, gives some 5 million people that chance to come out of the shadows, to be able to work, to be with their families, to be with their children, to pay their taxes, and be a part of our community in the way that we all dream about.

Asked by Hayes whether Obama had "poisoned the well" by taking executive action, rather than going through Congress, Hirono said:

I don't buy that at all, because we had over a year after the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill for the House to take action.

There is absolutely nothing preventing the House of Representatives from coming forward and working with the president and -- again -- with the Senate to pass comprehensive, sensible, humane immigration reform.

So for those who are saying that this is going to poison the well, you know what? I hope that that is not a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the president has said very clearly, this is a temporary approach, and what we need to do is to have comprehensive reform that will enable 11 million people to be on a path to citizenship and be a part of our economy.

Asked by a panelist about attitudes toward immigration among Republican voters nationally, particularly those who live in communities with large immigrant populations, the senator said:

Aside from the native peoples who were here, the rest of us are immigrants. Most of us trace our ancestry not very far back to another country. For myself, I am a first generation.

And we know that the majority of the American public -- they want comprehensive immigration reform. They want these 11 million undocumented people to be able to come out of the shadows and be a part of our communities, pay their taxes, take care of their children.

The majority of the people in America want that. I think it's the Republicans who are not hearing that message. And I hope they do after the president takes this step and all these people can come out and be able to pursue the American dream.

But, again, this is temporary ...


November 19th, 2014

Health and infectious disease experts are scheduled to meet Monday evening at the University of Hawaii medical school to discuss the response to ebola.

Hysteria surrounding the disease in the United States appears to have subsided, but health experts continue to be concerned, particularly about the spread in West Africa.

Here is the roster of speakers for the 5:30 p.m. event:

*State Health Director Linda Rosen, MD
*State Epidemiologist Sarah Park, MD
*State Senate Health Chair Josh Green, MD
*Public Health Security Specialist James Campbell, MD (Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies)
*Emergency Services Director Toby Clairmont, Healthcare Association of Hawai`i
*CDC Quarantine Medical Officer Tai-Ho Chen, MD
*UH Medical Professor F. DeWolfe Miller, PhD


November 18th, 2014

Gov.-elect David Ige will bring Ford Fuchigami back to the state Department of Transportation.

Fuchigami had served as the department's director before taking a post last month as director of Honolulu's Department of Enterprise Services.

Fuchigami, who must be confirmed by the state Senate, will start when Ige is inaugurated on Dec. 1. His last day with the city under Mayor Kirk Caldwell is Nov. 28.

“Ford proved to be a stellar administrator of one of the most complex and vital departments of the state, and I’ve asked him to return," Ige said in a statement. "I believe that he will be an important link to the city, working cooperatively on critical transportation projects such as rail. I appreciate his dedication to public service and his strong desire to make long-lasting contributions to Hawaii’s statewide transportation system.”

Caldwell, in a statement, said Fuchigami's appointment "signifies a positive future working relationship between the city and state on important issues. Ford is a hard worker and a man of great integrity and I wish him well in this significant career move. Oahu drivers, bus riders, bicyclists and pedestrians, and airport and harbor users will all continue to benefit from Ford’s work for the state.”

Ige also announced that his transition team has extended the deadline to apply for positions in his new administration. The deadline will run through Wednesday. The initial deadline was Sunday, but the transition team extended the application window after hearing from people who could not access the application website because of the volume of inquiries.


November 17th, 2014

Conservatives in the Hawaii Republican Assembly, frustrated by what they see as a timid and ineffective Hawaii Republican Party, on Monday called for party leaders to resign.

Tito Montes, the president of the Hawaii Republican Assembly, said in an email to supporters that the group waited two weeks from the November elections to see if party leaders would quit on their own.

While Republicans made significant gains nationally, the local GOP struggled. Both former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican candidate for governor, and former congressman Charles Djou, the GOP contender for Congress, lost their campaigns. Republicans gained just one additional seat in the state House.

Montes called on all of the party's state and county executive officers to step down, specifically naming Pat Saiki, the party chairwoman; Miriam Hellreich, the Republican National Committeewoman; Boyd Ready, the head of the coordinated campaign; Marcia Klompus, the treasurer; and Fritz Rohlfing, the Oahu chairman.

When corporate leaders fail, they resign. When nonprofit leaders fail, they resign. When political party leaders fail, they too resign. Now it's the turn of Pat Saiki and the rest to get out of the way.

It is obvious that HRP’s leaders flat-out refused to wisely utilize all 24 months between elections to educate and persuade and inspire voters, let alone diminish the devotion of so many to the ruling Democrats.  This lack of action is either deliberate or a result of incompetence. The lowest voter turnout ever and the microscopic change in the number of registered voters is sufficient evidence that promises made by party leaders to engage in substantial voter drives in the past two years were merely rhetoric.

"They have their opinion," Saiki said. "I have no comment."