Archive for August, 2009

New lineup

August 27th, 2009
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The return of Ann Kobayashi to her old City Council seat means a shuffling of committees at Honolulu Hale.

Chairman Todd Apo today announced a new lineup that creates a seventh committee.

Kobayashi assumes the chair of the Public Infrastructure Committee, taking over for her predecessor Duke Bainum.

What used to be a single committee under Transportation and Planning, will be split — creating a Transportation Committee headed by Gary Okino and a new Planning Committee headed by Ikaika Anderson.

The other committee chairs remain unchanged:
>> Budget, Nestor Garcia
>> Executive Matters and Legal Affairs, Charles Djou
>> Public Safety and Services, Donovan Dela Cruz
>> Zoning, Rod Tam.

“The goal of the council’s committee structure continues to be — implementing an effective and productive tool to address the issues and legislation before it, while remaining supportive of the public input and participation process,” Apo said in a news release. “In the months ahead, the council is expected to continue its discussions about transit, development plan updates, affordable housing as well as bring on line an additional workgroup to review sustainable building practices and codes.

“The committee line up was expanded from six to seven to support these Council activities thoroughly and efficiently.”

Getting in his 2 cents

August 20th, 2009
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lingle_mug mufi_mug

A funny anecdote …

The Hawaii Capitol “Press Corps” was following up on the story (in the other paper) about a federal report that says tax projections for the city’s $5.3 billion rail transit project are expected to be about $500 million short.

Naturally, we wanted to get the governor’s reaction, and see what her thoughts were on whether the state would be able to help the city make up the shortfall. (To translate what she said: Not bloody likely!)

So anyway, we had cornered the governor in the anteroom leading to the Senate chamber. The mayor was in the Senate chamber taking part in a naturalization ceremony for 50 immigrants from 16 countries. To get out of the chamber, he had to walk past the area where the governor was holding her press gaggle with us.

KITV’s Denby Fawcett was asking the governor her thoughts on the rail project, and whether she felt the report may be a signal that maybe we shouldn’t do transit?

Just as she finished the question, the mayor walked by leaving the anteroom, but not before chiming in, “We should!” as he walked by the press gathering.

Whether that was captured by TV cameras we’ll just have to see on the newscasts tonight. (@inthehale may also have captured it on video =)

UPDATE, 11:45 p.m.: KITV did catch it!

Happy Admission Day!

Stayin’ alive

August 17th, 2009
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At the rate the industry is going, most of us will be shocked if newspapers survive over the next few years, let alone the next 25 years.

We at the S-B Political Radar blog have done our part to ensure that at least one copy of the paper survives over the next quarter century!

House Chief Clerk Patricia Mau-Shimizu was kind enough to let us include a copy of today’s paper in the time capsule her office is assembling for this week’s 50th Anniversary of Statehood celebration. Other items sealed in the time capsule include a photo of the 2009 freshman class of state representatives, copies of bills (including the state budget), business cards and other memorabilia.

Time Capsule
^^ Rep. Chris Lee with some of the items (including the Star-Bulletin) being placed in a time capsule.

Today
^^ Today’s front page (Aug. 17, 2009)

The 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission is putting together 50 time capsules, including seven which are being made available for the public to contribute items. The rest are being distributed to neighbor islands and schools throughout the state.

Time capsules are schedule to be opened in 2034, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of statehood, according to the Commission.

Governor’s spokesman Lenny Klompus says officials from the state archives will seal the capsules during a ceremony Friday, and the capsules will be buried before the end of the year.

Right to Life Targets Abercrombie Meetings

August 14th, 2009
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The anti-abortion organization, Hawaii Right to Life, is calling on supporters to attend two campaign rallies planned by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is running for governor in the 2010 Democratic primary.

The group mistakenly says “Abercrombie is having town hall meetings to allow Hawaii residents to discuss health-care reform.”

But the group in an Internet alert urges Right to Life members to attend.

“Please take the time to attend a meeting and let your voice be heard. You can be sure that abortion and euthanasia advocates will be present to counter any critics in attendance. Mr. Abercrombie needs to hear from pro-lifers loud and clear,” according to Right to Life.

Abercrombie campaign spokeswoman Laurie Au  said the meetings are organized by Abercrombie’s campaign not his congressional office.

“It is a mischaracterization to call these “Congressional Town Hall” meetings or to suggest that they are meetings to discuss the health insurance reform bills. Mr. Abercrombie’s Congressional office has held two forums that focused on health care issues on May 28 and July 1,” said Au.

But, she added that “we welcome discussion on any issue, including health care.”

The campaign rallies will be held  August 18 at Kipapa Elementary School cafeteria, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Thursday, August 20 at Stevenson Middle School cafeteria, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Not exactly ‘in the pink’

August 6th, 2009
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Despite the graphic on the front page of our paper on Wednesday, layoff notices delivered to state workers this week were not actually pink slips. (At least not ALL of them.)

Not that a letter on standard white state stationery made it any easier for employees to accept the news.

An employee in the Department of Accounting and General Services shared her layoff notice with us.

Dated Aug. 4, from state Comptroller Russ Saito, it opens:

It is with sincere regret that I must inform you of a reduction-in-force that will result in abolishment of your position, Janitor II, Position No. ####, at the close of business on Friday, November 13, 2009. This was a very difficult decision made after evaluation of the entire operation of the Department of Accounting and General Services and determination of adjustments that have to be made in the best interests of the Department and the State.

Certainly not news that anyone wants to receive, but perhaps it’s better than being informed by a recorded message. (Story here)

Happy Birth(er)day!

August 4th, 2009
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COLB

While the mouthbreathers at WorldNetDaily will no doubt use today to trumpet their campaign for the release of the “long-form birth certificate,” it also seems like a good day for the Political Radar to bury this issue once and for all.

There is nothing we can say or report that will sway your opinion on this matter. You either believe that POTUS was born in Honolulu on this day 48 years ago (as attested to in the oft-posted Certificate of Live Birth), or you don’t.

You either believe Factcheck.org and services such as McClatchy Newspapers, or you believe that the Kenyan government is really in charge of the country and interpret as Gospel the words of Orly Taitz, Jerome Corsi and Lou Dobbs.

Henceforth, you will see no further mention of this issue in the Political Radar blog.

As far as we’re concerned, POTUS is a U.S. citizen.

Furthermore, this being a blog post and not a traditional news story, all submitted comments will be subject to the usual screening and may or may not be creatively edited.