HAWAII

Apr 13 12:32

Navy wasting almost $5M on phone upgrade in Hawaii, whistleblower says

An individual identifying himself as a Navy Region Hawaii federal employee sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and media outlets Friday in which he said almost $5 million in taxpayer money is being wasted converting the Hickam Air Force Base phone system to AT&T.

"In 2010, Hickam Air Force Base was merged into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Navy led. An advertised goal of joint basing was to save resources by finding best practices between the services. Unfortunately we are not doing that here," said the letter writer, who identified himself as David Anderson.

Anderson said he is with the Navy's information technology service management office and has lived and worked in Hawaii for 23 years.

"I am writing to you for help to stop wasteful spending of our tax dollars," Anderson said in his letter to Hirono, dated Friday. "Specifically Navy Region Hawaii is moving forward with a telephone system standardization project at a cost of $4.9 million."

Apr 10 09:18

Meet the cop who got hooked on meth: Vice officer was rising star of Maui Police Department until she became prostitute addicted to Breaking Bad drug

A former high-flying police officer has told how her life spiraled into a hellish nightmare of drugs, prostitution and despair after she became hooked on ultra-addictive methamphetamine.

Alison Moore was a rising star in the Maui Police department, regularly teaming up with DEA officers to fly helicopter missions searching for drugs or breaking down doors to bust big-time dealers.

But every night she would return to her apartment, pull out a meth pipe and a bag of illegal drugs and smoke herself into delirium, a hopeless junkie in the grips of a deadly habit.

Apr 09 10:46

Continental Drift

The opening to Tolstoy’s great novel of love and tragedy could be a metaphor for Europe today, where “unhappy families” of Catalans, Scots, Belgiums, Ukrainians, and Italians contemplate divorcing the countries they are currently a part of. And in a case where reality mirrors fiction, they are each unhappy in their own way.

While the U.S. and its allies may rail against the recent referendum in the Crimea that broke the peninsula free of Ukraine, Scots will consider a very similar one on Sept. 18, and Catalans would very much like to do the same. So would residents of South Tyrol, and Flemish speakers in northern Belgium.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And Hawaii.

Apr 04 10:22

‘Diverse’ population one of many factors in Hawaii’s failing health exchange

Six state health exchange directors, including the head of Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange, were grilled Thursday by multiple U.S. House committees trying to determine why the websites aren’t working properly.

The committees are looking into how the six states with troubled Obamacare exchanges spent hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants, yet still have low enrollment and glitch-filled websites.

...

U.S. Rep Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, says Hawaii should be exempt from ACA requirements.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Apr 02 08:47

Hawaii may cut health benefits to Pacific islanders affected by nuclear testing

A US federal court has granted Hawaiian lawmakers permission to slash benefits for residents whose families formerly lived on a string of Pacific islands that the US military used as a nuclear test site in the decades after World War II.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit removed an injunction Tuesday that prevented the state from reducing the health benefits paid out to residents of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands, where a number of people claim they are still suffering from health problems caused by the military tests.

Mar 31 12:00

Bank of Hawaii is Closing The Accounts of Iranian Citizens

Bank of Hawaii is closing the accounts of Iranian nationals living in the state, a move that is angering Iranian activists and civil rights supporters.

A national Iranian organization sent a letter to the bank last week protesting the action.

“Bank of Hawaii has made a business decision to close all accounts belonging to customers with Iran citizenship,” according to a letter from the bank sent to 17 Iranian nationals in December.

Mar 07 11:29

Los Angeles tops list of US cities with worst traffic

It may not come as a surprise, but Los Angeles has once again topped a list of major U.S. cities with the worst traffic.

According to INRIX's seventh annual Traffic Scorecard Report, drivers nationwide wasted an average of 47 hours in traffic a year in major cities, and it's only expected to get worse.

Los Angeles was the worst with an average of 64 hours wasted in traffic in 2013 -- that's an 8.5 percent increase compared to 2012.

Honolulu followed close behind with 60 wasted hours, an 18 percent increase. San Francisco came in third with 56 hours, a 13 percent increase.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That was certainly our experience when I had to fly to Los Angeles last year! But note that Honolulu got the Silver Medal!

Mar 03 14:44

HMCS Protecteur sent adrift — again — after towline snaps en route to Pearl Harbor

The HMCS Protecteur is once again making slow progress toward Pearl Harbor after being sent adrift, again, Sunday when a towline snapped.

The disabled Canadian naval supply ship has been limping back to Hawaii since an engine room fire left it dead in the water last week.

Apr 05 09:39

Images of Hawaii - Early 20th Century - CAPTIONS UPDATED!

After a long delay in the postal system, these photos finally arrived, sent in by a reader. These are photos taken by a US Army soldier stations here in Hawaii at the close of WW1. His name is thought to be Edward Braza (or possibly Edward's father, first name unknown). He appears in many of the photos. From the multiple sizes of negatives and the attempts at hand tinting some photos, it is clear that Mr. Braza was a serious amateur photographer and captured many scenes of Hawaii as it was nearly 100 years ago. I am posting scans of the images here for Hawaii and history fans, and plan to find a suitable institution to donate the original prints to for preservation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Several people have helped out identifying landmarks in the photos. The captions have been updated.

Apr 05 06:25

Guenter Grass, German Nobel Winner, Criticizes Israel Over Iran Tensions

"The nuclear power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace," Grass wrote in his poem titled:

"What must be said"

The 84-year-old Grass said he had been prompted to put pen to paper by Berlin's recent decision to sell Israel a submarine able to "send all-destroying warheads where the existence of a single nuclear bomb is unproven."

"The nuclear power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace," he wrote. His poem specifically criticized Israel's "claim to the right of a first strike" against Iran.

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