State revises economic forecast lower
While the forecast for visitor arrivals in Hawaii was unchanged from the previous one, the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism now expects visitor expenditures will decrease 11.5 percent, a 3.6 percentage-point drop from the prior forecast. As a result, DBEDT has revised its forecast for jobs downward and now expects a 3 percent decline in the average job count for the year.
(This sets the tone for the next articles.)
RELATED: Hawaii economy a 'mixed picture'
Inouye: "We're going to come out of this with flying colors."
"I leave this place 'up,'" said Inouye, D-Hawaii, after a hearing of his U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee at the state Capitol. "I feel good. I feel assured that we're going to come out of this with flying colors."
TRANSCRIPT: Lingle before Senate Committee: "Grant opportunities will lay the foundation for a new economic base"
Along with the governor, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Nanakuli, Makaha), Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, and several other state and local officials testified.
(Apparently Inouye's wholehearted endorsement of Lingle's approach plus the Democrat media's choice to put the whining Munchkins like Hanabusa, Hannemann, etal at the bottom of this story is a signal to the Legislature regarding its next session. Message: Coming out of the December HGEA arbitration decision, the ball will be in the legislature's court. Democrat legislators better be ready to take responsibility with a plan in the session starting January.)
Hanabusa Testimony (full text): Hawaii Facing Unprecedented Declining Revenue Picture
Hannemann testimony (video): Hannemann testimony at stimulus hearing
RELATED: Stimulus spending detailed , Inouye likes stimulus report
SB: Legislators erred on arbitration law, don't raise taxes
State legislators were warned in 2000 by then-Gov. Ben Cayetano about the dire consequences of resolving contract talks with state and county employees through binding arbitration. Negotiations with state employee unions are headed in that direction, but legislators should resist raising taxes to accommodate predictably generous wage packages approved by out-of-state arbitrators.
(Dueling editorials, see next article.)
Advertiser's Hint to Legislature: Oahu taxes low for travelers
Honolulu remains one of the least expensive cities of the nation's top 50 travel destinations, at least when it comes to taxes, a new study says.
A report released by the National Business Travel Association Foundation shows Honolulu ranks third in terms of overall travel tax burden behind Portland, Ore., and Detroit.
The study found travelers pay $22.55 a day in Honolulu in general taxes on sales along with hotel room taxes and other taxes for car rentals and meals. That amount compared with $21.45 last year when Honolulu's burden was the lowest of the top 50 cities.
(This is a 'think piece' for the January Legislative session. If the travel industry wants to avoid a tax increase next session, they'd better debunk this now. For instance, does this report account for Hawaii's highest-in-the nation electric rates and fuel prices?)
Advertiser: 'Race' for school funds will take teamwork
A status report on how the so-called stimulus bill has affected Hawai'i was the subject of a hearing by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, presided over by its chairman, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
Inouye himself cited frequent reports about the chronic disconnect between the DOE and the governor, who has no direct control over administration of schools but has the power to restrict their overall budget.
Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto said in the matter of pursuing the first stimulus batch — a "stabilization" grant to offset budget cuts to schools and the University of Hawai'i — there's cooperation. But it was then distressing to hear that there still is no stabilization spending agreement, which the governor, the DOE and UH must sign. That hurdle needs to be cleared quickly so funds can start filtering into the schools.
(Inouye is in town and his Advertiser is instructing the DoE on how to get more $$$ out of DC. Message: Stop fooling around in negotiations and sign the stabilization spending agreement.)
Closure proposal affects 3 libraries on Maui, Big Isle
Maui businesswoman Joan McKelvey is upset about a proposal to close the Lahaina Public Library, because the next nearest library is more than 20 miles away in Wailuku.
(Which is why the DoE is closing libraries instead of laying off bureaucrats.)
(And here is a quick lesson in one-party politics. From DKosopedia)
Angus McKelvey (Born: March 9, 1968; Honolulu), is a Democrat, elected to the Hawaii State House of Representatives, representing the 10th House District in 2006. The 10th House District includes West Maui, Maalaea and part of North Kihei.
From the MauiTime Weekly dated October 26, 2006:
- "Son of longtime Republican activist and Lahaina News founder Joan McKelvey and husband of failed 2004 10th District candidate Greta “Mo Bettah” McKelvey, Angus wants the state to declare a State of Emergency concerning West Maui traffic."
(Lesson: The only thing missing from the Hawaii GOP is the organizational wherewithal to place a candidate into office.)
Cash for Clunkers: Hawaii Dealers still not paid
"Tony Group had 170 Cash for Clunkers deals written, and they've received payment for what you could count on one hand," said Rolf. "And you'd have to store the vehicle before you could dismantle and then release it."
Rolf stressed that the program was slated to end once the federal government had exhausted its Cash for Clunkers money. But he said the government couldn't give dealers any idea of when that might happen.
Dealers didn't want to get caught holding the bag after the cash ran out. That's why some O'ahu dealers began winding down their Cash for Clunker deals as early as last Thursday.
"It was a huge amount of risk for the dealers," said Rolf. "There was just an awful lot of trust with the federal government that the money would come through, and that it had a good eye on where the exhaustion point would be for the $3 billion."
Hilda unlikely to affect Hawaii
Tropical Storm Hilda is expected to intensify and become a hurricane late tomorrow or early Thursday as it approaches the state.
20-year ecological study set on Big Isle
The Kohala Center, an independent academic institution, is partnering with Yale University to research the development of a long-range industrial ecosystem model that could have global implications.
The study will monitor 77 indicators in three broad areas of environment, economy and community to determine how human actions influence natural resources. The results will provide ideas, methods and tools to use as a foundation to better manage communities.
RELATED: Honolulu Weekly fluff piece on Kohala Center (such articles are de rigueur for any aspiring Democrat candidate, or in this case, think tank.)
(In other words, Kohala Center has tapped into yet another pot of gold in order to churn out more and more "authoritative" environmental plans which will be adopted unquestioningly by the eco-cultists in Hawaii government. For a typical example, see next editorial...)
ECOS: Save fertile soil at Ho'opili site
These are major advantages. They allow Ewa farmers to produce fresh, high quality fruits and vegetables at prices that can compete with imported products.
As Ho'opili is built, the Ewa farms will completely disappear. There is simply no place to move their 1,555 acres of crops.
All of Kunia is sold except 400 acres, which have all of the highland problems mentioned above, and no guaranteed water.
A final note about the prime soil: Its high clay content expands and contracts, causing foundations to crack, so it needs to be excavated. Being "no good for anything," in the past, it's often been taken to the dump. (If this soil is so good for farming, why would they not take it to another farm site instead of paying tipping fees at the dump? And the question behind which all wisdom lies: Why aren't the eco-freaks advocating such a transfer?)
So let's get it straight: They are going to close down our highest producing farms, excavate the best soil in the world and take it to the dump (If you are a good reader, you notice the underlined possibility has become a certainty in this line.), then fill the holes with coral, and build houses, many of which will be bought by people who don't live here, so that D.R. Horton, a mainland developer, can take the profits elsewhere. (Almost every line is a lie.)
Well, we can't eat houses. (And people can't stay in Hawaii if they can't afford houses.)
Civil rights training looks to curtail harassment
The training was part of a settlement agreement from a December 2004 complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights that alleged several Caucasian students at Kealakehe Intermediate School had been subjected to repeated harassment because of race or national origin and that the district did not promptly and effectively address the problem.
(Now EVERYBODY can be a dependency group.)
Rep. Mizuno denies claim he broke law by failing to report abuse allegations
Smith said the Democrat who represents the Kalihi area also should have informed Department of Human Services officials before airing the allegations at last Thursday's hearing of the House Committee on Human Services, which Mizuno chairs.
It was "inappropriate, legally incorrect and not serving the best interest of the public" for Mizuno to fail to report abuse allegations when he learned of them, Smith asserted in the video, which was titled "Legislators without Aloha."
But on Monday, Mizuno said he did not intend to air allegations of elder abuse at the hearing. Rather, he wanted to discuss concerns expressed to him by a Hawaii resident about the practices of a case-management agency regulated by the state.
(In other words, Mizuno was happy to use an elder abuse allegation to bash the administration even at the risk of endangering the State's ability to investigate and prosecute the elder abuser.)
SEE VIDEO: http://hawaii.gov/gov/leg/session-2009/leg-update/august-20-2009-legislators-without-aloha