'Shamanic Energy Practitioners': Burn the GMO Fields, Then Burn Them Again
‘They can still poison without fear’: Bette Midler unhappy that Kauai didn’t outlaw GMOs
Another Six Degrees of Monsanto
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted September 30, 2013
Star-Adv: "Obamacare will mean higher premiums for thousands"
SA: Obamacare will mean higher premiums for thousands of Hawaii individuals and small businesses and lower premiums for thousands of others when major provisions of the federal health reform law begin Jan. 1.
The state's dominant health insurer, Hawaii Medical Service Association, notified individuals and small groups in recent weeks of the changes they will see in premiums under the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act....
The majority of HMSA's 720,000 members have coverage through large companies or Medicare and Medicaid. HMSA members affected by the rate changes total 14,000 individuals and 8,000 small businesses with roughly 42,000 employees. For most small businesses, rates will change on the July 1 policy renewal date....
About half of the 8,000 small businesses affected will see rates increase next year, and half will see them go down, HMSA said. The rate hikes could be reduced by subsidies and tax credits, but small businesses facing a jump in premiums were not pleased.
Hawaiian Brian's, a pool hall and concert venue, will see its health insurance cost rise 27 percent, or $1,500 per month, next year, according to co-owner Lee Anderson.
Anderson, who runs Hawaiian Brian's with his father, said he was paying $5,500 a month this year to cover his 15 employees with a plan that included drug, dental and vision. After Jan. 1 he'll be paying $7,000....
The lowest "Bronze" and "Silver" plans aren't available to small groups in Hawaii because the coverage doesn't comply with the state's 1974 Prepaid Health Care Act, which requires employers to provide insurance covering no less than 80 percent of benefits for full-time workers.
"Obamacare is turning into very expensive alternatives rather than lowering the cost of health care for all," said Honolulu small-business attorney Russel Yamashita, 60. "I am afraid that sole proprietors like me who are in the oldest age brackets could see their health care premiums triple under Obamacare. This is a very frightening picture for the elderly."
As Explained: HMSA 'Dumping' Thousands of Policies, Blames Obamacare
read ... Obamacare Costs
Hawaii State Salaries 2013: More Employees Making More Money
CB: So what does the 2013 salary database tell us? For starters, the state is employing more people and paying them higher salaries than in 2012.
The average salary of the 14,712 state employees under DHRD’s payroll system was $58,233 for the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
In 2012, there were 14,183 employees who earned an average salary of $54,573. The bump reflects an economy that is continuing to rebound from the global financial crisis, which the state responded to in part by slashing government workers’ salaries 5 percent.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Legislature restored the cuts this past legislative session and funded pay raises for thousands of union workers at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The state has spent almost $2 billion on salaries alone for the past few years. When health and retirement benefits are factored in, payroll accounts for more than half of the state operating budget....
Here’s the salary database for 2013. You can search by first and last name, department, job title, salary range and year. To compare how this year stacks up to previous years, check out the salary database that covers 2011 and 2012 here.
read ... Mo Money
Call a Special Session to Reform Education in Hawaii
SA: The U.S. Army Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the most widely given high school multiple-choice aptitude test in the world. The three-hour test includes questions on history, general science, writing, word knowledge and practices skills and is given to self-selected young people 17-20 years old. A recent study by the Educational Trust of 350,000 test takers, who had taken the test between 2004 and 2009, indicated that Hawaii students had the highest ineligibility rate on the basic military recruit tests among 50 states (http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/publications/files/ASVAB_4.pdf).
This means that significant numbers of students have graduated from Hawaii public schools unable to read, write or do mathematics. The low performance levels at the public schools and the high drop-out rate of the University of Hawaii are interrelated....
When you are last in the country, you have to change.
read ... In the New Democratic Party, Gays Before Kids
Top MIT scientist: Newest UN climate report is ‘hilariously’ flawed
DC: A top climate scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lambasted a new report by the UN’s climate bureaucracy that blamed mankind as the main cause of global warming and whitewashed the fact that there has been a hiatus in warming for the last 15 years.
“I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence,” Dr. Richard Lindzen told Climate Depot, a global warming skeptic news site. “They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.”
Read ... Getting Colder
Reporter: I stopped Smoking Marijuana Because it Made Me Too Paranoid
CB: Yep, I smoked marijuana. Like Barack Obama, I inhaled frequently — "That was the point," as the president has explained. I don't anymore; it made me too paranoid. But I still know lots of folks who do smoke pot ... and so do you. (Yes. They are protesting against GMOS.)
Related: US Patent Pending for Genetically Modified Marijuana
read ... Paranoia Will Destroy ya