Furlough agreement will not avert layoffs, governor warns
A new contract with the state's largest public workers union will bring "substantial" savings, but not enough to prevent the first round of layoffs for about 750 state workers, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday.
No decision has been made on whether a second round of layoffs would be needed to help close a budget deficit approaching $1 billion over the next two years, Lingle said....
Meanwhile, there continued to be no movement in negotiations with the United Public Workers union.
"I don't know what their strategy is or what they feel they have to gain by this," Lingle said. "I feel they need to come back, and they need to start talking seriously again."
A message left with UPW officials yesterday was not returned.
ADV: Hawaii state worker furloughs not enough to close budget gap
KHON: First Day of HGEA Ratification Causes Concerns
SB: Some workers resigned, some upset
SB: HGEA should accept contract
It would be the first time that HGEA members ever have taken reductions in pay. Most of them recognize that further delays would result in more furlough days in order for the state to balance the budget as required by the state Constitution.
The choice is similar to that made three weeks ago by members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, accepting 17 furlough days during this school year and another 17 in the next school year. School principals — wrongly unionized managers — also would be subject to 17 furloughs for each fiscal year under the HGEA package.
Members of the union for the University of Hawaii's 3,700 faculty rejected by a six-to-one ratio what the administration called its "last, best, final offer," which included a 5 percent pay cut with no furlough days. J.N. Musto, executive director of the UH Professional Assembly, said the private sector should be "willing to support, through the tax dollars, public programs like universities and high schools and elementary schools."
HGEA at UH: no furloughs
The tentative HGEA agreement for UH employees calls for a 5 percent pay cut this year and next year. There are no furlough days. Instead the union staff will get 13 paid days off during the winter and spring breaks, and the day after Thanksgiving.
Other HGEA units are not taking pay cuts; but they will take 18 unpaid "furlough Fridays" this fiscal year and 24 furlough days next year, which equals about a 7 percent less pay this year and a 9 percent next year.
UH President M.R.C. Greenwood said the deal means there will be no instructional days lost for students.
UH spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said the contract will save (a piddling) $7.5 million for the university if approved. She said the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly was offered a similar 5 percent pay cut with 13 days off. That deal was rejected by the faculty union.
UH regents petition governor for funding
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a supplemental budget request to the governor yesterday that calls for $235.5 million in construction bond spending to fix aging buildings and $31 million for a new College of Hawaiian Language building at UH-Hilo.
More than 100 students and faculty crowded the meeting yesterday at UH-Manoa. Some waved signs saying, "Support schools, not banks" and "Capitalism is the crisis." (Socialist morons paid for by your tax dollars)
"Where do our priorities lie? What are our values?" UH-Manoa student Rachel Gundy asked the regents during public testimony. "Aren't there other alternatives (to cutting the budget)?"
Hawaiian Studies professor Jon Osorio asked the regents to join with faculty and students to pressure the governor and the Legislature to restore funding to UH.
(Better idea. Abolish the Ethnic Studies Department. That would probably single handedly eliminate the need or cuts at UH AND add billions to Hawaii's economy--starting with the telescope on Mauna Kea.)
Will OHA kill sugar plantation on Maui?
Several hundred Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation employees and supporters wave signs along Kaahumanu Avenue on Wednesday afternoon on the eve of today’s Na Wai Eha contested case hearing beginning at 9 a.m. at Iao Congregational Church.
(OHA killed Molokai Ranch. Will it now steal the water from ML&P forcing shutdown of cane operations on Maui?)
RELATED: Lingle: Will agriculture survive Maui water diversion?
Maui simmers over OHA water grab
But Isaac Moriwake, an attorney with Earth Justice who presented arguments for the other side, said HC&S and other big businesses are overstating their case.
"They've gone from using boogeyman threats of a shutdown to outright blackmail by saying that they will shut down," Moriwake said.
(Imagine that! Moriwake talking about "blackmail" and "shutdown"....)
While HC&S and Wailuku Water have said that they suffer from water shortages, they have enough of a surplus that they are trying to sell some Na Wai Eha water to Maui County for a surface water treatment plant, he said.
HC&S and Wailuku Water also have wasted water, said Pam Bunn, an attorney for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
(...And OHA talking about "waste"....)
"OHA does (sic) support agriculture and municipal water services, but it does not believe that there is enough water to waste," Bunn said, adding that those who squander the resource should not be given more. ("More?" or "Any more?")
(Simple solution to all of Hawaii's economic woes: Abolish OHA)
RELATED: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii
Hawaii ranks high for meth-related crimes
Hawaii Meth Project Executive Director Cindy Adams told legislative committees this week that the state ranks third in the nation for meth-related treatment admissions and fourth for meth-related drug offenses.
She said Hawaii emergency room visits linked to meth cost a total of $43 million in 2006. She also said use of the drug among 10th graders in Hawaii has increased 87 percent from 2005 to 2007.
TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RELATED: Honolulu Meth-Dealer Protection Racketeer tied to Mehau, politicians why do we have a meth problem?, Council votes: Hands off drug pushers why do we have a meth problem?, Malu Motta: “I need one governor so he can pardon me.” why do we have a meth problem?, Billy Kenoi Helped Pali Shooter why do we have a meth problem?, Billy Kenoi at Shooters—and the Pali shooter—the connections why do we have a meth problem?, OHA Drug Policy: Treatment no, pushers yes why do we have a meth problem?, Hawaii Legislators Consider Becoming Dope Dealers why do we have a meth problem?, Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau Hosts Community Rally for Sen. Akaka why do we have a meth problem?, Malama Solomon’s meth connection....
ADV: Hawaii high in meth-related crime, treatment admissions
HR: Hawaii Lawmakers Briefed on Meth Use in Hawaii
PDF: Hawaii Meth Project Releases Results of First-Ever Meth Use & Attitudes Survey
Not guilty plea entered in Vegas for HPD officer
An attorney entered a not guilty plea in a Las Vegas court today on behalf of suspended Honolulu police officer Shayne Souza, who was arrested Aug. 15 along with two other O'ahu men on misdemeanor drug charges.
(They're in a REAL court. Boy are they in for a surprise.)
Prosecutors' flubs end in case dismissals
Two months later, Uehara gave each of the alleged victims a check for $1,500 in his downtown office.
Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said in court documents the checks were from the deputy prosecutor's personal funds and were the deputy's apology to the victims because he did not have "the courage to ask for help with his cases when he needed it."
Carlisle said he suspended the deputy and ordered a review of all of his cases. Carlisle also told Perkins the reason the deputy did not say why he was not ready for trial is because the reason involves privacy interests protected by state law.
Perkins changed the dismissal to without prejudice. The state refiled the charges against Ceno and Kostron in February. Trial was supposed to begin Monday.
But the state discovered last week that the wording it included in the second-degree assault charge was for first-degree assault. The new deputy prosecutor on the case told Judge Glenn Kim the state cannot prove first-degree assault, and asked him for the opportunity to amend the charge.
Kim denied the state's request and affirmed his decision yesterday.
He also dismissed all the charges against Ceno and Kostron.
The prosecution is appealing.
Big Isle Mayor's Attempts to tighten rules facing opposition
Kenoi has proposed four changes, some of them modeled after the City and County of Honolulu's code, and has asked the Board of Ethics to hold public hearings and consider them before forwarding them to the Hawaii County Council.
The changes, aimed at stopping the most blatant appearances of conflicts of interest, forbid employees from contracting with county government or lobbying boards and commissions on behalf of private businesses.
(By getting family out of the way, campaign contributors can move in and collect their payoff. Who knows, maybe Malu Motta could bid on a contract for...uh... license plates....)
HTH Version: Reforms proposed
ADV: Clarity needed in H1N1 flu public outreach
The Hawaii Legislature in 2006 passed a ban on thimerosal vaccines. Where was the Advertiser back then?????
RELATED: Thimerosal Veto: Saving Vaccines from Trial Lawyers