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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
January 19, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:07 PM :: 11564 Views

LINK>>>Rally at Capitol: 15,000 against Gay Civil Unions

LINK>>>Feds: "City will need a stronger financial plan" before moving forward with Rail Transit

Case holds lead over Hanabusa and Djou (Case 52% -Djou 21%), (Hanabusa 43% - Djou 36%)

Regardless of the outcome of any special election to fill Abercrombie's seat, 52 percent of likely voters in the 1st Congressional District say they would pick former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, with 21 percent for City Councilman Charles Djou and 27 percent undecided.

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, the other Democrat in the race, is favored over Djou by a margin of 43 percent to 36 percent, with 21 percent undecided....

(Hawaii Republicans need to act now or face a future without high level elected office.  Scott Brown shows the way.) 

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State's labor, fiscal woes cut Lingle's popularity

Asked whether they had a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of Lingle, 38 percent of the registered voters responding had a favorable view, but 31 percent viewed Lingle unfavorably....

A poll taken by Research 2000 for Daily Kos, a Democratic-oriented blog, listed Lingle with a 53 percent favorable rating in December 2008 and then 51 percent in June 2009.

Lingle was viewed favorably by 64 percent of state residents in 2004, according to a poll taken for the Honolulu Advertiser.

Lenny Klompus, Lingle's senior adviser for communications, looked at last week's survey another way, combining the favorable and neutral rating.

"The fact that 69 percent of the people support Gov. Linda Lingle's actions shows the public recognizes the difficult decisions that she had to make during these tough economic times," Klompus said....

Cayetano opened his last year in office with a 24 percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable rating, but by May 2001 it had changed to 23 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable, according to a Star-Bulletin poll.

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Honolulu rail forum draws opponents, supporters of planned commuter line

In her presentation, Lingle said she had spoken to federal transit authorities last week and was told the city needs to change its financial plan for building rail.

The AIA recommended building half the 20-mile rail line at street-level to save money and preserve views.

Lingle wants the city to consider building portions of the rail at ground level, which she says would reduce construction costs....

City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell said after the meeting any review of the basic plan to build an elevated train could delay or kill the project.

ADV: Mayor to meet with transit officials in DC

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ADV: City rail committee didn't keep minutes: But state office says it was exempt from law requiring them

The city did disclose committee member scoring sheets used to award the contract. However, the city won't have to disclose further details about what happened during the meetings because the five-member committee didn't keep minutes, according to the state Office of Information Practices.

A separate, four-member city contract evaluation committee did keep minutes of a meeting in July 2007 that led to awarding a much smaller rail-related contract. Those minutes were eventually released to the public and showed that some committee members expressed disappointment that only two firms sought the contract.

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Hawaii governor says state won't fund pay raises for UH faculty

The governor said the state will not commit additional money to UH to cover pay increases in the agreement.

"Let's look at UHPA as different from all other contracts because the University of Hawai'i has the ability to raise revenue in other ways, specifically through tuition," Lingle said. "There has been no commitment on the part of the state for any additional funding in future years, although I did tell President (M.R.C.) Greenwood that I certainly hope we are in a position to help the university more in the years ahead."

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City-state effort can ease school-bus woes

Opponents to the plan, led by the Hawaii School Bus Association, have told parents, incorrectly, that the plan "paves the way to eliminate the school bus transportation system" when no such proposal is before the Board of Education.

When budgetary constraints are as tight as they are in these recessionary times, it's not serving any public purpose to raise a panic unnecessarily.

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Governor Linda Lingle Speaks to Improving Hawaii's Business Climate

The unemployment tax is expected to increase this year because of the impact of the economic recession on the state's economy. With the unemployment rate doubling over the past 18 months, it is necessary that the state replenish and make solvent the unemployment insurance fund. This year, Governor Lingle will propose a plan that will save businesses $497 million over four years by lowering the wage base and by changing the schedule.

Another major focus will be the continuation of the Hawai`i Clean Energy Initiative - a collaborative program that will bring energy security and economic security to the state by ending Hawai`i's over-reliance on oil and coal as a means for electricity and transportation fuels.

In addition to legislative efforts, the Lingle-Aiona Administration is continuing work to improve the quality of life for Hawai`i residents through other projects, including the Capital Improvement Project plan.

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SB: Legislators must show courage, leadership (by passing Gay Civil Unions)

Rather than standing by and claiming they have no authority until Gov. Linda Lingle reaches a financial compromise with the education unions, key lawmakers should exercise their obvious influence with those unions to spur everyone to the table, then raid the rainy day fund as needed to get kids back in school. Now.

State representatives and senators should act with equal swiftness to approve the civil-unions measure left hanging from last session. That thousands of people would gather in opposition to the bill granting same-sex couples rights like those held by heterosexual married ones is no sign of a failed bill, but rather evidence that tolerance and social justice sadly is waning in a state once heralded for its progressive attitudes the Gramscian construct is falling apart before it can be enshrined into law.

EXPLAINED: Antonio Gramsci Reading List , The Disunited States

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Shapiro: Maui tripping (J Kalani "powdernose" English)

English wants the state to go beyond legalizing marijuana for medical use, which we already do along with 13 other states, and create licensed dispensaries to actually distribute medical marijuana.

I have no problem with the state allowing the medical use of marijuana for those with serious illnesses who believe pot brings them relief, but there's a difference between allowing its use and promoting its use as the English legislation would do.

His dispensaries would give marijuana exalted medical status over more established drugs by allowing pakalolo to bypass our rigorous national system for testing drugs and regulating their use according to accepted medical standards.

Without further research, marijuana is more folk remedy than proven medicine. There's no listing of what ailments marijuana has been proven to effectively treat, no dosing schedules, no standards of purity, no understanding of potentially negative side effects.

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S., W. Maui legislators: Protect what’s already there (by raising taxes)

Money may have already been budgeted for a new Kihei high school, but South and West Maui Sen. Roz Baker said her top priority for the legislative session would be to make sure that the $27 million already appropriated isn't raided or allowed to lapse as the state struggles to deal with its fiscal crisis....

Also in West Maui, Rep. Angus McKelvey said he wanted to be realistic about his budget requests this year. It would be a waste of time to request funding for projects that the Lingle administration wouldn't move forward, he said.

"Here's the strategy," he said. "Realistically, because we're in a deficit year, you need to know what the governor is going to possibly release. I'm going to align my request with the administration, and I think by supporting each other, hopefully we'll get things funded."

(In other words he is going to take credit for money allocated long ago and released by the Gov.) 

None of them are talking about the GET increase they intend to pass.

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WHT: Legislature faces bleak budget (TAXES, TAXES, AND MORE TAXES)

"I think the top priority is to balance the budget," said Senate Vice President Russell Kokubun, D-Hilo, Puna, Ka'u. "We're in such a deep hole, I think that's going to take all of our attention."

"Nothing's more important than finding $1.2 billion to cover our deficit," said Jerry Chang, D-Hilo.

Unlike past sessions, the Democratic majority will not be offering a package of legislation, he said.
"Our main focus really is on the financial situation of the state," Herkes said. "There certainly won't be a lot of bills dealing with new expenditures."

"The top three: the budget; the budget; and the budget," Tsuji said.

(They didn't mention taxes even once in this article.  But at the end they started talking about all the CIP they were going to ask for.  Just like Maui.)

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Hawaiians mark key event in Hawaii history and reject Akaka Bill

With the Akaka bill currently before Congress — and its chances of passage considered improved because President Obama has indicated he will sign it — several Hawaiians at the palace grounds said unification is more pressing than ever.

The federal legislation, named for its author, Sen. Daniel Akaka, would establish a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

"We want to unite Hawai'i," said Charlotte Lyman, 65, of Kane'ohe, but she added that she didn't think the Akaka bill was the way to do it.

Kimokeo likewise had his reservations, saying the legislation would take away too much control from Hawaiians. "We don't want somebody telling us what to do," he said.

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Rents for office space down 3.5%

Increase in vacancies push landlords to lower prices for first time in 7 years....

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JAL to cut jobs, pensions, routes

"I guess they did not work in earnest and so fell into this situation," said Isao Sasaki, 72, who waited in line today at a JAL check-in counter at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. "Weren't they spoiled as they always had protection from the government?"

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Hawaiian Telcom vs. Oceanic Time Warner (fiber optic competition to cable tv)

The company has been beta-testing its product in select isle homes and has been quietly laying more fiber optic cable in anticipation of the new service with will compete with Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Sources say that the company wants to launch its new video service once its reorganization gets approved by the state Public Utilities Commission.

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Homelessness Issue hits home in Chinatown

Now that the merchants, landowners, community associations and other organizations have come together requesting a plan to revitalize the River Street Corridor to enhance the area's economic development and provide much-needed property tax to the City & County—as opposed to another place for the homeless—we are being maligned by the very people who said we should come together as partners.

I don't think that the community is opposed to helping/housing the homeless. However, when the River Street Corridor is developed, the property that the city has designated for the homeless will not generate any income to the city and will, in fact, be a drain on the city's dwindling coffers.

A better location would be Iwilei, near Goodwill and the Institute for Human Services. This is in a light industrial area and would have a lesser impact on residences. An Iwilei location is also equally distant to the Chinatown core (Hotel /Maunakea), as is the proposed River Street Residences. The Iwilei property is state-owned.

EXPLAINED: Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

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Hawaii Coast Guard crews fly quake relief missions in Haiti (Superferry going to Haiti)

Two Hawai'i crews of two pilots and five crew members each are operating out of Clearwater, Fla., with the single Barbers Point C-130 after leaving Friday and flying 15 hours.

Lt. Andrew Paszkiewicz, 27, was part of a crew that flew vaccine and about 20 emergency workers from Miami to Port-au-Prince on Sunday and evacuated 67 Haitian-Americans, including several infants and toddlers.

RELATED: Superferry craft Haiti-bound , Never-used Superferry vessel mobilized to aid Haiti relief effort

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