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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
February 17, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:07 PM :: 13563 Views

LINK>>>Blocked by Cabanilla: Flagpole Bill to be Called to House Floor Thursday

ADV: Selling state land a sensible idea to raise cash (Calvin Say vs OHA)

House Bill 2737 Proposing to sell state lands, especially such hallowed places as Mauna Kea, is sure to meet with loud opposition. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the state may sell ceded lands, a sale of the magnitude proposed by Say will be seen as cashing out Native Hawaiian interests.

But shouting down this idea will only make it easier for legislative leaders to say essentially, "Hey, we looked at gambling and selling state lands and nobody wanted to go there, so now the only thing left to do is raise taxes."

The state shouldn't put any piece of Mauna Kea on the market.

But it's worth making an inventory of the hundreds of real estate odds and ends that could be sold with no harm to the public interest.

And the state absolutely should get out of the commercial real estate business, allowing private businesses to buy in, make improvements and contribute to the tax base.

(Calvin Say vs OHA.  WIll OHA AGAIN sue to block sales????????????)

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State to delay paying for health coverage  (Socialist health care imploding)

State payments totaling about $90 million a month to five insurance plans providing health coverage for low-income residents will be delayed in May and June, and possibly April, says state Human Services Director Lillian Koller.

Delayed payments over several months could force suspension of services or even closure of some health centers, which serve a disproportionate share of Medicaid beneficiaries, said Beth Giesting, executive director of the Hawaii Primary Care Association, which represents community health centers.

The proposed payment delays result from "just not having enough money appropriated to us to make full payment, primarily because of increased enrollment (in the plans)," Koller said last week….

"HMSA's balance sheet is simply not as liquid as supposed," Van Ribbink said. "If we don't get paid until September, we can't afford that and would need to delay payments to providers."

RELATED: One Penny:  Medicaid payout to Hilo Doctor

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Oahu the healthiest island, study says

O'ahu is the healthiest place to live in Hawai'i, according to a new report that ranks the overall health of counties throughout the nation.

Here’s why:  Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa

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Hawaii teacher furloughs remain as school year starts running out

Negotiators from the state Board of Education may meet with the Hawaii State Teachers Association as soon as this week to finally present Gov. Linda Lingle's most recent $50 million furlough reduction proposal more than five weeks since it was announced.

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Inouye compared to King, God

"Hawai'i depends upon Sen. Inouye's pork, and hence he considers himself the 'king of pork,' the king of earmarks," Ka'auwai said. "He has positioned himself in a place where Hawai'i needs him and depends upon him, but it's not good for Hawai'i's future."

Dante Carpenter, interim chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, said "seniority is next to godliness" and that Inouye's position in the Senate is invaluable.

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POLITICO: Inouye rakes in $10,000s from Lockheed Martin

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye has long been a powerful booster of defense industry giants like Lockheed Martin, repeatedly helping out the $40 billion company throughout his long career in Congress.

But the relationship has been far from a one-way street.

A lobbyist for Lockheed Martin has bundled scores of smaller donations, directing tens of thousands of dollars into Inouye’s campaign war chest, according to his latest campaign finance reports.

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Honolulu council may tax nonprofits to feed HGEA

Honolulu real property tax records show that 843 church properties with a total assessed value of $1.82 billion are being charged the $100 annual minimum tax.

There are 881 properties classified as "charitable organizations" with a total assessed value of $1.7 billion also receiving the tax break, as are 257 nonprofit "low-moderate income housing" properties with a total assessed value of $1.4 billion.

There are 121 school properties with a total assessed value of $738 million qualified for the minimum tax and 70 hospital properties with a total assessed value of $626 million.

The $100 minimum tax also is offered to credit unions, disabled veterans, Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries and properties designated for historic preservation.

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Nago chosen as permanent state elections chief

Nago's immediate "to do" list includes scheduling and overseeing a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who announced he is stepping down from office at the end of the month to run for governor.

Also, the state also still needs to select voting machines for the 2010 elections. Bidding on a new contract has been held up after a court challenge that required the state to establish new voting rules.

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Dysfunctional Government Is Self-Perpetuating

Dr. Alton Okinaka, assoc. professor of sociology at UH–Hilo, addressed the February meeting of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii. Speaking on “The Inherent Contradictions in Representative Government,” he painted a troubling picture of our present system.

The near-capacity audience at the Naniloa Hotel’s Palm Room enjoyed a detailed exposure of the flaws of how our present representative government has removed power from the people, and that dysfunctional government has been allowed to flourish by the citizenries own flaws as well.

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Maui races for council seats are heating up early

Former West Maui residency seat candidate Alan Fukuyama filed his nomination papers….  The West Maui race has drawn four other candidates to check out nomination papers. Those are: Eve Clute of Lahaina, who ran unsuccessfully for the West Maui residency seat in 2004; community and environmental activist Elle Cochran of Lahaina; Jonah Kapu of Lahaina; and small-business owner and community and veterans advocate Paul Laub of Lahaina.

And, aside from Mary Cochran, the Makawao-Haiku-Paia council race has two other potential candidates who have taken out papers: Kai Nishiki of Haiku, daughter of South Maui Council Member Wayne Nishiki, who ran unsuccessfully against Molina in 2008, winning 33 percent of the vote; and Leona Nomura of Haiku, who operates the Kuau Mart.

Former Council Member Bob Carroll, who retired several years ago, has checked out nomination papers to challenge incumbent Bill Medeiros for the council's East Maui residency seat. Medeiros had not pulled nomination papers as of Tuesday, but he has said he is seeking re-election.

Don Couch, who came up short in 2008 against South Maui Council Member Wayne Nishiki, has taken out papers for another shot at the South Maui residency seat. (Nishiki is among several council incumbents to not yet check out nomination papers.)

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Council members to mull Higa lawsuit

A former County Councilman's attempt to block lawmakers from paying a six-figure sexual harassment judgment to his one-time aide appears to be inching closer to trial.

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100% frustration: Study says current labeling laws cost Kona coffee farmers $14.4M a year

Kona coffee farmers are losing out on up to $14.4 million in revenue annually to corporate marketers of 10 percent Kona coffee blends, according to a study released last Wednesday.

"Growers experience no benefit from blending as is now practiced. In fact they experience a loss that is possibly on the order or greater than the gain to the blenders," according to the study Economic Effects of Blending Kona Coffee by Marvin Feldman, an economist with San Francisco-based Resource Decisions.

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Hawaii troops risk lives as U.S. makes progress (SB blames Bush)

Unduly distracted by the war in Iraq, the Bush administration chose a rallying cry of "clear, build and hold" among undermanned troops in Afghanistan. Following a growth of troop strength, the Obama administration has added the fourth element of "transfer," assigning authority to the Afghans as soon as the Taliban has fled or been defeated, and NATO has signed on to the strategy.

(No.  Over Obama and Biden’s heated objections, Bush pushed the “surge thru Congress and won in Iraq.  The Bush strategy is being implemented now in Afghanistan by the Bush team which Obama wisely held over because in the entire nation there are no Obamabots competent to lead the national defense.  The best they can hope for is Democrat editorialists to write up a false version of reality.)

RELATED: VIDEO, PHOTOS: From Pohakuloa to Battle of Marjah

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