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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
March 3, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:28 AM :: 12039 Views

Hawaii's all-mail congressional election set for May 22

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago on Tuesday issued the official proclamation.

Nago says all registered voters in the 1st Congressional District will receive a ballot by early May. Completed ballots must be returned by 6 p.m. on May 22.

Candidates can file papers to run beginning Wednesday. The deadline for candidacy documents is March 17.

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Honolulu Hale: The only industry that keeps on growing (36% since 2005)

The mayor noted that his budget is a scant 1.2 percent higher than last year's.

It is also 36 percent higher than the budget he drafted in his first year as mayor in 2005. The city will spend about $480 million more than it did to keep O'ahu running five years ago, and that doesn't include the proposed rail project, sewer upgrades and street repairs that are part of a separate $2.1 billion capital improvement budget.

KITV: Hannemann Outlines Cuts, Furloughs, Tax Hike: Mayor Plans To Increase Property Tax For Non-Occupant Owners

PBN: Honolulu budget would tax absentee owners

SB: City aims to furlough workers 2 days a month

ADV: Honolulu budget plan 'holding line' on spending, mayor says (except for that tiny little $1.335B for rail)

Lowell Kalapa, of the Tax Foundation of Hawai'i, said proposing that only investors and second-home property owners shoulder the bulk of a property tax increase is disingenuous and will end up hurting renters.

"It hides the true cost of operating our city," Kalapa said. "He thinks he's heaping on people who don't vote for him."

What the mayor is forgetting is that 41 percent of the state's population rents, he said.

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SB: Tax breaks review could be revealing (tax charities to feed HGEA)

A bill that has passed the initial stages in the House would end exemptions in more than 40 classifications, including sugar cane producers, interisland shippers of agricultural commodities, recipients of high-tech development grants and services of aircraft. The bill would restore the exemptions in 2015.

The bill would impose a 1 percent tax on income from affordable rental housing projects and organizations that provide administrative services to small businesses. Both enterprises are now exempt from the state's general excise tax of 4 percent (4.5 percent on Oahu), with add-ons at each level.

For example, ALTRES Inc. prepares payroll, health insurance and other functions for more than 2,000 Hawaii small businesses that are taxed for servicing costs, but it is not required to pay the tax on the amounts that go through ALTRES from employer to employee. Having to pay the tax on the pass-through amounts would be devastating, Barron Guss, ALTRES president, told a House committee.

Say estimates that the proposal in its present form would raise $500 million to $750 million to help close a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion. The 1 percent charge is twice that in the original bill as introduced by Say.

The Times reported that revoking nonprofits' exemption from sales, property or other taxes is being considered in various states and localities. Honolulu's City Council is considering eliminating property tax caps on nonprofit organizations; the yearly tax now is capped at $100.

(Remember the one thing we must not do is cut waste, fraud, or corruption.  We need to keep paying the salaries of DoH meth dealers on Molokai.)

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Pot tax and furlough ax survive, cross over from Senate to House: More than a dozen fee hikes pass, but bills to raise the general excise tax fail to advance

Furlough Fridays would be gone, marijuana for medical purposes would be taxed $30 an ounce and gas-powered leaf blowers would be outlawed in Hawaii as the Legislature moves to the halfway point.

(Great idea!  Taxing marijuana would make the legislature party to a criminal conspiracy to distribute narcotics.  Any legislator who votes for this bill could be subject to arrest.  Don’t tell them.  This could solve a lot of Hawaii’s problems.)

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School Furlough bills move forward

(Derek “I am not a Democrat” DePledge continues to peddle the Democrats ‘blame Lingle’ line)  Showing Gov. Linda Lingle and educators that options are available, Hawaii lawmakers yesterday moved bills that would dedicate money from the state's hurricane relief fund and rainy-day fund to reduce teacher furloughs…. 

(Really now, does anybody believe that the Hawaii’s miserable excuse for a Legislature is capable of showing anything to anyone?)

Yesterday, the state House and Senate voted to position the furlough bills and dozens of others for first crossover between the two chambers tomorrow, a significant marker in the 60-day session.

In the Senate, senators passed a bill that would take $86.1 million from the roughly $180 million in the hurricane relief fund to end furloughs. In the House, lawmakers approved a bill to provide $50 million from the rainy-day fund that Lingle wants to use to reduce furloughs in exchange for teachers giving up some of their planning days.  (Good, that’s just enough to pay for all the free software….)

REALITY: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategyDoE spends $50M for free software

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Gov blasts audit as 'defamatory'

Lingle was most sensitive about Higa's criticism of the department for investing about a third of the state's $3.2 billion investment portfolio in student loan auction-rate securities. The investments went from being readily accessible to being frozen when brokerages stopped auctions in early 2008.

Last month, Maui County filed a federal lawsuit against a brokerage firm over a $44.2 million investment in auction-rate securities.

"There has never been one dollar lost in auction-rate securities," Budget and Finance Director Georgina Kawamura told reporters. "As recently as Feb. 24, we sold $10 million of these securities at par value."

Kawamura added, "They outright accused us of violating state law in holding these investments."

 

HNN: "Downright shoddy," Governor wants auditor investigated

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On May 22 Charles Djou Could Take Hawaii For Republicans!

A special election is now set for May 22 to fill Abercrombie’s seat.

If Charles Djou can win this seat it will be one more slight to Democrats because Hawaii’s District One is Barack Obama’s old hometown on the Islands.

Djou has signed the taxpayer protection pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform and has been listed as one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns contender candidates for 2010.

Djou is a social moderate and is pro-choice in the heavily pro-choice Hawaii first district. While he isn’t the conservative of our dreams, he does have a chance to take this special election, ala Scott Brown (R, Mass). One reason is because he is opposed by two Democrats vying for the same seat leaving Djou able to muster all the GOP votes while his opponents split their party’s….

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Kalaupapa's no refuge from scourge of meth, police say: Hansen's disease patient's arrest 'really not shocking'  (State Health Dept employees deal meth to topside Molokai)

(The Catholics cleaned Kalaupapa up, then it was handed over to the State of Hawaii to run…)

The investigation has put a spotlight on Kalaupapa, the Hansen's disease settlement where 19 patients still live along with about 80 National Park Service and Department of Health workers.

Police said yesterday they believe at least part of the 18 grams of crystal meth that Kalaupapa patient Norbert Palea, 68, allegedly tried to bring into the settlement was destined for use there, probably by workers.

The Health Department, which administers Kalaupapa, also said yesterday that they have been grappling with a drug problem in the settlement and have fired several employees over the last few years who tested positive for drugs….

Prokop also said he doesn't believe most of the drugs funneled into Kalaupapa were used there.

He said it appears "Kalaupapa was just a conduit to distribute the meth to the topside Moloka'i community. The destination wasn't Kalaupapa. It was just a conduit to avoid detection."

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MSNBC: Former Big Island Teacher In Prison For Meth Distribution

Lynn Dionise, a former special education teacher, was scheduled for sentencing on state drug charges Tuesday, but she couldn't make it. Dionese, 52, is serving time in federal prison on the Mainland in another drug case.

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Privacy in Kamehameha suit denied

In October 2008, U.S Magistrate Barry Kurren ruled that the plaintiffs could not proceed anonymously. He said they had failed to show evidence of threats of physical violence or economic harm, and concluded that "at most, plaintiffs are vulnerable children who have a reasonable fear of social ostracization." That decision was upheld by U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright.

William Burgess, chairman of Aloha for All, a nonprofit devoted to equal rights for all citizens of Hawaii, said that as minors the children should be able to protect their identity. "The school should welcome a decision on the merits, not based on someone being in fear for their lives," he said.

However, the 9th Circuit Court revealed some mixed feelings on the question of confidentiality. "Were we permitted to make findings and weigh the factors anew, we might have held that anonymity here was appropriate," the judges said.  (In other words, KS really appreciates Kurren’s manipulation in the original jurisdiction.)

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Students rebel over uniform proposal

PUKALANI - King Kekaulike High School could be the first public high school campus to adopt a student uniform policy.

But then again, maybe not.

A number of Kekaulike students have formed a group calling themselves "The Resistance" as they carry out a campaign against implementing uniform wear at school. They've collected hundreds of signatures to support their position and have begun a black ribbon campaign symbolizing, according to them, the mourning of the loss of their freedom of expression.

The issue takes center stage at a public forum scheduled for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the campus library.

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Global warming fraudsters’ goal: $7/gallon gasoline

To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon.

To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

NYT: Scientists (sic) grudgingly defend climate work (still trying to save the global warming scammers)

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