LINK>>>Sessions: Obama 9th Circuit Nominee “believes the Constitution is something judges can manipulate”
House OKs $10 billion budget: Plan makes cuts to public education, despite $50M for teacher furloughs (Tax hikes Feed HGEA, UPW, HSTA)
The cuts include $18 million from the state Department of Education's weighted student formula that will likely lead to increased class sizes.
The budget also strips $10 million from the University of Hawai'i.
Lawmakers restored $3 million for public libraries and would preserve about 1,000 state jobs that Lingle wanted to eliminate, including positions for child protective services and agricultural inspectors….
State Rep. Gene Ward, R-17th (Kalama Valley, Queen's Gate, Hawai'i Kai), noted the budget depends on generating new revenue or savings through several tax-related bills.
He urged lawmakers not to raise taxes or fees in a recession, calling the bills "job killers."
SB: Bills would cut $112M in tax breaks (tax your health insurance to feed the HGEA)
The House has also approved a bill to cut another $56 million in exemptions given to health maintenance organizations such as HMSA and Kaiser Permanente.
"What is scary is that while one-half percent doesn't sound like much, if the bill goes into conference, they could decide to raise that to 2 percent or more, and that could be a lot," Kalapa said.
The state's two medical insurance firms warned that they would pass any tax increase on to their customers.
"HB 2852 would require health plans to pay a premium tax of 4.265 percent, which would essentially be passed on to Hawaii's businesses," said Jennifer Diesman, HMSA vice president for government relations.
Some of the business activities among the 50 that would lose their exemptions until 2015 include the Continental aircraft maintenance building, scientific contracts funded with federal grants, call centers, ship repair and maintenance facilities, and fees paid to the convention center.
The Lingle administration opposed both bills, saying the measures amounted to tax increases.
RELATED: Continental CEO says his airline will cancel flights before facing fines for delays
ADV prints HGEA Propaganda: Save money by spending more on us
Perreira spent about an hour inside a jammed Department of Health vital records office that was overwhelmed by customers and understaffed with employees.
"The clerks were very apologetic," Perreira said. "They were saying to everyone, 'Sorry, we just don't have the people to accommodate all of the requests.' It took me nearly an hour for what would have taken only 15 minutes in the past."
(Can you imagine the HGEA members at the office breaking into a sweat and suddenly looking ultra busy while being “unable to accommodate”? After 1 hour of this they prolly became exhausted and handed over the papers to RandyP so they could get him outta there and go back to playing solitaire on the computer.)
And there are rats in Chinatown, too!
Raise taxes now because without the HGEA, nobody’s safe!!!!
SB: Tam's behavior merits a look (AG should investigate)
The Council should heed the Ethics Commission's recommendation that it "clarify" the rules for Council members' contingency allowance "to narrow and better define the categories that are permitted" and create a process to "ensure that there is a valid government purpose."
Meanwhile, Tam has the audacity to run for mayor in the event of Mayor Mufi Hannemann seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, as he has indicated. City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle also has declared his candidacy in the nonpartisan mayoral race and has decided correctly that it would be "inappropriate" for his office to investigate Tam's shoddy behavior.
Instead, Attorney General Mark Bennett should review the commission's report and determine whether Tam can be charged with a crime or, as Tam tells it, he made "mathematical errors" and now has "discovered how to be a better record keeper."
Shapiro: Our elections need a makeover
Claims of protecting against political interference blew up Friday when a House committee called a hearing to pressure the Office of Elections to postpone a special election it has set for May 22 to replace Neil Abercrombie in the 1st Congressional District.
It was as blatant a display of political interference in elections as we've ever seen, especially after the attorney general advised that putting off the special election and leaving half the state's residents disenfranchised in Congress would likely be illegal….
Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona this year proposed an elected secretary of state to run elections, but a better solution is to give it back to the lieutenant governor, who has few other constitutional responsibilities and did the job fine until the system was changed.
RELATED: In Congress, Hawaii now represented by Lorraine C. Miller
Abercrombie wins endorsement of Hawaii electrical workers
Locals 1186, 1260 and 1357 announced the endorsement on Monday. They represent more than 7,500 electricians, utility workers, power plant workers, technicians, telephone workers and television camera operators.
(And boy is Mufi pissed.)
RELATED: Abercrombie: Mufi personally threatening my donors (VIDEO)
SB: Bag the idea of a ban or nickel fee
Senate Bill 2559, to be aired at a House hearing at 11:30 a.m. today in Room 325, mandates an outright ban; the House is considering the 5-cent-per-bag fee.
What the state should do instead is to seek an expansion of the plastic bag recycling that goes on at some stores. And it could take the time to watch programs elsewhere. Washington, D.C., already has a 5-cent plan in place. It's too soon to say whether that's working.
Shapiro: UH takes budget hit
House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro, in defending the $10 million cut, seemed to suggest that if UH can afford to promise raises in this economy then it can afford to contribute more to reducing the state's record budget deficit.
UH President M.R.C. Greenwood hasn't explained how she plans to pay for the faculty reimbursements and raises. Unless the economy comes booming back faster and bigger than expected, drastic tuition increases or program cuts appear likely.
(Here’re two ideas: 1. privatize the dorms—see next article 2. make athletics profitable by selling more tickets & TV contracts.)
Kuhio Park Terrace: A slum whose better days may lie ahead
(Privatized dorms?) Here is one hopeful sign: The state has issued a $1.7 million planning and design loan to Michaels Development Co. Hawai'i Public Housing Authority has formally selected this company for a massive rehabilitation project of the Kalihi complex, which encompasses KPT and the low-rise Kūhiō Homes units.
It's the closest the HPHA has come to turning the page on the project's sorry history of disrepair — dysfunctional elevators, fire code violations, broken garbage chutes, the list goes on and on.
That history includes a dizzying series of turnovers at the top, instability that didn't help matters. At the start of the month, HPHA's latest director — Denise Wise, fresh from a similar post in Colorado — started work. The agency believes Wise can help guide the $316 million redevelopment to include a mix of market- and subsidized-priced homes.
A parent's worst nightmare: Big Island teen runaway falls into drug scene, becomes victim of alleged violence
Brenda Olcott maintains that when her 15-year-old daughter started as a freshman at Hilo High School last year, she befriended a girl that introduced her to an underworld of drugs and sexual exploitations that Olcott, herself a pastor's daughter, could never imagine.
In November 2009, Olcott's daughter went missing for three days. Had it not been for a massive search that included plastering flyers, forming a Web site, and delving into social networking sites, Olcott believes she would have never got her daughter back.
"In the three days her appearance was transformed, her hair was cut and colored, her clothes discarded and replaced, and she lost 10 pounds. She returned to us addicted to over 15 different drugs," Olcott wrote in her widely circulated e-mail. "She was offered money for sex and her organs. Her one call home she was told to keep short so that it would not be traced."
Olcott's daughter ultimately was discovered harbored by 20-year-old Ahblaza Mayes, nicknamed "Blaza," "Blaze," "Miles," and "Raver Girl Miles."
Mayes pleaded no contest to custodial interference and was sentenced to a year of probation with 60 days in jail with credit for 16 days served. The remaining 44 days was stayed on the condition that Mayes keep away from the Olcott family and remains drug and alcohol free for the duration of her probation.
TOTALLY RELATED: Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery
ALSO: Maui resident facing federal marijuana charges flees area
Anti-American-War Protesters denied access to meeting protest outside PTA
BIW runs a propaganda piece for the anti-military DU scammers.
REALITY: Pohakuloa: Double defeat for anti-DU scammers
Mufi’s mysterious Manoa sign vanishes (City funded campaigning)
HONOLULU -- Manoa residents expressed concern over a sign first noticed Friday.
The sign read “Mahalo for paving the streets of Manoa Mayor Mufi.”
“It’s 18 feet by three feet and it’s gigantic, and it cost a fair amount of money,” said Bob Loy of the Outdoor Circle….
On Sunday, someone edited the sign by covering the phrase Mayor Mufi with another sign that said "taxpayers."
By Monday, the edit had been removed.
“A lot of them are confused as to where the sign came from,” said Manoa Neighborhood Board Member Nadine Nishioka….
Hate crime possible in $8.5M house fire
Police Lt. Tim Gapero said the side of a van parked near the burning home was scratched with the words, "Payback haole."
Gapero said the action could be a hate crime or a cover-up for something else.
Fish Mysteriously Appear In Capitol Ponds
The legislature is surrounded by murky water with slimy creatures scuttling about. It emits a foul odor which can become a stench when the right level of toxicity is reached. And the ponds are starting to look pretty bad, too.
PS congratulations are due to the jokester who put the tilapia back in the ponds!
ESPN: New Obama rules may prohibit citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas...