LINK>>>Overtaxed Hawaii? Rally at Capitol April 15
LINK>>>"We don't allow dogs to breed" Eugenics Sterilization Squad arrives in Hawaii: Star-Bulletin says “not racist” (Soon this will be the only paper in town.)
ADV: Marijuana shops? Wowie, what a bad idea
The proposal that seems to be moving fastest is Senate Bill 2213: It passed the Senate and will be heard by two House panels at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow in Room 309.
This bill would allow counties to establish "compassion centers" for the sale of marijuana "to qualifying patients and their primary caregivers." The argument is that many people who could benefit from the comfort that marijuana provides are not well enough to grow it but should be able to buy it.
There might be people with such benign motives, but where so-called "dispensaries" have been legalized, they've been overwhelmed by operators interested in only one thing.
Hint: It's not "compassion." It's all about the money.
And, judging by the language of the bill, that seems to be a motivation of the government as well. The state and counties would split the registration fee of $5,000 per dispensary and the $30 tax customers would pay per ounce of pot.
Really, we know times are hard in this state, but do we have to stoop this low?
RELATED: Hawaii’s future: LA Marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks, McDonalds
$70M budget cuts: Class size may go up while bus service may be reduced
In addition to the $18.4 million cut by increasing class size, the House version of the budget includes a $14 million reduction in the school system's transportation services budget, which is already operating in the red.
State Rep. Marcus Oshiro, D-39th (Wahiawā), chairman of the House Finance Committee, categorized some of the areas cut as "exorbitant spending." He noted that in addition to the cuts, the state House added about $50 million into the DOE budget to reduce or eliminate teacher furlough days.
"These are areas that we looked into where we thought we could find some savings without negatively impacting school services," Oshiro said
Bad economy reduces isle union membership
Hawaii lost 23,300 private-sector jobs from December 2008 to December 2009, with the greatest declines in transportation and utilities, construction, and leisure and hospitality, according to data from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
"And, added to that, there have been layoffs of government employees," he said, adding that HGEA's membership has shrunk to 29,000 during the past year as several hundred members chose to retire or were laid off.
(When Hawaii loses another 250 union jobs, we will fall behind Alaska in unionization rates. Since Alaska is a Republican state, this should explode the myth of the inevitability of Democrat rule in Hawaii.)
ADV: Union membership off 13,000 last year (That means that 56% of all job losses were union jobs—But only 23% of Hawaii workers are union members which means that unionization leads to double the chance of job loss. Save your job. Decertify now!)
RELATED: Isles' hotel occupancy up to 66.5%--However, discounting of prices contributes to a drop in room revenue statewide, a report says
How to slant poll results: 67% back results of Isle rail study
The poll, conducted by OmniTrak Group Inc., found that 67 percent of respondents feel that a decision on building a mass transit system should be based on the city's current environmental impact statement. (real meaning: 2/3 are sick of enviro nonsense)
Twenty-two percent want the state to conduct its own study of the rail project's financial plan, according to the poll sponsored by the Hawaii Business Roundtable and the Pacific Resource Partnership union trade group. (real meaning: only 1/5 like government studies)
(POLLSTERS: If you need some results for you client, tap into these two public sentiments. Nobody likes enviros and nobody like government studies.)
Borreca: Mayor's 'I demur' dance holds options
There are practical and political reasons, however, to keep up the "I demur" routine. First there is this matter of the city's budget and the state Legislature's always-possible chance of grabbing city money from hotel room taxes and transit tax surcharges to pay for state problems. The longer Honolulu has a mayor and not an acting mayor, the better its chances of being left alone by the Legislature.
Then the Hannemann rail transit program has not yet pounded any stakes in the ground, and until that happens, there is a growing opportunity for rail enemies and skeptics to block the project. Hannemann has defined himself as the defender of all things rail, and if he leaves Honolulu Hale, there will be a natural vacuum.
Finally there are all those questions Hannemann will have to answer: Will you run for another office before your term as governor is complete? Will you accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate if there is a vacancy?
Abercrombie: If Hannemann resigns, “rail project will be put at risk” Abercrombie: Mufi personally threatening my donors (VIDEO) Mufi chases Neil Abercrombie out of Congress Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can
Burris: Campaigns will always rely on big spenders
It is unlikely that anyone will ever come up with a perfect system for regulating campaign contributions and spending.
But there can be improvements. On of the most intriguing suggestions is to create a law that would limit contributions strictly to individuals, and then only from people who live in or have business in the district the candidate hopes to represent.
No foreign contributions. (They’re illegal already, Jerry--this is what happens when columnists believe Obama’s lies. HFP has to run around stamping out the echoes.) No out-of-state contributions. No contributions from well-heeled downtown players who can spread their influence around the state.
Might be fun. But don't count on it happening any time soon.
RELATED: 5-4: Supreme Court rejects FEC bans of books, movies critical of candidates
VIDEO: Obama “foreign corporations” -- Alito “not true” (Alito was right)
SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts responds:
Roberts said that while the court is an apolitical body, politics can't be avoided in Washington. Confirmation hearings have become grossly politicized, he said, as have events such as the president's State of the Union speech.
"The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court -- according the requirements of protocol -- has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."
Roberts told the students he wonders whether justices should attend the speeches.
"I'm not sure why we're there," he said.
Hawaii Lawmakers Propose Banning Everything from Leafblowers, Car Alarms, Loud Motorcycles, Pocket Knives and Plastic Bags to Eating, Drinking and Listening to Music in the Car While Driving
Amazing list of over 25 product bans proposed by Legislators this session.
Web page of DUI suspects halted: HPD cuts short a six-month pilot, saying it must be reviewed
"It was an administrative decision to conduct a review at this time," said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu, who issued a written announcement about the suspension. She emphasized it is a pilot project and, as such, must be reviewed. "During this (review) period, HPD will not be posting arrest photos," the news release said.
The program, run by the Traffic Division to deter drunken driving, was intended to run six months, beginning the day before Thanksgiving, but had run less than four months
(They must’ve busted another legislator.)
Lingle picks acting director of DCCA
Gov. Linda Lingle has picked Ron Boyer to serve as acting director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
The governor's office said today that Boyer will serve as acting director until an interim director is named or until May 10, whichever occurs first.
Allegiant buys six 757 jets, announces plans to enter Hawaii market
The Las Vegas Sun says Allegiant has yet to determine which airports it might serve, both in Hawaii (Hear that Hilo?) and from the mainland. The Sun notes "western cities currently on Allegiant's map include Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Maria, Fresno, Monterey, Oakland and Stockton, Calif.; Medford, Eugene and Bend, Ore.; Bellingham and Pasco, Wash.; and Mesa, Ariz., in addition to Las Vegas."
Council member corrects property tax record: Baisa won't owe taxes on Makawao property -- finance officials
Baisa said Tuesday that she asked for her name to be removed from the exemption in December, after she realized she was required to update the record. She said she checked with property tax officials, who told her she does not owe unpaid taxes, because her husband, Sherman, continues to live in the home, qualifying it for the exemption.
She said she and her husband were still married, but kept separate homes so she could fulfill council residency requirements. Baisa holds the council's Upcountry seat, while Makawao is in another residency district.
"It's going to have to be this way as long as I'm in office," she said.
Wailuku attorney Lance Collins, who said he filed a records request for Baisa's homeowner exemption….
(Collins’ involvement means that agents of the criminal organization known as the Sierra Club want to challenge for the upcountry district.)
TOTALLY UNRELATED: Maui County Council joining "Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom?"
Maui Land & Pineapple reports $123.3 million loss
WAILUKU -- Maui Land & Pineapple Co. has reported a net loss of $123.3 million for last year.
That compares to a $79.4 million loss in 2008.
(And OHA is still trying to kill this company)
Life and times of Hilo's landfill
HILO -- Not that long ago, county officials thought they'd be trucking Hilo's garbage across the county to West Hawaii by now.
But (as soon as the enviro activist was booted from her job as head of DEM) the county Department of Environmental Management is squeezing another eight years or so from the landfill by covering it with a tarp instead of piling a foot of gravel a day on top of the garbage. The use of a sliver fill method is also piling garbage up the slopes at a steeper angle, gaining even more space. (Amazing what happens when the department is led by people who don’t have an ulterior motive of enriching their recycling cronies)
SNEAKY SNOBS: Hawaii fireworks bill would give counties option to impose ban--Home-rule option inserted in bill creating task force
The state House yesterday added the county option to a bill that would create an illegal-fireworks task force. A vote on the bill is expected tomorrow. House and Senate negotiators would then work on a final draft.
"It would be home rule, basically," said state Rep. Faye Hanohano, D-4th (Puna, Pāhoa, Hawaiian Acres), chairwoman of the House Public Safety Committee.
(Hanohano wanted to celebrate Islam Day on Sept. 11, Julian, but doesn’t want you to celebrate New Years in the traditional way.)
Hawaii County: Another tobacco ban
Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to smoke in any motor vehicle occupied by someone under the age of 18.
(More government meddling in the details of everyday life. Tobacco becoming illegal while marijuana becomes legal.)
Actress Jean Smart To Play Hawaii Governor in Hawaii 5-0 revival
Book ‘em, Lingle!