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Thursday, March 11, 2010
March 11, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:03 PM :: 6408 Views

LINK>>>Lingle: Rail survey by vested interests “misleading”

Lingle seeks jobless relief: The governor calls for legislative action after the unemployment rate increases to 6.9 percent

"With many of our residents out of work, it is critical that the Legislature pass immediate and meaningful legislation that will help private businesses create and retain jobs," Lingle said in a statement. "My administration has proposed comprehensive legislation to encourage businesses to hire new employees, including providing tax credits for the creation of new jobs and developing 'green' jobs through Hawaii Clean Energy Investment bonds to finance energy efficiency projects."

Lingle also said she has directed her Cabinet to move forward on job creation programs that do not require legislation. Among those programs are Hawaii Premium Plus, which would reimburse employers for the cost of health care premiums for new hires, and the Volunteer Internship Program, which would allow people on unemployment to work for or volunteer their time with a prospective employer.

ADV: Isles' jobless rate stays near 30-year high

ADV: About 15.5% of workers in Hawaii are jobless or underemployed, data show

ADV: Budget cuts may be amplifying recession in Hawaii (HGEA tax increase propaganda from incompetent Keynesians)

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Attention Legislature: Feds raid Hilo cannabis ministry

"I guess that'll put an end to the dispensary," said the manager of a neighboring business, who asked not to be identified. "I'm all for live-and-let-live ... but I think that the presence of (the THC Ministry) just as you enter downtown Hilo sends the wrong message to people who come here."

(Check out the scene at the front door…) Jared Fischer, 29, of Hilo, who was outside the ministry's entrance, said it was unusual for the door to be locked during posted business hours.
"I'm totally upset," said Fischer, who said he's a church member and uses cannabis as a sacrament. He said he tried calling the ministry's phone and was surprised that nobody answered.

RELATED: Hawaii’s future: LA Marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks, McDonalds

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Obamacare preview: Low reimbursements force Alii Health Center cuts

The cuts equal about 6 percent to 8 percent of the center's total 35 physician and support staff positions, Interim Practice Administrator Sue McConnell said, who pointed to oft-mentioned low insurance, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates as the main reason for the center's ongoing financial difficulties.
"Our finances and revenue come from the health care payers," McConnell said. "We're dependent on them for our revenue. It just makes it a challenge."

West Hawaii doctors have long complained that reimbursements from the state's leading insurer, HMSA, are not enough to cover their costs. Insurance companies' reimbursement rates are tied to federally set Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. Some West Hawaii doctors have previously asked the state's Congressional delegation to introduce a measure that would increase Hawaii's reimbursement rates.  (But they Delegation has done nothing to solve this problem)

TOTALLY RELATED: Obamacare, COFA, and the upcoming $350M State budget gap: Lingle vs Congressional Delegation

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Shapiro: Attacking unions a risky play for GOP

While Ka'auwai cites Lingle's successful campaigns to serve as Hawai'i's first Republican governor in 40 years, attacking the unions was hardly the strategy she followed to victory.

To the contrary, Lingle worked hard to assure unionized workers — especially those in the public sector — that she wouldn't be a threat to them. She won the endorsement of the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly and enough rank-and-file support from other unions to overcome the Democrats' solid majority among Hawai'i voters.

Ka'auwai and Aiona (Nice try Dave, but Aiona did NOT make the same statement.) are apparently convinced that things have changed after a year of contentious contract negotiations between Lingle and government worker unions and public anger over perceived intransigence by the teachers' union on furlough Fridays.

There are certainly sour feelings in the electorate about the economy, but it remains highly risky strategy to build a statewide political campaign in Hawai'i around broadside attacks on unions.

LINK: Aiona, Kaauwai statements

DePledge: Unions Jumping in

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ADV: Council censure needed in Tam theft case

Last Friday night found disgraced Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam standing on a dark corner in Chinatown, holding a sign and waving, as if campaigning would somehow provide redemption.

For nearly a week we've been waiting for him to acknowledge his wrongdoing. Accused of stealing money from the taxpayers, Tam has done everything but say he's sorry.

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Hawaii Resident Makes Forbes Richest List

Pierre Omidyar lives in Honolulu. The French-born billionaire is worth $5.2 billion, according to Forbes. His fortune increased by $1.6 billion on the rise of eBay stock, the magazine said.

Omidyar ranks 148th on the billionaires list.

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Saving a child via drug court is worth the cost

I know that the state of Hawaii has tremendous fiscal problems. I also know that cutting programs is logical. But I would hope that the Legislature can see that the cost of helping our children and families is of immediate importance. What is the cost of saving a child? I ask the governing powers to please find the resources to continue a quiet but effective program whose true works reach out to the future within our society. Please sustain and build Juvenile Drug Court.

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More Hawaii speeding cases likely to be thrown out on appeal: State Supreme Court's ruling likely to reverse as many as 15 cases

The court said there wasn't enough evidence to prove that the speedometer in the Honolulu police cruiser used to gauge the motorcyclist's speed was calibrated, and said police need more information or testimony on record to authenticate the accuracy of a police patrol car's speedometer.

(This is a make work program for low budget defense attorneys.)

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Big Isle adult video store to remain open until trial

The store is across from Keaau Middle School, the public library and the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island, which meets at the school. Keaau Elementary School also is nearby.

Walter said Shipman has received about 150 letters of opposition to the store.

Store co-owners Ford and Leslie Pascual are accusing Shipman of "harassment and smearing us." Since opening Jan. 8, they have received threatening phone calls, and people have poured urine into the air-conditioning vents of their cars, he said. His wife was pressured into quitting a job she's had for 20 years, Pascual added.

Walter said, "Certainly we haven't done that. We are not aware of who has made the threatening calls. Our only contact has been through the court system."

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Blenders refute coffee study: Opponents say changing labeling rules would harm business

Tom Greenwell, Hawaii Coffee Association president, claims Marvin Feldman's February 2010 study, "Economics of the Hawaii Coffee Industry," that assessed the economic effect 10 percent blended Kona coffee has on the 100 percent Kona coffee market used unsubstantiated

and incomplete data to draw its conclusion.

"What they have called facts in this study are not facts, and we need to set the record straight," Greenwell said, noting Feldman's assumption that eliminating blenders in the state would increase farmers' revenues by more than $14 million is wrong because of errors in the amount of Kona coffee cherry bought by blenders, the cost of the cherry and blenders' profit.

While unwilling to disclose his Hawaii Coffee Co.'s profit data for proprietary reasons, president Jim Wayman said profit margins for his Oahu-based blending company, and likely for blenders statewide, are much less than Feldman's study found.

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