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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
March 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:13 PM :: 10968 Views

LINK>>>Molester’s former employer Sen. Roz Baker Blocking Flag Pole Bill: Veterans to return medals

LINK>>>Goodwin Liu: Obama’s Most Radical Judicial Nominee

Lingle considers joining lawsuits against federal health care law

Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett are considering joining one or more lawsuits that have been filed against the health reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed today….Lingle said the law forces states to provide services without funding. She said she and Bennett are reviewing the lengthy legislation.

Burris: Nation can learn from Isle health law  (Written form of Democrat babble--trying to pressure Lingle not to join suit)

SB: Hawaii divided on health care law

NYT: Gays May Still Pay More for Health Coverage (Domestic partner coverage is still taxable income)

Gap in law's protection for children...  (Kids can still be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions)
Shocking Audio: Rep. Dingell Says ObamaCare Will Eventually 'Control the People'...

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Special election offers 3 distinct candidates

Charles Djou came to the state House when Hanabusa arrived in the Senate and now is a city councilman. He is everything the GOP could hope for in a viable Hawaii candidate: Local, moderate, against all tax increases and even is an officer in the Army Reserve.

Mainland political prognosticators are rating the race for the urban Honolulu congressional district a "toss-up." Of course, we in Hawaii know everything is a lot more complicated.

The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, but as one observer notes, it will go Republican if it can't find a Democrat it likes.

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Aiona: State needs to boost efficiency, encourage business  (Efficient Government candidate #1)

Many key proposals that could save the state precious general funds have either stalled or not been heard in House and Senate committees. Instead of increasing the general excise tax, the Legislature should cut inefficiencies and spend within our means to ensure economic recovery for Hawaii. Among sensible measures the Legislature is failing to consider:

» Require all state employees to directly deposit their wages in a financial institution, saving the cost to print and distribute paychecks.

» Allow state boards and commissions to use teleconferencing or videoconferencing to hold meetings.

» Require arbitration panels to consider the state's fiscal solvency in labor negotiations.

» Allow public employee unions to establish alternative workers compensation programs, like private employee unions, through an agreement with the state.

These proposals would save money and improve government efficiency.

However, some legislators continue to push for an increase of the general excise tax of up to 25 percent, which would impede any economic recovery.

HFP: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

ADV: We'll all pay the price for kicking the can down the road

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Finnegan: Republicans offering common-sense ideas (Efficient Government candidate #2)

Republicans have offered more common-sense solutions such as cutting duplication of federal and state offices, curbing unlimited benefits to Medicaid clients while still offering generous coverage, and cutting services that should be provided by the private sector. These initial suggestions add up to almost $100 million in savings every year.

The Democrats believe when the going gets tough, government should stay the same or grow. The mantra is to protect government workers even if we cannot afford to do so.

HFP: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

ADV: We'll all pay the price for kicking the can down the road

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Central Pacific Bank shares continue to fall: FDIC could seize bank March 31

After rallying for several days last week, shares of Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE: CPF) fell 8.72 percent to $1.57 at closing Tuesday. The company also ended Monday down 9.47 percent at $1.72.

The financial hits came days after Fitch Ratings downgraded CPF and its subsidiary, Central Pacific Bank, to “CC from “CCC” because it will fail to meet regulatory requirements to increase its leverage and total risk-based capital ratios by a March 31 deadline.

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Survey: Hawaii ‘09 tax collections fell 8.4%

Hawaii tax collections fell 8.4 percent — or $435 million — to $4.7 billion in 2009 compared to 2008, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey.

The Census Bureau’s 2009 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections showed that taxes on individual income totaled $1.3 billion, a 13.3 percent decline, while general sales taxes were $2.5 billion, down 6 percent. Corporate net income taxes were $78.6 million, down 25.4 percent.

SB: Isles' tax decline typical

Maui Co: 2011 fiscal year budget review sees ‘grim’ start

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HGEA, poverty industry urge tax increase

"As we talk to the legislators there are many who support it, but they say leadership is not going to support it. So, we need those people to stand up and to do what is right because as Alex (Santiago) has said there is going to be long-term impact," Hawaii Government Employees Association Deputy Director Nora Nomura said…. 

(True, HGEA’s taxes have impacted Hawaii for a long time.)

Outside, on Beretania Street, a group called Overtaxed Hawaii protested any move to raise taxes.

SB: Advocates urge excise tax hike--More than 200 rally at the Capitol

SB: A report ranks Hawaii households as among the highest in the U.S. for paying out dollars

RELATED: Maui Land & Pineapple Auction

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Plan to end Hawaii teacher furlough days tied to constitutional amendment 

The pre-emptive announcement by Lingle would return students to school for the remaining 21 furlough days this year and next through use of $62 million from the state's Rainy Day and Hurricane Relief fund.

However, funding would be contingent upon legislative passage of a constitutional amendment to allow voters to determine if the next governor should appoint the school superintendent. Legislators, so far, have not moved on the governor's proposed amendment.

HFP: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

SB Poll: IS THERE A WAY FORWARD?

DoE/HSTA: Furloughs: DoE, HSTA outline new $92M ransom demand

Lingle: Furloughs: Lingle offers $62M ransom for release of Constitutional Amendment, students

SB: Hawaii governor, teachers in standoff over furloughs

SB Commentary: State's hurricane fund was set up for a reason 

 

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State audit to delay rail project by 3 months

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's plans to break ground on the city's $5.5 billion rail transit line will be delayed by at least three more months after the state moved ahead with plans to conduct an independent financial analysis of the project.

The state has formally posted a notice to find a consultant to analyze the city's estimated costs to build, operate and maintain the rail system to connect Kapolei to Ala Moana….

At a fundraiser and rally yesterday for Hannemann's expected campaign to run for governor, the mayor questioned the need for the review, calling it a "silly exercise."

"I would only say to her, make sure you do it quickly and make sure you explain to the Legislature and the public how much it is going to cost and where the money is going to come from," Hannemann said. 

(now if Mufi could only do that for his $5B choo-choo train)

SHAPIRO: Don't blame rail delays on Lingle: Mayor, city must take responsibility for missing target

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Hawaii Senate Considering Conveyance Tax Hike to Fund Homeless Housing

Senate Bill 2536, introduced by Senator Will Espero (D- Ewa Beach, 'Ewa by Gentry, Ocean Pointe, 'Ewa Villages, West Loch, Honouliuli, Lower Waipahu), by request, would increase the conveyance tax by 10% on the sale of luxury homes over $700,000. The money would finance the purchase and maintenance of state parks to serve the homeless.

While the bill reads “on the sale of luxury homes”, that includes most homes in Hawaii. The average price of homes in Honolulu is consistently over $700,000.

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Fallen Heroes Honored At State Capitol: 28 Families Receive Medal Of Honor 

The Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives held a joint session Tuesday to award the Hawaii Medal of Honor to military service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Hawaii Medal of Honor was created to recognize members of the armed forces who had ties to Hawaii, or were stationed in Hawaii, and were killed in operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Army, Native Hawaiian community to sign symbolic accord

The Army and Native Hawaiians have clashed in the past over the Army's use of Makua Valley for live-fire training and the decision to bring the Stryker Brigade here.

To strengthen mutual understanding, the Army said the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council was created to guide the Army in working with the Hawaiian community.

The Distinguished Lecture Series also was created featuring prominent Native Hawaiian guest speakers who share the history, culture and customs of Hawai'i with soldiers and their families, the Army said.

Prior to today's ceremony, members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha and Benevolent Societies will hold a traditional offering for fallen warrior ancestors.

Rev. William Kaina, the senior pastor of Kawaihao Church, will give the opening invocation, or pule.

Neil Hannahs, Kamehameha Schools and Bishop Estate land manager and a member of the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council, will be one of the guest speakers.

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Hawaii pitching Google for super-fast internet

The company's Gigabit Broadband Project will install fiber optics in fifty communities around the nation.

"With that kind of bandwidth we could do life-size high-definition videos," said Dan Leuck, CEO of hi-tech firm IKAYZO.

Leuck and other techies are behind a petition to get Google's attention and choose Hawaii. The change would boost Hawaii's internet speed a hundred times….

On the citizens side, the aim is to get 50,000 signatures on the on-line petition by Friday.

You can sign up at either techhui.com or hi-google.org

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Cigarette? Not in front of the kids

The Hawai'i County Council appears poised to turn the regulation meter one click too far with a bill to ban smoking in any vehicle occupied by a juvenile….

Second, and this is obvious, but should government really stick its nose that far into personal space? Protecting people from secondhand smoke makes sense in the public setting, but it's not necessary everywhere on the planet. If banning smoking in your car is OK, why not in your home?

Incredibly, the bill received a 6-3 thumbs-up last week to advance to the full council. Two more votes, and it becomes law.

If that happens, who knows what intrusive and unenforceable measures will come from the Big Island council next? A ban on trips through the fast-food drive-through, maybe? Everyone knows that stuff's not good for you, either.

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31% of Honolulu residents embroiled in “organic” cult

Forty percent of Honolulu households use “green” appliances, the study found. Nationally, about a third of households use energy-saving appliances.

Owners of energy-saving appliances typically apply green principals to other areas of their lives — 31 percent are likely to eat organic food….

(What’s the difference between organic food and the rest?  Organic costs more.)

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Baby boom drives population as exodus continues

There were 122,222 babies born in Honolulu between 2000 and 2009, compared to 59,029 deaths.  (63K growth)

The total population of Hawaii’s capital city in 2009 was 907,574, up from 876,156 in 2000. (Only 31K growth) Honolulu was the nation’s 55th largest metropolitan area last year, falling from 52nd largest in 2000.

(So 32,000 people left Oahu between 2000-2009)

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County, UPW reach automated-trash deal (union jobs now depend on recycling)

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i County and United Public Workers signed an agreement Tuesday that clears the path for a “milestone” program to replace traditional three-worker trash collection teams with mechanized, side-loading trucks operated by a single employee.

The single-person vehicle will be able to service 33 percent more units each day than a manual collection system….

Nakanelua said the day would not have been possible without the participation and commitment of union members, adding that the agreement includes “assurances of job security.”

While the automated trash pickup could lead to job loss, other programs like curbside recycling and bulky item pickup will lead to job creation and move the union and its members “into the future,” he said.

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Nurses union endorses Hooser

State Senate Majority Leader and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Gary Hooser is the first political candidate to receive an endorsement by Hawai‘i Nurses Association’s Board of Directors, a news release says.

REALITY: Sen. Gary Hooser campaign website linked to Holocaust deniers

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