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Thursday, March 25, 2010
March 25, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:40 PM :: 6345 Views

LINK>>>Lingle to Senators: “Please reject current version of Akaka Bill” (Full Text)

LINK>>>Hawaii gets momentary reprieve as Obama’s ultra-leftist judicial nominee is stalled

LINK>>>Aiona: State needs to boost efficiency, encourage business

LINK>>>Hanabusa Ad Misleadingly Claims She “Cut Legislative Salaries”

Educators (sic) knew plan had no chance of OK, Lingle says

Lingle, in an informal meeting with reporters yesterday, said she and her senior staff had told the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the school board that she would not accept a plan that brought back large numbers of school support staff.

"I think they knew in advance there is no way this can be funded," Lingle said. "I have told them explicitly I will not release that amount of money. Our goal is not to give the union what they want. Our goal is to get the children back in the classroom."

"They know I won't release that plan. They knew it before I came out with that plan. It just points up the board's dysfunction working with the labor union to come up with a plan they knew I wouldn't approve. They have talked to me about this before," Lingle said.

REALITY: Hamamoto's DoE resignation: To block Lingle's constitutional amendment? 

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Furloughs: SB tries to re-negotiate HSTA/BoE hostage demands

In view of the state's budget shortfall, the governor is fiscally prudent; exclusion of the "non- essential" workers could, and should, be negotiated to get students back to school. But Lingle should not tie the funds' release to the legislative fate of her favored bills. Her DOE governance plan would politicize the school system, which would be treated the same as all other departments under the governor's ultimate direction.

Putting the pros and cons of such a constitutional amendment aside, it is wrong for the governor to impose her political will at the expense, literally, of Furlough Fridays funding.  (No, it is exactly right.  What is wrong is giving the corrupt DoE even one more penny.  They have all they need to eliminate Furlough Fridays in their existing budget.  All they have to do is stop stealing.)

Thirteen instructional days in the current school year have been lost through the furlough scheme, requiring school employees to take the days off without pay. Four more are scheduled in this school year and 17 next year.

Theoretically, the union, the Department of Education and the school board can go forward in making their agreement an amendment to the existing labor contract. Garrett Toguchi, the board's chairman, said "there will be a lot of time for the public to convince the governor to release the funds to support getting kids back into the classroom."  (Their political strategy for November elections outlined.)

Lingle should drop her quid pro quo. The HSTA should be willing to work without central-office support for a few Fridays. House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro accurately described Lingle's recent political demeanor toward education as "hardball, arm-wrangling." It is not too late for the governor to demonstrate otherwise.

ADV Does likewise: Deal or no deal? On furloughs, it's all show

EXACTLY AS PREDICTED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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Led by Roz Baker, molester’s former employer, Senators kill measure on free flying of flag

"This bill is superfluous and unnecessary," said Baker (D, Honokohau-Makena). "You have to abide by the rules, and you need to know what they are, and if those are not suitable, then maybe people shouldn't be part of those communities."

(That’s right.  Baker suggests that flag-flying veterans “shouldn’t be part of those communities” but she was happy to invite convicted child molester Leon Rouse to be part of her “community” by hiring him to work as a committee aide.)

Rep Kym Pine will work to insert the language in a bill already approved by the Senate in order to bypass Baker’s molester friendly, veteran hostile leadership. 

All you need to know about Roz Baker: Molester’s former employer Sen. Roz Baker Blocking Flag Pole Bill: Veterans to return medals

VIDEO: Iraq, Vietnam veterans give up medals in protest

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Gov wants emergency $40M to pay for Medicare, Say demands GE Tax hike

Lawmakers already were chasing a budget deficit of $1.28 billion in the fiscal biennium, after the most recent forecast by the state Council on Revenues.

The emergency request says the state's Medicaid program projects a $342 million budget shortfall this fiscal year. The $40 million is needed to cover the state's April payment to providers and will draw down $80 million in federal matching funds….

The budget now is in the Senate, where Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim has said she is likely to explore tax hikes on oil, cigarettes and liquor, but probably not the GET.

"We probably will have to address that," Say said of a GET hike. "That's why the options are so important and that (Kim) keeps everything alive."

The Legislature also could reconsider the decision to not scoop the hotel room tax money from counties, Say said.

(Just wait til Obamacare kicks in, then you will really have to dig deep to pay for all the people on welfare.)

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Honolulu rail project will have to pick up tab for airport route fix

City, state and federal officials met last week to discuss the problem of Honolulu's new elevated rail line encroaching on runway airspace. The problem could be fixed by moving the two closest runways or moving the proposed rail line.

The issue remained unresolved following last week's meeting, said state transportation Director Brennon Morioka.

The city wants to move the runways, according to the letter from Morioka to the Federal Transit Administration. Whether the decision is made to move the runways or some other alternative is selected, the city will be responsible for covering the costs, Morioka said in the letter, which was released by the city this week.

"The city will fund the runway relocations or alternative proposed by the city," the letter stated.

City Councilman Romy Cachola said yesterday that the council has not been briefed by city officials on how much it will cost to move the runways or come up with an alternative solution.

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Mayor says he'd review state finances (to create excuse for) tax hike (while giving himself campaign deniability)

Oldest dodge in the book:  “Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday he would do a comprehensive audit of state finances if elected governor, claiming there is an "unclear picture" that makes it difficult to determine whether a broad-based tax increase is necessary to balance the state budget.”

(Apparently Mufi thinks Hawaii voters are stupid.)

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Hoping for Matson Monopoly backing, Abercrombie starts defending Jones Act

Abercrombie started off the afternoon meeting by promising no campaign stumping, though questions from community members prompted the long-time politician to give political answers. He questioned the Hawaii Tourism Authority receiving $70 million in transient accommodations tax, promoted the idea of an interisland ferry service and defended the Jones Act.
Hawaii residents learned Monday that Matson Navigation Co. officials were urging their employees to support Democrat Colleen Hanabusa in her quest to fill Abercrombie's vacated congressional seat, because of her support of the Jones Act. Her opponents, Democrat Ed Case and Republican Charles Djou, want to repeal the act, which requires vessels transporting goods between states to have been built in the United States, be crewed and owned by U.S. citizens and fly the U.S. flag. U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has long defended the act, though some Hawaii residents -- including some at Tuesday's Rotary meeting -- said it hurts residents, because it increases the cost to transport goods.

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The state agency that preserves cultural and historic sites gets U.S. orders to improve — or lose half its budget

The park service put the agency on notice yesterday, placing it on "high-risk grantee" status and demanding improvements within two years.

The 138-page report, dated Friday and delivered yesterday, details a multitude of persistent problems.

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Star-Bulletin staff may be cut by 150: Advertiser likely to lose even more

In a filing with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations last week, Oahu Publications Inc. said it could terminate as many as half of its 300 employees as it pursues its takeover of The Advertiser and its sale of the Star-Bulletin. Most of the layoffs would be among production and circulation workers.

Job losses at The Advertiser will likely exceed those at the Star-Bulletin given the job redundancies at both papers, said Wayne Cahill, administrative officer of the Hawaii Newspaper Guild.

Oahu Publications owner David Black cut about a third of the reporters and editors at the Akron Beacon-Journal after buying that paper in 2006, said Ken Doctor, a California-based news industry analyst.

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Pay-to-Play legalized in Campaign finance bill

In HB2003 HD3, this important provision is missing and we ask the Committee to reinsert it.

Keep Our Pay-To-Play Law Intact. Back in 2005, in response to concerns about ties between lucrative contracts and political donations, the legislature enacted an important law that prohibited government contractors from donating to campaigns. This existing law is clear and simple, and should be maintained.

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Children of Hawaii are not 'pork' (Inouye and for profit earmarks)

Another minion defends his lord. 

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Court will name new Kamehameha trustee

The Hawaii Probate Court is seeking applicants for a new Kamehameha Schools trustee to replace Nainoa Thompson, whose term ends June 30.

The new trustee will be appointed for a five-year term, with an additional five-year term to be determined by the court.

Applicants must submit a resume by June. 15.

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DoE still failing: Reading scores improve for Hawaii 8th graders, slip for 4th graders

Hawaii eighth graders improved their reading scores by four points to 255 last year, up from 251 in 2007. That compares with a U.S. average score of 262 last year and 261 in 2007.

Fourth graders' scores in Hawaii dropped to 211 last year, from an average of 213 in 2007. Nationally the figure was 220 for both years. The state Department of Education noted that Hawaii's fourth-grade score has risen 11 points since 1998, compared with a seven-point rise nationally.

Kathryn Matayoshi: "The department is committed to implementing education reforms that will increase student scores on the Nation's Report Card, improve Hawaii's academic standing in comparison to other states, and ensure our students are college- and career-ready when they graduate."

(That lie alone should cost her her job.)

ADV: Test shows 4th-graders falling further behind

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Honolulu ponders fly-over ramp, other fixes for H1's Lunalilo jam

Because everybody knows that rail won’t do anything to alleviate traffic.

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State's population growth has slowed (9 people leave for mainland every day)

According to Tian, Hawai'i continued to lose residents to the Mainland, with a net loss of 3,225 people per year. That was offset by an average of 4,101 people migrating to Hawai'i from foreign countries.

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Last pieces of Maui Pine sold at auction

Meanwhile OHA is fighting tooth and nail to seize all the water from Maui's last sugar cane operations.

WHT: Water board rethinks ag rate increases

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Hilo Vets home nearly full after shaky start 

A mid-May 2008 inspection conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found the facility "deficient" in 42 separate criteria….

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Hawaii-based general admonished for advocating gay ban

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today that Mixon, who heads Army forces for U.S. Pacific Command, was wrong to call on troops and their families to fight a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Mullen said if uniformed officers disagree with President Barack Obama's call for a repeal, the answer for them is "to vote with your feet."

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