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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
May 12, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:15 PM :: 10403 Views

SB: Djou, Hanabusa lead money race with backing from big party donors

"Hanabusa, obviously, has state support, and Charles has mainland money from Republicans and Republican special-interest groups," said John Hart, a communications professor and political analyst at Hawaii Pacific University. "The question's going to be, in this remaining time period, whether Case — who's getting mostly grass-roots money — can pull the kind of money left to get media buys to counter this."

(Yet another academic giving “objective” spin which happens to serve the interests of the Star-Bulletin’s favorite nephew.)

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Wharton to file for congressional race vs Hirono Wednesday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - From Sunrise to Congress, that's where former reporter Ramsay Wharton is hoping to go.

Today, Wharton is expected to make it official by filing papers for the second congressional seat.

RELATED: GOP's Ramsay Wharton to challenge Hirono

TOTALLY RELATED: Photos of Mazie Hirono at campaign rally in Larry Mehau’s barn . . . Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau Hosts Community Rally for Sen. Akaka

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Hawaii’s $1.3B annual Pension Bomb (State running out of time to fix budget)

According to a report from the Pew Center on the States, Hawaii owns one of the greatest pension burdens: $10.8 billion.

The report said Hawaii needs an Annual Required Contribution of $488,770,000 for the state retirement system and an additional $822,454,000 for retiree health care.

The trouble came when the Legislature cut Employees' Retirement System funding in 2000 and 2001, coupled with the dismal investment returns of 2001 and 2002, according to the Pew report.

"Hawaii failed to sock away any assets to cover this long-term bill coming due. Relative to its size and population, Hawaii has one of the greatest burdens of any state," the report warned.

ADV: State pension fund making comeback

(See “Vallejo”)

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“Civil Beat” now flacking for HSTA (No surprise here)

  • No data supporting appointed Ed board over elected

    The best comparison for Hawaii might be with an urban school board rather than a state board, said Gregory McGinity, senior policy director for the Broad Foundation, a national philanthropy with a focus on promoting school system accountability. The Broad Foundation favors having mayors appoint school superintendents, particularly in urban districts.

    "We have clear evidence in Washington, D.C. that having mayors in charge has improved student achievement," said McGinity. "That principle applies to states too, given the evidence of what's happening in cities."

    Hawaii's transition to a governor-appointed board of education would therefore be a "necessary but insufficient condition for bringing about dramatic change," McGinity said.

    (Two step.  First Dem Governors block Lingle’s reform proposal.  Then the HSTA kills it at the polls.)

  • Arguments against elected board of education sound familiar  (More of the same.)

    As predicted:  Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires and Furloughs: How Unions and the DoE aim to co-opt protesting parents

    (This entire exercise is designed to weld the unions to the enviros instead of the old boys.  The result, massive fuel tax hikes justified by eco-rhetoric.  The money from these tax hikes will pour into the pockets of billionaire windfarm developers.  The unions will get a few drops to make them happy.  For an sneak peek see: “Greece”.  Or read this: Wind Energy's Ghosts)

    County fuel tax hike would hit rural Oahu hardest

    Under Resolution 10-70, Honolulu's biodiesel fuel tax will increase from 8.25 cents per gallon to 9.75 cents per gallon. The fuel tax rate for other liquid fuels, including gasoline, will rise to 19.5 cents per gallon from 16.5 cents per gallon. If the tax increase is approved by the Council, residents could be paying more for fuel as early as July.

    Revenue generated by the tax would be split between the city's general fund and a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that would be used to fund loans for Oahu homeowners to install solar and energy efficiency improvements on their homes.

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    Sit-In Protesters Fight Ban From Gov. Office

    The agit-prop circus continues its service to the candidacy of Neil Abercrombie. 

    ADV: Motion seeks to bar furlough protesters from Lingle's office

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    BOE just one vote away from increasing after-school program fees

    Currently, parents pay $55 a month per student enrolled in the program, the increased fee would be to $80 per student. There is a sliding scale based on how many siblings are enrolled.

    This rate increase would affect thousands of families here in Hawaii. Over 22,000 elementary students are enrolled in A-plus. The problem is that the state cut $2.1 million dollars in funding to balance the budget, so now the burden of the extra $25 a month per student would fall on the parents….

    In January, school bus fees went up .40 cents for a one-way fare, and the cost for lunches increases .95 cents per day. The final vote on increasing the A-Plus program fees is expected by the Board of Education on May 20th.

    RELATED: Hawaii DoE: Cost of waste, fraud, and corruption between $191M and $431M per year

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    SB: $4B Guam deal benefits Hawaii

    (Abercrombie gets a boost from the SB editors.)

    Hawaii's construction industry has gained part of $4 billion in initial contracts for building military facilities on Guam for U.S. military forces to be transferred from Okinawa. The potential boost to Hawaii's companies was provided last year but the weakening of a provision that then-Rep. Neil Abercrombie attached to a defense spending bill casts uncertainty about the opportunities for rank-and-file workers….

    The seven companies that won bids include four joint ventures based in Hawaii: CNMS; Core-Tech-AMEC-SKEC, LLC; Guam MACC Builders JV; and KiewitMortenson.

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    Land in failed koa logging venture heads for auction

    …owner Kyle Dong, also owner of Koa Timber Inc., faced community opposition, delays in getting state approvals and a nearly $150,000 state fine for the illegal removal of 13 trees from private conservation land in 2000.

    (Meanwhile politicians babble endlessly about ‘saving agriculture’)

    http://www.koaforestsale.com/

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    MCCC probing prisoner escape (43 priors)

    Kahaleauki was shackled with leg irons and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit when he escaped at about 9:20 a.m.

    "We're doing an internal investigation as to how he got away," Nouchi said.

    Kahaleauki was seen running from the area of the funeral home, police said.

    According to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Kahaleauki has 43 prior convictions for crimes including firearms offenses, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, drug possession, first-degree criminal property damage, harassment by stalking, first-degree bail jumping, third-degree assault, abuse and violating an order for protection.

    He was arrested April 20 in Lahaina on the latest charges, which include the theft of an ATM in Maalaea, attempted thefts of ATMs in Lahaina and Kahana, the burglary of a Lahaina business and the burglary of a Kaanapali apartment while the residents were asleep.

    ALSO: Hawaii rape, beating suspect is released mental patient

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    Oahu cracking down on counterfeit bus passes

    "I've never seen anything as rampant as it is right now," said Roger Morton, president of Oahu Transit Services.

    Drivers for TheBus first spotted the counterfeits two weeks ago.

    So far they have confiscated 198 of them. Eighty were confiscated from riders on Monday.

    Honolulu police said the bogus cards are being sold on the street and maybe even in shops not authorized to sell genuine monthly passes.

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    Police: Fetus In Kapolei Restroom An 'Unattended Death'

    According to police, a 19-year-old woman gave birth to the fetus Monday night in a restroom at Kapolei Park. Police say the woman went to the restroom complaining of stomach cramps and didn't know she was pregnant.

    The woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition. But police say her condition was later upgraded to good.

    SB: Fetus' death puts focus on teens

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    Homeless migration to Hawaii straining social services

    State Rep. Rida Cabanilla, D-42nd (Waipahu, Honouliuli, 'Ewa), chairwoman of the House housing committee, did attempt to address the situation in 2009 with a bill that would have set up a voluntary program to send newly arrived homeless back to whatever state they came from.

    The bill died, but Cabanilla hopes to revive it next year.

    (In the mean time, maybe Cabanilla could send her office manager--convicted child molester Leon Rouse--back to where HE came from.)

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    Kauai Mayor’s budget proposal tweaked

    Public testimony last week showed concern that a recycling coordinator position had been downgraded to a specialist, a step above entry level. The council reinstated the coordinator position, adding an extra $19,000 to fund the vacant position.  (So they can’t even downgrade, much less eliminate, vacant positions.)

    Furloughs will stand, as Carvalho had suggested in his original proposed budget released March 15 and on his final version last week.

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    Supreme Court Nominee Kagan Backs Limits on Speech That Can ‘Harm’

    “If there is an ‘overabundance’ of an idea in the absence of direct governmental action -- which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate -- then action disfavoring that idea might ‘un-skew,’ rather than skew, public discourse,” Kagan wrote.

    Instead, the Supreme Court should focus on whether a speaker’s message is harming the public, argued Kagan in her article.

    read more


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