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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
June 22, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:13 AM :: 10447 Views

20,000 write governor, 85% ask for veto of HB444

Full Text: Governor Lingle’s Veto List

Poll: Aiona beats Hannemann in one-on-one matchup

Djou opens Honolulu office, visits families in Ewa, Hawaii Kai

Kirk Caldwell: “We’re a city not afraid to raise fees and taxes”

While the city estimates it will save $26 million by slashing the pay of police and firefighters and imposing furloughs on most all other workers, at the same time it’s setting aside nearly $40 million to fund more than 1,000 unfilled positions….

Caldwell: “We get a very good bond rating for a couple of reasons: a healthy carryover compared to other municipalities, we’re a city not afraid to raise fees and taxes — and they like that, by the way — we’re also willing to cut certain things. I think they see it as a mix-and-match kind of approach that other municipalities don’t want to do.”

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A Honolulu Government That Keeps On Growing

During Mufi Hannemann's half-decade as mayor, annual spending on operating expenses has gone up 39 percent to $1.2 billion, despite the nation going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Defying a national trend, the number of city employees has also grown every year, even amid occasional hiring freezes.

When he took office in January 2005, Hannemann inherited 9,993 full-time city workers and an $869 million departmental operating budget from his predecessor, Jeremy Harris. Since then, the city added 508 new employees, at an average rate of 85 per year, for a 5 percent increase to Honolulu’s workforce under Hannemann’s leadership.

Honolulu City Government Spending and Personnel

Fiscal Year Operating budget Full-time positions
2005 $869 million 9,993
2006 $942 million 10,082
2007 $1.02 billion 10,182
2008 $1.13 billion 10,318
2009 $1.16 billion 10,374
2010 $1.21 billion 10,448
2011 $1.21 billion 10,501
“Almost every city in the group has been reducing its full-time workforce through layoffs, attrition and eliminating vacant positions,” wrote Ginsberg in Not Out of the Woods: The Recession’s Continuing Impact on Big City Taxes, Services and Pensions. “From fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2010, the median reduction was 3 percent.”

RELATED: Honolulu 5th most indebted US city

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Hawaii gov. buys more time on civil unions bill (Hanabusa pledges override)

Democratic legislative leaders said the civil unions bill may come up during an override session next month if Lingle vetoes it.

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said she believes there are sufficient votes in her chamber to override a Lingle veto. But House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro said he doubts there are in his.

"I think the votes that were 31 in favor are pretty firm, and the votes that are opposed are pretty firm," said Oshiro, a main sponsor of the measure. "So at this point, I don't anticipate us taking further action on that."

A two-thirds majority of House members, or 34, are required to override a veto.

SA: Civil unions' fate unknown

Majority Democrats in the House and Senate are scheduled to meet in private caucuses today to review the governor's veto list.

PBN: Equality Hawaii expresses frustration with Lingle's decision

CB: Lingle on Civil Unions: 'I Need More Time'

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Gay Lobby reacts

PFLAG-Oahu (Mike Golujuch) obviously didn’t believe the governor that she’s still making up her mind and issued a statement bashing Lingle as though the bill is already dead.

“Hawaii’s Governor has killed the spirit of Aloha and the reputation of Hawaii as a land of  freedom and justice in one death blow to this bill that has passed the 2010 Legislature,” PFLAG said.

“Lingle has said in no uncertain terms that an individual’s right to love and care for another person is of no interest to her or the Republican Party.  She has bowed to Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona and the International Transformation Network that calls for Hawaii to be the first Christian State in the nation.”

Citizens for Equal Rights took a more measured approach…

PBN: Equality Hawaii expresses frustration with Lingle's decision

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Gay Lobby continues to hunt down Business Roundtable members (SA & CB keep count)

Last week, six roundtable members — HMSA, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Time Warner Cable, Marriott International, Marsh & McLennan Cos. and Aon Corp. — publicly rejected the executive committee's June 4 letter to Lingle urging her to veto House Bill 444 because of concerns over legal issues.

As of Monday, five more roundtable members — Kyo-ya Company, Hawaii Pacific Health, Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii National Bank and DFS U.S. Group — have taken a position that is not in line with the executive committee.

That brings to 11 the number of roundtable members taking issue with the executive committee of the 48-member board, which represents the elite of Hawaii business. Two of those 48 companies — Hoku Scientific and The Honolulu Advertiser — are no longer on the board because of changes in ownership.

Many of the companies talking about civil unions were approached by PFLAG-Oahu, which represents parents, families and friends of gays and lesbians Mike Golujuch and his mommy, and Equality Hawaii, which represents gays who don’t want anybody to think they are like Mike Golujuch also advocates for HB 444. The two groups have also called about another dozen roundtable members to get their position.

Full Text: Hawaii Business Roundtable calls for veto of HB444 Gay Civil Unions

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Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle submits list of bills she may veto

The Hawaii Constitution requires the governor to give the Legislature 10 days’ notice of any bill she is considering vetoing. This year, the deadline to veto bills is July 6.

Putting a bill on the possible veto list does not mean that it will be vetoed. Lingle could still sign it into law or allow it to become law without her signature.

Bills on the possible veto list are…

CB: Human Trafficking Law On Lingle's Veto List

CB: Gov. May Veto Process For Appointing Ed Board

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LA Times: A strike against sex trafficking (Calls on Lingle to sign)

Hawaii is one of six states that do not have any laws against human trafficking, and each one of them — Massachusetts, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming — is a hole in what should be a national safety net. Without strong and vigorously enforced statutes, these states not only risk becoming unintended havens for traffickers, but when confronted with the crime they are more likely to rely on outdated prostitution laws instead of up-to-date laws regarding modern slavery. The Aloha State, however, is poised to leave this small club of outliers and become the 45th state to enact anti-trafficking legislation; we encourage Gov. Linda Lingle to sign the legislation now sitting on her desk.
The bill is not perfect; it focuses solely on sex trafficking, making it a felony, and does not address the thriving business of trafficking in slave labor, which in the U.S. is even more common.

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Lingle says Asia trip a success

Some very successful meetings between HTA and an airlines in China…this one was for regularly charter flights between Shanghai and Honolulu…this is opening up an exciting possibility for us," said Lingle.

Lingle says that this is just one of the deals that she has in the works to help boost China visitor numbers to Hawaii. Since there are issues with the US embassy and visas, the final decision will be made within a couple of weeks. If the deal pulls through, the chartered flight will fly twice a week from Shanghai to Honolulu and will start as soon as the end of the year. She stated that the chartered flight will increase China visitors by 25,000.

She also talked to prospective Chinese students at an education seminar in efforts to promote Hawaii's colleges like the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University. She also addressed 125 individuals that were looking to invest in Hawaii, emphasizing that the cultural ties and Hawaii's welcoming environment.

As an effort to help sustainability within the islands, Lingle also met with executives from the Tian Wei Group who own 60% of Hawaii-based solar energy company, Hoku Scientific. In Japan on Sunday night, the governor signed a Hawaii-Okinawa partnership which she hopes will give Okinawa and Hawaii's options of clean energy development.

SA: Discussions about Chinese flights from Shanghai to Hawaii are under way

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Breene Harimoto resigns from Board of Education

Board of Education member Breene Harimoto resigned this morning, saying he plans to run for City Council.

His term ends in 2012.

Harimoto will remain on the board until June 30.

Harimoto has for months expressed frustrations with the board's operations and in January called for the resignation of board Chairman Garrett Toguchi.

(He should be replaced by somebody who is good at leaking internal documents.)

BOE Member Harimoto Resigns

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UH Manoa Custodian Gets Jail For Campus Sex Assault

HONOLULU -- A former university custodian who sexually assaulted a girl on campus was sent to prison Monday.

At attorney for Ward Gusukuma, 45, said an alcohol problem was one reason Gusukuma fondled a 12-year-old in a room at the University of Hawaii Arena in November 2008.

Under a plea agreement, Gusukuma will spend a year in jail…Gusukuma's lawyer said the incident cost him his job as a UH janitor.

(If he had molested a boy, he could get a job at the Hawaii Legislature.)

Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature
Hawaii Legislature: Sgt at Arms called to protect visitor from Rep. Cabanilla’s child molester

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The Nation: 'I Was Scared to Sleep': LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars (Hawaii Youth facility)

The courts have not been silent on this issue. In 2006, in a stunning, first-of-its-kind decision, a federal court in Hawaii held that the facility's "relentless campaign of violence, physical and sexual assault, imposed social isolation and near constant use of homophobic slurs" was unconstitutional. The children who were plaintiffs in that case faced discriminatory and cruel treatment very similar to what Krystal and others have faced. This decision spurred advocates in California, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere to push for reform—with some success.

In the aftermath of the ruling, the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility implemented mandatory training for the entire staff. The experience is instructive for other juvenile justice systems. "There were certain individuals sitting there with arms folded and steam coming out of their ears. They weren't about to have their opinions changed on the okayness of being LGBT," says Dr. Robert Bidwell, a pediatrician who assisted with the training and works at HYCF. The crucial difference, says Bidwell, is that "the training empowered the people who never felt comfortable with that prejudice to hear loud and clear from the director of youth services that this will not be tolerated."

(And the Legislature wants to bring Hawaii inmates back to this?)

HNN: Police searching for escaped prisoner on Oahu

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Honolulu city clerk debunks new 'birther' theory

Takahashi explained that the "senior elections clerk" job that Adams held was a low-level data entry position dealing with voter registration and absentee ballots -- Adams was one of dozens of temporary employees who staffed the pre-election rush. And he contradicted Adams's claims that Obama's lack of a birth certificate was an "open secret" or that voters contacted the office to ask about it.

"To be honest, I fielded no questions about that," Takahashi said. "Why would anyone ask us? We don't have those records."

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Former Hawaii State Supreme Court Chief Justice Richardson dies

Richardson served as the court's chief justice from 1966 until 1982. Prior to that, he was lieutenant governor under John A Burns. Richardson was also head of Hawaii's Democratic Party from 1956-1962.

During his tenure as Hawaii's chief justice, he was involved in many landmark rulings. His court helped to expand native Hawaiian rights, and provide greater access to lands and resources for the public. For decades, Richardson advocated the founding of a law school the islands. The William S. Richardson School of Law, which opened in 1973, is Hawaii's only law school and is seen by many as the cornerstone of his legacy.

Family of Chief Justice Richardson talks

Hawaii's political leaders remember 'CJ' Richardson

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