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Saturday, April 9, 2011
April 9, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:14 PM :: 9457 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Government workers’ agreement to add more than $100 million to state deficit

Abercrombie’s $100M omission: HGEA settlement tied to other secret labor agreements

House GOP: HGEA Settlement is expensive, unfair

Unity House HQ up for Sale

VIDEO: Heritage Foundation Leader interviewed in Hawaii

Tsunami: Obama signs Disaster Declaration for Hawaii

Bonham:  Peak tax and business revenue returns sometime in 2012

(Bonham was allegedly naysayer-in-chief at the recent CoR meeting, but on Maui he is singing a different tune….)

He predicted that the 2011 Maui economy would grow by 2 percent, with an increase of 1.8 percent in the key area of jobs. (Coincidentally, jobs numbers were actually down 1.8 percent last year, he said.).

And while several negative factors, like rising fuel costs, were a drag on its economy, Maui had a great first quarter in places like tourism and consumer spending that should help buttress the island against tougher times this year, he said….

Still, he said: "At some point, the hotels are going to be full (during the tourism seasons). Maui needs to find ways to attract people during the shoulder months (when school usually is in session)."

More good news, Bonham said, is that he thought Maui should expect peak tax and business revenue returns sometime in 2012.

(And yet Abercrombie preaches doom and gloom)

But at the CoR meeting:  Brewbaker’s predictions were more optimistic whereas Bonham’s estimates were around -4%.  (ooops, another Abercrombie flack caught in a lie)

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Maui Chamber of Commerce: 95% oppose either type of GE Tax hike

We surveyed our members on the proposed general excise tax increase, and 156 businesses rang in within two days. The results so far were:

  • 95 percent opposed
  • 3 percent in support
  • 2 percent undecided

These results were shared with lawmakers…

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Shapiro: Budget is so bad….

A legislative aide was seen actually BRINGING pens, paper and paper clips to the office….

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After voting to Shut down Federal Government three times, Hirono, Hanabusa pretend to be against it

Congressional representatives from Hawaii spoke to KITV4's Washington D.C Bureau about the impending shutdown.

"We're close. We're going to work around the clock to get it done. In the meantime, if the government does shut down, my office will be open because there will be people with questions and concerns and we'll be there to help them," Rep. Mazie Hirono said.

"I'm very hopeful that they're all going to see the light. Hey they have to because the only people who are going to suffer are the people of this nation. I can't see that the parties are going to let that happen especially if it's the policy riders that are holding this up," Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said.

REALITY: Hirono, Hanabusa vote for Government Shutdown, stop paying troops

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OHA to turn its operatives around on Geothermal in Puna at Meeting today

The Pahoa meeting is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Pahoa Community Center. The Geothermal Informational Session panel will be moderated by Innovations Development Group CEO Patricia Brandt. Panelists include Mililani Trask, Ku'uleiohuokalani Kealoha Cooper, Cy Bridges, Bob Lindsey and Kale Gumapac.

“Four legs good, two legs better.”

Watch OHA turn its silly protesters around to start loving Geothermal now that OHA will be profiting from it.  If you ever doubted that the Puna protests were about OHA seizing Wao Kele O Puna, now the proof is right in front of you.

Complete Rundown on Geothermal: OHA Drug Policy: Treatment no, pushers yes

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Kenoi profits 58% from Subdivision approval

Despite declining property values islandwide, the value of Mayor Billy Kenoi's homestead has increased 57.7 percent since it was subdivided last year.
"It's just on paper," Kenoi said when contacted Friday. "It's an assessed value, not a market value." The county mailed out assessment notices to property owners late last month.
Kenoi's 45.9 acres of agricultural land was split into six lots in September, culminating a two-year process that raised eyebrows in 2009 when Kenoi asked one of his Cabinet members to waive minimum water requirements.

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Crisis? Hawaii County finds $16M for Hilo Bayfront paths

Hawaii County's plan to build a network of pedestrian and bicycle trails in Hilo won unanimous land use approval Thursday.

The county's Windward Planning Commission voted 4-0 to grant a special management area permit needed to do work near the shoreline.

Envisioned as spanning about two miles between Hilo Harbor and the Wailuku River, the Hilo Bayfront Trails Project is to include sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes and shared roads for bicycles. Trail loops would extend through downtown, Wailoa River State Park and Bayfront Beach Park.

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Crisis? $800,000 in county checks uncashed

If Maui County is having trouble balancing its checkbook, that might be because vendors and other individuals paid by the county have failed to cash more than $800,000 in county-issued checks.

All of the stale checks are now more than six months old - meaning they've expired and have to be reissued, according to county finance officials. More than $600,000 of the outstanding checks are more than a year old, according to a report.

The discrepancy was noticed by auditors in their examination of the county's finances for 2009-10….

The audit and other county financial reports can be viewed online at www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=1161

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Former KPD officer convicted of driving drunk

Bonachita’s conviction wasn’t the former KPD patrolman’s first brush with the wrong side of the law.

He resigned from KPD in 2000. In April of that year, the prosecutor’s office charged Bonachita with felony sexual assault in a case concerning a female relative. He also was charged with misdemeanor abuse of a family member.

In August 2000 Bonachita pleaded no-contest to reduced charges of second-degree violation of privacy, a misdemeanor, and open lewdness, a petty misdemeanor, in connection with the original allegations of sexual assault.

He was originally charged with nine counts of sexual assault, including five felonies, but the case was pleaded down. At the time, Kaua’i County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Craig De Costa said the state of Hawai‘i would not seek incarceration, but would require sex-offender treatment for Bonachita.

Police again arrested Bonachita on July 1, 2009 on a charge of first-degree burglary, when he allegedly broke into the home of “South Park” creator Randolph “Trey” Parker and threatened Parker and Lauren Keala Megumi Kagawa with a knife.

Shortly after that, Kagawa, Bonachita’s former girlfriend, filed a temporary restraining order against the Hanapepe man. The order, according to archives, indicates that he sexually assaulted and choked the 27-year-old Puhi woman in March of that year. In an August hearing she told the court that he continued to harass her via e-mail. Arrest records did not show Bonachita was arrested for the alleged March incidents.

In the restraining order document, Kagawa wrote that Bonachita broke into a home belonging to a friend of hers looking for her, and had a knife on him, archives show.

Kagawa was found dead in August 2009 in the driveway of her subdivision home.

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NYT: Explosion Kills Workers at Facility for Fireworks

Two workers were killed and two others are presumed dead in an explosion in a fireworks storage bunker on Friday.

Two more workers were injured in the blast, which scorched trees and bushes 40 feet away, the authorities said.

Explosions continued hours after the initial one, preventing firefighters from entering the storage facility, a former military bunker in a Honolulu suburb, to search for the two missing men.

AP: Third person dead in Hawaii fireworks bunker blast

Another Fireworks Bunker: Fireworks, dirt, and stolen trucks: Colleen Hanabusa and the Honolulu Raceway Deal

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Did Trump really send investigators to Hawaii?

This is stenographic journalism at its worst. The problem is that Trump has historically not been a credible source. He has a history of making disputed claims about his net worth as well as perennially flirting with presidential candidacies before reliably pulling out. (And, of course, he is now trumpeting the debunked conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the U.S.)

If media organizations must report Trump's claim about sending investigators to Hawaii , they should make it very clear that he has offered no evidence….

I asked Trump aide and spokesman Michael Cohen for more details on the investigators who have supposedly been dispatched to Hawaii. Said Cohen: "You have got to put yourself in someone else's shoes. If you were running an investigation, would you provide that type of information?"

"The amount of questions in regard to who they are, how much he's paying them, and what have they found so far -- this isn't something he's going to hand out willy nilly," Cohen said. "When he's ready, he'll let you know." He then added: "I don't think that he's going to be commenting."

Is it possible that Trump sent investigators to Hawaii? Sure. But until Trump offers some -- any -- evidence, skepticism is called for.

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