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Monday, February 23, 2009
February 23, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 10:11 AM :: 7566 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

2,000 rally to oppose civil unions

HA: In a turnout that surprised even event organizers, more than 2,000 people representing dozens of local churches, temples, synagogues and mosques descended on the state Capitol yesterday to protest a bill that would establish civil unions between same-sex partners.

SB: Jalee Fuselier of the North Shore said sexuality is a choice, "a lifestyle choice. It's not like a race."

(The rest of the SB coverage focused on one counter-protester.)  KHON Video

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OHA shows fear as US Constitution comes to bear

Lingle said that if the state drops the case, it would have to concede it doesn't have clear title to the lands, which the United States transferred to it at statehood.

"We couldn't do that, even though there is a minute — and I do think it's minute — possibility that there would be some expansion of the issue," Lingle said. "We do believe the lands came over properly at statehood."

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said Friday the state appeal could undermine Native Hawaiian programs and the legal basis for Native Hawaiian federal recognition.

A far-reaching decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could affect OHA's ability to carry out its mission of bettering the conditions of Native Hawaiians," she said.

Lingle said yesterday the state has "done everything in our power to narrow the issue before the court."

"We told (the court) we aren't asking any other questions," the governor said. "We also made the point in our brief that we are simply addressing the legal issue, not the moral or political issue as it relates to whether the Native Hawaiians were treated fairly or whether they should be compensated."

Lingle also said it's possible anti-Native Hawaiian groups would have sued the state had it not appealed.

"That would have opened up this whole issue in a very big way," Lingle said. "I think that by us doing the case ourselves and narrowing it, we have actually reduced the possibility that this would go on to other issues."

Lingle said a bill in the Legislature would require legislative approval for selling or transferring the ceded lands.

"Once I see the bill, there is a possibility that I might actually sign that bill because when they pass something like that, what they are saying is these are our lands," Lingle said. "You can't pass a law that restricts it if it didn't belong to you in the first place."

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After doubling deficit: Obama pledges to cut deficit in half by raising your taxes

President Barack Obama has vowed to cut the country's budget deficit in half by the end of his first term. Obama laid out the guiding principle of his budget policy at a White House conference. He said he believes the time has come for "a frank conversation" about the problem and said the deficit, projected to total $1.3 trillion this year, must be brought under control. 

TOTALLY RELATED:  Major stock market indexes fall to 1997 levels

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2% of budget for open space:  Kenoi's plan draws opposition

Faced with having to slash county spending by $31.8 million because of declining property tax and tourism revenues, Kenoi said he will ask the County Council to halt biannual payments to the program starting with the one due Dec. 31.  "That would provide about $4.5 million for the general fund (yearly) without touching the existing fund balance," Kenoi wrote in a follow-up viewpoint he submitted to Stephens Media. "The $8.8 million currently in the fund balance will remain available for land purchases."

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Geologists test volcano as source for power

Hawaii's problem in one sentence: "If useful heat is found, getting permits would take years."

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