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Friday, April 17, 2009
April 17, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:53 AM :: 8573 Views

U.S. nuclear monitors leave N. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — U.S. monitors of North Korea's nuclear program left the communist nation today after the regime ordered them out and vowed to restart its reactor in anger over U.N. criticism of its recent rocket launch sensing the opportunity to extract more aid from a weak US President.

Be sure to check out this trajectory map of NKs last missile test: Aloha: North Korea's Detailed Missile Flight Plan

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Hawaii jobless rate 7.1% in March — highest in 31 years

Hawaii’s unemployment rate rose to 7.1 percent in March, up from 6.5 percent in February and up four percentage points from a year ago.  The Hawaii jobless rate is now at its highest level since the February 1978, when 7.1 percent of workers were out of jobs.

Kauai’s jobless rate more than tripled from 3.1 percent to 10.3 percent over the year.

Molokai had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.7 percent, up from 5.4 percent a year ago.

Maui County’s jobless rate jumped from 3.3 percent in March 2008 to 9 percent in March 2009.

On the Big Island, the rate rose from 4 percent to 10.2 percent.

Oahu had the state’s lowest rate at 5.8 percent

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NPR: Higher hotel taxes may come with aloha

Facing a $2 billion shortfall in revenue, Hawaii is mulling an increased tax on hotel bills. But that might not be a good thing for the state's tourism business. Jennifer Collins reports.

Star-Bulletin: Don't bite the hand that feeds you

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Memo to Legislature: Pay cuts better than no job

Nearly eight in 10 workers said they would be willing to work a compressed workweek, while nearly 60 percent would take additional unpaid vacations or furloughs, according to the 2009 Annual Work+Life Fit Reality Check.

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Hawaiian Airlines Traffic Up while U.S. airline traffic drops 10 percent

Isn't monopoly great!   2009 to date: 1,995,333 -- 2008 to date: 1,732,996  -- Up by 15.1%  (It sure is good to be politically connected and have the GET sliced off jet fuel for inter-island runs the instant Aloha collapsed, eh?  BTW did those Legs. have fun in the PI last year?)

RELATED: U.S. airline traffic drops 10 percent

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State can divert funding for schools

Gov. Linda Lingle's plan to use new federal education money to plug a big hole in the statewide budget appears to be a legitimate use of economic stimulus funds, U.S. education officials say.

Lingle's senior policy adviser, Linda Smith, said U.S. education officials also verbally OK'd the plan in a conference call last week, following emotional exchanges between an outpouring of lies by Hawaii "educators" and against the Governor's Office.

(This means that the DoE will face greater accountability, which of course explains their FEAR....) 

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SB: Hawaii no small-biz paradise

Hawaii has been inching up the report cards of an advocacy group called the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council but remains difficult terrain for small company owners. Legislators on the verge of increasing taxes should look for ways to improve the climate for small business.

The group ranks Hawaii 37th among states for its tax system, up from 40th last year. Its more familiar Small Business Survival Index, which dings states for such things as being friendly to organized labor and awards high marks to right-to-work states, last year ranked the islands 40th. Hawaii had the distinction of being dead worst in 2001.

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s “Business Tax Index 2008"

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Tavares reports ‘sobering’ tax assessment total

WAILUKU - Property tax assessments are lower than expected, and that would result in a nearly $4.6 million revenue shortfall in Mayor Charmaine Tavares' 2010 budget, Finance Director Kalbert Young has reported.

That would bring in $231.1 million in revenues at the property tax rates proposed by Tavares. In the budget she drafted in February, before property assessments were final, Tavares had anticipated netting $235.7 million.

But Tavares, fresh out of a conference call with Gov. Linda Lingle, said Lingle "feels pretty strongly" that the counties will be able to keep the TAT, and urged her and other mayors not to give up hope that the money will come through.  Tavares urged council members and the public to call lawmakers to ask for their help in protecting the money.  "We have to fight for our TAT," Tavares said.

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Commissioners find Coco Palms extension a tough nut to crack

The once world-famous Wailua resort has remained in shambles since Hurricane Iniki rendered it uninhabitable in 1992.   (For 16 years it has served as a monument to the leadership of Joanne Yukimura.)  Commissioner Caven Raco opposed a provisional six-month time extension saying its current owner, Coco Palms LLC, has failed to clean up the property as promised since purchasing it in 2005.

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Waiawi control ban fails to move

Resolutions calling for a ban on biocontrol of food sources such as the strawberry guava have died quietly in the state Legislature.  House and Senate versions of the resolution, submitted by Hamakua lawmakers Mark Nakashima and Dwight Takamine, were among the thousands culled this session.

House Resolution 218 and Senate Resolution 108 never moved out of the committees they were referred to after introduction in March.  (In other words, Takamine and Nakashima were just going through the motions to fool their constituents.)

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also more updates and photos....  Hawaii Tea Party Updates: 100s at Capitol, 250 at Kahului, 300 on Big Island


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