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Friday, May 29, 2009
May 29, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:46 AM :: 9120 Views

Gov. Lingle responds to Council on Revenues forecast

“I will be meeting tomorrow and throughout the weekend with my staff to identify options to close the immediate shortfall projected by the Council on Revenues, as well as our projected $500 million shortfall in the fiscal 2010 – 2011 budget period that begins July 1, 2009.
“I will address the public at 1:00 p.m., Monday, June 1 on television, radio and webcast to discuss these options and to outline our path to economic recovery.”

RELATED: SB: State revenues to tumble lower , Advertiser: Hawaii's tax outlook dims in updated forecast , New forecast calls for courageous leadership

OTHER: State Faces Another $185M Drop In Taxes , Revenue Prediction Means $180 M Shortfall , Experts unveil deeper state budget gap , Council on Revenues nearly doubles negative outlook

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Isle foreclosures, delinquencies up

The trade group said Hawai'i ranked 40th lowest among states and the District of Columbia for loan delinquencies in the first quarter, but was 14th when it came to foreclosure starts.

Hawai'i's delinquency rate for mortgage loans on residential properties was 5.64 percent at the end of March, up from 5.29 percent at the end of December.

The delinquency rate represented 9,511 loans out of a sample of 168,629 loans. Of the delinquencies, 3,710 were 30 days past due, while 3,895 were at least 90 days late.

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Liberal media mogul pleads no-contest in Oahu court

Evan Montvel-Cohen, a Guam media executive who co-founded the liberal national radio network Air America, pleaded no contest in Circuit Court yesterday to a charge of first-degree theft....His no-contest plea was part of a bargain with prosecutors who agreed to dismiss other charges of credit card fraud, forgery, money laundering and second-degree theft.....

Montvel-Cohen had been accused of stealing more than $62,000 from a Waimanalo landscaping firm, Ultimate Innovations, where he worked as a business manager in 2005.

Air America, which featured comedian and now-politician Al Franken as its best-known host, was launched in 2004, with financing that included more than $800,000 from a nonprofit boys and girls club in New York where Montvel-Cohen was employed as development director.

That investment, as well as loans that Montvel-Cohen received from the club, were the subject of a criminal investigation by New York City officials, but he was never charged with an offense.

After leaving New York in 2004, Montvel-Cohen began working at Ultimate Innovations here in February 2005. He returned to Guam in 2006.

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Kawaiahao Church fundraising under scrutiny by Hawaii officials

The state attorney general's office has questioned the Kawaiaha'o Church about its fundraising for a new $17.5 million multipurpose center.

Construction of the center was put on hold in April after workers discovered 69 sets of human remains, many still in coffins, at the site.

The attorney general's office recently told Kawaiaha'o officials that annual reports issued by the church contained material misstatements about the center's fundraising costs for the past two years.

One of the church's reports underreported fundraising expenses by $182,000, making it appear that only 6 cents of each dollar donated for construction of the multipurpose center went to private fundraising companies when actually 36 cents of each dollar donated went to the companies.

Some church members also have criticized Kawaiaha'o's leadership for failing to adequately disclose the costs for the 30,000-square-foot mixed-use complex.

"We have asked for a full accounting. It has not been provided to us," Claire Steele said during a meeting of Kawaiaha'o's membership on Sunday. "I think this is totally unacceptable. It lacks transparency."

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OHA honors vow to help finance native Hawaiian homes

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs presented a $3 million check to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands yesterday to help finance construction of more affordable homes for native Hawaiians.

The check is the first installment on a commitment approved by OHA last year to pay $3 million annually for up to 30 years to speed up capital-improvement projects, OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said.

Specifically, the money helps pay the debt service on revenue bonds issued for projects statewide.

(Question:  Who is Faust?)

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Isle utilities in top 10 on solar energy

Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative ranked fourth nationally, while Maui Electric Co. was eighth. The Big Island's Hawaii Electric Light Co. was ninth on the list....Much of the Neighbor Islands' capacity boost last year came from the "customer side" of the meter — people or businesses installing their own systems to reduce their power bills.

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Mental health, substance abuse treatment center facing possible closure

Sandra McCoy, housing coordinator at Poailani Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center in Kailua-Kona, said the thinly stretched state budget caused the Department of Health and Human Services' Adult Mental Health Division to fall behind in payments to the Oahu-based treatment program. The division is about $500,000 in arrears and Poailani will soon be unable to make payroll, she added.
"If we close our doors, we put 60 people out on the street," McCoy said. "They basically came to us from the beaches. ... The community is going to be hit hard."

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Queen K Hwy: Bid review hearing begins, ruling months off

Sumada said the continuing delays should not have any impact on the project's funding. He said the department wants to begin construction on a portion of highway from Kealakehe Parkway to Kona International Airport.
"The department is confident that we will be able to proceed with the project in the near future," he said.

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SB: 'Civil unions' don't go far enough

In Tuesday's California ruling, Chief Justice Ronald George wrote that the state's domestic-partner law gives same-sex couples "the same substantive core benefits" as heterosexual spouses, including "the constitutional right to enter into an officially recognized and protected family relationship."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and other proponents of gay rights were correct to compare that rationale with the "separate but equal" argument....

(Of course black voters in Calif are far more intelligent than the average SB editor--they rejected gay marriage by a 70-30 margin in the Nov election.  And the gays?  Their response was to hold lynch-mob anti-black protests in West Hollywood) --see videos and articles:

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'Mixed race' fastest growing in US

Measured by percentages, Hawai'i ranked first with nearly 1 in 5 residents who were multiracial, followed by Alaska and Oklahoma, both at roughly 4 percent.

Population figures as of July 2008 show that California, Texas, New York and Florida had the most multiracial people, due partly to higher numbers of second- and later-generation immigrants who are more likely to "marry out."

Utah had the highest growth rate of multiracial people in 2008 compared with the previous year, a reflection of increasing social openness in a mostly white state.

"Multiracial unions have been happening for a very long time, but we are only now really coming to terms with saying it's OK," said Carolyn Liebler, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in family, race and ethnicity.

"I don't think we've nearly tapped the potential. Millions are yet to come out," she said.+

(Check out that manipulative terminology:  "unions" "it's OK" and "come out"  Sound familiar?)

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