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Sunday, May 31, 2009
May 31, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:55 AM :: 8190 Views

SB: State workers need to share budget burden

Upon receiving the latest projection, Lingle said the 6 percent she had planned in budget restrictions will not cover the $185.6 million shortfall expected between now and the close of the fiscal year at the end of June. If the public employee unions reject the governor's call for a payroll reduction, as we expect, bargaining sessions will go to binding arbitration....

Raising taxes is not a popular strategy in dealing with a struggling economy, but states across the mainland are having little choice but to do so in order to abide by state constitutional budget-balancing requirements. All but a handful of states have been forced to deal with projected budget deficits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Hawaii is among those facing the largest deficits by percentage of what had been expected.

Some state employees have offered the warped explanation that their further wage increases -- added on to generous raises in recent years -- would serve as a stimulus to the state's economy. They need to accept the reality that the current recession extends to public as well as private employment.  (THAT'S the union 'sacrifice'.)

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Hawaii Superferry files for bankruptcy

Superferry and its parent company, HSF Holding Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Superferry listed between $1 million and $10 million in assets and $50 million to $100 million in debts.

Superferry has just $1 million in cash and was facing a $2.9 million principal and interest payment on one of the ferry construction loans yesterday. The company listed fewer than 50 creditors, including the state of Hawai'i, and maintained it should not have to make payments on $40 million worth of state harbor improvements because the operating agreement with the state was voided by a Maui court.

"As a direct result of the Hawai'i Supreme Court decision last March, Hawaii Superferry had to shut down operations. There has been no relief from that decision," Superferry said in a statement. "With no ability to operate, the company has had no revenues, only ongoing expenses to maintain the vessels Alakai and Huakai, our second ship.

"I think we made a great mistake and I think it's going to be a long, long time before anybody wants to take a risk and invest in Hawai'i again," he said. "And that's a real loss to all of us."  -- Sen Sam Slom

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Hawaii's Islam Day resolution stirs passions here, on Mainland (liberals show continued arrogance)

Gov. Linda Lingle's office reported receiving 315 e-mails and 40 calls objecting to Islam Day. About a third were from Mainlanders stirred up by accounts of the resolution on Fox News, CNN and other outlets.  (Detect a sneer from the Advertiser here?)

In her May 11 appearance on "The Mike Buck Radio Show" on KHVH, Lingle called the resolution "just unnecessary" and said it was attracting the wrong kind of attention for Hawai'i.

Sept. 24 was chosen as Islam Day because it (supporters claimed that it) marks the day, according to the Gregorian calendar, the Prophet Muhammad left Mecca for Medina and is considered the birthdate of Islam.  (In fact that date was the date Mohammad arrived in Medina and it was Sept 24 JULIAN but the Advertiser 1) can't even get the false info right and 2-- refuses to report the correct info.)

Rep. Lyla Berg, D-8th (Kuli'ou'ou, Niu Valley, 'Aina Haina, Kahala), said she decided to sponsor the resolution following a conversation with constituent Hakim Ouansafi about a move by schools in her district to participate in the International Baccalaureate program, which aims to mold students into global citizens.

Ouansafi is president and chairman of the Muslim Association of Hawai'i and heads a hotel and resort development firm.

"In talking with Hakim, he suggested Islam Day as an opportunity for the community to learn about Islam and promote awareness," she said. "It didn't seem unusual because we have so many days."

Ouansafi estimates there are more than 4,000 Muslims in the state. He said Islam Day will allow his religion to join the list of other faiths that have already been recognized in Hawai'i and will help "bridge the gap of understanding" between Muslims and non-Muslims.

He said the Muslim Association of Hawai'i is planning events in connection with Islam Day aimed at putting misunderstandings aside so "we can all come together and talk about it."

Despite the initial backlash against Islam Day, Ouansafi said the controversy "has actually been wonderful. We had a tremendous amount of calls and e-mails of support once people understood lawmakers weren't declaring a state holiday for Muslims."

Berg said people who learned of the resolution through Fox News and similar sources (Advertiser sneers) "construed the recognition day as meaning we are sympathetic with terrorists. At the very onset, most of the negative e-mails and phone calls were mostly from people from the Mainland. We're not as threatened by differences here," she said. (Arrogant liberal sneers)

In her May 11 radio appearance, Lingle criticized Berg for telling a critic of Islam Day not to come to Hawai'i.

RELATED: 'Islam Day' should foster understanding

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FBI targets bond scam: Native Hawaiian group Ko Hawaii Pae Aina under investigation

RELATED: Naming names: Who are the alleged Sovereignty-mortgage scammers?

The FBI disagrees, alleging the group is marketing a "Royal Hawaiian Treasury Bond" to homeowners behind on their mortgage payments on O'ahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kaua'i. The sellers promise that for a fee of $2,500 to $10,000, the bond will cover any outstanding debt — mortgage, credit card and other debt — because the bond holder's property will be part of an "untouchable Hawaiian nation."

Ko Hawaii Pae Aina operating officers John D. Oliver, Petro T. Hoy, Leatrice Lehua Hoy, Pilialoha K. Teves and Mahealani Ventura-Oliver did not respond to messages seeking comment.  (Well known 'sovereignty' activists.)

In response to a series of searches and seizures on Maui in April, the operating officers filed several motions in federal court claiming the government had no right to seize cars, money and property because they have no authority over their foreign kingdom.

Tong wrote that the group's officers received copies of the search warrants, which represented the court's determination that the searches and seizures were supported by probable cause.

On April 7, the FBI raided four Maui homes and seized cash from bank accounts belonging to the group.

FBI agents seized a 2009 Toyota Prius driven by Leatrice Lehua Hoy, and 2005 and 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks owned by John D. Oliver and Ihilani K.A. Catagul, according to documents filed by U.S. attorneys in response to the group's assertion that their assets were seized without warrant.

Assistant U.S. attorneys Tong and Rachel S. Moriyama also laid out the justification for the confiscation of more than $100,000 the government asserts the group members stole from duped investors.

The government seized $22,063.29 from a Petro T. Hoy trust at First Hawaiian Bank, and $79,087 from the Pilialoha K. Teves Trust at Hawaii National Bank.

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Advertiser: Public housing: Deplorable conditions demand action

Yet for years, if not decades, Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes have been plagued by neglect and conditions making them unfit to live in by almost any standard: chronically broken and overcrowded elevators, posing troubling challenges for disabled residents; a lack of proper fire safety equipment; trash chutes boarded up by plywood, posing safety and sanitation risks; unsafe aging stairwells; and severe infestations of roaches, rats and bedbugs.

Built in the mid-1960s, the federally backed, state-run projects are also home for roughly 3,000 lower-income residents. These residents will tell you that the neglect spans multiple administrations, and passed through dozens of legislative sessions.

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Is Hilo Hattie history?

The fate of the 46-year-old Hilo Hattie, which filed for bankruptcy seven months ago and is still falling deeper into debt, will be determined June 22 by Judge Robert J. Faris.

Last week, longtime retailer Maui Divers Jewelry offered $1 million for Hilo Hattie and its seven retail leases. The sale must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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DOT seeks to allay fears over bridge project

The roughly 20-foot-long Honolua Bridge, which was built in 1924 and reinforced in the '70s, is in line for upgrades simply because it has risen to the top of the DOT's bridge rehabilitation list, Morioka said. The bridge is relatively safe, but it's old and needs to be able to carry twice its current threshold, or at least 20 tons, in order to accommodate modern firetrucks and emergency medical service vehicles, Morioka said.

There's no conspiracy to pave the way for development at Lipoa Point to the north, Morioka said.

"Our top concern is safety," the DOT chief said. "If the community is opposed to a ($4 million) two-lane bridge, we aren't going to shove it down their throats. . . . We don't want to waste a lot of time on a project that the public isn't going to support."

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Pot priority report due Monday

County Clerk Ken Goodenow is supposed to send his first letter to officials ranging from Mayor Billy Kenoi to President Barack Obama, informing them that isle voters made personal use of marijuana by adults the lowest law enforcement priority, and asking that state and federal governments not enforce laws against marijuana on the Big Island.
That's according to county ordinance 08-181, the so-called "Peaceful Sky" initiative, which passed by a 53 percent to 38 percent margin Nov. 4.

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Residents: Green Harvest chopper landings illegal

Two members of the North Shore community say the county’s North Shore Development Plan requires a permit from the Planning Commission for any helicopter landings from Moloa‘a to Ha‘ena.
Kaua‘i Police Sgt. Richard Rosa, acting lieutenant in the KPD Investigative Services Bureau Vice Narcotic Section, said the department secured a permit from the county Parks and Recreation Department, standard operating procedure for Green Harvest landings in county parks.
That’s not enough, according to Maka‘ala Ka‘aumoana, a member of a community organization devoted to stopping disrespectful air tourism, and Carl Imparato, president of the Hanalei to Ha‘ena Community Association.
Ka‘aumoana and Imparato referenced the North Shore Development Plan, which is contained in the General Plan, a guiding document for the county. The quoted a part that states, plainly, any landings along the North Shore on public or private land require Planning Commission permits, not Parks and Recreation permits....

Has there been any internal KPD discussions about whether or not to continue the operations?
“Yes,” Perry said. “Discussions center mainly on strategies, not on ‘whether or not to continue.’ We are clear in our mission. There are no ambiguities.”

(But the dopers are still working to introduce as many 'ambiguities' as possible.)

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