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Friday, June 5, 2009
June 5, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:33 AM :: 8766 Views

Akaka Bill goes before House Ctte Thursday

With a Democratic-controlled Congress, a friendly president and an especially powerful Hawaii senator — Daniel Inouye is chairman of the Appropriations Committee — the federal recognition bill's previous failures don't predict its current prospects. That fact delights supporters, worries opponents and makes it a good time to review the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, which will be heard by the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

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UH regents ready to OK Greenwood

The board chairman said the regents discussed whether they should deviate from the selection process, which started last fall. But Landon noted doing so could have "unintended consequences" for the university's reputation.  "If we were to discard our (selection) process now, it would serve to tell the world something, even if it was not what was meant," he said.  (This is what passes for 'thinking' on the new Democrat-controlled UH BoR)

RELATED: MRC Greenwood and "A Powerful Coterie of larcenous lesbians."
Regents to decide Wednesday on University of Hawaii president

"They should continue their search. To give the regents one nominee, there's no choice at all. It's as if the search committee made the decision," Cayetano said.

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Furloughs: Gov. Says Some Departments Will Close, Others To Reduced Staff

"Some people believe, 'Well, let's just close one hour early a day,' and others say 'No,' because our customers come after their work. So, they tend to come late in the day, and so each department really is quite different," Lingle said.

While some state departments may close down large parts of their operations a couple of days a month, others cannot do that and will remain open with reduced staffing, she said

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Honolulu City Council wrestles with tax proposals

Still to be worked out is the real property tax rate, although an increase appears likely, according to Council leaders....

Hannemann proposed a 30-cent hike in the property tax rate, setting it at $3.59 per $1,000 of valuation, coupled with a $75 one-time tax credit for homeowners who actually live in their property....Councilmen Duke Bainum and Charles Djou have proposed keeping the rate at $3.29, with various cuts and cost-saving measures to help balance the budget.

Advertiser: Curbside recycling expansion may get back in Honolulu budget

Councilman Charles Djou also proposed a $3.29 rate and giving a $175 tax credit. Djou said that can be done by implementing a 5 percent across-the-board budget cut.

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Law boosts charter schools

Charter schools will be able to request money for facilities under a law signed Wednesday.
Charter schools have long complained that they've had to pay for buildings out of their per-pupil funding, unlike state-run public schools that have money set aside specifically for capital improvement projects. Often starting from scratch, many charter schools have been housed in make-do and sometimes unpermitted structures.
Gov. Linda Lingle's signature on the bill is good news to John Thatcher, principal at Connections Public Charter School in Hilo. He's been trying to figure out where to put his high school students next year now that the county is cracking down on the school's use of rented facilities at Nani Mau Gardens. The gardens lack a special use permit for the school's operations.

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Maui: Ban on Styrofoam will be introduced

Victorino said he based his idea on a successful similar effort in the San Francisco Bay Area....opponents argued that the costs associated with such a decision will be high and just passed along to consumers at a time when they especially cannot afford them.

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Windfarm energy may be transmitted from other islands (Enviros still debating effort to block)

Two 200-megawatt windfarms are being planned for Moloka'i and Lana'i, with the power being sent via the cable to O'ahu. The 400 megawatts could provide up to one third of Honolulu's power needs.

"It's really a project investing in our future as a state," said Peck, who said rough cost estimates for a cable are between $500 million and $2 billion.

"We need to get off the volatility and uncertainty of the supply of petroleum."

DBEDT has contracted with the UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology to conduct a survey that includes determining depths, ocean floor composition and photographing possible routes.

Peck said a technical review committee has met several times and that much work remains to be done, including an environmental impact statement, before the project becomes a reality.

He said there are concerns about the endeavor, including how to mitigate any damage to marine life. The possible routes could go through whale sanctuaries.

Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter, said the whale issue will have to be addressed in the EIS.

But he said the Sierra Club has not decided on a position on the cable, but that he hopes the state also is looking at other alternatives, including incentives for developing smaller, more diverse sources of energy on O'ahu, along with improvements to its grid.

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Electricity rates rise statewide

The effective rate for electricity in Honolulu will rise to 18.63 cents per kilowatt hour from the 18.15 cents charged last month.

The O'ahu rate hit a high of 32.5 cents per kilowatt hour in September.

Elsewhere in the state:

• Maui customers will see their rates rise to 23.14 cents from 21.88 cents in April.

• Big Island residential rates will rise to 29.21 cents per kilowatt hour from 29.07 cents.

• Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative's May rate is 25.33 cents, up from 25.43 cents last month.

Rates spiked in Hawai'i last year because most of the electricity is produced using petroleum products such as fuel oil or diesel oil, which rose in cost.

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Isle motorists economize as gas prices rise anew

Hawaii had the highest-priced gasoline in the country this week, with prices on Maui already over $3 a gallon and the statewide average creeping closer to that mark.

Yesterday's statewide average of $2.86 a gallon was 2 cents higher than the second-highest state, Michigan. That is 12 cents higher than a week ago and 37 cents up from last month at this time.

Hawaii motorists are feeling the pinch and are preparing for more increases.

"Maybe we're not going to use our car if the price is still going up," said Derek Gouland, 45, husband and father of three children. "Maybe we're going to use the bus. We cannot afford. We struggle. We spent more than $100 a month for gas."

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Hawaiian Tel Bankruptcy emergence plan cuts owner Carlyle Group almost completely out

The deal, valued at $460 million, also wipes out all but a small portion of The Carlyle Group's interest in the local phone company. Carlyle, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm, purchased Hawaiian Telcom in 2005 for $1.6 billion.

The Carlyle Group currently owns $428 million in Hawaiian Telcom's stock but that stock will become worthless under the reorganization.

Carlyle will retain a small ownership stake because it is part of the lending group whose loans will be converted into equity. Carlyle currently holds about $6.8 million of the company's $590 million of senior debt.

(So Carlyle blew $1.6B rewarding Hawaiian Tel's former owners, then the local old boy managers Carlyle foolishly trusted ran the company into BK, and now Carlyle is bust and the lenders will be the new owners.   Old game in Hawaii.  So the obvious question is: Who are those lenders and what is their connection to the old-boy managers?)   

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Rep Joe Bertram III recovering from illness

"He's just coming around, a little more, a little more," said Bertram's father, Joseph Bertram Sr., who anticipated that by next month his son should be in good shape.

Bertram Sr. said his son was at Maui Memorial Medical Center for one week, beginning on May 7. The Democratic lawmaker is recuperating in an apartment in Kihei, where he receives help from a caregiver.

Bertram, who represents South Maui residents, had previously told The Maui News he had missed two days of this past Legislative session because he was undergoing medical tests.

Bertram III does have a compromised immune system, his father acknowledged.

About a decade ago, the younger Bertram was diagnosed as having HIV.

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The Fair American

...Later on the Kona coast, he lashed Chief Kameeiamoku with a rope. The chief vowed vengeance on the next European who arrived. Fate sent him Metcalfe's son, Thomas, in the Fair American. Kameeiamoku captured that vessel and killed all aboard her, except for the Welsh sailor Isaac Davis. Shortly thereafter, the Eleanora's boatswain, John Young, an Englishman, was also detained.

Davis and Young became trusted advisers to King Kamehameha I and accompanied him on his conquest of the islands. Kamehameha adopted the Fair American as his flagship, and its 4-pounder brass cannon played a pivotal role in the Battle of the Red-Mouthed Gun, the Battle of Io Valley and the Battle of Nuuanu Pali. Many historians agree that Kamehameha's rise to power would have taken a different course without Young, Davis and the guns of the Fair American. In 1793, Capt. George Vancouver offered to take Davis and Young back to Britain, but they told him that they would prefer to stay in Hawaii. Kamehameha later appointed Davis governor of Oahu. He made Young governor of the island of Hawaii, and Young's granddaughter was Queen Emma.

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