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Monday, June 8, 2009
June 8, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:27 AM :: 6973 Views

Akaka bill back in play: On Kamehameha Day, House natural resources panel is to hold hearing

WASHINGTON — Congress begins deliberations Thursday — Kamehameha Day — on the Akaka bill, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.Originally introduced in 2000, the bill has cleared the House before, but never the Senate.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' board of trustees voted last week to support passage of the bill but recommended some amendments.

One would broaden the definition of "Native Hawaiian." Another asks Congress to delete all references to a "commission."  (In other words the SB isn't going to tell readers what OHA wants.)

The OHA vote was 6-0, with three members absent.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007 when it cleared the full House but was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

President Obama, who was born in Hawai'i, has promised to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

The Hawai'i delegation reintroduced the 2007 version several weeks ago.  This version contains a provision barring any new Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling.

RELATED: Akaka Bill Congressional Hearing to be Webcast Live on June 11

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Advertiser: Haleakala telescope a scientific leap forward

A proposal to build a large new telescope on Haleakala has rightfully raised (pro forma) concerns about its impact on the "House of the Sun," which has unique ecological, cultural and spiritual values.  (Which are just play-acting because Charlie Maxwell is on the Science City payroll)

Ground should not be broken without a clear agreement to reduce or eliminate the impacts on sensitive cultural, historic and archaeological resources.  (In other words we need to keep paying the activists)

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Hawaii school to test merit pay for teachers

Kamehameha Schools will begin experimenting this fall with a merit-based pay program with hopes of eventually phasing in the system throughout its campuses.  (HSTA honchos are shaking in their boots)

Officials said they hope the new system, which will reward teachers and administrators for setting and attaining professional goals, will help Kamehameha attract new educators. Dubbed Ka Pi'ina, meaning to ascend, officials also say the system will help retain young educators, who often leave the profession after less than five years.

While the program will ultimately reward teachers through incentives and pay increases, next year's pilot program will be conducted using "virtual pay." Participants will see simulations of changes that may occur to their pay through a virtual system, which will allow the school to work out any kinks during the test.

"When I entered the profession ... it took you 25 years to get to the top," Chamberlain said.

"We now have people who say I am smart, I am capable, I want to move more quickly. ... They say, you want me to wait 30 years? I'll find another profession," he said....  (A model for how to select failure)

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Candidate to head UH was emerging star at UC

Then, five years ago, she made what she now acknowledges was a mistake -- participating in the hiring of a long-time friend and business partner for a high-paying position in the UC system office.  (She also did the same thing for the same girlfriend at UCSC--two 'mistakes')

The ethical conflict of interest still haunts her as the University of Hawaii Board of Regents considers hiring Greenwood on Wednesday as the next UH president.

Former colleagues say they are still mystified by Greenwood's actions because it doesn't fit with the person they knew.

"I can't reconcile it. I think she is a woman of great integrity and intelligence and outstanding leadership and she did this really dumb thing," Ladusaw said. "I feel like hitting my forehead and saying, 'What was she thinking?'"


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Next round of bans, Styrofoam: Scientist concerned about plastic entering the ocean’s food chain

"I think one of the most important things we can do is to increase the awareness of especially the young children and the population in general as to see how serious this pollution problem is," he said.

Some families are already teaching their kids about the importance of keeping trash and plastics out of our oceans. (They always start with brainwashing the children)

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Mufia's election ploy: Honolulu City Council Moves Forward with Plans to Fund Multi-Billion Dollar Rail Transit Before Feds Give the Project Approval

On May 18, 2009, the Honolulu City Council budget committee approved a budget with over $1 billion of local money to build a 6.5 mile Kapolei to Waipahu rail line before getting a commitment from the federal government for any federal rail funding.

If this budget is approved by the full city council at their meeting on June 10, we could end up with a 6.5 mile “Train to Nowhere,” or eventually a totally locally-funded $5.5 billion elevated, heavy, rail system.

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SB backs Mufia: Tax hike, recycling good budget moves

The cost of running the city has risen and an increase in property taxes is warranted. The budget proposed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann calls for raising the yearly tax from the current $3.29 to $3.59 per $1,000 of property value, with a reduction of the one-time tax credit from the current $100 to $75 for those actually living on their property.

That would increase the yearly tax from the current $1,722 to $1,809 for a home valued at the median sales price of $643,500, now reduced to $624,000, and from the current $674 to $736 for a condominium priced at the median of $325,000. City Council members' proposals are not far from the mayor's formula. In any case, the tax will remain much smaller than on the mainland, where property taxes pay for school systems.

Councilmen Duke Bainum and Charles Djou have proposed that the property tax rate remain at the present level, but Hannemann said that "does not make sense at all" and would create a "humongous" deficit.

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Nonprofits shed staff and programs

Some of Hawaii's largest nonprofit human services organizations (aka Democrat sinecures) are cutting programs, laying off staff and taking other actions to cope with significant state funding losses, raising concerns about the impact on the needy.

Child and Family Service, Hawaii's oldest and largest private nonprofit agency, expects a $4 million loss in money from the state in the next fiscal year, said Patti Bates, chief operating officer. The agency's $31 million budget was cut to $29 million this fiscal year, and it will be about $26 million for the next year, she said.

(So what are they worrying about?  Why unions jobs, of course...) 

The governor has said she opposes tax increases, Geller said, "but taking away 14 percent of a worker's pay (through furloughs) and sticking it in the treasury is very much like a tax.

RELATED: California contemplates ultimate reform - no welfare

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Wilcox nurses hold the line for status quo contract

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i Nurses Association announced the contract ratification for Wilcox Memorial Hospital nurses and an affiliate of Hawaii Pacific Health as of June 4.
The three-year agreement was extremely difficult to hammer out and is the culmination of a hard-fought battle of the HNA nurse negotiating team with the employer.
The agreement drew a respectable 80 percent “yes” vote from the voting membership, a news release states.

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