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Saturday, June 20, 2009
June 20, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:45 AM :: 9220 Views

Hawaii unemployment jumps to 7.4% in May

Unemployment jumped to 7.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in May as companies shed workers because of an economic downturn blanketing the state. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported there were 47,850 unemployed, or almost enough to fill Aloha Stadium.

UHERO has forecast unemployment will average 7.4 percent this year and 8.1 percent next. While the economy may start improving by the end of this year, unemployment often lags behind a pickup in the economy because employers are cautious to take on new workers until they are certain economic problems have dissipated, Gangnes said.

Gov. Linda Lingle's furlough program that cuts state worker pay by 13.8 percent is included in the UHERO forecast and is expected to have an indirect effect on employment.

(The unions' layoff lawsuit would have a DIRECT effect on unemployment)

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Voters react to possible polling place closures

KALIHI (KHNL) - With voter turnout already low, some say the planned closures of more than 60 polling precincts in Honolulu may turn more voters away.

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Tourism under attack: Bailout recipient defends Maui trip

Lincoln National Corp. flew top insurance agents and company executives to a Maui resort the week before accepting almost $1 billion in U.S. bailout funds, two people with knowledge of the trip said.

"Lincoln is committed to providing continuing education events and rewards" for agents, Laurel O'Brien, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia-based insurer, said in an e-mail yesterday. The event in Hawaii allowed Lincoln to fulfill its "obligation to our top distribution partners."

She said the event was for independent contractors, not company employees.

The insurer, which has been unprofitable for two straight quarters, held a pair of four-night trips from June 6 to June 14, each attended by more than 100 salespeople, the two people said.

The second conference ended the day before Lincoln announced it would take about $950 million in U.S. funds.

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Hawaii charter school panel orders Waters of Life to close

The state's Charter School Review Panel has revoked the charter of Waters of Life Public Charter School on the Big Island, the first school ever to be placed on probation and subsequently closed by the governing body of the state's independent public schools....

Lawmakers officially scolded school administrators in a concurrent resolution approved in the 2009 legislative session. The resolution cited an independent auditor's findings, including that the school was unable to account for $816,337 in salaries and wages in the 2005-06 school year.

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SB: Good vote on school locker search

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Hawaii in its jurisdiction, indicated in a 1999 ruling that it recognizes that "the sniffing of inanimate and unattended objects" is legal, differing from warrantless searches of students themselves....Board member Kim Coco Iwamoto voted against the change, concerned that it would violate the Constitution.

(And we can all count on a lawsuit from Mr Iwamoto's friends at the ACLU.)

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Necessity to shoot woman disputed

Landsberg said the video shows Arsisto stepping back from the officers.

It also recorded audio of the officers telling Arsisto they don't want anybody else to get hurt and Arsisto responding that nobody is going to get hurt.

He said the camera also recorded one officer telling another to "shoot her already."

Advertiser: Police Taser video clears Honolulu woman, attorney says

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Protection urged for heiau

According to Kirk, the lower platform of Hawea heiau was covered with debris and the stone platform was damaged by a bulldozer. There were petroglyphs on large boulders which could not be found and the buffer to the wetland, which houses the endangered alae ula, or Hawaiian moorhen, was also bulldozed over.

The heiau is located on the mauka side of the Oahu Club on Hawaii Kai Drive and sits on property owned by the nonprofit Hawaii Intergenerational Community Development. As of 2007, 21st Century Homes, HICD's for-profit company, planned to build a $200 million luxury condominium, but construction has been delayed several times after meetings with community members about the heiau and getting approval for a height variance.

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Advertiser:  Rational plan for Mauna Kea is taking shape

The project at issue, known as the Thirty Meter Telescope, is not yet a certainty. A decision by the consortium developing it on whether the facility will go the Big Island or on a mountain in Chile won't be made until later this summer.

The first piece is the draft environmental impact statement now undergoing public comment through July 7.

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Hilo DHHL Signs Lease Agreement with Safeway and Target

HILO, HAWAI‘I – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) signed a lease agreement today with Safeway and Target as tenants-in-common for a new development that will include a new Safeway store and Target store. This new development will bring jobs, economic activity, and increased retail opportunities for Big Island residents as well as provide additional revenue for the development of affordable homes for native Hawaiians.

SB: Safeway and Target stores in Hilo on DHHL land will create 500 jobs , Adv Target plans Hilo site with Safeway

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West Hawaii Today alleges open meetings act violations

An attorney for West Hawaii Today filed a letter with the state Office of Information Practices protesting the County Council's alleged violation of Hawaii's Sunshine Law.
The complaint stems from council members' admissions at Tuesday's council meeting that more than four members talked with each other about a council reorganization prior to the meeting. That constitutes serial one-on-one communication, West Hawaii attorney Robert D.S. Kim wrote in the letter to the state office.

(Back to Kona vs Hilo again.  The reorganization of the council is in support of mayor Kenoi and is retaliation for Yagong challenging his budget and exposing wasteful county spending.)

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Kawa Bay purchase delays might cost $1.5M

Hawaii County might forfeit a $1.5 million state grant it requested to help buy 551 acres of Ka'u coastline, county and state officials said Thursday.
"I think you'd have to say we're at risk of losing the money, but it's entirely in the state's hands," county Finance Director Nancy Crawford said.
The state and county must have a signed contract by June 30 or the grant money for Kawa Bay will go back into the Legacy Land Conservation Program, said Paul Conry, administrator of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Forestry and Wildlife Division.

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U.S. is prepared for missile shot

WASHINGTON » A new anti-missile system ordered for Hawaii is partly a strategy to deter North Korea from test-firing a long-range missile across the Pacific and partly a precaution against the unpredictable regime, military officials said yesterday.

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