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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
June 23, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:00 AM :: 6268 Views

North Korea warning suggests missile may not be headed toward Hawaii

North Korea issued a warning over the weekend to mariners of upcoming live-fire missile exercises. The exclusion zone cited in the notice covers a stretch in the Sea of Japan, 279 miles by 68.2 miles, off the coast of Wonsan, North Korea. The warning lasts from June 25 to July 10, from approximately 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, a U.S. counterproliferation official said.

U.S. defense and counterproliferation officials say intelligence suggests that North Korea is likely to fire short- and medium-range missiles, based on the splashdown zone referenced in the notice and other activities that are consistent with such launches.

(We've seen this story before.  The Advertiser has since 2007 consistently tried to claim that NK is not targeting Hawaii.  If a NK missile crashed into their office they would probably claim it was a weather balloon.)

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Mediator has unions, management bargaining

With the help of federal mediator Ken Kawamoto, the four public employee unions and the state and counties bargained for four hours yesterday, but no agreements were reached....

While the talked were going on, the Hawaii Government Employees Association filed a motion in state court asking for an injunction to stop Gov. Linda Lingle from furloughing workers for three days a month.

RELATED: Hawaii Government Employees Association challenges unilateral layoffs

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State wants Superferry bankruptcy case moved to Hawaii

The state said that Hawaii Superferry has no connection with Delaware aside from being incorporated there. All of the operations were in Hawaii, the state said.

The hearing on the motion to move the case will be held July 1.

Having the case nearly 5,000 thousand miles and six time zones away makes it difficult to protect the state's interest in regulating the use of Hawaii's waters and ports, the state's papers say.

(Not gonna happen.  This one has to be tried in a real court.)

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Athletics likely another casualty of DoE budget cuts (protecting the HSTA high-seniority bureaucrats)

Several principals and teachers warned the proposed cuts in education would have a major effect on athletics at public schools, eliminating many coaching positions and raising the potential for injuries.  (Solution: lay off bureaucrats and make them run laps.)

RELATED: State school's budget committee delays cuts , BOE vote on $226M cut postponed again

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SB: Union card check needs closer look

Without question, private employers maintain an advantage in steering their employees away from union representation. Employers have unlimited access to their employees during the work day but still illegally threaten or fire union supporters among their staffs in one-fourth of organizing drives, according to studies. Union organizers often are confined to company parking lots, if that.

Such disparity should be corrected to provide management and labor equal access to put forth their points of view. Protection against illegal activity in organizing campaigns needs greater enforcement.

Card check is no remedy. Darwin L.C. Ching, director of Hawaii's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, correctly pointed out in testimony to legislators that in such a system "there is no way to determine whether a worker's signature was given freely and without intimidation, pressure or coercion from fellow employees, labor representatives, or the employer."

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Critics pan city's push to extend life of landfill

Facing a Nov. 1 deadline to close the Waimanalo Gulch landfill, city officials argued for extending the life of the facility for another 15 years as part of an overall strategy for dealing with the island's solid waste.

The contested case hearing on extending the city's special-use permit for the Waianae Coast landfill began yesterday with one member of the Planning Commission repeating criticism that the city Department of Environmental Services lacked foresight in applying for the permit.

Commissioner Beadie Dawson said the department's lateness in applying left the commission with few options....

Colleen Hanabusa, representing the Ko Olina Community Association, is contesting the permit application, saying the city has failed in keeping repeated promises to close the landfill.

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Keohokapu gets life for killing

A state jury found him guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. The jury also found him to be a persistent offender who deserves an extended sentence for the protection of the community under procedures spelled out in a recent change to state sentencing laws. Previously, judges determined whether defendants deserve longer-than-normal prison terms.

Keohokapu has prior felony convictions for robbery, burglary and drug promotion. He also has convictions for abusing his wife and for violating a restraining order she filed against him.

The complaining witnesses in the burglary, robbery and abuse all suffered injuries inflicted by Keohokapu.

He also has juvenile convictions for auto theft and burglary.

Keohokapu has a history of gaining release on parole and probation only to re-offend and go back to prison, despite his participation in programs to learn life skills, manage his anger and kick his drug habit.

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Hawaii Meth Project: 'Not Even Once'

The Hawaii Meth Project's slogan is "Not Even Once." It is a message you will see a lot on television and in print ads during the next six months. The goal is to prevent young people from trying the drug, because one hit can lead to addiction.

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Funding cut for Kaua’i Teen Court

The budget line item of $60,000 supporting Kaua‘i Teen Court was totally cut from the 5th Circuit Court budget, Navarro said, despite the program serving 300 to 400 referrals each year. David Lam, Kaua‘i’s Juvenile Client Services Administrator, notified Hale ‘Opio by telephone of the decision.
Kaua‘i Teen Court was designed to reduce the load of first-time youth offenders on the Family Court system and to provide a rapid response when an offense occurs. In many court systems, it is not uncommon for a six- to nine-month delay before a youth and their family receive even a letter regarding an offense, Navarro said.

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Clarity sought before Kauai council’s transparency talk

LIHU‘E — After Kaua‘i County Council members Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara lobbed allegations at Council Chair Kaipo Asing and County Clerk Peter Nakamura earlier this month, more clarity is being sought on existing policies related to government transparency.

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Hilo Hattie Sold To Hawaiian Apparel Owner

Since Hilo Hattie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last fall, it has lost more than $3 million. It has only able to keep operating because landlords at its seven store locations, like Ala Moana Center, are waiving the rent, equal to $167,000 a month.

The sale went to Bum Sik Kang, the principal owner of Royal Hawaiian Creations. RHC's apparel is sold at many Hawaii department stores.

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Judge accepts HMC plan

Federal bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris accepted Hawaii Medical Center LLC's disclosure statement yesterday over the objections of creditors, effectively blocking other parties from submitting reorganization plans.

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Exclusive: Hawaii Air Ambulance looks to shed turbulent past

This after a shaky past, highlighted by two crashes. Hawaii Air Ambulance is now trying to shake those past fears and doubts.

"Although the name is currently the same, the company has been entirely revamped," he said.

By this, he means, new management, stricter training policies, newer, safer planes and better maintenance procedures.

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Hawaii Green Party founder dies

Ira Rohter, a long-time University of Hawaii political scientist and founder of the Hawaii Green Party, died this morning at Kaiser Hospital, according to University of Hawaii associates. He was 69.

Rohter had been ill after returning from a camping trip according to Neal Milner, University of Hawaii Ombudsman and a UH political science associate.

Rohter also served as president of Hawaii Clean Elections and vice president of the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. Rohter is survived by a wife and two children.

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