Hawaii may raid its hurricane relief fund to plug state's deficit
With no easy options left to close a $786 million budget deficit, Gov. Linda Lingle and state lawmakers are being tempted to use the $185 million in the state's hurricane relief fund to help balance the budget.
(There is no actual evidence that Lingle is considering this idea. Democrat DePledge is just helping out his idiot Democrat buddies such as Sen. Roz Baker who is so limited that she actually comes out with this clunker...)
State Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-5th (W. Maui, S. Maui), the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee (and one of the Legislators who hired convicted child molester Leon Rouse), said the state should consider using the hurricane money now.
"I don't think there's enough money in the fund to make a difference if a hurricane hits O'ahu, (What if a hurricane hits Kihei? The fund might be just right for that, Roz) and I really think that's why people were keeping it around," she said. "We need to take care of the economy now. And we can put that money back into maybe keeping some of the services that are on the chopping block that are really impacting families and children. (Did Leon Rouse "impact" children, Roz???)
"It's crazy some of the stuff that they're cutting. Mental health. Looking at education. Looking at guards at some of our facilities. So I think it's time to have that conversation."
Two new storms heading our way
Felicia, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, is strengthening as it moves west-northwest at 14 mph. The National Hurricane Center says it expects Felicia to become a hurricane later today.
The hurricane center's potential five-day track puts Felicia about 500 miles east and about 125 miles south of the Big Island early Sunday morning.
Behind Felicia is Enrique, a larger system but with lower maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Enrique is forecast to get stronger in the next 24 hours.
More DemoProp: Ag layoffs will have big impact on Big Isle
HILO -- Gov. Linda Lingle's plans to lay off about 80 percent of the state's agriculture inspectors will hit the Big Island the hardest, where a small number of inspectors already scramble to get produce and nursery stock certified for export. At stake in the cutbacks are Kona's world-famous coffee, macadamia nuts, Hilo's orchid and cut-flower industry and even international shipments of papaya, officials said.
(And it is all Lingle's fault it is it is it is it is...Hey how about we stop negotiating the State Budget with the unions? That might solve this problem. Or heck, maybe the unions will agree to furloughs instead of layoffs? But the word "furlough" appears nowhere in this article.)
Hawaiian Electric's 4.7% hike kicks in ($207 more per customer)
Electricity costs went up yesterday for O'ahu residents after Hawaiian Electric Co. implemented a 4.7 percent interim rate increase granted by the state Public Utilities Commission. (HECO = KSBE. Is your electric bill a feudal obligation?)
The increase applies to HECO's 294,000 customers and will generate $61 million in revenue annually, according to HECO. HECO said it needs the additional money to pay for major capital improvements and increased operating costs. ($61M / 294K = $207 more per customer, per year)
(If you think that's bad, just imagine what will happen to rates when the Carbon Tax kicks in.)
After almost 10 years, Hawaiian homelands suit set for trial today
More than 2,700 Native Hawaiians who allege the state has unfairly delayed leasing land to them will get a hearing in court today, nearly 10 years after filing their lawsuit.
(Obvious question. How did the Supreme Court manage to control the timing of a newly filed lawsuit?)
The lawsuit was filed in December 1999, but an appeal by the state over whether the beneficiaries had a right to sue that went to the Hawai'i Supreme Court, as well as procedural hang-ups, delayed the trial until now. (That's how)
(Next obvious question: Why does the Supreme Court want this suit to move forward now?)
The state has been criticized for decades for foot-dragging on awarding leases to beneficiaries.
Those complaints have continued to the present.
As of June 30, there were 19,886 Native Hawaiians waiting for residential leases. The 2,700 represented in the lawsuit consist of those who went before a state-appointed review panel created in 1991 to resolve claims for the period between Aug. 21, 1959, and June 30, 1988. (Note, these claims predate the Lingle administration, but that doesn't keep the Democrat Advertiser from spinning a few numbers....)
The Lingle administration, under DHHL Chairman Micah Kane, has claimed to have offered more opportunities to beneficiaries than the state has done in the past. (This use of "claimed" implies there is some doubt.)
DHHL spokesman Lloyd Yonenaka said about 8,238 residential leases have been awarded during the life of the program — about 2,500 of them since Kane took over in late 2002.
(Do the math: 8238 - 2500 = 5738 leases assigned 1921-2002 vs 2500 leases assigned 2003-2009. 5738/81 years = 71 per year. 2500/6 years = 417 per year. So Micah Kane and Lingle/Aiona have assigned leases 5.9 times faster that all previous administrations--which is why this suit was filed under Cayetano.)
The Lingle administration had set a five-year target of awarding 6,000 leases by the end of 2008.
Yonenaka said he calculated that an estimated 15,300 out of the 19,000 beneficiaries on the current residential list have received at least one offer of a lease but either couldn't or chose not to accept it.
Those who can't accept an offer often don't qualify for a mortgage, while others qualify but choose not to accept placement to the project being offered.
(Oh that's it. This is a maneuver by the Democrat Supreme Court to undermine one of the greatest achievements of the Lingle Administration. Their aim? Defeat Duke Aiona in 2010.)
DHHL chairman Kane leaving position soon
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chairman Micah Kane will be stepping down from his job in the coming weeks, prior to taking a post as a member of the Kamehameha Schools board of trustees Sept. 1....One possible successor could be DHHL Deputy Director Kaulana Park, who has been at that position since last year.
Hamakua land sale: A sweetheart deal at county expense?
Mayor Billy Kenoi's $386.7 million budget depends on $8.2 million in revenues from 16 properties above Paauilo totaling 737 acres. The county is also considering selling another 11 parcels totaling 2,780 acres for another $22.6 million.
Less government land, more private land. Good.
Depleted uranium no risk to public, Army contends
(SB runs the AP article based on the WTH article on DU minus lots of the anti-American war activists' propaganda. This one piece did slip through:)
The July 8 report says, "If any significant quantity of DU was fired at PTA, it is expected to have quickly migrated through the pahoehoe and a'a basalt flows and is no longer detectable at the surface."
The migration theory "made me giggle," said Mike Reimer, a Big Island resident who served 10 years as head of research at the Colorado School of Mines after a 25-year stint on a uranium project with the U.S. Geological Survey.
(Perhaps Reimer has never heard of something called "rain". Water, of course, would be the force which drove any shards or other residue of the DU dummy shells underground. As always the cheap propagandists and lifelong anti-Americans who have been howling about the supposed dangers of DU for years rely on incuriosity of reporters who let these howlers slip by.)
RELATED: Council denounces depleted uranium
Maui Council votes for a total tax exemption on kuleana lands
By eliminating taxes instead of reducing them to a token $1 per year, the Maui Co Council joins the Hawaii Co Council in eliminating one of the ways ownership of Kuleana lands is asserted. Ownership will continue to devolve into larger and larger numbers of often unidentified heirs as generations pass without wills or probate. The result will be that nobody owns the kuleana lands. Thus rather than protecting Hawaiians from tax sales, this measure encourages the loss of the lands through diffusion of control.
SB: Use penalties to limit harm to reefs (Break a coral go BK...)
A lifelong criminal breaks into Iolani Palace and gets off easy with a $1000 fine. Bur if your boat or anchor breaks a piece of coral the fine could be several times as much....
HA: City must explain actions in dumping case
The Advertiser managed to write this entire editorial without using the words "Mufi Hannemann".
Changes coming to UH as Hurricane MRC arrives
Greenwood officially took the helm of the UH system from former President David McClain on Saturday, but she isn't expected to physically begin presiding over the university until Aug. 20.
Key campus leaders yesterday identified some of the major challenges Greenwood faces as UH president. During a time of severe budget cuts to the university — about $155 million in restrictions — Greenwood will preside over historic increases in enrollment, mainly at the seven community college campuses. She'll also be expected to oversee the construction of the new UH-West O'ahu campus, which has been stalled since January....
(And there is also that VERY important little project at College Hill. How much time & effort will Hurricane Marcy spend on THAT jewel?)
"The biggest challenge is to try to figure out ways to fund Phase I. It's a big public works project that deserves the attention of the state Legislature, the governor and others," Awakuni said.
The state has already spent some $35 million to lay down the infrastructure — water and sewer lines and other utilities — for the project.
A deal that would have brought $100 million to UH-West O'ahu fell through last year when Texas-based Hunt Development backed out of an agreement to buy 298 acres at the perimeter of the campus, citing the recession as the reason.
Hunt Development??? Aren't they Neil Abercrombie's buddies?? READ: Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor
New GI bill offers college for free
Chaminade University and Hawaii Pacific University are the largest private colleges in Hawaii participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides a free college education to eligible veterans or a family member.
The other participating Hawaii schools are Argosy University, Central Michigan University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Heald College, Remington College and the University of Phoenix. (No hippies in these classes, eh!)
(This program could shift the balance of education from anti-Americans back to Americans.)
N. Korean leader reportedly pardons U.S. journalists after President Clinton Grovels in Pyongyang
"Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it," the news agency reported. "Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view.
This comes just days after the North Korean government said: "We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady, as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community. Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”
Scientists study huge plastic patch in Pacific
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Marine scientists from California are venturing this week to the middle of the North Pacific for a study of plastic debris accumulating across hundreds of miles (km) of open sea dubbed the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch."
The debris ends up concentrated by circular, clockwise ocean currents within an oblong-shaped "convergence zone" hundreds of miles (km) across from end to end near the Hawaiian Islands, about midway between Japan and the West Coast of the United States.
This has the potential to be made into the environmentalists next great shibboleth. Scientists will be exploring ways to generate grants to fund "research" to produce the requisite propaganda necessary to generate new grants. Their targets: Modernity and humanity.
TOTALLY RELATED: STUDY: Save the Planet: Have Fewer Kids...