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Saturday, July 07, 2018
July 7, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:39 PM :: 2014 Views

Recording Employees: HART’s evasiveness troubling

Hawaii became a U.S. Territory July 7, 1898

July 7, 1935: Moscow orders first Communists to Hawaii

Nago Reverses: Opens Pahoa Polling Place for Lava Evacuees

Hawaii Timeshares Average 92% Occupancy in First Quarter 2018

Hawaii's First Hemp Growers Licensed

Unions Conspire with State to Illegally Continue Fee Collection for Non-Union Employees     

HPR: …The State of Hawaii has announced a new policy regarding the collection of so-called agency fees from non-members of public employee unions.

The policy, outlined in a memo from the State Comptroller, was spurred by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Janus v AFSCME. That case, brought by Illinois state employee Mark Janus, overturned a precedent established in 1977 that allowed public unions to collect dues from all public employees, regardless of their membership status in the union.

Non-members were charged a reduced rate compared to full members. These agency fees could not be used for lobbying or political purposes. That precedent was established in the 1977 Supreme Court case Adood v Detroit Board of Education, which found that non-members still benefit from collective bargaining carried out by unions and should contribute to funding those non-political actions.

Here in Hawaii, the State Department of Accounting and General Services automatically withholds dues and agency fees from all state employees on behalf of the union. However, in the memo published yesterday State Comptroller Roderick Becker said it is the State’s intent to “suspend non-member deductions as soon as possible.”

But that appears to be easier said than done.

The state’s payroll system does not contain state workers’ union membership status. The state has evidently been relying on each of the various public employee unions to identify members and non-members. This makes it difficult to go about stopping payroll deductions for non-members.

The memo from the Comptroller’s office indicates that the Department of Accounting and General Services is asking unions to confirm whether or not they have a non-member population and to provide the names of those members to the state. Once the names of non-members have been provided, agency fee withholdings will be suspended.

One state worker who is a member of the Hawaii Government Employees Association told HPR that following the Janus decision he attempted to change his status with HGEA to non-member. The employee was told that change could not be made until it was time to renew his annual membership in Hawaii’s largest public union….


read … State Moves to Stop Fee Collection for Non-Union Employees

Perreira Makes AFL-CIO Endorse Mafia Candidate Hanabusa

SA: The Hawaii State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has endorsed U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for governor, a move the labor organization says is unusual because it rarely makes primary election endorsements.

Hanabusa is challenging Gov. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor.

“Our affiliated unions voted to endorse Colleen’s candidacy for governor because of her clear, decisive leadership style and consistent support for working families and living wages,” said Hawaii State AFL-CIO President Randy Perreira….


read … AFL-CIO

Abigail Kawananakoa Foundation seeks to enter legal dispute over $200M fortune

HNN: Several prominent Hawaiian leaders are joining the legal battle over Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa’s $200 million trust.

The trust is now run by Kawananakoa’s former attorney, James Wright, who was appointed after her medical emergency last year.

But Kawananakoa and her wife (spouse) Veronica Worth are fighting in court to remove Wright and take control of her fortune.

A hearing to determine the future of Kawananakoa's trust will held in Circuit Court next week. But the foundation said it wants more time and it wants to seek the appointment of a special advocate, who would better look after her needs.

Had such an advocate, or kokua kanawai, been appointed earlier, “we could have been on a much different path here than  … litigation in this matter,” said Moses Haia of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp….

SA: Heed heiress’ goal to help Hawaiians

SA: Native Hawaiian board forms to protect Kawananakoa’s foundation

Related: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality

read … Abigail Kawananakoa Foundation seeks to enter legal dispute over $200M fortune

Opiate and cocaine use up, marijuana down in second quarter

KHON: …In a reversal from last quarter, opiate positive rate in workplace testing showed a 22% jump from Q1 to Q2 2018, but only a 6.9% increase from 2Q 2017, said Steven Brimmer, Ph.D., scientific director of Toxicology at Diagnostic Laboratory Services. Cocaine had a slight decline, 2.9% , from Q1 to Q2 2018, but use was up 18% in comparison to Q2 2017.

Marijuana use declined 4.0% from Q1 to Q2 2018 (2.89% to 2.78%), down 1.8% year over year, and synthetic urines use crept up 9.2% from 1.15 percent in Q1 2018 to 1.26% in Q2, and up year over year at 1.7%.

"Although the percent change in the positive rate for marijuana is less than 10%, this change is significant because marijuana is the drug detected the most in workplace drug test programs, in Hawaii and nationally. It's also nice to note that our workforce positive rates for marijuana are comparable to national tests," Brimmer said.

"Our second highest positives are for synthetic urine, used by people to try to disguise drug use….”

read … Opiate and cocaine use up, marijuana down in second quarter

Star-Adv: Lets Pretend Erosion is Something New and its Caused by Sea Level Rise

SA: At this point, even climate-change doubters should be seeing the need to take coastal erosion in our island state seriously, and to start planning mitigations.  (So you have to believe in climate change to believe in shoreline erosion.  Does that mean everybody who believes in accretion is a denier?)

The latest evidence of the approaching sandstorm is an eye-opening new study by University of Hawaii researchers: a full one-third of Hawaii’s shorelines are moderately or highly vulnerable to coastal hazards as sea level rise intensify waves and storms that hit our islands’ coasts. 

(The sea ‘level’ rise must be cockeyed.  It only hits 1/3 of the shore.  Maybe we should start calling it the sea ‘slope’.)

Oahu’s highest-risk zones are at the North Shore from Haleiwa to Kahuku, which are exposed to high wave energy; and Ewa Beach, where low elevation and little reef protection make it vulnerable to sea level rise. Other at-risk areas include stretches of Kailua, Waimanalo and Waianae….

(Translation: This report is designed to justify HDoT’s latest grab for money.)

read … Fools

North Korea Slams U.S. ‘Gangster-Like’ Demands at Nuclear Talks

B: “It appears Trump took his victory lap a tad too soon,” Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and now an Asia expert at the Heritage Foundation, said in an email. “The diplomatic path remains open, but it will be far bumpier and far longer than the Trump administration had believed and described publicly.”….

Meanwhile: North Korea Is Rapidly Upgrading Nuclear Site Despite Summit Vow

read … North Korea Slams U.S. ‘Gangster-Like’ Demands at Nuclear Talks

Volcano News:

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