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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
January 10, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:04 PM :: 15457 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Abercrombie: HSTA Contract will help Save Race to The Top Grant

House Republican Caucus Proposes Veterans Preference in State Contracting

Tax hikes remain on table to offset the budget shortfalls invented by Abercrombie, CoR Tag Team

SA: Tax increases and other revenue-generating measures are being considered by the Abercrombie administration to deal with budget shortfalls expected to top $164 million in fiscal year 2014 and grow in successive years.

"Just given the order of magnitude of what we're looking at, several options have to be explored," Budget Director Kalbert Young said Monday.

The administration is working on its package of legislative proposals and expects to present them to the Legislature in the coming weeks. Gov. Neil Abercrombie might also unveil some of the measures in his State of the State speech later this month, Young said.

Young would not commit to stating whether those proposals would include tax increases.

"I can't stand here before you and say definitely no or definitely yes," Young told lawmakers.

Attention Legislators. Here is how this game works:

  1. CoR projects ridiculous 14.5% growth
  2. Abercrombie presents budget with massive spending increases
  3. CoR revises estimate of growth down to 11.5%
  4. Abercrombie proposes tax hikes or gambling
  5. CoR will then revise numbers down further to force the issue.

read … Tax Hikes

Abercrombie’s Budget Runs $927M Deficit over 6 years

FY2012: $76.9 million surplus
FY2013: $19.3 million deficit
FY2014: $164.2 million deficit
FY2015: $229.1 million deficit
FY2016: $312.4 million deficit
FY2017: $278.9 million deficit

Total Deficit: $927M over 6 years

KHON: New plan needed to combat long-term deficits

read … Attachments

$312M Shortfall in 2017--Abercrombie’s Bloated Budget

HR: Pressed by Rep. Barbara Marumoto on possible tax increase proposals, Young said, “I can’t stand before you and say definitely no or definitely yes. Just given the order of magnitude of what we are looking at, several options would have to be explored,” he said.

The state is in the middle year of a two-year budget cycle, and lower-than-expected predictions for tax revenues released last week have caused the state to estimate a $19 million shortfall by end of the 2013 fiscal year, Young said.

“I do believe that (shortfall) can be accommodated through administrative measures or restrictions on appropriated budgets. I don’t think we need to be overly concerned about raising taxes or severely cutting programs,” Young told legislators.

But ever-increasing deficits after that, culminating with $312 million in red ink in fiscal year ’17, are very worrisome, said Young. (No problem, its after the election.)

AP: Economic forecast calls for Hawaii budget cuts

CB: Abercrombie's Bigger Budget Still Doable With Lowered Revenue Forecast

read … Future Budget Woes Worry Hawaii Officials

Tripler Trauma Center to Transfer Uninsured Trauma patients

Among the biggest concerns with Army hospitals becoming trauma centers that are open to the general public is losing money to uninsured patients, Edwards said.

But a transfer agreement with Hawaii will allow Tripler to move such patients to other public hospitals after they are in stable condition. Couple that with the state’s highly insured population, and the risk is lower than in most other states, he said.

“That’s the big plus,” Edwards said. “It’s not lucrative, but it’s sound.”

read … Stars and Stripes

$38.8M Rail Design Contract Goes to AECOM

PBN: AECOM Technical Services Inc. has been awarded a $38.8 million contract by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to design the airport section of the mass-transit system’s elevated railway.

AECOM, with offices in Honolulu, Los Angeles and New York, will design a 5.2-mile section of the system from Aloha Stadium to the Middle Street Transit Center in Kalihi by the spring of 2013, HART said in a statement.

read … $38.8M More Wasted

Lingle: With Social Media, I can Bypass People Like Richard Borreca

Borreca: "I am really excited about the newness of the social media because I can bypass you and people like you," Lingle told me.

"Younger people don't use the traditional media any more. It is an exciting way to connect with people on a more personal way and without a filter of paid reporters," Lingle said.

Although I prefer the adjective "professional" rather than "paid" to describe my occupation, I agree that given the status of the news media in general, paid is better than unpaid….

Social media in the hands of campaigning politics can be both an offensive and defensive weapon. Lingle notes that before Twitter and Facebook, politicians were left to rely on email or press releases to get out a message.

"There is the ability to respond to issues much more quickly," Lingle said. "I think that historically, people in politics and campaigns try to start information flowing below the radar.

"This is very hard to do now, because we are able to respond to it very quickly," Lingle said.

Still, politicians from Lingle to Case know that after all the spinning, manipulating and projecting that politicians can do, what really pays off and what works best in a campaign is shaking a voter's hand and saying, "Please vote for me."

Dec 2: Borreca to Media: Lingle will now fade from Our Screens

read … Bypass the Media Filter

Honolulu Begins Enforcing New Sidewalk Ban Against Homeless

CB: Workers in the city's Department of Facility Maintenance, wearing neon orange vests, posted 24-hour warning notices on tents and carts lined up along two Moiliili parks and promised to return Tuesday to confiscate belongings that aren't moved.

The notices, produced with help from city lawyers, have two separate components: one small square noting the violation, and one longer piece of paper detailing the items and the time of the posting. A handful of homeless people sat on benches nearby while officials taped the warnings to their belongings.

Workers also took pictures of the possessions so they know what they can take Tuesday, department director Westley Chun said.

"It's not going to be to the detail where we're going to look at the toothbrush and say, well, we won't be able to take that one because it doesn't show up in this photograph," Chun said. "We're going to do the best we can when we impound the property."…. (Lawyer proof enforcement)

Monday's action came on the heels of a Friday afternoon announcement warning that enforcement had begun. In that press release and again Monday, city officials highlighted actions against basketball hoops stored on Mililani sidewalks, presumably to show that the homeless are not the only target of the ordinance….

American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii senior staff attorney Dan Gluck said he wasn't sure if he would be in Moiliili personally Tuesday to witness the evictions firsthand. (An excellent sign.) He referred Civil Beat to an earlier statement from the ACLU put out when Carlisle signed the bill. The organization said it remained "very concerned" about the ordinance and would monitor enforcement.

Full Text: City Announces Commencement of Enforcement

read … Honolulu Begins Enforcing New Sidewalk Ban Against Homeless

Progressive Democrat Bart Dame Publishes Long-Winded Excuse for Disenfranchising Blacks, Military personnel

ILind: Bart Dame: “I do not deny locating the residences and estimating the numbers of non-resident military and dependents for the Step Two stage, redistricting, will be complicated. There is no way they can “extract” all non-residents at that stage. Nor, as I testified, would it be fair to assume all people living in military housing areas are non-residents. We know a small percentage, about 2%, of service members ARE Hawaii residents. In previous reapportion calculations, it was assumed military dependents “Follow the residency” of the active duty member. Judge Marks told a reporter some spouses are nurses and teachers. Apparently nurses must be Hawaii residents to work off-base. Teacher do NOT need to be Hawaii residents, though it does give them marginal priority in getting appointments, transfers, etc, within the DOE– ALL OTHER FACTORS BEING EQUAL (education level, seniority, credentials, etc.)

“Fine, so how many military spouses does Judge Marks think might be residents because they are teachers or are employed as nurses in non-military hospitals or doctor offices. Let me suggest the number is “de minimus,” meaning too small to be significant.”

read … Long Winded Excuses to Give Progressive Dems More Dope-Oriented Electoral Districts

10 Big Island couples apply for civil unions

WHT: The Hilo District office at 75 Aupuni St. had certified 10 of the applications by Friday afternoon, said District Health Officer Aaron Ueno.

"Three couples submitted the applications through this office," he said, while the other seven had submitted theirs via licensed private civil union performers.

As with marriages, he added, civil union participants are given the option to allow their names to be released to the public once their applications have been processed, but none of the couples who applied have done so….

Bentz said that as with any new government rollout, there had been a few "hiccups and kinks" during the week, mainly in dealing with computer-system glitches in Honolulu. But ultimately, he said, "the Department of Health has put forth a very valiant effort to make the process as stress free and simple as possible."

He added that some couples have opted to wait on obtaining a civil union until inconsistencies and problems have been ironed out in the new law.

"There are still some questions out there," he said "including on the process for terminating a reciprocal beneficiary relationship. But the Legislature is working on a fix-it bill."

read … Trojan Horse

Hanabusa to Hold Secret meeting With Military-Industrial Complex

U.S. Reps. Colleen Hanabusa, Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wa.) will conduct a Defense Industry Business Roundtable Discussion at the state Capitol at 8 a.m.

The roundtable is not, however, open to the press and public; the media is instead invited to a 9:30 a.m. press briefing

read … Contributions and Contracts

Waihee Crony Heads Hawaii Democrat Communications

Chuck Freedman will direct communications for the Democratic Party of Hawaii for the 2012 election campaign. He previously handled communications for the party in 2008, chaired the Brian Schatz for Lieutenant Governor campaign in 2010 and was a director of communications for Gov. John Waihee.

Waihee: State Sues to Get Back $39M Looted from Graves by John Waihee

read … Another Recycled Old Boy

Mufi: I Identify with UPW, Look forward to taking their Desires to Washington

“I identify with the needs, hopes, and aspirations of the membership of UPW. I look forward to taking their needs and desires with me to Washington, D.C.”

read … Mufi News Release

LWV Seeking Anti-Rail Candidates

HR: Three council members have consistently voted against funding rail: Ann Kobayashi, Romy Cachola and Tom Berg. Cachola cannot run again because of term limits. It seems unlikely that Berg will be re-elected. Kobayashi will probably be re-elected. So we need to find at least 4 anti-rail candidates who will run for city council and win.

Do you know of people in your district who fit the bill? We have many indications that opposition to this environmentally-destructive, overpriced rail project is growing.

read … Call for candidates

Pilago Crony: I shake Down Developers too, so Vote for Me

I am a founding member of the Kohanaiki Ohana in 1987, serving as president from 2004 – 2008. The organization’s mission is to protect the natural and cultural resources along the Kona coastline extract lot$ of community benefit$ from Nan$ay Hawaii while po$ing a$ anti-development activi$t$.

The Kohanaiki Ohana successfully guided two Landmark Supreme Court wins (thu$ making the Hokulia $hakedown operation po$$ible) and a Legislative victory protecting the traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians, encouraging public participation for good government, (every grifter in Kona who could fake Hawaiian grievances) and improving state land use laws with regards to impacts of development on our communities.

read … Pilago Crony

SA: Re-pin Hawaii on golf world's map

SA: Golf analyst Mark Rolfing of Kapalua recognizes the "disturbing trend" and told the Star-Advertiser's Ann Miller that he anticipates no more than one or two golfers from the European Tour traveling to Hawaii for golf. "That is an issue everybody needs to deal with and nobody has," he said. "I'm sure discussions are going on but … I believe there's going to be a world tour. There almost is."

Rolfing expects an eventual merger of the PGA and the European tour, which includes events in South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai, in no more than 10 years. Ideally, a single world tour could place Kapalua and this week's Sony Open on the map for players traveling from one side of the globe to another….

The point correctly pointed out by Rolfing and others is that the professional game of golf in undergoing worldwide change. Both Kapalua and the Sony Open should prepare to become essential parts of the final course.

read … Re-pin Hawaii on golf world's map

Hoku Stalls Idaho Electric Shutoff Proceedings

PBN: About a week ago, Hoku filed a complaint with the PUC asking that the commission stop Idaho Power from disconnecting Hoku’s electrical service until the parties can resolve their dispute about the amounts that Idaho Power is charging Hoku.

On Monday, Hoku says it answered Idaho Power’s various allegations in response to its first complaint and filed this additional complaint to change the contract that was signed in 2009.

According to the complaint, Hoku is alleging that Idaho Power is unfairly charging it about $2 million each month for power not being consumed by Hoku’s Idaho plant, while also demanding that it pay a $5.8 million security deposit.

Hoku says it has paid more than $11 million since last April for power it did not consume, and also has paid a $4 million deposit to Idaho Power. (If this is true, then why did these idiots sign such a ridiculous contract?)

Hoku also says it was not connected to Idaho Power’s grid until last November, and it has used the equivalent of less than $1,000 of power each day since then. Even so, Hoku says it is being charged $65,000 per day….

A hearing about this issue is set for Wednesday at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

read … More stories about your Act 221 Dollars at work

Kauai Co Has 75 Unfilled Positions

KGI: “We have 44 vacancies in the positions that we approved in the budget for the county, plus (31) additional vacancies in the police department,” Furfaro said.

All positions combined represent about $3.4 million in funds that have not been used by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration, Furfaro said.

“I’m not so concerned with the amounts identified with the police department, because until they fill those vacancies we have kept their overtime line pretty compressed, so they have to go to this allocated amount,” he said.

The 44 county (non-police) vacancies represent some $1.9 million in unused funds, Furfaro said. “It’s too much.”

Despite this being the smallest number of vacancies he has seen in years, “it is part of the problem of being able to end with a surplus at the end of the year, which we are now going to put into a reserve policy,” Furfaro said.

The county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, released Dec. 15, shows the administration ended fiscal ear 2011 with a $51.36 million surplus. (That’s just under $1000 per person)

Read … Overtime Slush Fund

Honolulu Airport Shuttle Prices Rile State Senator

HR: State Sen. Donna Kim, a frequent critic of programs and activities at state airports, got an unpleasant surprise when she took the new shuttle service from Honolulu International Airport to her home in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu.

Kim was charged more than twice the advertised price for the trip.

“It was supposed to cost $14.55 to go to Kalihi but they came back and said it was $32,” Kim said at a legislative hearing yesterday.

The lower price was based on the frequently travelled but more distant shuttle route to Waikiki, but that didn’t mollify Kim.

“You pay double the amount to go one-third the distance,” Kim said.

To make matters worse, when Kim called state airport officials to complain, they didn’t know about the price increase, which was instituted by the shuttle operator, SpeediShuttle, within 30 days of landing the five-year contract last year.

read … Airport Shuttle

Hilo, Micronesia USDA offices will be closed as part of an effort to cut costs

HI24/7: The list below details the states and corresponding counties where RD offices will be closed. 1)(Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap), and 2) Hawaii County

USDA: Blueprint for Stronger Service

read … Hilo USDA office will be closed as part of an effort to cut costs

More Than $40,000 in Mo. Food Stamps Spent in Hawaii, Data Show

KOMU: Taxpayers reacted Monday to data from the Missouri Department of Social Services that reveal of the $1.4 billion Missourians spent in food stamp money during FY2011, more than $45 million of the money was spent outside the state.

"If people are using that money to have more, and then be able to go to a place like Hawaii, that's not right," said Jason Sattizahn.

read … Tourism Subsidy?


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