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Thursday, August 13, 2009
August 13, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:33 PM :: 6684 Views

Hawaii state workers' union drops pay cut offer

The Hawai'i Government Employees Association, which had earlier offered to take a 5 percent pay cut, dropped that language in its written proposal to the arbitration panel.

The HGEA instead said it is willing to accept "no pay increase," according to a summary of the proposal sent to members late Tuesday.

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Democrat Borreca: Union offers state pay freeze proposal

(Notice the slant in this SB headline compared to the Advertiser, above?)

HGEA included a proposal for a 32-hour workweek, but a spokeswoman said the proposal was made early in the bargaining process and "in all likelihood, this proposal will be removed prior to arbitration."

Yesterday, Georgina Kawamura, state budget director, warned that although the state has been able to end the fiscal year with an $8 million balance, the state needs to cut the existing $10.4 billion general fund budget by $658.9 million over the next two years to avoid running out of money.

If Hawaii's economy continues to falter, Kawamura warned that in fiscal 2011-13 the state will need to cut an additional $500 million from the budget.

At the same time, legislators said yesterday the Lingle administration is making a mistake by aiming at getting most of their budget savings through labor union pay and benefit cuts.

"It is a dangerous assumption. We need to look at all options," said Rep Marcus Oshiro, House Finance Committee chairman.

"We are beginning to look at where we can cut back on certain projects, where we can reduce some services or where we can find funds for services," Oshiro said.

(So what's your alternative, Marcus???)

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HGEA proposes four-day work week

The Hawaii Government Employees Association's final contract proposal that was issued this week calls for no raises, a 60/40 employer split in worker health benefits and a four-day work week "with no adverse impact on compensation, benefits and working conditions."

Question: Do HGEA leaders have to take some kind of pill to get this arrogant?

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Will Abercrombie Dump Out of the 2010 Governor's Race?

Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie might dump out of the governor's race....he's running behind in fund raising and now, because of yesterday's campaign spending ruling, he cannot transfer that big wad of about $900,000 from his federal war chest to the state race.

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UH Manoa to send more pink slips in Sept.

The UH system's flagship campus is currently eyeing about $45 million in cuts this year, including cuts from the state Legislature and restrictions from Gov. Linda Lingle. Hinshaw said the university must immediately cut $14 million, on top of an earlier 4 percent reduction cut imposed on Manoa programs and $20 million in other reduction in services and staff.

SB: UH-Manoa starts planning for deeper budget cuts, more layoffs

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Home foreclosures in Hawaii soar to record 990 in July

The number of cases in July compared with 229 a year earlier and 706 in June, according to California-based real estate research firm RealtyTrac. The previous high was 816 in May.

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SB: Caution needed in Ewa Plain development

Significantly, while Hawaii's 16 construction labor unions generally support housing projects, the AFL-CIO's Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council is asking that the Land Use Commission defer action on the issue "until community concerns are rectified." Many of the unions' 56,000 members statewide live in the Makakilo-Kapolei area.

(Must be afraid that the development will be shut down in the EIS if too hasty. but for some reasons those concerns don't apply to the rail system which must get started soon so Mufi can run for governor with all his "reward' money.)

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Group calls on judge to reject report on Makua

Hawaii Democrats' war on the military continues.

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Experts: Felicia a benevolent storm, Guillermo next?

Upcountry Maui reservoirs showed an overall increase in water available from 77.8 million gallons on Monday to 104.5 million gallons on Wednesday. The 30-million-gallon Waika-moi Reservoir went from only 1.2 million gallons on Monday to 13.1 million gallons the next day. The 100-million-gallon Kahakapao Reservoir increased its water storage from 27.9 million gallons to 41.4 million gallons in two days.

Looking ahead, James said he was watching Tropical Storm Guillermo, which strengthened from a tropical depression in the eastern Pacific on Wednesday. It could move into the central Pacific around Sunday and be located somewhere east of the Big Island on Monday.

In the middle of next week, Guillermo could be nearing the Hawaiian Islands, he said.

But "it's too early to know if it will peter out before it gets here," he said. "It's definitely heading in the general direction of Hawaii."

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Naeole faces ethics cases

Hawaii County Mayor Kenoi raised defense fund money for Pali shooter Malu Motta.  Local media have uncovered several County sweetheart contracts.  And so what is the so-called Ethics commission busy with?

They are hearing charges that councilwoman Naeole "violated state and federal law" by praying, asking another council member is he was racially motivated, and by allegedly giving the "thumbs down" signal to one testifier at a recent council hearing.

"In her complaint, Folena alleges Naeole "mixes church and state by trying to affect the vote of the County Council and the thoughts and statement of the public speakers." 

Amazingly the complainant sees this as a first-amendment issue--and argues that Naeole's exercise of her free speech has somehow violated the complainants. If upheld, this would mean that council members have less free speech than other persons.

Naeole's opponent in the last two council races has been two-time convicted felon and ex-cop Gary Safarik. 

Atheist regimes have murdered 100s of millions of human beings over the last century, and atheists still claim to rights superior to the US and State constitutions.    

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