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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
August 19, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:17 AM :: 8507 Views

Hawaii's schools: A bureaucratic maze

In the leadup to the 50th Anniversary Statehood Conference, Broken Trust co-author Randy Roth dissects the DoE and the historical roots of its boiling dysfunction.

LINK: To full 45 page analysis: 

read more: Randall Roth dissects Hawaii's failed Department of Education

Yes, binding arbitration may cost state in the end

In July of 2003 the state Legislature's Democrats sealed the economic fate of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and to a large degree set in motion today's looming public worker debacle.

Two years earlier Democrats led by Cayetano and Sen. Colleen Hanabusa took away the HGEA's binding arbitration laws, forcing HGEA to act like all other unions and either bargain or go on strike to win a new contract

So in 2003 the Democrats scurried back into the unions' good graces by repealing the reform in what Okata called "a defining moment in Hawaii's political history." What it did was define the Democrats' position of servile fawning over the HGEA. Hanabusa was the only Democrat to vote against the unions.

Gov. Lingle warned at the time that binding arbitration "encourages both sides to take extreme positions" with the arbitrator splitting the difference.

Since then Lingle has never really been in control of her state budget, because the public worker unions would gobble any budget excess with big arbitrated pay raises.

(Yes, this is by Democrat Borreca.  Amazing.)

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Hemmings won't run again

Hemmings, 63, yesterday said he plans to pursue business projects, do more public speaking engagements and spend time with his family. He said his decision to leave politics was influenced in part by the frustration of being a Republican in a state Legislature dominated by majority Democrats and by the indictment of his wife this year on felony theft charges.

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Sex offender gets 20 years: SB ties to Duke Aiona

An Oahu Circuit Court jury convicted Stephens in 1991 of multiple felonies, including kidnapping and three counts of second-degree sex assault on a 16-year-old boy.  He was placed on five years' probation by Judge Ronald Greig and put on probation two other times, including once in 1993 by Judge James "Duke" Aiona Jr.

Advertiser: Fugitive molester gets no mercy  

Fascinating. The SB does such in-depth research when it wants to, but for some reason they haven't shown much interest in this story:  

Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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Inouye discusses Akaka Bill, earmarks

The Akaka Bill, which would give authority to Hawaiians to organize into an independent governmental entity and seek federal recognition from the United States, similar to the status Native American tribes and Alaska Natives have, is something Congress will address within its first week back in session after the August recess, Inouye said.

"The Akaka Bill the last eight years had a formidable opponent: the administration," Inouye said. "We had our hearing a couple weeks ago. The attorney general said, 'I'm all for it.' ... We hope to finish up this year."

RELATED: Akaka Bill hearings: OHA, lawyers balk at giving up nepotism, greenmail

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Akaka, Hirono, Inouye won't host health care talks for constituents

Unlike many of their mainland counterparts, Hawaii Island's lone U.S. congresswoman and two U.S. senators won't be spending their August break attending local town hall meetings on health care reform.

RELATED:  Djou calls Hawaii Healthcare town hall meeting , Obamacare debate rages in Hawaii -- but no townhalls scheduled here , Senate needs Hawaii input on health care

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Inouye fundraiser raises $1 million

"It is disappointing that Sen. Inouye found enough time last week to have exclusive dinners with special-interest groups, lobbyist and labor leaders to raise nearly a million dollars for his campaign," Jonah Ka'auwai, the state GOP chairman, said in a statement. "Sen. Inouye could not find the time to address important issues to the citizens of Hawai'i like the federal government's takeover of health care.

"It is time our legislators begin listening to the everyday citizens that are hurting in Hawai'i because of reckless Democrat proposals."

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Hawaii TV stations merge news services

Hawaii television stations KHNL/K5 and KGMB are merging services and laying off approximately 68 employees.  The three stations will share one roof and news-gathering operations.

RELATED: KITV, Advertiser , 68 to lose jobs in local TV agreement, sources say , Owners of KHNL/K5 and KGMB Outline Their New Partnership

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Hawaii's women inmates being removed from Kentucky prison

About 40 of the Hawai'i women have already returned to the Islands. Another 128 will be returned or moved to another prison on the Mainland.

Frank said the inmates will not remain at the Otter Creek prison in Kentucky because of safety.

In July, Frank said 23 female inmates, including seven from Hawai'i, were alleging they were sexually assaulted at the private prison.

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Officer Arrested In Vegas Had Trouble At HPD

Souza has spent 20 years at the police department and sources said he was disciplined for brandishing his police gun in a road rage incident.

Sources also told KITV that HPD terminated Souza several years ago after he was accused of tipping off drug dealers about a potential police raid.

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WSJ: Heavy Reliance on Tourism Has Hawaii's Economy Hurting

HONOLULU -- Hawaii is facing its worst recession since becoming a state 50 years ago, dragged down by its reliance on a single industry.

As much as a third of Hawaii's economy is driven by tourism, say state finance experts, and a recent state report showed that from January to June, spending from visitors who arrived by air dropped 15% to $4.97 billion from a year earlier.

read more 

Kalapa: Steps Needed to Make Paradigm Shift in Hawaii's Public Housing

Although recent litigation points the finger of blame at the current administration of the public housing agency, one has to admit that it has been a case of benign neglect over several decades.

Unfortunately, public housing administrators over the last 50 years have not figured out what their mission is other than to provide housing for the poor and indigent.

Although officials may believe that the problems in public housing can be solved by merely painting and patching the physical structures, the real solution involves “fixing” the families, social re-engineering, if you will, of the families who need a support system so they can one day give back to their community rather than merely take from the community. Anything short of providing support services to these families will doom whatever efforts are taken to “fix” the physical facilities of public housing.

read more 

Isles a bit above ACT average

Hawai'i's college-bound students performed at or above the national average in English, reading, mathematics and science on the ACT college entrance exam, according to test results released this morning.

(Hawaii Private schools are so good that they more than make up for the DoE results.  Vouchers, anyone?)

RELATED: Hawaii's schools: A bureaucratic maze

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