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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
August 26, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:27 AM :: 7299 Views

LINK: Djou healthcare town hall draws 200

Negotiations On State Workers' Contracts Resume

Negotiations to resolve state workers contracts and potentially the state budget crisis resumed Tuesday morning.

The state's personnel director and four union leaders met at UPW headquarters.

In the meantime, the union for the state's public school teachers held separate talks with the schools superintendant. (DoE spelling)

Even as the school year swings into high gear, public school teachers and administrators have no idea where the budget ax will fall. They hope the pain can be reduced and school quality protected at the negotiating table.  (How can one protect something that does not exist?)

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SB: Lingle merits praise on stimulus spending

(SB follows Inouye's lead.  What will they ever do without Inouye to lead them around by the nose?)

Sen. Daniel Inouye departed a hearing on Hawaii's expenditure of federal stimulus money satisfied that the state is making good use of it. The funds are expected to be needed over a three-year period but early use is vital in bringing the state out of the dire economic slump. The Lingle administration appears to be acting responsibly, despite recent flawed criticism.

Bipartisan cooperation is important between Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and Democrat Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In Monday's hearing, Lingle praised Inouye's Honolulu chief of staff for help in coordinating the effort. "I feel assured that we are going to come out of this with flying colors," Inouye said at the close of the hearing.

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Native Hawaiians optimistic at convention with speeches on federal recognition

Unlike pro-independence protesters during last week's 50th anniversary of statehood, this crowd of more than 1,000 (mostly people tied to federally funded programs) gave a standing ovation in support of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's fiery address seeking a government-sanctioned Hawaiian entity.

"Make no mistake about it: The entire fate of the Hawaiian people is going to be decided in the next 10 years," the Hawaii Democrat said at the eighth annual Native Hawaiian Convention. "We will never, never have an opportunity again to have a president of the United States and a Department of Justice that's on our side."

The bill would grant Hawaiians some self-governance by treating them similarly to Native American tribes and Alaskan natives.

They also applauded a similar message (Note the use of words here?) from Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.

"As a Native Hawaiian, I appreciate the conflicting feelings many of us have about statehood given the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy," said Aiona, a Republican. "When will we as a community be able to achieve consensus on these important issues, and turn talk into results?"

RELATED: Akaka Bill hearings: OHA, lawyers balk at giving up nepotism, greenmail  (Danner is placing Akaka Bill passage at risk by pushing hard for amendments)

RELATED: Obama has a message for Native Hawaiians

No mention of the OTHER possible Gubernatorial candidate, Mufi Hannemann who, running for Mayor, addressed the NH Convention in 2004 with this:

SB: Bainum supports Hawaiian legislation: Mufi Hannemann urges the community to achieve unity over the Akaka bill

But his chief opponent, Mufi Hannemann, said that he recognizes that there are differing opinions about the Akaka bill in the Hawaiian community. "It is you that needs to develop that consensus to make it very clear what it is you want your elected officials to do," he said.

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Hawaiian Telcom expects profit shortly after leaving bankruptcy

Hawaiian Telcom plans to emerge from bankruptcy at the end of March under a reorganization plan that reduces its debt by nearly $800 million, the company said in a 333-page statement filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday.

A federal Bankruptcy Court hearing on Hawaiian Telcom's $460 million reorganization plan will be held tomorrow.

A rival $400 million offer from locally based Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. is also before the Bankruptcy Court. But Sandwich Isles has not yet filed its own reorganization plan.

RELATED: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

NECA Denied Sandwich Isles Communications Request For Subsidies To Operate Their Inter-Island Fiber-Optic Network 

NECA files motion to extend the comment date on Sandwich Isles petition to August 31

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DoE Advertiser: More than half of Hawaii high school grads head to college

Kalani High School sent the most students to college, about 79 percent. Meanwhile, Wai'anae High School sent the fewest students, at about 30 percent, according to the study by the Hawai'i P-20 Initiative, a partnership between the public school system and the University of Hawai'i.

For decades, the state had been unable to accurately track the number of public school graduates who entered a university or college. The Hawai'i P-20 Initiative's College and Career Indicators Report, released this week, is the first report of its kind to take nationwide college enrollment data, along with several other college readiness statistics, and break it down school-by-school.

(These figures are probably bogus.  But even so, a breakdown shows that only 20% go on to a 4-year school. 50% of college entrants need remedial English, 49% need remedial math.  At Waianae, only 8% go on to a 4-year college.  Meanwhile the BoE and the ACLU are working day and night to keep drugs in the schools.  Doped up and dumbed down, that's the DoE way.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Randall Roth: In Hawaii Education, The Buck Stops Nowhere

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SB: SAT scores show mixed results as more isle students take exam

Hawaii public and private school seniors averaged SAT scores of 479 in reading, 502 in math and 469 in writing, according to results released yesterday.

The results are unchanged from last year in math, down two points in reading and down one point in writing.

Nationally the average was 501 in reading, 515 in mathematics and 493 in writing. A perfect score is 800 for each test.

TOTALLY RELATED: Randall Roth: In Hawaii Education, The Buck Stops Nowhere

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Hawaiian Airlines pilots out picketing

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines pilots scheduled a strike authorization vote for Tuesday, the same day informational picketing by their union begins at the interisland terminal of Honolulu International Airport.

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Hawaii inmate says he was sexually assaulted

The incident occurred about 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the complainant said.

Police did not say if the older man is staff member at the facility or was also being held there.

(Another of Hawaii's Soviet-style "news" stories.  Can't even tell whether the accused is staff or inmate?  Someone is holding something back here.)

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Mauna Kea CMP ruling Friday

"The CMP may be subject to challenge at a later date, during the course of conservation district permit application proceedings as CMP revision could be required for new development," wrote K. Tiger Mills, a staff planner with the DLNR's Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands. "Thus, there is no reason for allowing a challenge to go forward now."

(Exactly the right strategy.  Don't waste time jawboning with OHA operatives who are going to sue no matter what.  Just get through the preliminaries ASAP and get into the court so the payoffs, err "rent",  can be negotiated.)

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Connections charter school plans campus in Kaumana

The school is seeking a lease on 72 acres of state land in Kaumana, where it wants to bring together its elementary, middle and high schools, plus add agricultural programs and student dormitories.

(Since the support of public education is one of the five purposes enumerated in the Hawaii Admission Act, $1 should be the annual rent for the land.  Will OHA sue to demand a higher rate?  If they can block a drug treatment center at Hanapepe, blocking a school in Hilo should be easy.  Make 'em dumb and doped up, that's the OHA way.)

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Holes in the Road: Few details on Hawaii County paving

How many miles of roadway, and where, did Hawaii County repave during the last fiscal year?
The answer, according to the Department of Public Works, is complicated and difficult to provide....

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Democrat Borreca: NIMBY outlook changes with the economic times

For instance, in the current economic malaise it turns out that the Big Island really does like prisons....Across the nation rural communities are rethinking the prison business. Paying neighbors seem a tad better than broke neighbors. Too bad that Hawaii's governor now is not interested in building prisons.

(Why would anybody want another union controlled monstrosity?  Unless they were a union hack looking to lard up a district with Democrat voters....)

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Waihee BK: Big Isle project files for bankruptcy

Sunra Coffee LLC sought Chapter 11 protection last week listing assets and debts both in the range of $10 million to $50 million.

The company led by Japan-based economist and businessman Toshio Masuda had been working for about seven years to develop 220 acres of agricultural land near Kailua, Kona, into a 40-lot subdivision called Royal Hualalai Gardens.

Waihee is a minority partner in the company along with local businessman Michael Nekoba. Mariko Ejiri is another partner in Sunra and is the wife of Masuda, an author and media commentator in Japan who also sold Hawai'i real estate in the 1990s.

Don Gelber, a local bankruptcy attorney representing Sunra, said the company was beset by long delays in obtaining government approvals that resulted in development loans coming due before lot sales could be completed.

(Even the old boys can't get their subdivision approvals fast enough.  PS anybody think Waihee is in this because of his business acumen?  Political connections sure do pay off.  Wonder how much was taken from the company in salaries?  Professional fees?  Dairy may be a dying industry in Hawaii but there still are some 'milk cows' on the mainland--and in Japan.)

RELATED: Lenders foreclose on Makena Hotel

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Hawaii credit card delinquencies rise

Trans Union LLC yesterday reported that the percentage of people with payments delinquent by at least three months rose to 0.91 percent of all active card holders in the second quarter.

That rate probably translated into several thousand people having problems paying off their card balances, said Trans Union analyst Ezra Becker, who did not have specific numbers.

Hawai'i's rate rose from 0.79 last year, when the state had the sixth-lowest delinquency ratio nationwide. This year the second-quarter rate translated into a 12th-place ranking.

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AG office says city job not a conflict

State Sen. Michelle Kidani's second job as an appointed staff member with the city Neighborhood Commission does not violate any state law, the attorney general's office has determined.

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Advertiser: State must find money to secure hospitals grant

So the Legislature's vote to set aside $12.3 million in state funds to help cover the deficit was greeted with cheers by Isle private hospital administrators. They were all the more relieved because that grant would be more than matched with $15 million in federal funds, part of Medicaid's Disproportionate Share Hospital funding.

Unfortunately, the state administration has decided not to release the state share of the DSH funds, pointing to the severe fiscal pinch that a recessionary economy has produced.

(Too bad the unions haven't accepted furloughs, then the State could snag this money.)

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Statehood: Rational retrospective

Thank you, Aloha Spencer, first child born in Hawaii on the day it gained statehood: Aug. 21, 1959. Thank you for saying Hawaii is “lucky” to be part of the union and not another country.

Read the poem “Miniver Cheevy” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. (See below)

As to Aloha, born that first day of statehood, instead of looking back with futile teeth-gnashing at what cannot be changed, she is looking to the future.

(All the guilt-ridden nonsense about doubting Statehood is an elite phenomenon.  It does not extend to the rest of the public who are not afflicted with the conceits and vanities played upon by the Gramscians.)

RELATED: Antonio Gramsci Reading List

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Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
   Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
He wept that he was ever born,
   And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
   When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
   Would send him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
   And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
   And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
   That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
   And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
   Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
   Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
   And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
He missed the medieval grace
   Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
   But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
   And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
   Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
   And kept on drinking.

    -- Edwin Arlington Robinson

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