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Friday, August 28, 2009
August 28, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:35 AM :: 9703 Views

Dowling defaults: Makena Saved ("Save Makena" pretends not to be happy)

But no one interviewed Wednesday, even those associated with the grass-roots group Save Makena, is really celebrating what could be the demise of Makena Resort. The lenders' attorneys have said they fully intend to seek out new investors; and Dowling said he is going to find a way to be part of that group.  (And he prolly will because unless the next group of outsiders hire an insider like Dowling, they will never get their project going.  Purchasing protest-until-paid-off activists and council members is long tiresome work and rather than buying their own, outsiders are better off dealing with somebody who already owns the necessary players).

"It all seemed like a house of cards; and it's the little people who have to suffer who didn't do anything," said (anti-Superferry Protester) Lucienne de Naie, vice chairwoman of the Hawaii Sierra Club, referring to the more than 500 employees who work at the 310-room hotel and two golf courses.  (Desperately trying to deflect blame from herself and her organization, she added) "I see this as an unfortunate occurrence of chasing bubbles in the world economy rather than sustainable solutions right here."  (Wrong.  It is a completely predictable consequence of the Sierra Club's delay tactics and litigation.)....

Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr., who is Dowling's friend, said he was once a paid (key word) cultural consultant years ago (Ca-Ching!) on the project for its former owners. The most important issues, he said, are the jobs (for activists such as himself) and that the future owner or owners respect the burial and archaeological sites in Makena (by hiring even more activists).

No wonder this project went BK.

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Hawaii, state worker union move closer to deal on furloughs

The Lingle administration has offered the union 24 furlough days this fiscal year starting in October and 24 days next fiscal year, along with a halt to layoffs except for staff at Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island, which is being closed....

The union's counter-offer is for 18 furlough days this fiscal year, starting in October, and 12 days next fiscal year. The union also wants the state to continue covering 60 percent of worker health care premiums as health care costs rise. The administration has said it does not want to pay any additional costs for health care.

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State Deals With Add $98 Million To Budget Shortfall

Economists with the Hawaii Council on Revenues on Thursday projected an additional $98 million to the state budget shortfall raising it to more than $800 million.

The group of economists attributed the 1.5 percent drop in tax revenues to uncertainty in the tourism industry.

Earlier, the council had predicted no growth at 0 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year.  The governor and the lawmakers can only spend what the Council on Revenues forecasts will be collected in tax revenues.

LINGLE: Council on Revenues reduced forecast shows "realities of our current budget situation"

SB: Shortfall revised upward to $876M  HA: Even deeper Hawaii revenue drop predicted, but quicker rebound

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Revenue forecast may hinder rail funding

As recently as last month city officials were anticipating a more than $500 million shortfall in transit taxes needed to build the 20-mile, $5.3 billon train line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana....

Transit tax collections already are falling short of forecasts for the current fiscal year, which began July 1. During the current fiscal year the city was projecting tax collections to average $16.5 million a month, based on a forecast made last November.

However, in July the tax raised just $12.3 million. Those figures along with all other transit tax collection figures in this story account for the 10 percent the state takes off the top to pay for administering the tax.

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Libraries choose furloughs over layoffs

As the recession has caused people to flock to public libraries, the state Board of Education is on the verge of closing all 51 libraries for two days a month (furlough) to accommodate a budget shortfall. The proposal is preferable to a proposal to shut the doors entirely on five libraries (layoff) but still could have harmful consequences.

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UH seeks to delay faculty paychecks by 1 day to (pretend to) save cash

If the administration and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly can agree, unionized faculty members would see their June 30, 2010, paycheck pushed back to July 1, when the 2011 fiscal year begins. They will also likely see their paychecks pushed back a day for the next four pay periods.

(This doesn't 'save' a penny, it just puts the expense into the next fiscal year.)

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Rock-bottom airfares hurt airlines in long run

Airlines should come to their senses and replace fare wars with fair wars. They can be competitive by implementing rigorous cost control and offer the public a clearer and comprehensible fare structure.

In this unrealistic scenario of illogical fare dumping, for some airlines this strategy could backfire and they could get seriously hurt from self-inflicted wounds.

In a fare war there are no winners, only survivors.

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Josh Green, Hawaii Obamabots mobilize to back destruction of medical care

State Sen. Josh Green, D-3rd (Kohala, Kona, Ka'u), a Big Island doctor who favors the reform plan, accused opponents of spreading fear at town hall meetings, including one hosted on Tuesday night by Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, who is running in the Republican primary for Congress in urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District.

"As a doctor I see people every day, in the emergency department, and they have real fear," Green said. "Fear that is not this phony town hall fear that's been generated. They have fear that they can't get care for their kids. They have a child with asthma, and they don't know whether they can afford to go to the emergency department.

"That's fear."  (Too bad Green did so much to block construction of Malulani Hospital which he called "substandard".  And too bad Green's Democrat Party Legislators have blocked tort reform at every step.  Here is a look at Green's beloved HHSC: Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa, NRO: President Obama, Hawaii, and Dodgy Certificates (of Need).)

Jonah Ka'auwai, the chairman of the state GOP, said Green and other majority Democrats are only listening to constituents who support the president's reform plan and have tuned out dissenting voices.

"For him to criticize the people that came there? These are people who have an opinion and have a voice to give," Ka'auwai said. "From our standpoint, it makes it obvious for the people of Hawai'i that their representation, whether it's on the Big Island or it's in Congress, these Democrats and this representation is not looking out for the best of the people of Hawai'i."

RELATED: Obamabots rally in Hilo 

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ACT 221/215: Liens filed over Hoku Scientific plant

JH Kelly LLC, the Washington-based general contractor overseeing construction, late last month filed the largest lien, just under $13 million.

Hawai'i-based Hoku wants to manufacture polysilicon at its Pocatello plant to sell to the solar market, but construction nearly came to a standstill earlier this year because the company still needs to come up with more than $100 million of the $390 million cost of the plant.

The Honolulu-based clean-energies technology company reported a $904,000 loss for the April-to-June quarter, far outstripping its $74,000 in revenue.  ($74,000 in revenue???  Get a job, and you might make $74,000 in 'revenue'.)

(But everybody got their Hawaii Tax credits, and that's what really counts.)

SB: Liens filed against polysilicon plant owner Hoku

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Hawaii must bolster broadband network

The bad news comes in a study by, which measured average upload speeds, and it reveals a traffic jam on Hawai'i's broadband (high speed) networks. The speed here was 2.97 megabits per second, which earns the state an appalling 47th ranking among the states and the District of Columbia. Comparison with the Delaware average of 9.91 mbps makes it clear how far there is to go.

And the U.S. as a whole is lagging behind the world leaders: South Korea quadrupled the American average speed.

(Hmmmmm.  Maybe somebody wanted to create a need to hire all that dark Sandwich Isles cable sitting in the ground.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

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Judge OKs HawTel revival plan

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King approved yesterday a detailed, 333-page disclosure statement explaining the plan, saying he wanted to get the case moving, despite objections from the unsecured creditors' committee.

The company will begin soliciting support for its plan in September over a 30-day period.

A confirmation hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

HawTel's plan reduces the company's debt by nearly $790 million -- to $300 million from $1.1 billion.

(Like vultures) Sandwich Isles Communications Corp. offered $400 million in June to buy HawTel out of bankruptcy but has yet to file its own reorganization plan (because that might entail releasing details of SIC's highly secretive financial structure including moneys aid to numerous old-boy insiders.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

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Iwi Hypocrisy: Church project hit with second suit

A second lawsuit has been filed against Kawaiaha'o Church and the state to block the disinterment or relocation of iwi -- native Hawaiian remains -- at the construction site of its multipurpose center.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. filed suit in Circuit Court on behalf of plaintiff Dana Naone Hall of Maui earlier this month.  (Will NHLC lawyers compare this to Arlington?  Or is that kind of rhetoric reserved solely for unmarked, unknown burials.)

Naone Hall's suit follows in the steps of another one filed in July by Abigail Kawananakoa, who is also seeking to stop the church from any further work at the burial plot of her ancestors, Queen Kapiolani and King Kalakaua.

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Kauai Headlines

(The economy is in the tank and they are STILL attacking business.  This is what comes from having a large class of idle rich anti-Superferry protesters.)

$3 million requested for special counsel since 2007

Jobs sparse as construction slows down

Members push back on KIUC rate hike

Judge rules in favor of Lady Ann

Amid water safety worries, sports park to open soon

Army's depleted uranium claims questioned by usual gaggle of activists amplified on front page of paper

"The facts scare us. We know the facts and we also know the misinformation because we've had two, three years of the military trying to twist the facts around to make it seem depleted uranium is safe and we have nothing to worry about,"  (We activists have decided the 'facts'.  You must comply.) said Meghan Isaac Magdelan. "It makes people sick (false) and it makes people die."  (Especially if you are down range....)
Jon Viloon added, "We need a second opinion because I'm not convinced that your calm reassurances reflect reality."  (Why should anybody care if this activist is "convinced"?)


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