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Saturday, September 5, 2009
September 5, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:09 AM :: 7205 Views

Arbitrator, HGEA vote to closes state hearings

Critical arbitration hearings to hash out a new contract between the Lingle administration and Hawaii's largest public worker union are under way behind closed doors despite the objections of state negotiators.

The hearings are the start of a process that will lead to a decision by Philip Tamoush, a professional arbitrator from California. Tamoush is the neutral member of a panel that includes one union representative, Larry Ishimi, and one management member, Stan Shiraki.

Linda Smith, Lingle's senior policy adviser, said the state's panel member did not vote to close the hearing.

"I presume the union was the second vote," Smith said.

"The more things they do behind closed doors, the more they leave the taxpayers to think that one of the parties is lying," said Paul Smith, who is married to Lingle adviser Linda Smith.

For his part, Perreira said he did not care whether the hearings were open or closed, but said that if the news media were allowed to attend, his members should also be allowed in.

KGMB: Media Thrown Out of Arbitration Hearing

Adv: Media blocked from covering arbitration between Lingle, union

Portnoy said the news media — and by extension the public — has a clear interest in the hearings because they could help determine how the state handles the deficit. "To close that proceeding to the people who are going to pay the bill is absurd," he said.

Both the Lingle administration and the HGEA told the news media before the hearing that they would not object to the media attending, as long as it was allowed by the neutral arbitrator. Reporters from The Advertiser, the Star-Bulletin, the Associated Press and network-affiliated television stations arrived to cover the hearing.

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BJ Penn and Hawaii tech firms got $140M in tax breaks

The 2008 filers had total revenue of $194.3 million and total expenses of $363.1 million, indicating that most did not turn a profit for the year.

The companies paid a total of $2.1 million in general excise tax in 2008, and employed 1,375 full-time workers and 2,781 independent contractors last year.

Payroll costs totaled $119.1 million in 2008 for all the filers, with approximately a third of the employees earning annual salaries between $30,000 and $60,000. Another third earned annual salaries between $60,000 and $100,000. 

(And 1/3 --458 employees-- OVER $100K???  =  $45.8 million plus in salaries out of $140M tax breaks)

The performing arts category accounted for 44 of the companies, and $109.5 million out of the total of $254.8 million in cash investments.

The report lists the names of all 116 companies that received Act 221 investments after June 30, 2007. Some of these include:

Big Island Biodiesel, BJ Penn Enterprise, Cellular Bioengineering, Clear Fuel Technology, Grass Skirt Productions, Hawaii Film Partners, Hawaii Biotech, Hoana Medical, Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, Island Film Studios, Kaheawa Wind Power, Maui Fresh Fish, Panthera Biopharma, Pipeline Micro, Sopogy, and Tissue Genesis.

READ REPORT: http://assets.bizjournals.com/cms_media/pacific/pdf/2009hitec_rpt.pdf

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SB: Finally deals with US Civil Rights commission on Akaka Bill

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' opposition to Hawaiian sovereignty would be considered a setback for the bill were it not for the fact that the commission is entirely a holdover from the Bush administration. The GOP, with some exceptions, has been opposed to the Akaka Bill since its inception and President George W. Bush indicated he would veto it. The commission's opposition should be ignored as party politics.  (Appeal to Bush-haters?  Why not appeal to 911 trooothers, too?)

The six GOP-named commissioners reiterated their 2007 opposition in a letter to House leaders last week. They challenged the bill's constitutionality, pointing out that the kingdom overthrown in 1893 had a "multiracial legislature." The bill would grant sovereignty to indigenous Hawaiians but cites the overthrow.

(This should be ignored as party politics, according to the SB.  But it is one of the key questions supporters of the Akaka Bill are wrangling with amongst themselves--The definition of "Native Hawaiian."  So the SB does not want the public--or even the native Hawaiian public--tuned into this debate.)

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SB: School did not report alleged sex assault of 12-year-old girl

"We call police when there is imminent danger to the students," she said.

When asked about the potential danger posed to other students by the suspects, Botticelli said she could not comment.  (Busted)

...

Public schools are required by state law to report to authorities criminal acts ranging from drugs to sexual assault.  (Ooops)

The girl told school officials Monday morning that she had been assaulted in a dormitory on the Kapalama campus from Aug. 28 through Monday.  (How did this happen for 3 or 4 days without somebody noticing?)

The boys were arrested Tuesday (1 day later) on six counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault, three counts of kidnapping and burglary.

...

"In a private or a public institution, when a legal crime has been committed when private or public, you're obligated to call police," said Michael D'Andrea, a University of Hawaii professor in the College of Education and former coordinator of the Hawaii school-based violence prevention program.

"The responsibility of the professional educator is to protect the students and not to neglect the students, and sometimes that is outweighed by the politics of the schools," D'Andrea said.

(So was KSBE CYA or were they protecting the boys?) 

ADV: Kamehameha Schools obligated to report alleged sex assault to police, Hawaii court official says

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Public will pay $100K for secret Harry Kim accident

"Nobody recalled the accident," Yagong said.  It was November, 2006 and the story is strange in several details.

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Builder bound by red tape

"At every crossroads, the building department is like, 'We'll look at it in three months.' Instead of expediting this, they're taking the stance that you don't question, you do as you're told and we'll give you the permit when we give it to you," Wilson said.

(This is the treatment a builder gets when rehabbing one of downtown Hilo's worst drug dens into a useful retail/residential building.  And we are supposed to turn the State inside out to keep these gov't employees on staff?)

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Maui: Agricultural inspector layoffs slammed

(HGEA can stop these layoffs any time by accepting furloughs.)

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Media Council to Challenge Raycom Honolulu TV Deal

The group has retained the Institute for Public Representation, based at Georgetown Law, to prove its stance that the agreement is "nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to avoid regulatory scrutiny by the FCC and that Raycom will exercise control over all three stations in defiance of the FCC ownership rules."

RELATED: Everything you every wanted to know about the so-called Honolulu Media Council covering for Barack Obama

(This is just a "thinly disguised attempt" to keep local Gramscians employed.  Related: Antonio Gramsci Reading List)

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