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Saturday, September 12, 2009
September 12, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:09 PM :: 7585 Views

State, UPW fight over arbitrator

State labor law requires the two sides, when they are unable to agree on a neutral arbitrator, to choose from a list of five arbitrators provided by the American Arbitration Association. The state and the union are supposed to alternately strike names from the list until an arbitrator is selected.

The Lingle administration alleges that the UPW has not followed the proper timeline to strike names from the list. The state also claims the union has not acted in good faith by questioning whether a deputy attorney general can legitimately act as the representative for the state, the counties, the Judiciary and the Hawai'i Health Systems Corp.

The state has asked the Hawai'i Labor Relations Board to find that the union has waived its right to arbitration or, at a minimum, given up the right to help select the neutral arbitrator.

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State turning to inmate labor to save in Hawaii's budget crunch

Corrections officials are preparing for an influx in requests for inmate labor, as state departments look for ways to get work done cheaper during a worsening budget crunch.

Already, the state is in the midst of a $1 million contract to purchase 13 sets of playground equipment and build them using largely inmate labor.  The Department of Education is also in talks for a second contract to put in 32 playgrounds constructed by inmates.

(Great idea.  Now prosecutors need to step up their investigations of legislators, mayors, and union officials in order to make sure we have a steady supply of inmate labor.)

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It's true that 6 percent of Hawaii's population works for the state, but that relatively high number includes employees who in other states would be county workers -- such as teachers....  (Which means there is no reason for Hawaii voters to allow themselves to be dominated by such a small and insignificant group.)

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Changes prompt deaf residents to sound off

About 50 members of the deaf community rallied and appeared at a legislative informational hearing yesterday at the state Capitol to express anger and dismay over changes in the Deaf Services Section of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division. The program services 244 deaf people.

Igniting the furor was the proposed termination of Ele MacDonald in cost-cutting work force reductions Nov. 14 because of the unprecedented state deficit. MacDonald has been supervisor of the deaf services section since it began in 1997, and she handles more than 170 cases.

(The HGEA can solve this problem anytime it wants by accepting furloughs.)

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Kohala school closing considered

A Big Island task force is studying whether Kohala Middle School should be closed to save money.  If so, its 198 students would be relocated to Kohala High and Elementary. Critics argue that the campus at the elementary and high school is already crowded.

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DHHL case in judge's hands

The class-action lawsuit Kalima v. State of Hawai'i was filed on behalf of more than 2,700 beneficiaries of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. It alleges that DHHL did not provide homes in a timely and prompt manner as required by the Admission Act. State attorneys, however, argued that DHHL has done what it could with the money it was provided and that it should not be blamed for not providing homes and lots more quickly.

(This was true until Lingle appointed Micah Kane--then for the first time in 80 years DHHL did its job.)

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State speeds probe of Hawaii County Council's actions

The Office of Information Practices is reviewing the legality of the council's June 16 reorganization, which prompted a pending civil lawsuit alleging certain lawmakers broke the "Sunshine Law" by meeting secretively.

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Keaukaha man refuses to pay HECLO monthly charges of up to $1,600

Wade Kalili alleges the electric company overcharged him by tens of thousands of dollars over the last five years because of a faulty meter and someone else tapping the line. He also says HELCO took the suspect meter to hide the evidence.

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Big Isle ag interests lobby at state Capitol to keep inspectors

Big Island farmers, ranchers and nursery growers traveled to the state Capitol Thursday to once again plead that state agriculture inspectors not be laid off.

(They should've gone to HGEA HQ to demand that the union accept furloughs.)

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Puna teacher is isle's best

Her third graders can do PowerPoint.

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Ex-Hawaii resident faces life in prison for distributing meth (Vegas-Honolulu connection)

A conviction on the charges carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years to life. But because Rodrigues has two prior state felony drug convictions, he faces a mandatory prison term of life without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Ezra on Jan. 11.  (Without Federal justice, there would be no justice at all in Hawaii.)

In 1984, Rodrigues was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty in state Circuit Court of promoting a dangerous drug, heroin. In 2000, he was given a five-year term for promotion of methamphetamine and heroin.

Soon after his release from prison, Rodrigues was back in the illegal drug trade. He admitted in recorded phone conversations that he shipped "pound quantities" of methamphetamine to Hawaii over a two-year period....

In October 2008, Rodrigues still had more than eight pounds of methamphetamine when he met with an undercover officer posing as a prospective buyer. Prosecutors said Rodrigues tried to sell the drug at cost and arranged for his sister, Carrie Hanson, to deliver three pounds of methamphetamine to the undercover officer.

RELATED: State v Rodrigues, 1998 (Here in State Court Rodrigues and Carrie Hanson almost get off Scott-free after a circuit court tosses out the charges on a technicality)

Math problem: 1998-1984=14  14<20 

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SB: U.S. tourism bill good for isles

The legislation would charge a $10 entry fee for visitors to the U.S. to create a fund capped at $100 million, combined with matching funds by the private sector, for a Corporation for Travel Promotion. It would be headed by an 11-member board comprised of federal, state and local officials... (oh yes, that sounds like a promising group of young advertising execs.)....

(And this may begin a round of tit for tat tariffs which would seriously damage tourism and trade while doing little to promote it.)

TOTALLY RELATED: Obama penalizes China tire imports

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Hawaiian Air pilots vote to allow strike

The pilots are negotiating with the airline, and talks run by a federal mediator are planned for Oct. 12 in Washington.

Negotiators for ALPA and Hawaiian Air met this week in Honolulu without a mediator present and could do so again before the October session.

Contract talks have been going on for two years.

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Unfinished Honolulu condo headed for foreclosure auction

The foreclosure was initiated in April by general contractor Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., which hasn't been paid for $29.5 million of work on Moana Vista. Other subcontractors are owed substantially less money.

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Adv: Time to try more rename Obamacare "Holistic Health Care"

With all the talk about health care reform stalling and restarting on Capitol Hill, it's easy to forget that efforts to change the way patients get care has been under way here in the Islands....In 2002, a coalition of family-medicine organizations settled on a recommendation that every American should be assigned to a "personal medical home," a network of providers for their care.

Here are some reasons Hawaii should NOT be a model for health care:

Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa

Sean Hannity exposes Hawaii's Failed Universal Health Care Experiment

NRO: President Obama, Hawaii, and Dodgy Certificates (of Need)

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