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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
September 22, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:30 PM :: 8379 Views

State labor talks could hinge on HSTA vote

"We have been waiting to see what would happen with HSTA," said Jodi Chai, the HGEA's communications officer.

Lingle told reporters last week that a settlement with teachers could place more urgency on the other unions.

(And a "no" vote could reduce the urgency felt by other unions.  Democratic Team Chaos 2010 is VERY pleased by today's news coverage.) 

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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Teachers vote on contract  (D-Day for Team Chaos 2010)

Hawaii's 31 charter schools will not automatically furlough teachers or shut down on days designated as furlough days for public schools.  (One more reason to convert YOUR school to charter status now.)

Today the state's 13,000 public school teachers will vote on a new contract that calls for a nearly 8 percent pay cut and closing the schools 17 days a year for the next two years.

But Hawaii charter schools, which are state-funded but operate with separate individual school boards, will not be bound by the same agreement.  (An argument for teachers to vote "NO" on contract?)

The charter schools budget is set by the Legislature and then either approved or restricted by the Lingle administration. Love said that in the past two years the per-pupil level of funding at charter schools has dropped to $5,500 from $8,149 -- a decrease of almost 33 percent.

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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SB: Hawaii teachers face painful vote

Hawaii schoolteachers are being asked today to make sacrifices for their colleagues and students by taking Fridays off without pay to prevent teacher layoffs and overcrowded classrooms. The two-year tentative contract up for vote today by the rank-and-file faculty is sure to create hardships during the next two school years. Financially, it would help improve the state's budget during these difficult economic times -- but the cost in lost learning is appalling. Education deserves a higher priority than other budget items.

Translation: Team Chaos 2010 says VOTE NO! (While pretending to make an argument for a yes vote.)

Maui News chimes in: Two disagreeable options confront teachers today

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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Furlough dates set for Hawaii public school teachers

"How can you do this to our children?" asked Paul Bernstein of 'Aina Haina, who has two children in the public school system, one at 'Aina Haina Elementary and another at Niu Valley Middle School. "Children often get shortchanged, and I feel like, here we go again."

Translation: Team Chaos 2010 says VOTE NO!

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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Schools need help through budget shortfall

Today Hawai'i's 13,000 teachers will vote on whether to ratify the agreement. Assuming they do, the other public-worker unions still in the midst of negotiating should make an effort to strike a deal that meshes with the public schools settlement, as much as possible.

Finding efficiencies will be key to mitigating the impact of cuts to programs, services and labor. Coordinating furloughs can achieve better results here than pay cuts. If teachers and students are going to be off for 17 Fridays, unions for the office workers and the blue-collar positions should seek those days off, too. Why bring cafeteria workers in, or run the electricity, if children are not there?

(Yup, the HSTA is setting a pattern here....  How will they vote?  Stay tuned for results tonight.)

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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Last inmates leave Big Isle prison

Both the Kulani employees and prisoners are unhappy with the decision to close the facility, said Ikaika Dombrigues, a building maintenance supervisor who has worked at Kulani for 20 years.

"Their lives have just been crumbled," he said of employees who will continue reporting to work for the near future.

Eventually, all Kulani employees will be reassigned to the Hawai'i Community Correctional Center, also known as the Hilo jail, although some employees have asked to be allowed to fill openings at prisons on other islands, Johnson said.

There are enough vacancies at Hawai'i's jails and prisons to absorb the displaced Kulani workers, Johnson said.

(After decades of chanting "Education, not Incarceration!"  They aren't losing even a single job--but the liberals are crying.)

TOTALY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy 

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Isle housing costs now highest in U.S

Almost half of the units in Hawaii are valued between $500,000 and $999,999, while 10 percent are valued at $1 million and up.

The national median value is $197,600, with monthly housing costs for owner-occupied units with a mortgage at $1,514, according to the survey, which is based on a sampling of the population.

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Unity House gets final OK to buy Waikiki hotel

Local nonprofit labor welfare organization Unity House received final court approval to buy The Lotus at Diamond Head hotel in Waikiki out of foreclosure for $8.5 million last week.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. –George Orwell, Animal Farm

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More than 10,000 children in isles remain uninsured (Obamacare agitprop)

State Sen. David Ige, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said lawmakers are aware there is a gap group of working poor who do not qualify for state services.

Ige (D, Aiea-Pearl City) said the Legislature authorized $350,000 to cover an estimated 4,500 children without health insurance statewide in 2007 and 2008, but Gov. Linda Lingle's administration has ceased the program and declined to release the funds.

(Typical Democrat agit-prop--here's the complete debunk: Universal Nightmare: Hawaii's Failed Universal Health Care ... )

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Maui developer must pay $232,700 for damages blamed on construction

Plaintiffs testified that from approximately 2006 to 2008, dirt blew into their homes and vibrations rattled and damaged their properties. They said their lives were disrupted by other nuisances associated with the Kahului project's construction.

But defense attorneys pointed out that no government agencies or a project manager found fault with the project, and that an engineer who tested vibrations at the job site said they were all below a "damage threshold."

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Waianae teacher and students march on after the high school's band program is shut down

After several high-schoolers came to Serra for guidance when the Waianae band program was shut down last year, they decided to create a marching band that included both intermediate and high school students. "I don't want to be the permanent solution to this problem," Serra said. "But these kids came to me for help. I told them if they were up for the challenge, I was, too."

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Kauai police chief says he won't seek top job with HPD

"The reason for this decision is because there has been an outcry from the public about my application, but more importantly, my wife and I had a heart-felt talk and she expressed not wanting me to leave Kauai if I was fortunate enough to be offered the position," Perry said in his letter.

Also in the letter, Perry outlined some of his accomplishments at KPD (he is entering the final year of a three-year contract that expires in October 2010), including creation of an Internal Affairs Unit and Administrative Review Board, and provisions of "extensive leadership training for senior staff."

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Isle nonprofits are struggling

Then the unthinkable occurred in July. Family Support Services of West Hawaii's contract as a provider ended as Hawaii's Healthy Start was eliminated in several places because of state budget cuts.

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KTA reconsiders Hilo renovation

HILO -- KTA Super Stores is reconsidering plans to renovate its downtown Hilo grocery store and remove an adjacent building, a senior company executive said Monday.
Difficulty getting Hawaii County approvals, the recession and some unforeseen operational expenses have all combined to delay the project, said Andrew Chun, KTA vice president of administrative services.

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ADA upgrades over budget, behind schedule

In 2000, the County Council signed off on a plan to bring facilities into compliance within 12 years. Estimates at the time, and in the first few
years of the program, ranged from $14 million to $30 million to complete the work....

As of August, the county has spent about $27 million and finished work at 47 sites, or about 32 percent of 146 sites to which improvements will be made....

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County struggles to sell Hamakua property (Monsanto busts lie)

Rumors to the contrary, the county can't count on agriculture biotech giant Monsanto to bail it out, either.
"We're kind of startled about that. The conversations or rumors are not accurate," said Alan Takemoto, community affairs manager for Monsanto Hawaii. "We are not a potential buyer. We have never discussed it with any county official. Monsanto is not looking to buy any land on the Big Island."

(The shouldn't be startled.  Green make up silly lies like that all the time.)

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Economic Strength of Hawaii Seed Crop Industry Confirmed By Recent Reports

In its Aug. 31 report, “Hawaii Seed Crops,” the NASS estimates the value of Hawaii’s seed industry for the 2008/2009 season was a “record high” of $176.6 million. Seed corn accounts for $169.3 million, or 96 percent, of the total value. According to the NASS, acreage devoted to seed crops will increase 12 percent from the previous growing season to a record of 5,930 acres.

(Which is why OHA and the enviros are trying to shake them down.)

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