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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
September 23, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:26 PM :: 7794 Views

Teachers ratify new state contract by 81 percent

The Hawaii State Teachers Association announced that the vote was 81.1 percent in favor and 17 percent against. The remaining 1.9 percent of the votes are absentee ballots that have yet to be counted.

About 75 percent of the union's 13,500 members voted, officials said.

(Big defeat for Team Chaos 2010.  So sad.  Will Lingle achieve what Cayetano did not  Does this prove that "adult supervision" from a non-Democrat governor is a requirement for progress in Hawaii?)

Advertiser: Hawaii teachers agree to 17 furlough days — a 7.9% loss in pay

(BTW:  What happened last time the vast majority of teachers approved a contract?  Anybody ever get drug tested?)

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Democrat Borreca: Someday our legislators must learn to say 'No'

The adults down here at the state Capitol are worried.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association may have been the first brick to fall out of labor's wall erected against the Lingle administration, but even overwhelming ratification does not mean labor peace or a balanced budget on the horizon.  (But it does mean that the membership is not with the leadership.  The Unions are ripe for internal insurgecy.)

The three other public unions are still running in their own orbits and none are realistically accepting a budget shortfall.  (After this stinging defeat, there is still hope for Team Chaos 2010)

House Speaker Calvin Say earlier this week told me he was still worried that "even three days a month will not address this budget."

That sort of realistic assessment is from one of the state's top Democrats, someone who has watched the state budget soar and who leads a Legislature that has already raised real estate, hotel and income taxes in an effort to balance the budget. Because next year is an election year the chances of lawmakers taxing their way out of the shortfall are slight.

Last year Say watched his ideas to cut state benefits for retirement and other worker costs trampled under a thundering herd of union protests. The Lingle administration came late to the game to support Say's proposals, but it would not have mattered: Say's bills could not even get out of his own House labor committee.

Obviously the state cannot spend the money it spent last year or even the money it spent in 2006, and someday the Legislature will have to find enough grownups to say "No."

TOTALLY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy , HGEA Negotiator rips Speaker Say, Legislators: "Finger pointing, hands-off attitude"

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Republican Bean announces campaign for SD 24

Tracy Nakano Bean, who finished third in the special election last April to replace the late Barbara Marshall on the Honolulu City Council, plans to run as a Republican in state Senate District 24 (Kailua, Käne’ohe) in 2010.

State Sen. Jill Tokuda, a Democrat, is facing her first re-election campaign in a Windward district that can be friendly territory for the GOP.

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'No evidence' to support allegations of corruption against Hawaii judge Michael Town

The witness, Jonnaven Monalim, suggested in court testimony that he "had influenced and corrupted state Circuit Court Judge Michael Town," Kubo said in the statement.

"There is no evidence supporting these allegations," Kubo continued.

Town's "many years of public service, leadership, and his fair(ness) and impartiality is unquestionable," Kubo said.

(So Judge Town lets all those politically-connected crooks go on technicalities just because he feels like it?)

RELATED: Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina , Malu Motta: “I need one governor so he can pardon me.”

Billy Kenoi Helped Pali Shooter , Billy Kenoi at Shooters—and the Pali shooter—the connections 

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BJ Reyes: Hawaii ACORN Office Abandoned

Realizing it was only a matter of time before intrepid filmmakers James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles made their way to Honolulu, we decided to beat them to the punch.

Guerilla journalism? Maybe....

(Funny story with lots of pics....)

RELATED: Squirrel nut zipper  (Hirono gives deceptive response on her vote for continued funding of ACORN child prostitution tax advisors)

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Shapiro: With God on our side

If ever there was a time for such a candidate it was 1998, when same-sex marriage was rejected by nearly 70 percent of voters in a ballot initiative.  But Koki's religious conservatism was generally considered a drag on the ticket and one of the reasons for the socially moderate Lingle's narrow loss to Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Lingle's running mate in her two successful races for governor, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, also is a social conservative with strong religious beliefs, but he mostly kept them to himself in those campaigns.

That could change next year, when Aiona is expected to head the Republican ticket and the controversial civil unions bill in the Legislature will be a key issue.

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Getting unions' vote, via Guam

In the case of Abercrombie, he might understand that he will not achieve the goal of making every Guam military construction job available to a Hawai'i worker who wants one on the terms and conditions they enjoy in this pro-labor state. But if he moves the needle even a little, his labor constituency will be pleased. And it will remember those efforts come Election Day.

(Abercrombie's Guam jobs scam is and always has been DOA in Washington.  It is just election year 'show and tell' to Hawaii unions.) 

RELATED: Rep. Neil Abercrombie is CAGW’s August Porker of the Month , Rep Bordallo: Abercrombie's $10B Guam pork deal "not going to sail" , Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor

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Hawaii's tax burden ranks 24th in the U.S.

the tax climate in the Aloha State, which ranked 24th in data released yesterday, has become increasingly more burdensome after ranking 16th in 2007, 18th in 2008 and 22nd in 2009.

In the categories surveyed by the Washington, D.C.-based institute, with the lower listing the better, Hawaii ranked 10th for corporate tax, 44th for individual income tax, 11th for sales tax, 12th for unemployment insurance tax and eighth for property tax.

LINK: Which States Are Best for Business? 2010 State Business Tax Climate Index

"2010 State Business Tax Climate Index" Available online at http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22658.html.

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Liu blasted over layoffs

Despite cuts, Liu said all departmental functions and statutory requirements would remain unchanged and met.

(Sure, but without 100% tax credits under ACT 215/221, what do we need a film office for anyway?)

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Honolulu council's zoning panel approves bill to lift B&B ban

O'ahu homeowners could get permits for new bed-and-breakfast establishments under a bill that won a preliminary 4-1 vote by the City Council's Zoning Committee yesterday....Councilman Romy Cachola, the sole dissenting vote....

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Kauai: Shoreline, TVR bills deferred

Draft Bill No. 2319 would waive the requirement to certify the shoreline for some “minor” structures and activities — such as lifeguard towers or an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant wheelchair ramp.

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Quintal: Aloha Tower agency made right call rejecting deal

While the arbitrator's ruling in the Hughes Development arbitration case resulted in a partial decision against the Aloha Tower Development Corp., the news article did not accurately report key findings by the arbitrator regarding the essence of this case ("Tower of trouble," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 14).

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Big Isle economy looks 'pretty bleak'

The word "Obama" occurs nowhere in this article.  Also not mentioned:  slow building permit approvals from Hawaii County government.

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American Samoa governor says territory should buy tuna cannery

Gov. Togiola Tulafono on Monday asked the Legislature to appropriate $5 million for the purchase of Chicken of the Sea International's tuna cannery.

The company plans to close its COS Samoa Packing plant on Sept. 30 and lay off more than 2,100 workers.

He says the government could either operate the cannery or hire a third party company to run it. (And surely use it to continue Democrat control in Samoa.)

Tuna canneries are American Samoa's dominant industry, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all economic activity.

Tulafono has blamed the industry's woes on federally mandated minimum wage increases.  (So hiking the minimum wage DOES kill jobs.)

(BTW:  Where are all the unemployed Samoans going to move?)

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'Barbarian Princess' film title raises some hackles in Hawaii

"Barbarian Princess," meant to be an ironic title, is what the princess was dubbed by some newspapers during her travels in the 1890s to the Mainland, where she astounded people with her grace, intelligence and beauty. The movie's producers say the title is meant to intrigue audiences, especially those outside of the Islands who wouldn't recognize her name or know her story.

"The ironic reference was done for a specific reason," said Roy Tijoe, a producer for the film and the co-owner of Island Film Group. He said concerns about the title "were coming from people who thought that we were intending a literal reference. Of course, that's not what we're doing."

But yesterday, several Native Hawaiian leaders said the title — ironic or not — is offensive.

"Because it's a painful thing, we don't care for irony," said Jon Osorio, a professor at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa's Kamakauokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

(Even though the producers intent is to skewer the racist attitudes of the 1890s, Osorio etal. still complain.  When will Osorio complain about the real barbarians--drug dealers, mortgage scammers, elder abusers, and other assorted criminal scum--who make up much of the leadership of the so-called sovereignty movement???) 

More of the same, Watson: Those Barbarian Hawaiians and Their Princess  , Roots of a racial divide

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HOPE offers benefits for justice system

And Project HOPE, an initiative of the justice system to stop criminal behavior from accelerating, has drawn the attention of national experts who think it's a model to be replicated in other states.

"When Brute Force Fails," a new book by UCLA professor Mark Kleiman, includes a major section and other references to Project HOPE, created by state Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm.

(HOPE actually enforces the rules laid down in probation sentences.  Any violation means jail time.  What a concept!)

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ADV: Net neutrality still essential

The idea is that, left unregulated, wireless companies could pick and choose which data could flow freely on their networks, potentially enabling them to slow to a crawl the services that compete with their own, and to favor others that they own or that pay them a premium.

This would cripple future Internet-based innovations — Skype online phone calls and Web radio just two of countless examples — that rely on predictable connections.

(Would, could, would , could:  Liberals demanding government regulation of the Internet to solve non-existent problems.  Their real goal is to get the government's foot in the door....)

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Hawaii not seen as target in latest Islamist terror plot

State officials said they were aware of the federal security bulletins issued as part of an ongoing national terrorism investigation, but emphasized that no specific targets were identified in Hawai'i, including sports and entertainment facilities or O'ahu's bus transit system.

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