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Sunday, September 27, 2009
September 27, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:33 PM :: 7889 Views

HSTA Insisted on Friday Furlough Days, tries to blame Governor

To the dismay of thousands of public school parents, union officials stood by their decision last week to schedule 17 teacher furlough days on Fridays.

Hawaii State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe said that opting for furloughs on Fridays makes sense because of the substantial savings that will be gained and the need to be consistent with potential furlough days chosen by other state worker unions.

Marie Laderta, the state's chief negotiator, said the DOE did not have to schedule furloughs on instructional days.

It could have opted for teacher pay cuts or made use of holidays, she said.

"The governor in no way dictated which days should be furlough days," she said.

"Reaction to public school teachers ratifying the Hawaii State Teachers Association contract is understandably focused on the impact to our students. However, comments blaming Gov. Lingle for furloughing teachers are misdirected," Laderta wrote in a letter to The Advertiser.

"They could have laid off employees or implemented pay cuts and required teachers to work. They could have had teachers take furloughs on noninstructional days or on state holidays," she wrote.

RELATED: School districts in some states to use training days for furloughs (Hawaii is the ONLY district which used class days for furlough days.) 

Schools will cancel or reschedule events (Results of union-created chaos)

TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy

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SB: OHA strategy hedges Akaka bet

In education, for example, OHA researchers could investigate why native Hawaiian students as a whole tend to lag behind other ethnic groups in school achievement and use that data to improve policies, methods and curriculums at a variety of educational institutions, thereby helping the largest number of Hawaiian students, no matter where they go to school.

That's in contrast to OHA's current, more individual, approach. For example, last year the agency spent about $2.3 million on 2,000 Hawaiian children in charter schools -- which works out to about $1,150 per child -- when there are 65,000 Hawaiian students in regular public schools.

(The Akaka Bill was supposed to pass Committee this September, now OHA has made it part of a "2010-2015 Strategic Plan."  This editorial reads like it was written by a committee.  It totally misses the point of the OHA restructuring.  More on this later.)

TOTALLY RELATED:  OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii

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Isle TV consolidation hurts public interest

(PBS-Lawyer defends Stalinist HCMC.  His closing para sounds like a rally speech....)

Fight the monopolization of the public's mass media airwaves by a few conglomerates. Demand (free speech, eh?) that major TV station ownership in Honolulu provide local media coverage from all such stations. Free KGMB and KHNL from illegal conglomerate ownership that seeks to reduce public service and local news jobs and outlets while maximizing profit and monopolizing local ad dollars.  (Which would prolly make all of them go BK.  Not a bad idea.  Less jobs for Gramscians.)    Return (sic) diversity (what kind of diversity?) and competition in news reporting and TV to Hawaii  (Still waiting for a local news station that aggressively--or even timidly--exposes big-time political corruption....)

Here's the real story: Raycom Honolulu TV Deal: Honolulu Community Media Council has its own issues with "media control"


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Kalapa: State taxpayers are tapped out and bone dry

Probably the most insidious mechanism lawmakers have added to the tax law is the unbridled use of tax credits under the income tax law.
Because the claim for tax credits is not dictated by any economic indicator, the council has no way of forecasting how taxpayers will react in making the necessary expenditures that would qualify for the tax credit. Since there is no maximum aggregate amount in how much can be claimed, tax credits become a wild card, draining revenues in many cases with no rhyme or reason. And, until recently, because taxpayers were not asked for more specific information about the expenditures that qualified for the tax credit, neither Tax Department personnel nor members of the Council on Revenues had any idea of what propelled the claim of these tax credits.

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SB Oi:  State's lack of foresight has us making lemonade

(She is trying to bail out the Legislature on the UI tax hike)

Meanwhile, state unemployment insurance taxes now averaging less than $100 per worker a year will surge 10 times higher in April, likely stifling new hiring, if not threatening current jobs.

This unmanageable situation is due to short-sightedness among elected officials who decided two years ago to make a big show of cutting the tax dramatically without considering that rainy days might come along, that a bad economy might shed jobs and require more unemployment benefits be paid out.

(Wrong.  It is caused by a law which is too rigid and political instead of leaving fund management to fiduciaries with a legally established formula for maintaining fund balances and setting UI tax rates.)

DEBUNK Oi SB 9-20-09: Legislature's Jobless fund inaction puzzling

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ADV: Let's move off the dime, and on with rail (Mufi's election campaign hangs by thread)

The latest distraction is over the decision to construct an entirely elevated system, rather than running portions of the line at-grade. Comments from a group of Honolulu architects and from landowner Kamehameha Schools have urged a second look at bringing the train down to street level along portions of the route.

(Of course they did.  Why would KSBE want to redevelop Kakaako planning for a rail system which will likely never be built???  They want it's route out of their redevelopment area so they can maximize the return on their land without leaving an empty path for a non-existent train.)

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Engineer flies daily to Kauai

On most weekdays, Department of Transportation engineer Kyle Furuhashi commutes to the island to oversee state transportation construction projects, according to the agency. Those costs, which ranged from $19,000 to $27,000 a year, are justified because of a shortage of engineers statewide and especially on Kaua'i, said Brennon Morioka, state DOT director.

"There is a severe shortage of construction engineers on Kaua'i," Morioka said. "So the only way that we can ensure proper oversight of our projects is to get engineers over. The alternative is you don't do any federal highway projects or state highway projects on Kaua'i. That's the consequence, if you don't have proper oversight."

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Hawaii subsidies cut for livestock feed

The state has spent about $3.8 million since November 2007 on a program aimed at revitalizing Hawai'i's struggling livestock industry and improving the state's self-sufficiency.  Despite the cash infusion, Hawai'i's livestock industry has continued to shrink.  Now those subsidies, which were scheduled to run through 2010, have been canceled because of the state's budget shortfall.

(Overtaxed and then subsidized.  Superferry killed.  And some are surprised this isn't working.)

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Hawaii fishers at odds over what to do about declining catches

Jellings and Costa are skeptical of scientific claims that fisheries are in decline. They believe fishers have become easy scapegoats for problems in the nearshore environment and say invasive algae, runoff, diversion of stream water from ocean outlets, and coastal development have done far more damage to reefs.

"We've been singing that song for 25 years, but you can't stop the golf courses, you can't stop development. But you can stop a few fishermen," Costa said. "There are a lot of things that are affecting the health of the reefs and its ecosystems and scientists are still trying to figure it all out."

("Studies" written by Gramscians to achieve the destruction of Hawaii's small commercial fishing sector--while also opposing Fish Farming)

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Hawaii Agit-Prop: DU killed soldier

While reading this try to remember that these people regard themselves as "enlightened, conscious, and progressive."  They think they are more intelligent than you are:

"This is an extremely low rate and so the first conclusion we can draw in Mr. Dyson's case is that his death from cancer was very rare indeed," wrote Chris Busby, the Ph.D. researcher who authored the report. Since "There is no report of colon cancer in Mr. Dyson's parents," he added, "It follows that we are looking for an aggressive carcinogenic or mutagenic substance to which Mr. Dyson's colon must have been exposed at some period, maybe 10-20 years before the cancer was clinically evident.

(Really?  No other possibility?  Phony science on display here.) 

Was there such an exposure?"  Busby concluded that the "carcinogenic or mutagenic substance" was depleted uranium that Dyson had been exposed to during the Gulf War.

(No actual evidence that Dyson even had any DU in his system.  Other possibilities they fail to consider: The Gulf War was fought amidst 100s of oil rigs lit on fire by Saddam's retreating troops.  It was fought in and near areas where chemical munitions had been used during the Iran-Iraq war.  And of course Dyson was exposed to numerous carcinogens in daily life since returning to the UK.  Pure garbage science, but it is good enough for Big Island Weekly.  Anything goes as long as it is against the US military.)


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Man facing felony charges gets 10 days in prison

LIHU‘E — Eric Alfonso, staring at the possibility of over 30 years in prison for various felony charges, showed no signs of glee when a judge announced his 10-day prison sentence Wednesday.

Alfonso, 34, of Lihu‘e, was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal property damage and one count of second-degree terroristic threatening in a case involving his ex-wife and their two children.

He allegedly intentionally drove a vehicle into another vehicle carrying his ex-wife and their children, ages 11 and 3.

But the fact that he and his wife are divorced and are considering getting back together is troublesome for Watanabe, who said she thinks Alfonso’s relationship with his ex-wife is part of the problem.

(For years the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission included amongst its members a criminal union boss named Gary Rodrigues who is now in FEDERAL prison along with his daughter.  So this 30 years > 10 days sentencing shouldn't be much of a surprise.)

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Panelists underscore need to preserve land, animals  (Wanna be aristocrats demand land)

But, acquiring land to help protect native species is not exactly an easy feat, Kaua‘i Public Land Trust Executive Director Jennifer Luck said.

Though the troubled economy has driven the price of land down substantially, the ability to obtain funds to purchase parcels has dropped significantly, she said. There are ample opportunities, with many land owners willing to sell, but the money is “just not there right now.”

Two areas of particular interest to the nonprofit are the Alekoko (Menehune) Fish Pond and Coco Palms....

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