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Monday, November 2, 2009
November 2, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:48 AM :: 8938 Views

ADV: Hawaii stimulus funds use draws fire (Abercrombie for Gov campaign commercial)

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote governors a letter last April explaining the purpose of $48.6 billion in federal stimulus money meant to stabilize public education during the recession. (Supporting Governor Lingle's position against the liars from the DoE)

Duncan said the federal money, part of a $100 billion investment in education by President Obama and Congress in the economic stimulus package, would go "directly to governors to help you balance your state budget."

Governors could use the funds to help with the immediate budget crisis, he said, but must also commit to improve teacher quality, develop more rigorous standards, collect data to measure progress and turn around struggling schools.  (And the DoE cried because the federal funds required these measures of accountability.)

Seven months later, as states issue the first reports on how the education stimulus money is being spent, Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education have criticized several states — including Hawaii (REALLY?) — for using stimulus money to close budget gaps while reducing state spending on education.

The department's inspector general identified three states — Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — that have used education stimulus money to "free up state resources for non-education budget items." Hawaii was not mentioned by the department (NO NOT REALLY!) but has done the same thing as the other states, which may jeopardize Hawaii's ability to qualify for $4.3 billion available nationally in federal Race to the Top grants.

(Well, did he criticize Hawaii on this--or not?  No.  Duncan said NOTHING about Hawaii's use of the stimulus money to boost the General Fund.  Last Spring when Hamamoto and her cronies lied through their teeth about this issue, Arne Duncan provided key support to the Governor's position.  Democrat DePledge is spinning as fast as he can but he can't close the loop on this one.  And it all ends with Abercrombie pretending to offer a solution--but he never explains what it is anywhere in the article.)

Abercrombie, who (claims he) personally asked Duncan to make a statement about teacher furloughs in Hawaii, said there are at least a half-dozen credible suggestions to reduce or cancel furlough days and questioned why the governor and lawmakers have not acted.  (Then why has Abercrombie never offered even a single solution.  He hasn't even stood up and said "raise taxes" like all the other Democrats.)

RELATED: Furloughs vs Layoffs: The union no-solution strategy, DoE/HSTA try to silence Kihei PTA furlough solution, HGEA vs HSTA: The coming legislative budget crisis

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AP: Earmarks by and campaign contributions to Inouye

  • Pacific Marine/Navatek Ltd., Honolulu: $2.2 million earmark. $16,300 in contributions
  • Oceanit, Honolulu: Two $5 million earmarks. $22,900 in contributions
  • Referentia Systems Inc., Honolulu: $4.5 million earmark. $17,200 in contributions
  • Akimeka LLC, Maui: $2.5 million earmark. $17,800 in contributions
  • Pacific Defense Solutions, LLC, Maui: $4 million earmark. $7,600 in contributions
  • Makai Ocean Engineering Inc., Kailua, Oahu: $2 million earmark. $2,400 in contributions
  • Raytheon Co.: $1.6 million earmark. $18,000 in contributions
  • Northrop Grumman Corp.: $2 million earmark. $19,000 in contributions
  • Boeing Co.: $20 million earmark. $27,000 in contributions
  • Lockheed Martin Corp.: $3 million earmark. $28,000 in contributions
  • Textron Inc.: $6.5 million earmark. $24,000 in contributions

RELATED: Firms that donate to Inouye receive his earmarks, Humanitarian appeal fails: “They are virtually guaranteeing they will never get an earmark from Inouye’’

Hawai`i Free Press Oct 6:  Inouye earmarks tied to campaign contributions, Hawai`i Free Press Sept 28: Inouye's DoD Pork: "Paid for by raiding Iraq and Afghan maintenance, food, & fuel" March 10 Earmark Watch: Focus on Hawaii U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, Feb 26: Business as Usual: Neil Abercrombie Votes to Kill Motion to Investigate Pay-to-Play Earmark Schemes

Here's a look at Abercrombie and one of his contributors:  Follow the money: $10B Guam pork project benefits Abercrombie contributor

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Jones Act unfairly hurts Isle business, suit alleges

An 89-year-old federal law that protects America's fleet of commercial ships but has long been criticized as inflating the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii is under attack again.

The suit seeks to represent all Hawaii companies negatively impacted by the law, and recover damages for them and consumers.

However, some observers believe the odds are low for undoing a law that has survived previous attacks, including anti-trust examinations and a major push in the mid-1990s to dismantle or modify the law in Congress.

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Two companies hope to set up wind farms that could generate 55 megawatts of power

(It's Walter Ritte's financial backers, "First Wind" being allowed to use State land with no protests, no complaints.)

Totally Related: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can change that

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Attorney: County not liable for windmill bird strikes

LIHU‘E — Proponents of small wind systems got a lift this week when the county attorney said a proposed bill designed to streamline the permitting process would not open the county to legal or financial liability should an applicant’s windmill kill an endangered seabird.

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'Huge cuts' for police in next year's budget

"Huge cuts" will be required to balance a police budget shortfall expected in fiscal 2010-11, however, police and county officials refused to divulge details.

(Just like the DoE, Hawaii County will announce the most painful possible cuts in order to create the best opportunity to raise taxes.  No cuts in useless bureaucracy or crony contractors.)

ADV: Big Isle police budget to shrink

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Hilo man with 35-year DUI record faces sentencing

A Hilo man is facing a possible five-year prison term for his 14th drunken driving conviction.

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Survey: Maui farming in favor

Take a look at what endless repetition of feeel-good nonsense about agriculture does to public opinion.

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SB: Encouraging tourism from China well-timed

The embryonic stage of Chinese tourism to Hawaii is being met with an enthusiastic forecast. U.S. and Chinese tourism officials signed an agreement this month in Florida and Gov. Linda Lingle left Friday for a two-week visit to China to promote Hawaii as a destination. Numbers associated with Chinese outbound tourism merit such a effort. Now is the time to start cultivating big growth-potential sources of state revenue.

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(OHA) Group pushing Hawaiians for census

Hawaii's participation in the 2000 census was among the third lowest in the nation, with only about 60 percent of forms returned.

The national average was 67 percent.

In some heavily native Hawaiian areas, approximate participation was 40 percent, Fernandez said.

At a (OHA) briefing last week, census officials said every person not counted means about $1,200 a year in lost dollars for the state (and for OHA).

(The entire editorial was written without mentioning OHA once.  Perhaps the editorial writers know that if Hawaiians find out that OHA gets more money if they fill out their census forms, they will be less likely to fill them out.)


TOTALLY RELATED: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii, It’s September--Do you know where your Akaka Bill is?

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