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Wednesday, November 11, 2009
November 11, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:24 PM :: 7579 Views

Ft Hood Jihadi shot Hawaii soldier 4 times: Radford grad survives Texas tragedy

A Radford High School graduate who was severely injured in the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, has been transferred out of intensive care.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler, 28, was shot four times at the soldier processing center, including once in the head.

"He's doing better than we expected," said his mother, Brigitte. "He just got moved to a regular room."

Zeigler's father, Pat, who has been at his son's bedside at a hospital in Texas, said his son has lost movement on the left side of his body. He said arrangements are being made to transfer his son to a neurological rehabilitation center.

A trust fund has been established, and those wishing to assist in Zeigler's recovery may send a check made out to Patrick Zeigler's Trust Fund and sent to SSG Zeigler, Patrick Trust Account, America National Bank, 5809 Wesley St., Greenville, TX 75402.

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DoE, legislators', Abercrombie's $35M raid -- Charter school funds

The bulk of the $35 million in federal stimulus money under Gov. Linda Lingle's control was originally earmarked for charter schools, officials said.   (Aha!  Finally the truth comes out after how many weeks???  This is just another money grab by the venal and disgusting DoE bureaucracy AND ABERCROMBIE against Charter Schools.) 


The governor committed that money to the charter schools a couple of months ago, but the money has yet to be received or spent, Love said.

"We spent about a month putting together a 90-page plan on how we were going to address the four assurances under the stimulus funds," Love said, referring to the federal requirements the state agreed to by accepting the money, also known as Part B of the federal State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

"With the state's budget restraints, it seems like everyone is after that Part B money," she said.

On Monday evening, following a special special legislative committee hearing, state Board of Education chairman Garrett Toguchi sent a letter to Lingle requesting the funds....

Rep. Roy Takumi said the initial plan to spend a portion of the stimulus money on charter schools would have helped Hawaii garner competitive federal dollars, known as the Race to the Top fund. That's because U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan has put additional emphasis on expanding the charter school movement in the country.  (So its Duncan, vs, Duncan, vs Duncan--and Neil Abercrombie has again been exposed as a fool and a fraud.)

"The hope from the administration was to better position the state for Race to the Top dollars," he said.

Takumi, however, said the stimulus dollars could be a short-term fix to furlough days, which may hinder the state's ability to draw down additional federal funds. Lawmakers would still need to come back next session to make a long-term decision on dealing with the public school furloughs, which run through next school year.

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SB: School closures capture attention from across globe (tax increase strategy explained)

"Hawaii's Children, Left Behind," declared the headline of a New York Times editorial. At the Washington Post, education columnist Jay Mathews wrote a piece with the scathing title "Idiocy in Paradise: Hawaii Handles School Budget Cuts Badly."

National television networks have spotlighted the story, along with TIME, the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. And the news has gone global. The Guardian of London and the BBC both covered it. A Chinese-language Web site highlighted "Hawaii's Budget Cut: No School Fridays." And Radio Australia recently interviewed the head of the state Board of Education.

Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi said the news coverage tends to sensationalize the issue, but "if the negative press encourages our leaders to put education (TAXES) at the top of our priority list, I'm more than happy to accept it.

"Hawaii sends kids home from school" grabs more attention than "California squeezes 10 more kids into classrooms," said school board member (Mr) Kim Coco Iwamoto.  (THIS IS WHY THEY CHOSE FURLOUGHS OVER LAYOFFS OR OTHER METHODS OF CUTTING EXPENSES.)

She (sic!!!) responded to the New York Times editorial with a letter published in the Times on Saturday, saying, "You get what you pay for." (As regards the DoE this is a lie.) She called for greater investment in Hawaii's public schools (TAXES), citing Census Bureau data showing that a smaller fraction of state and local government expenditures in Hawaii go to public education than the national average.  (An irrelevant apples to oranges comparison.  The number that matters is per-pupil expenditure, not per resident expenditure or percentage of total tax revenues.  The number that REALLY matters is the amount reaching the classroom.)   

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SB: Schools must work to tap federal funds (backs raid on charter schools?)

States have received more than $67 billion in federal stimulus and an additional $11.5 billion soon will become available to those deserving of it. State legislators have questioned the Lingle administration's decision to dedicate $35 million in federal stimulus money to specific education-related purposes other than eliminating seven furlough days.

Applications for upcoming federal grants will be judged on the basis of tougher academic standards, better ways to recruit and keep effective teachers, ways to track student performance and plans to turn around failing schools. Similar assessments are attached to a separate $4.35 billion competitive federal program titled "Race to the Top."

Duncan's criticism is compounded by Hawaii's poor grades in a new report by the Center for American Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Enterprise Institute. Hawaii was given D's in school management and technology, and it was one of only nine states that scored F in removing ineffective teachers. Ninety-six percent of principals said the Hawaii State Teachers Association has been a barrier to the removal of lousy teachers.

State Rep. Lyla Berg, vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, says Furlough Fridays have helped crystallize the issue and could be an opportunity to build support for MORE TAXES teachers and students.

RELATED: Bill Gates' Report Card--Hawaii DoE worst at removing lousy teachers,

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Aiona calls for meeting on Furlough Fridays

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona is asking representatives of the parties involved in Hawaii's controversial teacher furlough program to meet with him immediately to work out a settlement....He said he wants to pursue possible amendments to a new teacher contract that would allow pay cuts or a shifting of some furlough days to existing non-instructional days.

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District Court Rules Against Hawaii Public School Parents Challenging Teacher Furloughs

Board of Education (BOE) member Kim Coco Iwamoto testified again that education is underfunded and requested that the Legislature “do the right thing by raising taxes on the rich” to bring funding up to par with other states. Iwamoto based her testimony on 2006 U.S. Census figures for local and state taxes, despite the fact that Hawaii uses general funds, not property taxes, to fund its single statewide school district.

(How about a tax on elective surgery?)

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Search for Honolulu PD chief draws scrutiny  "The Fix is in"

A City Council committee will meet Monday to look at the Honolulu Police Commission's efforts to select a new police chief.

Donovan Dela Cruz, chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, said he's bothered that the commission chose to name six finalists for the position even though a search committee had recommended four people.

Two members of the selection committee resigned in protest over the commission's decision to add the next two candidates to their list of four.

"There are concerns about the process being altered, and we want to make sure there's transparency and accountability, as well as confidence from the public and, especially, the police officers," Dela Cruz said.

He noted that police officers have come forward to voice their concerns with the process.

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State pension fund grows $945M

The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System pension fund, coming off two negative fiscal years, swelled its assets by $945 million last quarter on the coattails of a robust stock market.

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Creditors oppose HawTel confirmation as hearing begins

Hawaiian Telcom’s hearing to confirm its reorganization plan yesterday came up against strong opposition from the committee of unsecured creditors....

HawTel, with the support of its secured lenders, plans to convert about $590 million of its senior secured debt into equity and a $300 million loan. That would reduce its debt by about $790 million — to $300 million from $1.1 billion.

RELATED: Congressional report nails Sandwich Isles Communications: One of worst ten abusers , Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

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Final sugar ship sails into sunset

G&R had sustained several consecutive years of financial losses that made it impossible to remain in sugar, and only as the result of some other business decisions will G&R be able to remain in agriculture at all, he said.

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Maui: Occupancy rate low, even for slow month

Maui hotel occupancies dropped to 55.8 percent in September.

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NRA endorses Kealoha for Honolulu Chief

Because much of the anti-gun legislation that has been put forth before the Hawaii Legislature has been generated by former Honolulu Police Chiefs, it is very important that the pro-second amendment community make its voice heard in the selection process.

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GENIUS AT WORK: State considers getting out of handling Hawaii public housing

The proposal, which officials stressed is still very preliminary, is part of a draft "vision" before the housing authority board that includes "self-sufficient families living in units that they own that were previously public housing" and the authority — the largest affordable-housing landlord in the Islands — "no longer in existence."

The draft says the "public housing shelter model has been broken for 40 years" and "having an ownership stake in their housing encourages people to take pride in their physical surroundings and become responsible for their future." Under the proposal, the agency would sell some units to tenants and also redevelop rental projects under a mixed-income model aimed at deconcentrating poverty while preserving affordability.


  • Jun Yang, an advocate for Faith Action for Community Equity, a nonprofit that has been working with residents at Kuhio Park Terrace as the project is pegged for a pilot redevelopment project, said he's concerned about the direction in which the agency board is moving and wonders how people on the waiting list will be served if units are sold to tenants. (FACE represents the homelessness industry.)
  • Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities,  (Are there any left?) of which Hawaii's agency is a member, said the vision "does run contrary to what we're seeing in most of the major metropolitan areas." (A LIE) She added that selling public housing to tenants "went nowhere as a proposal. It didn't make sense economically." (ANOTHER LIE)
  • I'm a little bit nervous," said state Rep. Rida Cabanilla, chairwoman of the Housing Committee, adding she plans to take up the question of selling public housing in the coming session. Cabanilla, D-42nd (Ewa, Waipahu, Honouliuli) also questioned the wisdom of getting rid of state oversight.  (Hey Rida, what about YOUR wisdom in hiring convicted child molester Leon Rouse as your office manager TWICE?)
  • The Rev. Bob Nakata, longtime affordable housing advocate, said the authority has an obligation to make sure public housing is well maintained and managed so people who are eligible have a shot at getting in.  He said even if a private entity oversees day-to-day operations, the state needs to remain involved.  "The government cannot abdicate its responsibility," he said.  (Hey Rev Bob, the State abrogated its responsibility years ago!)

Done properly, the revenues from this change could support the HGEA for years.  Will they stand up for their members or will they align themselves with the socialists?  Oh well....

REALITY: Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

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