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Monday, November 16, 2009
November 16, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:03 PM :: 7847 Views

Shapiro: Lingle offers new hope for schools

The devil is always in the details, but there are positive signs. The Republican governor floated the idea after receiving a visit from Democratic Sen. Brian Taniguchi and Sen. Will Espero, who has led legislative efforts to resolve the stalemate, called it "positive exciting news."

Wil Okabe, the president of the teachers union, called it "the kind of viable option we said would be necessary for us to return to the negotiating table."

Now that we have that, it's time for the parties to make something happen. Nobody expects the political competition to end, but let's take it to a different battlefield where schoolchildren aren't the hostages.  (so the $50M is 'ransom')

RELATED: Gov. Lingle announces $50M plan to get children back to class , DoE Procurement audit: Millions wasted by "fraudulent unethical behavior" 

SB: Lingle calls for end to school furloughs

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, Senate president, said the "probability of success" had greatly increased with Lingle supporting a special session.

Wil Okabe, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, expressed support yesterday for using the fund. "If there ever was a rainy day for Hawaii's public education system, this is it. We believe the governor's proposal represents the kind of viable option we said would be necessary for us to return to the negotiating table."

(In other words, this is a starting point from which both union and contractors will attempt to grab more.)

SB: Seek better ways to fund, run schools

ADV: Plan may cut Hawaii school furloughs

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Lingle: Hawaii-China business can "bring back a lot of jobs"

"This is potentially very big news for the future of tourism in Hawai‘i. It will bring back a lot of jobs if we’re successful at bringing it about." -- Gov Lingle 

SB: Chinese showroom to sell island items

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ADV: New homeless numbers a reminder of growing need

The study shows 7,501 people relied on shelters for housing statewide, 520 more than last fiscal year. Even more troubling is the fact that many of them — 39 percent — were children under the age of 17. (And the contractors are VERY happy)

Effectively tackling homelessness means recognizing that it's part of a broader continuum, ranging from (tax increases to fund) emergency and transitional shelters to (federal funds grabs to pay our crony contractors to build) affordable rentals and housing.

Recent emergency efforts to add additional shelters to the mix provided some much-needed relief.  (Which is why the Legislature took this particular emergency power from the governor.) 

So far, two key state programs have helped cushion the strain. The Hawai'i Housing Finance and Development Corp., which focuses on increasing the stock of affordable housing, provides tax credits and other incentives for developers (thus keeping them dependent on--and contributing to--the Democratic Party).

A second program to aid the homeless under the Hawai'i Public Housing Authority provides stipends to more than 40 shelters to defray costs (thus keeping them dependent on--and voting for--Democrats).

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

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Lawyer is only one so far seeking GOP nod for lieutenant governor

But only one Republican so far, lawyer Adrienne King, has said she will run for lieutenant governor.

King had raised only $550 as of late June and has held only one fundraiser since then.

Analysts assert that so few Republicans are now willing to run for lieutenant governor because the GOP ticket is likely to face an uphill race next November against one of two strong Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls — U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie or Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

"If you had a really strong (GOP) candidate for governor, then the lieutenant governor's spot would look a little better" to prospective contenders, said Rick Castberg, political science professor emeritus at the University of Hawai'i-Hilo. "You'd have more people running for it."

Republican officials say they are not worried and insist more candidates will jump into the race in the coming months. The candidate filing period opens on Feb. 1.

RELATED: Leadership: Lt. Gov. Candidate Adrienne King calls for DoE reform

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Kealakekua: Drawing up a master plan (after 12 years)

"The state must control the area and its resources first," said Stathie Prattas, who also took part in a never-implemented 1997 conceptual plan for the area.

The $561,526 contract awarded to Belt Collins will update a conceptual plan completed in 1997, also by Belt Collins, that was "shelved" when Malama Pono Kealakekua filed a lawsuit alleging DLNR did not follow the legal environmental review process in accordance with state law, Yent said.

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Councilor says Kona meetings too costly

"It's another divisive move that just upsets the people of West Hawaii," Ford said. 

(Which is exactly why Ikeda did it--and exactly why Ford is thrilled to have another reason to rally her base.  One hand washes the other.)

read more

Harbor plan would hurt boaters

This, for an average boat of 35 feet, will amount to $70 a day, or $2,100 per month (30 days). That is more than the cost of a mortgage on a house: $25,200 annually, and over five years $126,000 -- more than many of our boats are worth.

Also, unlike those lucky boaters with permanent slips already, we aren't allowed to pay these huge increases for temporary slips in increments over a period of five years. The payment will be enforced in full immediately, probably in January -- less than two months' time. This is a sudden and total financial disaster for us.

There will be hundreds of boats on Oahu alone whose owners cannot possibly pay these inflated prices.

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