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Saturday, November 28, 2009
November 28, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:00 AM :: 9618 Views

Hawaii furlough deal still on table, governor's adviser says

"We made it very clear that if they believe this noninstructional time is essential, then they have the option of not walking out the door and leaving during those noninstructional days," Smith said. "But we do insist that they must come back and work the 27 furlough Fridays."...

Smith considered the meeting positive and the two sides are scheduled to talk privately again on Wednesday.

"If the teachers union really didn't feel that this was a workable plan, then they could have easily told us that within the first few minutes of our meeting," she said. "But instead they came at this with a lot of questions." ...

If no agreement between the Lingle administration and the teachers union is reached within the next two weeks, the temptation may be to wait until the next regular session of the state Legislature in January....The next furlough Friday is scheduled for Dec. 4.

RELATED: Furlough negotiations: $50M ransom offered, but unions balk at releasing hostages

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KGI: Unemployment tax hike undesirable but inevitable (Government stifling business)

Officials predict local enterprises will end up paying nearly $1,000 more annually, on average, per employee....

“I’m terrified of it,” said Michael McGinnis, owner of Divine Planet and Aloha From Hanalei, regarding the potential increase.
With about 10 employees, the difference in yearly expenses could be “substantial,” he said.

“Many small business are hanging on by their fingertips,” said Kaua‘i Small Business Development Center Director John Latkiewicz in an e-mail. “For those businesses, a tax increase is someone jumping up and down on their fingers.”
To go from paying approximately $100 per employee each year to $1,000 is a jump that could either make or break many businesses on island, said Office of Economic Development Director George Costa.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said, adding that there is really no way around it.  (Yes there is.  This is in the hands of the Legislature next session.)

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Permit issues delay long-awaited dredging project at Kauai harbor (Government stifling business)

American Marine Co. has been waiting two months to resume a $1.4 million contract to remove 25,000 cubic yards of sand from the inner harbor, company supervisor Doug Fraser said.

Work stopped by the county in September could resume Monday if Kaua'i County OKs a permit to stockpile dredged sand at an inland site, Fraser said....

The holdup has been no approval from the county of Kaua'i for a "stockpiling permit" that allows the dredged sand to be placed on Kíkíaola Land Co. property about half a mile from the shoreline, said Debbie Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The county permit was awaiting feedback from the state Department of Health, regarding transport of dredged soil to the inland stockpile site, Ward said....

They later hope to harness community volunteers to fix the condemned dock at the harbor. That project was proposed shortly after west Kaua'i residents successfully repaired a flood-damaged access road and bridge at Polihale State Park last spring, to national praise for their can-do attitude during hard economic times.

RELATED: Rush Limbaugh salutes Kauai volunteer bridge builders

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Housing worker suspended

Jerome Wallace, a community services specialist in the city's Section 8 housing assistance program, was placed on leave without pay yesterday pending further investigation, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said in an e-mailed statement.

The move came on the day The Advertiser reported that Wallace was indicted by an O'ahu grand jury in October for allegedly defrauding the state's public housing program of more than $20,000 between 1999 and 2007.

Wallace is employed by the city Department of Community Services' Family Self Sufficiency Program, where he helps residents transition out of low-income housing. (And is accused of helping himself transition IN.)

(Note: The suspension came not in response to the indictment, but to the coverage of the indictment.)

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Shapiro: Sorry, wisdom's gone on furlough

The Board of Education and teachers union question whether $50 million offered by Gov. Linda Lingle is enough to reopen public schools on "furlough Fridays." That's the old "no can do" spirit that made our schools what they are.

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ADV: Visitor data signals value of promoting Isles (Government stifling business)

Overall, the picture can't be called rosy, with a 1.7 percent drop in total arrivals for October over the same month period in 2008. Prospects for large bookings over the holiday season look dim, too.

However, a more positive message comes from the figures showing that arrivals from the West Coast — the bread-and-butter of the industry — have been relatively stable, even increasing recently. And because that's one of the focal points of the HTA sales efforts — a media campaign targeting major Mainland markets — it's a solid indication that the marketing strategy is working.  (No it isn't)

(Here's a better idea.  Cut TAT, abolish HTA.  Let the hotels promote themselves.  They're better at it than the Gov't will ever be.)

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Kamehameha increases grants: Public charter schools received $7.2 million to help Hawaiian students

"We are social venture capitalists — we want to invest in helping build capacity in other organizations," Pating said. "There are fantastic organizations out there that do fantastic things. We can invest in them and help build their capacity."

(Creeping privatization of public schools...don't tell the HSTA about this.)

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Fewer kids found with guns in school (actually only 2)

Possession of firearms by individuals dropped to 30 in the 2008-09 school year from a high of 124 in 2005-06, according to the report. A handgun was found in Kapolei High School and a rifle at Nanakuli High School during the 2008-09 school year, but other than that, all the weapons were air guns....

The department's definition of a firearm extends beyond state and federal laws to include air guns such as BB guns and pistols, pellet guns and CO2 or paint guns, under Hawaii administrative rules.

(Which keeps the count high so they can apply for funding) 

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Your rubbish will cost cash (Government stifling business)

Currently, one-third of the department's funding comes from commercial tipping fees. The remaining two-thirds is paid out of the county's general fund.

The most controversial so far is a "pay as you throw" plan that would phase in a per-bag fee of $2 to $2.50 for residential garbage.

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Mauna Kea CMP subplans released

Approval of the two sub-plans, relating to the decommissioning of telescopes and public access, is a requirement for the completion of the Mauna Kea CMP, which the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved in April.

http://www.malamamaunakea.org

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Bill would regulate aquarium fish harvest (Government stifling business)

Snorkel tour operators trying to put fishermen out of business.

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