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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
December 15, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:32 AM :: 7917 Views

HSTA negotiations resume: Number of school planning days varies on Mainland and in Hawaii

The Hawaii State Teachers Association, education officials and state negotiators are scheduled to meet this morning to continue talks on Lingle's proposal to turn planning days into regular school days....On the low end, Seattle provides seven days, and on the upper end, Los Angeles provides 13 days. Locally, some private schools provide anywhere from zero to 12 days.

RELATED: HSTA using furloughs to keep “Race to the Top” dollars—and reform--out of Hawaii schools

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LINK>>>Inouye denies planning "Akaka Bill Sneak Attack"

LINK>>>Judicial Nominee lists released: Lingle seeks public input

ADV: Election panel must act swiftly, decisively (Abercrombie resignation used to peddle vote by mail)

The option of holding a special election by mail presents a cheaper option, and one that should be considered.

But any alternative course of action requires leadership. Whoever succeeds Cronin needs as much time and support as the state can muster to get the job done. Now the commission needs to do its own job, and get the new chief elections officer hired and at work.

RELATED: Hawaii's 2010 election schedule violates new federal law, Vote By Mail: “Tool of choice for voter fraud”

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Kalapa: Lawmakers should not wait for the other shoe to drop

This week, all eyes will be focused on the state's Council on Revenues as it weighs recent trends in general fund tax collections and considers changes to its forecast for those collections for the rest of the year.

No doubt the council will consider lowering its forecast in view of the fact that for the first four months of this fiscal year, tax collections have been posting a negative growth rate of nearly 11 percent....

Given that outcome, administrators and lawmakers must begin to work on how they will address the shortfall between what will be brought in as tax collections and what was budgeted for the 2009-11 fiscal biennium.

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SB: Legalize aided suicide  (remember -- there are no death panels in Obamacare)

A Blue Ribbon Panel on Living and Dying With Dignity, appointed 12 years ago by then-Gov. Ben Cayetano, recommended that Hawaii enact such a law. The state House approved the bill in 2002 but it was defeated by three votes in the Senate. The proposal was held back by House committees in 2004 and 2007; proponents said the measures lacked the support needed for passage.

Terminally ill patients now have access to palliative care to relieve pain and other symptoms and to provide emotional support to patients and families, often as part of hospice. Such care is so commonplace that it has become a board-certified subspecialty.

In the absence of a Death With Dignity law, Hawaii physicians should consider the options recommended by Dr. Timothy E. Quill, director of the palliative care program at the University of Rochester and a leading expert on end-of-life issues. That should assure care aimed at easing the pain of the terminally ill, even though it may hasten death, invoking a patient's right to forgo life-sustaining therapies or to stop eating and drinking.

As a "last, last resort," Quill recommends sedation to the point of unconsciousness, endorsed last year by a panel of the American Medical Association.

SB: Caregivers experience depression, isolation

RELATED: Attacking Hawaii's second Saint: Secular humanists exploit Yagi case to put issue of doctor "assisted" "suicide" back in spotlight

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SB: Housing First (says it) gets chronic homeless off the streets

Presently, there are 6,070 homeless people in the state of Hawaii: 2,735 are in families; 778 are considered "chronically homeless," that is, this group of people have some sort of disability that inhibits their ability to sustain permanent housing.

The editorial board is right to push for a more permanent solution for the state's homeless population -- and there couldn't be a better time to be facing this crisis.  (While we wait for the "more permanent solution", "charities" are feeding the homeless to keep them in parks and on sidewalks and the ACLU has won court decisions blocking removal of sidewalk sleepers.)

Even as we emerge from our economic woes, homelessness -- notably among the chronic homeless population -- will continue to persist. It is time to reassess our goals and direction and find a way to solve this problem as a national community.

(WRONG.  It is time to push them off the streets and into shelters where they can get help.)

RELATED: "Homelessness industry takes Hawaii tourism hostage" , "Defeating the 'homelessness industry' before it gets a grip on Hawaii"

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Honolulu drops in economy rankings

...Honolulu was in the lowest tier when it came to change in employment during the past quarter, and the second-lowest tier in a ranking of housing price changes.

RELATED: Hawaii 42nd in Small Business Survival

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United Public Workers union gets $378,000 in restitution

The money was part of a judgment against former UPW leader Gary Rodrigues.

He and his daughter, Robin Rodrigues Sabatini, began serving federal prison sentences in January 2008.

Rodrigues and Sabatini were accused of defrauding the union and its 12,000 members. He was found guilty on all 101 counts against him. She was convicted of 95.

SB: Former union boss pays restitution after conviction

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GTMO Greenwell rides again: Big Island councilman wants marijuana legalized

The resolution to be discussed Tuesday was authored by North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell.  It says "marijuana should be decriminalized and not treated as an illicit substance."  Greenwell says it's not so much about marijuana, as about criminal activity associated with what he calls a "harmless" drug.

(Harmless?  When people smoke marijuana, they start thinking that it is OK to release alQaeda head-choppers on the Big Island.  Marijuana makes people into liberals.  There's nothing harmless about that!)

HTH: Council to revisit pot issue

RELATED:

Hawaii County Councilman: Release Guantanamo detainees in Hawaii

Guantanamo Greenwell: "If you voted for me you have to accept my position"

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LG candidate (Islam Day co-sponsor) Lyla Berg reaches out

While on Kaua‘i, she attended the birthday celebration for friend Barbara Bennett, currently on the Kaua‘i Charter Review Commission, who confirmed Friday she will serve as Berg’s Kaua‘i campaign chair during the 2010 campaign.

RELATED: Hawaii “Islam Day” secretly marks September 11

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Hawaii Tribune-Herald Cancels Contract with Hawaii Newspaper Guild

Publisher Ted Dixon earlier this month informed the Hawaii Newspaper Guild Local 39117 that effective Dec. 22, 2009, the company would no longer honor the written Extension Agreement (signed Dec. 7, 2004) to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

This means the bargaining contract will in all respects be terminated and expired, Dixon said.

This does not automatically mean that the parties will go on strike or declare a lockout. However, beginning Dec. 22 the Guild can legally go on strike or the Company can declare a lockout without prior notice. The Stephens Media-owned company is also trying to strike a financial blow against the union by no longer automatically deducting dues from paychecks and can now decide which grievances go to arbitration.

RELATED: “From Hack to Flack”: the Big Island newspaper-Democrat revolving door

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