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Sunday, December 27, 2009
December 27, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:05 PM :: 10074 Views

SB: UH faculty doesn't grasp reality (just noticing this?)

Aloof from the nation's economic crisis, faculty at the University of Hawaii threaten to go to court to block reduction of their wages due to budget limitations. The professors instead should abandon their insistence that any pay cuts be followed by extraordinary increases that would amount to the payback of a loan.... 

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood has suggested that the university would impose a 6.7 percent salary cut Jan. 1 to help meet the $154 million general fund budget cut and an additional 13.8 percent cut next year to save $22 million a year.

J.N. Musto, the faculty union's executive director, said the union is "fully prepared" to go to court to block such reductions.

If the union's legal challenge is successful, the UH administration may be forced to lay off some professors (lets just close Ethnic Studies and American Studies) and raise student tuition. The professors then will need to teach their students that external economic problems somehow, inexplicably may have an effect on campus. 

Read this -- and then cheer UHPA on: Antonio Gramsci Reading List

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Commission to pick interim election chief

The state Elections Commission will hold meet Wednesday (Dec 30) via videoconference to select an interim replacement for Chief Elections Officer Kevin Cronin (whose resignation takes effect Dec 31).

The commission also is to select a panel of members to search for a permanent replacement.

Two of Cronin's deputies are potential candidates for both the interim and permanent positions.

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Grooming a new guard at New Hope

When Cordeiro, 57, is at the pulpit, his messages are recorded on DVD for same-day screenings at 19 satellite campuses across the island. About half of all weekends now, however, belong to younger pastors and others — a new guard that Cordeiro and the New Hope leadership are grooming.

Cordeiro estimates total weekly attendance — Farrington's numbers combined with satellites as well as sites on the Mainland and elsewhere — at 19,000. That makes New Hope within the top 50 largest megachurches nationwide, said Warren Bird, research director at the Dallas-based Leadership Network, a nonprofit that disseminates information about church practices.

"The big question in megachurches right now is one of succession," Bird said....

In addition, for the first time in the church's history, New Hope is putting together plans to mix religion and politics during election years. Tsuji, the son of state Rep. Clifton Tsuji , D-3rd (S. Hilo, Puna), wants to invite political candidates to discuss ballot lineups with the Marketplace Leadership ministry.

"We're not trying to encourage anyone to vote a certain way," Tsuji said. "We want them (congregants) to be educated to make the decisions for themselves." Federal tax code pertaining to churches and other tax-exempt organizations bans endorsements.

RELATED: Star-Bulletin comes out against voter registration drive

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2 Groups Protest At Obama Compound

"The health bill that will be presented to Obama -- if it contains any monies directly or indirectly for abortion, we are begging the president to veto it," protester Gary Boisclair said.

Several families from around the island held signs with a strong message.

"It's personal to us because as you can see, we have a baby and every baby deserves to live," North Shore resident Gwen Seely said.

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Courting China

Hainan Airlines, China's largest private carrier, seems to be on Hawaii time when it comes to introducing direct service to the islands; however, members of the state's hospitality sector are ready for the influx of visitors that direct service could bring.

HTA recently approved $440,000 for the Shanghai Expo and another $447,000 to support Hainan Airlines, he said.

"I think we'll see about a 45 percent increase in Chinese travelers once we get direct airlift," said Denise Torres, guest services manager at Ohana Waikiki East, who recently attended a Chinese language and culture training that was offered by Kapiolani Community College for employees of Outrigger Hotels & Resorts.

"But, the Chinese are already coming here and we want to learn how to serve them even better," she said.

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ADV: Ocean cable key to attaining energy goals (how to save wind energy from environmentalist assault)

The state is seeking consultants to bid on the contract to prepare the EIS focusing on the undersea cable project.

But it needs to be clear in the review that the cable is an essential element but only part of what's required to make an interisland grid a reality. A series of infrastructure projects and upgrades will be needed to make sure electrical grids on each island can accept the power.

Further, community groups on the Neighbor Islands need to be brought into the inner circle of planning so that their concerns are not given short shrift. That's surely the lesson learned in the Superferry debacle, when courts found environmental studies lacking and scuttled that project.

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Hawaii's welfare numbers rising for first time in decade

This year, the average welfare caseload in the Islands increased by about 4 percent compared with 2008 — or by about 300 families....The last time welfare usage increased was in 1999, when the number of people on the program went up by 129 families compared with the year before.

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Hawaii's counties rattled by plan to cut them out of hotel room tax

Kaua'i County's TAT revenue amounts to about 8.4 percent of its operating budget. For Hawai'i County, it's about 4.5 percent, and for Maui about 4 percent.

In contrast, Honolulu's share constitutes just under 2.5 percent of its $1.8 billion operating budget.

(The Counties are still trying to put together a coherent counter-message, but so far it seems that "tax increase" is the leading contender.) 

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Budget Cuts still being blamed for rats in Chinatown

The Health Department is overseeing the problem as it deals with staffing concerns.

There are just nine food safety inspectors islandwide for some 5,700 food establishments.

One is charged with all establishments in Downtown and Chinatown.

Meanwhile, the state's Vector Control division, which helps property owners with pest control, is being decimated by DOH layoffs. In January, the program will lose 36 employees.

"The program has been severely downsized," said DOH environmental health services administrator Jerry Haruno. "Whatever capabilities they have would be extremely limited."

(Somewhere there is a book with instructions for bureaucrats facing budget cuts.  On the food safety inspection cutbacks page it says: "Show video of rats crawling on food.")

RELATED: Washington Monument Gambit

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Maui Jail: Lingle forces Tsutsui to back down

The agreement to move ahead with the project follows a dust-up during the fall between Lingle and Tsutsui, vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. After a Maui News article in September, in which Tsutsui criticized what he said was the jail's high price tag, campuslike design and a general lack of details provided to lawmakers by the administration, Lingle halted the project indefinitely. Tsutsui said he didn't object to the project itself, but he maintained his concerns about the project's design and cost estimates.

Then, Lingle invited Tsutsui to a meeting at her office last week to resolve their differences, the senator said. The meeting included the governor, Tsutsui, Fukunaga and Public Safety Director Clayton Frank. They discussed a new jail plan revised in response to Maui lawmakers' concerns about the earlier plan's "soft design."

After the meeting, Tsutsui said he still has questions and doubts, but he is interested in learning more and seeing the project get under way.

More meetings are in the works with other Maui state lawmakers as well as Mayor Charmaine Tavares and members of the Maui County Council, Fukunaga said.

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Growing foreclosure rate a drag on Maui neighborhoods

 

To make matters worse, many banks seem to have postponed sending properties to auction until the new year, perhaps to keep them off the books for 2009. That will lead to a glut of foreclosed properties hitting the market in the first quarter of 2010, something Andersen fears could drop the bottom out of the real estate market.

There are 350 foreclosure sales scheduled for January alone, he noted, with as many as 80 properties scheduled to go to sale on a single day.

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Maui B&B system is taking off; 33 permits gain backing

HAIKU - Since Maui County's new bed-and-breakfast permitting system took effect a year ago, the Planning Department has processed and approved more than twice as many permits for the rentals as it did in the previous 11 years, Planning Director Jeff Hunt said.

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Ocean noise pollution turns up with greenhouse gas emissions

CO2 now blamed for making oceans noisier.  Maybe they should go back to the video of polar bears falling out of the sky.

Here is an interesting fact: (Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of −0.075) Not very impressive.

% of water in atmosphere vs Ocean: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html

REALITY: Greenhouse Gas Observatories Downwind from Erupting Volcanoes

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HTH urges Christmas donations to the Gramscian Entity

Islam Day, Gay Marriage, Recycling, Secession:

Pure Gramsci:

"'Imi Pono Projects explores issues confronting justice and our national identity. Recognizing Hawai'i kingdom history, the coup by the Republic, the deception of annexation, as well as the fraudulent results of the statehood plebiscite, 'Imi Pono Projects aims to present cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary dialogue with the people and communities determining the future of Hawai'i."  (feudal socialism in action)

And here's what the uber-Gramscian filth of "Eating in Public" say about the 23 papaya trees they planted on public land in Kailua:

It also obfuscates how the historic formation of national states is rooted in the struggle over land, labour and life - a struggle lost by those who fought against capitalism and for common, rather than private or state (i.e. 'public') property (Hardt and Negri, 2000). Finally, the conflation of the state and 'public will' conceals that the 'public' is never the sum of all those who are born, live, work and die in any given space, but is limited to members of an-always gendered and racialized discourse of 'citizenry'.  (feudal socialism in action)

If you know where those 23 trees are, chop them down.  And if you don't know who Antonio Gramsci is, you better find out now:  Antonio Gramsci Reading List

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