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Thursday, December 31, 2009
December 31, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:35 AM :: 7842 Views

LINK>>>Chest Pains: Limbaugh Hospitalized in Serious Condition at Queen's

Karl Rove to appear at Hawaii GOP event

Karl Rove, a senior advisor and top political strategist to former President George W. Bush, is scheduled to appear at the state GOP's annual Lincoln Day dinner in February, local Republicans said Wednesday.

Rove's appearance at the dinner could be a financial coup for Republicans, who have done well in fundraising for top-tier campaigns for governor and Congress but have struggled as a party to generate money that could help state House and Senate candidates.

Tickets to the Feb. 26 event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village are $125. Jonah Ka'auwai, the state GOP chairman, said he hopes to draw 1,500 guests....

Local Republicans are also hosting the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee in January, which will attract Republican activists from across the nation.

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Lingle aide, BOE, DOE meet on furloughs, no decision made

Linda Smith, the governor's senior policy advisor, called the discussions "helpful" and said the particulars of the meeting will be relayed to the governor. Smith said the purpose of the meeting was to learn more details about the HSTA tentative agreement.

Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto and Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi were present at the meeting.

TOGUCHI: Meeting with Governor's Aides to Reduce School Furloughs Was Productive

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Hawaii elections office staffer Scott Nago selected as interim chief

Nago, a respected staffer who leads the ballot counting section for the state Office of Elections, was endorsed by the four county clerks.

Nago will oversee the Office of Elections while the commission searches for a permanent replacement for Kevin Cronin, who has resigned effective tomorrow.

The commission named a three-member panel to conduct the search for a permanent replacement, which will help decide, among other things, whether the commission will try to find a new chief elections officer before the September primary and November general election.

Some commissioners suggested that naming a new chief elections officer prior to the elections could disrupt the flow of election preparations.

SB: Panel picks interim chief elections officer

RELATED: Hawaii's 2010 election schedule violates new federal law

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ML&P viability in doubt

The report outlines steps the company has already taken this year to find stronger financial footing, including selling the Plantation Golf Course in March to pay off about $45 million in debt and raising an additional $11.5 million by selling two properties in the third quarter of the year.

ML&P also successfully negotiated with lenders in October to postpone the maturity of about $50 million in debt from March 2010 to March 2011 in exchange for higher interest payments.

The company laid off 183 employees in the first nine months of the year to reduce expenses, the report notes.

And in November the board of directors approved plans to shut down the company's money-losing pineapple operations, cutting an additional 208 jobs by the end of the year.

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Kaiser rates to go up 10.7 percent for groups

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii received approval today by the state Insurance Division to increase group rates by an average of 10.7 percent, effective Jan. 1, for approximately 150,000 members....

The Insurance Division previously had approved a HMSA 9.9 percent rate increase for other large businesses whose policies expire Jan. 1.

Also, University Health Alliance received approval to raise rates 11.5 percent for its 3,000 plan and 13 percent for its 600 plan. UHA has about 30,000 members.

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Arbitrator's decision may affect UH pay cut

Whether the University of Hawaii can cut faculty pay beginning Friday will likely depend on the legal interpretation of four sentences.

Article 30, the last paragraph in the 52-page UH faculty contract, contains an "evergreen clause" that the union says keeps the contract—including the pay scale—in effect until a new contract is reached.

The union's position is backed up by an arbitrator's decision filed in state Circuit Court.

To see Mario Ramil's decision on the UH faculty contract's evergreen clause, go to www.hsblinks.com/1l7.

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Salary cuts anger UHH faculty

UHH Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Deborah Fitzsimons said that the salary cuts for the 260 faculty members on the Hilo campus would amount to savings of $650,000 for the remainder of the school year.

BTW: Who is the Chancellor of HAW CC?  Oh that's right, Broken Trust front man for Lokelani Lindsey, Rockne Frietas.  He did such amazing things to Kam Schools--Wonder how much HE makes?

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Report: Ag tax exemptions abused

Developers of the upscale Hokulia development in Kona spurred a lawsuit when they attempted to say coffee trees ringing the development made it qualify for development without a change in the land use designation.

The money grubbing Hokulia plaintiffs shakedown artists are again pushing to invalidate YOUR agricultural land and increase your taxes.  This coincides with the County's need to raise taxes.  Hmmmmm.  Will the ag-zoned Sunrise Estates subdivision in Hilo face a tax increase?????  Will the County bureaucracy tax itself?????

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