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Saturday, January 2, 2010
January 2, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:50 PM :: 9826 Views

Legislators to Honor The One: Celebrate Obama Day at Obama Park, or cheer for Obama High

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa wants President Obama's Aug. 4 birthday to be a state holiday, right up there with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana'ole Day, King Kamehameha I Day and even Christmas.

State Rep. Della Au Belatti, D-25th (Tantalus, Makiki, McCully), would like the Jan. 20 date of Obama's presidential inauguration to be forever known in the Islands as Barack Obama II Ohana Day.

And even Republican state Rep. Gene Ward, R-17th, (Kalama Valley, Queen's Gate, Hawai'i Kai), hopes to turn 4,124 square feet of overgrown scrub land owned by the state Department of Transportation into President Barack Obama Birthplace State Park.  (That's interesting.  Usually everything Obama touches goes from green to scrub.  Now the process will be reversed in one place only?)

(How about placing plaques at all of Obama's hangouts on the notorious Smith St in Chinatown?  Or at his "choom gang" smoke spots near Punahou?) 

TOTALLY RELATED: In Kailua, Obama meets 'Snowbama' concoction  (Can you snow a snowman?)

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Cayetano's DCCA boss Kathryn Matayoshi to take up reins of DoE (left behind the mess that Mark Recktenwald cleaned up)

Daughter of former Big Island Mayor Herbert Matayoshi, Kathryn Matayoshi, has been deputy superintendent since July, became acting superintendent of the state Department of Education with the resignation of Patricia Hamamoto....  (Sounds like they put her in place with the resignation in mind)

She served seven years as director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. In his 2002 State of the State speech, then-Gov. Ben Cayetano said Matayoshi turned the DCCA "upside down, streamlined it and turned it into a 100 percent self-sufficient state department."  (She left behind the mess that Mark Recktenwald cleaned up)

She came to the Education Department after two years as executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, and formerly held positions as chief of staff for the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, chief executive officer of Community Links Hawaii, and as an attorney with the Hawaiian Electric Co.  (A female old boy.)

(This person is not going to be any kind of change agent at DoE.) 

Related: Unsung Hero Award – Mark Recktenwald (describes what he had to clean up after Matayoshi) , Recktenwald in 2004 Leg testimony on "Reinventing Education"

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Hamamoto still in furlough talks

Toguchi circulated Hamamoto's letter of resignation Thursday afternoon in e-mails to other board members, four days after she submitted it to him. After she notified him of her intention, "I was asking her to stay until the end of March," Toguchi said. "She asked me to give her a few days to think about it."

He said Hamamoto discussed retiring last year, but "took back her resignation," he said. "It really was her decision. She has been around for a long time and been through a lot. Who could fault her for leaving now?"

"She was an integral part of our strategy; (she did all the work and BoE members just sat back) she participated in long drawn-out discussions between the administration and the union," said board member John Penebacker. "I had no clue she intended to leave. It will most definitely affect negotiations with the governor.  (Toguchi knew LAST YEAR, but Penebacker is still clueless???)

"I can speculate that ... with constant criticism of outsiders, who have no idea what it takes to run a Department of Education, enough is enough," (the clueless) Penebacker said.

(After 10 years of failure upon failure, what makes Penebacker think that Hamamoto knows what it takes?????)

State Sen. Norman Sakamoto, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, applauded Hamamoto's appointments of "assistants that had more business orientation" in positions such as the Office of School Facilities and Support Services  (Sakamoto's brother is a major school maintenance contractor)

The resignation "timing took most of us by surprise," board member Karen Knudsen said. "This will be my fourth superintendent search.  (Which means Knudsen has got it wrong three times going on four and she along with all the other clueless idiots on the BoE will pick the next Sup't.)

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Hamamoto decision 'personal'

Sources say Hamamoto is planning to hold a press conference on Monday.

Board of Education member Donna Ikeda said Thursday that she thought Hamamoto was unfairly criticized over the furlough issue. She also said she was surprised by Hamamoto's decision to resign.

"The governor was part of the (furlough) decision. Why should Pat be made the scapegoat? (When we have a perfectly good Republican to blame)" Ikeda said. "This is the first governor, to my knowledge, who has not included the superintendent in Cabinet meetings.  (Thus showing Lingle's wisdom.) It makes the job 10 times harder."

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SB: Settle UH labor dispute out of court, reasonably

Despite the evergreen clause, the university announced it would implement a 6.7 percent faculty pay cut for 18 months beginning Jan. 1. The faculty union threatened to go to state Circuit Court to enforce arbitrator Mario Ramil's ruling in July that wages should remain the same because of the contract clause.

The administration may seek relief from the Hawaii Labor Relations Board or federal court.

Following raises of 7 percent and 11 percent in 2007 and 2008, respectively, the union actually agreed to a 5 percent pay cut over two years -- as long as UH would promise 7.5 percent paybacks in each of the next two years, regardless of the economic atmosphere.

Dream again....

The faculty union recognizes that "a significant number" of its members are not protected from layoffs by tenure. Those potential sacrificial lambs fill spots funded from the state general appropriations, special or revolving funds and other government and private grants or contracts.

As Hawaii's economic doldrums persist, the financial crisis emanating from UH will worsen with each paycheck.

Time to return to Economics 101.

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Hawaii's unemployment fund forecast a bit less gloomy

A recalculation of rates based on a newly released jobless rate forecast shows the fund balance won't fall as much as originally expected. Because of this, the state may not have to borrow as much from the federal government to get through the next year and a half....

The fund balance will still dip to a point that triggers a massive increase in unemployment insurance taxes levied on employers. The average annual rate by employers will spike from $90 to $1,070....

Rhoads is proposing a lower tax rate for 2010 and 2011, with most rebuilding of the fund to come later. Under his proposal, employers would find some relief next year and in 2011 compared to what the current law calls for. Rather than being charged $1,070 annually per worker, employers would pay $630.

"It takes the average from $90 (now) to $630, which is still a significant increase," Rhoads said.  (700% tax hike)

In 2011, the rate would be $1,290 instead of the $1,520 currently called for under the law.

Another proposal being mulled by the Chamber of Commerce would delay the increases in unemployment taxes for several more years, he said. 

But Rhoads said he believes the economy will be recovering by 2012 (not if his taxes go thru) and that the state needs to begin to rebuilding the fund.  (Really? Why?)

(Notice how Rhoads' 700% tax hike is being portrayed as the savior here, when he real savior is the CoC proposal.)

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Judge Hara grants UH Motion To Dismiss KAHEA’s Mauna Kea CMP Lawsuit

Judge Glenn Hara granted the University of Hawaii’s motion to dismiss KAHEA’s, etc lawsuit on December 29th, 2009. KAHEA,etc was trying to invalidate the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.

RELATED: Thirty Meter Telescope Selects Mauna Kea -- Let the looting begin!

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