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Sunday, January 10, 2010
January 10, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:03 PM :: 10300 Views

DANGER: Hawaii acting schools chief Matayoshi praised widely as good choice for permanent job

Anytime Hawaii's political class appears united, the wise man senses danger.

First they slip her in without telling even the Board of Education, now they are calling her "permanent."  This charade just has to hold until the end of the Legislative session, then we will discover that Hawaii isn't getting any RTTT and the legislature will have been convinced NOT to propose the Constitutional amendment to bring the DoE under the control of the next governor.  Then the DoE bureaucracy and crony contractors can exhale for another decade.  

ADV: Education crisis offers chance for change

Situation Explained: Hamamoto's DoE resignation: To block Lingle's constitutional amendment?

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Senators boost Hanabusa: Inouye, Akaka hope to take revenge on Ed Case  (the increasingly hollow old boys' last hurrah?)

(Inouye) said Case told the delegation he wasn't going to run against Akaka in the 2006 primary for Senate, then surprisingly announced his campaign.  (Case is a liar.)

..."maverick" was a label often used by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign. Applying it to Case may be an attempt to suggest to Democrats that Case is really more of a Republican at heart.

"You cannot get things done alone. We are not mavericks out there. We are, and must be, a team," Hanabusa said.  (Case is a Republican)

Case--"I think far more voters want to think for themselves, as opposed of being told what to think."  (Hanabusa voters are stupid.)

"They don't want to run Ed Case against Colleen Hanabusa," he said. "They want to run Ed Case against anything else. Not the direct comparison of whether she or me can do the best job in Congress, walking in on day one after a special election after Neil leaves.

"You will see months of distractions from that core issue."  (Hanabusa campaign is a distraction)

Inouye said Case's previous actions, particularly the challenge to Akaka, "cut deep into me."  (Case is deadly threat.)

Hanabusa said she will likely focus on Case's record in Congress, including his support for the war in Iraq and for the increased government surveillance of the USA Patriot Act.

Djou, a Republican, said he will gladly leave the fighting to Hanabusa and Case.

"I'm eagerly looking forward to the Democrats in the race tearing themselves to pieces," he said. "And I'll be right there to pick up the pieces."

SB: Senators support Hanabusa for Congress

HINewsNow: Congressional race heats up

KHON: The Race to Fill Congressman Abercrombie's Seat Heats Up  |  Video Video

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State needs $1M to hold May special election  (Mercado Kim still trying to delay election shows Hanabusa weakness)

Elections officials are hoping to hold a vote-by-mail special election May 1 if they can get the $925,000 it would cost. An election with walk-in voting would cost $1.2 million.

"I believe there would be a federal obligation to do it," Bennett told lawmakers last week. "They don't want the states to go without representation."

Others like Democratic state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim question whether the money might be better spent on education and social services, both of which have been slashed during the economic downturn.

(Mercado Kim is Senate Vice president, if Hanabusa wins, Kim would be a top candidate for Senate Pres.  So apparently Kim does not thin Colleen has a chance in the Special Election)

AP: Cash-strapped Hawaii says it can't afford election

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Public worker retirement soars

The number of state and county workers retiring jumped 34 percent in 2009 compared with 2008, going to 2,270 from 1,689, according to figures from the state Employees' Retirement System. The vast majority of the retirees come from state payrolls....

"Everybody is looking forward to retirement and a time when you can just kick back."

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SB: Don't raid hotel tax funds -- raise taxes instead

Hawaii's mayors are beginning to feel the pressure to balance their county budgets by protecting their hotel room tax from a state raid while avoiding increases in sales tax, property taxes or various fees. Transfer of revenue from the hotel tax is the state's shell game to avoid direct tax hikes, leaving belt-tightening as its primary alternative while subjecting county mayors and councils to public ire....

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and Russell Kokubun have suggested that counties could impose a half-percent excise surcharge to make up for the loss of hotel tax revenues. Kenoi and Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares seem to be entertaining the idea.....

Lingle has been correct in warning against tax increases during a recession, but her suggestion to raid county hotel tax funds would force counties to do just that.  (Because the one truly unacceptable option is to cut waste, fraud , and corruption at the County level.)

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Honolulu airport car-rental hub envisioned to help visitors

This is an excuse for a $5 per day rental car tax.  The "hub" is theoretical, but the tax is real.

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Prof: UH can balance budget without gutting faculty

The state Legislature has allocated $10 million for planning the UH-West Oahu campus. This campus has no educational justification. The Legislature should delay or cancel the planning for West Oahu campus and transfer that money into UH's operating funds.

Next, cut the UH administration. When I arrived at UH 38 years ago, there was no chancellor's office at Manoa. Now that office consumes $10 million a year and the number of administrators has quadrupled while the number of students has decreased. In the same period, my own department, for example, has decreased from 37 professors to 17.

Consider the University of Michigan, a public institution that is stable, even in this economy. It has the highest in-state tuition in the nation in a relatively poor state, $12,000 per year. When U Michigan saw state support dwindle, it chose independence by raising tuition.

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Wind, waste-to-energy not among plan’s $1.5B renewables -- but a 50 cent a gallon gas tax is

Public blasts 50¢ fuel tax, consultant defends ‘shock to the system’

LIHU‘E — Weaning Kaua‘i from its addiction to imported oil could require dramatic measures, but some residents seem wary of one such plan to do just that.

Community members were not shy about vocalizing their opinions regarding a recently unveiled proposal for the county to levy an additional tax of 50 cents per gallon for gasoline, Thursday at a public presentation of the final draft of the long-awaited Kaua‘i Energy Sustainability Plan.

Telling our children they won’t be able to go to soccer practice anymore because their parents can’t afford to pay for the gas to get there is not going to fly, said Kilauea resident Scott Mijares, one of more than 50 concerned citizens at the presentation.

“We know we’re going to feel the pain,” he said. “We already pay the highest prices in the county.”

(This is a scheme to wean HGEA,UPW, etal from the old boys and make them dependent on the environmentalists' ability to raise taxes.  It doesn't seem to be getting much support.)TOTALLY RELATED:  Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires

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Castle & Cooke may use Lanai aquifer; environmentalists decry decision

LANAI CITY - The state Land Use Commission cleared the way Friday for Castle & Cooke Resorts to continue using brackish water drawn from Lanai's high-level aquifer to irrigate The Challenge at Manele golf course.

Lanai environmentalists were disappointed by the decision, which reversed a 14-year-old order; they said it would put the island's fragile aquifer at greater risk. But supporters of Castle & Cooke said the island's struggling economy needed the golf course to remain viable in order to preserve jobs.

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Furlough Fridays raise residents' hackles

"Before furlough Fridays, the politicians got raises and they could have said no to those raises and given it to the schools," said Jenn Hao, 20, of Waikoloa Village. "Instead of thinking of themselves, think of Hawaii."...

"People in Honolulu are deciding what's best for the schools here. It's ridiculous," Cooper said. "There shouldn't be one school district for all the islands. If each island got their own school district, they would find the cuts they need."

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Kakaako homeless cleanup

About 40 people live at Gateway Park along Ilalo Street, including seven families with children, said Utu Langi, executive director of the community group H-5. About 10 people also live at Kewalo Basin Park, Ching said.

Ching said some people living in the parks leave piles of rubbish or defecate there. Because the Waterfront Park restrooms are trashed at night, he has the water turned off overnight and is looking at installing locks.

"It's terrible," said Lee Tom, an employee at the Acura dealership on Ala Moana Boulevard. He said he's had to clean up human feces on Koula Street. In the morning, some homeless people fight, and at night they line the street behind the dealership with their tents, he said.

Ching said the cleanup will begin Friday when personnel from the Hawaii Public Housing Authority go into the park with translators for Micronesians, who make up a majority of the population at the parks. Police and deputy sheriffs will be there for support.

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Hawaii County joblessness down to "only" 10%

Between October and November, the number of accommodation industry jobs rose from 5,400 to 5,800.

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Kauai mom with 3 kids, 66 arrests gets decade in prison

Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho told 5th Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe a lengthy prison term was necessary as Rita has an extensive criminal history, including 66 prior arrests and 23 convictions, nine of them felonies, according to a county press release.

Iseri-Carvalho said Rita, also known as Ashlee Pasion, had previously received varied sentences including fines, community service and numerous sentences of prison time, ranging from three days to six months, for prior convictions.

In one case, she was convicted of seven felony counts of forgery, a felony count of theft, and one felony count of burglary.

She was facing 100 years in prison and, despite these serious charges, was sentenced to only 74 days in jail in addition to probation, the release states.

On probation, she failed numerous drug tests and got kicked out of four different drug-treatment programs, Iseri-Carvalho said in the release.

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Snobs snubbed: Hawaii fireworks ban not a Capitol priority

If such a ban is enacted, Hawai'i would become only the sixth state in the nation to outlaw fireworks. (The snobbish LIBERAL states of) New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware already have bans, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Thirty-nine states, including Hawai'i, allow most forms of consumer fireworks, while six others allow only sparklers or novelty items such as pull-string poppers and snappers.

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Fidell: Let's start doing more to develop local agriculture

The plantations built great irrigation infrastructure, but as they crumbled the infrastructure did, too. Agriculture requires water, but the activists on Maui insist that the water remain in the stream and flow to the sea.

The Water Commission should reject that demand. Maui and the Big Island have been declared drought disaster areas, and the farmers there are already suffering from the lack of water.

The University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture teaches students how to grow crops but not necessarily companies. CTAHR should join forces with the Shidler Business College to train farmers as entrepreneurs.

You would expect environmentalists to support farming, but the activists haven't helped. Superferry was great for the farmers, replacing costly two-week barge shipments with same-day service. That benefit is gone.

The activist campaigns against genetically engineered crops also undermine our farmers. The state must reject any opposition not based on science. Genetically engineered crops are already feeding the world. The ancient Hawaiians themselves engineered kalo to where they could feed a million people....

We could exclude food from the general excise tax — taxing food is so regressive. We could also lease or sell state land to farmers....

(Jay Fidell is suddenly making sense.  Maybe the ACT 215/221 elixir has worn off?)

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Anti-Superferry protester: Obama as Bush

...once he became president…Obama became a murderer and a terrorist.... According to the Times of London, US-led troops dragged innocent children from their beds and shot them during a nighttime raid.... there is a tremendous bitter disappointment here in Palestine.... 

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