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Sunday, January 17, 2010
January 17, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:07 AM :: 8445 Views

Civil union debate could spur political action from all sides

The massive rally promised for this weekend will foreshadow action in the November election, Hashimoto said. Democrats running for governor will be one of the coalition's targets.

Hashimoto said neither Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is exploring a run for governor, nor U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who plans to resign from Congress next month to run, would be satisfactory governors to conservative Christians.

Instead, the support will go to Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a Catholic who has spoken out strongly against HB 444....

Dennis Arakaki, former state representative and a member of the Democratic Party, is also director of the Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Catholic Conference. He sees this election as an opportunity.

"We really want to raise the level of voters participation," Arakaki said. "I think this is the kind of issue that will make people care. We are going to be a little more aggressive in letting people know where the candidate stands."...

In opposition to that, the Democratic Party's Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender caucus "will be doing our best to support candidates who voted for civil unions," said Jo-Ann Adams, the caucus' secretary.

"We will focus our efforts where there are opponents to legislators who supported the party platform on civil unions. Because we have a long-standing relationship with most legislators, we will be seeking their guidance on how we can best help in their campaigns," Adams said.  (They're playing "prevent" defense.)

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Case takes early lead

If a special election were held today to fill the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, 37 percent of voters in the district say they would vote for Case, compared to 25 percent for his Democratic rival, state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, and 17 percent for City Councilman Charles Djou, the only Republican seeking the office.

Twenty-one percent were undecided, according to the poll conducted Jan. 8-12 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research of Washington, D.C.

Despite trailing both Democrats, Djou remained confident.

"I think the single most important number in this poll is the undecided number, and I think that the race is still fluid," he said. "I think as this campaign progresses, and as the voters get to know each of us as candidates better, I'm confident that my message will be the one that prevails in the last poll....

"It's not the first poll that matters, it's the last poll that counts."

The poll also asked voters whether they had favorable or unfavorable opinions of the candidates, with Case rating highest at 42 percent, followed by Djou at 37 percent and Hanabusa at 33 percent.

Hanabusa had the highest unfavorable rating, 27 percent, compared to 18 percent for each of her opponents.

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'No simple answers' as lawmakers consider tapping funds, raising taxes (they're 'simply' going to raise the GET)

(The article begins with) advocates and lobbyists ... come around asking about money....  (solution: put them in chain gang to build roads)

An increase in the GET — the state's largest source of tax revenue — could be politically difficult in an election year unless there is consensus in the community that it is necessary to preserve essential services.

Last session, lawmakers raised state income taxes on the wealthy, the conveyance tax on luxury and second homes, and the hotel-room tax over Lingle's vetoes.

"For me, it's the last resort," state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, D-14th (Halawa, Moanalua, Kamehameha Heights), chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said of a GET hike.

"Coming out of meetings with my community, they're saying 'No more taxes.' They just can't afford any more taxes, and that we're just not listening to them."...

Issues such as civil unions or restricting fireworks, potential minefields in an election year, have already cropped up. But leadership has warned against time-consuming detours.

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Search for revenue (TAX INCREASE) looms as top mission (ADV editors explain how to pitch a GET hike)

high on the agenda will be finding ways to finance infrastructure projects that will put people back to work quickly. And to ensure that such projects really do ramp up promptly, legislators will consider important changes to state laws that will enforce stricter deadlines on resolving disputes over development contracts....

(Here's the sales pitch...)

Increasing any broad-based assessment like the GET should only be considered with clear constraints. Exemptions on groceries and prescription drugs transactions are necessary to contain cost increases for items that take a large bite out of family budgets, especially for lower-income groups.

Lawmakers also should put a fairly brief term on any increase, having it come up for review a year or two down the road, when the economy should be recovering.

And taxpayers rightly will have little patience for any tax hike unless they can be solidly assured that all other efficiencies and cuts have been made.  (HAHAHAHA)

There's sure to be pressure to open the Pandora's box of legalized gambling, most likely through the enactment of a state lottery.  (Tax increase pitched as an alternative to gambling)

read more

UHPA, UH administration reach tentative labor agreement

The union has scheduled an electronic ratification vote that will begin Jan. 21 and last through Jan. 26, the union said in a press release.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. UHPA bargaining unit members will receive details this weekend, the union said.

SB: State, UHPA reach accord on contract

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Activities honor King's memory

The parade begins at 9 a.m. at Magic Island and travels down Kalākaua Avenue to Kapi'olani Park, where a unity rally will be held, including music, food and entertainment.

Last year, more than 1,000 people marched in the parade, representing many groups, and more than 3,000 people attended the rally, Joyner said.

read this

Young Bros. and Pasha Hawaii await a decision on whether the shipping services can compete

In December, Hawaii's consumer advocate issued a statement recommending that the state reject Pasha's application due to insufficient information.

The state Public Utilities Commission, meanwhile, is expected to make a decision on Pasha's application sometime after this month.

At stake is whether the Hawaii market has room for two players....

While Young Bros. takes freight of all kinds, Pasha, as a roll-on, roll-off carrier, will target automobiles and construction companies with heavy equipment.

With the competition, Young Bros. estimates a revenue loss of about $1.4 million but says that figure is conservative.

(Same arguments YB used to kill Superferry)

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Timeshares weather storm: During the prolonged downturn, their occupancy levels have outpaced hotels

The state's timeshare industry got hit by the financial market meltdown in late 2008 but remains a strong and growing part of Hawai'i's tourism sector, and industry officials say its pre-paid nature makes it more resilient than traditional hotels during challenging economic times.

the industry had enjoyed double-digit increases in revenues for 20 years until the financial crash.

The growth in the number of timeshare units nearly doubled from 4,815 units in 2002 to 8,245 in 2005 before growing more slowly to 8,872 units in 2007.

That adds up to about 10 percent of Hawai'i's lodging inventory.

read more

Kenoi wants to raise money for land purchases by selling property

The sale would return long-fallow land to agricultural production, generate tax revenue for the county, and provide money for the county to pursue buying shoreline property to protect it and open more coastal areas for public use, Kenoi said.

RELATED: Kawa purchase appears imminent

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Rotarians pull together to help Haiti

Rotary Club of Kona members proved just that Thursday afternoon when one member challenged the club members to pull out their wallets and donate as much as they could for Haiti's Earthquake Relief Effort. In 10 minutes, they had raised $2,000. Add to that a matching donation from another Rotarian, and the club had $4,000 to help Haitians who were displaced by Tuesday's earthquake.

read more

A new breed of paparazzi descends on placid Maui

In the superheated world of political blogging, that explanation was doubted, but Mike White, general manager of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, said it was "absolutely correct" that obnoxious photographers chased the Palin family off Maui....

White said: "I found the Palins to be just wonderful people. Our hospitality staff was totally taken by them and by the attention that Todd and Sarah paid to the kids."

He said it was other guests who complained to his staff about the paparazzi.

ADV runs same story with this headline: Palin incident showed new, unwelcome presence on Maui  (They just can't contain their hatred, can they?)

RELATED: Pelosi enjoys privacy at Hualalai after Palin is hounded off Maui

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