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Thursday, April 15, 2010
April 15, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:07 PM :: 6359 Views

LINK>>>April 15 No New Taxes Five Rallies on Four Islands: Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Maui, Kauai

SB: Inouye's gift seen as more 'revenge'--The $100,000 donation to a national group could undercut Case

If the DCCC backs out of making an endorsement -- Chairman Chris Van Hollen has only said that the group might endorse -- the donation could be seen as influential.

"If they take their foot off the gas pedal for Case it will be hard not to draw that conclusion," Sabato said.

The donation was made this week from Inouye's re-election campaign fund.

Sabato said all of Inouye's posturing in the special election speaks to his dislike of Case.

"Inouye and Akaka are trying to get revenge on Case. There is no other explanation of it," he said. "They didn't seem unhappy with him until he challenged Akaka -- he upset the normal way of doing business."

Djou has called the fight a "civil war" between the national party and the local "Democratic machine," led by Inouye…..

RELATED: Djou raises $700,000 for Congressional Campaign, Poll: Djou tied for lead in Congressional race

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Pay at the pump to feed HGEA make-work jobs: Hawaii lawmakers pass barrel tax, bar aid office closings 

The barrel tax on petroleum products would rise from 5 cents to $1.05 and bring in $22 million a year — $13.2 million for the state's general fund and $8.8 million for food and energy security programs. The tax hike would likely be passed on to consumers and lead to slightly higher gasoline and electricity costs.

Lawmakers want to block the state Department of Human Services from carrying out a reorganization plan that would close most eligibility offices and lay off hundreds of eligibility workers. The bill approved yesterday would preserve eligibility offices on the Neighbor Islands but allow the department to proceed with a pilot project to consolidate application-processing services in Honolulu.

Gov. Linda Lingle will likely veto both bills, but lawmakers passed them in time to consider veto overrides before the session ends later this month.

SB: Oil tax increase wins approval

SB: Tax businesses cautiously

RELATED: April 15 No New Taxes Five Rallies on Four Islands: Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Maui, Kauai

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BOE bill gives voters say: Hawaii voters may decide if governor should appoint Board of Education

A legislative conference committee today merged state House and Senate versions of a constitutional amendment bill that would pose the following question to voters: "Shall the Board of Education be changed to a board appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, as provided by law?"

A similar question has been posed to voters twice before and had failed both times.

(It will fail a third time UNLESS supporters form a PAC and raise $100,000K to get the message out.)

HSTA: Appointed School Board Detrimental to Schools, Voters

PDF: Read House Bill 2376

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Union Shills end Capitol sit-in

The sit-in came to an end about 7:30 p.m. when state sheriff's deputies made another round of arrests and citations for people refusing to leave the lobby of Gov. Linda Lingle's office after closing time.

Two women were arrested for criminal trespassing, while five others were cited for trespassing. On Tuesday, two people also were arrested by state sheriffs for refusing to leave the lobby of Gov. Linda Lingle's office.

Since the sit-in began April 7, deputies issued 33 trespassing citations — with some people getting more than one — and arrested four people.

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Hawaii Business: Fixing Schools is a Broken Process

“It’s OK as long as it’s for the children,” says Marion Higa.

The state auditor smiles wanly to show she’s being sarcastic while commenting on her office’s two-part 2009 audit of procurement at the Department of Education. That’s because she’s a stickler for law and order, and the report describes a Wild West of procurement improprieties and contracting schemes. It’s a story of imperious leadership and old-fashioned cronyism. It may also be a parable for what’s wrong with state government.

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Hawaii private schools feeling economic pressures: Holy Trinity, Word of Life Academy will close in June (But DoE gets $2B)

Holy Trinity School in Kuli'ou'ou, (Tuition $6,900 a year) which opened in 1959, will shut down after the last day of school, June 7, after a years-long battle to make ends meet that worsened with the global financial crisis. The announcement came on the heels of word last month that Word of Life Academy (tuition $8950) in Kaka'ako will close.

Private school administrators and others yesterday couldn't recall ever seeing two schools with such strong academics and solid histories in the state shutter because of tough economic times, which they said was a testament to just how many families are struggling — and by how much.

They also warned that other schools could follow.

"It's basically an economic fallout situation," said David Grossman, Chaminade University's education division dean. "When people are losing jobs and income, they're pulling their kids out….

(So the more the legislature taxes the people to pay for the failed DoE which costs twice as much per student as Word of Life, the less people are able to afford to escape from it.)

Another school starved for funds: 

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Royal Hawaiian Band musicians and backers hope for a reprieve from budget cuts

Exactly why they were cut—to generate demand for government spending.

REALITY: Washington Monument Gambit

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Environmental reviews get stale quickly  (Supreme Court’s Turtle Bay Agenda exposed)

Discussions on revising environmental statutes — including Chapter 343, governing the EIS process — are well under way though not expected to yield fruit this legislative session.

That's just as well. The working group of developers, environmentalists and others has been trying to hammer out some kind of consensus on updating the law, but it has run into some deep divides. The group will need the months between lawmaking sessions to bridge them.

For one, they've wrestled over whether to put an "expiration date" on an EIS, which is something that many developers find wholly untenable. Some projects take years longer than others, they say, and for those it would be impossible for a builder to invest in an environmental study with a firm drop-dead clause. Turtle Bay is just one of many big projects conceived during a boom, abandoned during a bust and revived after the recovery.

(So the entire purpose of the Turtle Bay decision was to intervene in the secret negotiations between the old boy Democrats clients and the eco-Democrats clients over how to divvy up the State.  Putting an expiration date on EIS is simply another tool for eco-shakedown artists to have more leverage in their extortion.)

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Roadblocks on the Path to Hawaii’s Energy Future

The Kaheawa wind farm is not being fully used because of limitations imposed by an aging power grid on Maui.

Maui News: Developer for planned Ulupalakua wind farm is seeking public input  (can’t handle the one they’ve got, so they are building another.)

RELATED: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Job offers made to 600 Advertiser employees

Most of The Honolulu Advertiser's 600 employees were given job offers yesterday with a management company that will run the newspaper until it is taken over by the owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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Thousands Of Business Complaints Could Be Kept Secret

Nakamura, of the building association, said if the state removes non-disciplinary cases from its Web site "It would make them hurry up and solve these cases so that they would want to put the legitimate cases on the website, because right now it's taking years to investigate, and that's not fair." It’s not uncommon for a complaint to be listed as “pending” for months or years, Nakamura said.

If the change is approved, a lot of complaints will never be seen by the public.

In 2009, the state investigated 2,140 complaints, Uchida said. D.C.C.A. investigators took legal action in nearly 297 cases, meaning they issued warning letters, removed business or professional licenses, fined people or made them pay restitution to customers.

The remaining 1,743 complaints were unresolved or found to have insufficient evidence to proceed. And those are the ones that would no longer be public under this proposal.

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Does Hawaii need more fishing regulations?

Reversing development is highly unlikely, but actions on land impacting the ocean definitely need scrutiny. In addition, management regimes today are missing a current and accurate set of data for most fishery resources. Lack of this data and refusal of fisheries managers to closely monitor ocean conditions prevents effective management decisions or their evaluation.

Fishermen are willing to provide that data and monitoring, as they have been the eyes and ears on the ocean for centuries. But if the proper refuge, breeding grounds, clean water and other habitat essentials are continually removed or degraded, fisheries managers can do little else except restrict fishing.

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Former Honolulu councilman Felix to pay $50,000 fine

The commission staff found that Felix received $65,000 in loans from attorney William C. McCorriston and $100,000 from dentist Lawrence Tseu.

State campaign financing law bars a candidate from receiving more than $10,000 from any single lender during an election period.

The $165,000 received from the two men were deposited by Felix into a Central Pacific Bank account under Felix's name, which did not specify it was for his campaign.

From that account, Felix wrote seven checks totaling $115,000 which were deposited into a separate CPB account designated "Felix for City Council."

Felix's May 4, 2009, campaign spending reports showed that in addition to $115,000 in loans from himself, he spent $175,655.01 and received $61,731 in contributions.

The conciliation agreement said Felix falsely reported that the loans came from himself.

(And the State continues its long tradition of exacting scruitiny of Republicans while Democrats raise money from the Hawaii Mafia.)

PDF: Campaign Spending Commission

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Race for Lanai seat heating up

Hokama, who was known as a budget hawk for his decade on the County Council, pulled nomination papers last week to run for the Lanai residency seat. But he said he will not run a negative campaign and instead focus on his accomplishments and ideas about creating economic diversification for a county that has long relied on tourism and real estate development.

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TV's Tea Party Travesty

The networks first attempted to dismiss the Tea Party movement:  By the fall of 2009, the networks had shifted to disparaging the Tea Party….

RELATED: Antonio Gramsci Reading List

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