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Friday, April 16, 2010
April 16, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:48 PM :: 10419 Views

 

LINK>>>Photos: 2,000 Rally against Tax Hikes at Capitol, 300 in Kona, 150 in Hilo, 100 in Lihue, 100s in Kahului

ADV: Djou is “most credible GOP candidate in years”

If the Republicans are ever to regain any traction in Hawai'i, the party needs more candidates like Charles Djou. Earnest and likeable, Djou has mounted the most energetic and credible Republican campaign for a Hawai'i congressional seat since Pat Saiki first ran in the late 1980s.  (The article starts well to sucker readers into continuing.  It then descends into a typical Democrat Advertiser hatchet job.)

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Hanabusa, Djou Raise Twice As Much As Case

In filings with the Federal Election Commission Thursday, Hanabusa, the State Senate President, reported raising the most money so far: $712,076. Djou, a Hawaii Kai city councilman, raised a total of $692,069 and former congressman Case listed $348,555 in contributions.

"The amount of money I have raised is a reflection about the local support that I am getting. 85 percent of the donors to my campaign are from the state of Hawaii. It's not outside mainland money. It's local groundswell support," Djou told KITV4.

Besides outraising her rivals, Hanabusa has outspent them, listing $346,850 in expenditures in the campaign so far. Case has spent $188,583 and Djou reports spending $200,000 in the campaign. A recent poll reported by The Atlantic magazine said Djou and Case were tied at 32 percent, with Hanabusa running third at 27 percent.

As of March 31, Djou reported having significantly more cash than his opponents, $491,920. Hanabusa listed $328,710 in cash on hand and Case had $213,916.

Hanabusa's rivals believe she's getting lots of her money from mainland donors, since U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye is helping her raise funds. Hanabusa's campaign said it did not have a breakdown of mainland versus Hawaii donors late Thursday afternoon.

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Union shills insert themselves in Gubernatorial campaign

The members of an informal group called Save Our Schools called on the two Democrats, former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, and Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona to explain how they would restore the state's 180-day school year. The group began its sit-in April 7 to protest the nation's shortest school year and ended it late Wednesday….

…Aiona, meanwhile, has generally hewed to Lingle's positions. For example, he and Lingle support tying an end to furloughs to legislative approval of a proposal to give governors the authority to appoint the state superintendent of schools.

"Everyone should be immediately focused on a reasonable, achievable solution to return our children to the classroom, and we must work together to get it done," the lieutenant governor said yesterday in a statement that did not address the sit-in.

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Furlough Protesters admit to collaborating with HSTA

(Here it is—buried in a sheath of excuses about why they don’t protest against HSTA….)

Besides, said Marguerite Higa, a sit-in organizer, the union and education officials have already met with Save Our Schools members more than once.

"They listened to us and they took their lumps and they've modified their position as a result of meeting with us," Higa, one of four arrested for misdemeanor trespassing during the sit-in, said Thursday. "We felt that that was a start, but what needed to be completed was the governor's willingness to engage in dialogue."

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$46M for child welfare in dispute

The department is asking the Legislature for authority to spend that money for preventive social services from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal funds.

The proposed House budget would prevent the department from spending it, while the Senate version would allow it. The difference must be worked out in a conference committee.

The amount initially totaled $70 million, including $49 million in federal stimulus funds, but the Human Services Department already has received $24 million of the extra money.

ALSO: SB2650: Four months wait for Medicaid--thanks to HGEA, Legislature

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Don't let funding flame out for anti-smoking programs

The State is now senior partner in the Tobacco industry.  Stay tuned for fake anti-tobacco programs which “accidentally” cause more people to start smoking.

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Hawaii businesses must pay taxes earlier

The new law applies to the payment of state taxes including transient accommodations taxes, insurance premiums taxes, use taxes, fuel taxes, liquor taxes, tobacco taxes, and rental motor vehicle surcharge taxes. Payment will be required on the 20th instead of the last day of the month.

Some businesses have said the 10-day advance creates another hardship, especially for those that do not immediately get paid for goods and services.
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Earmarks received by Senators Cochran & Inouye (combined): $890,000,000

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, appropriations bills in fiscal 2010 contained 9,499 congressional earmarks worth $15.9 billion. Leading the pack of Senate earmark recipients were Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. Combined, the top two earmarks recipients, Sen. Cochran and Sen. Inouye, secured $890,023,850 in earmarks.  (See cost of earmark calculator)

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Criminals May Have Harder Time Hiding New Arrests from probation Officers

The judge ordered Birmingham not to use or possess alcohol while on probation, but he was arrested twice on drunken driving charges. Those arrests never appeared in his probation file. That gap should close with a new computer interface, which began phasing in Wednesday night. From now on, police will know if an arrestee is on probation, and soon, probation officers will know when one of their clients is arrested.  (What a concept!)

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Hawaii’s Health and Pension Funds Are Bleeding Red Ink

Tens of thousands of Hawaii state workers may soon lose their medical benefits and doctors and health insurance plans may go unpaid if the Hawaii State Legislature does not step in to enact cost-saving measures to the Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) before the legislative session ends on April 29.

That is Gov. Linda Lingle’s dire warning in an April 12 letter to House and Senate Labor Committee Chairs Rep. Karl Rhoads (D-Palama) and Rep. Dwight Takamine (D-Hilo).

See the letter here: EUTF letter from Gov Lingle 2010 and the proposed draft amendment EUTF draft amendment

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Study: Teacher Pension Plans on Shaky Ground

Teachers often concede to union contracts that trade increased wages for increased secure retirement benefits. They count on the day they can retire without out worry. That’s what California teachers believed until they were issued “IOU’s” from the state.

Some teachers in Alabama haven’t received pension payouts for 6 months.

A new study released by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, “Underfunded Teacher Pension Plans: It’s Worse Than You Think,” by Josh Barro and Stuart Buck, reveals nearly $1 trillion in unfunded teacher pension liabilities in 59 funds nationally….

The solution for states could be to put teachers into a hybrid or defined contribution model like a 401(k), say Buck and Barro.

RELATED:  UNDERFUNDED TEACHER PENSION PLANS: It’s Worse Than You Think

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ADV: The man with 2 faces

Advertiser retracts an endorsement.  Is it about Mr Kim Coco Iwamoto?  Is it about the guy with the airbrushed wings?  No, its about a Republican.  Those other endorsements are still OK.  This proves that voters should elect 100% Republicans because then and only then could we expect the media to begin ferreting out corruption in Hawaii politics.

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Isles' new frontier? Space

Oklahoma-based Rocketplane Global wants to begin offering flights from Honolulu Airport for five people aboard a space plane propelled to 62 miles above the Earth, then turning around and landing on the Big Island.  (New interisland airline?) This year's state House has approved a resolution recognizing "aerospace as a strategic and timely growth industry for Hawaii," and Gov. Linda Lingle this week called the economic benefits "immeasurable," along with educational and social plusses.

Attention shake-down artists.  Be sure to stop off at OHA’s offices to pick up your lawsuit instruction packets….

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Aiea firm gets grant to build biorefinery

Aiea-based ClearFuels Technology Inc. will receive the first $7.7 million of a $22.6 million grant to build a biorefinery to convert sugarcane and wood waste products into renewable diesel and jet fuel.

The project is being developed with Rentech, which has a 25 percent ownership in ClearFuels, at its Energy Technology Center in Commerce City, Colo. The biorefinery is expected to be completed in late 2011.

Read more: Aiea firm gets grant to build biorefinery - Pacific Business News (Honolulu):

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Yagong: Why did county cancel land auction?

The county is trying to sell 719 acres near Paauilo to offset budget shortfalls. No bidders attended the first sale March 31, nor the second sale April 7. Parcels range from a 12.8-acre lot for a minimum $216,000 bid to a 109.5-acre lot for a minimum $615,000 bid….

Yagong has spoken out against selling the land, unsuccessfully asking his colleagues to require county administrators to bring purchase offers to the council for review. He said SunFuels Hawaii was interested in the land, and that plans for the land included a biomass plant and a feedlot.

Rory Flynn, spokesman for Waimea's SunFuels, denied the company was looking to purchase the property or any land on the Big Island, calling the claim "so false."

The proposal isn't inherently bad, Yagong said. He did want, however, for island residents to get a chance to see the plans before any sale was concluded.

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Wrong-way crowd: President mistimed sale of Bankoh stock

He can’t manage his own money, but he wants to manage yours.  BTW Didn’t Obama know that BankOH wasn’t suckered into investing in the sub-prime mortgage scam which Obama himself ran from the Senate?

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Antarctic mission: UH researchers return from an expedition with warnings about climate warming

How dull.  Can’t anybody find a Global COOLING grant to give these guys?

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US Senate climate bill to be unveiled April 26

Point Carbon, an energy markets consulting service, estimated the anticipated Senate bill would result in U.S. gasoline prices rising an average of 27 cents a gallon from 2013 to 2020. The bill is expected to contain a fee on motor fuels. (its going to go up a lot more than that)

On Wednesday, a Senate source told Reuters the legislation would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions. It would also end state and regional carbon-trading programs, such as the one several Northeastern states participate in, to be replaced by a national carbon reduction policy. [N14150360]

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, with 10 participating states from Vermont to Maryland, has raised over $582 million for state efficiency and climate programs, said Environment Northeast, a Boston research group. (Ca-Ching!)

Peter Shattuck, a carbon markets policy analyst there, said shutting the program could create concerns among the states over lost revenues. (Its just a con-job to raise taxes.)

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