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Saturday, January 1, 2011
January 1, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:28 PM :: 8899 Views

Abercrombie’s Birther War named in top ten Flubs of the Year

AFP: 2011 brings tougher challenge, greater rewards

Hawaii Land trusts merge to finance grab for thousands more acres

Djou leaves Congress with House Republicans lined up for Akaka Bill, Rail funding

Djou, a Republican, said he has secured commitments for Honolulu's rail funding from the GOP leadership and that it is up to U.S. Rep.-elect Colleen Hanabusa to follow up.

"If the future 112th Congress fails to secure all the rail funding, it's the fault of this delegation," Djou said at a farewell news conference on the steps of the federal building in Honolulu. "The commitments are there. ... If rail funding doesn't come through, we have to lay the blame at the hands of Colleen Hanabusa and the rest of Hawaii's congressional delegation."

Djou made similar statements about advancing the Akaka Bill — to grant federal recognition of native Hawaiians — saying he believes he had enough GOP support to get the legislation passed in the Republican-controlled House next year.

Hanabusa will be sworn in Wednesday. (She will fail to gain passage of the Akaka Bill and she will fail to secure House approval for Rail.  These will be key issues in the 2012 rematch.)

(Already making excuses for her future failures,) Hanabusa said Djou's statements did not recognize the difficulty in getting legislation through both chambers of Congress and the president….

"If he believes he has those commitments, then I call upon him to call upon them (GOP leaders) to keep their word to him," she said.

(She is preparing to blame Djou for not doing her job for her.)

HNN: On his last day, Djou warns Hanabusa about rail funding

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Condo owners target as Calvin Say proposes $100M in new Taxes

Hawaii lawmakers say they will not raise the state's far-reaching general excise tax, but add that they might end tax breaks on condo maintenance fees and other transactions.

House Speaker Calvin Say said a bill to repeal tax exemptions and credits will be debated again after it failed to pass last year's legislative session.

Hawaii is facing a $410 million budget deficit in 2011, and rolling back exemptions could generate about $100 million for the state government if it mirrors last year's initial proposal.

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Guard to welcome soldiers home from Afghanistan

HONOLULU (AP)  The Hawaii Army National Guard expects to welcome home on New Year's Day more than 120 soldiers returning from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
The soldiers are members of the 230th Engineer Company. Ten Army Reservists from the 9th Mission Support Command who joined the unit during the deployment are also due to return.

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HECO chastised for mismanaging its energy program's move to a private firm

The PUC said it began receiving complaints in April 2009 from installers and vendors that HECO was not making good on rebate payments. On June 5, 2009, a PUC staff member called HECO to inquire about the "large outstanding balance" of rebate payments.

"In response, HECO submitted a letter to the commission stating that there was an 'apparent misunderstanding' and that they believed SAIC would honor commitments made by the HECO companies prior to the date of the transition of the (energy efficiency) programs," according to the PUC filing.

HECO asked the PUC at that time for the program modifications that included the recovery of an additional $1.4 million from rate payers.

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Final day of fireworks sale as snobs’ law brings darkness to Oahu

Playing with fireworks is a long-standing tradition on New Year's Eve in Hawaii.

But that tradition is about to come to an end for Oahu, but not without a big bang.

Being that this is the last time people on Oahu can light up sparklers and fountains, many folks went all-out with their purchases.

KITV: Oahu Residents Unsure About New Fireworks Law

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Maui Tax Group has new Chair

The executive committee of the Committee for More Equitable Taxation has voted to appoint Paula Newell co-chairperson of COMET. She takes the place of the late Tony Fisher.

Paula is the daughter of a co-founder of COMET, the late Lyle Bettqer, who contributed so much to COMET's early success.

As co-chairman and co-founder of COMET, I have complete confidence in Paula's ability and determination to carry on the accomplishments of COMET in its efforts to bring true reform of Maui County's antiquated and unfair and morally indefensible property tax system.

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2010 Year in Review

the top Big Island news stories of 2010, as chosen by the Tribune-Herald's editors and reporters….

HTH: The unusual, the wacky of 2010

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A raft of apt quotations offered to isle politicians

» For state House Speaker Calvin Say: "The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided." — Casey Stengel

» For state Senate President Shan Tsutsui: "For the record, I do respect Sen. (Donna Mercado) Kim and agree with her on many issues ... plus I don't want her to gouge my eyes out." — Fred Hemmings

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