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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
February 10, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 8:10 PM :: 7099 Views

Hawaii pension fund lost $2.95B in 2008

The ERS pays out benefits to more than 35,000 retirees, survivors and beneficiaries. In addition there are about 66,000 workers who have not yet retired but will eventually be drawing an ERS pension.

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House holding ceded lands meetings this week

The meetings are scheduled for:• Tuesday, Kealakehe Elementary School in Kailua, Kona.• Wednesday, Keaukaha Elementary School in Hilo.• Thursday, King Kaumuali'i Elementary School in Lihu'e.• Saturday, State Capitol Room 329.

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Shell Game: Bill would create 50% fireworks tax

The state House Public Safety Committee voted yesterday to amend House Bill 887, introduced by Rep. Marilyn Lee, to include the tax. The measure had originally called for a ban on the sale of all fireworks in Honolulu.  (Neat trick, eh?  Now we are supposed to thank the Leg for taxing us instead of banning us.)  The measure passed without discussion, although Reps. Kymberly Pine, Roy Takumi and Karl Rhoads voted for the bill "with reservations."

The Senate is looking at SB 2, which would ban all consumer fireworks except for religious or cultural purposes.  (Do 'cultural purposes' include celebrating Chinese New Year, Jan 1 New Year, and the 4th of July by setting off a few fireworks???)

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Chinatown: Rise in crime, drugs reported

Some said part of the problem is that businesses allow drug sales to take place indoors, leading to crime spilling out onto the street.  "We want property owners to realize that they really can't - even if they're getting good money - they really can't rent to illicit businesses," said Burton White, general manager of Hawaii Theatre. "The community's watching."

(Watching is nice, but what is required is TELLING.  Who is it that owns those properties?  What are their political connections?)

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Hawaii alleged molester of 200 kids arrested in Arizona

In 1999, Oahu Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario sentenced Cox to one year in prison and five years of probation for four counts of sexual assault. Cox pleaded guilty to grabbing the breasts of an 11- year-old girl at Toys R Us in Pearlridge Center and grabbing the buttocks of a 10-year-old girl in the toy department at the Salt Lake Kmart.

While in a sex treatment program, Cox admitted to fondling 200 children. Prosecutors had asked for an extended sentence of 10 years because of the alleged multiple offenses.

(After an incident at a Mesa, AZ Wal-Mart last week, Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arapio has him wearing pink shorts, locked up in a jurisdiction where we won't likely hear anything like the following....)

...Del Rosario said he had no legal authority to punish Cox for offenses he admitted to during treatment, but was not convicted of doing. The judge also cited reports from sex therapists that Cox was likely to respond positively to treatment programs.

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Pro Bowl offers to return to Honolulu in 2011 and 2012

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona Jr. met with Goodell for about half an hour on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Pro Bowl. "I am pleased to see negotiations between the NFL and HTA have developed since I met with the commissioner," said Aiona. "We agreed that the Pro Bowl should come back to Hawai'i in 2011. We also discussed bringing pre-season games to Hawai'i as well as other possibilities."

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Procurement suit pending against Hawaii County

HILO -- A Keaau company is taking Hawaii County to court over alleged procurement violations involving road paving materials. "This is probably the most blatant violation of procurement law I have ever seen," Ted Hong, attorney for Keaau firm HMP Inc., said Monday.

Hong alleges that, after HMP Vice President Shon Pahio told the county's Purchasing Division buying tack coat from Grace Pacific was a breach of contract and violated procurement regulations, the county retaliated by stating HMP's product was defective.

(If County employees are prohibited from retaliating on each other, on contractors, and on the public, the resulting lack of work could lead to massive layoffs.)

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