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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
January 13, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 8:44 PM :: 5768 Views

Plan B: OHA to seek legislative moratorium ending 161-year-old policy of selling and transferring government (aka ceded) lands

RELATED: OHA statements and text of OHA Ceded lands bill

(Hawai`i government lands, now known as ceded lands, have been sold continuously since 1848, but ...)

Said OHA board Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona: "This legislation is a means of maintaining the status quo and ensuring that the Public Lands Trust is preserved in order to ensure a fair and just settlement leading to reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian people."

(How did enriching trustees become the equivalent of "reconciliation?")

Star Bulletin Coverage

"The Senate president (Colleen Hanabusa) is also going to have a proposal; we will hold a hearing and then, if there is support, consolidate the ideas into one bill," Hee said.

Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee, said he is also considering similar legislation and expects support from other legislative leaders.

The proposal, Apoliona said, would prevent the sale of the ceded lands, but it would not stop the state from transferring ceded lands between state agencies or stop the state from leasing ceded lands.

read more ...

Pay for Kamehameha trustees may rise 69%

David Fairbanks, the trust's Probate Court appointed master, recommended the maximum pay for most board members go from $97,500 a year to $165,000. The pay raise would be the first in about a decade for the five board members.... The master's report on salaries was filed in state Probate Court on Thursday, a day before the trust disclosed that the value of its endowment plunged from $9.4 billion to $7.7 billion between July and October....

During the late 1990s, the Internal Revenue Service threatened to revoke the trust's tax-exempt status due in part to the $1 million a year paid to then-board members Richard "Dickie" Wong, Henry Peters, Lokelani Lindsey, Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender....

In 2004, the committee recommended increasing the maximum pay for a trustee by more than 70 percent to as much as $180,000 for regular board members and $210,000 for the board's chair. The probate judge approved most of the increase but all five trustees agreed to turn down the raise.

read more ...

Tech tax credits to be eyed for cuts

Legislators say they'll take a hard look at the credits, which have cost the state $747 million in lost tax revenue from high-tech investors since they were started in 1999.

Under the current act, investors can deduct their entire investment in tech companies from state taxes owed over a period of five years. The money from the tax credits goes to movie and TV productions as well as high-tech enterprises and is never paid back to the state.

(The tax credits earned by mainland companies are often traded to --politically connected-- local companies which can then claim the credits--hence the interest in TV and movie productions which come for a few weeks and then leave with sellable tax credits they cannot use.) 

RELATED: Film industry brings in big bucks for Big Island

read more ...

Maui addicts given cash in exchange for using birth control

About three years ago, Parker's oldest daughter, a 32-year-old mother of two, learned about Project Prevention, a program founded by a North Carolina woman, who had adopted four children suffering from the effects of their mother's drug addictions.

The program pays drug-addicted men and women $300 to use various methods of birth control.  

The program has paid about 2,800 addicts and/or alcoholics, mostly women, in 39 states and the District of Columbia over 10 years of operation. Project Prevention is funded by private foundations and individuals supporting the program's mission to reduce the number of substance-exposed births to zero.

read more ...

Teacher facing drug trafficking charges still on DOE payroll

A former Keaukaha Elementary School special education teacher facing separate state and federal methamphetamine trafficking charges is still on the state Department of Education's active payroll -- for now.

read more ...

Isles scolded in anti-smoking report

Hawaii gets high marks for discouraging smoking with its high tobacco tax and public smoking bans, but the American Lung Association gave the state an F grade for failing to help smokers kick the habit.

(The States have become partners in the tobacco industry.  Connect the dots...tobacco taxes high, State efforts to reduce smoking are 'failing'....  What a surprise!)

read more ...

Gambling?  Lingle to consider all options to help solve Hawaii’s budget woes

HONOLULU - Gov. Linda Lingle said Monday she is willing to discuss everything to help solve the state's budget woes - including legalized gambling....

''Somehow, it sounds to me more like a bargaining position rather than an adamant 'Yes, I will go for it,' " said Ira Rohter, first vice president of the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling.

read more ...

Hawai`i County: Budget balancing act

HILO -- Hawaii County's 2 percent land use fund may be suspended, pay raises for some of the county's union employees may be an impossibility this year, funding for non-profit organizations might get slashed, and salaries for County Council members could get cut by 22 percent -- all because of the bad economy.

read more ...


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