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Thursday, January 8, 2009
January 8, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 9:20 PM :: 9336 Views

Akaka Bill pricetag: $689.7 million annually

Passage of the Akaka Bill could cost the state of Hawaii as much as $689.7 million annually in lost revenues, according to a study being released Thursday by the Grassroot Institute, which opposes the measure.

Related: SB coverage "A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is pushing the measure in Congress, says the study is spreading misinformation because the bill doesn’t provide for land transfers or tax breaks."

More: SB coverage update, Advertiser coverage

Of course not.  the Akaka Bill creates a process which will LEAD TO land transfers and tax breaks.  Akaka's spokesperson is insulting the public with this kind of 'denial.'

read more ...

What Crisis?  Refinancing suddenly booms

Local rates last week averaged 4.95 percent and 1.5 points on a 30-year mortgage, and were down from roughly 6 percent as recently as November, according to a Honolulu Board of Realtors survey.

"Refinancing has just gone insane," said Mark James, vice president in the Honolulu office of California-based Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp.

The substantial drop in rates is welcome news for many homeowners trying to cut back spending amid a declining economy, and could help ease rising foreclosures as people struggling to keep their homes see an improved possibility to reduce monthly payments.

The refinance boom also is a blessing for banks, mortgage brokers and others in the real estate industry such as title companies and appraisers...

(This is perfect timing.  The increased liquidity will boost the economy and make it appear as if Obama's Keynesian 'stimulus' was the cause.  Hopefully Congress can get it passed before the economy turns around....)

Related: Obama warns of 'dire consequences' without stimulus (haven't we heard that one before?) 

read more ...

Pew: “No Time To Vote” for Hawaii military overseas

Six states provide enough time to vote only if military personnel overseas return their completed absentee ballots by fax or e-mail – a requirement that raises concerns about access to technology and the privacy and security of their votes.  These states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

Related: Will soldiers get to vote in 2008?

Related: AP coverage

Related: Mil-Vote remains problem in 2008 election

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SB:  Abstinence causes pregnancy, give us your daughters

Forget what you learned in biology class.  In 1991 Hawai`i's teen pregnancy rate was 5.92%.  In 2006 it was 4.05%.  Sounds pretty good, but liberals are pointing to an increase from the 2005 rate which was 3.62%.  And they've got a "study" which "proves" that abstinence caused it.  But not to worry, they can help by 'educating' our daughters (and sons)....

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Maui News: Tavares puts signature on new B&B bill

The law expands the areas in which bed-and-breakfast permits will be allowed, but sets limits on the number of permits that can be issued in the different districts of Maui County. It is expected to ease the processing for operators applying for permits.

But it is only part of the controversy that has evolved in the expanding industry of vacation rentals in homes and condominiums... the council still has not dealt with requests to allow vacation rentals outside resort-hotel districts.

Related: Kaua`i Council B&B Bill

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WHT: Hawai`i County Council considers vote-by-mail

The resolution requests the state Legislature to establish a pilot "vote by mail" program on the Big Island in 2010 and possibly lasting until 2014. Under the program, there would be no precinct voting at the county's 67 polling sites during primary, general and special elections.

Most residents who testified favored the resolution, only one was opposed.  Puna resident Jeff Fendentz said he's opposed to the resolution because he doesn't believe it "could be done legally all the time. It's fraught with fraud and could lead to fraud."

read more ...

HTH:  Superferry EIS puts lie to DU claims

Critics have accused the Superferry of agreeing to transport Stryker vehicles contaminated with depleted uranium picked up from Hawaii firing ranges.
The EIS terms this risk "non-existent."
"DU-containing equipment and munitions are not used in Hawaii. The risk of cross-contamination from contaminated ranges is highly unlikely given existing stringent controls that prevent military personnel and equipment from entering DU-contaminated areas, as well as controls that prevent contaminated military equipment from entering the U.S.," the EIS says. "Additionally, the military operates its own fleet of ships to transport its vehicles and equipment between the islands, and currently there are no plans for military us(e) of a civilian large-capacity ferry vessel."

Maui News: Critics called the report overly optimistic, unrealistic and inadequate. (And here's the reason?) Ferry supporters said the study didn't point to any problem that couldn't be remedied.

Kaua`i Garden Isle: “One word defines the EIS environmental draft: Irrelevant,” Rich Hoeppner, of the People for the Preservation of Kaua‘i, said yesterday.  (Sour grapes!  Delicious!)

SB: EIS fails to satisfy Superferry opponents (what a surprise!)

read more ...

KITV: State tax collectors coming for your cash

The state loses about $900 million in revenue each year from people and businesses who hide their true incomes by accepting cash, tax officials said.

Hawaii has a thriving cash economy. Many businesses customers deal with every day such as lei sellers, places selling food and drinks like lunch wagons featuring plate lunches, fresh vegetable stands and street vendors in Waikiki and home care providers.

('Thriving'?  No wonder they are being targeted...)

read more ...


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