UPW Wins 13 Furlough Days, Abercrombie deploys Euphemism
KHON: Under the tentative agreement UPW members will take furloughs instead of a five percent across the board pay cut. That’s a stipulation UPW State Director Dayton Nakanelua never backed away from since the previous contract expired July 1.
The first year of the proposed contract includes 13 furloughs, with one of the days covering the four months that members continued to pay ten percent less in health insurance premiums than other public workers. The second year of the contract calls for 12 furlough days, however, there is a guarantee of no more than two furlough days per month in both years of the contract.
Gov. Abercrombie, who promised no more furloughs for public workers, is calling the negotiated days off "directed leave without pay."
The proposal also guarantees UPW will suffer no layoffs during the contract period, which expires on July 1, 2013….
What’s still not known is how UPW furloughs would impact public schools. Under a last, best and final offer imposed on HSTA July 1 by the governor, teachers who work year round are being furloughed nine days, while those who work a ten month schedule are being furloughed 7.5 days. All teacher furloughs occur during non-instructional days, but with UPW likely to agree to at least twelve furloughs per year, the impact on UPW cafeteria workers is unclear.
(So the unions LIKE furloughs. They just wanted to PRETEND to be against them to get Abercrombie elected.)
read … Union Wins 13 Furlough Days
Horner: Impossible to Argue Against Auditing the DoE
SA: ...this isn't exactly an isolated incident. The Waipahu case comes on the heels of thefts involving employees at Lehua and Pearl Ridge elementary schools: A staffer took $13,000 from fundraisers and donations Lehua collected for student programs, a case that led to a community-service sentence last December. And at Pearl Ridge, a secretary was convicted of stealing nearly $70,000.
But the Waipahu haul — $499.769.50, to be precise — is in another order of magnitude, an episode that should set off clanging alarms that a course correction is needed.
Money management at DOE has been a concern for years, leading lawmakers in 2006 to create a new position for someone to take charge at the macro level: a chief financial officer, a post filled that year. In the enabling legislation, House Bill 1865, lawmakers asserted that "the department needs a comprehensive budgeting and accounting system that takes into account the whole picture, from the administration to the school level.
"And as any responsible business has measures in place to ensure accountability and transparency of financial operations, a chief financial officer would be the authority on how educational dollars are being spent — resources entrusted to them by Hawaii's taxpayers."
Of course, the responsibility for oversight of such a large bureaucracy can't fall on one administrator alone. But Board of Education Chairman Don Horner pointed out that the alleged theft underscores the need for better auditing practices, and it would be impossible to argue against that. (And yet Abercrombie, backed by the Star-Adv and the rest of Hawaii’s pathetic media, openly campaigned AGAINST auditing the DoE. Watching Horner say this with a straight face is like reading George Orwell.)
Read this quick before Big Brother Sees You: Abercrombie campaigns to shield DoE from Audit
read … 1984
Iolani Palace Director Blasts Abercrombie’s Closure Decision
CB: The executive director of Iolani Palace strongly objects to the closure of America's only royal residence, a decision he blames on Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
"This unilateral decision to close the Palace for tours was made without consulting The Friends of Iolani Palace," said Kippen de Alba Chu in a press statement released late Wednesday. "I received a call on Monday evening from the Lieutenant Governor's Office relaying a message from the Governor's Office that the Palace would be closed to all tours, including APEC related tours." ….
Citing public safety and property protection, the palace gates were ordered locked Monday afternoon and will remain locked until Nov. 15, two days after the APEC summit concludes.
The action came just hours before 23 Hawaiian sovereignty activists were arrested Monday night after they refused to leave palace grounds. They had themselves briefly locked the gates Sunday night until Monday morning….
"APEC is one of the biggest international events in the history of Hawaii and a rare opportunity for us to share with the world our islands' heritage, hospitality and Native Hawaiian culture," he stated. "It is inconceivable that we have to turn away national and international visitors from Iolani Palace, an iconic symbol of Hawaiian royalty."
De Alba Chu anticipates lost revenues to exceed $42,000. As well, the palace has had to issue apologies to the delegations of China, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan and the U.S. Department of Commerce, "all of whom had planned special visits to the historic site for high-ranking officials," according to the press release.
"Kalakaua forged bilateral relations with these very same APEC members, which explains why these countries' delegations were so excited to visit the Palace," said de Alba Chu. "Hawaii and the various APEC members share a common history that long predates annexation by the United States. This decision to completely lock down the Palace is not aloha. It is the exact opposite."
(23 Sovereignty weenies protest and nobody has the wherewithal to stop them and keep the Palace open. Pathetic.)
read … Abercrombie Kowtows to Sovereignty Torturers
Sovereignty Activists Allegedly Attempting to Steal Old Man’s Estate Allegedly Burn papers Rather than Answer Subpoena
Also on Wednesday, Raffetto was told that documents that had been subpoenaed from Kanuha, which were to have been delivered Monday, were not turned over.
Isaac Hall, representing the first will group, said he was informed that some of the documents had been damaged in a fire at the offices of Morihara Store on Friday. He told the court he did not know which documents were damaged, but he did not receive any.
Hall said his side had served a request for protection of the documents on Aug. 7, with delivery on Monday. But on Friday, "one working day" before they were to be turned over, a fire in Kanuha's office damaged them.
For that reason, he said the time for taking Kanuha's deposition would have to be set back, pending receipt of documents.
Rudy said he recently was given a letter from a neurologist regarding Petro Hoy, who walked out of an earlier deposition.
The first-will lawyers have asked to depose him again. They have alleged in court documents that Hoy, Kanuha's neighbor in Kula, posed as rancher and banker Henry Rice in a scheme to trick Dorcy into believing that Rice would help him with his private foundation, which was set up to foster the growing of koa trees on Dorcy's estate.
The physician's letter said that because Hoy "had difficulty thinking, he could not attend any deposition until further notice," Rudy said.
read … Aren’t Sovereignty Activists Wonderful? They are great heroes.
Falun Gong "Brutally persecuted in China" “People are being Killed”
Ben Maloney, a Falun Gong practitioner in Hawaii, said the group's numbers are expected to swell to about 170 during the weekend. Only 20 to 30 are from Honolulu, he said.
"We have people coming from all over the world."
The practice of Falun Gong continues to be "brutally persecuted in China" while the Chinese government attempts to censor news about the persecution from people outside China, Maloney said. Maloney described Falun Gong as a Buddhist school that teaches people to practice truthfulness, compassion and tolerance….
"People are getting killed in China," Chen said. "These are good people. However, the Chinese government just doesn't want people to practice Falun Gong."
An estimated 100 million people are Falun Gong followers in China, she said.
SA: Falun Gong members begin APEC protest at Ala Moana Park
read … Falun Gong
ILind: One small part of Waikiki reported the highest number of serious assaults of any area on Oahu in 2009
ILInd: Waikiki makes up District 6. …
Beat #657 reported 34 aggravated assaults and 15 robberies during 2009. This beat appears to run between Kuhio and the Ala Wai, from Kaiulani to Lewers.
Beat #658 reported 43 aggravated assaults and 18 robberies. This beat is across Kuhio Avenue, and appears to run to the ocean, also between Kaiulani and Lewers.
I haven’t had time to digest the figures, but it looks like the 43 aggravated assaults in Beat 658 are the highest of any police beat on the island, and Beat 657 is also among the highest numbers reported.
LINK: Honolulu Police Department’s annual crime statistics for 2009
read … Guess Where?
Even Prostitutes Are Bored with APEC
Honolulu loses 15,300 private-sector jobs in four years
PBN: The number of private-sector jobs in Honolulu has declined by more than 4 percent since the onset of the recession in 2007, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There were 360,600 private-sector jobs in the Honolulu metropolitan area in September 2007, according to the analysis by On Numbers, a Pacific Business News affiliate.
That number fell to 345,300 by September of this year, a drop of 15,300 jobs, or 4.24 percent, the analysis found.
read … 15,300
ILWU political committee endorses Hannemann
"We need people like Mufi Hannemann who will stand up for the working people," the release said. "Mufi's intelligence, energy and drive to succeed will give focus to our priorities of stimulating job growth, preserving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as bring the Pacific region to the forefront of American foreign policy."
Ignore This: Mufi’s Republican Army: The Bush Family Connection
read … No division this time?
Waikiki shooting victim had alcohol in system
AP: The office said Wednesday that Kollin Elderts' blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent, based on blood drawn during an autopsy. A preliminary toxicology screen detected another substance but a blood sample is being sent to a mainland lab for further testing.
The 23-year-old Kailua man was shot in the chest Saturday during an altercation at the Waikiki McDonald's. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy is charged with second-degree murder and was released after posting $250,000 bail.
Police would not comment on whether an alcohol test was administered on the 27-year-old agent.
read ... Waikiki shooting victim had alcohol in system
Military presence in Hawaii helps preserve regional peace and stability
We should not let James Abts' recent commentary go unanswered, wherein he alleges that the Middle East "has been our major strategic concern since the end of the Cold War and will likely remain so for the indefinite future" ("Deficit crisis Is chance to cut military bloat," Star-Advertiser, Oct 9).
He further stated that "Hawaii's strategic significance may rest more with nostalgia than reality, and the military presence here will continue to be largely about jobs and the politics of military spending."
Those statements are simply not in tune with a recent strategic policy dissertation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stating in part, "The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action."
read … CoC
Community Speaks up in Defense of Military Training at Pohakuloa
Not all the comments were negative. Waikii Ranch resident T J McAniff said before the meeting he supported the Army's request. In a written comment, emailed to the Army, he recounted his own experience training troops at PTA during the Vietnam War.
"Those PTA training visits were the most valuable preparation my troops experienced before deploying," McAniff said. "We owe it to our troops to give them the absolute best in both training and cantonment facilities. Improvement of both is long overdue."
Sherm Warner, who served in the military during the Vietnam War, said he also supported the improvements.
"No matter how opposed I am to these wars, no matter what my political beliefs are, if they're going to go, they should be trained as well as possible," he said.
The public has until Nov. 30 to provide comments. Those comments may be mailed to PTA PEIS, P.O. Box 514, Honolulu, HI 96809, emailed to PTAEIS@bah.com, faxed to (808) 545-6808 or made via the website at garrison.hawaii.army.mil. The draft programmatic environmental impact statement is also available for review on the website.
read … Pohakuloa
Bennies: Hold Haseko accountable for promises made to Ewa Beach community
Question: How to you get a community to support re-zoning agricultural land to build new homes in the area, and home buyers to purchase a home in your development?
Answer: Promise them a marina utopia where they can "Live, Work and Play," and promise them benefits including a $2 million trust fund to support youth and senior citizen groups.
The article about the Ewa Beach Lagoon was a huge slap in the face to anyone who supported the project ("Marina deleted from Ewa Beach resort," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 6).
Developer Haseko made such promises, and hundreds of Ewa Beach residents participated in the process and testified at numerous city and state hearings.
read … Bennies
Oi: Build Honolulu upward or outward, but not both
To entice investors to bankroll 690 Pohukaina, the state is dangling the increased height-limit as a carrot, since without additional pricier “market rate” units to sell, including “affordable” housing would not pencil out in profits.
Too often, however, such trade-offs are rescinded or reduced for financial or other excuses. If the project is to succeed in its goal of providing decent housing at reasonable prices, the state cannot swap them out.
As for the governor’s objective to quiet the noise over land-use conflicts, he and the agency will first have to wait until the public has its say about radically altering the city’s skyline, then commit to stemming development outside urban lines. They can’t have both.
read … Development Fight
Hawaii foreclosures drop 66% year over year
“The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we’ve been in for the past year as lenders corrected foreclosure paperwork and processing problems,” RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a statement. “However, recent state court rulings and new state laws keep changing the rules of the foreclosure game on the fly, creating more uncertainty in the housing market and threatening to prolong the road to a robust real estate recovery.”
read … Hawaii foreclosures drop 66% year over year
Hawaii County Bureaucrats close Keauhou community market
Hooulu Community Farmers Market, held weekly at Keauhou Beach Resort, has been shut down after hotel management received word the market may be in violation of county zoning and special management area permitted uses.
Kumu Keala Ching, of nonprofit Na Wai Iwi Ola, which sponsors the market, said the weekly Wednesday farmers market will not be held on Nov. 16 while he and others work to resolve apparent Hawaii County Zoning Code and Special Management Area permit use violations. The hotel's management received Tuesday night a phone message stating the farmers market at the hotel is in violation of the hotel's resort zoning and requires a special management area use permit, he said.
read … More Harassment of Small Business