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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
March 25, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:11 PM :: 8274 Views

Isle GOP proposes election changes

Today's Hawaii Tribune Herald headlines an AP article about the Hawaii GOP plan to change the State's Primary system and to change Hawaii Republicans' Presidential nomination system.  


Reprinted: March 27 in Star-Bulletin

RELATED:  Hawaii Republicans challenge state's open primary system and Hawaii Democrats debate closed primary (backgrounder)

Governor plans to use school funds to close Hawaii deficit gap

(This hasn't even been proposed--they just think it will--and the Democrat media are just thrilled about the opportunity to use this line as an argument for tax increases.)

(The real story is in paragraph 7)--Lingle will likely explain today that it is her administration, and not the state Department of Education, that will decide how to use the federal stimulus money.....

State schools superintendent Pat Hamamoto has already expressed her concern about the governor's plans to state lawmakers.  "The governor's plan is to use the stabilization money now when we have a shortfall. If we use it now, we're compromising all the work that we need to do to ensure that our kids are still moving forward" (bureaucrats get their 'top three' before retirement)....

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Hawaii state Senate panel OKs urgent funds for health services  (note use of the word 'urgent')

A bill to shore up at least $52 million in shortfalls this fiscal year for general assistance payments to the poor, mental-health services and the state's community hospital system advanced yesterday, despite concerns about how to pay for the emergency appropriations.  (Another set up for the tax increases which strangle the vusinesses which would have created the jobs....)

(Oh and privatization of the HHSC???  Instead the legislation will keep the failed HHSC system on life support for one more year...good thing these Democrats have newspapers to pitch this to the public every day.)

The bill, now headed to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would funnel $34.5 million to community hospitals on the Neighbor Islands to ensure they don't fail, and send about $15 million to the state Adult Mental Health Division, which warned providers this month that it had run out of money and in most cases would not be able to pay them until the new fiscal year starts in July.

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State House Budget Taps $379m For Big Isle Projects

Hawaii County's state representatives announced Tuesday $200 million in capital improvement projects for the upcoming fiscal year and an additional $179 million for the following fiscal year, plus $11.4 million for school repair and maintenance for next year.
The funding is included in the House of Representatives' budget bill, which was sent to the state Senate for amendments and approval before the end of the legislative session.

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Taniguchi leaning against reviving Hawaii civil-unions bill

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, D-21st (Nanakuli, Makaha), and several other senators said they would follow Taniguchi to protect the integrity of the committee process.

"It's not the bill itself, but it's how we function among ourselves. And when a committee has done what this committee has done, it is also an issue of respecting the committee members themselves as well," Hanabusa said.

(In other words, Democratic Party unity is at stake here.)

State Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser, D-7th (Kaua'i, Ni'ihau), conceded that Taniguchi's opposition would significantly dim the chances he will get the votes necessary to pull the bill. Under the state Constitution, it would take nine of 25 senators to recall a bill from committee.

Kauai Garden Isle: Hooser to force civil union vote today

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Rookie MPD officer fired after federal charges surface

A Maui Police Department rookie officer was terminated from employment after she was indicted last month on federal charges alleging she enticed a minor to engage in sexual activity.

The two-count indictment against Angelique Abbott was filed Feb. 6 in the Southern District of Florida, according to court records. The indictment says Abbott used the mail or other interstate means to "persuade, induce and entice" someone under age 18 to engage in illegal sexual activity from December 2006 to Feb. 23, 2007.

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SB: Curbing Oahu recycling program isn't an option

We need to burn tax dollars for the island-wide propaganda-of-action of getting people to sort their trash.  This in spite of the under-utilized potential of waste-to-energy (which doesn't require anybody to think about recycling--and feel guilty about economic progress.

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Pahoa charter school struggles to obtain permit

"In 2001, when HAAS started, there was no requirement to submit a special use permit unless the land was more than 15 acres in size," Hirakami said in an e-mail.
Earlier this month, HAAS appeared before a fact-finding committee of the Charter School Review Panel, which asked for an progress report after the panel received a copy of the notice of violation from the county.
The school is also being required to get permits for use of several smaller structures.

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Hawaii County Council prepares to review and cut budget

Mayor Billy Kenoi's proposed $386.3 million operating budget for next fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010, doesn't call for layoffs or furloughs, but that could change before the budget is adopted.

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Large condo project clears development hurdle

The Hawaii County Planning Department accepted the environmental assessment for a proposed condominium development on Alii Drive.
Kona Sea Crest received the finding of no significant impact March 2, despite concerns raised by the Police Department and the Department of Education about the development's potential impacts.
The 289 multifamily unit development, on an L-shaped 46.3 acres between Alii Drive and Kuakini Highway, is expected to be built in six phases over a four-year period and cost about $70 million.

(What? No demonstrators?  No lawsuit?)

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Shorthanded Kauai Planning Commission defers action

LIHU‘E — The county Planning Commission was unable to take any action on a controversial proposed draft bill relating to shoreline setback regulations due to a lack of commissioners and the failure to make a quorum on Tuesday.

Before voting on the measure at its next meeting, the commission will likely consider a letter from Isaac Moriwake of EarthJustice asking the commission to reject the bill and hear testimony from Caren Diamond, a North Shore resident and community activist, James O’Connell, Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist for the University of Hawai‘i’s Sea Grant Program, and community leader JoAnn Yukimura, who all arrived shortly after the minutes-long meeting finished.

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