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Sunday, March 29, 2009
March 29, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:35 AM :: 7573 Views

SB: Who won and who lost in battle over civil unions

Two clear political winners were our two declared candidates for governor. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who said at the beginning he didn't like civil unions or gay marriage and was against it.

And U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who testified in favor of the civil union bill and didn't shrink from the controversial issue.

Both will gain some supporters for their public stands.

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Case announces latest bid for Congress

In a written statement, Willes Lee, chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party, criticized Case yesterday over his decision to run for the U.S. House, saying, "Ed will run for anything and everything until he wins something."

In response to Lee's criticism, Case said: "I've been committed to public service my entire adult life. I believe that I can contribute my seniority and experience to Hawaii's benefit in Washington."

(Now the question is: Which old-boy Democrat will step forward to defeat Case THIS time?  Mufi?)

RELATED: Advertiser , Ed Case seeks return to Congress -- CD1 , Charles Djou welcomes competition to Congressional Race

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SB: Legislators should stop their assault on Hawaii business

A proposal known as "card check" has won Senate approval and is alive and moving toward enactment. It would enable union organizers to obtain certification by obtaining signatures on union cards by more than half of a company's workforce. Present law requires the National Labor Relations Board to hold a secret-ballot election if at least 30 percent sign union cards.

Another Hawaii bill approved by the Senate would require a company purchasing a floundering business to retain every employee of the previous employer for at least 90 days. Such a requirement would amount to spurious government intervention.

The bill was put on hold in the House after former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano, owner of United Laundry Services Inc., testified, "Unfortunately, sometimes a new employer has to make a painstaking decision to reduce its workforce in order to save the business or turn it around."  While some jobs might be lost in the transfer of ownership, Cayetano explained to previously oblivious legislators that a potential buyer's decision to walk away because of the requirement would result in all jobs being lost. "In the current economic environment we face," she said, "it is certainly not the time to impose legislation that will discourage potential buyers from acquiring struggling businesses."

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Advertiser: Tax hikes would strain a weak economy

Setting aside momentarily the difficulty of cutting costs — when the social needs of education, health and safety are so great — it's a simple fact that raising taxes in a struggling economy does damage. This economy is weighed down by enough damage as it is.

Raising taxes during a recession adds expense to a business' bottom line, prompts some in an already weak condition to close their doors and discourages others from hiring.

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Alakai leaves Hawaii to find job

The high-speed interisland ferry company suspended service and laid off more than 200 employees earlier this month after a state Supreme Court ruling effectively shut down its operations.

The Alakai is expected to reach Mobile, Ala., the home of ship manufacturer Austal USA, in three weeks after it travels through the Panama Canal.

Hawaii Superferry said the move is designed to position the ferry for future use.

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Interisle shipper seeks big rate hike

Young Brothers' request for a 17.9 percent rate hike will be the subject of two public hearings Monday, in Hilo and Kailua-Kona.  (Price of monopoly.)
The state Public Utilities Commission will solicit comments on Young Brothers' rate hike starting at 9 a.m. at the Hilo High School cafeteria. The Kailua-Kona hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
Similar hearings are planned later Monday in Honolulu and on Molokai.

RELATED: Molokai Dispatch "Between a barge and a hard place", PBN "Hawaiian Tug & Barge and Young Bros. add to fleet"

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More than 8,000 Turn Out for Pearl Harbor Job Fair

With local unemployment at a 30-year high and a reeling economy showing few signs of regaining its legs anytime soon, some 8,100 job-seekers crowded the grounds of Honolulu Community College yesterday to take the first step in securing one of 160 new jobs at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

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Big Islands Kona Blue Water Farms Cuts Production

Kona Blue Water Farms LLC says it will slash farming by 40 percent annually, from about 500 tons to 300 tons.

Kona Blue says it must become more efficient, largely by reducing the amount of labor required to feed the fish and clean the cages.

Kona Blue is seeking permits to increase the size and reduce the number of pens it uses. It also plans to test a variety of cage materials and designs to improve efficiency.

The company is moving forward with plans to establish a fish farm off Mexico.  (Because the same activists who blocked Hokulia and demanded money are trying to shake down Kona Blue Water by obstructing its permit application.)

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Earth Hour: Dim bulbs at Honolulu Hale

Honolulu Hale and the Municipal Building were among city facilities with lights minimized or entirely dark last night.

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Election results: KIUC heads in new direction

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s Board of Directors.
Ben Sullivan, Stewart “Stu” Burley and Steve Rapozo, will be among the nine representatives who govern the business affairs of KIUC and are involved in the utility’s direction and greater courses of action.
Of more than 6,500 ballots cast, Sullivan finished with the most votes, earning 3,652, or 22.5 percent. Rapozo placed second with 2,874 (17.7 percent) and Burley garnered a total of 2,354 (14.5 percent). The three replace former members Dane Oda and Raymond Paler, who finished fourth and fifth in the voting, respectively, and Dee Crowell, who did not run for re-election.

In addition to incumbents Oda (2,131 votes, 13.1 percent) and Paler (2,031 votes, 12.5 percent), candidates JoAnne Georgi (1,967 votes, 12.1 percent) and Milton Chung (1,223 votes, 7.5 percent) were not elected. KIUC received 6,679 qualified ballots, a press release said.

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‘No HUD’ OK: Discrimination bill fails

Despite efforts by Kauaians to pass legislation that would have paved the way for an official ban on “discriminatory” rental advertisements specifying “No HUD” in newspapers across the state, the bill has died in the Hawai‘i Senate.
Anne Punohu, organizer of the Kaua‘i Fair Housing Law Coalition, was stunned by the news, saying “We are not going to back down on getting this law passed, and a class-action suit is certainly a possibility at this point. ... This type of discriminatory advertising is a loophole for other types of discrimination to occur.”

Local landlord JoAnne Georgi, who currently has two Section 8 tenants, said “Low income doesn’t mean they’re not going to meet their obligations. But regardless of who they are, I’m still going to do a credit check.”
Georgi values her relationship with HUD not only for the guaranteed income she receives each month, but also for the regular inspections that ensure her property is being well taken care of by the property management company.

(Convincing landlords of the benefits of accepting Section 8 is one thing.  Forcing them to accept section 8 is another.)

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