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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
March 31, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:39 AM :: 10683 Views

Expert: North Korea has several nuclear warheads

Daniel Pinkston — a Seoul-based expert for the International Crisis Group think tank, which provides detailed analysis about North Korea — said the communist nation has two underground nuclear warhead storage facilities near bases for its medium-range Rodong missiles, which are capable of striking Japan. The North is believed to have five to eight warheads, he said.

But he stressed it is unclear if the communist nation has mastered the technology necessary to miniaturize the warheads and put them on Rodong missiles, which have a range of 620 to 930 miles (1,000 to 1,500 kilometers).

(If Japan and/or the US are able to shoot this missile down it will be thanks to the research and development efforts at Barking Sands.  Just something to think about next time some activists tries to point fingers at the military.)  

RELATED: Pearl-based Chafee among warships monitoring North Korea launch , Pearl Harbor warship to monitor North Korea missile launch

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Union power play: 4 mayors oppose state pay cuts

After a meeting Thursday, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the county leaders agreed not to endorse Lingle's budget-cutting plan until they study it in detail.

In contract negotiations the state has four votes, and each of the mayors has one vote.

So unless at least one mayor breaks the 4-4 tie, Lingle cannot formally make her offer to the public employee unions, Hannemann said.

Lingle is expected to discuss her budget-cutting plan this morning before the state Senate Ways and Means Committee, headed by vocal critic Donna Mercado Kim.

(This is the price taxpayers pay for having zero Republican mayors.)

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SB: No quick fix from Asia in tourism promotion

(Another disguised argument for tax increases)

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Hawaii State Hospital faces budget shortfall

(Another argument for tax Increases)

Advocates are again raising concerns about how the economic crisis is affecting mental-health programs in the Islands, but this time are eying Hawai'i State Hospital, which faces a $1.7 million budget shortfall and could see layoffs in the coming fiscal year.

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SB: Cigarette tax hike comes at right time during recession

(An un-disguised argument for tax increases)

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(Old-boy managed) Hawaiian Telcom's bonuses opposed by U.S. trustee

The proposed 2008 bonus pool would split about $2 million among Hawaiian Telcom's 917 union members, while 494 nonunion workers would receive $3.6 million, according to Carroll. Six senior vice-presidents would get aggregate bonuses of almost $433,000, she said.  (And who are those six?)

RELATED: Governor: Bankrupt Hawaiian Telecom should cancel $6 Million Bonus Package

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Deadbeats rejoice: Bill would block credit checks by employers

While Hawai'i workers accept pay cuts and suffer job losses, state lawmakers are trying to restrict employers from reviewing a person's credit history when hiring or firing an employee.

As unemployment rises while the economy stumbles toward recovery, a bill born in the state House would establish an employer's use of an individual's credit history in hiring and termination decisions as an unlawful, discriminatory practice.

The bill will be heard by the Senate Labor Committee on Thursday. 

(Realtors?  Car salesmen?  Loan officers? Cashiers?  They can all be deadbeats!)

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Soft on Crime:  Felony charges dismissed for 6 of 7 arrested in Iolani Palace takeover

Circuit Judge Richard Pollack ruled the state had insufficient evidence to sustain second-degree burglary charges against any of the defendants except James Akahi, leader of the group Free Hawaii.

Pollack dismissed burglary charges against the remaining defendants, although the six still face petty misdemeanor trespassing charges. Those defendants are Akahi's wife, Grace, who is also known as Akahi Wahine; Wayne and Waynette Nunes; Vanessa Fimbres; and Terry N. and Tanya K. Kaahanui.

Deputy Attorney General Mark Miyahira told Pollack he will consult with his office about filing a possible appeal to this morning's ruling.

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Chinatown Murder Suspect in Police Custody

Sources say Saturday's killing in Chinatown may be a battle between two groups vying for control over the drug and gambling activities in that area.

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Rivals fight to fill Aloha void

(Not mentioned in the Go! hatefest: Hawaiian now controls over 80% of the inter-island market)

Through it all, Hawaiian has emerged as the main beneficiary of the market turmoil.  "We're pretty satisfied with our footprint in the marketplace," Dunkerley said.  Still, Dunkerley acknowledges that interisland fares eventually will need to rise

RELATED: Southwest Airlines to Buy Most Assets of ATA Airlines "Southwest is NOT, however, expect to make any attempt to resume Hawaii service."

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Transit Brings In High-Paid Positions

Mayor Mufi Hannemann's administration is asking the Honolulu City Council to approve creating as many as 79 administrative jobs to oversee the city's $5 billion rail transit project that includes several high salaries....

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Rail stations may be short on parking

Limited parking spaces could cause commuters to think twice about driving to one of Honolulu's planned rail stations for a train ride.  (That's OK, this is all about $$$ for contractor/donors)

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Lehman Brothers bankruptcy plagues Kau development

 

Worden’s group purchased the Kau plantation land in 2006. They planned to subdivide and sell the land after building out the infrastructure. The high end homes would sit on an average 20 acre 'farm' lot.
Pacific Business News reported that Lehman Brothers stopped funding the loan after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15, 2008, disrupting the project. Up to that point, the developers had borrowed $43 million of the $105 million, according to the motion. The motion said that although Lehman Brothers had indicated to the borrowers that it would reject the loan, it has not done so.
Meanwhile, the project owes at least $335,000 to local workers, according to a declaration filed by Worden.

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Car agencies cut fleets with tourists on decline

With fewer tourists vacationing on Maui, car rental companies have decreased their fleets - some by double-digit percentages, leaving renters scrambling to find available vehicles.

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