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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:22 AM :: 7112 Views

Borreca: "Local GOP poised for mix of religion into politics"

Aiona, a Catholic, has carefully tended to the support and encouragement of churches and Christian groups. Now the Republican Party is being revived with new workers who share much of the same religious beliefs.

The groups are different from the 1988 Pat Robertson takeover of the local GOP, says Garrett Hashimoto, head of the Hawaii Christian Coalition, who says he is carrying a Republican Party card for the first time in his life.

If there is a GOP revival, it may revolve around Jonah Kaauwai, the 36-year-old state corrections official, who GOP insiders say has a lock on the party chairmanship.

(Naturally Democrats will try to use this to exclude other strains of the Republican coalition. The key to defeating that is the show of inclusiveness on the part of the new GOP leadership.)

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Sides brace for tourism-tax vote

Tourism officials and the Lingle administration are turning up the heat today in the face of a critical legislative vote to raise the hotel room tax.

The House and Senate are expected to vote this afternoon on Senate Bill 1111, which would raise the state's 7.25 percent Transient Accommodations Tax 1 percentage point this year and an additional 2 percentage points next year to 10.25 percent.

The increase amounts to a 41.4 percent increase in the hotel room tax and is estimated to bring in $30 million in just the first year, according to legislators.

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Don't dismantle DBEDT

A state audit of the business arm of the government has found that questionable contracts resulted not from systemic problems but from shoddy decision-making. That should shelve legislation aimed at dismantling the department — but should not halt an investigation into possible criminal conduct.  (Democrat media proposing tactics to Dem. Leg. vs Governor) 

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Maui Mayor: Removing TAT sends wrong message

WAILUKU - Mayor Charmaine Tavares said Tuesday that by basing their budget on the expectation that the county won't receive $18 million in transient accommodations taxes, council members send the wrong message as the county continues to fight for the money from the state.

Tavares was in Honolulu on Monday and Tuesday, and plans to return Thursday to continue lobbying legislators for the funds, as well as to meet with state administrators to discuss labor contracts. Lawmakers are considering plans to withhold part or all of the so-called TAT, revenue that has been shared with the counties for years, in order to balance the state's own budget deficit.

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Hawaii County sells dozer then rents it (your tax dollars at work)

HILO -- Hawaii County must have really hated parting with a landfill bulldozer it sold as surplus in 2000. Hated it so much, in fact, the county's been leasing it back for almost $15,000 a month.
The 1991 Caterpillar D8-- Hi-Track dozer, valued at $125,000 to $150,000 according to Internet sales, was sold by the county for somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000, sources close to the sale say.
The county Purchasing Department was still trying to locate paperwork on the sale Monday, but the buyer, C&H Ishii General Contractors, declined to dispute that figure or make further comment.

(96 months x $15,000=$1.44M $1.44M/$60,000 = 2400% return on investment--and counting.)

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Senate Bill 199 Would Kill Act 221

Bill 199 reduces the investor credit from 100% to 90%. It is unconstitutional because it retroactively restricts the rights of investors to claim Act 221 investment tax credits for past investments made in years prior to 2009. This is because Act 221 requires investors to wait 5 years to claim all of their investment tax credits for investments made in the first year. Therefore, this bill restricts investors rights to claim credits for investments that may have been made as far back as 2005. Additionally, the credit reduction would apply to taxable years beginning January 1, 2009.  Applying this restriction retroactively to past year investments will trigger lawsuits from many investors for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars against the state. 

(Bill made fatally flawed by supporters of ACT221 who know they can't win a straight-up vote.)

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Sword slashing lunatic escapes state hospital: Kahaluu Resident Helps Nab (soft on crime) 

Police told KITV that Nies was criminally committed to the hospital after doctors found he was psychotic.

Nies was accused of an attack outside a Longs Drug Store in Kihei, in 2003.

Police said he slashed a man's face and tried to attack an officer with a samurai sword before an officer shot him.

Nies was acquitted of attempted murder charges by reason of insanity. So, police said his escape was a concern to the community.  (He just "walked away"....) 

Here's how the Advertiser covered the escape of the sword-slashing lunatic:

Honolulu police get training to better deal with mentally ill 

Hawaii escapes from mental hospital down from a decade ago

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Judge hears 2 manslaughter motions in Pflueger case

Pflueger, 82, appeared to be in good spirits and health throughout the hearing, having seemingly no trouble moving around before, during and after the hearing. In January, Pflueger’s (alleged) medical problems kept him on O‘ahu and he appeared via videoconference as lawyers entered pleas of not guilty to the seven counts of manslaughter in the criminal indictment, one for each of the seven lives lost when a torrent of water was released from the reservoir.

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Fort Barrette Road's name becoming a heated issue (secessionists seek to trample military road-names) 

Lance Holden, president of 'Ahahui Siwila Hawai'i O Kapolei, a Hawaiian civic club, said in written testimony on the resolution that the "cycles of evolution" are moving Hawai'i back to original sources.

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