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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
May 12, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:44 AM :: 6809 Views

Honolulu may hike property taxes

The Council Budget Committee will consider a property tax increase at its meeting at Honolulu Hale at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann proposed a budget that calls for an increase in the residential property tax rate to $3.59 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $3.29 this year. Factoring in a one-time $75-a-household real property tax credit, the increase would amount to about a $120 annual hike for the typical family owning a single-family home on O'ahu....

Council members Duke Bainum, Donovan Dela Cruz and Charles Djou are proposing to cut the budget by roughly $40 million to avoid the need for a property tax increase.

Among the cuts Bainum is suggesting are about $5.6 million in rail-related expenses and $4 million from the judgment and losses account, used when the city loses a lawsuit. Dela Cruz wants to eliminate salary increases for noncollective bargaining positions and any funding for positions vacant since 1995.

Djou wants to trim 5 percent from the city budget across all agencies and programs, excluding federal funds, special funds or debt service.

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State high court gets a new justice

Recktenwald "never ran for cover when things were difficult and would be the first to volunteer for difficult assignments," said Gov. Linda Lingle, who chose him for the DCCA post, the appellate court and high court positions.

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UH system could be model for U.S., a finalist says

Jones said it is too early to say what his priorities would be as UH president until he has had an opportunity to "become a student of the UH system."

Asked what he hopes would be his legacy at UH - if selected - Jones said he hopes people will say that he was innovative, responsive and built partnerships and that "my leadership was transformative and sustainable."  (What about holistic???  He didn't say holistic!)

Advertiser: University of Hawaii presidential candidate Jones gives his views

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Ex-police sergeant and wife sentenced for gaming roles

A federal jury found Brunn guilty of conspiring to obstruct law enforcement officials to facilitate illegal gambling; conspiracy to extort; and extortion. The jury found Terragna guilty of conspiring to operate an illegal gambling business; illegal gambling; conspiring to obstruct law enforcement; and extortion.

The government said the couple extracted money from the gambling operators by threatening to shut them down.

Advertiser: Ex-Honolulu police officer, wife sentenced for protection racket

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Birds present obstacles for wind turbine permits at Kilauea farm

Kaua‘i County Attorney Ian Jung advised the commission to err on the side of caution, however, considering the strict penalties of the federal Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
“Any agency can be liable for an incidental killing of a bird,” Jung said. “If we allow this then it could be possible that the Planning Commission could be responsible for violating an Endangered Species Act.”
Commission Chair James Nishida agreed, saying, “The law is strict and even one death is too many.”
The commission recently reviewed a proposed county ordinance that addresses height variances and issues of liability, with the hopes of facilitating the process for residents and farmers looking to install wind turbines.

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Kauai: Bieber files complaint against Ethics colleagues

Charter Section 20.02(D) says that “No officer or employee of the county shall ... appear in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency.”  In his filings, Bieber said Hubbard and Lenthall appeared on behalf of private interests at a County Council budget hearing on April 6.

Hubbard, in addition to his post on the Board of Ethics, serves as the treasurer of the Kaua‘i Planning and Action Alliance, which saw its funding from the council increase by $14,500 between the mayor’s original budget submittal March 13 and the supplemental budget proposal released Friday.

Bieber said Nishimitsu served as counsel for Kikiaola Land Co. at the council’s Planning Committee meeting on April 1. At that meeting, the committee passed Bill No. 2303, which amended zoning conditions related to Kikiaola’s request for a time extension to complete a planned resort-residential development of Waimea Plantation Cottages.

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