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Wednesday, May 13, 2009
May 13, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:52 AM :: 4411 Views

Error suspends taxes on tobacco

House Bill 895 was vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle, who said it was filled with technical mistakes. The Legislature overrode the veto, and now some of those mistakes are becoming apparent.

"It contains major technical flaws that defeat the purpose of the legislation and will make it virtually impossible to implement," Lingle wrote in her veto message.   The inadvertent tax holiday was caused by a mistake in the bill that did not specify the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes during the period from enactment until Sept. 30.

That error, according to legislative researchers, will result in a $400,000 loss in revenue.  But it might not be the only flaw.

Lingle said the new law on so-called "little cigars and existing tobacco law are in conflict, resulting in the state tobacco tax on cigarettes being raised to 14 cents per cigarette now and then dropped to 12 cents on Sept. 30."

(Hawaii Democrat Legislators don't even know how to raise taxes correctly.)

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Full speed ahead for firm pushing electric vehicles

Better Place of Palo Alto, Calif., the company with an ambitious $1 billion plan to launch a mass-market electric vehicle system in Hawaii, is feeling optimistic these days...."Hawaii has a tremendous amount of renewable energy. It's substantial and that's thrilling for us."

(Just wait for the EIS on these puppies...and how are we going to build all the renewable power sources if the enviros. keep blocking wind power?  And the leg upholds its ban on nuclear power....)

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Surprise from the mystery box Legislature: $12.3M in legislative funding pleases public hospital officials

State legislators surprised hospital officials with a $12.3 million appropriation to help offset rising costs of health care for the unemployed and uninsured.

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Hawaii pension portfolio to $8.12B, off from $11B a year ago

The state's Employees' Retirement System investment portfolio sank by more than a half-billion dollars during the first three months of the year as stock markets tumbled.  As of March 31, the value of the state's largest pension plan was $8.12 billion — $556.1 million less than at the start of the year.

SB: ERS asset level lowest in 5 years

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Foreclosures dip 5.5%

The total fell in April but still was the second highest in more than a year

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Kauai: Council OKs $213M budget

In a process much shorter than years past, the Kaua‘i County Council gave Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s supplemental budget proposal its OK Monday afternoon, shifting around just $11,380 in a budget that includes $154 million in operational costs and nearly $59 million in capital improvement projects.

But the biggest change Monday was the one that wasn’t made.
Recycling issues and the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan were addressed by many members of the public who testified during the budget’s public hearing last week, and former Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura returned Monday to reiterate her hope that $75,000 would be allocated to fully fund a recycling coordinator position that is currently vacant and dollar-funded.  Attempts by Council members Tim Bynum, Lani Kawahara and Jay Furfaro to fund the position were met with resistance and were eventually shot down.

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Recession: Just 75 plants taken in Green Harvest

LIHU‘E — Just 75 marijuana plants, ranging in size from seedlings to four-footers, were taken by law enforcement officers during last week’s Green Harvest operations across the island, according to Kaua‘i Police Department officials.

Some eight calls were also made Monday and Tuesday of last week to the Kaua‘i Air Tour Help Line, a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft telephone line, with callers reporting on and asking questions about the nature of the low-flying craft, said Sheila Heathcote, a help line operator.
She said one of the two yellow helicopters is registered to Windward Aviation of Maui, and there were at least two U.S. Army helicopters involved as well, all “flying extremely low.”  The Kaua‘i Air Tour Help Line is manned by Heathcote or another live operator seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 639-5566. Calls are taken during regular business hours, and messages can be left after regular business hours, she said in a press release.  (your tax dollars at work)

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West Hawaii Planning Commission inaugural meeting slated

West Hawaii's own planning commission will meet for the first time on Friday.
On the inaugural agenda are two requests from Grace Community Church for amendments to rezoning and special permits. Four commissioners -- three from the former islandwide commission and one recently appointed commissioner -- will meet, though three seats remain open.
"In some regards, having the two planning commissions will make it a lot easier on the planning commissioners," Planning Director Bobby-Jean Leithead Todd said.

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Suspected Internet sexual predator appears in court (without Joe Bertram?)

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A Waikele man accused of trying to have sex with a child faces a mandatory 10-year prison term if he's convicted.

Joe Bertram wasn't at this hearing either.  Is he falling down on the job?  Or does he only stand up for the molesters who are his friends?  

KHNL: Internet child predator avoids lengthy prison term

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