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Sunday, February 24, 2013
February 24, 2013 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:02 AM :: 4561 Views

Just a Vicious Circle, Higher Minimum Wage, Higher Prices

Bob Woodward: Sequester Was Obama's Idea

Even lipstick can’t disguise PLDC look-alike proposals

Borreca: For instance there is Senate Bill 215, which creates the Public-Private Partnership Authority, the PPPA. This bill wants to create "a partnership agency to collaborate with all state agencies and private sector entities" to deliver services "more effectively."

The good works to be done would include "energy generation."

The hook to getting county support was to say that counties would be allowed to "waive zoning, land use and permitting requirements on any project."

It appears the bill would also encourage the development of a film studio on Maui and an unspecified project in Wahiawa. Critics immediately said the state was actually just "putting lipstick on the PLDC."…

If that bill smacks of lipstick on the pig, another one, SB 168, is like the PLDC on steroids.

It is another measure that starts out bemoaning our lack of money, and would allow the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to enter into a public-private partnership with individuals or private entity "to create revenue for the department."

Critics fear the partnership created would result in a casino, even though the words gambling or gaming never appear in the bill.

Here is the line that set off alarms: It would allow "development of any concept proposed by an applicant that would result in revenue for the department, even if the concept requires legislative changes to existing statutes or regulations."….

"That strange phrase … means it would allow or encourage something beyond the law. I can't think of any other subject other than gambling," said Nakata, who is against legalizing gambling.

Republican Sen. Sam Slom also said the bill is actually talking about gambling.

read … Even lipstick can’t disguise PLDC look-alike proposals

PLDC Staff Kept on Payroll Awaiting New Role

Shapiro: Gov. Neil Abercrombie stepped up his fight against sugared beverages with a campaign aimed at the acne crowd called "Rethink Your Drink." It'll be a smash success if he persuades half as many people as he's caused to rethink their vote for governor.

A state Senate bill would set procedures for impeaching a governor and his Cabinet. Democratic lawmakers told Abercrombie not to worry; they just miss handcuffing Linda Lingle. 

The Senate agreed to abolish the unpopular Public Land Development Corp., but unlike the House version of the bill, senators kept alive the agency's staff in another department. The stage is set for a PLDC-quel….

And the quote of the week … from Abercrombie on his proposed penny-an-ounce fee on sugary drinks: "The reason it's called a beverage fee is you're paying for the privilege, if you will, of making that choice." In other words, we have free choice in Hawaii as long as we pay Neil Abercrombie for the privilege of exercising it.

read … Privilege of Abercrombie

Fear Monger Abercrombie: 19,000 jobs affected if budget deal isn't reached

Best Comment: This uncalled for statement by the Governor is why us taxpayers must let sequestration happen. Why? Because nothing going happen. The Feds are reducing about $100 Billion in "Future and additional" spending per fiscal year. The Feds are already spending $3.5 Trillion/fiscal year and the $100 Billion/fiscal year is from the addition and future spending above the $3.5 Trillion the Feds will spend every fiscal year. The Governor is supporting the President in increasing all our taxes again. Pres. Obama already increased our taxes for the Feds to collect $800 Billion/fiscal year from us. Now, they like take more.

AP: Harkin Report predicting sweeping cuts for Hawaii’s program

PDF: List of Profitable Nonprofits losing out on pork chops (pg 102)

Related: Bob Woodward: Sequester Was Obama's Idea

read … Fear monger

Danger: Legislature back from Recess, Begins Voting Again

AP: The Senate Committee on Ways and Means plans to vote on the governor's proposal for statewide preschool on Wednesday along with a slew of other key bills. The governor says the preschool initiative is his highest priority this year.

The committee also plans to vote on several bills aimed at reforming the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, including one requiring legislative approval for high salaries. Lawmakers have been critical of what they see as bloated salaries and benefits for university officials.

Also on the committee's agenda are bills to decrease renewable energy tax credits, reform charter schools, and create a gun buyback program and gun safety programs.

The Senate ways and means committee will join the judiciary committee Wednesday to vote a highly debated bill to direct the governor to acquire North Shore land owned by Turtle Bay Hotel and Resort.

Many North Shore residents want the state to buy the land because they are worried about the effect of further commercial development in the rural area. Others see increasing development as a pathway to more jobs and affordable housing.

The Senate judiciary committee will consider Tuesday a bill to make possessing up to one ounce of marijuana a civil violation.

The House Committee on the Judiciary plans to decide Tuesday on bills limiting the use of leaf blowers and instituting Election Day voter registration.

The committee will also vote on a proposal to make it illegal to solicit a minor for prostitution.

The House committee on consumer protection will consider several bills related to electricity and health….

SA: HYSN Still Pushing Sex Ed Bill

read … Danger

Poverty: Tax Cut or Minimum Wage Hike?

SA: After years of coping with low tax revenues that mired initiatives, the state Legislature is now going forward cautiously to provide relief for low-income families that need a tax break, one commonly available elsewhere: a state Earned Income Tax Credit.

The federal government provides tax refunds to 109,000 low-wage earners in Hawaii via an EITC, and 25 of the 42 states that tax incomes do likewise. While some call it welfare, proponents argue that it is badly needed in Hawaii.

"The EITC program is one of the most popular poverty programs ever created in history, because it does bypass the bureaucracy in terms of getting money out or services delivered," said Victor Geminiani, executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. "It puts money directly into the pockets of low-income wage earners."

The EITC proposal is paired by the Appleseed Center before the Legislature with a proposed poverty tax credit as a "backstop to prevent the poor from being taxed deeper into poverty," at a projected cost of $19 million. Essentially, it would reduce or eliminate the state income tax for those whose income falls below the federal poverty level.  In 2013, that level is $11,490 annually for an individual, or $23,550 for a family of four.

Also, proposed increases in the minimum wage by both President Barack Obama and Gov. Neil Abercrombie would play a significant role in helping those with low incomes, Geminiani said.

Obama's proposal would raise the federal hourly minimum to $9 from $7.25 by the end of 2015; Abercrombie proposes to raise the state hourly minimum to $8.75from $7.25 starting next year….

The Legislature is considering Senate Bill 301 and House Bill 385 that would replicate the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, essentially creating a percentage of the federal credit, which now reimburses more than $200 million to 109,000 low-wage earners in Hawaii, according to Geminiani.

Twenty percent of that, as proposed for reimbursement in Hawaii, would cost $50.2 million, according to the state Department of Taxation.

Related: Tax Cut or Minimum Wage Hike? Hawaii 4th-Highest Taxes for Low Income Residents

read … Earned Income

KSBE Says ‘Investing in keiki is for all our futures’

SA: In Hawaii, legislators must vote on whether to support Gov. Neil Abercrombie's early learning plan ….

The first step in making this vision a reality is to call on our state lawmakers to support the early education bills: House Bill 862 and Senate Bill 1093, relating to school readiness; HB 864 and SB 1095, relating to the early childhood education program; and HB 853 and SB 1084, relating to a constitutional amendment that would allow public funds to be appropriated to private early education providers…. (Gimme gimme gimme)

Related: Abercrombie 'School Readiness' Plan Based on Proven Failure

HSTA: Preschool Voucher bill a threat to public schools

read … Taxpayer Giveaway to KSBE

Kabuki: ACLU, Seitz Preen, 911 Truther Albertini Pretends to Score Victory

BIN: Albertini confirmed today that he had contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and subsequently discussed the issue with Oahu attorney Eric Seitz.

He said Seitz has sent a letter to Dircks requesting that the matter be resolved by Monday or Seitz will file a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu.

Albertini said he is requesting three things: that Dircks allow him to speak to students within a month, that the presentation be made in a classroom and not in the school’s library, (so he gave up on his effort to force himself into a teacher’s library/classroom) and that the date of the lecture not be made public…. (So he pretends to score victory over non-existent censorship.)

ILind:  Hilo High controversy resolved after ACLU intervention

read … Creating an Illusion

Hilo HS Flashback -- Fri Feb 22

HTH: Librarian Amy Okuyama told the Tribune-Herald that while she disagrees with Albertini’s views, she would not have objected to him speaking to students if another viewpoint was offered.

She said she didn’t see cancelling the presentation as the best solution … “I am for freedom of speech,” Okuyama said. “I think that a compromise could have been made,” she added.

(By pretending to ‘ban’ Albertini instead of merely confirming that teachers have authority over which speakers they invite to their classroom/library, Dircks give him exactly what he wanted.  Then, over the weekend, the third act of this Kabuki opens with the ‘heroic’ ACLU taking center stage….)

read … Activist’s talk at Hilo High cancelled over controversy

After Death of Lifelong Criminal, Family Sues Police

KGI: A year to the day after Richard “Dickie” Louis was shot on his roof by police officers attempting to arrest him, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 5th Circuit Court on Feb. 15.

Louis, who had 32 prior arrests, according to police, was the lone fatality that occurred during a multi-agency Hawai‘i Fugitive Task Force sweep to serve 47 warrants and make 31 arrests on 249 charges in 2012. The $310,000 warrant was issued for Louis to appear at a sentencing scheduling hearing.

In December 2012, Louis missed closing arguments of his trial where a jury found him guilty on drugs and weapons charges stemming from a four-year-old Koke‘e koa wood cutting case. He had already missed one day of the trial for medical reasons.

The police report at the time said Louis, 62, of Koloa, was resisting arrest and had barricaded himself in the home. Louis appeared on the roof in an aggressive and agitated state at about 6:45 p.m., and was shot after ignoring commands to surrender and threatening to kill an officer with a metal object….

At the time, KPD Chief Perry was on leave by the order of Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., and Assistant Chiefs of Police Roy Asher and Ali Quibilan were also on leave during the course of an internal affairs investigation. 

(Thanks a lot, Mayor Carvalho.  Kauai County infighting kills.)

(If he was doing time after any of the 32 other arrests, he wouldn’t have been in this situation.  Soft on Crime policies kill criminals.)

read … Finally Worth Something

Electric Car Charger Co Claims to Have Two Buyers, Refuses to Name Them

SA: Goldstein declined to reveal the names of prospective buyers, but said Better Place has narrowed it to two companies and is going through "final diligence." "Hawaii is seen as an attractive market with its high rate of EV adoption," he said. "We hope to have an announcement about the final selection very soon."

Goldstein said one of his goals is to make the transition "as seamless as possible to property owners and EV drivers."

Honolulu-based Volta Industries, which owns about a dozen free charging stations at shopping centers on Oahu, would be interested in selected Better Place sites if the company decided to sell its network piecemeal, said Scott Mercer, Volta co-founder. Volta's business model is to locate its charging kiosks in high-profile areas and earn revenue by selling advertising space on the units.

read … Tax Credits and Government Giveaways


·         Star-Adv: Case has not been made for red-light cams

·         Greenwell was entrepreneur of the 1800s

·         TheHawaii Hochi marks centennial

·         Hawaii House considers adopting state microbe; state would be first in nation

·         Hilo airport getting new cargo facilities

·         Article inspires gift to fix pool heater

·         Hahaione joins area schools in offering IB curriculum

·         Developer seeks to rezone YMCA property


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