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Friday, July 17, 2009
July 17, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:07 PM :: 11499 Views

OHA tru$tee pushes for new iwi protection--scheme would grab thousands of Hawaii properties 

LIHU‘E — When nearly 80 Native Hawaiians met in Po‘ipu late last year, their focus was singular: protect the iwi.

Participants were concentrating on “one thing: protect the iwi,” or bones of Native Hawaiians buried in grave sites known and unknown across the state.
From that post-election gathering at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa came proposed legislation to consider all burial sites as cemeteries, with protections against building on them.  ($$$You will have to pay off OHA to build on your own lot instead of working with burial council to protect burials$$$)

Also discussed were changes to the way the state Department of Land and Natural Resources State Historical Preservation Division approves of projects proposed over burial sites before said projects reach county planning approval processes, Cataluna said.

Both bills died in committee during the state legislative session completed earlier this year, he said after an OHA board meeting at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center here Thursday.

“I’m going to bring it up again,” Cataluna said of the legislation.

Cataluna wanted members of the various island burial councils to participate in November’s gathering, but received a negative response from state officials....

Instead of zeroing in on the controversial Ha‘ena lot owned by Joseph Brescia, Cataluna said he prefers to consider all Hawaiian burial sites for the proposed legislation

(In other words he wants to treat all properties like Brescia's.  Cataluna in 2006 blocked Kauai County from building a drug treatment center near the Hanapepe Salt Pond.) 

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Lingle, staff to take furloughs

With labor talks between the state and the public worker unions still stalled, Gov. Linda Lingle put some pressure on the unions yesterday by announcing that her Cabinet would be taking a pay cut equal to two furlough days a month through two years.

Union leaders did not respond to calls for comment after the announcement.

To show solidarity with the Republican governor, the six GOP members in the House issued a statement saying they decided "to take a voluntary pay cut equivalent to a two-day furlough."

Earlier this year the state Legislature lowered executive and legislative salaries by 5 percent, partly in reaction to the public outcry after lawmakers took a 36 percent pay raise in January.

Lingle said while the executive order calls for furloughs, she expects that she and her Cabinet officers and deputies will still be working.

She said she is expecting the state's economy to continue to deteriorate and that the Legislature's action this week to override 38 of her vetoes did not help.

Lingle told reporters that if any of the bills lawmakers overrode contained money, she simply would not allocate the funds.

"Anything with money attached will not be released," Lingle said.

Sen Sam Slom: "Mob Rule at the Hawaii State Capitol"

Budget Related: Education board delays decision on closing some Hawaii libraries , Patrons and politicians plead to keep libraries open

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State DoE leaves fewer students falls further behind -- most schools not "in good standing"

Statewide, 65 percent of students across all grade levels were ranked proficient in reading, up from 62 percent last year, officials announced yesterday. Math scores continued to trail reading, with just 44 percent proficient in math, up from 42 percent last year.

Only 97 of Hawaii's 284 schools made "adequate yearly progress," according to preliminary results presented to the state Board of Education yesterday. As a result, the number ranked as "in good standing" fell to 48 percent, down from 56 percent last year.

Tenth-graders had the best performance in reading of any grade level this year, with 73 percent proficient, up from 67 percent last year. But math performance among sophomores remained dismal at 34 percent proficient, the same as last year and the lowest of any grade level.

RELATED: Maui County schools make progress (now only 75% failing)

WAILUKU — Eight out of 32 Maui County public schools met state and federal reading and math benchmarks this year, which is more than the number of schools that initially met the standards last year.

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Waters of Life school wins another reprieve

Crayton-Shay has resigned from Waters of Life, saying she has family matters to attend to.
Crayton-Shay is being succeeded by Daniel Caluya, a former principal from San Antonio, Texas.

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Pali Shootings: Five years in prison for city worker who stayed on payroll after pleading guilty

Gomes, who has worked at the city's refuse division for 26 years, was sentenced yesterday to nearly five years in prison after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy and gambling charges.

Although his guilty plea was entered in February 2008, Gomes has continued on the city's payroll and said in court that he is in line for a promotion to a supervisory position.  (HE PLED GUILTY 17 MOS AGO) 

After U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway sentenced him to 58 months behind bars, Gomes said he will lose his city job because he will be absent from it for more than 12 months.

He asked Mollway to send him to a prison where he can learn a new trade, suggesting the correctional facility at Lompoc, Calif.  (Lompoc is home to other Hawaii Mafioso, they can make plans together.)

"Lompoc has a meat-cutter school" for inmates, Gomes told Mollway.  (Gotta get away from this shooting business.  Need to learn knife skills...err life skills.)

Evidence indicated that Gomes supplied the .22-caliber handgun, equipped with a silencer, that co-defendant Ethan "Malu" Motta used to kill one man and critically wound another, Brady said.

City spokesman Bill Brennan confirmed yesterday that Gomes is a refuse collection equipment operator at the Wai'anae yard and is scheduled to be interviewed Tuesday for a promotion to supervisor at the Honolulu yard.  (HE PLED GUILTY 17 MOS AGO) 

Brennan could not say specifically why Gomes has continued to work despite pleading guilty to federal felonies. Other public employees accused of felonies have been allowed to stay on the payroll while their cases were pending and if the crimes were unrelated to their jobs.  (HE PLED GUILTY 17 MOS AGO) 

Brennan said now that Gomes has been sentenced, he will be subject to termination but will be "given a chance to resign."  (HE PLED GUILTY 17 MOS AGO) 

Gomes recently underwent back surgery to repair five herniated cervical disks and is now receiving rehabilitation therapy, he told Mollway.  (FREE SURGERY ON TAXPAYER DIME?)

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Maui Wipeout: Maui News continues focus on economy

MAUI WIPEOUT: Drought of greater concern to HC&S

MAUI WIPEOUT: Labor, employers in private sector cooperating

MAUI WIPEOUT: Minnesota investor warily eyes business opportunities

Isles' 7.4 percent unemployment rate still below national average

Hawaii's unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in June, with 47,700 people going without work, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

Still, Hawaii was below the national average of 9.5 percent in June. Michigan had the nation's highest unemployment rate — 15.2 percent.  (Maybe this has something to do with Obama taking over the Auto Companies) 

Unemployment topped 10 percent in 15 states and the District of Columbia last month, according to federal data.  (Thanks, Obama)

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Honolulu ranked among meanest to the "homelessness industry"

A new report ranks Honolulu the eighth-"meanest" city in the country to homeless people.

In its analysis of Honolulu, the report points to city parks initiatives, including recent park clean-ups and night closures that have meant homeless have to move elsewhere. The study also raised concerns about some City Council proposals, including one that would have banned sleeping at bus stops, and criticized a city program to replace bus stop benches with round stools to discourage sleeping.

The report was written by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless. The city rankings analyze policies that were undertaken in 2007 and 2008.

The study ranks Los Angeles as the nation's meanest city, largely because of its high police presence in the Skid Row area.

The study said Los Angeles spent $6 million in 2007 to pay 50 extra police officers to crack down on crime in Skid Row, while it spent $5.7 million on homelessness services.

(That last line tells the akamai reader everything they need to know about the biases of the report's writers.  This is a hustle by the homelessness industry demanding that homelessness be allowed to fester so they get more dollars.) 

KNOW THE SCAM--READ THIS:  The Reclamation of Skid Row, by Heather Mac Donald "The LAPD’s efforts are reviving America’s most squalid neighborhood—and the homeless industry is hopping mad."

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Prison where Hawaii women claim abuse under investigation

Kentucky has a $19.6 million contract in fiscal year 2009 with Corrections Corp. to house 1,295 inmates at Otter Creek and two other facilities.

Hawaii has a $3.6 million contract with Otter Creek, which is to expire in October

(So all this is being brought up because the HGEA/UPW want prison jobs brought back to Hawaii where prison rapes will be covered up.)

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Report: Alaska program for fed contracts does little for Natives

WASHINGTON — A program allowing Alaska Native corporations to win no-bid federal contracts gave $21 billion in government work since 2000 for the top 19 firms but only modest benefits for Alaska Natives, according to a Senate panel's report to be released Thursday.

Proceeds from federal contracting provided about $615 per year in benefits to the 130,000 Alaska Natives who are shareholders of the companies, the analysis by staff of the Senate Contracting Oversight Subcommittee found. All told, the Alaska Native companies provided about $720 million in dividend payments, scholarships, cultural programs and other benefits from their federal contract revenue, the analysis found.

The panel, chaired by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., plans to release the report at a hearing Thursday on federal contracting by Alaska Native corporations, which expanded from $508.4 million in 2000 to $5.2 billion in 2008. The analysis also found that 5.2% of the companies' employees were shareholders in their employer and that non-Native managers collected 69% of the executive pay at the Alaska Native companies.

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Opponents of live-fire training at Makua threaten to sue despite the Army's scaled-back plan

Earthjustice attorney (and 2006 Democratic primary LG candidate) David Henkin said the organization would take legal action to prevent the Army from following its new plans for maneuvers, which he said can be conducted at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island or on the mainland.  (No surprise here)

"The Army has acknowledged that under current conditions it can meet its training requirements elsewhere," Henkin said.

In a "record of decision" for the final Makua Military Reservation environmental impact statement released yesterday, the Army said it will cut back the number of training exercises in the Waianae Coast valley.  (Should increase them.  Why cut back if the enemy merely advances.)

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Lawsuit accuses church of digging into Hawaiian graves

In a suit filed in state Circuit Court on Wednesday, Abigail Kawananakoa alleged that church officials and construction workers conducted trenching work within the burial plot of her ancestor Queen Kapi'olani and those of other Hawaiian families.

Kawananakoa, Kapi'olani's great-grandniece and an heiress to the Campbell Estate fortune, also alleged that the church, with the aid of officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, circumvented state burial laws to fast-track the development of the new center.

"This project is about greed, not God," Kawananakoa said

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