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Friday, July 24, 2009
July 24, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:13 PM :: 10864 Views

Obama Admin attacks Hawaii Tourism AGAIN

Further restrictions on business travel, this time at the government level, could widen losses for Hawaii's visitor industry, which lost more than $97.6 million this year from the private-sector pullback in conventions, meetings and incentive travel.

Federal agencies such as the FBI and Department of Agriculture are encouraging government conferences to be held at locations that aren't resort destinations and don't appear to be "lavish," according to a Wall Street Journal article published Wednesday that cited e-mails from those two departments.

WSJ article:  Government Meeting? Stay Away From Fun City

(In case you haven't figured this out yet, Obama is deliberately seeking to wreck the economy so that socialism may be built on the ruins.  The fact that Hawaii is AREADY socialist is secondary to his grand scheme.) 

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Cost estimate revised for Honolulu rail

The report found that the city's most recent cost estimate of $5.17 billion for the project was about $117 million too low.

The higher cost, which was pegged mainly to higher than anticipated inflation, raises the total estimated project price by 2.3 percent to an inflation-adjusted $5.29 billion.

Hannemann pointed out that the $5.29 billion is still lower than an earlier estimate of $5.4 billion, which was the number presented to voters when they narrowly approved the rail project in November.

Overall, the third-party report commissioned by the Federal Transit Administration found that the current project cost estimate is reasonable and acceptable for this stage of the project.

(In later stages the costs will balloon to double the original estimate.  They ALWAYS do.)

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MRC Greenwood meets Regents as she prepares to take over as UH $ystem President

But the money will not do much to offset the need to cut $155 million from the general fund budget over the next two years.

UH President David McClain said he plans to announce proposed pay cuts for top leaders at the 10-campus UH system as early as today.

McClain briefed the board behind closed doors on the status of collective-bargaining negotiations and the proposed executive pay cuts, but said afterward that there were some details that still need to be worked out.

"Clearly we want our executives to lead the way," McClain said about the pay cuts.

(Is that a swipe at Greenwood?)

RELATED: Executive compensation at UC: MRC Greenwood and the $871 million dollar secret , Engineered choice: How to pick a Greenwood , MRC Greenwood and "A Powerful Coterie of larcenous. . . ." (UH's next system President?)

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SB: Lawmakers should pay their own way

Having weathered the public outcry about their biggest wage increase ever, 16 Hawaii Democratic legislators have been spending this week at a national conference in Philadelphia at public expense. The size of the delegation is far too large, an affront to state employees facing pay cuts and possible furloughs or layoffs because of the state's budget crisis. The legislators should pay for their trip with their own money to keep it from falling under the description of junket.

(The State should cancel their return tickets.)

House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan said House Republicans informally agreed to cut back on such trips because of the state's fiscal condition. "You have to make a call and I think the call this year was: If we do go, we go on personal funds, at our own expense."

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HA: Mauna Kea plans must proceed with care

(Advertiser presents roadmap for the coming battle with OHA over MONEY.  Amusingly--or sadly--some people STILL think this has something to do with sacredness....)

This is where the responsibility comes in. The Board of Land and Natural Resources in April approved the UH comprehensive management plan for Mauna Kea. It was nowhere nearly as comprehensive as it should have been, because it failed to fully address key issues, most notably the plans for new developments such as the TMT.

The land board bridged the gap by making approval contingent on completing four "subplans" to fill in the blanks on:

  • Managing public access.
  • Protecting the natural resources of the area.
  • Giving proper deference to cultural resources, including religious and burial sites.
  • Setting out how older telescopes would be decommissioned.

    UH must submit these plans within one year or before the submission of a Conservation District Use Application for any new use, whichever happens sooner.

    UH is now under the gun to produce the plans and maintain that timetable so the permitting of the new telescope won't face unnecessary delays.

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    Big Isle doctor training gears up (Democrat propaganda-of-deed)

    The state Legislature has tried repeatedly to get funding for the residency program, only to be thwarted by tightened purse strings. The Legislature appropriated $2.5 million in 2007, but Gov. Linda Lingle did not release the money, citing budget concerns. A petition with 6,000 signatures in support of the program was sent to the governor's office last December.

    Last session, the Legislature passed a bill appropriating $140,000 over the next two fiscal years. The original draft asked for $4 million.

    But it's anyone's guess when Lingle will release funding authorized by a bill she vetoed. The bill was overridden July 15 by the Legislature. She said the state can't afford the program because of "the severity of the state's fiscal condition at present."

    The state also cannot afford future funds for the development of a statewide system of rural primary health care training programs outlined in the bill, Lingle said.

    (Any mention of tort reform here?  How about the Congressional delegation's failure to win an increase in MDs remuneration from Medicare?  The C.O.N.?  Malulani?  The HHSC?  The HMSA?  Nope.  Just watch the shiny object and it all fades away.) 

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    Kauai: ‘Hallelujah!’ Council finds harmony — or not

    The main discussion — relating to members’ access to the agenda, the placement of public documents on the county Web site, equitable and timely circulation of documents, and general access to information — included presentations by Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara in which they accused Council Chair Kaipo Asing of stifling democracy and failing to abide by the council’s rules — specifically rule 10(c), which covers the chair’s power to initial proposed items before they are added to the agenda.

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    Birthers: New clamor on old Obama doubt

    (AP article exploits birthers for all they are worth to the Democrat cause.  Manages not to mention that the birther leaders are a bunch of 9-11 trooothers.  But does offer up a few words of sense at the end...)

    ....conservatives say dragging out the controversy only helps Obama.

    "He has a significant number of conservatives wasting enormous amounts of time on a side issue that can never bear any fruit and, as an added bonus, it makes them look somewhat unhinged to many Americans," wrote conservative blogger John Hawkins on Townhall.com. "When your political enemies are making fools of themselves, why stop them?"

    John Feehery, a GOP consultant, suggested Dobbs and other broadcast figures were seeking to capitalize on the controversy to boost ratings.

    "It says more about the media culture we're entering and the decline of responsible journalism, and less about the political realm," Feehery said.

    Hard evidence has not swayed the birthers, as MSNBC's conservative talk show host Joe Scarborough noted this week.

    "They would rather be like sea lions barking at waves," he said. "Instead of trying to figure out what's happening to their country ... they embrace conspiracy theories, and they make themselves look like cartoon characters."

    RELATED:

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    Wienermobile in the doghouse with Hawaii's Outdoor Circle

    Here is what the enviros are doing in a recession--attacking the economy. 

    "Yeah, the Wienermobile is cute. It's got an attractive quality to it. I think anyone would agree with that, and that is part of the insidious nature of advertising," Outdoor Circle boss Loy said. "It appears to be one thing, when in fact it's another." 

    (So this is part of an anti-corporate ideology rather than any actual concern for the environment.  How insidious.)

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    Activists say North Korea executed woman for distributing Bible

    The Investigative Commission on Crime Against Humanity report included a copy of Ri's government-issued photo ID and said her husband, children and parents were sent to a political prison the day after her June 16 execution....

    A U.S. government commission report cited defectors as saying an estimated 6,000 Christians are jailed in "Prison No. 15" in the north of the country, with religious prisoners facing worse treatment than other inmates.

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