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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
January 27, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:52 AM :: 9897 Views

Mufi: “I have no thoughts of resigning soon”

Hannemann also declined to speculate whether a delay in the project's groundbreaking would affect his political plans. Hannemann is widely expected to be a candidate for governor. The filing deadline for the seat is July 20. If Hannemann were to run for governor, he would have to resign as mayor by July 20.

"My focus is on this job," Hannemann said during a news conference about rail yesterday at Honolulu Hale. "I have no thoughts of resigning any time soon because I want to go to another job."

KHON: Mayor Hannemann on Governor Lingle: "I believe she's anti-rail"

EXPLAINED: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can

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SB: Don't further centralize Hawaii schools

(SB Editors fall in line with the HSTA/DOE to make sure that the DoE is never held accountable for anything by anybody.)

In Monday's State of the State address to the Legislature, Lingle proposed a state constitutional amendment to "make the governor accountable for public education." The amendment would eliminate the elected school board and make a superintendent, now chosen by the board, to be hired by the governor and be part of the governor's Cabinet.

A 2003 analysis of Hawaii's school system by UCLA professor William Ouchi found that "study after study has shown that as organizations grow beyond a certain point, they inevitably spend a larger and larger percentage of their total resources on administration," and that Hawaii's Department of Education "reached that point long ago."

(Of course, even tiny little children know that the Lingle/Abercrombie/Aiona proposal to make the DOE a Department of the next Gov’s cabinet has absolutely nothing to do with increasing centralization.  It is a matter of making the next Gov responsible for the failure or success of the DoE.  But the SB’s argument rests entirely on the false and pathetic hope that readers will not notice this.  The need to slip by with such logical fallacies prolly explains some Dems’ constant badgering for legal marijuana.) 

EXPLAINED: Hamamoto's DoE resignation: To block Lingle's constitutional amendment?

State of the State: Make DoE a cabinet department; fund STEM, robotics

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Tourism Recovery will be slow, despite an expected uptick in arrivals and spending

One slight increase from last year’s very depressed December numbers and SB calls out “State tourism on the mend”.

They are dreaming – and food for the corporatist entity is still very scarce.

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GOP kicking off national strategy session in Isles

The gathering at the Hilton Hawaiian Village will also give Hawai'i Republicans an opportunity to make connections with party officials and network with national strategists.

The RNC and local Republicans held what was described as an Island summit yesterday to help local activists with candidate recruitment, polling, fundraising, and new media.

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Boylan: Hawaii Republican leaders “Closer to the truth than some of the Democrats like to admit"

Kaauwai says Governor Lingle's exit does not signal a hit to Hawaii Republicans, pointing to GOP candidate Scott Brown who won Ted Kennedy's Democratic seat in the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

"Today and this week has proven that the Republican Party nationally is backing up the local party in Hawaii," said Kaauwai.

"If the Republican Party leaders in Hawaii think they have a shot, I have a silly feeling that they're closer to the truth than some of the Democrats like to admit," said political analyst, Dan Boylan.

Boylan says that doesn't necessarily mean a Republican will win the governor's seat.

Democrats still dominate the state.

But Boylan says the political climate is changing.

"I think that Charles Djou, I think that Duke Aiona, I think that some Republicans running in some districts this year probably have a slightly better chance today than they did six months ago," said Boylan.

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Democrat Borreca: Lingle's political math mostly about subtraction

More Hawaii Democrat party propaganda from Borreca.  How dull.  He could prolly save time and effort if he got a computer program to write this stuff for him.

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Democrat Borreca: National GOP aids island hopefuls

The Republican National Committee hosted an "Island Summit" for local GOP members and potential candidates yesterday but barred the news media from the meeting and a luncheon speech by Gov. Linda Lingle.

Lingle's press office said inquiries should be directed at Hawaii National Committeewoman Miriam Hellreich, who did not return phone calls yesterday.

LeRoy Coleman, RNC director of communications, said the GOP routinely closes its summit sessions.

"All of our summits are closed to the press because we want to encourage a comfortable and open exchange between our speakers and attendees," Coleman said.

Asked about why the meeting and speech were closed, Kaauwai said the meeting was controlled by the Republican National Committee….

(Yup.  Democrat Borreca asked four times why the RNC meet was closed to Democrat reporters like him.  When is the last time they did an expose on the closed Hawaii Democrat Legislative caucus meetings where the legislature’s business is transacted in secret?)

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Lingle plan halves employers' tax hike

Lingle yesterday unveiled her plan to blunt the increase set to take effect this year, with a series of temporary changes that would require the state to borrow more money from the federal government but save businesses nearly a half a billion dollars over a four-year period.

Lingle, along with Rep. Karl Rhoads, other legislators and the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, have come out with proposals to mitigate the increase, which is mandated by law because of dwindling balances in the fund from which unemployment taxes are paid.

Unless the law is amended, the average annual tax paid by employers in the fund is scheduled to shoot up nearly twelvefold — from $90 annually to $1,070. For an average employer with 10 workers, the bill would skyrocket from $900 annually to $10,070.

RELATED: Chamber of Commerce: House Bill before Committee Tuesday not enough to reduce Unemployment "tax shock"

WHT: Chamber weighs in on unemployment insurance tax rates, KITV: VIDEO

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Hawaii gas prices above 'cap' level of suspended law

(Democrats have some study which is designed to tell us that their gas cap was not a disaster and that it didn’t drive prices thru the roof.   So naturally it is front page news.)

A spokesman for Lingle said the governor has no plans to reinstate the gas cap. State energy administrator Ted Peck said he wouldn't recommend to Lingle that she reimpose the price controls and that if someone were to do so it might lead to one or both the refineries here shutting, given recent reports about weak profitability in the U.S. refining industry.

"Instituting the price cap is the absolutely worst thing we could do for our economy," Peck said.

(The gas Cap was bad enough, green Democrats have something even worse in mind—a $100/barrel oil tax which will drive the cost of gasoline up to about $5  per gallon and electricity up to $400/month: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires)

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ADV: Clear disclosure vital in political spending

Giving full First Amendment freedoms to corporations, as if they were individuals, creates the potential for candidates to be either propped up or preempted by massive blasts of electioneering, right up to election day.

However one feels about this expansion of free speech — and First Amendment absolutists on both the left and right praised the decision — the possible consequences demand a response….

Hawai'i state law already allows corporations free rein to express political opinion on their own, but it restricts how they donate to candidates and PACs. These laws should be strengthened to give the public better access to detailed and up-to-date reports on who is donating to whom. Several proposals from the state ethics and campaign spending commissions are being weighed by state lawmakers and are worthy of consideration. Among them:

• Require lawmakers to file financial disclosure forms in January, not after the session ends.

• Increase lobbying disclosure reports from three to four times a year.

• Reduce the threshold for gifts disclosure from $200 to $50.

• Require complete financial interest forms to be filed every year, not every other year.

• Make it easier to track corporate donations to candidates by requiring corporations to donate to their noncandidate committee and report it to the Campaign Spending Commission. This measure, HB 2004, would clear up a weakness in the law that led to a court ruling in Tavares v. Wong that made it more difficult for the public to track donations.

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Maui Business leaders like Lingle proposals

Maui business and visitor industry leaders said they liked the substance of Lingle's speech.

"We appreciate the governor's planned initiatives to stimulate the economy, provide tax relief for businesses who are struggling to survive, improve our educational system, better prepare our work force and improve the quality of life for all residents, including programs to spur job creation," said Pamela Tumpap, Maui Chamber of Commerce president.

Tumpap said the chamber looks forward to legislation from the governor to mitigate a pending unemployment insurance tax increase. And she said the chamber was pleased with Lingle's proposal to provide income tax credits equal to the wages withheld by the employer for each new, full-time permanent position filled by a resident receiving unemployment benefits.

Carol Reimann, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, said the governor's proposal for renovation tax credits for hotels and resorts "sounds like a good concept."

"On a broad and general level, renovation tax credits could help to spur projects that are currently on the fence because of the uncertain economy, and it could push hotels and resorts to expedite projects that have been on hold for whatever reasons," she said. "From a marketing perspective, new and upgraded properties are always an advantage to entice consumers to book their vacations. There is a lot of stiff competition out there with new resort areas."

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University of Hawaii faculty approve “cost-cutting” contract with two pay increases

After months of contentious negotiations, UH professors overwhelmingly ratified a six-year contract yesterday that cuts costs for the university in the short term to tackle mounting fiscal woes, but also restores a 6.7 percent pay reduction after 18 months, promises lump-sum payments to reimburse money lost in the pay cuts and includes something in the last two years of the agreement that workers don't hear a lot these days — a pay increase.

Under the contract, professors will see 3 percent pay raises in 2013 and 2014.

Meanwhile, professors will recoup money lost in the pay cuts with lump-sum payments starting in 2012.

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UPW to picket UPW in Hilo

HILO -- United Public Workers members plan to picket the UPW union hall in Hilo today in what is believed to be an unprecedented action against a local union by its members.

At issue is what some members feel is a lack of representation by the union in the closure of the Kulani Correctional Facility and reductions in force at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center, a 226-bed reintegration and work-release program for inmates who will be released on the Big Island.

ADV: United Public Workers members picket own union

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PHOCUSED rally

Sign-wavers on Tuesday lined South Beretania Street in front of the Capitol to urge lawmakers not to impose more budget cuts on state health and human services programs. 

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Fewer registered vehicles on Big Isle

The 17 additional motorcycles were more than offset by 2,300 fewer cars and pickup trucks, nearly 900 fewer commercial trucks and a decrease of 600-plus trailers, according to information he provided.  (Obama depression continues destroying wealth.  But Hawaii legislators have a solution.  Raise taxes.)

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Strategies shared at zero waste forum

There have been recent talks about saying good-bye to plastic grocery bags or implementing a "pay as you throw" plan, which would phase in a per-bag fee for residential garbage.
Influenced by states and counties, the federal government could require manufactures in the United States to design nontoxic products, as well as be responsible for their product's end of life and packaging.

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4 men accused of phone plot had conservative ties

The most well-known of the suspects is James O'Keefe, a 25-year-old whose hidden-camera expose posing as a pimp with his prostitute infuriated the liberal group ACORN and made him a darling of conservatives….

O'Keefe's arrest "is further evidence of his disregard for the law in pursuit of his extremist agenda," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said in a statement. The organization's Twitter feed commented on the news: "Couldn't have happened to a more deserving soul."

Using a hidden camera last year, O'Keefe, posed as a pimp and brought a young woman posing as a prostitute to ACORN offices where staffers appeared to offer illegal tax advice and to support the misuse of public funds and illegal trafficking in children….

(The Democrat Advertiser seems very interested in this telephone case from 4000 miles away.  How much coverage are they giving to the convicted child molester working in the Hawaii Legislature—four blocks away?)

RELATED: Child molester back at work at Hawaii Legislature

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