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Monday, August 31, 2009
August 31, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:08 AM :: 9166 Views :: Maui County News, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

Rail transit could cost less than projected

(And who, pray tell, is the source for this 'story'?)

"We're in good shape," Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday at a news conference.

(Duh!  But it gets even better.  Mufi can't actually provide ANY evidence for his claim except "trust me".)

Hannemann said state procurement laws restrict him from releasing specifics until a final selection is made in October. But he did say that an analysis of the proposals shows the cost seems to be matching a national trend of public transportation bids coming in at 10 to 25 percent below budget.

Hannemann said opponents who claim the rail project is not fiscally sound are relying on an outdated city report to the Federal Transit Administration. He said construction of the project will pump $200 million into the economy next year, boosting tax revenues and creating jobs.

(Yup, Mufi's got not one but TWO secret reports.)

read more

DOE again seeks OK for school shake-ups

Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto says she intends to again seek the authority to replace the principals, most teachers and other staffers at public schools that have consistently failed to meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements in light of a push by President Obama's administration for school districts to turn around the lowest-achieving public schools.

(And why can't the Sup't dump failing employees?  Unions.  And the legislature.  And the courts.)

A bill the state Department of Education supported last legislative session that would have granted her the authority to "reconstitute" schools — meaning replacing principals and teachers — failed to gain the support of lawmakers, mainly because of concerns about collective bargaining.

TOTALLY RELATED: Randall Roth: In Hawaii Education, The Buck Stops Nowhere

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Micronesia: Hawaii paying for federal promises (Obamacare preview Pt 1)

Many COFA migrants are concerned about receiving less comprehensive medical coverage, and we are working closely with providers to ensure that their critical health care needs, such as kidney dialysis and chemotherapy, continue to be met....

In 1996, Congress made COFA migrants ineligible for Medicaid. Since that time, Hawaii has provided them with free and comprehensive Medicaid-like coverage. Congress recently allowed COFA children and pregnant women to be covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program. However, Hawaii must spend state tax dollars to receive matching federal funds under this program.

Hawaii provides COFA migrants with more than $100 million in services annually, with the highest costs for education and health care. In return, the federal government gives Hawaii less than $11 million a year, meaning we are reimbursed at about ten cents on the dollar.

This lack of compensation for Hawaii occurs despite language in the Compacts that says "it is not the intent of Congress to cause any adverse consequences for an affected jurisdiction."

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Public worker drug plan change put off (Obamacare preview Pt 2)

Under the reference-based pricing program, patients must switch to the lower-cost drugs or get a doctor's exception to stay with their current prescription.

A third alternative is for patients to pay substantially more to stay with their old drug.

The program has drawn criticism from EUTF members and others.  (But the unions continue to push for Obamacare nationally)

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Prisons policy puts community at risk

Our love affair with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has led to the incarceration of more low-level drug offenders who can then be shipped off to CCA prisons.  (Really?  Judges determine sentencing.  Is Kat Brady accusing dozens of circuit court judges of being "in love" with CCA?)

...closing the program-intensive Kulani Correctional Facility in Hilo, a minimum-security prison and one that the data suggests has the most effective sex offender treatment program in the country, makes no sense. 

(Obviously the solution to prison reform is more HGEA/UPW operated prisons.  Can't these union flunkeys at least try to be a little bit less obvious?)

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Moloka'i wildfire chars 6,000 acres

Residents of Kalama'ula on Moloka'i were allowed to stay in their homes as shifting winds pushed away a brushfire that had scorched more than 6,000 acres, threatening the Hotel Molokai, injuring a firefighter and burning a carport.

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Akaka Bill a zero-sum game, not 'win-win'

Opponents of the Akaka Bill continue argue against it on exactly the same foundations as proponents argue for it. 

For a different perspective READ: Akaka Bill Reading List

read more


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