HGEA workers agree to cuts
The contracts, representing more than 29,600 workers, will effectively result in a wage cut of up to 8 percent for many for the next two years in a slow state economy, the union said.
But Gov. Linda Lingle's administration, which supported the proposed contracts, said last week the state will still have to lay off some state employees starting next month — a number now estimated at 750 workers.
GOVERNOR LINGLE STATEMENT ON HGEA RATIFICATION
HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle released the following statement on the ratification by Hawai‘i Government Employees Association (HGEA) members of a new two-year contract:
“I am pleased that HGEA members ratified the agreement reached between HGEA leadership and the State and Counties. HGEA members clearly recognized that the type of shared sacrifice embodied in our agreement is necessary to help see our state through the budget crisis we are now experiencing.
“State and County employees work hard and serve the public well. These furlough days are not a reflection on their dedication – they are a reflection of the current fiscal reality.
“The State, the Counties, and our dedicated employees, together, are working toward an improved economic environment.”
Perreira said Lingle and state legislators need to take action to prevent further job losses.
"In accepting these significant wage reductions, we expect the Lingle administration will look to ways other than layoffs to address the state's budget shortfall," Perreira said in a prepared statement last night. "It is incumbent upon our elected leaders to do what they can to prevent further job losses and greater impacts to the public services that our community relies upon."
ADV: Hawaii state workers ratify furlough deal
Burial council won't sign rail pact (Lines up with KSBE)
A government panel charged with protecting Native Hawaiian burials is opposing plans to run Honolulu's $5.5 billion rail line through Kakaako via Halekauwila Street.
(Surprise, surprise, they are taking exactly the same position as Kamehameha Schools.)
The Oahu Island Burial Council has decided not to join other parties — including the National Parks Service and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation — in signing an agreement on mitigating the rail project's impacts on historical, cultural and archaeological resources. The organizations are scheduled to sign the agreement tomorrow.
The burial council decision is largely symbolic and isn't expected to stop or delay the 20-mile elevated commuter train project....
(Yeah, right. Burial issues never stop development in Hawaii. And who cares what KSBE thinks? They certainly don't have any influence around here. Believe this and you too can sign up for the elect Mufi 2010 bandwagon...)
The Hill covers Djou fundraising lead
Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) continues to build himself into a contender for Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s (D-Hawaii) seat, outraising former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) $61,000 to $41,000. Case also has a new primary headache on his hands, after state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D) recently entered the race. (Still nothing in the local papers.)
RELATED: Congressional fund race: Djou leads more than 2-1
Jones Act Lawsuit Will Test Control of Hawaii's Shipping Monopoly
Hawaii’s Chief U.S. District Judge David Ezra is overseeing the case, and has set a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction on December 7, 2009, based on the plaintiffs’ claim that the restrictions are “excessively expensive for Hawaii’s people and are in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as well as the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Dole expands plan to sell Oahu land
Dole Food Co. has expanded its effort to sell land it owns in Hawaii, according to a recent securities filing in which the California-based firm said it is planning or contemplating the sale of 11,000 acres on Oahu.
(Excellent. Anything that puts real estate in the hands of small individual owners works to free Hawaii from socialism.)
'Honolulu Star Bulletin' Refuses to Correct Inaccurate Stories on Camp Smith Cross Debate
Unless inaccurate news reports are corrected, false information is forever perceived as fact. Such is the case with the removal of the Camp Smith Cross in 1988 and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s reporting of it. Since its removal they have subsequently falsely reported that a federal judge ruled it was “unconstitutional.”
With demand for fuel falling, ethanol plants look for other products to sell
(Karma. The latest eco-scam is turning into a chemical factory....)
Production costs of bio-chemicals can be lower than for their hydrocarbon-based equivalents, he adds. The ideal organism can transform sugar into a chemical in one step, while making the same product at a chemical plant usually takes several, requiring more energy and equipment. Bio-chemicals also come with marketable green credentials.
His company is developing ways to make several chemicals, including methyl ethyl ketone or MEK, which is used as a paint solvent. Because it can be made with the same equipment as ethanol, MEK could be produced at an ethanol facility, says Mr. Schilling.
Fewer use opiates, Isle testing firm says
Diagnostic's third-quarter test results show the number of (job applicants) using either legal or illegal opiate drugs fell to under 0.25 percent from more than 0.5 percent a year ago.
(Whit unemployment soaring, employers are 'weeding' out the dopers.)
A public university is a democratic necessity
After UHPA rejects cutbacks, a UHM prof complains about some of the revenue that is coming in. He argues UH is rotting and...
"The name of the rot is corporatization, and here is how to recognize it: the exaltation of only a certain kind of revenue-generating research over student instruction and study in a variety of subjects; the importation of top-down corporate management models; the expansion of administrative positions (and salaries); an erosion of faculty and student participation in governance; and a retreat from the heroic idea of the university as a place of learning and intellectual exchange."
Wrong. The rot at UHM is in the liberal arts departments which openly exclude non-leftists and have incubated many of Hawaii's worst economic and policy disasters such as the sovereignty movement and the Akaka Bill.
Creative fixes needed for Aloha Stadium
Lifting the current deed restriction makes sense. The restriction prohibits commercial enterprises other than "recreational" uses such as the swap meet or concerts. The restriction was put in place in 1967, when the federal government sold 56 acres of land included in the stadium site. As part of a deal to lift the restriction, the state must come up with an equivalent amount of land for recreational use in exchange.
State Sen. Fred Hemmings, a prime mover of the deal, envisions a three-story shopping development around the bowl of a brand-new stadium, with a transit station in the thick of it.
The stadium and surrounding improvements would be paid for and operated privately, with lease agreements to protect the public's interest in access to and use of the stadium.
It's an intriguing prospect. With coordinated efforts, the future of Aloha Stadium could end up looking entirely different and ultimately become a prudent investment.
Kauai: Ethics Board’s debate ‘weirder and weirder’
The debate started with a communication to the board in which North Shore resident Walter Lewis questioned the legal opinion received from the Office of the County Attorney last month that reinforced an earlier opinion claiming that 20.02D must be read in conjunction with Section 3-1.7 of the Kaua‘i County Code, thereby allowing officers and employees of the county to appear on behalf of a private interest before other county agencies.
Specifically, Lewis criticized a section of the opinion referencing Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Section 1-15, which states that “Where the words of a law are ambiguous ... every construction which leads to an absurdity shall be rejected.”
Deputy Attorney Mona Clark said 20.02D is “ambiguous on its face,” an assertion that Bieber said “insults my intelligence” because “the law is plain and reads plainly.”
Hawaii County Audit: Highway funds wasted
Hawaii County's lack of program goals, internal controls and effective communication have prevented efficient use of more than $50 million in highway-maintenance money, a recent county audit has found.
LINK to audit report: http://co.hawaii.hi.us/la/reports.html
Latest shakedown target: Land board to vote Friday on Kohala ahi farm proposal
The Sierra Club says the project's scope is too large and the cages' propulsion engine involves untested technology.
Maui Tomorrow and the UH Manoa Environmental Center are in on the act, also....