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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
November 18, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:39 PM :: 10512 Views :: Kauai County News, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

LINK: Inouye, Akaka votes: A ticket to USA for Guantanamo detainee who attempted attack on Honolulu

Isles predicted to lose more jobs next year

The state forecast projects a 2 percent rise in tourists will occur in 2010 and come on the heels of two years of setbacks in the visitor count.

That's an increase from what it previously saw when it released its August forecast.

But the state lowered its expectations when it comes to 2010 visitor spending, saying it no longer believes an almost-3-percent gain will occur and instead predicted the expenditure total will be flat compared with this year.

Job counts and unemployment typically are some of the last indicators to recover from recessions since employers are hesitant to hire until they are certain conditions have improved.

The forecast predicts 2010 will be the third straight year of job losses for the state. It sees jobs falling by almost 1 percent.

SB: State lowers economic forecasts

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Four Hawaii Phantom Districts Receive $45,639,408 in Stimulus Funds for 3.4 Jobs

Hawaii received $2,284,000 of federal stimulus funds for the 11th Congressional district, $40,903,941 for the 15th Congressional district, $1,651,811 for the “00” Congressional district, and $799,656 in the 99th congressional district creating a combined “3.4” jobs or $13,423,355 per job, according to the federal government’s transparency web site for stimulus funds.

Link: Hawaii fake district report , 440 Phantom Congressional Districts Get $6.4 Billion , $6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts , "Creating" Obama stimulus jobs in Congressional Districts that don't exist, All districts: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/16593104/Recoverys-Phantom-Districts 

RELATED:

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BoE to again consider hiking School bus fares

School bus fares will roughly double beginning next calendar year under a proposal that the elected Board of Education will consider Thursday.

(This is most likely a condition required by the legislature to come off the $50M ransom payment.)

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Now state's HGEA's real survival planning for tax increase begins

But the tough work comes later, during the regular session. That's when legislators and the Lingle administration must put aside partisan battles to craft efficiency and revenue-producing (tax increase) plans for the coming years.

Tapping the rainy day fund for a one-time purpose will not solve the essential problem of too many (HGEA, UPW, and UHPA) demands that need to be met, and not enough money to meet them. An informational briefing on Monday, concerning cuts to the (HGEA) Healthy Start child abuse prevention program, as well as to other (HGEA) human services and health initiatives, highlighted these larger budgetary concerns.

The bottom line is that many (HGEA) social service agencies were hoping for some relief by tapping the fund (but the HSTA stole it from them) , and a plan to restore the most essential among their state services will be needed.

That is the pressing job that lawmakers face, which makes the work of their "reinventing government" task force so important. It must identify the top priority tasks unions of government — health (HGEA), public safety(SHOPO), education(HSTA) and the state's economic future (UPW, UHPA) among them. And it must yield a plan that delivers (tax increases) on those bedrock goals.

RELATED: HGEA vs HSTA: The coming legislative budget crisis

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Democrat Borreca: Lingle shows leadership by reversing direction

Hawaii was told about being "open for business," about how Hawaii unfairly taxes the poor, how the "top-down" school system doesn't work. As GOP cheerleader, Lingle held hands with every sentient being wanting to run for office as a Republican.

It wasn't leadership; she was on the bench hollering at the team.

She may leave office presiding over a state with higher taxes, an unchanged centralized education system and one-party domination — but her actions on the disastrous Furlough Fridays plan show Lingle knows the difference between coaching and leadership.

(In other words, now that Lingle has agreed to pay the $50 ransom demanded by the HSTA/DoE hostage-takers, she is a "leader' in the eyes of Democrat Borreca.)

And then he throws in this lulu: "Pat Hamamoto, state schools superintendent, and the Hawaii State Teachers Association can't be faulted for just trying to do their jobs...."

(Oh yes they can!)

Related: Furloughs: How Unions and the DoE aim to co-opt protesting parents , Hawaii budget crisis: Adult Supervision vs Team Chaos

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Democrat Borreca: Senator guided furlough accord

In an interview yesterday, Taniguchi, Judiciary Committee chairman, said he wanted to get Lingle to hold a special legislative session but also raise taxes to pay public school teachers enough to cancel the remaining furlough days.

Although Taniguchi (D, Moiliili-Manoa) could only sell the special session idea, he said he still hopes Lingle will look at a half-percentage-point increase to the general excise tax.

Related: Furloughs: How Unions and the DoE aim to co-opt protesting parents , Hawaii budget crisis: Adult Supervision vs Team Chaos

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"The Fix is In": New Honolulu police chief expected to be chosen today

"We expect to have a chief selection" today, said Police Commission Chairwoman Christine Camp, who spent much of yesterday with other members of the commission conducting final interviews of candidates.

Camp added that she would attend a City Council meeting this morning to address members, some of whom have been critical of the addition of two semifinalists to the list of candidates for police chief late in the process.

Camp worked her way through college and up the corporate ladder (first at Castle and Cooke, then A&B Properties), before founding Avalon.  (RAIL BENEFICIARIES)

SB: Police chief search continues despite City Council's questions

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

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City signs $483M rail contract (Locks up GET funds? before coming EIS train wreck)

At a news conference yesterday, city officials and executives from contractor Kiewit Pacific Co. signed a $483 million contract to build the first 6.5 miles of the 20-mile rail transit system, which would eventually stretch from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

Hannemann said the contract formally encumbers rail transit funds raised from increasing the state general excise tax by half a percentage point on Oahu.

"Therefore it cannot be shifted or used by anyone for any other purposes," he said....

State House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro said he supports the rail project but needs to determine whether the funds are indeed encumbered....

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa said state and federal officials review the environmental impact statement based on law and whether it provides enough information to make a decision and not on politics.

"It's not wise to belittle a process that's very much a part of our law," she said.

Hanabusa said whether one supports or opposes rail, people do not want to be in the same situation as the Hawaii Superferry....

KITV: $5.5B Rail Project Closer To Groundbreaking , KHNL: Mayor announces major developments on Honolulu rail project

READ MORE: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can change that

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Mayor signs pact with 12 unions on rail project

Government agencies use so called PLAs to try to avoid strikes or other labor disruptions on major construction projects. In exchange, project workers typically are guaranteed union-level wages and benefits.

MORE: Rail gets no-strike promise

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

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EUTF to discuss health plan delay

Gov. Linda Lingle asked the EUTF to consider the special meeting, citing the confusion many government workers have about the open enrollment process and the staff difficulties in handling the increased workload.

On Friday, the leaders of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and the United Public Workers asked the EUTF to cancel open enrollment and continue existing health plans for six months. Several state lawmakers have said open enrollment should be suspended.

Lingle, in a letter Sunday, said she was not recommending that the open enrollment period be extended, but did urge the board to address the challenges.

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State earns a D grade with rise in pre-term births

One of the questions is whether women are requesting elective inductions for labor or C-sections early and how physicians and hospitals respond, Joseph said, noting there is some controversy about that.

Jackie Berry, executive director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, said she is "very curious to see what the survey is going to tell us about doctors and their belief about why this (increased premature births) is happening."

Democrat trial lawyer and Presidential candidate John Edwards is personally responsible for the national increase in C-Section births: Preventive Health care, John Edwards style

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Chinese join Mauna Kea telescope project

The group spearheading the project — the Thirty Meter Telescope — said the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has joined as an observer. It is the first step of a process expected to lead to the NAOC becoming a full partner and financial contributor.

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Hilo Teacher to serve prison term

A federal judge sentenced a Big Island special-education teacher yesterday to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.  (Thank God its a federal case.)

RELATED: Bill Gates' Report Card--Hawaii DoE worst at removing lousy teachers

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Hawaii County would like to get rid of state land use board

HILO -- The Hawaii County Council wants to abolish the state Land Use Commission and allow county governments to have full oversight over big developers.

The resolution that passed 6-3 by the Committee on Public Works & Intergovernmental Relations is part of a package of reforms the Hawaii State Association of Counties will present to the state Legislature in January.

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Kenoi wants state parks for county, cites tourism's role

The county should take over some state parks, piers and other facilities, Mayor Billy Kenoi told a group of West Hawaii tourism-oriented business owners Tuesday.  "Those are huge assets," Kenoi said, referring to parks like Mauna Kea State Park, Hapuna Beach State Park and the Kailua Pier.

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Maui County officials: Where’s the stimulus?

WAILUKU - About nine months ago, the Obama administration and Congress agreed to set aside $787 billion in stimulus dollars to help revitalize Main Street America.

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Murder victim linked to Mafia

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department has confirmed a link between a man found murdered this month and an organized crime family from the East Coast, but would not elaborate at this time....

...She also confirmed that Bonanno’s father, the late William Bonanno, was an organized-crime figure from the East Coast, and that Daniel Bonanno had a troubled childhood.

...Assistant Chief Roy Asher did fill in a few blanks, cognizant of the fact that preserving the integrity of the ongoing KPD investigation supersedes the public’s right to know what went on in Wailua Homesteads involving Bonanno.  He said he has evidence that Bonanno is linked to the East Coast organized crime family bearing his last name, but declined to elaborate.

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