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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
December 30, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:38 PM :: 13542 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

LINK >>> Hanabusa: "Ed Case not forgiven, should bow out"

 

ADV: Lingle should break be blamed for impasse in union talks

The governor is correct that some of this money is being misspent — calling back to work many district and other non-classroom teachers who aren't essential to keeping schools open on furlough Fridays. It's unfortunate that the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state couldn't have come to terms on criteria identifying which workers are needed to restore a reasonable level of classroom learning, in addition to assuring student health and safety. This is a budget crisis, and using such distinctions to set spending priorities should be part of any crisis solution....

The governor has asserted that $50 million plus a conversion of planning days could restore all furlough days through the 2010-11 school year, but that blueprint is looking less feasible. It assumes a $19 million operational deficit that the DOE would need to make up somehow.  (And that's the best they can do for an argument?  Trust the union?  The DoE can't find $19M in $2B of waste, fraud, and corruption???)

The union can't, and shouldn't, accept on faith that this budgetary hole can be closed without further layoffs.  (Ha!   The union's high seniority "non-classroom 'teachers'" know where all the fraud and waste in the DoE is and they aren't talking.)

Lingle: HSTA/DoE furlough plan "not credible"

Furlough settlement: HSTA-DoE to submit new ransom demands to Legislature

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SB: Furlough plan achievable

Instead, the union and Board of Education agreed last week to a plan that would use $35 million from the rainy day fund to restore teachers' wages for five days, have them give up two planning days and end the current school year three days early.

Gov. Linda Lingle has rightly rejected the proposal, pointing out that it would use more than two-thirds of the available rainy day fund while restoring only five days of instruction. She said the proposal "is not a credible plan, it is not fiscally responsible and it is not sustainable."

In addition, she noted, it did not address the next school year, even as the state Council on Revenues has projected that its original estimates of revenue for the coming year were overly optimistic.

Robert Perkinson of (Kanu Hawaii controlled) Save Our Schools Hawaii said Lingle's original offer "was not as viable as it first appeared ... She wasn't putting enough money on the table to restore every furlough day."

The potential for agreement remains. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa praised the school board and union for their "great effort" while recognizing that ultimately legislators need to work with Lingle to reach a sound solution. If the Legislature approves expenditures for the effort, she noted, the governor's signature is needed to release the funds.

Lingle: HSTA/DoE furlough plan "not credible"

Furlough settlement: HSTA-DoE to submit new ransom demands to Legislature

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Furlough talks to resume, but no special session planned

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It is unlikely there will be a special session of the state legislature to access money in the state's rainy day fund to reduce the number of teacher furlough days.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Department of Education, and the Board of Education have all agreed on plan to reduce the number of teacher furlough days, but Governor Linda Lingle has indicated the plan does not go far enough.

BOE Chairman Garrett Toguchi told Hawaii News Now he is disappointed, but not surprised Lingle rejected the proposed settlement.

"I pretty much expected it," Toguchi said, "but I do hope to convince her that the deal that we have is as good as it gets right now and I hope she supports it."

ADV: BOE chair to meet with Lingle aides on teacher furloughs

ADV: Hawaii BOE chief not giving up on plan to end furloughs

Maui: Gov. Lingle entitled to her opinion, BOE member says? (Maui News finds ONE non BoE/HSTA person who likes deal!)

HR: Agreement Between Hawaii Teachers’ Union and Department of Education Leaves Furlough Days Intact in 2010-2011 While Depleting the State's Emergency Fund

Lingle: HSTA/DoE furlough plan "not credible"

Furlough settlement: HSTA-DoE to submit new ransom demands to Legislature

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SLOM: No More Hawaii Islam Days

Daily, the evidence mounts that our intelligence and security is clueless. Despite spending more billions, inconveniencing American travelers more, the system and the process are flawed.

At the center of the failure is the continuation of giving Muslims a free pass in these terror episodes. And bureaucrats like Napolitano who should be fired. (Jailed if I were in charge).

To be sure, not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists have been Muslims. When will we learn the lesson that political correctness is incorrect? When will we get serious about profiling those most likely to do us harm—just as the Israelis and most Europeans already do? ...

Do we really believe that disallowing blankets or anything on our laps, the prohibition against using the rest room or leaving your seat the last hour of a flight will make us safer?

Bottom line: for those that foisted an Islam Day holiday on the people of Hawaii September 24, 2009, let us be sure to say, no more, not again, not on our American soil, until we get really serious with those clearly identified Muslim terrorists and Muslim countries who want to kill us. This is not fear mongering; this is the fact of living in the real world with real killers.

The 2010 Hawaii State Legislature convenes January 20. Carefully watch for any early indications of those that would change the focus of our real security by propping up those who subscribe to, or are silent about, continued Islamic Jihad against America.

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SB gives free ad space to Mufi: We all need to do our part to solve the (homelessness) problem

Mufi points fingers at everybody and writes an embarrassingly self-serving account of his involvement with the homeless issue.  Then he hits Chinatown residents with this:

Although still in the public comment phase, we are proposing using city-owned property on the mauka end of River Street for permanent supportive housing (meaning a combination of housing and social services) for homeless individuals who now make their beds in Chinatown doorways and sidewalks.  (It'll be mostly social services)  Unfortunately, our good-faith effort is being opposed by residents and businesses who (wisely) fear a concentration of homeless in their community.

That fear is understandable but unjustified.   (No its not.  There is not a shortage of shelter spaces available.  there is a shortage of political will power to force people into shelters.  By permanently encamping the homeless IN Chinatown and Downtown, the Homelessness industry seek to have a constant flow of $$$ coming in their direction.)

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Mayor Hannemann's Achilles Heel

The Hannemann administration has spent over 100 million dollars of our transient excise tax (Alternatives Analysis and DEIS) on elevated Heavy Rail. The Mayor is solely responsible for the money spent. There is no State or Council oversight on his spending....

Has Honolulu wasted 100 million of our transit tax dollars on a poorly managed program? Will the Mayor’s decision to only study one Fixed Guideway alternative cause the program to fail at the Federal level?

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Tactics weighed for rat fight

1) Release video showing rats in Chinatown

2) act shocked

3) have your friends in media act shocked, too

4) pretend that State health inspector cutbacks are the cause

5) act like inspectors are struggling against the odds to save Chinatown from rats

6) Inspectors get more money out of State while other programs are cut 

7) go back to sleep

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Emergency funds needed for preschool  (by childhood policy 'consultant')

The new sliding scale should be scrapped. DHS already has authority in its administrative rules to revise its child care subsidies in the face of a shortage of funds.  (Right.  That's how DHS decided on the sliding scale)  Immediate efforts must focus on rationing available funds among eligible families  (What do you think the sliding scale IS???) and finding ways to reduce the impact on the thousands who may lose child care. Emergency funds are needed.  (After all the incoherence, THAT's the point.  BTW  "Emergency" funds are moneys which appear from nowhere.)

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OLD NEWS: Nearly $1B in state funds tied up in illiquid investment

The state Department of Budget and Finance said $975 million of the state's $2.6 million portfolio is tied up in the investments, but that having the money trapped in auction rate securities isn't a problem at this time.

The legislators were told the state is prepared to hold on to the investments until the mature and that for now they are earning more interest on auction rate securities than they would in 30-day, one-year and two-year investments.

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Kaloko payouts to be revealed

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — The state will soon reveal its share of a reported $25 million payment to the victims of the 2006 Kaloko Dam collapse.

A Kaua'i judge, acting in response to a request from The Advertiser, said yesterday she will order the state to disclose the number within two weeks.

The state originally refused to say how much taxpayer money would be used to settle several lawsuits related to the dam failure. The disaster killed seven people, including a pregnant woman, and caused major damage to private property.

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Roadblock continues despite 7 arrests in Laie land dispute

Hawaii Reserves Inc. manages the land for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which also claims ownership. HRI says the Wassons have never shown proof of their claim.

Henry and Dawn Wasson said they were protecting their rights by blocking the road from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Jace McQuivey, a Hawaii Reserves vice president, said the company received complaints and that some of its tenants, including Cackle Fresh Egg Farm, and other landowners were unable to leave or enter.

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Future uncertain for two Mauna Kea telescopes

The fate of two major Mauna Kea telescopes is in limbo following a decision in mid-December to cut funding for at least one of them.

The United Kingdom's Science and Technology Facilities Council reassessed its funding priorities for 2010 through 2015, and one of the losers was the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope, which the Joint Astronomy Centre operates along with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope.

The plan involves a "managed withdrawal" from UKIRT -- on a schedule yet to be determined -- and a commitment to continue operating the JCMT through the end of 2012.

(OHA bloodsuckers impose heavy costs on astronomy.  As this shows, the worldwide economic collapse caused by Obama is cutting astronomical funding.  Neither Hawaii nor Earth can afford OHA.)

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The realities of recession are relative on the Kona Coast

...right next to Schwab's house we have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slumming reportedly in the Presidential Suite at the Hualalai resort for what is said to be a rate of $10,000 nightly or more -- hopefully on her dime, rather than a corporate credit card. Her staff steadfastly said she refuses interviews during her stay in Kona; can't interrupt that vacation break.

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Heightened Security Detail Costs for Speaker Pelosi and President Obama Will Fall on Local Taxpayers

As President Barack Obama vacations in three private rented homes in Kailua, Oahu, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also on vacation on another main Hawaiian island - the Big Island of Hawaii.

In response to Hawaii Reporter's inquiry as to whether she is here for business, or pleasure, whether she will have any public events or meetings, and whether she took a private government charter or traveled commercial, Drew Hammill in her office sent this reply: "The Speaker traveled to Hawaii at her own expense on commercial air."

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Maui: Ahi supply should be enough to satisfy sashimi lovers’ appetite

Apparently, there's been no impact so far on local retailers from the Hawaii-based longline fishing fleet shutdown for fishing of bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific for the last three days of the year. The shutdown has been ordered when the annual total catch reaches 3,763 metric tons for bigeye tuna, which federal officials worry is being overfished.

(East Pacific fisheries are still open and they begin just East of Big Island)

HTH: Prices for ahi steady

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Ocean View well may take longer

Ocean View residents have been begging county and state officials for a well in or near the subdivision for years; twice, residents flew to Honolulu to picket. Residents now must drive to Waiohinu or Hookena, about 40 miles apart, the two nearest county water sources. Residences and businesses in Ocean View rely upon catchment water systems.

Confused?  Read: Land and Power in Hawaii

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Gas pains: Does Big Island have a Propane shortage?

"We're not short," maintained a spokesperson for the Kea'au Service Station, but added that it was because "We are putting 50 percent of what the customers normally take, to make sure that no one runs out."

"We're rationing to half tanks" said Guy Estrada of Hirano Store in Glenwood, who noted it was "something The Gas Co. told us to do."

Puna may be particularly hard hit by the shortage, since so many of its residents live off grid. Estrada noted that he and many of his neighbors had not only propane cook stoves and water heaters, but also such appliances as propane-powered refrigerators. "A lot of people are going to feel the crunch up here," he said.

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ADV: Hawaii fireworks sales still hot in recession

In the midst of lost wages, high unemployment and too few inspectors to count banana-hopping rats in Chinatown, folks in Honolulu have suddenly been ignited by the idea of purchasing fireworks permits.  (snide little snobs, the Advertiser editors are)

"They have been selling like hotcakes," said city spokesman Bill Brennan. "The numbers we're seeing are somewhat surprising given the state of the economy. But people do seem to have money for fireworks."  (Brennan is a snob, too) 

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Health care bill denies freedom of choice

Compulsory insurance, under the guise of so-called health care bill, violates my freedom of choice, one or the other "... inalienable rights ...," and, hence, my liberty.

How do you reconcile my liberty — my freedom of choice — with what you are proposing? We are a land of individuals, not a nation of communist socialists.

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Saluting American Valor: Wounded soldier provides cover fire for pinned-down troops

On that October day in 2007, Staff Sgt. Michael Gainey began a routine patrol of the Salman-Pak checkpoints southeast of Baghdad. He and his team of 10 from the 211 National Police Transition Team stopped at each checkpoint to make sure supplies were in order and that inspections were being properly conducted. The team was accompanied by several dozen Iraqi police officers.

But as Gainey and his crew emerged from a wooded area near the Tigris River into an open field, bullets began raining from a three-story housing complex at the far end of the field.

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