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Thursday, June 4, 2009
June 4, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:17 AM :: 10969 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Maui County News, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development, World News, Hawaii History

(Rabies in Hawaii?) HGEA boss Perreira foams at mouth:  Lingle "lying...fooling herself"

Gov. Linda Lingle, in an informal meeting with reporters yesterday morning, defended her bargaining with the unions, adding that the state is within its rights to order furloughs without public worker approval.

On Monday, Lingle announced three-day-a-month furloughs for all state employees for the next two years to save $688 million.

Union leaders and Senate President Colleen Hana-busa have said Lingle has not come up with a formal offer to the unions and instead is balancing the latest budget shortfall of $730 million by cutting state workers hours, which translates into a 13.8 percent pay cut.

Lingle blasted Hanabusa and Hawaii Government Employees Association Executive Director Randy Perreira, saying: "Hanabusa doesn't know what she is talking about," and Perreira is playing a semantics game by saying the state has not bargained.

"Sen. Hanabusa really doesn't know what she is talking about in this case, because she has not been involved," Lingle said.

In reaction, Perreira said it is Lingle who is misleading the public.

"It is the governor who has been lying to the press. She has been lying to the Legislature about how close to an agreement she is with other unions," Perreira said. "Now she is fooling herself into thinking that people agree with her."

Maui News: poll on furloughs  

Cayetano: Furlough is 'good approach'

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University of Hawaii may drop classes to cut budget by $50M

"Given where we are now with the budget process, clearly there will be a lot more emphasis on looking at programs we should consider as candidates for eliminating or reducing or consolidating," said Gregg Takayama, UH-Manoa spokesman.

As a whole, UH's 10-campus system faces trimming about $74 million from its annual $470 million budget per year for the next two years based on Gov. Linda Lingle's latest spending plan, announced Monday, and the budget adopted by the Legislature.

The budget cuts come at time when all of the university's campuses are experiencing record enrollment. Fall enrollment for the UH system reached an all-time high at 53,526 in 2008-09.

The Legislature cut the UH budget by roughly $24 million a year for fiscal year 2010 and 2011, and UH officials predict they'll have to take an additional $50 million in cuts a year under Lingle's plan to furlough state workers and cut education budgets.

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Debate over Haleakala telescope re-engaged

Native Hawaiian advocate Foster Ampong said he's against the construction of the telescope.  "The community at large does not support this project," Ampong said.

(This is just for show. Science City paid 'cultural interpreter' is Charley Maxwell.)

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Oahu hurricane losses worry disaster officials

The exercise has the eye of a would-be hurricane passing over Kapolei this year, flooding some areas with 1 to 3 feet of water as far mauka as Beretania Street.  Officials said under this scenario, the hurricane would cause some 134 fatalities and damage or destroy 70 percent of the homes, leaving an estimated 150,000 people requiring shelter.

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Honolulu 106th in high-tech ranking

The study considered factors such as the number of employees in high-tech fields, salary levels and relative size of the industry compared to the metro area. It ranked the metros in 19 high-tech business categories and collected its data in 2007.

Honolulu’s motion picture and video industry fared well, ranking 21st nationally. It also ranked high for its medical and diagnostic laboratories and computer systems design.

(ACT 215/221 failure)

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Queen's Medical Center Pays $2.5 Million to Resolve Allegations of Improper Claims

According to the settlement agreement signed on April 27, 2009, the federal and state governments contended that

  • (1) from September 8, 1999 through October 28, 2002, QMC submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE seeking payment for the dispensation of anti-psychotic medications allegedly ordered by a psychiatrist, whereas the medications were actually ordered by non-psychiatrist physicians without the prior knowledge of a psychiatrist; and
  • (2) from July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2006, QMC wrongfully submitted claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE for services it represented were provided by teaching physicians when QMC did not have the documentary evidence necessary to demonstrate that the teaching physicians were involved in the services to the degree necessary to support payment of the claims. Under Medicare rules, QMC was permitted to bill for certain services rendered by residents, provided that the residents were supervised by teaching physicians. While QMC agreed to the settlement, it has denied the government's contentions.

SB: Queen's pays $2.5M to settle 2 whistleblower lawsuits , Hawaii hospital pays $2.5M to settle false-billing allegations , Queen's Pays $2.5m To Settle Feds' Claims

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Hawaii Co Council gives budget final approval (4% lower)

HILO -- The Hawaii County Council on Tuesday rebuffed a series of amendments from its Finance Committee chairman and passed a $386.9 million operating budget that funds vacant positions and overtime, suspends the land fund and relies on the sale of Hamakua property to make ends meet.
The council also approved a $205 million capital improvements budget.
Mayor Billy Kenoi's operating budget was 4.1 percent -- $16.5 million -- lower than the previous year's budget. That earned praise from some council members.

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HPD Commission Chooses Putzulu Acting Chief

Putzulu, who joined the police department in 1972, has been assistant chief since 2002. He oversees field operations, including patrol, narcotics-vice, traffic and the criminal investigation division. Naming him as acting chief will not bar him from being considered as the permanent chief.

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Hawaii near top for alcohol abuse

More than four out of 100 people over 12 years old in Hawaii are addicted to alcohol, says the study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

That puts Hawaii ahead of only Montana and the District of Columbia, and worse than the national average of 3.4 per 100 people.

Only 1.4 percent of Hawaii residents acknowledged illicit drug dependence, which beats every other state in the survey conducted in 2006 and 2007. Nationwide, 1.9 percent said they were addicted to drugs.

"With alcohol, you have a lot of people who are abusing but haven't reached the addiction yet," Johnson said. "But when you get down to treatment of those having disasters and consequences to their families and themselves, you see the ice addicts coming in."

More people are admitted to drug-abuse treatment centers for ice -- the street name for crystal meth -- than alcohol and marijuana, said Johnson, chairman of the Hawaii Substance Abuse Council.

It often takes years for alcohol abusers to develop a debilitating addiction, but ice smokers have a 65 percent of becoming addicted after their third use, Johnson said.

RELATED: Habitual DUI offender gets 5 years

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Tom Gill, 87, was wild card of politics

Tom Gill, who led the progressive wing of the Hawai'i Democratic Party at the birth of the state, contributed to the shift in Hawai'i's political landscape in the 1960s and later became a thorn in the sides of two governors from his own party, died yesterday. He was 87....In lieu of flowers, the public is invited to make donations to the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

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Full Text: Obama's speech in Cairo

Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam...

(ED NOTE:  Almost every paragraph of this speech contains falsehoods and half truths.  Islamists will respond not with their own gesture of good will but with renewed demands, denunciations, and terrorist attacks.  The question:  How long will it take liberal "geniuses" to figure this out?) 

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