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Friday, May 11, 2012
May 11, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:22 PM :: 13760 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

Full Text: Final Briefs Filed in Reapportionment Case

 

Hawaii Republican Convention This Weekend

Fading Chances for Rail Funding to Pass Congress

Hirono Attacks Chamber of Commerce

Flags Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Chief Warrant Officer Don C. Viray

Hundreds gather as an Army helicopter pilot killed in Afghanistan is laid to rest

SA: Several hundred friends and family members paid their respects Thursday to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don C. Viray, an Army helicopter pilot killed in Af­ghani­stan who was remembered as humble, confident, caring — and true to his Hawaii roots, always laid-back.

"He wasn't like all the other pilots in the unit that had big egos," said fellow pilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ray Smith.

Viray, he said, got along with everybody.

The 2004 Roosevelt High School graduate, who as a child played Army behind a relative's Kalihi Valley home and later loved his job as a helicopter pilot, was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

Three Hawaii Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopters passed overhead, three rifle volleys were fired and taps was played before seven soldiers in dress uniforms escorted the 25-year-old's casket to the grave site.

"He's achieved so many things, but he's never gone out and bragged about it," said his sister, Sherry Viray.

She remembered telling him that he was a hero because he had been on the front lines as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq and, more recently, in Af­ghani­stan.

"But he always said that he's not a hero even though he was exposed (to combat) — it's the people that die and left loved ones behind that are heroes, and I guess now he's a hero," his sister said.

read … Hundreds gather as an Army helicopter pilot killed in Afghanistan is laid to rest

Hawaii’s Post-War Social Contract Has Collapsed

Peter Adler: The third contract emerged post-WWII. It culminated in statehood and one-party control. Prosperity rising, the new arrangement promised to embrace those who had been excluded. Public schools no less than the halls of government would be open. Anyone with talent could be a doctor, own a business or become governor.

Today, a new contract is in the offing, born out of fiscal turmoil, growing income disparity and political gridlock. Gallup polls show a steady 10-year decline in our trust in major institutions: police, schools, courts, churches, media, universities, big and small business and, most of all, government. The loss is tectonic and fundamental. It goes far beyond the November elections and the rhetorical assertions of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Old covenants are being broken. Remember those retirement and health benefits you thought you had? They won't all be there. Jobs and good schools? Can't guarantee them. Reasonably priced energy and food? Probably not. Functioning public facilities? Not likely for a while. To be clear, our leaders really want to take care of these things. They can't. The money isn't there. Fiscal shortage and political gridlock are the new normal.

A friend says people in Hawaii, especially young people, are wildly unprepared for what is coming. In the face of diminished public resources, one message will be that you must take care of yourself. The fragile and vulnerable will suffer most. Another will be that voting and civic engagement, already low, don't mean much. A third will be a "me first" mentality that leads to increased squabbling over diminishing resources.

But in the face of public austerity, the laws of paradox will also play out. Beyond whining, we may discover new strengths, greater resilience and new forms of collaboration. We will learn to work together in more nimble ways and stop blindly relying on "Big P" politics for all the answers. That which is local and closer to home will have greater value, whether it's fresh food or local schooling for kids.

A generation of new leaders will also emerge to replace those who keep recycling old habits into different political jobs. Leaders can't do everything, but the best of them will articulate a new sense of what makes us tick and better strategies for meeting the tests that are coming. It will all happen sooner than you think.

read … New social contract in Hawaii requires nimbleness

PEW: Hawaii Social Mobility Average

PEW: Welcome to Economic Mobility of the States. This interactive tool captures the findings of the first analysis of Americans' economic mobility—their ability to move up or down the earnings ladder—on a state level. The study investigates Americans' mobility prospects during their prime working years—the 10-year span between ages 35-39 and 45-49. Our research focuses on individuals born between 1943 and 1958, with the most recent data coming from 2007 (see the Methodology to learn more). The interactive tool displays data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, identifying where in the country Americans experience the best and worst mobility outcomes.

read … Mobility

Tax Revenues Up 12.9%

CB: Hawaii’s tax revenues have increased by nearly 13 percent during the first 10 months of the fiscal year, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday by the state Department of Taxation.

The state’s general fund collected a total of $4.02 billion so far this fiscal year. That’s up 12.9 percent compared to the same time period last fiscal year.

The year-over-year growth is stronger than the 12 percent growth forecasted by the Council on Revenues at the group’s last meeting.

The Council on Revenues in March had improved its outlook to 12 percent growth from 11.5 percent over last year’s general fund tax collections.

UHERO: Construction and government sectors are forecast to grow, and visitor arrivals should remain strong

read … Hawaii Tax Revenues Up 12.9% Through April

Dear Dan: Cayetano's Email to Inouye

CB: Dear Dan, I was hoping to tell you personally that I will announce my candidacy for Mayor next week. I have always supported you and I have not forgotten your helping me in my 1976 reelection to the State House (I still have that photo you gave me with its wonderful message) and every one of my elections thereafter. Sadly, I differ with you on the rail project proposed by the City for the following reasons.

(1) I will not bother you with arguments about costs except to note that two studies, one by the state and the other by the Federal Transit Administration itself concluded that the construction costs are likely to reach $7 billion rather than $5.3 billion.

(2) Moreover, it is difficult to understand why in a state that relies so heavily on tourism, the City wants to build an elevated, heavy rail project, 35-60 feet high across its waterfront, disturbing ancient burial grounds and historical sites. I have attached renderings drawn to scale by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Institute of Architects which opposes the elevated rail project for your perusal.

(3) There is no other city in the nation with a metropolitan area comparable to Honolulu's that has or is contemplating building a rail system like the City's. Most are considering dedicate bus lanes, light rail, managed lanes and other less costly alternatives.

(4) There are only 900,000 residents who live on Oahu. That is an awfully small tax base to pay for a $3.5 billion EPA mandated sewer upgrade (in addition to regular maintenance), another billion or so to upgrade the City's water system — which, I was told by Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and Council Chairman Ernie Martin — experiences a broken water main every day — and a $3.8 of a $5.3 billion elevated, heavy rail project.

Someone asked me why I would want to be mayor after serving two terms as governor. Well, titles don't mean much to me — doing what I think is in the public's best interests does.

Thank you for reading this. Vicky joins me in wishing you and Irene a Great 2012!

With much aloha, Ben Cayetano

read … Dear Dan: Cayetano's Email to Inouye

Council Votes Another $291M for Rail

SA: The annual construction and operating budgets for the $5.27 billion Hono­lulu rail proj­ect advanced Thursday at the City Council, with Council members agreeing to restore $291 million that previously had been trimmed from next year's rail construction budget.

The construction and operating budgets for rail, as well as a separate bill authorizing the Hono­lulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to borrow the $291 million to finance construction of the rail system, now go to the full Council for final approval.

Daniel Grabauskas, executive director of HART, last week announced the agency had found ways to trim $1.57 million out of HART's proposed operating budget. (Typical bureaucratic technique. Take more money while chattering about spending less.)

read … Revised budgets for rail project await final City Council approval

Grabauskas: Debt Ate 30% of Boston Transit Budget

CB: Early on in his tenure, Grabauskas told the Honolulu City Council that our rail project is "amazing" because there will be no long-term debt. This is unlike the project he oversaw as head of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, where he said nearly a third of the system's budget went to pay off old debt.

"Folks should realize that what is spectacularly prudent about the way that Honolulu has been approaching this project is that very shortly after it is constructed, it is paid; there is no debt," he told the council last month. "I come from an old system where 30 percent of our operating budget goes to debt service. When this project is built, in the wisdom of the way that this is structured with both federal and GET funding, you'll be having an operating obligation but no debt service."

In a follow-up interview with Civil Beat, Grabauskas repeated his assertion that Honolulu's project is great because debt won't eat up its operating budget over the long haul.

He likened Honolulu's rail project to "a house with no mortgage."

Nice analogies aside, we wanted to know if 30 percent of the MBTA's operating budget does in fact go to debt service as Grabauskas claimed. So we took a look at the budget for the Boston project…. (In typical Civil Beat fashion, their ‘fact’ checkers ignored the real question: “Is Honolulu Rail really to be built debt-free????”)

Oh and by the way … The Honolulu rail project plans to borrow a total of about $3 billion over the life of construction…. The plan says HART will have to spend about $300 million in interest payments overall.

Another screwed-up Civil Beat 'Fact' Check: Did CB think to check the assertion that HART's financial plan is akin to "a house without a mortgage?"
BTW: Here is the beginning of the answer to the question you did not ask:
"The Honolulu rail project plans to borrow a total of about $3 billion over the life of construction...."

read … Debt Piles Up

Is Peter Carlisle an Absentee Mayor or 'Doing the Business of the City'?

HR: Today, Hawaii Reporter asked Carlisle why he hasn’t joined the long tradition of mayors before him who have testified in person before the council, especially when it comes to pleading their case for their budget.

Carlisle said: “I leave that kind of detail to Doug Chin (managing director) and Mike Hansen (finance director) who I believe are well armed to answer the questions. And if anyone has a question about my issues with the budget, they are free to call or stop by. … I am up here in the office doing the business of the city.”

Carlisle has been criticized in recent months for being unaware of at least one critical decision that the managing director made for the city without the knowledge of his boss. Chin unilaterally lifted the city's debt ceiling limit in October to accommodate the city's plan to borrow as much as $1.9 billion to construct a $5.3 billion 20-mile elevated steel on steel rail system. The mayor later admitted neither he, nor the council, knew about the change to the long standing policy.

Former Hawaii Governor and Mayoral opponent Benjamin Cayetano joined Council Chair Ernie Martin and Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi in criticizing Chin for the unilateral action and Carlisle being uninformed.

CB: Honolulu Council Chair Angry At Carlisle’s Lack of Respect

read … Absentee

Honolulu Bag Ban Benefits Halawa Manufacturer

SA: Under the bill, nonbiodegradable plastic bags would still be allowed in special circumstances such as to package loose fruit, vegetables and nuts, or to contain or wrap specialty items such as frozen food, prepared food, beverages, meat or fish, flowers, laundry or live fish.

A business caught violating the measure would be fined between $100 and $1,000 for each day of violation.

Carlisle said the July 1, 2015, implementation date will give merchants a chance to use up their existing stock of nonbiodegradable bags as well as "make arrangements to educate the public on the importance of bringing their own bag."

During Council deliberations on the bill, several merchants raised concerns about the cost involved with switching to paper bags. Some grocery chains with stores on other islands said they've taken a financial hit because brown bags cost more and consumers have a tendency to ask that their items be double-bagged when using paper.

But Gabbard pointed out that unlike the laws on the other islands, the Hono­lulu bill allows for biodegradable plastic bags, which are significantly cheaper than brown bags.

David Hong, owner of Island Plastic Bags, said single-use, biodegradable plastic checkout bags cost as little as 3 cents each, compared with nonbiodegradable plastic bags, which cost about 2.5 cents each.

By contrast, a brown paper bag made of recycled material costs about 12 cents and is not as good environmentally when the costs of making it recyclable and other considerations are factored in, Hong said.

The biodegradable plastic bags are just as sturdy as nonbiodegradable ones but break down from about nine months to five years afterward, he said.

The Halawa-based company also makes other types of biodegradable bags that break down even faster, such as ones made primarily of tapioca or polycarbonate, but those cost more, Hong said.

Checkout bags account for about 10 percent of his business, and about half the bags he sells are biodegradable.

Hong said he has received inquiries from several supermarket chains and other retailers in recent weeks.

Though he's the only manufacturer of plastic bags in Hawaii, Hong anticipates others will try to come into the market and that some retailers might try to see whether they can ship in biodegradable plastic bags at a lower price.

read … Que Bono?

Ka Loko Figure Kusaka Co-Chairs Hannemann Campaign

SA: Former Kauai Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and two-time Na Hoku Hano­hano Award winner Teresa Bright are among five co-chairwomen for Mufi Hannemann's campaign for the Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, the candidate has announced.

The chairwomen represent every county in Hawaii.

The others are Maui County Councilwoman Gladys Baisa; Donna Domingo, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142; and Ann Ebe­suno, former president of the Hawaii Government Employees Association.

Google: Kusaka Pflueger $9000

read … Old Boys

Oceanic Reveals Who’s Buying Political Ads

CB: The Federal Communications Commission recently ordered TV stations to begin posting political ad spending information online, beginning with the top 50 markets. Now, people have to visit each station and ask to see numerous individual files to find out. By law, the so-called public files must be made public.

Broadcasters opposed the ruling, citing burdensome costs associated with digitizing such records and wanting to keep advertising rates a secret from competitors.

The ruling is a positive development. But Hawaii is not a top 50 market — we're No. 71. That means our local stations, according to the FCC rule, can wait until July 1, 2014 to start posting the information online.

In the meantime, we have a slate of important races and issues to be decided in our fall elections: a mayor's race that could affect the fate of the Honolulu rail project, a rare open U.S. Senate seat and two congressional races, to name a few.

One company, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, has been posting political ad info online for the past few months.

But none of Hawaii's local broadcasters — KITV, KHON, KGMB, KHNL, KFVE — make their information available online. None would tell us whether they plan to post documents online before the 2014 deadline.

read … Political Ad Spending

Star-Adv: State Historic Preservation on Verge of Disaster

SA: It took years of budget cuts, changes in command and general bureaucratic malaise for the situation to reach this stage, with chronic understaffing and shortcomings in databases and other functions taking their toll. But efforts now to counter the issues should have been accelerated earlier.

And now officials are up against a stern warning of "serious concerns," with severe consequences in the offing. Based on an April 19 letter, if the division doesn't make better progress in its mandated corrective action plan, the NPS could decertify the office as an agency to handle the review of federal projects for impacts on historic resources.

That would mean a considerable loss of funds for the protection of things the state claims to value: Hawaii's archaeological and architectural assets. The SHPD budget now totals $1.9 million, and a little less than a third of that comes from federal funds that would be endangered through decertification.

WILLIAM AILA, DLNR director, affirmed his confidence that the staffing shortages are on the verge of correction, and that the division will hit its marks sufficiently to head off such a disaster.

read … Correction, Disaster

Geothermal Pollution Claims Debunked

HTH: Several speakers at the council meeting said they have suffered illness, including respiratory problems, that they attribute to the plant, run by Puna Geothermal Venture.

Regarding the plant Blas, who was at the meeting, said, “There are no facts out there that they have a problem.”

The plant, which provides about 20 percent of the Big Island’s power, has had six air permit violations since 1991, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

But none of the violations emitted enough magma-produced steam to be considered harmful, and the agency has concluded that the plant poses no health risk to the community.

The largest single emission was in 2005, when air monitors detected 0.789 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide. It takes 50 parts per million for the gas to act as a “respiratory irritant,” according to Health.

Health conducted an emissions study of the plant in 1997.

The largest detected concentration found near the plant was .02 parts per million. Most readings detected less than .001 parts per million.

read … Finally, after decades of Punatic lies

HELCO gets OK for geothermal RFPs

PBN: The state Public Utilities Commission said last week that HELCO may now begin the process of drafting an initial request for proposals for the project, which it hopes to unveil by this summer with a final RFP set for late this year or early 2013.

The PUC also is in the process of selecting an independent observer to help with the competitive bidding process. In the past, the utility chose the independent observer.

“This way eliminates the perception of any conflicts of interest,” said Barry Nakamoto, Hawaiian Electric Co.’s manager of its renewable acquisition department.

With the technology already proven by way of Puna Geothermal Venture, this additional 50 megawatts would throw even more momentum on a renewable energy source that most experts think is needed if the state is to meet its renewable energy goals.

Andrea Gill, renewable energy analyst for the State Energy Office, said this project also could take the place of an oil fossil fuel plant, marking the first time in Hawaii that would happen.

A boost in geothermal projects could come as soon as May 17, with the state Environmental Council voting to approve exemptions that would allow the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to do away with expensive and time-consuming exploration ventures.

read … Geothermal

Omidyar’s Scribblers Launch Plan to Discredit Anti-Wind Activists

CB: Ultra-conservative groups have hatched a media strategy to turn the public against wind farms and Pres. Barack Obama’s energy agenda, according to a confidential memo obtained by the Guardian. (The takeaway here: As soon as the GOP takes over Congress, Wind Subsidies are dead and Lanai and Molokai will be free.)

Read the Guardian’s story here. You can view the memo - a fascinating read - here.

(Somehow CB and the Guardian omit the fact that the memo in question is written by a Sierra Club member…. but we understand, as ML&P approaches bankruptcy, Billionaire Pierre is becoming more and more desperate for a taxpayer bailout.)

Great Site: http://windpowerfacts.info/

read … Rightwing Thinktanks Hatch Plan to Discredit Wind Energy

Burlingame, Mizutani leave journalism

ILind: Belated congratulations to former Star-Bulletin writer Burl Burlingame, who packed up his stuff and left the Star-Advertiser newsroom last week for a new job as curator of the Pacific Aviation Museum. Good on you, Burl.

And Ron Mizutani made some interesting comments as he prepares to leave the broadcast news business again,this time for a new job at Communications Pacific. His comments came during an appearance on PBS Hawaii’s Leahey & Leahey Wednesday night (by the way, it’s a local program I highly recommend).

Here’s the show–you can jump forward to Mizutani’s appearance, which begins about 15 minutes into the program.

VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/41950913

read … Burlingame, Mizutani leave journalism

Commerce, Justice, Science: Hirono, Hanabusa Vote ‘No’!

CB: U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa both voted “no” on two big measures before the House of Representatives Thursday (May 10).

One measure — the the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill for FY2013 — passed 247-163, largely along party lines. The other — the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act — passed 218-199, with all Democrats voting no.

read … No Justice, no science

 

 

60 Minutes Preview: The Gulen Movement

60 Minutes: A worldwide Islamic movement that has inspired scores of public charter schools here in the U.S. is led by a Turkish cleric living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Lesley Stahl reports on Fethullah Gulen and his message of education on Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Related: Gulen Cult strikes out in Hawaii Legislature, School?, Gulen Cult: Legislators to welcome “Ugly Unionbusting” to Hawaii schools?

VIDEO: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7408162n

Mayor signs bill banning retail plastic bags

SA: Mayor Peter Carlisle today signed a bill banning the distribution of plastic bags by retailers beginning July 1, 2015.

The City Council approved the bill on a 7-1 vote on April 25.

Consumers and environmentalists testified in support of the ban while a number of retailers said they preferred a ban that would also take into consideration paper bags.

KHON: Oahu plastic bag ban signed into law

read … Tiiimmmberrr!

Caldwell: “It is clear to me that the Governor is a Strong Supporter of this Rail Project”

"I agree with the Governor. We both support rail and the Mayor needs to do a better job managing the project. In fact, when Governor Abercrombie signed the project’s EIS, just days after he took office the Governor said:

"Now is our opportunity to strengthen our commitment to ensuring that the project is done right, without delay and with a vision of Oahu's future clearly in mind".

Furthermore, in a letter to city Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka the Governor said "My acceptance of the statement is an affirmation of the adequacy of that statement under the applicable laws," and, "I find that the mitigation measures proposed in the environmental impact statement will minimize the negative impacts of the project." (1)

It’s clear to me that the Governor is a strong supporter of this rail project. Now, as to the management of the project, here again, the Governor and I agree, the Mayor needs to do a better job.

And, at the end of the day, this project is about “transportation equity” The folks who live west of the H1-H2 merge deserve a viable mass transportation alternative. And as Mayor, I’ll see that they get it."

- Kirk Caldwell

(1) Gene Park, Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Posted: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 17, 2010; Last Updated: 01:50 a.m. HST, Dec 17, 2010

Related: Abercrombie questions status of rail

57% of Governor’s Bills Passed

CB: That’s according to Blake Oshiro, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s deputy chief of staff. Of the 195 bills that came from the administration, 111 passed — nearly double the number that survived the 2011 session.

Oshiro spoke about the just-concluded legislative session before the Hawaii Economic Association at The Plaza Club Thursday (May 10).

read … 57% Pass

Kona Volunteers Buy New Beds for Hospitals, Old ones ‘falling apart’

WHT: Twenty-four of the beds, estimated to cost $7,800 a piece, come as part of the nonprofit Kona Hospital Foundation’s “Buy-a-Bed” project aimed at helping to modernize the hospital’s medical and surgical unit, said Jim Higgins, the foundation’s chairman. Six additional beds will be purchased by the hospital as part of the bulk order, he added.

The new Hill-Rom Advanta 2 patient-care beds will improve the medical staff’s efficiency and ability to deliver health care to the community, Higgins said.

The Advanta 2 features bedside controls, scale, digital head of bed angle display, dual locking brakes and battery backup. It also makes for less patient repositioning, according to the foundation.

“The (current) beds are falling apart throughout the hospital and most of the beds left are ancient by today’s standards,” Higgins said Wednesday. “These new beds will have all the electronics and technology that is needed in the year 2012.”

Related: Hawaii Hospitals: Not Quite Catching Up To Africa

read … Kona Hospital

Bio-Fool Plant May Get Started in Keaau

WHT: The recent history of biofuel development on the Big Island has been a discouraging one. A handful of startups were announced with great fanfare in recent years, but were sunk by the global credit crunch, falling oil prices and community opposition.

Yet despite the odds, one company has survived and is on track to serve the island with up to 5.5 million gallons of biodiesel per year, or 16,000 gallons a day. More than a year and a half after groundbreaking, Big Island Biodiesel’s $12 million plant, located in the Shipman Business Park, on track to start collecting used cooking oil and vegetable oils, and selling refined biodiesel, in late July.

When the facility is up and running, company trucks will collect used cooking oil from restaurants around town, and it will be shipped in from Oahu and Maui. The oil will be delivered to the plant, processed, purified and sold at a competitive price to petroleum distributors around the island.

That’s the basic idea, but there’s more. Outside her temporary office on the grounds of the plant, Jenna Long, fuel sales manager for Pacific Biodiesel, holds up a 32-ounce Gatorade bottle partly filled with yellow oil. This oil comes from Hawaii Pure Plant Oils, a nearby 200-acre jatropha farm owned by James Twigg-Smith….

read … Passe Eco Fad

Abercrombie: Secret volleyball idea at Waikiki Natatorium

HNN: "I'm working on something right now in regards to beach volleyball and a venue for it," Abercrombie said. "I can't elaborate on it completely right now, but think about the natatorium and think about sand volleyball and how wonderful it would be if we could feature our sand volleyball players in Waikiki."

The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial opened in 1927 as a tribute to the 101 servicemen from Hawaii who died in World War I and the nearly 10,000 others who served.

During the natatorium's heyday Duke Kahanamoku and other Olympians and celebrities including Buster Crabb and Johnny Weissmuller swam there. Local swimming meets were held at the natatorium and it was a popular spot for local residents to swim and dive. But in 1979, after 30 years of neglect, the natatorium closed. Since then there have been several proposals about what to do with the structure. In 2001 the grand arch and façade was restored but nothing has been done to repair the crumbling concrete around the pool.

Borreca: Solving Natatorium issue could be Governor's legacy

read … Volleyball

Battered by Sex Harassment Suits, Kauai County Politicos Launch New Department

KGI: When the next fiscal year rolls out June 1, the County of Kaua‘i will have a brand new department. The Kaua‘i County Council on Thursday approved the reorganization of the Personnel Department into a Human Resources Department.

“The system we have right now doesn’t work,” Council Chair Jay Furfaro said. “Flat out, it doesn’t work.”

The transition should be “fully accomplished” by October, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in the message attached to his supplemental budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013, submitted to the council Tuesday.

Last year, the Charter Review Commission and the council spent many hours discussing the establishment of an all-encompassing HR Department to replace a Personnel Department scattered throughout several county agencies.

The Civil Service Commission and the Cost Control Commission have also asked the administration to get the ball rolling.

At the crux of the matter was the millions of dollars the county has paid in settlements in sexual harassment and workplace violence claims over the last few years.

Read … Lawyers vs Bureaucrats

Kaiser settles with unions for nurses and other workers

SA: The agreement covers nearly 1,000 registered nurses in the isles, as well as workers in various job classifications in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and the District of Columbia.

read … Kaiser

Postal Service plan would cut hours at 12 Hawaii post offices

PBN: A total of 12 rural Hawaii post offices could see a reduction in their operating hours under a new plan proposed by the U.S. Postal Service U.S. Postal ServiceLatest from The Business JournalsPostal Service subsidiesFollow this company to cut costs.

The Hawaii Tribune Herald reports that five rural post offices on the Big Island alone would be affected by the plan proposed by the Postal Service Wednesday as an alternative to closing 3,700 low-revenue post offices around the nation.

read … Mail Out

Sonar, Plastics: Enviros Re-Launch Hype Attacks

Old Hype Made New: Navy study: Sonar, blasts might hurt more dolphins, whales

New Hype Continues: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Poses New Threat to Marine Life


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Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT