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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
January 13, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:44 PM :: 6940 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

Democrat Borreca: Hanabusa-Case fight could be gift for GOP  (Case "untrustworthy and disloyal")

Inouye used his speech opening Hanabusa's headquarters mostly as an attack on Case, whom he regards as untrustworthy and disloyal, after Case opposed Sen. Dan Akaka in 2006. If the voters reject Inouye's warning, then Hawaii's Democratic patriarch—the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, a man both respected and feared here and in Washington—just slipped a rung.

But what if Republican Djou wins the special election? He has an arguable chance. He's the only Republican, for starters, and if Case and Hanabusa are playing "liar, liar" for 60 days Djou could appear the reasonable one.

EXPLAINED: Case implies Hanabusa campaign is dirty and negative

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SB: Don't let cost deter special House race

The House vacancy is producing what may be one of the hottest elections for the spot since Abercrombie and now-Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Abercrombie's probable rival this year in the gubernatorial race, squared off in a special election in 1986. That special election was conducted in tandem with the primary election to replace Cec Heftel, who had resigned only two months earlier to run for governor.

Abercrombie won the special election but lost the Democratic primary to Hannemann, who would lose to Republican Pat Saiki in the general election. As a result, Abercrombie served in the House for less than four months before Saiki began her term. Saiki would serve two full terms, choosing not to resign from the House as she challenged incumbent Sen. Daniel Akaka in 1990, and lost. Abercrombie won her House seat.

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State tax revenues drop 8.3% since July

The tax has brought in more than $109 million so far, up from $107.3 million for the same period last year, most likely a reflection of the 1 percentage point increase in that tax that was passed by state lawmakers last year and went into effect July 1.  (Got stats to back that up?  Maybe it is due to variations in occupancy.)

Overall state tax collections are off 8.3 percent over the first half of the fiscal year, according to the tax department....

General excise and use tax collections are down 9.7 percent, individual income tax collections are down 9.3 percent, and corporate income tax collections are down 83.9 percent.

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SB: Bishop's call to block civil unions offends bill advocates (Rally January 17)

Catholic Bishop Larry Silva indicates that it is justified to discriminate against gays by forbidding civil unions.

(Editorial goes downhill from there.  Those who choose to engage in homosexual acts have precisely the same right to marry a member of the opposite sex.  This is not about equal rights, it is about changing marriage.  In 1 million years of human and pre-human history worldwide there has never existed gay marriage--until now.)

RELATED: Psychologists dump 'Gay Gene' theory

MORE: Imagined ethnicity

MORE: Protest January 17th: Gay Civil Unions HB444 poised for passage in 2010

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Still No Agreement On School Furloughs

Four days after Gov. Linda Lingle’s latest proposal to end public school furloughs, there's still no deal for the teachers union to look at....

BOE members John Penebacker and Janis Akuna are representing the entire board of education in the face-to-face talks with the DOE and the governor’s representatives. A source familiar with the situation says the board voted in executive session last Thursday to give Penebacker and Akuna authority to negotiate a deal.

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Army needs to make case for Makua plan

The Wai'anae community in particular and the state in general need a clearer understanding of what the Army has in mind for Makua Valley, in the near and short term.

The Army owes the community a series of face-to-face meetings where residents of the area can get their questions answered — and it should happen early in the planning process.

For example, the Army describes an IED training facility at Makua that would involve constructing mock "villages" for gunfights, and yet maintains this use would pose less harm to the environment and cultural sites than the live-fire, heavy-artillery training the community has fought for so long. How can impact be reduced this way?

Army officials have described Makua as "uniquely suited" to this next-generation kind of training. The neighbors in close proximity to the noise and fire risk of training — some of them living as close as three miles away — should be told the reasoning behind that choice.

(The problem in Makua is not environmental, nor is it neighbors 3 miles away.  The problem is OHA activists who intend to drive the military out and seize the land.  The solution is for Waianae residents to show up in support of the troops just as Big island residents have in support of training at Pohakuloa.) 

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Honolulu rail project architects defend plan for elevated route

"We're concerned that any significant delay caused by more studies could jeopardize the rail project," Lee said during a press conference at the state Capitol yesterday....

Lingle said Honolulu should consider building a portion of its commuter rail line at street level to save money and avoid putting more burden on taxpayers in a down economy. Lingle's announcement followed the recent disclosure of documents in which the Federal Transit Administration expressed concerns that Honolulu may not be able to afford the 20.5-mile train line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana.

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Kauai: OHA Again fails to steal single family home from owner

The commission voted 5-2 to approve Brescia’s motion to dismiss a request by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation on behalf of Jeff Chandler and Nani Rogers seeking a declaratory order that would have served as a formal acknowledgment of Brescia’s non-compliance.

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Politics of the River Street Project

Working to keep the homeless in Chinatown.

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Final Co-Conspirator in Las Vegas Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Life in Prison by Hawaii Federal Judge

HONOLULU, HAWAII – JOHN "Hoss" RODRIGUES, age 54, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge David A. Ezra to life imprisonment on methamphetamine trafficking charges. RODRIGUES had been found guilty of those charges by a jury in federal court in Honolulu in September 2009....

Also convicted as part of the organization were Oahu residents Wayne Kila, age 42, William "Puna" Caminos, age 43, and James Low, age 41, each of whom had prior, multiple felony drug convictions in the State of Hawaii. Low was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment by Senior United States District Judge Alan C. Kay after being found guilty by a federal jury in June 2006.

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$7.4M windfall can't offset shortfall; land sale, tax hike still on the table

Limiting hiring and equipment purchases has generated a $7.4 million windfall for Hawaii County, which still needs to sell land and possibly raise taxes to avoid a looming shortfall, Mayor Billy Kenoi said. 

(Amazing.  They figured out that not buying brand new $50,000 tractors to use as lawnmowers saves the County money.  What will they think of next?)

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Little paid, benefits questioned

HILO -- Hawaii County developers have pledged $108.5 million for infrastructure to accommodate population increases caused by their developments, but so far, only $8.1 million has found its way into county coffers and only $3.6 million has been spent.

That's according to the Fair Share Annual Report recently submitted to the County Council by the Planning Department. The bulk of the money that's been collected but not spent -- $2.4 million -- belongs to North Kona.

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Getting tough on illegal use of fireworks comes at price

Maui politicians tell the snobs to take a hike.

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No penalty for trash backlog

Apparently the term "Performance Guarantee" is unknown to the Hannemann administration contract writers.

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Clinton says U.S. is 'back in Asia,' hails diversity of Isles

"The opportunity for Hawai'i, which is such a meeting place for East and West, is just extraordinary," said Clinton, responding to a question from a fellow at the East-West Center yesterday, after giving a speech on U.S. plans for Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement. Clinton said the gathering of political leaders will showcase the Islands as a "model for the imagination, what could be in the 21st century" for Asia-Pacific countries.

(A model of how to destroy Asian tiger economies?)

SB: Isles should grab spotlight, Clinton says

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