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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
April 1, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:36 AM :: 11352 Views

OHA's Ceded lands grab shifts to Legislature

(Complete round up of Ceded Lands news and views)

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SB: HGEA demands Tax Increase: Legislators reject Lingle's bid to cut salaries of state workers

Instead, legislative leaders said they would stick with cutting services, reducing costs and raising taxes to balance the state budget.

Lingle offered a new proposal to the Senate Ways and Means Committee: Don't wait for labor negotiations, cut the budget now by $278 million. That's the amount of pay and benefit reductions Lingle wants to realize in negotiations with the public worker unions.

Lingle said it is her way or expect tax increases.

"Either work with us to adopt a version of the budget that we propose ... or resort to massive layoffs and tax increases," Lingle said.

Randy Perreira, Hawaii Government Employees Association executive director, also is urging lawmakers to raise taxes as a way to balance the budget.

"Raising taxes has got to be part of the mix," Perreira said.

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Advertiser: Higher taxes, massive layoffs would be the alternative (HGEA busted lying again)

"Mass layoffs of our state employees now, or of county employees next year, when the full force of property tax value declines will result in dramatically reduced property tax collections, will add to our currently higher than usual unemployment as well as increase substantially the personal, family and community tragedy that accompanies such job losses.

"Any excise tax increase at this time will also damage the economy and prolong the time it takes to recover. Higher taxes will be the straw that breaks the back of many local businesses, and their demise will drive unemployment even higher."

Lingle was critical yesterday of information released by the Hawai'i Government Employees Association over the weekend that described potential wage cuts of 4.5 percent to 22 percent. The governor called the 22 percent figure "flat-out false" but said she is prevented by collective bargaining rules from discussing the details of the state's offers.

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Taking sides on superstore ban

The Maui County Council is expected to make a decision later this spring on a bill banning "superstores" from Maui.

But before it can go to the full council for a vote, the bill will be scheduled for a special public hearing to gather testimony on the proposed ban.

Superstores, defined as businesses with more than 90,000 square feet of retail or wholesale space, would be prohibited under the bill. The proposal would also ban stores larger than 75,000 square feet in the Hana district, or 15,000 square feet on Lanai.  (Question: With a population of 3,000, why would anybody build a Wal-mart on Lanai???)

(The socialists never quit making Maui a haven for the rich.)

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Police get to weigh in on chief

The results of the survey will be delivered to Correa today during the Honolulu Police Commission's meeting at 2:15 p.m. at the department's Alapa'i Street headquarters.

The last time SHOPO commissioned a survey in December 2005, 76.1 percent of respondents agreed that Correa "never or almost never communicates accurately or precisely with them," 73.7 percent stated Correa "never or almost never works well with line officers toward common goals," and 78 percent said morale was so low they wished they had a different police chief.

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County departments could be cut

Should the state Legislature decide to take away all Transient Accommodation Tax revenues from the counties, the Big Island government may be forced to close some departments or agencies.

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Hawaii Medals of Honor remember 23 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Hawaii Medal of Honor was presented to families or friends of the fallen men in the solemn event attended by about 150 people. Top military officials joined state legislators on the Senate floor while the soldiers' young comrades in arms joined local residents in the spectators' gallery.

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Report: Chinese kill weapon can destroy aircraft carrier

With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.

After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.

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North Korean missile-launch news

CNN: Launch pad photo , WSJ: Korean Launch Could Spur Arms Sales , Reuters:  N.Korea launch will violate U.N. resolutions: official

(That's right: Hawaii and Alaska are in the target zone because Kim jong-Il wants to make it big in the arms trade.)


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