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Thursday, April 16, 2009
April 16, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:17 AM :: 9224 Views

Hawaii Tea Party Updates: 100s at Capitol, 250 at Kahului, 300 on Big Island

LIHUE: High school students from the Olelo Christian Academy were part of more than three dozen people that turned out for a Taxed Enough Already sign-waving campaign Wednesday morning at Kapule Highway and Ahukini Road.

Details from all four counties....

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KITV Exclusive: City Workers Accused Of Bogus OT

HONOLULU -- A criminal investigation is underway in which city street sweeper employees are accused of padding their paychecks with overtime and paying kickbacks to their boss, KITV reported.  Police have opened a theft and bribery case and have already arrested five people, including a supervisor. It started with anonymous tip.

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Hannemann says rail route won't be altered to bypass 'Banana Patch'

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has urged the city to alter the 20-mile elevated train's route to avoid the area known as the "Banana Patch."

Hannemann said his administration has had extensive talks with area residents, but has no plans to change the train's route to avoid relocating the small community located between Kamehameha and Farrington highways. Some area residents have said they don't want to leave the area, which is slated to become a park and ride facility servicing the train.

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Hawaii foreclosures soar 503% in March

Among Hawai'i counties, Honolulu had the highest overall number of filings at 323, but the lowest rate per households at one filing per 1,037 households. The Big Island had 175 filings, or one per 444 households. Maui had 178 filings, or one per 365 households. Kaua'i had 48 filings, or one per 608 households

Star-Bulletin: "The mainland's foreclosure cycle has been ongoing for about two years and we think that we are only seeing the start of it in Hawaii," said Medeiros, who has served as a housing and homeless adviser to Gov. Linda Lingle.

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GGP Bankruptcy: Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers will continue operating

The Chicago-based owner and manager of more than 200 shopping malls across the nation, including Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers, has fallen into debt in recent months.

Four malls in Hawaii are managed by General Growth Management Inc. and are not owned by General Growth Properties. GGMI did not file for Chapter 11 protection, meaning that operations at the four shopping centers are not affected by General Growth Properties’ filing.

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SB: Budget showdown demands sane deal

The Senate has given tentative approval to increase the hotel room tax while cutting pay to themselves, the governor and lieutenant governor, departmental directors and deputy directors, and members of the Legislature by 5 percent. Legislators accepted pay raises of 36 percent set by a commission controlled by legislative leadership on the first of this year, so a 5 percent step back would be trivial.

Lingle has opposed tax increases and prefers reduction of wages and benefits to layoffs or furloughs for state employees — taking a day a month off without pay, for example. Lingle has threatened to lay off up to 4,000 of the state's 49,000 employees if necessary.

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HR: Honolulu City Council Proposes Substantial Tax and Fee Hikes

The Honolulu City Council is proposing several tax and fee hikes to cover budget shortfalls brought on by a weak Hawaiian economy and subsequent reduced tax and fee revenues.

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Maui: County preps for loss of TAT

WAILUKU - County officials are searching for ways to plug an $18 million hole in the 2010 budget, as it appears more and more likely the state will withhold the counties' share of hotel taxes in order to fix its own budget deficit.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares and her budget and finance officials are looking at a combination of cutting costs and raising taxes and fees in order to cover the expected gap, Finance Director Kalbert Young said Wednesday. The state proposal to withhold transient accommodations tax revenues from the counties is still pending at the Legislature, but county officials increasingly see the loss as inevitable.

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