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Thursday, April 23, 2009
April 23, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:28 AM :: 8382 Views



Legislature: $300M in tax hikes to avoid a few days off for HGEA

Police respond to Maui Rep Bertram’s criticism of drug programs

In a letter sent last week to MPD, (Maui Democrat Rep) Bertram suggested that the department eliminate marijuana eradication programs and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, which has police officers teaching an anti-drug and anti-alcohol curriculum in elementary and intermediate schools.

Eight Maui police officers, including ones in Hana and on Molokai and Lanai, teach in 26 public and private schools throughout Maui County. The instruction, which includes teaching children to resist peer pressure, occurs for students in kindergarten, 3rd- and 5th-grades and either 7th- or 8th-grades.

In the letter dated April 15, Bertram said the DARE program "has proven to be unsuccessful." He said the marijuana eradication program "infringes on the privacy of medical marijuana patients, and the noise (from helicopter surveillance) is a disturbance of the peace."

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Plummeting revenue and profits leave isle businesses reeling

Hawaii businesses small and large are experiencing the worst decline in gross revenue and profits in more than a decade, according to a survey released today.

More than half — 54 percent — of 402 companies surveyed said they had a decrease in gross revenue over the past year, according to the Business Banking Council's 23rd Hawaii Economic Indicator Study. Also, more than half — 55 percent — said profit before taxes has gone down.

RELATED: Slump's Isle impact detailed

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Hawaii Reporter: More Court Drama Expected from Pflueger's Attorneys

Pflueger has denied several times ever seeing a spillway on the 30-acre reservoir and dam, while McCorriston has claimed there is an obvious grass spillway. But at least one prominent witness, Kauai Realtor Mike Dyer, says he told Pflueger in the late 1990s in writing that the well-used concrete spillway had been covered during grading around the dam, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation. Dyer has credibility, not only because of his professional background as a realtor, but because he once managed the property including the dam for its previous owner.

More legal maneuvers are expected from Pflueger’s legal team leading up to the trial in an effort to have it delayed or stopped all together.

The court drama continues today in Valenciano’s courtroom with McCorriston attempting to have Bennett removed as lead prosecutor on the criminal case. McCorriston is alleging that Bennett committed “prosecutorial misconduct” when he presented evidence to the secret grand jury last November against Pflueger, but reportedly did not tell the jury members that of the state’s possible liability in the dam breach.

RELATED: State AG stays on Pflueger dam case

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Mufi's push to amend state water quality standards dump O`ahu's poop in the Ocean

Earlier this year, the City and County of Honolulu approached the Legislature to assist in updating state water quality standards (SWQS), which the state Department of Health (DOH) concedes are erroneous and outdated.

Originally, House Bill 834 and Senate Bill 1008 were submitted by the city to correct SWQS for chlordane, dieldrin and clarifying enterococcus as the fecal indicator organism within coastal/recreational waters.

(NOTE:  The words "Mufi Hannemann" appear nowhere in this column.)

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Hokulia Bypass: Both sides claim win in latest ruling

HILO -- The Hawaii Supreme Court has now cleared its docket of Hokulia cases, leaving an awaited ruling from 3rd Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra as the remaining legal obstacle to the completion of the Mamalahoa bypass.  The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Coupe Trust, a landowner fighting Hawaii County, is entitled to attorney fees for its appeal of a condemnation ruling.

INVERSE CONDEMNATION: HAWSCT: Property Owners Entitled To Attorneys Fees & Costs On Condemnation Appeal , West Hawaii Today On Latest HAWSCT Opinion In Eminent Domain Abuse Cases

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Council one step from suspending 2 percent contributions

Mayor Billy Kenoi asked the council to impose a moratorium on the payments for at least two years, allowing the county to take the predicted revenues -- about $4.5 million -- to help balance the county's budget. The county is facing a deficit of at least $32 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Big Isle cattle shoot draws criticism

The Humane Society of the United States is criticizing the state for its "cruel" eradication of feral cows and bulls by helicopter on the Big Island last week....

For two days starting April 15, the state used a helicopter to shoot and kill the animals on state land in the Honuaula Forest Reserve in North Kona. During the eradication, the state shot 152 cattle and trapped 23.

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SB: Ready, aim, time for firearms control

last year's Legislature rejected a proposal to ban possession of .50-caliber sniper rifles made by Barrett Co.

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Honolulu City Council passes ban on drivers' cell phones

Honolulu drivers wouldn't be able to use handheld cell phones, video games or any other mobile electronic devices starting this summer under a bill given final approval yesterday by the Honolulu City Council.  The bill would still allow drivers to use their phones via hands-free technology.

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New law allows couple to reunite

"I called the caregiver today to let my husband know the governor is going to sign the bill and I can be with him," said a weeping Terry Kaide.  The new law, which became effective yesterday, allows two private-pay individuals to reside in the same community care foster family home under a two-year project the Department of Human Services will oversee. One of the qualifications under the new law is that the care home must be certified with three beds.

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