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Monday, December 17, 2012
December 17, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:10 PM :: 4331 Views

Inouye ‘Fighting Respiratory Complications’

Jones Act union official calls islands “off-mainland threat”

Republicans can win over Asian Voters, if they try

Hawaii's Real Unemployment Rate: 13.7%

CB: Hawaii's unemployment rate is just 5.5 percent, lower than its been since the recession and far lower than the national average of 7.9 percent. But is that because Hawaii's economy is healthy or because more people work multiple jobs here?

"[The rate] gives this misleading view of Hawaii’s economy," said Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

That's because the unemployment rate ignores people who are forced to work part-time because they can’t find full-time work, as well as people who have given up looking for jobs, economists said.

To get a better picture of Hawaii's unemployed, Bonham said he looks at another number that takes these people into account.

In Hawaii, that figure — called the U-6 rate — is 13.7 percent, just slightly lower than the national rate of 15 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics….

Between 2010 and 2011, Hawaii had the third-largest decline in multiple job-holders in any state….

"There was a statistically significant increase in the number of people who are working less than 20 hours," Bonham said.

A study published in the American Economic Journal in 2011 said the number of part-time jobs in the state has increased, in part due to the state law mandating employer-provided health insurance….

Bonham said the tendency to hire part-time workers probably has a greater effect on the state's unemployment rate than the presence of unions in Hawaii….

Hawaii's unemployment rate also doesn't take into account the number of people who lost their jobs and then left the islands due to the state's high cost of living….

The number of people in Hawaii's labor force decreased by about 19,000 between October 2011 and October 2012.

read … Unemployment

SA: Close School, Open Prison!

SA:  The facility (which is now being used as a school, a fact mentioned nowhere in the SA editorial) will serve as a key component in the state's ambitious and worthy Justice Reinvestment initiative, which seeks to reduce Hawaii's prison population through common-sense reforms.

Reopening Kulani will allow 200 low-risk inmates who are near parole to prepare for their return to society in a more appropriate and less expensive setting than a high-security, steel-bar prison.

Just as important, this will free up space for higher-risk inmates now living in mainland prisons — far from home and the rehabilitative powers of family, friends, a familiar culture and local job placement.

Kulani is a bucolic place, with modest single-story dormitory buildings bordering rain forest about 20 miles southwest of Hilo. Opened in 1946, Kulani was once mostly self-sustaining, with plant nurseries and livestock managed by the inmates.

In recent years, inmates worked with state and federal agencies to maintain and protect the Kulani rain forest and its native flora and fauna. Many members of the community supported this prison in their backyard. (9-11 trooother) Cory Harden, a Mountain View resident, (and Democrat operative) told the Star-Advertiser that the planned reopening of Kulani was "wonderful news after the trauma the community went through and the way it was closed."  (These progressives have been chanting “education, not incarceration” for decades.  Notice how they switch so easily.) 

It was cheaper to send inmates to corporate-run prisons in Arizona. That much remains true: It will cost $87 a day to house an inmate at Kulani, compared to $75 a day at prisons run by the Corrections Corp. of America.

read … About a UPW Make-Work Scheme

Legalize It? Legislature Might Amend Hawaii Pakalolo Laws

CB:  the Democratic Party of Hawaii passed resolutions at its state convention in May calling for the repeal of cannabis prohibition. Democrats control both chambers in the Hawaii Legislature.

Two years ago, a pakalolo decriminalization measure passed the state Senate 24-1. It would have made possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a civil violation subject to a $100 fine.

The state House of Representatives declined to hear the bill. But, the House is now undergoing a major leadership reorganization that could result in a more progressive legislative body inclined to change Hawaii's pot laws….

Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that he would announce a new policy on the state laws "relatively soon."

But on Friday, President Barack Obama — Holder's boss and an admitted pot smoker during his Punahou School days — said cracking down on pot was not high on his to-do list.

"We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama told ABC, adding: "It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."

Rep. Keith-Agaran noted that the Senate bill that died in 2011 was "more comprehensive" than what Washington and Colorado passed but also stopped short of full legalization for recreational use.

In addition to making possession of an ounce or less of pot a civil violation subject to a small fine, Senate Bill 1460 also called for other changes to state law. They included deleting Board of Education reporting requirements for students possessing one ounce or less of marijuana and clarifying that medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers "may assert affirmative defense to prosecution, criminal or civil, involving possession of one ounce or less of marijuana."

SB 1460 was co-introduced by 20 senators, all but one of whom are still in the Senate….

Related: Cannabis causes mental illness

Ignore this: Obama's Puck's Alley Drug Dealer Killed by Gay Lover

read … Dopers like Obama 


An appointment with destiny for the GLBT Caucus?

HPR: The Conversation (12/17): An appointment with destiny for the GLBT Caucus? Jo-Ann Adams is an estate planning attorney licensed to practice in Hawaii and California and a political activist….

Reality: Broken Trust Gang finally Imposes Gay Unions on Hawaii

read … Arrogant 

Answering Critics of U.S. Military Spending  

CB: Critics of American spending for military power often make three arguments:

  • The U.S. spends more than a combination of the military budgets of the next 12 or 15 or 17 nations, depending on who is counting and what is included;

  • Military spending drains funds from welfare, health care, education, and other domestic programs and thus should be a prime target for cuts;

  • Military spending is rife with fraud, waste, and abuse and therefore should be rigorously scrutinized and scrubbed.

Despite their political appeal, the first and second arguments are simplistic and should be rejected as misleading. The third is pertinent and has been so for at least 30 years under Presidents Reagan, Bush the elder, Clinton, Bush the younger, and Obama.

read … Answering Critics

Bad checks, taxes, HR on Cost Control Commission’s annual report

KGI: In May 2011, the commission recommended that the administration to conduct an internal review to determine the feasibility and cost implications of establishing consolidating the personnel functions of the various county departments into the county Department of Personnel Services, according to the report.

In June 2011, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. established a Human Resources Task Force, with five members. The task force spent 11 months doing its due diligence, and in May, the task force published a report with its findings and recommendations….

From August, the physical and functional transition of the consolidation began, and by the end of 2012 it will be completed, according to the report.

Link: Cost Control Commission

read … Cost Control

Flooding hassles in Hauula have hui 'looking at litigation'

SA: Some coastal residents of Hauula are increasingly fed up with chronic flooding trouble they say has been made worse by a drainage pipe valve installed by the city.

"At this point, if we don't get a resolution, we're looking at litigation," said Amy Madsen, president of the Hauula Beach Homes Association of Apartment Owners.

Madsen said nearby Kalua­nui Stream routinely floods into yards and homes along Poki­wai Place and surrounding streets during heavy rain because sand builds up and blocks the flow to the ocean. Residents themselves have had to dig an opening under the Kamehameha Highway bridge over the stream to let water out, or the Hono­lulu Fire Department comes and blasts the sand out with a hose, she said.

On Nov. 28 the city installed a "duckbill valve" onto the mouth of a pipe that runs under the bridge as a way to keep sand from backing up into the pipe.

But Madsen said the valve is causing more problems.

read … Hauula



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