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Tuesday, December 25, 2012
December 25, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:14 PM :: 4403 Views

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

Maui Chamber: Abercrombie Budget Short $372M

MN: the Multi-Year Financial Summary General Fund projections for fiscal years 2012-2019 shows that we will spend more than we bring in by $224.1 million in 2014 and $148.3 million in 2015.

read … Chamber

Complete List of the Gay-Atheist Potheads Who are Selecting your next Senator

CB: The central committee, which is made up of 82 Democrats, is not often in the news. It serves essentially as a board of directors of the party. Twelve members of the SCC also comprise an executive committee — top officers empowered to make decisions when there is not sufficient time for SCC members to meet.

The SCC's duties include matters such as deciding whether a party member wanting to run for office meets party requirements.

The committee made headlines this spring when it rejected Laura Thielen's approval to run for the state Senate; Thielen ran and won anyway, and the party later decided not to pursue legal action. The SCC was ridiculed by some Democrats for rejecting Thielen….

The SCC meets Wednesday at party headquarters at Ward Warehouse….

Here is the current SCC roster, dated Oct. 13, 2012….

(And remember: These people are enlightened, conscious, and progressive.  They rule by divine right, and don’t you forget it!)

read … Were a Long way away from the 442nd

Inouye replacement to be named Wednesday

CBS: Today (Dec 24) is the deadline for Hawaii Democrats with an interest in the position to file a letter with the state party. So far, at least a dozen people have expressed an interest, including Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, former Rep. Ed Case, and a few state senators.

On Wednesday morning, each of the applicants will deliver a two-minute speech to members of the state Democratic Party, explaining why they want the position. By midday, the chair of the party will give Abercrombie a list of the party's three top choices. Hanabusa and Schatz are considered virtual locks for two of the three spots. The third is a toss-up.

Then, Wednesday afternoon, Abercrombie will make his choice and announce it, so that Inouye's successor can head straight to Washington, D.C. to be sworn in and available for "fiscal cliff" votes. It's even possible that the successor could hitch a ride with President Obama on Air Force One….

The appointed senator would serve a term of two years, and then have to run in a special election in 2014.

H247: At least one dozen apply for Senate vacancy

DC: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Endorses Gabbard

ILind: I don’t think that Gov. Abercrombie will feel locked in by the Senator’s recommendation

read … New Godfather?

Combined ceremony will install Council and mayor

SA: Caldwell has not yet announced names of Cabinet appointees….

The mayor-elect has vowed to "do rail better," referring to concerns about the administration's management of the planned $5.26 billion transit system, which has come under considerable scrutiny by Council members who have questioned expenditures on the project.

 

read … Old Boys Last Redoubt?

Tsuji: Farmers Should be Forced to Comply with “Food Safety” Certification

HTH: Tsuji, who chair’s the Agriculture Committee, said he will introduce legislation mandating farmers receive a “food safety” certification….Food safety certifications show that farmers are using best practices to prevent food from being contaminated. (This is a way of retaliating against the organics.)

“Food safety is of up most importance,” he said.

Tsuji, D-Hilo, Puna, said the state offers a subsidized program for farmers choosing to get the certification; a mandatory program would also likely be subsidized, he said.

Brian Miyamoto, Hawaii Farm Bureau chief operating officer, said the organization is supportive of the certifications and encourages its members to get them.

“There are buyers out there, consumers out there that seem to require it,” he said.

But Miyamoto was unsure if it should be mandatory.

“I’m not sure I can answer that right now,” he said….

State Sen. Josh Green, chairman of the Health Committee, said he’ll be focused on addressing childhood obesity and reauthorizing the hospital sustainability bill, which raised Medicaid payments….

Rep. Denny Coffmann, who was chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee last session, said he will look to keep the renewable energy tax credit afloat.

“We just need to find a middle ground here so it keeps moving but we don’t give away money we don’t have,” he said.

Partially due to the cost of the credits, the state reduced its revenue projection for the next fiscal year from 5.3 percent growth to 4.9 percent.

read … The Agenda 

 

Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’

WaPo:  Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the “fiscal cliff” a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line….

Until recently, few employees thought it could come to this: Budget cuts of 8 to 10 percent divided equally between military and domestic agencies. Only a few programs, like Social Security, veterans benefits and some services for the poor, are exempted.

“Sure, we continue to do our jobs,” said Carl Eichenwald, who works in enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency. “But all of this uncertainty is disruptive for our mission. A lot of time gets spent spinning wheels. We won’t know whether we can do inspections. Do we have 100 percent of our budget, or 85 percent?”

Then came an e-mailed memo on Thursday from agency heads to employees. The cuts would be “significant and harmful to our collective mission.” Furloughs “or other personnel actions” — layoffs — remain a real possibility.

Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro, in a lengthy video message, for instance, told employees of the Government Accountability Office that the agency would absorb a $42 million cut this year through a hiring freeze, slashed bonuses, eliminated technology projects and restricted travel. But those cuts “will not get us all the way there,” he said, and he did not mince words. “Some number of agency-wide furlough days” would be necessary….

“Employees understand that they will still be working on January 2nd,” said Patty Viers, a customer account specialist for the Defense Logistics Agency and president of Local 1148 of the American Federation of Government Employees. “But they’re getting more and more concerned about what’s going to happen in three months.”

read … Furloughs

Time running out on defense industry efforts to avoid sequester

TH: The clock has all but run out on the defense industry's efforts to stave off billions in looming budget cuts under sequestration. 

At the Pentagon, administration officials have given Defense Department number crunchers the green light to begin planning for the $500 billion in budget cuts set to go into effect in January….

…among lawmakers and the White House “there was no great urgency about avoiding cuts to the defense budget," since even when the cuts go into place, the U.S. defense budget will still dwarf those of any near-peer nation across the globe. 

read … Its Coming

DHS Grants Hawaii Real ID Extension

H247: “I welcome the Department of Homeland Security’s common-sense decision that will ensure Hawaii residents with state-issued identifications and driver’s licenses will not be inconvenienced at airports next month. By extending the deadline for REAL ID compliance, DHS recognized the potential harm to Hawaii residents, who are uniquely dependent on commercial airlines for business and leisure travel. This decision will also prevent negative impact on Hawaii’s tourism industry, as all non-compliant states across the country have received a deferment. Federal agencies will continue to accept state drivers licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial airlines on the mainland and Hawaii.”

read … Akaka statement on REAL ID announcement

New year could be a time for revisiting possible ferry

SA: The sinking of the Hawaii Superferry will soon be 4 years old. Are we ready to try again?

Local efforts to buy the ferries back failed. Legislative attempts to create a ferry authority and provide tax and harbor fee incentives also failed. The silence has been deafening. In the wake of Dan Ino­uye's death, new funding won't be easy….

Can we start again? Joe Souki has a record of supporting ferry legislation, so maybe his is a time for rapprochement. First, we need to understand what made Superferry such a pariah. Then we need to do hoo­pono­pono and fashion a publicly owned solution.

We've had enough rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. The New Year is a great time for starting again. What do you say, Joe?

read … SuperFerry

QUICK HITS:

Soldiers to return to Hawaii from Afghanistan

Pearl Harbor mystery solved 71 years after the bombing

Boat found in East Oahu might be tsunami debris

Wedding operations illegal on residential properties

Do you hear what I hear? 'Tis the season to see folly


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