Archive for June, 2009

Let them eat poi

June 23rd, 2009


No word on whether they plan to dig an imu in the South Lawn, but organizers say the locale is going Hawaiian this Thursday for the first White House Luau.

It’s a twist on the annual Congressional picnic for members of Congress and their families.

The luau will feature a menu of contemporary Hawaiian cuisine by award-winning chef Alan Wong, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

“This event gives us a chance to showcase to all Americans the Hawaiian contemporary cuisine that is based on fresh local ingredients and which blends all of the island’s many ethnic influences,” Wong said in a news release.,

Entertainment is being provided by Tihati Productions, complete with 20 dancers and musicians from Hawaii showcasing the historical and cultural stories of the islands through traditional song and dance, HVCB said.

The tourism bureau is hoping for a bump in business, too.

“We hope our mainland compatriots take this opportunity to learn about the culture and cuisine of our islands, and we welcome all Americans to come share in the Aloha spirit that makes Hawaii such a wonderful place for both vacation and business,” HVCB President and CEO John Monahan said in a statement. “Hawaii offers vacationers and business travelers the chance to experience one-of-a-kind cultural, culinary and recreational offers in a very convenient, affordable and beautiful setting.

Also no word on whether one of the Hawaii-born president’s favorite treats will be served.

Someone keep Bo out of the mac salad!

The governor, tweeted

June 18th, 2009

Gov. Linda Lingle today announced her long-awaited plan to furlough state workers three days a month in an effort to realize $688 million in savings toward balancing the state budget.

Look for a full story by Richard Borreca in tomorrow’s Star-Bulletin.

For those that want a quick synopsis of her comments, in 140-character-or-less bites, here ya go (read from the bottom up):

  1. Lee: Im very assured that PACOM has Hawaii protected. “That’s all I’m allowed to say.”    

  2. Lingle defers question about N. Korea situation to Gen. Robert Lee    

  3. Lingle: Furloughed workers need to be wary of ethical restraints when looking for additional jobs    

  4. Lingle: I won’t be able to give as much to charity; the amount I save will be impacted.    

  5. Lingle: This is a huge pay cut for state executives, who already took a 5 percent pay cut.    

  6. Lingle: At this point, we’re trying to stay very open-minded, but be very prudent.    

  7. Lingle: Layoffs under her authority would be about 2,500. Dept. of Education and Univ. of Hawaii would have to come up with rest    

  8. Lingle: To prevent furloughs, state anda unions would have to agree on $688 million in savings in negotiations.    

  9. Lingle: If court rules against furloughs, layoff plan would be implemetned as quickly as possible.    

  10. Lingle: “I want to emphasize, this is temporary. …We need to make adjustments now so we don’t get in the same amount of trouble as Calif.”    

  11. Lingle: “You can’t do everything you used to do.”    

  12. Lingle: “Our highest priority was to maintain highest qualoity of public services.”    

  13. Lingle: Next negotiating sessions witrh unions is set for Monday    

  14. Lingle: Under the law, I have the authority to implement furloughs as well as layoffs.    

  15. Lingle: The lack of motion for injunction could indicate hope/optimism for a settlement in union negotiations.    

  16. Lingle on union legal challenge: I will abide by what court says. Unions have not filed motion for injunction.    

  17. Lingle: Lege can call itself into special session if it wants. She has no inclination to call them back.    

  18. Lingle: “Public has given me a tremendous amount of support for the efforts we’ve undertaken.”    

  19. Lingle: Should the economy improve, we will re-examine the furloughs    

  20. Lingle on congressional delegation letter: “I don’t think they have a afull understanding of the situation.”    

  21. Lingle: Furloughs are being implemented in a very “even-handed” manner. No one is giving special treatment.    

  22. Lingle: If a court rules against our furlough plan, we will be required to have mandatory layoffs.    

  23. Lingle on legal challenges: We will make our case when appropriate. … The worst case option rules against furlough = layoffs.    

  24. Lingle: State Web site will have furlough details later today.    

  25. Lingle: still finalizing schedule for departments that have to remain open 24/7    

  26. Lingle: Some offices to take alternative furlough days, i.e., State Art Museum will close on Mondays.    

  27. Lingle: Some agencies will stagger schedules and expand hours.    

  28. Lingle: Tried to pick days when there are fewer transactions, i.e., the Friday after Thanksgiving    

  29. Lingle: To make it as simple as possible – majority of depts will close 3 fridays each month    

  30. Lingle: “This is not something I want to do, it’s something I have to do.”    

  31. Lingle: Why furloughs? Allows public srvcs to continue without disruption. Avoida layoffs. Employees maintain benefits    

  32. – Lingle at the news conf    

  33. Lingle: furloughs = $688 million in savings. Labor costs make up 70 percent of state operating budget.    

  34. Lingle starts with review of state’s fiscal condition    

  35. – Media throng @ gov news conf    

  36. Political Radar will tweet from governor’s news conference on state furlough plans, 1:30 p.m.

Lt. Gov. Joe Souki?

June 16th, 2009

Veteran Maui Democrat, Rep. Joe Souki is thinking about joining the already crowded field of candidates for lieutenant governor.

Souki, 77, is a Realtor and is starting his 27th year in the state House, representing the  Waihee-Wailuku district.

He has served six years as Speaker of the House and six years as Finance Committee chairman.

Souki said his experience makes him “someone who has a lot to offer the next governor.”

“And I have done everything else,” Souki said.

Souki said his decision would be based on what union support his trial balloon gets this summer.

If a campaign for LG does not develop, Souki said he would run for reelection.

Already Sen. Gary Hooser said he is running, Sen. Norman Sakamoto and Sen. Bob Bunda say they are considering the run. City Councilmen Donavan Dela Cruz and Rod Tam are also running.

No smoking gun

June 6th, 2009

Message to the Birthers:

For all of those who are supporting the “Where’s the birth certificate” campaign, there’s a reason why the “long-form birth certificate” that is being sought has not been produced.

It doesn’t exist.

Not for President Barack Obama, not for anyone born in Hawaii.

In other words, the document posted online during the campaign is all you’re going to get.

Not that this will put an end to the conspiracy theories, but at least maybe the White House won’t have to deal with any more inquiries.

More food for thought here.

A step closer

June 4th, 2009

The Honolulu City Council is one step closer to naming a new city clerk.

A search committee formed at the beginning of the year has recommended acting City Clerk Bernice K. N. Mau.

Mau has served as acting clerk since January, after Denise DeCosta retired from the post.

The search committee submitted its report and recommendation to the City Council on May 26. The Council, if it chooses to accept the recommendation, must approve it through a resolution.

A total of 36 applicants sought the position. The search committee, in its report, said it narrowed the field to five who were then interviewed on May 20 and 22.

Before serving as acting clerk, Mau was the deputy city clerk and council assistance administrator. In her resume, Mau states she has been in public service for 38 years, 25 of which have been with the Office of the City Clerk.