Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sour economy again tops Thursday news

Economic experts gathered Wed- nesday to give their picture of how Hawaii is doing right now during this recession and they said it could be some time before the islands recover.

The state Department of Taxation reported yesterday that state revenues fell 9.4 percent, worse than the 9 percent projected by the state Council on Revenues in May.

Gov. Linda Lingle said Wednesday afternoon layoff notices to the unions could be sent out by the end of the week if she doesn't receive a formal "on the record" proposal from the four labor unions representing state workers.

In her most somber assessment of the economy yet, Gov. Linda Lingle says tax revenues continue to plummet, meaning the state has to cut an additional $57 million in spending.

A policy specialist who was laid off from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources last month maintains he was illegally fired because he repeatedly raised concerns about the agency not complying with the same environmental law that sank Hawaii Superferry.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle yesterday said he intends to run for mayor the next time there's a vacancy, be it 2010 or 2012.

Hawaiian Electric Co.'s customers on O'ahu will see their average monthly electric bill increase by $6.48 under a rate hike approved by the state Public Utilities Commission.

There will be no belt-tightening for the Hawaii County Council -- at least as far as members' own waistlines are concerned.

The Hawaii County Council won't be asking the Salary Commission to rescind the 22.14 percent raises it granted lawmakers a year ago.

Despite agreeing the Big Island is a safe place to live, work and visit, many of those who took a survey conducted for the Hawaii County Police Department were ambivalent about the ability of the department to serve the community's needs and resolve situations reported to police

The Maui County administration is considering another way to dispose of a luxury home built on oceanfront beach property at Kapukaula, also known as Montana Beach, in Paia.

Dozens of Kaua‘i farmers stuffed Council Chambers Wednesday afternoon, voicing their support for a proposed bill that would clear the way for farm worker housing and provide much-needed support for the agriculture industry.