Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Union haggling, more flu and other Tuesday news


Lingle is busy with layoffs, talks and duel with Inouye

The state and the unions were expected to be back at the bargaining table Tuesday.

The Lingle administration yesterday provided public-sector labor unions with a list of 1,100 state workers who face potential layoffs because of the state's budget deficit, but Gov. Linda Lingle did not estimate how much money the state would save by layoffs and repeated her preference for furloughs to reduce labor costs.

Employees ratified a labor agreement with The Maui News on Monday, accepting a 10 percent cut in wages and other concessions on health and pension benefits to help the newspaper survive depressed economic conditions.

What appeared to be a groundswell of support from young voters for a Hawaii-born presidential candidate never materialized into ballots cast as the 50th state once again came in last among states in voter participation.

In Hawaii, the moon will start to take a small bite out of the sun at 5:20 p.m. today, according to the Bishop Museum. By 6:14 p.m., roughly an hour before sunset, the eclipse will be over.

Local doctors said they are seeing an unusual number of flu cases, both swine flu and normal influenza.

At least 69 sailors and Marines tested positive for H1N1 swine flu within a Navy ship group now visiting Hawai'i.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday will consider a pair of proposed bills relating to a ban on plastic checkout bags and a curfew on drinking alcohol in county parks and recreation facilities that could impact all of island’s residents and visitors.