Friday, July 10, 2009

Hawaii library closures top Friday morning news

The state Board of Education heard a proposal yesterday by the state librarian to close five branches to cut the budget.

The Board of Education yesterday heard a proposal from State Librarian Richard Burns to close five public libraries and negotiate furloughs and other salary savings to reduce the Hawai'i State Public Library System's budget by more than $5.7 million.

The board that oversees Hawaii's public libraries was told Thursday about a proposal to close five libraries statewide to deal with budget cuts.
The libraries that could be closed are Ewa Beach on Oahu, Holualoa, Pahala and Kealakekua on the Big Island, and Hana on Maui.

Avoiding a possible shutdown of public schools on Sept. 21, members of the state Board of Education passed a $1.8 billion budget for 2009-2010 that covers a $226.85 million shortfall and includes reducing about $117.4 million in labor costs.

Faced with the most drastic budget cuts ever to the state's public education system, the Board of Education approved a plan yesterday that includes about $117 million in yet-to-be negotiated labor savings — from potential pay cuts to furloughs of teachers and administrators.

Isolating Gov. Linda Lingle, county mayors and the leaders of several independently governed state agencies have agreed on a framework for new contracts with public-sector labor unions aimed at addressing the state's budget shortfall.

Hawaii's four mayors on Thursday called on Gov. Linda Lingle to personally attend an on-the-record negotiation session next week now that state employee unions have submitted what the mayors called a viable preliminary proposal on pay cuts or furloughs

Big Islanders may soon be allowed to live in tents or other temporary structures while building a home of their own

On war duty in Iraq, troops from Hawaii, including several from Maui, plan to share their aloha by celebrating next month's 50th anniversary of statehood.

Two horses were shot in Wailua late Wednesday or early Thursday, owners and police say.

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