POSTED: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

State, HGEA make final proposals

The state and the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state's largest public worker union, submitted final written proposals on a new contract yesterday to an arbitration panel.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter would go to arbitration in September, meaning a neutral arbitrator would decide on a new contract for HGEA employees.

Both sides would be bound by the decision, which is expected by December.

No new contract talks are scheduled, and Gov. Linda Lingle is vacationing on the mainland this week.

The two sides last met in late July, and Lingle has since then begun the process of laying off 1,100 state workers to try making up an estimated $786 million hole in the state budget.

Lingle and the unions have said they would prefer furloughs to layoffs, but the sides have yet to agree on a number of furlough days per month.

Juror survey being mailed

The Hawaii court system is mailing out juror questionnaires to 225,000 randomly selected residents statewide through the next two weeks.

The Judiciary said yesterday that 85,000 residents on Oahu will receive the questionnaire, 65,000 on Hawaii island, 50,000 on Maui and 25,000 on Kauai.

The state says those who receive questionnaires are required to complete and return them to the Jury Pool Office. Failure to respond could lead to penalty under the law.

The questionnaires will be used to select people eligible to serve as jurors in 2010.

Web site focus of meeting

Organizations and families can learn how to use the state's Network of Care Web site at a conference Saturday at the Waikiki Marriott Resort and Spa .

A workshop will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Consumer, Family Member and Youth Conference.

Conference registration is required.

The Network of Care Web site began in April with funding from the Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant. Information for all ages is presented on mental illness, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.

Speaking at the workshops is Paul Cumming, national outreach and training manager for Network of Care for Trilogy Integrated Resources, who will talk about the Web-based approach to self-directed care.

The firm, based in San Rafael, Calif., created and maintains the Network of Care Web site, hawaii.networkofcare.org, for Hawaii and similar Web sites for 22 other states.

“;This is an ideal opportunity to become familiar with the network's possibilities and ask questions of a true expert,”; Dr. Rupert Goetz, Mental Health Transformation director, said in a news release.

Kauai restarts container redemptions

The Kilauea beverage container redemption center was closed yesterday because the private road leading to the center was resurfaced, according to Kauai County officials.

The facility will reopen tomorrow, a county news release said.

Normal operating hours at the Kilauea center are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with no break for lunch.

For information on other bottle redemption centers around the island, please call the County Recycling Office at 241-5112 or 241-5120, or log on to the county Web site at www.kauai.gov/HI5.