BY HAWAII REPORTER

House Passes Budget that Slashes East-West Center Budget

The budget bill passed by the House of Representatives Saturday chops $10.7 million of funding for the East-West Center.

The bill included an amendment from freshman Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-TX) eliminating  the funding.

House Republicans have vowed to cut federal spending because of growing deficits. The bill passed the House with all Democrats voting against the measure that provides federal government funding for the remainder of the fiscal year 2011.

The bill cut the budget by roughly $61 billion and has been criticized by Democrats as being a bill intended to meet political pledges rather than deal with budget cuts realistically. The measure now heads to the Senate, where Hawaii U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye heads the Appropriations Committee.

We’re No. 2 : Pittsburgh Beats Honolulu in Livability Survey

Pittsburgh, not Honolulu, is the top place to live in the U.S.

At least that’s the view of the Economist Intelligence Unit, the respected U.K. researcher that does an annual ranking of the world’s most livable cities. Honolulu trailed Pittsburgh, which came in 29th worldwide.

Vancouver, Canada topped the poll, while Harare, Zimbabwe was the lowest of the 140 cities studied.

The survey is based on 30 factors that measure stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal.

Hawaii Shield Law for Journalists up for Discussion at Legislature

The House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill at 2 p.m. Tuesday to extend Hawaii’s so-called Shield Law that protects journalists against forced disclosure of unpublished information and sources.

The bill would make permanent a media privilege against compelled disclosure that is set to expire on June. 30. Journalists and others have argued such protection is warranted and that allowing them to lapse may have an effect on their work.

Hilo Newspaper Loses NLRB Appeal

The Hawaii Tribune Herald has lost a National Labor Relations Board appeal of a ruling that said it violated labor laws.

The board upheld the findings of Administrative Law Judge John McCarrick, who ruled in 2008 that the company broke the law in a number of areas, including interrogating employees about union activity and suspending and then discharging employees Hunter Bishop and David Smith.

The union said the NLRB has ordered the Hawaii Tribune-Herald to cease and desist from the above activities, to offer Smith and Bishop immediate and full reinstatement to their former positions, to make Bishop, Smith and Sur whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered because of their suspensions and discharges.

Hawaii Surfer Allegedly Took Part in Watery Brawl Down Under

Sunny Garcia is the subject of an assault complaint that was filed after a brawl with a surfer in Australia, according to the Herald Sun, Australia’s largest selling daily newspaper.

The paper reported Garcia was involved in the alleged fight on Saturday after seeing his 16-year old son dropped in on while surfing. It said police confirmed an assault complaint had been filed in relation to the incident.

The newspaper said no charges have been made in the incident but that it is believed an amateur cameraman who captured the fight and was also allegedly assaulted by Garcia, had lodged the assault complaint.

Garcia’s attorney told the paper the former World Champion surfer had not been the aggressor in the altercation but that he became involved when he saw his son being assaulted by an older man.

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