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BY HAWAII REPORTER

Hawaii Leads Nation in Ratio of State Employees

An analysis of state worker employment shows Hawaii leads the nation in the ratio of state-to-private sector jobs.

Hawaii’s average was more than three times the nationwide rate at 15.1, according to a study done by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative think tank.

The center did the study to examine Maine’s state government employment using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report included data from other states in examining how Maine compared against national and state averages.

The examination found nationally the state payrolls compared to jobs in the private sector 4.74 state workers for every 100 people in the private sector.

The center cited Maine’s rate of 5.51 as being higher than the national average and used it to call for cutting 3,880 positions from that  state’s government. It said such a reduction would save Maine up to $185 million annually and noted the “over-employment” in that state contributed to that state’s unfunded pension crisis.

Hawaii state employment is typically larger than other states because of it operates the school system, a function that’s often the domain of cities or counties elsewhere.

The report can be found here:

http://www.mainepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/Right-Sizing-Maines-State-Government-Workforce.pdf

Dartmouth Study Low Elective Surgery Use in Hawaii

Elective surgery may be like real estate, according to a new study from the Dartmouth Atlas Project.

It all depends on location, location, location.

The analysis found that for whether Medicare patients undergo elective surgery depends largely on where they live and the clinicians they see. In Hawaii that often translates into less elective surgical procedures compared to the national average.

For example, Medicare patients with heart disease in Elyria, Ohio, were 10 times more likely to

have a procedure such as angioplasty or stents than those in Honolulu.

“These striking variations are the by-product of a doctor-centric medical delivery system. In

highlighting the variation from community to community for elective procedures, we hope to

shine a light on the fact that patients’ preferences are not always taken into account when

medical decisions are made,” said Shannon Brownlee, M.S., lead report author and instructor at

the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

The research found Honolulu’s rate of surgery was lower than the national average in the following procedures:

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (3.6 surgeries per 1,000 local versus 11.3 nationally)
  • Back surgery (1.7 surgeries per 1,000 versus national of 4.3).
  • Total knee replacement (2.9 compared to 8.0 nationally)
  • Total hip replacement (1.0 compared to 3.3 nationally)
  • Carotid endarterectomy (0.5 compared to 2.7 nationally)
  • Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder surgery)
  • Mastectomy
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate

Hawaii had a higher than average rate for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing but was lower than the national average for radical prostatectomy.

The report can be found here: http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/downloads/reports/Decision_making_report_022411.pdf

Horizon Lines Says No Antitrust Violations for Hawaii

Horizon Lines is pleading guilty to violating federal antitrust laws for its Puerto Rico service but said the Department of Justice has indicated the company is not a subject or target of any investigation by the DOJ into the Hawaii and Guam trades.

The shipping line said it agreed to pay a fine of $45 million over five years for the Puerto Rico violations subject to court approval. The company is pleading guilty to violating the Sherman Act between May 2002 and April 2008.

Horizon Lines also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and attorneys representing indirect purchasers. The indirect purchasers allege they paid inflated prices for goods imported to Puerto Rico as a result of the alleged price fixing conspiracy. Under the MOU, the company has agreed to pay $1.8 million in exchange for a full release. The settlement agreement, when negotiated and entered into by the parties, will be subject to court approval.

Honolulu Symphony Assets to be Auctioned March 17

A bulk sale auction of instruments and other assets of the bankrupt Honolulu Symphony are being scheduled for March 17.

Heritage Global Partners said it had been engaged to conduct a live auction of the assets, which will be staged via a webcast. The assets include instruments, musical arrangements, a music library, office furnishings, memorabilia, art and artifacts.

Horizon Global said if a bulk buyer is not secured it will sell off certain assets of the Symphony will be sold live at the auction, while music library consisting of over 2,300 lots of Classical Symphonic arrangements and Hawaiian sheet music will be sold online.

“The Honolulu Symphony auction is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for music enthusiasts, institutions, patrons of the arts, philanthropists, universities and those who want to preserve a 110-year-old symphony orchestra, which is currently the oldest in United States, west of the Rocky Mountains,” David Barkoff, Director of Sales, Heritage Global Partners. “Our goal is to secure a bulk buyer to sustain this legacy, as we want nothing more than to keep the arts alive.”

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