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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Djou appears to trip on minimum wage numbers

September 26th, 2014 · 11 Comments

Hawaii Public Radio’s “Town Square” yesterday featured an hour-long live interview with GOP congressional candidate, Charles Djou.

In the course of the interview, Djou estimated that all but 10-15% of minimum wage workers are teenagers, program host Beth-Ann Kozlovich commented later in a Facebook post.

But she referred to a March 2014 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that “tells a different story.”

The report, “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013,” estimates there are now 10,000 workers in Hawaii earning the minimum wage, and another 5,000 earning below the minimum wage.

The 15,000 workers at or below the minimum wage represented 4.6% of all workers in the islands paid hourly rates. Those at minimum wage made up 3.1% of the total, while 1.5% were paid less than the minimum wage, according to the report.

And the number of workers paid at or below the minimum wage has increased almost four-fold during the Great Recession, rising from 4,000 to 15,000 since 2007, according to a separate BLS report on minimum wage workers in Hawaii (“Minimum wage workers in Hawaii – 2013“).

These reports don’t appear to include data on the number of teens among Hawaii’s minimum wage workers. However, nationally, just 24% of those earning the minimum wage or less were teenagers. Young people age 20-24 made up another 26%, and those 25 and older were 50% of the total.

Nationally, women were 62% of all workers paid the minimum wage or less. In Hawaii, women were about 50% of the total minimum wage workers.

→ 11 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Economics · Labor · Politics

Throwback Thursday: In or Near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

September 25th, 2014 · 1 Comment

I believe this photo was taken in late 1969 or early 1970 on a trip that included several days exploring the volcano area of the Big Island.

It looks like it was cool and damp. I’m hiding my camera inside my jacket.

Note the lava flow that covered this stretch of road. I hope that I wasn’t intending on carrying those bits of lava away from the area!

I’m not sure exactly where this was, although study of the sequence of eruptions during the period may suggest the answer.

You can click on the photo for a slightly larger version.

Somewhere near Kilauea volcano

→ 1 CommentTags: History · Photographs

Kaaawa Morning Dogs: Say “hello” to Ms. Max

September 24th, 2014 · No Comments

Ms. MaxMs. Max is an senior dog. When we first met her on the back roads of Kaaawa, she was plodding along, some what hesitantly, as if it took all of her energy to get through her short morning walk. She was definitely showing her age.

But recently she’s gotten to walk on the beach. She’s a different dog altogether! When she sees us, she runs down the beach with a happy greeting. Amazing!

Anyway, here is another bunch of the friendly dogs we meet & greet as we make our way through the neighborhood every morning.

–> See all of today’s Kaaawa Morning Dogs!

→ No CommentsTags: Dogs · Kaaawa · Photographs

Fewer reporters than flacks…are you surprised?

September 24th, 2014 · 3 Comments

My column in Civil Beat today led me to some statistics on the number of people working in public relations compared to those working as reporters (“Hawaii Monitor: Peeking Behind a Developer’s PR Campaign/Lawsuit shows that Haseko’s development in Ewa needed a detailed public relations effort after the company pulled the plug on a promised marina“).

I’ll quote one section of the column:

In sheer numbers, there are many more jobs in public relations than in the news business, both locally and nationally.

This means that there are far more resources poured into spinning the news in favor of corporate clients than in critically testing the “most favorable light” claims spread through press releases and whispered tips by those who get paid to make sure the news comes out right.

There were 202,530 public relations specialists employed in the U.S. last year, compared to just 43,630 reporters, according to a recent Pew Research Report which analyzed federal jobs data. And the trend is increasingly in the favor of PR. The number of reporters has fallen by 17 percent since 2004, while the ranks of PR specialists has risen by 22 percent, the Pew report found.

Hawaii seems to mirror the country as a whole. There were 780 public relations specialists employed in Hawaii during 2103, compared to 180 “reporters and correspondents,” according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Department of Labor. That’s a ratio of 4.3 jobs in public relations for every journalism job.

What I didn’t include in the column was a comparison back to 2004.

There were 1,350 public relations specialists and 370 reporters employed in Hawaii in 2004, according to the May 2004 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

So in the past decade, the number of public relations positions fell by 42%, but the number of reporters dropped over 51%.

So the Great Recession took its toll in both sectors, but reporting jobs took a bigger hit.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Business · Media

More details from Civil Beat poll that found David Ige holding a narrow lead

September 23rd, 2014 · 9 Comments

Did you catch Civil Beat’s story on their latest poll results in the race for governor (“Civil Beat Poll: Democrat Ige Leads Republican Aiona By 4 Percent“)?

Basically, their poll found Ige holding a slight 43%-39% lead over Aiona statewide, due in large part to greater support on the neighbor islands. On Oahu, the two leading candidates are neck and neck in the part of the island that makes up the 1st Congressional District, while Aiona leads in the windward and leeward parts of the island that are in the 2nd Congressional District.

Mufi Hannemann, running as an independent, and Libertarian Jeff Davis, were both down in single digits, Civil Beat reported. Hannemann was supported by just 8% of those polled, while Davis came in at 2%.

The poll comes as Aiona has had quite a few television ads running, Hannemann has had a few. I don’t recall seeing any Ige advertising of late.

You can download a summary of the poll results, including cross tabulations, using a link at the bottom of the story.

There are some interesting tidbits revealed there.

The 10% of all respondents who said they would vote for Hannemann or Davis were then asked who they would support if they had to choose between Ige and Aiona.

A third of them said they would support Aiona, while 29% said they would vote for Ige. “Neither” was the choice of 11% of the Hannemann/Davis voters, while 27% remained undecided.

Looking back at the primary election, 72% of those who responded to this survey said they voted in the Democratic primary, while only 15% chose the Republican ballot.

But when asked about their party preference, only 55% identified as Democrats, 23% as Republicans, and 19% said they were independent.

I suppose that if all the self-described independent voters chose the Democratic ballot in the primary, it would account for the primary vote without Republican crossovers.

The two largest ethnic blocks of voters split between the top candidates. Caucasians narrowly favored Aiona over Ige (43%-41%), while Japanese voters went heavily for Ige (60%-24%).

As expected, liberal voters favored Ige over Aiona (70%-11%), as did moderates (48%-34%), while conservatives were overwhelmingly supporting Aiona over Ige (78%-11%).

Although Hannemann’s Hawaii Independent Party is headed by former Maui mayor Charmaine Tavares, and Maui realtor Michelle del Rosario, only 4% of Maui voters surveyed said they would vote for Mufi, while 60% said they back Ige.

Here’s one finding that could pose some problems for Aiona. Voters who said they intended to vote early favored Ige over Aiona (46%-39%), while those who said they would vote on election day split evenly, 39%-39%. Aiona led Ige among those who weren’t sure when they would vote (30%-17%), but the “not sure” could translate into fewer of these voters actually getting to the polls.

So, the takeaway? It’s a close election among the Republican and Democratic candidates, but it looks like Mufi’s third party gambit is heading for failure.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Politics