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Monday, October 15, 2018
October 15, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:12 PM :: 2667 Views

Hawaii 2nd Lowest Uninsured Rate in USA

Four Hawaii Govs Team Up To Defeat HSTA ConAm

CB: …The ad begins with former Gov. John Waihee calling former Gov. Neil Abercrombie on the telephone. Former Govs. Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi are soon on the line in an apparent conference call. All four are Democrats, and all four are voting “no” on the ConAm question.

“You know, if you’re a renter, you’re going to get smashed,” Abercrombie tells Waihee. “In fact, everybody’s going to get hurt.”

“It’s a blank check for raising taxes,” Cayetano chimes in. “That’s why every sitting mayor opposes ConAm.”….

Only former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, is missing from the lineup….

To date, FCC filings show no spending for TV airtime by the HSTA Schools Our Keiki Deserve PAC….

read … Four Hawaii Govs Team Up To Defeat ConAm

HSTA Finds 120 Liars in One Place—UH Manoa

HNN: …On Monday, the Hawaii State Teachers Association will hold a press conference to address what they call are the misconceptions about the constitutional amendment.

A coalition of 120 UH researchers and professors (they have ‘consensus’ just like Global Warming) will be on hand to debunk the four main so-called myths (Notice the absolutist language?  ‘Debunk myths’ not ‘refute arguments.’) brought up by opponents. The myths include the Department of Education being adequately funded; More funding will not lead to improved education; Higher property taxes will adversely affect Hawaii’s economy and local people’s lifestyles; and public school funding only affects parents with children in the public schools. 

(Now I’d have to give them this last point: It is clear that more public education funding is needed to help teachers and administrators pay the ever-increasing cost of private school tuition for their own children.)

The conference will be held on the steps of Hawaii Hall at the University of Hawaii at Manoa 11 a.m….

read … And its UH Manoa, Natch

Lack Of Mental Health Treatment Among The Culprits In Police Shootings

CB: …Six armed suspects have been shot and killed by Honolulu police in recent weeks. Four appear to have suffered from mental health problems….

according to mental health experts, city leaders and the police who say the shootings are less of a problem with officers’ actions here than it is with the city’s inability to provide treatment for individuals with mental health and drug problems….

at a press conference in late September following an officer-involved shooting in Kalihi, HPD Chief Susan Ballard said, “The trend is very disturbing out there. These things are happening. People are pointing weapons. Trying to use knives against the officer.”…

a real struggle for the city to come up with consistent tactics when encountering what Caldwell calls “a hardened homeless element” who have either mental illness, a substance abuse problem or both, in the city’s urban core.

More than 60 percent of those arrested and detained in the island’s overcrowded jail, the Oahu Community Correctional Center, have one or both problems.

For years, the police department has tried to address encounters officers have had with mentally ill and drug-addicted individuals. In 2006, the HPD began consulting with three on-duty psychologists when encountering someone who appeared to be mentally ill. By 2008, HPD officers had placed about 26,000 calls to the on-duty psychologists….

read … Lack Of Mental Health Treatment Among The Culprits In Police Shootings

With Matt LoPresti Around, When Will Police be Called Next?

SA: …The rivalry between the two men goes back to when they served together on the Ewa Neighborhood Board. Fevella said he called the police after he felt threatened by LoPresti following a particularly contentious board meeting. LoPresti said he called the police on Fevella and 2016 Republican state representative challenger Bryan Jeremiah, claiming the two assaulted him on the campaign trail.

Charges were eventually dropped.

LoPresti, meanwhile, was embarrassed in August by video footage showing him stealing another candidate’s election material late in the latest primary. He won the election anyway….

LoPresti Flashbacks:

read … Rivals compete for Ewa Beach Senate seat

‘Monster houses’ bill is criticized as not addressing the cause of the problem

SA: …The draft of a bill designed to crack down on Oahu’s illegal large-scale houses, or so-called monster homes, is already drawing fire — and it hasn’t even gotten its first public hearing.

The influential Building Industry Association of Hawaii said the Department of Planning and Permitting’s proposal misses the mark, addressing symptoms of the problem but not the cause….

the DPP proposal could hinder those who legitimately want to accommodate family members moving in as a result of the expensive housing market, Hickox said.

The city should instead be enforcing existing law intended to prevent illegal apartments, he said. “All those laws are on the books already.”…

The city Planning Commission will take public testimony on the bill at a hearing 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mission Memorial Auditorium….

read … ‘Monster houses’ bill is criticized as not addressing the cause of the problem

New version of Hawaii County vacation rentals bill heads to Planning Committee

HTH: …The fifth version of a bill regulating short-term vacation rentals will be considered by the County Council Planning Committee on Tuesday, taking into account recommendations from the Leeward and Windward planning commissions and the Planning Department.

The new version of Bill 108 will increase the one-time registration fee to $500, allow so-called “condo hotels” in disallowed zones, ban vacation rentals in farm dwellings and exempt rentals in allowed districts from having to notify neighbors about their operation….

All vacation rentals will be required to register with the county, showing that transient accommodations taxes, general excise taxes and property taxes are paid in full. Short-term vacation rentals may be established only within a dwelling that was issued final approvals by the Building Division for building, electrical and plumbing permits, under the revised bill.

The nonconforming use certificate, which must be renewed annually with a $250 fee, will be granted by the planning director after receiving evidence that the vacation rental was in operation prior to the bill becoming law. The certificate can be denied if the applicant hasn’t secured building permits, is delinquent in taxes or there is evidence of non-responsive management, such as violation notices, police complaints or verified neighbor complaints.

Bill 108 applies only to unhosted, short-term or vacation rentals where the owner does not live on site. Hosted rentals, such as bed and breakfasts and home-sharing units, are not addressed in the bill.

UPDATE: Measure that would regulate vacation rentals passes Planning Committee

VRM: Hawaii County Advances Short-Term Rental Bill

read … New version of vacation rentals bill heads to Planning Committee

Hawaii County: Case Study of How the Tax Cut Doesn’t Happen

WHT: As some of you may have been following, I have a piece of legislation introduced for the reduction of our fuel tax, specifically Resolution 616-18. The background on this piece of legislation goes back to January. It was my intent to be a proponent of an increase in the General Excise Tax (GET) surcharge by a half percent only if I could get concessions in real property tax (RPT) and fuel tax for our people. The window to adjust the real property tax is very, very small; only approximately during the months of May and June. The fuel tax can be worked on at any time. My plan was on track until our county was thrown into one emergency response after another with the lava event and hurricanes. Realizing that any changes during these times were not a priority, everything else was shelved.

With the county with its back up against the wall and no other practical alternative, the county council approved a quarter percent increase in the GET surcharge to balance our budget. We had a deficit of $5 million due to the loss of RPT generation by the inundation of lava, and the GET increase was projected to generate $10 million per year; a surplus. Sadly, we ended up raising the GET without any concessions for our people and that did not sit well with me.

With the fuel tax at 8.8 cents per gallon for the past 30 years, the county council was requested in 2017 to approve an increase of the fuel tax to 15 cents per gallon for the calendar year 2018, then increase it to 19 cents per gallon for 2019 and again to 23 cents per gallon for 2020. Each one cent increase equates to approximately $1 million of collection in fuel tax.

My initial proposed legislation asked for a one cent concession. I now have a floor amendment to introduce at the next Finance Committee that will keep the fuel tax at 15 cents per gallon going forward, rather than escalating it in the next two years….

read … County Council Update

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds Three Public Oral Arguments: Education, Access & Hu Honua

IM: …October 18, 8:45a.m. Hawai`i Supreme Court oral argument.  Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor. During the 2018 legislative session, the Hawaii State legislature passed Senate Bill 2922, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, which proposed a constitutional amendment to article VIII, section 3 and article X, section 1 of the Hawaii Constitution. Should the ballot question be invalidated as unclear and misleading?

October 18, 10:30 a.m. Hawai`i Supreme Court Courtroom oral argument.  Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor. This case concerns the request of Honolulu Civil Beat to the Department of the Attorney General  for “access or copies of all final investigative reports related to the state auditor’s office from Jan. 1, 2015 to present.”…

October 25, 8:45 a.m. Hawai`i Supreme Court Courtroom oral argument.  Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor. Appellant Life of the Land (LOL) brings this appeal to challenge the State Public Utilities Commission’s 2017 Decision and Order No. 34726, which approved Appellant Hawai`i Electric Light Company’s Amended and Restated Power Purchase Agreement for Renewable Dispatchable Firm Energy and Capacity with Appellant Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC.

On appeal, the issues are as follows: Whether the PUC reversibly erred by failing to consider the effect of the Amended PPA on greenhouse gas emissions; Whether the PUC denied LOL’s due process right to protect its right to a clean and healthful environment by restricting LOL’s participation in the proceedings; Whether the PUC erred by denying LOL’s Motion to Upgrade Status from “participant” to “intervenor.”

Attorneys. Life of the Land: Lance D. Collins; Hu Honua Bioenergy: Margery Bronster, Rex Fujichaku, and Kelly Higa, Dean Yamamoto and Wil Yamamoto; Public Utilities Commission: Clyde Wadsworth  and Kaliko`onalani Fernandes; HECO & HELCO: David Louie, Joseph Stewart, and Aaron Mun…

read … Hawaii Supreme Court Holds Three Public Oral Arguments: Education, Access & Hu Honua

Total Failure: KSBE Again Seeking Contractor to Cut Down Larry Mehau’s Broken Trust Scam Eucalyptus Trees

WHT: …The operator will be awarded a short-term license as opposed to a long-term lease.  (Because KSBE doesn’t want to be stuck with a non-performer for 10 years again.)

Kamehameha Schools planted 12,700 acres of eucalyptus trees after acquiring about 30,000 acres of former sugar lands in the 1990s.

The previous lease expired Dec. 31, 2016, when LHF Lopiwa LLC notified Kamehameha Schools that it would not extend its lease agreement.

In 2017, Paauilo-based Hawaii Forest was selected to move on to final lease negotiations in the previous selection process, but withdrew from those negotiations in June….

RFPs go out today, and bidders will have until Nov. 15 to submit a proposal. A selection should be made by early 2019, after which the selected bidder will enter into negotiations for a license agreement, according to Harman.

The RFP will seek operators with experience in plantation forest management, marketing and harvesting experience. Harman said there are currently about 20 interested bidders.  (Just like the last failure.)

EH: Biofuel Industry on Big Island Fails to Follow Through on Big Plans of 2008

read … Kamehameha Schools looking for new operator to harvest eucalyptus

Hawaii Preparatory Academy didn’t stop adult-student affair, report says

SA: A female supervisor at the Hawaii Preparatory Academy boy’s dormitory on the Big Island was having sex with a male student and officials didn’t do anything to stop her even though they knew or should have known it was happening, according to an independent investigation commissioned by the school….

HTH: HPA subject of federal lawsuit: Alleges school failed to report or investigate sexual abuse of student

read … Hawaii Preparatory Academy didn’t stop adult-student affair, report says

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