Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We’re Doomed
Federal laws we could do without
Laniakea Turtle Beach Pedestrian Accident Sparks Blame Game
1880: King Kalakaua Calls for Observatory to be Built in Hawaii
Mufi: Tourism Industry Blindsided by City Raid on TVRs in Waikiki, Turtle Bay
AP: … The city Department of Planning and Permitting ruled the law applies to Waikiki properties in apartment and apartment precinct zones, as well as townhouses at the Turtle Bay Resort. The visitor industry has expressed concerns the law will be applied to hundreds of units in resort districts.
“We supported Bill 89, but this was an unintended consequence that was never made clear to us by DPP,” said Mufi Hannemann of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.
The spread of vacation rentals has added to Oahu’s lodging supply and tourism growth, but the new ordinance could negatively impact those gains, officials said.
Oahu Alternative Lodging Association has estimated the law could cause a loss of between 50,000 and 80,000 visitors per month.
“We need vacation rentals to add capacity,” said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics, who advised the council against passing the rental measure.
“Bill 89 also is coming at a time when all the low-hanging fruit in a long economic expansion has been harvested,” Brewbaker said. “What signal has Hawaii sent that investors should double-down on Hawaii?”
Investors outside Hawaii including airlines have said they are monitoring the results of the ordinance ….
read … Hawaii tourism industry fears negative impact of vacation rental law
Kealoha’s Next Trick: Hire Attorney with Conflict of Interest, then Exploit it to Cause a Mistrial
HNN: Katherine Kealoha refused to leave the Federal Detention Center on Friday morning for a court appearance.
US Magistrate Judge Wes Porter said in court that the former deputy city prosecutor was aware of the status conference and that she was supposed to be in court, but refused to attend.
Porter called the meeting to discuss a Hawaii News Now report that aired Tuesday, laying out a potential conflict of interest for Kealoha’s new court-appointed attorney, Gary Singh.
Singh will be representing Kealoha in two upcoming trials.
…Attorney William Harrison, who represents Tiffany Masunaga, calls that decision a potential disaster.
Harrison said Kealoha could claim, in the middle of trial, that the woman should be called to the stand on her behalf, and Singh would have a clear conflict because he has confidential information about that woman’s testimony.
Harrison says there are other scenarios that could also result in a mistrial or delay the case significantly.
“Should they need to have her to contradict something that’s come up in trial or assist in some way to get evidence, that creates an immediate, un-waivable conflict.”…
(Really Obvious Question: How did Kealoha strengthen her case for mistrial next year by refusing to be present in court today?)
read … Kealoha’s latest trick
Echoing Mortgage Scammer Keanu Sai, Maui Councilmember Tamara Paltin Claims UH Lease on Mauna Kea Not Valid
KHON: … "This is not an issue of science and jobs versus native Hawaiian culture or even an issue about the sacredness of Mauna Kea. The issue is violations of the law and rights of native Hawaiians in the name of science and jobs," Tamara Paltin, Maui County Council member representing the West Maui District, said.
She claims the university's lease of Mauna Kea is not valid.
"All we're asking is for them to disprove what he's saying and if they're so sure about what they're doing. Show us some evidence or some facts that the lease they have is valid," Paltin said.
She says UH president David Lassner responded to her concerns in a July letter, affirming the TMT project has all approvals required by law….
read … Echo the scammer
100 Courses Available: UH Profs Offer Class Credit to Anti-Telescope Protesters
HNN: … The protest has swelled to more than 1,000 people some days, and has included a number of University of Hawaii professors, students and researchers.
As the University of Hawaii prepares to return to class for the fall semester, professors are offering distance learning to students who want to be on Mauna Kea when school starts in three weeks.
A list of available courses started circulating Thursday with more than 100 faculty with diverse subjects including Hawaiian, English, economics, ethnic studies, pharmacology, American pop music and African American literature.
read … Easy A
Are CWAs Illegal?
SA: … There’s already been quite an uproar from the construction industry about a proposal to enforce a “community workforce agreement” (CWA) on city construction contracts for $250,000 or more, a pact that would exclude non-unionized contractors from bidding.
Expect more noise from those who say, with reason, that this will inflate costs when the City Council takes up Bill 37 again on Wednesday.
In the background, attorneys with the city’s Department of Corporation Counsel also are giving the measure a serious look to determine whether state procurement laws will allow this….
read … Bill to lock down more contracts for Hawaii unions
How Many Teachers will the DoE be Short This Year?
SA: … The 2019-20 school year begins next week for some 180,000 children in Hawaii’s public school system. While the state Department of Education is still sizing up this year’s back-to-school staffing shortage, the teachers union expects that it will likely resemble that of recent years.
Last year, according to the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the state’s roster of about 13,700 teaching positions included a total of 1,029 emergency hires — typically teachers lacking complete license credentials — and long-term substitute teachers.
… In fall 2017, the state reported that its retention rate for new teachers — educators who stay on the job for five years — was 54 percent. At that time, there was hope that retention could climb to 60 percent by 2020….
read … Hawaii’s ongoing struggle with teacher retention
Lihue Site Identified for Kauai to Build Actual Housing for Homeless
TGI … After hearing a short presentation Thursday on Kahauiki Village, a project that opened last year on Oahu to provide housing for the homeless, Monica Belz got right to the point with one question:
“Would it be possible to do something like this on Kauai?”
To answer the query from the CEO of Kauai Government Employees Federal Credit Union, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami rose from his seat and walked to the front of the room.
He said shortly after taking office in December, his administration reached out to Duane Kurisu, chairman of the Hawaii Executive Conference and a driving force behind Kahauiki Village.
He told Kurisu they were trying to address a homeless issue on Kauai and had identified a parcel of property suitable for a housing development.
That site — close to jobs, services and transportation — was Pua Loke Park….
The park has existing infrastructure, and “it has all the components that are necessary to effectively address homeless issues,” Kawakami said.
He said the land has been transferred from the state to the county (see the related story)….
read … Oahu project taking root
Maui: Giant Diesel Plant needed to Make up for Erratic Wind and Solar
MN: … Tucked behind a thicket of kiawe trees just off North Kihei Road is the Maalaea Power Plant, a major component of MECO’s operations.
Maui County has a total of 46 units (an engine and a generator), and 21 of them are at Maalaea. With 212 megawatts of generating capacity, the plant can cover 80 percent of the island’s needs, though how much it actually provides depends on the time of day as well as production from other sources.
In the plant’s control room, a series of computer screens and dials offer a glimpse of how MECO balances the “firm” energy produced from generators and the variable energy produced from wind and solar. The computer system is constantly communicating with sources across the island, tracking how much energy is being produced in real time from all rooftop solar and the Kaheawa and Auwahi wind farms.
“It’ll tell units to go up if you need more generation or go down if you need less,” explained Mat McNeff, director of Maui County for MECO. “All the generation needs to be balanced with the load at all times. It’s not really incorrect to say when you turn on a light at your house, that a generator in some small way rises to meet that load to generate that electricity.”…
McNeff said that the push toward more renewables “will change the dance.”As part of its next phase of renewable energy integration, MECO is seeking 40 MW of power to replace the 37.6-MW, oil-fired Kahului Power Plant, which was built in 1948, that it plans to retire by the end of 2024.
MECO doesn’t have any plans to retire the Maalaea plant, which was built in 1971, and even after making the switch to 100 percent renewables, it
may (WILL) still need it….
“All those units can run on biodiesel,” McNeff said. “So if we wanted to, we could be 100 percent renewable today.”
But, he added, “all those things have a cost,” and biodiesel is more expensive. So for now, the plant just uses it for startup and shutdown….
read … Wind and Solar Don’t Really Work