How Christmas Came to Hawaii
120 Homeless Die on Honolulu Streets This Year Because They Were Not Forced to Accept Shelter
SA: … About 40 people attended a Saturday night service at Central Union Church to commemorate the deaths of over 100 people who died on the streets of Oahu or in homeless shelters in 2019.
The fifth annual service known as “Blue Christmas” or “The Longest Night” was held during the winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
About 120 light blue ornaments, each bearing the name of a deceased person considered homeless when they died, were placed on three Christmas trees positioned in the church chancel, and the names on the ornaments were called out individually as they were.
As of Friday the Honolulu medical examiner had reported 94 people who were considered homeless or who did not have a permanent address when they died, although by Saturday organizers of the service added more names….
The 94 deaths reported by the medical examiner is the highest in the past five years.
Office of Housing Executive Director Marc Alexander said the upward trend was disturbing and noted that the average age of death of those considered homeless is under 53, nearly 30 years fewer than the average life expectancy in Hawaii.
“This is one reason why we do not want people to be unsheltered on the streets. This is why Mayor Caldwell pushes ‘compassionate disruption,’” Alexander said, referring to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s policies to limit homeless people’s occupation of public spaces.
Causes of death varied from drug use to disease to poor hygiene….
More homeless Mayhem: A 55-year-old homeless Puna man accused of the Dec. 4 beating death of an acclaimed artist has been indicted by a Hilo grand jury.
read …. Soft on Homelessness Kills
Sweep at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor uncovers hundreds of violations
SA: … Illegal homeless encampments, derelict and sinking boats, and piles of smelly trash were back at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor only weeks after the state finished a November enforcement sweep that netted 550 violations….
Redulla said that in the last five months there were more than 47 complaints, separate from the enforcement efforts, about criminal activity and security concerns such as illegal parking, boating activities, small-boat harbor rule violations and penal code violations such as crimes against people….
“There are still a lot of abandoned and derelict slips. If they repaired them and filled them, it would bring more revenue to make the harbor better,” she said.
The lack of a constant security presence also invites a criminal element and does little to reduce the neighborhood’s homeless population, Kesling-Wood said.
“The staff is very hardworking and does a good job, but they don’t have enough resources to address all the concerns. From Friday 4:30 p.m. to Monday at 7:45 a.m., it can be the Wild West: There’s generally no security,” she said….
“Actually, it was worse 10 years ago when we started our neighborhood watch. We used to routinely find crimes like thievery, drug dealing, drug manufacturing and prostitution,” he said. “Now we tend to see more maintenance issues.”…
read … Sweep at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor uncovers hundreds of violations
Hawaii Island leads state in population growth, despite some towns seeing declines
HTH: … combining statistics on the population of those 65 and older with income shows that the state of Hawaii has the highest median household income for seniors, at $65,086, compared to $34,275 for households in Mississippi, the lowest, with a householder 65 and older, the Census Bureau said in a press release….
Other estimates paint a less optimistic picture of population movement on Oahu, which with its much larger population, drags the entire state average down. The updated one-year estimate for the state as a whole shows the state grew less than 1% over the past five years….
read … Hawaii Island leads state in population growth, despite some towns seeing declines
Low Pay, Reputation Of Corruption Hinders Hiring at Honolulu Liquor Commission
CB: … The city agency charged with regulating Oahu’s liquor industry is struggling to fill positions. It’s been a problem for at least 15 years….
Related: Auditor--14 Years Later: Liquor Comm Still Working on 2005 Recommendations
read … Low Pay, Reputation Of Corruption Hinders Hiring at Honolulu Liquor Commission
Big Island Solar Schemer Goes for Giant Feed-in-Tariff Payoff
IM: … On August 29, 2016, Complainants, pro se, filed a formal complaint against Respondents, challenging the validity of twenty-six FIT projects (hereinafter, the "FIT Projects") proposed for the Ocean View subdivision on the island of Hawaii, specifically, the "FIT permits that are numbered 47-8 through 47-15, 47-30 and 50-18 through 50-35."
Complainants state that between December of 2011 and January of 2012, the various developers of the FIT Projects submitted applications for each of the Projects to the FIT program. Each of these FIT Projects are currently in the FIT Active Queue for Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc.
Complainants allege that the FIT Projects, which would be located in proximity to each other, should be considered together as a single project. The Complaint states that in Ocean View, technically, there are now 26 FIT projects aggregated to a utility scale project of 6.5 MW, seemingly under the same parent company.
As such, Complainants contend that the FIT Projects should be jointly considered as a single aggregate "utility scale project of 6.5 MW seemingly under the same parent company" such that the projects, taken together "[do] not belong in the FIT program."
Complainants further contend that these Projects, taken in the aggregate, violate the commission's Framework for Competitive Bidding. The aggregate 6.5 MW "exceeds the non-competitive bid five-megawatt limit and should, by the PUC orders, require a power purchase contract of that size to be competitively bid."
In conclusion. Complainants request that the commission remove the FIT Projects from the FIT Active Queue….
read … David versus Goliath -- A Big Island Fight Over Solar Energy
Case throws liability for Hawaii charter schools in doubt
SA: ….A $75,000 payment to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who tripped and fell at Waimea Middle School is raising questions about who is liable for accidents at charter schools.
The Charter School Commission is temporarily withholding the money from “per pupil funds” allotted by the state to the Big Island charter school. It did so at the request of the Attorney General’s Office, which negotiated the settlement.
Joe Uno, chairman of Waimea’s governing board, Ho‘okako‘o Corp., has warned that a “slip and fall” case could bankrupt any charter school if it can’t rely on the Statewide Risk Management Program to cover liability claims.
He and other school officials strongly opposed withholding the school funds, and some commissioners also expressed concern about using money that was appropriated to educate children to instead cover liability costs.
“One of the things we have to be clear, if we do use this kind of funding in this kind of case, it sets a precedent,” Commissioner Harald Barkhoff said at the commission’s general meeting Dec. 12. “My big concern is this money is intended to help the students; this is for the school to function.”…
read … Case throws liability for Hawaii charter schools in doubt
Protesters: Telescope is ‘Colonial Violence’ or Something
KITV: … The group "Mauna Kea Protectors at the University of Hawaii" releases another scathing letter to President David Lassner and the board. This group of faculty members and students accuses university administration of "colonial violence" because the school said on Friday it still supports building the Thirty Meter Telescope….
read … Violence
New pot law goes into effect Jan. 11
HTH: … Legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year that decriminalizes the possession of three grams or less of marijuana and allows such past possessions to be expunged from criminal records will take effect early next year.
The legislation makes possession of that small amount of marijuana a violation punishable by a $130 fine and also establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations for changing possession penalties Hawaii….
House Bill 1383 was neither vetoed nor signed by Gov. David Ige and was allowed to become law without his signature in July. It goes into effect Jan. 11.
While the legislation is meaningful, “we had to make it very minimal to get anything passed,” said State Rep. Richard Creagan, D-Kona and Ka‘u, a cosponsor of the bill….
read … New pot law goes into effect Jan. 11
Trump Praises Gabbard for Not Voting to Impeach: “I Give Her a Lot of Respect”
S: … President Donald Trump kicked off his stay in Florida on Saturday by giving a speech to hundreds of students attending a Turning Point USA conservative youth conference in West Palm Beach. But unlike what many were expecting, Trump didn’t spend much time talking about his impeachment. He did, though, devote a few minutes to doing something that isn’t normal in his speeches: praising a Democrat. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was on the receiving end of the praise as the commander in chief scoffed at the suggestion that she works for Russia while he also said he respects her for not voting to impeach him.
It all began with a favorite talking point of Trump’s, as he took time to mock his opponent in the 2016 presidential election. “Did you the see the other day? Crooked Hillary came out, she said that Jill Stein from the Green Party, she said Jill Stein was a Russian agent,” Trump said. “Now, I don’t know Jill Stein, I’m sure she’s a fine woman. But I know she’s not a Russian agent.” Trump then turned to Gabbard. “Then she said Tulsi Gabbard is a weapon of Russia. And they lost all credibility because you know that Tulsi Gabbard—and I give her respect. She didn’t vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect, because she knew it was wrong. But I don’t know, but I know one thing. She is not an agent of Russia,” Trump added….
CB: Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘Present’ Vote Draws Lots Of Attention — And Criticism
read … Trump Praises Gabbard for Not Voting to Impeach: “I Give Her a Lot of Respect”