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Friday, March 26, 2021
March 26, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:47 PM :: 1606 Views

Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

Hawaii per-capita state tax revenues highest in nation, research shows

House Budget: Irresponsible record-breaking spending spree

COVID Case: DLIR Shuts Unemployment Call Center for Long Weekend

235,000 Visitors to Hawaii in February

Molokai Walk-In Vax Age 18+

Hawaii Unemployment Drops to 9.2% for February

State Of Hawaii And Airline Carriers Partner To Expand Pre-Clear Programs

Mayor Victorino presents fiscal 2022 Maui County budget proposal

Protest Erupts After DHHL Selects Community Solar Developers 

VIDEO: DLNR Cleans up Homeless Drug Addicts' Mess in Lake Wilson

Hawaii businesses, unemployed on the hook for $450M in state taxes on COVID Aid

KHON: … Two big-ticket items still pending are likely to cost the unemployed more than $190 million in state taxes. And businesses that needed a federal rescue grant? They’re probably on the hook for more than $250 million dollars in state taxes. Why? The state is not planning to “conform” — in other words “mirror” — certain tax exemptions and deductions that the IRS is allowing, and it looks like a standalone state bill for unemployment benefit exemptions is doomed for the session….

Related: SB614: Unemployed to be Socked with $190M Tax Bill

TF: Which States Are Taxing Forgiven PPP Loans?

read … Hawaii businesses, unemployed on the hook for $450M in taxes as state opts not to follow federal lead

Honolulu rail project still determining who is responsible for needed rail track repairs

SA: … With 16 miles out of 20 built, the rail is continuing to grapple with repairs needed for track infrastructure.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is disputing claims with contractors about who is responsible for several track problems.

There are three issues with the rail tracks that were presented to the Honolulu City Council on Monday — one dating back to pieces installed six years ago….

Seventy side switch plates, which are what tracks rest on when they switch, were not properly welded along the edges, HART Interim Chief Executive Officer Lori Kahikina explained during the Council transportation committee meeting. The authority originally attributed the issue to “shoddy” workmanship by the contractor Kiewit. However, that has been determined to not be the case.

“After further investigation, it appears the switch plates were provided to Kiewit by HART,” HART Director of Government Relations and Public Involvement Joey Manahan said in an email.

“The only field welds that Kiewit was contracted to perform have not failed to date.”…

read … Honolulu rail project still determining who is responsible for needed rail track repairs

More Homeless Mayhem: Screaming and Stabbing

HPR: … "The complaint from people around the neighborhood at River of Life is people are getting stabbed in the lines, they have no control over people who are there."

Lee Stack is a long time business and property owner in Chinatown.

"The costs are being sort of extrapolated out into the community--the trash, the screaming, the fighting, the crime, all the things that go with it. They open their doors, they feed, they close their doors."…

Gates says the Blangiardi administration has been cordial. River of Life has submitted its proposal for moving into the 'Iwilei site, but Gates shies away from details.

"We're proposing to allow God to still lead us. We're proposing that God will allow us to care for more people in need. And we're proposing that if god opens the door at the City building, we will go."

The Blangiardi administration  says it is studying River of Life's proposal. The Mayor has completed his promised Chinatown walk through with department heads, when he discussed conditions with some community members. …

read … Can Church and State Solve a Problem in Chinatown?

HSTA Member charged with sexual exploitation of former student

HNN: … Authorities allege that Victor Aguilar, 65, of Kalaheo sexually exploited the minor victim in his residence, vehicle and at Waimea High School ― where he worked.

And they believe more victims could come forward.

Aguilar was previously charged by Kauai prosecutors with five counts of sexual assault on a former student and was out on bail.

Federal charging documents say that further investigation revealed he had made sexually explicit videos of himself and an another minor victim.

Aguilar was first investigated because a former student reported Aguilar had inappropriately touched her and stores photos of her and other girls on his computer.

That led the state Education Department, then Kauai police and finally federal agents to investigate….

SA: Former JROTC instructor at Waimea High School arrested for sexual exploitation of student

read … Ex-JROTC instructor charged with sexual exploitation of former student

Hawaii County Chief was Subject of Promotion-Rigging Lawsuit

HTH: … In 1999, a Hilo Circuit Court jury found the county, former Chief Wayne Carvalho — who succeeded Paul — and Carvalho’s Deputy Chief Francis De Morales liable for a scheme to rig promotions between 1984 and 1994. In 1999, the jury awarded $4.1 million to 19 officers or former officers who filed the civil suit two years earlier.

The county later settled for $2 million, but expended nearly $3.5 million in lawyer’s fees defending the lawsuit.

Paul, by then retired, wasn’t a defendant in the suit, which alleged he started a “promotion board” of highly-ranked officers who would question promotion candidates. Before that, Paul selected a person to be promoted from among five candidates provided by the civil service system.

Trial testimony indicated Paul still was legally entitled to promote the candidate of his choice — even after setting up the board.

The plaintiffs alleged Paul told Carvalho, then deputy chief, his preferred candidate. Carvalho, in turn, allegedly passed the information to De Morales, then an inspector — who allegedly rigged the oral portion of the exam process by providing the questions in advance to the preferred candidate.

Paul testified he didn’t order subordinates to rig the exams, but acknowledged he told subordinates his preferred candidates so the subordinates “would not operate in the dark.”

Carvalho denied any role in promotion cheating, and De Morales testified he was following orders from Paul. Both retired years before the suit….

read … About How Things Work

Despite potential obstacles, state pushes forward on vaccine passport plan

HNN: … In a legislative briefing Thursday, state Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char told leaders the state is in discussion with multiple entities about making the vaccine passport a reality.

She said that Gov. David Ige is also talking to federal partners about the possibility of the program.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green also said he is behind setting up a system. The main challenge, he said, appears to be verifying if someone is really vaccinated or not….

“And it may ultimately come down to whether or not we’re willing to trust people with their (vaccination) cards. We will do some auditing to make sure that people are being honest. There would be penalties if people falsified their card.”

Char said there is potential for a digital system to be implemented, and it’s possible TSA could be involved. “We’re in conversations right now looking at various commercial entities that could help to do that for Hawaii to create some sort of passport system where they can validate, in conjunction with some sort of registry, that a person has been vaccinated,” Char said.

Green hinted at a possible timeline for a program to be implemented by May 15, but much is dependent on outside factors. He’d originally hoped for a May 1 launch….

In some countries, you need to show vaccination against yellow fever before you arrive. One Hawaii travel expert sees a vaccine passport implemented all over the world.

“I believe, personally by before the end of the year, that for all international flights a vaccine passport will be required,” said Jerry Agrusa, UH-Manoa School of Travel Industry Management professor.

Char added: “I think at some point, it will come. There’s a lot of optimism.”…

read … Despite potential obstacles, state pushes forward on vaccine passport plan

A total of 12 fully vaccinated people in Hawai'i have contracted COVID-19

KITV: … They're called 'breakthrough cases,' comprised of 10 Hawai'i residents and two non-residents that were vaccinated in other states. Ages ranged from 26-years-old to 74-years-old.  Among the cases in Aloha State residents, nine people had been recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and one person received the Moderna shot.….None of the breakthrough cases had to be hospitalized. Six people reported mild symptoms and four were asymptomatic….Click here for more information from the DOH….

read … A total of 12 fully vaccinated people in Hawai'i have contracted COVID-19

Opponents demonstrate against putting solar farm on Hawaiian Home Lands site

SA: … Opponents of a planned solar energy farm on land in Nanakuli Valley owned by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands took to a busy street during rush-hour traffic Thursday to protest the project.

State Sen. Kurt Fevella (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) organized the action to rally opponents and to publicize many DHHL beneficiary complaints that the solar farm plan originated without their input and is a bad use of the agency’s trust land.

About 30 people with signs and Hawaiian flags turned out alongside Farrington Highway fronting Zablan Beach below Nana­kuli Valley for the late-afternoon event, which drew streams of encouraging vehicle horn-honking from pau hana traffic….

DHHL said the planned 15-megawatt solar farm on up to 88 acres on part of the 448-acre Nanakuli Ranch is the highest and best use of low-grade agricultural land in the valley and that the site cannot reasonably be used for beneficiary homesteads because it is in a flood plain…. 

AP: Demonstrators protest against proposed Hawaii solar farm

Background: DHHL Selects Community Solar Developers

read … Opponents demonstrate against putting solar farm on Hawaiian Home Lands site

The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet

P: … Here’s a multibillion-dollar question that could help determine the fate of the global climate: If a tree falls in a forest—and then it’s driven to a mill, where it’s chopped and chipped and compressed into wood pellets, which are then driven to a port and shipped across the ocean to be burned for electricity in European power plants—does it warm the planet?

Most scientists and environmentalists say yes: By definition, clear-cutting trees and combusting their carbon emits greenhouse gases that heat up the earth. But policymakers in the U.S. Congress and governments around the world have declared that no, burning wood for power isn’t a climate threat—it’s actually a green climate solution. In Europe, “biomass power,” as it’s technically called, is now counted and subsidized as zero-emissions renewable energy. As a result, European utilities now import tons of wood from U.S. forests every year—and Europe’s supposedly eco-friendly economy now generates more energy from burning wood than from wind and solar combined….

(Translation: Green energy is and always will be a scam.)

IM: Biomass Controversy Heats Up -- Politicians Clash With Scientists and Environmentalists

Bonus Read; Planet of the Humans: Michael Moore Debunks Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative

read … The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet

$300 a day for a Kia Rio. Why rental cars prices have gone insane

KITV: … "We're looking at rates of $500 a day in some places," he said. "Last spring we were seeing $5 a day rentals in Hawaii. You'd never seen that. Now you'd kill for a car for $300 a day."

A search of car rental sites Wednesday showed a Kia Rio, a sub-compact car, going for $300 a day in Orlando, next week. On Maui, Hawaii, the only rental available next week is a Yukon for $500 a day.

The shortage is pronounced in vacation destinations. It's still possible to find cars elsewhere, such as Omaha, for about $300 a week, rather than a day….

read … $300 a day for a Kia Rio. Why rental cars prices have gone insane

Outdoor weddings up to 100 people now allowed on Oahu

KHON:: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has recently amended Tier 3 in Honolulu’s COVID-19 recovery framework to include the reopening of commercial weddings on Oahu.

The new mandate allows up to 100 people to attend weddings, which goes into effect immediately….

Click here to view the new wedding category details and the reopening framework….

read … Outdoor weddings up to 100 people now allowed on Oahu

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