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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
July 27, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:34 PM :: 944 Views

Hawaii -- Worst ACT Scores in USA

VA mandates COVID-19 vaccines among its medical employees including VHA facilities staff

Maui Tourism Recovery Brings Bond Upgrades

Mismanagement? DHHL vs Fevella

Why Raise Taxes?  Because They Can

SA Editorial: … Currently the “Residential A” Honolulu property tax rate for homes assessed at over $1 million owned by taxpayers who do not claim a home exemption. Those who use their property as a primary residence pay the basic rate of 0.35%.

For those who don’t, The rate how has two tiers, 0.45% rate for the portion of the property valued at under $1 million, added to 1.05% of the valuation above that threshold.

Under Bill 20, proposed by City Council member Radiant Cordero, the first tier of Residential A taxes would be paid on properties up to to $1.3 million. A second tier applies to the $1.3 million-$5 million property range, with a third tier kicking in above that.

The rates to be assessed at each tier have not been set. But the overall tax structure makes sense for a real estate environment in which so much of the inventory is in the investor class. It’s time the city makes a greater effort to capture revenue at that echelon.

The initial round of public comments on the bill, heard last week by the Budget Committee, were in support. When that panel holds its next hearing Aug. 25, the Council surely will get a more fulsome (fulsome?) critique from the residential investment sector.

Some may point out that this plan may not reap anywhere near the revenues for Honolulu that a more broad-based tax restructuring could generate. But the political reality is that increasing the rate at the top level is more achievable….

read … Changing property tax tiers

Hawaii Relaxes Outdoor Mask Rules, Urges Vaccines For Schools

CB: … Updated guidance calls vaccinations ‘the most important core essential strategy’ as schools prepare to reopen next week….

KHON: DOH updates COVID-19 guidance for schools a week before new school year

SA: Officials update COVID guidelines for Hawaii public schools

read … Hawaii Relaxes Outdoor Mask Rules, Urges Vaccines For Schools

Hawaii Governor Considers Vaccine Requirement For State Workers

CB: … The governor is also considering mandating vaccinations for workers at correctional facilities, which have seen recent outbreaks in unsanitary conditions….

SA: Gov. David Ige looks at requiring vaccines for some Hawaii workers

SA: LIVESTREAM: Gov. David Ige joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii .

read … Hawaii Governor Considers Vaccine Requirement For State Workers

30,000 Tourists per day--80% Occupancy

HNN: … Over the weekend, Hawaii saw about 30,000 people coming in daily.

(30K x 365 = 11M Tourists)

De Fries said the high tourism numbers are partly because airlines are redirecting what would have been international flights to Hawaii since few people are traveling outside of the United States.

He expects this pent-up demand to cool off this fall.

But for now, HTA just has to work with hotels, restaurants, the state Department of Transportation, state Department of Health, and other agencies to try to manage visitors.

Hotels in the islands are now operating at about 80% capacity, according to the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association….

read … Even the tourism industry thinks Hawaii is seeing more visitors than it can handle

Hawaii County begins paperless permit system

WHT: … “We are going to stop accepting paper applications and are moving to a completely electronic system,” said Norren Kato, planning program manager, at a public hearing Monday.

The program will integrate data from property records, zoning, critical habitat, infrastructure like sewer, contractor licenses, building and parcel designs and much more into a single cloud-based system that will allow inspectors from multiple departments to work on a permit application simultaneously, rather than shuffling paper from one desk to another…..

read … EPIC start: County begins paperless permit system

Honolulu Police Commission Fails To Detail Its Public Agendas, Complaint Says

CB: … Police commissioners have been discussing topics without proper public notice and meeting privately without justifying it, a government transparency advocate argues…..

Some items are described so broadly on meeting agendas that they don’t capture the essence of the forthcoming discussion, Black said. And when commissioners enter executive session, they use the same “boilerplate” legal language every time as a blanket justification to keep numerous discussions private.

In a letter sent last week, Black is now asking the Hawaii Office of Information Practices to determine whether the commission has violated the Sunshine Law, Hawaii’s open meetings law.

“How do you even know whether you want to testify when the items listed are so vague?” he asked in an interview.

Black is awaiting a response from the OIP….

read … Honolulu Police Commission Fails To Detail Its Public Agendas, Complaint Says

Honolulu police are called to testify against fellow officers

SA: … Demonstrations led by police officers and others demanding an end to the prosecutions are expected to resume today outside District Court on Alakea Street.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher T. Van Marter plans to call 11 witnesses, including Lt. Brandon Nakasone of the Honolulu Police Department’s Professional Standards Office, which is responsible for investigating officers accused of crimes or violating department policies. Officer Chanel Price — who stopped behind the vehicle driven by Sykap, drew her weapon but did not open fire — also is expected to be called as a witness for the prosecution, along with an HPD evidence specialist and officers who will reiterate their grand jury testimony and discuss the footage pulled from their body cameras on April 5, when Sykap was killed….

read … Honolulu police are called to testify against fellow officers

Miske appears unlikely to face death penalty if convicted

ILind: … The Justice Department’s move to withdraw death penalty requests that had been pending in seven cases around the country, along with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recently announced moratorium on all federal executions, would seem to make it unlikely that former Kamaaina Termite owner Michael Miske will face a possible death penalty if convicted….

In May 2021, the US Attorney’s Office said in a court filing that it had submitted its recommendation regarding the death penalty and was awaiting a decision by the Department of Justice in Washington. Individual recommendations are reviewed before being submitted to a central death penalty committee, which then makes a recommendation to the Attorney General. The substance of the recommendation from Hawaii’s US Attorney was not disclosed.

Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957, a factor that could be expected to play a role in the decision on Miske’s case.

But the new moratorium on executions, along with the government’s decision to reverse course and withdraw seven previous death penalty recommendations, appears to make it unlikely that government will seek the death penalty in this case.

Each of the four death penalty-eligible charges carries a sentence of life in prison upon conviction if the government does not ask for death…..

read … Miske appears unlikely to face death penalty if convicted

Two Different Soft-on-Crime Groups Fight Each Other to Free Killer

ILind: … Currently attorneys for the Hawaii Innocence Project and the Innocence Project “have entered into a re-investigation agreement with Hawaii County Prosecutors…in this matter, to find the individual who has yet to be identified, but whose DNA has been found on critical crime scene evidence,” the memo states.

Heavey had learned about the Schweitzer case after visiting the UH law school in 2013, and was initially seen as a potential resource by HIP.

However, “Schweitzer’s HIP legal team soon realized that Mr. Heavey’s knowledge of the case was ill-infored, his theories were not in line with those of our legal team, and his tactics of gaining immediate attention were too premature and likely to be harmful to Mr. Schweitzer,” Hart wrote.

“Mr. Heavey, who is not formally affiliated with Mr. Schweitzer’s case in any way, has continuously sought to publicize Mr. Schweitzer’s case in the eletronic media, newspapers, through mass emails, and his ‘documentary’ videos, even though he has been cautioned by Mr. Schweitzer’s attorneys that doing so could jeopardize our current reinvestigation and could harm our client and potential witnesses.”

Hart said Heavey has ignored concerns “of the very real danger that publicizing Mr. Schweitzer’s controversial case may bring.” HIP points to what happened when Heavey first notified news media that Schweitzer’s case was being reinvestigated. The very next day, Frank Pauline, Schweitzer’s co-defendant and a key witness in the case, was killed in a New Mexico prison.

The memo acknowledges this may have been “just a remarkable coincidence,” but argues it illustrates why publicity at this stage of the reinvestigation is dangerous and counterproductive….

read … Some of the backstory on “Judges for Justice”

Kauai’s shuttered Coco Palms Resort sold at foreclosure auction

KITV: … Private Capital Group was the only bidder at a foreclosure auction Monday, offering just over $22 million for the land that was sold “as is”.

That capitol group was the lender for the previous owners, an LLC run by Chad Waters and Tyler Greene. However, they failed in their development plan and owed more than $45 million….

The capitol group is now free to sell the property to recoup its money. So far, no word on the new owner’s plans, but the county was supporting a non-profit’s plan to turn the 46-acre property into a park….

TGI: HOOSER: Money needed for activists to gain control of Coco Palms site

SA: Kauai’s decaying Coco Palms draws 1 bid at foreclosure auction

read … Kauai’s shuttered Coco Palms Resort sold at foreclosure auction

Trumpster Anti-Vaxxers Protest Jill Biden Visit

SA: … About 20 anti-vaxxers and supporters of former President Donald Trump are gathered outside Waipahu High School, where first lady Jill Biden is visiting a vaccination clinic today.

One man had a black and white flag that said “All Lives Matter.”Another man wore a t-shirt that said “Trump won.”

One homemade sign said “no shots for tots.” Another woman had a sign that had an x with a circle through the words “vaccine passport.”

Two additional demonstrators had homemade signs showing support for the Cuban protesters.

Trump people were yelling outside as the motorcade arrived. “Go home,” one man said. “Trump won,” a woman screamed. Someone has a megaphone too, but their message was inaudible.

“Protect Not Inject,” said a homemade sign….

YouTube: Anti-Vaxxers Video of Biden Protest

read … Conspiracy Nuts

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