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Tuesday, May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:17 PM :: 1193 Views

Red Hill: Navy waives right to contested case hearing

Grassroot Institute: Legislative Session in Review  

14 'Good Government' Bills Heading to Governor

COVID rules being lifted, but don’t cheer yet

Who needs Collective Bargaining?  $164M Windfall for HSTA on Governors Desk

SA: … The union representing Hawaii’s 13,500 public school teachers is cheering the Legislature’s approval of a state budget that includes more than $164 million to fix salary shortfalls (pay hike) for thousands of educators and maintain pay differentials to those working in some hard-to-staff categories.

Those salary adjustments, plus restoration of 21 hours of paid ‘professional development’ (paid time out of classroom) for all teachers, are part of the state operating budget awaiting approval from Gov. David Ige, who has voiced general support for improving teacher compensation….

The Legislature approved raising those teachers’ salaries by $7,700 to $26,000, depending on their years of experience, the union said.

Of the $130 million one-time adjustment to erase salary compression, $121.7 million would go to affected teachers in the regular public schools and $8.3 million to those in charter schools.

Under the Legislature’s budget, an additional $34.5 million would maintain existing pay differentials of $3,000 to $10,000 per year for teachers working in hard-to-staff geographic areas, special education and Hawaiian language immersion. It would break out as $32.5 million for public school teachers and $2 million for charter school teachers….

read … $164 million for teachers in Hawaii should aid retention, union says

Rail: Star-Adv Editors Even More Delusional than HART

SA Editorial: … Another major drawback would be the proposed deferral of the multilevel 1,600-stall park-and-ride at the Pearl Highlands Transit Center.

On the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” Monday webcast, HART CEO Lori Kahikina said the eye-popping cost estimate of $330 million breaks down to $206,000 per stall. That figure became more plainly ludicrous when a local developer told HART that a parking garage had been built in Honolulu for $35,000-$45,000 per stall.

Even if HART is proposing only a temporary delay, officials really should lay the groundwork now for the park-and-ride’s construction and present it to the Honolulu City Council, the next stop on the plan’s approval process.

One alternative Kahikina noted was a suggestion to save money by moving the facility somewhere with a foundation enabling construction at a more reasonable cost, such as Leeward Community College, or connected more directly to the shopping center.

This idea should be fleshed out for the City Council, and time is tight. The FTA has set a June 30 deadline for the city to produce an acceptable recovery plan.

The FTA believes HART will need more contingency funds than it’s penciled in, Kahikina said; some of that could come from reduced financing costs if the city could negotiate an accelerated release of the remaining federal subsidy….

SA: VIDEO: HART CEO Lori Kahikina joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’ 

read … Park-and-ride crucial for rail

Investigations into Red Hill water crisis drag on

SA: … six months later, multiple investigations into the contamination still haven’t been released, leaving many unanswered questions about how fuel ended up in the water system, whether more could have been done to prevent residents from being poisoned and whether the contamination may have begun months earlier.

To date, the Pentagon also hasn’t held anyone responsible for the water contamination, which has cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars in costs related to cleaning its water distribution system, remediating the environment and covering hotel and living expenses for thousands of residents who for months were displaced from their homes….

read … Investigations into Red Hill water crisis drag on

‘Affordable Housing’ is whatever we say it is

CB: … For a Maui family earning around $140,000 per year, for example, purchasing a three-bedroom home up to $780,000 is considered affordable under county guidelines, although that can go higher or lower depending on interest rates….

read … This Is How The Government Decides What Housing Is ‘Affordable’

Police Brass Neutered by Politics

HNN: …The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers was shocked that none of the departments’ leaders participated in the process.

“It is a concern,” said Robert Cavaco, president of SHOPO.

“You would think the four departments in the state would really truly care about what the legislators are trying to do.”

State Rep. Scot Matayoshi, who introduced the measure, said no one from the Honolulu, Maui, Kauai or Hawaii County police departments ever reached out….

Cavaco said lawmakers are simply using the measure as a way to avoid building a new jail to replace the outdated and overcrowded Oahu Community Correctional Center….

Kokua Line: Will inmates get a Hawaii tax rebate?

read … Police input could have made a difference in hotly-debated bail reform bill, experts say

AlohaSafe Alert app now allows users to self-report, positive home COVID-19 test results

SA: … Creators of the AlohaSafe Alert app, the state’s official COVID-19 exposure notification service, said it has now been updated so that users can self-report a positive, at-home test result.

The free app, downloadable for free from Apple or Google Play, was launched statewide in January 2021 through a public-private partnership between the Hawaii Department of Health, aio Digital, and the Hawaii Executive Collaborative.

It uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been exposed to the coronavirus….

read … AlohaSafe Alert app now allows users to self-report, positive home COVID-19 test results

Solar Industry ‘Frozen’ as Biden Administration Investigates Slave labor in China

NYT: … More than 300 solar projects in the United States have been canceled or delayed in recent weeks because of an investigation by the Commerce Department….

2021: Biden bans solar panel material from Chinese firm over forced labor

read … Solar Industry ‘Frozen’ as Biden Administration Investigates China

‘Supply Chain Problems’--Another Big Solar Fail for HECO

IM: … The Public Utilities Commission issued approvals for two amended solar/storage contracts on May 6, 2022. The first was the 12.5 megawatt HECO-AES contract, the second was the 40 megawatt MECO-Pulehu Solar contract. The Commission described justification for both using similar language.

But wires were crossed for the Pulehu contract. Two days earlier, Pulehu Solar pulled the plug on the proposed contract. “Seller hereby declares the PPA null and void.” …

“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, and the State's accelerating renewable energy goals, these are unprecedented times, that require unprecedented solutions.”…. 

CB: A Major Solar Farm Developer Is Pulling Out Of Maui And Oahu Projects

read … PUC Approves Modifying Two Solar Contracts – But One Apparently Dies

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