Hawaii Assisted Suicide Bill Abandons Safeguards
Report: 46% of HC&S Cane Workers Find New Jobs
Hawaiian Electric seeks onshore wind farm developers on Oahu
OHA trustee Peter Apo faces investigation into Kakaako Kickbacks
HNN: A state Ethics Commission investigation is looking into whether Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and former state lawmaker Peter Apo conducted his private business out of his taxpayer-funded OHA office….
Sources told Hawaii News Now that investigators with the Ethics Commission recently accessed OHA's computers to obtain Apo emails.
Hawaii News Now has obtained some of those emails from OHA computers.
They confirm communications between Apo, using his company's email address, and local architect Robert Iopa.
Iopa is the chairman of Apo's election committee and his firm is part of a team that has a $2.9 million dollar contract with OHA to master plan its Kakaako properties.
One of the emails, Apo appears to offer his services to a company affiliated with Iopa. (Kickbacks.) Iopa and the company DTL were applying for a multi-million dollar federal grant to upgrade Waikiki's infrastructure, beaches and reefs….
read … Kickbacks
Governor David Ige and Hawaii Legislature force shelters to turn away homeless families
HNN: In the midst of a continuing homeless crisis new state rules are forcing shelters to begin turning away families.
Just five months after Waikiki Health's Next Step Shelter expanded its hours to place clients into permanent housing more quickly it's being forced to scale back its operations.
Currently the shelter can accommodate 230 people. But new state regulations aimed at providing clients with more private space and amenities will cut capacity to 125. Sources say all of the family cubicles will be lost. That would have served up to 105 people.
We're told Next Step has already stopped taking in new families. So workers can house the families who are there before changes go into effect February 1.
Spokesman Kimo Carvalho from the Institute for Human Services says it's in a similar situation.
"Yes we will have to turn people away," said Carvalho.
The family dorm at IHS already operates on a wait list. The facility can shelter 31 families. With the new contract they'll loose six units, space for up to 36 people….
This comes just weeks after the 80-bed Lighthouse shelter in Waipahu announced it would be impossible to operate under the new rules. It's now set to close at the end of January.
The only other shelter that serves families on Oahu is The Family Assessment Center in Kakaako. The temporary facility is only slated to operate through 2018….
The state is expected to announce its homeless shelter contracts next Thursday.
(The purpose of these rules is to increase the number of homeless on the streets and eliminate the justification for homeless sweeps so leftists can go back to using the homeless as icons of social guilt.)
read … New state rules force shelters to cut help for homeless families
Interim rules set affordable housing standards
SA: The Honolulu Planning Commission has backed a proposal for interim affordable housing requirements for projects that seek zoning exemptions within transit-oriented development areas as a precursor to adoption of zoning regulations along the rail line.
Under the city’s Interim Planned Development-Transit permit, developers can seek zoning variances — including additional height and density allowances — in exchange for providing community benefits, such as affordable housing and open space. The permit is used on an interim basis until transit- oriented development, or TOD, zoning is adopted. Once adopted, developers would adhere to a separate set of zoning regulations, which are currently under City Council review.
The city Department of Planning and Permitting’s proposal calls for developers to keep 20 percent of all units for sale at up to 120 percent of area median income for a minimum of 30 years. If developers choose to provide the required number of affordable units off-site, 25 percent would remain at up to 120 percent of area median income for the same amount of time. Off-site units would need to be within the same TOD area. Additionally, at least 50 percent of those affordable units would have to be offered at 100 percent of area median income or lower.
For rental projects, developers would need to provide 15 percent of units at up to 80 percent of area median income for at least 30 years. DPP also proposed an in-lieu fee of $45 per square foot of the total residential floor area for developers who choose not to build the affordable units. The fee would be paid to the city and updated annually based on the Consumer Price Index with 2014 as the base year.
The Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend approval, and the proposal will proceed to the Council for further review….
read … Interim rules set affordable housing standards
McDermott to appeal on Campbell HS Overcrowding lawsuit
SA: State Rep. Bob McDermott said Friday he will appeal a Circuit Court decision dismissing his lawsuit alleging conditions at Campbell High School are so poor and overcrowded that they violate the state Constitution.
Circuit Judge Edwin C. Nacino on Thursday dismissed the suit by McDermott (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) demanding the state provide funding to improve conditions at the school or immediately select a site and begin construction on a new East Kapolei high school. Enrollment at Campbell is 3,125 students, and the school now has 44 portable classrooms….
McDermott said he will appeal, citing language in the state Constitution that specifies that the state “shall provide for the establishment, support and control of a statewide system of public schools … including physical facilities therefor.”
“We believe the Circuit Court judge mistakenly viewed the law too narrowly and not in the context of the plain language” in the Constitution, McDermott said in a written statement.
read … Legislator to appeal on school lawsuit
TMT Hearing: Last Pro-Telescope Witnesses Testify
BIN: …On Thursday, Jan. 5, Dr. Heather Kaluna was called as a witness. Kaluna was born and raised in Pāhoa and is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.
Petitioners Fergerstrom, Case, Kealoha Pisciotta and Lanny Sinkin declined to cross-examine her. Sinkin said his reason was because using Kaluna as a witness was a means of pitting Hawaiians against Hawaiians.
In her written testimony, Kaluna stated that because she watched Pele—referring to lava as the deity—come down the pali and make her way through the town of Kalapana, she said she has “a great appreciation for Pele and her presence in my home community.”
Petitioner Mehana Kihoi asked if she would support an 18-story structure on Kilauea. Kaluna said if it was for a good reason, like education, then yes.
Non-profit PUEO (Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities) Attorney Lincoln Ashida asked why she supported the TMT observatory. Kaluna answered that it would further education for Hawaiʻi children and because they’re doing it with honorable intentions in a culturally sensitive way.
The last witness for the TIO to be called was Dr. Paul Coleman, a specialist astrophysicist at UH Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy.
In his written testimony, Coleman regarded Mauna Kea as a special place, but through his research, found that “there were no ʻsightline’ ceremonies, no equinox celebrations and with the exception of the treatment of piko in Waiau, no cultural practices at all.”
Coleman, who clarified he wasn’t a Hawaiian cultural practitioner or expert, said there’s no mention of Mauna Kea in the Kumulipo (Hawaiian creation chant), and challenged cultural experts to present Mauna Kea as the piko (umbilical cord) of Hawaiʻi Island, whether in text or oli (chant)….
Starting next week, witnesses in opposition of the TMT project will be called to testify and be cross-examined. Some of those names include, Kealoha Pisciotta, Pua Case, Paul Neves, Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, Candace Fujikane and Jon Osorio.
The BLNR contested case hearing is scheduled to continue Jan. 9, 10, 11, 12, 19, 23, 24, 25 and 26 in the Grand Naniloa Hotel Crown Room in Hilo from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m….
read … Time Running Out
Anti-GMO Whack-jobs planning push to strengthen regulation over chemicals they want you to fear
AP: …A court decision declaring it’s up to the state — not counties — to regulate agriculture and a change in committee leadership in the House have added momentum to the effort to enhance state regulation.
“With really focused public pressure, we could really see something get through. The time is right,” said Ashley Lukens, director of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety.
Advocates are pushing bills to require companies to fully disclose when and where they’re spraying pesticides and to mandate buffer zones around schools and hospitals. Another proposal calls for the state and counties to stop using sprays containing glyphosate, an herbicide originally brought to market by Monsanto.
“I’m hopeful that we’re not going to wait for a bad event and see some terrible sickness in our state,” said state Sen. Josh Green, an emergency room doctor who plans to introduce the glyphosate ban bill.
read … They Want You to Fear
Caldwell’s Latest Sewage: Triple Costs on Septic Cleaning
HNN: …thousands of residents with cesspools and companies with holding tanks are being affected by the changes, which could result in higher disposal fees.
Among the changes: The city's Environmental Services Department sealed the old Sand Island dump site, a manhole on Sand Island Access Road. Cesspool pumpers now must empty their tanks at the Sand Island Waste Water Treatment Plant. It only accept loads until mid-afternoon.
"The hours went from early in the morning to 11 p.m., to 7 to 3 during the day -- with no notice," said Jimmy Sequin, owner of Aqua Pumping.
Sequin said his clients in Honolulu Harbor, like Atlantis Cruises, want their holding tanks emptied in the evening.
"We go over there when the boat comes in at 5:30 - 6 o'clock, and we pump out their boat tanks so that all the people that go on board the next day can use the bathroom," he said.
The city's also closing the Kahuku pumping station on weekends….
Sequin added, "The prices are going to almost triple."….
read … Triple
High Tech Tax Credit Schemers Claim to Be Successful (again)
PBN: Hawaii’s four major startup accelerators generated a combined total of $252 million in revenue and funding (See how they mix these two very different things together? That’s because the ‘revenue’ part is so close to zero.) over the last four years, according to a report released by Honolulu-based venture firm Sultan Ventures.
The report, authored by Tarik Sultan, managing partner of Sultan Ventures and XLR8UH, (can’t get any outsiders to make this stuff up for them) said total revenue and funding raised increased from $28 million in 2013 to more than $252 million in 2016.
The report says number of startups in Hawaii also increased from 18 companies in 2013 to 145 companies in 2016….
The data was gathered from self-reported information from local accelerators XLR8UH, Energy Excelerator, Blue Startups and GVS Accelerator.
The report said that of the 145 startups in 2016, two had exits, 114 are growing, 13 are in “zombie” stage with little or no movement, and 16 have hit a dead end.
Sultan’s report also said the more than $250 million in total capital was generated by approximately $10 million the four accelerators invested into the startups over the last four years.
The report estimates nearly 1,000 technology and creative sector jobs were created….
read … Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Will Hawaii County Taxpayers Bail out Bishop Museum Disaster?
HTH: …The Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens tops a Hawaii County commission’s latest list of recommended land purchases.
The Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission’s 2016 report, sent to Mayor Harry Kim on Dec. 30, recommends the purchase of a conservation easement for more than 8 acres of the 15-acre garden, which closed a year ago and is for sale.
The South Kona garden hosts a collection of Hawaiian plants, including those that are rare and endangered.
The report says anticipated uses would be education and tours.
The garden is owned by the Bishop Museum, but following the closure, the Friends of Amy Greenwell Garden received nonprofit status in hopes of stewarding the property….
read … Bishop Museum
Manic-Depressive Ex-MPD officer gets jail term for exposing himself
MN: …The acts occurred May 30, 2015, when police received numerous calls about a man exposing his genitals and masturbating in a vehicle at parking lots including the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Pukalani Terrace Center, Pukalani Park and Kulamalu Town Center and park.
Salomon covered the license plate of his vehicle before leaving his house and took his police radio, which was on the passenger seat, Martin said. He said that victims could hear the police radio….
A man whose wife and underage son were among the victims said that, afterward, his wife received harassing phone calls, which stopped when detectives got involved. He said their 7-year-old Rottweiller was poisoned….
His attorney, David Sereno, said Salomon was already participating in sex offender treatment, as well as alcohol treatment, and was taking medication for bipolar disorder….
read … Expose