Tracking Eleven Tax Hike Bills at Second Crossover
Research surveys Jones Act costs and effects
Top Dems Attack Gabbard After She Fails to Blame Assad for Gas Attack
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted April 10, 2017
Specialists think North Korea poses nuclear threat to Hawaii
SA: Nuclear arms experts think North Korea already has, or soon will have, the ability to target Hawaii with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile with possibly about the same destructive force as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Warnings are mounting apace with that growing threat.
“North Korea’s unprecedented level of nuclear testing and ballistic missile development offers a sobering reminder that the United States must remain vigilant against rogue nation-states that are able to threaten the homeland,” Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, who heads the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told a congressional committee Thursday.
In Hawaii a profusion of four-star military commands — including U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees U.S. military activity over half the globe — makes Oahu a strategic and symbolic target. The threat from an unpredictable North Korea, in turn, is prompting a revisitation of some old Cold War practices that until recently seemed laughable.
Duck and cover? Still there in the form of “shelter in place,” state officials say.
Nuclear fallout shelters? In 1981 Oahu had hundreds of them. The Prince Kuhio Building could hold 14,375 people — not because it has a secret underground bunker, but because its concrete parking structure could be used as shelter.
“Each one of those facilities had to be surveyed for how much concrete density (was present),” said Toby Clairmont, executive officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, the successor to Civil Defense. “And they had to be equipped, so they put medical kits in them, food, sanitary kits, all that kind of stuff.”….
EX: Kim Jong-un 'could unleash a NUCLEAR BOMB on HAWAII'
SA: Survival plans afoot against 10-kiloton N. Korean warhead
read … Nuke
HB407: Health Savings Accounts to Reduce Health Insurance Costs
SB: On Wednesday, members of the Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee, led by Sen. Roz Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui), advanced House Bill 407, which would allow employers to offer employees a high-deductible health insurance plan that’s paired with a health savings account.
“This is something new. We want to see if it works; we want to see what the impact is,” said Baker in noting that she would put a five-year sunset date in the bill.
High-deductible plans, which have attracted controversy on the mainland, haven’t been allowed in Hawaii’s insurance market, which has historically been more tightly regulated under the state’s Prepaid Health Care Act.
The measure, which has passed second reading in the Senate, was introduced on behalf of University Health Alliance, one of the state’s main health insurance companies, after state regulators rejected the company’s attempt to introduce a high-deductible plan into the market a couple of years ago….
House Bill 407 still has to make it out of conference committee, which is expected to comprise Baker, Rep. Roy Takumi (D, Pearl City-Waipio-Pearl Harbor) and possibly others. If it is passed by the Legislature and is signed by the governor, any high-deductible plans would also need to be approved by regulators within the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
read … Senate committee OKs insurance bill
GEMS: Bill would tap fee on Your Electric Bill and Transfer it to Billionaire Elon Musk
SA: A bill moving through the state Legislature aims to shake loose money frozen in a $150 million failed renewable-energy loan program (GEMS funded by a fee on your electric bill) and use it to offer rebates of up to $10,000 to residents (hucksters) who buy (sell) battery systems for their homes.
House Bill 1593 offers rebates to residents who install batteries that can connect to solar systems to store energy for use at night or capture electricity from the grid at off-peak hours for use during peak times.
Proponents see home battery systems as a way to help Hawaii move closer to its goal of getting 100 percent of its electric power from renewable sources by 2045. Batteries make it possible to increase the number of rooftop solar systems without adding stress to the grid. They can also help cut maintenance costs for electric utilities. (Translation: If we give our money to Billionaire Musk, his Tesla batteries will make it possible for other green energy schemers to cash in on other tax credits.)…..
read … Bill would tap solar fund for rebates on home batteries
Hawaii is poised to pass universal mail-in balloting
Borreca: If HB 1401 goes into effect, every registered voter in Hawaii would be mailed a ballot: you fill it out, sign it and mail it back. If your signature doesn’t match the one on file with the state, you are likely to get busted and be found guilty of a Class C felony….
In the last primary election, nearly 55 percent voted absentee and mailed in their ballot….
(In 2016 and 2014 the absentees voted about 2-1 pro-GMO. Election Day voters voted about 2-1 anti-GMO. Logically, removing anti-GMO activists’ preferred method of voting will reduce their numbers somewhat. But don’t tell them until Ige signs the bill. OK?)
read … Hawaii is poised to pass universal mail-in balloting
Lawyers Want Their Legislators to Let Them Sue Lifeguards
CB: “Lifeguards are on the beach every day providing lifesaving measures in an uncontrolled environment,” said Gerald Kosaki, the Hawaii County battalion chief in charge of ocean safety. “It makes it easier to do that job if they don’t have to worry about getting sued.”
The current law, which provides immunity except in cases of “gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions,” will expire June 30 without legislative action.
County council members, mayors and emergency responders were hoping this might be the year to remove the sunset clause and set the law in stone. The Legislature has extended the law every few years since its inception in 2002.
But supporters of the bill say the measure’s passage looks precarious this legislative session, now down to its last few weeks. They caution that its failure could mean no lifeguards at Hapuna Beach on Big Island, Kaena Point on Oahu, Makena Beach on Maui and Kee Beach on Kauai.
And it could compromise efforts to put lifeguards at other state beaches that are currently unguarded, such as Kua Bay on the Big Island.
SB562: Text, Status
read … Sue a Lifeguard
SHOPO Wants HPD Chief to Remain an Inside Job
CB: Union boss Tenari Maafala doesn’t want an outsider running the Honolulu Police Department.
Maafala is the outspoken president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers and a vocal advocate of hiring a new chief from within the ranks despite the many scandals that have gripped HPD in recent years, some of which have led to major lawsuits involving use of force, racial discrimination and other civil rights violations.
In fact, Maafala is actively opposing state legislation that would allow HPD — or any police department for that matter — to hire a chief who lives outside of Hawaii.
read … Inside Job
Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility Reverts to Type
SA: …In 2010, the case was dismissed when the monitoring team found the state in substantial compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement.
During the past two years, I have visited Olomana School on a number of occasions. I have observed teachers refining their instructional skills, implementing project-based learning, and using data to make instructional decisions.
At the same time, I have seen a deterioration in the working relationship between the leadership at HYCF and their Youth Corrections Officers (YCOs) and a decline in the activities and opportunities provided by HYCF to youth afterschool and on weekends.
Evidence-based programs that help youth manage their anger and treat substance abuse have been discontinued. These programs, instituted following the settlement agreement, have been replaced by culturally based programs that focus on Hawaii heritage and traditions. These new programs are a valuable part of a well-rounded schedule of activities, but they are no substitute for evidence-based programs that address anger management and drug abuse.
In contrast to well-run facilities, the current HYCF leadership infrequently meets with the school team and rarely consults with them about important issues affecting youth….
March 16, 2017: HYCF today only houses 20 kids
read … Revert to Type
Caldwell Allows Historic Ewa Battlefield to become target of trash dumping
KITV: "We feel it's very disrespectful for what we consider to be a sacred site where marines died in combat during Pearl Harbor attack. There's also Hawaiian Iwi burials out here." said John Bond, President of Kanehili Cultural Hui.
John Bond says he noticed the trash build-up in the last 4 to 5 weeks. On top of the trash, he says tires have also been dumped at the airfield.
Bond says built up water in the tires are starting to breed mosquitoes and he's worried they may cause a potential pollution problem if left for too long.
He says he notified City and State officials several times this month. "The only response I got back was that it was not their responsibility, it was Navy responsibility." said Bond.
Bond says constructive possession of the parcel of land was transferred from the Navy to the City Parks Department last Fall. Therefore, he thinks it's a city enforcement issue.
read … Historic Ewa Battlefield becomes target of trash dumping
Civil Beat: The Center for Rat Lungworm News
CB: A disgusting and destructive parasite continues to attack innocent people in our community. It slithers deep into the brains of our friends and neighbors. Its effects could be lethal.
Oh, that rat lungworm thing is really gross and concerning, too. But one has to marvel, again – jaw dropped – at KHON’s latest story “discovery” and at the lengths the local station went to cover its journalistic misdeeds.
This time, the victim was Civil Beat’s new Maui columnist, Tad Bartimus, who wrote about a preschool teacher on the neighboring island who was suffering from rat lungworm disease. On that evening’s KHON newscast, anchor Joe Moore announced the station’s sudden interest in this topic with: “We first heard about this case from a viewer via the ‘Report It’ feature on our website, so we started checking. …”
“Checking” apparently meant reporter Brigette Namata went to Civil Beat’s website, where she grabbed the afflicted person’s name and details, called her and then reconstituted Bartimus’ column in a television format without giving Civil Beat any credit. Brazenly, at the end of the KHON piece, Moore emphasized, “Again, we learned about this from a viewer.”
I’m not sure what else to make of Moore’s superfluous bookending comments, other than as an expression of subconscious guilt and an effort to suppress it.
read … Rat Lungworm, Civil Beat: What Else Can We Say?
Meet The New Leader Of Oahu Republicans
CB: Brett Kulbis talks about revitalizing Hawaii’s minority party and the recent defection of Rep. Beth Fukumoto to the Democrats….
read … Meet The New Leader Of Oahu Republicans