VIDEO: Make Hawaii Affordable Again
Hawaii 11th Most Efficient Education System--When Cost of Living Taken into Account
High Cost of Housing? 1978 State Constitution is the Problem
CB: …Hawaii’s next chief executive faces an overarching challenge: a cost of living so high that residents are fleeing Hawaii despite the booming economy. Hawaii was one of only a handful of states to lose population in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Honolulu is so expensive that federal housing guidelines define a $65,350 salary for a single person as low income.
So along with the frequent questions about lowering the cost of living and ensuring there are enough affordable residences to house the workforce, one question facing the next governor is not simply how to create jobs, but how to create higher paying ones.
It’s a tough task given some of Hawaii’s unique attributes. It’s one of the world’s most remote island chains, which presents logistical challenges for manufacturers. And the Hawaii Constitution strongly protects the environment and Native Hawaiian cultural resources, which often poses challenges for developers.
For example, one of the most expensive private construction projects in recent memory, the Thirty Meter Telescope proposed for the summit of Mauna Kea, now estimated to cost $2 billion, has been hamstrung for years by lawsuits brought by Native Hawaiian and environmental activists concerned about the state government’s management of the mountaintop. It’s just the latest of several high-profile projects to stall after Hawaii courts found developers or the government didn’t follow the law.
Meanwhile, the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to promote certain industries, like the technology, renewable energy and motion picture businesses, but it’s far from clear that the investments have created self-sustaining industries that can continue to grow without ongoing taxpayer support.
A former chief economist for Bank of Hawaii, Brewbaker said the best thing policymakers can do is promote the development of housing and infrastructure and ease regulations that inhibit growth.….
Hanabusa, a Democrat, declined to share her vision on economic development….
read … How Gov Candidates Would Grow Hawaii’s Economy
Hanabusa Tried to Slip ‘Akaka Bill’ Thru Backdoor Deal
CB: …Do we want a quiet leader who works honestly and shuns back-room deals or do we want “a dynamic leader who gets things done” in the political dark.
Wasn’t it Hanabusa who tried to talk the late U.S. Senator Dan Akaka into skirting the legislative process by hooking up his “Akaka Bill” as a rider on some other legislation—to “get the job done!”? He told her that he would not have his bill go through “the back door” just to have it pass….
Flashback: “It’s Sneaky” -- Hanabusa: Akaka Bill must Stay off Radar to Pass
read … Shun backroom Deals
Anti-GMO Corruption: Atay Gives $100,000 to his Thuggish Executive Assistant
MN: A Maui County Council committee is looking into a $100,000 grant for events honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu’s 250th birthday in March requested by Council Member Alika Atay and awarded to his executive assistant.
The county Office of Economic Development has provided a report to the council Budget and Finance Committee on the grant awarded to Atay’s executive assistant Brian Bardellini. The report referenced on the committee’s agenda for its Wednesday meeting includes emails and documents that show that up to $10,000 has not yet been paid to entertainers, chaplains, security and other workers nearly four months after the events.
The committee also plans to review marketing materials and expenses used for promotion of the events. The use of unapproved flyers, with Atay’s photo featured prominently; $5,000 paid to a Los Angeles marketing expert; and $680 for a database of 2,000 emails and 6,000 postal addresses are among the issues to be examined by the committee.
The county Board of Ethics raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest with Bardellini accepting a grant requested by Atay. The board recommended that Bardellini act as a volunteer and not make money off the events.
The Office of Economic Development will present its report during the committee’s 9 a.m. Wednesday meeting in Council Chambers….
Atay’s Assistant in the News:
read … Bardellini, Again
Jitters resurface over rail costs
SA: For more than a year, rail leaders have maintained that their estimates tied to completing the cash-strapped 20-mile rail project from Kapolei to Ala Moana are solid. And that show of confidence has been somewhat reassuring.
But due to the latest report on Honolulu’s troubled transit project, which estimates the project will now cost about $134 million more than the city’s forecast, price tag jitters are again surfacing.
What’s more, the semi-autonomous city agency shepherding the project,Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), is now prepping for the final 4 miles of construction — into a congested urban core that rail’s critics have long asserted could rack up huge unforeseen costs.
The HART board is expected to vote this month on whether to seek its first business-sector partner — through a public-private partnership — to help complete construction. Contracts currently have been awarded through a design-build process.
Backers of the P3 model, including HART Executive Director Andrew Robbins, say such an arrangement could cap the city’s share for the project and transfer the risk of additional costs to the private partner, who would design, build, finance, operate and maintain in tandem with the city. Because the partner would have a long-term stake, it could be more likely to have fiscal and schedule discipline….
SA: What other costs are being hidden from the public that they will have to pay for?
read … Jitters resurface over rail costs
What Honolulu Rail Planners Can Learn From Puerto Rico
CB: …San Juan’s Tren Urbano, an elevated, heavy rail system like that planned in Honolulu, has struggled with low ridership and cost overruns….
read … Learn
Professional Licensing: It is easier to become a cop in Hawaii than to become a massage therapist or hair stylist.
CB: …On Tuesday, Governor Ige might do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.
He intends to veto House Bill 2071. This bill — if Governor Ige does not block it – would create a licensing board for law enforcement officers to ensure they meet and maintain minimum standards of training, education, physical and mental fitness, good conduct, and moral character.
It is about time. The movement to professionalize policing began in the 1950s in response to widespread police corruption scandals. Since then all states — except Hawaii — have adopted a local standards board.
Not having a law enforcement standards board means that from a legal perspective, it is easier to become a cop in Hawaii than to become a massage therapist or hair stylist. Both of these professions have state-sanctioned licensing boards — as do acupuncturists, pest control operators, private detectives, and at least 21 other professions — but not law enforcement officers….
Related: DLNR Finally Gets Around to Firing Rapist Cop Son of HGEA President
read … There’s No Good Reason To Oppose A More Professional Police Force
Public schools could soon be open for business
KHON: A bill expected to become law on Tuesday was inspired at Waianae High School, and could benefit all public schools.
SB2051 would not only help students learn about business, but allow public schools to generate their own revenue.
Public schools could soon start selling student-made goods without the current $25,000 a year cap.
Schools like Waianae High School have entrepreneur programs which showcase students unique talents and abilities, which backers of the bill believe should be on display. …
"That is a huge problem, the lack of staff, and the lack of resources and this is where these revenues will really fill the gap. So, if these programs can produce enough funds then they could hire more staff," Shimabukuro said.
Governor David Ige has not yet signed the bill, he has until Tuesday to veto it. However, it's currently not on his veto list. Even if it goes unsigned, it will become law on July 10, 2018.….
KITV: Now you'll have the marine scene learning center being able to market and sell their shrimp
read … Public schools could soon be open for business