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Wednesday, August 01, 2018
August 1, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:54 PM :: 1054 Views

False Name Anti-Bunda Mailers Blanket North Shore

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 30, 2018

City Targets Farmers Markets for Primary Urban Center Development Plan Outreach

Ethics: Big Island's Top Sheriff Busted Padding Payroll

Hawaii Visitor Spending Up 10.8% in First Half of 2018--Down for June on Big Island

VIDEO: 'Confused' Mazie Hirono Schooled on ICE     

20 Year Anniversary of Hawaii Small Business Regulatory Review Board

Poll: Case Leads CD1 With 34% – Gabbard Leads CD2 With 69%

CB: …Case, who entered the race in June, had 34 percent support from likely Democratic primary voters. His next closest opponent was Lt. Gov. Doug Chin who had 19 percent.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, the race’s previous frontrunner before Case dropped in, received 15 percent support from those surveyed, a slide of 11 points since Civil Beat last polled the race in May….

Other candidates in the race include state Reps. Kaniela Ing and Beth Fukumoto and Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, all of whom had only single digit support.

Eighteen percent of those surveyed said they are still unsure about who they want to represent them in Congress.

Gabbard has 69 percent support among likely Democratic voters in the 2nd Congressional District compared to 16 percent for Campagna, who is a first-time candidate….

CB: Sherry Campagna’s Quest To Unseat Hawaii’s Most Popular Politician

read … Polls

Djou Defends Hanabusa Against Caldwell

SA: …Throughout the 2016 mayoral campaign, Caldwell repeatedly praised Hanabusa’s service on the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). In fact, during a live TV debate against me, Caldwell went out of his way to specifically cite Hanabusa as a leading example of exactly how he wanted rail board members to conduct themselves.

Caldwell even added that he wanted other rail board members to act more like Hanabusa.

The mayor’s criticism of Hanabusa now, after singing high praise of her service before, is a direct product of Caldwell’s crude opportunistic politics. The plain and simple fact is that the Honolulu rail fiasco has nothing to do with Colleen Hanabusa and everything to do with Kirk Caldwell….

Related: Leaving GOP, Djou Eyes Council, Mayoral Races

read … Charles Djou

HMSA small-business premiums see 7% rise

SA: Health insurance premiums for Hawaii Medical Serv­ice Association’s small- business plans rose an average 7 percent in July for roughly 50,000 members.

The rate hike affecting 5,400 small businesses compares with an average 2.1 percent increase a year ago….

read … HMSA small-business premiums see 7% rise

Louis Kealoha's attorney requests separate trials from Wife on Some charges  

KHON: …A new motion filed in court Tuesday by the attorney for former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha is asking that several counts against him be tried separate from his wife.

Those counts relate to identity theft.

Louis Kealoha's attorney says that based on evidence, those charges should only be made against his wife, Katherine Kealoha….

read … Louis Kealoha's attorney requests separate trials for charges

HSTA: Our Failure is Our Best Argument to Raise Taxes on Renters

KHON: …the start of new school year comes as a new report ranks Hawaii's school system as one of the worst in the country.

According to finance website WalletHub, Hawaii comes in 39th in the list of the best to worst school systems.

While the state ranked 13th for safety, it came in 41st for quality.

One of the reasons for the poor ranking was low test scores.

Researchers (Union bosses always) say more money may be key to turning around failing school systems. …

For the 2019 fiscal year, the Department of Education's budget is nearly $2 billion.

According to the DOE, in 2016 it's per-pupil spending is upwards of $13,700.

That's about $2,000 more than the national average. …

What is not specified in the ballot question is what types of investment properties will be taxed.

Will it just be million dollar beach homes or $300,000 condos?

If voters approve the measure, it will be up to legislators to figure that out as well as how much the surcharge will be.

But will more money really solve all the issues in Hawaii's education system? It hasn't for Washington, DC.

According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, it spends an average of more than $20,000 per student.

It's 49th on WalletHub's ranking, making it one of the worse (DoE grammar and spelling in action) school systems in the country….

Related: Hawaii DoE: 2nd-Lowest ACT Scores in USA

read …  Voters could play major role in future of Hawaii's school system

Prohibition Fails: After 30 years, 90% of Vacation rentals are Illegal

SA: In the late 1980s, the City Council adopted a measure that banned the opening of new bed-and-breakfast establishments or transient vacation units in all zoning districts except in hotel-resort zones. As a result, Oahu’s current legal inventory includes nearly 820 TVUs and B&Bs. The illegal inventory: an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 operations.

In years past, the Council’s efforts to address the growing problem have dithered into deadlock between those who support vacation rentals as a means of providing homeowners a way to earn extra cash, and opponents who rightly argue that the increasingly popular alternative to traditional hotel stays is straining a sense of established structure in neighborhoods.

Last week, Mayor Kirk Caldwell presented the city’s latest plan to bring balance to the matter. It includes an omnibus bill that would open the door to unlimited owner- occupied B&Bs in single-family residential zones as well as apartment, resort and mixed-use zones. Operators would be required to provide one off-street parking stall per rented bedroom, and enforce quiet hours.

TVUs — defined as dwellings rented to guests for less than 30 days when owners are not present — would be banned from residential zones except through a permit system in apartment, business, resort and mixed-use zones. There they would be capped at 1 percent of the number of dwelling units within each of the city’s eight development plans or sustainable community plan areas. The envisioned upshot is an islandwide limit of about 4,000 of these absentee-owner units….

PBN: Hawaii vacation rental growth outpaced hotels in first half of 2018

read … A good start on vacation rentals

Mental Health is a Public Safety Issue

SA: …The warning was issued after a brutal attack upon a Japanese couple at a public restroom in Kakaako. Sadly, the attack was not an isolated event. Robberies in Honolulu are up 20 percent compared to 2013, according to the Honolulu Police Department’s 2017 annual report. Between 2016 and 2017 the numbers of murders doubled. The victims include visitors, military personnel and locals. These attacks threaten not only the health of Hawaii’s $16 billion visitor industry but the safety of residents.

How dangerous has Hawaii become? One of my Kailua neighbors pointed to a man having a mental episode in the middle of the street and said, “I have lived here all my life and never felt less safe.”

Visitors are being frightened, robbed and hurt on a regular basis, even in Kailua. There are said to be more than 37,000 people in Hawaii diagnosed as schizophrenic or with biopolar disorder (most of whom are not dangerous) … uh … (until they are) ....

In addition, there are thousands of drug users whose mental states are influenced when they take drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, law and order issues no longer seem to hold the interest of most political leaders. The issue of public safety rarely comes up in debates or discussions. It is as if the almost daily assaults, shootings and attacks we see, hear and read about never happened….

most of all, the problem is that Hawaii does not have a good program for dealing with the overwhelming mental health and drug rehabilitation issues it now faces….

Related: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read … Dangerous Lunatics

820 New Homeless IDed in Last Year

HNN: …Inside the kitchen at the IHS men's shelter on Tuesday afternoon, staff were already busy prepping dinner — right as lunch was being served.

"We cook everyday. Three meals a day," says Angela Taumua, a cook with the agency. "On the menu for lunch is chicken casserole, corn on the cob, spicy chips and yogurt with fresh strawberry fruit."

Last year, IHS officials say they served an average of 750 meals a day. Over the past 12 months that number has gone up substantially — it's now common for staff to dish out as many as 900 meals in a single day.

During Tuesday's lunch service, the dining hall was packed. Folks living at the shelter got first dibs on the food, while a line of hungry people stood outside, waiting to get in….

The majority of the demand, though, comes from an influx of new homeless people living on the street.

"We continue to see a lot more people fall into homelessness at a quicker rate than we're able to move them out of homelessness and into permanent housing," said Kimo Carvalho.

Over the past year, IHS outreach workers have identified 820 new homeless people in a regions that spans Windward Oahu, Waikiki and parts of Urban Honolulu….

KGI: Food distribution at Kapaa beach draws crowds

read … Strawberries

Pence expected to land in Hawaii overnight to receive Korean War remains

HNN: Vice President Mike Pence is expected to arrive in Hawaii late Tuesday night to receive the possible remains of over 50 American soldiers killed in the Korean War.

Pence will participate in the special ceremony on Wednesday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam….

read … Pence expected to land in Hawaii overnight to receive Korean War remains

Kauai: A Tiny Company’s Big Battle Over Water Rights

CB: You can scarcely see the 100-year-old water tank situated half above ground on Maluhia Road just outside Koloa on Kauai’s south side.

But it’s the subject of a very visible legal dispute over who can bottle the water inside that has dragged on now for 15 years….

Background:

read … Kauai: A Tiny Company’s Big Battle Over Water Rights

Matson Profits Jump Thanks to tax Cuts

SA: … A big income tax cut helped Hawaii’s largest ocean cargo transportation firm, Matson Inc., produce 36 percent more profit in the second quarter.

Honolulu-based Matson announced Tuesday that it earned $32.6 million in the April-June period compared with $24 million in last year’s second quarter.

The $8.6 million gain was driven mainly by an income tax break instituted by President Donald Trump at the beginning of this year. Matson reported paying $8.8 million in income taxes in the second quarter, down from $15.6 million a year earlier ….

read … Tax Cuts

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