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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
August 28, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:59 PM :: 904 Views

Hawaii--6th Best Economy in USA

Caldwell Amin Sues over HSTA Rental Tax Amendment

CB: … The City and County of Honolulu wants a state court to make elections officials re-word the title of the proposed constitutional amendment on education funding that is headed to voters on Nov. 6.

The so-called ballot heading is misleading because it fails to mention that the proposed measure could result in a tax placed on a wide range of investment property, the lawsuit filed by Honolulu Corporation Counsel Donna Leong says.

The title the city is objecting to says simply: “CON AMEND: Relating to Public Education and Investment Property.”

But the complaint, filed last week in Circuit Court, asserts the tax “will have a highly deleterious effect on the City’s ability to raise revenue to support the City’s infrastructure and services.”…

Although the original bill applied specifically to single family homes valued at more than $1 million, the final measure passed by lawmakers applies broadly to “investment real property.” The proposed amendment would allow the Legislature to tax a range of real property used for investment purposes, from large-scale commercial projects like big shopping centers and tony office towers to small storefronts leased to mom-and-pop merchants and apartments rented to low-income residents….

Critics of the measure say the ballot wording is so vague that it’s impossible to tell how much money the surcharge would generate and that there are no specifics on how the tax structure would work.

County officials worry that the measure would siphon needed money away from counties.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration has said that the tax would have an adverse impact on Honolulu’s real estate market since it might dissuade potential investors from investing in higher-priced properties, driving rents up higher overall.

Honolulu wants the court to declare that the ballot heading is invalid, and is seeking an order to prevent the heading as currently worded on the ballot….

SA: Investment tax wording on ballot spurs suit

read … Honolulu Lawsuit Aims To Stop Proposed Ballot Measure On Education Funding

Hawaii Suicide Squad to Begin Saving Insurance Companies Money on Expensive Cancer Patients January 1

SA: …the “Our Care, Our Choice Act” goes into effect on Jan. 1, authorizing medical aid in dying in the state of Hawaii.

This compassionate medical practice gives terminally ill, mentally capable adult residents with six months or less to live the option to request and receive a prescription from their doctor that they may choose to take to minimize suffering and achieve a peaceful death….

But while we now have a law on the books, our work is far from done. The Our Care, Our Choice Act takes effect just four months from now. It is vital that our islands’ health professionals, educators and health care institutions prepare now for the addition of this end-of-life option for our terminally ill kamaaina.

The Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology (HSCO), a professional organization representing over 90 percent of the state’s cancer doctors, has posted educational tools on its website to assist health care providers, pharmacists, patients and their families in understanding the new law. Policy templates for health care organizations are also available. Additionally, HSCO will host two educational programs for our members to aid in understanding and implementation of the law….

Compassion & Choices has launched the Hawaii Access Campaign, a volunteer-led effort to educate the community, health-care professionals and systems to ensure terminally ill adults here have meaningful access to the new law. Excellent resources, including informational videos, a request form for educational presentations, a research tool to help patients locate providers who will honor their choices, a Doc2Doc consultation line, and much more can be found at www.compassionandchoices.org/hawaii. The site soon will be updated to include information in Tagalog, Ilocano, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Hawaiian languages….

Flashback: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii

read … Prepare to implement Our Care, Our Choice Act on Jan. 1

City re-hires contractor, resumes construction of multi-million dollar traffic center

HNN: …The city has once again resumed construction of its $54 million Joint Traffic Management Center after putting the project on hold in July.

The project, which has been in the works for about a decade, was paused after officials fired the contractor in charge of the center's construction, citing months of issues and delays.

Prior to being fired, Watts Construction LLC was issued warnings since February for several issues with the facility including leaking water and flooring problems.

The city has since backtracked on that decision, and is allowing Watts to continue working on the project after reaching an agreement with its parent and affiliate companies.

“The JTMC can withstand a high-end Category three hurricane and will house all of our first responders during such storms and other emergencies," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in a statement.

"Once the special nature of this building was established, there were good faith negotiations amongst all parties to resume construction of the JTMC and suspend the termination that was placed on Watts back in July,” Caldwell said….

read … City re-hires contractor, resumes construction of multi-million dollar traffic center

Shipman plans addition to Keaau Village that could add 940 homes

PBN: …according to a draft environmental assessment published last week in the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s Environmental Notice.

The first phase would be located on 121.7 acres and would include a 14.9-acre commercial site west of Volcano Highway next to Shipman Park.

The landowner said construction on the first phase would start after all necessary approvals are secured, probably in the next two years, and the two phases would take between 10 and 15 years to build out.

The area isn’t far from Kilauea volcano’s lower east rift zone, where the most recent eruption destroyed some 700 homes…. 

SA: Landowner proposes nearly 1,000 homes in Puna

read … Shipman plans addition to Keaau Village that could add 940 homes

New Quarantine Site for Criminals – Final EIS Published

PBN: …The state said in its draft EIS last fall its preferred location for the new Honolulu jail was the 38-acre site of the state’s underused animal quarantine facility located in Halawa, near the intersection of the H3 and Moanalua freeways.

The EIS noted that the site would offer the largest building area at 25 acres and the lowest construction cost at $525 million, which includes $17.5 million for construction of a new animal quarantine facility on the west side of the property.

The existing OCCC on Dillingham Boulvard in Kalihi, one of three alternatives outlined in the EIS, is 16.46 acres. The other two sites were a site adjacent to the maximum-security Halawa Correctional Facility and a lot in the Mililani Technology Park.

Ige’s acceptance of the final EIS was published Thursday in the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s Environmental Notice. The final EIS, which was prepared by PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc., was published in the July 8 edition….

read … Ige close to announcing where to put new Honolulu jail

Police: Plenty People Breaking into Solar Farms to Steal Panels

SA: A white 2005 Chevy Astro van reported stolen from a cemetery Aug. 14 was allegedly taken on a wild ride early Friday through a Barbers Point solar farm, making an exit by barreling through a heavy chain-link and barbed wire fence and winding up crashed in deep sand among telephone poles and cactus.

The individuals then reportedly stole a pickup truck from a nearby business — and barreled through another section of fence to get back into the Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park, possibly to retrieve a BMW that had gotten stuck on the premises on the way in, people with knowledge of the events said….

A trailer at the 20-acre solar farm, which was completed in late 2013, apparently was broken into, but nothing was stolen, possibly because the intruders got spooked, police and other individuals said.

An official said a lock was broken at the main gate, providing access for the two vehicles. The BMW reportedly drove off the pavement and got stuck on a kiawe stump….

“Several” stolen license plates were recovered at the scene, including one on the van, he said. The vehicle’s appearance also was altered.

Dilwith said he doesn’t understand the break-in at the Waipio cemetery. “Who going to break into one cemetery?” he asked. But he does understand the solar farm entry.

“The police there were saying plenty people are breaking into solar farms and stealing the panels,” he said. “The panels are kind of a hot commodity right now.”

The $31 million solar farm is one tenant on 538 acres transferred to Hunt Cos. by the Navy as part of a Ford Island master development agreement…..

read … Cemetery, solar farm targeted in break-ins

Ala Wai Golf: Private Sector Does what the County Simply Cannot

CB: A mainland company with 45 high-tech driving ranges worldwide wants to bring its  brand of golf to Honolulu with a $50 million facility at the Ala Wai Golf Course.

Topgolf and several local corporations were given a conditional award in May to redevelop the golf course’s aging driving range.

The four-story structure would contain about 108 bays, food concessions and lounge areas. Golfers would hit balls loaded with microchips that can track flight paths and determine who comes closest to targets spread around the range.

Think cosmic bowling for golf.

The project is expected to be a moneymaker for the city, according to documents provided by Topgolf’s local communications team, CommPac….

read … Glitzy New Driving Range Proposal At Ala Wai Worries The Regulars

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