July-Aug 2018: GE Tax Collections up 0.4%
Tropical Storm Olivia Moving Away from Hawaii
Ethics Commission Outlines Charges Against OHA Trustee Rowena Akana
Hawaii property owners so beaten down they don’t often go to court
Ethics Board punts on honesty policy
WHT: …Honesty may be said to be the best policy, but it’s not a policy the County Council, or the Board of Ethics, seems eager to see set in law.
After a summer of discussion, postponement and amendment, the council, by a 5-3 vote, has given grudging support to a bill adding language to the ethics code that “officers and employees shall provide accurate and factual information to the public, including identification of any referenced authority, to the best of each officer’s or employee’s abilities and knowledge.”
That’s a change from the original Bill 160 sponsored by Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara that would have stated, “officers and employees should be truthful.”
But even the new language wasn’t enough to win over the Ethics Board, which on Tuesday batted the issue back to the council with a letter stating the change is a policy matter best left to the County Council, adding that any change in the law should come with clear definitions to assist the Ethics Board in interpreting the wording of the code.
…said board Vice Chairman Ken Goodenow. “I think it’s opening up a Pandora’s box.”….
Voting no to the letter was board member Nan Sumner-Mack, who said it’s not too much to ask public employees to be accurate.
“I think accuracy is very important, and as an ethics advisory board, I think accuracy is an ethical matter,” Sumner-Mack said. “I really think accuracy is a matter of honesty in some fashion.”
O’Hara, who amended the bill to garner support from council colleagues, said she introduced it in response to constituents’ concerns.
One of those constituents, Rob Tucker, in January filed a complaint against the Ethics Board, saying it wasn’t responsive to two complaints he filed in 2016 against the county Building Division. He subsequently withdrew the complaint after the board said it would look at revising the ethics code.
Tucker’s original complaints were based on what he saw as preferential treatment for some permit applicants while his permit applications languished in the system.
O’Hara doesn’t think it’s overly burdensome to require offices and employees to provide accurate and factual information to the public….
VIDEO: Council “Fair Treatment” Bill 160 Postponed
read … Ethics Board punts on honesty policy
Council Rejects Big Bus Fare Hikes For Seniors And The Disabled
CB: Heeding pleas of elderly and disabled riders of TheBus and TheHandi-Van, the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday rejected a measure to dramatically increase passenger fares.
Under the measure, the cost of an annual bus pass for seniors and people with disabilities would have gone up 215 percent from $35 to $110. An annual pass for TheHandi-Van, a ride service available to those who qualify under federal disability guidelines, would have increased from $35 to $66.
The measure also proposed modest fare increases for other adult and youth riders….
Farebox recovery covers just 4 percent of the cost to run TheHandi-Van. The national average is 10 percent, Frysztacki said.
Demand for TheHandi-Van is the highest per capita in the nation and the $2 fare per trip hasn’t increased in 17 years, Civil Beat reported in February. Officials say without fare increases, TheHandi-Van won’t be able to add more vans to its fleet to accommodate the demand. (Better idea. Privatize Handi-Van.)
Big Q: Do you agree with the City Council killing the proposed bus and Handi-Van fare increases?
Related: Uber Caldwell: Level the Playing Field for Everybody Except HandiVan
read … Council Rejects Big Bus Fare Hikes For Seniors And The Disabled
Psychotic Criminal Sent to UH instead of Old-Style Asylum--Learns to Target ‘The Americans’
HTH: A 40-year-old Hilo man accused of making a threat of gun violence Monday on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus said he’s being “followed by satellites” and made other bizarre statements Wednesday during his initial court appearance. (Your mental health system at work.)
Hilo District Judge Kanani Laubach ordered a mental examination for Brandon Keala Kealoha and increased his bail from $1,000 to $5,000. (Got $500? You can get this dude out!)
Kealoha, who police said is a UH-Hilo student, is charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
“The allegation is in this case that defendant yelled aloud, ‘F—- the Americans! I’m gonna shoot everyone and show them what’s up!’” Deputy Prosecutor Elyssa Correia told the judge. (Shouldn’t he just be given a Ph&D? Certainly he has learned everything UH has to teach.)
Correia added that (instead of getting Kealoha hired as a full Perfesser) the alleged threat caused UH-Hilo to issue a “shelter-in-place order” — which prompted nearby Waiakea High, Intermediate and Elementary school campuses to follow with lockdowns until police took Kealoha into custody. She noted Kealoha’s previous criminal history, which includes a felony terroristic threatening conviction, plus misdemeanor convictions for assault, domestic abuse and disorderly conduct, as well as DUI.
Correia said Kealoha’s alleged statement is “extremely alarming given the influx of shootings across the country.” She said a jail diversion program counselor told her that Kealoha suffers from “paranoid delusions” and “noted the severity of defendant’s temper,” and added Kealoha’s former probation officer “has concerns about whether defendant is taking his medication.”
“He was able to comply with probation when he was medicated but otherwise had issues,” Correia told the judge.
In addition, according to Correia, a family member of Kealoha’s “has serious concerns, not about the defendant harming himself, but harming others.”…
(Solution: Reopen the insane asylums, put the crazy people inside.)
read … Mental exam ordered for man who prompted school lockdowns
Peasants Must Be Made to Pay for the Electric Charging Stations Needed by the Eco-Priesthood
CB: …Even as newer vehicle models are released with better battery range, current and potential EV drivers still worry about accessing charging stations. This angst remains a major barrier to EV adoption and to reaching the state’s clean transportation goals.
A subsequent evaluation of the EV public infrastructure in October showed that, while Hawaii is considered a leader in the nation, demand by EV drivers is simply outpacing the supply of EV chargers. The current law that requires at least one EV charger at public lots with 100 or more parking stalls has helped with a number of locations taking the lead and installing EV charging (thank you!).
Yet, the law lacks enforcement, and installing chargers can be a lower priority for some and understandably tough to justify the costs.
read … Make the Peasants Pay
Mainland Homeless Hanging Around in Waikiki
SA: …William Prange pushed Craig Ell in his broken wheelchair nearly 6 miles from the Waikiki Health Center to a Hawaii Red Cross shelter at the Manoa Valley District Park as rain began pouring from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Olivia.
With nowhere else to go, the homeless men who had moved (with magic tickets from the sky) together to Hawaii from California in December came to take refuge from the weather Tuesday night.
“Thank God for him because my wheelchair decided to go out on me. It’s a very tough place to be homeless,” said Ell, 48, a former record producer who said he became homeless after (insert excuse here).…
read … Mainland
What Has Happened To The American Dream in Hawaii?
CB: … Today’s Hawaii, for all the progress since statehood, may be worse off than ever in its history. In the past, people wanted to come to Hawaii for opportunity, now they leave in droves for lack of it.
Hawaii’s greatest export to the world is no longer pineapple or sugar cane, but talented young people. Chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are rampant among Filipinos and Native Hawaiians. Radical swings in the cost of healthcare, energy, housing, and food mean no matter how many dollars our hardworking Hawaii residents make, there is never a point where enough is enough.
Racism is no longer overt as it was in the plantation era, but it has been replaced by a much more nefarious stealth form of institutional structural violence that keeps minorities stuck on a treadmill, always working harder and harder and running faster and faster in pursuit of a happily ever after that is at best, an empty mirage. On Oahu, we spend hours stuck in traffic, grinding our teeth to get to jobs that don’t pay the bills, won’t promote us, and can’t lead anywhere except a retirement that doesn’t actually exist….
read … What Has Happened To The American Dream?
Why Hawaii’s Last Constitutional Convention Was a Disaster
CB: …behind the scenes Hawaiian activists like the late Frenchy de Soto were gathering support for codifying indigenous rights into the constitution….Walter Ritte said he was on Molokai when de Soto called him to come volunteer at the convention….
read … The Last
Hawaii’s commercial billfish industry loses vital protection
SA: …H.R. 4528 is a little known congressional bill that passed into law on Aug. 2. It was introduced by Florida Congressman Darren Soto and will threaten at least 346 jobs, $12.5 million in direct income and $24.9 million in total revenue in Hawaii. Not so long ago, Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye would have taken notice. The Hawaii congressional delegation would have done its job to protect Hawaii’s interest. The governor would have let his displeasure be known and the act would have been quietly altered or withdrawn. That is Washington politics.
But these are different times. The jobs in question belong to the Hawaii fishing industry, which once was considered an important part of Hawaii’s economy and working-class culture — but which today is of little interest to a new generation of Hawaii Democrats….
The threatened jobs of fish cutters and packers in Hawaii, however, are real. They support local families and pay mortgages. There was a time when Hawaii Democrats saw their role as defending the interests of Hawaii workers in Washington, D.C. With Hanabusa leaving, we should ask ourselves who will speak up for them now….
CB: Loss Of Mainland Market For Marlin Is One More Sign Dan Inouye Is Gone
Related: WESPAC to Trump: Veto HR4528
read … Hawaii’s commercial billfish industry loses vital protection