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Sunday, September 23, 2018
September 23, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:30 PM :: 1828 Views

Say It’s a Tax!

Hawaii GOP: Our Ticket is United

Video: Hirono Left Twisting in Wind as Blasey-Ford 'Witnesses' Refuse to Back Story

Crippling Tribalism has Nation on Road to Ruin

Shapiro: …Hirono declared: “I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing, for a change.”

Facing blowback, she doubled down: “For the men who are offended by this, you should ask yourself: Why are you offended by this? Why don’t you ask yourself: What about this offends you?”…

the politically loaded generalities Hirono hurled are grossly ineffective at changing minds; accusing the entire male gender — many of whom are her allies — of seldom doing the right thing inflames more than persuades, especially when she so readily lets women off the hook….

The crippling tribalism that has our nation on the road to ruin certainly didn’t start with Hirono; the other tribes are as cutthroat, if not more so.

But we need leadership that seeks ways out of the poisonous politics instead of dragging us deeper in. Incendiary pronouncements that stoke tribal fury bring celebrity among the faithful, but how do they move our country forward?

The only way America returns to achieving great things is if principled people across the divide shelve the antagonism and find a way to work together again….

read … Politics of shutting up must also involve listening

Ige: Four More Years of Nothing 

KGI: …It was years ago, when she was on Hawaii Island for a community meeting, that something happened that let her know, right then, she had to run for the state’s highest elected office.

“I found that there were large populations of people who felt hopeless,” Tupola said. “They didn’t know how to articulate to the government. They didn’t know how to empower themselves. They felt like there was a power over them they couldn’t control.”….

Her most recent Kauai trip included stops in Anahola, Hanalei, Kekaha and Lihue. In Hanalei, the subject of the millions in flood relief from the Legislature came up.

“My question to them was, ‘Did you feel the impact of the money?’ and people said, ‘No.’ They said a lot of it got tied up in FEMA projects and some of it got tied up in large contracts that still haven’t been executed.”

Tupola believes her grassroots connections will be critical to her campaign. And those connections have made it clear that, across the state, the No. 1 issue for everyone is housing.

“Everybody is concerned families are getting pushed out of Hawaii,” she said.

“So if we don’t start to take some swift action in empowering local developers to build more affordable housing or if some actions are not taken, we will face a housing crisis or a huge spike in homelessness.”….

Tupola said her campaign has raised more than $350,000 and is holding more fundraisers so it can increase advertising and expand its message around the islands….

the cost of housing is skyrocketing, many businesses are struggling, the state is behind in education, and it has not made a dent in reducing its $23 billion in unfunded liabilities.

“Can you imagine if we had four more years of that? Of nothing?”…

read … Tupola: ‘Hawaii deserves better’

Running mates at odds as Hawaii GOP kicks off campaign

SA: … Tupola capped off the event in a speech that emphasized her support for Trump, limited government and the need to be united as a party.

“We need to do this together. We need to get in lockstep. We need to stop fighting against one another. We need to start working together,” said Tupola. “We need to be unified … We need to be unified in our message to change what we need for Hawaii. And we are that change.”

But that message of unity wasn’t resonating with her running mate Friday night. Kerns stormed away from her VIP table to the back of the room several times during the night, cursing and complaining that Tupola’s political views were too liberal. She accused the local party leadership of not giving her a name tag or a chance to speak and seating her at a table with the Young Republicans, rather than major donors. At one point, convention staff pleaded with her to calm down.

“I told (Tupola), you need to apologize because of your voting record,” Kerns told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser as Tupola delivered her speech….

read … Running mates at odds as Hawaii GOP kicks off campaign

Tulsi Gabbard encouraged to run for president in 2020

SA: …In the words of one longtime Hawaii political observer, Gabbard has been leaving a “trail of breadcrumbs” that suggests she is laying the groundwork to seek higher office, and at least some of her supporters hope that will be the presidency in 2020.

Gabbard’s fans have created a website called “Run Tulsi Run” and a Facebook page called “The People for Tulsi Gabbard” to promote that idea, although a spokeswoman for Gabbard said in a written statement that she and her campaign are not involved in any of the social media efforts to promote her as a presidential candidate.

(With David Duke and Steve Bannon on her side how can she lose?)

However, the Washington, D.C.-based literary agency Javelin announced that Gabbard is now one of its authors. The agency has also represented the likes of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who ran for president in 2016, and Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile.

Ambitious political figures often use a memoir to help tell their stories — for example, former President Barack Obama published “Dreams from My Father” near the outset of his political career in 1995 — but experts said Gabbard has a huge hill to climb if she does intend to run for president in two years….

Gabbard has captured the attention of some in the national media who are eyeing the Democratic presidential primary field for 2020.

She has appeared in lists of women who should consider running for president in both the Washington Post and The New Yorker magazine, and was also the focus of a long New Yorker profile late last year…

(This is almost as good as Kaniela Ing running for Congress.) 

Meanwhile: Democrat Lawyers Tag Tulsi Gabbard 'CWILF'

read … Pleasepleasepleaseplease

HART’s P3 Secret: Lots of Market-Rate TOD 

SA: … now comes a proposal making the rounds at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) that a public-private partnership offers the promise of greater cost-control than conventional design-build contracts, at least in the construction phase, for the budget-busting rail project.

The HART board is at a critical decision point on whether to take this approach, with a vote possible as soon as its Thursday meeting. Unfortunately, its executive team has not yet made a persuasive case that such a “P3” deal represents a net bargain for the taxpayers….

Rather than leaving Honolulu residents sighing with relief, the idea leaves worrisome questions hanging in the air, about what the city may give up and what, in fact, HART has to offer a potential partner.

Above all, taxpayers should wonder whether there is sufficient partner interest in such an arrangement, or whether pursuing it will simply force even more costly delays for an already vastly extended timeline….

Into this mix is mounting tension with the Federal Transit Administration, which is withholding a $745 million subsidy until it accepts HART’s financial “recovery plan.” Time is running out. In a terse letter Friday, the FTA urged a decision on P3 within 30 days, and a final version of the recovery plan within 60 days.

HART and city officials have wrangled over the proposed recovery plan since submitting it a year ago. Andrew Robbins, HART executive director, had told the board the P3 proposal would plug in one of the principal missing pieces in the financial puzzle, to satisfy the federal agency.

In August 2017, HART tabled its design-build contract plans for the City Center segment; in a special session the next month, lawmakers approved a $2.4 billion bailout for the project.

Suddenly P3 appeared as another facet of the rescue plan. HART commissioned an $8.5 million white paper on the topic, outlining but not resolving the risks of partnership….

One option would be an operations contract bundled with construction. The complication here is that the city already awarded a $1.4 billion, five-year contract to Ansaldo Honolulu JV — a firm that has sued HART over delays — that includes operating and maintaining the finished rail system for five years. It’s unclear how this could work.

Complicating other incentives for a potential P3 deal is that HART does not control land-use permitting for development, which is what the city has to offer in exchange for completion of the rail line.

In its own white paper on the realities of P3, the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute concludes that one way or another, taxpayers end up paying the bill. Costs are recouped in higher fares, fees or other givebacks, according to EPI.

This prompts a question: Will Oahu realize its hopes for affordable housing on the rail line? It would be tragic if that public benefit became another sacrifice….

read … Much doubt cast on P3 rail benefit

Bullying: DOE dodging responsibility at every opportunity

SA: …Touting HIDOE’s guiding principles is a far cry from effective prevention, and nobody can speak to that better than the students themselves — droves of them, in fact, who report rampant bullying and a school staff that provides little to no reprieve.

By dodging responsibility at every opportunity, HIDOE has left students and parents with no mechanism other than to point the finger. If the past is any indication, examples of change have been compelled either by holding up the microscope or lighting a fire – or both for that matter. Why would this be any different?….

It’s only a matter of time before a bullying victim here has access to a weapon and Hawaii experiences the kind of tragic consequences that have occurred elsewhere in schools. Modifying the existing student discipline code and belatedly creating a new complaints process are simply not enough to address this epidemic….

read … DOE falls short in fight against bullying

BoE Member: Supporting HSTA Agenda IS Empowerment

SA: Since my appointment to the state Board of Education (BOE) on July 1, I have met individually with schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s leadership team. The work they are doing and the plans for our next steps are aligned with Gov. David Ige’s vision to embrace and enable systems for individual schools to be empowered to design their unique learning models.

All HIDOE employees who do not work in schools must be able to answer the question, “How does my work support teachers and students?” This may seem obvious, but it is a new way of emphasizing how every position in the larger system exists to support the students and teachers (union) in our schools. The BOE fully supports this direction and is engaged in helping move our system forward.

A recent commentary asserted dysfunction with Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) leadership as a reason not to increase funding for the Department of Education (“Schools’ problem, fundamentally, is dysfunctional DOE,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Sept. 16). There is a repetition of old issues that do not reflect what is happening now….

read … Empowered schools improve education

1975: How Legislative Corruption Pushed Voters to Call  for Con-Con

Borreca: …I think part of the reason is that in 1975, the state Legislature was so blatantly, unrepentantly ugly that voters were left thinking: Things have to change and we don’t want those already in office making the decisions.

Voters on April 11, 1975, had awoken to news that the Legislature had wrapped up business the night before by awarding themselves 150 percent pension increases and a whopping $71 million increase for state employees’ pay.

Neither plan had been mentioned before; each was inserted in a midnight conference committee bill.

If citizens today are worried about “gut and replace” as a legislative tactic in today’s Legislature, the old scheme was more like “rape and pillage.”

Citizen outrage at the time was immediate: Leaders of the House and Senate asked then-Gov. George Ariyoshi to veto the bill, and on April 19, he did.

“We made an error in judgment,” said House Speaker James Wakatsuki.

The next year, the Legislature was already working on legislation to call for a ConCon while citizens’ groups advocated that incumbent politicians need not apply.

A 1976 poll showed that by 56 to 35 percent, voters disapproved of the job done by the Legislature…..

WHT: Should Hawaii have a constitutional convention?

read … Much to discuss in Constitutional Convention — if voters can muster hope and engagement

Homeless Outreach Court: 46% Accept Housing

SA: …The Judiciary has lost contact with eight participants. But 92 others have cleared 1,089 cases as of August.

And more than half of them — 57 — have completed 1,748.5 hours of community service, along with 27 others who are still in the program and finishing their sentences.

Along the way, 16 participants found jobs; 14 got driver’s licenses and driver’s permits, which are often needed for jobs or permanent housing; 21 were housed; 13 were placed in shelters; and 12 more moved in with families or friends….  (21+13+12=46/100=46%)

read … Outreach court in Waianae lends a hand to homeless

THC and newborns

MN: …“What I’m seeing in our nursery is a dramatic increase in babies who test positive for marijuana,” the doctor told the Post. “The interesting thing for me is the number of mothers who use marijuana and want to breast feed. They don’t believe marijuana is harmful.”

Simerville said his worries mirror the concerns of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That group has linked marijuana in newborn babies, a critical stage for brain development, to academic underachievement and behavioral disorders.

“There’s an education gap that we need to fill. It may be safe for adults, but not for adolescents and newborns,” he told the newspaper….

read …  THC and newborns

Judge dismisses suit against Hu Honua, county

HTH: …The ruling Thursday by Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura, in effect, dismisses a lawsuit brought in Nov. 27 by Hilo bed-and-breakfast owner Claudia Rohr against the Hawaii County Planning Department and Windward Planning Commission. Hu Honua was brought into the litigation as a defendant in April.

Nakamura said that, under law, “a judicial proceeding, the subject of which is the lack of an environmental assessment, must be brought within 120 days of an agency’s decision to carry out or approve the action.”

The judge agreed with Hu Honua’s argument that since amendment of the Special Management Area use permit Hu Honua is operating under occurred on June 7, 2011, Rohr’s legal challenge wasn’t made in a timely manner.

The judge also rejected Rohr’s argument that Hu Honua’s request last year to the state Public Utilities Commission seeking preferential rates for the purchase of renewable energy produced by agricultural activities triggered the necessity for environmental review….

“Wow, unbelievable,” Rohr said after the judge announced his ruling….

read … Judge dismisses suit against Hu Honua, county



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