Guess Which Agency Can Impose State Tax?
Hirono: When I do it, it’s not Hypocrisy
WHT: … The Washington Free Beacon reported that Hirono took $1,000 in political contributions from Delaware senator Tom Carper, who admitted to slapping his wife in a 1998 interview. It was an accusation that Carper often denied after it first emerged when he was running for election in 1982, but later admitted.
“Did I slap my wife 20 years ago? Yes,” Carper admitted to a Delaware political reporter in 1998. “Do I regret it? Yes. Would I do it again? No.” …
Hirono, who declined to comment for the Free Beacon story, was called out last week by the Hawaii Republican Party for acting hypocritically….
“This is more manufactured moral outrage led by the Republican leadership who have abandoned their moral compass,” Hirono emailed in a statement after WHT asked six questions about the topic.
(Moral Hirono Compass always points at Republicans. Yawn.)
Questions sent by WHT included whether she was aware Carper admitted to hitting his wife when she accepted the money, and if she had plans to give it back.
She was also asked what kind of forgiveness she felt Carper deserved for his actions and would she apply the same forgiveness to someone who admitted sexual assault, or Brett Kavanaugh, if it turned out he was guilty.
The 1982 Post story that prompted Carper to threaten to sue reported that the domestic attack happened during a custody battle over his wife Diane’s two children. Carper was accused of hitting his wife “so hard he gave her a black eye.”
It said that Carper admitted the incident occurred during a 1981 deposition….
“Crazy Mazie’s self-righteousness and virtue signaling is pure hypocrisy,” said Hawaii Republican Party chairman Shirlene DelaCruz Santiago Ostrov, in a press release.
“If she’s serious about being a voice for the voiceless then she must return the wife beater’s money.”…
read … Hirono calls GOP’s hypocrisy claim ‘manufactured moral outrage’
Rail: HART, city face tight deadlines
SA: …One down, two to go — on three weighty conditions that the Federal Transit Administration is demanding within 60 days from Oahu’s troubled rail project, now entering its final and most complex urban stretch….
HART’s decision to pursue the P3 strategy checks off one FTA demand — outlined in its Sept. 21 letter, which some perceived as a “threat” — but cues up two other pressure points with a Nov. 20 deadline:
>> Revising rail’s overall cost upward — again — another $134 million, to a total $8.299 billion, and outlining revenue sources in a revised financial recovery plan.
>> Getting the City Council to authorize $44 million of city funds for rail construction….
The two controversial vehicles before the Council: Bill 42 (2017), which would lift a restriction on the use of city funds for the rail project; and Resolution 18-132, authorizing the city budget director to issue $44 million of general obligation bonds to help finance rail.
Neither is palatable, of course. Ideally, the city administration should be looking at budget- squeezing in the near-term to transfer up to $44 million into HART’s coffers — money, by the way, that HART itself says is not needed for now, but the FTA insists upon. Should city leaders approve the $44 million bond issuance, interest payments would start on bonds that really shouldn’t be issued yet; opening that funding gate now makes little sense.
As for the $134 million increase in rail’s projected cost, prompted by FTA’s risk analysis: Robbins must make the adjustment on paper — though he avers that his team will continue working under the assumption of the current $8.165 billion budget, which he stands by. He acknowledged that it will fall on him and his team to identify funding sources — especially since Mayor Kirk Caldwell insists the city should not have to cover the extra millions and that HART should cut expenses or find ways to satisfy the FTA.
The next several weeks will be critical as City Council members, and the mayor, debate and posture on options to meet the FTA’s demands — or risk substantial federal funds. It will be a high hurdle to schedule needed hearings and reach consensus, plus revise rail’s financial plan, before Nov. 20.
And if all that isn’t enough, yet another battle is intensifying: between HART and state auditor Les Kondo, tasked by state lawmakers to audit the rail project as part of Act 1, the $2.4 billion rail bailout passed by legislators in a 2017 special session.
On Thursday, Kondo expressed frustrations over HART’s stonewalling in providing information, showing HART board members pages of minutes from a board executive session provided to his staff — pages almost wholly redacted or blacked out, with few words visible.
“Absurd,” said Kondo, and he’s absolutely right.
The audit is required under state law — and obstruction serves no one, least of all Oahu taxpayers bankrolling the rail project. Knowing past practices is valuable, especially with financials sure to get even more complicated with a private partner. As HART rolls ahead into the P3 unknown, it needs to keep the books as open as possible for all to scrutinize….
Background: Rail in Default? Feds Give HART 60-Day Warning
read … HART, city face tight deadlines
Rail: Hanabusa People Complain About P3
Borreca: …According to the report: “Developers will finance, design and build the new facilities as well as operate and maintain the entire rail system from Kapolei to Ala Moana for 30 years.”
No, dear Honolulu taxpayer, the City Council and Mayor Kirk Caldwell didn’t solve the rail financing, construction or operating costs woes, they just pushed it way, way down the road….
five years from now, when HART is starting to run the train, public concerns about equal access, fairness in station accessibility, design, overbearing land use and other troublesome nonprofit issues might not be given much attention….
“Based on the last bailout package, the state gave enough money for construction plus financing. So there’s a concern that a 30-year financing plan would end up costing more,” Luke warned.
Although there has been some study and discussion about the P3 plan, it is not something that the public is even remotely aware of…
Big Q: What’s your reaction to a public-private partnership (P3) to finish rail’s final, city segment?
read … Complaints from the Hanabusa People
What’s a Hawaii election without a trick question?
Shapiro: … Circuit Judge Jeff Crabtree allowed voting on a constitutional amendment for an education tax even though it’s not as clear as he’d like and doesn’t mention the word “tax.” What’s a Hawaii election without a trick question?
The teachers’ union said the tax could bring in up to $400 million a year to pay its members more, but key legislators doubt it would yield more than $50 million. Not until the union makes its next round of campaign donations, anyway….
read … Fuzzy thinking and fights fail to rouse bored voters
Puna Sovereignty Councilmember Case Really an Oahu Foreclosure Scam
FH: …Quick update on the foreclosure case against Routh Bolomet -
The courtroom was packed with people in support of Routh at the September 18 court proceedings in Honolulu. Judge Castagnetti allowed Routh to present her position as a Kingdom subject.
Reminding the judge of the memo from Dr. Alfred deZayas of the UN, Routh questioned the jurisdiction of the court and provided evidence of apparent collusion and conspiracy to commit fraud among the lenders and state courts.
Routh has put the courts, the “State of Hawaii” and the lending institutions on notice with some very serious assertions. Instead of responding, Judge Castagnetti has scheduled another court session for this case for October 23… probably to figure out what to do about their predicament.
Councilwoman(?) Jen Ruggles -
Dr. deZayasʻ memo also plays a key part in Puna councilwoman, Jen Ruggles, recusing herself from her Hawaii County Council position.
Letʻs remember that without Dr. deZayasʻ memo, which is really about Routh Bolometʻs foreclosure case, Jen would still be a voting council member….
Flashback 2010: “Routh Bolomet was an... interesting speaker. She gave an anecdote of how she came to Hawaii from California, where she did enough drugs to turn her brain into mush (as she explained a CAT scan showed).”
Flashback: Sovereignty Mortgage Scammer Keanu Sai at it again with help from Legislators, Maui Council, University
read … Mortgage Scam
Kauai: Ousted BNB Owner Has His Revenge on Kagawa
KGI: …When Martin responded with a curse word and an insult, Kagawa did likewise. He also challenged Martin to “Come to my face and say it you coward.”…
In August, the men again exchanged heated emails.
Martin sent another letter to the editor regarding traffic flow and forwarded it to the council.
On Aug. 7, Kagawa responded: “I’m not prejudice against all transplants, only those like you and Raley who only grumble and we’ve been here for generations and you try to degrade us as less intelligent than you (profanity), you.”
He continues: “No worry, I will mention your name and your racist anti-local articles when we hit the forums. You will become popular. This local vs. transplants like you issue is real and it pisses a lot of locals off that you are so arrogant to bring it on I want this to become an issue mother (profanity).”…
In a separate email sent on the same day, Martin tells the council that maybe he should forward the emails to the newspaper, “so the public can see the sad behavior of a public official at election time.”
Kagawa responds: “You’re comments called me prejudice on the internet. You started this war with me and then now you cry like a baby?”
In an interview with TGI, Kagawa said Martin has been calling him prejudiced since the county did a cease-and-desist order on a number of Kauai bed-and-breakfasts several years ago….
“Everyone’s got a breaking point. Call someone something for so long, I got fed up with it,” Kagawa said….
read … BNB War
Kauai – 200 Mental Patients Being Cut Off
KGI: …Although publicly addressed a year ago, Kauai still is in desperate need of mental health services but ironically has been losing these services. A primary state funded mental health agencies on island that works directly with our judicial system, private/public health care offices, and community-based organizations, is currently in the process of discharging over 200 clients/patients who met the Adult Mental Health Division eligibility criteria.
These clients are now losing services that include psychiatric treatment/medication management, case management, psychosocial rehabilitation, housing assistance, and more….
We no longer accept the revolving door of traveling psychiatrists that read a chart, make a prescription, work on their tan, and then move on and out….
read .. Candidates must not ignore suicide epidemic
Hurricane Danger? Give More Ratepayer Money to Solar Scammers and Windfarms
SA: … Hawaii is one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy. However, when it comes to resiliency, what matters is whether our electrical grid is configured to maintain power to critical facilities during an extreme weather event. Strategically placed, renewably powered microgrids with battery storage and diesel backup can reenergize the system after a major failure.
(IQ Test: Do you believe this is a realistic post-hurricane recovery strategy?)
Maintaining a potable water supply is the most critical public health concern after a storm. On Oahu, there are only enough funds budgeted to provide backup power to seven of the 20 critical wells, according to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. That means that only the low-lying areas, roughly half of urban Honolulu, would have access to clean water. With nearly 1 million people on the island, the risk to public health due to lack of drinkable water and contamination after a storm would reach a crisis level.
The situation with food availability is not much better, given we have only one major port on Oahu and limited local food inventories. If ports statewide are closed for an extended period due to damage, shipping vessels would be unable to deliver essential supplies.
It’s encouraging the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency is expediting development of Oahu’s first-ever Climate Action Plan. But there are clear steps Hawaii’s business and government leaders must take to bring our community further down the path to achieving greater resiliency before the next storm makes landfall:
>> Conduct extensive joint planning between the essential service utilities (e.g., water, power and telecommunications) and follow through with modernizing our utility grids.
>> Encourage more investment in our energy and water infrastructure and strategically place our wind and solar farms to reduce climate and weather-related vulnerabilities…
Meanwhile: Elon Musk steps down as Tesla chairman, settles with SEC in fraud case
read … Kyle Datta One Note Song
Puna: FAA Sued Over Helicopter Noise
HTH: A lawsuit filed by a Big Island group seeking to limit helicopter traffic over the island will go before the U.S. Court of Appeals in November.
The Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono — HICoP for short — will submit oral arguments in a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration Nov. 1.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction for the FAA to implement the Air Tour Management Plan over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, something both the FAA and the National Park Service has failed to do for 18 years despite Congressional legislation, said Bob Ernst, founding board member of HICoP.….
read … ‘We have 40 years of complaints’: Group files lawsuit against FAA
Hawaii Convention Center Starts Losing Money Again—And Making Excuses
SA: …The center’s projected occupancy was off about 4 percentage points through July and $691,800 in estimated net income during the first seven months. It is now forecast to lose nearly $2.7 million in anticipated net income for the year. That’s about $700,000 more in net income losses than was originally projected for 2018.
While the center has cut its projected gross expenses for 2018 by more than $1.1 million, to $15.9 million, it has lost an estimated $1.8 million in budgeted gross revenue, which is expected to come in at just over $13.2 million for the year. Part of the reason is that 17 of the projected 205 events for 2018 did not materialize. That has caused the center’s estimated year-over-year occupancy to drop 2 percentage points to 31 percent from the year-prior 33 percent….
read … Hawai‘i Convention Center anticipates more robust 2019
Maui: What it Takes to Fly One Homeless Dude Back to Mainland
MN: …The third barrier was that Andy told Rosa that he had a family, but the phone numbers he gave didn’t work. After countless unsuccessful attempts to reach his family, on a hunch, Rosa called the Veterans Administration, who miraculously was able to identify him and provide a phone number for Andy’s sister. Rosa then called his sister who was very relieved to find out where he was. She told Rosa that he has dementia and that she had no idea that he had gotten a plane to Maui.
The fourth barrier was that Andy’s sister wanted him to come home, but she didn’t have the funds to purchase a plane ticket. The Family Life Center’s staff and volunteers were determined to get Andy home, so they found the money to purchase his plane ticket with the promise of being paid back in the future. Because of his failing health, it was imperative that Andy get to his sister ASAP!
But it doesn’t end there, the fifth barrier is that Andy was very dirty, smelled bad and needed new clothes so that he would be permitted on the plane. Even though they couldn’t get him in the shower, the FLC cleaned him up and bought him new clothes.
Now the sixth and last barrier — how were they going to get Andy on that plane? ….
read … Homeless outreach workers persevere through barriers
Soft on Crime: Criminal with Multiple Convictions Arrested After Father killed in Haleiwa
HNN: … Martin and police couldn’t speak to the connection the two shootings may have, but the family of the man shot on Saturday says he was friends with the Toledos and believe that’s why he was killed.
By 6:30 a.m. police said they arrested a 22-year-old male suspect in connection with the crime. Sources identified the suspect as Kaden Kanae, who has a lengthy criminal record including drug and firearms charges as well as theft and robbery.
(To be public, this must be an adult record. And surprise, surprise, he’s out on the streets at 22 which means he has served less than 4 years. Oh, and btw he’s out on bail for another one.)
There’s no official information tying him to the August 31st shooting, or to Keoni Adric.
“It’s very unfortunate that it has come this far. I am hopeful that it’s the end of this particular cycle,” Martin said.
Martin added that he’s confident HPD will work to resolve any standing conflict that may exist, but is also asking for his community to stand against violence in Haleiwa….
Aug 13, 2018: Same Dude Charged in Waikiki Robbery
read … Father killed in Haleiwa in another overnight shooting; HPD investigating
Soft on Crime: 16 Priors Out on The Streets Does it Again
KHON: …Honolulu Police and Crimestoppers are looking for 56-year-old Mark Robinson.
"On March 29, 2018, at approximately 4:39 p.m., the victim was taking part in a union rally in the Waikiki area when she was struck from an object that was thrown from above," said Sgt. Chris Kim of Crimestoppers. "The object subsequently broke her arm. An officer who was assigned to the rally observed a male suspect throw an item off the balcony. Officers went up to the unit where the item was thrown from and was able to locate Mr. Mark Robinson. While placing him under arrest, he kicked one of the officers."
Police arrested him for assault, reckless endangering and harassment. They now have a $50,000 warrant for his arrest for not showing up for his trial call a week-and-a-half ago.
"He has 16 prior convictions and is known to frequent the Honolulu area," said Sgt. Kim….
read … Soft on Crime
Hawaii has long history of strict firearms laws
SA: …Hawaii’s imposed limits on the public carry of firearms date back to 1852, when the Kingdom of Hawaii’s Legislative Council enacted a statute making it a criminal offense for anyone unauthorized by law to be armed with a pistol or other deadly weapon “unless good cause be shown for having such dangerous weapons.”
Seventy-five years later, the Territorial Legislature added a license requirement and limited issue to those who could show “good reason to fear an injury to his person or property” or “other proper reason for carrying” a firearm.
Fast forward to earlier this month, when the state and Hawaii County prepared to file a joint petition asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a July ruling that would make it easier for firearms to be carried openly. A letter issued by Hawaii Attorney General Russell Suzuki, on Sept. 11, pointed out that current law has changed little since the early 1960s….
Background: AG Opinion: Hawaii Gun Laws Not as Restrictive as they Seem
read … Hawaii has long history of strict firearms laws