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Wednesday, October 10, 2018
October 10, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:16 PM :: 3250 Views

Honolulu Rents Flat for Year

City now accepting Grants in Aid applications

Hawaii ACLU: DMV Must Allow Islamic Hijab

HEI Rate Payers to Pony up $2.6B for 1055 MW of Batteries

Did Mazie Hirono Blow Democrat Chances for House Takeover?

SA: … Graham (R, S.C.) told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday that Hirono acted as though Kavanaugh was “guilty until proven innocent” when it came to allegations of sexual assault brought by Christine Blasey Ford. He said Republicans had wanted to ensure that a Senate confirmation process that devolved into “mob rule” wasn’t legitimized by Kavanaugh withdrawing or not being confirmed. Kavanaugh was sworn in Monday….

“The Hirono standard was horrific,” said Graham. “What was insulting was the way that the senator from Hawaii took everything we hold near and dear and threw it over because she didn’t like Kavanaugh, didn’t like Trump.”

Hannity interrupted Graham, mocking comments Hiro­no had made last month that men need to “just shut up and step up” when it comes to listening to alleged victims of sexual assault.

“By the way, senator, you shouldn’t be saying that,” Hannity joked. “You should shut up and sit down, she said. She said men should shut up and sit down. Shut up, senator, and sit down.”….

Graham went on to compare Hirono’s approach to that of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who cast a pivotal vote in favor of Kavanaugh, as he urged people to vote in the general elections.

“Do you want to live in the world of Sen. Hirono where you are guilty until proven innocent because you are a Republican? Or do you want to live in the Susan Collins world where you will actually be heard, listened to and evaluated?” said Graham….

Hirono, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, played a visible role throughout Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. In addition to speaking out in support of Ford, Hirono was critical of Kavanaugh’s record on reproductive rights, Native Hawaiian and indigenous rights and environmental protections.

Her vocal criticism of President Donald Trump and Republican policies have elicited strong reactions from leading Republican figures, locally and nationally. The Hawaii Republican Party has dubbed her “crazy Mazie,” reminiscent of the nicknames Trump would give his opponents during the 2016 presidential race.

“I must have really pressed their buttons,” Hirono said….

read … Thanks, Mazie

His farm is buried under lava, but he can’t find relief from payments on his state agricultural loan

HNN: …A Big Island farmer whose fields are buried under lava says the state is still requiring him pay off a $22,000 loan on the land — even though he’s not allowed to step foot on the property.

“The state of Hawaii sanctioned me to farm in lava zone 1. They knew I was in lava zone 1. They financed me," said farmer Gregg Adams, who owns Dragon Fruit Farms — about a mile beyond the checkpoint on Highway 132.

“They had a vested interest in me. Now they’re saying, ‘Oh well, you still own the money.’”

Despite losing everything, Adams says he’s ready to start farming some place new.

However, he says a lack of help has made it all but impossible. Adams has gotten a $34,000 from FEMA to help cover the loss of his home, but has gotten nothing to help cover the loss of his farm….

he says in order for him to rebuild his business he’ll have to go in debt close to $500,000….

The state says he’s eligible for a 3 percent emergency loan, but that money is going fast.

“The promises from the politicians don’t seem to be materializing,” said Adams. “This money that’s being appropriated for disaster I would like to know where it’s going.”…

“If you got a loan from any financial institution you’re required to pay it back. It’s either that or you go out of business and declare bankruptcy,” said Scott Enright, chairman of the state Department of Agriculture….But he confirmed a handful have had payments put on hold while they take out more loans in an attempt to get up and running again….

read … His farm is buried under lava, but he can’t find relief from payments on his state agricultural loan

No charges to be filed in missing evidence case

HTH: …The case stems from Hawaii County police investigating one of their own for reportedly stealing drug evidence from the Hilo evidence storage facility.

The initial police investigation began last fall when cocaine, originally recovered in 2014, was found to be lighter than reported during its initial recovery. The discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to use a small quantity for training purposes.

The investigation identified a sworn employee as a person of interest for the missing portions of the drug, police said. The employee was placed on administrative leave without pay and subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer revealed other anomalies, which revealed there were weight discrepancies in marijuana concentrate from two separate investigations.

The detective retired prior to the completion of the investigation and is no longer an employee with the county.

Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville said that after reviewing the case, he also was not surprised Honolulu declined prosecution. The biggest reason being that there was too much access to the evidence facility.  (Translation: The system is set up to allow crooked cops to escape prosecution.)

Because no arrest was made in the case, West Hawaii Today has been unable to confirm or report the identity of the former police officer under investigation. The newspaper, however, confirmed that the sworn employee served about 26 years with the department….

read … No charges to be filed in missing evidence case

After Tax Hike, Big Fat Pay Raises for Hawaii County Execs

HTH: …Much smaller raises are being considered for top county officials next year, following last year’s eye-popping double-digit hikes.

The county Salary Commission on Tuesday mulled raises of about $5,600 for each top position, a 3.4 percent to 7.5 percent increase, for the next budget year that starts July 1. That’s on top of raises of $16,700 to $42,900, or 13.2 percent to 39.7 percent, last year.

The raises are for the mayor, County Council, department chiefs and deputies. The mayor, for example, would see his pay rise to $168,223 annually; the County Council chairman would be paid $82,657 and a council member would get $75,649.

The Salary Commission has the sole power to set raises for those positions….

The commission justified last year’s big increases as catch-up following several years of no raises at all. Now it’s a matter of refining the process and ensuring the officials’ pay keeps up, they said.

(IQ Test: Do you believe this?)

read …  Salary Commission mulls raises for top county officials, delays vote

Sandbagging: Hawai‘i Convention Center seeks to Parlay Leaky Rooftop Door into $57M Contract

SA: …The Hawai‘i Convention Center, which opened in 1998, has about $53 million worth of repairs to complete by 2024 and will likely need an appropriation this year from the state Legislature to help with the fixes, officials said.

Officials at the 20-year-old center requested about $27 million from the Legislature in 2017 to fix a leaky rooftop deck, but legislators did not approve the expenditure. Hawaii Tourism Authority Chairman Rick Fried said securing the rooftop deck appropriation this year will be critical because the center needs to complete that project to tackle some of the $26 million worth of top priorities on its other list of repairs….

Teri Orton, convention center general manager, said rehabilitation of a leaky fourth floor stairwell also is a major priority because “every time it rains we have another water feature in our building.” (Uh-huh.)

Currently, Orton said the center is using sandbags to keep water intrusion at bay. Orton said the center has the nearly $3.7 million in funds to repair the stairwell. However, she recommends completing the approximately $27 million larger rooftop terrace repair first, since the roof pitches toward the leaky stairwell. (Sure….)

The rooftop deck repairs have been postponed so the funding could be tied to a legislative mandate to create a Center for Hawaiian Music and Dance, said Marc Togashi, HTA vice president of finance….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

Keith Vieira, principal of KV & Associates, Hospitality Consulting, said the legislature should appropriate some of the approximately $555 million of the transient accommodations tax, or hotel tax, that the state collected through June to fix the rooftop terrace…. 

Cataluna:  Convention center has evolved into a typical state facility

SA Editorial: Keep Convention Center in shape

read … Hawai‘i Convention Center seeks more cash for maintenance

Councilwoman proposes Vision Zero program to address spike in traffic deaths

HNN: … Vision Zero, a different approach to traffic safety, has been adopted in cities across the U.S. and in Europe.

The main message is that all traffic deaths are preventable, and the campaign involves ideas like redesigning streets, managing speed limits, and using technology like speed and red light cameras, so crashes are less devastating.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi believes these changes could help make Honolulu's streets safer….

read … Councilwoman proposes Vision Zero program to address spike in traffic deaths

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