UHERO: Revenue Decoupling Jacks up Utility Rates
Tulsi Gabbard Just Called Donald Trump A Bitch for Being Insufficiently Russian
TH: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) took aim at President Trump on Wednesday over his comments regarding the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who disappeared after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch" did not align with the president's campaign theme of "America First," a day after Trump indicated that Saudi Arabia would not face severe consequences over Khashoggi's death….
(Clue: In order to help her Hare Krishna guru Chris Butler attain recognition from the real Hindus in India, Gabbard is supporting India’s foreign policy which is aligned with Russia’s and therefore Iran’s. Iran backed by Russia is fighting a Saudi-backed force in Yemen and backing Assad in Syria against Sunni rebels, ISIS, and al Qaeda. Therefore anybody who supports Iran wants to make the most hay possible over the Khashoggi murder.)
Gabbard's comment drew its own criticism from some on social media, including "The View" co-host Meghan McCain, who noted that Gabbard's meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad threw her remarks into doubt.
"Big words coming from a woman who pals around with Bashar al-Assad as he chemically gasses women and children..." McCain wrote.
Gabbard faced criticism from many including members of her own party for meeting with Assad in January 2017, months before the Syrian government would be accused of a chemical weapons attack against its own people.…
read … Gabbard says being Saudi Arabia's 'bitch' is not 'America First'
Ikaika Anderson: Council Homeless Policy Like Homosexual Gathering
HNN: … Councilman Ikaika Anderson raised eyebrows — but received no official admonishment — for using lewd descriptions at a recent council meeting to criticize a lack of action on homelessness.
“What all of this amounts to is not being able to move forward with something pertaining to one council district is sitting around in a circle jerk playing a game of grab ass," Anderson said, during an address to the full council on Nov. 14. "Now, if folks want to do that, Mr. Chairman, and dick around that’s fine.”
The statements came during a heated moment at the council, during which the Windward Oahu councilman expressed frustration over the city’s inability to enforce two new ordinances designed to push homeless people to shelters.
The laws would allow police to clear sidewalks of obstructions — such as homeless people’s tents or shopping carts — and cite individuals living in public spaces who refuse to go to shelters when they are available.
The reason the city can’t enforce the laws?
The council majority, led by Chairman Ernie Martin, has been blocking enforcement....
HNN: What’s up with all the profanity from Hawaii politicians? One thing it’s not is accidental
read … Circle jerk
With Few Days Left in Office, Drug-Infused Councilwoman Continues to Spout Sovereignty Rhetoric
BIVN: … Council member Jen Ruggles released a letter today that she had sent to Governor Ige, every mayor, and every county taxation department in the State of Hawaii regarding “War crimes of pillaging committed blablabla…..”…
Ruggles also referred to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, (and anti-Semite) Dr. Alfred de Zayas’ memorandum sent to Hawaii State judges this past February which stated Hawaii was “under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation.”….
Reality: Ruggles’ Supposed Sovereignty “Expert” Has A Troubling Past
read … VIDEO: In Final Days As Councilmember, Ruggles Puts State On Notice
Homeless Child Molester Busted at Ala Moana Beach Park
CB: … By sunset, Inez Larson was staking out Ala Moana Beach Park for more than an hour, waiting for a man she’s never met to appear near the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue stand. After a few false leads, she and two members of her team paced along the park’s perimeter looking for their target: an adult male who thinks he is meeting a 15-year-old girl in the park for sex.
In reality, the teenager is fiction, the work of a fake social media profile set up by the latest crime-fighting group on Facebook, Hawaii Predator Hunters.
Its goal? To draw out adults and shame them online for seeking sex with children. Fresh off the group’s first Oahu confrontation in Kapolei over the weekend, Larson and her team headed to Ala Moana on Monday night to “expose” the next “suspect” who had taken the HPH bait.
“It’s a beautiful night to catch a pedophile,” Larson tells viewers who had just tuned into the group’s Facebook Live video. (The Civil Beat reporter left the park shortly before the confrontation, but reviewed the post on the group’s Facebook site. )
Minutes later, she and the team confront a homeless man who calls himself “Jerome” on the Facebook feed and confirms he is the person who reached out via text to Hawaii Predator Hunters phony 15-year-old….
(The rest of the article is a bunch of whining and complaints about the molester-busters.)
read … The Homeless are Predators, not Victims
Anti-Dairy Protesters Drive Big Island dairy farm out of business
HNN: …An embattled Big Island dairy farm plans to cease operations in the new year and lay off its 24 employees, Hawaii News Now has confirmed.
But the farm is also looking for a buyer — and hopes to find a company interested in keeping a dairy running.
Big Island Dairy in Ookala has faced years of litigation from the community over environmental concerns.
Last year, the dairy was slapped with a hefty state fine for discharging wastewater into local water supplies. Federal agencies had also been investigating the dairy’s compliance with environmental laws.
Residents had complained about wastewater running into their properties and smells wafting into their neighborhoods.
An attorney for the dairy, David Claiborne, said the process of closing the farm is expected to take several months.
“This was a difficult decision for Big Island Dairy, but it has reached a point that it lacks the additional resources needed to continue the operation under current economic and regulatory conditions,” Claiborne said….
SA: Big Island Dairy plans to cease operations next year
CB: Embattled Big Island Dairy Farm Plans To Shut Down
read … Embattled Big Island dairy farm plans to cease operations, lay off employees
Change Honolulu Rail’s Route Right Now Because of Sea Level Rise
CB: … Why isn’t the media talking about the danger that sea level rise poses to Hawaii’s most expensive infrastructure project? (Answer: Because they don’t really believe in sea level rise.)
The climate change data, sea level rise experts, and the Honolulu mayor’s own July climate change directive all point in one direction: it doesn’t make any sense for Honolulu rail to serve an area that is going to be inundated by sea level rise. (Unless they don’t really believe in sea level rise.)
Because the city hasn’t yet awarded the final construction contracts, now is the time to move rail inland to protect it and its transit-oriented development from the effects of sea level rise. (Unless they don’t really believe in sea level rise.)
Over the last few weeks, Honolulu’s chief print newspaper has explained how sea level rise will harm our islands. Unfortunately, other than a single passing reference, none of the newspaper’s editorials addressed the folly of building Hawaii’s most expensive public works project in a flood zone. (Because they don’t really believe in sea level rise.)
read … Change Honolulu Rail’s Route Right Now
Caldwell vetoes bill giving condo owners more time to comply with fire safety law
SA: …Mayor Kirk Caldwell today vetoed a bill that would have given condo owners an extra two years to comply with requirements of a fire-safety law enacted in the wake of the fatal Marco Polo fire in 2017.
The City Council last week by an 8-0 vote passed Bill 72, which gave condo owners an extra two years to conduct a safety evaluation and to implement its findings.
After the Marco Polo condo fire, which killed four people in a building without a sprinkler system, the City Council considered a bill requiring that sprinklers be installed in older buildings without such systems. About 370 on Oahu do not have sprinklers because they were built before 1975, the year such protections were required….
But because of cost concerns, the council passed a law that gave condo owners in old projects without sprinklers an option to conduct a fire safety evaluation. The evaluation would have to be done within three years and steps taken to comply with the evaluation within six years.
Bill 72 would have added two more years to those deadlines….
read … Caldwell vetoes bill giving condo owners more time to comply with fire safety law
Native Hawaiians claim voter suppression at Leeward Oahu polling sites during general election
HNN: … After a massive effort by several Native Hawaiian organizations to get out the vote for the general election, advocates are accusing state elections officials of stymieing their efforts.
Same-day voter registration forms ran out at Waianae Intermediate during the general election, and there’s concern about similar problems happening in Makaha.
“To me this is voter suppression. This is uncalled for," said Joe Kuhio Lewis, the chief executive of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. "They should have known that Native Hawaiian communities would turn out in larger numbers. We had Native Hawaiians running for office, and it’s really concerning.”
Scott Nago, chief elections officer, apologized for the problems….
This was the first year voters could sign an affidavit to register and vote on the same day. Nago told Hawaii News Now that Waianae Intermediate had been given an allotment of 150 forms, but by around 6 p.m. the forms had run out.
At least 16 voters had to wait for more forms to arrive….
Nago added that forms ran low in Makaha, but did not run out….
read … Native Hawaiians claim voter suppression at Leeward Oahu polling sites during general election
Former Hawaii Geothermal site destroyed by lava; PGV says risk of of hydrogen sulfide release ‘minimal’
HTH: … Lava has breached the Puna powerplant property, officials said Monday.
The total number of buildings destroyed by lava is now approaching 50, although officials are unsure of the exact count.
Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for Mayor Harry Kim, said fissures No. 6 and 19 opened overnight and “advanced north toward PGV.” She said lava from fissure No. 22 is also part of the mix threatening the geothermal powerplant, which was taken offline when the lava emergency began May 3.
“The lava is close to the developed part of the property but it’s not on it yet. It’s not at the wells, themselves, but close,” she said. According to Snyder, a U.S. Geological Survey crew is at the PGV property.
Snyder quoted Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaii affairs for PGV, as saying, “We are very confident in the mechanical integrity of our wells. We are preparing for a worst-case scenario, but the possibility of an uncontrolled event is very, very minimal.”
An “uncontrolled event” means a large-scale release of hydrogen sulfide, a colorless, highly toxic gas.
Work continues at the 815-acre lower Puna geothermal site to neutralize what Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Travis said Monday is the only well still active on the property, KS-14.
“They tried to put a hot plug on it, that industrial mud, but it had a leak, so there’s some pressure still there,” Snyder said. “The good news is … the leak is relatively small. The balance of the work is taking place amid the closeness of the lava flows.”
Snyder said that as of this morning, fissures active include Nos. 5, 6, 17, 19, 20 and 22. She said lava from fissure No. 5 covered the lower portion of Kahukai Street in Leilani Estates subdivision last night.
Lava from fissure No. 22 continues to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and those who get too close to the entry point could be injured by the lava haze, or “laze,” is a caustic, toxic mixture of steam, sulfur dioxide gas and fine particles of volcanic glass.
Snyder said there have been three “hefty explosions” within Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kilauea since Monday evening — one at about 5 p.m., another at 5:51 p.m. and one at 3:35 a.m. today.
Magno said the explosive eruption early today sent an ash plume about 8,000 feet above sea level into the air ….
read … Former Hawaii Geothermal site destroyed by lava; PGV says risk of of hydrogen sulfide release ‘minimal’
Hawaii County Council passes measure regulating short-term vacation rentals
HTH: …After two years, seven bill drafts and a lot of community input, Hawaii County will soon join the other three counties in the state regulating short-term vacation rentals.
The County Council on Tuesday passed Bill 108 on a 6-1 vote, setting in motion the next step in the process: formulation of rules by the county Planning Department. Once drafted, the rules face a public hearing and are expected to be finalized by April 1, 2019….
Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara voted against the bill because she didn’t think it offered enough protections for her district, which is recovering from a volcanic eruption. Her attempts to amend the bill to specifically allow replacement rentals to be added if others are lost to disasters were unsuccessful.
“The devil is in the details and there are some things in this bill that I think will not serve the community well,” O’Hara said. “This has a particularly negative impact on the district I represent.”
The bill still gives the Planning Department discretion to allow replacements, said Planning Director Michael Yee.
“We’re passing the framework and we’re going to have to get into the details of forming the rules,” Yee said. “The right place to address that would be in the rules and procedures.”
The bill creates a new category under the zoning ordinance for short-term vacation rental, defined as a dwelling unit where the owner or operator does not reside on the building site, that has no more than five bedrooms for rent on the building site and is rented for a period of 30 consecutive days or less. The bill allows the short-term use of an owner’s primary residence if the owner lives in it for most of the year.
The bill prohibits unhosted short-term rentals in residential and agricultural zones while allowing them in hotel and resort zones as well as commercial districts. Existing rentals in disallowed areas would be grandfathered in after obtaining a nonconforming use certificate.
All vacation rental owners in existence as of April 1, 2019, will be required to register their property within six months and pay a $500 fee, under the new ordinance, showing that transient accommodations taxes, general excise taxes and property taxes are paid in full. Short-term vacation rentals may be established only within a dwelling that has been issued final approvals by the Building Division for building, electrical and plumbing permits.
The nonconforming use certificate for those preexisting in disallowed areas must be renewed annually at a cost of $250.
In addition to creating rules, the next step for the county is to create a separate taxing classification, so vacation rentals can be charged a separate property tax from other residential properties….
CB: Kauai’s Kee Beach, once nearly loved to death by tourists, is now a place of solitude
read … County Council passes measure regulating short-term vacation rentals
Federal Report: No Evidence That Agent Orange Was Used On Guam
CB: … A federal report says there’s no evidence that the U.S. military sprayed or stored Agent Orange on Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands during the Vietnam War.
But the herbicide was on ships that stopped on Guam, and there are no records indicating whether or not the dangerous chemical was unloaded.
The conclusion reached by the Government Accountability Office in a report issued last week ….
read … Federal Report: No Evidence That Agent Orange Was Used On Guam