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Wednesday, November 27, 2019
November 27, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:25 PM :: 837 Views

The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom

Former police officer pleads guilty to attempted unlawful sexual enticement of a 13-year-old boy

OIP: OHA PIG Opinion ‘Does not Exist’

Hawaii’s Status Quo Government Isn’t Cutting It

CB: … Every week — it’s almost becoming every day — we are witnessing the growing movement of political unrest.

The upside-down state flags flying from truck beds. The protests filled with heartfelt words of frustration. People are fed up with the status quo and want real change.

According to a recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, 61% of Hawaii residents say the state is moving in the wrong direction.

But it’s not a new direction, is it? Unfortunately, it’s the same way we’ve been going for the last 60 years. Here’s why.

• Hawaii is run by one political party.

The state’s Democratic Party is too dominant, which leads to a lack of checks and balances. Voter apathy – Hawaii has some of the highest in the nation – increases with the suffocating dominance of one party.

During the 2018 general election, only 38.6% of eligible voters cast votes. Repeatedly lopsided victories by the Democratic Party have left many feeling disenchanted and ultimately ignored.

• Elected officials don’t care what you think.

More than half (56%) of those polled said politicians don’t listen and don’t have high moral standards (51%). Legislative deals are still hammered out in backrooms and elected representatives continue to circumvent the process to pass self-serving agendas….

read … Hawaii’s Status Quo Government Isn’t Cutting It

The price of paradise: Why many Hawaii residents are forced to leave home

WNY: … One story comes from Tom and Ycrem Holloman, who recently moved from Hawaii to Indiana.

“At the time we moved, gasoline was $5.04 and milk $6.99 a gallon,” they said. “We had a 704-square-foot home on about a tenth of an acre. We sold it and bought a home in Indiana. Our tiny Hawaiian home was valued at $25,000 more than our four-bedroom home on one full acre here.”

Settling for small living spaces is how many local residents cling onto the chance to remain in Hawaii.

The Holloman family said they would love to return home eventually, but only if living costs were to drop or if they were win the lottery.

Another story comes from Ashlyn Sakaria, who was born and raised on the island of Oahu. Ashlyn is married with a 6-year-old daughter. As a construction worker, her husband had a good income making $26 to $60 an hour.

Like many residents, Ashlyn was living paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t afford to put money aside into a savings account.

“We were both working, but not being able to enjoy life due to the extreme high cost of rent and utilities,” she said. “I never imagined leaving the place I love and called home, but enough was enough; we got tired of worrying about whether we could afford our apartment.”

Even a two-income household was not enough to keep Ashlyn and her family in Hawaii. They both realized that, in order to create a better future for their daughter, they would need to leave home and start over in a much-cheaper area.

“In Hawaii, we could never think of owning a home, but here in Arizona we actually have a chance to be able to buy a home. As hard as it was to leave Hawaii, we knew we had to do better for our daughter,” she said.

More residents realize their future in Hawaii is an unstable one….

Nohelani is 27 years old and currently resides on Oahu. She moved to Hawaii from the mainland a couple years ago. Through her job experience, Nohelani managed to find a good-paying job as a full-time bartender.

“A lot of young adults with ‘experience’ move to the islands and are able to obtain a job or career quickly,” she said. “When I moved to Hawaii, I landed a great job. Big money. Great benefits. Networking, you name it! But truth be told, as a bartender, I rarely see/meet local bartenders (born and raised). Big jobs would rather choose big experience compared to smaller experiences. That’s the sad truth.”

The reality is, there is a growing competitive gap between those who are born and raised in Hawaii and peers who migrate from the mainland….

read … The price of paradise: Why many Hawaii residents are forced to leave home

Judge: State Can’t Keep Data Behind Its Budget Estimates Secret

CB: …Earlier this month a Hawaii state court judge affirmed a ruling by the Hawaii Office of Information Practices which said the tax department has to make public the assumptions, source data and other information the department relies on for revenue estimates it submits in legislative testimony.

The ruling came after a challenge by Ray Kawakami, a former Department of Taxation employee now practicing tax law.

The nonprofit Tax Foundation of Hawaii applauded the ruling, calling it a victory for government transparency and more robust debates in the Legislature.

“It’s an important case because for a long time the department has given revenue estimates to legislators and we have no idea where they get these numbers from, and they wouldn’t tell anybody where they got those numbers from,” said Tom Yamachika, president of the Tax Foundation, which filed an amicus brief supporting Kawakami’s suit.

The result, Yamachika said, was that a bill’s proponents had limited ability to rebut a bad finding from the tax department…. 

SoR: Background information on revenue estimates for new legislation now open to the public

Related:

read … Judge: State Can’t Keep Data Behind Its Budget Estimates Secret

As protest dwindles, Hawaii County pulls highway crossing guards from TMT protest site

HNN: … After 135 days, it’s more than $11.6 million ― covered by state and county taxpayers.

But as the weeks pass and the temperatures drop, fewer protesters are gathering at the blockade.

And that’s prompted a change: Mayor Harry Kim says the county will no longer pay for private crossing guards near the camp.

With cars traveling at 60 mph along Daniel K. Inouye highway and police reporting near accidents, the private security was hired over the summer to keep motorists and pedestrians safe, Kim said.

But he told Hawaii News Now the last day for the county crossing guards will be Saturday because of the camp’s diminished numbers and rising expense at roughly $172,943 for the guards so far.

“Time has passed and now because of the numbers game, a decrease, we had discussion with the state, the police and everyone else that this is obviously expensive,” he said….

read … As costs mount, Hawaii County pulls highway crossing guards from TMT protest site

Navy land swap for electrical upgrades adds to renewable portfolio

SA: … The Navy and Hawaiian Electric Co. marked a land-for-power-upgrades swap with the dedication Monday of the 80,760-panel, 20-megawatt West Loch Solar Project…

Navy officials said 102 acres of West Loch Annex land in Ewa was provided to HECO in exchange for more than $5 million in upgrades to three electrical substations at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and new electrical switch gear at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

“These enhanced electrical upgrades are critical to building our energy resiliency at a time of great power competition that we have not seen in decades, and a near-peer competitor in the region that certainly highlights the strategic importance of our military forces in Hawaii,” Rear Adm. Robb Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said in remarks….

Oshima noted the West Loch project will produce power only in the daytime…

IM: Department of Defense enters HECO Rate Case

read … Navy land swap for electrical upgrades adds to renewable portfolio

Hawaii’s Adult Care Home Bait-And-Switch Scheme

CB: … State lawmakers are considering further legislative action to tighten rules and stiffen penalties governing Hawaii’s unruly adult care home industry.

Members of a joint House-Senate committee heard testimony at the Capitol on Tuesday from state health regulators, care home operators and case managers who detailed the consumer protection problems still plaguing elderly residents at homes entrusted with their wellbeing.

Much of the testimony centered around a bait-and-switch scheme run by numerous licensed care home operators who have a network of several unlicensed care homes in addition to a certified facility. ...

(But they are packed with voters who get ‘voted’.) 

SOR: Shoddy consumer protections plague Hawaii’s senior care home market

read … Hawaii’s Adult Care Home Bait-And-Switch Scheme

Waikiki Robberies Double

HNN: … Police records show that since June Waikiki has averaged six robberies a month.

But already, this November there’s been 11.

The majority of those robberies occurred on side streets within a few blocks of each other.

Finley said that Seaside Avenue appears to be a hotspot because of several empty buildings and the fact that it’s dimly lit at night.

“And on Kānekapōlei we’ve got all the construction going on,” he said….

read … Another violent purse snatching in Waikiki prompts call for greater police presence

The City wants to hear your opinion on how it's doing in online survey

KHON: … Residents interested in taking the survey can click here.

Residents who received a survey in the mail, should use the link provided on the printed survey.

The National Community Survey will analyze data collected by this online link separately to maintain the “statistical significance” of the data collected from the 1,700 households….

read … The City wants to hear your opinion on how it's doing in online survey

State Supreme Court agrees to hear East Maui water case

MN: … The high court Monday announced it will hear Carmichael vs. BLNR and Alexander & Baldwin. Oral arguments likely will be scheduled for next year, according to the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp, which represents the plaintiffs.

For more than a decade, Na Moku Aupuni O Ko’olau Hui, a group of taro farmers and Native Hawaiian practitioners, has been battling A&B, the state and the county over revocable water permits, renewed annually, that allow A&B to take water from East Maui streams on state land for agricultural uses Upcountry and in Central Maui.

The plaintiffs won a major victory in 2016 when Oahu Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Nishimura ruled that the annual rollover of permits for 13 years by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources was not temporary and thus violated state law for holdover permits.

However in June, the state Intermediate Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and sent the case back to the lower court. The plaintiffs then asked the state Supreme Court to review the case in a Sept. 30 filing.

“With the stroke of a pen the ICA (Intermediate Court of Appeals) eviscerated critical legal protections for Hawaii’s public trust resources, undermined decades of case law, and deprived petitioners justice long overdue,” according to the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.’s writ of certiorari….

read … State Supreme Court agrees to hear East Maui water case

Shut Down by Tourism Industry Activists, Input sought on proposal to resume commercial aquarium fishing off West Hawaii

HNN: … According to the draft EIS, based on the low percentage of the overall populations collected by commercial aquarium fishers, the industry likely has minimal impacts on populations in general….

The proposal calls for the bag limit for the Achilles tang to be reduced from 10 per day to five.

“When we looked at the data, most of the fish populations are extremely strong and even growing. The one that did raise some concerns was the Achilles tang,” said Likins.

“The population is strong and stable, but out of an abundance of caution, we just felt that the best alternative would be to reduce the bag limit on those.”…

The comment period for the draft EIS ends on January 7. The DLNR said it’s reviewing the document….

read … Input sought on proposal to resume commercial aquarium fishing off West Hawaii

Samoa Measles Outbreak Highlights Dangers Of Anti-Vax Movement

CB: … Dozens of people are dead, including many children, of a disease that is easily preventable with vaccinations….

read … Samoa Measles Outbreak Highlights Dangers Of Anti-Vax Movement

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