Akina article in Wall Street Journal strikes a nerve
How to Stop the Exodus
Legislative Agenda: OHA to Parlay Mauna Kea Protests into Control of BLNR, LUC
Hawaii News Now president Rick Blangiardi may run for mayor
HNN: … After more than four decades in the broadcasting industry, Hawaii News Now President and General Manager Rick Blangiardi has announced he will retire this month and is considering a run for Honolulu’s mayor.
Blangiardi made the announcement to HNN personnel on Thursday morning, saying he’ll remain at the station through Jan. 15.
“This has come after a lot of soul-searching,” Blangiardi told members of his staff. “I think I have a lot to give. I think I am ready for that challenge.”
Blangiardi, a longtime broadcast industry leader, would be entering a competitive 2020 race for mayor.
Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, City Council members Ron Menor and Kymberly Pine and business executive Keith Amemiya have already launched mayoral campaigns or indicated plans to run.
And there’s growing speculation that other big names could enter the race, including former Mayor Mufi Hannemann….
SA: Hawaii News Now president Rick Blangiardi may run for mayor
CB: TV Executive Blangiardi Weighing Running For Honolulu Mayor
read … HNN General Manager Rick Blangiardi announces he’s retiring, considering run for mayor
Astronomers to assemble in Waikiki as telescope discord looms
SA: … An event described as the Super Bowl of astronomy kicks off Saturday in Honolulu as thousands of scientists descend on the Hawai‘i Convention Center for the biggest meeting of the year for American astronomers.
With the high-profile Thirty Meter Telescope controversy continuing to rage in Hawaii, it would be no surprise if the attendees are greeted by anti-TMT demonstrators.
That’s what happened four years ago when the world’s largest astronomy convention, the International Astronomical Union General Assembly, convened at the same venue.
This year’s convention, which runs through Wednesday, is the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. More than 3,400 astronomers, educators and students are planning to take in numerous presentations, panels, lectures, town halls, exhibits and the unveiling of new discoveries….
According to the convention’s web page, the American Astronomical Society plans to engage the controversy directly with a series of panels and presentations.
Among other things, there will be special sessions to discuss “Innovative Collaborations of Integrity With the Hawaiian Community,” “The Many Facets of Hawai‘i Astronomy” and “Astronomy and Culture Best Practices for Systematic Transformation in an Increasingly Diverse and Interconnected Global Society.”…
Anti-TMT organizer Laulani Teale said TMT opponents have asked the event’s organizers to let them address the convention.
“We want to make sure the astronomers get the correct information,” Teale said. “We want them to know what it really means to align science with indigenous protection. Hopefully, we will find people who can understand that stopping the TMT is the first step in that alignment.”…
FH: Anti-Telescope Protesters Concert Aloha Stadium Jan 13
read … Astronomers to assemble as telescope discord looms
Impeach Kaneshiro: E-Signature Issue Heads to Federal Court
CB: … The Honolulu businessman seeking to impeach embattled city prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro wants a federal court to weigh in on the electronic signature issue that’s kept him from moving the effort forward.
Tracy Yoshimura filed a complaint in federal court last week against the Honolulu city clerk’s office, corporation counsel and the City and County of Honolulu.
“It’s another course of action to try to get this signature issue cleared up,” Yoshimura said. “E-signatures are permitted by both federal and state law, but the city has never taken a formal position on the issue.”…
(Meanwhile: Kaneshiro has not been impeached. E-signature issue is a distraction.)
read … Honolulu Businessman Files Federal Complaint In Prosecutor Impeachment Effort
Hawaii ‘Amazon Tax’ is a Double Tax?
CB: … Act 2, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, changed how certain online purchases from marketplace facilitators (known as “MPF”) such as Amazon will be taxed. The MPF will be deemed to be the retail seller, not the company that is actually selling the product to the consumer.
But more problematic is that Act 2 adds a new and additional level of online taxation by creating a sale “at the wholesale rate” by the marketplace seller (known as “MPS”) to the MPF. This sale is taxed at the wholesale rate of 0.5%….
Whether this will increase the cost of an online purchase will depend on whether the MPS’s wholesale tax can be added to the amount of retail tax and that is passed on to the consumer by the MPF.
If the tax can be passed on, the cost will increase. If the tax cannot be passed on the MPS may decide not to sell to consumers in Hawaii rather than absorb the expense of the new tax and preparing a Hawaii GET return.
Act 2 went into effect New Year’s Day. I am waiting for a response to my letter asking about whether the MPS’s wholesale tax can be passed on to the consumer….
read … Will New Year Bring New Tax To Online Purchases?
Bus Fare Hike Will Further Reduce Ridership
CB: … The Rate Commission wants to study what might happen if the city raises the $2.75 single-ride bus fare to $3. Is DTS at all concerned that raising fares will only further decrease ridership?
“We’re always worried. We know every time there’s a fare increase, ridership dips,” Nouchi said. “In that sense, if we raise fares we’re definitely anticipating a further reduction in ridership. Generally in Honolulu we tend to rebound back pretty decently.”
read … TheBus Redux: A City Transit Leader Responds To Riders’ Questions
Judge Puts Hawaii Taser Case On Hold
CB: … A federal judge has delayed a case involving a Honolulu man who sued the police, city and state in 2018 over the ban on stun guns for personal protection in Hawaii.
U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor wants to see how a Second Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court plays out before making a decision on the lawsuit filed by Andrew Namiki Roberts, according to Alan Beck, one of his attorneys.
That Supreme Court case involves New York City’s gun transport laws. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association sued the city over its ban on transporting a handgun outside the city limits. The debate is whether that’s consistent with the constitutional right to travel.
That case and the Honolulu case are not necessarily alike, Beck said, but the judge wants to see what happens since they are both weapons-related.
“We’re pretty confident that eventually we’re going to win, because all these other cases have won in all these other jurisdictions,” Beck said, referring to stun gun bans having been overturned in other areas, including New Jersey, Michigan and New York.….
May, 2019: Lawyers for Hawaii Gun Carry Lawsuit File Supreme Court Brief in New York Case
April, 2018: Lawsuit: Hawaii Taser Ban is Unconstitutional
read … Judge Puts Hawaii Taser Case On Hold
Greenhouse Gas Analysis Spreading Across Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission Proceedings
IM: … The Hawai’i Supreme Court ruled in favor of Life of the Land`s greenhouse gas appeal in May 2019.
The Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission re-opened the Hu Honua proceeding to address all issues: greenhouse gases, environmental, agricultural and economic.
Many people in the utility regulatory sector privately expressed concern about whether the court ruling would be applied retroactively to proposals that had not yet received final approval.
The HECO Companies are gradually publicly identifying silo-based greenhouse gas emissions. The Gas Company opposes legislation and regulations requiring disclosure and transparency. Hu Honua asserts that wind, solar, and bioenergy are all carbon-neutral.
The disclosures are only for emissions from silos and do not include upstream emissions from fossil fuel production sites. These upstream emissions vary, especially if they involve fracking. The planet is affecting by total emissions: upstream and silo….
HTH: State orders updated road traffic assessment for Hu Honua
read … Greenhouse Gas Analysis Spreading Across Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission Proceedings
Maili group sues city, developer in bid to stop affordable housing project
HNN: … Construction on a $23 million affordable rental project in West Oahu called Hale Makana O Maili started in October.
But neighbors calling themselves Na Kiai O Maili — protectors of Maili — have filed a suit against the city and developer Laulima Development in a bid to stop construction at the end of Kulaaupuni Street.
“Our lawsuit is to get a judge to stop the project to re-look at it,” said Michele Kuahine, neighbor and spokesperson for Na Kiai O Maili.
They claim they were not informed of the project and it’s too big for the infrastructure in the rural community.
"I think just looking in terms of our street, in terms of our sewage, our drainage and traffic. I don't think you need any expertise in that area that this is not responsible development," she said.
The project on three acres of land in Maili calls for 51 units for 200 people.
It includes six buildings, a resource center and a park. Opponents call it a monster development, but developers say their lawsuit is without merit and they’re moving ahead….
read … Maili group sues city, developer in bid to stop affordable housing project
Canadian Police Catch Homeless Dude from Connecticut Allegedly Raping Woman in Kailua-Kona Park
CTV: … Two Victoria police officers are being credited with intervening in a sexual assault that took place in Hawaii in late December.
According to Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, the two officers — Cst. Hayley Swann and Cst. Brent Keddell — were on vacation in Kona, located on Hawaii's largest island, when the attack took place.
In a tweet, Manak said that the off-duty officers were alerted to the danger when they heard a woman's screams while out for a run in a park.
According to Hawaii News Now, the suspect, Justin Bardwell, has since been charged with sexual assault and kidnapping.
Before Bardwell was taken into custody for the park incident, the 32-year-old was already accused of setting fire to a vacation rental home in November. …
read … Canadian Police Catch Homeless Dude from Connecticut Allegedly Raping Woman in Kailua-Kona Park