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Monday, January 13, 2020
January 13, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:04 PM :: 1755 Views

Common Cause Announces Legislative Agenda for 2020

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted January 12, 2020

Legislators: We’re Not Corrupt Enough—Need More Unions

SA: … While previous generations of Democrats were determined to pursue dramatic goals such as employer- funded health care or a temporary disability insurance system, a more cautious cadre of lawmakers seems to be aiming lower today … 

(If only this were true….)

Senate Democratic Majority Leader (and former cocaine dealer) J. Kalani English suggested that people who compare the Democrats’ accomplishments of decades ago with what is happening at the Capitol today may be overlooking how much the lawmaking process has changed.

Today people want an open process and an opportunity to provide input on decisions in ways that were not common practice in the 1960s, he said. “They didn’t have public hearings. They didn’t have all that stuff. They said, ‘Here’s what we’re doing,’” English said. Now, “people want process and they want openness, and part of that is a different way of coming to decisions.”…

(Translation: The Legislature is not corrupt enough any more.)

On the House side, Speaker Scott Saiki said there is less of a public consensus today about exactly what lawmakers should do. There are fewer active union members making demands today than decades ago, and people are busy working, fighting traffic and raising children, he said. “People are busy, and for different reasons they can’t be involved,” he said.

(Translation: The unions aren’t strong enough to force their agenda like they used to.)

read … ‘Big ideas’ finished at Legislature, critics say

Insiders Continue to Buy Favor from Kai Kahele

CB: … State Sen. Kai Kahele announced Monday that his campaign for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District raised $216,985.62 during the fourth quarter of 2019.  That brings his total haul so far to $718,568.20….

Link: FEC Kahele for Congress Data

read … Kai Kahele Adds Another $216K To His Congressional War Chest

Legislature 2020: Making Hawaii Even More un-Livable

CB: … State lawmakers will consider raising the minimum wage, paid leave programs and ways to keep residents from leaving the islands while grappling with climate change….

read … Legislature 2020: Making Hawaii Livable Again

The legislative session starts this week, hearings underway

ILind: … The 2020 session of the Hawaii State Legislature opens on Wednesday, January 15. But open hearings on various parts of the state budget are already well underway, with more scheduled.

You can find a list of upcoming hearings here, while a list that includes hearings already completed is also available online.

read … The legislative session starts this week, but a lot of info is already available

Global Warmers Claim HART has Waterproofed Rail Against 6’ Sea Level Rise

CB: … Many public and private construction projects in Honolulu are including features to mitigate flooding related to sea level rise: Elevated rail between Chinatown and Ala Moana Center has been redesigned to accommodate 6 feet of sea level rise, transit-oriented development at future rail stations incorporates flood-proofing for higher sea level, and a major hotel in Waikiki is raising its ground floor 8 feet to avoid flooding from the sea ….

(IQ Test: Is any of this true?)

read … An Article Co-authored by an Art History Professor

Biofool: Hawaii Legislature’s ‘Big Idea’ Kills Orangutans

IM: … The Honolulu Advertiser reported on March 22, 2006 that Hawaiian Electric Company CEO T. Michael May wanted to “jump-start the ethanol industry in Hawai'i” by powering its new Campbell Industrial Park power plant with ethanol.

HECO would be the catalyst for a revived agricultural industry by committing to purchasing indigenous bioenergy crops for fuel.

"Ethanol represents a very clear opportunity to grow a significant portion of our own fuel and to break the stranglehold imported fuels have on our state," May said.

Gov. Linda Lingle said, "It will certainly help create that market for biofuels, for ethanol, so I think it's a very good development.”

State Senator Kalani English "said HECO's initiative will create a `large and instant market for ethanol` in the state. `I think it's a big step for Hawai'i in moving toward renewable energy`".

Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club Hawai'i Chapter, said "We'd like to hear a full commitment."

Life of the Land expressed doubts and raised the issue of externalities, of unintended side effects.

Daniel KenKnight proposed growing sorghum in Hawai`i to make ethanol. A few years later he founded Hu Honua.

The Hawai`i definition of Renewable Energy underwent changes over the 19 years of its existence: 2001 (HB 173 CD1, Act 272), 2004 (SB 2474 HD2, Act 95), 2006 (SB 3185 CD1, Act 162), 2009 (HB 1464 CD1, Act 155) and 2011 (SB 1346 SD2, Act 10).

Hawai`i passed its first net metering and first Renewable Portfolio Standard law requiring the use of renewable energy in making electricity in 2001. The law said biofuels are renewable energy, if “derived entirely from organic sources.”

The 2004 law said that biofuels made from a combination of fossil fuels and renewable energy is partially renewable depending upon the proportion of renewable energy input.

The Legislature immediately jumped on-board the ethanol craze in 2006, declaring that all biofuel is automatically 100% renewable energy no matter how much fossil fuel was used in the process, no matter what the damage to the environment.

HECO then decided that biodiesel made more sense than ethanol. Not just any biodiesel, but palm oil biodiesel from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo. From tropical rainforest palm trees.

The whole ethanol-biodiesel fiasco had its roots in the national and international controversy during the international fight over climate change.

read … Dead Orangutans

Mandatory Report On Hawaii Trash Disposal Hasn’t Been Filed In 4 Years

CB: … The state health department hasn’t been updating the Legislature on recycling programs, landfill diversion efforts or imported fuel reliance as required. …

The state waste management office’s last report covered 2015….

read … Mandatory Report On Hawaii Trash Disposal Hasn’t Been Filed In 4 Years

Tourism Industry Group Begins Hyping Anti-Aquarium Hysteria (again)

SA: …  A coalition of conservation groups led by Earthjustice said the state has been shirking its duties in cracking down on the illegal collection of aquarium fish from Hawaii ocean waters.

The group — which includes For the Fishes and the Center for Biological Diversity — says the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has continued to allow aquarium fishing without the environmental review required by a state Supreme Court ruling in 2017.

Under that ruling, and a subsequent state Circuit Court decision, no aquarium permits are to be issued until a review is completed, according to Earthjustice attorney Mahesh Cleveland. DLNR has circumvented the law by issuing commercial marine licenses instead, and allowing for the collection of aquarium fish, as long as no fine-meshed nets and traps are used, Cleveland said…..

read … Restriction on aquarium fishing being sidestepped, conservation group says

Oahu Is Overhauling How It Counts The Homeless to Boost the Numbers

CB: … Homeless service providers in Honolulu are making major technological and procedural changes to their annual count of the unsheltered population in an effort to get more accurate totals of the homeless.

A better count increases the chances of Oahu securing the government funding it needs, said Laura Thielen, executive director of Partners In Care, which organizes the point-in-time count.

“If we look like we’ve decreased our homeless population by 50%, that’s going to affect our funding,” said Thielen, who started her job last year. “We need to make this as accurate as possible so we get the funding we need to address the number of folks we’re seeing and the types of issues people are dealing with.”  …

For the first time, volunteers will replace hard copy surveys with electronic ones through an application called Survey123. It will increase speed – allowing them to skip questions that are irrelevant to some survey takers – and eliminate the possibility of illegible handwriting, according to Thielen….

(Unless the tweeker steals their ipad.)

SA: Man, lying on road, apparently drunk when hit by truck near Ala Moana

SA Editorial: Some progress on homelessness

read … Oahu Is Overhauling How It Counts The Homeless

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