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Monday, January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:33 PM :: 702 Views

Death Row 'Not-a Pimp' McCoy Kicked out by Angry Mother

Hawaii: Weddings Cost More Than Any Other State

Insiders: We Really Don’t Need to Fix Cost of Living, Just Pretend

HPR: … Hawaii's high cost of living has been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks. State leaders like Gov. David Ige, House Speaker Scott Saiki and Senate President Ron Kochi have made lowering the cost of living a major focus of the 2020 legislative session.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both chambers have assembled a package of measures aimed at lowering the cost of housing and childcare and raising the minimum wage to keep Hawaii residents from moving away.

But how much lower would prices need to go to produce the desired result? …

Regional Price Parity figures from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show that $100  gets you less in Hawaii than any other state.

In a UHERO analysis of the data, Fulekey says that bottom ranking is unlikely to change much. Hawaii’s geographic isolation drives up the price of everything from building materials to food. That same isolation also decreases competition from other businesses, leading to higher prices.

Higher wages could offset high prices, but per capita personal income in Hawaii is currently only 2.5 percent above the national average, far below the price differential.

Those two factors give Hawaii residents the 4th lowest purchasing power in the country, when compared to other states. For Honolulu residents, the picture is no better when looking at metrics for the metropolitan area.

All that makes lowering the cost of living a heavy lift for public officials. But Fulekey says human factors like proximity to family and nice weather can make higher costs worth it to a point.

“Hawaii is a desirable location, so people are willing to give up some purchasing power in exchange for living in paradiseSo once these incentives to move away decreases, the outmigration will stop,” Fulekey told HPR.

He cautioned that Hawaii will very likely still have higher prices than the U.S. mainland. States popular with Hawaii ex-pats like Oregon, Texas, and Nevada have price parities just below the national average.

But Hawaii may not need to match them to tip the scales on population decline….

read … Major Decrease In Hawaii’s Cost Of Living Unlikely, But A Little May Be Enough

Guidelines proposed for legalization of stun guns

SA: … Hawaii’s law tightly restricting possession of electric “stun guns” is being challenged in court as an alleged infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights, and state Attorney General Clare Connors is now proposing lawmakers strike it from the law books and adopt a new system to regulate privately owned electric guns such as Tasers.

It is unclear whether the new law would allow the owners of stun guns to carry them in public. Krishna Jayaram, special assistant to Connors, said in a written statement that the Attorney General’s Office will work with state lawmakers to decide that issue.

House Bill 2292 and Senate Bill 2848 are an attempt to bring Hawaii law into compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2016 called Caetano v. Massachusetts.

In that case the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts that upheld Massachusetts’ ban on private ownership of stun guns. The Massachusetts court later struck down the Massachusetts stun-gun ownership ban entirely.

According to the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Caetano “raised the question of the constitutionality of a complete ban on electric guns,” and a Hawaii case called Roberts v. Ballard is now pending in U.S. District Court and seeks to strike down the Hawaii law.

In that case Andrew Namiki Roberts is suing the state, claiming that Hawaii’s law restricting ownership of stun guns to law enforcement officers, the military and weapons dealers violates Roberts’ constitutional rights.

Roberts, a citizen of the United Kingdom, is a photographer and director of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, and says he wants to acquire a stun gun or Taser and carry it for self-defense….

Related: Lawsuit: Hawaii Taser Ban is Unconstitutional

read … Guidelines proposed for legalization of stun guns

Gun Control Bills on the Move

SA: … House Bill 1600 would repeal a provision in state law that allows certain firearms to be loaned out for up to 15 days for in-state use, and up to 75 days for use outside the state, “thereby allowing the lending of firearms to persons who are not subject to a background check and other firearm permit requirements.”…

House Bill 1736 would limit possession and use of “high capacity” magazines, capable of holding more than 10 rounds, to law enforcement officers. Current law prohibits the use of these magazines with pistols but not with long guns, such as rifles or shotguns. The National Rifle Association opposes this measure, contending that it violates the Second Amendment rights….

House Bill 1734 requires a separate application and permit for each rifle or shotgun purchase, and shortens the duration of the permit’s validity from one year to 10 days….

House Bill 1733 aims to ban home-built firearms, known as “ghost guns,” which can be assembled with an online-ordered pre-packaged kit, and can bypass background checks and registration requirements….

read … Close loopholes in isles’ gun laws

Public funeral service to held for fallen Officer Enriquez

KITV: … A public funeral service for fallen Officer Tiffany Enriquez will be held this Thursday at the Diamond Head Memorial Park….

KITV: Local school hosts Gathering of Gratitude to honor first responders, those impacted by Hibiscus Drive homicides

read … Public funeral service to held for fallen Officer Enriquez

‘Congestion Pricing’ Is Another Of Honolulu’s Bad Ideas

CB: … During the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation under its Congestion Initiative awarded federal grants to a couple of cities to do congestion pricing pilot projects.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 and House Concurrent Resolution 4 which are part of the Council of Mayors legislative package, appear to be the first steps toward implementing congestion pricing in the Aloha State, as they ask for studies that would include current usage information as well as projected revenue.

The question that immediately comes to my mind – and should be a red flag for not only Honolulu but all Hawaii residents – is why are the counties starting with a discussion of how much money this will bring in and how to spend it? If they really want to deter traffic shouldn’t the study be about how and whether this idea will work? What we need is to address the root cause of traffic, not just a money-making scheme disguised as a traffic deterrent….

read … ‘Congestion Pricing’ Is Another Of Honolulu’s Bad Ideas

Bills for 2020: Sea Level Rise is an Excuse to Harden their Property and Sacrifice Yours

CB:  … Changing Hawaii’s Coastal Zone Management Policy

House Bill 1848, House Bill 2194 and Senate Bill 2060 seek to change the state’s coastal zone management policy to impose new restrictions on private and public construction near the coastline.

“HB 1848 would clarify that county permitting authorities can exercise discretion over whether they approve things like seawalls and shoreline hardening measures, meaning that if they don’t think that is the best adaptation option for a particular area they can deny the permit application,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen, the bill’s sponsor.  The bills would also double the minimum shoreline setback from 20 to 40 feet and addresses flanking, or erosion that occurs near seawalls and other shoreline hardening projects….

(Translation: They won't let you protect your shoreline property.)

House Bill 2383 would notify potential buyers that vulnerable coastal properties may one day become public property due to erosion and sea level rise, since beaches are considered public trust land in the state. A similar bill in the Senate would notify potential buyers about coastal erosion….

(Translation: They plan to steal your property from you.  By 'notifying' you in advance, they lower their cost of acquisition.) 

Limiting New Coastal Projects

House Bill 1611 would prohibit the Board of Land and Natural Resources from approving long-term projects in areas that could be affected by sea level rise. While the bill is written to address many types of construction near the coastline, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cynthia Thielen, said she had the controversial rail project in mind when writing the measure.

“What on earth are we doing allowing the city to build a rail along a route … where seven of the stations will be subject to flooding,” she said last week. Thielen is one of five Republicans in the 51-member House.

Another bill, which House Speaker Scott Saiki introduced by request of another party, would increase the gasoline tax by 5 cents to “preserve and enhance” wildlife habitats affected by rising sea levels.

(A tax hike, how imaginitive!)

Five of the bills would set aside funds for the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to create specific sea level rise adaptation plans.

Lowen, who sponsored one of the bills, said the measure would allow the state to respond quickly when infrastructure is damaged by sea level rise.

“If we can anticipate that some roads will be impacted … (so we are creating a HiDoT slush fund)….

Another bill focuses solely on urban Honolulu and Waikiki, and would create a pilot program to defend the shoreline between the Honolulu International Airport and Diamond Head State Monument from sea level rise and natural disasters like hurricanes.

(Translation: They will harden the shoreline around their money-spinners.)

House Bill 2207 calls for an assessment on the cost of continuing to maintain a crumbling road on the North Shore….

read … What Is Hawaii Government Doing About Sea Level Rise?

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