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Monday, April 14, 2014
April 14, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:12 PM :: 4483 Views

Notorious Hilo Dentist Licensed Thanks to Schatz, Baker, Oakland

Freedom in the 50 States? Hawaii Ranks 47th

Law would give Hawaii gov’t unprecedented emergency powers

NFIB Recruiting Hawaii Small Business Leaders

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted April 14, 2014

Abercrombie on TAT: Be Careful What You Wish For 

MN: According to council members, House Bill 1671 would return 44.8% of TAT revenues to the counties, which translates to approximately $165 million in annual TAT revenue to the counties....

He said the object is to increase the amount of money coming to the counties, and to the same degree, the state has to make enough revenues another way.

“For residents and taxpayers throughout the state, no matter what county you’re in, the state responsibilities and county responsibilities all have to be met, and all have to be paid for.  So, be careful what you wish for,” he said.

“You may find an advantage on one hand, and a disadvantage on the other; but for purposes of meeting community needs, service needs, the division of the revenues from travel and tourism really should be discussed,” said Abercrombie.

read ... TAT Bill Gains Senate Backing, Governor Weighs In

Environmental groups and tourism interests align against a cow farm

SA: The growing opposition comes from a hui made up of concerned citizens, members of Kauai's visitor industry, and environmental groups including the Surfrider Foundation, the Sierra Club, Malama Maha‘ulepu, and various wildlife and fisheries groups....

The opposition contends the smell and noise of the dairy farm will be a turnoff that dampens tourism to Kauai and cost jobs.....

"This is kind of a clash of cultures," said Jerry Westenhaver, general manager of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, which is about 2.5 miles from Ulupono's proposed dairy farm. "Grove Farm, which owns the land under the proposed dairy farm, doesn't understand the fragile, competitive nature of the tourism industry and how one round of bad press could affect a lot of people's lives. But this is Kauai. If people don't believe that something is right, there are a lot of groups that will continue to fight the battle. This one is just starting to build momentum, and it's getting fairly heated."...

"We have been misinformed by Hawai‘i Dairy Farms and Grove Farm, and we have been denied answers to our questions," said Jun Fuku­oka, general manager of Kawailoa Development. "As neighboring landowners, running a highly reputable hotel and golf course, we have a lot at stake with this proposed dairy farm. More than just to our own hotel business, of course, the proposed dairy farm will also pose substantial risks to the environment and public health. The manure generated by the farm will be substantial."

With about 1,500 hotel rooms, 1,000 time-share units and another 400 or 500 vacation rentals downwind of the proposed dairy, the Grand Hyatt wants the community's questions answered before the dairy farm is allowed to proceed, said Westenhaver, the Grand Hyatt general manager.

"Once the community opens the gate, it's going to be hard to close again," he said....

Lori Parsonson, who has owned and marketed Kauai vacation properties since 1996, said that if the dairy's plans were to go awry, it would be a public relations disaster for Kauai.

"News of the odor and flies will go viral on social media and travel sites, similar to when West Poipu was under construction in 2007 and ‘Don't go to Poipu' warnings were posted on TripAdvisor," Parsonson said. "Visitor numbers and hotel occupancy rates will drop, tourism industry workers will be laid off, property values and county tax revenue will decrease."

Enviros vs Agriculture pt 2: 11,000 Sign anti-GMO petition on Maui

read ... Enviros vs Agriculture

Mainland Bisexual Cult Leader Moves to Hawaii, Molests Boys

VICE: Sequoia says the first boy arrived at the farm sometime around 1980. He was 13 or 14. A man in a pickup truck dropped him off.

The farm, which sat on a quiet country road outside Chico, California, was actually a burgeoning commune, and Sequoia was one of the first to live there. A year before, he'd been an emaciated hippie attending the annual mind-expanding Whole Earth Festival in Davis. He was in his mid 20s and feeling restless and out of place, not content to join the ranks of the almond and olive farmers with whom he grew up. The festival offered Sequoia the chance to leave his hometown and soak in the collective grooviness of hundreds of fellow raw-food eaters and psychedelic explorers stubbornly holding on to what was left of the free love era. When Sequoia arrived at the festival, he waded into the sea of dancers and drummers and handed out wheat grass.

Then he met a man known as Wandering Eagle. In photos taken at the time, Wandering Eagle looked like an El Greco Jesus — lithe and chiseled, with dreads down his back, a thick beard, and very dark eyes. He had a group of followers, and they took Sequoia in as one of their own. Before long, they were all moving in together on the overgrown almond orchard near Sequoia’s childhood home.

They named the commune “Love, Serve and Surrender.” Wandering Eagle established himself as its leader.

“He would get real intimate with people right away,” Sequoia recalls in the first of our many long conversations.

read ... Cult Leader

Maui Electric Asks for $8.9M Rate Hike Thanks to Solar

MN: Maui Electric Co. is asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve a proposed change in what consumers are charged for the utility's "Revenue Balancing Account."

The money generated by the "RBA Adjustment" helps MECO pay for fixed costs and offset the loss of revenue from people installing rooftop solar power systems.

Those who invest in solar systems find refuge from Hawaii's highest-in-the-nation power rates. Photovoltaic system owners pay only an $18 monthly connection fee to MECO's power grid.

Now, nonphotovoltaic system MECO customers pay an RBA adjustment that's a fraction of a cent (0.008071) for each kilowatt hour consumed in a month. A typical Maui residential consumer uses 600 kilowatt hours monthly and is charged $4.84 for "revenue balancing."

Under the proposed new RBA charge, consumers would pay a little more than a cent (0.0163) for each kilowatt consumed, increasing MECO's annual revenue by nearly $8.9 million.  For the typical consumer, that means the monthly RBA charge would increase to $9.78, an increase of $4.94.

read ... Electric bills could go up if PUC approves rate proposal

Honolulu sees continued solar energy permit decline

PBN: Despite being ranked as the top major U.S. city for solar energy growth, Honolulu saw its 12th straight month of year-over-year decline in the number of solar photovoltaic permits issued last month, according to data from the City and County of Honolulu collected by Hilo-based ProVision Solar President Marco Mangelsdorf.

There were 622 permits issued in March, nearly 40 percent fewer than the same month last year.

From April 2012 to March 2013, there were a total of 17,766 PV permits issued by the city, compared to 12,185 permits issued from April 2013 to March, a drop of 31 percent.

read ... Honolulu sees continued solar energy permit decline

Audit: ML&P May go Bankrupt Soon

MN: While iconic island company Maui Land & Pineapple made strides in reducing its financial liabilities in 2013, a May 1 maturity date on two loans totaling about $50 million looms over the company as an auditor said there is "substantial doubt" about ML&P's ability to continue as a going concern.

This information from the Kapalua-based company's annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, comes as ML&P holds its shareholders meeting at 9:30 a.m. April 23 in the Kapalua Village Center Conference Room. The main meeting agenda items include electing five current directors to another one-year term and approving on a nonbinding advisory basis compensation paid to executive officers.

Full Text: ML&P 10K

read ... Audit casts ‘doubt’ over the ability to continue for iconic ML&P

Rep. Fale To Announce Bid for Sen. Hee’s Seat

CB: Fale cites “growing concern from the community with the direction Hawaii is going as well as the way the community has been represented, particularly during the 2013 special session, as one of the main reasons for entering the race,” according to a press release.

The special session approved same-sex marriage legislation, which is now law.

Another Republican, former legislator Colleen Meyer, has pulled papers but not yet filed for the race.

read ... Rep. Fale To Announce Bid for Sen. Hee’s Seat

Legislative Motion:

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