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Saturday, August 30, 2014
August 30, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:05 PM :: 4357 Views

Kanaiolowalu Roll Quietly Reopened Last Week

Audit: Honolulu Motor Vehicle Division Does Not Care About Long Lines

Video: Steering Hawaii Through Rough Waters

OCCC Escape: Possible Staff Misconduct, Hole in Ceiling

To Undermine Ige, Abercrombie Now Blames Gay Marriage, Republicans for Primary Loss

SA: Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday blamed his staggering Democratic primary loss to state Sen. David Ige on his decision last year to call a special session of the state Legislature to approve marriage equality.  (Translation: Attention Democrats, Ige is not your guy.  Don't vote for him.  He has been foisted on you by the Republicans.)

The governor said evangelicals who have supported him politically on other issues and Republican crossover voters motivated by gay marriage cost him the primary.  (Abercrombie lost and he wants to make sure that Ige loses so Democrat voters don't get any funny ideas about who to vote for Senate in 2016.)

"I had to take the responsibility for that, and did," Abercrombie said of the special session, "and it played a major role in my loss in terms of where the votes were."

Abercrombie made the comments as part of a seminar for national and foreign correspondents and editors sponsored by the East-West Center. The topic of the seminar was bridging gaps between the United States and the Muslim world.  (Question: If Christian evangelicals are just like Muslims, why isn't Abercrombie trying to surrender America to them?)

Abercrombie explained that he raised more campaign money than Ige but could not overcome other factors, which he said had to do with religion.

Abercrombie claimed that Republicans crossed over "en masse" to vote in the Democratic primary. While just 15 percent of voters cast ballots for Republicans in the primary, that share was typical for recent elections.

The governor also said evangelicals who have backed him on some policy issues voted for Ige "because they were admonished to do that by their religious leaders." ...

An audio recording of Abercrombie's remarks was provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser by his campaign. (To maximize the damage to Ige.)

read ... Abercrombie Wants Ige to Lose

Takai Prefers 'Non-Military' Option for Headchopping Islamic State

SA: As President Barack Obama weighs whether to expand the American air war from Iraq into Syria to combat the threat of Islamic State militants, contenders vying to serve as Hawaii's next representative in the U.S. House differ on whether an immediate strike should have congressional approval.

"I think the president has the authority inherent as commander in chief under the War Powers Act that if he believes that American national security is at stake, he does not need to go to Congress," Republican and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou said in a recent interview. "However, any long-term or sustained military action will need congressional authorization."

Djou said he did not believe a nonmilitary option could be found.

Democrat Mark Takai disagreed, saying that he prefers a nonmilitary option and if one could not be reached, the president should secure the authority of Congress before acting.

Quick IQ Test: T or F -- We can negotiate with headchoppers and find common ground

read ... Don't Lose your head over this

Ige Has Least Money of all Candidates

HNN: In campaign spending reports filed Friday covering the Sat. Aug. 9 primary election, Ige reported raising $672,288, spent $577,718 getting through the primary and had just $94,569 cash on hand, with $76,770 in outstanding loans as of earlier this month....

Aiona, the Republican candidate for governor, reported raising $627,652 in the primary election, spent another $429,499 and had $198,153 cash remaining as of Aug. 9.

"I'm really happy with where we're at right now,” Aiona said. “Can it be more? Absolutely. Are we trying to get more? Yes we are."

The $627,652 Aiona raised so far this year is just 22 percent of the amount of campaign funds he raised through his last primary race in 2010, when he had raked in $2.8 million in his last race for governor....

Independent candidate for governor Mufi Hannemann has raised the least of the major candidates: $223,671 and spent just $48,858 in an uncontested primary. Hannemann reported $174,812 cash remaining as of early August, with $82,703 in outstanding loans....

Hannemann raised just six percent of the money this year compared to the primary in 2010, when as sitting Honolulu mayor he brought in $3.5 million for his previous governor's race.

CB: Ige Loans Himself $50K in Final Days Leading Up to Primary Win

read ... Ige Out of Money

State House can intervene in Calvin Say residency challenge

SA: The House, however, has argued that it has exclusive jurisdiction under the state Constitution to determine the qualifications of its members.

Nakasone allowed the House to intervene after finding that the House had shown a commonality with claims made by Say in the case. The judge also found that allowing the House to join the case would not unduly delay or prejudice Say's claims.

A court hearing on Say's and the House's motions to dismiss the legal challenge has been set for Sept. 18.

read ... Intervene

The impact of ultra-luxury but empty condominiums

ILind:  One aspect of luxury condominiums that has not been mentioned is that most of the year, those apartments are empty. If you drive down the H-1 in the evening and look at small apartments for middle-class people, they are 90% occupied. The lights are on and people are eating dinner or watching TV. Once you get into town and look at luxury condos, often 90% of the lights are off in the evening. (Anecdotally, I once pointed to a luxury apartment building from the parking lot of Ala Moana Center; only a few lights were on in the building. One person I was with said, “I have a friend who owns a condo there. He lives in Nashville.” Also, I once visited Imperial Plaza on the corner of Cooke and Kapiolani one evening. The building was virtually empty. The people I met there had lived there for a year and said they never saw anyone in the hallways, elevator or lobby when they went to work in the morning and came home in the evening.)

So we can talk about green spaces and bike lanes and walkability. But few will actually live in Kakaako. But that might also mean that rail usage will also not be optimal in Kakaako – the one place where it could have worked best.

ILind:  Looking back: The housing crisis in 1991

read ... Empty Condos

Another property Tax Hike for Kauai

KGI: There will be one new class on the county’s real property tax rolls next year.

A divided Kauai County Council approved a measure Wednesday that would create a new tax class called residential investor, which would apply to improved properties without tax exemptions that are worth at least $2 million.

Those properties, according to an amendment added by Councilman Tim Bynum and Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, would also restrict the tax classification to properties that are not being rented on a long-term basis.

The new tax class, Yukimura said, will provide the County Council and the mayor’s administration with revenue options that can replenish the county’s reserve fund, provide relief for some resident taxpayers, and help public transportation and affordable housing initiatives....

About 199 properties on Kauai can be placed into this new tax class, Finance Director Steve Hunt said. If the tax rate was set at $7.05 — $1 more than the current residential tax class rate — the real property taxes from those homes could generate about $837,000 in additional real property tax revenues....

Councilman Tim Bynum said he wanted to limit the tax class to homes that are not being used as long-term rentals so no local families would be hit. Some residents, he added, may have inherited homes that are valued around $1 million or $2 million but operate them as long-term rentals.

“With this amendment, limiting this to 199 properties that are most likely sitting vacant — these are the super wealthy people, these are the stars who own homes here — I can support this bill,” Bynum said. “Given the parameters, we’re really talking about very wealthy people who choose to have their homes sit vacant.”

But not everybody agreed.

Councilmen Gary Hooser, Ross Kagawa and Mel Rapozo cast the dissenting votes against the measure. Council Chair Jay Furfaro cast a silent vote, which went toward the majority vote in favor of the new tax class.

read ... Another Tax Hike

Kulani Just Reopened--Already Closing Due to Staff Shortages

KHON: Kulani Correctional Facility visits have been cancelled for Saturday and Sunday due to staffing shortages. Visits are scheduled so far for Monday, Labor Day.

read ... Kulani

Community reacts to Sand Island homeless shelter proposal

HNN: "There has to be that assessment piece and there has to be a prioritization for those who are most vulnerable," said Connie Mitchell, Institute for Human Services Executive Director. 
It remains to be seen how they would mix men, women and families all together with the mentally ill and drug addicts.
"I think it's going to be a challenge trying to design the program but I don't think it's impossible," said Mitchell.
Neighboring businesses has mixed reactions on the plans.  There were concerns about possible thefts and vandalisms. But people also said crime and drugs are everywhere not just around the homeless.  There was also a lot of support for the idea.
"They need someplace and they need a safe place just like any other family would," said Jesse Makainai, Makainai Cabinets, located in Sand Island.

Reality: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

read ... Community Reacts

Deedy to face third trial in September 2015

SA: Federal agent Christopher Deedy is scheduled to stand trial a third time in the fatal shooting of Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant.

State Circuit Judge Karen Ahn has tentatively scheduled the trial for September 2015.

Deedy's lawyers have until Nov. 28 to file motions to dismiss the case. State case law prevents the government from taking a defendant to trial multiple times with the same evidence until it gets a conviction.

The prosecutor has already said she intends to recommend Deedy stand trial a third time.

Background: Before Waikiki Shooting, Chris Deedy in Benghazi

read ... Failure to Lynch

QUICK HITS:

Dozens gather for Apple’s last day as UH-Manoa chancellor

Judge sets tentative September date for possible 3rd trial for US agent in Waikiki shooting

Pearl Harbor Gives Up the Ship: USS Lake Erie to San Diego

Schools work to alleviate school bus, sporting conflicts

Full Steam Ahead: The Japanese at sea

UH campuses most diverse in nation

Fundraiser swoops in to save UH athletics

Corporatocracy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership presentation at Law School

Energy Excelerator opens headquarters, fosters growth of power innovators

Usual Suspects Take Moment to Feel Superior

 


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