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Monday, December 1, 2014
December 1, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:14 PM :: 3140 Views

CB: 10 Things Hawaii’s Next Governor Has Said He’ll Do

  • Triple the supply of affordable housing in Kakaako.
  • Develop a plan to double local food production.
  • Alleviate the Department of Education’s top-down bureaucracy by empowering principals, specifically increasing the weighted-student formula spending to 75 percent from 58 percent.
  • Boost government transparency by holding weekly press conferences and limiting charges for public records to basic copying costs.
  • Introduce legislation to ensure Medicaid recipients receive services equal to those available through Kupuna Care.
  • Increase hotel capacity.
  • Direct and adequately staff the Hawaii State Energy Office to develop a clean energy industry.
  • Modernize the Department of Taxation to collect $450 million in back taxes.
  • Ensure independence of the Public Utilities Commission and adequacy of staff to make electricity more affordable.
  • Increase funding to control and prevent invasive species.

read ... Promises, Promises

Will Ige Engineer Solutions or Just Administer Finances?

SA: ...don't expect grand flourishes or soaring rhetoric from the 57-year-old Ige, say those who know him. The veteran state lawmaker brings a more even-keeled, problem-solving style to the state's top office.

"Where he is and where his values are — they're those of an engineer that wants to see something accomplished," said Dan Boylan, a MidWeek columnist and former history professor at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. "That's where I think he'll define his capacity as a leader. That's where I think we'll find him.

"If we don't, if he is just a fiscal guy who watches the money and so forth, then there's not going to be much of an administration."

read ... Not Much

Green Energy Scammers Panic as Oil Prices Collapse

IM: In Hawai`i most electric utility contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are tied to avoided cost.

The payment to coal, biomass, garbage-to-energy and wind companies were tied to the cost to make electricity from oil which was tied to the price of oil.

Over the past few years Hawai`i has sought to renegotiate contracts to break the ties to the price of oil.

In June a barrel of oil was trading at $115.

Today it is $67 and projections are that the price could drop to $40 a barrel.

Contracts still tied to avoided cost will be compensated at lower levels thus lowering rates.

Solar and wind contracts that were negotiated without being tied to avoided cost will remain at existing levels which may seem high relative to other contracts.

read ... Oil prices slide down as Abercrombie slides out

Micro Units Allow Developers to Score Megabucks off Hawaii's Poor

SA: HCDA envisions a mid-rise building that would include at least 50 studio and one-bedroom units that are no bigger than 300 square feet each and rent for about $1,000 a month.... ($3.33psf!)

Fifty affordable rentals is nothing to sneeze at, especially in urban Honolulu. Beyond adding to the much-needed supply of affordable housing, though, we hope this HCDA project succeeds because it could inspire others near the rail-transit route. Private landowners who previously considered their individual lots too small for an apartment building might realize that a midrise full of micro units fits just fine. Affordable rentals that meet the tenants' needs as well as the landlords' would be a win-win for Honolulu.

read ... Micro Units, Maxi Profits

Officials Wait to See if They Can Start Restricting Hawaii’s Plentiful Cesspools

CB: A proposal that bans new cesspools and requires property owners to eventually upgrade to septic tanks could be delayed or shelved.

read ... Restricting Hawaii’s Plentiful Cesspools

The Punahou Model

CB: Punahou touts itself as a private school with a public purpose. The Department of Education could follow that lesson.

read ... Punahou

Decline in native birds is linked to tiny mejiro

SA:  The Japanese white-eye, known as Zosterops japonicus in zoological circles and more commonly in Hawaii as the mejiro, is a small songbird whose delicate outward appearance suggests nothing in the way of ecological invasion or intense competition for survival.

Yet, as biologists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have demonstrated in a recently published study, the introduction of the little bird to Hawaii forests had far-reaching implications for native species, demonstrating a complex process through which an outside species can overcome defensive forces of nature to create its own space within an existing system.

The findings by UH professors Leonard Freed and Rebecca Cann were published in the November edition of the scientific journal Ecosphere.

read ... Not Pigs

Mindless Chatter about Non-Existent Ocean Acidification (clue: the oceans are alkali, not acid)

Wave of Propaganda Begins on Approach to 1 Year Commemoration of Gay Marriage



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