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Wednesday, December 9, 2015
December 9, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:50 PM :: 3496 Views

Hawaii Might Finally Be Forced To Include Military Among ‘We The People’

Retired Hawaii police officers frustrated by barriers to concealed carry

Teacher Quality? Hawaii Scores D+

No Joke: Hanabusa named Distinguished Visiting Scholar at UH Manoa

Robotics championship to qualify Hawaii teams for World event

2015 Most Charitable States--Hawaii Ranks 21st

Ige Seeking Applicants for 170 Boards and Commissions

Rail: Massive GE Tax Hike Proposed Without Cap

SA: Two Honolulu City Council members have submitted separate proposals to lift a planned cap in a bill pertaining to how much more general excise tax surcharge dollars could be used for the city’s $6.57 billion rail project.

Bill 23, which would allow the city to extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent surcharge by five years, through Dec. 31, 2027, is up for the second of three necessary approvals from the Council today.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine’s proposed floor draft would remove the cap and add a few amendments.

Councilman Brandon Elefante’s proposed draft would do away with the cap and delete language requiring the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to submit additional reports….

CB: City Council Considers Killing Proposed Cap On Honolulu Rail Tax

read … Tax Hike

HSTA urges 25% GE tax increase -–$750M/year to Lard Coffers

SA: The union representing Hawaii’s public school teachers is lobbying for a tax hike to establish a dedicated funding stream for a host of education proposals, including higher teacher pay, air-conditioned classrooms and more public preschools.

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee said the union is proposing an increase of 1 percentage point — to 5 percent from 4 percent — to the general excise tax, which is assessed on all business receipts in the state.

HSTA estimates the increase would generate an estimated $750 million annually, which the union wants to see support a 10-point omnibus education bill that will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session. The union said a public opinion research poll (the usual fake poll, how predictable) it sponsored shows widespread support for a tax increase (LOLROTF!) to support the individual parts of the plan.

read … Tax Hike

Lawmakers Criticize University of Hawaii Budget, Maintenance

CB: …Choy seemed particularly appalled at the university’s deferred maintenance backlog, which is currently $503 million — up from $487 million in 2013.

Choy suggested that perhaps UH had an “unsustainable product.”

“The amount of infrastructure we have is not sustainable, because these figures are increasing,” Choy said, suggesting that UH may need to reduce the square footage of its buildings and look at eliminating non-performing programs.

UH figures it needs to spend $77 million annually on upkeep and improvements at its 10 campuses to keep from adding items to the deferred maintenance list. Last year UH received $44 million for such work….

This year UH is asking for an additional $191 million appropriation from the Legislature in Capital Improvement Funds. Of that request, $138 million is to address deferred maintenance.

UH is also requesting an additional $16.2 million in general funds, including $5 million for the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and $3 million to help cover athletic program costs.

read … UH Budget

HMSA tells kupuna they’ll pay more

SA: The Hawaii Medical Service Association has notified 5,000 senior members that they will have to pay an additional fee — which could range from $20 to $50 per doctor visit — as of Jan. 1 when seeing a doctor at a medical facility or hospital-based clinic….

read … Pay More

Insiders Still Pushing Federal ‘Rule’ for Fake Indian Tribe

HPR: In the fall the US Department of the Interior proposed establishing a formal government-to-government relationship as part of the reconciliation process.  The proposal would give Native Hawaiians a legal framework that would help the native Hawaiian community work with the US government.

The move is separate from the Na‘i Aupuni election to choose delegates for a convention to discuss alternatives for Hawaiian self-governance.  Last week the US Supreme Court blocked votes from being counted in that process.

Kealii Lopez is the Board president of Imua Hawai‘i.  She says in order to preserve future options, it’s important to approve the DOI’s ruling while President Obama is in office.

The deadline for comment on the DOI proposal closes on December 30th and you can find more information or submit testimony at The Department of the Interior website….

AL: Aloha Racism!

read … A Narrowing Window for Another Hawaiian Vote

What The Supreme Court’s TMT Decision Didn’t Say

ILind: The ruling didn’t get into whether traditional Native Hawaiian practices and rights should be protected. That’s likely to come in the next round of legal wrangling.

read … Allowing the Court another Bite of this Apple

Amid union dispute, police body cams remain stacked in supply closet

HNN: Some 105 police body cameras are paid for and ready to go. So why are they still in boxes, stacked in a supply room at the Kauai Police Department?

Chief Darryl Perry wanted to outfit his officers with the cameras this week but says he is still waiting for the police union, SHOPO, to respond to the latest list of changes to the policy.

Perry says he has made almost all the changes SHOPO requested. An ongoing dispute over the body camera policy has held up the project. The two sides met just before Thanksgiving and Perry believes they ironed out most of the issues. He says he sent them a revised version of the policy with the most recent changes but the union still hasn't signed off.

The union believes body cams fall under "mutual consent."which requires their approval….

CB: Kauai Police Chief Vows To Implement Body Cams Despite Union Concerns

read … Dispute

HECO's Smart Grid roll-out continues to be plagued by delays

IM: …the HECO, MECO & HELCO Smart Grid program would cost $275-$345 million and provide $394-$470 million in benefits….

Aggregating these amounts, we estimate that smart grid results in $215-$250 per customer in benefits net of costs (net present value) over the next 20 years for the Hawaiian Electric Companies; in $330-405 per customer in benefits net of costs (net present value) over the next 20 years for Maui Electric; and $300-360 per customer in benefits net of costs (net present value) over the next 20 years for Hawai'i Electric Light.”

Thus the net benefits over 20-years would be $215-$405 per customer, or 90 cents to $1.70 per month….

NextEra asserts that its Smart Grid program in Florida is the most advanced in the nation….

It turns out that FPL’s Smart Meters are functionally unable to perform time-of-use analysis. Furthermore, customers who want time-of-use rates must pay the utility for a new special meter and must wait up to three months to get the meter installed.

PBN: Hawaiian Electric delays plans for $350M smart grid project to early 2016

read … HECO's Smart Grid roll-out continues to be plagued by delays

How Pothole May Cost The City $1.2M

CB:  A 2008 motorcycle crash on Kaluanui Road left a man paralyzed, and some say the city still hasn’t done enough to make the road safe….

read … Cost

Tsutsui Uses Soccer Debacle to Push ‘Sports Authority’

SA: Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui (who?) and business leaders are pushing for the creation of a sports authority to oversee sports and entertainment tourism in the wake of an embarrassing, 11th-hour cancellation of Sunday’s U.S. women’s soccer team exhibition match.

read … Another Fail

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