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Friday, December 25, 2015
December 25, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:47 PM :: 3836 Views

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

HART Didn’t Pick Lowest Bid For Rail Stations

‘Conditional’ -- 22 Delegates Demand Changes to Aha Agenda

Obamacare: COFA Gets 60 Day Extension after 4,300 fail to Reenroll

Ige Issues New Homelessness Emergency Proclamation

Wine & Dine: Rail Lobbyist Chairs Honolulu Charter Commission

HNN: Rail opponents are hoping they can force an island-wide vote on the project using the city Charter Commission.

But their hopes are fading fast now that pro-rail lobbyist David Rae is now the chairman of that commission.

"It's a little bit questionable when you have such a major proponent of a mega project being so involved in a public affairs office," said rail critic Panos Prevedouros.

"Some of his involvement was somewhat nefarious in nature."

Rae spent years supporting rail as a lobbyist for Ewa landowner James Campbell Co.

According to the city Ethics Commission, Rae was the one who lavished thousands of dollars in free meals to several current and former city Councilmembers, who didn't disclose those gifts. Two of them, Romy Cachola and Nestor Garcia, wound up paying hefty fines.

Prevedouros recalled attending one of those dinners hosted by Rae in Chicago back in 2006.

"Romy Cachola was sitting across from me ... next to him was Dave and the two of them were negotiating what kind of wine they were going to be drinking and I think the wine list was quite exquisite," he said.

Rae, who was appointed to the board by the city council, said the city Ethics Commission has already ruled that commissioners have no conflict.

Dec 12, 2015: Charter Commission Agenda: Defer all ‘Proposals to Dismantle HART’

read … Conflict of Interest

Hawaii Attorney General to Push for Nationwide Marijuana Legalization?

SA:  Dr. Clifton Otto of Honolulu and three other Hawaii doctors asked state Attorney General Douglas Chin to push for removing marijuana from the Schedule I list.

“Everyone who is selling marijuana is breaking federal law,” Otto said. “The state is allowing patients to engage in the use of the federally illegal controlled substance. That is certainly the state’s authority to do that, but part of the responsibility in giving patients that right is following up with the federal government.”

Physicians Charles Webb, Gary Greenly and Jim Berg signed the letter along with Otto. The doctors said the proposed rule change would help to correct the conflict between state and federal law.

“When the state of Hawaii accepted the medical use of marijuana in 2000, it created a direct conflict with the federal regulation of this substance, which needs to be corrected. The burden of resolving this conflict rests with the state because the state created this conflict in the first place,” the petition said….

Chin said he is preparing his response to the petition.

“We will be getting something back to Dr. Otto and the petitioners within the 30 days,” he said Thursday.

Chin said that, after speaking with different federal agencies last month, he thinks it’s unlikely the marijuana classification will change in 2016.

“The question came up,” Chin said. “The clear answer we got back from all of the agencies was that it seems very unlikely it will happen this year because it is an election year.”

Chin met with other attorneys general and their representatives from Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington last month in Washington, D.C., to discuss marijuana issues.

“Several of us went out to meet with the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury,” he said. “The concern we have right now is when a lot of these dispensaries go live, they will be operating in all cash.”

HTH: Alleged Marijuana Grower Charged with Three Counts of Rape

read … State urged to convince feds status of pot needs a change

Judge upholds rule allowing more Hawaii bigeye tuna fishing

AP: A federal judge has ruled longline fishermen in Hawaii may continue catching more bigeye tuna, or ahi, than the maximum set by international regulators.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Wednesday issued the ruling rejecting environmental groups' claims that the extra fishing is illegal.

The opinion came just in time for the year-end holidays when Hawaii consumers crowd stores to buy ahi sashimi for Christmas and New Year's celebrations. A ruling adverse to the fishermen had the potential to shut down or curtail the Hawaii fishery for the rest of the calendar year.

read … Victory

Electric Vehicles Less Than 1% of Total

MN: With a resident population of nearly 992,000, or just under 70 percent of the state's residents (as of July 1, 2014), Oahu had 2,824 electric vehicles registered, or 75.3 percent of vehicles statewide. Maui County had a population of 163,108, or 11.5 percent of the state total in 2014, and its percentage of nearly 17 percent of registered electric vehicles exceeded its population ratio, according to figures from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

In September 2014, Maui County had 512 registered electric passenger vehicles. The addition of 121 more electric vehicles represents an increase of 23.6 percent. Oahu saw a 31.5 percent increase in the same period, while the Big Island's number went up 11.6 percent and Kauai increased 38.7 percent from 93 to 129 vehicles over a year.

According to the Energy Office report, Hawaii's overall number of registered electric vehicles (3,750) represented an increase of 829 vehicles, or 28.4 percent. As of September, there were 1,035,653 passenger vehicles in the state, with electric vehicles making up 0.36 percent of that total.

The Energy Office report says Oahu has 250 publicly available charging stations as of September, while Maui had 90, Hawaii island had 53 and Kauai had 33.

read … Almost Nothing

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