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Monday, July 18, 2016
July 18, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:49 PM :: 2992 Views

NextEra Quits Hawaii Short $95M

Mina Morita Lawsuit Challenges Gorak Appointment

CPA Mobility—Accountants Denounce Dale Kobayashi

Team Djou Challenge—Rail, Trust, Homelessness, Ethics

Take rail all way to Ala Moana, voters urge

SA: …A solid majority of Oahu voters maintain the island’s rail transit project still should be built to Ala Moana Center as planned, the latest Hawaii Poll found.

However, when asked who would best handle rail-related issues, more island voters said they prefer the mayoral candidate who opposes using any more local tax dollars to help the severely cash-strapped project reach that destination.

Some 62 percent of voters insist rail should go to Ala Moana Center, while 25 percent felt construction should stop immediately and another 10 percent contend the system should stop at Middle Street, the poll found.

Only 2 percent of voters polled said they didn’t know what should be done about rail given its new giant financial troubles or refused to answer.

At the same time, 43 percent of voters polled said mayoral candidate and former Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou would do the best job addressing rail issues.

Djou has said that he would hold the transit project to its existing local tax revenues….

“I think that it seems kind of silly to stop midway through the island. This would provide quick, affordable transportation to one of the biggest shopping areas we have,” 67-year-old Kailua resident Kathy Bowers, who took part in the poll, said in a follow-up interview Friday.

Bowers said Djou “overall would do the best job” on rail. “He will be pragmatic about it,” she said….

read … Only Djou Can Save Rail

Poll: People Happier About Homeless after they beat up Brower

SA: People on Oahu generally feel that the island’s homeless situation has gotten better in the year since the beating of a state representative in the heart of an entrenched encampment in Kakaako, and far fewer believe the problem’s gotten worse, results of the latest Hawaii Poll show.

In a Hawaii Poll released last July just after state Rep. Tom Brower was attacked while photographing the encampment, 73 percent of respondents indicated that homelessness on Oahu had gotten worse over the previous 12 months.

A year later, only 47 percent of Hawaii Poll participants surveyed from June 30 to July 9 now believe the situation has gotten worse over the previous year. The latest Hawaii Poll was conducted by Ward Research.

“I would say it’s gotten a little better,” said poll participant Georganne Akamine, 76, of Waipio Gentry. “There’s been some progress, but it has in no way eliminated the problem.”

Overall, 12 percent of respondents in the Hawaii Poll said the homeless problem has gotten better, compared with only 4 percent who felt the same way in July 2015….

So Djou is the best mayoral candidate to deal with homelessness, in Hampton’s view, “because he has to,” adding, “I’m ready for a fresh face.”

Djou acknowledged that sentiment.

“I think it’s not me as much as it is a reaction,” he said. “Clearly, what the city is doing right now isn’t working, and the public is not satisfied with the administration’s response to homelessness.”

In general, Djou said, the city’s bureaucracy is too cumbersome to quickly and effectively deal with the complex issues associated with homelessness.

His preference is to deploy “better, greater, more resources directed to the nonprofit community rather than have this homeless problem tackled by the city bureaucracy.”

“I wish there was a magic bullet,” he said. “‘Do this one thing and homelessness would be fixed.’ There isn’t. It’s a very, very complex issue.”

HNN: Hawaii Poll: Respondents pessimistic on homelessness

PDF: 20160718 Hawaii Poll Tables July 2016 – Homelessness

read … Beat up Brower

Porno Choices: Sex ed found to alter minds

SA: The controversial Pono Choices sex education program taught in some Hawaii middle schools has helped increase students’ knowledge of preventing teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, as designed, but students were not significantly deterred from engaging in risky sexual behaviors, an external review of the program released Friday concluded….

The company performed classroom observations and surveyed students who went through the Pono Choices program as well as students who were taught using other sexual health education curricula before and after they took the class. Students also were surveyed a year later….

A DOE spokeswoman said four schools so far plan to use Pono Choices in the upcoming school year.

State Rep. Bob McDermott, who led the charge against Pono Choices, called the external study results dismal and biased.

“I am not surprised at the dismal results of Pono Choices,” McDermott (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) said. “This program was riddled with incompetence from the start, when they defined the anus as a genital organ.”…

Hawaii youth continue to have the lowest rate of condom use in the nation: 51.6 percent of sexually active youth did not use a condom during their most recent sexual intercourse, compared with 43 percent nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PDF: Summary of the Evaluation of the Pono Choices Program

read … Mind-Altering

High cost of rents partially result of GE Tax

MN: …the high cost of rents (both residential and business) on Maui is partially a result of regressive and injudicious county and state tax legislation.

Few Maui County renters ever write a check to pay property or excise tax, yet they pay much more than their fair share in these taxes. Our federal, state and county governments combine to present a very taxing triple play whose financial victims are the long-term residential renters of Maui County. With some certainty, I conclude that nowhere in the United States are renters so financially penalized when compared to full-time resident homeowners. Alternatively, nowhere else is homeownership so encouraged by these tax policies than within Maui County.

Hawaii may be the only municipality in the country that charges a tax - 4.166 percent general excise tax - on long-term rents. When a Maui resident pays $1,500 per month rent for an apartment, his landlord is responsible for paying $62.49 GET - obviously passed onto the tenant. A resident homeowner pays no such tax, and in fact can claim mortgage interest and property tax as deductions for income tax purposes. The renter cannot.

Going back 15 years to 2000-01, the property tax on a $400,000 rented residence was $2,016, versus $1,299 for an owner-occupied residence - the burden on a rental property being about 1 times as much as a homeowner property.

The 2015-16 property tax on a $400,000 assessed rented apartment was $2,400, versus $550 for one occupied by the owner - almost 4 times as much. This property tax is obviously "recovered" by the landlord via escalated rent. And to make matters worse, and bordering on the absurd, in effect he pays the excise tax on the property tax - which again may be passed on to the renter….

read … GE Tax

Maui is being ruined by environmentalists

MN: …Six years and $17 million spent while attempting to provide housing to Maui residents. These unreasonable and endless environmental impact statements are killing business and much-needed development of housing. The environmentalists must feel justified, saving the planet and all. I suppose they have a place to live and couldn't care less about the people forced to pay outrageous rent due to scarcity of housing, or to live in shelters or on the street.

Maui is being completely ruined by the environmentalists. All of the jobs lost in the past few years by the loss of the telescope, the Superferry, Hawaiian Commercial &?Sugar Co. and more. I guess it is "Love Mother Earth" and screw the people.

And let us not forget the movement to use eminent domain to take private property for their utopian farm. Thankfully, there were not enough people to sign on to this debacle, although I doubt we have heard the end of it.

read … Maui is being ruined by environmentalists

Charter School Chief Job Offer Rejected

SA: …Just when it thought it had a new leader, the state Public Charter School Commission was dealt a major setback: The finalist who was offered the job decided not to take it.

This, after a months-long search process that started in March, and whittled down 20 candidates to the final six, then final two, then lone finalist….

read … Rejected

SB2196 Creates Independent Police Review Board

read … Review

Civil Beat: We Need $400K for Hemp

CB: …state still needs to write rules to put Hawaii’s program in place. And Gov. Ige needs to free up $400,000 to help it along….

read … Only Taxpayers Would Pay for This 

UH president’s pay in mid-range among college leaders, study finds

SA: University of Hawaii President David Lassner’s salary ranks in the bottom two-thirds of salaries paid to the nation’s public college presidents, according to a report released today by the Chronicle of High Education.

Lassner’s $375,000 base salary is No. 152 out of 260 leaders of public colleges and university systems. His salary is in the 41st percentile, meaning roughly 60 percent of public college chiefs earned more than he did last year….

The median total compensation of a public-college president who served a full year was $431,000 — up by 4.3 percent over the previous year. Full-year base salaries ranged from a high of $800,000 for the president of Ohio State University, which enrolls more than 65,000 students across five campuses, to a low of $164,238 for the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, now known as the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

read … Only $375K a Year

Islanders hit Ohio for GOP convention

SA: Hawaii’s delegates to the Republican National Convention have gathered in Cleveland this week to help adopt a sharply conservative new party platform and to join what they expect will be a grand celebration of the presidential nomination of Donald Trump….

SA: Voters can settle contentious issues

read … GOP Convention

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