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Thursday, August 25, 2016
August 25, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:20 PM :: 5622 Views

What OHA Hid from You for 40 Years

VIDEO: Caldwell was Reckless, Its now a Big Mess, and its Costing You

Rail Reshuffle: Mark Garrity named acting director of Department of Transportation Services

Supreme Court to hear Hanalei Boatyard Case

Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet

Scheme Hatched to Keep state’s $1 billion surplus from being refunded to taxpayers

KHON: …Nearly 10 years ago, under Gov. Linda Lingle, taxpayers received as much as a $160 refund, and that was for a smaller surplus….

So why not give some of it back to taxpayers?

“We continue to look at that and we’ll be working with the Legislature to develop the financial plan,” Ige said. “We’ll be looking at it. We’ll be working and looking at all the needs of our communities. We still have a significant obligations.”

He adds that he wants to make sure the state is prepared for the next economic downturn.

What it comes down to is that a billion dollars doesn’t really amount to a whole lot. The governor says it’s only about two months worth of bills that the state pays.

In 2007, taxpayers got refunds because the law stated that if there was more than a five-percent general budget surplus, roughly $250 million, for two years in a row, the state had to give some of it back.

But the law changed in 2010 through a constitutional amendment that allowed the state to give refunds, which at times were a dollar, or put the money in a special fund.

“I’d give it back to the public,” said state Sen. Sam Slom, R, East Oahu. “I would not spend it, or second point is to pay down the tremendous debt that we have which is not a popular thing.”….

read … Why the state’s $1 billion surplus may not lead to taxpayer refunds

Just 2 Lobbyists Have Donated $650k To Hawaii Candidates In The Past 10 Years

CB: Lobbyists gave $2.5 million to state and local candidates over the last decade, and the two owners of the state’s biggest firm doled out about $650K themselves….

John Radcliffe and George “Red” Morris are co-founders of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, the largest lobbying firm in the state.

They represent more than 30 clients, including Altria Group, the tobacco giant formerly known as Philip Morris, Monsanto and Airbnb, which recently advocated for tax reform legislation at the Capitol.

The two lobbyists’ contributions totaled up to more than the next seven highest-contributing lobbyists combined. The next-highest contributor, Lynn McCrory, gave about $120K….

read … Pay to Play

Candidate disclosures offer rare glimpse at finances

ILind: …The disclosure process is administered by the State Ethics Commission, which recently published a list of candidates who have filed this year. It’s a good place to start.

Browse the list, and if you see a name of interest to you, then check the candidate disclosure database, click on the link for the person’s form, and check it out. You can save the form as a pdf for future reference….

read … Candidate disclosures offer rare glimpse at finances

Council requests temporary halt of rail property takeovers past Middle Street

KHON: …“We were listening to the businesses in Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, because they suffered and they didn’t want the same thing to happen to those down the line that happened to them, and that’s why we hoped to proceed with caution,” said councilwoman Ann Koyabashi. “There are many vacant lots and they’re just sitting there, whereas the business could’ve been operating, at least taking in some income.

“Because of the uncertainties as to when city center will actually be in construction, we are taking your suggestion to heart in working with the business owners that we may need to relocate in the near future, to have them stay as long as possible so they have the least disruption possible,” she continued.

HART officials will be meeting with the Federal Transit Administration next week in San Francisco to discuss a recovery plan.

The feds are withholding more than half-a-billion dollars in rail payments until the plan meets their approval….

read … Stop

Call for ethics audit advances

SA: Honolulu City Council members want to audit the city Ethics Commission in the wake of recent controversies that led to the resignation of the commission’s longtime chief, Chuck Totto, two months ago.

The Council Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to advance Resolution 16-164, which asks city Auditor Edwin Young to conduct a management and performance audit of the seven-member commission and its office. The resolution will likely be heard by the full Council at its Sept. 7 meeting.

Young told committee members he backs the call for an audit but the work should be conducted by an outside party because his office has had a close working relationship “professionally as well as in training” with the state Office of the Auditor. New city Ethics Commission Executive Director Jan Yamane, who was appointed earlier this month, served as acting state auditor from 2012 until this past May when Les Kondo was appointed to the post by the Legislature….

read … Call for ethics audit advances

HPD officer accused of assaulting Uber driver

HNN: …Sources say the rookie officer, Esteban Garcia was intoxicated when he caught a ride and then allegedly grabbed the driver.

Garcia has been working with HPD for one year.

He has not been arrested, but the case has been referred to the Prosecutor's Office….

read … Another One

Former DHS fraud investigator sentenced in theft case

SA: Former state Department of Human Services investigator Roselani Wise was sentenced last month for theft in the second degree after receiving unearned compensation from DHS from 2008 through 2012.

While Wise was being paid by DHS to conduct criminal fraud investigations, she was also working part time for the Transportation Security Administration at Lihue Airport on Kauai, an investigation found. She pleaded no contest to the charges.

“Public employees can hold outside employment as long as it is not legally prohibited. In this case, however, Ms. Wise claimed to be working for DHS during the same exact time she was actually working for TSA,” Attorney General Doug Chin said in a news release. “That is theft of state money and that is why she was prosecuted.” ….

read … Former DHS fraud investigator sentenced in theft case

Papahanaumokuakea: Mainland Megabucks vs Local Fishermen

CB: Supporters of the fourfold expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have fired back against an advertisement claiming the proposal would result in people being unable to eat fresh local fish.

A coalition called Expand Papahanaumokuakea has been circulating ads supporting the expansion of the monument, which currently covers 139,800 square miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The 30-second spot, primarily funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, features several people explaining why the expansion would be positive ….

“We started seeing the opposition ad in a number of places and felt we can’t let that be the message people see here,” Seth Horstmeyer, director of Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy, said Monday….

Supporters want Obama to make the announcement when the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress meets in Honolulu….

these ads are not subject to state or federal campaign finance disclosure laws that help voters know who is behind what.

The proponents’ ad doesn’t identify anyone or say who produced it and ends by steering people to the group’s website,….

read … PEW

Hawaii Progressives have some really weird priorities

KE: I frequently find myself rankled, irritated, peeved, perturbed, by some of the things I read.

Like this, from Marti Townsend, director of the Hawaii Sierra Club:

So I think about this all the time. I do agree that the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis. But why is the conclusion here that the only option is to not have babies? Or some scifi weather engineering? Why not jump to the conclusion that we should just stop burning fossil fuel. Stop. It. Right Now. Keep it in the ground!

We have an inherent, human right to bear healthy children and rear them in a healthy environment. The corporations - they have no right of any kind to make money.

… unless you yourself have actually stopped using all fossil fuel, or buying any products, quit making stupid statements like “stop burning it right now” and “corporations have no right to make money.” Especially when you run an organization that only recently stopped taking millions from oil and gas companies, and still accepts advertising and donations from corporations.

…Then there's Kat Brady, complaining about how it's “horribly inhumane” to require Halawa prisoners to wear striped uniforms.

Really? That's your biggest concern about the prison system? Not the lack of drug rehab and job training programs? Not the overcrowding? Not the criminalization of addicts? Not sending locals off to Arizona, away from friends and family? Not kinky, creepy wardens, like the one at KCCC? Not the exploitation of prison labor by the private companies that run prisons? But the striped clothes?

People have some really weird priorities.

Which leads me to Pamela Burns of the Hawaiian Humane Society,arguing against the control of feral cats….

LOL: Hawaii’s Use Of Striped Uniforms For Prisoners Is Downright Inhumane

read … Musings: Grrrr

HPD Expects $455K in Overtime for Waikiki Eco-Confab

KHON: …the Honolulu Police Department estimates that officers will rack up approximately $455,000 in overtime during the event.

This isn’t the first time Honolulu is getting hit with a big bill for protecting VIPs.

KHON2 found out from HPD, we’ve been paying tens of thousands over the last year to protect officials and dignitaries.

When Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez came to visit last July, police received more than $9,400 in overtime pay.

For Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, one day of security cost HPD $3,800 in overtime.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s two-day visit back in May racked up over $4,200 HPD overtime.

One of the most expensive visits when it came to overtime costs was in March, when the Prime Minister of Tuvalu visited.

His eight-day trip ended up costing more than $18,000 in overtime.

But all that pales in comparison to what we shell out when President Obama comes here for his annual winter vacation. HPD had to pay out more than $340,000 in overtime pay during his last visit.

read … Maybe somebody could sell some valuable carbon credits to repay us

NTSB: El Faro audio includes captain's abandon ship order

AP: …The recording starts at 5:37 a.m. the fateful day, about 8 hours after the ship left the port of Jacksonville for Puerto Rico.

Capt. Michael Davidson and his crew can be heard discussing flooding and the increasing list - or tilt - of the 790-foot-long ship as Hurricane Joaquin battered it with strong winds and massive waves, the NTSB said.

Davidson had called ashore just after 7 a.m., telling an operator who took the call that he had a hull breach when a hatch blew open, according to a recording played during U.S. Coast Guard investigative hearings earlier this year. He said there was water in a hold and the ship had a list.

"The clock is ticking," Davidson told the operator.

The NTSB said the data recorder shows the captain called orders to abandon ship and sounded the alarm about 7:30 a.m. that day. NTSB says the recording ends minutes later.

The 40-year-old ship had open lifeboats unlike more modern ships. It was also due for maintenance the next month before being retired from the Puerto Rico trade….

read … Abandon Ship



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