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Monday, March 27, 2017
March 27, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:23 PM :: 4162 Views

Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

Feds to Reopen Papahanaumokuakea to Fishing?

Farmer: Shame on Kawailoa Development LLP

Hawaii Taxpayers to be kept waiting 16 weeks on Tax refunds

HD: …Colorado and Louisiana, for instance, warn of delays of up to 60 days after filing. In Virginia and West Virginia, the delays can last up to four weeks. Massachusetts says it can take taxpayers four to six weeks to get their refunds, North Carolina says six weeks, and New Mexico warns it could be 12 weeks. Wisconsin says it could take as long as three months. Hawaii is looking at as much as 16 weeks….

Other states have adopted the delaying tactic to screen for fraudulent filings. Hawaii, for instance, is warning state taxpayers that it can take up to 16 weeks for refunds to start flowing.

Before it stopped $11 million in attempted fraud last year, said Mallory Fujitani, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Taxation, the standard wait for refunds had been about six or eight weeks "at the height of tax season."

Fujitani said complaints from taxpayers and state employees have diminished since there has been a concerted effort to explain the reasons behind the delays and everyone has gotten more comfortable with the longer lead times….

read … Refund

Political Insiders Among Few to Get Caldwell’s Ohana Dwelling Permits

SA: …Retired Family Court Judge Michael Town (who did so much to help insiders with Broken Trust and now helps career criminals get out via his vote on HPA) said he’s looking forward to his daughter and her two children moving into the newly built accessory dwelling unit on his property lot in metro Honolulu, thanks to a city ordinance passed in September 2015.  (Isn’t that sweet.)

“It’ll be a house with three generations,” Town said. “I like that.” 

A year and a half after Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ordinance into law, interest has been growing, with more than 1,280 homeowners submitting “pre-check” forms to see whether their lot qualifies for the addition.

Some 145 applications have been approved for permits allowing the units for either family members or renters.

Unlike a former, so-called ohana ordinance allowing only family members to live in second dwellings, the option to rent under the ADU ordinance provides homeowners a financial incentive. In addition, the city is waiving up to $10,000 in fees to homebuilders — including a $6,624 sewage connection charge….

As of early March, only 22 accessory dwelling units in Honolulu had passed final inspection since the enabling ordinance was passed a year and a half ago. In about the same period, plans for 17 proposed accessory dwellings were canceled, according to the city’s building permit office.

The 145 permit approvals represent less than 1 percent of 105,000 residential lots that meet the minimum lot sizes for accessory dwellings on Oahu….

read … Cronyism

Molokai to be 100% Renewable in 2020?

HTH: …The PSIP notes that Molokai will hit 100 percent renewable energy by 2020 and will be used as a learning tool for expanding renewable energy use on the Big Island and elsewhere in the state.

Todd Kanja, general manager of system planning, said HELCO and its partners looked at emerging technologies such as ocean wave-generated power, which the PSIP says eventually could provide enough energy for the entire world’s population needs. (Or not.  Google “barnacles”)

“We definitely are interested in all technologies,” Kanja said. “We want to keep our plans flexible or have room as new technologies come about.”

Many other forms of renewable energy production are under study, Ignacio said.

He said HELCO reached 48 percent renewable in 2015 and 54 percent in 2016….

read …. Molokai

If Hawaii Democrats believe in Sea Level Rise—Why are they building Rail?

DN: Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann tried a commuter ferry called TheBoat as a way to ease traffic congestion coming into cental Honolulu. It never worked, and cost taxpayers an estimated $120 per roundtrip rider to operate. Commuters preferred their cars or TheBus.

But suppose neither of those were an option one day as sea levels rise, turning streets and highways into canals. If the tall condos and downtown office buildings are not abandoned entirely, the only way to get to them will be by boat….

read … 2140

Iwilei: Homeless Problem will be solved just as soon as Rail is Finished?

KHON: …“A lot of businesses often times feel emotionally hostage, that just because a homeless person is on their property, using the restrooms or maybe stealing pallets or boxes, that they don’t have rights to actually protect their own things,” he said.

Carvalho says he encourages businesses to work together with the non-profit.

“If it’s not okay to be on their property,” he said, “rather than just kicking them out, just ask them ‘hey, maybe would you like to work with IHS? They are right next door.’ And we are willing to help and respond.”

We wanted to know what the bigger plan is to help the homelessness in the area and Carvalho is hoping the rail line through Iwilei will help address that.

“We hope that transit-oriented development adds a lot of affordable housing,” he said, “because housing is a solution to not just homelessness but really having value added to our community.”…

(On the other hand, maybe we should just wait for the non-existent sea-level rise to ‘solve’ homelessness.)

Better Bigger Plan: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read … IHS offers to help new business neighbors deal with homeless

East Hawaii GOP Convention Offers Preview of State Convention

HTH: …The overall tone of Saturday’s meeting, attended by about 50 people, was one of optimism, with many in attendance saying that Trump’s election offered a chance to rebuild the Hawaii Republican Party.

“We as a party have not shown any strength … we have not shown strength for anybody to rally behind,” Yonan said.

Part of the problem, he said, was a lack of resources and support for potential candidates. Donors have not turned out for the Republican party to help support political candidates, and candidates themselves were discouraged by being part of the state’s minority party.

“It’s not an easy thing,” said House Minority Leader Andria Tupola, R-Oahu, who spoke at the meeting. “Running for office, putting yourself out there, being judged by people…there’s so much division already within our state, within our party, that if we don’t start working together and working with the same mindset, then we’ll end up with the same result.”

Tupola became House Minority Leader in February, replacing Rep. Beth Fukumoto. The leadership change vote came after the Honolulu Women’s March, where Fukumoto spoke out against Trump’s statements regarding women and minorities. Fukumoto resigned from the Republican Party last week.

Tupola encouraged Republicans to bring more solutions to the table.

“The better solutions,” she said. “Why are we getting taxed? Because nobody’s coming forth with revenue ideas. Nobody.”

She offered an overview of current legislation, focusing on a “death with dignity” bill that was deferred after a Thursday hearing. The bill was co-signed by Hawaii Island Senators Lorraine Inouye and Russell Ruderman.

“There’s a lot of issues that sometimes conservatives come late to the game, but on this one, we came with our A game,” Tupola said, describing the scene in the Statehouse when the bill was heard Thursday.

“We actually had way more (people) than the supporters of the bill; everyone was in their matching T-shirts. They were ready to testify.”

Tupola said the bill had ultimately been defeated by bipartisan support, and reaching out to people who shared conservative views but were not necessarily Republican.

Reaching out to those groups would be key for building the party back up, said fellow guest speaker Shirlene Dela Cruz Ostrov. Ostrov, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa in the November election and is now running for chair of the state party.

Ostrov is Filipino and said that many people in that community had values aligned with Republicans, particularly regarding tax policy and abortion rights, but voted Democrat because that was the status quo.

Apathy on issues and participation was one of the biggest challenges faced by the party, Yonan said.

“It’s education and outreach,” Ostrov said. “It’s people having these kinds of meetings in places we don’t normally go to … that’s how you change the map to red.”

“I think we have to … and we can attract the best and brightest candidates to run for office as Republicans,” she said. “After all, when you think about it we are the majority party in the United States, and our local election needs to reflect that.”

Mark Blackburn of Oahu, who attended the meeting and was a prominent Hawaii donor to the Trump campaign, said that in his recent engagements with the business community he had met more people willing to support the Republican Party financially.

“People want change and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is for the first time,” he said.

Ostrov said people would need to get out of their comfort zones in order to make outreach successful.

“Lace up those boots, and get out there,” she said….

read … Preview

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