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Friday, January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:14 PM :: 3081 Views

Congressional Letter: Kona Resident Funnels Russian Millions to Sierra Club

FEC Complaint Filed Against Chin Campaign Manager

Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid? -- Hawaii 48th

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

34.6% Pay Raise: Hawaii County Money Shower for Mayor, County Council

HTH: The Salary Commission approved raises of up to 34.6 percent Thursday, while a County Council member has introduced a charter amendment to try to slow down the money train.

After some discussion about whether the mayor should be paid more than some department heads who are required to have licenses, training, education and experience, the commission voted 5-3 to give the mayor a $30,581 raise (23.2 percent) to $162,581, and the second-in-command, the managing director, a $34,607 raise (29.1 percent) to $152,611.

The County Council chairman will get a 32.8 percent raise to $77,017, and other County Council members will get 34.6 percent more, to $70,008. The county clerk, legislative auditor and other positions also received raises. Those raises were approved 7-1…..

Commissioners said they had to make up for lost time with the big bumps, and they agreed to look at a second phase where raises would come more frequently…

But Commissioner Milton Pavao, who voted no on both sets of raises, said it was just too big a hit.

“I think this is excessive, very excessive,” Pavao said. “It puts a burden on the finances and I don’t think it sends the right message.”….

read … Raises approved: Mayor, County Council, others get big hikes

After Taking Raise, Harry Kim asks Lege to Allow GE Tax Hike

WHT: Mayor Harry Kim on Friday sent the County Council a bill to raise the general excise tax by one-half percent to balance next year’s budget, while telling a state legislative panel the county exhausted its fund balance to pay for this year.  (NOTE: GE Tax hikes currently authorized only for transportation projects.)

Kim told state lawmakers the county took $20 million from last year’s leftover money, leaving just $89,000 in its fund balance while costs continue to rise for payroll and other county expenses. That’s despite hikes in property taxes and fuel taxes approved last year by Kim and the County Council….

The mayor added he was “damned embarrassed” on reading the morning’s newspaper and seeing he got a raise. Kim’s $30,581 raise was among big raises approved by the Salary Commission for 33 top officials.  (LOLROTF!)

“They ask us to help them and my suggestion is to go ahead and raise taxes,” Inouye said about county officials.

Kim told the panel costs outside his control continue to rise. Thanks to recent collective bargaining agreements at the state level, employees’ salaries and benefits now account for 62.5 percent of the $491 million county budget, he said.

Payments on bond issues from prior years account for 12.5 percent. A state-mandated increase in post-retirement benefits other than pensions, known as GASB-45, will bring next year’s county contribution to 15.35 percent of the general fund, compared to about 6 percent in 2006.

Hawaii County voters also passed a charter amendment that takes 2 percent of property tax revenues off the top to purchase land for preservation. Another 0.25 percent is taken to maintain those lands.

Kim, along with the other three county mayors and county council representatives from all four counties, asked the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee to restore previous allocations of the transient accommodations tax — collected on hotels and lodging of less than 180 days — to give the counties a greater share.

County mayors also asked the Legislature to give it more broad-based taxing authority, through HB 1664….

read … General excise tax hike mulled as county drains fund balance

FCC Investigators Attend Hearing at State Capitol

KHON: …Federal investigators say the state has taken positive steps on making sure a false missile alert doesn’t happen again, but the FCC will be putting together its own list of recommendations.

The FCC also heard from television and radio broadcasters and got input on how to get a false alert message out faster. The state says it wants to be able to have direct contact with all the different stations through some type of email tree so a false alert message can be relayed at one time….

FCC investigators say they’re still looking into why some phones never got the initial alert. The FCC will be putting together a full report that could ultimately help other states improve their alert systems….

FCC investigators plan to attend Friday’s hearing at Hawaii State Capitol. Gov. David Ige and HI-EMA administrator Vern Miyagi will answer questions from state lawmakers….

read … FCC investigators work with state emergency officials

Hawaii Rep. Tupola to make official announcement on run for governor

HNN: …She spent the last several months grooming SaiZan V Timoteo to take over her seat next year….She plans to announce her gubernatorial run next week Saturday….

read … Tupola

P3, AirBnB to be on Legislative Agenda Again

PBN: Hawaii Sen. Glenn Wakai,D-Kalihi-Salt Lake, said the last legislative session was a lost opportunity: several of the state’s business and innovation-related bills failed to make it to Gov. David Ige’s desk. Wakai talked to PBN about the bills that would be returning this session, as well as what’s new.

Airbnb bill – would allow the vacation rental platform to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its hosts in Hawaii….

5G bill – would codify exemptions to permitting requirements to include broadband over wire line and wireless or mobile platforms, including wire-line facilities and small wireless facilities….

Public Private Partnerships bill – would create the Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Aerospace bill – would create the Hawaii Aeronautical Development Corporation…

SA: Tighten scrutiny of vacation rentals

read … Sen. Glenn Wakai's priorities for this legislative session

Ponzi Fukumoto Backs paid family leave

S: …Fukumoto is (still) considering a run for U.S. Congress as a Democrat….

On Thursday, diverse family, women’s, and worker advocates will be briefing Hawaii lawmakers about new research on the feasibility of bringing paid leave to Hawaii workers. A new Institute for Women’s Policy Research cost/benefit analysis shows Hawaii’s options for administering a program to provide paid time off for workers to care for newborns, for themselves, or for a family member with a serious health condition….

Fukumoto supports comprehensive paid leave that provides benefits for a range of caregiving situations….

read … Slate

Council Fails to Kill off Even More Affordable Housing

CB: …A City Council committee agrees to incentives for developers, but hesitates to impose requirements to build affordable units….local housing advocates (the usual socialists) called the proposal “revolutionary.” But the idea has been unpopular with a politically influential development industry that fears (knows) more regulations will stop projects from getting built….

read … Mayor’s Affordable Housing Mandate Loses Ground

Global Warming Hucksters:  Mapunapuna Puddle is ‘Proof’

CB:…Flooding and fires, heat waves and hurricanes, erosion and extinction are intensifying as a result of the planet warming from burning fossil fuels, Department of Land and Natural Resources administrators said Thursday in a public presentation.

“Climate change is here,” DLNR Director Suzanne Case said. “We just need to plow ahead and make (hike) the changes (taxes) that we need to do to ensure the best future possible (for silicon valley billionaires).”…

read … LOLROTF!

Officers At Bar Shooting Denied City-Paid Legal Defense

CB: Two Honolulu police officers who were drinking in Kings Sports Bar with their colleague Anson Kimura the night he accidentally shot their bartender will have to represent themselves in an upcoming lawsuit.

The Honolulu Police Commission denied using taxpayer money to cover the legal fees of officers Sterling Naki and Joshua Omoso. Both are defendants in a lawsuit filed by Hyun Ju Park, who was shot in the stomach with a .38-caliber revolver, and her attorney, Eric Seitz.

The commission followed the advice of the city’s Department of Corporation Counsel, which argued in a contested case hearing Wednesday that neither Naki or Omoso were acting in their official capacity as police officers when the shooting occurred….

SA: Woman shot by police sues Hawaii County for excessive force

read … Denied

Soft on Crime: Lifelong Criminal out on the Streets, Does it Again

HTH: A 55-year-old Volcano man with a felony record dating back to 1987 is accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

Keith Kapena Hulihee is charged with second- and fourth-degree sexual assault of the same alleged victim. According to the complaint, Hulihee subjected the juvenile “to an act of sexual penetration by compulsion” on Dec. 30, and “to sexual contact by compulsion” on an unspecified date in September 2017. According to the complaint, Hulihee is a persistent offender subject to extended terms of imprisonment “for the protection of the public,” which could mean a possible 20-year prison term upon conviction instead of the usual maximum of 10 years for second-degree sexual assault, a Class B felony….

Deputy Prosecutor Evans Smith objected to supervised release or a bail reduction, noting 12 prior contempt of court convictions, a protective order violation and his prior felony record.

“Here, the defendant has four prior felony convictions, including a felon in possession (of ammunition), a B felony in 2013. He also has a promoting dangerous drugs in the third-degree conviction. Before that, he had two prior felony convictions. … Those would be the basis for the high bail.”

Hilo District Judge Kanani Laubach maintained Hulihee’s bail at $30,000 and ordered him to return at 2 p.m. Monday for a preliminary hearing.

On April 5, 2013, Hulihee was sentenced to five years in prison on the charges noted by Smith. That conviction stemmed from an Aug. 19, 2012, incident in Mauna Loa Estates subdivision where police responded to Hulihee’s home after receiving reports of shots being fired in the area.

Hulihee told police he had an explosive device in his possession and wanted to turn it over. Officers found the item and, evacuated nearby residents and called in U.S. Marines explosive ordnance disposal personnel, who determined the device was a military gas canister that didn’t pose any danger.

A search warrant on Hulihee’s property did, however, turn up ammunition and drugs.

read … Soft on Crime

What A Nuclear Missile Attack On Hawaii Would Look Like

DO: Minutes after the people of Hawaii received an emergency alert on their phones last week, they began calling loved ones to issue tearful goodbyes and putting their children in storm drains. This tells you that the government has a long way to go to better educate people about the realities of nuclear attack….

Last year, North Korea demonstrated a weapon whose yield was roughly estimated at 200 kilotons, and a missile with enough range to fly the 7,350 miles from Pyongyang to Honolulu.

Plug those variables into Nukemap, a tool from Alex Wellersteinfor approximating the devastation of nuclear events, and a terrible picture emerges: such a strike would kill nearly 158,000 people and injure 173,000 more….

The question then becomes: what’s the best way to prepare? Seeking shelter is a good start, says Timothy J. Jorgensen, who leads the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Program at Georgetown University. But unless you have something like an underground, air-filtered bomb shelter, your leading concern might be staying someplace where you have access to food or water. You will likely be there for an extended period of time. “The fallout can be worse in terms radioactive exposure than the blast itself because it can come from hundreds of miles away,” Jorgensen said.

The primary fallout radioisotopes would be iodine-131, followed by cesium-137. Radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer, especially in children. But it has a short half-life, just a few days. “Wait a few weeks, and it’s all gone,” says Jorgensen. And be prepared to wait it out entirely indoors. In this sense, the emergency alert sent out by the local Hawaiian government, which advised people to seek “immediate” shelter, offered potentially very bad advice. Depending on your location and your proximity to a major target like Pearl Harbor, it may make more sense to take shelter where you might be confined for a few days or longer.

A nuclear blast would all but certainly contaminate local food and water sources. This would present a particular hardship for Hawaii, given its isolation. Still, the danger would wane after six to eight weeks for most food and slightly longer for milk. (Fallout can contaminate large areas of grazing pasture and then concentrate in the milk of the cows that ingest it.)

read … What A Nuclear Missile Attack On Hawaii Would Look Like

Missile Attack False Alarm:

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