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Monday, May 14, 2018
May 14, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:31 PM :: 2612 Views

Little Pink House Coming to Honolulu  

Drug Use by State: 2018’s Problem Areas

Lawmakers Set New Record for Campaign Fundraisers

CB: Fundraisers during the Hawaii legislative session have increased by 88 percent over the past six years….

Hawaii lawmakers held a record number of campaign fundraisers during the state legislative session this year, Campaign Spending Commission data shows, raising questions about the influence of money in politics.

During the 2018 session, which started Jan. 17 and wrapped up May 3, lawmakers held 77 fundraisers for their campaigns. That’s about five on average per week.

In all, 48 of the 76 members of the Legislature held fundraising events during the 15-week period, with tickets costing as much as $6,000 apiece….

Sen. Josh Green, who is running for lieutenant governor this fall, held seven fundraisers during this year’s legislative session, more than any of his colleagues. He declined to comment for this story.

Rep. Andria Tupola, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, held five fundraisers. Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Jill Tokuda, who is running for lieutenant governor, each held four fundraisers this session….

read … Lawmakers Outdid Themselves Raising Campaign Cash This Session

Kishimoto, BoE, HSTA All Agree-They Want Your Money

CB: …The grades are in for Hawaii school superintendent Christina Kishimoto at the 10-month mark in her new role and they’re largely favorable, according to an end-of-year review released by the state Board of Education last week….

The board “acknowledges that the superintendent just started her administration and that there is still much done to be around complex issues, such as teacher recruitment and retention, the achievement gap and equity,” the summary says.  (Translation: All the stuff that matters to students and parents)

“The board commends her for her professionalism and her focus on students, and it is satisfied that our organization is heading in the right direction at this time.”  (Translation: Our tax Hike is on the ballot. )

On Friday, the day after the evaluation came out, the Board released its agenda for Thursday’s upcoming meeting that includes the superintendent’s recommendations for improving special ed and English Language Learner services….

PHOTO: Kishimoto with members of Hawaii’s teachers’ union after the state Senate in April voted to allow the public to decide whether the state should impose a surcharge on residential investment properties to help fund public education. 

CB: HSTA Shill: Funding Public Education Can Change Our Destiny

read … HSTA Control

Will There Be Enough Workers For Hawaii’s Hot Economy?

CB:  …With the state unemployment rate at about 2.1 percent “virtually everyone who wants a job has one,” the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization reported earlier this month in its economic forecast. “Businesses are having difficulty finding workers with—or even without—the skills they need,” UHERO said.

UHERO’s forecast expects the economy to stay hot for a while, driven by visitors….

“When you’ve got unemployment in the 2 percent range, you’ve got to steal them from someone else,” said Carl Bonham, a professor of economics who is UHERO’s executive director. “And to do that, you’ve got to offer them a better job.”

Wages in the hotel and food service industry have been rising. According to UHERO, the average is now hovering at nearly $20 an hour. A big question is whether Hawaii’s wages, along with its climate and spectacular natural beauty, can outweigh the exorbitant cost of living and attract enough workers to grow the population and the workforce….

read … Will There Be Enough Workers For Hawaii’s Hot Economy?

$4M Saved by Rebuilding Kauai Suspension bridge via Nonprofit Instead of County Procurement

KGI: …The Kapaia Swinging Bridge is about to be traversed for the first time since it closed down nearly a dozen years ago.

The wooden pedestrian bridge just west of Hanamaulu was originally built in 1948. It is historically significant for transportation associated with sugar plantations and the multicultural heritage of the Kapaia Valley community, but was closed in 2006 due to safety concerns….

“It’s a historic bridge on the Hawaii Historic Register since 2008,” said Laraine Moriguchi, director of Kapaia Foundation. “From 2006 to 2017, we were trying to get it restored. Finally in 2017, the county said that they wanted to give the bridge to our non-profit Kapaia Foundation, which we formed in 2010 only because we were trying to save the bridge.”

The Kapaia Swinging Bridge Rebuild Project was funded by a $231,000 grant from the County of Kauai, along with donations from generous individuals. HD Construction, with the guidance of architect Ron Agor, has been busy working on rebuilding the footbridge since September.

Contractor Harry Duronslet and his team are following the 1948 plan, using as much of the existing material as possible.

The finished structure will look like the original but will be stronger and last longer….

2011: Volunteers take over Kauai County Bridge Project, cost suddenly drops from $4M to $25K

read … Suspension bridge to reopen soon in Kapaia

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