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May 1, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:32 PM :: 2246 Views

To GET or Not to GET – SVOG and RRF Are the Questions

HB2075: Legislators Ignore Federal Judge to Push Gun Control Agenda

Archegos -Theranos - Honolulu Rail: The Price of Lying

Red Hill fuel cleanup could require more tax dollars than allocated

VIDEO: Can Youth Solve Hawaii Housing Crisis?

Short-term rental ban will disrupt Honolulu economy 

312 Candidates Pull Papers

HPD More Secretive Than Ever

SA: … More than two months after the city removed first responder radio traffic from public radio waves, the city administration is still ‘deciding’ whether to restore access to communications that Honolulu police officials argue must be concealed to help preserve public security and safety….

Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic told Silva and the commission that the department is still working on its media notification system in the absence of access to radio transmissions. He said HPD is working on making the Computer Aided Dispatch System’s 24-hour tally of calls for service available to the public and the media via the department’s website….

HPD currently uses a spreadsheet that is updated for some but not all major incidents. In April, the number of daily notifications ranged from one to eight per day. On Wednesday, the spreadsheet listed one incident, a water main break.

The spreadsheet is supposed to include incidents of murder, robbery, terroristic threatening, assault and kidnapping, and information about missing persons, fires, gas leaks and water main breaks, according to police….

“HPD remains opposed to having public access to the city’s first responder radio system or making the encryption key or radios available to the media,” HPD spokesperson Michelle Yu told the Star-Advertiser in a statement….

On Friday, Blangiardi’s deputy communications director, Ian Scheuring, told the Star-Advertiser that the city “has not yet taken a position on this matter, and as the policy discussions are ongoing, will refrain from commenting further at this time.”…

CB: The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: Honolulu Police Commissioners Shannon Alivado And Jerry Gibson

read … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi still considering restoring access to first responder radio

Caldwell:  Nobody on Oahu Dumb Enough to Vote for Me

SA: … Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell calls himself “the underdog” in the three-way race for governor in the August Democratic primary but sees a path to victory through the neighbor islands, despite his unpopularity after serving two terms and eight years at Honolulu Hale.

Caldwell is proud to discuss his record, saying he was willing to make “tough decisions” that were not always popular, including embracing new ways to address homelessness on Oahu that had never been tried in the islands; his backing for the city’s troubled rail project that he inherited and continues to support; and his early response to COVID-19 as the pandemic started strangling Honolulu’s economy in March 2020.

Asked if he was unfairly blamed for homelessness and rail two years ago when term limits prevented him from running again, Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: “I stood up and fought for difficult issues and didn’t back away. I never ran from it (rail). I became the face of rail … and got my butt kicked by the Legislature” for twice seeking state funding….

Since he’s been out of office, Caldwell spends his time traveling across the islands to campaign when he’s not trolling, shore casting and spearfishing for ulua and papio, especially around South Point on the Big Island.

(HINT: A boat is a good way to escape federal agents.  Just keep going.)

Borreca: There are fewer than 100 days until Hawaii voters pick the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor

read … Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell sees neighbor island path to governorship

Ethics reform pledge was April Fools’ joke in Legislature

Shapiro: … >> After promising reform following bribery convictions of two colleagues, state legislators backed away from calls to ban political fundraising while in session. It’s like asking pigs to stop rolling in dung….

>> State Sen. Chris Lee wants state employees to work four days a week. Employee unions protest it’s unfair to ask more work of them.

>> A University of Hawaii leader said a Senate budget draft for UH that singled out employees for firing or pay cuts was “punitive.” Sen. Donna Mercado Kim took offense; she was aiming for vindictive….

>> Businesses praised 20% pay raises for CEOs as a sign the economy is growing, but panned a modest minimum wage increase as a financial drag. It’s the new aloha economy: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class flees to Vegas.

>> Rail CEO Lori Kahikina said federal officials are open to plans to stop the train short of Ala Moana Center and gushed, “This has only happened once before — Puerto Rico.” That would be the Puerto Rico that’s preceding us in bankruptcy….

>> Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s campaign for governor is getting a major boost from union endorsements — especially public workers. Beware politicians’ debts that must be repaid from your pocket….

And the quote of the month … from state Comptroller Curt Otaguro on previous legislative plans to finance a new Aloha Stadium: “It went everywhere — upside down, inside out, backward, forward.” The Legislature’s new plan assures it can only go sideways….

read … Ethics reform pledge was April Fools’ joke in Legislature

Minimum wage boost cause child care cost to increase

KITV: …boosting wages will also cause child care costs to increase. CEO and President of the YMCA Greg Waibel, says they are looking at numerous places where that price adjustment can be made at the organization….

THE YMCA is looking at additional resources such as fundraising, grants, and a possibility of increasing the program rates.

He says they are in their early stages but they are working closely with the DOE, the city and state over the course of time to 2026….

Big Q: Do you support raising Hawaii’s hourly minimum wage to $18 by 2028, starting with $12 this October?

read… Minimum wage boost cause child care cost to increase

State lawmakers approve bill to improve child welfare system

HNN: … State Rep. Ryan Yamane, chair of the Committee on Health, Human Services and Homelessness said the bill includes expanding investigative powers.

“If there is a complaint filed by let’s say, a teacher, or neighbor, or coworker, regarding the safety of that child in that home,” said Yamane. “The department then will need to monitor that family to ensure the safety of the placement, not just for that incident, but ongoing.”

In addition, Yamane said up to $8 million will go toward resources for the Department of Human Services.

“The department has always struggled to be able to not only attract and train, but also retain, you know, good Child Welfare Services because of the stress,” said Yamane. “And so, again, we wanted to balance that off knowing that we if we want more things done, that we have to give them the resources.” …

San Buenaventura said CWS’ job vacancy rate stands at 20%….

Under the bill, a task force made up of providers was created to monitor the department’s actions….

read … State lawmakers approve bill to improve child welfare system

$20M Gas taxes go unspent: Big Island drivers deserve a Tax Cut

HTH: … Hawaii County’s fuel tax revenues have been coming in higher than expected, and in some cases, faster than the county can spend them.

Even as the County Council is set to vote Wednesday on Resolution 363 giving drivers a break by knocking 10 cents a gallon off the current rate, a council committee Tuesday will vote on a bill to reappropriate $2.5 million left unspent between 2016 and 2020. The Finance Committee is also set to appropriate an additional $700,000 that came in over what was budgeted for the past two budget years that end June 30.

Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder sees the numbers as showing even more reason to provide taxpayer relief. He said he hopes the public will testify at the 9 a.m. Wednesday meeting.

“Given this lapsed funding and a nearly $20 million Highway Fund balance, clearly the residents of Hawaii County are being overtaxed,” Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder said. “At this time, these excess funds would be far more effective in the peoples pockets where they can stimulate all sectors of our economy.”

Fellow council members seem to have taken a dim view of the proposal, with the measure coming out of committee on a 3-5 vote, a negative recommendation….

read … Gas taxes go unspent: Council to re-appropriate excess funds

A new shooting range for Big Island?

HTH: … A long-awaited public shooting facility could be coming to Hawaii County.

A new bill, passed by both state House and Senate conference committees Wednesday, would establish a working group to determine potential locations and designs.

“A shooting facility on the Big Island has been in discussion for a very long time,” said state Sen. Joy San Buenaventura of Puna, who helped introduce the bill. “We need to legitimize a place so people don’t get arrested when they think what they’re doing is legal.” ….

read … A new shooting range for Big Island?

Legislative Agenda:

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