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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:53 PM :: 2828 Views

Trump Election Conspiracy Theories Front and Center in Hawaii Republican Party

2022 UH Legislative Recap: Key takeaways, budget breakdown

UH Board of Regents approves updated Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan

FAA Proposes to Revoke Transair's Certificate

Lawsuit Seeks Habitat Protection for 49 Endangered Hawaiian Species

S&P: Solar, storage delays put Hawaii's energy transition to the test

China wants 10 Pacific nations to endorse sweeping agreement

AP: … China wants 10 small Pacific nations to endorse a sweeping agreement covering everything from security to fisheries in what one leader warns is a “game-changing” bid by Beijing to wrest control of the region.

A draft of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press shows that China wants to train Pacific police officers, team up on “traditional and non-traditional security” and expand law enforcement cooperation.

China also wants to jointly develop a marine plan for fisheries — which would include the Pacific’s lucrative tuna catch — increase cooperation on running the region’s internet networks, and set up cultural Confucius Institutes and classrooms. China also mentions the possibility of setting up a free trade area with the Pacific nations.

China’s move comes as Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a 20-strong delegation begin a visit to the region this week.

Wang is visiting seven of the countries he hopes will endorse the “Common Development Vision” — the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea….

Wang is also holding virtual meetings with the other three potential signatories — the Cook Islands, Niue and the Federated States of Micronesia. He is hoping the countries will endorse the pre-written agreement as part of a joint communique after a scheduled May 30 meeting in Fiji he is holding with the foreign ministers from each of the 10 countries….

But Micronesia’s President David Panuelo has written an eight-page letter to the leaders of other Pacific nations saying his nation won’t be endorsing the plan and warning of dire consequences if others do.

Panuelo said in his letter, which the AP has obtained, that behind attractive words in the agreement like “equity” and “justice” are many worrying details.

Among other concerns, he said, is that the agreement opens the door for China to own and control the region’s fisheries and communications infrastructure. He said China could intercept emails and listen in on phone calls.

Panuelo said in his letter that the agreement is “an intent to shift those of us with diplomatic relations with China very close to Beijing’s orbit, intrinsically tying the whole of our economies and societies to them.”

He warns the agreement would needlessly heighten geopolitical tensions and threaten regional stability.

In his letter, Panuelo said the Common Development Vision is “the single most game-changing proposed agreement in the Pacific in any of our lifetimes,”…. 

NR: China’s Pacific Advance: A Pattern of Islands

AP: China’s Pacific plan seen as regional strategic game-changer

AFP: Western powers sound alarm on China plan for South Pacific

R: China plans to revive strategic Pacific airstrip, Kiribati lawmaker says

read … China wants 10 Pacific nations to endorse sweeping agreement

Honolulu city council committee approves latest HART rail recovery plan

KITV: … During a meeting with the city council transportation, sustainability and health committee, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board member Anthony Aalto reported the Federal Transit Administration is open to discussing extensions once the tracks to the Civic Center are complete.

"The feeling on the board is that if we can get to Civic Center, we will have the resources to get to Ala Moana and we'll continue to pursue this project as far as UH," Aalto added.

The recovery plan would also defer construction on the Pearl Highlands parking garage due to unstable soil in the area.

The 1,600-stall facility would cost $330 million to build -- and project leaders expect the delay could lead to a 1.7% loss in riders during the rail's first year of operation.

Some testifiers at Tuesday's meeting deemed the garage necessary.

"We believe you build it (the garage), they will use it. Especially commuters from Mililani and Wahiawa," Pearl City neighborhood board member Larry Veray said.

HART CEO Lori Kahikina pointed to Leeward Community College and the Pearl Highlands Center as potential options for a parking garage site.

Kahikina added an alternative could be to extend the rail itself to Mililani (Will these idiots finally put it on the ground?  Do they even know why ground would be preferable?) and increase bus services. …

The full council is set to vote on the plan on June 1. Kahikina said if approved, HART will submit the proposal to the FTA later that week….

SA: Oahu rail recovery plan advances at City Council

read … Honolulu city council committee approves latest HART rail recovery plan

HGEA Stalling Delays Full Opening of State Lunatic Asylum

SA: … State health officials say they face additional delays in moving patients into the Hawaii State Hospital’s new, 144-bed psychiatric facility, after assuring state lawmakers in early April that all the patients would be moved in by this month. The state Department of Health now says the target date is the end of June.

As of this week just one-third, or 48, of the patients had been transferred to the pristine, $160 million building, which has sat empty for more than a year.

It’s not exactly clear what has caused the additional delay. DOH cited ongoing repairs, though the state Department of Accounting and General Services, which is overseeing those fixes, disagreed.

(Translation: Its not the repairs.)

“We have been on target,” said state Comptroller Curt Otaguro, who oversees DAGS. While there had been supply chain delays, he said the repairs would be completed this week.

Meanwhile, DOH and the union representing many of the staff are still consulting over new policies for the building….

(Translation: HGEA stalling full opening of the new lunatic asylum so their members can continue to get paid to do nothing.)

read … New Hawaii State Hospital faces more delays

Maui Families Discover that $700K ‘Affordable’ Homes aren’t, really 

CB: … Even if families qualify for loans, monthly costs can be so high that they struggle to hold on to their homes in the long term. …  

MN: Maui council may adjust metrics to make affordable housing actually affordable

read … Maui Is Reconsidering What Constitutes ‘Affordable’ When It Comes To Housing

COVID ‘Emergency’ Still Alive: Ige Extends ‘Emergency’ SNAP Benefits Through July

CB: … Pandemic-related increases to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have been extended with Gov. David Ige’s signing of a second emergency proclamation on Tuesday.

The increased benefits will continue until July 22, having pumped an additional $18 million into Hawaii’s 180,000 SNAP participants’ pockets in April.

Emergency allotments administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture were set forth by President Joe Biden in January 2021 in response to pandemic-related food security issues.

Ige’s signing of the emergency proclamation extends Hawaii SNAP participants’ eligibility for the increased stipend, which is provided to individuals and families with additional funds to purchase food items in certain retail stores….


Flashback: The Perpetual Covid ‘Emergency’--Will Legislators Trade Democracy for Food Stamps?

read …  Ige Extends Emergency SNAP Benefits Through July

Months after completion, homeless resource center with 27 apartments sits empty

HNN: … Construction on a $17 million city project to help the homeless wrapped up months ago, but it’s sitting vacant with no definite timeline on when it might open.

As Hawaii’s homeless crisis continues, 27 brand new low-income apartments and a resource center with an industrial kitchen meant to prepare meals for those in need are all locked away behind a fence at the corner of Sumner Street and Iwilei Road.

Scott Hayashi, the head of Honolulu’s Department of Land Management, says the project took two years to build. Construction wrapped up in February. But when it came time to open, city officials say it and the service provider couldn’t agree on the contract.

“Ultimately the bigger picture didn’t fit for them, the River of Life. And I’m not sure exactly the details,” Hayashi said….

read … Months after completion, homeless resource center with 27 apartments sits empty

BWS Activates other wells, Water ‘Crisis’ Disappears

HNN: … “We want to stress at this point, based on the Kaamilo wells now suppying Aiea-Halawa, we think we can avoid getting the Aiea-Halawa system into the critical water shortage condition,” BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernie Lau told City Council members.

Lau says two weeks ago, BWS started pumping water from its Kaamilo wells to send to he Aiea-Halawa.

“It looks like we are going to be able to weather this summer by keeping our voluntarily conservation request in place with a 10 percent target reduction from our customers,” he added.

The Board of Water Supply sent 17 letters to developers in urban Honolulu warning them that their projects could be delayed because of the Navy’s water crisis, but now those letters will be revised.

“So you are confident that they are going to be able to get their water meters?” councilmember Esther Kiaaina asked.

“Yes,” replied Lau….

April 12, 2022: Ige: BWS Could Quickly Eliminate Water Crisis by Repairing Wells

read … BWS: Mandatory water restrictions this summer now appear avoidable

Anti-Mask Candidates Testify Against Hayashi

CB: …Kaleo  Nakoa — who happens to be a candidate for the Honolulu City Council this year — stayed at the mic because he also wanted to provide his own testimony.

“I do not even know who Sarah Kemble is,” said Nakoa, who also said his wife texted him her testimony, which he read from his smart phone. “But I want people to know that we are not disgruntled but just concerned parents. We were not speaking for the masses but for the people with the right to say that their kids can’t breathe or function with a mask on.” …

For Gary Cordery, who formerly led the Aloha Freedom Coalition that has rallied against mask mandates and who is now running for governor as a Republican on a freedom platform, the incident demonstrated that the BOE does not really care about the people they serve….

read … Mask Fury Erupts At The Hawaii Board Of Education Meeting

Legislative Agenda:

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