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Friday, February 3, 2023
February 3, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:15 PM :: 2175 Views

Federal Recognition of Hawaiian Sovereignty: One People, Many Views

SB36: Senate Passes Bill Restoring Procedure for Initiating Felony Cases

Waitlist opening for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

City seeks highly-qualified candidates to serve on Oʻahu Historic Preservation Commission

Families in Hawaii spend 20.8% of their income on child care

BoE Approves Another Worthless 'Strategic Plan'

‘Asset Tax’ Advances--Legislature will Steal 1% of Everything you Own Every Year

CB: … A key Senate committee gave preliminary approval Thursday to a measure that would impose a new tax on Hawaii’s wealthiest residents in what one senator described as an effort to reduce income inequality.

This is the second consecutive year the Senate Judiciary committee led by Sen. Karl Rhoads has advanced such a proposal. A similar measure died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee last February.

This year’s version is Senate Bill 925, which would levy “a tax on the activity of sustaining excessive accumulations of wealth by every qualified taxpayer.” It would impose a tax of 1% of net worth per year on taxpayers with assets of more than $20 million in assets in Hawaii….

The measure was introduced by Rhoads and co-sponsored by Sen. Stanley Chang.

However, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii warned that such a tax would likely prompt wealthy residents to adopt “creative accounting strategies” to avoid the tax, and could actually do economic damage to the state.

According to the institute, “a wealth asset tax also could encourage high net worth individuals to move their assets out of Hawaii to states that don’t have such a tax, which in turn would reduce business investment in Hawaii and curb job growth.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Thursday with only Republican Sen. Brenton Awa voting no….

Socialists: Want To Give Our Kids A Future? Change The Way We Tax Wealth

read … A ‘Wealth Asset Tax’ On Hawaii’s Richest Residents Advances In The Legislature

Native Hawaiian Home Loan Program Won’t Fund Mortgages on Sites Littered with Unexploded Bombs -- Star Adv Calls this Racial Discrimination, LOL!

PP: … Can the federal government underwrite mortgages for homes in Hawaii on a spot where there may be buried bombs from World War II?

The answer depends on which federal program insures the loans. When it comes to the one for Native Hawaiians, the answer has been an emphatic no. But when it comes to more traditional mortgages for the general public (which also includes native Hawaiians), a different federal program has been saying yes.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica reported in November how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in late 2014 restricted some mortgage lending in a region of Hawaii’s Big Island known as the Waikoloa Maneuver Area, concerned that buried bombs still posed a danger to thousands of residents. Funds would flow again, officials said, once the military removed any unexploded devices and once the state deemed the land safe.

That policy effectively froze lending for many Native Hawaiians, who relied on HUD-backed loans to develop homesteads within a historic land trust, parts of which were located in an area with a potential for unexploded ordnance, known as the UXO zone.

But new documents and interviews show that the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of HUD, has insured loans for people seeking to buy homes on land outside of that trust but still within the UXO zone — long before officials declared any parcels there safe from unexploded ordnance.

The new revelations raise questions about federal policy and whether the HUD restrictions unfairly targeted Native Hawaiians — or put others at risk.

“I don’t understand why they would allow it for some properties but not for others,” said Eric Brundage, a former Army explosive ordnance disposal expert who has helped with recovery and detonation of UXO in the Waikoloa area. “That just doesn’t make sense to me.”…

Star Adv Headline: “Native Hawaiians are denied loans that other applicants get” is absolutely false.  A more correct headline would be: “Hawaiian-only loan program won’t fund UXO sites”.  Hawaiians who want to live on top of a bomb are perfectly able to obtain the same market-based home loans for these UXO sites that anybody else gets.

read … Moronic Headline

Hawaii Tourism Harpooned As Residents Abandon Ship

BH: … The US Census showed a large interstate migration from July 2021 until July 2022. While some states saw significant gains, such as Florida with 1.9%, Hawaii was at the opposite end of that spectrum. Hawaii lost .5% of its population during the year, although some states, like New York, lost even more. People moved to lower-cost places, which spells big trouble for Hawaii tourism that relies on these salaried workers….

TW: Is this the end of the Hawaii Tourism Authority?

read … Hawaii Tourism Harpooned As Residents Abandon Ship

Occupancy for Hawaii vacation rentals in 2022 remained below pre-Covid levels

PBN: … Hawaii vacation rentals reported an occupancy rate of 57.9% for the month of December, according to data released last week by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

The Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report noted that the month’s occupancy rate was a 17.4 percentage-point drop compared to December 2019, when vacation rental units were 75.3% occupied.

Compared to December 2021, it marks a 9 percentage-point drop….

read … Occupancy for Hawaii vacation rentals in 2022 remained below pre-Covid levels

Man who ran over woman with stroller was not locked up for previous attacks

SA: … A man who allegedly ran over and attacked a 37-year-old woman while she was pushing a 6-month-old child in a stroller in the Mililani Walmart parking lot Wednesday morning faces a number of pending charges

Desmond Kekahuna, 46, of Waipahu, faces potential charges of two counts of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and criminal contempt of court, arrest records show. He was injured in the course of officers arresting him, according to Honolulu Police Department spokesperson Sarah Yoro.

Authorities said Kekahuna intentionally hit the woman with a vehicle, dragged her about 15 feet, exited his vehicle and beat her with a tire iron or crowbar, leaving her in critical condition. He then assaulted a 40-year-old military man who tried to intervene, sources said….

County prosecutors had criminally cited Kekahuna for harassment in September. A judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest after he missed a court appearance the next month.

The alleged harassment occurred at the Jack Hall subsidized housing project in Waipahu, where Kekahuna resided, according to court documents. Kekahuna had no monthly income and paid no rent for his subsidized two-bedroom apartment at Jack Hall, court documents show.

The property management company accused Kekahuna of using a bat to threaten a relative of the resident manager, and also of threatening another tenant whose unit was later damage when a rock was thrown at a sliding glass door, according to a lawyer for the property manager as it sought to evict him in September. He was evicted without incident on Nov. 1 by a court order.

That same day, the Attorney General’s Child Support Enforcement Agency issued Kekahuna another order, requiring that he pay $166 a month in child support as the “responsible parent” for two teen-aged offspring. The order shows Kekahuna still had no income.

In 1999, Kekahuna was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, a felony. The state had requested that the court mandate anger management and a substance abuse assessment. Kekahuna pleaded no contest and received a sentence of five years probation, which included a condition that he “obtain and maintain mental health treatment or services,” according to the court record.

read … Soft on Crime

Gaming the System: Hit-and-run defendant Jared Denault tries to withdraw plea

TGI: … Jared Denault, 45, of Wailua, is accused of causing a deadly June 2020 car accident before fleeing the scene.

In October 2022, he pleaded no contest to charges of Negligent Homicide in the Second Degree and Accidents Involving Death or Serious Bodily Injury. Four other counts against him were dropped.

In the motion to withdraw his plea, Denault’s attorney says he pleaded no contest in hopes of getting a supervised release.

“In order to expedite a possible release from custody before (he) lost his bed space at the Sand Island Treatment Center, (Denault) proceeded with changing his plea without having filed pretrial motions in his case,” reads the motion filed by Deputy Public Defender Marissa Agena, who is Denault’s attorney. Denault now intends to file a motion to dismiss the case.

Despite his plea, Denault’s request for supervised release was ultimately denied because of his extensive criminal history — which included an attempted escape from a minimum security work furlough center….

read … Hit-and-run defendant Jared Denault tries to withdraw plea

Deputy Prosecutor With History Of Neighbor Problems No Longer Employed By Hawaii County

CB: … A deputy prosecutor with a lengthy history of disputes with his neighbors is no longer working for Hawaii County.

Randall Winston Albright’s last day as a deputy prosecutor was Jan. 31, said Danielle Niimi, a human resources employee in the office of Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen….

read … Deputy Prosecutor With History Of Neighbor Problems No Longer Employed By County

Council to Pick Next Maui County Clerk

CB: … The council will vet Lutey and 10 other applicants who applied to serve as the key public servant charged with conducting local elections, running County Council meetings, filing the necessary paperwork to create new county laws and handling a slew of other responsibilities for the $1 billion local government

According to county documents, the other applicants are: Charles Alevato, Mia ‘Aina, Ruby Chapman, Kerry Dawson, Casey Findtner, Courtney Friend, Tracy Gibbs, Anmarie Mabbutt, Mike Saiki and Peter Yoon….

On Maui, the discussions over filling the important role began late last year, when the council put out a hiring notice two days before Christmas.

That same day, however, a meeting agenda was published that showed council chair Alice Lee proposed hiring James Krueger, the former deputy clerk, for the role at an annual salary of $110,000. 

A few days later, that plan changed. Maui’s new mayor, Richard Bissen, announced he had someone new to serve as the administration’s top attorney — which meant Lutey, the county’s corporation counsel under the previous administration, wasn’t being rehired.

The Maui County Council chair then proposed hiring Lutey as county clerk with a salary of almost $157,000, roughly $45,000 more than her predecessor. The mayor’s salary stands at almost $160,000, according to the county’s salary commission….

MN: The votes Friday evening were unanimous to confirm former top county attorney, Moana Lutey, as county clerk and former First Deputy Richelle Thomson as deputy county clerk.

Background: Supreme Court: Election Officials moved office furniture instead of ‘curing’ hundreds of invalidated ballots

read … ‘Election Day Heroes’: Maui County Clerk Has Not Been An Easy Job To Fill

Another setback for Ka‘u satellite dish project

HTH: … A contentious proposal to build a satellite receiver array in Ka‘u was once again postponed Thursday.

At a meeting of the Windward Planning Commission, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics was scheduled to make its case for a special permit to operate an array of 10 satellite dishes on a two-acre rural lot in Wood Valley.

The array would be located about 200 feet away from the intersection of Wood Valley Road and Makakupu Road, and would be used to detect Fast Radio Bursts, fleeting yet powerful pulses of radio waves originating from deep space….

“We set up a dish in Hilo to test it, but it’s completely saturated there,” Bower said. “It’s like trying to stargaze while standing under a streetlight.”

Bower said the array would be composed of 10 off-the-shelf satellite dishes 20 feet in diameter that would passively wait to receive signals. The array would not release any signals, the dishes would not be remotely operated, and would require minimal additional infrastructure — ASIAA’s proposal includes a 10-kilowatt solar array and a water catchment tank.

ASIAA proposed a similar project last year on a different Wood Valley parcel about two miles away from the current proposed location, but the county Planning Department recommended that that request be denied because of the proposed site’s agricultural potential.

The Planning Department has determined that the new proposed site is more suitable and has recommended that the request be granted. However, like last year’s proposal, Ka‘u residents have voiced disapproval for the project….

read … Another setback for Ka‘u satellite dish project

Legislative Agenda:

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