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Sunday, June 4, 2023
June 4, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:36 PM :: 1644 Views

Hawaii’s Shadow Budget

Do you want distractions or solutions?

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted June 3, 2023

It’s Time for OHA to Change its Messaging About Kaka Ľako Makai

New video says telehealth calls with mainland docs should be allowed

'I Help You, You Help Me' Culture of Legislature Designed as Path to Corruption

CB: … It wasn’t long ago that I was told the only way to influence an incoming governor was to contribute to his inauguration event. Incoming lobbyists are frequently told they “must” drop off food at a legislator’s office in order to get a meeting with that legislator….

(CLUE: First test.)

For example, a lobbyist buys a legislator coffee while meeting to discuss a bill. That lobbyist comes across as a “nice guy.” Later, when the lobbyist asks for a meeting with a client, the legislator says, “sure, you’re a nice guy, of course I’ll meet with your client.”…

(CLUE: Second test.)

Similarly, there is a perception that a junior legislator must support a committee chair’s recommendations, otherwise none of their bills will be considered….

(CLUE: Third test.)

Looking at the criminal cases against former Rep. Ty Cullen and former Sen. Kalani English, there does not appear to be an express quid pro quo, that is, a “vote this way and I’ll pay you money.” Instead, there was only a continuation of the culture of giving and expecting favors. In this case, gifts of free lodging, free entertainment, and free food – or even direct payments of money – were reciprocated by the willingness to use legislative heft to back policies favorable to the giver.

While such blatantly corrupt acts are plainly illegal and unethical, one can logically see how the existing legislative gifting culture might lead some individuals down this path….

read … 'I Help You, You Help Me': The Culture Of The Legislature

New Aloha Stadium plan -- Free Land in exchange for Shrinking Stadium

Shapiro: … The latest idea is for a public-private partnership in which the state would put up $400 million in public funds along with development rights to the 90 surrounding Halawa acres, in exchange for a private partner taking responsibility for designing, building, operating and maintaining a new stadium.

The big rub is that the facility, once pitched as 35,000 comfortable seats with a partial roof for shading, might end up a more bare-bones 25,000 bleacher seats with no covering.

This would be giving up $400 million and control of valuable state lands to essentially rebuild the old Honolulu Stadium, except with less charm — a big step down from the current 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium, built in 1975 for $25 million.

The prevailing public response, to borrow a euphemism Gov. Josh Green once applied to the project, is it’s “f$&ked up.”…

As with the ill-fated rail P3, there’s a risk the ultimate bids could come in far higher than the $400 million the Legislature budgeted….

read … New Aloha Stadium plan must still pass pencil test

Green Agenda: Long List of Developer Handouts Await

Borreca: …Quick wits, an advanced degree and training help, but won’t answer a series of tricky political questions.

Former Gov. David Ige and his crew were all over the map looking for a solution for what to do about the 48-year-old, rusted and finally condemned Aloha Stadium. Obviously it needs to be replaced — but how, where, when and with what are all questions Green has to answer before facing reelection in 2026. Green, like Ige, set up a process to reach a decision, but fans are still waiting for when they can shout “Go ‘Bows!” in a real stadium.

Green also inherits the rest of Ige’s uncompleted challenges. For instance, Green has not been a fan of the Big Island’s controversial Thirty Meter Telescope, giving no detailed plans for what goes where and when it is pau. And the 21st Century Kalihi Initiative — did that already happen and we just missed the opening ceremony? There is a lot of talk, but no detailed provision for what is going to replace the Oahu jail and its relocation. The state Health Department has perfectly good plans for a new building, estimated at $100 million: Will this administration use them, tear them up, or what? Lots of major projects just waiting for Dr. Green’s action.

It isn’t just a question of go or no; the question for the governor is, in what direction are we headed?…

SA: $50M state budget item at center of transparency debate

SA Editorial: Weigh carefully stadium options

read … Doc training helps Green, but no quick fix for state

2020 census -- High Cost of Living Boosts Multi-Generational Households

SA: … 44,500 households in Hawaii with three or more generations living under one roof, according to the latest data on household characteristics from the 2020 census….

Another benefit, she added, is that her daughter is growing up surrounded by her kupuna.

“It makes babysitting a lot easier and it’s also cheaper. Being able to rely on the people that live with you to accommodate you is such an awesome blessing.”

With high housing costs and a strong sense of ohana, Hawaii once again leads the nation in multigenerational households, with 9% of the state’s 490,267 households comprising three or more generations, according to the census data released May 25.

That’s up from 8.8% in 2010 and 8.2% in 2000. Nationally, multigenerational households make up 7.2% of total U.S. households; California was second behind Hawaii at 7.3%.

Barbara DeBaryshe, interim director and specialist at the University of Hawaii’s Center on the Family, said living with extended family is often an economic necessity given the state’s high cost of housing, “but it is also a characteristic strength of our communities.”…

Sixteen percent of Hawaii households that identified as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander alone on the 2020 census form had three or more generations living together, the highest share among the race groups. Of Asian-alone households, 11.1% were multigenerational, as were 10.7% of “two or more races” households….

Although not included in the latest release from the 2020 census, separate data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey showed that when grouped together, Native Hawaiians and part Hawaiians had the highest increase in multigenerational households, from 26% in 2010 to 33% in 2020, according to Sarah Yuan, a specialist with the UH Center on the Family.

The ACS data also showed that “middle-income” groups earning $93,000 to $119,000 for a family of four had the highest percentage of multigenerational households in 2020 at 35%, Yuan said, and the largest percentage increase in multigenerational living, of 8 percentage points….

Evidence of Hawaii’s growing population of older residents can be found in the 2020 data indicating that nearly 40% of all households in the state included someone age 65 or older, an increase of more than 9 percentage points from 2010, while at the same time, 31.5% of households included children under the age of 18, a drop of almost 3 percentage points.

Married-couple households, which totaled 240,160, made up nearly half of all local households, a small decline from 2010. Although cohabitation has become more commonplace, especially among young adults, unmarried-­couple households were much less prevalent, numbering 34,254 and comprising only 7% of all Hawaii households in 2020….

In both instances — married and unmarried — coupled households without children under the age of 18 were more numerous than those with children. The 2020 data indicated that 35.4% of married couples in Hawaii were living with minor children, down more than 4 percentage points from 2010….

read … 2020 census data details Hawaii households

Star-Adv HART-Approved Rail Fluff

CB: … The Sunshine Blog was perhaps not surprised to see HART executive director Lori Kahikina shamelessly sucking up to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this week on the newspaper’s online streaming show, “Spotlight,” while basically dissing the other news media.

“We’re just very very humbled by the positive feedback that we’ve gotten from the public and you folks are a key part of that,” she gushed on Wednesday as hosts Yunji De Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji beamed back. “And this is why I wanted to do the interview with you folks today. We moved it up because tomorrow morning we’re going to do the morning shows and you folks have always been so so supportive of me and of HART so we wanted to give you the first crack at an interview with me before we do the morning shows tomorrow.”

Translation: Thanks for letting me spin this thing. Other reporters actually ask us tough questions.

Never mind that “Spotlight” has a teeny tiny fraction of the viewership of Hawaii News Now’s “Sunrise” program or KITV’s “Good Morning Hawaii” or KHON’s “Wake Up 2Day.”

Because the newspaper also gave HART and Kahikina a front-page ride the next day, Thursday…

And again on Saturday…

read … News Schmooze

Hawaii Finds The Move Away From Fossil Fuels Is Easier Said Than Done

RBN: … It has become abundantly clear over the past couple of years that energy transition isn’t going to be a straight line leading directly to abundant carbon-free power and a net-zero world. All sorts of obstacles have popped up, indicating that the energy industry’s trilemma of availability, reliability and affordability not only clash with each other, they can also conflict with environmental priorities. The challenge is being felt now in Hawaii, where a commitment to expanding energy production from renewable sources and tamping down the use of fossil fuels while also keeping prices under control and reducing pollution is turning out to be no easy feat. In today’s RBN blog, we look at Hawaii’s recent efforts to phase out coal- and oil-fired power generation, why that’s turned out to be easier said than done, and what it all means for environmental performance and energy prices….

read … Hawaii Finds The Move Away From Fossil Fuels Is Easier Said Than Done

OCCC selects outsider as new warden

SA: … Schell has 20 years of correctional experience. In 1991 he started his career as a correctional officer at the Oregon Department of Corrections. He became corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and eventually captain. He left Oregon for Hawaii in 2015 and did security work at Windward Community College and HCC.

He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii. He is working toward a master’s degree in public administration from UH Manoa….

FLASHBACK: Feds: Jail Guards Smuggling Illegal Fireworks thru OCCC Mailroom

read … OCCC selects new warden

Sand replenishment project for Kaanapali Beach in limbo

SA: … Hotels and condos along Maui’s famous Kaanapali Beach are divided over whether to move forward with a controversial $10 million beach restoration project nearly three months after the board that oversees the state Department of Land and Natural Resources pulled its support for shouldering half its costs.

While the resort properties haven’t given up on the project, there is little interest in paying its full cost, said Wayne Hedani, president of the Kaanapali Operations Association, which includes 11 hotels and condos, two shopping centers and two golf courses. He said one option may be a scaled-down version of the project.

The resort association has long hoped the project, which has been in the works since 2006, would restore, albeit temporarily, the public beach that has become increasingly pinched from erosion while protecting the popular beachfront resorts that draw about half a million tourists annually.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources’ decision in March to nix the state’s cost-sharing agreement with the association didn’t kill the project. But board members sent a strong message that even if the resort association committed to fully funding the beach restoration project, in the end they still may reject it.

The resort association still must obtain numerous government approvals and permits for the project, including a critical conservation district use permit at the discretion of the Land Board….

read … Sand replenishment project for Kaanapali Beach in limbo

Why AANHPI Heritage Month Is Nothing To Celebrate

CB: … Acronyms like AANHPI and AAPI obscure significant cultural, socioeconomic and health differences between ethnic communities….

read … Why AANHPI Heritage Month Is Nothing To Celebrate

Legislative Agenda:  

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