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Thursday, July 20, 2023
July 20, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 2694 Views

DoE Wins Fire Alarm Lawsuit

Military operations on Guam spur endangered species challenge

Sen Dela Cruz Gets Away With Bad Things Because He Knows State’s Minor League Justice System Won’t Stop Him

CB: … Senate norms don’t just tolerate his aggressiveness They even reward it by keeping the bad behavior an open secret. Legislators don’t like to talk about it.

Is Dela Cruz violating the law? One critic has suggested it, but again the legal argument is hypothetical and sure to stay that way unless some agency with the legal authority to act moves ahead.

No sign that that’s going to happen. Courts are very cautious about telling the Legislature how to do its business. Litigation is corruption hardball, and given their recent track record, the state’s legal institutions are in the minors.

The only successful restraints on Dela Cruz have been political. The Legislature repealed the law creating one of the senator’s pet agencies, the Public Land Development Corp., because legislative leaders thought it went too far.

Dela Cruz, however, has found other ways to do the same thing.

Gov. Josh Green vetoed a bill that would have used the back door to grant funds for the law enforcement academy that the Legislature has refused to fund.

And in an unusual move, eight Democratic legislators voted against the budget, mainly because of all the hanky-panky and hocus-pocus that they blame on their leadership and on legislative rules that allow for influential committee heads to hijack the process.

Too soon to tell whether that’s the beginning of something bigger….

ILind: Senator Dela Cruz continues to misuse his public position

read … Powerful People Get Away With Bad Things Because No One Stops Them

Aloha Stadium: Hawaii lawmakers plan to Copy San Diego’s Failed Snapdragon Project

HNN: … The delegation from Hawaii took part in the sports and entertainment facilities convention in San Diego, California while also touring San Diego State’s New Snapdragon Stadium, gaining key takeaways as they continue working on the New aloha stadium plan.

“You know, it’s good to take lessons from where other people have successes.” House Representative Daniel Holt told Hawaii News Now.

The group — made up of fifteen individuals — included lawmakers and stadium officials.

They got their notepads out and learned more about how the proposed private public partnership has worked for other venues throughout the country.

“We definitely learned that we have to make it our own, you know, learning certain lessons from other people is important, but to fit what we have here in Hawaii is very important.” Holt said. “You know, it’s not only about the stadium, it’s about the surrounding entertainment district and the economic development that comes along with that.”

They also got an up close and personal look at one of the newest PPP developments, Snapdragon stadium.

It’s home to the San Diego State Aztecs and its a good example of how they want new Aloha Stadium to function….

“We’re towards the end to getting out an RFP (Request For Proposal).” Holt said. “So this is just tightening up all the loose ends, making sure we have everything ready to put out an RFP to create a product that is going to be beneficial for everybody.”…

read … Hawaii lawmakers learn from national sports and entertainment venue convention

Nearing end of sentences, ex-cops in Kealoha scandal moved to halfway house

HNN: … Derek Hahn and Ming-Hung ‘Bobby’ Nguyen have been moved to Sacramento to serve out the remainder of their time in a halfway house.

A federal jury found them guilty of conspiracy in June 2019 in what’s known as the “mailbox trial.”

Hahn was sentenced to 3 1/2 years and was sent to Sheridan, Oregon to serve his time. He will be freed later this month. Nguyen got 4 1/2 years at a prison in South Dakota; his release date is April 19.

There are no federal halfway houses in Hawaii so both men were moved to California….

Louis Kealoha is still in prison in Oregon, and won’t be out until 2026….

Katherine Kealoha is in a California prison with a release date of 2030….

read … Nearing end of sentences, ex-cops in Kealoha scandal moved to halfway house

After Jacking Up Assessments, New Honolulu tax credits aim to assist homeowners

KHON: … Bill 37 which was signed into law provides a real property tax credit for homeowners whose property tax exceeds 3% of their income.

“The threshold for eligibility, for the credit has not been updated since 2014 and the home exemptions were not updated since 2019,” said Esther Kiaaina, Honolulu City Council. “We need to be better in considering these types of modifications on a more timely basis.”

To qualify for the tax credit, the combined income of all titleholders for the property must not exceed $80 thousand.

For this law, you will need to following qualifications to apply:

  • The total household income does not exceed $80,000;
  • no qualified titleholder owns any other real property during the applicable tax year;
  • the amount of property tax after applying the credit is not less than the minimum tax amount required, $300.

Bill 40, which the mayor also signed, increases the exemption amount from $100 thousand to $120 thousand for homeowners; and it is $140 thousand to $160 thousand for senior citizens.

The city said that you are entitled to the exemption rate if you have any of the following indicators:

  • You own and occupy the property as your primary residence;
  • registered to vote in the city of Honolulu;
  • file income tax returns as a resident of the state of Hawaiʻi;
  • reside in the city and plan to stay in your home for more than 270 days in a year.

If you live on a property that is your principle home, then the city is also encouraging you to file a home exemption with the real property assessment division….

HNN: Tax surcharge coming for Maui residents as Honolulu homeowners get some relief

Jan 15, 2023: Criminal Conspiracy behind Property Assessment Hikes

Jan 3, 2023: HGEA Fraudulently Boosted Oahu property values to fatten contract negotiating position

read … New Honolulu tax credits aim to assist homeowners

Developers Are Betting Big On Honolulu’s Business District. Will It Pay Off?

CB: … Christine Camp paints a pretty picture. Standing on the gutted 14th floor of the Davies Pacific building, Camp shares her vision for the streets below: sidewalk cafes and boutique retailers catering to young, urban professionals who live and work in the area.

On the ground, where homeless people still sleep on cardboard boxes in front of shuttered retailers, that vision can seem more like a dream.

But Camp, the president and CEO of the Avalon Group, has taken a step toward realizing that dream by spending $96 million to acquire the Davies Pacific building and convert 75% of its office space into condominiums. ..

read … Developers Are Betting Big On Honolulu’s Business District. Will It Pay Off?

Wahiawa Dam: Multi-Million Dollar State Giveaway to Dole

SA Editorial: … Is the Wahiawa Dam and reservoir simply a gift to the state?

The answer is plainly “no,” when it’s considered that the water system’s private owners are relinquishing an asset that has not been kept up optimally, and are benefiting from the state’s intent to assume that liability….

The unresolved issue is, how much will it cost the state to seal the deal?…

That’s because, while final terms are yet to be negotiated, Dole Food Co. Hawaii, the principal owner that first listed the property for sale, has indicated its willingness to turn the system over to the state, in exchange for fulfilling its own water needs free of charge….

In addition, lawmakers had to appropriate $21 million for repairs to be undertaken by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. And $5 million is for the state to acquire the spillway property now owned by Sustainable Hawaii LLC….

Both Dole and Sustainable Hawaii will benefit from the state taking over the duty to maintain dam safety standards and the liability for damages, injury and loss of life from a catastrophic failure….

Once the acquisition is finalized and the upgrades are made, it falls to the state, through the state Agribusiness Development Corp., to maximize the system’s use to power agricultural growth. That was the stated aim of SB 833…

read … State must fully use Wahiawa Dam

Lawyer who accessed governor’s private info regains access to electronic system

SA: … He said efforts in April to contact the state Judiciary by phone and get its attention to what he described as a dangerous loophole in JEFS that exposed the personal information of “tens of thousands” of people who had been cited or arrested by law enforcement were unsuccessful.

The violator history tab is not included in the $125 per quarter subscription and contains private confidential information protected by law, Parker has said. He maintains he did nothing wrong and that he found the tab by accident.

Parker said he pulled Green’s personal information in order to share it with the state and get their attention after he says they ignored his requests to connect on the issue. Judiciary officials have said they have no record of Parker reaching out. After learning of the access to Green’s records, the Judiciary shut down JEFS on April 11, fixed the vulnerability and brought the system back online April 12….

The Judiciary declined to comment on the cost of the investigation. A letter was sent by mail to Parker and his attorney, Steven Slavitt, this week explaining that he now has access to JEFS, according to the Judiciary…. 

SA: State probe finds unauthorized access of governor’s information | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

read … Lawyer who accessed governor’s private info regains access to electronic system

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