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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
February 21, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:04 PM :: 2926 Views

Trump: Tulsi Gabbard on Short List for Vice President

More cost, More delay: Green Signs 'PLA' for Lahaina Rebuild

Executive Order: Hawaii is a 'Trauma-Informed' State

DoH: Exposing tobacco marketing to Hawai‘i’s youth

Rule Forcing Corrupt Project Labor Agreements Will Face Legal Challenges

FCKBLM? Censorship Leads to 23% Decrease in Personalized License Plate Requests

Senate Approves Publicly Funded Election Bill

Feds Obtain More Than $1.9 Million in Forfeitures from Hawaii Illegal Gambling Operations

Water Activists Delaying Lahaina FEMA Trailers--Just Like they delayed firefighting water

HNN: … The Commission on Water Resource Management held its monthly meeting on Tuesday where commissioners and the public were briefed on CWRM’s approach to addressing water for temporary housing needs for areas of Maui affected by last year’s fires.

Acting Deputy Director Dean Uyeno said if the county is providing water for the temporary housing, they could use an existing water use permit. However, if a private purveyor is providing the water, that would require a new permit, and that would have to go through the regulatory review process – not an expedited one.

(TRANSLATION: FEMA’s trailer park site relies on private water.)

“Unfortunately, they’re falling under our existing process as set forth in the code. That’s why we are encouraging them to try to utilize county water supply,” said DLNR Chair Dawn Chang.

(TRANSLATION: We know FEMA has no choice but to go with a site that uses private water but we hope the public won’t notice that we are delaying temporary housing as part of an effort to uphold the Alii Trust Agenda by forcing more people to move out of Hawaii.) 

Uyeno did not give specifics about what temporary housing projects they are looking into, (CLUE: FEMA trailer park) how many would fall under the county’s water system (CLUE: zero) , or how many would receive water through a private source (CLUE: All of the FEMA sites.)….

Elena Bryant, an attorney with Earthjustice, testified saying they support temporary housing for fire victims, (the Alii Trust Agenda) and they appreciate the public meeting because it encourages transparency (local media to help cover up what is happening) ….

“Our interest here is making sure we are not heading into another plantation disaster capitalism situation, and we are here to help you makaala and ensure everything is pono given that you are truly our kahuwai pono (water rights guardians),” she said.

(TRANSLATION: “Move the little people to Vegas.  We are going to build luxury eco-villas for Silicon Valley millionaires.”)

The next CWRM meeting will be held on March 19th….

Jan 30, 2024: FEMA to Build Hawaii's First Mobile Home Park “There is the ability to tie into utility connections being established for the new West Maui Hospital and Medical Center. And owner Kaanapali Land Management Corp. is willing to lease the property to FEMA”  -- (West Maui Hospital water supply comes from privately owned Hawaii Water Service.  BINGO!)

REMEMBER: Hawaiian Activist Delayed Water Resupply for Lahaina Fire

read … Public demands more transparency regarding water for temporary housing for Maui fire survivors

Lahaina Temporary Housing Delays Caused by Water Activists cost State $60M and counting

KHON: …The state is paying $1,000 a day for households that are ineligible for federal aid. The longer people stay in hotels, the more the state will have to budget for those costs.

Any delays in transitional or long-term housing add to the state’s cost, such as modular homes that are set to arrive in the Spring….

Those homes were supposed to be set up by April, but a couple of months of delays is now costing taxpayers upwards of $60 million….

The Ways and Means Committee Chair Senator Donovan Dela Cruz said, “somebody’s program is going to get cut because of delays .”…

State officials said they are negotiating an aid extension with FEMA as it is scheduled to sunset next February. …

SA: State considers nearly $1 billion in wildfire recovery costs

read … $400 million requested by Maui for emergency housing (khon2.com)

Lahaina Homeowners Prohibited from Parking trailer on their Burned-Out property

CB: …The trailer that Mario Siatris and U‘i Kahue-Cabanting have been plotting for months to purchase is expected to arrive on Maui from a camping outfitter in Oregon in mid-March. 

By spring, the business partners hope to be living in the new 26-foot trailer, which to them is a more self-sufficient housing option than the hotel room and resort condo where they’ve been staying on the dime of the federal government since the chaotic first weeks after the Lahaina fire turned their lives upside down. 

They have no illusions that they’ll be able to park the trailer on Mario’s fire-ravaged property on Mela Street any time soon. The government won’t allow that to happen until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clears Mario’s lot of toxic debris. They’ll also need to wait for government workers to repair Lahaina town’s sewer and water drinking systems. 

There’s no official timeline for either of these critical steps to come to completion. So in the meantime, Mario and U‘i plan to park the trailer that will become their home at various West Maui beach parks. They don’t know whether this will be OK with local authorities, so they plan to park in one place no more than a few nights in a row….

read … Will An RV Be Better Than The 'Chaos' Of A Hotel Room? These Lahaina Fire Survivors Plan To Give It A Try

44% of Residents Thinking About Leaving Hawaii

HNN: … In its latest ‘Hawaii Perspectives’ survey of nearly 900 Hawaii residents, the Pacific Resource Partnership found 44% of respondents have seriously considered moving out of state.

Sentiments fueled by a high cost of living and limited job opportunities.

Patricia Pele grew up on Molokai and wanted to pursue a career in the state after graduating from Chaminade, but ultimately chose to move.

She and her partner Nathan Estes previously rented a one-bedroom apartment in Aiea for $1,700 a month.

They now pay less than half that for a home in Dayton, Ohio.

“We have a four-bedroom house and our mortgage is a little bit less than $700 a month,” Estes said. “Two full baths, a covered garage with extra driveway space.”…

read … Hawaii’s high cost of living testing patience of residents, poll shows (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Are Locals Happier on the Mainland?

CB: … Reading through the 1,300 comments, it became clear that a prevailing theme was the lower level of anxiety people experienced living outside of Hawaii. The lower cost of living and the greater opportunities for employment and home-buying made people happy to have emigrated….

she persevered and remained in New York and eventually claimed the hard-earned mantle of being a New Yorker. 

She said she could afford to move back to Hawaii, but the opportunities available outside of Hawaii are so much greater. She can’t see herself returning anytime soon as long as the status quo prevails….

one of the comments to the post said it was too late and people in Hawaii needed to simply accept what had happened here….

read … Naka Nathaniel: Really? Happier On The Mainland? - Honolulu Civil Beat

Short-term vacation rentals impact Hawaii’s housing market only 5%

HNN: … Of the state’s roughly 565,000 total housing units, 30,000 are listed as short-term vacation rentals, meaning about 5% of local housing units operate as tourist accommodations…

A staggering statistic that Green brought up in his address was that 52% of all short-term rentals in Hawaii are owned by non-state residents, and 27% of short-term rental owners own 20 or more units….

“Our best guess for Oahu is if we got rid of vacation rentals entirely, rents and prices would drop by about 5%. So, even if we achieve that, Oahu would still have among the highest housing prices in the country, which wouldn’t solve the housing crisis,” Tyndall said….

Overall, Tyndall said the greatest need to solve Hawaii’s housing crisis is to build more housing.

“If we allowed more housing to be built in general, we wouldn’t really have to pick and choose between land use. Right? We could have vacation rentals and we could also house people,” Tyndall said….

Hawaii Vacation Rentals Struggle Amid Policy Turmoil, Demand Slides - Beat of Hawaii

read … How short-term vacation rentals impact Hawaii’s housing market

Honolulu ethics panel mulls gift prohibition for all city employees

SA: … The Honolulu Ethics Commission plans today to discuss a long-considered proposal to prohibit city employees from accepting gifts, including cash or alcohol, related to their official duties.

The commissioners will hold a virtual-only meeting this morning in which they will discuss pending city legislation introduced in 2022 by City Council Chair Tommy Waters.

Bill 26, as drafted, would prohibit gifts to the mayor, prosecuting attorney, Council members, city administration officers or any person employed by the City and County of Honolulu, as a means to curb potential conflicts of interest or even prevent public corruption.

The measure follows recent public corruption scandals at city agencies including inside the Honolulu Police Department and the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

As defined in the measure, a gift means any gift, whether in the form of money, goods, service, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality or a thing “of value, favor, gratuity, commission, or promise in any other form” received by a city employee from anyone doing business with the city.

The prohibited gift-givers would include “lobbyists, vendors, contractors, clients, political committees, tenants, concessionaires, persons with an interest that may be affected by performance or non-performance of the official’s or employee’s official duties, and any individual seeking official action from, or doing business with, the city,” according to a draft of the bill….

read … Honolulu ethics panel mulls gift prohibition for all city employees

Kupuna testify against purchase of Kauai apartments for DHHL beneficiaries

KITV: … Claire Niheu has been waiting for 40 years.

"It is unfair to the Hawaiian people to be in a box," she said. "I rather have open land."

They're against DHHL's purchase of apartments and other projects they believe are directing funds away from leasehold lots.

Under an updated strategic plan, DHHL's redistributing some of its $600 million to acquire already-built projects such as the Courtyards at Waipouli, which would be the first-ever condo purchase on Kauai….

read … Kupuna testify against purchase of Kauai apartments for DHHL beneficiaries

School bus driver shortage has lawmakers looking at other options

KHON: … The Department of Education said, 99 school bus routes remain impacted and roughly 16,300 students are signed up for the HOLO card pilot program to use the City bus….

The DOE said the root of the issue is a shortage of drivers with a commercial driver’s license. The DOE added that there are currently 507 school bus drivers, a decline from pre-pandemic times.

Another bill aims to mandate school bus contractors to use smaller vehicles like passenger vans that don’t require a CDL….

read … School bus shortage has lawmakers looking at other options (khon2.com)

Boyfriend of drowning victim claims inadequate response by police, fire

HTH: … The boyfriend of a 29-year-old Keaau woman who drowned early Sunday morning after slipping and falling into the ocean off a sea cliff in Hawaiian Paradise Park alleges she died because of an inadequate response by police and fire rescuers.

Dylan Gapp, a 31-year-old HPP man, identified his girlfriend as Kala‘i Reyes and said she has two young daughters.

“This could’ve been avoided. She should be here right now,” Gapp told the Tribune-Herald on Tuesday.

Gapp said he climbed the fence of a neighboring house that had a swimming pool, took a pool raft, threw it in the water — and that Reyes climbed aboard when the current carried the raft to her.

According to Gapp, police and fire rescue personnel showed up in “15 or 20 minutes” and “did absolutely nothing.”

“They didn’t have a light, they didn’t have a rope, they didn’t have a flotation device,” he said. “For an hour-and-a-half, we had eyes on her, and she was on the raft that I had thrown out to her. For an hour after I made that call, she was floating on that raft, and they were standing around, talking story.

“For the next two hours, nobody called for any of those things. It absolutely blew my mind. There’s no reason she should’ve been out there an hour-and-a-half on that raft I threw there. A helicopter from Hilo should’ve only taken 15 minutes.”…

read … Boyfriend of drowning victim claims inadequate response by police, fire

Repeat Offenders Must be released so they can Repeat Again

CB: … The Hawaii prison system is, in theory, being overhauled into a more rehabilitative framework to provide offenders with the resources, support, and skills they need to desist from crime.

This includes utilizing restorative justice practices, which, informed by indigenous notions of justice, are more effective than traditional criminal justice, as studies suggest lower recidivism with the use of restorative justice….

(IQ Test: Do you believe this?)

read …  Habitual Offender Laws Are More Political Theater Than Crime Control

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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