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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
February 28, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:03 PM :: 1324 Views

Green Launches Compensation Fund for Lahaina Dead, Injured

Unlicensed Midwives Sue State

Bills increasing costs for tourists moving through Hawaii Legislature 

Lahaina: State Senators Push for 1,000 Permanent FEMA Units 

Not so Smart: Affordable Housing Loss Study Debunked

Lahaina: Army Corps of Engineers Transfers Temporary School to DoE 

SB3196: Senate Committee Waters Down Gun Control Bill

Global Warming Solution: Convince Tourists to Stay Longer in Hawaii

IM: … The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) decarbonization report models three scenarios in which the state reaches its goals of 50% reduction in GHG by 2030 and net zero by 2045. Scenario 1 achieves emissions reductions through “widespread electrification and fuel switching”, and “large scale land-based mitigations”. Scenario 2 “layers on additional demand reductions in buildings and transportation relative to S1”, including a 10% reduction in flight miles by 2030. [This is achieved by extending the average visitor’s trip length from 9 days to 10 days]….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

read … Direct Air Capture: Betting Our Future On Wishful Thinking

State Grabs for Rail Tax Money

CB: … House Finance Chairman Kyle Yamashita, whose position gives him considerable influence over state spending and tax policy, held a public hearing Tuesday on House Bill 2781 to divert the revenue from that excise tax surcharge from the counties to the state starting in 2031…

The half-percent excise tax surcharge was originally imposed on Oahu in 2007 to provide funding for the Honolulu rail project, and over the years was expanded to include each of the counties…

The tax is currently scheduled to end at the end of 2030….

The committee also approved House Bill 2780, which would adjust the state income tax brackets in a series of steps to allow lower-income taxpayers to pay less while increasing the state income tax on some residents at the highest income levels.

If the bill passes, those changes would also be delayed until after 2026.

Also winning preliminary approval from the Finance Committee Tuesday was House Bill 2404, a package of tax changes introduced by Gov. Josh Green.

That bill as introduced would adjust state income tax brackets upward by 10% — meaning some people would be taxed at lower-income tax rates than without an adjustment — and would index the tax brackets to the Urban Hawaii Consumer Price Index starting next year.

The same measure would also significantly increase the value of the state child or dependent care income tax credit, and make that credit available to far more Hawaii families than it is today….

read … Hawaii Counties Fight To Keep Excise Tax As Lawmakers Advance Other Relief Measures

Maui family forced to move away claims landlord displaced them to house fire survivors

HNN: … They got a letter from their landlord in December saying, “Although we have greatly liked and appreciated having you folks as tenants, due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be able to renew/extend your lease after 1/31/24.”…

She found a one-bedroom apartment in Kihei for $10,500 a month and a three-bedroom house in Haiku for $28,500 a month.

Emma said that’s when they realized they could no longer afford to live on Maui.

So, they packed all their belongings, said goodbye to their home, and found a new home in California….

Emma said they have learned that fire survivors have since moved into their old home on Maui….

The governor’s emergency proclamation only protects people from evictions, not if their lease expires.

Housing advocates on Maui are trying to change that, pointing to the exodus of residents as rents soar….

read … Maui family forced to move away claims landlord displaced them to house fire survivors

Senate Panel Rejects Confirmation Of Interim UH Regents Chair

CB: … The fate of Alapaki Nahale-a is now in the hands of the full Senate, barring a withdrawal of the gubernatorial nomination….

By a unanimous vote, the Hawaii Senate Committee on Higher Education on Tuesday rejected the nomination of Alapaki Nahale-a to serve a four-year term on the University of Hawaii board of regents.

Committee Chair Donna Kim, Vice Chair Michelle Kidani and Sens. Troy Hashimoto and Kurt Fevella voted “aye” on a motion from Kim to not offer “advise and consent” to the full Senate. Sen. Carol Fukunaga voted with reservations, which counts also as an “aye.”…

SA: Senate panel opposes Nahale-a for another term as regent

read … Senate Panel Rejects Confirmation Of Interim UH Regents Chair

2 teens arrested following alleged sex assault of special needs student at Oahu middle school

HNN: … Parents and advocates for children are raising the alarm about a disturbing series of sexual assaults that occurred at an Oahu middle school.

The state Department of Education confirms the abuse was captured on a cell phone camera in a recording that was circulating among students.

Now, some parents are questioning their children’s safety.

Earlier this month, Honolulu police arrested a 13-year-old after video surfaced that allegedly showed him sexually assaulting a 13-year-old classmate. According to law enforcement sources, both boys are in a special needs class at Washington Middle School….

read … 2 teens arrested following alleged sex assault of special needs student at Oahu middle school

Assault Rifles And Shotguns Would Still Be Allowed In Hawaii Under Amended SB3186

CB: … Gun rights advocates called it a win, while supporters of tougher measures said it was the best they could do to keep a version of the legislation alive….

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to advance a bill that would tighten Hawaii’s assault weapons ban but with amendments that significantly reduce the types of firearms it covers.

Senate Bill 3196 would ban 50-caliber rifles and magazines with over 20 rounds but would no longer prohibit assault rifles and assault shotguns as its original version said….

KHON: Hawaii lawmakers looking to ban .50 caliber guns, ammunition 

read … Assault Rifles And Shotguns Would Still Be Allowed In Hawaii Under Amended Bill

Kalaupapa Tours Remain Shut Down 4 Years After Pandemic Closure

CB: … A Catholic priest from New York reached out to a small Oahu-based travel agency last year to book an early February tour for 26 pilgrims to visit the original resting place of Saint Damien at Molokai’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Nikodem Pikor of Hawaii Polonia Tours answered the call and said he tried to hire the Saints Damien and Marianne Cope Molokai Tours company to guide the Catholic pilgrims on a visit to the national park. He quickly learned that Kalaupapa was closed indefinitely to visitors.

The pastor was extremely disappointed when Pikor told him his group would not be permitted to walk in the footsteps of saints who dedicated their lives to caring for Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa despite risks to their own health. He could offer the priest little explanation.

“I told him what I was told, which is that the tours are frozen, there are no approved tour providers and there’s no process for tour operators to apply,” Pikor said. “He was just baffled. He, like so many others, perceives this place to be of such importance, of such value, a place of historical memory, that blocking the possibility to visit it without providing reasonable explanation or timeframe, this is not acceptable.”…

The park service presently has no approved tour provider, however. John McBride, co-owner of a tour company that operated in Kalaupapa before the pandemic closure, said his company cannot re-apply for the commercial use authorization it needs to operate from the NPS because the application process is frozen.

“There is no process,” McBride said. “There’s demand for the tours, we want to start up tours again, but there’s no way to apply.”…

read … Kalaupapa Tours Remain Shut Down 4 Years After Pandemic Closure

Kakaako: Complete Streets a Complete Mess

HNN: … A newly realigned street in Kakaako is causing confusion on the roads.

On Monday, our HNN photographer caught drivers waiting for parked cars to move on Kamakee Street near Kawaiahao Street.

Nearby residents say a recent re-alignment project is causing traffic to buildup in the area due to vague road striping and changing parking times….

read … Street re-alignment project in Kakaako triggers traffic mess

Arson? Kauai Fire Deals $20 Million Blow To Affordable Housing

CB: …A charred husk of a building is all that remains of an oceanfront affordable housing complex that was under construction when it went up in flames shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday near Kauai’s Port Allen Harbor.

The Kauai Fire Department, which extinguished the fire at 12:20 p.m., is partnering with police to investigate the cause of the blaze. Arson has not been ruled out.

The fire destroyed about two dozen two- and three-bedroom apartments, a multimillion-dollar loss to taxpayers who helped fund the government-subsidized project and a blow to the island’s sputtering efforts to house a rural workforce that’s being squeezed out by astronomical rents and home sale prices. …

Kauai Housing Director Adam Roversi had one thought when he woke up Sunday to the news that half of the Kai Olino affordable housing project site had burned down in the middle of the night: arson.

The building was wired but the electricity hadn’t been switched on yet, casting doubt on the likelihood of an electrical fire. And there had been strong opposition to the apartments from nearby homeowners who feared the subsidized housing project would block their Hanapepe Bay views and lower their property values.

“The idea that it was intentionally set, that’s only my gut,” Roversi said. “I’m no fire expert, but there just aren’t too many other options really.”

The fire, if treated as arson, may never be solved. Hawaii’s county fire and police departments rarely find enough evidence to implicate culprits in the roughly 400 arson cases identified each year. …

read …Kauai Fire Deals $20 Million Blow To Affordable Housing

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