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Monday, March 11, 2024
March 11, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:13 PM :: 1326 Views

Lahaina: Purposefully Making Rebuilding Slow, Expensive, and Frustrating

Bill 21: Reform emergency permitting to quicken Lahaina recovery

Water agency ID’d as major Lahaina recovery roadblock

Where to Vote: Hawaii Republican Presidential Caucus Tuesday March 12

SB3381: McKelvey’s Bill to Block Lahaina Homeowners from Rebuilding Dead on Arrival in House?

CB: … The Legislature established the HCDA in 1976 to “join the strengths of private enterprise, public development and regulation into a new form capable of long-range planning and implementation of improved community development.”

McKelvey’s bill, now in the House, would give HCDA broad power to do that in much of West Maui as it has in Kakaako…

The district would cover a large portion of West Maui extending far north of Lahaina to Kaanapali and south to Maalaea. All state land in the district would be transferred to HCDA’s ownership under the Lele board’s management. It could take over additional land using eminent domain powers. HCDA also would have authority over many land use and planning decisions….

There’s also no definition of affordable, which according to HCDA’s current practice in Kakaako can mean a studio that rents for as much as $3,200 per month….

“This is a template,” she said. “It’s something that could be a model for the rest of the state.” …

“I think the House is going to slow it down on its own accord,” he said….

(TRANSLATION: DOA.)

SB3381: Text, Status

read …This State Agency Transformed Kakaako. Should It Do The Same For Lahaina? - Honolulu Civil Beat

ANOTHER salary hike for councilmembers

HNN: … The Honolulu Salary Commission is considering a 3.6% pay raise for some top city officials. While the proposal wouldn’t apply to Mayor Rick Blangiardi or City Council Chair Tommy Waters, it does include some other key city leaders.

The proposed raises come just seven months after a controversial 64% pay raise for the council.

The latest ones being considered are just a fraction of that and include the police and fire chief.

But some councilmembers could still get another pay hike….

Councilperson Augie Tulba was one of three Honolulu City Council who turned down the 64% pay raise last July.

The most recent proposed raise would increase the pay of the other council members from just over $113,000 to nearly $117,000. Augie says he still doesn’t want the money, and instead wants to see raises start from the bottom up.

“People that work in the parks. People that do maintenance on our roads. The rubbish man. How about giving them a raise? I just think it’s bad optics,” said Tulba….

read … Public input sought on proposed salary hikes for some top city officials

New Bill Seeks To Remove Power To Suspend Electronic Media During Emergency

BIVN: … A new bill that would “remove the ability of the governor or a mayor to suspend electronic media transmission during a state of emergency” is making its way through the Hawaiʻi State Legislature.

House Bill 2581 (HD 1) has already been passed through the State House and will be heard in the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs on Monday, March 11.

From the language of the bill:  “The legislature finds that the power of the governor or a mayor to suspend the transmission of electronic media during a state of emergency is overly broad and vague. Electronic media could include not only all radio and television broadcasts, but also could potentially include text messages, emails, and posts to social media platforms, which would restrain lawful free speech and publication and violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

The proposed bill may sound familiar. Last year, House Bill 522 made its way through the State Legislature ….

read … New Bill Seeks To Remove Power To Suspend Electronic Media During Emergency

SB2768: Carbon Trading Scam Increase Your Fuel Prices and Utility Bills

IM: … In an era when numerous carbon trading schemes have been shown to be little more than greenwashing and abusing third world communities and ecosystems, SB2768 calls for carbon trading.  The bill calls for the Hawai`i State Energy Office to establish standards. …

SB2768: Text, Status

read … Clean Coal Versus Clean Fuel | Ililani Media

Push To Increase Auto Insurance Coverage Could Raise Costs 70% For Hawaii Consumers

CB: … Bills to sharply increase the legally required minimum auto insurance coverage for Hawaii motorists are rapidly moving through the Legislature, but the auto insurance industry is warning lawmakers that mandating more coverage will mean higher premiums for many low-income families.

The insurance industry also predicts an increase in the price of the minimum required coverage will result in more uninsured motorists on the road. This is the second consecutive year the Hawaii Insurers Council has opposed plans to dramatically increase the minimum coverages.

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito estimates the latest proposals to boost the minimum required bodily injury liability coverage would immediately add anywhere from 11% to 70% to the cost of those premiums, and would then further increase the price of coverage in 2027….

Even without the extra coverage that would be required by House Bill 1539 and Senate Bill 2342, auto insurance premiums have been escalating because of the rising cost of repairs to increasingly complex and sophisticated cars, Onofrietti said.

The Insurance Research Council estimates that nearly 11% of Hawaii motorists already drive without the minimum legally required insurance, according to Michael Barry, chief communications officer for the Insurance Information Institute. That is a bit lower than the national average of 14%.

Lawmakers deliberately lowered the mandatory minimum auto insurance coverages in Hawaii in the 1990s in an effort to reduce the cost, and also reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the road. At the time, some estimates were that as many as 30% of Hawaii drivers were uninsured….

read … Push To Increase Auto Insurance Coverage Could Raise Costs For Hawaii Consumers

Maui Councilmembers Squabble over which Affordable Housing Scheme gets the Grift

CB: … “I wasn’t asked to grade based on the movement of dirt. I was asked to grade based on the application submitted by the developer,” he said.

Pulelehua’s application didn’t score high because of the applicant’s finances and because a portion of the subsidized infrastructure would have benefitted market-rate homes in the West Maui project, not solely affordable housing units. Pulelehua has already received $18 million in county funds and had requested an additional $50 million.

After the “movement of dirt” discussion, things turned personal.

Rawlins-Fernandez asked Economou about the length of his residency on Maui ….

read ... Council Grills Volunteers Before Approving Funding For Central Maui Housing Projects - Honolulu Civil Beat 

Builder out $1.5M after DPP Revokes permit

SA: … DPP chose to revoke Lei’s permit as a result, while Lei appealed that decision.

But on Feb. 9 the board upheld the city’s revocation of Lei’s building permit for three two-story houses, with 17-1/2 bathrooms, on a single 19,000-square-foot lot. The project also has four wet bars, which exceeds the two allowed for a single zoning lot of more than 10,000 square feet.

Afterward, DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna said Lei will have to demolish portions of the three buildings to come into compliance with the law.

Lei had testified she’d already spent $1.5 million on a project now determined to be noncompliant and illegal, Takeuchi Apuna said.

Meantime, Waters’ resolution requests that the board take steps to better inform the public about its decisions, like the Lei case.

Those steps include posting the board’s agendas on its own web page; providing the public an email subscription option to receive meeting notifications and agendas; reading to the public its decisions of orders upon approval; and making all findings of fact, conclusions of law, and decisions and orders available for public inspection immediately following their approval, the resolution states….

read … Council urges transparency at city Building Board of Appeals

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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